Report: Majority Of Congress Now Millionaires





Photo credit: Jessie Owen (Creative Commons)

In today’s political climate, the only approval rating consistently lower than Barack Obama’s is that of America’s legislators. Often seen as ineffectual at best, voters of both parties agree Congress is in need of a shakeup.

While the upcoming midterm elections will allow citizens to directly send a message to current lawmakers, a recent report might give those engaged in the class war more ammunition to use against them. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a majority of legislators currently have a net worth in excess of $1 million. The organization’s report, which used data from 2012, indicates this is the first time in American history that threshold has been met.

In the span of one year, 11 additional Congress members joined the millionaire club, the report stated, with 268 of 534 current lawmakers now qualifying.

Of course, financial success is a large part of the American Dream; however, that dream also includes the hard work necessary to earn that prosperity. In the eyes of millions of voters, too many congressmen and women have profited off of their position without offering any real service in exchange.

In reality, most of these elected officials were rich before taking office.

According to CRP Executive Director Sheila Krumholtz, Americans generally support wealthy candidates because those are the only individuals who can effectively establish their candidacy.

“Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall,” she said, “there’s been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington. Of course, it’s undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

Overall, the median net worth for legislators broke $1 million last year. Senators are much more likely to be wealthy, boasting a median net worth of $2.7 million – a $200,000 increase over 2011. Senate Democrats are worth less than their GOP counterparts, largely due to the absence of John Kerry and the deceased Frank Lautenberg. The two men boasted a combined net worth of more than $335 million.

In the House, the median was about $929,000 for Democrats and $884,000 for Republicans, for an average of $896,000.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), was the wealthiest legislator, according to the report, with a net worth of about $464 million. On the other end of the spectrum is another Republican representative, David Valadao of California, who is more than $12 million in the red.

While this report shines some light on the disparity between our elected leaders and many of their constituents, far fewer Americans begrudge success than leftists seem to believe. In reality, most voters are far more concerned with a politician’s voting record than his or her bank statement.

–B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com

Photo credit: Jessie Owen (Creative Commons)





“Unbelievable”: IRS Scandal Investigated By Obama Donor





irsobama

The Internal Revenue Service, never a popular agency to begin with, has suffered irreparable reputational damage in recent months. As reports and testimony revealed agents improperly scrutinized conservative groups more harshly than others, millions of Americans demanded accountability.

Unfortunately, accepting responsibility is not something for which this administration has been known. Instead, the cronyism and corruption that has defined D.C. in recent years is further infiltrating the IRS through an ongoing internal investigation.

According to recent reports, the lawyer in charge of conducting that investigation has made several large donations to the Democrat National Committee and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa described the situation as a “startling conflict of interest” and drafted a complaint he sent to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The attorney, Barbara Bosserman, works for the IRS as part of its Civil Rights Commission. Issa explained the fact she has personally donated thousands of dollars to Democrat causes should call into question her ability to serve as an impartial arbiter.

Tea Party groups were unfairly targeted by IRS agents who reportedly believed the White House approved of such bias. Now, it seems, someone with an obvious predilection to follow Obama’s lead is in charge of bringing the scandal-plagued agency’s behavior to light.

Issa – echoing the sentiment of countless other Americans – deems such a setup to be “highly inappropriate,” calling Bossman’s involvement in the investigation “unbelievable.”

As White House sources and flacks in the media continue to contend this is a meritless scandal, more and more evidence surfaces to suggest that IRS improprieties extend deeper than critics originally thought.

Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney would have Americans believe it was just a coincidence that eight in 10 organizations targeted in one IRS investigation were either conservative in nature or expressed opposition to Obama. One might expect similar obfuscation if and when the White House addresses the appointment of Bosserman as lead investigator.

It is obvious Democrats do not want to find the truth as it relates to these outrageous partisan activities. The cover-up, as in previous presidential scandals, is now beginning to overshadow the original malfeasance.

–B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com





White House: Darrell Issa’s Committee “Untrustworthy”





Darrell Issa SC

Only the Obama Regime would have the cheek necessary to refuse action on a House subpoena by claiming it does not trust the motives of Government Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa! Concerned by widespread reports that personal information is not secure on the ObamaCare signup website HealthCare.gov, Issa’s Oversight Committee subpoenaed security testing documents from MITRE Corporation, the IT firm hired by Health and Human Services to perform Security Control Assessments of the site. Jim Esquea, HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation, wrote to Committee Chair Issa, claiming that HHS (now obviously enjoying complete control over MITRE) would be delighted to share information with the Committee, but was unsure “…whether the Committee [would] work with [HHS] to ensure the sensitive information contained in [the] documents is adequately protected.”

The same Obama Administration that trusts Iran with nuclear weapons is expressing reservations about the intentions of Darrell Issa. That’s enough for Ripley.

Esquea makes much of the HHS offer to provide the Committee with unredacted MITRE reports in a “secure reading room.” But the following paragraph written by Esquea to Issa creates all the suspicion it could possibly take to make Republican committee members want to deal directly and solely with MITRE. It reads:

You have suggested that the Department’s [HHS] concerns in producing the requested documents are rooted in a reluctance to disclose the current status of specific security risks that MITRE identified. But as noted above, we have already shared and will continue to share the unredacted SCA’s [Security Control Assessments] with the Congress in a manner that does not create new or additional threats to our system.

The Regime will share unredacted SCA’s “…in a manner that does not create new or additional threats to our system.” What exactly does THAT mean? And who will decide which documents “create new or additional threats?” Will Esquea take it upon himself to withhold those documents, not even advising the Committee of their existence!

I can imagine Issa, Trey Gowdy (SC), and Jason Chaffetz (UT) falling on the floor in a fit of laughter upon reading this flagrant effort at deceit.

Barack had to claim Executive Privilege in order to prevent the House obtaining subpoenaed Fast and Furious documents. I wonder if he’ll resort to the same scam after thousands of Americans have reported their identities stolen upon having tried to obtain government mandated ObamaCare!





Obama Bundler’s Shocking Connection To Healthcare.gov





Darrell Issa SC

 

Aside from the utter failure of its launch, the ObamaCare enrollment website has also highlighted the incestuous relationship between Obama and those close to his administration.

Just days after news broke that a high-level official of CGI Federal, the contractor that built the troubled site, was a college classmate of Michelle Obama, a recent report reveals the connections do not end there.

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Darrell Issa issued a subpoena this week to Quality Software Services Inc., which possesses documentation regarding healthcare.org’s development process.

The center for Responsive Politics has since confirmed QSSI is owned by UnitedHealth Group, a company whose executive vice president was responsible for raising a substantial amount of money during Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Along with his wife, Anthony Welters reportedly bundled up to $500,000 for the campaign itself, another $300,000 for his inaugural committee, and gave the committee $100,000 of their own money. Welter’s wife, Beatrice, received ambassadorships to Trinidad and Tobago in return.

The family affair extends to the couple’s children, who are also big donors to Democrat causes, the OpenSecrets.org report states.

In addition to winning a contract earlier this year to make sense of ObamaCare’s associated federal exchange program, QSSI was also named the primary overseers of continuing healthcare.gov repairs.

Issa has given the firm until Nov. 11 to relinquish any and all documentation it has related to the website’s development, citing “serious concerns about data security related to the lack of testing.” The subpoena came after a request to voluntarily turn over the contracts went unheeded.

Thanks to its involvement in the implementation, parent company UnitedHealth Group is expected to see a marked increase in its market share. Unfortunately, it is now apparent its subsidiary was not qualified to handle the intricacies of fixing the faulty site.

While simply viewing the nearly perpetual error messages displayed on healthcare.org is enough to illustrate this administration’s incompetence, the most despicable aspect of the story is evident upon closer inspection. In implementing the most encompassing healthcare law in the nation’s history, Obama is apparently more interested in delivering payoffs to his supporters than delivering on his promises to the rest of us.

B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com

Photo Credit: Standard Compliant

Abysmal Healthcare Enrollment Numbers Surface





Obamacare Rollout

Though the administration has been tight-lipped when asked for specific enrollment data, internal documents released this week show that the Oct. 1 roll-out of the ObamaCare website was even less auspicious than many imagined.

The notes, reportedly taken during a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services meeting, indicate that just five individuals in the entire country were able to enroll through the troubled site on the day it was unveiled.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa made the documents available publicly Thursday, allowing the first look at actual numbers associated with the law.

While the initial day’s results were incredibly dismal, additional documentation shows only modest improvement as the week wore on. As of Oct. 2, the notes indicate that “approximately 100″ people signed up; and another 248 were successful the following day.

These numbers fall far below the pace needed to achieve sustainability for the unpopular program, which indicates why official sources have been less than forthcoming in providing such statistics.

The administration has repeatedly stated that data will be released later this month, ostensibly after many of the initial kinks had been worked out. As of yet, however, the website continues to pose significant usability issues to those attempting to enroll.

Appearing on Fox News Thursday evening, healthcare expert Robert Laszewski said that the impact of such low enrollment figures could be far-reaching. He noted that “the White House does not want insurance companies talking about what’s going on here,” explaining that he is not expecting any significant improvement as additional information is released.

“I can tell you based upon the information that I continue to get this trickle of enrollment that you’re reporting on for the first three days has really continued for the first month,” he said.

Obama surrogates can continue trying to spin data to suit their own narrative; but the American people can now look at concrete data to make their own determination.

–Western Journalism staff writer

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com