Some Are More Equal Than Others

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Gentle Reader, do you feel I am occasionally a trifle too harsh in my comments about our duly elected officials? I know I have sometimes suggested they should all be horsewhipped and thrown in prison for abusing your votes, money, time, and above all trust, but am I just a touch too critical?


Consider the latest.

If you or I were to imitate Harvey Schweinstein, or Bill Cosby, or Larry Nassar, or any of the far too many lesser lights in the news recently who simply committed sexual harassment (as opposed to the outright assaults of Schweinstein, Cosby, and Nassar), we would be subject to both criminal charges and civil liabilities. And quite rightly, too.

Ah, but not your senator or representative.

The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 was an attempt to half-heartedly reign in some of the more egregious abuses by some of the more egregiously randy Members of Congress, but it also specifically included the establishment of a special “fund,” of your money and mine, Gentle Reader, to cover up their misdeeds. According to various news reports, since the act became law, more than $17,000,000 (that’s seventeen-million smackeroos) have been paid out. Just in the four years between 2008 and 2012, $174,000 was paid out exclusively for sexual misconduct in the House. When you consider the extreme “official” hoops victims of sexual of abuse on Capitol Hill must go through in order to make claims against our duly elected leaders (not to mention the even more extreme unofficial pressure brought to bear by duly elected leaders who consider themselves above the law), the number of actual abuses would probably have driven that sum much higher.

This business of you and I paying for the aggressive and unwanted sexual advances of our senators and congressmen did not really sit well with the American public when they finally became vaguely aware of it in the wake of the MeToo movement, so bills were introduced to ensure lawmakers who are charged with sexual harassment, discrimination, or assault, have to pay for their misdeeds out of their own pockets.

Fancy that! Public servants having to live by the same rules as the rest of us! What a novel idea.

Unfortunately, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the idea is sooooooo novel it has stalled over which precisely which forms of conduct should be the personal financial responsibility of our elite and privileged ruling class and not paid for by all those knuckle-dragging deplorables out there who are so dumb they still think we might all be considered equal under the law. What a ridiculous notion.

Strangely enough, the fact that those bills are not making it through to become law hasn’t received the same loud braying from lawmakers with which the bills were introduced. Golly, gee, I wonder why.

Does any of this sound like, to quote Yogi Berra, déjà vu all over again? Perhaps, Gentle Reader, you’re one of the few, the very few, who were paying attention when it came to light that our elected officials were engaging in insider trading practices that would earn you or me a lengthy stay as guest of the government, but that earned the likes of Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Steve Bachus and others, countless millions of dollars.

When that information was made public, Congress made a big deal of passing a law (the STOCK Act; Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) that made it illegal for Members of Congress to engage in the insider trading that was already illegal for you and me. It was signed into law by Barack Obama with much fanfare.

What did not earn quite as much fanfare was when the same Barack Obama quietly signed a bill reversing big chunks of the STOCK Act. It is still, technically, illegal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading, but it became a hell of a lot harder to do anything about it. And in 2015, lawyers for the House of Representatives (lawyers paid for by your tax dollars, Gentle Reader) filed a brief intended to block an SEC investigation on the grounds that lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from any inquiries because of the very nature of their work. In other words, they are protected from charges of breaking the law by virtue of the fact that they are breaking the law.

If you ever get charged with a crime, Gentle Reader, I want you to try that defense. Let me know how it works for you.

So as of today—if what I understand is accurate and up-to-date—what was already illegal was made more illegal before it was made less illegal and harder to investigate before it was made immune from investigation.

If I have missed something, if I am mistaken about all this, would somebody please let me know? Until then, as I read it, you and I still foot the bill for Rep. Randy Rampant’s, uh, indiscretions.

In America, we are all equal in the eyes of the law, but some are more equal than others.

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5 thoughts on “Some Are More Equal Than Others”

  1. … sehr interessant dieser Artikel Herr Parker … wenn Sie solche Dinge so offen ansprechen und öffentlich schreiben, haben Sie niemals wirklich Bedenken vor Repressalien ? … Jeder sollte vorm Gesetz gleich sein, aber “Geld regiert die Welt” … also sind die “Reichen” oder die, die ” Immunität” besitzen oder auch die, die einen besonderen Status haben -meinetwegen auch die Beamten, Politiker etc…. gleicher als gleich ? Wie könnte die Wähler diese Dinge bei der nächsten Wahl mitberücksichtigen ? Fallen solche Dinge auch unter die Wörter “Korruption , Vertuschung und Verschleierung ” ? (…oder habe ich Ihren Artikel in der Übersetzung falsch verstanden ?) …. viele Grüße …Manuela

  2. Dear Jameson

    No you are not too harsh about any of our elected officials. In fact, I agree with you that they should all be horsewhipped and thrown in prison. It’s really disgusting that they keep finding ways to protect themselves from having to pay (not in money) for the laws they have broken.

    Our founding fathers who wrote the constitution meant for all of us to be equal, but we all know how the government has found ways to get around that!

    Thank you for writing your blog and keeping us informed of things that otherwise might not understand about what goes on in our government. I can’t afford cable so the only way I can keep up on the news is through Facebook. And you are one of the only two people I can trust to keep me informed of the truth.

    Love you Jameson! Give my love to Darleen, Katherine and the rest of your family. You mean a lot to me!

    Bonnie L Whitlatch

  3. Calling it the swamp is not accurate. A swamp has some beneficial inhabitants. I think of it as a cesspool, or a sewer.

    Recently I watched a documentary called “The Swamp” You can find the episodes on youtube. They are still making them, I think. Once you watch them, you will never again try to contact your Representative. There’s no point. It is so completely corrupt, beyond anything that we can imagine, that it is simply beyond repair.

  4. The “#metoo” movement started with good intentions but, as is often the case, soon morphed into a movement that made anything and nearly everything a sexual assault against females. If a man watches you walk away, it was harrassment or assault. And the hashtag was used. If e held the door for a you, you were assaulted.

    I question the validity of many of those who used the hashtag, because many of those who have gone through the horrifying experience cannot speak of it publicly. But also because of what I see as the fallout of it in social media. It did not bring, as was hoped, more value to women. Instead it cheapened us and devalued us. It also devalues men, most of whom who not dream of abusing, assaulting, or harassing a woman, but instead highly esteem and value them. They seek to protect, not exploit.

  5. See. This is what brings one back to read more of your words of wisdom. You are a refreshing breath of fresh air.

    Are you too harsh and critical? Abso-blooming-lutely not! You speak truth and your bring a smile. Your way with words is both a delight and a refreshing change of pace. I love coming here to rest my weary soul after yet another time of social media’s bent on acceptable public behavior (which is anything but acceptable!) and everyone’s feelings being hurt because, dang it you dared to call a spade a spade.

    In light of equality, I loathe what that word has come to mean to so many people. You are a man. I am a woman. There are things you can do that I cannot do. There are things I can do that you cannot. Because we are genetically different. (and yet the same.) Genetically I can give birth. Genetically you cannot. You can bench press a Buick, I will never be able to have the muscle mass needed to do that.

    The ability to give birth does not make me better, and bench pressing a Buick doesn’t make you better. It makes us different but equal.

    At least under the law. Skin color doesn’t make anyone less or more equal, gender doesn’t make us less or more equal, socio-economic status doesn’t make anyone more or less equal.

    I am so dang sick and tired of hearing from (nearly) all sides that my white, heterosexual, American male friends are the problem. I’m equally tired of hearing that as a woman I am oppressed.

    My apologies….I kind of went off on a tangential rant. All this to say I completely agree with you.

    <3 Ginny

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