Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Steadfast and Loyal --To ACORN* but not to his oath of office

(updated 5/12/2014)  CAGW reacted with derision at statements made by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on April 15, in which he opened the door to the resurrection of congressional earmarking. Sen. Durbin’s comments are the latest in a disturbing trend among members of Congress from both sides of the Capitol and both sides of the aisle. The congressional earmark moratorium has been in place since 2010, and the House of Representatives and Senate have both claimed all legislation since then has been earmark-free. However, CAGW’s 2014 Congressional Pig Book, to be released on May 7, will show otherwise. “Just like the Easter Bunny, Sen. Durbin wants members of Congress to again hide pork-barrel goodies under every legislative shrub they can find,” commented CAGW President Tom Schatz. “If earmarks are revived in Congress, it will be a sad commentary on the moral compass of the institution.” Read more about the corrosive budgetary impact of earmarks.

(updated to report the term limit vote on 2/2/12) This poster boy for term limits, Illinois Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin, got his law degree in 1969 after already being an intern in the office of then Sen. Paul Douglas for a year. He immediately became counsel to Lt. Gov. Paul Simon until 1972 when he became legal counsel to the Illinois State Judiciary Committee. He ran for Lt. Gov. in 1978 and then was an associate professor for a few years all the while a delegate to the National Democrat party conventions before being elected to the US Congress in 1983 where he has been ever since. He is now in his third term in the Senate and is the Party Whip.

In other words: All politics all the time, just as our other Poster Boys and Girls.

The lack of real-life productive private sector experience is common among career politicians and probably explains the failure of most of their programs to reach their stated goals – and always at enormously higher costs than projected. Ironically, the longer they are in office, the more faith and confidence they seem to have in their ability to plan and execute new programs.

So, no surprise that he voted on 2/5/12 AGAINST the term limit amendment even though he knows full well that his constituents ovewhelmingly support them. See how your Senator voted: hint: All Democrats but Joe Manchin of WV voted AGAINST the reform amendment.

Also, because liberals embrace government for ideological reasons as well, it is not surprising that so many of our poster children are liberals. Sen. Durbin's record is a case in point:

* Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating an anti-life, pro abortion voting record.
* Rated 4% from Citizens Against Government Waste for being wasteful with tax money.
* Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record.
* Rated F by the NRA, indicating an anti-2nd Amendment Rights voting record.
* Rated 85% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record.
* Rated 14% by the non-partisan national Taxpayers Union ( indicating a "Big Spender" on tax votes.

Whether you consider yourself as leaning to the left or right of the political spectrum, you may be appalled by Durbin’s animosity towards those who defend us with their lives. Durbin called our soldiers in Iraq “Nazis.” He made a statement in 2005 morally equating U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, (zero killed) with prisoner treatment by Pol Pot (200,000 killed).

After all of the evidence of election fraud by ACORN, Dick Durbin was one of seven Democrats that voted to continue funding it. He was well aware that The ACORN Housing Corporation has long been pushing the very loose-lending policies that helped destroy the housing industry. And recently it was exposed for being willing to finance underage prostitutes, as well. No problem – give them taxpayer money as all of their voter registration fraud efforts are on behalf of Durbin and his party. See: ACORN: A Criminal Enterprise Run Amok

Durbin went to Catholic grade school and calls himself Catholic yet is aggressively pro-abortion even voting against a ban on partial-birth abortion. In January 2006 he said that “I’ve stood for election more than 12 times in the House and Senate, general and primary, stating my position as pro-choice.” This was at the hearings on Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He was trying to get Judge Alito to say he converted to pro-abortion, too. And just last week he voted for the confirmation of David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the District Court Judge who has ruled to suppress religious freedom, protect child predators, and rule leniently against career criminals. Judge Hamilton has ruled that prayers to Jesus Christ offered at the beginning of legislative sessions violate the Constitution, but that prayers to Allah do not. Hamilton worked for the ACLU and as a fund-raiser for ACORN. When originally nominated to the U.S. District Court by President Clinton, Hamilton was rated "not qualified" by the American Bar Association. What in Dick Durbin’s eyes qualifies this judge now for this high position? His connection to ACORN? update on ACORN, *click here One Bite at a Time

On spending and the economy, on education, he is all for FedGov being the major force regardless of Constitutional restrictions. He is for more government controls regarding the environment and energy production. He’d like to give the District of Columbia a seat in Congress. He voted yes on another congressional pay raise in the midst of this recession and to approve more gifts from lobbyists. Durbin is against requiring photo ID for voting. (Hmmmm that sounds like something to make ACORN’s job easier.)

Durbin voted against the Iraq war and against the Patriot Act’s provisions for wiretaps on foreign calls. He is for U.S. Constitutional rights for Guantanamo detainees. Other positions: For taxpayer funding for the “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants; for welfare and Social Security benefits for illegals; against the border fence; Against English as the official language of the US. Against more visas for skilled workers who, after obtaining advanced degrees at US universities, have to leave the country – we can always outsource to their scarce skills, I guess. Durbin is against the death penalty and three strikes mandatory sentences for repeat offenders.

He always votes against any limits on the national debt, he’s against personal retirement accounts like the Roth IRA and against a lock box or reserve for Social Security funds. You get the idea. So, if you like Statism, you’ll love Durbin.

Because professional politicians generally believe in the State as the ultimate authority as that gives them more power, they tend to dominate in our government. Challengers have so little chance of defeating an incumbent because of the overwhelming advantages of office – 95% are reelected, most without any meaningful opposition—so the statist-types gain control over us. And that is where we are today without checks and balances, without respect for the limitations of our Constitution. Tenure corrupts and we are up to our eyes in corruption because we have no limits on professional politicians.

There is hope: Sen. Jim DeMint has formally proposed a Constitutional Amendment, which is cosponsored by Senators Tom Coburn, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Sam Brownback, that would limit U.S. Representatives to three, two-year terms, and Senators to two, six-year terms.

Said DeMint, "Term limits will increase legislative turnover, expand the field of candidates who run for office, and instill transparency and accountability in our public officials," and “the power of incumbency had created an almost insurmountable advantage for Washington politicians." You can help by signing the petition in support at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Washington's Degenerate Elite

A few of our Poster Children are mentioned today by Capitol Guardian: Dingy Harry and those two champions of home ownership by those without an income, credit history or responsibility: Barney and Chris. Charlie gets a dishonorable mention, too.

In the Senate: as Reid races the clock to force a vote on the government takeover of healthcare later this week, the Banking Committee, meanwhile, will take up Sen. Dodd's "I Hate Capitalism With a Passion" financial services regulatory bill. As if the crushing burden of excess federal regulations and looming higher payroll, corporate, and excise taxes are not enough to force private firms out of business (or the country) this should help any chance at economic growth.

In the House, Rep. Frank is considering legislation that would break apart "too big to fail" financial firms. Ostensibly to prevent another economic meltdown, Congress is on the verge of (further) punishing the entire financial services industry for the egregious behavior of the few. Making matters worse, the seldom told story is that Frank and Dodd's protection of malignant Fannie Mae is one of the root causes of the mortgage market collapse, and these two gentlemen are driving the current "reform" effort!

Bottom Line: Post WWII East Germany is the economic model favored by the Democrat leadership. So do not be surprised at what comes out of House FS and Senate Banking in the coming day. It will inevitably be lauded as "consumer friendly" and "responsible government" -- as it drives unemployment numbers to record highs and crushes free enterprise.

At the other end of The Avenue, the Obama Administration is announcing this morning a "multi-level attack" on financial fraud. If Obama were really interested in rooting out fraud, he would demand his top tax-man, Charlie Rangel, step down as chairman of House Ways and Means Committee. Then, he could take a look at the unseemly relationship his Financial Services chairman, Barney Frank, has had with the now virtually insolvent Fannie Mae.

Bottom Line: Don't hold your breath.

Derek V. Baker *
Director of Congressional Affairs
Americans for Limited Government

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Max the Mouth

Update picture she offered as proof of global warming


Rep. Waters has a long-time reputation as the most corrupt person in Congress. She’s been investigated multiple times for ethics violations; using her position in Congress to secure business dealings for her family (via The Los Angeles Times).
In fact, Waters’ family made over $1 million in eight years by doing business with companies whom the California Congressman had helped with her legislation. Waters’ pay-to-play scheme would make Hillary envious!
Waters’ politics consist of little more than the typical inner-city race-baiting peppered with reckless pork barrel spending. Throughout her time in Congress, she’s been known for little else besides her constant ethics investigations.
The reason she’s come into the limelight at all over the last months is because of her cartoonish attacks on President Trump. Waters literally says she “will fight everyday until [Trump] is impeached” (via The Washington Examiner).

When we captioned this blog “the worst of a bad lot” we had Maxine Waters (Dist 35, CA) in mind. Even the most corrupt long-tenured pols –she’s been in congress for 20 years—have done something that could be considered good for the country. At her own website we found that she has labored diligently against mandatory sentencing laws. Well, the rapists, muggers, and repeat crooks liked that one. The former football player, Jim Brown, praised her as a “Mother Theresa of Watts” for these efforts. Remember how she defended the Watts rioters, looters, and arsonists when she remarked on national television: "Riot is the voice of the unheard." National Review said she was trying to shift the blame for the riots from the rioters to everybody and everything else and in the process was giving tacit permission to riot again. Waters ferociously attacked the U.S. Government as being responsible for "the economic, social, cultural and political factors” that caused the L.A. riots of 1992. She expressed sympathy for gangs and rioters involved and what she still calls a revolution. She disagreed with LA Mayor Tom Bradley's characterization of the 1992 rioters as "hoodlums and thugs."

She did join a coalition in 1994 against violent and sexually explicit song lyrics and came out against so-called "gangsta rap" –that was a good thing. But wait, she did not blame the actual rappers for the filthy, hateful and sometimes murderous obscenities and vulgarities. No, she pointed the finger of blame at industry executives for not exercising more control over their recording artists and said it was "…foolhardy to single out rap artists as instigators of violence among young people." We tried. (We don’t think the execs are blameless, either.)

Born in 1938, Waters was one of thirteen children living in a St. Louis housing project where her mother struggled to raise her children; no father is mentioned. After graduating from high school, she married and had two children. In 1960 the family moved to Los Angeles, where Waters worked at a few menial jobs before getting involved in the Head Start program in Watts. In the late 1960s she entered California State University to study sociology. By the time she earned her degree, she was divorced and raising her children alone. Water's background is frequently cited to explain why she fights so passionately for affirmative action programs. She had no successful experience in the free market economy having grown up on welfare, gone to school on affirmative action programs and then getting involved in mostly race-based politics.

She is currently married to Sidney Williams, a former football player and automobile salesman, who she got President Clinton to name Ambassador to the Bahamas. Her husband is a stockholder and former director of OneUnited Bank and the bank's executives were major contributors to her campaigns. In September 2008, she arranged meetings between U.S. Treasury officials and OneUnited Bank, to arrange for the bank to get federal cash. It had been heavily invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and its capital was "all but wiped out" after FedGov took them over. The bank got $12 million in TARP money as a result of her intervention. The matter is currently being investigated by the House Ethics committee.

Maxine Waters got her start in politics as the chief deputy to Los Angeles city councilman David Cunningham. She was actively involved in the campaigns of Senator Alan Cranston and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. She entered the California State Assembly in 1976. While in the assembly she worked for divestment of state pension funds from any businesses active in South Africa when it had the racist policy of apartheid. Republican Cathie Wright of Simi Valley, who served with Waters for fourteen years on the California Assembly, discusses Maxine Waters' accusations of racism: “The problem I have with her are her accusations that we were racists but she wasn't. She always assumed that everything you said was because you were white and she was black...Whenever Republicans disagreed with her, she said we took the position because we were racists.”

Waters was instrumental in the formation of the National Political Congress of Black Women in 1984. In 1996, she was elected to chair the Congressional Black Caucus. She called for investigation of the CIA for being involved in a plan to distribute drugs to African Americans in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. That, plus her propensity to play the race card reflected poorly on her and the Democratic Party’s ability at that time to wield real influence in Washington. After being named co-chairman of Clinton's national campaign, she called President George H. W. Bush a "racist" in a speech at the National Press Club. She found nothing wrong with President Clinton’s taking advantage of the intern and then lying about while under oath.

A fan of Castro and especially of Che Guevara, Waters visits Cuba often to see her friend, domestic terrorist Joanne Chesimard (aka Assata Shakur plus over 20 other aliases according to the FBI). In 1977, Chesimard was found guilty of first degree murder of a police officer she shot execution style, among several other convictions including armed robbery. She was sentenced to life in prison 1977 and then in November 1979, Chesimard escaped and lived underground before being located in Cuba in 1984. Rep.Waters has used her position to oppose extradition going so far as to write Castro that Shakur (she’s an aunt of a rapper of that name) was fleeing “political persecution.” The FBI has a $1,000,000 reward for her capture.

In May 2008, Waters told Shell Oil President John Hofmeister at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing that if he did not “guarantee” reduced gasoline prices in exchange for Congress “allowing” the oil industry to drill where it wished, she would favor nationalizing American petroleum companies. She stated: "Guess what this liberal will be all about, this liberal will be all about socializing... taking over and the government running all of your companies." Rep. Waters clearly favors Statism as she understands it and this is just one example.

Among her other distinctions, Citizens Against Government Waste named her the June 2009 Porker of the Month due to her intention to obtain an earmark for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center. Her non-partisan National Taxpayers Union score is the lowest possible, as one would expect.

She opposed the Iraq War saying that the money could be used for affirmative action programs. She supported Jesse Jackson’s campaigns for president. It goes on… With Maxine Waters, it is all about race, welfare and socialism; nothing about the economy, freedom or opportunity.

Without term limits there is little chance to replace the entrenched incumbent no matter how bigoted, anti-American, pro-socialist and corrupt because of the advantages of office including the big bucks from special interests that benefit from her votes.