Share

Opinion: Morning Examiner

New evidence of 'gangster government' surfaces in S&P response to Justice Department lawsuit

By |
Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Justice Department,Wall Street,Standard and Poors

Washington Examiner columnist Michael Barone got a lot of coverage in 2009 when he coined the term "Gangster Government" to describe President Obama's Chicago-style approach to governing in the Oval Office.

The phrase isn't heard quite so often these days, but that's not because of a paucity of fresh evidence demonstrating its continued relevance.

The latest evidence is found in a new filing by Standard & Poor's in its response to the Department of Justice lawsuit accusing the Wall Street ratings firm of fraud in its August 2011 downgrade of the U.S. government's credit worthiness.

Make'em pay, Timmy

S&P is demanding transcripts of a conversation between Obama and Geithner that occurred just a few minutes before the latter accused the firm of doing "an enormous disservice" to the country and to itself.

Geithner's accusation came in a telephone call with McGraw Hill Financial Inc. Chairman Harold W. McGraw III. McGraw Hill Financial owns S&P.

Subsequently, the Justice Department filed a suit against S&P, claiming up to $5 billion in civil penalties are due as a result of damage allegedly done to federally insured banks and credit unions that relied on the firm's ratings.

Nobody there but thugs

S&P claims it is being singled out by the government for retaliation because Moody's, which also warned of increased risks associated with the government's credit rating, has not been targeted by the Justice Department's lawyers.

S&P claims it has to have the transcripts of related White House communications in order to defend itself against the government's suit.

Justice Department officials told a U.S. District Court last month that the S&P request was nothing more than a "fishing expedition."

Keep an eye on this case because the discovery process could become extremely interesting in the near future.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Euthanasia shows hypocrisy of judges trusting foreign law.

PennAve/Susan Crabtree: Exclusive -- HHS official found White House "disarray" months before health law rollout.

PennAve/David M. Drucker: Salem CEO hosting McConnell fund-raiser.

EXography/Veronique de Rugy: Ending improper federal payments could save $100 billion.

Columnists/Byron York: Media "reform" schemes are business-as-usual at FCC.

Beltway Confidential/Timothy P. Carney: Yes, President Obama is punishing nuns who want to serve non-Catholic elderly.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gerhke: 2016 contender Bobby Jindal calls out Obama during White House visit.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Supreme Court declines to hear case against moldy washing machines class-action litigation.

In other news

The Washington Post: Russia challenges legitimacy of Ukraine changes.

CBS News: Snitches and wiretaps led to "El Chapo's" downfall.

Chicago Tribune: George Lucas, wife donate large again.

The New York Times: Protest ranks grow wider in Venezuela.

ABC News: Kentucky Senate hopeful embraces Bill Clinton.

The Los Angeles Times: Pentagon budget cuts would shrink Army, retire aircraft.

Righty Playbook

The Daily Caller: Obama, Boehner to hold closed-door meeting Tuesday.

Washington Free Beacon: End of American military dominance.

American Thinker: The warm winter that wasn't.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Piers Morgan's 10 worst moments.

Lefty Playbook

Salon.com: My lessons in autism.

The American Prospect: Walking on Ukrainian eggshells.

The Huffington Post: Holder tells state AGs they don't have to defend gay marriage bans.

Bonus must-read

The New Republic: The insurance company bailout that Republicans love.

Blog Right

Wizbang: The real New Jersey scandal being ignored by the media (Hint: It involves a Democrat).

The Gateway Pundit: Video of protesters being shot by Ukrainian government snipers.

Powerline: Dingell likely to succeed Dingell who succeeded Dingell.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: GOP may break the Todd Akin curse in 2014 election.

Eschaton: Piers Morgan was the wrong kind of Brit.

The Raw Story: Was Apple security "flaw" actually an NSA backdoor?

View article comments Leave a comment