The Morning Grumpy – 7/18/12

18 Jul

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

 

1. You might have missed this story about HSBC Bank, but it’s a doozy.

The head of compliance at Europe’s largest bank resigned from his position and apologized Tuesday after a Senate investigation found HSBC had lax controls that exposed it to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The panel released a report Monday that found the bank’s poor oversight of its operations allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through its U.S. division.

HSBC bank affiliates also skirted U.S. government bans against financial transactions with Iran and other countries, according to the report. And HSBC’s U.S. division provided money and banking services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh believed to have helped fund al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, the report said.

This could be the most poorly run bank in the world, I guess they had to make up for that disastrous purchase of Household Financial somehow…

2. This political ad from PrioritiesUSAaction is a knockout punch. If this is the message, Mitt Romney should be running scared.

This ad is running in very heavy rotation in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

3. In 29 states, it’s legal to fire someone for being gay.

4. Why is Mitt Romney so afraid to release his tax returns? His “magical IRA” might have something to do with it.

The most mysterious of the unexplained mysteries about Mitt Romney’s considerable wealth is how he was able to amass between $21 million and $102 million in his individual retirement account during the 15 years he was at Bain Capital LLC.

How did he do it, given the relatively small amounts that the law permits to be contributed to such a plan on an annual basis? Romney has not explained this conundrum, and seeing as he wants to become president, he would be wise to start talking — if for no other reason than there might be many Americans who would like to emulate what he did.

There are several theories about how Romney’s gain of 227 times his alleged original investment was realized. Some ethical, some not so ethical, and some potentially illegal. If you’re running for President, you should be required to put this information on the table for the public to examine.

5. This is Rachel Maddow at her exhaustive best. Why is Sheldon Adelson willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money to remove President Obama from office? Well, it might have something to do with investigations by the Obama Justice Department as to whether or not his company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Billionaires underwriting elections to avoid prosecution. GOP 2012!

Fact Of The Day: 2,046 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001.

Quote Of The Day: Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts -Edward R. Murrow

Video Of The Day: The Evolution of Empathy. A profound presentation by Jeremy Rifkin.

Song Of The Day:  He was a good ol’ boy, born in some sweaty spot on a map in East Texas. He had a crooked smile and a slow drawl, but a quick mind. I was just a stupid kid from Buffalo, a few months into my military service with a lot to learn. He became my mentor and taught me about being a man and a patriot.

He’d invite me out to his tiny sweatbox of a cabin on Lake Bistineau and we’d sit on the dock, cast a few lines, crack a few Abitas, tell some lies, and just soak in the moment while the Cypress trees swayed behind us in the light breeze.  He was the kind of friend who you don’t just remember fondly, he was the kind who changes you forever. Three years ago yesterday, he was killed while on a security patrol outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan. He left behind a wife, three kids, and hundreds of stupid young soldiers and airmen that he turned into men. This was his favorite song. I still miss you, D. Thank you for helping me be me.

Follow me on Twitter for the “incremental grumpy” @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com

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9 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – 7/18/12”

  1. BlackRockLifer July 18, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I was out at my place in Franklinville last weekend, saw the first signs of the presidential campaign. Down in Machias there was a ‘2012 America versus Obama sign’, it was in front of a run down old house in a town that has obvious entrenched poverty. Saw another of the same sign in Franklinville, again in front of a run down old house.
    Back in 2008 I remember the McCain signs that were numerous in both towns, Machias was lined with them from one end to the other. Not seeing any Romney signs yet though I am sure they are coming. That said I think Romney has a real problem with rural America as well as working class people in general. McCain was able to appeal to them, George W was a master a make believing he was “one of them” and could talk like a local good old boy when required. Romney on the other hand comes off as  rich, elitist, out of touch, and arrogant (because he is). He will  not be able to connect with these people on any level and I doubt they will put much effort into electing him. Not saying they will vote for Obama but they might just sit this one out and certainly won’t be excited about it.

    • Christopher Smith July 18, 2012 at 11:14 am #

       Which is why Romney will appeal to them because he points out Obama’s “otherness”. He’ll also convince him that they don’t have jobs or a future because guys like Obama won’t let guys like Romney off the chain to hire them. In other words, Romney won’t have a problem with these rural voters, because he’s white and will appeal to their religious values.

      • Mike_Chmiel July 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

        Never underestimate the ability of a poor white man to convince himself that he has more in common with a wealthy white man than he does with a black man.

      • BlackRockLifer July 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

        By this time in 2008 the McCain signs were out in full force, I have not seen that for Romney yet. I will keep an eye on this as the election gets closer and keep you posted. New York will go for Obama regardless but the mood in our southern tier might reflect the feelings in much of rural America. I know many rural people personally and I have a gut feeling that they won’t support Romney.

  2. Mary/Bruce Beyer July 18, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    2,046 US soldiers dead — 16,000 US soldiers wounded — nearly 400 billion US tax dollars spent — 12,000 Afghan civilians dead since 2007

    War, what is it good for?  Absolutely nothing……say it again.

    • BlackRockLifer July 18, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      None of the wars since WWII can be justified, all were folly’s of chicken hawk macho fools. My father just passed away on Memorial Day, he was a true war hero, landed at Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and liberated a concentration camp. He was awarded a Silver Star and Bronze Star for his service. He was also anti-war to his very core, stood against Vietnam, Iraq, and all the other conflicts we entered. He always said those that glorify war were not there.

    • Christopher Smith July 18, 2012 at 11:24 am #

       A generation wasted on war.

      • Mary/Bruce Beyer July 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

         Christopher — Rather, I think it should read “another generation wasted on war”.    

  3. Jim_Holstun July 18, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Cost of the Bush and Obama Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, as of right now: $4.5 billion for Erie County–I don’t believe this figure attempts to quantify the ground-up lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the US.
    Go to  http://costofwar.com/state/NY/county/erie-county/

    Cost of US military aid to Israel to subsidize its war on teh Palestinian people, 2009-2018: $89,666,628l.13.
    Go to http://www.aidtoisrael.org/section.php?id=379

    What could Erie County do with $89 million, or $4.5 billion, right about now?

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