Hello darkness my old friend.
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Former M&A banker at Goldman Sachs, Steve Bannon struck gold by investing in “Seinfeld,” before a pivot to politics took him all the way to the Trump White House. Bannon is one of the moving forces behind the rising populist movement harnessing just disaffection among the working and middle classes, turning it into nationalism, anti-credentialism and votes. Bannon is a classic American snake oil salesman: whip smart, self-interested, erudite and able to weave together solid verifiable facts, astute socioeconomic insight and well placed bullshit in real-time. Like most of the smartest guys of this type, the Dorian Gray personal aesthetics of younger days gets layered over by indulgence and debauchery, steakface and slicks taking him through middle age.
"Meet Josiah Zayner - America's Most Censored Person" article by Matt Taibbi. Josiah Zayner is a poo eater. Possibly a snake oil salesman. But definitely an exemplar outlier, a heterodoxer pushed out of the intellectual mainstream, denied a role in contributing to developing orthodoxy. Quack quack.
Chevron v Donziger
"If someone wanted to turn America into an authoritarian gulag state the shortest, least resistant route is through the judges."
New York human rights lawyer Steven Donziger is fighting a case brought against him by oil multinational Chevron, in response to a multi-billion dollar judgment against Chevron for environmental destruction in Ecuador. The travesty of a case combines corporate abuse of wealth, judicial corruption, climate change pollution, disdain for poorer country rights, the list goes on. It will be a litmus case in the future. For now, it's a case in progress and Donziger is getting fucked in every hole. See Donziger LinkTr.ee social media index for further info.
For a corporation to be prosecuting a civil-criminal case against a private citizen is unparalleled. It is an early warning for what may become a bigger threat to freedom in American than the worst of Trump or Biden or Facebook censorship. Specifically, an autocracy of judges, appointed for life with absolute power over any case in their court, unaccountable to checks and balances, answerable to noone, wielding exceptional power with only the notional limit of past convention (which can be ignored).
(Consider the racist criminal justice incarceration state. Plenty of focus the past few years on bad cops but the true 21st-century Jim Crow continuity is carried on by judges, e g. how the court handles guilt, fair trial, sentencing, application of law, etc. The difference in outcomes for identical cases for a black defendant versus a white defendants beggars belief. Judicial ruling - which can't be questioned or challenged until it's too late - has been the true engine of American racism for decades. Imagine if the same judges used their unfettered power and their brutal black sentencing against you...)
The existence the NSA was revealed to the public in 1971 by NSA analyst turned whistleblower Perry Fellwock. He was motivated CIA whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg's release of the Pentagon Papers. Fellwock published the details of ECHELON, the Five Eyes (FVEY) signals intelligence analysis network - NSA spying capabilities - ostensibly created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.
Because of the Fellwock revelations NSA spying on American citizens was suspended by the 1973 Church Committee. Digital-age successors to Perry Fellwock: Drake, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis. Research these geezers. Worth noting that the Edward Snowden revelations of NSA spying almost 40 years later did not result in legislative pushback against the security state apparatus.
Avril Haines: US intelligence chief intervenes to block state secrets in Saudi Crown Prince's feud with former Saudi official @ MSN Article.
D.J. who moonlights as a titan of Wall Street, David Solomon is a crossover media-finance bullshit artist. Under him, Goldman Sachs - the investment bank - has tried to shed its uptight image as a haven for besuited M.&A. bankers and chest-thumping traders. That effort now includes its own typeface. Meet Goldman Sans. The firm describes the font, which is free to download, as “approachable without being whimsical” and “neutral, with a wink.” It was created for Goldman Sachs by the British design firm Dalton Maag, with a mandate to create a typeface with just the right amount of personality for the 151-year-old bank.
It follows other efforts by Goldman to come across as cool, including relaxing its dress code, pitching itself as a tech company and collaborating with Apple on a credit card. The reaction from experts is, shall we say, mixed. They are on record saying that it suffered from “lack of courage,” was “missing life” and was the typographical equivalent of “a casual Friday.”
Retired stock analyst covering the housing, mortgage and consumer finance industries. US investment strategist and portfolio manager. Work career at PaineWebber and UBS, an adjunct professor at Mercy College in New York. Written articles about - for example - AMC where Gordon advocates sell the stock, exposing reasons why it's going to drop, telling the audience to get out while the going is good. Turns out he's got a lot of AMC stock and he's short on it!
Neoliberal US Cathedral - Ken Dilanian - Intelligence and National Security Correspondent @ MUCKRACK PROFILE on the neoliberal shill index at muckrack.com website.
The former House speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly preparing to launch a special purpose acquisition company, The Wall Street Journal reports. The investment fund is aiming to raise $300 million in an I.P.O., with Mr. Ryan, who left Congress last year, as chairman. He’s not the only famous face joining the SPAC boom. Figures from financiers like Bill Ackman, Dan Loeb and Michael Klein to the famed baseball executive Billy Beane have launched versions of these “blank check” investment vehicles. They have been buoyed by strong equity markets and private companies’ desire to sidestep the traditionally laborious I.P.O. process by merging with these funds, assuming their stock listings.
This SPAC is notable for its Republican ties. In addition to Mr. Ryan’s involvement, the fund’s sponsor is Solamere Capital, an investment firm run by a son of Senator Mitt Romney, who picked Mr. Ryan as his running mate in his 2012 presidential bid. But its financial adviser has strong Democratic leanings. Mr. Ryan’s SPAC is being underwritten by Evercore, whose founder and senior chairman is Roger Altman, who served in the Carter and Clinton administrations and is a major fund-raiser for Joe Biden.
Evercore has been strengthening its SPAC expertise, hiring Neil Shah, a specialist in these funds, from Citi last year. The bank has also emphasized its capital-markets business of late: Executives told analysts last month that the firm was coming off its “strongest period ever in equity underwriting.”