The US Congress is a Den of Iniquity

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The US Congress is a Den of Iniquity

And you pay for the party

by baldilocks

For years, peo­ple have repeat­edly sug­gested that I run for office, specif­i­cally, for the House; this was espe­cially so when I lived in Max­ine Waters’ district.

I refused because I didn’t want my per­sonal life and peo­ple involved in my per­sonal life to become pub­lic spec­ta­cles, but there was a more vis­ceral reason.

It’s long been obvi­ous that the Leg­isla­tive Branch of the United States gov­ern­ment is cor­rupt to the core. I don’t even trust the “good guys.”

Exhibit A.

Inside Con­gress, mem­bers have shaped the insti­tu­tion to pro­tect incum­bents through secrecy and even cre­ated bureau­cratic offices that break the House’s own rules in order to do so.

Shield­ing them­selves from fac­ing con­se­quences for malfea­sance isn’t about Demo­c­rat ver­sus Repub­li­can, it’s about insid­ers ver­sus outsiders. (…)

In 2018, a vivid exam­ple of this bipar­ti­san détente emerged in a slush fund con­gres­sional mem­bers used to con­ceal sex­ual harass­ment claims against them and their staff. (…)

[In 2017, John Cony­ers] was abruptly forced to resign for allegedly using tax­payer money to cover for mak­ing sex­ual advances on staffers.

But the House had already known about that for years. Buz­zFeed reported that a female employee was fired in 2015 for refus­ing to “suc­cumb to [Cony­ers’] sex­ual advances.” She filed a com­plaint with the House’s Office of Com­pli­ance, which is designed to hear such com­plaints of mis­treat­ment and received a $27,000 set­tle­ment to secure her secrecy.

In fact, the Office of Com­pli­ance ran a set­tle­ment fund that rou­tinely paid off con­gres­sional employ­ees to stay silent about alleged mis­con­duct. It paid $1 mil­lion in set­tle­ments involv­ing congressman-​led offices in the last 20 years, accord­ing to data it released under pres­sure after a media storm fol­low­ing the Buz­zFeed disclosure. (…)

Advice to mem­bers to [hav­ing accusers] “‘remain on the pay­roll as paid sev­er­ance for _​_​month(s) with­out report­ing to work or per­form­ing any ser­vices,’ [is] in vio­la­tion of House Rule XXIII, clause 8. 217,” the ethics com­mit­tee said.

The ethics com­mit­tee has its own rep­u­ta­tion for being where accu­sa­tions against mem­bers go to die, killed off by their fel­low members.

I don’t why some peo­ple are resis­tant to the idea that gov­ern­ment enti­ties — the Intel­li­gence Com­mu­nity is an even more timely exam­ple — have long been infested with cor­rup­tion, espe­cially those who are likely to have a micro­phone shoved under their faces.

That’s why these leaches hang onto office until their deathbeds, unless there’s a of being elected to higher office.

And, speak­ing of Joe Biden …

We’ve watched for the last ten years or so as the for­mer vice pres­i­dent – for­merly a US sen­a­tor from Delaware — felt up women, lit­tle girls and, some­times, lit­tle boys as the men in the fam­i­lies were smil­ing for the cam­eras and not look­ing at Biden.

On cam­era.

I don’t even want to imag­ine what goes on in those back offices.

Con­gress is a den of thieves, rob­bers, and per­verts. I couldn’t become a part of that.

Some of that iniq­uity might rub off and I have enough of my own crap to explain to the Almighty when my time comes.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Fol­low her on Face­book, Twit­ter, MeWe, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!

And you pay for the party

by baldilocks

For years, people have repeatedly suggested that I run for office, specifically, for the House; this was especially so when I lived in Maxine Waters’ district.

I refused because I didn’t want my personal life and people involved in my personal life to become public spectacles, but there was a more visceral reason.

It’s long been obvious that the Legislative Branch of the United States government is corrupt to the core. I don’t even trust the “good guys.”

Exhibit A.

Inside Congress, members have shaped the institution to protect incumbents through secrecy and even created bureaucratic offices that break the House’s own rules in order to do so.

Shielding themselves from facing consequences for malfeasance isn’t about Democrat versus Republican, it’s about insiders versus outsiders. (…)

In 2018, a vivid example of this bipartisan detente emerged in a slush fund congressional members used to conceal sexual harassment claims against them and their staff. (…)

[In 2017, John Conyers] was abruptly forced to resign for allegedly using taxpayer money to cover for making sexual advances on staffers.

But the House had already known about that for years. BuzzFeed reported that a female employee was fired in 2015 for refusing to “succumb to [Conyers’] sexual advances.” She filed a complaint with the House’s Office of Compliance, which is designed to hear such complaints of mistreatment and received a $27,000 settlement to secure her secrecy.

In fact, the Office of Compliance ran a settlement fund that routinely paid off congressional employees to stay silent about alleged misconduct. It paid $1 million in settlements involving congressman-led offices in the last 20 years, according to data it released under pressure after a media storm following the BuzzFeed disclosure. (…)

Advice to members to [having accusers] “‘remain on the payroll as paid severance for __ month(s) without reporting to work or performing any services,’ [is] in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 8. 217,” the ethics committee said.

The ethics committee has its own reputation for being where accusations against members go to die, killed off by their fellow members.

I don’t why some people are resistant to the idea that government entities — the Intelligence Community is an even more timely example — have long been infested with corruption, especially those who are likely to have a microphone shoved under their faces.

That’s why these leaches hang onto office until their deathbeds, unless there’s a of being elected to higher office.

And, speaking of Joe Biden …

We’ve watched for the last ten years or so as the former vice president  – formerly a US senator from Delaware — felt up women, little girls and, sometimes, little boys as the men in the families were smiling for the cameras and not looking at Biden.

On camera.

I don’t even want to imagine what goes on in those back offices.

Congress is a den of thieves, robbers, and perverts. I couldn’t become a part of that.

Some of that iniquity might rub off and I have enough of my own crap to explain to the Almighty when my time comes.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Gab.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar or hit Juliette’s!