When last we saw our heroes, Obama and Holder, Barack Obama was assuring the students at Ohio State that their government has only their best interests at heart and that they should not despair. Rather, they should participate fully. Vote early and often. After all, this country is all of us working together for the common good, rumors to the contrary.
[Teri’s note: First, the obligatory salute to the warrior class. It must be pointed out, since we all – including Obama himself – seem to have forgotten, that the president is the Commander in Chief to the Armed Forces. If you are not in the military, he is not your Commander in Chief, he is your President.]
[…] Consider that today, 50 ROTC cadets in your graduating class will become commissioned officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. (Applause.) A hundred and thirty of your fellow graduates have already served — some in combat, some on multiple deployments. (Applause.) Of the 98 veterans earning bachelor’s degrees today, 20 are graduating with honors, and at least one kept serving his fellow veterans when he came home by starting up a campus organization called Vets4Vets. And as your Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of all of you. (Applause.) […]
Now, if we’re being honest with ourselves, as you’ve studied and worked and served to become good citizens, the fact is that all too often the institutions that give structure to our society have, at times, betrayed your trust. In the run-up to the financial crisis, too many on Wall Street forgot that their obligations don’t end with what’s happening with their shares. […] [Teri’s note: And Wall Street is quite satisfied that the rest of us have forgotten their obligations, malfeasance, crimes, grift and theft. Luckily for Wall Street, Obama and Holder have complete amnesia about the whole state of affairs as it was then, and willful blindness as to what it is now.]
And that’s precisely what the Founders left us — the power, each of us, to adapt to changing times. They left us the keys to a system of self-government, the tools to do big things and important things together that we could not possibly do alone — to stretch railroads and electricity and a highway system across a sprawling continent. To educate our people with a system of public schools and land-grant colleges, including The Ohio State University. To care for the sick and the vulnerable, and provide a basic level of protection from falling into abject poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth. (Applause.) To conquer fascism and disease; to visit the Moon and Mars; to gradually secure our God-given rights for all of our citizens, regardless of who they are, or what they look like, or who they love. (Applause.)[…] [Teri’s note: Well, ain’t that a hoot coming from the guy who signed the sequester and the “fiscal cliff” bills, gave the insurance and pharma industries carte blanche on making as much cash as possible from a captive income pool, and is trying to gut social security, medicare, and sell off the TVA. He is also attempting to fast-track the TPP, a trade agreement that totally relinquishes our national sovereignty to corporate power. See: http://economyincrisis.org/content/the-trans-pacific-partnership-would-destroy-our-national-sovereignty]
Where we’re going should give you hope. Because while things are still hard for a lot of people, you have every reason to believe that your future is bright. You’re graduating into an economy and a job market that is steadily healing. […] [Teri’s note: Numbers? You want numbers? We can make up any numbers you want – we got accountants! Twenty-four point six, that’s a good number. Hey, we can give you forty-two – that’s the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything in it. How about a quadrillon – that’s a great number!]
“The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too. Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical, and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it,” he said. “That’s how we end up with lobbyists who set the agenda; and policies detached from what middle-class families face every day; the well-connected who publicly demand that Washington stay out of their business — and then whisper in government’s ear for special treatment that you don’t get.”[…] [Teri’s note: The man knows of which he speaks.]
A day or so later, he followed up this fine, fine speech with a little hint that he may be open to backdoor internet wiretaps of everyone all the time.
United States President Barack Obama is likely to endorse a Federal Bureau of Investigation effort that would ensure all Internet companies in the US provide a way for the government to conduct undetected, backdoor surveillance.[…]
Eric Holder, for his part, was revealing plans to use his good offices to sue the arch-criminal, Lance Armstrong, on behalf of the citizens of the United States, who have been much abused by this nefarious character.
Ah, but today, the dynamic duo wants you to know that they have Justice in their Hearts and the Sword of Righteousness in their Hands. For, lo, Holder and Obama are coming to the defense of a person badly wronged a few years ago. They would like to correct his sentence, which was obviously and egregiously too harsh, by reducing his sentence by ten years. Considering that the criminals doing the same fucking thing as he did in the intervening years since his sentencing have never even faced charges, this is the only reasonable thing to do. USA number one! Go, go, Team Justice! Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers!
“The Obama administration’s Justice Department announced Wednesday that it has reached a deal with Jeffrey Skilling, the former chief operating officer of Enron that would see him released from jail as early as 2017, ten years ahead of his original sentence.”
A deal? What deal, you ask? How do you “cut a deal” with someone who has already been sentenced, you might wonder. Well, see, the poor fellow had been ordered to pay $40 mm or so in restitution (a joke of a settlement, in any case), but does not have to pay it as long as he still has appeals pending. So Holder and Obama, ever so bright and so solicitous of the public weal, are offering him a deal wherein he ends his appeal processes and actually pays the restitution in exchange for ten years off his sentence (currently being served at Club Fed).
[…] Skilling was found guilty in 2006 of conspiracy, insider trading and multiple charges of securities fraud relating to the collapse of Enron in 2001. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $45 million.
Along with former CEO Kenneth Lay, who died in 2006, Skilling systematically defrauded investors and siphoned money from millions of people by manipulating energy prices and employing false accounting. Among its many crimes, Enron defrauded the state of California out of billions of dollars during the 2000-2001 energy crisis by creating artificial energy shortages and jacking up prices.Enron’s bankruptcy in December 2001 led to thousands of layoffs, the collapse of the company’s stock price and the loss of billions of dollars by investors, including many of the company’s own employees.
Two billion dollars in employee pensions were wiped out, as well as $60 billion in stock. Five thousand employees lost their jobs, and 20,000 people lost their entire life savings. […]
The fine leveled on Skilling was a fraction of his salary at Enron, which in 2001 alone was $132 million. Now the government is allowing him to leverage his vast personal fortune, amassed through fraud, in order to get out of jail sooner.
As a multi-millionaire, Skilling was afforded every opportunity of legal defense, with multiple appeals, including a hearing before the Supreme Court. The ongoing legal procedures kept the $40 million in restitution he owed to his victims from being seized.[…]
What a thing of beauty it is to see the law work in such delicate and nuanced fashion. Solomon, I tell you, King Solomon himself, with God whispering in his ear, could not surpass the wisdom and righteousness of either Holder or Obama. Together, they are simply unstoppable.