Turn Out the Lights, the Revolution’s Over

Stick a fork in the Revolution!™, it’s done. Not that it had much of a chance from the get go. To illustrate this point, in Vermont, which by virtue of being Bernie’s home state should be the perfect proving ground for said revolution, turnout in the Democratic primary was down 13% over 2008. In Vermont. Where is that army of millennials and anti-Establishment types who will sweep Sanders into the White House and march in the streets of D.C. until Congress bends to his/their will? Must have taken a wrong turn at Burlington.

So the revolution was destined to be short-lived anyhoo, but Tuesday night killed it. History, finito, Dandy Don is singing, even Yogi Berra sez it’s over. The Sanders faithful probably won’t admit it, but if you look hard enough there’s probably a 90-year-old Japanese soldier on some remote island in the Pacific still fighting for the Emperor. Lord knows there are people in certain parts of this country who are still contesting the outcome of the Civil War. Those who fight for lost causes are always the last to know they’re lost.

After Super Tuesday the delegate count stands at somewhere in the neighborhood of 1005 for Hillary and 373 for Bernie. 2383 are needed to win the nomination, so it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon or a brain scientist to figure this one out.

And yes, I count the evil superdelegates. I know they are party leaders and elected officials of the Democratic Party, aka the (shudder) Establishment, and they overwhelmingly support Hillary. Why wouldn’t they? Hillary has spent decades in the Party fighting for Party candidates and Party causes. She is not some Bernie-come-lately who never wanted anything to do with Democrats until he wanted to run for president.

What killed the revolution? For one thing, the Sanders campaign’s great misunderestimation of the abiding strength and cohesion of the Obama coalition. You know, the one that decisively won the last two presidential elections. According to exit polls on Tuesday, 51% of Democratic voters said they want a continuation of Obama’s policies, 31% want a more liberal direction. So in hindsight it probably wasn’t a good idea to adopt a platform of running away from the Obama legacy and overturning his major accomplishments. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to call for Obama to be primaried in 2012, either. Ya think, Bern?

The Obama coalition? The voters without which no Democrat can win the nomination and without which no Democrat can win the General. Women, Latinos, Blacks. Women voted for Hillary in every state except Vermont. As was the case in South Carolina last Saturday, the Black vote went in the neighborhood of 85% for Hillary. In Texas, the Super Tuesday state with the largest Latino representation, 2/3 voted Clinton. Hillary also did well among White voters 45 and over. You know, the people who tend to show up on Election Day.

By contrast, Super Tuesday one again exposed Sanders’ greatest shortcoming—he doesn’t get minority support. It appears that he’s even stopped trying. Bernie put his major effort into and pinned his hopes on 5 Super Tuesday states—Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Colorado, Minnesota, and of course Vermont. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the 5 whitest states on the board. He won 4 of those.

The latest rationalization from the Sanders diehards just cracks me up. ‘Well, yeah….. Hillary won all those states, but she has no chance to get any of them in November, so there.’ So what? It’s called the Democratic Primary. Check out the list of states where Obama won primaries and caucuses in 2008. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. How many of those did he win in the General? How about zero.

It. Is. Over. And I could hear it in Hillary’s victory speech Tuesday night. She’s moved past Bernie and on to going after the presumptive Republican nominee, The Donald. Sanders has promised to keep going until the convention and I’m sure his faithful will follow. Why I don’t know. Better ask that Japanese soldier and the ‘South shall rise again’ crowd, I suppose.

Climbing Aboard the Hillary Train

I have an admission to make. It isn’t the popular or trendy one (but if you took a look in my closet you would see these are not words that affect my decisions) and it will almost certainly deny me a seat at the cool kid’s table in the cafeteria, but here goes.

Hi, my name is Craig and I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter.

There, I said it. Whew! This was not an easy destination for me. In 2008 I was the furthest thing you could get from a Clintonite. But times change, circumstances change, this isn’t 2008, and despite what the ardent Sandernistas would have us believe, Bernie Sanders ain’t no Barack Obama. And if my support for Hillary makes me a shill for corporations, a tool of Wall Street, a supporter of the oligarchy, a defender of The Establishment, and a lackey for the 1%, so be it. I’ve been called worse. What I do support and defend is reality, arithmetic, facts, and truth. However un-revolutionary that may be.

Unfortunately, I bear a few burdens and carry more than a few battle scars and subsequent lessons learned from this long, strange, trip we call life that lands me in the Clinton camp this time around. In no particular order:

There ain’t no free lunch, and anybody who tells me there is gets a great big ol’ sideways look and an “Unh huh, what’s the catch?” from me. It sounds good to an idealistic, innocent twenty-something—it would have to me many moons ago when I was that age and a babe in the woods of life. Not so much anymore. Everything costs something. And ‘somebody else will pay for it’ smells like 8-day-old road kill. Along this line, simple solutions get a wary eye from me, too. We have problems to be dealt with in this country, for sure. The undue influence of money in politics, access to health care, income inequality, the cost of a college education, to name a few. These are complex issues with many moving parts and the answers aren’t as easy as overturn Citizen’s United, Medicare for All, break up the banks, tax the rich, and free tuition. The fixes also aren’t quick. They will take time and commitment, not just a momentary Revolution!

I have a deep admiration and respect for President Obama. What this man has accomplished in the face of political adversity and opposition has been nothing short of remarkable. That opposition has come from both his enemies and his supposed friends, by the way. From the right because…well, just because that’s what they do, and from the left because of a good case of unrealistic expectations and unicorn hunting. As Democrats are wont to do, they show up for the presidential election and then check out. ‘OK, we elected you, now wave your magic wand and go do everything you promised. Mid-terms? What’s that? We’ll see you in 4 years.’ In spite of that, the list of Obama’s accomplishments is looooooooong. Saving the economy, health care reform, saving the auto industry…..it would take too much space for the entire roll call.

Now if my 2 choices to succeed Obama are one who embraces his accomplishments and his legacy, and promises to build on the foundation he has laid, or one who seldom misses an opportunity to take a shot at Obama, who called for Obama to be primaried in 2012, and who wants to risk tossing away 8 years of progress for a wish list of half-baked, pie-in -the-sky foolishness, that choice would be a no-brainer in my book.

I also carry the burden of having a pretty good civics education in my younger days, and a pretty good knowledge of how politics works from a few decades of observing and participating in the process. Promise all you want, what can you get done? And getting things done in our system requires the ability to form consensus and reach common ground with friend and foe alike. Which generally means first and foremost being a member of, and having a solid base of support in, one of one of the 2 major parties. Hillary Clinton is a Democrat, has been a Democrat, has worked with Democrats currently in the Congress, and has the confidence of her fellow Democrats in her ability to not only work with them but with Republicans as well. She knows from experience how the process works because as First Lady she watched her husband get things done despite a Republican Congress, and she was a Cabinet member when President Obama got things done despite a Republican Congress. Hillary also cares about, and has a proven commitment to, Democratic candidates other than herself. So far she has raised over $18 million for the DNC to assist in the down ballot races. Bernie? Zero.

Bernie Sanders never wanted to be affiliated with the Democratic Party until he decided to run for president. Who are the people in the Senate he works with? Here’s a little barometer. Bernie’s 3 big ideas are Medicare for All, free college tuition, and a tax on financial transactions which will (allegedly) cover the cost of not only tuition but his trillion-dollar infrastructure plan as well. He has introduced legislation in the Senate over the last 3 years dealing with all three of these issues. So far those three pieces of legislation have a combined total of one co-sponsor. One. Add that to the number of Sanders’ colleagues in the Senate who have endorsed his run for the nomination and you get—-still one.

I also know this about the average American voter. Socialist Democrat ain’t gonna play in Peoria. Try and explain it the Sanders people can do all they want, the American voter, the vast majority who aren’t political junkies and who begin to pay attention sometime after Labor Day, will hear “socialist” and no further. The Republican nominee and the GOP attack machine will beat that drum from nomination ‘til November and have Americans convinced that Bernie Sanders is a cross between Marx and Mao. What also won’t sell is higher taxes. The last presidential candidate to proudly run on that promise was a guy named Mondale. I believe he carried 1 state in the election of 1984. Want some more buzz words that the average voter doesn’t give two flying figs about? The Establishment, the 1%, Wall Street, oligarchy. These all mean something to political wonks and those of us who follow this stuff daily. The great majority, the people who ultimately decide the outcome of presidential elections…Do. Not. Care.

I also suffer from a working knowledge of arithmetic. Whether on taxes, health care, college tuition, infrastructure, or any other plank of the Sanders platform, the numbers just flat don’t add up. Across the board it is nothing more than the left’s version of voodoo economics. No different than ‘cutting taxes will bring in more revenue, create jobs, and spur economic growth for everyone’, aka trickle-down. We all know how that worked out. Just because the snake oil is being peddled by a salesman on the left instead of the right doesn’t make it any less snake oil.

Age and maturity have also tempered the need for everything to be exciting. “Single payer” gets the adrenaline pumping more than incrementally improving the ACA, “break up the banks” is more sexy than improving Dodd-Frank, and “free college tuition” has much more eye and ear appeal than making college more affordable and reducing student debt. Some have described what Hillary Clinton is proposing as boring and unambitious. One person’s boring and unambitious is another person’s real and achievable. I’ll take 70% of something over 100% of nothing six days a week and twice on Sunday.

Sometimes things just work out right. Hillary Clinton wasn’t meant to be the president to precede Barack Obama. After the Bush years Obama was the right person for the job. The country needed a major shift of historic proportions and we got it. However, Hillary is exactly the right person to be the president who succeeds Obama. The right policies, the right temperament, and a firm grip on reality and what is achievable under the circumstances. We don’t need no stinkin’ revolution.

You Say You Want a Revolution…

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…well you know, we don’t need one.
Let me get his out of the way first. I could not possibly care less about who gets the Republican nomination for president. Doesn’t matter one iota to me, I ain’t voting for any of them. No way, no how. I do, however, care who gets the Democratic nomination. Very much. Much has been gained during the Obama administration, naysayers on the left notwithstanding, and much stands to be lost should Democrats nominate the wrong person. The wrong person is Bernie Sanders.

I suppose that by the time one is pushing 60 years of life on this thing we call Earth, one should find very little at which to be surprised. One would be wrong. I find myself surprised at the intelligent, pragmatic, and otherwise generally clear-thinking and practical people who have been and continue to be taken in by the so-called Bernie Sanders revolution.

This isn’t original (read it somewhere but can’t remember where, another consequence of those nearly 60 years) but I wholeheartedly agree with it. The 2016 election isn’t about changing the guard, it’s about guarding the change. We changed the guard in 2008. After 8 years of the utter disaster that was Bush/Cheney, the American people were ready for a new direction–a completely different direction–we got that with the historic election of Barack Obama. Now we need a president who can guard the change. Who can first and foremost protect what has been accomplished and, where possible, make some incremental improvements. That isn’t nearly as exciting and sexy as “revolution” but I’ll take it 7 days a week and twice on Sunday.

I suppose the appeal of the revolution is that it sounds so good and so simple. Medicare For All, Break Up the Banks, Overturn Citizens United. Yeah buddy, let’s do it. But drill down a little bit and it isn’t quite that good or that simple. Yes, the cost of health care is still a problem, the power of Wall Street is as well, and the influence of money on political campaigns needs to be addressed. But all these are complex and intricate issues which have reached the point they are now over years and even decades. They won’t be fixed with simple slogans and 8 page plans that don’t take into account the ramifications that would ensue should they be enacted.

Medicare For All. Does anybody actually believe that the health care needs of a family of four can be covered for $460 a year and paid for by nothing but a measly 2% increase in income taxes? Doesn’t pass my smell test. The state of Vermont found that out with their attempt to implement single-payer. When pencil met paper the result was closer to a 20 percent tax hike and a doubling of state expenditures.

Abolish private health insurance? What about the millions of Americans who make their living working for them? The private insurers aren’t just the few fat cat CEOs who sit at the top receiving exorbitant compensation. There are millions of Americans who work for not only those companies directly but whose jobs are dependant on their existence. Claims, billing, etc. What happens to them if private health insurance goes away? Does the Sanders plan lay out what happens to them should the “revolution” hit health care, and what would be the effects on the economy as a whole should private health insurance be outlawed? Nope.

The way forward is not to scrap the ACA after only 5 years, but to build on it. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, none of these were perfect originally, neither is the ACA. But it’s damn sure better than what we had before, and in its infancy and with all its shortcomings has helped millions of Americans. To scrap it for a hastily concocted and not well thought out alternative would be foolish.

Break Up The Big Banks. Okay, then what?

“For example, to break up the big banks sounds good and well but what happens to the customers of those banks that rely on them for their savings accounts? What about small businesses that rely on those banks for loans? What about homeowners who pay a mortgage through the bank? Are all these accounts then shifted toward community banks? If so, which ones? What if this new bank is far away from someone’s home or business?”

And again, what is the effect on the economy of the break up and the loss of jobs sure to follow? As with the private insurers, these institutions are a significant portion of our economy and encompass more than just the guys at the top who get all the headlines. Lots of jobs for people not named Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein depend on Chase, Bank of America, Citi, et al. What happens to those people?

No, we don’t need to take that risk. Dodd-Frank, despite all its imperfections, is doing its job. Could it be stronger? Absolutely. But gradually and incrementally, as boring as that is, is the only way to proceed, both practically and politically.

Overturn Citizens United. This is a recording, it ain’t that simple. The Supreme Court can’t just take it upon themselves to overturn a standing decision. A case must be brought, in almost every situation, after having gone through years in lower courts. This whole “money is speech” and “corporations are people” mess got started with the Buckley v Valeo decision. In 1976. The rotten fruit of that decision became Citizens United. In 2010. For those keeping score, that’s 34 years. Changing the system will take time and a Supreme Court amenable to hearing and reviewing cases brought before it. We don’t have that now, revolution notwithstanding.

Just to be really blunt, Sanders can’t win in November. I know his supporters like to claim that he polls better against Republican candidates than does Hillary Clinton. Two things about that. One, January polls are about as predictive of November election results as Tarot cards and tea leaves. Two, should Sanders be nominated, and once Republicans settle on a nominee and turn all their blazing guns on Sanders, he will be destroyed by months of negative and yet more negative ads. He will go down and take a lot of people and a lot of progress with him in the process.

We can’t afford to let that happen. Change is hard, change takes time, and nobody waves a magic wand. The way forward is to build on the solid foundation laid by what will be the 8 years of President Obama. Given the two choice facing Democratic primary voters (sorry Martin, but it’s true) Hillary Clinton is the right person for that job.

Proud to be a War Criminal

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The war criminals have been crawling out of the woodwork lately. Boasting about being part of the Bush administration Ministry of Torture seems to be the thing to do lately. First there was former VP Dick Cheney in a speech at American University (who must be really desperate for guest speakers) on March 28 making the claim that I would expect from any demented sociopath, that torture isn’t really torture and that given the chance he would “do it all over again.”

Now the Washington Post (which must be equally desperate for opinion page contributors) runs an op-ed written by Jose Rodriguez Jr., the former head of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, denouncing the recently de-classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on terrorist interrogation practices, aka torture–which he hasn’t yet read.

Rodriguez gives three justifications for the program which he oversaw and now defends.

The first is an oldie but still a Bush administration stand by. Because 9/11. Because 9/11, the Bush-Cheney catch-all as a reason for torture, the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, and extraordinary rendition, among many more. Because 9/11, the flag under which a whole host of nefarious activities flew.

The second is one Cheney also like to fall back on–torture worked. Well no it didn’t, and there’s no credible evidence to prove that it did. Zero Dark Thirty is a movie, not a documentary. But let’s indulge the war criminals for a moment. So what if it did work? Robbing a bank is an effective means of solving one’s financial problems. Carjacking is an effective means of solving one’s transportation issues. Doesn’t matter, it’s still against the law Torture is illegal, effective or not.

The third and final reason is one that goes back to the days of Nixon and Watergate. Torture was “approved at the highest levels of government” and “judged legal by the Justice Department.” The old “if the president does it…” rationale.

Earlier in the piece, Rodriguez accuses the Senate Intelligence Committee of starting with a conclusion and then chasing supportive evidence in regards to the effectiveness and management of the torture program. Isn’t that exactly what the Bush administration did? Yes, it is. They started with the conclusion that waterboarding wasn’t really torture (never mind that members of the Japanese military were found guilty and punished following WWII for using the same tactic) and then had a corrupt Attorney General and his equally corrupt, morally/ethically challenged underlings in the DOJ concoct memos with twisted legal justification for it.

Rodriguez should have a room reserved for him in Leavenworth. Right next door to the big Dick.

Drug Testing Welfare Applicants Struck Down in Florida

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The Republican Party’s War on the Poor took a hit on Tuesday:

“A federal judge on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.

Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando held that the testing requirement, the signature legislation of Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican who campaigned on the issue, violated the protection against unreasonable searches.

“The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,” she wrote. The ruling made permanent an earlier, temporary ban by the judge.”

Governor Scott promised to appeal:

“Mr. Scott, who had argued that the drug testing was necessary to protect children and ensure that tax money was not going to illegal drugs, said that the state would appeal the ruling.”

What about the tax money being wasted on unconstitutional drug testing, Governor Medicare Fraud?

“Only 108 out of 4,086 people tested — 2.6 percent — were found to have been using narcotics. State records showed that the requirement cost more money to carry out than it saved.”

Rocky Mountain High

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Bloomberg:

“Toni Fox plans to open the doors of her Denver marijuana shop at 8 a.m. tomorrow to a line of customers including some who camped overnight to be the first in the U.S. to legally buy pot for recreational use.

…Fox’s shop is among 14 in Denver that got state and local licenses in time to sell marijuana to anyone 21 or older starting Jan. 1, just over a year after Colorado and Washington voters made their states the first to legalize recreational use. Washington’s shops are expected to open later in the year.

Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue, according to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly. Wholesale transactions taxed at 15 percent will finance school construction, while the retail levy of 10 percent will fund regulation of the industry.”

Let’s go:

Strip Searches for Everybody!

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Same song, different verse:

“Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that…”

This time it’s about driving another nail into the coffin of the Fourth Amendment and the protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Strip searches for everybody!

“Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,” Justice Kennedy wrote, adding that about 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails.

The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities…The federal appeals courts had been split on the question, though most of them prohibited strip-searches unless they were based on a reasonable suspicion that contraband was present.”

Anybody still think this Court gives a damn about precedent and would hesitate for one minute before overturning the entirety of the Affordable Care Act? Dream on.

“Justice Breyer said that the Fourth Amendment should be understood to bar strip-searches of people arrested for minor offenses not involving drugs or violence, unless officials had a reasonable suspicion that they were carrying contraband.”

But this is what passes for reason on the Roberts Court:

“Justice Kennedy responded that “people detained for minor offenses can turn out to be the most devious and dangerous criminals.” He noted that Timothy McVeigh, later put to death for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was first arrested for driving without a license plate. “One of the terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks was stopped and ticketed for speeding just two days before hijacking Flight 93,” Justice Kennedy added.”

So let’s take the most extreme examples we can think of and use it as justification to strip search everybody who has an expired license plate or inspection sticker. Who knows, law enforcement might accidentally stumble onto one those “devious and dangerous criminals” who drive around with a burned-out tail light. And if the hijacker had been strip-searched on September 9 are we to assume that he had the plans for 9/11 shoved up his ass?

I’m convinced more and more every day that we’d be better off with the Diana Ross Supremes making decisions rather than this group of 5 Barnum and Bailey rejects in black robes.

While We Wait, a Prediction

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Now that the Supremes have finished hearing arguments and begin to deliberate the fate of the Affordable Care Act it seems to be the time for predictions on how they’ll rule, so I’ll throw in my $0.02 worth.

I see a 5-4 decision to not only throw out the individual mandate but the entire law. The reason being that without the individual mandate the entire law collapses. Justice Scalia said as much when he remarked about the “cruel and unusual punishment” which would be forced upon the Court if they had to go through all 2,700 pages of the ACA and decide what stays and what goes.

Some of the so-called “experts” who have been following the proceedings have opined that the Supreme Court would be overstepping its bounds and ignoring precedent to make such a sweeping move. I would ask those who hold this belief if they were asleep when the Citizens United decision came down. That’s exactly what the Court did in that instance. They ignored 100 years of precedent in campaign finance law and expanded the scope of their decision well beyond the parameters of the original case in throwing out almost all limits and restrictions on contributions and doing away with transparency concerning those contributions.

So what will result from overturning the ACA? I would like to think it would be a starting point for Democrats to begin a push toward some kind of a single-payer system, but that would require backbone, something I haven’t seen much evidence of, so I doubt seriously it will happen. The more likely outcome will be that reforming our broken system will be viewed as politically toxic and one will want to touch it for the foreseeable future. Until the foreseeable future meaning the time when the entire for-profit health care system collapses, which it inevitably will.

We’ll go back to the pre-ACA system where premiums skyrocket and coverage decreases every year until health insurance will become one more thing that is limited to those privileged few who can afford it. Those who can’t are just SOL. Insurance will become so costly that employers will stop providing it, the premiums will be so expensive that employees who are dropped won’t be able to purchase it, and those with pre-existing conditions won’t be able to get coverage at any price. The only care available to most people will be by way of the ER, and those will be so swamped with patients and so burdened by the costs that they will be forced to close. That may sound like gloom and doom but I don’t see any other alternative.

With the demise of the ACA and its Medicaid requirement on the states, conservatives and their ‘drown government in a bathtub’ pied pipers will also use the Court decision as a jumping off point to not only do away with that program but Medicare, Social Security and any number of other government programs as well. They will argue the constitutionality of anything that contains any form of government mandate, and if those cases come before this Court I don’t have much doubt that the outcomes will be similar.  Again, sorry to be so pessimistic but I don’t see much reason for optimism.

In closing, I have to make a comment on something James Carville said that just pisses me off, and makes for a sad commentary on the state of partisan politics in this country:

“I think that this will be the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic party because health care costs are going to escalate unbelievably,” said Carville. “Just as a professional Democrat, there’s nothing better to me than overturning this thing 5-4 and then the Republican party will own the health care system for the foreseeable future. And I really believe that. That is not spin.”

No, that’s not spin, it’s stupidity. And it’s not said as a “professional Democrat” but as a professional ignoramus.  It may or may not be a good thing for the Democratic party, Mr. Carville, but will it be “the best thing that ever happened” to the millions who are going to join the ever-increasing ranks of the uninsured because of those escalating costs? What about for those young adults who can no longer be covered by their parents policies or the people for whom Medicaid is their only access to health care?

No matter who “owns the health care system” and who gets the blame sick people won’t be able to get treatment and some will die for lack of care. But who cares about that, it’s more important that political points are scored. That sounds like something John Boehner or Mitch McConnell would say.

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Membership Has Its Privileges

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As they say in the American Express commercials, membership has its privileges. Membership in the Big Club is no different. It allows you to do things like ignore six subpoenas from the Feds:

“U.S. securities regulators accused Wells Fargo & Co on Friday of repeatedly ignoring its subpoenas for documents in connection with a probe into the bank’s $60 billion sale of mortgage-backed securities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing in a San Francisco federal court seeks to compel the fourth largest U.S. bank to hand over documents. The SEC said it has issued several subpoenas since September…According to the SEC’s Friday filing against Wells Fargo, the agency has issued six subpoenas to Wells Fargo since September 30.”

Try that one time and see what happens to you. Membership also allows you to lie to Congress without any fear of repercussions:

“Jon S. Corzine, MF Global’s chief executive officer [also former CEO of Goldman Sachs as well as New Jersey’s former governor and senator], gave “direct instructions” to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to a memo written by congressional investigators.

Edith O’Brien, a treasurer for the firm, said in an e-mail quoted in the memo that the transfer was “Per JC’s direct instructions,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The e-mail, dated Oct. 28, was sent three days before the company collapsed, the memo says.

[..]

Corzine, 65, in testimony in front of the House panel in December, said he did not order any improper transfer of customer funds. Corzine also testified that he never intended a misuse of customer funds at MF Global, and that he doesn’t know where client funds went.

“I never gave any instruction to misuse customer funds, I never intended anyone at MF Global to misuse customer funds and I don’t believe that anything I said could reasonably have been interpreted as an instruction to misuse customer funds,” Corzine told lawmakers in December.”

Anybody think Corzine will be held accountable? If you do I’ve got a bridge for sale. Cheap.