Saturday, December 29, 2007

Clinton, Giulliani, Huckabee and Obama make Judicial Watch's Top 10 List of Most Corrupt Politicians

Judicial Watch, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization published its list of "Washington’s 'Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians' for 2007". Included in the organization's list of ethically challenged noteables were Presidential Candidates, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) and Senator Barak Hussein Obama (D-Ill).

Mrs. Clinton made number one on the list of "Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2007" due to her long and sordid ethics record according to the organization. The group cited the Junior Senator from New York for blocking release of her official White House records, casting suspicion that these records would yield a wealth of information about her role in various Clinton era scandals. Also mentioned were the Senator's repeated filing of false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate.

Former Govenor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee was cited for 14 ethics complaints noted by the group including his use of campaign cash, his use of a non-profit entity to subsidize his income, his subsequent lawsuits against the state ethics commission along with his attempt to shut down the ethics investigative process in his state.

Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giulliani made the group's list, after it was revealed that he billed various City of New York agencies for security and transportation while the Mayor was engaged in an extramarital affair with his then girlfriend, Judith Nathan who is now his wife. The city was charged for trips to the Hamptons along with the expense of providing a police vehicle and a city driver for Ms. Nathan.

Senator Barak Hussein Obama moved up from the Judicial Watch's "Dishonorable Mention" category last year to number eight on the group's "Ten Most Wanted" list for 2007 when it was discovered that after only two months in the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 in speculative ventures whose major investors were among his biggest campaign contributors according to Judicial Watch. The report also claimed that a biotech concern benefited from legislation that the Junior Senator proposed only two weeks after purchasing $5,000 of the company's shares.

Other well known politicians that made the group's list were Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Larry Craig (R-ID), Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Judicial Watch's full list can be seen here.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's position as number one on the group's list comes as no surprise here. Scores of books, articles and opinion pieces along with hundreds of hours of air time have chronicled the Clinton's sundry pecadillos for years. As Hillary's handlers have said in response to various accusations about her chicanery and moral turpitude, "that's old news". It's a tactic that employs the usual Clinton camp bob and weave around questions regarding her lack of character and moral fiber. That canned response never answers the question but merely deflects it and swats it away as though it were a fly in hopes that it will go away or drop to the floor. As Peggy Noonan writes, the Clintons perfected a new method of scandal management that starts with "These are lies spread by a partisan conspiracy," proceeds to "That's old news," and ends a few years later, when detailed books come out, with "That's rehash for cash." This way, the Clinton's give themselves a pass and go on to their business as usual behind closed doors.

Is it any wonder that a journalist of Noonan's stature who has observed Hillary for years recently commented, Mrs. Clinton is the most dramatically polarizing, the most instinctively distrusted, political figure of my lifetime. Yes, I include Nixon.

The addition of Giulliani and Huckabee to the list is a bit of a stretch since both are not part of the Washington political class per se but only aspire to become D.C. politicians. Yet the entries of these men provides us with a glimpse into their character. Based on their past indiscretions, perhaps the inner workings of a (shudder the thought) Giulliani or (worse yet) Huckabee administration might morph from line items on a web site to headlines in future editions of the nation's newspapers and magazines if either of these gentlemen made their new residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Obama is new to the Washington establishment but appears to have learned quickly how business is done in the political arena. If you look at these and other politicos named in Judicial Watch's list, a pattern becomes obvious. Someone gains a position of decision-making power or influence in government through the help of others looking for favors, grants and contracts from the government. Once the person gains office he/she returns the favor by pushing for beneficial legislation for their sponsors or they garner earmarks for friends, relatives and cronies or secure government contracts to improve land adjoining their own private investment properties. The corrupt politician then builds up his/her own wealth at the expense of the very taxpayers they claim to represent! Those who helped the corrupt politician attain office get the benefit of their new found position. Those who didn't help are ignored and those who opposed them earn their wrath.

In a perfect world this would be called influence peddling. Politicians who claim to represent the little guy and "stand up to the big bad corporate interests" are playing a game of political soap opera for us the unwashed masses while the old media provide them with a stage. They use all the buzz words their focus groups say will resonate with their audience. They have a standard sales pitch approved by their sponsors. They put that sales pitch to use while they're on the campaign trail. Unscrupulous politicians align themselves with companies and industries that are friendly to their cause with the understanding that the candidate will return the favor or look favorably upon the business ventures of the supporter in the future once the candidate is in office. The fact that such politicians villanize one group of businesses and cannonize another is merely a function of the team they have chosen to play on. In debating the differences between such candidates you and I may as well engage in useless arguements as to which is a better car, Chevy or Ford or who's the better football league, AFL or NFL.

Glenn Beck may be onto something when he said the political class have been very successful in dividing the nation ideologically between Democrat and Republican, left and right, ethnic group against ethnic group, one man's religion against another. We need to wake up. We need to recognize that we are first Americans who are committed to the safety, prestige and prosperity of the nation and take note of the fact that nations and peoples around the world aspire to attain the freedoms, comforts and standard of living we take for granted in the USA. These freedoms we have were not granted by any man but given by God. This election let's pray that the person who attains the highest office in the land is worthy of the supreme trust our people will place in the new occupant of the oval office. Let's pray that person will serve the people of the United States out of a love of God and country, devoted to carry out the responsibilities that office with integrity and honor.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a man who crowded near the two time Prime Minister in the garrison town of Rawalpindi this morning. Ms. Bhutto had just finished addressing a large crowd of supporters and was exiting the rally at Rawalpindi's Liaqat Bagh Park. As Ms. Bhutto was leaving the Park by the rear gate onto Murree road, she was shot twice in the neck and chest by an assailant. The gunman subsequently blew himself up killing nearly a score bystanders after committing the assault.

This craven, cowardly and dastardly act was claimed to have been committed by al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the terror group's commander in neighboring Afghanistan claimed in an interview with a reporter that the attack was ordered back in October by Ayman al Zawahri the number two leader of the infamous terror group in that country.

This outrageous action will make Pakistan's process of moving toward a true democracy more difficult while opposition groups aligned against President Pervez Musharraf try and field a viable candidate to stand against the ruling government in the parliamentary elections slated for January 8th of 2008.

World leaders universally condemmed the assassination and President Musharraf promissed to hunt down and bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice.

Ms. Bhutto was a patriot to her country and despite previous troubles with allegations of pernicious corruption of her administration during her tenure as Prime Minister of Pakistan she truly was a brave woman who felt called to lead her people out of the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones as well as those of the innocent people who died as a result of this barbarous, despicable and indefensible act.

One can only hope that the country will proceed with the scheduled parliamentary elections on January 8th as promised by Musharraf. The successful implementation of the country's upcoming vote will sound the death knell of al Qaeda and their allies in Asia.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Late Wish for a Merry Christmas

The first Christmas: Luke 2:1-20

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.