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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. surprised many on Thursday by providing the crucial fifth vote for upholding President Obama’s health care law. To those on the left who viewed him as an ideologue eager to pull the court rightward in a political fashion, this will now begin a re-examination of his style and legacy as it will for those on the right who considered the law unconstitutional and relied on him to make that point. Many scholars have said that Chief Justice Roberts sought to balance his own conservatism with his desire to build faith in the law and the nation’s legal institutions. But it was still striking to hear Mr. Roberts, who arrived on the court in 2005 appointed by George W. Bush, announce the upholding of the central legislative pillar of the Obama administration. He did arrive on the bench asserting the desire to restore the court’s reputation and reduce partisan rhetoric. But he was seen by many, at least on the left, as a right-winger more devoted to conservative politics than the purity of the law. That could change. 'This could be a huge day in the evolution of Chief Justice Roberts as a great chief justice,' Laurence H. Tribe, the liberal Harvard law professor, said. Mr. Tribe, who taught Mr. Roberts, said he had not opposed his nomination because he believed Mr. Roberts was less of an ideologue than many charged. 'I have some sense of gratification,' he said." (NYTimes)


"If the U.S. Supreme Court had wanted to make history, it could have: Striking down the individual mandate in the health-care law would have been the most weighty Supreme Court ruling since Franklin Roosevelt’s first New Deal was ruled unconstitutional three-quarters of a century ago. By upholding the individual mandate -- after honestly acknowledging that making people buy insurance is a tax -- the court chose the more cautious course. In the spirit of Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Felix Frankfurter, the court adopted the strategy of judicial restraint. The man most responsible for this comes as a surprise: Chief Justice John Roberts, a tried and tested conservative appointed by George W. Bush to the near-universal plaudits of the right. Roberts said in his confirmation hearings that he believed in judicial restraint. That has become a cliche, repeated by every would-be judge raising a right hand before a Senate committee. When the chips were down, Roberts did exactly what he had sworn to do under oath. He stayed the court’s hand and rejected activism." (Noah Feldman)

"A presidential race that’s shattering records for political spending means the campaigns are casting far and wide for cash — even if they have to leave the country to get it. President Obama’s campaign has put on fundraising events in London, Zurich and Geneva, and next on the calendar is a July 4 event in Paris featuring Obama’s senior adviser and close friend Valerie Jarrett. Meanwhile, two of Mitt Romney’s sons headlined a fundraiser last month in Hong Kong, while the candidate himself will attend his second London fundraiser next month during the Olympic Games. And multiple Republican officials told The Daily they’re exploring the possibility of an event in Israel with a high-level surrogate — something that would appear to be a first in American politics. Raising money from expatriates, Americans living abroad, isn’t a new phenomenon. But leading fundraisers in both parties say the overseas cash dash is more intense than ever before, as the expat community matures as a political constituency and the urgency to leave no money on the table reaches a fever pitch. 'The expat fundraising community seems to be better organized this time than in past races. I think it really has matured,' Wayne Berman, a Republican lobbyist and perennial presidential fundraiser, said earlier this month." (TheDaily)


"If you were up at 2:30 a.m. today, having the night sweats while feverishly awaiting today's Supreme Court verdict, you might have noticed a little story on DealBook that said that the amount of money JPMorgan Chase lost on its London Whale's trades, which were once dismissed as a "tempest in a teapot" by a guy with good cuff links and estimated at around $2 billion, had multiplied to as much as $9 billion. The $9 billion figure, which was broken by Teri Buhl yesterday, is not necessarily the amount JPMorgan has lost as of this moment — it's the maximum amount it could lose, since the Whale's trades are still being unwound. CEO Jamie Dimon has said he still expects the bank to be profitable on the quarter, and a person with knowledge of the situation told Intel this morning that the current mark-to-market value of the loss likely stands somewhat lower, more in the neighborhood of $5 to 6 billion. JPMorgan's stock is down this morning, but it's not entirely clear why. There is no new information about the details of the London Whale's trade, or the market effects of unwinding such a massive CDS position. Even if the loss is $9 billion or more, the same things that made investors jumpy two weeks ago — lax oversight of the CIO, regulators' likelihood to put a crimp on JPM's earning power in future quarters — are still true. What's new, though, is that it seems the CIO got direct orders from someone very high up at JPMorgan, perhaps Dimon himself, to exit the whale trade, stat, no matter how much a speedy exit would cost the bank ..." (NYMag)


"Houston has a problem with Michael Bay, the director of such action blockbusters as 'The Rock,' 'Armageddon,' 'Pearl Harbor,' 'Bad Boyz' and 'Transformers.' The porn star, real name Kim Halsey, reveals in her memoir, 'Houston: Pretty Enough,' how Bay dated her in the ’90s and had sex with her. But when she contacted him in 2009 and asked if he had any stories to share for her book, or quotes to give, he wrote back: 'To be crystal clear, we were never dating. We hung out and went out on one date ... it is a shame you need to create a story of some sort of romance, which is not the case.' Houston writes, 'If he wants to try to paint me as a liar of some sort, then hey, I’ll just be completely honest instead. We went out on a couple of dates. We did ecstasy and we f***ed. I wasn’t trying to create a romance. I was just trying to get a quote from a friend.' And she adds that 'Michael probably could’ve gotten work in porn with how big his d*** was.' The star of “World’s Biggest Gang Bang 3” also tells the story of her bubble bath with the then-unknown Kid Rock and two other porn queens, Coral Sands and Claudia Chase ... Houston also has fond memories of Judd Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Frank Stallone and Scott Schwartz, the kid whose tongue stuck to the frozen pole in 'A Christmas Story.'" (TheDaily)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Houston's real name is Kimberly Halsey.