Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WiseGuys Take Over

From the first I've viewed the BushLeagueCheneGang as a group of very wise guys. And I don't mean smart. Just clever. Too clever. This may be old news, but it was new to me when I saw (googling for fun as usual) the headline from June 2004 "Mafia Soldiers Support Bush-Cheney" (complete with receipts!). So, I got to wondering about how many other articles like this one may exist. What a great service we could provide if we collected them and publicized the history on this site. And then I found this gem published at AfterDowningStreet almost exactly one year ago (click here for the full gagging effect):
Cheney and Rumsfeld are precisely the same wiseguys who engineered President Ford's pardon of Nixon - as they will for Scooter Libby. These two fellas are the most experienced mechanics in the halls of the Whitehouse and our military/industrial complex. Carl Rove has helped them hijack the trust of evangelicals and Nixon's 'silent majority' in letting faith overwhelm their reason on the nature of this new enemy. These fellas are precisely the kind of men Eisenhower warned us about upon his retirement.
And he obviously knew exactly whom he was warning us about.
These men are NOT Republicans. They are not even conservatives. They are radicals who have successfully turned our Constitution on its head by using war as the most effective antidote to the legal primacy of the Congress. The powerful exercise of executive power is the lifeblood of world class business as it is in world class statecraft. But their object isn't democracy. It is dominion. Does it really matter precisely what kind of dominion? Any kind of dominion is antithetical to our rule of law. But don't count on the Courts to fix this mess. No one would argue that Justice O'Conner was not a conservative. But I argue that Alito is an institutionalist. When he balances our bill of rights against the acts of American government agencies, he will bolster Scalia and Thomas every time when they conserve the power of the state over the protections of the Constitution. Nothing could be more rediculous if it weren't so insidious. I am reminded of an ancient admonition, 'power is never given; it is always taken.' Cheny and Rumsfeld have taken the power of the most moral force for good in the history of civilization and catastrophically debased it in a fraudulent 21st century war. If we do not now take OUR power to impeach and then indigt these traitors, then we will have given them the passage of time necessary to spin the perception of our countrymen that it was all just an unfortunate series of technical errors that nobody could have avoided. This is cowardice, no matter who advances it. We are the richest and most technically capable government in history. There are no errors. At this level, there is only performance or treachery. We know precisely what brings the sunrise. We know precisely what brings the rain. And we know precisely what has brought Jihadist Islam. It is not God, it is not mysterious and it was avoidable. Now we're screwed. Now we can't leave. While those carpetbaggers are in retirement, we will be stuck in Iraq feeding our children to IEDs for the next two generations if we're lucky, or if not, until we are forced into virtual genocide to prevent the takeover of the 2nd largest oil field in the world by a 21st century tribal holocost. How is this not the most obscene circumstance that any pervert could have designed?
In The Way of the Wiseguy (Running Press, 2004), Joseph D. Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco), the only FBI agent who ever infiltrated the Mafia, says so many things that ring true about the reign of these wiseguys that it would be hard for you to read more than a few items before you had to excuse yourself from your leisurely computer-aided reading to go to be nauseated in some more calming environment. The parallels that you must draw between these wiseguys and the ones in D.C. (and running Iraq), however, are even more upsetting. Here are a few that will make you stop reading soon (p. 34):
The truth is, the IRS doesn't have a chance against wiseguys, because it is next to impossible to keep track of the cash that keeps the Mafia running. Money comes, money goes, and nobody keeps receipts. Some wiseguys, in rare circumstances, might use credit cards. Maybe they pay for this and that with the credit card registered to their sham business. Also, some wiseguys use credit cards that are fraudulently manufactured or stolen. But, for the most part, all bills will be paid for with bills. You go to a restaurant with eight or ten other wiseguys, you run up a huge tab, you get the check, and you pull out a three-inch-thick roll of Lincolns and Hamiltons. No muss, no fuss. Nothing is cleaner to use than dirty money. The almost exclusive use of cash by wiseguys puts them at odds with the average citizen who on any given day might not even touch a dollar bill, relying on ATM and credit cards for every purchase. But that is only one way that the mob economy differs from that of the general public. In most businesses, revenues are gathered by the corporate brass, who then distributes it to payroll, who then passes it along to the workers. The money flows down. But in the mob, the exact opposite is true. In the world of the wiseguy, all the money flows up. Revenue comes in through the very bottom tier. A variety of scams are run by associates and soldiers, producing a consistent stream of income. That income is then funneled upstairs to the higher-ups. Specifically, an associate has to kick a healthy share of his loot to a soldier, and the soldier has to kick some of his take to the captain. In turn, the captain has to make a weekly payment into the boss's kitty. The flow of money rarely deviates from this upward trajectory. What varies is the percentage of your bounty you get to keep. That depends on how greedy the guy is above you. . . . And so it goes - the money comes in, the money flows up. No Mafia boss is out there earning money and distributing it downward to his loyal subordinates. The grunts are the ones who have to sweat it out and send it up. Again, this system keeps the hands of the higher-ups as clean as possible. There is no questioning it, no challenging it, no suggesting alternative methods. There is only blind and slavish allegiance to the wiseguy way.
Granted, we don't take the money personally (like wiseguys have to do) to the BushLeagueCheneGang every payday, but if you spend even a small amount of time studying the federal government's (your) debt and how it has grown under these wiseguys' direction, you might think twice about who is really running things and what the logical conclusion of this state of governance would be. Suzan ___________________________________

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