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Heated argument

By Tom Toles



Friday rant, Eliot Spitzer rehabilitation edition

Well, this week the Wall Street financial scandal delivered up a suitably farcical posterboy in Fabulous Fab, and we all had a good time with that, but let's not get distracted. Eliot Spitzer, writing with William Black at new deal 2.0 (tag-team typing?), asks some excellent questions:

Why have there been no criminal charges? Why did the SEC only name a relatively low-level Goldman officer in its complaint? Where are the prosecutors?

Yes, where are the prosecutors? The Goldman indictment aside, somehow the reported version of events has become that despite the fact that these deals were of a complexity that no human on earth, The Fab included, could possibly understand, the one thing everyone seems willing to assert with confidence is that "it was all perfectly legal."

Not MERELY legal in some technical sense, no, PERFECTLY legal. I'm not so sure about that, myself. Despite the fact that Wall Street made off with the money and most of the legal restrictions on its behavior, I'm guessing that there just may still be some laws about conducting and reporting fraudulent business, somewhere. And just possibly, some actual indictable HUMAN BEINGS might have been involved.

"Mistakes were made" gets you off the hook for small stuff. What we are talking about here is WANTONLY irresponsible behavior that had devastating consequences. The whole fabric of law and society is built on a foundation of accountability and punishment for malfeasance, which is every bit as important with regard to deterrence as new legislation. We'll know it when we see it, and we haven't seen it yet. --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | April 30, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Environment & global warming  
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Posted by: hejiheji0011 | May 4, 2010 2:41 AM | Report abuse

The criminal investigation is now underway:

Posted by: wanderingjoke | April 30, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Eliot Spitzer “tag teams” are high priced hookers. Seriously though, have you now jumped on the “lets all rehabilitate this great man Spitzer” bandwagon?

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | April 30, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm at a loss to see how the eruption in Iceland relates to the global warming issue...beyond pointing out how little humans have to do with the condition and future of the planet. Forces far beyond the control or even comprehension of humans dictate that here on the earth and in space -- primarily the sun. It's time to reign in those attempting to make bundles of money or gain influence through the great "environmental scare" hoax. We need to be respectful of the environment for our own sake, but nothing we are able to do will destroy the planet or save it from continuing the cyclical changes it has experienced for billions of years.

Posted by: peteJ | April 30, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Al Gore bought a condo in San Francisco.

It really has nothing to do with the veracity of climate change science, but I thought you'd appreciate the clarification, since you're obviously so obsessed with what he does.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 30, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Al Gore is no longer worried about the rising sea level since he just increased his own already humongous carbon foot print by buying a huge mansion by the ocean.

Posted by: taxcutsin12 | April 30, 2010 5:07 AM | Report abuse

"Drill, Baby, Drill!"

...quickly turned to "Burn, Baby, Burn," and it aint no Disco Inferno.

How about next time, "Think, Baby, Think," or is that what many of you have Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck do for you?

Really? This is the best energy source? Are you kidding? I thought there were a few smart people on this planet. Now, if we can get their inventions and ideas out of jail by Big (Burning) Oil, maybe we can get somewhere.

Capitalism is NOT the best engine for invention. The big boys buy up the alternatives and squash 'em. How's THAT for progress?

Did you know the FIRST production automobile in the US was electric? Remember the electric cars in the 70s? Did technology somehow go backwards? Didn't evolve? You believe that? Really? Because if you do, I'm wasting my energy, so to speak.

Check out this magnetic motor. Runs cars. Runs a house. Just ONE of many alternatives being suppressed.

Posted by: Thinker_ | April 30, 2010 3:29 AM | Report abuse

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