Archive for July 17, 2012
John McCain today:
Mitt Romney’s tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain’s decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”
I know McCain was trying to help Romney out here but he blew it. Palin was a “better candidate” than Romney? Given that Palin was a blubbering bimbo, what does that say about Mitt?
You may have heard that top Romney campaign adviser, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu said this morning that,
Obama’s recent defense of public infrastructure shows he “doesn’t understand how America works.”
“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” Sununu said later.
For the record, John Sununu was born in Havana, Cuba:
Sununu was born in Havana, Cuba, the son of Victoria (née Dada) and John Saleh Sununu, an international film distributor. He is of Palestinian and Greek descent. His father grew up in Jerusalem and his mother was born in San Salvador, El Salvador.
So, yo, John. Do you really want to go down that road?
Have you been following the recent saga of Peregrine Financial Group (PFG) and its ah, low rent CEO, Russell Wasendorf Sr.? I have, but peripherally:
On Friday, PFG founder Russell Wasendorf Sr. was arrested and charged with making false statements to regulators after admitting that he embezzled more than $100 million in customer funds from the firm over decades.
Earlier in the week, Wasendorf was discovered unconscious in a car parked near PFG’s headquarters following a suicide attempt. Police also found a confession signed by Wasendorf in the car which said for years he intercepted financial audit documents from regulators using a Post Office box then, with “a combination of Photo Shop, Excel, scanners, and both laser and ink jet printers,” forged the bank documents he sent back.
“I had no access to additional capital and I was forced into a difficult decision: Should I go out of business or cheat? I guess my ego was too big to admit failure,” the note read. “I have committed fraud.”
PFG filed for bankruptcy Tuesday, the same day that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a civil complaint against Peregrine, accusing the firm of a massive shortfall in its customer accounts.
So when I came across this headline, CEO of Collapsed Brokerage: ‘Mean-Spirited Regulators’ Made Me Commit Fraud and Spend All of the Customer Money, it caught my eye: Heck, that headline would catch your eye even if you weren’t following this particular case.
Here’s the skinny:
The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Rothfeld and Jacob Bunge reportthat Russ Wasendorf Sr., the CEO of collapsed Chicago-based futures brokerage Peregrine Financial who attempted suicide once regulators caught wind of his alleged accounting fraud, spent of most of the $200 million missing from PFG customer accounts.
“Most of the misappropriated funds went to maintain the increasing levels of Regulatory Capital to keep [Peregrine] in business and to pay business [losses],” said the signed suicide letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Rothfeld and Bunge write that Wasendorf says “mean spirited” regulators led him to commit fraud. .
“I have to say I don’t feel bad about deceiving the regulators,” the note said. “They made the decision to be my enemy.”
Isn’t it amazing how the “smartest guys in the room” can soar so high and then, when they’re caught, turn into immature, whining crybabies who take absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for what they’ve done?
Hard to know if they’re arrogant beyond description or insane.
This is exactly the kind of shallow answer I would expect from George W. when asked if he misses public life:
“Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful,” Bush told the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. “But I have no desire for fame and power anymore. … I crawled out of the swamp and I’m not crawling back in.”
Ugh. Think fingernails being dragged across a caulk board.
Yesterday I posted about how “Congress is poised to scrap funding for the only program that consistently tests select vegetables and fruit for pathogens.”
This morning that has changed:
After an uptick in press coverage on the impending shutdown of the Microbiological Data Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to keep the produce testing program running, at least through the end of the year.
As Food Safety News reported last week, if the program were to shut down, as it was slated to at the end of this month, public testing for pathogens such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella on commodities like tomatoes, lettuce and cantaloupes would drop by 80 percent.
“While the Microbiological Data Program does not align with USDA’s core mission, the department will continue its work with state partners using existing agreements to conduct sampling and testing through this program through the end of the year,” a spokesman told Food Safety News late Monday night.