Fran Lebowitz came to mind as UD read David A. Graham on the long, lucrative, openly illicit careers of Manafort, Epstein, Michael Cohen, Elliott Broidy, Harvey Weinstein… He could have thrown in Steven A. Cohen, the most prominent among thousands of insider traders, etc., etc. The point is that the world is full of billionaire thieves – and worse – who either totally get away with it, or get away with it for a long time. It’s basic; it’s structural; it’s Welcome to Our World. As long as a slave class of Alex Acostas and Alan Dershowitzes (Dershowitz, who kept naughty Claus von Bulow in circulation, continues to insist on the innocence of his friend and client Jeffrey Epstein) exists, these men will be fine. (Graydon Carter: Come on down!)


Fine? Better than fine.

Consider 1989, the year that the junk-bond king Michael Milken was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud, and the year that five teenagers of color were indicted for the rape of a woman in Central Park. Ultimately, Milken served just two years; the so-called Central Park Five served five to 15 years apiece for a crime that, it turns out, none of them committed. But even that wide gap understates the disparate justice typically available in the system. Milken’s case was unusual because it was an instance of white-collar crime that actually got prosecuted. Meanwhile, a noisy chorus was demanding that prosecutors throw the book at the Central Park Five—including Donald Trump, who took out ads in all four leading New York papers calling for the boys’ execution.

And where is Milken today? His name emblazons a school of public health, one of whose components is the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

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