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Politics has long been the last refuge of con artists, scoundrels and crooks but the rise of scam professionals like Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and Barack Obama has completely infiltrated our system of government and the political circus that controls it.
The con is in place and the marks are the fools who follow these demagogues and contribute their hard-earned money for their causes.
The system is out of control and the fate of the nation hangs in the balance.
It doesn’t look good.
Let’s look at the top con artists:
BARACK OBAMA: At the top of the political con game — at the moment — is Barack Obama. He pulled off the biggest con of them all — convincing a nation that an inexperienced, one-term Senator had the ability to run a nation.
Obama raised more money from individuals than any Presidential candidate in history but his administration has become as much a tool of special interests as any that came before.
As America’s economy continues to flounder, the Gulf of Mexico dies under the weight of the worst environmental disaster in our history and too many men and women die in winless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the full weight of Obama’s con bears down on a nation struggling to survive.
Obama’s failed policies continue to drive a debt-ridden nation further into the red, leave more Americans out of work for longer periods than at any time in our history and gives us a government defined by chaos, indecision and political madness.’
SARAH PALIN: Easily the centerfold for pop-culture celebrity, Sarah Palin exemplifies the shallowness of politics and the vapid culture that allows a failed governor of Alaska to become a national phenomenon.
Palin is in it for the money. She used her unlikely propulsion into the national spotlight as John McCain’s ill-chosen running mate as a launching pad for a lucrative book contract and fat speaking fees. She dumped her responsibilities as governor so she could cash in on her 15 minutes of fame before her faithful, but brain-dead, minions could catch on to the con.
So far it is working but some feel the Palin star is fading and she may soon head back to Alaska for well-deserved obscurity.
RON PAUL: Populist candidates come and go but twice-failed Presidential contender Ron Paul learned long ago how to mine the ignorance of followers to raise money and generate excitement without results.
Paul’s success comes in raising money, be it from get-rich schemes like newsletters promoting libertarian themes and gold-standard investment scams or political populism that raises millions in donations while producing nothing in return for contributors.
But while Paul’s followers demand accountability from the targets of their wrath, they seem oblivious to the Texas Congressman’s less-than-transparency when it comes to how he spends the money they pour into his coffers.
Paul raised $35 million for his failed 2008 Presidential bid, 99 percent of it from more than 160,000 individual donors.
Yet a lot of his money went to enterprises controlled by Paul, his family or political buddies and failed to produce a single primary win.
So where did all the money go? A few examples:
The Paul campaign paid $120,000 for MPrinting Graphics, a firm controlled by Paul’s Congressional campaign manager and $994,339 to Campaign Marketing Strategies Inc., a firm created just before the money was paid to them. The company has a post office box in Virginia but their web site does not list a single client.
Paul shelled out $860,000 to political consultants — most long-time cronies; $3 million in salaries, including friends and relatives; $5.7 million for direct mail, much of it to enterprises he controls.
The campaign’s FEC reports list $10.6 million for “broadcast media,” but little of that ever resulted in ads on the air. An analysis by OpenSecrets.Org, a web site that tracks campaign fundraising and expenditures, shows that 14.3 percent of Paul’s campaign spending — about $2 million — was not disclosed.
TEA PARTY: This may go down in history as the mother of all political scams — a phony grassroots movement created by a GOP consultant for a rich energy magnate in Kansas and passed off as groundswell of political hope.
Political hopelessness might be more like it. Koch Industries magnates David and Charles Koch provided the seed money for Citizens for a Sound Economy, which grew into Freedom Works, the well-funded, establishment political entity that created the Tea Party under the direction of former House GOP leader Dick Armey.
The Kochs now claim they had nothing to do with the whole deal by issuing a statement that says they never gave money to Freedom Works. That’s that’s the art of the con. They never gave money to Freedom Works. They provided the funds for Citizens for a Sound Economy, the originator of the whole concept.
From the beginning, this phony grassroots movement had two goals: Provide a platform for the Kochs and their special-interest money and provide a way for their Republican consultant pals to get rich.