Judgment Time

Sometimes it is best to judge a nation by its worst moments, not its best. Only through trials do we learn the strength of its commitment to law, its character, and its compassion for healing. My nation is only beginning that test.

After the conviction of Trump’s campaign manager and new accusations by his personal lawyer, the end is coming quickly. As a wannabe mafioso, Trump has always surrounded himself with gangsters. While none of them wanted to be the first to “rat” to the authorities, there will now be a rush to not be the last. It’s typical behavior, and we can expect it.

Lost in all of this is the future of our Republic. How will we get through this? What will come after our darkest hour? Like all history not yet written, it’s up to us. But make no mistake – history, and the world, is watching.

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About Those E-mails …

Today was a big day for campaign news, in that nothing happened. Clinton was not indicted for her mis-handling of emails, nor did we learn anything new. It’s all over but the ranting, so we’ll pause for a moment so that you can get your share in.

[ shouting, sharing of angry memes, deep sighs, et cetera ]

Feel better? Be sure to wipe off the screen when you’re done. Because whether you believe this was purely one more witch hunt or evidence of a rigged system, you probably are better off getting it off your chest. Better in the sense that you’re probably wrong – there was something to this, but it was never going to end up in an indictment.

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New Season, Old Stories

If we learned one thing this week in Minnesota, it’s that if you wait long enough something’s gotta give. Spring arrived this week and the air nearly sizzles with wet and warmth and life. As it always is, something had to happen eventually.

Everywhere except Congress, of course.

But aside from the entertainment we get from “leaders”, there are other sources of news. Here are three stories Barataria has been all over which had interesting developments in the last week.

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What, Nothing’s Wrong Here …

Another day, another bank in trouble.  It might be easy to do little more than roll your eyes at the news that Standard Chartered of the UK is caught in a scandal, except this one is very different for many reasons.  To start with, the allegation is that they were the launderer in chief for the nation of Iran over a period of at least a decade, helping them hide $250B in money transfers around sanctions.  This is also one of the largest banks in the world, with total assets around $600B and operations around the globe.

But where this gets especially interesting is through the still developing role of the firm Deloitte & Touche.  They are one of the “Big Four” auditing firms that has been in the crosshairs of a large number of people convinced that the lack of truly independent assessment is one of the main problems in the teetering financial industry.  This scandal, different as it is, could be the one that coalesces a diverse group of detractors into a movement – even though auditing had very little to do with it directly.

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