Friday: Ugly GDP, Chicago PMI, Consumer Sentiment - From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Microscopically Lower Mortgage rates barely budged today. Those that budged moved almost imperc...
15 hours ago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2012
Greg Hernandez (202) 898-6984
Cell: (202) 340-4922
Obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the couple’s 2001 trial transcript also confirms DesJarlais had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn. During one affair with a female patient, DesJarlais prescribed her drugs, gave her an $875 watch and bought her a plane ticket to Las Vegas, records show. DesJarlais spokesman Robert Jameson did not respond to requests for comment. The attorney for the congressman's ex-wife said that at this point she does not have any comments to issue on her ex-husband's testimony. The transcript corroborates accounts given to the Times Free Press in October by one of the patients who had a sexual relationship with DesJarlais. The newspaper continues to grant her anonymity, along with all the women due to the nature of the testimony.The bigger news, for most people following this story, is that the publicly strongly anti-choice DesJarlais supported his ex-wife's decision to get two abortions before they married. He also, allegedly, pressured one of his mistresses to do the same. Some are speculating that he may resign.
Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.Let's make this clear. She was miscarrying. The fetus could not be saved. According to the Irish law abortion is legal to save the life of the pregnant woman. She was in agony. But she had to wait until the fetal heartbeat stopped.
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.
An autopsy carried out by Dr Grace Callagy two days later found she died of septicaemia “documented ante-mortem” and E.coli ESBL.
Groups concerned with protecting entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare are finding themselves at odds over whether an overarching fiscal deal during Congress’s end-of-year session would help or hurt their cause.Let me attempt again to make the basic facts clear. Third Way is not a “liberal think tank.” It does not take “a centrist approach.” It is not run by “fellow progressives.” It is not concerned with “protecting entitlements.” It is not even a “think tank.” Third Way is a creature of Wall Street. It’s version of “protecting” the safety net was made infamous during the Tet offensive in Viet Nam when the American officer explained that “it became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.” Third Way is the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, which seeks to defeat Democratic candidates like Elizabeth Warren running against Wall Street sycophants like Senator Scott Brown and seeks to unravel the safety net programs that are the crown jewels of the Democratic Party. Wall Street’s “natural” party is certainly the Republican Party, but Wall Street has no permanent party or ideology, only permanent interests. Third Way serves its financial interests and the personal interests of its senior executives. Wall Street has always been the enemy of Social Security and its greatest dream is to privatize Social Security. Wall Street’s senior executives live in terror of being held accountable under the criminal laws for their crimes. They became wealthy by leading the “control frauds” that drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession. This is why Wall Street made defeating Warren a top priority.
The AFL-CIO organized a day of action on Thursday–part of a broader post-election campaign to protect entitlements–with dozens of events scheduled nationwide to urge lawmakers to avoid such a deal.
A “grand bargain” to prevent the year-end onset of tax hikes and spending cuts “could cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, all to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans,” the labor group argued on its organizing site. But the union campaign is being met with resistance from others on the left.
“We, like you, are ecstatic about the reelection of President Barack Obama and what it means or American growth and prosperity,” wrote Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy for Third Way, a liberal think tank with a centrist approach, in an open letter to the groups involved with the day of action. “However, as fellow progressives, we were disappointed to learn that you will be leading an effort against the President to impede a balanced grand bargain.”
In order to protect safety-net programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, the left must embrace reform, Kessler writes.
Here are key excerpts from their web site identifying their board.Twenty of the twenty-nine trustees come from finance (counting the lawyer whose specialty is representing private equity firms). Their most common background is Mitt Romney’s – private equity – and hedge funds. The nine non-finance members include:
• John L. Vogelstein
Mr. Vogelstein is the Chairman of New Providence Asset Management, LLC and Senior Advisor to Warburg Pincus, LLC. [He co-managed that huge private equity firm.]• Bernard L. Schwartz
Mr. Schwartz is Chairman and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC.• David Heller
Mr. Heller … was … the Global Head of Equity Trading for Goldman Sachs.• Georgette Bennett
Dr. Bennett—an award-winning sociologist, criminologist, and journalist…. [Yeah criminologists!]• William D. Budinger
William D. “Bill” Budinger is the founder of Rodel, Inc., where he served for 33 years as its chairman and CEO. [Rodel manufactured semi-conductors.]• David A. Coulter
Mr. Coulter serves as Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus, focusing on the firm’s financial services practice.• Jonathan Cowan
Mr. Coulter retired in September 2005 as vice chairman of J.P. Morgan & Chase Co. He previously served as Executive Chairman of its investment bank, asset and wealth management, and private equity business.
Prior to co-founding Third Way, Mr. Cowan founded and ran Americans for Gun Safety…. In 1992, he co-founded Lead…or Leave, which became the nation’s leading Generation X advocacy group. [He lobbied to protect “second amendment rights” to bear arms and led a Pete Peterson inspired group urging “Gen X” members to unravel the safety net.]• Lewis Cullman
Mr. Cullman was the Founder and President of Cullman Ventures, Inc., a diversified corporation that included the At-A-Glance group, which manufactures and markets diaries….• William M. Daley
William Daley served as President Obama’s Chief of Staff from January 2011 until January 2012.• John Dyson
Prior to his Chief of Staff role, he was Vice Chairman … of … JPMorgan Chase, from 2004 until 2011.
As Special Counsel to President Clinton in 1993, Daley coordinated the successful campaign to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He was co-chair of the US Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness. [This is code for deregulation of finance.]
Mr. Dyson is Chairman of Millbrook Capital Management, Inc. (MCM), a private investment firm.• Robert Dyson
Mr. Dyson … is Chairman and CEO of the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., a privately owned, diversified investment holding company….• Andrew Feldstein
Andrew Feldstein is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of BlueMountain Capital Management….• Brian Frank
Prior to co-founding BlueMountain in 2003, Mr. Feldstein spent over a decade at JPMorgan where he was a Managing Director and served as Head of Structured Credit; Head of High Yield Sales, Trading and Research; and Head of Global Credit Portfolio. [“High yield” is a euphemism for junk bonds.]
Mr. Frank is a Director and Portfolio Manager at MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm founded by Michael Dell.• Michael B. Goldberg
Mr. Goldberg joined Kelso & Company in 1991 as a Partner and Managing Director. [Private equity.]• Peter A. Joseph
Mr. Joseph has been in the private equity investment business for over twenty years….• Derek Kaufman
Derek Kaufman is Head of Global Fixed Income at Citadel LLC. He is a member of Citadel’s Portfolio Committee.• Derek Kirkland
Prior to joining Citadel in 2008, Mr. Kaufman was a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase….
Mr. Kirkland is a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley’s Financial Institutions Group in Investment Banking.• Ronald A. Klain
Ronald A. “Ron” Klain is President of Case Holdings, and General Counsel of Revolution LLC. [Case is an investment fund for the holdings of AOL’s founder.]• Thurgood Marshall, Jr.
Mr. Marshall is a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP, and a Principal of Bingham Consulting Group. Mr. Marshall counsels and devises strategies for advancing clients’ interests before Congress, the executive branch and independent regulatory agencies. [He is a lobbyist for a firm best known for representing financial firms.]• Susan McCue
Ms. McCue is President of Message-Global, LLC, a strategic communications and public affairs firm she founded in January 2008 to advance progressive campaigns, activism and issue advocacy in the U.S. and globally.• Herbert Miller
Mr. Miller, former CEO and Chairman of The Mills Corporation, one of America’s most innovative and successful mall developers and managers, founded Western Development Corporation (WDC) in 1967 and serves as its Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Stockholder.• Michael Novogratz
Mr. Novogratz has been President and Director of Fortress Investment Group LLC….. Prior to joining Fortress, Mr. Novogratz spent 11 years at Goldman Sachs….• Andrew Parmentier
Mr. Parmentier is a Founding and Managing Partner of Height Analytics. He and fellow Managing Partner John Akridge formed the company in January 2009. He has worked in the financial services industry since 1997….• Kirk Radke
Recognized internationally as one of the top private equity attorneys during his 28 year career at Kirkland & Ellis….• Howard Rossman
Among professional activities, Mr. Radke is Co-Chair & Organizer of the International Bar Association Private Equity Symposium, Founder of the Private Equity General Counsel Network, Founder of Legal Series and Co-Founder of the Private Equity Law Firm Roundtable.
Dr. Rossman is a President and Founder of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, Inc. and a Vice Chairman of its parent, Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. He is responsible for all aspects of fund management, including manager due diligence, strategy analysis and asset allocation.• Tim Sweeney
Mr. Sweeney has been President and CEO of the Denver-based Gill Foundation since October 2007. For more than 30 years, he has worked to advance equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.• Ted Trimpa
Mr. Trimpa is a partner with the international law firm, Hogan Lovells LLP.• Barbara Manfrey Vogelstein
She has over 24 years of experience in venture capital and specialized equity investing. [S]he was a Partner of Warburg Pincus, one of the world’s largest private equity firms.• Joseph Zimlich
Mr. Zimlich is the Chief Executive Officer of Bohemian Companies, a group of family-owned real estate and private equity holdings.
• A Pete Peterson acolyte who previously created supposedly centrist front groups for gun rights and an effort to enlist “Gen X” in Wall Street’s assault on the safety netThe board includes three representatives of “main street” (malls, semi-conductors, and diaries). They are not heavy hitters compared to the finance representatives. On finance issues, Third Way is Wall Street. It is run by Wall Street for Wall Street. It is liberal only on social issues such as gay rights – and Wall Street created Third Way to focus on finance.
• A of giant malls
• A semi-conductor manufacturer
• A manufacturer of diaries
• A criminologist/journalist
• A PR specialist
• A gay rights activist
• A lobbyist at a firm best known for representing finance
• A lawyer
From Amir Sufi, Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago.
Net Wealth Shock in US, by Net Worth Percentile
Frum on Morning Joe: a remarkable 15 minutes of television: Former Bush speechwriter David Frum made a remarkable appearance on Morning Joe.... He begins with this:
Mitt Romney's message is:
I am going to take away Medicare from everybody under 55, I'm going to cut Medicaid for everybody but about a third, and I'm going to do that to finance a giant tax cut for me and my friends, and the reason I'm doing that is because half the country contribute nothing to the national endeavor.
Then about four minutes in, something even more attention-grabbing after Scarborough bloviated about Thatcher and Reagan appealing to the common man:
Since the loss of the election, we have heard an enormous amount of discussion from Republicans on television and newspaper columns about immigration as an issue... but all of us who are allowed to participate in this conversation, we all have health insurance. And the fact that millions of Americans don't have health insurance, they don't get to be on television. And it is maybe a symptom of a broader problem, not just the Republican problem, that the economic anxieties of so many Americans are just not part of the national discussion at all.None of the panelists on Scaraborough--not Joe himself, not David Gregory, not Chuck Todd, none of them--dared to answer Frum's devastating indictment of them. Not of the Republican Party, but of them. It was uncomfortable, and then blithely ignored.
I mean, we have not yet emerged from the greatest national catastrophe, the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. And what are we talking about? The deficit and the debt. And these are important problems, but they're a lot easier to worry about if you are wealthier than you were in 2008, which most of the people on television now are again, if you are securely employed, which most of the people on television now are. But that's not true for 80% of America. And the Republican Party, the opposition party, needed to find some way to give voice to real urgent economic concerns held by middle class Americans. Latinos, yes, but Americans of all ethnicities.
After five full minutes of inside-baseball speculation on Republican leadership games during which Frum looked like he might pull a Howard Beale... he finally got a chance to speak again
I believe the Republican Party is a party of followership. The problem with the Republican leaders is that they're cowards.... The real locus of the problem is the Republican activist base and the Republican donor base. They went apocalyptic over the past four years. And that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world. I won't soon forget the lupine smile that played over the head of a major conservative institution when he told me that our donors think the apocalypse has arrived.And to think that the guy who coined the phrase "axis of evil" is now the moral conscience of the Republican Party.
Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex.... Because the followers, the donors and the activists are so mistaken about the nature of the problems the country faces the nature--I mean, it's just a simple question. I went to Tea Party rallies and I would ask this question: "have taxes gone up or down in the past four years?" They could not answer that question correctly. Now it's true that taxes will go up if the President is re-elected. That's why we're Republicans. But you have to know that taxes have not gone up in the past. And "do we spend a trillion dollars on welfare?" Is that true or false? It is false. But it is almost universally believed.
That means that the leaders have no space to operate.
How low they have truly fallen.
Until October it was the Perils of Pauline campaign. It moved in fits and starts on foreign policy. The message was rarely consistent from day to day. Gobs of ads were aired to no apparent effect. The convention speech was a huge missed opportunity. Romney made a lunge now and then in the direction of immigration reform and an alternative health-care plan without giving those topics the attention they deserved. The communications team was the worst of any presidential campaign I have ever seen -- slow and plodding, never able to capitalize on openings. It was hostile, indifferent and unhelpful to media, conservative and mainstream alike.Let's take what she's written here, in the cold reality of a Romney loss, and compare it to what she wrote when the Romney campaign was still in full swing.
Matters did improve once Ed Gillespie moved forward to take charge of the message. A message at least became discernible. The ads certainly were simpler, more direct and more attuned to making a case for Romney's agenda. But if not for a stunning series of performances in the debates and unexpected eloquence on the stump in the last month, Romney almost surely would have done worse than he did. A presidential race needs more than a good month to be successful.