Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 10 Scandals of 2009

Every year has its share of scandals. It might surprise you that 2009 was no different. In fact, there were dozens of scandals. But I've picked out the ten biggies of 2009. So without further adieu, here are the top ten scandals of 2009. . . in no particular order.

1. Fake Stimulus Jobs

Democratic President Obama’s sole “achievement” to date has been the massive “stimulus” package. But the stimulus didn’t create any jobs. So Obama came up with the idea that it would “save OR create” jobs. That still didn’t work. So they put together a list of nearly 700,000 jobs that they claimed were saved. But an examination of that list quickly found that many of the jobs did not exist. Then it was discovered that stimulus money was spent in Congressional districts that did not exist. And sometimes, it was spent on people who were owed money by members of Team Obama. At this point, at least 20% of the 700,000 have turned out to be fake.

2. Taxes Are For Little People

Democratic President Obama came to office promising a higher level of competence and ethics. But five of his nominees were blasted right out of the gate for not paying their taxes. Tom Daschle was forced to withdraw his nomination after it was discovered that he failed to pay $140,000 in back taxes, as was appointee Nancy Killefer.

Tim Geithner managed to get confirmed despite not paying his taxes, though he’s now involved in a new scandal. Apparently, Geithner directed AIG to delay publicly disclosing that tax dollars were used to pay $62 billion in insurance-like bets owed to major American and foreign banks, so that the disclosure would not interfere with his nomination.

But taxes weren’t the only problems for Obama nominees. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination after it was disclosed that Richardson was involved in pay-to-play allegation related to bonds issued by the state of New Mexico. According to Bloomberg, a federal grand jury was investigating the relationship between Richardson and a company called CDR Financial Products, Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority after donating $100,000 to Richardson.


Democratic ally ACORN first came to public attention in 2008, when its workers registered a whole lot of fake people to vote. In 2009, ACORN was exposed as an all around criminal organization that used Federal funds for who knows what. The final straw came when ACORN volunteers around the country advised two reporters, posing as a prostitute and her pimp, how to get away with human trafficking and tax evasion. This caused the Census to drop ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 Census and Congress to cut off their funding, an act ACORN is now challenging in court.

4. Hiking the Appalachian Trail

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, seen by many as a strong candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, gave us a new euphemism: hiking the Appalachian Trail. In our coarsened culture, there are affairs and then there’s just plain stupid, and Sanford gave us stupid in spades. The scandal began when people realized that no one knew where Sanford was, including his staff. He told them he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but in reality he was getting busy in Buenos Aires, Argentina with his mistress. . . sparking a national game of Where’s Waldo and killing any aspirations he had for higher office.

5. Max Baucus Falls In Love

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus too hiked the Appalachian Trail this year. He then recommended that his mistress and former campaign worker, Melodee Hanes, be appointed as the United States Attorney for Montana. This was after Baucus gave her a $14,000 raise after they became romantically involved.

6. Chris Dodd’s Sweetheart Deal

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, the creature from Connecticut and Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which regulates the financial industry, was discovered to have gotten a sweetheart deal on a loan for a Capitol Hill townhouse from subprime lender Countrywide Financial. Dodd claimed he didn’t know he got a sweetheart deal.

Dodd also claimed he had nothing to do with the AIG bonusgate, though he later acknowledge that he had added the language to the stimulus bill that allowed AIG to pay those bonuses. Dodd also became infamous for insisting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sound and for refusing to reign them in. Not coincidentally, Dodd received more contributions from Fannie and Freddie than anyone else on earth.

All of this has caused Dodd to give up his re-election campaign.

7. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Salesman of the Year

Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached in 2009 after it was discovered that he tried to sell Obama’s seat in the Senate -- he had the power to appoint a successor. Obama initially claimed to have never heard of Blagojevich, but photos soon surfaced of the two doing everything together except hiking the Appalachian Trail. Even for a place as hopelessly corrupt as Illinois, this was a little too much.

8. Climategate

Perhaps the most important scandal of our time began when a hacker exposed a trail of e-mails between a small group of scientists who appear to have been manufacturing the global-warming crisis. (I will finally provide my long-promised article on this on Monday.) This scandal seems to have finally exposed the socialist/climate-change lobby.

9. Charlie “RICO” Rangel

Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel’s problems began years ago, but they really hit their stride in 2009. At the end of 2008, we learned that Rangel, who writes the United States tax code as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, failed to pay his taxes on various properties and that he took improper exemptions. He claimed ignorance. In August 2009, Rangel disclosed that he had previously failed to disclose $500,000 in assets and income, effectively doubling his declared net worth.

It was then discovered that a company called Nabors Industries was using a loophole Rangel was protecting (after fighting to close it for years) to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes by opening a small outlet in Bermuda and calling themselves a foreign corporation. Nabors Industries, coincidentally, donated one million dollars to the Rangel Center at the City College of New York. Only four companies in the USA benefit from this loophole.

Then it was discovered that Rangel gave $80,000 in campaign funds to a company founded by his son that may not do anything.

In September, it was discovered that Rangel had prevented a bill from coming to a vote that would have prevented $2.8 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds from going to British alcohol giant Diageo to make rum in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rangel received significant campaign contributions from Diageo.

10. Bonusgate

After blowing trillions of dollars bailing out huge banks that over-extended themselves, it was revealed that team Obama allowed AIG, which taxpayers had bailed out to the tune of $170 billion, to pay out nearly $1.2 billion in bonuses, even though the company lost $61 billion. Team Obama initially tried to blame Bush, but this fell apart when somebody remembered that Geithner and Dodd made the decision. In fact, Dodd specifically changed the TARP bill to allow these bonuses, something Dodd claimed he did at the insistence of Obama and Geithner -- a claim he made after initially stating that he knew nothing about the issue. This caused the New Haven Register to refer to Dodd as “a lying weasel.”

And there you have it: 2009 was truly a scandalous year. We could hope that 2010 will be better, but with a less intelligent version of Al Capone in the White House there isn’t much hope for improvement. Soooooo grab some popcorn and enjoy the ride.


patti said...

just skimming the list left me queasy. i want off this ride.

StanH said...

I understand the concept of the top 10, but brother with the idiots we have “leading” this country perhaps you should consider the top 100?

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, It's been a particularly corrupt year hasn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I think we'll have a top 100 before Obama goes back to Illinois. . . or Kenya or where ever he came from!

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: Like Stan, I see a tidal wave of scandal in the Church of Obama the Messiah. I salute you for having the patience to pick only the top 10.

AndrewPrice said...

It wasn't easy Lawhawk, but these seem to be the big ten for last year.

Tennessee Jed said...

Can you guys imagine how these would have played in the "main stream" media if it was still the Bush Administration?

AndrewPrice said...

Absolutely Jed, it would have been the outrages of the century. They would be doing specials titled "Is The Republican Party Hopelessly Corrupt?" But instead, it's largely ignored. . . except by the public!

StanH said...

If this was George Bush he’d be burned at the stake by now! “W” is a decent human being, and though he did several things that made the RINOs cheer, there was never an issue of character. Barry bathes in his slim as a badge of honor…how clever he is…in his never ending attempt to deceive, but we must remember, on the left this is virtue. Unbelievable!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I agree wholeheartedly. There is a lot Bush did that I really can't stand, but you can't see he was a crooked man. Obama on the other hand, has proven himself to be nothing but crooked.

Anonymous said...

the democrats are all corrupt. they're a bunch of corrupt rich thieves pretending to represent the poor.

Writer X said...

Voters have only themselves to blame if they continue to re-elect these bozos. Thanks goodness a few of them are gone. Dodd's "I want to spend more time with my family" speech was particularly touching. Not.

I was listening to Gibb's press conference yesterday where he tried (poorly) to defend Geithner. Unfortunately the reporters are still way too soft and don't ask enough of the right questions. Gibbs is still allowed to get away with too much stupidity.

Looking forward to 2010. It seems like the 2009 scandals will be hard to top but I'm sure they will.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, The Republicans have their scandals too (like Sanford), but they seem to have undergone a purge of their more corrupt team. But by and large, the Democrats have long been the more corrupt party -- the media just doesn't tend to cover their crimes as well.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I agree, it's too bad that voters aren't more vigilant about tossing these guys out -- like Rangel. And I think it's ridiculous that the Congress investigates itself.

2010 should be interesting. I'll bet they easily beat 2009 since there are going to be a lot of Democrats either desperate to avoid losing their seats or desperate to get their share of the spoils before they lose their seats.

MegaTroll said...

Great reminder! Commentarama is quickly becoming a great reference. Now when my liberal friends claim that they aren't the party of corruption, I can just point to articles like this.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Mega! That's our hope -- that people will be able to look back at our articles as reminders and as reference points for thier friends -- that's what the tags on the side are about.

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