Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Stock Market in DANGER of Strangling the Bears to Death - Nadeem_Walayat
2. Germany Pivoting East, Exit US Dollar, Enter Gold Standard - Jim_Willie_CB
3.Flight MH17 – Kiev Flash Mob's Last False Flag? - Andrew_McKillop
4.Stock Market Crash Nightmare! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold - The Million DOLLAR Question... - Rambus_Chartology
6.Gold And Silver – BRICS And Germany Will Pave The Way - Michael_Noonan
7.The Jewish Selfish Gene, People Chosen by God, Everyone Else is Goyim to Kill - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Israeli Promised Land Dream - The Criminal Roadmap Towards “Greater Israel”? - Felicity Arbuthnot
9.Which Way is Inflation Blowing? Watch Commodities - Gary_Dorsch
10.U.S. Economy Quarterly Review and Implications for 2014-2015 - Lacy Hunt
Last 5 days
What Putin Knows About Flight MH17 - 23rd July 14
Why Microsoft Will Continue to Rebound, Huge Upside Potential - 23rd July 14
Will Putin Survive? - 23rd July 14
MH17 Crash Next Phase Economic Warfare - 22nd July 14
The TRUTH about China’s Massive Gold Hoard - 22nd July 14
Forex Multi-week Consolidation in EUR/USD Ended - 22nd July 14
Bitcoin Price Medium-term Trend Being Tested - 22nd July 14
Beware Of The Flash Mob - 22nd July 14
Can Putin Survive? - 22nd July 14
Israel Assault on Gaza: A Historic Crime, Nazi Like Final Solution - 22nd July 14
Zionist Israel an International Pariah - 22nd July 14
Reflections on the Global Misery Index - 22nd July 14
GDP Economic Statistic : A Brief But Affectionate History - 22nd July 14
TransTech Digest: Super Battery Bio-Power vs. Dirty CleanTech - 21st July 14
How to Find Trading Opportunities in the Currency Markets - 21st July 14
Stock Market One More Pull Back - 21st July 14
The Conquest Of Real - Degenerate Philosophies of the Book - 21st July 14
A Clear Way to Profit from a Graying Population - 21st July 14
Last Chance Critical Financial Market Forecasts Special Total Access - 21st July 14
Stock Market Crash Nightmare! - 21st July 14
Why the Stock Market Is STILL Cheap - 21st July 14
From Gore-Bore To Gore-War - 21st July 14
Gold Price Looking Drab - 21st July 14
An In-Depth Look at Gold Chartology - 21st July 14
The Jewish Selfish Gene, People Chosen by God, Everyone Else is Goyim to Kill - 20th July 14
AUD NZD Taking The Forex Bull By The Horns - 20th July 14
US-backed Israeli Invasion of Gaza Unleashes Death and Destruction - 20th July 14
The Israeli Promised Land Dream - The Criminal Roadmap Towards “Greater Israel”? - 20th July 14
Stock Market in DANGER of Strangling the Bears to Death - 20th July 14
Sanctions and Airliners - What’s the U.S. Empire’s Agenda? - 19th July 14
Gold And Silver – BRICS And Germany Will Pave The Way - 19th July 14
Choppy Stock Market in Recent Weeks - 19th July 14
Is The Stocks Bull Market Over? - 19th July 14
Edward Snowden Towers Over His Enemies - 19th July 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

From One Corrupt Congressman to Another

Politics / US Politics Nov 19, 2010 - 01:05 PM GMT

By: Ashvin_Pandurangi

Politics

"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain." -William James

The House Ethics Committee has just voted to confirm there is "clear and convincing" evidence that Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has violated at least eleven different Congressional ethics rules. His violations include failing to pay taxes on his property in the Dominican Republic, illegally transforming a rent-controlled residential apartment into a campaign office and using his status as head of the Ways and Means Committee to secure funds for his public policy center.


What is the punishment recommended by the Commitee for this Congressman's criminal and unethical behavior? Censure! That's right folks. Rangel will be forced to stand on the floor of the House in front of his peers, in the narrowest sense of that word, and be lectured to by its Speaker, which will either be Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner depending on the timing.

I'm not sure exactly what the Speaker would say in this censure, which Representative Butterfield (D-NC) had the nerve to label an "extreme" punishment, but rest assured that the following is the gist of the message which will be sent:

"From one corrupt Congressman to another, congratulations on successfully fleecing the American people and abusing their trust for years, without suffering any real consequences for your actions. We could have forced you to resign from Congress, or maybe even subjected you to criminal prosecution for tax fraud, but you and everyone else here knew from day one that would never happen. Drastic measures such as those would threaten to expose the systemic corruption in this institution, and could very well subvert our entire operation!

No, not one person here wants to see that happen... but we will censure you for your actions. Take this punishment as a signal old man. You have "served" the people for decades now, during which time you siphoned off your fair share of political rents. Now, it's time for you to move over and make room for some of the new guys. After all, there's a learning curve to this here game, and plenty of eager politicians who are dying to play."
Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) is also up for a hearing before the Ethics Committee in a few days, on the charge that she diverted TARP funds to a financial institution in which her husband had a financial stake. What are the chances that she escapes the hearing with nothing but a slap on the wrist like her buddy Rangel did? Vegas oddsmakers would probably give you a 100 to 1 for taking the other side of that bet. I keep naively hoping that Congress will decide to dismiss the Committee's recommendations and throw the book at Rangel, Waters and all others like them. After all the bickering and rhetoric leading up to the 2010 elections, you would think that the House Republicans would at least go after corrupt Democrats with full force.

That is, of course, until you realize that the Republicans have just as much to lose from harsh punishment as Rnagel and Waters do. They are the new face of the House, will most likely be the new face of the Senate in 2012 and perhaps even of the Presidency. These people didn't get to where they are now by ignoring the cardinal rule of American politics - accountability for one means accountability for all. The game has clearly defined rules and very strict boundaries that no one must cross. If everyone was held accountable for their "sloppy" or "stupid" actions, as Rangel described his, or for their "acts of ommission" and "failing to carry out [their] responsibilities", then who would be left to make wise policy decisions for the American people? Well, that's how the deeply embedded insitutional players think anyway.

How many times over the past decade have we had to put up with meager settlements, petty fines, symbolic reprimands or absolutely no punishment for blatantly criminal activities? Whether it be high-level executive officials frabricating intelligence and sanctioning torture, top bank executives committing systemic fraud and laundering drug money or legislative officials accepting bribes and abusing their authority, we have seen it all spontaneously come to light and then be buried in the depths of public consciousness just as quickly. Any real puishment for these actions would lead to the end game in short order, because once they give us an inch, they know we'll quickly take a mile. Indeed, to sacrifice the weakest link is to sacrifice the entire chain.

*All facts sourced from the following CNN article

Ashvin Pandurangi, third year law student at George Mason University
Website: "Simple Planet" - peakcomplexity.blogspot.com (provides unique analysis of economics, finance, politics and social dynamics in the context of Complexity Theory)

© 2010 Copyright Ashvin Pandurangi to - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014