Man on the Spot #39: The great Russian Chill and much more

Posted by on April 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The Wallet as Ethics Enforcer –

Grechen Morgenson  APRIL 5, 2014

…..the executives responsible for monitoring internal risks like these are unlikely to be held to account by returning past pay. That’s because G.M.’s compensation policies, like a vast majority of those across corporate America, require recovery of bonuses in only a few circumstances, mostly related to accounting. They do not require recovery when executives take shortcuts or engage in other types of unethical behavior that imperils customers and the company itself.

Charles Keating, 90, Key Figure in ’80s Savings and Loan …


KeatingIn three years, Lincoln’s assets soared to $3.9 billion, from $1 billion, and Mr. Keating was using the business as his personal cash machine, taking $34 million for himself and his family and $1.3 million more for political contributions, prosecutors said. Mr. Keating hired Alan Greenspan, soon to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, who compiled a report saying Lincoln’s depositors faced “no foreseeable risk” and praising a “seasoned and expert” management.

Woman Mauled by Chimp Can’t Sue Connecticut –


A woman who was mauled and blinded by a 200-pound chimpanzee in 2009 will not be able to sue the State of Connecticut, a legislative judiciary committee in Hartford ruled on Wednesday. George Jepsen, the state’s attorney general, testified in the case that allowing her claim to go forward would not be “fair to those who have gone before and been denied.”

Corporate Profits Grow and Wages Slide –

APRIL 4, 2014 By Floyd Norris

CORPORATE profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years. Employee compensation is at the lowest level in 65 years. The Commerce Department last week estimated that corporations earned $2.1 trillion during 2013, and paid $419 billion in corporate taxes. The after-tax profit of $1.7 trillion amounted to 10 percent of gross domestic product during the year, the first full year it has been that high. In 2012, it was 9.7 percent, itself a record.

Charles Koch: I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society – WSJ …

charles_kochInstead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

Manhattan Real Estate Feels a Russian Chill –

MARCH 28, 2014 By Julie Satow

Bookers worry that tensions with Moscow could hurt the foreign-fueled luxury market. Wealthy Russians have been sinking fortunes into some of the priciest condominiums in Manhattan, including the Plaza Hotel, far left, 15 Central Park West, center, and the Marquand, at 11 East 68th Street.

USA TODAY US Edition – Moscow may be helping ‘volunteer

By Anna Arutunyan Speacial USA Today

“They don’t make up a big share of the demonstrators, but there are up to a thousand Russian volunteers in Ukraine,” said analyst Sergei Markov, a backer of the Russian government who has advised the Kremlin on Ukraine. Asked if those volunteers would be willing to take up arms if a conflict broke out, Markov said, “Of course.”

Supreme Court denies case on death penalty drugs

Richard Wolf and Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — As states scramble to find drugs needed to carry out executions, the Supreme Court won’t decide for now whether condemned prisoners deserve to know how they will die. The justices denied a hearing Monday to a Louisiana inmate who asked that state officials tell him what lethal-injection drugs they have planned for his demise.

What Really Killed William Henry Harrison? –



“Our Man’s” on the Spot’s Great Grandfather

William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, holds a distinction that with luck will never be equaled: He was our shortest-serving president, dying on April 4, 1841, after just a month in office. The pneumonia was thought to be a direct result of a cold the 68-year-old Harrison caught while delivering a numbingly long Inaugural Address (at 8,445 words, the longest in history) in wet, freezing weather without a hat, overcoat or gloves.

Snowden to Receive Truth-Telling Prize –


Mr. Snowden, who fled, ultimately, to Russia, faces prosecution if he returns to the United States. He has appeared via video link at a number of events in America; Ms. Poitras has not been back to the United States since the Snowden revelations. (Ms. Poitras, Mr. Greenwald and the journalist Jeremy Scahill, backed by the Internet billionaire Pierre Omidyar, founded The Intercept, which reports on national security issues.)

Immigration Bill Splitting House G.O.P. –


Republican advocates of loosening immigration laws are moving to attach the measure to the annual defense policy bill. It would offer a path to permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who came to the country before the age of 15 and enlist in the military. But they are running into vociferous opposition from anti-immigration hard-liners.

Ask Well: Exercises to Strengthen Bones – …

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS:  March 21, 2014, 12:01 am

In general, activities that involve impacts with the earth, such as running and jumping, are the most effective way to improve bone health, according to Dr. Jon Tobias, a professor of rheumatology at the University of Bristol who studies bone health. They create ground-reaction forces that move through your bones and stimulate them to “remodel” themselves and add density, he said. They also entail strong muscular contractions that tug at and slightly bend attached bones, redoubling the stimulating effects of the exercise.

A Threat to Male Fertility – – – Well

By DEBORAH BLUM: March 21, 2014, 1:31 pm

Exposure to Phthalates, in particular, can affect men. Phthalates, by contrast, tend to be metabolized within a few hours. Their impact would not be so profound if it were not that people are constantly exposed from multiple sources. These include not only cosmetics and plastics, but also packaging, textiles, detergents and other household products. Phthalates are found in the tubing used in hospitals to deliver medications; in water flowing through PVC pipes; enteric coatings on pills, including some aspirin; materials used to create time-release capsules; and countless other products.

What Fish Teach Us About Us –

APRIL 7, 2014

To Neil H. Shubin’s long résumé — paleontologist, molecular biologist, dean and professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, best-selling author — can now be added “television host.” Dr. Shubin, 53, who helped discover the 375-million-year-old fish called Tiktaalik, hailed as a missing link between sea and land animals, will preside over “Your Inner Fish,” a three-part series on evolution (based on his book of the same title) that makes its debut Wednesday on PBS.

The Things She Carried –


Society may come to understand war differently if people could see it through the eyes of women who’ve experienced both giving birth and taking life. People might learn something new about aggression and violence if we read not just about those fighting the enemy but about those who must also fight off assault from the soldiers they serve beside or report to.

Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive.

Justice Stevens Suggests Solution for ‘Giant Step in the …

APRIL 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — Justice John Paul Stevens, who turned 94 on Sunday, is a mild man with an even temperament. He has a reverence for the Supreme Court, on which he served for almost 35 years until his retirement in 2010, and he is fond of his former colleagues.

Ripples From the Big Bang –

MARCH 24, 2014

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — When scientists jubilantly announced last week that a telescope at the South Pole had detected ripples in space from the very beginning of time, the reverberations went far beyond the potential validation of astronomers’ most cherished model of the Big Bang.

US Ordered to Release Memo in Awlaki Killing


A federal appeals panel in Manhattan ordered the release on Monday of key portions of a classified Justice Department memorandum that provided the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who intelligence officials contend had joined Al Qaeda and died in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

US Drones and Yemeni Forces Kill Qaeda-Linked Fighters …


In his speech in May, Mr. Obama said targeted killing operations were carried out only against militants who posed a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people.” He also said no strike could be authorized without “near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” a bar he described as “the highest standard we can set.”

Russia Displays a New Military Prowess in Ukraine’s East


putinStill, Russia’s operations in Ukraine have been a swift meshing of hard and soft power. The Obama administration, which once held out hope that Mr. Putin would seek an “off ramp” from the pursuit of Crimea, has repeatedly been forced to play catch-up after the Kremlin changed what was happening on the ground.

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