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House Oversight Committee, lobby, lobbyist, bribes, control, congress, corruption, puppet

Captured Congress

“Do you think party leaders exert too much control over members of Congress and over the agenda,” Full Measure host Sharyl Attkisson asked retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, “in a way that might be motivated by donations and corporate influence and special interests?” Winner of five Emmys, as well as the

earmarks, ear marks, pork, Congress, spending, corrumption, deals

Earmark This Bad Argument

With President Trump endorsing a return to earmarks, House Republicans too are reportedly “reconsidering” their usefulness and pondering “how they might ease back into the practice.” Lawmakers fret that they have lost too much power by giving up this instrument of corruption. (Not their characterization.) Wikipedia defines “earmark” as a

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, boarding pass, United, airlines

Queen Sheila: Terror of the Skies

What’s all the fuss? Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) was escorted ahead of all the other passengers onto a United Airlines flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., taking seat 1A in first class. The congresswoman described it as “nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary.” Meanwhile, Jean-Marie Simon possessed a

Illinois, corruption, exit, vote with your feet, taxes

The Biggest Loser

Government is supposed to serve everybody . . . according to good, old-fashioned republican theory. But most governments serve some more than others. We can define as “corruption” any attempt to make government serve a few at the expense of the many — or the many at the expense of

cronyism, Amazon, taxpayers, black hole

Cry Me an Amazon

My idea of a “free market” is not our politicians’. Their idea is to give away free stuff to their new and old business buddies . . . at everyone else’s expense. That sort of “crony capitalism” has been writ large per Amazon’s search for a location for a second

cfpb, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, director, Richard Cordray, Mick Mulvaney, deep state, administrative state, bureaucracy

Invulnerable Government

As of this week, there are two heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Two claimants to the throne, so to speak. The bureau’s previous director, Richard Cordray, resigned last week, and as he left he appointed a deputy director, Leandra English. Ms. English sent out a nice Thanksgiving email,

sexual harassment, Congress, House Page, Washington, DC, hypocrisy, corruption, taxes,

Congress Bites Taxpayers

Is it even humanly possible to be sleazier and more disgusting than the Harvey Weinsteins of Hollywood? Sadly, and clearly . . . yes. There is the U.S. Congress. In 2011, after 175 years in operation, the House page program — whereby young people came to work and learn in the

George Orwell, Kaya Henderson, Washington D.C., equal, Animal Farm, favors, corruption, crony, cronyism, politicians,

More-Equal-Ness

“All animals are equal,” wrote George Orwell, “but some animals are more equal than others.” That was the regime’s final slogan in Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm . . . and it currently serves as the operating principle for local government. Well, at least in Washington, D.C., our country’s pig trough. Washington Post

special prosecutor, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russia, corruption, Trump, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates

Stranger Counsels

The office of special counsel, like that of the special prosecutor in days (and administrations) of yore, is a strange one. Not mentioned in the Constitution, it is institutionally slippery. An executive branch position designed to investigate the executive branch — there is no way it cannot be . .

exit, term limits, experience, Congress, oversight, Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Bob Corker

Our Experience with Experience

It seems exceedingly plausible that the longer one serves as a legislator, the better legislator one would become. Yet voters back home have noticed something: the longer in office, the less representative their so-called representative tends to become. No wonder that in those states where Americans have been permitted to

Democratic Party, gubernatorial nominee, governor, Frank Northam, Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax, racism, politicians

Omission of Character

One downside to jumping to the wrong conclusion is that the failure to even look for the correct, accurate conclusion inevitably follows.  This sleepy odd-year campaign for governor of Virginia has recently been riled by charges of racism. Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Frank Northam made the “mistake” of “omitting” the

Harvey Weinstein, donor, democrats, corruption, sex scandal, boycott,

Choice Corruption

What is corruption? said no jesting Pilate ever. But please, stay for an answer. A week ago, Jimmie Moore pleaded guilty to filing a false campaign finance report in order to conceal a $90,000 payment to drop out of a congressional race. Moore is a former Philadelphia judge (heavens). The

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