Culture of corruption: Menendez and free private jet rides to Dominican Republic

What scum. And let me point out if this guy was a Republican I’d be calling him scum too. These are the benefits you get from “friends” when you’re a United States senator. Pure corruption.

Read more

From Rags to Riches, the Harry Reid Story

Ever wonder how the flacks and hacks make their millions while in Congress?

Here’s how:

“In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

When his 2010 challenger Sharron Angle asked him in a debate how he had become so wealthy, he said, “I did a very good job investing.” Did he ever. On December 20, 2005, he invested $50,000 to $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies whose shares it held included ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips. When he made a partial sale of his shares on August 19, 2008, during congressional recess, IYE closed at $41.82. Just a month later, on September 17, Reid was working to bring to the floor a bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies — including those in the fund — billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees. The bill passed a few days later, and by October 10, IYE’s shares had fallen by 42 percent, to $24.41, for a host of reasons. Savvy investing indeed.””

Shady characters, slick moves and insider trading on legislation…  Beats working for a living.

Culture of Corruption

Here’s a link to Michelle Malkin’s new paperback edition of her NY Times best selling book “Culture of Corruption”. Read more

Dodd makes JW’s Top 10 corrupt politicians

Judicial Watch has come out with its list of the Top 10 most corrupt politicians. Not many surprises although I guess taking payoff money for Nebraska doesn’t count. H/T to Hotair for the leg work. Read Ed’s take. Pretty good.

Chris Dodd is number one on the list … unfortunately, it’s alphabetical.

1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him.  In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat.  In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms.  Judicial Watch’s complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms.  However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued.  Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate.  The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up.  Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

The list includes President Obama for, among other things, claiming the White House is exempt from the Privacy Act. Also on the list, Pelosi, Holder, Geithner, Murtha and Rangel. There’s a shocker.

UPDATE: Oh, and perhaps this might elevate the senior Senator’s status on the list. We talked about it this morning. From the Washington Examiner. (H/T Hotair)

Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants — a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically “for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems.” The amendment was also sponsored by Sen. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Carper, D-Del., but Dodd deserves to be singled out here because the firefighters union is a pet constituency of his. In 2007 he campaigned all through Iowa with the firefighters union. It was one of the few distinguishable features of Dodd’s ill-fated presidential bid.

More than one person called this morning to say the money for the Connecticut firefighters was well spent. I don’t doubt that it was necessary. What I take exception to is the robbing of Peter to pay Paul, in this case the TSA, to help firefighters in Connecticut. It’s “Paul’s” responsibility to make sure our firefighters have the equipment they need to do the job, meaning the local municipalities. It is the town’s first responsibility. It should be budgeted for. It should not be the responsibility of taxpayers in Nebraska or anywhere else to funnel cash to Connecticut, at the expense of national security.

Charlie’s Angles…

Blame it on my misspent youth — “I remember Charlie’s Angels.”  Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Tiegs, big hair, bad guys and a resonant voice emitting from a intercom system. In this modern era of “re-imaginings” and “remakes,” let me make a modest proposal… I present, for your entertainment pleasure, “Charlie’s Angles.

In a world with insoluble problems, like the tax code, enter Charlie Rangel. The man who writes the tax code and, recently, has called for harder and harsher enforcement of these regulations by the IRS. Charlie, however, doesn’t always live up to the letter of the laws he rights — as Leona Helmsley might say — taxes are for the little people.

Enter “Charlie’s Angles”. When the men and women who purport to represent you don’t live up to the standards they themselves set, they must face a jury of their peers — the Ethics committee. A clever man, Charlie Rangel has the best defense that money can buy. What do you buy for the man who has everything? I haven’t the foggiest — but, apparently, he tried to the Ethics committee for himself.

” A few Democrats returned Rangel’s donations, including Ethics Committee member Peter Welch of Vermont, who said he returned Rangel’s $20,000 out of “an abundance of caution.”

Two other Democrats on the panel — Ben Chandler of Kentucky, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina — have refused to return Rangel’s contributions.

The House Ethics Committee’s wide-ranging investigation of Rangel has been expanded twice, as new revelations have come to light. “

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. The more light they shine on Charlie, the more they find.

Betcha Charlie wishes he could be a disembodied voice on an intercom, don’t ya think?

The first conviction

What was that San Fran Nan was saying about the “most ethical Congress ever?”

WASHINGTON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Former U.S. Representative William Jefferson, who was caught with $90,000 in cash in his freezer, was found guilty on 11 of 16 charges related to a bribery and money laundering scandal, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

“The ex-Louisiana lawmaker was accused in 2007 of soliciting millions of dollars in bribes from a dozen companies while using his office to broker business deals in Africa.

In a search of his residence, FBI agents said they had found the $90,000 in a freezer.

Jefferson faces up to 150 years in prison and could face forfeiture of payments totaling $456,000, plus stock certificates, according a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia, where Jefferson was tried. Jefferson can appeal his conviction.”

One wonders if, in the tradition of Marion Barry or Sharpe James, William Jefferson will seek re-election.

Rosa DeLauro and Rahm Emanuel – Perfect Together

Well it beats having your kids still living in the basement.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro has received some attention lately for the apparent generosity of providing Obama’s chief of staff, former Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a place to crash in the capital. The Web reports have accused him of living illegally in her DC house.

Emanuel’s lodging would seem to constitute a gift, but a quick reading of House ethics rules suggests that members of Congress are not violating any rules when taking gifts from each other. Of course, he’s no longer a member of Congress .

and there’s more here.

Oh, but then, Emanuel is now serving under the supposedly stricter ethics regime of the Obama White House. Free rent from a Democratic pollster? Something doesn’t smell right — and it’s not just that usual basement mustiness.

But forget about any breaches of minor ethics rules. So Emanuel crashed with DeLauro and Greenberg for five years for free — who cares? What this really tells us is how hopelessly inbred Washington is. We just wish Emanuel had gotten fancier digs in the bargain.

Ok … maybe it’s not better than having the kids still living at home. At least you can get them to shovel the driveway.

Once again … H/T to Instapundit.