The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets

There's a double-standard here and it is at the core of much of what I find disgusting about modern politics.

Federal prosecutors indicted former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert Thursday on charges he allegedly hid payments he made to an apparent blackmailer in order to compensate for and conceal “prior misconduct.”

The 73-year-old Illinois Republican is accused of structuring the withdrawal of $925,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000. He is also accused of lying to the FBI about the withdrawals.

The crime involved withdrawing nearly a million dollars in amounts under $10,000 at a time so as to avoid triggering cash reporting requirements (which is a crime) and then lying to the FBI about it when questioned.

Well yeah, if you're paying someone off and the point is to avoid disclosure of something then telling the FBI what it is and who it is sort of blows that idea up, doesn't it?

So let's leave aside the indictment for a minute and delve into what's going on at the core of this event.

The information we do have strongly implies that the "misconduct" has something to do with Hastert's life and activities before he became Speaker and is probably related to something long in his past.

In other words it might be something like an affair or similar -- or it might be worse. Maybe quite a bit worse.

Now here's where the problem comes in.

A Republican who gets "caught" in such a thing, even if it dates long before he or she was in office and is purely-consensual and adult in nature is utterly screwed but when it's a Democrat it literally doesn't matter what the offense is.  I point directly at Bill Clinton who was not only accused of he was caught repeatedly diddling various people and was accused of various acts of rape (Juanita Broderick anyone), never mind the more-recent allegations related to Bill Clinton and Epstein.  Or shall we talk about Teddy Kennedy and Chappaquiddick for a minute and the fact that there was never any account rendered of exactly what happened that night?

Did Clinton's repeated, serial and blatant sexual misconduct (at least toward his wife and maybe toward society) cost him his office?  Nope.  Did it result in him being "blackmailed"?  Someone might have tried but if they did his response appears to have been along the lines of "Go ahead and blow it out to the press; nobody gives a damn because I'm a Democrat."

Similar allegations are out there regarding Hillary in this regard, particularly when it comes to Bill's exploits and her alleged active role in covering them up, including allegations that she assisted in covering up those alleged rapes.  Never mind her own alleged exploits of which there are many alleged in the extramarital screwing around department.

Bill and Hillary are not the only Democrats who seem to be immune to any sort of allegation of wrongdoing when it comes to the press and the public  Hell, Marion Barry (D), now deceased, got caught smoking crack on video by the FBI and, I might add (and which the press and democrats ignore) propositioning an ex-model for sex even though he was married and yet despite going to prison for smoking said crack he was re-elected as Washington DC's mayor!  While virtually everyone knows he got caught smoking crack how many members of the press made a big deal out of the fact that he was caught on tape propositioning an ex-model for sex while doing so and was married at the time?  I'll answer that for you: Zero.

I was never impressed with Hastert.  If what's alleged is true then I'm a lot less-impressed now, but I'm also not impressed with the alleged victim, particularly given that it appears he decided to try to make a bunch of money off those events after intentionally sitting on them for a very long time (almost-certainly long enough for the statute of limitations to expire) instead of trying the case in a courtroom where it belonged -- and where the evidence could be heard and adjudicated by a jury, never mind the effect this decision had of leaving Hastert in a position of great political power.

But beyond the fact that there's no reason to believe Hastert didn't earn the money he was withdrawing legally (and thus making it a crime to do whatever, whenever and however he wishes with it is outrageous on its face) the fact remains that this double-standard between Republicans and Democrats is something that nobody wants to take on -- yet we all should and in fact must insist that it dissolves.

We can start that process, by the way, with Hillary Clinton.

PS: Isn't it against the law to blackmail someone?  I do believe it is, and that's typically a felony too.... so where's the indictment against the guy who was allegedly blackmailing Hastert?

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Whoever thought that "online dating" was somehow going to be "private"?

The sexual orientations and personal details of millions of Internet users may have been exposed in an alleged breach of a social networking site aimed at intimate encounters. But it's just the latest sign that Internet users looking for love online -- or just hoping to hook up -- face privacy and security risks they might not expect.

Well gee, let me see if I get this right.

You put up a public profile with your picture and some details about what you are looking for and like.

Then you expect that there's privacy associated with that?

Excuse me?

Now granted, what's talked about further on is an old-fashioned hack, although unless there's a password in there (or financial information) one wonders exactly what sort of "privacy" one expects when using an online dating site.

What users should really take away from the incident is that the privacy of the information they share with these sites is only as good as their security practices. And, unfortunately, there's evidence that Adult FriendFinder isn't the only site that has issues in that department.

Actually, what people should take away from this is that if you start answering surveys about whatever particular kinks you like in the bedroom, or what drugs you use, there is no "safe" venue in which to make that disclosure, obtain a benefit from it (like a romp in the sack) and keep it from being discovered by other people!

Granted, a mass hack is a bit different in scale than someone who you date knowing all about this.  But then again, if you are "matched" based on these things exactly how much, if at all, can you vet those people before they discover these "points of compatibility"?

You can't -- at all.

Then there's things like Tinder that wants your Facebook account to validate against.  

I have just one question for anyone using that: Are you nuts?

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)


According to Gallup, America is now fatter than it has ever been before. But how can this possibly be? After all, Americans spend an astounding 60 billion dollars a year on weight loss programs and products. After putting so much time, effort and energy into losing weight, shouldn’t we be some of the healthiest people on the entire planet? Sadly, the truth is that obesity has become a national epidemic, and we are known around the globe for our huge size. The term “fat Americans” has become synonymous with overweight tourists, and other cultures mock us for our apparent sloth.


So what is the solution?

The key is to make healthy choices a lifestyle and not just a one time event.

If you “go on a diet” or you “do a cleanse”, but then you just go back and do the same things that you did before, you are going to end up at the exact same place you started.

If we want to be healthy, what we need to do is to design our lives so that we are doing the right things consistently.  We need to be physically active, we need to eat healthy (lots of fruits and vegetables), and we need to avoid the things that we know will make us fat.




There are only three types of foods.

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats

That's it.


1, 2, 3.  Count 'em.

The average adult human requires somewhere around 1,700 to 2,100 Calories (actually kCal if you want to be precise) a day to maintain their body mass, assuming a reasonably-sedentary lifestyle.  (Most people have a sedentary lifestyle even if they work out 30 minutes a day three times a week; to be "lightly active" you need to be on your feet and actively moving three to four hours a day (e.g. you might qualify as a teacher) and work out daily, yes, 7 days a week, for at least a half-hour.  To qualify as "active" you would need to perform daily exercise of about two hours and spend most of your working day performing some sort of physical activity.  To qualify as very active you would have to run for an hour a day and perform physical labor for work (e.g. roofing, carpentry, etc.))

If you eat less you will lose weight.  If you eat more you will gain weight.

That's the simple part.

But life isn't that simple.

Let's say you wish to eat "mostly vegetables", as is propounded by the fool up above and a whole lot of other people too.

How many vegetables do you have to eat?

 by tickerguy

This is off a bag of brussels sprouts in my freezer.  It's an 18oz bag, which is about two large (cereal size) bowl fulls to the top.  It says I get 45 calories per serving and there are six in the bag, or for one bowl full of sprouts, I get an entire 135 calories.  Incidentally, I also get several times my daily Vitamin C requirement by eating that bowl.

But I would have to eat more than 12 bowls full of brussels sprouts over a day's time to get my 1,700 minimum calories and that's assuming I sit on my ass!  God help me if I actually go out and run five or six miles and my body's demand for fuel is up another thousand calories as a consequence!

Now I happen to like brussels sprouts, but I don't like them that much.  This, by the way, is pretty typical for most vegetables in terms of caloric content; spinach, broccoli, you name it they all wind up with about the same caloric content per unit of volume.  If you actually try to satiate yourself on these foods you're going to fail -- hard.

What will you probably wind up eating if you follow the prescribed mantra?  Lots of fast carbohydrate vegetables, like potatoes.

Metabolically when it comes to quickly-metabolized carbohydrates you may as well eat table sugar.

Don't believe me. In fact, you'd be an idiot to believe me when you can prove whether I'm right or wrong for very little money and effort. Go to WalMart and buy a nice cheap glucose meter and some "starter" test strips (assuming you don't have a diabetic friend who will let you use theirs.)  Your investment in this little experiment, with your own body, will be about $20; most of those meters come with a "sample" set of strips (usually 20 or so) which will be more than enough for what you're going to do.  You'll also need a box of lancets (yes, you have to poke your finger and no, you never re-use those) and some soap and water so you don't give yourself an infection.

Sit at your kitchen table having not eaten anything (or drank anything containing sugars; water is safe of course) for at least 4 hours and then gobble up 1 cup of cooked potatoes.  Eat nothing else (other than salt and/or pepper to taste for the 'tater) and drink only water.  Wash and then poke your finger, running a test at 0 (just before you eat), at 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes and one hour later.  If you want to be ambitious do two more at 1:30 and 2:00 but you probably won't need those to see what I'm talking about.  Write all the data down and take a piece of graph paper and chart it. (While the formal definition of "fasting" blood sugar is 8 hours with no food 4 hours is enough for most people to get back to near normal; if your "pre-chow" number is over 110 or if you get a number over 180 at any time on this test get your ass to the Doc for a formal set of tests!)

The next day, again after four hours with no food of any sort or drinks containing sugar of any amount, take two tablespoons of ordinary table sugar.  Eat it raw and chase it with a glass of water. Do the same tests.

Day three, same deal except this time take an 8oz package of cheese (e.g. a brick of cheddar, swiss, etc) and slice off 2-3oz of it.  Chow that and repeat the test.

Let me know what you find out.

I assure you that you're going to be surprised; a cup of potatoes has about twice the fast carbohydrate content of the two tablespoons of sugar and yet one cup of potatoes is nothing compared to what many of you eat every day!  The cheese, on the other hand, has almost zero carbohydrate.  And by the way, breads do the same damn thing those potatoes do.  Try it if you don't believe me; now you own the tool to check it on your own!

So where do you turn now that you understand what's going on -- and what you weren't told before?

This is where you get in trouble and it's why you're fat.

You go into the store and you see "Low Fat" on labels.  Go back up above and read again -- there are only three foods; protein, carbohydrates and fats.  If you have a food that is "Low Fat" then the fats had to have been replaced with something, and I will clue you in right now -- it's not protein as that (mostly) comes from animals!  This means that what replaced the fat is carbohydrates and it is virtually a certainty that they are "fast" carbohydrates as well, especially if what you're eating is or contains a liquid such as salad dressing, soup, a "quick meal" or similar.

That is why you fail and it is why you're fat.

You're eating things that make you fat because you think that a "low fat" food will help you lose weight.

It will in fact, most of the time, do the exact opposite.

Fats, especially saturated (animal) fats, don't make you fat because they are absorbed in the gut slowly and do not stimulate an insulin response.  They therefore leave you satiated for longer; simply put you don't get hungry as quickly.  Carbohydrates, specifically fast carbohydrates, make you fat because they stimulate an insulin response and when your blood sugar level crashes on the back side of that response you get hungry.  It is very difficult to avoid eating when you are hungry!

So here's what you are going to do:

You're going to stop worrying about animal fats in particular and instead stop eating all fast carbohydrates.

You eat eggs (or an omelet; yes, cheese is fine) with bacon in the morning -- not cereals and/or breads.  Cook the omelet in either butter or part of the bacon fat.  Reserve the excess fat from the bacon; do not throw it out.  Drain it into a coffee mug and once it cools off a bit put it in the fridge; it will solidify and is perfectly fine like that for weeks at a time.  (That, incidentally, is what saturated fats do; they typically don't go rancid.)  Now have your veggies for lunch but take a dollop of bacon fat out of the mug and put it in the bowl when you nuke 'em in the microwave along with a bit of lemon pepper or seasoned salt.  That both adds flavor and calories from said fat.  You'll get physically full from the brussels sprouts and satiated from the fat you consumed and since there will be no carb-induced insulin spike you also won't get hungry two hours later and reach for the Doritos.

For dinner eat something that had a face and don't trim the fat; eat it instead; if you want to include more vegetables that's fine, provided they're not starchy and are colorful (e.g. green, red, etc.)  Salad?  Sure, but use full fat dressing if you want some (e.g. oil and vinegar, balsamic, full-fat ranch, etc.)

For flavoring purposes use pepper, salt, seasoned salt (e.g. Lowrey's or similar) and other spices.  Enjoy them -- they have no calories and produce no insulin response.  If you want to freak out about salt go ahead but for nearly everyone it's a non-issue; there is a small (very small!) percentage of the population that has a legitimate problem with sodium.

Do this for one week and I will tell you what will happen -- you'll lose 2-3 pounds immediately.  Here's the bad news -- it's (mostly) water, as when you stop eating carbs all the time your body needs less water to process your food and you***** the excess out.  You need to run a 3,000 calorie deficit, more or less, to lose an actual pound of body mass that is not water.  That's a lot.  Losing 1lb a week means running about a 500 calorie deficit a day, every day.  The good news is that's very doable if you're not hungry all the time.  If you keep this eating pattern up you'll start to lose real weight by the third week or so and it will keep coming off until you reach a body mass that is natural for you, at which point the weight loss will stop.  You won't notice yourself eating more, but you will be -- just enough to keep your metabolism in balance.

Your body knows how to do this all on its own just like it knows how to make your heart beat like it's supposed to -- you just have to quit sabotaging the metabolic mechanisms that have been with man for a couple hundred thousand years (and which we've only been trashing for the last 50 or so.)

Note that it's nearly impossible to lose more than 2 lbs a week of actual body mass as your body will react if you try to cut your intake below about 1,200-1,500 calories a day by trimming its metabolic rate, thwarting what you're trying to do.  So don't; starving yourself is bad news.  On the flip side it's also almost impossible to gain more than 2 lbs a week; attempting to do so simply results in you crapping out the excess calories and that's usually very unpleasant.  Yes, I know there are exceptions (e.g. extreme workout levels, extreme body building, etc) but we're talking about ordinary people living ordinary lives here.

Here's the good news: If you do this for a couple of weeks you're going to start waking up and not be hungry, probably as you get somewhere into the second week.  If you're not hungry, why are you eating?  Listen to your body; if you're not hungry at breakfast wait until lunch; cook the bacon and take it with you, then eat that on or with the broccoli or brussels sprouts.

If you want a check and balance on what you're eating it's simple.  Take that label up above; subtract the "dietary fiber" from the carbohydrate count per serving you consume and add it all up.  Keep the total carbohydrate count you consume daily under 50.

It's not possible to do this if you eat starchy things or sugars.  It's flatly not possible folks.  There are four (grams) of carbohydrates in each teaspoon of sugar; if you put two in your coffee in the morning you've had a 20% of your total carbohydrates allowed and you haven't eaten anything yet!

You also can't have any sugared sodas or other drinks (including "sweet tea".)  One can of Coke is 39 grams of carbs, all sugar.  That is, for all intents and purposes, all of your daily carbohydrate intake.  You also can't be drinking juices for the most part, or "smoothies" and similar; not only are they full of sugars (natural or not) but a juice is much more quickly absorbed than the raw fruit would be and it contains the sugar content from many of the fruits.  As just one example one 8 oz cup of orange juice contains roughly four oranges; eating one orange is vastly preferable to drinking that juice!

Finally, eat no hydrogenated oils of any sort.  If you see that word on a label don't buy the product and if you already have it in your house throw it out.  Those oils all contain transfats to some degree and they are extremely bad for you. If you like fried foods and eat out pester your restaurant and tell them you want them to fry in lard or tallow; they'll probably look at you like you have three heads but I assure you that's far better for you than the hydrogenated oils they are probably using.  McDonalds, as just one example, used to fry in tallow before the idiots started running the asylum.

You know if you're fat folks.

I just explained how not to be any more.

You decide.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

2015-05-29 16:24 by Karl Denninger
in Other Voices , 228 references

I can't vouch for the translations...... but if true (and even if not)......


h/t Janet T....

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

It's bad to be the place on the web where people go to buy and sell drugs, among other things.

You'll go to prison for life if you get caught (and you will get caught, especially if you think Bitcoin is "anonymous" or Tor means "you can't be tracked.")

Howeverif you simply steal a few tens of billions of dollars, why that's good for an itty-bitty fine that amounts to a tiny fraction of what you ripped off, and no prison.  Ever.

As long as you're a big bank or an employee of same, of course.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)

Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
No Kidding? Stan Sees The Problem?

Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.