Parliament of Whores

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Government Shame Record under Bush and Obama

As Al Frankena said, “Those who don’t want to rule, prove that they can’t” (referring to the bus administration.  And in The Wrecking Crew:  How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation, Thomas Frank points at they those who don’t believe in government are far more likely to violate the ethical rules pertaining to governance.   

From Wikipedia at

Scope and organization of political scandals

The article is organized by presidential terms and then divided into scandals of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. Members of both parties are listed under the term of the president in office at the time the scandal took place.

Scandals; There is no hard and fast rule defining scandals. Scandal is defined as "loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety." In politics scandal should be kept separate from 'controversy,' (which implies two differing points of view) and 'unpopularity.' Many decisions are controversial, many decisions are unpopular--that alone does not make them scandals.

A good guideline is whether or not an action is, or appears to be, illegal. Since everyone, particularly a politician, is expected to be law abiding, breaking the law is, by definition, a scandal. Misunderstandings, breaches of ethics, unproven crimes or cover-ups may or may not result in scandals depending on who is bringing the charges, the amount of publicity garnered, and the seriousness of the crime, if any. The finding of a court with jurisdiction is the sole method used to determine a violation of law.

There is no bright line to distinguish "major" scandals from "minor" scandals, but rather scandals tend to be defined by the public themselves and the media's desire to feed that particular frenzy. Thus, small but salacious scandals, such as Larry Craig's (R-ID) arrest for lewd behavior can eclipse more serious scandals such as suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus in time of war.

What is also not so clear, is how far down the ladder of obscurity a scandal should go. During the Truman (D) administration, 196 local IRS staffers were found to be corrupt, but they were so far removed from Washington, Truman or any of his appointees, that it could hardly be called a 'Truman scandal.'

Also not included in this article are pervasive systemic scandals, such as the role of money in "normal" politics which purchases access and influence. Neither are 'revolving door' stories, which is the practice of hiring government officials to promote or lobby for companies they were recently paid to regulate. Though some rules now apply, to a great extent this is legal in the United States.

Politicians are those who make their living primarily in politics, their staffs and appointees. By definition, political scandals should involve politicians and not private citizens. Private citizens should be included only when they are closely linked to elected or appointed politicians such as party officials. Kenneth Lay of Enron, is a good example of such a citizen. This list also does not include crimes which occur outside the politician’s tenure unless they specifically stem from acts while they were in office.

Scope To keep the article a manageable size, Senators and Congressmen who are rebuked, admonished, condemned, suspended, found in contempt, found to have acted improperly, used poor judgement or were reprimanded by Congress are not included unless the scandal is exceptional or leads to expulsion.

See Also at the bottom of the article has links to related articles which deal with politicians who are actually convicted of crimes, as well as differentiating between federal, state and local scandals and two separate articles are devoted to sex crimes and scandals.

[edit] Federal government scandals

[edit] 2009– Obama Administration

[edit] Executive Branch

[edit] Legislative Branch

  • John Ensign (R-NV) the religious conservative resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011 before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton. (2011)[5][6][7][8] (see federal sex scandals)
  • Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) Rangel was found guilty on 11 ethics violations including improper fund raising and failure of disclosure, by the House Ethics Committee.[9][10][11][12] On December 2, 2010, the full House of Representatives voted 333-79 to censure Rangel.(2010)[13]
  • Tom DeLay (R-TX) On November 24, 2010 a Texas jury convicted DeLay of money laundering connected to the Jack Abramoff scandal. (2010)[14][15] On January 10, 2011, he was sentenced to three years in prison in Texas.[16][17]
  • Joe Wilson (R-SC) during a major televised speech about health care reform to a joint session of Congress, President Obama stated that no illegal immigrants would be accepted under his plan. Rep. Wilson interrupted the speech and shouted, "You lie!" The incident resulted in a formal rebuke by the House of Representatives. He later admitted that the outburst was "inappropriate". (2009)[18]

[edit] Judicial Branch

  • G. Thomas Porteous The Federal Judge for Eastern Louisiana was unanimously impeached by the US House of Representatives on charges of corruption and perjury in March 2010. He was convicted by the US Senate and removed from office. He had been appointed by Bill Clinton. (2010)[19][20][21]
  • Samuel B. Kent The Federal District Judge of Galveston, Texas was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying about sexually harassing two female employees. He had been appointed to office by George H. W. Bush in 1990. (2009)[22][23]

[edit] 2001–2009 George W. Bush Administration

[edit] Executive Branch

1.      Michael A. Battle (R) Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys in the Justice Department.[33]

2.      Bradley Schlozman (R) Director of Executive Office of US Attorneys who replaced Battle[34]

3.      Michael Elston (R) Chief of Staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty[35]

4.      Paul McNulty (R) Deputy Attorney General to William Mercer[36]

5.      William W. Mercer (R) Associate Attorney General to Alberto Gonzales[37]

6.      Kyle Sampson (R) Chief of Staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales[33]

7.      Alberto Gonzales (R) Attorney General of the United States[38]

8.      Monica Goodling (R) Liaison between President Bush and the Justice Department[39]

9.      Joshua Bolten (R) Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush was found in Contempt of Congress[40]

10.  Sara M. Taylor (R) Aid to Presidential Advisor Karl Rove[41]

11.  Karl Rove (R) Advisor to President Bush[42]

12.  Harriet Miers (R) Legal Counsel to President Bush, was found in Contempt of Congress[40]

  • Bush White House e-mail controversy – During the Lawyergate investigation it was discovered that the Bush administration used Republican National Committee (RNC) web servers for millions of emails which were then destroyed, lost or deleted in possible violation of the Presidential Records Act and the Hatch Act. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andrew Card, Sara Taylor and Scott Jennings all used RNC webservers for the majority of their emails. Of 88 officials, no emails at all were discovered for 51 of them.[43] As many as 5 million e-mails requested by Congressional investigators of other Bush administration scandals were therefore unavailable, lost, or deleted.[44]
  • Lurita Alexis Doan (R) Resigned as head of the General Services Administration. She was under scrutiny for conflict of interest and violations of the Hatch Act.[45] Among other things she asked GSA employees how they could "help Republican candidates".[46]
  • John Korsmo (R-SD) chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board pled guilty to lying to congress and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation and fined $5,000. (2005)[47]
  • Jack Abramoff Scandal in which the prominent lobbyist with close ties to Republican administration officials and legislators offered bribes as part of his lobbying efforts. Abramoff was sentenced to 4 years in prison.[48][49] See Legislative scandals.

1.      David Safavian GSA (General Services Administration) Chief of Staff,[50] found guilty of blocking justice and lying,[51] and sentenced to 18 months[52]

2.      Roger Stillwell (R) Staff in the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush (R). Pleaded guilty and received two years suspended sentence. [10]

3.      Susan B. Ralston (R) Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to Karl Rove, resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she accepted gifts and passed information to her former boss Jack Abramoff.[53]

4.      J. Steven Griles (R) former Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 10 months.[54]

5.      Italia Federici (R) staff to the Secretary of Interior, and President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, pled guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced to four years probation.[55][56][57]

6.      Jared Carpenter (R) Vice-President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, was discovered during the Abramoff investigation and pled guilty to income tax evasion. He got 45 days, plus 4 years probation.[58]

7.      Mark Zachares (R) staff in the Department of Labor, bribed by Abramoff, guilty of conspiracy to defraud.[49]

8.      Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. (2008)[56]

  • Kyle Foggo Executive director of the CIA was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of a government contract and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison at Pine Knot, Kentucky. On September 29, 2008, Foggo pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment, admitting that while he was the CIA executive director, he acted to steer a CIA contract to the firm of his lifelong friend, Brent R. Wilkes.[59]
  • Julie MacDonald (R) Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior, resigned May 1, 2007 after giving government documents to developers (2007)[60]
  • Claude Allen (R) Appointed as an advisor by President George W. Bush (R) on Domestic Policy, Allen was arrested for a series of felony thefts in retail stores. He was convicted on one count and resigned soon after.[61]
  • Lester Crawford (R) Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, resigned after 2 months. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and received 3 years suspended sentence and fined $90,000 (2006)[62]
  • 2003 Invasion of Iraq depended on intelligence that Saddam Hussein was developing "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) meaning nuclear, chemical and/or biological weapons for offensive use. As revealed by The (British) Downing Street memo "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy" The press called this the 'smoking gun."(2005)[63]
  • Yellowcake forgery: Just prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration presented evidence to the UN that Iraq was seeking material (yellowcake uranium) in Africa for making nuclear weapons. Though presented as true, it was later found to be not only dubious, but outright false.[64]
  • Coalition Provisional Authority Cash Payment Scandal: On June 20, 2005, the staff of the Committee on Government Reform prepared a report for Congressman Henry Waxman.[65] It was revealed that $12 billion in cash had been delivered to Iraq by C-130 planes, on shrinkwrapped pallets of US $100 bills.[66] The United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, concluded that "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste.... Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents...." Henry Waxman, commented, "Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?" A single flight to Iraq on December 12, 2003 which contained $1.5 billion in cash is said to be the largest single Federal Reserve payout in US history according to Henry Waxman.[67][68]
  • Bush administration payment of columnists with federal funds to say nice things about Republican policies. Illegal payments were made to journalists Armstrong Williams (R), Maggie Gallagher (R) and Michael McManus (R) (2004–2005)[69]
  • Sandy Berger (D) former Clinton security adviser pleads guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully removing classified documents from the National Archives in (2005)[70]
  • Bernard Kerik (R) nomination in 2004 as Secretary of Homeland Security was derailed by past employment of an illegal alien as a nanny, and other improprieties. On Nov 4, 2009, he pled guilty to two counts of tax fraud and five counts of lying to the federal government and was sentenced to four years in prison.[71]
  • Torture: Top US officials including George W. Bush (R)[72] and Dick Cheney (R)[73] authorized enhanced interrogation techniques of prisoners, including waterboarding (called torture by many) by US troops and the CIA in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. In 2010 Bush stated "He'd do it again..." and Cheney stated on ABC's This Week, "I was a big supporter of waterboarding".[74] (2004)
  • Plame affair (2004), in which CIA agent Valerie Plame's name was supposedly leaked by Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, to the press in retaliation for her husband's criticism of the reports used by George W. Bush to legitimize the Iraq war.[75] Armitage admitted he was the leak[76] but no wrong doing was found.
  • Thomas A. Scully, (R) administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), withheld information from Congress about the projected cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, and allegedly threatened to fire Medicare's chief actuary, Richard Foster, if Foster provided the data to Congress. (2003)[77] Scully resigned on December 16, 2003.
  • NSA warrantless surveillance – Shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush (R) implemented a secret program by the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on domestic telephone calls by American citizens without warrants, thus by-passing the FISA court which must approve all such actions. (2002)[78] In 2010, Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled this practice to be illegal.[79]
  • Kenneth Lay (R), a member of the Republican National Committee, financial donor and ally of President George W. Bush (R) and once considered a possible Secretary of the Treasury. Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of securities fraud concerning his company Enron, but died before sentencing.[80][81][82][83][84]
  • Janet Rehnquist (R) appointed Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services by George W. Bush. In 2002, Governor Jeb Bush's (R-FL) Chief of Staff Kathleen Shanahan asked Rehnquist to delay auditing a $571 million federal overpayment to the State of Florida. Rehnquist ordered her staff to delay the investigation for five months until after the Florida elections. When Congress began an investigation in to the matter, Rehnquist resigned in March 2003, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.[85][86][87][87][88][89]
  • John Yoo (R) An attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel inside the Justice Department who, working closely with vice president Dick Cheney and The Bush Six,[90] wrote memos stating the right of the president to –

1.      suspend sections of the ABM Treaty without informing Congress[91]

2.      bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allowing warrentless wiretapping of US Citizens within the United States by the National Security Agency.[91]

3.      state that the First Amendment and Fourth Amendments and the Takings Clause do not apply to the president in time of war as defined in the USA PATRIOT Act[91]

4.      allow Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (torture) because provisions of the War Crimes Act, the Third Geneva Convention, and the Torture convention do not apply.[91]

Many of his memos have since been repudiated and reversed.[91][92] Later review by the Justice Department reported that Yoo and Jay Bybee used "poor judgement" in the memos, but no charges have yet been filed.[93]

[edit] Legislative Branch

  • Ted Stevens Senator (R-AK) convicted on seven counts of bribery and tax evasion October 27, 2008 just prior to the election. He continued his run for re-election, but lost. Once the Republican was defeated in his re-election, new US Attorney General Eric Holder (D) dismissed the charges "in the interest of justice" stating that the Justice Department had illegally withheld evidence from defense counsel.[94]
  • Charles Rangel (D-NY) failed to report $75,000 income from the rental of his villa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and was forced to pay $11,000 in back taxes.(September 2008)[95]
  • Rick Renzi (R-AZ) Announced he would not seek another term. Seven months later, on February 22, 2008 he pleaded not guilty to 35 charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.[96]
  • Jack Abramoff Scandal, (R) lobbyist found guilty of conspiracy, tax evasion and corruption of public officials in three different courts in a wide ranging investigation. Currently serving 70 months and fined $24.7 million.[97] See Scandals, Executive Branch. The following were also implicated:

1.      Tom DeLay (R-TX) The House Majority Leader was reprimanded twice by the House Ethics Committee and his aides indicted (2004–2005); eventually DeLay himself was investigated in October 2005 in connection with the Abramoff scandal, but not indicted. DeLay resigned from the House 9 June 2006.[98] Delay was found to have illegally channeled funds from Americans for a Republican Majority to Republican state legislator campaigns. He was convicted of two counts of money laundering and conspiracy in 2010.[99]

2.      Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pled guilty to bribery.[48][49]

3.      Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.[49]

4.      James W. Ellis (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering.[100]

5.      John Colyandro (R) executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was indicted by Texas for money laundering[100]

6.      Bob Ney (R-OH) pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements as a result of his receiving trips from Abramoff in exchange for legislative favors. Ney received 30 months in prison.[101][49]

7.      Neil Volz (R) former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in 2006 charges stemming from his work for Bob Ney. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000.[102]

8.      William Heaton (R), former chief of staff for Bob Ney (R), pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge involving a golf trip to Scotland, expensive meals, and tickets to sporting events between 2002 and 2004 as payoffs for helping Abramoff's clients.[103]

9.      John Albaugh (R), former chief of staff to Ernest Istook (R-OK), pled guilty to accepting bribes connected to the Federal Highway Bill. Istook was not charged. (2008)[104]

10.  James Hirni, (R) former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), was charged with wire fraud for giving a staffer for Don Young (R) of Alaska a bribe in exchange for amendments to the Federal Highway Bill. (2008)[105]

11.  Kevin A. Ring (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) was convicted of five charges of corruption.[106][107]

  • John Doolittle (R-CA) both he and his wife were under investigation (January 2008). Under this cloud, Doolittle decided not to run for re-election in November 2008. The Justice Department announced in June 2010 they had terminated the investigation and found no wrong doing.[108]
  • Randy Cunningham (R-CA) pleaded guilty on November 28, 2005 to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in what came to be called the Cunningham scandal. Sentenced to over eight years.[109]
  • Kyle Foggo Executive director of the CIA was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of a government contract and sentenced to 37 months in the federal prison at Pine Knot, Kentucky. On September 29, 2008, Foggo pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment, admitting that while CIA executive director he acted to steer a CIA contract to the firm of his lifelong friend, Brent R. Wilkes.[59]
  • Tan Nguyen (R-CA) congressional candidate for the 47th District was convicted of voter intimidation. He lost the election and was sentenced to one year in prison and six months in a halfway house. (2006)[110]
  • Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) struck a U.S. Capitol Police officer in the chest after he attempted to stop her from going around a security checkpoint. McKinney apologized on the floor of the House and no charges were filed (March 29, 2006)[111]
  • William J. Jefferson (D-LA) in August 2005 the FBI seized $90,000 in cash from Jefferson's home freezer. He was re-elected anyway, but lost in 2008. Jefferson was convicted of 11 counts of bribery and sentenced to 13 years on November 13, 2009, and his chief of staff Brett Pfeffer was sentenced to 84 months in a related case.[112][113]
  • Bill Janklow (R-SD) convicted of second-degree manslaughter for running a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. Resigned from the House and given 100 days in the county jail and three years (2003)[114]
  • Robert Torricelli Senator (D-NJ) after 14 years in the House and one term in the Senate, Torricelli declined to run again when accused of taking illegal contributions from Korean businessman David Chang. (2002)[115]
  • Jim Traficant (D-OH) found guilty on 10 felony counts of financial corruption, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and expelled from the House (2002)[116]


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If there lips are moving they are lying.  

The one thing you can be sure that they stand for, is to get elected.


If there lips are moving they are lying (said of politician)

To understand developments in our political system (both parties) one must understand the role of neoliberalism.  Any analysis which misses this connection is grossly inadequate.  (Neocons follow neoliberalism economic policies). 


We have an evil, evil system. Words such as imperialism, greed, corporate greed, neoliberalism, neoconservate, globalism, bought politicians, control of media are descriptive.   There are reasons why the labor movement has collapsed.  It is the politics of neoliberalism, an out growth of corporate greed.  Given how it opposes the public weal, we have devoted a section to expose just what neoliberalism is—a thing that the five corporations which own broadcasting will not do. 



Things have gotten worse, the hole the neocons has dug is much deeper.  The economic stats are worse than bad:  the trend is toward greater disparity of wealth and on top of that the U.S. is loaded with debt and imbalance of trade.  The debt can through fiscal austerity can be paid off (as some of it was under Clinton), but the trade imbalance will only grow due to the dismantling of are industrial base and the setting up of free trade agreements such as NAFTA.   The current foreign debt is equaled to over 70% of GDP, a ratio unmatched by far among industrialized nations.  To find out what economics is called the dismal science and the role of neoliberalism.