Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Gold Price Trend Forecast, Where are the Gold Traders? - Bob_Loukas
2.Stocks Bear Market of 2017 Begins? Shorting the Dow At its Peak! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Betting on President Trump Leaving Office Early, Presidency End Date - Betfair Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Why Stock Market Analysts Will be Wrong About 2017 - Clif_Droke
5.Is This The Best Way For Investors To Play The Electric Car Boom - OilPrice_Com
6.Silver Price 2017 Trend Forecast Update - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Price Set For Very Bullish 2017, Trend Forecast - Austin_Galt
8.10 Things I learned From Meetings With Trump’s Transition Team - - John_Mauldin
9.How Investors Can Profit From Trumps Military Ambitions - OilPrice_Com
10.Channel 4 War on 'Fake News', Forgets Own Alt Reality Propaganda Broadcasting - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Brent Crude Oil Price Technical Update: Low Volatility Leads to High Volatility - 20th Feb 17
Trump’s Tax System Could Spark The Wave Of Self-Employment - 20th Feb 17
Here’s How to Stay Ahead of Machines and AI - 20th Feb 17
Warning Signs Of Instability In Russia - 20th Feb 17
Warning: This Energy Investment Could Wreak Havoc On Your Portfolio - 20th Feb 17
The Mother of All Financial Bubbles will be Unimaginably Destructive when it Bursts - 19th Feb 17
Gold’s Fundamentals Strengthen - 18th Feb 17
The Flynn Fiascom, the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper - 18th Feb 17
Not Nearly Enough Economic Growth To Keep Growing - 18th Feb 17
SPX Stocks Bull Market Continues to make New Highs - 18th Feb 17
China Disaster to Trigger Gold Run, Trump to Appoint 5 of 7 Fed Governors - 18th Feb 17
Gold Stock Volume Divergence - 17th Feb 17
Gold, Silver, US Dollar Cycles - 17th Feb 17
Inflation Spikes in 2017, Supporting Gold Prices Despite Increased Odds of March Rate Hike - 17th Feb 17
Roses Are Red... and So's Been EURUSD's Trend - 17th Feb 17
Gold Trade Note Sighted - 17th Feb 17
Gold Is Undervalued Say Leading Fund Managers - 17th Feb 17
NSA, CIA, FBI, Media Establishment 'Deep State' War Against Emerging 'Trump State' - 16th Feb 17
Silver, Gold Stocks and Remembering the Genius of Hunter S. Thompson - 16th Feb 17
Maps That Show The US’ Strategy In Asia-Pacific - 15th Feb 17
The Trump Stock Market Rally Is Just Getting Started! - 15th Feb 17
Tesco Crisis - Fake Prices, Brexit Inflation Tsunami to Send Food Prices Soaring 10% 2017 - 15th Feb 17
Stock Market Indexes Appear Ready to Roll Over - 15th Feb 17
Gold Bull Market? Or was 2016 Just a Gold Bug Mirage? - 15th Feb 17
Here’s How Germany Buys Time From China - 15th Feb 17
The Stock Trader’s Actionable Guide to Trump - 15th Feb 17
Trump A New Jacksonian Era? The Fourth Turning (2) - 14th Feb 17
Stock Market Yet Another Wall Street 'Witch's Brew' - 14th Feb 17
This Is Why You Don’t Own A Lot Of Stocks - 14th Feb 17
Proposed Tax Reforms Face Enormous Headwinds - 14th Feb 17
BBC Inside Out Tesco Rip off Offers - Determined to Lose Big Spend Customers! - 13th Feb 17
Is the UK An Economy Built on Debt? - 13th Feb 17
Stock Market VIX Cycles set to Explode in March/April 2017 – Part 2 - 13th Feb 17
Stocks At Record Highs - Will Uptrend Accelerate? - 13th Feb 17
US Dollar: 'Rumors of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated' - 13th Feb 17
Is This The Top Commodity Play For 2017? - 13th Feb 17
Trump a New Jacksonian Era? - 13th Feb 17
Stock Market at High Tide - 13th Feb 17
Channel 4 War on 'Fake News' Ends - The New News Age - 12th Feb 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

State of Global Markets 2017 - Report

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.


© 2005-2016 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife