Author Topic: Let's talk about Corruption  (Read 2542 times)

Seriati

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Let's talk about Corruption
« on: March 01, 2017, 11:30:07 AM »
For our friends from the left, who've made much ado about the risks that we face on the corruption side from President Trump, I'd like to get your thoughts on the following:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/01/gop-wants-to-eliminate-shadowy-doj-slush-fund-bankrolling-leftist-groups.html

To summarize, it's a report on a Justice Department practice where they impose, as part of the settlement of federal charges, a requirement that the settling party make donations to causes that the administration favors.  This has allowed them to deliberately avoid restrictions on the use of Federal funds imposed by Congress and allocate money that should be part of the federal budget to administration favored policies that Congress defunded.  This is reminds me of the similarly corrupt practice of inviting suits by patsy's and then entering into binding "settlements" with the patsy's that exceed the regulatory changes that could be legally imposed.

Admittedly this is a link to a Fox article, but this looks like a deliberate misuse of what should be federal funds, it's completely shadowy and looks to be complete corruptible and corrupt. There is no way on earth, any of you would sign off on this if it were Republicans who were directly the resulting cash flows, and in fact you'd be calling for their criminal prosecution, so I'm curious if you can make a defense of the practice as used by the Obama administration.

D.W.

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 11:45:41 AM »
If this allegation turns out to be true, then I for one am glad it's being closed.  It is being closed... right?

Why would we defend it?  Were you under the mistaken impression that those on the left are cool with corruption as long as it works in favor of our pet projects?  I mean, I suppose if you compared it side by side with the type of corruption that goes directly into someone's pocket rather than towards a political objective, held a gun to our heads and said, "Choose!" I'd pick this one... 

Otherwise, any rooting out of corruption or closing off of loopholes is a good thing, no matter which side spots it and stops it.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:48:44 AM by D.W. »

TheDrake

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 12:02:01 PM »
The article is weak (which I know you acknowledged, just highlighting it). They don't attempt to bring in anyone for the other point of view. I can't blame them, however, as I am struggling to find any "opposed" voices. Even CNN doesn't seem to be carrying anything on this.

I dug down to Forbes, and they still have every Republican House Judiciary Committee member is a cosponsor, but no mention of what the Democrats on that committee have to say.

I'm now tracking HR 522 on my Sunlight Foundation congress app (and if you have a smartphone, you should check it out).

I really can't see any reason why this should ever have been allowed to happen, and I don't really care about who the recipients were.


Pete at Home

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 02:08:50 PM »
I oppose the practice.  I think it almost certainly violates constitutional principles.  I would not, however, call it "corruption" as it isn't self-serving.  The closest it comes to corruption are the donations to lobby heavy groups like "La Raza."  Since that money is going to increase DNC donations.

scifibum

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 03:42:13 PM »
From what I understand at this point, I think I agree with Pete. 

Seriati

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 04:06:33 PM »
I'm not aware that corruption is required to be directly self-serving to be corruption, and this kind of reallocation is most certainly indirectly self-serving when it allows for political appointees to misappropriate federal funds to the causes they favor.  How are political motivations not self-serving?  Do they not further the career of those involved?

That's leaving aside the very real possibility that some or all of such funds do make their way back into the reelection campaigns of certain directing politicians, if not directly into the pockets of officials involved (even without bribes, its trivially easy for such people to end up in jobs directly connected to the recipients of such benefits). 

Interestingly, you could make a literal argument that the practice is not unconstitutional, even though I think that argument is poor.

Wayward Son

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 04:12:29 PM »
Why does the article only mention leftist groups?  Weren't there any rightist groups that benefitted?

Seriati

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 04:35:40 PM »
Not from the DOJ in the last 8 years ;).  TheDrake's link talks about a similar abuse by Christie in NJ though if you want to see some balance.

scifibum

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 04:58:58 PM »
WS, because the article relies on partisan sound bites. 

Some of the groups that received settlement funds don't appear to have any partisan alignment at all.  For instance
Quote
"It required JP Morgan to donate
$7.5 million to a third-party: the American Bankruptcy
Institute's (ABI) endowment for financial education and support
for the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program (CAREP).
    CAREP educates high school and college students on the
responsible use of credit and credit cards
[...]
ABI is not an ideological group. It is a non-profit with a
reputation for good work."

The House report that I linked to doesn't appear to level the charge that is being reported by Fox - that this was abused as a way to steer funds to partisan causes.  In fact, here's another quote from the report:

Quote
It is not that DOJ officials are
necessarily funding bad projects, it is that, outside of
securing compensation for actual victims, it is not their
decision to make.

The report doesn't appear to contain or link to a list of such settlements, so I think it's a bit premature for Seriati or anyone else to suggest that only leftist groups benefited.

Pete at Home

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 05:27:20 PM »
I'm not aware that corruption is required to be directly self-serving

Bad Straw man, no cookie.  I said it should have to be at least *indirectly* self serving.

Quote
That's leaving aside the very real possibility that some or all of such funds do make their way back into the reelection campaigns of certain directing politicians


I did not "set that aside;" I cited it explicitly when I gave the example of La Raza possibly being a corrupt route because of possibility some money would make its way back to DNC coffers.

I'm saying that if some corporation settles allegations of discriminating against minority workers, and as part of that settlement gives a fat check to a genuine charity likethe Negro College fund, that's not "corruption."  It's a misguided attempt to serve the public good, and only misguided because it violates Article 1.

Pete at Home

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 05:37:26 PM »
WS, because the article relies on partisan sound bites. 

Some of the groups that received settlement funds don't appear to have any partisan alignment at all.  For instance
Quote
"It required JP Morgan to donate
$7.5 million to a third-party: the American Bankruptcy
Institute's (ABI) endowment for financial education and support
for the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program (CAREP).
    CAREP educates high school and college students on the
responsible use of credit and credit cards
[...]
ABI is not an ideological group. It is a non-profit with a
reputation for good work."

The House report that I linked to doesn't appear to level the charge that is being reported by Fox - that this was abused as a way to steer funds to partisan causes.  In fact, here's another quote from the report:

Quote
It is not that DOJ officials are
necessarily funding bad projects, it is that, outside of
securing compensation for actual victims, it is not their
decision to make.

The report doesn't appear to contain or link to a list of such settlements, so I think it's a bit premature for Seriati or anyone else to suggest that only leftist groups benefited.

Premature, yes, but given the nature of the beast, and patterns in previous similar "benign" abuses of discretion by that administration, I think it's reasonable to hypothesize that the pattern will look like: 40-50% genuine charities, one token conservative organization for plausible deniability, and then all the rest heavy left-leaning power houses like La Raza (which literally refers to Latinos as "The Race") charity goes hand in hand with politicking, kind of like Hamas without the death toll. :P  But I agree that the announcement is premature.

Seriati

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 05:48:08 PM »
I'm not aware that corruption is required to be directly self-serving

Bad Straw man, no cookie.  I said it should have to be at least *indirectly* self serving.

You didn't say directly.  I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, I also went on to discuss directly self serving.

In any event, I'm not aware that corruption requires it be self serving.

Quote
I'm saying that if some corporation settles allegations of discriminating against minority workers, and as part of that settlement gives a fat check to a genuine charity likethe Negro College fund, that's not "corruption."  It's a misguided attempt to serve the public good, and only misguided because it violates Article 1.

You can certainly label it corruption based on the deliberate expansion of executive power, which is directly self-serving by the executive, inherent in the executive pre-empting the power of the purse.  Whether there is also personal corruption or a quid pro quo requires additional facts not in evidence.

TheDeamon

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 07:32:55 PM »
I oppose the practice.  I think it almost certainly violates constitutional principles.  I would not, however, call it "corruption" as it isn't self-serving.  The closest it comes to corruption are the donations to lobby heavy groups like "La Raza."  Since that money is going to increase DNC donations.

And La Raza in particular did a lot of campaigning in favor of Democratic Candidates in 2016, and practically every election cycle prior. For all intents, in many respects, it might as well be an appendage of the DNC with how much, and how closely, the two tend to work together. So I'm inclined to see DNC  operatives using Federal positions to siphon money into DNC-allied organizations as a form of electoral corruption if nothing else.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 07:36:15 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDeamon

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2017, 07:40:21 PM »
and then all the rest heavy left-leaning power houses like La Raza (which literally refers to Latinos as "The Race") charity goes hand in hand with politicking, kind of like Hamas without the death toll. :P  But I agree that the announcement is premature.

I've been told there is a less insidious translation to La Raza which roughly works out to something more like "the community" instead. But then, when you had people like Caesar Chavez calling them racist back in the 1970's. I'm more inclined to think they're deliberately invoking Orwellian Double-Speak in that respect.

Pete at Home

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2017, 07:49:08 PM »
Go back to Shakespeare and you see the word Race is used similarly there too.  The better translation is the 1930s German "Volk," which equates the race, the people and the community.  I find that combination of equivocal meanings quite insidious.  It's the same heuristics as occurred in Dress Scott when SCOTUS asked, "who are The People." same as thePharisee who asked ("seeking to justify himself") "who is my neighbor" and same as the Roe court asking "what is a person."

TheDeamon

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2017, 08:23:01 PM »
Go back to Shakespeare and you see the word Race is used similarly there too.  The better translation is the 1930s German "Volk," which equates the race, the people and the community.  I find that combination of equivocal meanings quite insidious.  It's the same heuristics as occurred in Dress Scott when SCOTUS asked, "who are The People." same as thePharisee who asked ("seeking to justify himself") "who is my neighbor" and same as the Roe court asking "what is a person."

Well, the "La Raza" and "Volk" connection is probably very apt in this case. Considering La Raza's roots date back to the 1920's/30's, and the height of the Eugenics movement in western thought. (Wiki seems to track it back to 1925:) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Raza

It also is, incidentally, the same general time frame (1935) where Persia requested that foreign diplomats  identify them as "Iran" as they claimed it to be the "more (historically) correct" name for their nation. That it also was a not so subtle play on it's ties to the word "aryan" certainly had little to do with the global politics of the mid-1930's.  ::)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Iran

Edit: although for a little Clarity on the Iran <-> Persia thing. Another comparison could probably be comparing it to how people refer to Germany. We call it Germany, and the English speaking Germans may even refer to it as being Germany(because they know that's what we call it), but that isn't what they call it. Germany is more properly called "Deutschland" as that is the name they use.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 08:29:12 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDrake

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 10:18:31 AM »
<troll> Well they can't siphon the money into Republican leaning charities because there aren't any, except churches. </troll>

Pete at Home

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2017, 12:44:18 PM »
Go back to Shakespeare and you see the word Race is used similarly there too.  The better translation is the 1930s German "Volk," which equates the race, the people and the community.  I find that combination of equivocal meanings quite insidious.  It's the same heuristics as occurred in Dress Scott when SCOTUS asked, "who are The People." same as thePharisee who asked ("seeking to justify himself") "who is my neighbor" and same as the Roe court asking "what is a person."

Well, the "La Raza" and "Volk" connection is probably very apt in this case. Considering La Raza's roots date back to the 1920's/30's, and the height of the Eugenics movement in western thought. (Wiki seems to track it back to 1925:) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Raza

It also is, incidentally, the same general time frame (1935) where Persia requested that foreign diplomats  identify them as "Iran" as they claimed it to be the "more (historically) correct" name for their nation. That it also was a not so subtle play on it's ties to the word "aryan" certainly had little to do with the global politics of the mid-1930's.  ::)

Wow.  I had no idea about the Iran=Aryan connection.  I always wondered why a country like Persia could piss on a glorious history by changing its name like that.  Didn't know about the timing of "La Raza" but it makes sense because all of the artwork associated with it in Mexico City is mindnumbingly flat and the exact same style as the Nazi and Soviet propaganda art.

TheDeamon

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Re: Let's talk about Corruption
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2017, 03:28:29 PM »
I'm still getting a good chuckle that an author who as per wiki:
Quote
Vasconcelos believed that eventually all of the people within the former Spanish Empire would be completely mixed into a new race.

Was totally presenting an idea which is totally not racist at all, in any way shape of form, in fact it is so not racist, that others couldn't pick up the torch later and use it for a racist purpose.

"La Raza" is that "new race" and that new race "is the future." As "La Raza is the future" then that therefore means that everyone else is "the past" and therefore inferior, so the sooner they realize their place, the better for everyone.

Edit: Which is what I am pretty sure Chavez was speaking out against in the 1970's by calling them a racial supremacist group.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 03:32:04 PM by TheDeamon »