Category Archives: Ethics & Corruption

Duces Are Wild!

Duces are wild is a phrase one might expect to hear around the card table but when it becomes an accurate description of your government, as in double standards everywhere one looks, well that presents a problem. Elected officials should be held to a higher standard than everyone else, both in their words and their actions, but instead we seem satisfied as a nation with electing the lowest common denominator, sending them to Washington and then complaining about what we end up with for representation.

Among the many recent examples of this phenomenon is the Hate Crimes legislation currently making it’s way through Congress. Wrap your minds around this if you can, legislation designed to combat discrimination does so by discriminating! Why should assault and battery, or any crime, carry a harsher punishment if my victim is gay than if he/she is straight? You can not break down barriers by putting them up and if we hadn’t elected 536 bumbling idiots to represent us in Washington perhaps this would be apparent to our leaders.

In another irony this week President Obama tells us that the U.S. can’t be seen as meddling in Iran’s election as Iran’s people cry out for justice, but bullying Israel into a corner and in the process pushing the entire Middle East that much closer to the brink, that kind of meddling is fine. A moment has come in the Middle East, perhaps the moment, where a strong United States led by a strong President could possibly bring about real change. No one is talking about using force, just leading by example, saying the right things and using what diplomatic tools are available; but nope the “Hope and Change President” isn’t interested in the kind of change that might mean a Democratic Iran. Now isn’t that ironic?

But, by far my favorite double standard for the week of June 16th (and it’s only Wednesday for goodness sake) is President Obama proposing “tough new financial regulations” and a new agency to enforce them one day after firing the supposedly autonomous Inspector General Gerald Walpin because Mr. Walpin regulated one of the President’s friends and supporters a little too well. Kevin Johnson, a huge Obama supporter and now Mayor of Sacramento, whom Mr. Walpin accused of illegal use of funds, paid back more than $400,000. Does that sound like the actions of an innocent man being “targeted” by an “over-zealous” Inspector? In back-pedaling the White House attempted to justify its actions saying the firing had nothing to do with this investigation and that Mr. Walpin was let go due to being “confused and disoriented”. This raises many more questions than it answers; for example, Vice President Joe Biden is “confused and disoriented” virtually every time we see him, will the President be firing poor old Joe next?


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Filed under Ethics & Corruption, Foreign Relations, Random Senselessness

Sorry, Nancy, That Is Not How It Works

“I don’t have anything more to say about it. I stand by my comment.” With those words Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the third in the line of succession to the Presidency of the United States, attempted to simply brush aside her outrageous behavior in recent weeks. Apparently, if you are a Democrat in Washington you can call the CIA liars, say you weren’t aware of something that you were aware of and bash the opposition for a policy you raised no objection to; then when the press starts asking tough questions you simply say, “I don’t have anything more to say about it”. I imagine there are just a few Republicans wishing those were the rules by which they were allowed to play.

Sometimes you just have to laugh at politicians and the words that come out of their mouths. Nancy Pelosi actually believes that it should be up to her what questions the press will ask her and when. Of course, that is understandable as the ‘in the bag media’ has done nothing to contradict that view for years now.

After spending the last several years hammering the Bush administration for its policy surrounding waterboarding it turns out that Speaker Pelosi knew the tactic was being used the entire time and did nothing to stop it. That in and of itself would be bad enough, but then the Speaker went further saying the CIA was lying and that she didn’t know. Only now it has been proven that she did, so in the end, she was lying when she called the CIA ‘liars’.

This is the behavior that the Speaker of the House believes she can simply brush under the rug because she doesn’t feel like talking about it anymore. Sorry, Nancy, that’s not how it works. Even if your friends in the main stream media once again fail to perform their duty as reporters and let you off the hook, the rest of us will not.

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption


If you didn’t happen to catch this Washington Times article on Thursday, you are probably going to find this incredibly hard to believe. President Obama has somehow managed to nominate ANOTHER criminal for a key position in his cabinet. This latest criminal, Ronald Sims, was found by the Washington State Supreme Court to have intentionally withheld critical financial documents from the taxpayers of Seattle. Where does Mr. Obama find these people? Are there no law-abiding citizens available to work in this administration? I’m told there are several million people out of work these days; surely a handful of them must have clean criminal records.

Mr. Obama nominated Mr. Sims as the top deputy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just three weeks after the court’s ruling, which harshly and repeatedly criticized Mr. Sims’ office for its conduct during a 12-year legal fight.

If confirmed, Mr. Sims would help manage billions of federal dollars set aside for building, maintaining and operating public housing inside a government agency with a history of misspending and corruption. A Senate committee last week forwarded Mr. Sims’ nomination to the full Senate without asking the nominee a single question.

Three weeks after the Supreme Court of Washington clearly delineates Mr. Sims lack of character and judgement, President Obama decides he’s a great choice for a key administration position. Nope, no arrogance here. Another crook in Washington is not, in and of itself a story; after all, it’s practically a prerequisite to gain residence in our capitol city, but the realization that the Obama administration can not seem to nominate anyone who isn’t a criminal is starting to become a little disturbing.

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Filed under Ethics & Corruption, White House

Anything To Stay In Power

Yesterday Senator Arlen Specter switched his political party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. This action was pure political cowardice and a perfect example of why politicians have, and deserve, such a bad reputation. Contrary to what Democrats and the media are trying hard to sell you, Mr. Specter did not switch parties for a change of heart on a key philosophical issue; he did not wake up yesterday and find himself at odds with Republicans; the Republican party is no more out of touch with the American people then the Democratic party. No, the Honorable Arlen Specter did this for one reason and one reason only; to stay in power – he likes being a U.S. Senator.

For the first 35 years of his life Specter was a Democrat, but in 1965 he switched parties in order to win an election as district attorney in Philadelphia. Now 44 years later the 79 year old is switching parties again, and for the same reason, to win an election. Apparently having been in the Senate for the last 29 years isn’t good enough for Mr. Specter and he’d like to win another 6 year term in the 2010 electionm, when he will be EIGHTY-ONE years old (87 by the time that term ends). However, he was facing stiff competition in the Republican primary from an actual Republican, Pat Toomey, and his pollsters told him he was going to lose. So Mr. Specter makes a deal and switches parties.

Arlen Specter is exactly what this country doesn’t need, a career politican with no interest except serving himself. In his near 30 years in the U.S. Senate he has quite famously accomplished virtually nothing. And now, approaching 80 years old, when Pennsylvania Republicans had finally gotten so sick of him they were preparing to exercise the people’s power and vote him out of office, he’s miraculously found his inner Democrat. Anything to stay in power a few more years.

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Filed under Elections, Ethics & Corruption

Not In My Backyard!

Here we go again, yet another person who argues relentlessly for alternative fuels and rails against big oil is putting the kibosh on a plan related to alternative energy because the location is a little too close to home. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada doesn’t like the idea of a nuclear storage site being located in his home state even though that has been the carefully developed plan in the works for years. The Obama administration withdrew funding for the project from their proposed budget as a result of Reid’s influence. On a side note, I guess all that talk of the need for jobs for his constituents was just talk. These jobs just aren’t the right ones huh, Mr. Reid?

Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been carefully selected after years of study determined that it was the best possible location for the storage of nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods from nuclear power plants. The Department of Energy’s website provides a detailed description of the research that was done and the plan to protect the environment and America’s population through the use of this facility. Of particular note is the following quote:

After over 20 years of research and billions of dollars of carefully planned and reviewed scientific field work, the Department of Energy has found that a repository at Yucca Mountain brings together the location, natural barriers, and design elements most likely to protect the health and safety of the public, including those Americans living in the immediate vicinity, now and long into the future.

But Senator Reid doesn’t like it, he claims to want to solve America’s energy problems. Apparently that’s contingent on the solution being in someone else’s backyard. So President Obama went along with him and we are going to throw away the $8 Billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) we have spent studying and selecting Yucca Mountain because Harry doesn’t want it at his house.

This is much like Senators Kennedy and Kerry of Massachusetts inexplicable opposition to the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound off the shores of Cape Cod. This project would provide 150 permanent jobs for Kennedy and Kerry’s constituents, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 734,000 tons per year, and save New Englanders an estimated $25 million annually in reduced electricity prices. With all that in mind, how could two Senators from Massachusetts who have expressed such strong concern about global warming and the need to ‘reduce our dependence on foreign oil’ be against such a project in their home state? Well, I suppose it might have something to do with Teddy’s view from the Kennedy compound or Senator Kerry might be afraid of running his windsurfer into one of those towers.  Just a couple more dedicated environmentalists – just don’t ask them or Harry Reid to put it in their own backyard.

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Filed under Ethics & Corruption, Global Warming

Are There Any Democrats Who Pay Their Taxes?

Does this make six now? I have honestly lost count, but it was reported today that another Obama nominee failed to pay taxes owed. Today’s tax dodging democrat is Kansas Governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee, Kathleen Sebelius. The irony runs deep on this one since she was the back-up pick and supposed safe choice after Democratic Senator Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration for this same position when it was discovered that he owed some $140,000 in back taxes due to “oversights”. So, let’s recap.

  • Tom Daschle – Democrat – former Senator from So. Dakota – nominated as Sec. of HHS – withdrew due to oweing $140,000 in back taxes.
  • Tim Geithner – Democrat – former NY fed chairman – nominated for Treasury Secretary (yup, the one that’s in charge of tax collection) – Nomination approved by the Senate even though he underpaid his taxes by nearly $30,000. The man in charge of all U.S. tax collection couldn’t manage to properly file his own taxes using Turbo Tax!  I am not making this stuff up!
  • Ron Kirk – Democrat – former Dallas Mayor – nominated to be U.S. Trade Representative – Nomination approved even though he had failed to pay some $10,000 in taxes.
  • Nancy Killefer – Democrat – nominated to be the first ever nation’s Chief Performance Officer (oh the irony) – withdrew to avoid embarassment. You see the city of D.C. had to place a lien on her home to get her to pay a past tax bill.
  • Hilda Solis – Democrat – Congresswoman from California – nominated to be Labor Secretary – also approved despite her failure to appropriately pay her taxes.

and last, at least for the time being, there’s

  • Kathleen Sebelius – Democrat – Governor of Kansas – nomination pending for Secretary of HHS – plan on her being approved as well.

So, yes, that does make six Obama nominees, all Democrats, who failed to pay their taxes appropriately. Here is the problem for the President; this is an either, or situation.  Either these people are criminals who were purposely avoiding paying their fair share of the tax burden as U.S. citizens, or they are morons who can’t figure out how to file a tax return and apparently can’t manage with all their connections to find an accountant who knows how to file taxes either.

Think about that for a minute.  On the one hand, you have the very socialists who are screaming that the rich (which all of these folks are by the way) should pay more taxes, cheating on their tax returns to avoid doing what they expect the citizens they govern to do.  Or, on the other hand, you have people with every conceivable connection and resource, a U.S. Senator, a Fed Chairman, a U.S. Congresswoman, a Governor, a Mayor of a major U.S. city who aren’t bright enough to properly file a proper tax return or hire someone who can?  That is simply not believable. After all, these are people who know they are in the spotlight, who know that an inaccurate tax return could come back to haunt them.

But, where’s the outrage at this? American citizens are outraged that AIG employees received legally earned bonuses, but don’t seem to care that their leaders don’t pay their share of taxes???  Where’s the great American media?  Where’s CNN?  Do you honestly believe that had a Republican President nominated 6 members of his party who were tax-dodging thieves, that story would have ever gone away? Perhaps the most compelling question is this – if this high a percentage of Obama’s nominees aren’t properly paying their taxes, how many more politicians owe us money? If the people in charge of the tax code aren’t going to follow it, why should the citizenry?

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Filed under Ethics & Corruption, Taxation

The Campaign Is Over Mr. President

This week the White House began airing a TV commercial trying to pressure Congress into enacting the President’s irresponsible budget. This follows a door knocking campaign last weekend by Obama’s post-election, grassroots lobbying group, Organizing for America.

On a side note, if the sitting President, with HUGE majorities in both houses of Congress, has to lobby this hard to get his agenda through, the American people really ought to ask themselves why!!!

Of course, it’s not unheard of for a President to campaign for a policy change he believes in; Presidents have been doing it for decades now. But, campaigning has always meant making speeches either around the country or, if the issue is a high enough priority, going on television to make his case.  The hope being that the people will respond positively and put pressure on their representatives in Washington to support the policy.

That’s politics. However, these recent actions take the country in a dangerous direction.  One in which the campaigning never stops and the divisions in our society that crop up every four years never heal over.  In our system, people are of course free to campaign for what they believe in. Our country was founded by citizens campaigning for their beliefs, but when the President is sitting on Pennsylvania Avenue directing foot soldiers (make no mistake they consider this a war) to knock on your door and tell you what you should think… Well, that’s a slippery slope if ever there’s been one.

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Filed under Ethics & Corruption, White House

What’s Good For the Goose

Senate Democrats have been railing for the past week against the executives at AIG who accepted their bonuses even after the collapse of the company and subsequent bailout by taxpayers. But it doesn’t seem the same Senators feel quite so strongly about giving money back when it’s their own money.

In a Washington Times article today it was revealed that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $100,000 from everyone’s favorite scumbag, Bernie Madoff, since 2005.  This is money STOLEN from his investors.  But, guess what?  The Democrats aren’t giving it back, at least not yet.  It seems that while it’s perfectly reasonable to pass ex post facto legislation to take back bonuses from AIG executives – bonuses that were legally although perhaps not morally earned – it’s too much to ask that Senate Democrats would give back $100,000 worth of STOLEN money.  Apparently, what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander, but we knew that about our politicians already, now didn’t we.

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Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption, Government Spending

Wish I Had a Job Like This!

You know what’s funny? Watching CSPAN. No, I’m serious! It’s absolutely hilarious watching these hack politicians from both parties fall all over themselves to get in front of the microphone and condemn the compensation packages on Wall Street. Why is this so funny?  Have any of you ever examined what a U.S. Congressman makes in salary and benefits?  They’ve got a lot of nerve condemning Wall Street for its excesses!  Here’s a little background information for you.  They get:

  • Salary of $174,000 per year.  (leadership gets more – Nancy Pelosi makes $223,500).
  • They get a cost-of-living increase every year regardless of performance.
  • An extremely generous pension for life that starts after as little as 5 years of service (it’s complicated and I won’t bore you with it, but you can get all the details here.
  • Staff allowance – Reps. get about $1.3M and Sens. around $3.0M per year to hire staff.
  • Expense allowance for travel, telephone, etc.  Basically anything you can think of, they expense!
  • Foreign Travel – as appropriated by Congress.
  • Free Mail Service to their constituents.
  • Free office furniture and equipment.

All this is for a part-time job.  Remember, they are only in session about 125 days a year (hilarious video on that subject here).  When Congress was first seated in 1789, they were paid $6.00 per day and only for the days they were actually in session.  This remained unchanged for the next 66 years until 1855.  Sixty-six years without a raise and now they give themselves a raise every year?!?  $6 a day, that sounds good, let’s go back to that plan.

No, seriously, my proposal is for a straight compensation for performance plan for Congress.  The rest of the world only gets paid when they actually do their job and do it well (ok not true for unions, but everybody else).  So, what would a pay-for-performance package for Congress look like?  Balance the budget, get a salary. Produce a surplus, get a bonus.  But, run a deficit, sorry pal, no paycheck for you!  It really is that simple.  And while we’re at it, we can tie their staff compensation to a similar albeit less harsh formula.  Something like deficit = 75% of salary,  balanced budget = 100% of salary, surplus = 125% of salary.  Any manager or small business owner can tell you that rewarding performance is the only way to actually get performance and yet we pay these people (and re-elect them) for failure year after year, decade after decade.  Congress is failing us in every way.  Both parties.  Every day.  Why do they still have their jobs?  Why are they still getting a paycheck?  And, how in the world can they possibly deserve a raise?


Filed under Congress, Ethics & Corruption, Government Spending