Trump versus the Establishment 4

Why is it a good thing that Trump is tilting at the Establishment?

Scot Faulkner, who served on President Reagan’s White House staff, explains at Townhall:

Why does The Washington Establishment hate Donald Trump? It is not because of his positions on immigration or trade. …

Trump has declared war on The Establishment itself. In his June 16, 2015 Presidential announcement he asserted:

So I’ve watched the politicians. I’ve dealt with them all my life…. They will never make America great again. They don’t even have a chance. They’re controlled fully by the lobbyists, by the donors, and by the special interests. … It’s destroying our country. We have to stop them, and it has to stop now.

So in a nutshell, The Washington Establishment has a visceral hatred for Donald Trump, because he promises to put their system out of business.

The Washington Establishment sees Trump as serious about them being the primary impediment to making America “great again.” He sees The Establishment as lining their pockets, and their friends’ pockets – as beneficiaries of the status quo. As long as nothing changes, The Establishment will have their mansions, limousines, VIP tables and ego trips.

There is much at stake.

Think of Washington, DC as a mass of “cookie jars”, each containing delicious treats. There are those who control the cookie jars, those who want the cookie jars, and those who can get the cookie jars. Officially, these treats are distributed based on legislative mandates, open competition, and documented needs.

In fact, the treats are almost always handed out to friends, and friends of friends. Friends can be purchased. Friends help friends get reelected, and gain power, and get treats. It is Washington, DC’s “golden rule” – those with the gold rule.

Welcome to “crony capitalism”.  … The term “lobbyist” came from favor seekers hanging out in the lobby of Washington, DC’s Willard Hotel during the Grant Administration in the 1870s.

In 1905, George Washington Plunkett, a ward boss in the Tammany Hall political machine, coined what could be the motto of Washington, DC: “What is the Constitution among friends?”

Today, things have gotten way out of hand. Spending for Washington lobbyists has tripled since 1998 to over $3.22 billion a year. Favor seekers spend $24 million on lobbyists each day Congress is in session.

Campaign fundraising is another dimension of how The Establishment stays in power. Over $750 million has been raised for House races and $520 million for Senate races this election cycle. Leaders of Political Action Committees (PACs), and individual bundlers who raise funds, dominate this ultimate game of “pay for play”.

Those brokering power become gatekeepers for funding and favors throughout the Federal Government. This power comes from a truism overlooked by everyone in the media: all discretionary federal money is earmarked. The popular myth is that earmarks vanished once the Republicans banned them when they returned to power in 2011. Campaign fundraising is another dimension of how The Establishment stays in power. Over $750 million has been raised for House races and $520 million for Senate races this election cycle. Leaders of Political Action Committees (PACs), and individual bundlers who raise funds, dominate this ultimate game of “pay for play”.

Favorites can be based on institutional, administration and ideological biases. Favoritism can also go to the highest bidder. This is federal money flowing out the door as grants, programs, contracts, buildings, leases and employment.

Other “treats” to be dispensed include regulatory relief, tax waivers and subsidies.

Favoritism is rarely purchased with money directly changing hands; that kind of corruption occurs more in state and local government. Washington level corruption is true “quid pro quo”. 

The Washington Establishment swaps favors more insidiously. How many times does a military officer get a major position with a defense contractor years after he favored them with a multi-million dollar contract? A Reagan aide granted a building height waiver near the White House and his salary quadrupled when he’s hired by the developer.

Grant and contract officers obtain slots at prestigious colleges and prep schools for their children for making the “right” choices or being a little lax on oversight.

Trump promises to smash the cookie jars and end the reign of The Establishment.

Normal Americans are rallying around Trump. They are enraged at the lies and duplicity of those in power. Many see a reason to vote for the first time since Reagan. They want November 8, 2016 to be America’s “Bastille Day”, marking the end of Washington, DC’s arrogant and unaccountable ruling class. Billions of dollars are at stake. Perks, prestige and power are at stake. The future of representative government is at stake. Is it any wonder that The Establishment is doing everything and anything to stop Trump? 

It would be good if President Trump makes it harder for the payers to play.

But could he stop the game?

Could anyone or anything stop it?

A smaller government would be more observable (or “transparent”). But how much is the federal government likely to shrink even if the legislative branch is Republican-led and the executive branch is headed by a reformist-minded Trump?

Can government ever be clean of all corruption?

Maybe the best that can be done is to keep the corrupt and their corrupters afraid. And the Clintons out of the higher echelons of power – 0r, better still, in prison.

A letter to two Senators 0

This letter to two Senators was launched on the Internet by its writer because he wants it to reach as many people as possible.

We are happy to help spread it. We post it here unedited and in full, taking out only a line of his home address and his zip code. The use of bold to stress some passages is ours.

We like what he says and applaud him for saying it. We think it sweet and decorous to spend one’s own money as generously as one chooses, but base and odious for a government to spend a cent more of taxpayers’ money than it unquestionably has to.

Our differences with him are few and not central to his concerns. We would not ourselves bring into the discussion those old fictions “God” and “Heaven”, but we tolerate his mentioning them. We do not consider “greed” – the desire to be richer – a vice, but a sterling virtue. And while we agree that Congress is corrupt, we do not think it is more corrupt than the Administration and its agencies, or the mainstream media.

April 3, 2013

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Maria Cantwell

Washington, DC , 20510

 

Dear Senator:

I have tried to live by the rules my entire life. My father was a Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, who died of combat related stresses shortly after his retirement. It was he who instilled in me those virtues he felt important – honesty, duty, patriotism and obeying the laws of God and of our various governments. I have served my country, paid my taxes, worked hard, volunteered and donated my fair share of money, time and artifacts.

Today, as I approach my 79th birthday, I am heart-broken when I look at my country and my government. I shall only point out a very few things abysmally wrong which you can multiply by a thousand fold. I have calculated that all the money I have paid in income taxes my entire life cannot even keep the Senate barbershop open for one year! Only Heaven and a few tight-lipped actuarial types know what the Senate dining room costs the taxpayers. So please, enjoy your haircuts and meals on us.

Last year, the president spent an estimated 1.4 $billion on himself and his family. The vice president spends $millions on hotels. They have had 8 vacations so far this year! And our House of Representatives and Senate have become America’s answer to the Saudi royal family. You have become the “perfumed princes and princesses” of our country.

In the middle of the night, you voted in the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. “Obama Care,” a bill which no more than a handful of senators or representatives read more than several paragraphs, crammed it down our throats, and then promptly exempted yourselves from it substituting your own taxpayer-subsidized golden health care insurance.

You live exceedingly well, eat and drink as well as the “one percenters,” consistently vote yourselves perks and pay raises while making 3.5 times the average U.S. individual income, and give up nothing while you (as well as the president and veep) ask us to sacrifice due to sequestration (for which, of course, you plan to blame the Republicans, anyway).

You understand very well the only two rules you need to know – (1) How to get elected, and (2) How to get re-elected. And you do this with the aid of an eagerly willing and partisan press, speeches permeated with a certain economy of truth, and by buying the votes of the greedy, the ill-informed and under-educated citizens (and non-citizens, too, many of whom do vote ) who are looking for a handout rather than a job. Your so-called “safety net” has become a hammock for the lazy. And, what is it now, about 49 or 50 million on food stamps – pretty much all Democrat voters – and the program is absolutely rife with fraud with absolutely no congressional oversight?

I would offer that you are not entirely to blame. What changed you is the seductive environment of power in which you have immersed yourselves. It is the nature of both houses of Congress which requires you to subordinate your virtue in order to get anything done until you have achieved a leadership role. To paraphrase President Reagan, it appears that the second oldest profession (politics), bears a remarkably strong resemblance to the oldest.

As the hirsute first Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834 -1902), English historian and moralist, so aptly and accurately stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” I’m only guessing that this applies to the female sex as well. Tell me, is there a more corrupt entity in this country than Congress?

While we middle class people continue to struggle, our government becomes less and less transparent, more and more bureaucratic, and ever so much more dictatorial, using Czars and Secretaries to tell us (just to mention a very few) what kind of light bulbs we must purchase, how much soda or hamburgers we can eat, what cars we can drive, gasoline to use, and what health care we must buy. Countless thousands of pages of regulations strangle our businesses costing the consumer more and more every day.

As I face my final year, or so, with cancer, my president and my government tell me “You’ll just have to take a pill,” while you, Senator, your colleagues, the president, and other exulted government officials and their families will get the best possible health care on our tax dollars until you are called home by your Creator while also enjoying a retirement beyond my wildest dreams, which of course, you voted for yourselves and we pay for.

The chances of you reading this letter are practically zero as your staff will not pass it on, but with a little luck, a form letter response might be generated by them with an auto signature applied, hoping we will believe that you, our senator or representative, has heard us and actually cares. This letter will, however, go on line where many others will have the chance to read one person’s opinion, rightly or wrongly, about this government, its administration and its senators and representatives.

I only hope that occasionally you might quietly thank the taxpayer for all the generous entitlements which you have voted yourselves, for which, by law, we must pay, unless, of course, it just goes on the $17 trillion national debt for which your children and ours, and your grandchildren and ours, ad infinitum, must eventually try to pick up the tab.

My final thoughts are that it must take a person who has either lost his or her soul, or conscience, or both, to seek re-election and continue to destroy this country I deeply love and put it so far in debt that we will never pay it off while your lot improves by the minute, because of your power. For you, Senator, will never stand up to the rascals in your House who constantly deceive the American people. And that, my dear Senator, is how power has corrupted you and the entire Congress. The only answer to clean up this cesspool is term limits. This, of course, will kill the goose that lays your golden eggs.

And woe be to him (or her) who would dare to bring it up.

Sincerely,

Bill Schoonover

Oak Harbor, WA

A fishy smell in Washington, D.C. 1

Here and here at RedState, Ben Howe writes about the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM), better known as the Farm Bill, providing $15 million for more catfish inspection:

The FDA [Food and Drug Administration], which already inspects catfish, needs help [with inspecting catfish]  from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) … It seems that the Agriculture Committee found it too important to America to allow us to be limited to only one gigantic bureaucratic monstrosity regulating catfish.

Howe points out that –

The $15 million price tag far surpassed the $700,000 that FDA spends annually on inspection of all fish. Yes, fifteen times the cost the FDA is currently spending to do the same thing. This is what Republicans and Democrats agreed was too important to slash from their pork riddled Farm Bill. …

Are catfish dangerous if allowed to go uninspected? Apparently not.

All this for a low risk food…

Furthermore, “the Government Accountability Office (GAO) flatly acknowledged” that inspection would likely “not enhance the safety of catfish”.

And finally it is noted that no catfish have yet been inspected.

Some reports are saying that the USDA has spent $20 million tax payer dollars to inspect zero fish and is on track to spend a jaw dropping $150 million over the next ten years.

What is that smell hanging about the federal capital of the USA?

Could it be the stink of corruption?

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For more on how your tax dollars are being wasted, take a look at this “infographic” which graphically displays information on HEALTHCARE FRAUD.

Posted under Commentary, corruption, food, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

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