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Anatomy of a Scam

By Carter Clews

According to Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson, “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

Well, the facts are in. And if you look at the figures the members of the current Congress have conjured up as their latest contribution to their favorite leftwing organizations, the criminality of that enterprise could not be any more obvious.

The bill is called GIVE – standing for “Generations Invigorating Volunteers and Education Act”. It's the kind of obviously contrived moniker most grown adults would be too embarrassed even to admit having remotely considered. But, not the Criminal Class. In their rarified world of sheer self-indulgence, it's well-nigh considered a stroke of genius. Almost Shakespearean. And one can't help but wish they just would have settled for “Gee I'm Vacuous and Empty-headed.”

Yet, as bad as the title is, the content is even worse. For, at a time when most Americans are doing all in their power to tighten their belts and survive the government-induced Depression, the members of the Criminal Class have allotted at least $5 billion to increase taxpayer hand outs to ACORN, PUSH – and a plethora of other decidedly leftwing flimflam groups – to spend in perverting the electoral system.

Now, please understand, the Criminal Class would label such a characterization of their self-described eleemosynary efforts insulting, degrading, and even inflammatory. Given a healthy dose of sodium pentothal, they would also label them true. In the absence of such, however, they would tell you that all they're trying to do is help 250,000 wonderful young unemployed volunteers find a way to serve the country. And who could possibly oppose that?

Well, perhaps, the wonderful older employed workers who are going to be forced to foot the bill – beginning at $5 billion for starters and ending at God knows where. There's an old saying, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” For the Criminal Class, the corollary should be, “When you find yourself broke, stop spending.”

Such, alas, is not the case – particularly when the Criminal Class is spending your money. And especially particularly when they are spending it to fill the pockets of a bunch of leftwing, “non-profit” con artists who will then, in turn, use the money to help re-elect their liberal benefactors to Congress … where they, in turn, will vote to spend more money to fill the pockets of a bunch of leftwing con artists who will then, in turn … Well, I think you get the picture. And, it ain't pretty.

What makes the so-called GIVE Act all the more galling is that the members of the Criminal Class actually outdid themselves in their effort to pull the wool over the public's eyes and pass it through shameless subterfuge. While claiming that all they wanted to do was lend a helping hand (after pulling it out of your pocket, of course), they indulged in one smarmy gyration after another to assure that, surreptitiously, their “ACORN Authorization Act” (as the bill really should have been called) would pass intact and unamended. How do we know this? Well, as the great sportscaster Warner Wolfe would say, “Let's go to the videotape.”

As first introduced in the House, the GIVE (to ACORN) Act, was craftily worded so as to appear to protect taxpayers from having their money used for political purposes while actually opening the door wide open to just such abuse. The bill said, in essence, “Here's the money, boys and girls. Just remember that you can't play politics with it” (wink, wink). Which, of course, meant that every single cent the scamsters could get their hands on could go for politics – since they could use the taxpayers' money to cover the overhead (as in massive salaries, swank suites, weekend retreats, ad infinitum, ad nausea).

When it was suggested to Ma Barker – pardon me, make that Nancy Pelosi – and her gang that the wording of the bill might contain a few loopholes (the size that you could drive a truck through), Ma said, not to worry; if you can't trust ACORN, who can you trust?

That response left more than a little to be desired, so one courageous congresswoman, who has somehow escaped becoming criminally insane, offered an amendment to the House bill simply codifying what Ma had said was really the intent of the law to begin with. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) slipped in amendment that said, to wit, no organization engaging in politics could receive taxpayer funding under the GIVE Act. Period.

Now, stay with me, because it gets a little tricky here. Rep. Foxx, who is on the Rules Committee (she's easy to pick out: she's the one who actually believes in rules) knew that her amendment would never get by the Criminal Class if simply offered for an up or down vote. So, she introduced it as part of a motion to recommit. Rather than get bogged down in arcane legislative details, let's just say that Mrs. Foxx's move forced the members of the Criminal Class to accept her amendment before passing the bill in its entirety.

Please don't think for one minute, however, that Ma and the gang had bought into the Foxx Amendment. They only let it pass after they had assured themselves that the fix was in to strip it out when the House bill went to the Senate. In the real world, that is what's known as “criminal intent.” In Washington, it's known as “business as usual.”

Once the GIVE Act got to the Senate, the scam continued unabated. There, Harry Reid -- the man the Vegas Mafia dons affectionately called “Mr. Cleanface” (you can look it up) – made sure that his criminal cohorts in the House were well-rewarded for their efforts.

How so? Well, as a first order of business, Mr. Cleanface had Maryland's Barbara Mikulski introduce an “amendment” to the bill that wiped out the Foxx Amendment in its entirety. That's right, lock, stock, and barrel; every honest and upright word. And what did Ms Mikulski and the Senate Criminal Class put in its place? You guessed it: the same loophole-ridden language the House Criminal Class had used to make sure their fellow flimflam artists in the non-profit sector got every cent of ill-gotten taxpayer gains their larcenous hearts could desire.

Proving the old adage that there's a little good even among the worst of us, Senators DeMint (R-SC) and Vitter (R-LA) made one, futile, last-ditch effort before the bill's final vote to add back in the honest essence of the Foxx Amendment. Both offered amendments of their own once again stipulating that not one single cent of taxpayer money could go to organizations engaged in politics. And once again, the members of the Criminal Class derisively voted down the amendments – all the while, of course, bleating about their love for the wonderful young unemployed volunteers they were now going to be able to help (with your money, of course).

Such, then, is the wretched way of the only “distinctly native American criminal class.” To them, it is not enough to rob you blind; they're only truly happy when they're lying to you about it, as well. And one is reminded of yet another description the learned Mr. Twain had for the members of Congress: “...the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes.”

Though, in the GIVE and take of the Criminal Classes' daily machinations, one has to wonder if it is at all fair to adjudge the God of mercy that grizzly gang's Spiritual Father.

Carter Clews is the Executive Editor of ALG News Bureau.


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