Open Thread: Corruption and popcorn (cont.)

Yesterday I put up a post about a new film from Academy Award winner Alex Gibney, Casino Jack and the United States of Money. In this clip Alex explains why this subject is important:



35 replies
  1. 1
    asiangrrlMN says:

    You know, I watched the first minute-and-a-half of this clip, and then I could watch no more. I am just worn out with all the bald-faced thievin’ going on in our country. I had a talk with my brother (who I am slowly converting into a DFH), and we were saying, half in jest, that the only thing wrong with dicks like this and Madoff is that they don’t know when to stop or that they don’t structure their thievin’ correctly. He and I came up with a plan that if we ran it for three years, we could live the rest of our lives VERY comfortably.

    Now, he is a Christian, so I suppose that is why he doesn’t do it, but I don’t believe in God or Karma or anything like that, so what’s stopping me? More and more these days, I have no idea.

  2. 2
    asdf says:

    asiangrrlMN, I have wondered for a long time why there is not more crime.

  3. 3
    r€nato says:

    off topic (but hey it’s open thread, right?)

    I’m glad one of our fine legislators has his priorities straight at a time when the state is so broke that it has had to mortgage state buildings and close most of our state parks:

    Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa has proposed legislation that could bring the battle over the separation of church and state to Arizona’s door. Pearce has introduced a bill that would require a copy of the Ten Commandments to be placed on the front entrance of the original 1898 state Capitol building by Jan. 1, 2011.

    I can’t wait for the Democrats to hand Republicans control of Congress. That’s going to be so full of more awesome like this.

  4. 4
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @asdf: No kidding. Especially the white-collar type. But, you know, who needs more regulation?

    @r€nato: Oh-fer-X’s sake! Gaaaaaaah!

  5. 5
    Dennis G. says:

    Great. I changed a word in the text and the clip went away. If you can not see it, here is the link.

    I think I understand the whole FYWP thing now.


  6. 6
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Dennis G.: Yes, FYWP is perhaps the one thing upon which we can all agree.

  7. 7
    asdf says:

    Why is it always that same old thing, the 10 Commandments?

    Why don’t they ever want to post the 4 Noble Truths or the 31 Flavors of Baskin-Robbins or the 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover?

  8. 8
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dennis G.: I think I fixted it, maybe, I hope?

  9. 9
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @asdf: OK, maybe I’m just punch-drunk here from a very fucked-up sleep schedule, but I laughed my ass off at your post. 50 ways to leave your lover. Snort.

  10. 10
    r€nato says:

    I actually have the good fortune to have a sane Democrat representing me in the Legislature. I’m going to send him an email shortly, proposing that he introduce a bill to have the following from Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli (1797) placed at the front entrance of the Arizona Capitol building, rather than the 10 Commandments (or alongside them):

    The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

  11. 11
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @r€nato: Hm. I like your idea. I think more states with this kind of bullshit going on in them should do the same thing.

    Of course, I would be fine with a sign saying, “The Legislature of _____ (insert state name here) does not allow religion upon these premises.”

    Or better yet, bans religion, much like local signs banning guns on the premises.

  12. 12
    Dennis G. says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Yes you did.

    What offering did you make to WP?



  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    Yes, why isn’t there more crime? I am contemplating one right now.

    We have a ten year old car that I have to pour oil into while we are saving up for the engine rebuild. Now it’s got a groaning sound coming from underneath it. I’ve put my foot down and explained that if we do have to fix the car, to keep the job, which keeps groceries coming in, we will have to renege on the payment agreements which cut most of our interest rates from leg-breaking into merely damn high.

    We got into terrible debt in two ways; $400-600 a month in prescriptions for the sick husband, which had to be paid whether we had the money or not, and interest rates which moved our payment dates around and “lost” payments and jacked up our interest to the point where we could not keep up.

    Republicans would tell me this is just wrong; I agreed to pay back the money. Yes, but I didn’t agree to those interest rates. It wasn’t me who broke the banking system. It wasn’t me who decided they could charge anything they want for drugs. It wasn’t me who set it up so it’s my life or my credit score.

    Talk about your moral hazard.

    /end rant

  14. 14
    Kat says:

    What I want to know is…

    How’s John?

  15. 15
    r€nato says:

    @WereBear: sounds like you need a tax cut!

  16. 16
    WereBear says:

    @r€nato: Har! I am getting on the taxes this weekend, so they come back soon, and maybe put us over the top.

    But we have not budgeted for the extra groaning.

  17. 17
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @WereBear: Sounds like you need one of my rusty pitchforks. For you, I will give a realllly good deal (it involves skewing Limbaugh with it, but that’s a minor detail).

  18. 18
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Dennis G.: Copy’n’paste from the YT end. WordPress is a capricious and arbitrary servant, much like the Roberts SCOTUS. I’m trying my first delayed-post experiment because I’m going off the grid for a few hours… we’ll see how that works…

    John, if you are reading this (or having your mom read it to you), hope you are feeling better and that some combination of pain medication and voice-recognitions software will return your unique voice to us very soon.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Skewering Limbaugh, you say. Hmm. Seems like a fair price for your pitchfork.

  20. 20
    WereBear says:

    Must be off to work now. Thanks for the open thread popping up when I needed it!

  21. 21
    rootless_e says:

    I’m reposting a diary I put at European Tribune. Hope that’s not too rude or boring.
    If the “progressive” blogs represented a functional American left wind power success would be being trumpeted as a massive victory.So one might expect a message like: Our efforts to put Obama in office saved 100,000 good jobs and helped America start becoming energy independent and rebuild manufacturing – we need 10 times more . Instead, the “progressives” are complaining that an anti-waste component of the Presidents state of the union “accepts framing” of the right. This exemplifies two characteristics of the US “progressive” movement: focus on elite governance tactics and focus on (pathetic) efforts to persuade elites as opposed to building popular movements. For the first, the underlying objection to the “freeze” Obama proposes is that it sends the wrong message to the ignorant population. Strangely enough, the argument that there is not an important problem of government waste is coming from a group that has spent the last year whining incessantly about subsidies to banks from the government. But it’s more interesting to look at the second issue: who is the intended audience for these complaints. The “progressive” movement is not attempting to convince the population at large that the progressive project will improve their lives. Anyone who imagines that jeremiads about “framing” will resonate with the general population is delusional. Instead, the message of the “progressives” is “give us jobs as high level managers” and “take our advice”. That is, the “progressives” address the elite, demanding to be included, not the population, demanding popular power. This peculiarity is a product of the class basis of American “progressivism” – a movement of disaffected middle-managers who want their power points decks to be more respected more than a popular movement demanding more democracy and equality.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Wow, I just caught a few minutes of Eric Cantor on the Today Show while I was having breakfast. I’ve never paid any attention to him, outside of just knowing who he was and sort of what he looked like. But…and I realize this is going to sound like I’m making a horrible stereotype…but he sounds and looks like the very caricature of a stereotyped gay man.

    I wasn’t actually watching the TV when he first started talking – I was in the kitchen making breakfast. I heard this voice start talking and I thought, “Who’s that? He sounds like he’s trying to caricature a gay man.” And then I turned around to find it was Eric Cantor. So then I started watching and wow, his mannerisms and voice really do have that quality.

    I know that straight people can have mannerisms that others might consider gay and vice versa. I’m not trying to stereotype and say that all gay people act or sound a certain way. But honestly, he sounded like a caricature. Like if I were trying to cast a gay-sounding/acting man in a movie, I’d go for something like Eric Cantor.

    I know nothing about the guy. He’s got to be happily married, etc. He couldn’t possibly be a high ranking Republican and not be, right?

  23. 23

    Anyone catch the news that Obama may be proposing a capital gains tax cut tonight?

    Libs will come unglued. On this I might not blame them.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    @r€nato: The O’Keefe-GOP divorce won’t be official until Fox News calls him a Democrat.

  26. 26


    Ruh roh… Michelle Malkin throws James O’Keefe under the bus

    Kinda. Malkin said:

    “This is neither a time to joke nor a time to recklessly accuse Democrats/liberals of setting this up nor a time to whine about media coverage double standards,” Malkin wrote in a late afternoon blog post Tuesday. “Deal with what’s on the table.”

    Translated: “This is about Democrats/liberals setting this up and about media coverage double standards.”

  27. 27
    nepat says:


    Neither rude nor boring.

  28. 28
    Zach says:

    Just across the wires at National Review; John Hood:

    Here’s my initial reaction. First, given the facts of the case as reported so far, I doubt the kids were trying to install some kind of wiretap on the senator’s office phone system. I doubt they would even have the expertise to pull that off. What I think they were really doing was recording video (and audio, thus the reported use of listening equipment by one of the kids outside the building) of a fake repair visit in order to create a piece ridiculing Landrieu for voting for Obamacare despite the legions of phone calls from constituents against the bill. “Why didn’t she listen to the voters?” the gist of the stunt might be. “Were her phones not working?”

    Would be fun to quote mine and see if he’s ever complained about “Bush derangement syndrome.” This is pathological.

  29. 29
    Tlazolteotl says:

    You peeps know that Jack Abramoff is being played by Kevin Spacey?

    That just screams WIN.

  30. 30
    Zach says:

    Anyone catch the news that Obama may be proposing a capital gains tax cut tonight?

    Paired with increasing the top income tax rates or letting the Bush cuts expire so that revenue remains constant, it’s not a horrible idea. If your budget includes a mix of cuts and raises (not that letting the Bush cuts sunset is actually a raise, but you know), then you could wind up with mutually assured destruction and both parties can say the other voted for tax hikes and against tax cuts. Depending on how you set the income thresholds for tax rates, it could actually make the tax code more progressive since many people outside the top brackets pay cap gains taxes.

    And, some cap gains cuts have been structured to encourage middle class investment while providing against abuse at the top of the income scale by employing some sort of cap on tax-free gains.

    And, it actually works in Dems favor in theory because they already campaigned in 2008 on these same tax hikes and won overwhelmingly whereas cap gains cuts are a centerpiece of every Republican budget and political campaign.

  31. 31
    Dennis G. says:


    That is in a different movie. Spacey is playing Jack in a fictional film by George Hickenlooper.

    The confusion comes because both films were using “Casino Jack” as their working titles. Gibney’s film has been in the works for a longer time so I expect that the title of the Hickelooper film will change.


  32. 32
    Platonicspoof says:


    . . . but I don’t believe in God or Karma or anything like that, so what’s stopping me?

    The same things that pre-dated religion (I know you know; for a different audience).

    You (individually) are cursed by genetics, egigenetics and environment to be a rusty pitchfork-wielder.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    r€nato says:


    Here’s my initial reaction: I’ve got to conjure up some kind of rationalization for this blatantly illegal behavior, no matter how absurd, because I can’t bear the idea of ever admitting that might be wrong about anything whatsoever.

    Fixed that for him.

  35. 35

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