Internet Articles (2015)
On the heels of Congressman Bob Ney's former chief-of-staff Neil Volz pleading guilty to participating in an illegal lobbying conspiracy involving recently convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Democratic National Committee went to court to pry open Secret Service White House entry logs to determine how many times Abramoff and/or five of his associates visited key White House personnel during the past five yearsor those DNC Chairman Howard Dean referred to as "...the central figures in the Republican culture of corruption" had profit-centered access to key members oif the Bush Administration.
However, when the FBIwho trapped Congressman William Jefferson [D-LA] in a long term sting operation in which they videotaped him accepting $100 thousand in $100 bills from an FBI informant last Augustraided his Rayburn House Office Building congressional office, there was a rare bipartisan appearance in which House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert [R-IL] and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] jointly denounced the properly subpoenaed raid as unconstitutional and, in one voice, demanded the FBI return of every document they took from Jefferson's officewhich was evidence in a criminal inviestigation by the Justice Departmentto the Congressman. Hastert diligently noted that "...no person is above the lawneither the one being investigated nor those conducting the investigation." Hastert and Pelosi arged that the Justice Department must immediately stop looking at the documents they took under a lawful subpoena and ensure Congress that they will divulge what they saw in the documents. Once the papers are returned, the leaders asserted in their statement to the media, "...Congressman Jefferson can, and should, fully cooperate with the Justice Department's efforts, cosistent with [Jefferson's] constitutional rights." His cooperation, I am certain, would begin with the shredding of every document that was returnedalthough you can be certain, if the Justice Department returned them, photo copies of every document would have been made before any document was returned.
It may well be that Hastert's denunciation of the FBI's action in seizing documents from the Rayburn House Office Building was the catalyst that triggered the leak from the FBI to ABC News later that same day on Wednesday, May 24. The leak, first aired on World News Tonight that eveningdescribed the Speaker as being "very much in the mix" of the corruption probe. Specifically, the leak said, the FBI was examining a letter from Hastert in which he urged the Bush Dept. of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with tribes represented by Abramoff.
Who are the five "central figures?" Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform; Ralph Reed, candidate for Lt. Governor of Georgia; Patrick Pizzella, a Labor Dept. official who was a former lobbying partner of Abramoff; David Safavian, who has been charged with attempting to obstruct a federal investigation; and Michael Scablon, a former aide of Tom Delay who had already pleaded guilty to bribery in the Abramoff investigation.
The DNC thinks the Tom Delay-Jack Abramoff scandal has strong enough legs to run the distance and might help them take out several senior GOP Senators and Congressmen like Sen. Conrad Burns [R-MT] and Congressman Bob Nye [R-OH], or House Speaker Dennis Hastert [R-IL] without touching the 39 Senatre Democrats who took money from Abramoff. And it should be noted that the largest contributions didn't go to Tom Delay or the Republicans. Where Hastert received donations of $70 thousand from groups lobbied by Abramoff and Burnswho will be heavily targeted by liberal 527s this fallwho received $150 thousand but returned it when he learned who donated it, Democrats were,by far, the largest recipients of Abramoff largess.
From 1999, the Democratic National Committee, which characterized taking money from Abramoff as a "culture of corruption," took the most$2,015,450.00 since 1999. They were followed by another culture of corruptionthe Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee which took $1,614,950.00 since 1999, followed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which took $1,288,650.00. Not quite a culture of corruption, the Democratic Governor Association only got $965,000.00. Congressman Patrick Kennedy [D-RI] (the boychild of Sen. Ted Kennedy [D-MA] apparently has his own personal culture of corruption since he received the largest amount of any elected official$505,400.00, following by Sen. Patty Murray [D-WA] whose culture of corruption netted her $430,000.00. I could continue, but I think you get the picture. (If you want the rest of the contributions made by Jack Abramoff to Democrats, email me and I will send you a pdf.file containing that information. Sen Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leaderwho has heatedly claimed never to have met Abramoff (and likely never did), nevertheless received gratuities of $76,500.00 from the grateful clients of the lobbyist.
Reid and the screamer, Howard Dean, believe they can convince their friends at the New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, USA Today, and the LA Times from mentioning the names or the amounts of money received by loyal Democrats and concentrate on the fables and foibles of the GOP enough to convince the voters that Republicans are corrupt and evil and Democrats are saintly patrons of the poor.
While its obvious that the Democrats have planned an entire strike force around this strategy to defeat several GOP candidates if Tom Delay's nonexistent coattails can be stretched to cover any Republican he's ever had lunch with, the potential for serious backlash should be obvious even to Howard Dean. Because if the GOP stands and fights, the losers on this assault will be the Democrats, with the biggest loser being Dean himself who, I predict, will lose his job if his search and destroy plan fails once more.
Next, even though the Democrats stymied Bush-43's efforts to drill oil in one small corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and even though the DNC sued George W. Bush in the US Supreme Court within a week of his winning the White House. Less than 90-minutes after he took his oath of office on January 20, 2001, President George W. Bush called his new chief-of-staff, Andrew Card, to the Oval Office and instructed him to distribute a memo throughout the bureaucracy ordering all agency heads to refrain from publishing any new or pending regulations in the Federal Register, effectively killing the spate of last minute Executive Orders issued by Clinton on the way out the door. Four weeks before the November, 2000 election, Clinton began issuing environmental regulationsmost of them dealing with carbon dioxide emissionssuggesting Clinton knew that that Al Gore, who would have been known as the "Environmental President" had he won the White House, would not win the election.
Clinton wrote an average of 210 pages of new EPA regulations per day during that four week periodthe highest rate of new regulations generated by any president in the history of the nation. In addition, Bush suspended all of the last minute Clinton EOs that had already been published in the Federal Register but had not yet been inplemented. Bush launched a vigorous review of all of Clinton's last minute edicts that were issued without proper disclosure. Bush tried to rescind the Clinton emissions control Executive Orders that would force scores of US factories to close their doors forever, transferring American jobs to Mexicoand China. Frank O'Donnell, the Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Clean Air Trust was contacted by Senate Democrats who were stunned by the Bush action.
O'Donnell's organization filed a lawsuit in the US Supreme Court against Bush and newly-appointed EPA Director-designate Christine Todd-Whitman. The Clean Air Trust argued that denying Bush the right to suspend Clinton's regulations would prevent 360 thousand asthma attacks and more than 386 thousand other cases of respiratory illnesses. In addition, the Clean Air Trust claimed, it would prevent 1.5 million lost work days, 7,100 hospital admissions and 2,400 emergency room visits by asthma patients each year. In additon, they claimed, stopping Bush would reduce acid rain and reduce the risk of eutrophication and nitrification of fresh water bodies in the United States.
When the EPA and the Bush White House filed its rebuttal in court, they argued that implementing Clinton's burdensome executive orders would be too costly on the taxpayers. In delivering its decision, the high court ruled that upholding national health standards should be based on science, not cost. In this one instance, the high court said, the president lacked the right to suspend the Executive Orders of a previous president since, they ruled, Bush's decision was entirely political and was not based on the best interests of the American people.
On June 26, 2002 the Democratically-controlled Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee narrowly rejected an amendment to the Clean Air Act of 1970 that would have weakened carbon dioxide standards that threatened to close hundreds of industrial plants in the United States. The effort to defeat the legislation written by Sen. Bob Smith [R-NH] was led by Committee Chairman Jim Jeffords [I-VT] the turncoat Republican Senator who switched parties and gave control of the US Senate to the Democrats. (Bush became the first president to be denied the right to suspend an Executive Order written by a previous president.)
When Bushafter analyzing why there could be severe gasoline shortages severe when there was no shortage of crude oilannounced a plan to convert closed military bases into oil refineries to produce enough of a gasoline surplus to drive down the price of gas at the pumps, he was stopped cold by the Democrats in both the House and Senate. I sure would like the Democratswho filled their campaign war chests with contributions from the oil industry and their hired guns in the environmental industryto give us a factual explanation of how high gas prices are Bush's fault and not theirs.
The same goes for the high cost of medical treatment in this country, and the rapidly escalating cost of prescription drugs. Want to cut those cuts? Tort reform will do it just fine. Once again, this isn't a problem laying on the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. You have to go down to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue to find the culprit. The Democrats who get millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the lawyers of America want that door left open because settlements form frivilous class action lawsuits made most of them millionaires at the expense of the American consumer who pays all of those judgments out of their own pockets. It's not the doctors. It's not the insurance companies. It's not the pharmaceutical companies. It's you and me. But, tragically, we pay off those large six, seven and eight digit settlements or judgments through the higher prices charged by the doctors, the hospitals, the drug stores, and the pharmaceutical industry. Who's doing that to us? Not the GOP. It's the Democrats.
The GOP leadership in Congressand Bushhave to take the heat for the immigration problem. When Congress addressed the illegal immigration problem for the first time on Nov. 6, 1986 when Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, the Immigration Reform and Control Act, Congress knew the problemsall of them. Simpson-Mazzoli created the I-9 to prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens. It increased the number of Border Patrol agents on the Mexican border. But it also created a loophole for America's agri-giants to provide them with the seasonal workers they needed at slave labor prices. it didn't work. George H.W. Bush tried it again with the the Immigration Act of 1990. The Clinton Administration tried 26 times to enact a new amnesty bill. Finally he issed an Executive Order and, in 1996, gave citizenship to 5 million illegals—a right neither he nor any president did not, or does nt, exist without a law legally enacted by both Houses of Congresses..
And, although the Democrats, urged to do so by the international labor unions, pushed Bush to grant amnesty to some 13 million illegal aliens. And even though the National Education Association was complicit in providing both legal and illegal aliens as well as natural born American students the right to join nationwide amnesty protests, this problem belongs to Bush since he's the one who suggested Congress should grant a "one-time" amnesty when, in reality, it would have been the fourth such "one-time amnesty" since 1986. Buish owns it even though he never bought the issue. If there was someone else in the White Houseeither a President Gore or a President Kerrythat president would have done exactly the same thing this president is trying to do. He would be urging Congress to legalize the illegal aliens who are living in America's taxfree underground economy.
But the simple truth is the illegals, for the most part, do not want to come out of the shadows and join the taxpaying work force. They have no desire to pay taxes. Nor does Mexico want them to pay taxes in the United States. Paying taxes here would greatly curb the amount of discretionary dollars they would have left to send to their families back to Mexico. When President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty in 1986, it created a few new taxpayersbut only those whose families were intact, or those who could find work in the light of day since the employers who violated immigration laws paid them under the table. While the employers who flaunt the law and hire illegals want amnesty for them, they don't want the illegals given citizenship nor do they want them "on the payroll" since that would require them to withhold social security taxes from their wagesand pay the portion employers are required to contribute. In addition, there are other contributory taxes as well. In addition, if that employer offered healthcare and a 401K retirement plan to their American employees, they would be obligated to offer those benefits to the new legals as well. And that, of course, would be unacceptable to the employers who hire illegals only because they are cheaper and, because they work under the table without the benefit of healthcare and retirement benefits.
The House meaure on immigration control needed to begin by actually sealing the borders. That never happened. A porous border was needed to make NAFTA worl since NAFTA guarantees Mexico and Canada unfettered access to the United States. Canada does. Mexico does not. They never have. They never will.