Fiedor Report on the News
A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia
July 1, 2001 #234
by: Doug Fiedor
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Copyright © 2000 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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THEY SHOULD OBEY THE LAWS
Four years ago, Congress passed a bill requiring them to obey all laws, rules and regulations, just like normal citizens. Therefore, we offer a few selected excerpts from Title 48, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 51 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Revised as of October 1, 1996, for your reading enjoyment.
This is good stuff. Because, if everyone on Capitol Hill (and those in all executive departments) are legally bound to obey each and every one of their laws, rules and regulations, our question is this: Where do we go to file charges!?
Almost everyone in Congress is in violation of these Standards of Conduct. So are their staffs. On the slim chance this regulation could be enforced, the halls of the Capitol Building would be rather empty.
Of course, those elected to federal office are above all this. They give lip-service to obeying all laws, then totally disregard anything too restrictive for them. Nevertheless, it is fun to wave this stuff in their faces, if only just to tell them we notice the blatant violation.
We might also add that, since elected Americans can pick and choose which laws they wish to obey, why shouldn't ALL Americans do the same? On that note, you may wish to send a copy of the following to your Members of Congress. Their reply should be interesting.
Title 48, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 51 of the Code of Federal Regulations(1): This part prescribes policies and procedures for avoiding improper business practices and personal conflicts of interest and for dealing with their apparent or actual occurrence.
3.101 Standards of conduct.
Government business shall be conducted in a manner above reproach and, except as authorized by statute or regulation, with complete impartiality and with preferential treatment for none. Transactions relating to the expenditure of public funds require the highest degree of public trust and an impeccable standard of conduct. The general rule is to avoid strictly any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest in Government-contractor relationships.
As a rule, no Government employee may solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from anyone who (a) has or is seeking to obtain Government business with the employees agency, (b) conducts activities that are regulated by the employees agency, or (c) has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties.
Gratuity or other thing of value includes any gift, favor, entertainment, or other item having monetary value. The phrase includes services, conference fees, vendor promotional training, transportation, lodgings and meals, as well as discounts not available to the general public and loans extended by anyone other than a bank or financial institution.
Influencing or attempting to influence, as used in this section, means making, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with any covered Federal action.
Person, as used in this section, means an individual, corporation, company, association, authority, firm, partnership, society, State, and local government, regardless of whether such entity is operated for profit or not for profit.
Perhaps, we should also take the time to define a couple legal terms that are more or less common practices within the federal government.(2)
Malfeasance: The unjust performance of some act which the party had no right, or which he had contracted not, to do.
Misfeasance: The performance of an act which might lawfully be done, in an improper manner, by which another person receives an injury.
Nonfeasance: The neglect or failure of a person to do some act which he ought to do. The term is not generally used to denote a breach of contract, but rather the failure to perform a duty towards the public whereby some individual sustains special damage, as where a sheriff fails to execute a writ.
When a legislative act requires a person to do a thing, its nonfeasance will subject the party to punishment; as, if a statute require the supervisors of the highways to repair such highways, the neglect to repair them may be punished.
Every member of every level of government takes an oath to support and defend our Constitution, as written. Any government official who does not is in violation of the supreme law of the land.
2. The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary by James C. Cahill, dated 1922. This dictionary was chosen because it was published before American law was corrupted by the FDR administration.
MALFEASANCE IN WASHINGTON
Congressional Responsibility is almost an oxymoron. They pawn-off everything they can to boards, commissions, agencies, and what have you. To make a decision, to actually take a stand on an issue, is to loose votes. And, that could put them out of a cushy job.
Professional politicians will do everything possible to stay in power. Therefore, they must pick and choose their positions very carefully. That is also why they do not pay much attention to that paper document known as the Constitution. To do so would not always be politically expedient.
So, its with pleasant surprise that The Congressional Responsibility Act of 1997, received some attention. The purpose of the act was, as the name implies, to force Congress to comply with its Constitutional role. As Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) stated in his Freedom Watch Update newsletter:
Article One of the Constitution limits the power to make certain laws solely to Congress. But the [current] practice has been very different. Congress has all but abdicated the real law-making authority to the alphabet soup of federal agencies. These agencies -- like the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, the Labor Department, etc. -- make rules which carry the full effect of law. These rules affect the minute details of the lives of individuals in every aspect of life, yet no elected official -- accountable to the voters and taxpayers -- sees the rules or has any part of the process. Its now time for this to change. These bureaucratic dictators need to be reigned in; and only Congress can do it.
This legislation will end the arbitrary rule-making authority of agencies. When an agency decides a rule is needed for whatever reason, they will be required to submit that rule to the House and Senate. Those two bodies will debate the rule, just like any other piece of legislation, and then vote on it. If it passes, the rule goes into effect. If the vote fails, the rule does not go into effect.
Of course, the bill didnt pass. But, it is needed.
It is hard enough to keep up with what the conniving socialists in Congress are doing. It is impossible for citizens to keep track of the lawmaking of thousands of control-freaks working in at least 112 different federal agencies, too. Yet, each and every action of any and all of these bodies can adversely affect our lives. According to the Constitution, Congress, and no one else, is responsible for making law.
Worse, we are legally bound to obey all these stupid rules and regulations, even the hundred or more that contradict other agency rules and/or federal laws.
This is definitely not what was intended by the Founding Fathers; and, everyone in Washington knows that.
While we're at it, there is a law already on the books that Congress is skidding away from like a hot coal sliding down an icy hill. This one is the Congressional Review Act.
The 1996 Congressional Review Act gives Congress the ability to scrutinize and expunge all new regulations, rules, policy statements, and guidelines issued by executive agencies. Except, no one in Congress has ever used it! To do so might require that some of them make a decision.
For instance, there are at least forty Members of Congress publicly against the new (and totally ridiculous) EPA clean air regulations. But, not one Member of Congress is actually working to stop this new round of oppression.
Malfeasance, its called. And, malfeasance is a crime.
Everyone in government takes an oath to support and defend our Constitution. According to the U.S. Supreme Court(1), when we have a question as to the exact meaning of any part of the body of the Constitution, we may look to The Federalist Papers as an authoritative source: The opinion of the Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our constitution; and is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument has given birth. Its intrinsic merit entitles it to this high rank; and the part two of its authors performed in framing the constitution, put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed.
Public officials not conforming to the Constitution, as written and explained in the Federalist Papers, are intentionally guilty of malfeasance: The unjust performance of some act which the party had no right, or which he had contracted not, to do.
1. Cohens v. Virginia, 19 US 264, 1821 <http://laws.findlaw.com/us/19/264.html>
PAYOLA AND PAYBACK
It's kind of funny to watch the press and members of both political parties carry on the way they do. Outwardly, they are expressing horror that the Chinese may have tried to use covert campaign donations to influence American policy and political campaigns. What a bunch of hypocrites!
How many countries continually meddle in our political affairs? Israel spends at least $100-million annually lobbying Congress and the executive branch through various Washington law firms. Japan Inc. spends millions, too. And don't forget Taiwan, Mexico and many South American countries.
Those are the more obvious countries competing for American lawmakers attention using trips, favors and laundered campaign contributions. Most countries are in that mix somewhere, and with some amount of money. And how has the United States been meddling in other nations internal affairs over the years? Whew! Wouldn't that be a long list. . . .
In every budget, Congress appropriates hundreds of millions of dollars in covert and overt money to use in influencing domestic politics abroad. The CIA alone spends $30 million a year supporting things like political parties, dissident movements and labor unions in dozens of countries -- including China. Theres no telling how much of that is out and out bribes or political pay-offs.
So, is there any surprise when the money trail leads both ways? Most foreign governments and businesses have become quite good at laundering money to contribute to our public officials in Washington. Its all technically illegal, of course. But, as the Democrats are so fond of saying lately: So what! Everyone does it.
And indeed, its true. Most politicians are very willing to take illegal money. All they look for is a respectable cut-out (like a D.C. lobbying firm) as a front organization so they can have plausible deniability. To politicians, the end justifies the means. This is politics American style.
Laws? All government workers get a pass on many laws. Some public officials get a pass on most laws. Thats one of the perks of the position.
But now China might have spoiled it for some. China didn't use enough cut-outs -- adequate layers of money laundering in between their government and our politicians -- to make the money look respectable. Worse, they gave a lot of the money directly to two moles they had working in our government. One would think that the Chinese would at least be bright enough to hire a few lobbyists (Washington lawyers or ex Congress critters), and set up a couple front organizations, like other governments do.
There are two other major problems, too. First, China is the only avidly Communist country attempting to effect our elections with political payola. And second, China is the only country powerful enough to sustain a war with us that is also buying influence with our politicians. These reasons alone tend to bump the Chinese contributions from the so what to the serious problem column in Washington.
But the fact still remains: Many foreign governments, and many foreign business concerns, lobby Congress and the executive branch every day. Ninety- percent of them also contribute heavily to political campaigns, and whatever. Ten to one, we do the same in their countries too -- even though that too is a violation of our law.
With China, we gave the Chinese Army owned businesses all sorts of trade breaks not available to their competition. That, in itself, is amazingly stupid! China gets away with that by allowing the families of members of our government special trade arrangements and investment positions in Chinese government controlled concerns that are sure to pay off. Some major media personalities are involved in a couple of those deals, too.
Even Roger Clinton was involved in that. Congressional investigators said they found at least $250-thousand in unexplained travelers checks that Roger Clinton cashed. They came from Hong Kong, China and Venezuela. Not bad for a common lounge lizard, eh?
As the story on the street goes, on one of his Presidential visits, Bill Clinton made arrangements with the Chinese for his brother to be one of their principal agents in the United States. Theres no telling how much payola Bill and Hillary Clinton received, too.
Anyway, its outrageous, hypocritical, and down right funny, when politicians and the media point the finger at China without so much as a mention of the other countries and their permanent Washington lobbies.
Oh, and by the way, it is supposedly illegal for a foreign government to lobby our government, except through diplomatic channels.
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