Congress should heed Hamilton’s warning before it is too late
“An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.”
Hamilton, while a supporter of executive power, nevertheless argued for the Senate’s treaty role, because “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”
“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth.”
It would be unsafe, he said, because even the most virtuous individuals, with the best of intentions, would fall prey to the temptations that negotiations with foreign powers would certainly provide.
How much more so does his advice apply to a president of lesser virtue, such as Barack Obama, who intends to decrease the power of the United States as a matter of ideological conviction, and who seeks narcissistic satisfaction in the attention a deal with Iran would temporarily provide!
Hamilton also anticipated the greed allegedly displayed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, whose perambulations around the globe in service of the president’s dubious foreign policy agenda coincided with generous donations from foreign governments to her family’s personal foundation. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in October, Fred Barnes wrote: Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was pounded last winter and spring in TV ads by conservative groups for having voted for Obamacare and echoed President Obama’s false claim that people could keep their current health insurance. “They had her on the ropes,” says Marc Rotterman, a Republican consultant in North Carolina.
Then Senate Majority PAC, Harry Reid’s personal political action committee, intervened. Its television spots defended Hagan and attacked Thom Tillis, her Republican challenger, for supposedly dubious ethics. This was only the beginning. By last week, Reid’s PAC had spent $9 million to boost Hagan’s reelection. And Hagan’s candidacy was saved from an early, and possibly fatal, tailspin.
“Outside spending by groups—mostly super-PACs—that disclose their donors… is dominated by the left.”
Hagan has outraised Tillis, the state house speaker, $19.2 million to $4.8 million. But that’s only one measure of her money advantage. Liberal and Democratic groups have devoted $26.3 million to going after Tillis—a chunk of it on ads while he was still running in the Republican primary—and another $4 million touting her. Conservative and Republican groups were unable to neutralize the anti-Tillis barrage. They’ve spent $17.3 million against Hagan and $10.9 million to promote Tillis. In overall campaign spending, Hagan tops Tillis by $53.7 million to $33 million. This, however, doesn’t count undisclosed millions in “issue ads” criticizing Hagan by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.
The result: Hagan, a mediocre candidate at best, led Tillis in polls for months. Only in mid-October, with spending for Tillis finally matching that for Hagan, has the race tightened. He was ahead by a percentage point or two in several recent polls. Still, Hagan felt confident enough of winning to skip a scheduled debate with Tillis last week.
The North Carolina campaign is a reflection of what’s happened in many of the competitive Senate races. The political fundamentals favor Republicans. President Obama is so unpopular that Democratic candidates avoid mentioning his name, much less inviting him to appear at their campaign events or in their TV spots. Meanwhile, the economy is stagnant. Foreign policy failures continue to stack up. America’s global influence fades. Two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s future. Democrats have few national issues they’re comfortable talking about. Read the rest of this entry »
REFORMICONS REJOICE! The Pork Stops Here: Eric Cantor Loss Gives Republicans Chance to Become People’s PartyPosted: June 16, 2014
Brat’s stunning landslide win over Cantor in the June 10 primary gives Republicans the opportunity to change from being the party of Blackstone to the party of Baugh.
“Cantor’s closeness to Wall Street was supposed to be a strength. It proved a liability. This is true for the GOP as a whole.”
Brat beat Cantor, despite being outspent $5.5 million to $250,000, by running against corporate welfare. “I will fight to end crony capitalist programs that benefit the rich and powerful,” Brat said in his victory speech Tuesday night.
“Cantor’s defeat is the opportunity for the Republican Party to declare independence from Wall Street. Let the bankers flock to Hillary Clinton and Schumer.”
Brat explained on the trail that he’s pro-business, but “I’m against Big Business in bed with Big Government.”
This is why a future president might finally do away with the practice of nominating a top political donor to be an ambassador.
Here’s how the White House described wealthy executive George Tsunis when President Barack Obama nominated him to be the top U.S. diplomat in Norway in September 2013:
“George J. Tsunis is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, LLC. From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Tsunis was of counsel at Rivkin Radler, LLP and served as partner since 2005. Mr. Tsunis was Special Counsel to the Town of Huntington Committee on Open Space Preservation as well as Counsel to the Dix Hills Water District from 2003 to 2009. From 1998 to 1999, he practiced law at Goldberg & Cohen in Brooklyn, NY. From 1996 to 1998, he was a Legislative Attorney at the New York City Council. Mr. Tsunis received a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.”
For the first time, more than half of congressional lawmakers are worth at least $1 million
The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed the personal financial disclosure data from 2012 of the 534 current members of Congress and found that, for the first time, more than half had an average net worth of $1 million or more: 268 to be exact, up from 257 the year earlier. The median for congressional Democrats was $1.04 million and, for Republicans, $1 million even.
To calculate the net worth of lawmakers, the Center added together members’ significant assets, such as corporate bonds and stocks, then subtracted major liabilities such as loans, credit card debt and property mortgages.
Here’s the breakdown: the median net worth for all House members was $896,000 (Democrats averaged $929,000 to Republicans’ $884,000) and, for Senators, $2.5 million. The median net worth for Senate Democrats was $1.7 million, down from $2.4 million in 2011; for Republicans: $2.9 million, up from $2.5 million in 2011.
- Wealthiest members of Congress have prospered since recession (democraticunderground.com)
- WAPO Investigation: Here’s How The Recession Impacted Congressional Financial Portfolios (businessinsider.com)
- Capitol Assets: Congress’s wealthiest mostly shielded in deep recession – The Washington Post (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Getting Richer in Washington (politicalwire.com)