Regardless of whether you support Ukraine or not, most honest observers concede that Ukraine is rife with corruption and political figures eager to feed at the public trough. Ukraine commonly is described as the most corrupt nation in Europe.
Well, I have bad news for President Zelensky and his fellow Ukrainians — you can’t hold a candle to the political brothel that is Washington. When I moved to the Washington, DC area in 1979 (I started off in a small townhouse in Chevy Chase, Maryland) there were no Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Bentley car dealerships. The ironically named Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland was lily-white and made a practice of excluding blacks and Jews. Luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue were rare. That was then.
Today, the Washington, DC metropolitan area, which includes Montgomery and Prince Georges counties in Maryland and Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia, is populated with luxurious automobile dealerships and the kind of high-end retail stores normally seen on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California or 5th Avenue in New York City. What changed?
The business of selling influence in Washington, DC went nuclear. I am not suggesting that DC was a temple of morality and frugality prior to the 1980s. There always have been lobbyists lurking around the halls of Congress passing out money and buying favors. But it started growing like a cancer during the Clinton Administration and exploded when George W. Bush came to office. The wealthy discovered they could set up 501 c3 “charitable” corporations as a great tax dodge. “Think Tanks” began to pop up, again funded by corporate interests keen on having studies published that would advance their interests.
The revolving door twirled at light speed. What is the “revolving door?” It is a term describing how Congressional staffers get jobs in a new Presidential administration or at a prominent think tank like the Brookings Institute and then move on to jobs in the media or with lobbying firms. Then there are the “Beltway Bandits,” a term coined to describe the private and public companies that clamor for U.S. Government contracts and grants. A huge portion of these are defense contractors, but there are also firms catering to the pharmaceutical, tobacco, liquor, food and health industries.
When I joined the CIA in 1985, the Agency kept most of its business in-house. There were some contractors, but they constituted a handful. That changed in the 1990s. The CIA started to outsource analysis and other functions to companies like SAIC. Just ask Edward Snowden. He spent some time with the CIA but logged more hours as a contractor.
It is money and moneyed interests that is driving the policy train in Washington, especially when it comes to the Department of Defense. Members of Congress are especially eager to line their pockets. The Gateway Pundit published a piece today reporting that members of Congress who invested in Wall Street beat the market by a wide margin in 2022:
The S&P 500 was down 18% in 2022. Democrats were only down 1.76% and Republicans were up .389% on the year.
This is a bipartisan list. It is populated with Democrats and Republicans. How is it that they are such shrewd investors? Trading on insider information perhaps?
Then there is the fundraising behemoth. My inbox is being flooded today with pleas for money from aspiring Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, Hakeem Jeffries (the Democrat nominee for Speaker) and Andy Biggs, who ran against McCarthy.
Here is McCarthy’s plea for cash:
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Larry, Kevin McCarthy here. I’ll keep this huddle brief.
Voters across the nation called on us to put a stop to Brandon’s ridiculous anti-America agenda – but if we miss our critical fundraising deadline we are going to fail.
The Left is outraising and outspending us. Brandon’s cronies are raking in huge sums of cash and spending it on some of the most contentious issues facing Americans today to ensure that middle class, red-blooded Americans drown.
I’m only sending this hail mary to the most loyal patriots because I know you won’t let us down. This is your last chance to help House Republicans make it to the endzone.
It’s game over without you.
It’s all up to you. If you ignore our pleas and drop the ball, then our chances of stopping Brandon and Schumer’s radical agenda are gone.
| House GOP’s Commitment to America Rein in the IRS
Secure the Border
Fund the Police
Unleash American Energy
Secure our Elections
Curb Inflation & Spending
Pass the Parents Bill of Rights
Hold Brandon AccountableARE YOU IN?
And here is Hakeem Jeffries beggar request:
Why do these two men need more money? The contest for Speaker of the House does not require advertising or campaign workers or a get-out-the-vote effort. The answer is simple — they want to hold enough money to buy influence with other members of Congress. It is the modern version of the Golden Rule — those with the gold make the rules.
So the next time you hear a U.S. politician lament the corruption in some foreign country, I give you permission to execute a belly laugh and call them hypocrites. The United States is a gang of rock throwers that live in a glass house. I am hoping, perhaps naively, that the war in Ukraine will fully expose the corruption and hypocrisy that infests Washington, DC like a pack of ravenous rats.