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UPDATE: has released a petition pushing President Obama to end Too Big To Jail.  Please sign:

Sorry to hog the feed and thank you for putting me on the rec list.  I figured you all would like this.  Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore:

"The idea that some banks are 'too big to jail' is outrageous," says Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, who is pressing for prosecution. "In America, we live by the ideal that we are all equal under the law, and when ordinary Americans get caught in criminal wrongdoing, they must pay the price and accept their punishment," says Merkley, adding: "It is unacceptable that some would be exempted from the rule of law—in this case, for extremely serious crimes of money laundering for drug cartels and terrorists—because they are employed by a large bank." - U.S. News, 3/8/13
Here's a little background on Merkley's quote:

A day after Attorney General Eric Holder asserted that prosecutions of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions have lagged because they are, in fact, “too large” to prosecute, a pair of Democratic senators again challenged regulators over the lack of legal oversight into the banks’ activities before and after the financial crisis.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley (D), a strong supporter of financial regulation and author of many of the new rules in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, joined in the criticism by questioning Holder’s assertion that large banks were “too big” to prosecute and wondered if Wall Street had become a “prosecution-free zone”:

Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee he was concerned that the size of some banks had made prosecuting them difficult because their downfall could damage the financial system and economy.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) contended that this claim suggested that “we have a prosecution-free zone for large banks in America.” - 3/7/13

Merkley was on of a few Senate Democrats to slam the Treasury and the Federal Reserve over their handling of ­anti-money-laundering cases and regulators not doing enough to go after big banks who have been accused of violating U.S. laws:

“If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, chances are good you’re going to go to jail,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said during a Senate banking committee hearing Thursday. “Evidentially, if you laundered nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels . . . your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed.”

Warren’s remarks arose out of a discussion about regulators’ decision not to shut down HSBC or remove any of its employees for allegedly laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. The British bank agreed to pay $1.9 billion in December to settle charges raised in a 340-page report from the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations.

The report detailed years of poor monitoring practices at HSBC’s affiliate in Mexico, including instances of affiliates flouting government safeguards meant to block funding for terrorists. Lawmakers were puzzled when no criminal charges were filed despite the evidence.

Referencing that case, members of the committee voiced concerns about comments made a day earlier by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who said the size of financial institutions may inhibit prosecution. - Washington Post, 3/7/13

Senators Sherrod Brown (D. OH) and Chuck Grassley (R. IA) have also challenged the Justice Department for not doing enough.  Regulators have instead made settlements with the banks instead of prosecutions.  Brown and Senator David Vitter (R. LA) have both called for legislation breaking up these big banks:

Hopefully these hearings and Holder's confession about "too big to fail banks are too big to jail" will lead to a public call for Wall Street accountability.  Call your Congressman and Senator and demand for more prosecutions and to put an end to to "Too Big To Fail".



And how about donating to Merkley's 2014 re-election campaign as way of saying thanks for continuing his fight to hold Wall Street accountable:

3:07 PM PT: has a petition pushing Obama to end Too Big To Jail.  Please sign:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:04 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, PDX Metro, Koscadia, Daily Kos Oregon, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No one can put HSBC in jail for money laundering. (3+ / 0-)

    Now, individuals employed there?  Sure.

    The account manager in NJ who approved the money laundering?  Go for it.  Prosecute him/her.  It won't make the news feed on Yahoo.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:20:13 PM PST

  •  Hog the feed as much as you want! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Penny GC, Words In Action
  •  Merkeley is fast becoming one of our best. (12+ / 0-)

     Had the Democratic Leadership listened to him and his partner in pushing filibuster reform, Marc Udall, the Democrats would have actual control in the U.S. Senate!

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 02:53:46 PM PST

  •  Never seen that look in his eyes (11+ / 0-)

    This guy is my Senator so I've seen a lot of him but I have to tell you, I've never seen him appear that intense.  He must have been pretty ticked off.  I don't blame him.  Banks above the law?  I've been complaining about the size of the banks since 2007 have moved my money to small banks and credit unions.  But, sadly, nothing has changed....maybe Senator Merkley can get some traction.  Hope so.

  •  Wow, is the political class (5+ / 0-)

    actually going to try to take some of their power back? Funny how their power ebbed right when they abandoned the rule of law.

    Stupid dickweeds. (That's not for Merkley or Warren or any of the 5-10 good guys up there in the Senate).

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 03:02:09 PM PST

  •  More and more this guy's looking like the real (10+ / 0-)

    deal. Here's his statement on voting against Brennan:

    “The Bush Administration was far too quick to sacrifice our core constitutional values that guarantee freedom in the name of fighting terrorism, and while the Obama administration has attempted to turn the page on some important infringements on civil liberties, too many of those Bush-era policies continue. We need new leadership in our intelligence community to help steer our nation toward a clear re-affirmation of our values. John Brennan, an inside player in both administrations, is not the right person for that job.

    “I have deep concerns with the Obama Administration’s continuation of Bush-era policies related to warrantless wiretapping and the collection of electronic records pertaining to the activities of ordinary citizens.  I have concerns about policies that allow the administration to strip due process rights from Americans it chooses to deem enemy combatants.  Those lost rights constitute core Constitutional values including the requirement to show cause for detaining a citizen, the right to a public trial, and the right to confront those who bear evidence against you.   I am also deeply concerned about the implications of the administration’s policy on drone strikes.  And I am troubled that so much of the legal justification for these policies remains secret, preventing Congress, let alone the American people, from weighing the trade-offs.

    “We can and should protect America from our enemies without compromising the very essence of American freedom and rule of law.  We need someone at the CIA who will lead us towards counterterrorism policies that reflect and respect Americans’ deep faith in our Constitution.  I don’t believe John Brennan is the right person for that challenge.”

    •  I think you have my diary mistaken with priceman's (0+ / 0-)

      diary on the rec list :)

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 04:55:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, not really. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, priceman, aliasalias

        No way Obama or Holder are going to hold them accountable.

        (Psssst, you have a a typo:  "President Obaam")

        •  Thanks for the typo and I am going to stay neutral (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Minnesota Deb

          here, can't default to either skepticism or optimism.  I'll take the "wait and see approach".  Plus who knows man.  Who knows what will become of this.  

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:07:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  *Thanks for catching the typo. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, poligirl, FarWestGirl

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:07:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And out of curiosity, if Obama and Holder don't do (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zinman, Minnesota Deb

          anything, what should we do?  See, I know I might come off as a prick when I comment on guys like priceman's diaries every now and then about how he isn't proposing any solutions or at any call to actions.  The reason why is not to antagonize, I just know how this community gets.  Tip & Rec a rant, post angry comments, push depressing, skeptical narrative tone, later, rinse repeat.  I am greatly impressed by what this community can get done when they're fired up and proactive, not depressed.  

          And I am not trying to be mean to Occupiers but I have communicated with some top ones before on Twitter about why they aren't making demands or making their case more clear and I've heard stuff like, "If we tell them our demands, they'll water them down.  Demand everything!"  Rhetoric is not a language.  Now I have stood up for the OWS movement several times.  I applauded them when they did the pull the money from the banks day, helped out during Hurricane Sandy and were buying people's debt so there they do serve a purpose.  It's just when i tried to point out the article in Rolling Stone about the infighting and OWS' future, they responded, "Don't let the corporate media fool you with a exaggeration about that story!" Rolling Stone's one of the few major publications that has painted OWS in a great light and because they wrote a critical article about the future of the movement, Marissa Holmes right hand man called it an exaggeration, it proves to me they want to criticize everyone and everything but they can't take any criticism.  Like turning down Ben & Jerry's money to help out with their movement was not a good idea.  How many occupiers could they have used that money to post bail?  How many permits could they have bought?  How many lawyers could they have hired to represent them?  When you start a movement driven by pure emotion, it can cloud your judgement.

          So my criticisms are not meant to be snark and I remember the last conversation i had with you, I tried to to carry a motivational narrative but you sort of rained on my parade with cynical rhetoric like "both sides are owned by the one percent" which came off as, "give up, game over".  Also, this is not an attack on you and you have been critical of me at times in some of our conversations (which I'm fine with) but I just don't see the point of tipping and reccing rant diaries that do nothing to motivate the community.

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:23:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Easy cop out: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poligirl, priceman, aliasalias
            See, I know I might come off as a prick when I comment on guys like priceman's diaries every now and then about how he isn't proposing any solutions or at any call to actions.
            What?  You want him to create a petition for all of us to sign that will go absolutely nowhere?

            FYI:  When citing and calling out problems, one doesn't need to include a solution, too.

            Where's your solution other than signing a petition?

            And I am not trying to be mean to Occupiers but I have communicated with some top ones before on Twitter about why they aren't making demands or making their case more clear
            They're too busy getting arrested in the police state we now live in to make their "demands" clearer for keyboard bloggers.

            That's just for starters of my reply to you. I have other obligations at the moment.

            I'll make an additional reply tomorrow.

            •  Looking forward to it. I don't mean petitions but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Minnesota Deb

              why not at least put links to where people can organize?  Or write a diary like this:


              See someone like price man has a large following and I understand why but when all you write is rants, you have to ask what it the point of it?  Now they are informative rants, sure, but what's their purpose?

              I also took action on the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act of 2013 by getting in touch with both Begich and Deutch's offices and they are working on getting me some suggestions on how to get the bill out to more people.  I don't know if it will pass but if can at least publicly make that case that Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit and stop these cuts from happening, that's a success.  

              Also, this answer doesn't full cut it:

              They're too busy getting arrested in the police state we now live in to make their "demands" clearer for keyboard bloggers.
              This just came off as a somewhat true answer with a frustrated response.  They are not all arrested and they are out there.  Taibbi went to them with a list of demands, demands that they could at least get the larger population to be educated on and push for.  Here's the list of demands Taibbi came up with for them:


              See, appearance is essential.  if you at least find a way to make these demands more public, more people will realize that Occupy is a much more serious movement that has specific goals.  

              Funny Stuff at

              by poopdogcomedy on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 05:44:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  why take a shot at Priceman? He is needed to push (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, priceman, bobswern

        back on misinformation and flat out cheerleading of things that brought outrage under GW Bush. It also is not kabuki, he loads his diaries with supporting links and if you want to look for kabuki check out the stupid snark diaries regarding his diary.

        It's easy to say tell me some great plan or you're saying nothing, but that meme that it is all the fault of the Repubs that we are facing devastating cuts across the spectrum from the 'sequester', when Obama threatened a veto TWICE if sequestration was removed from their legislation. That was something that needed to be said before all the fiction got repeated enuf to start passing as being 'true' about the evil Repubs (IOEIRDI 'it's only evil if Repubs do it') being the only source of the sequester.

        Maybe others wrote on it with that information included? I don't don't know but I'll say this, I depend upon him, bobswern and very few others talking about economic matters on DK.
        I also do like diaries that call people to do something in particular, in fact I really liked your push for getting more attention on impending SS cuts, I tipped reccd and put it on my Facebook wall.

        Of course there is more than one kind of a diary and we obviously need to get some people outraged and angry in order to get them to act ,but they need correct information or they are just being used.
        Good diary btw t&rec'd

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 01:09:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All fair points and thanks for the kind words (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about my diaries.  I'll keep writing them if you keep reading them.  I goes I'm just not one for rant diaries.  Sorry to go after priceman specifically, I just get tired of when the rec list gets filled with rant diaries.  This is a great community that is capable of doing great things and I like it more when it's in proactive mode.  And just for the record, I'm not one of those guys who wrote a snark diary (however some of them were kind of funny).  By the way, for some reason I can't rec you comment but if I could I wish I could rec it a few times over because you gave an excellent and very calm argument.  It hank you of that.

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:03:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Warren/Merkley or Merkley/Warren (0+ / 0-)

    They can get along. We just can't get along without them.

    Eradicate magical thinking

    by Zinman on Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 11:43:50 PM PST

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