Thursday, March 31, 2016

April, 2016, Part 1, Political Class Insanity: Congressional Corruption, Chicago's Financial Death Spiral and More

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane, corrupt, and idiotic politician comments, etc.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity posts we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history.

Let’s get started with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) Whatever you think of Donald Trump’s Presidential run, he does seem to have pissed off everyone in political power in the country. Republican and Democratic power brokers alike seem to be doing everything they can to prevent Trump from becoming President. Which may mean that Trump is a good thing, that he is actually getting close to exposing and attacking the institutional corruption that currently exists in the country today.

Liberty First News recently gave an idea of how insane the whole situation has gotten. Republican affiliated power brokers have already spent over half a BILLION dollars in trying to stop Trump mania, according to a report and analysis from the Center of Public Integrity. According to Carrie Levine from the Center for Public Integrity: “So far, donors have funneled more than $520 million collectively into campaigns and outside groups supporting Republican presidential candidates who have now dropped out — and the primaries are far from over. Only U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Trump remain in the Republican presidential primary, and they’re aggressively courting those who once wrote checks to their opponents. But some GOP megadonors with millions of dollars to spend haven’t selected a new date to the presidential dance. Others are on the arms of their second and third choices."

Half a billion dollars spent and nothing to show for it. How insane have our political processes become that half a billion dollars have gone down the drain and the country is no better off, our politics are still juvenile and useless. No additional drug addicts have been treated, no additional hungry Americans have been fed, no additional homeless Americans have gotten shelter, etc. A bunch of advertising agencies and political consultants are richer but that is it. Such bad priorities.

2) As we have always tried to point out, it is not only the Washington political class that is screwed up and which screws up our lives. Consider how the local political class in Chicago has screwed up the lives of Chicago residents and the city’s future financial demise:
  • Fitch Ratings recently downgraded Chicago’s credit rating, moving it closer to “junk” bond status.
  • This latest crisis was the result of the state Supreme Court voiding a recent law that tried to boost the two of the city’s pension funds.
  • Fitch warned that the city’s credit rating could be further reduced since there is an absence of "a realistic plan that puts the pension funds on an affordable path toward solvency."
  • Fitch stated that it believes the state Supreme Court ruling forces the city to continue to fund future promised pension benefits even if the pension funds become insolvent.
  • Even worse, the Moody’s rating service has already rated Chicago bonds as junk.
  • In total, the city’s four pension plans have a whopping $20 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.
  • The city officials warned that two of the pension funds would run out of money within 10 to 13 years.
As the city credit ratings go down, the cost of interest on city bonds goes up which forces the city to raise taxes which drives citizens and businesses out of the city which reduces tax revenue as interest rate costs are going up, and the death spiral is underway. Thus, local politicians from the third largest city in the country also cannot manage a budget, much like their counterparts in Washington who are on track to run up a $20 TRILLION national debt liability in the near future. Insanely incompetent.

3) But not only are our politicians incompetent but they are often criminals. Remember how a Virginia Congressman had so much cash from his criminal activities that he had to store his cash in his freezer? How about the former New Orleans mayor who went to jail for kickbacks and shake downs? And how about the many former Illinois governors that have served jail times for their corruption? 

And now we have another potential crooked politician. Two weeks ago, the House Ethics Committee voted to open an investigation into possible ethical and criminal behavior by current Congresswoman Corrine Brown. Details of the shady behavior include the following:
  • There are allegations that the Congresswoman “improperly solicited charitable donations” from a charity that was not actually a charity.
  • The so-called charity never obtained official tax exempt status and never filed state or federal income taxes.
  • But the so-called charity still raised about $800,000 in donations but in four years issued one $1,000 scholarship.
  • Allegedly, an official of the charity withdrew over $140,000 from the charity which were then used for events hosted by or in honor of an unnamed public official, i.e. Congresswoman Brown.
  • The Justice Department is now involved in the investigation, never a good sign for an alleged law breaker.
Now, while the Congresswoman is presumed innocent until proven guilty, when a Congressional panel and the Justice Department are investigating you, it cannot be good. And given the political class track record on being criminals and law breakers, it would not be a surprise if Congresswoman Brown was just continuing the tradition of Washington corruption.

4) We have often said that the appearance of a conflict of interest is just as bad as a real conflict of interest. Such is the case that is developing between Hillary Clinton’s crimes, attorney general Loretta Lynch, and this conflict of interest situation. As most people should know, the FBI is investigating a myriad of potential crimes that have been committed by Hillary and Bill Clinton:
  • Loretta Lynch will have the final say in whether or not Hillary is indicted, assuming that the FBI recommends an indictment based on their extensive investigation.
  • But Lynch used to work for the Washington based international law firm of Hogan & Hartson from 2002 through 2010.
  • She was a litigation partner at the firm.
  • But one of the firm’s partners was the tax lawyer who filed tax returns for Bill and Hillary Clinton starting in 2004.
  • Additionally, the law firm filed a patent trademark request for the Denver-based MX Logic company in 2004, the same MX Logic firm that developed the email encryption program used to manage Hillary’s private and illegal private email system.
  • Experts have previously stated that employees of MX Logic could have access to the all of the emails that went through her illegal server.
  • Bill Clinton helped Lynch get appointed to her two terms as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Thus, Lynch owes an important phase of her life to Bill Clinton, the wife of the very person, Hillary Clinton, that she gets to decide whether or not to indict based on the FBI’s findings and who also was indirectly involved via MX Logic with the very materials that will be part of any indictment. This is all either the appearance of or actual conflict of interest and the honorable and ethical thing for Lynch to do is recuse herself from these proceedings. 

But honorable and ethical behavior is extinct in Washington so you can be sure that this insult to America will likely prove the old saying from Woodrow Wilson: 

An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.

Want to bet that the “invisible empire” will find a way to protect itself and that the cronies of Washington will allow the insanity of Hilary’s lawlessness to go unpenalized? Insane and so true, unfortunately.

So we are off to another depressing phase of political class insanity. Conflict of interest in Hillary’s world, more Congressional corruption and greed, Chicago’s financial death spiral, and wasting wealth on pointless political farces. Just gettin started, more insanity tomorrow.

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