Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How Many Mideast Countries Want Nukes?

We are starting to hear that Middle East countries are trying to get nuclear weapons. Is this in response to the instability in other countries or the Iranian threat?

Iran definitely is an issue. When you have a leader who threatens the destruction of a neighboring country and is not condemned, you know there is a concern.  If Abadingdong would drop the bomb on Israel, how long would it be before he would go after other neighboring countries? Who would be next, Saudi Arabia? For that reason, I can understand the desire for them to get a bomb, as a deterrent.

However, the instability of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and possibly Pakistan and Syria makes this entire region a bomb, primed for explosion. Why would the world want to have this region primed with nuclear weapons? Are we suicidal?

Having unstable nations run by religious zealots whose religion encourages its believers to kill unbelievers (potentially with nuclear weapons) is a recipe for disaster.  If one believed they would go to heaven by killing millions, why would one not drive a bomb into a neighboring country and explode it? No need for expensive and complicated delivery systems, just drive a truck.

The world better wake up before we face Armageddon! We must NOT allow these nations to get the bomb!  This region is not the same as most other countries that currently have the bomb.  With Russia, France, England, we had leaders who understand the concept of "mutually assured destruction."  With Abadingdong, there no concern with other human life and the more of his enemies that he destroys the higher his position will be in heaven. 

The UN (for whatever good it can do) and the rest of the civilized world needs to join together to prevent these nations from getting these very dangerous weapons.

Conservative Tom

Prince Turki Al Faisal: Saudi Arabia plans to obtain nuclear weapons, but its nuclear power will be only for “peaceful use,” a former intelligence official told a security conference.
“Our efforts and those of the world have failed to convince Israel to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, as well as Iran… therefore it is our duty towards our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, quoted by AFP.
He added, “A (nuclear) disaster befalling one of us would affect us all.”
The Sunni Muslim kingdom last summer said it would build 16 nuclear reactors for energy, but Faisal’s remarks were the first indication, at least in public, that Saudi Arabia may acquire nuclear weapons.
Israel has maintained a policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” meaning it does not confirm or deny assumptions that it has nuclear weapons, perhaps as many as several hundred.
However, Saudi Arabia’s biggest worry is Iran, run by a Shi’ite Muslim regime that openly says it wants to head a new Islamic empire in the Middle East.
fireThe Islamic Republic is on a collision course with the West – and Shi’ite Muslim Arab countries – as it proceeds towards the capability of both manufacturing and delivering a nuclear weapon.
Saudi Arabia focused on peaceful use of nuclear energy at the energy conference in the oil-rich monarchy. “Once our nuclear project is complete and we have satisfied the kingdom’s demand for electricity,” Saudi Arabia plans to export electricity, said Khalid Al-Sulaiman, vice president of renewable energy at King Abdullah City.
As the world looks for alternative energy sources, Saudi Arabia, which produces 20 percent of the world’s crude oil, is looking to a future of not being dependent on oil to keep its economy strong.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Government Reliance Approaches 50% Of The Population

If you are a government who wants to ensure its voting base, how do you do it? You give money to everyone or at least a majority so they will vote for you! That is the situation in Greece and yes, in the good ole' USA.

We have thought that was the case but now we have  information from the Heritage Foundation which confirms our feelings. Could it get worse?

When over 50% of the population pays NO income tax and now those in power want to increase the tax on those who do pay, this is getting insane.  Ironically, the "tax free 50%"
 use the system to a greater extent than those "rich" Americans. Everyone uses the roads, the national defense and the government (IRS, FDA for examples) but the services are used by the lower income earners to a much greater extent. 

Since the 1950's we have seen a government grow like topsy.  New departments such as EPA and Energy have not met their goals, however, the spending on these agencies has grown in excess of inflation. Where is going to stop?

It will stop only when we run out of money. We are not talking about some distant future date, rather it is just around the corner especially if the current occupant of the White House is re-elected.  It could happen in the next year or in five but probably not longer than that, if nothing is changed.

Moreover as the attached article demonstrates, roughly one third of the population of dependent upon the government aid of some type. If you add into that number the census of government employees and their families, you come close to half of the population gets their livelihood from the government! No wonder we have problems!

So what are we going to do. First of all, we must elect a Republican President, House and Senate and then insist that they do the right thing and cut spending, programs, agencies cap all inflation increases to the remaining government agencies.  If we can accomplish this, we have a chance. If not, the Republic is doomed to a Greece like intervention.

What do you think?  We are interested.

Conservative Tom

Government Issues
December 16, 2011

The Welfare State Neutralizes Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government

Political analysts have noted that because the number of those in the ruling elite amounts to only a small fraction of the number in the ruled masses, every regime lives or dies in accordance with public opinion.  No matter how powerful or pervasive a regime is, it can still be overrun by the sheer superior numbers of the people it governs.  However, this traditional political framework has been undermined by the development of the modern welfare state, says Robert Higgs, a senior fellow with the Independent Institute.
While the original framework would dissect the country into two populations, the gladly ruling and the reluctantly ruled, the welfare state has created a third group: dependents.  Though they are most certainly ruled, they are often fierce defenders of the regime and its advocated status quo, thereby breaking ranks with the rest of the ruled who only tolerate it.  They do this because the welfare state allows the current regime to be the primary provider for an ever-growing body of dependents, and this dependency engenders loyalty.
  • An index of dependency developed by the Heritage Foundation found that the metric increased from 19 in fiscal year 1962 to 272 in fiscal year 2009.
  • The Heritage researchers found that in 1962, 21.7 million persons depended on the government-run programs included in their index, yet this same figure for 2009 had grown to 64.3 million.
  • Adding dependents not included in the Heritage study might easily increase the number to more than 100 million people, or to more than a third of the entire population.
The handouts of the welfare state exploit this large swathe of the population and earn their repeated and unwavering votes by perpetuating the status quo.  As greater portions of the population come to rely on the government for their livelihood, the more clout it will inherently have as its number of detractors dwindles.
An additional symptom of this growing trend, which can be seen in the current political sphere, is that the creation of a status quo-supporting population inherently causes increased resistance to change.  This conservativeness manifests itself in a lack of radical policy and in the loss of personnel turnover in Washington.

Source: Robert Higgs, "The Welfare State Neutralizes Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government," Independent Institute, December 8, 2011.

For text:

For more on Government Issues:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Republic Blasts Newt

I really do not like Newt as the Republican candidate for President. He is bright and innovative however, I think he has too much baggage (marriages/divorces, resignation from the House, Freddie Mac, staff quitting) to be an effective candidate.  The other leaders in the pack namely Romney and Paul, are hammering him and he is ignoring them. Is he out of money or willingness to compete? You tell me.

So when the New Republic publishes a piece which basically says, Newt would love to be President for the travel and entertainment but not for "being President,"  I think his campaign is quickly following the route of the 
other candidates whose stars rose, burned brightly for a moment and then guttered.

Which brings me back to my major concern this campaign season, why is the press so in love with Romney? We have not seen any anti pieces on him. No hate, only love! Do they know something that we do not know?  Is there a skeleton hidden in the Romney closet that will doom his campaign (and Republican chances to regain the Presidency) when it is released in October 2012? Are we Conservatives being set up?  Is the game really this staged?  Are we just pawns being manipulated by someone or some group?  

And while we are on the subject, why is Ron Paul ALWAYS painted as an out of touch flake. I don't agree all of his stands, but he does make good sense and a whole lot of others.  Yet, when you read the papers, there is NOTHING positive.

Please tell me because with each candidate whose campaign crashed on the Romney coast, I am getting more and more fearful.  Write and let us know and ask your friends also to comment on Conservative Musings!

Conservative Tom

Does Newt Really Want to Be President?

A few days ago I saw Rick Tyler, the ex-Gingrich spokesman who joined a mass resignation from the former speaker’s campaign this summer, on MSNBC looking positively repentant. He admitted that he’d misjudged Gingrich’s viability as a presidential candidate and enthused about him in a way that might embarrass an actual paid spokesman. 
But, reading Jonathan Martin’s excellent Politico piece about Newt this morning, I got the impression Tyler and his former colleagues were right the first time: 
Gingrich is getting pounded on Iowa TV by both a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC and Ron Paul’s campaign and is doing little to fight back against ads which take direct aim at him. Less than three weeks before the caucuses, the former speaker is airing a single commercial with little money behind it. ...
Gingrich’s response suggests a lack of urgency: on Wednesday he held a wonky seminar on brain science in this liberal college town. He had plans to return to Washington for a book-signing after Thursday’s debate in Sioux City, without scheduling any public events in the conservative-heavy northwest corner of the state.
Newt obviously doesn’t want to do the things you generally have to do if you want to become president. More to the point, I don’t think he even wants to be president—by which I mean, undertake the grueling, 24-7 challenge of running a country. It’s much more of a grind than his current lifestyle of book-hawking, seminar-giving, and extravagant vacationing. (I think he’d be happy to do a job where he gets called “Mr. President” but someone else takes care of the demanding stuff.)
My sense is that what’s motivated Newt these past few months is just ego—a determination to prove that he could be president if he really wanted to, that the idea isn’t patently absurd, the way most commentators and even his own staff concluded this summer. But having proved his point, I don’t think Newt has much more to play for. If he’s campaigning like a man who’s already done what he set out to do, that’s probably because he has. 
P.S. A colleague points out that Newt has actually suggested as much himself. Here's what he told our own Jason Zengerle back in 2006: 
"Nixon had this remarkably effective, deeply intense will to power," he says. "Reagan and I have a will to ideas." 
The whole piece is very much worth reading. It really gives lie to the idea of a "new Newt." The Newt you see there is pretty much the same Newt you see today. 

Abortion Pill, Sebelius and Young Women

It absolutely amazes me by the lack of concern we have toward our younger generation and more notably our young girls.  For example, in California it is impossible for a child under 18 to get into a tanning bed or be treated for a broken arm without her parents approval but she can be given Gardasil without it. She cannot buy cigarettes or liquor but, had the FDA had its way, she could have purchased the "morning after" pill or had an abortion.  Does this make any sense to you? In my way of thinking, tanning beds, cigarettes and liquor pose significantly lower chance of permanent damage than an abortion, the unproven Morning after pill or Gardasil.

Sure there are benefits from not getting cervical cancer, however, we do not have any testing of Gardasil to know what the long range damage of it might be. Could it cause sterility or some child deformation that we do not even know about now? Obviously we don't but by cavalierly pushing the drug onto young girls without extensive testing should be criminal.  

The same thing goes for the "Morning after" pill also known as Plan B.  It has not been tested enough to really know how it will effect our younger generations.

I remember when Yaz was first introduced. The ads showed young women and extolled the benefits of having only 4 periods a year. That just did not make sense to me. Well, now it has been pulled because there have been very detrimental health problems such as (from the Yaz website): 

                 "YAZ increases the risk of serious conditions including blood clots, stroke, and heart attack."

Would you want your daughter to take this? I sure would not.

The groups behind the Morning After Pill, abortions, the abortion exception for young women and Gardasil are politically liberal  women's lib groups who feel they must promote "liberation" at all costs, regardless of the damage that might occur.  Any limitation on female promiscuity or the liberal agenda would hurt their movement. 

These same women and men are deathly silent when it comes to Arab culture where women are second or sometimes third class citizens. In Saudi Arabia as well as much of the Islamic world, they cannot drive cars and those that do so, are punished by flogging.  They cannot go out by themselves without a male relative as their escort. They must wear a burka.  If they do anything that "dishonors" the family, they could subject themselves to an "honor killing."

So why the silence? It is either willful ignorance or intentional dishonesty or political opportunism.  Regardless of the reason, it  shows me that they are a one dimensional, one subject group intent only on accomplishing their very narrow goals. In other words, "we want our way and whatever else is happening, we don't care about, as long as we get our way!"

They REALLY cannot care about women as they would speak out loudly about the mistreatment of Arab women. They would insist that medicines and treatment be safe for all women to take with very limited dangers to them. When drugs were shown to be damaging, insist on their immediate removal. They would speak out loudly when any woman was treated badly, not just those who support their goals. No, these groups are just political hacks masquerading as caring, women-promoting individuals.

So when Secretary Sebelius insisted that girls under 18 would need a parent's approval to purchase the drug, these groups when ballistic. How could they do this? It is a "woman's right." 

 The real answer is that once the election is over and should Obama regain the Presidency, the new Secretary will approve the right for 13 year-olds to get the pill. Why, because the Women's Movement will demand it. By the way, it also will be approved by most of the Republican candidates, should they become President. Why? Because the Women's Movement will demand it!

Here is more on the Plan "b" controversy written by a Pro-life Democrat. (Can you believe there are any of those out there?).  Tell us what you like or hate about this issue.

Conservative Tom



Plan B and politics vs. common sense

By Kathy Dahlkemper, former Congresswoman 12/15/11 02:48 PM ET
The recent decision by Secretary Sebelius to override the FDA recommendation that young children under 17 should be allowed to purchase Plan B over the counter has received much criticism from women’s groups.  Clamoring that politics influenced the decision-making process, abortion rights supporters are actually correct.  However, they were pointing the finger at the wrong person.  It was not Secretary Sebelius who was playing politics. Rather, it was the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) who approved initially Plan B for underage girls in the first place.
Plenty of drugs are safe, but not sold over the counter.  Lipitor, for example, is safe, but not sold over the counter because follow-up care is recommended due to potential kidney problems.  Likewise, the birth control pill, also deemed a safe drug, is not sold over the counter because it is an extremely powerful hormone that could have negative health effects.  
Plan B should be no different.  It is a double dose of the extremely powerful hormone found in the birth control pill and should receive more, not less, oversight than the pill.  In fact, because of the potential side effects, it is recommended that a woman seek follow-up care 2 to 3 weeks after taking the drug.  It is unclear how many women are actually seeking the recommended follow up care.
Plan B is intended to be used to prevent pregnancy, if a woman either forgets to use contraception or the contraception fails.  It is not intended to be used routinely.  In fact, manufacturers of the drug claim that it is less effective, if a woman uses it multiple times per month.  The long-term effects of taking the drug multiple times are unknown at this point.  It is not clear how many women are now using Plan B as a form of routine birth control rather than as an emergency contraception.
Unmonitored use of Plan B is risky, because of documented interactions with certain drugs used to treat diabetes, allergies, and seizures—not to mention certain antibiotics.  Furthermore, medical studies indicate that the rate of ectopic pregnancies may increase from 2% of all pregnancies to 10% of pregnancies begun while taking Plan B.
For Secretary Sebelius, an unapologetic abortion rights supporter, approving the FDA recommendation would have been the path of least resistance, especially since most observers expected it to go through anyway.
But the Secretary made a correct but hard decision.  Many women’s groups are upset—and their disappointment is understandable: making Plan B available over the counter would have made it much easier for women to avert an unplanned pregnancy in near-total privacy--without even talking to a doctor.  But this privacy would have been accompanied by potentially grave risks, and Secretary Sebelius put health and safety over politics.  The beneficiaries of her political courage are the young women and girls who could have potentially misused the drug and suffered serious long-term effects.
Women’s groups exist to look out for the best interests of women.  We pro-life Democrats differ strongly on whether abortion rights should be part of this, but firmly agree with their general goals of eliminating gender discrimination and empowering women educationally, professionally, and interpersonally.  Our pro-life convictions apply not simply from conception to the cradle, but from the cradle to the grave.  In this case, our desire to put women on an equal footing with men and to defend their privacy rights was trumped by the imperative of defending the lives of young women and girls (and any unborn children conceived before the pill was taken).  
Those of us in national politics suffer from a tendency to become so fixated on hard-fought lines in the sand that we lose sight of our overall priorities. We end up fighting so hard against compromising our short-term goals that we end up making compromises on our long-term goals.  We fail to clearly see what is really at stake.  And the rough and tumble of partisan politics all too often trumps good decision making.  Fortunately, in this case, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama elevated common sense over narrow partisanship. 
Dahlkemper is a former Democrat Congresswoman from Pennsylvania

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

European Sharia Update

Most Americans are not aware of the way Muslims work as they worm their way into countries around the world. Europe is targeted and the problems are getting worse. The following  article is a great update on the situation.

What do you think? Is the United States next?  How would you react if we started to use sharia law instead of common law when there was a disagreement between a Muslim and another?

Let us know what you think?
Conservative Tom

Muslims Intimidate Their Way Across Europe

Soeren Kern - Hudson New York, December 12th, 2011

A mob of some 20 Islamists stormed a debate in Amsterdam that was featuring two Muslim liberals, the Canadian writer and Muslim feminist Irshad Manji and the Dutch-Moroccan Green Left MP Tofik Dibi.

Muslim extremists belonging to the group Sharia4Belgium, which seeks to establish Islamic Sharia law across Europe, yelled “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is Greater”) and threatened to break Manji's neck. Waving an Islamist jihadist flag, they then demanded that Manji and Dibi be executed for apostasy.

The December 8 debate on how liberal Muslims can prevent Islam from being hijacked by Muslim extremists was held at the De Baile venue in downtown Amsterdam, and was sponsored by the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. The event resumed after police arrested several of the Islamists.

The incident highlights the increasing frequency with which Muslims are using intimidation tactics — including harassment and even murder — in an effort to silence free speech in Europe and to impose Islam on the continent.

Manji is touring Europe to promote her new book, “Allah, Liberty and Love.” She is also the author of “The Trouble With Islam Today,” which is critical of mainstream Islam and its deep-seated anti-Semitism.

The confrontation took place just days after a group of ten Dutch-Moroccan Muslim youths threw stones at a Santa Claus in the southwestern Slotervaart neighborhood of Amsterdam, where more than 30% of the population is Moroccan and another 20% is Turkish.

In recent years, Christian festivities celebrating the arrival of “Sinterklaas” to the Netherlands have been cancelled in several cities due to threats and violence by Muslim youths.

In Belgium, 40 members of Sharia4Belgium recently disrupted a speech about Islam by the Dutch author Benno Barnard. The lecture, entitled “The Islam Debate: Long Live God, Down with Allah!,” was part of a series of talks about the Enlightenment at Antwerp University.

Sharia4Belgium is a radical Muslim organization that denounces democracy and wants to turn Belgium into an Islamic state. The group has established an Islamic Sharia law court in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium. The objective of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium that will challenge the state's authority as the enforcer of civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.

In France, teachers in schools with a high proportion of Muslim children are being threatened on an almost daily basis by Muslims who object to courses about the Holocaust, the Crusades or evolution, and who demand halal [food "permitted" under Islamic Sharia law] meals and “reject French culture and its values,” according to a report published by the French government. Muslims are also trying to silence discussion of events related to Israel and the Palestinians, and American military actions in Muslim countries.

“Teachers regularly find that Muslim parents refuse to have their children learn about Christianity,” the report says. “Some think it amounts to evangelization.” The report also says “anti-Semitism … surfaces during courses about the Holocaust, such as inappropriate jokes and refusals to watch films” about Nazi concentration camps. “Tensions often come from pupils who identify themselves as Muslims.”

The report also says that although teachers can discuss the transatlantic slave trade without incidents, they face harsh criticism from Muslim pupils when they teach about the history of slavery within Africa or the Middle East.

During Ramadan, some Muslim students harass others who do not observe the annual daytime fast, the report says. Boys who identify themselves as Muslims and reject French values harass girls who do well in class as “collaborators” with the “dirty French.” Some girls ask to be excused from gym or pool sessions because they are not supposed to mix with boys, the study adds.

Elsewhere in France, Muslim youths used stones to attack Roman Catholics who were celebrating a religious event at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Virgin of Santa Cruz in the southern French city of Nîmes.

In Britain, radical Muslims attacked Conservative MP Mike Freer, who was attending a meeting with constituents at a mosque in Finchley in north London on October 28. Freer, who is not Jewish but who is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, said the protesters were “aggressive” and that he had been forced to call the commander of the Finchley police department to complain.

Also in London, a Christian employee at Heathrow Airport recently was fired for exposing a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims.

In Leicester, a gang of Somali Muslim women who assaulted and nearly killed a non-Muslim passer-by in the city center walked free in November after a politically correct judge decided that as Muslims, the women were “not used to being drunk.” The Koran prohibits Muslims from consuming alcohol. The judge said: “Those who knock someone to the floor and kick them in the head can expect to go inside [prison], but I'm going to suspend the sentence.”

In Denmark, the Danish Islamist group Kaldet til Islam (Call to Islam) has dispatched 24-hour Islamic 'morals police' to enforce Sharia law in parts of Copenhagen. The patrols harass non-Muslims caught drinking alcohol, gambling, going to discothèques or engaging in other activities the group views as running contrary to Islam.

In Sweden, Muslim harassment of Jews has become so commonplace that the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center has advised Jews against traveling there. “We reluctantly are issuing this advisory because religious Jews and other members of the Jewish community there have been subject to anti-Semitic taunts and harassment. There have been dozens of incidents reported to the authorities but have not resulted in arrests or convictions for hate crimes,” the center said in a statement.

In the Swedish city of Malmö, Muslim anti-Semitism has become so bad that some 30 Jewish families have left for Stockholm, England or Israel — and more are preparing to go.

Back in Holland, the Dutch-Moroccan MP Khadija Arib has called for Mohamed al-Maghraoui, a controversial imam (Muslim religious leader), to be banned from the Netherlands because of his support for the forced marriage of nine-year-old girls.

Al-Maghraoui (aka the Pedo Imam) issued a fatwa [religious edict] in Morocco in 2008 saying it is acceptable for girls to marry at the age of nine because the Islamic Prophet Mohammed consummated his marriage to Aisha when she was nine.

Al-Maghraoui was scheduled to attend a five-day conference in December 2011 to celebrate the opening of an extension to the As-Sunnah mosque in The Hague.

As-Sunnah is headed by the Imam Sheik Fawaz Jneid, a Lebanese-born Syrian national who also has a Dutch passport. In November 2004, Fawaz called for the murder of Islam critic Theo van Gogh, a wish that was carried out in Amsterdam a few weeks later by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan.

In a prayer to Allah, Fawaz said: “Cause Van Gogh a disease which all the inhabitants of the earth are unable to cure. Cause him suffering making him long for death. Blind the sight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, give her brains a cancer. Give her tongue a cancer.”

Hirsi Ali, who made a controversial film, Submission, with Van Gogh about women in Islam, said Fawaz cannot be prosecuted because the Dutch legal system is “too rational.” She says Dutch courts prefer to uphold the freedom of religion rights enjoyed by Muslims rather than to clamp down on harassment or defamation perpetrated by those same Muslims.

Dutch MPGeert Wilders says the As-Sunnah mosque should be closed down if Al-Maghraoui is allowed to speak. Dutch intelligence has identified the mosque as a radical Salafist center which attracts Muslim youths from all over the Netherlands.

Salafism is a fundamentalist sect within Sunni Islam that espouses a literalist reading of Islamic scriptures and adheres to a conservative and highly regulated puritan lifestyle. Salafism also seeks the destruction of Western democracy, which is to be replaced by a Universal Islamic Caliphate, a worldwide Islamic theocracy regulated by Sharia law.

The As-Sunnah mosque has been at the center of controversy for giving a platform to radical preaching, including its insistence that Muslims should not integrate into Dutch society.

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.

Democrats And Sleaze--Bedfellows

Once again, Michelle Malkin hits a home run with her latest commentary! This is not saying that Republicans have their problem, they surely do, however, Democratic sleazes stay in office and Republicans are forced to  resign. Remember Representative Weiner, it nearly took a hook and ladder to drag him out of the House!! I guess if cannot remember if you took a nude picture of yourself and then sent it to strangers, it might be hard to accept that your are no longer welcome in the House!

Read it and then let us know what you think.

Conservative Tom

Malkin: Triangle of Sleaze - Holder, Blago and Richardson

By Michelle Malkin 
It was a rough week for the corruptocracy. White House officials better ho-ho-hold on tight because the sleigh ride isn't going to get any smoother.
On Wednesday, disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., received a 14-year prison sentence for scheming to sell President Barack Obama's Senate office, along with several other pay-for-play schemes. Blago played the distressed daddy for the federal judge, invoking his young daughters and wife (who held her notoriously foul tongue in check) to bemoan how his "life is in ruins."
How far Blago's fallen from the glory days of 2008, when he was gloating at the prospect of naming a candidate to fill then-President-elect Obama's seat. "I've got this thing, and it's f**king golden," he crowed. All that glitters now, though, are the paparazzi flash bulbs that Blago faces on his perp walks.
Earlier this week, Bill Richardson, former Democratic governor of New Mexico, disgraced former presidential candidate and failed Obama Commerce Secretary nominee, faced new reports of a federal grand jury into his possible violations of campaign finance laws. The funny-money business is tied to an alleged mistress payoff a la disgraced former presidential candidate and Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.
Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports, investigators are probing how "Richardson's close allies steered more than $2 billion of public money into investment funds run by money managers who in turn agreed to pay millions of dollars in consulting fees to high-profile Democratic fundraisers and other supporters of Richardson."
The star that joined together this little constellation of sleaze? Disgraced U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder and Blago go way back. Holder himself suffered selective amnesia about the relationship during his confirmation hearing. He somehow "forgot" to mention that Blagojevich had appointed him to probe corruption in Illinois casino licensing decisions. State officials had objected to Blago's crony appointment of fundraiser Christopher Kelly to the state Gaming Board. Kelly's business partner was now-convicted felon and shakedown artist Tony Rezko, Obama's former bagman and real-estate fixer.
Holder pocketed $300,000 from Blago to "investigate" and -- surprise, surprise -- concluded that no corruption existed. They stood shoulder to shoulder at a 2004 news conference to make the announcement. But Holder failed to disclose it on his Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, which he signed five days after Blagojevich's arrest in December 2008 for putting Obama's U.S. Senate seat up for sale.
After duping a Senate majority (including 19 Senate Republicans) into approving his AG nomination despite multiple admissions of failure, neglect and sabotage of the rule of law, Holder moved up to perform more cover-ups for Obama's pals. In August 2009, Holder's DOJ announced it was dropping federal corruption charges against Richardson after a yearlong federal probe into pay-to-play allegations involving one of his large political donors and state bond deals.
"It's over. There's nothing. It was killed in Washington," a source close to the investigation told the Associated Press. Even as they tapped Richardson to serve as Obama's first Commerce Secretary, the White House transition team knew about Richardson's pay-to-play scandal involving a California company, CDR Financial Products. FBI and federal prosecutors had launched their probe of CDR's activities in New Mexico in the summer of 2008.
The feds had been digging into a nationwide web of favor-trading between financial firms and politicians overseeing local government bond markets. CDR was tied to a doomed bond deal in Alabama, which, according to Bloomberg News, threatened to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. CDR raked in nearly $1.5 million in fees from a New Mexico state financial agency after donating more than $100,000 to Richardson's efforts to register Hispanic and Native American voters and to pay for expenses at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the news service reported.
The state agency that awarded the money consisted of five Richardson appointees and five members of his gubernatorial cabinet. CDR made contributions both shortly before and after securing consultant work with the state of New Mexico. CDR's president also contributed $29,000 to Obama's presidential campaign. After Holder dropped the case, New Mexico Republicans blasted the lack of transparency in the decisions and the refusal to heed the advice of experienced, non-political prosecutors and FBI investigators.
Mother Jones writer James Ridgeway's comment on the day of Richardson's Commerce Secretary nomination withdrawal proved quite prescient: "It may be premature to say that Obama and his team have too high a tolerance for corruption. But this first self-destruct among his cabinet picks could well prove all the more damaging because it's something they should have seen coming from miles away."
The same applies, of course, to Holder himself -- who admitted at a House hearing that the Operation Fast and Furious scandal under his watch was "flawed," "reckless," "tragic" and deadly." How much longer will America tolerate this reign of error and terror?
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).