Sunday, July 15, 2012

Last Call

The Justice Department is apparently moving on a criminal investigation into the Libor rate fixing scandal by the world's top banks, and since all of them do business in the US, it could get ugly, fast.

As regulators ramp up their global investigation into the manipulation of interest rates, the Justice Department has identified potential criminal wrongdoing by big banks and individuals at the center of the scandal.

The department’s criminal division is building cases against several financial institutions and their employees, including traders at Barclays, the British bank, according to government officials close to the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. The authorities expect to file charges against at least one bank later this year, one of the officials said.

The prospect of criminal cases is expected to rattle the banking world and provide a new impetus for financial institutions to settle with the authorities. The Justice Department investigation comes on top of private investor lawsuits and a sweeping regulatory inquiry led by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Collectively, the civil and criminal actions could cost the banking industry tens of billions of dollars.

Hope those charges come before November.  Would be really nice to see some bankster heads roll before the election.  Sadly, if it does happen it will come after November 7.  Obama needs the money too much.  I like the President, but the fact that Jamie Dimon isn't in jail yet doesn't make me think these criminal investigations will go anywhere fast.

We'll see.

Glenn Kessler's Really Done For Now

John Cole catches Glenn Kessler not only digging the hole he lives in deeper on Mitt Romney's taxes, but then Cole finds Kessler stabbed himself through the heart with the shovel.

First, Kessler's frantic digging:

In 2011, Romney, as a presidential candidate, filed a public financial disclosure form, under pain of perjury, that stated: “Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”

You can see Romney’s signature, on the first page. If Romney lied on this form, that would be a felony.

Oops.  You see, Cole points out the problem with this admission:

Well, yes, Glenn. That would be a felony, and it’s exactly what the Obama campaign said when they stated that he either lied on his disclosure forms and filings to the SEC then, or he is lying to the American public now. If I remember correctly, when the Obama campaign said the exact same thing, you awarded them… wait for it… wait for it…

THREE PINNOCHIOS. When will we see the column where he awards himself three pinnochios for using the same exact rhetoric as Stephanie Cutter?

How does this clown have a job?

I have no clue, but that needs to change.  Not only has Kessler abandoned any pretense of impartiality and objectivity, he's now admitting that it's all arbitrary, and that Glenn Kessler gets to award the Obama campaign whatever he feels like awarding then that day.  He's also stupid enough to think that nobody checks his own column for possible factual errors.

If he had any reputation left, it just died.

A Special Place In Hell: The Trade

A Laurel County couple faced a judge Friday morning, a day after sheriff's deputies arrested the two for human trafficking. Jeremy and Jamie Brown both entered a not guilty plea for the charge.
The arrest citation released Friday indicates the Browns, along with the child's mother, Heather Kaminskey, not only made the trade, but even obtained legal documents to change the child's name in hopes of hiding his identity. Investigators say Kaminskey later sold the truck for $800 and meth.
Court documents say the baby was four days old when Kaminskey traded him for a 1999 Dodge truck in January of 2012. The sheriff's office says it was alerted about the human trafficking of the newborn through a confidential source.
Eight hundred bucks and meth was what they netted after trading a four day old infant.  The good news is, the baby is safe.  The bad news is, how many of these have slipped through the cracks?

Dentist Drilled Over Practice

DENVER -- A suspended Colorado dentist reused syringes and needles in his now-shuttered practice, potentially exposing thousands of patients to HIV and hepatitis infection, health officials warned on Friday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent letters to 8,000 patients of dentist Stephen Stein, urging them to seek tests for the diseases after learning of "unsafe injection practices" at two Denver-area clinics he owned between September 1999 and June 2011.
Investigators found that Stein reused needles and syringes in several patients' intravenous lines at his oral surgery and dental implant clinics, in violation of standard medical protocol, the department said in a statement.

The kicker is patients won't have any recourse if they find they have contracted HIV or hepatitis.  They have no way to prove that their condition resulted from this and not other contact.  It's not fair, but any lawyer could cast enough doubt to reduce claims to nothing.

A high tech clinic that impressed patients because it was so modern, put thousands of lives at risk over equipment valued at less than a dollar.  What a waste.

There have always been businesses and professionals who cut corners,  Consumers and patients must be more vigilant to protect themselves.  I dare say this type of stuff will only get worse.

Saying It So About Joe

ESPN's Rick Reilly pens a devastating piece on Joe Paterno, the Freeh report on Jerry Sandusky and Penn State, and how sports journalism worship of "heroes" like JoePa enabled the story of Sandusky's vile pedophilia to remain silent for years.  To his credit, Reilly is hardest of all on himself.

What a stooge I was.

I talked about Paterno's "true legacy" in all of this. Here's his true legacy: Paterno let a child molester go when he could've stopped him. He let him go and then lied to cover his sinister tracks. He let a rapist go to save his own recruiting successes and fundraising pitches and big-fish-small-pond hide.

Here's a legacy for you. Paterno's cowardice and ego and fears allowed Sandusky to molest at least eight more boys in the years after that 1998 incident -- Victims 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10. Just to recap: By not acting, a grown man failed to protect eight boys from years of molestation, abuse and self-loathing, all to save his program the embarrassment. The mother of Victim 1 is "filled with hatred toward Joe Paterno," the victim's lawyer says. "She just hates him, and reviles him." Can you blame her?

What a sap I was.

I hope Penn State loses civil suits until the walls of the accounting office cave in. I hope that Spanier, Schultz and Curley go to prison for perjury. I hope the NCAA gives Penn State the death penalty it most richly deserves. The worst scandal in college football history deserves the worst penalty the NCAA can give. They gave it to SMU for winning without regard for morals. They should give it to Penn State for the same thing. The only difference is, at Penn State they didn't pay for it with Corvettes. They paid for it with lives.

What a chump I was.

A lot of us were.  Certainly I never suspected Paterno was sitting on this volcano, trapped in a hell of his own making, and deciding that the only option, the noble option, was to support the "greater good" of Penn State while these victims were abused sexually by his monster of an assistant.  Nobody did.  And the worship of JoePa continued because the sports journalism world never thought to give any credence to the claims that Sandusky was a blight on humanity itself.  It went on for years because all the people involved didn't want to be trapped under the rubble when the pyramid of lies holding up Joe Paterno's program finally collapsed.

Collapse it did.  We have to seriously re-evaluate college sports in America, and even more so, journalism in America.  And the football team?  Scrap it, take the millions in money the program is worth, and build a center dedicated to the prevention of sexual abuse in America.  Hold fundraisers and booster dinners and gladhandle to raise eight figures for that each year.

There's your legacy.
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