Good to Know


In the midst of the worst banking scandal since the worldwide crash of 2008, you have this little nugget of wisdom:

The CEO of Austrian bank Hypo Landesbank Vorarlberg resigned Thursday, following the release of 11.5 million documents from a Panama law firm accused of setting up secret offshore accounts to evade scrutiny. According to local news, the bank was one of the many institutions around the globe named in the documents released. Executive Michael Grahammer said he was “100 percent convinced that the bank broke no laws or violated sanctions” but that he was still leaving the company, due to an alleged misrepresentation in the media. Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson of Iceland stepped away—but did not resign—from his post on Tuesday following protests over allegations that he and his wife own an undisclosed tax haven-based company with large claims on some of the country’s collapsed banks. In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mossack Fonseca partner Jürgen Mossack also denied wrongdoing and said the controversy wouldn’t change its business model. “We’re not going to stop the services and go plant bananas or something,” he said.

That's good to know, but can you make money with a banana tree plantation nowadays? And don't you think that the shareholders of Mossack Fonseca are feeling a little nervous when they hear flip answers from the man in charge?

Voter Fraud

This dingy image verifies, once and for all, that the only substantive voter fraud being practiced in the United States of America is carried out by wealthy, privileged white people.

John Ellis Bush is the son of President George Herbert Walker Bush and the brother of President George W. Bush. Somehow, in the course of his life, he became convinced of his Hispanic heritage, which does not exist.

And, just to recap--if a Democrat had done something like this, the howls of outrage would lift the roof off the joint.

Federal Control Over Ferguson is Needed

Do you know what is wrong with this picture?

The State of Missouri has far too many crazy Republican lawmakers and judges. The Federal bench as well--too many wingnuts and kooks.

We should be well on our way to Federal control of the police and the courts in Ferguson, Missouri. Instead, we're dancing around the problem, which is this--the power structure is corrupt as hell and needs to be dismantled. Someone needs to protect the citizens of Ferguson from their own police force and their own racist, bigoted municipal government.

And how sad is it that you can say that and discover there really are no plausible or coherent arguments to the contrary?

Supplements Made From Nothing

Health supplements are made out of nothing?

And they don't benefit the health and well being of anyone?

What the hell?

You would think that, in a just society, the outright quackery and for-profit bullshit of supplement companies--Herbalife, I am staring right at you, you sons of bitches--would lead to regulation and common sense rules protecting consumers.

Guess again.

We need real reform for consumer protection in this country, and as long as we're stuck in the politics of stupid, we'll never get it. We have grown men leading state governments and men who hold elected office who are unafraid to tell us their expert opinions on how vaccines are dangerous, but we can't get anything done about snake oil salesmen who prey on consumers and sell them garbage.

The No Accountability League

The New England Patriots are a team of cheating liars who lie. So they're just like any other NFL franchise that wins. They'll do anything to make good things happen. They're terrible at getting away with it.

So, when it comes to Ballghazigate or whatever they're calling it, please. Nothing will happen and nothing will be done that will have any significant impact on anything that matters:
The season that began with the NFL not knowing what to do about Ray Rice will end with one Super Bowl participant being suspected, not for the first time, of cheating. Commissioner Roger Goodell likes to say his job is to Protect The Shield, meaning the longstanding NFL logo. We’re about to see if he means it.
You wouldn’t think the New England Patriots, winners of three Super Bowls this millennium, could be considered a rogue outfit, but they are. In 2007, they were found to have filmed other teams’ defensive signals in violation of the rules and their coach was fined $500,000, and it’s widely accepted in league circles that the Patriots and Bill Belichick aren’t above anything in their pursuit of victory.
Bob Kravitz of WHTR reported after Sunday’s AFC championship that the Indianapolis Colts believed the footballs had been underinflated. (The suspicion took wings after D’Qwell Jackson intercepted a pass thrown by Tom Brady, who has said he prefers underinflated footballs.) Late Tuesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensenreported that the NFL has found that 11 of the 12 footballs used in open play were inflated below league specifications — this after the balls were inspected by the officiating crew barely two hours before kickoff.
Now, they could tell the Patriots that next season is completely off limits and that they are banned and that the NFL will reinstate them in a year, but that's not happening, either.

Forget the fans, by the way. The gamblers must be furious. You can destroy the integrity of the game, but don't you dare fuck with the spread.

Congressman Drugs Does Not Know Why He Should be Ashamed

Trey Radel doesn't have what politicians used to have. He has no shame. He isn't embarrassed enough by his conviction for buying cocaine to step down from his job as a Congressman. That's what is missing in this equation.

There used to be a much stronger party apparatus as well. By now, someone would have explained to him and his chief of staff that his resignation announcement would be delivered on a Friday afternoon and that he was to disappear. Not anymore. Everyone shrugs and no one cares. A Congressman on drugs? Who gives a damn anymore?

No Respite For Hucksters

Kevin Trudeau is an American success story. He lied, he stole, he cheated and he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the fact that our reckless government is out of control and harbors an intense hatred of success and entrepreneurship. Or, you could look at it realistically and note that a proven liar and fraud should be subjected to an international auditing of all of his bank accounts so that everyone he stole from can have a chance to get their money back.

I guess it depends on whether or not you think a fraudster should be allowed to walk away with the money he has stolen. I do not.