Resurrecting The Street: Overcoming the Greatest Operational Crisis in History

As we once again approach the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it’s worth pondering that there is a generation approaching high school age which has little to no personal memory of how terrifying that day was. In that respect, it’s good to keep the narrative alive and author Jeff Ingber relates his unique perspective in his book Resurrecting the Street.

Spoken from the perspective of one intimately familiar with the financial world of government securities, Ingber compiled the book over the course of many months and over 100 interviews with others who experienced the events of the day. With those additional voices to provide background, Ingber paints a well-rounded portrait of the events which unfolded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, particularly the hard decisions on when the markets would reopen and how the billions of dollars of unfinished business which was conducted by traders who were victims in offices which were no longer in existence would be reconciled. It took until the following May, writes Ingber, to finally reconcile these lost trades to a point where the total in question was less than $40,000.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings was a world financial market placed on hold thanks to the 9/11 attacks. With bated breath, people around the world were seeking a sign that America was not going to be defeated by the actions of radical Islamic terrorists who had succeeded in their second attempt to bring down the Twin Towers.

But there were a number of other operational hurdles to address in the days following the attacks as well. While the question of redundancy and backup planning was broached in the months leading up to the Y2k panic, few financial companies had adequate facilities to deal with the problem. And even when there were contingencies in the system, many had a fatal flaw: for example, there was only one Verizon switching facility in that portion of Manhattan, so even completely isolated systems were routed through that one choke point.

Read more here.

Contraception, Abortion and the “War on Women”

Those of you who know me, have read my blog or listened to me speak on CRF Radio, know that I’m a fiscal and constitutional conservative, but that I’m more of a moderate on the social issues. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve never written about prophylactic-contraception or abortion.

Frankly, until President Obama made it an issue by putting a mandate in the “Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare) that requires hospitals and schools run by religious institutions – as well as private companies run by people of faith – to provide coverage for contraception and the “morning after” pill in their healthcare coverage, it wasn’t something I felt a need to address in any great detail.

I believe that Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly because it’s a Tenth Amendment, State’s rights issue. The Supreme Court should have ruled to let each state make their own laws and then Congress should have passed a law protecting a woman that goes to a state that permits abortion from being prosecuted when/if she returned to her home state. If you don’t like the laws in your state, you’re free to move to another state. As the census showed us, in the last 10 years millions of Americans have left states like New York and California and moved to states like Texas and Florida. So evidently, whatever their reasons, people do and have voted with their feet.

I want to try to examine both contraception and abortion in terms of the so-called “moral high ground”, which somehow Democrats seem to have seized (at least in the media).

I should note that I have no objection to people using contraception. That is a personal choice. And frankly it’s also the personal responsibility of both the man and the woman if they choose to have sex and don’t want to have a child. What I do have a problem with is people expecting taxpayers and people of faith that disagree to pay for what happens in their bedrooms.

I also should make it clear where I personally stand on abortion. I neither want to outlaw all abortions, nor do I think it should be legal to terminate a pregnancy once the fetus is viable outside the womb. Both positions are extreme to me.

Once the baby can survive outside the mother it is, in my opinion, no longer simply a matter of the woman’s choice. There is clearly another person who has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness involved at that point. And six months is more than enough time to decide to have an abortion if you truly don’t want to have a baby.

Hopefully having clarified my own positions, I want to address the way that progressives like Barack Obama, Sandra Fluke and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz talk about these issues and the “moral high ground” they claim to stand on.

Whether it’s contraception or abortion, progressives claim that the issue is a “woman’s access to healthcare”. This is an intentionally false and deceptive argument.

Read more here.

Mexican cartels now trafficking … cigarettes?

Those Mexican crime syndicates certainly find their way into the news a lot, don’t they? When they’re not running guns from American government sources, kidnapping children for prostitution or shipping tons of cocaine and marijuana through tunnels they’re busy corrupting the government. But it seems that now they’ve found yet another avenue of profit, and just like in many states in the USA it popped up after the government decided to jack up the tax rate on smokes.

A Mexican industrial group said Tuesday an increase in tax on cigarettes that went into effect in 2011 has led to a proliferation of contraband, and that illegal cigarettes now account for nearly 17% of the cigarettes sold in the country.

The Confederation of Industrial Chambers, or Concamin, said tobacco consumption hasn’t declined in the year-and-a-half since the higher tobacco tax took effect, although the sale of illegal cigarettes has reached record levels.

Congress approved the higher tax on cigarettes in late 2010 despite protests from the country’s cigarette manufacturers

Read more here.

Clint Got Under Obama’s Skin

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Yeah, I loved Eastwood. I even thought that was bold and good. I’ll tell you what, folks. Let me just give you a little hint on how to translate the left today.

The left — and this is predictable. They’re destroying Eastwood, and Hollywood types are destroying Eastwood. “Oh, Clint! What’s happened to poor old Clint? Oh, he looks like he’s got Alzheimer’s. Oh, no. Did you see how old Clint was? He didn’t even know where he was.” They were dumping all over Eastwood, and you know why? Because they can’t hit Romney, and they’ve gotta hit something. But Romney’s speech doesn’t have a whole lot hittable in it. Oh, they were sending out their e-mails last night.
We’re on their mailing lists. Every five or ten minutes, they were sending out e-mails asking for three bucks. The various Democratic fundraising organizations were asking for three bucks. “That Paul Ryan, he lied through his teeth and now Romney? He’s lying through his teeth!” But that stuff is pro forma. The target that Eastwood’s become…? By the way, let me tell you something. Eastwood succeeded in getting under Obama’s skin.

At 12:30 last night, somebody on behalf of Obama (and for all I know it was Obama himself) tweeted a picture of Obama in an official presidential chair. Looks like it’s in the Cabinet Room. It might be in the Oval, but, regardless, it’s the official presidential chair, and it’s got a little miniature plaque on the back of the chair that says, “President US 2009.” And the tweet is, “This seat is taken.” Now, we’ve talked about this. So here they needle Obama. He’s so transparent!

Read more here.

EastwoodMania

I was traveling in a sleep-deprived state much of the day yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to chime in here on the issue of Clint Eastwood’s speech act. I did write about it in the Goldberg File (after the bit about boob glitter and all that). Allow myself to … repeat myself to paraphrase Austin Powers:

Moreover, I think all of the people attacking Eastwood are doing Mitt Romney an enormous favor. The clips I’ve seen on the news aren’t incoherent, rambling, or even weird, as some of the talking heads are saying. By my lights they’re charming or funny. Chris Rock said on Twitter this morning something to the effect of “Clint Eastwood on phone with Obama this morning: Everything went as planned sir.”

I like Chris Rock, but his grasp of politics is ludicrous. Eastwood’s speech is going to be water-cooler talk all day today. If people don’t like what he said, they won’t hold Eastwood’s comments against Mitt Romney. If they like what he said, that’s bad for Obama. And lots of people who haven’t focused on the election will now hear about how Clinton Eastwood — a compelling American badass — thinks it’s time for Obama to go. I understand people who want to say Eastwood’s act wasn’t good for Eastwood or all that useful for Romney. But I’m baffled by the claim that there’s an upside for Obama in what Eastwood said.

But let them attack him. If the Democrats want to berate an American icon for being too old, let them (just please do it loud enough so they can hear you in South Florida). If you want to bleat about how it was inappropriate for an actor, please ask Alec Baldwin or George Clooney to make that case.

Read more here.

Rains wash away Mount Obama in Charlotte, N.C.

A torrential downpour that struck Charlotte Saturday afternoon damaged the Mount Rushmore-style sand sculpture bust of President Obama — an ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.

Workers were trying Saturday afternoon to reform the base of the sculpture, built from sand brought in from Myrtle Beach, S.C., pounding and smoothing out the sand that had washed off the facade.

Democrats’ choice of Charlotte has drawn criticism from unions who don’t like North Carolina’s labor laws, and the state seems to be tilting away from Democrats politically.

The large Rushmore-style sculpture drew comparisons to Mr. Obama’s 2008 convention in Denver, when he accepted his party’s nomination on a stage that looked like a Greek temple.

Nearly 10 Years Later, NYC Cop-Killer Stuck in Legal Limbo

Ronell Wilson’s arduous legal odyssey began nearly a decade ago when, as young gang member, he was arrested in one of New York City’s most notorious police killings: the point-blank execution of two undercover officers in an illegal gun sting gone awry.

A jury convicted Wilson in federal court in Brooklyn in 2006, then sentenced him to death a few weeks later in 2007. But in 2010, an appeals court tossed out the sentence, meaning a new jury would have to decide his fate.

That won’t happen any time soon, if at all.

The replay of the trial‘s penalty phase has been put off as Wilson’s lawyers seek to convince a judge that he‘s ineligible for the death penalty because he’s mentally disabled. As the case drags on, the Staten Island native once known by the street name “Rated R” is being held in solitary confinement over the objections of his defense team.

“We are concerned for his mental health as he has no contact with his family and friends and no access to his legal materials so that his ability to assist his legal team is compromised,” one of the lawyers wrote in an Aug. 15 letter to the warden at a Brooklyn lockup.

Read more here.

Teacher who allegedly abused student gets… transferred?

The fine state of public education and the iron fortress of the teachers unions gets yet another black eye this week after video emerged of a shocking incident which took place in the classroom earlier this year. The action allegedly took place back in February in Gig Harbor, Florida, but the public didn’t become aware of it until a video shot on cell phone by another student began making the rounds and the child’s family is crying foul.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday it is investigating a complaint of an alleged bullying incident, caught on video, involving a student at Kopachuk Middle School in Gig Harbor in February.

The department said it was contacted July 30 by a lawyer representing the parents of the student who was concerned that her clients’ 13-year-old son had been the victim of a bullying incident and that “the incident appeared to be abuse.”

“It was a teacher-led bullying incident of epic proportions,” said lawyer Joan Mell, representing the parents of the alleged victim.

She says teacher John Rosi led the rest of the class to stack chairs on the boy, place a pillow over his face and put socks in his mouth.

“He was assaulted several times. He was assaulted by the teacher, the teacher poked him in the belly, the teacher turned around and put his bottom in his face and said, ‘I feel gassy,’ ” she alleged.

Jihad in Russia: Beslan’s child massacre, a horrible 8-year anniversary — Raping for Allah

Years have passed since the bloody tragedy in Beslan. The siege of a school No. 1 in North Ossetia at the beginning of the scholastic year lasted for three days. People in the small town of Beslan and over the world had never seen such savagery. The tragedy played out within the walls of a school where over 1,000 people were held by militants from the volatile North Caucasus region without food and water and in constant fear.
The siege ended after three long days when Russian forces entered the building to save the hostages after hearing explosions ring out. Under heavy gunfire and risking their own lives, they bundled both women and children to safety.

The terrorist attack claimed 335 lives, including 186 children. To this day, people cannot forget the tragedy, especially those mothers who lost their children. Russia remembers the victims of the hostage crisis that unfolded in a school in the town of Beslan, in Southern Russia’s republic of North Ossetia.

See more here.

GOP Voters at All-Time High

According to new research released today by Rasmussen, more voters identify themselves as Republican than ever in the last 8 years. More importantly, by a 4 point margin, more voters identify as GOP than Democrat. This is the largest spread between the parties ever. Worse for Democrats, the number of voters who identify with their party is also approaching an historic low.

In August, 37.6% of voters identified themselves as Republican. That is up from 34.9% in July. By contrast, just 33.3% of voters identify themselves as Democrats. That is very near their historic low in February, when 32.4% of voters identified as Democrat. The 4.3 margin in favor of the GOP is the biggest gap ever between the parties. In November 2010, when the GOP won a landslide in the mid-term elections, their advantage was just 1.3 points.

Immediately prior to Obama’s inauguration, the Democrat party held a nearly 9 point edge over Republicans. Over 41% of voters called themselves Democrats then, compared to around 32% who were Republicans. It is a stunning reversal as Obama heads into reelection.

The last time GOP was close to this level was September 2004. President Bush went on to win reelection two months later, with an electorate that was evenly split. Even then, more voters called themselves Democrats then, but the party’s advantage over the GOP was just over 1 point.

Read more here.

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