Tuesday Open Thread

The Powerball has grown to $500 million.

Apple begins sales of its new iMacs on Friday. They are pretty impressive looking.

Sen. Patrick Leahy has introduced his latest amendment to to the e-mail privacy bill which would require a search warrant to access the content of stored e-mails, regardless of age. [More...]

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, police only need an administrative subpoena, issued without a judge's approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old. Police simply swear an email is relevant to an investigation, and then obtain a subpoena to force an Internet company to turn it over. Leahy argues that ECPA is out of date and that police should obtain warrants to read private emails, regardless of how old they are or whether they were opened.

The ACLU says it is pleased with the search warrant portion, but not happy with the increased time to delay notification to customers and subscribers. Leahy's September amendment is here, the latest changes are here. A summary of the latest changes is here. As to the expansion of subpoenas to include some civil discovery requests:

At the request of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, the amendment adds civil discovery subpoenas to the types of subpoenas that may be used under existing law (administrative subpoena authorized by Federal or State law, Federal or State grand jury subpoena and trial) to obtain routing and other non-content information from a third-party provider.

What other information is that?

....customer name, address, session time records, length of service information, subscriber number and temporarily assigned network address, and means and source of payment information.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    David Plouffle, Obama's senior advisor (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:25:46 PM EST
    on what the White House really thinks about the fiscal cliff.

    o Fiscal cliff is a profound economic problem. So, so very serious - deficits and debt are a threat to National Security yada, yada, yada.

    o "What we also want to do is engage in a process of tax reform that would ultimately produce lower rates, even potentially for the wealthiest," he said, referring to benefits from corporate tax reform."

    o Comprehensive tax reform and entitlement reform - reduce spending. Medicare and Medicaid "carefully" address the "chief drivers of our deficit."

    o Confidence fairy will reward us (IOW the business community) if we get our house in order.

    Listen to the video or read the write up of Plouffe's comments.

    These "rumors" (otherwise known as on record statements) by an Obama senior advisor are consistent with all the other information on Obama's willingness to cut domestic and safety net programs and cut taxes for the wealthy under the guise of tax reform.  

    I'm (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:31:56 PM EST
    glad I didn't vote for Obama.

    Well, I voted for (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:01:27 PM EST
    Jill Stein, Green Party, for President.  Although I must admit that I voted Democratic for all the others lower down on the ticket.

    digby hits the nail on the head (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:12:12 PM EST
    New research from NYU economics professor Edward Wolff, flagged by Think Progress, found that the median wealth of American households plummeted over the years 2007 to 2010, and by 2010 was at its lowest level since 1969. Meanwhile, the late 2000′s saw a high rise inequality: while the median wealth fell, the top 1 percent increased their wealth by 71 percent between 2007 and 2010 (a statistic almost ready-made for an Occupy Wall Street banner).

    But regardless of the causes, to even think about slashing healthcare for the poor and elderly at times like this is morally insane. A society so economically sick as to drag middle class wages to a 40-year-low while giving all the rewards to the already wealthy is just as politically sick if it throws the sick, poor and elderly onto the bonfire in a sacrifice to the Bond Vigilantes and Confidence Fairies.

    That a supposedly "Democratic" Administration is considering doing this in exchange for a few tax increases the wealthy will barely notice makes it even worse. link

    Here is my opinion (none / 0) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:52:38 PM EST
    Please read this.
    The President and the Democratic Party are not going to "throw the sick, poor and elderly onto the bonfire in a sacrifice". However, there are 2 ways to deal with Republicans. The first way is to get into a defensive crouch the moment Republicans talk about "entitlement reforms". This is what Democrats traditionally do. The second approach is to call the Republican bluff on entitlement reforms because currently Medicare beneficiaries are primarily a Republican constituency (Republicans get a comfortable majority of votes of people over the age of 55). So when a Republican says that spending cuts are necessary, a new Democrat like the President will say "OK, I will double your offer of spending cuts, put Medicare and defense spending on the table". Then you can watch the Republican run with his tail between his legs.
    There will be a lot of posturing during negotiations; in my opinion there will be no "grand bargain" at the end. At the most, there will be a tiny bargain (about which I am still doubtful).
    I was watching Hardball with Chris Mathews this evening. He had invited Sheldon Whitehouse. Sen. Whitehouse's assessment about the fiscal negotiations based on his interaction with the Whitehouse seemed to agree with my opinion about where the negotiations are headed.



    Clicked on the link you provided (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:12:14 PM EST
    and could not find the information you posted anywhere in the article. So evidently that was your opinion and it was not tied to the linked article.

    Information contained in the article:

    In the current negotiations with Congress over deficits and the debt, Mr. Obama said he would take a serious look at how to "reform our entitlements" because "health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits."
    Mr. Obama wants to increase premiums for high-income people and increase the number of beneficiaries who must pay higher premiums based on income.

    Congress should "reduce the federal subsidy of Medicare costs for those beneficiaries who can most afford it," the president said this year. House Republicans voted for a similar proposal last year.
    Max Richtman, the president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, which represents beneficiaries, said this idea had been "pushed as far as it should be pushed." Saddled with more and more costs, he said, high-income beneficiaries may eventually want to leave the program.

    "If Medicare turns from an earned benefit into a welfare program," Mr. Richtman said, "you will see support dissipate."
    Mr. Obama also wants to impose a surcharge on Medicare premiums for older Americans who buy the most generous private insurance to supplement Medicare. The White House and some economists say such Medigap insurance encourages the overuse of medical care because beneficiaries are shielded from most co-payments and other costs. But many beneficiaries are willing to pay for the extra protection, and major insurers derive substantial revenue from the product.
    As part of a deficit reduction plan unveiled in April 2011, when he delivered an address on fiscal policy at George Washington University, Mr. Obama proposed "Medicaid savings of at least $100 billion over 10 years."

    Liberal Democrats and health care providers expressed dismay, saying the changes would hurt children, older Americans, poor people and those with disabilities. Mr. Obama scaled back the proposals. In his budget in February, he proposed legislative changes that would save Medicaid $55 billion over 10 years, mainly by reducing federal payments to states.

    "The biggest drivers of the deficit" (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by shoephone on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:41:03 PM EST
    That talking point is the biggest lie coming from the GOP, the Democrats, and the media.

    The biggest drivers of the deficit are the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    What a shame that no one in politics -- except maybe Bernie Sanders -- has the cajones to tell the truth about that. As for the media...oh well, never mind.


    Oy (3.67 / 3) (#45)
    by sj on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:03:44 PM EST
    The first way is to get into a defensive crouch the moment Republicans talk about "entitlement reforms".
    You recall, right, that it is Obama that has been flogging this horse for the last five years?

    Thanks for the hope. (none / 0) (#48)
    by womanwarrior on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:10:27 PM EST
    I sure hope you are right.  

    I read these comments by Plouffe earlier (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:04:25 PM EST
    today, and was so depressed by them I couldn't muster the energy to bring them to anyone's attention.

    Taken with the comments by others close to the administration, with Geithner being chosen to head up the negotiations, it's hard not to suspect that the fix is in.

    David Dayen:

    The White House absolutely wants the Treasury Secretary to be deeply involved with budget issues. But we know this because they've already designated current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in the lead negotiating role on the fiscal slope. So while Lew may have the resume, Geithner already has the job, and he has indicated he will not step down until the negotiation gets resolved somehow.

    Which leads us to the question of why Timothy Geithner has any business leading a domestic fiscal policy negotiation. Here's the curriculum vitae. Geithner spent close to 15 years in international monetary and financial policy at Treasury, and then went right to the New York Fed, a monetary policy position. While at Treasury he has primarily dealt with financial reform and financial market policy. He has never taken the lead on anything around taxes, social insurance, and his views on this subject, at least from his public comments, are completely pro forma.

    What we know about Geithner, we know about his willingness to protect banks at all costs, and his unwillingness to use the tools to provide meaningful debt relief for ordinary families suffering from the collapse of the housing bubble. In fact, his presence as the lead on this negotiating team comes directly from Republican resistance to working with Jack Lew.

    Geithner: he's done such a great job looking out for the interests of us common folk, I'm sure he'll do a bang-up job for us in these fake fiscal cliff negotiations, right?

    ::rolling eyes and thinking about throwing up::


    Starving granny for fun and profit (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:49:36 PM EST
    Several CEOs -- under the guise of a campaign known as "Fix the Debt" -- have recently called for cuts to Social Security and other entitlements. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, for instance, said that "there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised." "The solutions [to the fiscal cliff] are - it's the retirement age; means testing Social Security and Medicare," said Aetna CEO Mark Berolino. "We just need to get leadership."

       - The 71 Fix the Debt CEOs of public companies have average retirement assets of $9.1 million. Of these 71 CEOs, 54 participate in their company`s retirement programs and have collective pension assets of $649 million, or more than $12 million per CEO -- enough to generate a $65,873 pension check each month for life. In contrast, the average monthly Social Security check for retired workers is $1,237.

        - A dozen of the Fix the Debt executives have more than $20 million in their individual company retirement accounts. If each of these CEOs converted their assets to an annuity when they turned 65, they would receive a monthly check for at least $110,000 for life. link

    A refresher coarse on Goldman Sachs and bail out money:

    Goldman Sachs bosses are to pick up $111million in bonuses in an 'outrageous' pay deal that flies in the face of the worst recession for 80 years.

    The investment banks' chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn will get $24million each under the bumper agreement that will see thousands of others get huge rewards.

    The bonuses were agreed in 2008 months before Goldman took $10billion of U.S. bailout money, but due to technicalities there is no way to stop the bank from paying them out.

    Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public Friday night.
    Goldman Sachs (GS) received $5.55 billion from the government in fall of 2008 as payment for then-worthless securities it held in AIG. Goldman had already hedged its risk that the securities would go bad. It had entered into agreements to spread the risk with the 32 entities named in Friday's report.

    Overall, Goldman Sachs received a $12.9 billion payout from the government's bailout of AIG, which was at one time the world's largest insurance company.

    Big question of the day (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:16:09 PM EST
    Did Derek Hough cost Shawn Johnson the coveted All-Star Mirror Ball Trophy last night, by knowingly choreographing a routine that broke the rules and dropping the dance pair to last on the Judge's scorecard? With little in the way of politics to argue, inquiring TL minds want to know.

    Oh, no - the big question is, what (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:32:25 PM EST
    would you do with the money if you won the Powerball?

    The $500 million Jackpot has a cash value of $327.4 million; reduce that by 35% to take federal and state taxes into account, and that leaves you with roughly $212.8 million in cold, hard cash.

    Kinda scary, really...to think about having all that money.

    Okay, for me, I'd want to remain anonymous.  The first thing I'd do is retain a lawyer - probably more than one.  I'd have the lawyer/team put together an investment team, and include someone well-versed in charitable foundations.

    I'd like to set up a foundation with some of the money that would anonymously help people in some way - pay someone's utility bills for a year, send a kid to college, buy a car for someone who needs one to get to work, pay the salaries for additional aides or teachers in schools that really need the support, buy computers and equipment for schools and programs that help put people back to work - things like that.

    I'd set up trusts for my kids and grandkids, plan a really wonderful family vacation, do some much-needed home renovations, make cash gifts to the family.

    Fund a truly spectacular TL gathering in a truly amazing location.

    And yes, I would quit my job!  But only because I'd want to be involved in the foundation, making decisions about giving the money away.

    This is really the best entertainment one can buy for a buck!


    First thing I'd do (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:42:24 PM EST
    is make a butternut squash pie.

    Hee, hee! (none / 0) (#27)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:04:13 PM EST
    You don't need millions of dollars to do this, though, CoralGables.  Email me, and I'll send you a bunch of butternut squash- I have a whole lot.   ;-)

    I guess the making of the pie (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:57:52 PM EST
    would mean I wouldn't do much different after hitting the jackpot than what I'm doing right now...except make more pie.

    btw, if anyone lives in Washington State or wants to spend 4 days somewhere near Port Angeles, Washington, The Art of Pie has a pie camp in the spring. Okay, I might take my daughter to pie camp if I hit the jackpot (but I don't play it)


    You can always (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:06:13 PM EST
    fly east and come to Maryland if you want to learn to make pies.  And I include Greek phyllo pies (pitas) in that-  does the Art of Pie teach about phyllo?     ;-)

    No phyllo (none / 0) (#54)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:01:41 PM EST
    but it's fun to bounce around the Art of Pie website.

    And the reading of her dough making is like reading a humorous but informative short story


    Win that amount of jackpot, and ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:52:58 PM EST
    ... you could buy a chain of bakeries to make the pies for you.

    Yeah, I hear Hostess... (none / 0) (#43)
    by unitron on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:54:54 PM EST
    ...might have a deal for you right about now.

    Forget the chain of bakeries (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:07:17 PM EST
    There is nothing like homemade.  ;-)

    That would take the fun out of pie (none / 0) (#49)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:11:10 PM EST
    It's the making for others more than the eating.

    Hy, if I win, Anne, I'm calling you (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:51:26 PM EST
    posthaste for advice on lawyers and trusts.

    While I would also want to remain anonymous, Oregon requires that the names and addresses of lottery winners be made public. So, in an effort to escape the massive media assault on my residence, I would check myself into a nice hotel, under an assumed name of course, and hide out while working with the lawyers.

    A family trust sounds to an unknowledgable me like a good way to distribute some of the cash to my siblings and cousins, which I would want to do.

    A charitable trust is on my list, too. Money to help the homeless and nearly homeless, money to feed the hungry, money for libraries, money to clinics that treat those who cannot afford health care or insurance. And, of course, scholarships that pay for everything (tuition, books, fees) so that the recipients can study without worries about any loans.

    Money would go to the fight for marriage equality everywhere. And I would set aside some dollars to donate to political candidates who espouse all the right policies. Not a penny to the DNC, DCCC or DSCC.

    I would travel. There are so many places I want to see.

    And, yes, I have given this some thought, probably more thought than it needs since my chances of winning are so very slim.


    my lottery fantasies about setting up family alway (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by DFLer on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:16:20 PM EST
    involve asking the youths to write me a simple grant proposal about what they want to do with the dough.

    Some things are very similar (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by sj on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:34:53 PM EST
    to my "plans".

    I would want to remain anonymous also.  I'd contact a tax attorney first thing, but I would also contact my siblings and my son and either set up some sort of joint trust or else just claim the prize together, whichever worked out better.

    The foundation I would set up would be to assist artists: from kids needing a musical instrument for school to struggling artists who need a couple months worth of rent/expenses to finish the next Great Novel.

    And I'd buy and renovate a house in Europe.  Either Poland or the Czech Republic.


    One (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:50:08 PM EST
    thing I would maybe like to do is open a Jazz Club.

    I can't compete with the beautiful ideas being expressed about Trust funds - aid to schools and children. I haven't gotten that far - having that kind of money is something I really haven't even imagined.

    It would be nice if I could contribute in some way to world peace - or to a diminution to global warming and its effects on people. Maybe I could give some to a fund for rebuilding homes. I think I would have to make it up as I went along.

    But a real Jazz Club - that would be a start. Good music. Good food. Admission fee similar to a long gone club called the Half Note. All you had to do was buy a meatball sandwich and a cup of coffee and you could stay all night. Good Karma.!


    Sounds awesome (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by sj on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:05:45 PM EST
    Your jazz club should be in the basement of some 150-year-old building, with exposed brick walls and hidden tunnels.

    But really, you've never thought about it before?  I've even had the name for my foundation picked out for about the last 5 years or so.  It would be in honor of my artist brother that I miss so very much.


    I agree about the entertainment (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:52:21 PM EST
    I love imagining it maybe more than I would love the actual money. Maybe.

    I would also immediately hire a team to put it someplace safe to finance a comfortable retirement for me and my 5 siblings. Maybe get a compound like Hyannis Port! Put some in trust for the nieces and nephews, and do a foundation of some sort - educational most likely to give poor kids a chance.

    Plus a beach house and plenty of travel.

    I am getting a few tickets on my way home. We found out last week that our soul-sucking prime contractor may not renew our subcontract so winning powerball would be the best remedy!


    You can't remain anonymous (none / 0) (#7)
    by me only on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:43:23 PM EST
    the lottery is going to tell everyone.

    Then all of your pseudo friends are going to call and want their "fair" share.


    Anne lives in Maryland. The Maryland (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:52:37 PM EST
    lottery allows winner to remain anonymous.

    I'm fortunate enough to have dual citizenship (none / 0) (#57)
    by Rupe on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:14:15 PM EST
    With the US and Britain so I'd take the money and run.  That would avoid that huge publicity problems, or at least delay them until the British tabloids found out about a newly rich American emigre.  I'm not sure how much money I'd feed my friends but I'd certainly pay off their student loans and give them downpayments for a mortgage.  Past that, its such a staggering amount of money you can basically do whatever you want for the rest of your life.  That's a frightening thought when you're faced with it, as you actually have to decide what you want!  There is freedom in wage slavery, ironically...freedom from life choices.

    I don't think so (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Amiss on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:25:06 AM EST
    Shawn said herself that this season was based on entertainment for the fans. She agreed that was the routine she wanted. If anything they gained more fan votes because of it.
    I think after 14 seasons of giving it his all, Tony deserved the trophy. Melissa was fantastic and worked her booty off. To me, they should be held up as examples of what the show "is supposed" to be about.

    I hope (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:27:17 PM EST
    Melissa wins. I boycotted this season due to Bristol Palin being invited back, but I may watch tonight. Shawn and Derek were in it together I think, I don't think he talked her into it. Maybe they are counting from votes from bringing her olympic pals on with her.

    You really should have started watching (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:46:39 PM EST
    when Bristol got the boot. Melissa and Shawn (even with one tall and one short) were head and shoulders above the rest.

    According to another website (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:26:01 PM EST
    that I visit, the producers picked the repeat dance, not the competitors (notice: all were from week 3).  So they had the choice of rechoreographing/practicing part of the week 3 routine or spending that time on this week's business.  I think they made the right choice.

    But then, I'm rooting for Tony and Melissa.


    Heh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:29:11 PM EST

    University of Tennessee football program (none / 0) (#5)
    by me only on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:42:11 PM EST
    leads the nation in nothing.  Fortunately, the students at UT are attempting to lead the nation in a other ways.

    "On a hallowed hill in Tennessee...." (none / 0) (#40)
    by the capstan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:19:03 PM EST
    I am a grad from football-glory days, and I'd like to hear about what else the students are doing.

    Umm, ahhh, butt (none / 0) (#44)
    by me only on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:58:07 PM EST
    chugging.  No really, hit the link I provided.  My neighbor was once President of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at UT.  He doesn't tell that to people anymore.

    Oh, goody! (none / 0) (#50)
    by the capstan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    Think I read about that--and some kid died?  There or somewhere else.  My husband, no longer living, was a fraternity president at U-T.

    Sometimes I wish the old General (none / 0) (#51)
    by me only on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:32:21 PM EST
    was back on campus.  Somehow I don't think he would have let the frat boys off with a couple of fines.  Maybe have them inducted to ROTC.

    I had a professor who was a cheerleader on the '39 team.  Her husband was a pilot.  She went to England and studied at Oxford (well that was not the name of the school, but it was Oxford.)  The only downside was that she was adamant that we answer in proper Anglish.  Not sure that being able to speak Old English properly ever got me a date or a raise, but it did get me a better grade in the class.


    Here in Knoxville he didn't die. (none / 0) (#52)
    by me only on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:33:32 PM EST
    They took him to the hospital.  His attorney claims that he didn't do it.  That the umm, rectal injuries was due to something else.

    Warren Buffett thinks Jamie Dimon (none / 0) (#9)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:49:26 PM EST
    would make a great Treasury Secretary.

    How truly laughable (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:47:45 PM EST
    Jamie Dimon is simply one of the largest financial junkies in the world. Money is his heroin. And he is as degenerate as any hopeless addict.  I would trust him to run the Treasury Department in the best interests of the American people as much as I'd trust a drug addict to guard a stash of dope.

    But Warren Buffett is a junkie himself, after all, just like the rest. And a doddering old crook to boot.


    Could you provide a link (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:35:33 PM EST
    showing where Warren Buffett has committed some type of crime? I can understand why you might not like someone that got rich investing in things like Coca Cola and Daily Queen and See's Candies. Maybe you like Pepsi and Baskin Robbins and Hershey, but don't quite see how that makes him a crook.

    Inside information (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:53:04 PM EST
    Very simple. He ain't no rube. He works DC as well as any bloodsucking lobbyist. Go look at the Goldman deal. Or his interest in other banks. Come on, this is no saint. Please.

    Also, you simply cannot acquire that level of wealth without exploiting the suffering of people -- those people being workers unseen and unprotected, as well as other human beings affected by pollution, political corruption, all the things that go hand in hand with the continual acquisition of massive wealth. Just because he looks like grampa doesn't mean a thing.  


    And by crook, I should say... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:59:24 PM EST
    ...morally and ethically, not technically legally.

    Warren trades on inside political information, which is legal. While others go to jail for trading on inside personal information (see Martha Stewart). So the Sage of Omaha, moral paragon that he is, is perfectly fine constantly taking advantage of the utterly corrupt and insane exception to the law that congress enjoys on insider trading. Please, that's something to hang your hat of credibility on? He's a brutal opportunist and powerhound. Financial junkie.


    Interesting link (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:00:45 PM EST
    What I see (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:42:24 PM EST
    is a guy that's willing to invest when everyone else is too scared to make a move. I could accept saying it's not a brilliant ability as it's what everyone is taught from the time they are young but rarely ever do...buy low.

    With his financial ability at this point he's also able to dictate some terms from those that need his financial help. Nothing wrong with that either. It's what most people attempt to do with their work skills every time they apply for a job or ask for a raise. Sorry I can't fault him for that.


    How is making massive bets in-effect (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:56:55 PM EST
    on TARP going through, when you were intimately involved and highly influential in lobbying for it, NOT insider trading?

    Imo, the awe Buffet that is held in in this country is due to, in the words of Bertrand Russell, Americans "belief in the magic power of gold".


    Oh, jeez (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:03:33 PM EST
    I must admit that Warren Buffett is in so many ways a brilliant investor.  And I appreciate that he has agreed to give a significant amount of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
    However, I do think that he has gone completely off the rails about Jamie Dimon.

    Immersion blenders. Help needed. (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:55:09 PM EST
    My regular blender has died, necessitating a purchase on my part. When thinking about what I most use a blender for, pureeing soups and making smoothies, an immersion blender seems like a good choice.

    But what one to choose? There are so many. Anyone have any recommendations? It would need to powerful enough to deal with frozen fruit (smoothies) and come with additional gadgets (whisk, beaker, chopper).

    Help me, please.

    I have a Braun immersion blender, (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Anne on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:46:53 PM EST
    and the thing I love best about it is being able to blend right in the pot - nothing extra to set up and then have to wash - and it's so easy to clean.

    I've actually asked for a new one for Christmas, as I dropped my current one and it cracked the body near where the blender section connects to the motor section - it still works, but has a tendency to loosen more than I would like.


    I have a Cuisinart with a blender, whisk, and (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Angel on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:32:37 AM EST
    chopper/grinder attachment.  Very happy with it.

    I want (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:14:26 PM EST
    I don't do enough legit cooking to justify the need.

    Gotta agree with Anne. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:49:06 PM EST
    We have a Braun immersion blender, too, which is actually older than our kids. The fact that Anne's blender still works after she accidentally dropped it is a testament to its durability.

    I'm not sure how much a Braun blender costs now. But then, I've never been one to pinch pennies when it comes to purchasing a quality product for the home and kitchen. I'm my grandmother's grandson, after all, and she always taught me that there's a clear difference between being cost-conscious and being cheap, and you can most always expect to get exactly what you paid for.


    I had one of the first ones-- (none / 0) (#41)
    by the capstan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:22:35 PM EST
    and nobody else would use it.  I do not enjoy cooking, so I gave it away.

    No Braun immersion blenders in U.S. (none / 0) (#42)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:36:08 PM EST
    I've been looking around the intertoobz for Braun immersion blenders. It appears that Braun no longer makes such a blender for the American market.

    Checkout Brevile (sp?) (none / 0) (#53)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:39:59 PM EST
    I think my prior one was KA.

    Yeah, they don't (none / 0) (#61)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:17:30 PM EST
    Check out Cook's Illustrated recommendations, though.  (I love Cook's Illustrated- they're like the Consumer Reports of cooking.)

    I'm headed to the Bay Area tonight ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:30:50 PM EST
    ... for work, just in time to be greeted by a major winter storm that's expected to dump as much as eight inches of rain in the region over the next few days. Better break out some winter wear from the cedar chest to take with me. I return home on Friday night.

    Now that the election's over, I'm making an early New Year's resolution to concentrate on building my business over the next 14 months, paying particular attention to opportunities in California. If you don't look out for number one, nobody else is going to do it for you.

    Aloha, everyone. Have a great evening.

    DWTS on East Coast Now (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:16:49 PM EST
    no spoilers for those dealing on Mountain and Pacific time.

    One more dance for all three.