Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Corrupt Government Cannot be Expected to Police Itself: The People Need to do the Job for Them

"Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It's self-defense. It's patriotism." - Joe Biden

        Political corruption has become a part of every day life in American society. It permeates every branch of the government that we have, and it seems like we are helpless to do anything about it. What is worse is that most Americans simply either don't know enough to realize what is going one, or they know enough but are not willing to take action to stop it. To a degree, who can blame them? Literally, everything that this county's government does is stained with corruption. The game is rigged. Its a show put on for the public eye. The outcomes are predetermined, and the propaganda machine is rolling on overdrive. Further, when cracks in the system do develop, they are quickly patched up, and the perpetrators are either let off or punished as lightly as the laws they helped write allow. This is the way it is. This is the way that it has always been. The whole world knows it, and they are beginning to resent it. Even more, they are constantly curious why the American people have yet to do anything about it. Do you not believe me that corruption is as rife as I suggest it is. Well, allow me to outline a few of the cases that have come up in just the past eight years. I am going to stick to the federal government because going lower would require a book to be written. I'll break it up by each branch of government.

Executive Branch:

1. Katherine Archuleta, who was the director of the Office of Personnel Management, was forced to resign on July 10, 2015 after the data theft of information on 22 million people who had applied for security clearances.

2. In the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014, it was discovered that officials in the Phoenix, AZ VA hospital lied about how long the wait times were for veterans to see a doctor. An investigation of delays is being conducted by the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, General, US Army, Retired, voluntarily resigned.

3. In the 2013 IRS scandal, the IRS admitted to inappropriate investigations of conservative political groups associated with the Tea Party. Later, it was found that the IRS investigated liberal and progressive groups as well. The president demanded and accepted the resignation of Steven T. Miller, Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. Other actions relating to the scandal were also taken. Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations, stated she had not done anything wrong and then took the Fifth before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She retired in 2013 after an internal investigation found that she neglected her duties  and was going to call for her ouster. Joseph H. Grant, commissioner of the IRS Tax-exempt and Government entities division, was also implicated, he resigned on May 16, 2013.

4. In the ATF Gunwalking scandal in 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in Contempt of Congress after refusing to release all documents which the House of Representatives had demanded concerning the Fast and Furious gun walking operation.

5. Terence Flynn, an appointee of Barack Obama to the National Labor Relations Board, resigned in May of 2012 after being accused of serious ethical violations by leaking information to the National Association of Manufacturers.

6. In 2010, Martha N. Johnson, head of the General Services Administration, fired two top GSA officials and then resigned herself after it was revealed that $822,000 had been inappropriately spent in Las Vegas during a four-day training conference for 300 GSA employees.

Legislative Branch:

1. In 2015, Dennis Hastert, a Republican representative from Illinois, pled guilty to charges that he violated banking rules and lied to the FBI in a scheme to pay $3.5 million in hush money to conceal sexual misconduct with an under age boy from his days as a high school wrestling coach, from 1965 to 1981.

2. Aaron Schock, another Republican representative from Illinois, resigned from office in 2015 after evidence surfaced that he used campaign funds for travel, redecorated his office with taxpayer funds to resemble the sets of the Downtown Abbey television series, and otherwise spent campaign or taxpayer money on other questionable personal uses. Schock's senior adviser Benjamin Cole had resigned earlier after he condemned "hood rats" and "black miscreants" in internet posts. Schock's office stated, "I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff."

3. Brett O'Donnell, Communications Director for Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican representative from Washington, pled guilty to lying to investigators from the House Office of Congressional Ethics about working for Rodgers while being paid with campaign money, thus becoming the first person ever to be convicted of lying to the House OCE.

4. Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican representative from Michingan, resigned his Congressional seat. Four of his staff were convicted by the state of Michigan of falsifying signatures on McCotter's reelection petitions for the 2012 elections. Michigan Attorney General Bill, Schuette, also a Republican, blamed McCotter for running a slipshod, leaderless operation. Though McCotter resigned from office, he was never charged with any crimes. Paul Seewald worked for McCotter as his District Director of Michigan's 11th congressional district. He pled guilty to nine counts of falsely signing a nominating petition as circulator. He was sentenced to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay court costs and fees. Don Yowchuang worked for McCotter as Deputy District Director of the Michigan 11th Congressional District. He pled guilty to ten counts of forgery and six counts of falsely signing a nominating petition and was sentenced to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service, court costs and fees. Mary M. Turnbull was McCotter's Representative to the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She was convicted of conspiring to commit a legal act in an illegal manner and falsely signing a nominating petition. She was sentenced to two years of probation, a day in jail, and 200 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay a $1,440 fine. In addition, she is forbidden from any participation in elections or the political process. Lorianne O'Brady worked as a scheduler for McCotter in the Michigan 11th Congressional District. She pled no contest to charges that she falsely claimed to have legally collected signatures to get McCotter on the ballot when she actually had not. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail, assigned to a work program, and charged $2,625 in fines and court costs.

5. In 2014, Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican senator from Kentucky, had is campaign manager, Jesse Benton, resign when details of a bribery scandal from Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign came to light.

6. David Rivera, a Republican representative from Florida, was indicted as a co-conspirator with Campaign Manager Ana Alliegro, who pled guilty to violation of US campaign laws in an $81,000 campaign-finance scheme to prop up a little-known Democratic candidate, who used the illegal cash to trash Rivera's rival in the 2012 Democratic primary.

7.  On June 12, 2013, Rick Renzi, a Republican from Arizona, was charged with seventeen crimes, which included wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and making false statements to insurance regulators.

8. Mike Crapo, a Republican senator from Indiana, was arrested on December 23, 2012, and later pled guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court. The court fined him 250 dollars. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.

9. Trey Radel, another Republican from Florida, was arrested on October 29, 2013, in Washington, D.C. for possession of cocaine after purchasing the drug from an undercover law enforcement officer. As a first-time offender, he pled guilty to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C. court, and was sentenced to one year probation and fined $250. Radel took a leave of absence from office to undergo substance abuse treatment following his conviction. Following treatment, he initially returned to office with the intent of finishing his term, but eventually resigned on January 27, 2014.

10. In February of 2013, Jesse L. Jackson Jr., a Democratic representative from Illinois, pled guilty to one felony count of fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads, and fur capes.

11. In 2012, Laura Richardson, a Democratic representative from California, was found guilty on seven counts of violating US House rules by improperly using her staff to campaign for her, destroying the evidence, and then tampering with witness testimony. The House Ethics Committee ordered Richardson to pay a fine of $10,000.

12. John Ensign, a Republican senator from Nevada, resigned his seat on May 3, 2011, just before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton. In May of 2012, his aide Doug Hampton, in what became known as the John Ensign scandal, reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Neither man faced serious charges.

13. Michael Grimm, a Republican representative from New York, pled guilty to tax fraud, based on several years of returns, on December 23, 2014. He was sentenced to eight months in federal prison.

14. Ron Paul, a well known Republican representative from Texas, watched on as his Deputy Campaign Manager, Dimitri Kesari, was convicted of creating false records concerning charges of buying an Iowa State Senator's endorsement during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Judicial Branch:

1. G. Thomas Porteous, the Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana, was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of bribery and perjury in March of 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Democratic President, Bill Clinton. 

2. In 2009, Samuel B. Kent, the Federal District Judge for Galveston, Texas, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by Republican George H. W. Bush in 1990.

3. Jack T. Camp, the Senior Federal U.S. District Court Judge, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and again by George W. Bush, was arrested in an undercover drug bust while trying to purchase cocaine from an FBI agent. Judge Camp resigned after pleading guilty to three criminal charges. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 400 community service hours, and fined.

John Doe Citizen:

1. On March 4, 2016, John Doe was assaulted by the police for being in possession of one marijuana joint. He was smoking said joint while relaxing with his wife and drinking a beer in his own backyard. He is facing ten years in a state prison on charges of possession, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer, though photos tell that he was the one that took the beating.

        The cases that I have outlined here are, by many accounts, minor; however, I would argue that a long series of minor offenses can build up to one great big massive offense that cannot be ignored. This crap has got to change. The American people have to be the ones to police the government.  It's not like we can rely on the government to police itself. That's just not how the game works. Taking such action is our constitutional duty, after all. There are three ways that we can make the needed changes. We can vote the people that we know are guilty of corruption out of office, or not vote for them in the first place. We take the risk of exposing them ourselves; or failing that, we can start a revolution and replace the whole system entirely. To be safe, for now, let's stick with the voting option. We could always settle with them resigning in disgrace, or getting a minor punishment from their buddies, but that will not do. We must do the work ourselves. They must either be removed by us, or prevented from ever getting elected, by us.

        When the American people are presented with an opportunity to reject a political official that they know is corrupt, they need to take advantage of the situation. The 2016 election is a perfect example of an occasion where the American people can actively prevent corruption from entering their government. Ted Cruz has scandals following him. Donald Trump is a New York Real Estate Magnate. There is no telling what kind of messes he has gotten into. Then, there is Hillary Clinton. Of the candidates this year that could one day occupy the highest office in the land, she is the most corrupt of them all. We cannot allow her or her friends in the race, as they are all well known to each other, get elected, but she, above all, must be rejected with every vote we have. If you don't think so, just consider that she campaigned for a rabid segregationist candidate for the Presidency, Barry Goldwater, in 1964. If that is not enough for you to mark a ballot against her, here is a brief look at her resume of corruption. If, after all of this, someone still wants Hillary Clinton to be their President, let them elect her and bear the risk of more wars, more economic troubles, and more explosive social problems, all on their own.

1. Hillary actually played a role in the Watergate saga, and her actions as a young attorney may have set the tone for her career. The 27-year-old Clinton was fired from the staff of the House Judiciary committee investigating the Watergate scandal in 1974. She was fired by her supervisor, lifelong Democrat Jerry Zeifman, who called her a liar and much worse. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer,” he said. “She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee, and the rules of confidentiality.” Zeifman also refused to give Clinton a letter of recommendation, making her one of only three employees he snubbed during his 17-year career.

2. The Whitewater controversy began with investigations into the real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture in the 1970s and 1980s. The Clintons lost between $37,000 and $69,000 on their Whitewater investment. Within hours of the death of Vince Foster, a controversy in an of itself, in July 1993, the Chief White House Counsel, Bernard Nussbaum, removed documents, some of them concerning the Whitewater Development Corporation, from Foster's office and gave them to Maggie Williams, Chief of Staff to the First Lady. According to the New York Times, Williams placed them in a safe in the White House for five days before turning them over to their personal lawyer. As a result of the exposé in the New York Times, the Justice Department opened an investigation into the failed Whitewater deal. Media pressure continued to build, and on April 22, 1994, Hillary Clinton gave an unusual press conference under a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the State Dining Room of the White House, to address questions on both Whitewater and the cattle futures controversy, another questionable affair on Hillary's part; it was broadcast live on several networks. In it she claimed that the Clintons had a passive role in the Whitewater venture, and had committed no wrongdoing, but admitted her explanations had been vague and that she no longer opposed appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the matter.

3. The White House travel office controversy, sometimes referred to as, Travelgate, was the first major ethics controversy of the Clinton administration. It began in May 1993, when seven employees of the White House Travel Office were fired. This action was unusual because although theoretically staff employees serve at the pleasure of the President and could be dismissed without cause, in practice, such employees usually remain in their posts for many years. The White House stated the firings were done because financial improprieties in the Travel Office operation during previous administrations had been revealed by an FBI investigation. Critics contended the firings were done to allow friends of President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to take over the travel business and that the involvement of the FBI was unwarranted. Heavy media attention forced the White House to reinstate most of the employees in other jobs and remove the Clinton associates from the travel role.

4. During Bill Clinton’s terms in office, he and Hillary used the IRS as a weapon. IRS audits were conducted against individuals and groups who caused problems for the administration. Some of the prominent conservative groups were the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, and the National Center for Public Policy Research, among others. Individuals singled out for audits during the administration included Clinton paramours Gennifer Flowers and Liz Ward Gracen, sexual assault accusers Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick, fired White House Travel Office Director, Billy Dale and attorney, Kent Masterson Brown.

5. The Clintons have been accused of hiring private investigators to not only dig up dirt on perceived adversaries, such as Juanita Broaddrick, the woman allegedly raped by Bill, and other abused women such as Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, but to also stalk, scare, and threaten them. Willey asserts Hillary was behind a campaign of intimidation and harassment against her that fit a pattern employed against numerous other women whose claims of sexual impropriety or assault by Bill Clinton threatened the couple’s political fortunes.

6. The Clinton duo was involved in a scandal known as Filegate, in which, they illegally obtained FBI files on perceived adversaries, most of whom served in previous Republican administrations. They also used them in an effort to discredit the women who charged President Clinton with sexual misconduct, personal files and papers were illegally obtained and released. The courts found, under the Privacy Act, that the privacy of Linda Tripp and Kathleen Willey had been violated.

7. Before Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, he granted numerous controversial pardons, including one to convicted tax evader and wanted felon, Marc Rich, whose wife made significant contributions to Hillary’s 2000 Senate campaign and the Clinton Presidential Library. Rich had been indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on more than 50 counts of fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis, and evading more than $48 million in income taxes, crimes that could have earned him more than 300 years in prison. Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983 after his indictment and remained on the FBI’s Most Wanted List until President Clinton pardoned him. Also, Hillary’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham, reportedly received large amounts of money from people who were pardoned by Bill Clinton. Hillary said she and Bill were unaware of the scheme.

8. On Sept. 11, 2012, while Hillary was Secretary of State, Islamic militants attacked a U.S. special mission in Benghazi, Libya, and murdered U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management officer Sean Smith. Two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were also killed. In the months leading up to the attack, Hillary’s State Department cut security in Libya, despite repeated requests for additional security forces from the Ambassador and his advisers. She was also the person that granted waivers for a CIA detachment to occupy a building that was not only too far from the building housing the U.S. special mission to be of any good, but that was also below the security standard for occupation set by the Department of Defense.

9. Hillary kept all her official correspondence as Secretary of State, as well as her personal emails, on a private email server located at her home, this became known as Emailgate, instead of using the government-mandated process while serving in the high appointed position. Her email system was unsecured for months while she used it for government business, and she did not sign a standard agreement when she left office that promised she had left government property behind. Hillary did not encrypt her private email service with a digital certificate for the first three months of her tenure as secretary of state. That was while she was traveling to China, Egypt, Israel, Japan and South Korea. Several present and former members of the U.S. intelligence community said Hillary’s private email server was a major security risk, and America, going forward, ought to assume enemies of the state all had access to it.

10. Investigators with the State Department issued subpoenas to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation last fall seeking documents about the charity’s projects that may have required approval from the federal government during Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State. The subpoenas also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide who, for six months in 2012, was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons. The Clintons have also been accused of siphoning off tens of millions of dollars annually from funds the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has received from a United Nations sponsored program that uses levies on airline tickets to help HIV/AIDs victims in undeveloped countries.

        The woman pictured above is not what this country needs. She is corrupt, dishonest, irresponsible, power hungry, untrustworthy, and unqualified to be our President. She belongs in prison, not the White House. She, and countless others like her, are what is truly destroying this country. They accept money from corporations in exchange for relaxing regulations on labor, the environment, and product quality. They get us involved in military conflicts, whose sole purpose is to develop US military technology. They create policies, like the Clinton's Three Strike Legislation that has jailed millions of non-violent offenders, which are designed to keep us divided, so that we are incapable of resisting their authority. Most importantly, however, is the fact that they have absolutely no clue whatsoever what it is like to struggle day to day like a real American. Perched, safely, in their multi million dollar homes and their pristine offices, they have no clue what it is like to have to choose between a major surgery and feeding the children. They have no clue what its like to willingly go without food, so that their kids can eat, and they have no clue what it is like to have accept death because they do not have the health insurance needed to pay for a life saving procedure. 

        They are not working class Americans, and they cannot possibly represent working class Americans. Hillary Clinton, and those like her, need to be shown the door, and they need to be replaced with people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have proven records of actually fighting for the good of the people. Bernie Sanders, especially, deserves every opportunity that we the people can grant him. He is a four term former Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he was a member of the US House of Representatives for 16 years, and he has been a US Senator since 2006. In that time, he has never ceased fighting for the cause of the working class. If the American people want to engage in a peaceful transition to a more open and honest political culture, electing Bernie Sanders to the White House is a way to get that process started. It is going to be a rigorous and challenging ordeal, and it is not going to be easy, by any means; but with people like Bernie Sanders at the helm, it will happen. The other solution involves blood, death, and monumental sacrifice, and I do not believe that the American people really want that to happen. I now I don't.

1 comment:

  1. I still say the biggest present crime is the violation of the Constitution by the entire Congress.I still need signatures, "Correct-this-Violation-of-the-Constitution" to the "House of Representatives, U.S. Senate,and President of the United States" We can use your help to stir up the conversation on representation. Will you please take a minute or two to sign and please share. Here's the link: