I’ve always loved riding motorcycles: road motorcycles. When we married and began having children, my wife put her foot down, and I left the motorcycle world. Twenty years ago, when our kids left home, she told me I could get a Harley. I did, and I hit the road.
I’ve ridden for more than 100,000 miles seeing North America. And North America is breathtaking from the ground. I had for years, primarily for business, flown all over the Continent but never gave thought to what was 30,000 feet below the plane. The World is vastly different 30,000 feet below that commercial jet — at least different from the perceptions of a jet traveler. At ground level, the “real” America unfolds.
In the United States today, we everyday citizens have evolved from a “salt-of-the-earth” group of gritty settlers who did everything into a country full of “flyover business owners and vacationers.” Instead of the multi-generational hands-on ways of our forefathers, we live a life based on news headlines and soundbites and find shortcuts for everything. We trust a group of several thousand elected and appointed bureaucrats to run our company for us. We live our hectic lives chasing the dollar while raising a family: you know: a house, three cars, vacation homes, hobbies, being soccer moms, and weekend golfers. We’re just “chasing the dream.” Meanwhile, our government is quietly and steadily taking our company down the tube.
Americans must awaken to the reality of an impending disaster. Our company is in jeopardy — not from a foreign takeover but a hostile management takeover. And somehow, members of our very own management team have stealthily slipped into the ownership of OUR company. Most of those no longer even consider us in their decision-making to run the company, The United States of America.
They have become the “U.S. Ruling Class.”
It’s real, it’s here, and it’s deadly.
Who Are They?
Just look around. Who did you vote for in 2018 to represent you in Congress? No, not every member of the U.S. House of Representatives is part of this “ruling class.” But your representative might be. If they are, they are members of what has heretofore been the most powerful political group in U.S. history.
It’s a closed group of single-minded politicians who have, through decades, developed a method of operating government that requires they walk a thin line. They must simultaneously conduct “normal” government business that company stockholders — American citizens — can watch, along with the sinister operations in which they subvert their positions and the assets of our corporation to achieve their personal long term goals that rarely coincide with ours.
Goals: What Goals?
That’s a great question. I could speculate about the goals of politicians and their objectives. But I won’t do that. But it IS realistic and makes sense for us to look at their actions — at least those we can see — and make logical determinations of what their goals “might” be. Let’s start with something that is seldom mentioned, and when it comes up, conversations about it stop quickly.
Did you know American taxpayers have for decades paid those who are lawmakers’ victims of sexual assault settlements to make those incidents go away, thereby avoiding public embarrassment and litigation? News of this law that structures a process for this has been around for a while. It was only made public in 2017. Let’s look at how all this works:
In 1995, Congress passed the CAA, an effort to apply 12 federal laws to the legislative branch, “Congress has notoriously exempted itself from accountability measures,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, an organization focused on promoting transparency in government, in an email. “It’s no wonder the public has such a low approval of Congress given that they exempt themselves from workplace laws that they apply to the rest of society. It is long overdue for Congress to live by the standards of conduct they appropriately demand from others,” Brian said.
The 1995 law also established “an account of the Office in the Treasury on the United States for the payment of awards and settlements” — a fund paid for by taxes from taxpayers to pay settlements.
The payouts have varied widely, from just under $40,000 in 1997 to more than $4 million in 2007 to just under $1 million in 2017. The fund is virtually unlimited. Much is necessary to pay awards and settlements, and a spokesperson for the Congressional Office of Compliance said that money is only added to the fund when needed for a payment.
The exact source of the money is still a question. The source of the money in the fund is excluded from the standard appropriations budget made public by Congress each year. There’s no process by which voters — or even potential government employees — can find out who are the harassers in the office, or for what they’ve been accused, or if they’ve settled with victims before.
The fund used to settle violations is perhaps just one of several pockets of money throughout the government used to handle judgments made against government employees. As harassment accusations topple prominent men in media, comedy, and Hollywood, it’s come under more scrutiny.
The Settlement and Awards Fund comes from an effort to hold Congress accountable for the federal laws that all other employers have to follow. But as prominent men in other fields have faced snowballing accusations of sexual harassment, it’s instead shielded members of Congress from publicity.
What’s the goal there? It’s to maximize personal opportunities while serving in Congress and pushing responsibility for their “questionable” deeds downstream to American taxpayers.
Average members of Congress struggle with travel to and from their districts. Airplane tickets in and out of Washington are not cheap. But if you’re the Speaker of the House — Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as an example — your travel is not only first-class, it’s in private jets paid for by taxpayers. And the Speaker has taken it to new levels.
We looked at documents from the United States Air Force detailing Speaker Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft between March 2009 and June 2010. And they pretty much tell the same, outrageous story as previous documents we’ve uncovered and released here.
Here are the highlights from the newest batch of documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request:
- Pelosi used an Air Force aircraft for a total of 85 trips, covering 206,264 miles, from March 2, 2009, through June 7, 2010. Pelosi, her guests, and Air Force personnel logged a total of 428.6 hours on these flights.
- Members of Pelosi’s family were guests on at least two flights. On June 20, 2009, Speaker Pelosi’s daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons joined a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to San Francisco International Airport. That flight included $143 in on-flight expenses for food and other items. On July 2, 2010, Pelosi took her grandson on a trip from Andrews Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, which is northeast of San Francisco.
- One trip in particular — to Milan, Rome, Naples, and Kiev — has received considerable scrutiny. The 2015 tour, from July 30 to Aug. 6, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show. Pelosi, along with several other Democratic members of Congress, made the trip with members of their families. The exact purpose of the trip remains unclear. A Politico news story at the time alleged Pelosi’s congressional delegation “intended to underscore the U.S. commitment to security in that region.”
- In 2011, Judicial Watch exposed Pelosi’s rampant use of luxury Air Force jets to travel between Washington, D.C., and her congressional district in California, a 5-hour, 3,000-mile journey each direction. In just two years, Pelosi accumulated $2,100,744.59 worth of travel expenses, which included $101,429.14 for in-flight conveniences, such as food and alcohol.
And Then The Junkets
Travel junkets became a point of discomfort for many voters in 2006-2007 following the discovery of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s frequent use of excursions to influence several elected officials. These fact-finding missions included hard-hitting research such as rounds of golf at Scotland’s famed golf course, St. Andrews, and trips to the Fiesta Bowl and Super Bowl. In actuality, those are just some quick highlights. The list of absurd Abramoff coordinated trips is relatively lengthy. Of course, following the public revelation and the eventual indictment and conviction of Abramoff, all of these trips were deemed either demonstrably illegal or, at the very least, gross misappropriations of an official’s time. Congress passed a bill reigning in gifts, meals, and travel packages from lobbyists, and the number of congressional junkets fell off a cliff—dropping from an all-time high of nearly 5,000 trips in 2005 (at the cost of almost $10 Million) to 1,846 visits the following year. The bill limited trip length on foreign travel to seven days and domestic travel to four days but also allowed for—wait for it—some exceptions. These exceptions included the allowance of educational and charitable groups to finance trips for elected officials.
In entirely unsurprising fashion, it didn’t take long for lobbyists and lawmakers to figure out the best way to utilize the exceptions to their full extent. As an article in the Columbia Journalism Review explained recently:
“The arrangement works like this: a congressional caucus—an official group of lawmakers (there are many) with common characteristics or interests, such as the Congressional Black Caucus or Blue Dog Democrats or the Congressional Marcellus Shale Caucus—sets up a charitable organization. That organization, in turn, seeks donations, which do not have to be disclosed. In addition to its good works, the charitable entity then organizes events, such as conferences or retreats, in which the caucus members rub shoulders with contributors. The nonprofit can invite special interests—corporations, unions, and others—to fork over large donations to sponsor and participate in these events.”
So, not only have lawmakers figured out a way around travel junket reform, but they’ve also figured out a way to turn their vacations into a fundraising tool.
Perhaps the most ostentatious abuse of this new “charitable” junket system came in the summer of 2011, when Eric Cantor arranged for eighty House members and their families to visit Israel through a charity affiliated with the pro-Israeli lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This massive “fact-finding mission” was capped off quite embarrassingly, with a (quite possibly drunk) Kansas Representative Kevin Yoder taking a late-night skinny dip in the Sea of Galilee.
None of these things we mentioned today have much to do with the legislative nightmares we are currently watching play out on the international stage. But they illustrate in part just how many (if not most) members of Congress go to D.C. planning on milking the system — our system of government — to line their pockets most often as a direct expense to taxpayers for all kinds of perks that Americans on the most part don’t know about and certainly do not know how or why they exist and work. These examples are just a fraction of the ways those on the Left are shading American taxpayers. How do they let it happen? Let’s face it: there’s nothing about this for which any member of Congress will take responsibility. If and when someone wants to try, they usually explain this way: “Everybody on Capitol Hill does this. Why shouldn’t I?”
Do you know what’s worse? They get away with all of this! Let’s face facts: having foxes guard a henhouse is a pretty stupid decision on someone’s part.
They’re doing this is NOT just about money. It’s NOT about bringing some low-level employee back to Earth — REAL Earth. It’s about teaching us all a lesson they are confident they’ll win every day.
Last but not least: does any of this illustrate why some, if not all, that we see today in the “Schiff-Pelosi ‘faux’ impeachment inquiry are permeating our 24/7 news cycle? What is right, necessary, and justified for members of Congress to do as part of their jobs for us is diminished by THEIR personal need to perpetuate a gravy-train of benefits that include perks, dollars, investment opportunities, and, most of all, power that comes with “fitting-in” with the D.C. power brokers. The American taxpayers are not on the radar screen of accountability to these Congressional members. Their fantasy world does not extend to the borders of their Congressional Districts. Its boundaries are a two-mile circle around Capitol Hill in D.C. Nothing, and pretty much no one outside that circle is significant to them.
For these and other reasons we have no time to mention, we need to understand that you and I are just a social security number on an IRS tax bill or a zipcode on a contribution check to most of the Congressional members caught-up in the D.C. Circus. There are certainly a bunch who wear white hats. But for the most part, the bad guys are controlling our government.
If you didn’t understand why so many in Washington — even Republicans — expend so much effort, time, and taxpayer money to rid their world of Donald Trump, now you do. He may be rough and he may mix it up like no other politician. But he’s in the corner of everyday Americans. And he always wears a white hat. And he continually fights political corruption. He’s looking under rocks, around corners, and even in the swamp. Someone certainly needs to.