Links, 8/17/11

I guess it takes a lot of smart kids from other countries to show us what assholes Hershey is–and to teach us about solidarity.

I assume you’ve already read the Matt Taibbi piece revealing that the SEC has been destroying records of its preliminary investigations, effectively giving serial problem corporations an apparent clean bill of health. If you haven’t read it, go do so. But you should also read Felix Salmon on Taibbi’s piece; he points out that while the traditional media is discussing Chuck Grassley’s response to the story, most are not pointing back to Taibbi’s own article describing what it’s all about.

I’ve seen predictions the student loan bubble was going to crash for some time–even before it became clear that recent graduates aren’t getting jobs. That crash is getting much closer, as delinquencies rise.

After the Knights of Columbus got bullied to accept the $8.5 billion settlement with Bank of America, the trustee, Bank of NY Mellon blew them off. So now the KoC have expanded their suit challenging the settlement, including breach of fiduciary duty, based on claims BNY Mellon botched the foreclosures.

Blackwater: still spying in Afghanistan.

This is actually a sweet story. A Chinese-American businessman named ZhaoHui Tang saw Gary Locke in the Seattle Airport on his way to his new job as Ambassador to China. Locke was carrying his own knapsack, buying his own Starbucks coffee. So Tang took a picture and posted it to a Chinese social media site, where it was a big hit because it showed Locke in such a down-to-earth light.

A few weeks back, Joe Klein reported that Obama was reading Nixonland. At the time, I saw Rick Perlstein tweet that he hoped Obama took the right message from the book. Here’s Rick explaining what that message should be (the answer? emphasizing how Democrats have helped real people).

Lee Fang reports that the Darrell Issa staffer who probably wrote a letter complaining about margin requirements for derivatives used to work for Goldman Sachs.

Rortybomb has the best post on the “Texas miracle” I’ve seen. Short version: it didn’t have a housing bubble and therefore hasn’t deleveraged like similar states. I still think you have to add in the oil industry (not least to distinguish TX’s success from OH, MI, and PA’s woes in that very first graphic.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @J_T_Horowitz Yup. Most investigating officers wouldn't make that career damaging mistake.
emptywheel @BalkansBohemia Yes, I'm suggesting it may well be both. Still hard to target hospital as precisely the did based on "near" fighting.
emptywheel @Zvyozdochka Not necessarily, though that is poss explanation.
emptywheel @grizzleeman But you're assuming SOF knew the reason. They may or may not have. If no eyes on may not have vetted.
emptywheel @J_T_Horowitz Yes, but Campbell receives report & he 1) has claimed only "several" died and 2) claims he's being transparent when hiding ROE
emptywheel @DanaHoule Yup. But right now ROE is the shiny object hiding the underlying reason for request (and poss US complicity in that).
emptywheel In other words, possible 1) US violated ROE/procedure by not vetting Afghan request 2) Afghans deliberately targeted hospital (war crime)
emptywheel @J_T_Horowitz Yes. And when they're squawking as loudly as they are abt that, all the more reason.
emptywheel @J_T_Horowitz Better yet independent one! Afghans want our air cover to stick around until 2017. Conflict high there too.
emptywheel @DanaHoule Golly, because that never happens when we fail to vet our targeting. Like in Yemen last Monday?!?!
August 2011
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