|For years, the Obama Administration has been pummeled for failing to bring criminal charges against a single major Wall Street bank or a single leading Wall Street banker for what the FBI termed an “epidemic of fraud” that blew up the entire economy. Investigations revealed the banks committed routine fraud in peddling mortgage securities they knew were garbage, trampled basic property laws, laundered money from Iran, Libya and Mexican drug lords, conspired to game the basic measure of interest rates and more. Yet, time after time, the Justice Department and regulatory agencies settled for sweetheart deals, with no admission of guilt, no banker held accountable, and fines that were the equivalent in earnings of a speeding ticket to the average family.
Yesterday Attorney General Holder stated openly what was already apparent. The Justice Department believes that Too Big to Fail Banks are Too Big to Jail. Criminal indictments against banks or leading bankers might endanger the economy and thus were too big a risk.
Here is what Holder said:
I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.Holder’s outrageous admission means that bankers operate — and know they operate — above the law. That renders all the argument about regulations and legal limits risible. Bankers spend tens of millions lobbying to weaken regulations and starve regulators of authority and resources. But when the action gets hot, the bubble starts to build, the music keeps playing, they can trample the laws, mislead the regulators and defraud their customers, bolstered by the confidence that the laws will not apply to them.
Holder’s argument, however, is indefensible. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—Incongruous Convictions:
|Bill Napoli, the South Dakota legislator who sponsored the state's Rapist's Rights Bill, claims that a human embryo is a "person", which is "totally unique immediately at fertilization."
His bill, signed now by the Governor and supported by Republicans like John McCain, Mitt Romey, and George Allen, is meant to "fully protect...the rights, interest, and life of [an] unborn child." An embryo, no matter how many cells it has, deserves just as much protection as a newborn baby, they say. Thus, the bill makes abortion a crime. It makes the "termination of the life of an unborn being" a….a….Class 5 felony.
A Class 5 felony, folks. If you want evidence of their hypocrisy, you need look no further than that clause in the bill. For if the bill's supporters truly believed abortion is murder, why didn't they make abortion a Class A or B felony (as "murder" is classified in the South Dakota code)?
The Great Dishwasher Installation of 2013 is over, and so is Rand Paul's sorta-kinda filibuster. Greg Dworkin reviewed new Q-Poll national numbers on gun policy issues and updated us on the "Team 26" ride from Newtown to DC. Armando took the reins to discuss issues surrounding drone policy, the fatally-flawed AUMF, and encroachment on Congressional power both on war powers and in the Voting Rights Act case. Then, the dynamics of the Paul filibuster, a listener question about how party leaders are selected and challenged in the Senate, and a wrap up with two egregious tales of Wild West#GunFAIL.