S&P Sent to Its Room

     Now that corporations are people, are they adults or children?
     If a company has been around less than 21 years, should it be tried in a different court for youthful offenders?
     Or are they simply permanent children? After all, they never get sent to jail.
     If you think I’m going crazy, you’re almost certainly correct, but consider this passage from a press release issued last week by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services: “S&P Ratings has also agreed to take a ‘time-out’ from issuing ratings on new U.S. conduit/fusion CMBS transactions until January 21, 2016.”
     That’s right – the government gave S&P a time-out.
     The company agreed to pay $58 million too, but no actual humans (as opposed to corporate humans) are going to feel any real pain from that.
     So will the corporation think carefully about its misdeeds while sitting in a corner, and resolve never to repeat them?
     Think about this in noncorporate human terms. Should you order a bank robber not to go near a bank for a year – and then let him go wherever he wants after that?
     I can’t imagine this working unless you take away S&P’s Internet connection and game console.
     And cut its allowance.
     
     Cap limits. Who says unions aren’t effective?
     I don’t know. Someone must.
     Be that as it may, union supporters will be happy to note that a union in Nevada has taken a case all the way to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to protect its members’ right to wear baseball caps with logos of their choice.
     The case is World Color v. National Labor Relations Board, where we find a union complaining about a printing company’s policy banning baseball caps unless they bear the company logo.
     Eugene V. Debs would be so proud.
     The ruling, in case you’re wondering, turns on whether the employees can put other stuff on the hats along with the company symbol.
     It’s a victory for lawyers – the case got remanded to the National Labor Relations Board for reconsideration.
     I can’t wait for the next chapter.
     
     Excuse of the week. This is from a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling called Brody v. Brody: ”In June, 2008, the plaintiff discovered unused condoms in the defendant’s toiletries bag. … [The defendant asserted] that he used the condoms in the marriage when his sexually transmitted disease was active and that he used the condoms for comfort when he had ingrown hairs.”
     The ingrown hair excuse never works.
     
     Theological conundrum. Is it possible that no matter what you do, you’re violating someone’s religious freedom?
     A civil rights complaint has been filed against a baker in Denver for refusing to put an anti-gay message on a cake. This comes after another Denver baker got into trouble for refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
     We have freedom of speech but do we have freedom of cake decorating?
     Frosting really is bad for us.
     I say let them all eat cake.
     
     The rich get snippier. Take a moment before you read further to see if you can guess the source of this sarcastic quote in an article about lawyers not being happy with their huge bonuses: “Having your boss hand you a check for more than the median household income in the U.S. is the absolute worst.”
     You know this is a trick question.
     The answer is that it’s from Bloomberg Businessweek – which means it’s probably not being read by anyone too poverty-stricken.
     It’s an article about lawyers being jealous of richer lawyers.
     I think I feel some jealousy coming on for what the guy who wrote the story got paid.
     
     Headline of the week: Is law that prohibits women from going topless in public unconstitutional?
     I hope so.

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