GOLDMAN WILL LOSE OR SETTLE

That case is made by Barry Ritzholtz, here. It is a quick, crisp read – and one more reason to thank you for electing Barack Obama.*

*Ritzholtz tells us that the guy bringing the case against Goldman Sachs, Robert Khuzami, “is a bad ass, no-nonsense, thorough, award winning Prosecutor: This guy is the real deal — he busted terrorist rings, broke up the mob, took down security frauds. He is now the director of SEC enforcement.”

Contrast that with his Bush-era predecessor, Linda Thomsen, whose team missed all the Madoff warnings and who – on another matter – was personally teed up for investigation by the SEC’s own inspector general.

There is a pattern here. Believing in government, Democrats tend to appoint top-notch people to do the job – whether it’s professionalizing FEMA, as Clinton did, only to see it sink back into Republican complacency (to run FEMA, Bush tapped the Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association) . . . or appointing a Nobel-prize winning physicist to head the Department of Energy (Bush’s first appointee had, as a senator, voted to abolish the Department of Energy) . . . or, in this case, installing “the real deal” to head S.E.C. enforcement.

MONEY LAUNDERING

Not sure how a $50 bill got into my sock – it seems implausible I would have put it there myself, or that it would have somehow sudsed its way out of a pants pocket and into that sock – but there it was, clean and dry, and a testament to the near indestructibility of our currency. Still, I’m not sorry to have had some of my cash in Canadian dollars, via FXC.

REPEALING DON’T ASK DON’T TELL

It hasn’t happened as fast as many of us would like, but according to the politics editor of the Atlantic, Marc Ambinder, there are reasons for that. And it will get done:

. . . Obama has said that he wants gays integrated into the military in the right way – in a way that builds on a foundation of legitimacy that only the Pentagon brass can create. And the time frame for repealing the ban was determined on the basis of what Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen need in order to build that legitimacy.

That’s not an answer that soldiers dismissed under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell like to hear, and they’ve got every right to be angry. But it’s a strategy that will repeal DADT in a way such that no subsequent president could reverse the ban by executive order.* It will be permanent. The Pentagon is expected to present the findings of its internal study in December, and the Senate will vote on a repeal either in the rump session of Congress late in 2010 or early in 2011. That’s the track. It’s getting done. . . .

*Compare that with, say, the “global gag rule” regarding reproductive health. The first day of Clinton’s presidency he lifts it; the first day of Bush’s, he re-imposes it; the first day of Obama’s, he lifts it again; and guess what will almost surely happen to it the next time a Republican wins. Obama wants repeal of DA/DT to stick, long after he’s gone. — A.T.

HACKED

A robotic program appears to have hacked into this site late last week, for reasons, and in ways, that remind me how little I know about cybertech. Webmaster Jason has excised the offending code, changed passwords, and, with any luck, we’re good again. Sincere apologies to any who have been inconvenienced by this.

 

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