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At Metro, high fares and steep climbs

By Washington Post editors

Friday Rant
So Eric Holder has announced both civil and CRIMINAL investigations regarding the oil spill. They'll be looking into FALSE STATEMENTS! CONSPIRACY! These things are apparently ILLEGAL NOW! Criminally so! So if you are picturing a crazed cartoonist perched atop a bookshelf (and you should be) ready to pounce on why these same things are "perfectly legal" when done by the financial sector, well here I go.

The pipeline of crude that Wall Street built ran right through America's family room. Newly jobless mom and dad staggered out, covered in goo, just in time to watch their house slide into foreclosure. The wizards of finance didn't even have the wherewithal to try a top kill or a junk shot or siphon hose or robot sub. THEIR top hats came off their heads and were held out directly to the government. But haven't they paid their debt back? AS IF! Oil companies are expected to CLEAN UP and PAY DAMAGES. How many jobs were lost in the financial meltdown? Businesses ruined? Families devastated? Oh, but profits are BACK at the BANKS! Time for some BONUSES!

Don't TELL me no laws were broken. I say it's time for some prosecutorial work that is one-tenth as creative as the financial instruments the wizards devised.
--Tom Toles


By Washington Post editors  | June 4, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Metro  
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I don't have any inside knowledge, but based on how and when Obama uses Holder, it appears Holder is sent into a situation when Obama doesn't want to actually do anything, but when political pressure makes the appearance of action necessary.

Posted by: Skeptic1 | June 7, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"All better"

Of course it is better. And will continue to get better. But that does not mean we will never make another mistake. That is our fate. We make mistakes and we fix problems. But we do not fix the problem of having more problems.


Just show some patience Mr. Toles. it might catch on.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 6, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Not one person lost thier home as a direct result of banks collapsing. It's the other way around. People defaulting on loans they took out that they couldn't afford degraded mortgage backed securities that caused the market to get skittish and go into sell mode creating a crash.

If people had simply lived within thier means we wouldn't be in this mess. Accountability starts with everyone that got a loan they couldn't afford. Did the banks facilitate this? Of course they did, but no one was forced to take out these loans.

Simply because a product is offered doesn't mean one has to take it.

Posted by: BradG | June 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The mess on Wall Street and the Gulf of Mexico can be traced to two essential sources - A president who thinks of himself as a "senator emeritus" rather than a chief executive and a Congress populated by "indentured servants" of the economic elite, corporations, and venal lobbyists who finance their reelection campaigns.
If President Obama had the courage he needs to address emergencies, he would have declared an unconditional moratorium on all offshore drilling for oil and gas within one week of the initial Gulf disaster, and would have closed down every BP oil rig in the Gulf until the gusher was plugged and the cleanup was completed.
The Wall Street catastrophe is opened to repetition by Obama's refusal to consider reinstating Glass Stegall legislation and his appointment of Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner to posiions of authority which allows them to protect the interests of their virtual employer, Goldman Sachs.
Despite his significant achievements in health care reform, Obama seems destined to rival George II for a clueless presidency.

Posted by: TeaPartyDemocrat | June 4, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Tom, keep screaming at the top of your lungs. I have noticed today now that people have seen the photos of the dying birds almost entombed in crude oil they are both furious and in a state of despair. The dying Gulf is the true price of gas and all oil products.

Posted by: saami | June 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The Path of our Sorrow

Miss Freeland said, "During the Great War we fed the world. We couldn't grow enough wheat to fill all the bellies. The price the world paid for our wheat was so high it swelled our wallets and our heads,and we bought bigger tractors, more acres, until we had mortgages and rent and bills beyond reason, but we all felt so useful, we didn't notice. Then the war ended and before long, Europe didn't need our wheat anymore, they could grow their own. But we needed Europe's money to pay our mortgage, our rent, our bills. We squeezed more cattle, more sheep, onto less land, and they grazed down the stubble till they reached root. And the price of wheat kept dropping so we had to grow more bushels to make the same amount of money we made before, to pay for all that equipment, all that land, and the more sod we plowed up, the drier things got, because the water that used to collect there under the grass, biding its time, keeping things alive through the dry spells wasn't there anymore. Without the sod the water vanished, the soil turned to dust. Until the wind took it, lifting it up and carrying it away.

Such sorrow doesn't come suddenly, there are a thousand steps to take before you get there."

But now, sorrow climbs up our front steps, big as Texas, and we didn't even see it coming, even though it'd been making its way straight for us all along.
---Karen Hesse----

Same thing only different...

Posted by: bertzel | June 4, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Nice job, Tom.

Posted by: upperdeck4 | June 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Good observation Tom. However, it won't matter who is to blame, or hammer with law, when the ocean's life sustaining environmental mechanism continues to be
severely compromised by over fishing,
oil spills, waste dumping, & industrial activity effecting water temperature.

Some time ago, a character in "Shoe" said:
"Stupidity is a condition, Arrogance is a choice". Or was it intentional arrogance
is a condition of terminal stupidity?

Posted by: coyotegordy | June 4, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Very well put, Tom. Keep the heat up.

Posted by: shripadd | June 4, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Well said.


Posted by: irharris | June 4, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr Toles, for this 'Crude for Thought'

Posted by: akoenig2 | June 4, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I'm convinced that BP will wriggle out of this mess like the oil-coated snakes that they are. When all is said and done, I believe it will be the taxpayer that ends up with the bill while BP walks away with all of the profits.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | June 4, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Tom why never a rant on Al Gore's bogus global warming and carbon offset empire expected to madoff any day? Doesn't it seem odd Gore would be so concerned about how much carbon everyone else uses, but at the same time has amassed a $100 Mil fortune, owns a $1m mansion in Carthage, Tenn, $3.3m mansion in Nashville, $1.1m mansion in Arlington, $8.9m seaside mansion in California and 100ft houseboat? You would think someone preaching the need for a lower carbon footprint to save the planet would be setting a better example like you do.

Posted by: taxcutsin12 | June 4, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

I live in Paris France Ive been looking at Toles' cartoons every day for years .

I find these new article a delight to read.
Intelligent, funny, sometimes rightfully cruel .


Posted by: la-mute | June 4, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Sure, let Attorney General Holder start all this now, wreck the value of BP, and then they claim they are broke and can't afford to clean up the mess they made. Their stock value has been plummeting. Holder will really help that problem. Before he goes after BP let them clean up and pay for the mess first. In the meantime why doesn't he prosecute the six figure lawyers in the SEC and other departments who spend their working days watching porn? And while he is at it prosecute regulators that didn't do their job to patrol Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the private mortgage companies. I wish he could prosecute private individuals who lied on mortgage applications for houses that they could not afford. It sure is frustrating for the individual who gets up everyday, goes to his regular job, pays his taxes, pays his bills, and stays out of trouble to watch those who screw up on a Nation wide level. Fire everyone.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 4, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse


That was positively poetic.

Posted by: SuperGriz | June 4, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Love your work. Love your column but also love the rule of law. I know it stinks that the biggest crime of the century broke no...sorry, you don't want to hear it...

Love the rant but why not rant about making it illegal to sell something you don't own (naked shorting) or charge 100 times the cost for credit card transactions or letting insurance companies deny coverage they're legally required to cover...

Posted by: EarlyBird1 | June 3, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Tom, librods run escalator maintenance just as librods ran Fannie and Freddie making millions for themselves by making sure people who couldn't afford homes got expensive unaffordable houses. Maybe you should explore a bit of change yourself by criticizing and drawing more donkeys so you wouldn't have to use so much disgusting capitalization.

Posted by: carbonhog | June 3, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to direct your attention back to the Exxon-Valdez fiasco. That corp. had the damaged parties tied up in court for MANY years! They waited for them to die or fade away and ended up paying only a small portion in damages. It was chump change to them! Look for BP to pull the same crap!

Posted by: rtha | June 3, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles,
Although I have remained silent with words, I continue to feel the unbalance of the Earth, how families, businesses alike have been "slimed" by "goo" Wall Street, there's nothing to clean off the damage of their lives and livelihood.

Where's the infomercial with the grease remover for this mess? Just one long sign post with a bunch of arrows pointing blame away from Robert Gibbs initial statement the day following the oil disaster, that this is no big deal and will happen away. Wrong buddy, wrong script, apathy doesn't work.

Over six weeks into this, some genius decides that to set the stage for the sequel of the Exxon Valdez spill, complete with the director James Cameron, for The Abyss, giving counsel to the White House. Weak leadership to hide behind the veil of criminal and civil investigations, now that's comedy and tragedy all smeared together.

With that being said, how many other oil rigs have been designed in the same manner, how old are these things, and to whom do they belong, BP??? Every home appliance and business has emergency shut off valves, or is that too basic in the name of profit for oil rigs? Who said these designed these things? The blue prints and the inspectors that approved these things should be made for public viewing on the internet; to accompany the oil spill controlled footage.

We DEMAND answers, not legal nonsense stretched out over the years, in between the Blagojevich’s federal fraud and racketeering trial starring subpoenaed Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

This Administration continues with the Wednesday night White House parties, erstwhile these families have nothing but images of oil stained, water, the eco-system in disrepair. Mr. Global Warming (Al Gore) and T. Boone Pickens, not a peep was heard, just oil soaked crickets. Pickens made big $$ from oil, he’s must be getting his passport updated and wiring his money to other countries.

Cheers to your Rant, Mr. Toles. It's good to be alive during these times, as the stories unfold, not the watered down version the history books will sanitize these coming years.

A good weekend to you and yours.

(Global) warmly, fromthecheapseats

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | June 3, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

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