March 24, 2009
This is not a post about politics, per se. This is about criminal malfeasance, the sucking undertow of corruption in Washington D.C. that is shortly to drag the country down with it. If you’re wondering where the respect for the Constitution and the rule of law went, well our congress hasn’t had it for a long long time. We have created a self-entitled, self-important, self-aggrandizing political class that swear allegiance to nothing but their own position of power. They are a true ruling class, one to whom the rules of the common people do not apply. Perhaps you suffer from scandal fatigue, but think about this:
There are 435 seats in the House, 100 in the Senate. That is 635 people. Now take any random workplace in the country (assuming it’s a legal enterprise paying everyone above the table) having the same number of workers. How many of those people do you think engage in, say, real estate fraud? One? Two?
Ok, in the Congress we have Reps Pete Stark (D, CA) and Eliot Engel (D, NY) who both tried to skirt tax law by claiming their million-dollar Maryland residences as their permanent address. Then you have Charles Rangel’s laundry list of issues around real-estate, including forgetting to report 75K of rental income over a period of three years. Then we have Chris Dodd who has been desperately trying to blame the administration for language he put into the stimulus bill that seemed tailored explicitly to allow the AIG bonuses everyone’s in an uproar about, making almost everyone forget those wonderfully choice Countrywide perks he got back when there was no real-estate bubble. (Funny thing, AIG donated over a quarter million to Dodd’s campaign fund, but that’s probably just a coincidence.) And just to throw some republicans in the mix, we have California Rep. Gary Miller who’s being investigated by the FBI for trying to avoid a 31% tax on $10 million dollars worth of real estate transactions. We also have Arizona Republican Rick Renzi who has graduated from investigation to indictment last year, on 35 counts connected to land deals.
Ok, how many people at that run-of-the-mill company (not operated by the mafia) are guilty of racketeering? Well in the US Congress we have had William J. Jefferson, a fine Louisiana politician who just happened to have “$90,000 of the cash in the freezer, in $10,000 increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers.”
Assault? There’s California Democrat Bob Filner. (The “little people” were in his way at Dulles Airport, and by “little people”, I mean airport security.) In a prior incident, Filner apparently said, “[He is] a congressman and can do whatever [he] want[s].”
Money Laundering? Tom DeLay.
Theft… wait, never mind, that’s all of them.
But come on. We have the temerity to call Russia a Kleptocracy? I haven’t even touched on the guys who apparently used the earmarking process to directly benefit their cronies (I mean in ways so blatant they require investigation) the other guys who are tied up with our favorite convicted felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the chick who had some wealthy donors directly lobby Nacy Pelosi the let her keep her committee chair (and fail), nor have I gone into any business with airport restrooms, illicit texting to teenage pages, or guy having congressional staff babysit their kids and fetch groceries… and did I mention that these are all different people. People wonder why Obama’s appointments seem to have tax “issues.” The reason is the whole culture is corrupt. We have a political class that isn’t just dishonest, it is incapable of actually understanding what honesty is. If any other industry showed the same level of malfeasance and corruption, people would be screaming for regulation and demand that the bosses of such a criminal gang be thrown in prison to rot.
Guess what, boys and girls, we’re the bosses. (That “we the people” thing.) And we are all collectively guilty of a catastrophic management clusterfuck.
Hey, but I’m sure the one you voted for is the good one.