That left a big hole.

Thanks for your patience this morning. Evidently we had a server crash, but it’s fixed now, and y’all are free to move about the cabin.

This is one of those mornings where I feel like I’m living in a parallel universe than the one I woke up in yesterday, one where I can open the newspapers and read several different takes on the Jon Corzine grilling before Congress yesterday, and not read the following line:

At several points during the questioning, members of the committee leaned across the table and hissed through clenched teeth, “Where is the money, Mr. Corzine? WHERE IS THE GODDAMN MONEY?!?”

Because this is where I am simply in over my head. Maybe I don’t read closely enough. I certainly don’t understand finance at this level, other than the banal observation that it has a lot in common with a casino, only with computer screens instead of slot machines but the same hookers.

How does…I think the figure is up to $1 billion now, according to that NYT DealBook story linked above. How does $1 billion in customer money just up and walk away? WHERE IS IT? Because you tell me a billion dollars is missing, and my first thought is of the “Die Hard” movies, the last one of which featured Jeremy Irons stealing all the money in the world in a parade of dump trucks. Is Simon Gruber sitting on a beach in Tahiti, digging his toes in the sand and cackling over the unbelievable score sitting in his Swiss bank account?

And yet, scrolling through the stories about the implosion of MF Global, I read passages like this:

“I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” said Corzine, 64, in his first public comments since his resignation was announced four days after the bankruptcy filing.

Or this:

When pressed by lawmakers at the House Agriculture Committee about whether he authorized a transfer of customer funds to firm accounts, Corzine said: “If I did, it was a misunderstanding.”

Or this:

“I’m not in a position, given the number of transactions, to know anything specific about the movement of any specific funds,” said Corzine, who took over as CEO more than a year and a half ago.

So, there were a “number of transactions” that siphoned off $1 billion? And now it’s gone, and no one knows where it went, and presumably a team — hell, an army — of forensic accountants are going to be billing a lot of hours for months on end, but for now, sorry, no one knows where it is?

I’m in the wrong business. And Simon Gruber, you sly dog.

I don’t always participate as fully in comment threads as I’d like — frequently I’m reading them on my phone while running errands, or otherwise can’t get to a keyboard, but I read every one, and I’d like to call a couple to your attention, if you don’t usually dip into the comments. One is MMJeff’s experience in dealing with Richard Cordray, which you should read if you haven’t yet, and the other was an offhand remark made by Basset, to the effect that his wife is a nurse and occasionally sees young women who make the living workin’ a pole, so to speak, with terrible skin infections. I’d like to know more about that, Basset. Also, don’t look at this picture.

Also, don’t read this story, although the headline is great: Castrating lambs with your teeth may make you sick. This must be a Spanish technique. I’m sure Cooz knows more.

I remember when Tim McVeigh was executed, his last statement was the text of “Invictus,” which my friend Lance Mannion, a former English professor, explained was kitsch, a killer going down with some bad 19th-century he-man poetry. It would appear he has a spiritual brother, Rod Blagojevich, who is fond of quoting Rudyard Kipling. Fortunately, Neil Steinberg found a more appropriate poem than “If,” the one Blagojevich likes to wave around.

One for you grammar nerds, from Nancy Friedman.

Excuse me. I seem to have something in my eye…

I’ll leave you with that. Let’s get this weekend under way, shall we?

Posted at 12:43 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

86 responses to “That left a big hole.”

  1. Laura Lippman said on December 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    About the bunny: Years ago, I had a dog, a lovely, dignified springer spaniel who was a bit of an escape artist. He got out of the yard and into the narrow, rutted alley behind our house, which was used only for those with parking pads along the alley. Someone hit him and left him, still alive, in the alley. He died at the vet’s a few hours later. I always wondered which of my “neighbors” left him to die and while there were many things I loved about that house, my first as an owner, I was glad to leave the neighborhood, having never solved that particular mystery.

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on December 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    As Steinberg said, I would love to see what Kipling would have had to say about Blago.

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  3. Suzanne said on December 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I do wonder what Blago would have gotten if someone actually HAD taken him up on his offer to sell Obama’s seat? That’s the ultimate irony in all this; he really wasn’t very good at selling snake oil.

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  4. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Mayor Daniels: Troy can’t afford new jobs and an improved economy.

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  5. Sue said on December 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Nancy, I apologize for this, but even as a bunny owner, I was not affected in the same way that you were.
    The article should have been titled “And no one saw this coming?”
    And… (sorry!) … it veers dangerously close to Mitch Albom territory at the end.
    Maybe I’m just crabby today but I’d just like to smack Mr. “this bunny belongs to the world” for bullshit excuses.
    Sigh, bad day today.

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  6. Dorothy said on December 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    The bunny story made me sad but, like Sue, I shed no tears. Leaving an animal to roam the neighborhood freely like that was asking for trouble. It was irresponsible for the owner to let Freedom hop around like that. I’m sorry, but I think it’s as much his fault as it was the driver’s that it died in such a cruel way.

    I’m in a cranky mood today too but that is not influencing my opinion, I swear.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on December 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Make that three in a row. I think the fatigue of the last 10 days has caught up with me.

    But I will add I’m glad you got to see Straight No Chaser in person, Moe. As wonderful as their recordings are, their sound is even more marvelous straight to the ear. Did they sing Like a Prayer?

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  8. Judybusy said on December 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Hi All,

    I’m totally changing streams to put out the news that Maggie Jochild is quite ill. She was hospitalized with a variety of ailments. I only know Maggie through the Dykes to Watch Out for blog and Facebook, but I know the pals she has on the internet are greatly encouraging and very helpful. I offered to put something up here because this is a great group of people, and I know she’d love to hear from you here. I’ll let her know on FB to check back here. Thanks to all of you in advance. I’m taking off for a client visit now, and likely won’t be checking in for the rest of the day.

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  9. coozledad said on December 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I’m surprised sheep and goat farmers would allow their mucous membranes to come in close contact with the mucous membranes of the herd, especially if they’d had to milk a nanny or ewe with contagious ecthyma (orf). I once had to milk a ewe whose bag was loaded with chunky bloody discharge so we could insert an antibacterial gel to try and stop any secondary infection. The bag went gangrenous anyway, and sloughed off. That’s one of the reasons we quit milking the sheep. The viral particle can thrive on scabs dropped in the soil.
    It was more grisly than it sounds. Very painful for the ewe. Usually my wife will undertake the gruesome medical work, but she has wrist problems that don’t permit her to milk the animals. I had to do it, and was always halfway between passing out or hurling. And a frightened ewe will just about kick your ass.

    Still, you just know there are heaps of Spaniards, Texans and Welshmen who are called “stubby” by their associates.

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  10. beb said on December 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Corzine is lined up to be the patsy. Someone has to go to prison for doing what every one else was doing and he’s too small, not a republican enough to get it. His answers to the Congressional inquiry are disingenuous and self-serving but since he hasn’t been cleared of criminal doings he could hardly admit to any knowledge of criminal activities that he most certainly endorsed.

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  11. del said on December 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    As I quoted Kipling’s If poem to Dorothy a few days ago (and Cooze linked to one of Johnny Cash’s most painful life memories – Dennis Hopper stumbling through a recital of the poem on Cash’s TV show) I followed Nancy’s links about Blagojevich, Invictus and Kipling. Neil Steinberg anticipates that Blago will soon be citing Nelson Mandela – and wikipedia claims Mandela recited Invictus to his fellow prisoners. Nancy’s observation borne out…

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  12. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Alternative to Apple power cords.

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  13. LAMary said on December 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Yes, the bunny shouldn’t have been running loose, but it’s very sad it’s gone. Losing something sweet and innocent is sad. It’s also sad that idiots drive like madmen through residential neighborhoods because while it’s true that pets should be onleash or contained somehow, kids play outside. I’ve gone Garp on drivers a couple of times, chasing the car yelling for them to slow down.
    About two weeks ago I was walking all three of my dogs, on leashes, and a white Pontiac came barreling down my 15 foot wide street. I had to dive out of the way with all three dogs and I did a number on my shoulder and elbow, scraping along someone’s retaining wall. The Pontiac belongs to a new renter unaccustomed to living on little narrow streets where people walk. He’s been schooled, now.

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  14. Kim said on December 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    My dog roams our somewhat rural neighborhood and was hit once by our speeding, SUV-driving neighbor. Somehow the car blew right over our dog (she survived) but our neighbor just hauled ass home. Pissed me off, though our dog shouldn’t have been crossing the street alone. The mister went down to the neighbors’ (aka The Hilton, b/c it has an indoor driving range on the third floor) to let them know she was going to be OK. I had a different message, but his was well-received by an apologetic, properly freaked-out couple.

    Still, even a slow car would’ve squished the bunny, right? This circle of life business is always hard.

    Maggie, sending well wishes your way.

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  15. Dexter said on December 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Ah jeeze…such a hard choice, until a family has a pet hit.
    We live next to a large rental house and over the years many people have turned into the shared driveway and they just had to gun the engine to make time during those last forty-five feet of driveway, and we had two cats hit. Chester’s vet bill was astronomical but I was working a lot of O.T. so we got him fixed up, and in the winter the poor little guy held his leg over the heat register to quell the arthritis. Our next cat was Wolfie and he escaped and was hit by a pickup truck, we surmised. He was in shock but he came out of it OK, except when he escaped another time and was stolen. My wife suspected the thief and she was right and we got Wolfie back.
    Our current cat is a feral cat who started walking in lock-step with our Jack Russell Terrier in March 0f 2009. He adopted us. It is a struggle to keep him from escaping, and we try hard to save him from a horrible fate. Pogo, our new dog, has escaped fifteen times since March when she arrived. I now use several safety straps on my wrist along with other measures to ensure she doesn’t fly the coop again. All the escapes were the result of her Houdini-ing herself out of her harness and leash-lead.

    Jon Corzine left the US Senate to become governor of The Garden State, an odd move one might think. What did he want out of Trenton for himself?
    Somebody outsmarted Corzine and MF Global is what happened, I bet. So he knows nothing, NOTH-ING! , eh? This is a scam for sure, but could Corzine be the one who was scammed and beat-down? I’m starting to think so.
    I hope some elaborate plot unfolds and we get at least a hint of how Corzine and MF Global were swindled, along with all the investors. I have heard no speculation on any specific charges or possible prison time for Corzine…but how can this episode just go on with no punishment?

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  16. Sue said on December 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Headline in the ENTERTAINMENT section of
    “Michelle Duggar Suffers a Miscarriage”
    That seems harsh.

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  17. Deborah said on December 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I love reading Maggie Jochild’s comments. Maggie, if you’re well enough to read this, I hope you feel better soon.

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  18. Kim said on December 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Nance, thanks for shining a light on MMJeff’s story. Whenever there’s a glory hound playing on a team they’re either on or opposing, my kids like to say “There’s no ‘I’ in team (beat) but there’s a ‘ME’!” Same goes for politicians, sadly.

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  19. nancy said on December 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Yes, strength to Maggie.

    I hear you guys on the bunny story, but I’ve noticed the Florida bargain with pets is frequently different. I’ve known exotic-bird owners who clip wings but essentially let their parrots and macaws live outdoors; they flap around from tree to tree, but stay close to their perch on the back-yard deck. I know this is how lots of exotics get loose in an ecosystem, but it did sound as though that bun had a pretty good life while it lasted, and was arguably happier than she might have been in a confined space. I just thought it was sweet, to have a visiting neighborhood rabbit. It’s like Teletubby land. I can’t believe it was a car that got her, though. I’d have thought a gator or coyote would have gotten there first.

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  20. jcburns said on December 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    A server crash!?

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  21. nancy said on December 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Excuse me. Correction! The server failed to restart correctly following an outage. So not a crash, exactly. It fell, and couldn’t get up.

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  22. Dorothy said on December 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Get better soon, Maggie. This place needs your wisdom and wit!! There’s never enough of that to go around.

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  23. MarkH said on December 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Dexter, why are you being so light on Corzine? He was brought in to head up this company and all of a sudden he’s NOT one of the smartest guys in the room? He doesn’t understand how these things work? He loses track of that much money? He’s clearly lawyered up and may have been tossed out to scapegoatland, but please….

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  24. LAMary said on December 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Maggie, I’m sending you Mexican Coca-Colas psychically. Get better. We need more tart tongued Austin women in the world.

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  25. moe99 said on December 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Our first dog was a dalmation named Gypsy. I was about 6 or 7 at the time. We lived on North Clinton Street in Defiance, which is a very busy street. Gypsy, unbeknownst to us was deaf, a comman trait in dalmatians. She would never come when called but my parents ascribed it to orneriness. One day while they were gone, and we had a babysitter, Gypsy got out and ran across N. Clinton. We called and called but no Gypsy. Finally she came back and crossed the road and was hit by a car. I was the oldest kid, and as I recall Gypsy dragged herself to the porch but the babysitter would not let us bring her in because she was afraid of the mess she would make. So I went down to the basement and got all the rags I could find and we stuffed them around her, crying our eyes out. Our parents finally got home and took her to the vet’s where she died. It was a very traumatic time for us kids.

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  26. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    tting a rabbit run free where there are snakes and gators and cars, probably owls and redtails and ospreys (oh my!)is just asking to have Fluffy’s funeral rights. Really dumb. We had a rabbit when I was a kid, name of Hoppy. He was my brother Matt’s pet,Matt, who died of leukemia when I was also a kid. He was a White Rex, the kind of rabbit that would fit with Muddy’s opinions of “Ain’t that a man.

    He was huge, and tended to be moody. But dogs and feral cats could have done him in at any time had he been free. Not a wild rabbit with resources. Not Hazel.If you domesticate a wild animal and release it to the wild, I’d say you are still responsible for it’s life. In the neighborhood of our first house (me and the es and our toddler) there was a neighborhood uto-terrist with a souped up VW with one of those through-the hood air scoops that roared around our streets. My next-door neighbor and I put some 16d nails in a slab of plywood and dropped it in his path. Three blown tires. He didn’t call the cops, thank God. He drove more politely and considerately thereafter. Now if that sounds made-up or like I’m trying to invent a character, I assure you all it’s the truth. I’ve never claimed anything here as true unless it actually happened. I certainly would never see any reason to lie in this forum for self-aggrandisement with a bunch of people I respect but feel no need to impress. I apologize for upsetting Bassett, but I’ve got no idea what that’s all about. Did I ever claim to be a great cook? No more than anybody else here. Is it bragging to talk about a 54 average in a college or grad school course? I really don’t think so. Bassett. However I annoyed or offended you, I don’t get it. Please show me where I’ve done and I’ll apologize. Sorry, but bringing me up in your math-phobia post is relatively obvious. Exactly what was my transgression in the first place?

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  27. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Maggiejochild, is my favorite NN.nall correspondent, because there is something about her screenname that is just way cool. I know, I’m the bottom of the food chain here, but Maggie, Best wishes, and prayers if they don’t give you cooties. Prayers can’t possibly be bad. It may sound like bullshit, but I’ve already been to church and started a novena. If you’d rather i didn’t, that’s ok too. Maggie, you are tough, intelligent and humorous, and there are too few people about whom that can be said.

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  28. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Maggie, No shit Wghatever you sy

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  29. MichaelG said on December 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Maggie, please be well. We’re all pulling for you.

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  30. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    What anybody thinks is considerable

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  31. brian stouder said on December 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Maggie – what LA Mary said!

    Say, let me leap up to agree that John Corzine deserves whatever prison time he gets, plus all the contempt we can heap upon him.

    And, let us consider – the great state of Indiana just “found” $300,000,000; money that had been “misplaced” over the past several years.


    So they’ve been whacking and cutting and slicing education and all the rest, and meanwhile, Governor Daniels and Auditor (dingle)Berry might well have no better excuse than John Corzine has. (One would think that a guy who has the title State Auditor would, you know, audit things, yes?)

    Granted, $300 million is peanuts compared $1 billion, but still…this story instills in me great anger and fury (insert riff from Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction)

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  32. John G. Wallace said on December 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Sending best wishes for a recovery and better days to Maggie…

    @Dexter – Why would Corzine leave the senate to become governor of NJ? First, as the old saying goes “to the victor goes the spoils.” When a politician gets indebted to the power brokers, the unions,and in this case the always powerful South Jersey Democratic machine the only way to reward those folks are to deliver jobs and money. Senators aren’t ever in a position to deliver jobs – they really can only employee about twenty people. They can’t deliver much in the way of money either unless they sit on or chair a powerful committee.

    Newsweek (now AKA the Daily Beast printed on paper) had a good article about Corzine’s realization that to be a powerful senator he would have to serve until he was about 80. There were no shortcuts for “fuzzy.” He still smarted from being ousted at GOldman Sachs and spending $63 million of his own cash for a presitgious but mostly powerless job.

    On the other hand, at the time the Governor of New Jersey was considered to be one of the most powerful elected offices in the country. Gov. has sweeping powers and oversight, and until recently there was no Lt. Governor in N.J. That’s why after McGreevey the acting governor role bounced around between different legislators for the remainder of the term.

    I would have had a real dilemma as a voter if I still lived there. I detest Corzine but think Christie lacks the intellectual skills and character needed and none of the above wasn’t a valid choice.

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  33. beb said on December 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    I wrote in the previous thread that Corzine couldn’t admit to knowing where the money went because MF Global is still an on-going investigation. He can’t admit that he authorized “borrowing” clients money, a Wall St no-no. He can’t admit to knowing what funds failed, how overleveraged his company was. He has to go the AG Gonzales route to claim to be the stupidest man in the room because any other course leads directly to jail.

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  34. MarkH said on December 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    As I said, beb, he is very lawyered up, yes. But let’s not us be stupid by assuming HE was victimized in any way.

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  35. Jolene said on December 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Why was Corzine so unpopular as governor? I never really picked up on that story. On the other hand, I think it’s easy to see why he would leave the Senate to be governor. He had been an executive before and likely wanted the greater freedom of action that an executive position permits.

    I think some senators who’ve taken the opposite path chafe at what passes for decision-making in the Senate. Mark Warner, who was a good governor in Virginia, always looks strained when he is interviewed, as if he is suppressing a huge pile of frustration in order to remain civil.

    He was one of the leaders of the Gang of Six that developed a “balanced” deficit reduction plan, but Harry Reid cut that group out of the action when he formed the supercommittee.

    He wants to be president, and he would be a good one, but I don’t know that he’ll get a chance. Obama might manage to get re-elected, but it seems too much to hope for that we’d get another Democratic president after that.

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  36. Sherri said on December 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Best wishes, Maggie.

    We have wild rabbits in our neighborhood, and one bunny made my front yard his home this past spring and summer. Every time I went out of the house, he was sitting in the same spot in the yard. If I got too close, he would scurry away into the bushes. (And no, I really don’t know if it was a he or a she, nor do I know what happens to the wild bunnies in the winter, but I see them again every spring.)

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  37. Deborah said on December 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I’m just one big sink hole of depression tonight for no good reason. I have one week left before we go to New Mexico for the holidays which I couldn’t be looking forward to more. It must be SAD again, because I can’t put my finger on what else could be making me feel so low.

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  38. caliban said on December 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Maggiejoshild, I mean everything as far as prayer I am capable of No joke. What ever asshole
    No as we can consider

    no as we cn consider. How absurd how you you aoo consider such morons.
    And Basset. How did I offend you? I really don’t see how. Should I make a roast and say it was meh, All y’all post about how escellent your dishes are, How do I differ. Yeah, I;m a pretty good good cook.
    Sitting on my groceries. Why did you choose to go off on me? I don’t think I ever said a bad word about you. Why would you trash me for no good reason? I am perfectly willing to never deal with this blog again, but iI’d like to know what in the world I said to annoy you so much, Fact is, I never did anything remotely, Totally absurd.

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  39. Minnie said on December 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Mags, hang in there. You’ve weathered so much before, you can do it again.

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  40. Judybusy said on December 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Deborah, I hope the week goes quickly and New Mexico brings you back to feeling good again!

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  41. Deggjr said on December 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    OK, I looked at the picture. I forget the joke, but the punchline is: “What, and give up show business?”

    Jon Corzine is in Martha Stewart territory, to serve as an example to others. I’m OK with that as long as the others follow.

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  42. basset said on December 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    “Sinkhole of depression” sounds about right, Deborah. Went to a Christmas party tonight, stayed half an hour, home by eight-thirty.

    About those skin infections, Nancy… Mrs. B. is a surgical tech, helps in the operating room and has been doing that for going on fifteen years. I think my memory inflated the situation and combined it with another case, there was only one pole-dancer horrible infection and it turned out to be a variety of herpes which spread and caused other problems. IV antibiotics were involved and apparently didn’t do a whole lot, herpes being a virus. I’m not sure that any skin was actually removed. Nasty, in any case. Not gonna say which hospital or which city, and if you think you know, you probably don’t.

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  43. Kim said on December 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    All you who are afflicted with SAD or a general holiday malaise, perhaps a good laugh will help. May I suggest my favorite holiday treat, the Cavalcade of Bad Nativities?

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  44. Jolene said on December 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    There’s also this fine collection of unfortunate family photos. Just amazing what people do on purpose.

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  45. brian stouder said on December 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Jolene, that was interesting. Several of the photos (like #37) look like they could be the people up the road that Cooz has told us about.

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  46. Kirk said on December 9, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    What the hell were those people thinking?

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  47. Dexter said on December 10, 2011 at 1:13 am

    MarkH: When clients bet on futures and they know they are not insured, it’s maddening for the clients but how can much sympathy be garnered for them, any more than for a high stakes casino gambler who busts out?
    I have a friend back east who blew his entire half-million dollar inheritance by betting against the trends his financial advisers guided him with; he thought he was being set up and he tried to beat them at their own game…he too lost it all.
    MF Global bet 6.3 billion dollars on wrong-way European debt and declared bankruptcy October 31, that is where the 1.2 billion dollar shortfall that has been hung on Corzine’s neck came from.
    In this country, big shots like former Goldman-Sachs top-dogs like Corzine rarely get prosecuted for anything. How much fucking prison time did Henry Paulson do for his role in the 2008 Wall Street fiasco?
    These pissed-off Congressmen, ain’t they something? So upset that some high-end gamblers got screwed via crazy bets on the Euro, and yet draining the US Treasury daily into a stupid war in Afghanistan. Where’s the outrage there? I just don’t think Corzine is all that stupid. I still think he was convinced he could make a killing on this European deal and it blew up in his face…and yes, he certainly knows where the money went, if not all the particulars.

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  48. Sherri said on December 10, 2011 at 1:47 am

    The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent – John Maynard Keynes.

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  49. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Dexrter, when clients create the uninsured bizarre paper transactions because they bribed Congress so that it’s possible to heap fraud upon fraud, I blame the fraudulent. There was Glass-Steagall for a good reason, and the scumbaags that did away with it did so so that they could rob people at will. Blame this shit on Corzine if you will, but this started with Lehman and back to the Smartest Guys in the Room. The cheating started with Scalia appointing W President. And Halliburton absconding with pallettes of cash. Where’d that money go?

    MaggieJochild, I find your internet presence compelling, You are fierce, intelligent, and I was imagining you even after I knew you were gay. Funny how the net works. You go girl. I will go to Mass in the morning and include you in my prayers, If you want me to or don’t. It can’t hurt. But Tere is no doubt I pray for the best for you.

    Betting short against futures you set up to fail on purpose, that is fraud and all those assholes should go to jail. But, they’ll bo to Club Fed and trade secrets. The USA has a Supreme Court that is Stocked full of Corporate Criminals. Vote for another asshoe Republican and stock it even worse. Corporations are people? It’s no coincidence the GOPers stopped talking about activist judges when they got the activist judges on the Supreme Court. Consider the future with these assholes running the world:

    I don’t think he means women. I think he means cunts. I think it fits Newt perfectly.

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  50. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Corzine? The criminials finally found a Democrat for their Oxbow victim. If you are looking for lost cash, how ’bout them pallettes of cash that went missing in Iraq. I’m signing out here, forever. Sayonara.

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  51. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Dexter. Mobody ever waged a stupoder war than waging war in Afghanistan, unless it was taking up for France in Vietnam. Wolfowitz thought this would turn out well when he was licking his comb?

    Does anybody think Tehran would be so interested in nukes if Israel wasn’t sitting on a bunch of them at Dimona?

    Who is nuts? Republicans or Democrats?

    How does anybody make excuses for these assholes? Dos Vedanya, y’all. I can’t live with upsetting Basset.

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  52. brian stouder said on December 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Well, if the bunny story is an Alpha/heartstring pet story, here is an Omega/primal fear pet story:

    The lead:

    A 58-year-old man tried to fight off his pet pit bull before he was killed by a fatal bite to the neck, the White County coroner said Thursday. Joseph D. Hines of Burnettsville was found dead Monday night in his home on North 1400 East. Indiana State Police said Wednesday that his death was caused by his pit bull, which was in the house with him. The results of an autopsy showed that Hines had “quite a few” defensive wounds on his arms and also bite marks on his ankles.

    For some reason, the “defensive wounds” and “bite markson his ankles” detail really bothered me.

    And Caliban, you know we love you, man. As a wise man once said, can’t we all just get along?

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  53. Dexter said on December 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Dr. Bob’s wife Anne’s first AA coffee pot, used in Dr. Bob and Anne’s home on Ardmore Avenue in Akron
    Quiet time here at nn.c. I am posting this to commemorate nineteen years off the Good Old Mountain Dew.

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  54. Kaye said on December 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Congratulations Dexter! Wishing you many more years of being happy, joyous and free.

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  55. Judybusy said on December 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Jolene, thanks for that link. I was howling! Congratulations, Dexter–life’s grand, isn’t it?

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  56. Dexter said on December 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks, Kaye and Judybusy. And get well soon Maggie.

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  57. MichaelG said on December 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I wouldn’t compare any of those weasels to Martha Stewart. I was never a fan until she was convicted on that bullshit charge of lying to the Feebs. When convicted she never whined, shut her mouth, sucked it up and did her time with grace and dignity. She showed them all how to do it.

    Great work, Dexter. I’m proud of you.

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  58. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm


    Martha Stewart was convicted of giving lots of cash to Emily’s List.

    But it’s OK for the Kochbros Kriminal Konspiracy.

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  59. coozledad said on December 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Just remember, when Republicans go badmouthing Gingrich, they’re badmouthing the guy who’s had hist fist up their guts for more than a quarter of a century. Pierce nails it: They can’t even talk shit about their three-stomached Moloch without using the tongue he gave them.

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  60. brian stouder said on December 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Congratulations, Dexter; all the best to you and yours.

    Today bloomed into a sunny, beautiful day, and we loaded the family up and went to the mall to wander about. Our 7 year old wanted to see Santa, and this will probably never happen again, so we got many marvelous photos.

    Then, off to Culvers for lunch, which was quite pleasant.

    edit: Cooz – that link was excellent; and the comments afterward, too

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  61. MichaelG said on December 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Stewart was actually found guilty of four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators. Other people were found guilty of insider stuff but not Martha.

    Pallets of cash.

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  62. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Cooze, by the contract on America shouldn’t Newt be long gone?

    And which one of those assholes is lying more or faster?

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  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hat tip, Dexter. May today be a good day. That house in Akron is a fascinating visit, and the story behind Bill W and his wife is another one of those “truth stranger than fiction” narratives.

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  64. coozledad said on December 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Caliban, Brian: The Republican argument is “Give us some more-and we swear, this time, we’ll make it good. More of your kids, more of the benefits you worked for, more control over your goddamn fallopian tubes, and we promise this time, we won’t come in your mouth.” And the dadaist collage of grifters pushing this vacuous shit hasn’t changed since 94.
    There isn’t a red cunt hair’s worth of difference between the autoeroticism of Paul Ryan and Newt reaching up his crack to produce the moldy donuts that will always pass for Camembert among the broad class of methheads, wife-beaters, jeebus-shouters and corpse spunkers that comprise the Republican base.
    The question isn’t whether they’re evil or stupid, it’s how they can be so much of both and cross a street without being tempted to blow their heads off with a shotgun.

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  65. caliban said on December 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Could not have put it better, Cooze. And the next Prez will probably appoint another SCJustice. Should that Prez think corporations are people or servants of an economy that need regulation? This is reaching a tipping point.

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  66. coozledad said on December 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Avigdor and Joe Lieberman agree: those dirty hippies just don’t know when to shut up. Putin will have to take his cue from Fox News and start complaining the protesters were having dirty sex and smoking weed and walking around with non-gelled hair.

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  67. Bob (Not Greene) said on December 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Jeez, Cooze, you should bronze that one!

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  68. brian stouder said on December 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Cooz – really, I have been taking for granted – in my heart of hearts – that President Obama will win re-election, and therefore this stuff hadn’t been bugging me too terribly much.

    But of course, really, any damned thing can happen, and that cold realization takes the fun right out of laughing at the genuinely odd collection of angry, know nothing, disingenuous hucksters the Republican party is offering to the national electorate.

    I think the main thread in the Republican party this cycle is the inchoate anger, which I can partly understand. The 2008 market crash, and the resultant money-grab by the one-percenters makes me generally angry, too.

    The one thing that sets Romney apart is that I think he’s more disingenuous than anything else; I don’t think he’s as genuinely angry as Gingerich (pronounced Gingerik [rhymes with prick], we learned last week). So his “weakness” – to that electorate – is the absence of real venom. You can be a flip-flopper on just about everything (ala Newt), but you MUST be genuinely angry.

    I begin to think the Republican primary electorate really wants what Cooz’s article pointed out: a truly angry “insurgent” campaign whose aim is destruction: knock down this, blow up that, settle scores, break some bones, burn things down.

    The old common wisdom was that a candidate had to have “fire in the belly”; but now it seems that what is wanted is fire on torches and – I cannot resist saying this – fired up crosses blazing in the night. The REAL Republican primary test is – how much do you HATE President Obama?

    Nancy’s Rick Perry video is bad enough on its face, but what about the subtext and the assumptions it makes?

    Although, on the brighter side, I saw video of Perry on C-SPAN today, talking to the Des Moines Register, and he seemed really deflated. His answers were, at best, half-hearted; and generally disengaged; he really and truly looked finished/kaput/resigned and done. Perry continues to be the biggest surprise to me; I really thought HE was the big big threat to the president.

    He’s handsome, he’s got ‘big state’ executive governmental experience, and he sounded like a human being with regard to illegal immigration (to name one thing, anyway); and the Republican electorate has apparently rejected him as flatly as Jon Huntsman. “Where’s your damned anger?” seems to be the test. (Perry missed the boat when he didn’t play up the whole ‘nigger rock’ thing; hell, that coulda put him in the lead in Iowa and South Caro-god-damned-lina)

    I mean, wow.

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  69. Deborah said on December 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Coozledad thank you for that Charles Pierce link. That guy is my main man these days. That link is spot on in so many ways. I’m almost finished with his book Idiot America that I’m reading on my iIPad. I find that it takes me longer to read ebooks than printed books. Why is that?

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  70. Sherri said on December 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Congrats, Dexter. One day at a time!

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  71. basset said on December 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Brian, the Culver’s in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (45 minutes from my house) and Bowling Green, Kentucky (an hour-15) are the closest places to Nashville that I know of where you can get a breaded pork tenderloin without going to someone’s home. Beyond those, it’s two and a half hours to Evansville, where you can also get a brain sandwich. Mrs. B. prefers the Butterburger.

    Just finished A. Scott Berg’s biography of Charles Lindbergh, most impressive.

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  72. Dexter said on December 11, 2011 at 12:56 am

    12 degrees F. 19 F without the windchill factor. However, it is perfectly still…no wind at all…so how does it “feel like 12?” Any meteorologists out there?

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  73. brian stouder said on December 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Basset – Chloe (the 7 year old) and I went and grabbed a table, and left Pam to do the ordering. When she came and sat down, she told me she had ordered me a tenderloin – and I said “Excellent!”, and then she told me she was just kidding! (apparently she thought I’d never want one of those) She had gotten me a prime-rib dip (or whatever), which was good.

    Culvers always reminds me of vacation, because the first one we ever visited was in the Wisconsin Dells a few years ago, and then the franchise came to Fort Wayne.

    Anyway, Lindbergh sounds interesting. I recently read a fairly angry book directed (more or less) at Teddy Roosevelt, by James Bradley (Flags of Our Fathers)

    Dexter, I think you have highlighted an example of “a distinction without a difference”

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  74. MichaelG said on December 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I don’t know how it works, Dexter, but if I were there I guarantee you that it would feel like 12 below to me. I don’t like the cold. The 34 degree temp we have here this AM is enough to get me whining.

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  75. brian stouder said on December 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Say, here’s an entertaining little Sunday article, about a shiney, glittery, tippy-tippy-top 1% of the top 1% in the world

    The lead:

    As a doting father, Bernie Ecclestone supplied his elder daughter with the money to fund the recent purchase of her £45m London house. But the Formula One supremo could not bring himself to sit all the way through a single episode of the free-spending 27-year-old’s recent three-part Channel 5 reality show, Tamara Ecclestone: Billion $$ Girl.

    “I watched one of them,” he says with a despairing sigh. “I don’t know if it was the first or the second. Not all of it.”

    He frowns at the memory of what he saw, and explains how Tamara had ignored his advice. “I told her: ‘If you portray yourself really as you are, it’s wonderful. But they aren’t going to let you. They’re going to wind you up, for sure. There’ll be things you’d rather they didn’t show that they’ll show, and all the things you’d rather they showed, they won’t. Because that’s the sort of show it is.’ I said: ‘You don’t need the money. I don’t see a lot of reason for it.’ But I think she got talked into it. She believed the show was going to be about Tamara in normal life.” Hang on a minute. This is a girl with 200 Hermès handbags and a turntable set into her front drive, to save her the trouble of doing a three-point turn in her Ferrari. Can she be said to have a “normal life”?

    And on it goes….

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  76. Dexter said on December 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Remember the McDonald’s worker who beat the hell out of two women with a steel rod in a Greenwich Village store a couple months ago and most of us thought he was a sort-of hero for doing it? Well, he’s out of Rikers and back to work…just not making burgers no-mo.

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  77. beb said on December 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Some Republicans are saying that 2011 has been a great year for them, making me wonder what brand of crack they’re smoking. Of course since their goal was to prevent Pres. Obama from having any success what amounts to a great year for them has been a horrendous year for everyone else. Then you read commentator from “The Village” arguing that Pres. Obama hasn’t been manful enough, hasn’t shown leadership, hasn’t tried to compromise with the R’s and I wonder just what the heck they think Obama should do? At this point it seems to me that either we spend another year stuck in limbo or Obama can man up, declare martial law, dissolve Congress and rule by fiat. That would be the end of democracy in America but would also be the end to a treasonous, poisonous, duplicitous party. The status quo no longer works and the alternatives as equally unpalatable.

    Oddly, why I’ve suggested these things on the Washington Monthly website, my comments disappear. Am I that paranoid or is what I’m suggesting too offensive.

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  78. brian stouder said on December 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    beb, I think if they’re afraid of a comment like that, then they shouldn’t do public comment at all.

    I would delete posts with epithets and obscenities and the like, but nothing other than that.

    By way of saying – I don’t think you’re being paranoid, nor are your suggestions offensive.

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  79. caliban said on December 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm


    Well, why the hell doesn’t the President send the Praetorians to Congress and make the obstructionist bastards fall on their swords? I mean, he should be able to do that, right?

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  80. Suzanne said on December 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I read the Lindberg bio a few years ago. It is excellent! I knew very little about Lindberg before that, and even less about how incredible his trans-oceanic journey really was. Highly recommend it.

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  81. coozledad said on December 11, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    From the Mississippi Department of Asses and Holes in the Ground:

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  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Basset, I think the Berg bio, which was excellent on his youth & early career, was done before the full scope of his multiple German family situation was known.

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  83. moe99 said on December 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    My mother is from Little Falls, MN, and her father and uncle were friends with the Lindberghs. Charles would fly over their clinic and tip his wings. Charles’ father was the US Representative from the district, which is now Michelle Bachmann’s, and as I recall his politics were very similar to hers. He also had a mistress problem, so the apple didn’t fall far from the tree there.

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  84. basset said on December 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    “multiple German family”? Hmmm, I guess there was… seven kids with three girlfriends, just looked it up.

    only time I’ve been to Little Falls was in February, doing video of the National Guard training camp nearby. Wind chill of a hundred below and these guys were out there sleeping in tents… viewfinder on the camera froze up, we’d have to take it off and warm it under our coats, then hook it back up till it got too cold and gave out again.

    Lindbergh Sr. died essentially broke and irrelevant… got more strident as the years went on until his people finally quit listening to him.

    Bernie Ecclestone, otherwise known as the “poison dwarf”… back when Formula 1 ran at Indianapolis, he used to get in his big helicopter and have himself flown to Chicago every night because Indy didn’t have hotel rooms to suit him.

    Not that I could give an (expletive deleted) about F1… no American cars, no American drivers, not sure if they have an American race again, but if you want to get up at three in the morning to turn on Speed Channel and pull for someone unpronounceable in the Grand Prix of Whoever Put Up the Most Money you go right ahead. ARCA or a good sprint race, though, I’m there.

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  85. Dexter said on December 12, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Holy SHIT! Wow, did Boardwalk Empire ever go out for S2 with a bang! I then watched the sneak preview of ‘Luck’, with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte and many others starring. I had the V damn-nearly maxed out and still could barely understand the mush-mouth dialog.

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  86. ROGirl said on December 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Philp Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America” is the story of an alternate reality in which Charles Lindbergh became president and the agenda he pursued, based of course on his actual politics.

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