Latest Posts

  • In Least Shocking Decision Ever, U.S. Won't Prosecute Goldman Sachs

    You know what they say, "First, they came for the sellers of collateralized mortgage obligations, who made bets against the same securities they sold to clients." Oh, they don't say that? Because it never, ever happens?

    The Justice Department says after a "careful review" it has determined there is no basis for bringing a criminal prosecution against Goldman Sachs or its employees in regard to allegations set forth in a congressional report.

    In an unsigned statement from the Justice Department issued Thursday night, it said the department conducted an exhaustive review for more than a year examining allegations in the Levin-Coburn Report.

    Headed by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, the 635-page report in 2011 singled out Goldman and Deutsche Bank as examples of Wall Street firms that reaped huge profits by marketing securities backed by subprime mortgages as safe investments to clients, even as the banks bet against these very same securities.

    In fairness to Goldman, it's simply not true that top executives haven't been punished for wrecking millions of livelihoods. Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs V.P., is currently Treasury chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. The chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is former Goldman partner Gary Gensler.

    Sounds problematic? It's a case of you say tomato, I say tomahto. You say, "revolving door cronyism," Goldman says "creative community service sentencing."

    Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

    Tags: Crime, Department of Justice, Goldman Sachs, SEC
  • Quote Unquote: Coming for Your Assault Rifles

    Barack Obama on gun regulation


    "I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers and not in the hands of crooks. They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities."


    This ignores the simple fact that criminals are always going to find a way to get their hands on AK-47s. So, wouldn't it just be smarter to give everybody AK-47s? Just think how much safer you'd feel if that were the case.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill of Rights, Constitution, Crime, Guns, Quote Unquote, Second Amendment
  • Gary Johnson Will Legalize Marijuana If Elected Fantasy President

    When Barack Obama was a young man, he would reportedly yell "Interception!" before snatching a joint from a friend's hand to take an extra hit. As president, he's continued "intercepting" the nation's pot supply with an aggressive crackdown.

    But Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has way mellower vibes when it comes to toking

    The ad points to Obama's early drug abuse as a case for legalization. But I think it's missing the point. Obama is trying to protect us from following his path. He knows better than anyone that drug use will only lead to a future with a low-paying, soul-sucking job that causes you to age prematurely.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Crime, Drugs, Gary Johnson, Libertarian, Marijuana, Third Party
  • Rep. Bob Kingsbury, Kindergarten Cop

    There's a myth being perpetrated by the media that Republicans hate science. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is many right-wing politicians love conducting scientific research in their off time. Next to shutting down Planned Parenthoods, science is probably their favorite hobby.

    Take Rep. Bob Kingsbury of New Hampshire. He just discovered that making children attend kindergarten increases the crime rate. He did this by looking at two isolated sets of data that seemed to confirm his theory that making children attend kindergarten increases the crime rate. If that's not science, then neither is my hypothesis that Planned Parenthood is the number one cause of global warming.

    When he's not busy being an armchair social scientist, Kingsbury uses his powers of logic and reason as a state legislator

    Kingsbury has a history of taking conservative positions in the Tea Party-controlled State House. This includes partnering with supporters of birther queen Orly Taitz to push a bill to partially repeal the direct election of U.S. senators and sponsoring a bill that would raise the minimum age of judges from 18 to 60. Kingsbury has also sponsored legislation to require future state laws to be based on the Magna Carta and said in February that statehood for the District of Columbia could cause New Hampshire's crime rate to rise 25 percent. He is not currently planning kindergarten-related legislation.

    Kingsbury's legislative record makes it hard to believe he isn't planning a bill to put kindergarten teachers in jail for abetting future criminals. As it stands, Kingsbury's political allies refuse to comment on his research. The National Education Association of New Hampshire says there's no credible evidence against sending kids to kindergarten, but what do they know about crime?

    Maybe Kingsbury will have more support once his findings are finally accepted by the scientific community. But he'll need to be patient. After all, it took Galileo hundreds of years to convince everyone the earth was flat.

    Photo by Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

    Tags: Crime, Education, New Hampshire, Republicans, Tea Party
  • S.C. Judge Sentences Defendant to Bible Study

    It's well known that hot and dry places filled with religious extremists often produce judicial rulings that sound anomalous to Western ears. We've seen the phenomenon from Saudi Arabia to Iran to Pakistan and Sudan.

    South Carolina is not going to buck that trend

    What would Jesus do?

    A South Carolina judge not only sentenced a woman to eight years behind bars for driving drunk, but he also ordered the woman to read the Bible.

    According to the Herald of Rock Hill, Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles wants Cassandra Tolley to read the Old Testament and write for him a summary about Job.

    I guess this is what creeping Sharia looks like. It's fun to substitute "Quran" for "Old Testament" and "Surat Al-Fatḥ" for the "Book of Job," and imagine whether people would be so sanguine about a civil official mandating that course of religious study, even if, as in this case, the defendant gave her consent.

    Though at the same time, this woman can learn some powerful lessons from the Book of Job. After all, it's a story about a powerful, unaccountable authority figure being a dick to people under his command in order to teach an obscure lesson.

    Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Crime, Judiciary, Religion, South Carolina