Mama Grizzly

Sarah Palin:

How Congress Occupied Wall Street
Politicians who arrive in Washington as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires. Why?

Mark Twain famously wrote, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Peter Schweizer’s new book, “Throw Them All Out,” reveals this permanent political class in all its arrogant glory. (Full disclosure: Mr. Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign-policy adviser.)

Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians’ stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.

The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr. Schweizer details the most lucrative methods: accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practicing insider trading with nonpublic government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it’s sickening.

Astonishingly, none of this is technically illegal, at least not for Congress. Members of Congress exempt themselves from the laws they apply to the rest of us. That includes laws that protect whistleblowers (nothing prevents members of Congress from retaliating against staffers who shine light on corruption) and Freedom of Information Act requests (it’s easier to get classified documents from the CIA than from a congressional office).

The corruption isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples. It’s an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle. It’s an entire system of public servants feathering their own nests.

None of this surprises me. I’ve been fighting this type of corruption and cronyism my entire political career. For years Alaskans suspected that our lawmakers and state administrators were in the pockets of the big oil companies to the detriment of ordinary Alaskans. We knew we were being taken for a ride, but it took FBI wiretaps to finally capture lawmakers in the act of selling their votes. In the wake of politicos being carted off to prison, my administration enacted reforms based on transparency and accountability to prevent this from happening again.

We were successful because we had the righteous indignation of Alaskan citizens on our side. Our good ol’ boy political class in Juneau was definitely not with us. Business was good for them, so why would they want to end “business as usual”?

The moment you threaten to strip politicians of their legal graft, they’ll moan that they can’t govern effectively without it. Perhaps they’ll gravitate toward reform, but often their idea of reform is to limit the right of “We the people” to exercise our freedom of speech in the political process.

I’ve learned from local, state and national political experience that the only solution to entrenched corruption is sudden and relentless reform. Sudden because our permanent political class is adept at changing the subject to divert the public’s attention—and we can no longer afford to be indifferent to this system of graft when our country is going bankrupt. Reform must be relentless because fighting corruption is like a game of whack-a-mole. You knock it down in one area only to see it pop up in another.

What are the solutions? We need reform that provides real transparency. Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act like everyone else. We need more detailed financial disclosure reports, and members should submit reports much more often than once a year. All stock transactions above $5,000 should be disclosed within five days.

We need equality under the law. From now on, laws that apply to the private sector must apply to Congress, including whistleblower, conflict-of-interest and insider-trading laws. Trading on nonpublic government information should be illegal both for those who pass on the information and those who trade on it. (This should close the loophole of the blind trusts that aren’t really blind because they’re managed by family members or friends.)

No more sweetheart land deals with campaign contributors. No gifts of IPO shares. No trading of stocks related to committee assignments. No earmarks where the congressman receives a direct benefit. No accepting campaign contributions while Congress is in session. No lobbyists as family members, and no transitioning into a lobbying career after leaving office. No more revolving door, ever.

This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this. The tea party’s mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realize that Washington politicians have been “Occupying Wall Street” long before anyone pitched a tent in Zuccotti Park.


She has no problem hanging out with Glenn Beck like they’re BFFs.

Okay then.

This entry was posted in 2012 Elections, Crony Capitalism, Occupy Wall Street, OWS, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Mama Grizzly

  1. I just really do not understand the hatred of Sarah. Especially coming from so called feminists. She did an outstanding job running over the boyz club and the oil companies in Alaska.
    Shit- I have a grandson who gets an oil check every year. Born in Anchorage when his parent were stationed in Alaska. He counts as native born. My son puts that money aside in his college fund.
    So making the oil companies share with the citizens is a bad thing?
    And the loons who go after her for not having an abortion? Geez. I thought choice meant the WOMAN gets to CHOOSE. That still boggles my mind.
    I just do not get it. So many say they are sick of government corruption and lobbyists and the revolving door.
    Yet when Sarah speaks- they lose their collective minds.
    I don’t get it.

    • dm says:

      My husband informed me a while ago that he”hated” Palin. When I asked him why, he really couldn’t point to anything specific. I told him not too long ago that he should really check out her writings on Facebook…I dare anyone to read this and say anything other than SHE SPEAKS THE TRUTH.

      • Lulu says:

        I think it has something to do with her perceived social class. Non Ivy League, large outdoorsy state with a lot of working class residents, small town, semi religious, too many kids, jock husband, likes hunting and eating meat, too physically attractive (especially after having too many kids), and she does not know her place which is to stay in her social class. She is uppity and it is not allowed.

      • Mary says:

        Sarah Palin challenges people.

        Snooki/Rebuttal doesn’t like that. It’s threatening to her need for total control.

        That’s not about Sarah’s issues. It’s about Snooki’s.

        • votermom says:

          I can play that rebuttal game:

          It would not surprise me if people who hate Sarah Palin do so because they love corruption and crony capitalism.

        • Mary says:

          Bravo, votermom!

          I wanna play:

          It would not surprise me if Rebuttal’s teenage daughter thinks her mom is an overbearing, controlling b*tch and can’t wait til she’s old enough to get the hell away from her.

          Too personal?

        • votermom says:

          Too personal?

          A tad. 😆

      • foxyladi14 says:

        but they can’t handle the truth. 🙂

  2. OldCoastie says:

    I like Sarah and I wish she was running.

  3. Betty says:

    You and me both OldCoastie!!

    • votermom says:

      I get the feeling that even Sarah wishes she were running — it seemed like she was with the tour and the speeches but something changed her mind.

      Running was her plan A, this not-a-title-reforming-anyway is her plan B.

  4. Mary says:

    By Madame “Rebuttal’s” skewed logic, we can assume that she has no problem hanging out with Bill-Ayers-types like they’re BFF’s.

    For someone with “multiple degrees, dahling,” she sure engages in adolescent logic.

    Cue drama-queen Les Mis music. (Barf)

  5. votermom says:

  6. bandit08 says:

    She’s absolutely right. My wife’s uncle was a 16 term US rep. Worked a few years before going to state legislature then to congress a couple of years later. When he died the estate was valued over $5M. Died 20 years ago so probably never earned more than $100K salarary. Had a bunch of kids. Try turning that into $5M.

  7. yttik says:

    You go Mama Grizzly! Keep telling it like it is.

  8. HELENK says:

    that book “throw them all out” has created an windwhirl in congress.
    Funny thing how when light is shined on a situation, things begin to happen

    • votermom says:

      I like this comment

      All of the prisoners in the jail have investigated each other and have concluded that they are all innocent of all charges and should be set free immediately.

  9. kc says:

    congress will pass some Mickey Mouse law that looks like it will solve the problem–but it will continue. They think we are all stupid.

  10. kc says:

    and Sarah Palin is right and she’s not stupid.

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