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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oh, That Culture of Corruption!

Corruption, it's sweeping the Capital these days. Now we find out a congressman has a sweetheart land deal with the head of a company which he voted on legislation favoring. In a Cunningham like moment he reminds us it's just an old friend he's dealing with, nothing but above the board dealings.

Then steers $150 million in projects towards local non-profits, including one that is run by a former staffer, who he and his wife partnered and bought $2 million worth of land. It's good to be on the appropriations committee when you have friends in need.

He even resigned his position on the House Ethics Committee because of all of this. In four years his real estate holdings have jumped by over $5.7 million dollars, and while land prices have gone up, it's not been that fast in the areas he's buying. Another Cunningham like excuse from the Congressman, remember, it was increasing homes prices that netted Randy all that money on his place in San Diego.

Where is all this information, well buried on page A6 of the Washington Post, "No Quid Pro Quo In Land Deal, Says W.Va. Democrat". I wonder if we'll hear Nancy Pelosi waxing poetic about the shame of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), another corrupt Congressman. My guess is not, because she keeps reminding us that congressional corruption is exclusive to the GOP.

Don Surber has much more up on this, from his West Virginia perspective.

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Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I'm sorry but besides pissing me off to no end this Culture of Corruption in reference to Republicans is so laughable. Obviously there are some corrupt Republicans but when it comes to a party marinated in Corruption its the party who defended Bill Clinton at all costs.

I saw Pelosi whining about Tony Snow being the new press secretary and it was so stupid. I looked at her and was thinking and your point is???

10:22 AM  
Blogger Bob King said...

Oh, the entire HILL is marinaded in corruption. No Independant or third-party voter is confused on that point. We are voting to "throw the bastards in."

But frankly, the ethical lapses of the party in power, the degree to WHICH they can abuse power beyond the point of mere personal enrichment is what bothers me.

And I believe the cognitive dissonance felt by 60 to 70 percent of votors - of all parties - may be summed up in a photo that somehow never made it into the mainstream media.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Bob, please list the impeachable offenses, and exactly what laws they broke.

LMC, glad you enjoyed it.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Bob King said...

Why sure: here's the Illinois bill.

[b] WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature; and

WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without warrant; and

WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions, a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war without charge or trial; and

WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and

WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to investigate the matter; and

WHEREAS, the Republican-controlled Congress has decline to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore be it

RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S. House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the charges contained herein, should be removed from office and disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.[/b]

Califoria adds the Federalization of the California National Guard as being an impeachable offense, due to it's unconstitutionality.

I'd also point to this: John Conyer's suing the President for unconstitutially signing a budget bill that was not approved by the House:

As the Washington Post reported last month, as the Republican budget bill struggled to make its way through Congress at the end of last year and beginning of this year (the bill cuts critical programs such as student loans and Medicaid funding), the House and Senate passed different versions of it. House Republicans did not want to make Republicans in marginal districts vote on the bill again, so they simply certified that the Senate bill was the same as the House bill and sent it to the President. The President, despite warnings that the bill did not represent the consensus of the House and Senate, simply shrugged and signed the bill anyway. Now, the Administration is implementing it as though it was the law of the land.

This is a non-trivial Constitutional issue; and a violation that is based simply on political advantage. This is, well, a high crime and misdemenor.

Or, at least, that is a matter of fact to be determined by the Court.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Let's start with FISA, while a State, such as Illinois may be ticked, as many former AG's have said the wiretapping is allowed under Article II of the Constitution as have bitched about it.

Oddly, the FISA Court of Review, the folks who oversea FISA have said the same thing. When the courts sort it out, then congress can get involved.(http://crazypolitics.blogspot.com/2006/03/runaway-russ.html)

On the budget bill, there are a number of views of it. An Conyers, as partisan a hack as exists in congress isn't exactly who I'd look to for advice on it.

And Ca. might want to look at the federal laws involving the National Guard. They can be federalized at the President's order. Been decided by the courts a dozen times at least. Since the feds fund them, they get them when they want. (the "strings attached" rule).

8:34 PM  
Blogger Bob King said...

Clearly, opinion varies on all these points. Me, when given a choice between what the Constitution says, and what ANY administration *says* it says, I'll defer to the constitution itself.

And frankly, as a Libertarian, I'm very much concerned about federal control of state militias.

Granted, strings are attached. Think that if a Governor decided to cut those strings, it would be allowed?

The same argument is being used to rape state control of education under NCLB. At least one state - Idaho? - have told them to go pee up a rope. Other states are doing the math...

However, "high crimes and misdemeanors" are in fact not specific crimes, and will not be found defined in the US Code. I'm quite sure that's deliberate, it's to get around "Rules mechanics" wherein someone protests "I've done nothing illegal" even though what they have done is as wrong as can be. Gerrymandering Texas, for instance was quite possibly legal. It was also wrong. And GWB benefited from it.

In other words, the impeachment process is a means of removing people from office when they have screwed the pooch beyond question. And of course, being impeached means nothing other than the fact there's a political axe being ground - CF the Little Blue Dress - There must be a conviction, which of course is a non-trivial accomplishment.

But do I think he should be impeached?

Hell, yeah. For conspicuous stupidity in the face of enemies he created, empowered and has been ineffective in securing us from, even if his encroaches on our freedoms would be useful and appropriate in this New World Order.

Sorry, when you invade a country looking for Oil, and manage to LOWER the world supply... The mind boggles.

I veer left and right depending on the issue, and I doubt I agree with Conyers on everything, but dismissing the importance of the issue he raises - one utterly fundamental to the political process of this nation, it's checks and balances and the means by which the individual voters of each district (red, blue and purple) are appropriately represented.

I'm sure you would agree that it's a bad idea for the president to have the ability to reject House versions of various bills when he likes. I'm sure you would have been disturbed by Clinton doing it - and you would have every right to be outraged. There's a difference between playing the game of politics and subverting the political system.

It's a very dangerous course, given what general contempt our government now enjoys from its electorate. Telling the electorate that the government doesn't have to listen and can do anything that crosses it's so-called "mind" is greased chute to the ashbin of history.

I've said many times that had GWB actually acted according to his stated principles I'd have supported him, particularly as Al Gore was waxing ecstatic about violating our rights to privacy at the time.

But you voted for George Bush, GOT Al Gore, but dumb instead of smart.

I can feel your pain, I can but at some time you have to stop enabling the man. He's a dry drunk, a fool and incapable of comprehending the actual differences between Republican and Democrat, Liberal and Conservative, Big Government vs. Small - and I could go on and on and on.

Oh. I see that I have. :P

9:22 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I fear that corruption truly is the inevitable consequence of power, and there is no eliminating it. We do need however to keep it undre control.

9:31 PM  
Blogger John Ruberry said...

The GOP's moment is West Virginia has to be near. The Dems, on the presidential level, have lost it.

Time to finish the job.

3:25 PM  

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