Is the Obama Administration shifting focus by switching Attorney Generals?
I have always wonder how a “no nonsense” guy like Eric Holder would step down at the Justice Department especially since he does not have a history of ever running away from a fight and recent run-ins with the Republican Senate and House members would certainly constitute a fight. Today, I think we may just have our answer.
We all know that Democrats as well as Republicans enjoy big money donated by big business in order to win in any election, or that is the perception anyway. Now having taken their money, they feel obligated to try and return the favor in any way possible while in office so holding them accountable, responsible or their feet to the fire is certainly a lost art and one most avoided by our elected officials. This is also true of the Obama Administration just like all others before them and that shall follow. Not many have ever been able to navigate this dark and tricky path but I think the Obama Administration may have just found a way.
It is well known that the Justice Department is under the President of the United States but is also supposed to be separated in such a way to be immune from politics and not be manipulated by any branch of the government. If this is really true then it would make sense for the Obama Administration to switch Attorney Generals as they have and the Republicans to stand as strongly against Loretta Lynch as they have. Consider this.
The Obama Administration needed a strong, confident and fearless fighter in the AG Office when they first took over because there were so much that they had to review, correct or sharpen. They needed Eric Holder and they got him which meant say what you will about him but be quite careful how close you stepped toward that thin sometimes, blurred line because Eric Holder would clearly let you know he was not intimidated by you or your position. This became clear to all of congress the first few days he was in office and it remains the same today. He was called in to confront all those things that seemed wrong with the last administration and either replace those lacking in any capacity to do their jobs or strengthen those who felt powerless.
Now comes Loretta Lynch and her job is to simply hold those accountable that many of us thought the long arm of the law would never reach. Consider two articles written by Tom Risen a technology and business reporter for U.S. News & World Report. The first one titled “PayPal Credit Deception Exposes a Larger Problem reports among other things that “Digital currency processor PayPal may be forced to pay $25 million to resolve allegations regarding its credit service for consumers. The online payment company reportedly enrolled customers in its credit service without their knowledge and even hit some with fees when a missed payment was its own website's fault, according to government accusations that signal the Obama administration expects Web businesses to gain more user consent. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week requested that PayPal refund $15 million to affected customers and pay $10 million in fines – a proposal that will be decided upon by a federal judge in Maryland. A spokesman for PayPal, whose credit product was called Bill Me Later and is now known as PayPal Credit, said in a statement that it "takes consumer protection very seriously" and focuses on "ease of use."
Now they call in an Attorney General that has a reputation of never taking on something she is not confident she could win and when she gets a hold of something, she rarely lets go until the final bell rings. This sends a message to all businesses big and small that together with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, taxpayer’s day in court is right around the next corner. This is made even clearer by the second article written by Mr. Risen titled “Big Fines No Longer Cutting It for Bank Offenses”. This one reports “guilty pleas by major banks to U.S. charges are the first in decades and signal stricter government oversight. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announces guilty pleas from several banks in connection with the manipulation of the world's currency market on Wednesday in Washington. News that a handful of the world's major financial institutions will pay billions of dollars in fines and plead guilty to felony charges for conspiring to manipulate currency rates signals that U.S. regulators will no longer be satisfied by merely levying massive financial penalties against corporate offenders. Four banks – JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland – have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges regarding currency manipulation brought by the Justice Department and will pay more than $2.5 billion in fines. A fifth, Switzerland's UBS, will admit to manipulating interest rates and pay $203 million.”
Now some will see this as no big deal and if I was as skeptical and refused to see anything but negativity in any move the Obama Administration makes, I would agree but for someone who likes to try and see the entire picture before passing judgment on whether anything is good or bad, this is what I see. I see a message to the taxpayers of America that justice does come even if it does not arrive when we wish it to or expect it to. I see an example for all others to follow when it comes to how to handle big donors, big business and big money interest in politics, if they are truly your friend then you need to hold them to a higher standard and expect more from them than you would, say an enemy.