Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Staggering Cost of Obama's Road Show of "Change"

The staggering cost of Barack Obama’s road show of “CHANGE”.
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America's Depressed by Being Broke
By Victor Davis Hanson
10/14/2010

We will learn in November just how angry the public is about a lot of things, from higher taxes to massive unemployment.
But the popular uproar pales in comparison to the sense of humiliation that we Americans are quite broke. In 2008, the public was furious at George W. Bush, not because he was too much of a right-wing tightwad, but because he ran up a series of what were then thought to be gargantuan deficits. The result was that under a supposedly conservative administration, and despite six years of an allegedly small-government Republican Congress, the deficit nearly doubled from $3.3 trillion to $6.3 trillion in just eight years.
Barack Obama apparently never figured out that he had been elected in part because that massive Republican borrowing had sickened the American people. So in near-suicidal fashion, he took Bush's last scheduled budget deficit of more than $500 billion -- in a Keynesian attempt to get the country out of the 2008 recession and financial panic -- and nearly tripled it by 2010. Obama's new red ink will add more than $2.5 trillion to the national debt -- with near-trillion-dollar yearly deficits scheduled for the next decade. All of that will result in a U.S. debt of more than $20 trillion.
What exactly is it about big deficits and our accumulated debt that is starting to enrage voters?
First, the public is tired of the nonchalant way that smarmy public officials take credit for dishing out someone else's cash without a thought of paying for it. Each week, President Obama promises another interest group more freshly borrowed billions, now euphemistically called "stimulus." But the more public money he hands out to states, public employees, the unemployed or the green industry, the more voters wonder where in the world he's getting the cash. The next time a public official puts his name on yet another earmarked federal project, let him at least confess whether it was floated with borrowed money.
Second, there is a growing sense of despair that even vastly increased income taxes cannot cover the colossal shortfalls. At least the old Clinton tax rates of the 1990s balanced the budget. But should we bring them back, we would still run a deficit of more than $1 trillion in 2011 -- given the vast increases in federal spending.
That bleak reality creates hopelessness -- and anger -- among voters, who feel they are being taken for fools by their elected officials. The public opposes tax hikes not because they don't wish to pay down the debt, but because they suspect the increased revenue will simply be a green light for even greater deficit spending.
Third, it does no good for Beltway technocrats to explain how deficits are good at "stimulating" the economy, or why they do not really have to be paid back. Voters know that such gibberish does not apply to their own mortgages and credit card bills.
Voters feel relieved when they can pay off debt and become chronically depressed when they cannot. When the government last balanced the budget in 2000 under the Clinton administration and the Republican Congress, the country collectively experienced as much of a psychological high as it is now collectively experiencing humiliation over being ridiculed as a spendthrift borrower.
So national reputation and sense of self also matter. Americans are tired of hearing about inevitable Chinese ascendency and American decline. They know China is still in many ways a repressive developing country facing huge political, environmental and demographic challenges. But Americans also concede that China's huge budget and trade surpluses result in trillions of dollars in cash reserves -- and hence global clout, world respect and a promising future that seems not likewise true of spend now/pay later America.
Fourth, there is real fear that something terrible will soon come from this unsustainable level of spending. Interest rates are at historic lows. But if they should rise, just servicing the current debt would cost even more hundreds of billions in borrowed dollars. Soon, we will face a bleak choice of either slashing national defense or Social Security -- or both -- just when the nation is graying and the world is becoming more dangerous than ever. Will the Chinese lend us the money to deploy an aircraft carrier off their coast, or finance new American health-care entitlements that they cannot afford for 400 million of their own people?
In this upcoming election, all the old political pluses -- years of incumbency, entrenched seniority and pork-barrel earmarks -- are proving to be liabilities. Instead, the more public officials admit to being in control when trillions of dollars were run up, the more Americans want them gone.
We are humiliated by what we owe. If we cannot pay it back, will at least want political payback.
It's that simple this year.
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QUOTE FROM JOHN EDWARDS CAMPAIGN MANAGER
"Barack Obama's kind of change is where you sit down and you cut a deal with the corporate world," Edwards Campaign Manager David Bonior said during an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. "If you look at his record in Illinois when he had a major — sponsored a major health bill that's what he did. He watered down with the help of the corporate lobbyist and they got a weak product out of that."
Scarborough asked: "Are you saying that Barack Obama is a sellout to corporate interests?"
Bonior replied: "He was four years ago in Illinois. All you have to do is look at the legislation I'm referring to."
Bonior was referring to health care legislation that Obama was instrumental in passing when he was an Illinois state senator five years ago, in part because he worked with insurance companies to make additions to the bill that would ensure their approval of the measure.

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Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses

BY TIMOTHY P CARNEY


Editorial Reviews
Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?
Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics.
Congressman Ron Paul says, “Every libertarian and free-market conservative needs to read Obamanomics.” And Johan Goldberg, columnist and bestselling author says, “Obamanomics is conservative muckraking at its best and an indispensable field guide to the Obama years.”
If you’ve wondered what’s happening to America, as the federal government swallows up the financial sector, the auto industry, and healthcare, and enacts deficit exploding “stimulus packages,” this book makes it all clear—it’s a big scam. Ultimately, Obamanomics boils down to this: every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich, and those somebodies are friends of Barack. This book names the names—and it will make your blood boil.
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Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies
by Michelle Malkin
Editorial Reviews
In her shocking new book, Malkin digs deep into the records of President Obama's staff, revealing corrupt dealings, questionable pasts, and abuses of power throughout his administration.
From the Inside Flap
The era of hope and change is dead....and it only took six months in office to kill it.
Never has an administration taken office with more inflated expectations of turning Washington around. Never have a media-anointed American Idol and his entourage fallen so fast and hard. In her latest investigative tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Malkin delivers a powerful, damning, and comprehensive indictment of the culture of corruption that surrounds Team Obama's brazen tax evaders, Wall Street cronies, petty crooks, slum lords, and business-as-usual influence peddlers. In Culture of Corruption, Malkin reveals:
* Why nepotism beneficiaries First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are Team Obama's biggest liberal hypocrites--bashing the corporate world and influence-peddling industries from which they and their relatives have benefited mightily
* What secrets the ethics-deficient members of Obama's cabinet--including Hillary Clinton--are trying to hide
* Why the Obama White House has more power-hungry, unaccountable "czars" than any other administration
* How Team Obama's first one hundred days of appointments became a litany of embarrassments as would-be appointee after would-be appointee was exposed as a tax cheat or had to withdraw for other reasons
* How Obama's old ACORN and union cronies have squandered millions of taxpayer dollars and dues money to enrich themselves and expand their power
* How Obama's Wall Street money men and corporate lobbyists are ruining the economy and helping their friends In Culture of Corruption, Michelle Malkin lays bare the Obama administration's seamy underside that the liberal media would rather keep hidden.

• Publisher: Regnery Publishing (July 27, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1596981091
• ISBN-13: 978-1596981096

Are HILLARY & OBAMA HANDING MONEY TO MEX DRUG CARTELS?

MEXICANOCCUPATION.blogspot.com
THE ONLY REASON WHY HISPANDERING OBAMA WANTS THE UTTERLY WORTHLESS BARBARA BOXER ELECTED IS THAT SHE’S A LA RAZA DEM FOR OPEN BORDERS = DEPRESSED WAGES FOR THEIR CORPORATE MASTERS TO PAY
Our open and undefended borders and citizens, while LA RAZA OBAMA & HILLARY WORK FOR AMNESTY, NO ENFORCEMENT, NO E-VERIFY, NO WALL, NO BORDER GUARDS… AND ASSAULTS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OF ARIZONA!
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LaRaza Calls For Boycott Against Free Speech
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No surprise here. Pulling the race/hate card again and using political correctness La Raza goes after cable shows reporting on illegal immigration.

"Murguía said she recognized that ultimately the power to change the debate lies with the Hispanic community itself. “Latinos buy products from the advertisers supporting these programs,” she said. “Latinos vote in primaries and in the general election. We have a significant role to play picking winners and losers in both arenas. We need to make it clear to those who embrace hate that they do so at their own economic and political peril.”

http://www.nclr.org/content/news/detail/50375/

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HARRY REID PUTS MONEY IN LA RAZA’S DIRTY HANDS!
25% OF THE POPULATION OF REID’S STATE ARE ILLEGALS.
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New Stealth Federal Funding Bill for La Raza
Which brings us to an extraordinary matter of some urgency. Several weeks before the White House and its Senate allies announced their big "breakthrough" legislation (S.1348), radicals in the House quietly introduced legislation to pump $5 million directly into La Raza next year — and $10 million per year for "each fiscal year thereafter."
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"This country belongs to Mexico" is said by the Mexican Militant. This is a common teaching that the U.S. is really AZTLAN, belonging to Mexicans, which is taught to Mexican kids in Arizona and California through a LA Raza educational program funded by American Tax Payers via President Obama, when he gave LA RAZA $800,000.00 in March of 2009!
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Clinton Rejects Claims State Department 'Silent' on Falcon Lake Murder Case
Published October 14, 2010 | FoxNews.com
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday rejected claims that the State Department has not offered assistance to the widow of a man allegedly shot down by drug lords while on a jet ski trip on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We are helping," Clinton said in an interview. "The United States government is supporting local law enforcement, supporting the authorities on the border, doing everything that we know to do to try to assist in helping to find the body and helping to find the perpetrators."
She called the killing a "terrible tragedy" and said, "We are sickened by it."
Clinton's remarks on ABC's "Good Morning America" follow charges that her department has turned away from Tiffany Hartley, whose husband David Hartley was allegedly killed during a trip to the border-straddling Falcon Lake.
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, whose district contains the lake, told FoxNews.com that Tiffany Hartley has not received help from the U.S. Consulate in Mexico to file a complaint against members of the Zeta drug cartel suspected of shooting her husband several weeks ago.
"There seems to be inefficiency on this issue. She shouldn't have to be filing charges" on her own, Poe said, noting that the Mexican authorities were slow to help Hartley, in part because they said she made no official complaint to the proper authorities.
The State Department has also been "blissfully silent" on efforts to convince the Mexican authorities to let U.S. investigators help search for Hartley's body, Poe told FoxNews.com. The department must convince Mexican officials to let the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigators help conduct the search for Hartley's body and for the culprits, he said.
Poe sent a letter Oct. 4 to Clinton saying helping Hartley recover her husband's body is "the least" the State Department can do.
"We followed up yesterday to see when they were going to respond and they could not respond to our response," Poe said, adding that he hopes to have a reply soon from Clinton, who is traveling abroad right now.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made similar claims about the State Department's response, or lack thereof.
But Clinton, granting the interview Thursday from Brussels, said she hopes the administration can help recover the body.
"I hope that we can. I hope that we can. I mean, the beheaded body of the brave Mexican investigator that just showed up shows what we're dealing with," she said, referring to the Mexican officer in the case who was killed. "The absolute barbarity that we're seeing by criminals and terrorists in the world today should shock the conscience and require a concerted effort to defeat these violent, terrible actors that upset lives from Mexico to Africa to Afghanistan and beyond. I see this as one struggle where we have to, as people of conscience standing together, work very hard to defeat these extreme criminals and these extreme terrorists."
As she often does when discussing Mexican drug cartel violence, she suggested the United States shared culpability by providing the weapons and the demand for drugs.
"We have to do more," she said. "But to be fair, we also have to stop the huge demand for drugs that fuels these drug wars and this terrible violence, and we have to stop the constant flow of arms. It's terribly distressing to me and to people along the border and to our Mexican friends that so many of these drug killers are armed with weapons that come from the United States. ... But that doesn't make up for the fact that going out on a beautiful afternoon to go across a lake that has been used by Mexicans and Americans peacefully for so many years would result in this horrible crime. We have to do even more to try to stem this violence."
The nation's diplomatic headquarters has warned Americans not to go to trouble spots in Mexico where drug traffickers control the country. Tamaulipas, where the Hartleys were visiting on the day of David Hartley's murder, is one of those areas.
Zapata County Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez, who was first to hear Hartley's account, said he has warned Hartley not to return to Mexico to give a statement to authorities there.
"Tiffany has given her official statement at the Mexican Consulate in Texas. She was assured by the government officials of Mexico and the consulate that her statement would go to any agency in Mexico that would request a copy of it," Gonzalez told Fox News, adding that the statement is "available to all Mexican agencies that may request them. I'd like to know what agency in Mexico is conducting the investigation of Mr. Hartley's murder because it was a murder case."
Poe said he doesn't think any Americans should be going to Mexico right now, and compared the danger to standing on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He noted that the U.S. basketball teams playing in a pre-season game in Mexico City this week were forced to stay in their hotel and "couldn't go anywhere except with armed guards."
"Portions of the Texas-Mexico border are in operational control of the drug cartels," Poe said. "I would tell Americans not to go to Mexico. ... the rule of law is breaking down."
Poe said that some Mexican officials are corrupt, but others, including Rolando Flores Villegas, the police officer who took up Hartley's search and was found beheaded on Tuesday, are honest Mexican authorities overwhelmed by a drug war that has taken the lives of dozens of Americans and thousands of Mexicans.
"I'm sure they're intimidated, that's obvious," he said. "If they don't work for the drug cartels, the drug cartels go after them and use their bodies as intimidation."
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who is Hartley's congressional representative, expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the Flores family, noting that the police officer was killed for conducting the murder investigation.
"Commandante Flores had a reputation for cooperation and camaraderie with his American counterparts and he will sorely be missed. Commandante Flores and many of his peers had continued to search for David Hartley in the face of grave threats and imminent danger. This tragic incident demonstrates the continued efforts of the Mexican law enforcement community to help us in America solve the Hartley case," Cuellar said.
Meanwhile, Poe said the United States should reconsider financial aid to Mexico, which received $1 billion for the Merida Initiative aimed at helping law enforcement investigations but came with no strings attached.
"I wouldn't be surprised if part of that money went to drug cartels," he said, adding that he has no knowledge of any accounting or audit of the cash assistance.
"Money always talks and we should limit and control any money that we send to Mexico," Poe said.
But Cuellar said the Merida Initiative, for which he is a vocal proponent, provides "ample support for our international partners in border security."

JUDICIAL WATCH - Obama And His Corruption

THE 2007 JUDICIAL WATCH 10 MOST CORRUPT INCLUDES DIANNE FEINSTEIN, PELOSI, OBAMA AND REID.

OBAMA, BANKSTERS’ BOYS, AND CULTURE OF CORRUPTION:

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009
1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms a property he owns in Ireland. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wi fe of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003 , before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while servi ng on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as h ead of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Thro w in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation into the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him t o Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including those for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions—a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied ab out his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama...In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich—later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat—at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explana tions came under oath.

7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National E ndowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control—through fiat and threats—large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity—the political allocation of wealth and opportunity—is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors—this is Obama's "ethics" record—and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft, as well as the speak er's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks—over ten million dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investiga te this serious scandal, according to Roll Call, House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents...show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did h e do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.
Tom Fitton
President

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation's public life.