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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: fly over country
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Number of posts: 346

Journal Archives

Money vs. Mission: How Generic MBAs vs. Physicians Think about Health Care

On Health Care Renewal, we emphasize problems in leadership and governance in large health care organizations, and how they affect health care professionals' attempts to carry out their mission, and ultimately how they affect patients' and the public's health. Large health care organizations are increasingly lead by people trained in business, not health care professionals, thus generic managers. The stewards of these organizations, the members of their boards of directors or boards of trustees, are also increasingly current or former managers without direct health care experience. Yet all too often, health care leadership is ill-informed, incompetent, unsympathetic or hostile to health care professionals' values, self-interested, conflicted, dishonest, or even corrupt.


Ian Welsh To Summarize the Israeli/Gaza War

1) The causus-belli, the kidnapping and death of three Israeli teenagers was false. This has now been admitted by Israeli officials. There was never a scrap of proof, only supposition.

2) Bibi said Hamas did it, and started a war based on that, for vengeance.

3) Ooops.

4) Except that we all know it was just a pretext. Doing it based on a lie just rubs that in.

5) Hamas has been fighting better than last time, inflicting enough Israeli casualties to matter.

6) Israel has been deliberately leveling large parts of Gaza. The damage is much worse than Cast Lead. Most refugees will have no home to go back to.

7) Israel wants truces now, but by and large it’s Hamas who is refusing them.

8) Why?

Corey Robin A Gaza Breviary

contains some good interesting links about events and thoughts related to the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip.

1. One benefit of the carnage in Gaza is that it has given people who’ve never said a word about the carnage in Syria an impetus to say a word about the carnage in Syria.

2. On Friday night, there was a fundraiser for “Friends of the IDF” at a synagogue on the Upper West Side. On Shabbat. Which means cessation, stopping.

3. “It’s all but inevitable…that civilians will die.” A law professor defends Israel’s actions in Gaza.


Tasers are part of the problem not the solution

by digby

My piece in Salon today discusses those two choke hold incidents this week and the Police Commissioner's promise to look into more taser use. Those who have been following this blog and my writing on tasers will be unsurprised that I am not in favor.

The viral video incidents this week in New York, the first of which resulted in death and the second a beating in the face as well as the illegal choke holds were about suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes in the first case and jumping a subway turnstile in the second. These were not people who were suspected of a violent crime requiring that the police spare no energy in protecting the public. Indeed, it appears that the violent acts against these two suspects were entirely based upon the “crime” of failing to instantly obey a police officer. Have we decided that this crime is worthy of beating, torture and possibly death? Because that’s what’s happening all over the country. It’s happening to children, it’s happening to the mentally ill, it’s happening to the elderly and the sick, it’s happening to average citizens who merely assert their rights and it can happen to you too. (It even happens to NFL players.)


But Wait, There Are A Few Differences Between Amazon and the US Postal Service

When Amazon reported second quarter earnings, or rather losses, it surprised no one, though some people were surprised that it lost that much ($126 million). To make us feel better about those losses, and to be able to beat analysts’ expectations later, it preannounced losses between $410 and $810 million for the current quarter. Analysts fell all over each other dodging the question how a company with over $19 billion in revenues could lose that much, and so consistently.

Amazon has been doing this sort of thing for years. Countless analyses have been written about how terrible its financial performance has been, and how the metrics have been deteriorating, including the operating margin that has swooned from 4.9% in Q2 2010 to a nearly invisible 0.8% now (chart). The company made a tiny bit of profit in 2012, lost money in 2013, and is starting this year out in the hole as well.


DOJ Trains AUSAs to Chase Mice While Lions Roam the Campsite

By William K. Black

In researching my series of articles on the critical omissions in Attorney General Eric Holder’s press release about the settlement with Citi I realized that I need to write multiple articles about the destructive role played by Benjamin Wagner. Holder made Wagner DOJ’s leader on mortgage fraud because Wagner was so willing to propagate the single most absurd, destructive, but so very useful (to the administration and the banksters) lie about mortgage fraud.

“Benjamin Wagner, a U.S. Attorney who is actively prosecuting mortgage fraud cases in Sacramento, Calif., points out that banks lose money when a loan turns out to be fraudulent. ‘It doesn’t make any sense to me that they would be deliberately defrauding themselves,’ Wagner said.”

This column addresses a single article Wagner’s shop published in a journal volume entitled “Mortgage Fraud” to train Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) on how to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud. 32 UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS’ BULLETIN MAY 2010. The title of the article is “Finding the Smoking Gun,” and the author is Barbara E. Nelan, Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Georgia.

This article exemplifies three decisive DOJ failures led by Wagner. AUSAs were trained by Wagner to believe three lies:
1.The “bank,” by which he really meant the bank CEO, was always the victim of mortgage fraud and never the leader of those frauds
2.Banking regulatory agencies had no meaningful role to play in detecting, investigating, and aiding the prosecution of frauds that was worth mentioning in the training, and
3.Whistleblowers had no meaningful role to play in detecting and aiding the prosecution of frauds that was worth mentioning in the training


AG Holder: “Thank you, Richard Bowen”

Found this over at "New Economic Perspectives" The Blogger William Black is the author of "The best way to rob a bank is to own it" and a well recognized expert in white collar crime and Bankster frauds.

Those should have been the first four words of Attorney General Eric Holder at the press conference announcing the settlement with Citicorp.

This article is the first in a series of pieces discussing the critical omissions in Holder’s statement at that press conference. These omissions explain why elite banksters now routinely control our largest banks and use their power to become wealthy through leading fraud epidemics, with impunity from the law, that cause the our financial crises.

Richard M. Bowen, III

Richard M. Bowen, III was Citi’s top underwriter for purchased mortgage product. Tellingly, Citi did not use its own experts to underwrite loans prior to purchasing the loans. Bowen’s staff was only allowed to underwrite a sample of the loans after they were purchased. He found that Citi was purchasing loans – for the purpose of selling them overwhelmingly to Fannie and Freddie – that were poor credit quality and lacked essential documentation. He also discovered that Citi was making false “reps and warranties” about these vital loan characteristics in order to deceive Fannie and Freddie.


Why Don’t Americans Take More Vacations? Blame It on Independence Day

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Yves Smith

An article in the Boston Review by professor of sociology Claude Fischer falls prey to a pattern that is all too common: attributing social/political outcomes to American attitudes without bothering to examine why those attitudes came to be.

Let me give you a bit of useful background before I turn to the Fischer article as an illustration of a lack of curiosity, or worse, among soi disant intellectuals in America, and how it keeps Americans ignorant as to how many of our supposed cultural values have been cultivated to inhibit disruptive thought and action.

Since I have managed to come in on the last act of Gotterdammerung and am still trying to find the libretto, I’ve been in what little spare time I have reading history, particularly on propaganda. One must read book is by Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy. Carey taught psychology in Australia, and he depicts the US as the breeding ground for the modern art of what is sometimes more politely called the engineering of consent. The first large scale campaigns took place before World War I, when the National Association of Manufacturers began its decades-long campaign against organized labor. Carey stresses that propaganda depends on cultivating Manichean perspectives, the sacred versus the Satanic, and identifying the cause to be promoted with symbols that have emotional power. For many people, Americans in particular, patriotism is a rallying point.


Self Evident Truths

I found this on Jim Wright's Stonekettle Station:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…

Life. Liberty. Happiness.

We hold these truths to be self evident.

Great words, great ideals, especially when you’re telling a king to stick it up his ass.

We hold these truths to be self evident.

Except for that that part, of course, where those truths weren’t self evident.

Not at all.


We Don't Need Patent Monopolies to Finance Vaccine Research

It is amazing that a lengthy piece in the NYT discussing the high cost of new vaccines and the efforts of companies to promote them never discussed the possibility of alternatives to patent monopolies as a way to finance the research. Until recent years, most vaccines actually were developed with public funding, so obviously it is possible.

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