Links to Articles and Items of Interest

· Wall St. Journal Editorial- “In Obama’s Image”

· David Sherfinski Wash.Times- “Holder sign off on Fox, James Rosen

· Dr. Milton Wolf from Washington Times- ”Tyranny in Our Time”

· Kimberly Strassel in WSJ on - ”The IRS Scandal Begins At the Top

· Jim Law in the WSJ on “What Enron and IRS Have in Common”

· Charles Krauthammer on- “On Benghazi, The Facts Speak…”

· Ann Coulter on “...On the IRS Scandal”

· Walter Williams on “Americans Deserve the IRS”

· Thomas Sowell on “Historic Rescuers”

Websites and Other items

· Thomas Sowell on “The Fallacy of Redistribution” (more articles)

· Breitbart.com– stories which are not seen in “the media”

· The Drudge Report— Current events website by Matt Drudge

· The Heritage Foundation Blog   

· Library of Congress-The Federalist Papers

©Ivan W. Parkins 2013,  All articles, text, web pages property of Ivan W. Parkins.  Use of any material requires permission of the

author and can be obtained by contacting,  rwhinkle@americanpoliticalcommentary.com

Text Box: Vol.6, Issue 7
Text Box: June 6, 2013

I. W. Parkins

Front Page

American Political Commentary

 

Veritas Veneratio Virtus

Truth?…. Justice?…The American Way?…

Or How Disinformation in the Biased Media Changes Public Perception

This is a re-publish from 2008

By Ivan W. Parkins

     June 24, 2008, 2pm EDT, I have just seen on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) a particularly interesting, and especially timely, example of disinformation.  It was a carefully selected account of events and proceedings leading to President Clinton’s impeachment and acquittal.  Little, if anything included was false; much that was not included was true and more significant.

    That severe judgment is prompted mainly by my having recently discovered and read David Schippers’ book, SELL OUT , published in 2000.  former Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, Schippers did appear in the NGC documentary, but only very briefly.  Originally, he had been reluctant to take the investigative job.  He was, after all, a Democrat, a former head of the FBI’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Unit, under Attorney General Robert Kennedy.  But, Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, an acquaintance, said that was why he wanted Schippers. 

      Of course Schippers’ party links and the fact that he worked satisfactorily with an “extreme right-winger” like Ken Starr did not fit well into a picture of events engineered by a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

     One incident that Schippers relates in his book has Starr replying to Clinton lawyer David Kendell’s charge that too much information was being leaked to the media… “ Mr. Kendell, the only information that has never leaked was that unavailable to the White House.” (page 151)

     But, the great injustice was not the Lewinsky Case, most of which did become public in lurid detail.  More grave, and clearly related to Clinton’s performance in office were matters such as illegal citizenship grants and campaign gifts from the Chinese.  About those, the White House was able to stall with legal challenges and slow yields of documents until just before the 1996 elections.  Members of Congress, many Republicans along with most Democrats, saw those issues as threats to their reelection, and opposed the whole impeachment process.

    Clinton’s problems would have been much greater if he had had to respond in public to charges that he had demanded quick citizenship for 75,000 person with arrest records, 115,000 with unclassifiable fingerprints, and 61,000 who had filed no fingerprints at all (page 45).  But those and the questions about illegal campaign contributions were left to Janet Reno and other Clinton subordinates.

     Of course, Clinton’s great victory over impeachment is now what most casual observers remember.  What Mr. Schippers calls the “flat-out rigged ballgame” (page 7) have never been transformed by our information system into a part of the public’s political memory.

     I am reminded of recent diatribes by candidates about the need for change.  Yes, we do need change, but I am troubled by what changes.

Naked Emperors

By Ivan W. Parkins

This article has been reprinted many times, but it illustrates the problems with Democrats running the House of Representatives for over 40 continuous years.  This problem can occur again and it is the priority of President  Obama to gain control of the House in the 2014 elections.

 

             Newt Gingrich’s revolution, taking over the House of Representatives in the elections of 1994, can not be appreciated unless one first understands that for an unprecedented time, 40 years or twenty Congresses, the Democrats had held firm control of the House.  They took it from Eisenhower’s Republicans in 1954 by a margin of 29 votes, and 29 votes was the smallest margin of their control for 40 years.  In seven Congresses the Democrats controlled the House by 100 votes or more.  None of the Republican advantages in the six years (1995-2001) following the Gingrich’s victory was by a margin as large as 29 votes.

             Scot Faulkner’s book Naked Emperors details his effort as first-ever chief administrative officer of the House to correct the management problems left by 40 years of Democrat majorities.  Faulkner had no legislative authority; his job was to oversee  how 800 million dollars was spent and how 13,000 employees served the needs of House Members.  For starters, a private accounting firm called in to do an audit quit, the records were simply too few and poorly kept for auditing.

             The reform met with strong resistance.  Why should any Member not be happy with a bank where his checks would be cashed and no one had authority to demand that he make deposits?  Recent media stories had forced release of names of the 303 Members (both parties) who were taking advantage of that.  The largest such individual indebtedness totaled nearly $600,000.

             Contracts for services and supplies were often missing.  Apparently, they were let as political favors and evidence had been destroyed.  Thousands of lobbyists and journalists had passes to enter the Capitol Building after the hours available to mere citizens.

             Faulkner’s book is very specific about persons, times, places, and other details.  Obviously, he is presenting his report of his work.  Not so obviously, because poorly publicized, that work attracted dozens of foreign officials, including at least one Russian, anxious to learn of how to provide better services to a legislative body.  He and his management team achieved at least one real First, The first reduction of a House budget in the twentieth century. 

             Some of this makes dull reading.  But, it is worth at least a quick skim by any citizen serious about voting in the 2008 elections.  Some of the Congresspersons involved are still there, and they have more seniority and power.

             Should we now trust the party that had 40 years of solid majorities in the House prior to 1995, and now is in control again, to oversee the management and budgets of our government’s other branches? I.W. Parkins

Reconstitute Congress

Link to the full proposal -DISASSEMBLE THE HOUSE

By Ivan W. Parkins

One concern of those who drafted the Constitution of the United States was that representatives should not have such small constituencies that the office would fail to attract able candidates.  Even so, Chairman of the Convention, George Washington, called for a minimum constituency of 30,000 instead of the already approved 40,000.  This was his only suggestion regarding details of the Constitution and it was adopted. 

           THE FEDERALIST, No. 51 states that “dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government.” No. 52 adds “… it is particularly essential that ..” the representative “… have an immediate dependence on and an intimate sympathy with the people.”

           Now, with the congressional districts having average populations of about  690,000, and with only 524,160 minutes in a year, we face a very different situation.  All Representatives, whatever their origins, become members of the upper class by virtue of their salaries and perks alone.  The long sessions and  increasing details of their involvement in nearly all matters of government, keep their minds and bodies within the confines of the “Beltway” most of the time.  National journalists, pollsters, lobbyists, and congressional staff members, along with legislative “earmarks,” get them reelected.  Meanwhile, it is literally impossible for them to allot one minute of their time per year to each constituent. 

           The House was intended to reflect changes in public opinion.  It too often reflects entrenched political power and privilege.      My proposal, now very old and not so much forgotten as dissed, i.e. never widely considered, was "Let's Disassemble the House,"--the title of my article in SOUTH ATLANTIC QUARTERLY, Spring 1960.  The legally fixed number of the United States Representatives is now 435, far more than the Framers, and I, believed to be practical for a legislative assembly.  But, with our vastly expanded national population and improvements in communication, wouldn't it be possible, now, for much more numerous representatives to operate separately, from their several districts?  And, wouldn't the representatives then be much more directly dependent on and sympathetic with their constituents?

    My submission of that to a couple of dozen political scientists, some acquaintances and some not, produced several and mostly similar responses.  My idea was declared to be original, interesting, logical, and sound in its description of Congress.  But, it was unlikely to be accepted and unworkable.  Such comments came from senior people at Harvard, Cornell, Miami of Ohio, and the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress.  My chief reply, now, would be that the present House looks less effective and our population and communications improvements continue to grow.

    A much larger number of disassembled representatives would be a very practical defense if our nation's capital were to be destroyed.  It should also provide a suitable base for nominating presidential candidates--as the earliest Congresses did.  It should reduce the need for vast media advertising and the money to pay for that.  Most of all, it should encourage more extensive and meaningful involvement of "the people" in major policy decisions.

Our representatives should be much more numerous; they should spend most of their working time in their districts; and they should have infrequent, but authoritative votes on major public issues.  In order to add that to the Constitution, I suggest the following:  (See the proposed amendment, “Disassemble the House,”  Page two)