DC’s Legislative Business…

CTH often describes the background DC motives with the phrase: “There are Trillions at Stake.”  Here we take a look at what that really means, and how DC politics is not quite based on the ideas that frame many reference points.

With people taking notice of DC politics for the first time; and with people not as familiar with the purpose of DC politics; we end up within two different references. Perhaps it is valuable to reset the larger frames of reference and provide clarity.

Most people think when they vote for a federal politician -a House or Senate representative- they are voting for a person who will go to Washington DC and write or enact legislation. This is the old-fashioned “schoolhouse rock” perspective based on decades past.  There is not a single person in congress writing legislation or laws.

In modern politics not a single member of the House of Representatives or Senator writes a law, or puts pen to paper to write out a legislative construct. This simply doesn’t happen.

Over the past several decades a system of constructing legislation has taken over Washington DC that more resembles a business operation than a legislative body. Here’s how it works right now.

Outside groups, often called “special interest groups”, are entities that represent their interests in legislative constructs. These groups are often representing foreign governments, Wall Street multinational corporations, banks, financial groups or businesses; or smaller groups of people with a similar connection who come together and form a larger group under an umbrella of interest specific to their affiliation.

Sometimes the groups are social interest groups; activists, climate groups, environmental interests etc. The social interest groups are usually non-profit constructs who depend on the expenditures of government to sustain their cause or need.

The for-profit groups (mostly business) have a purpose in Washington DC to shape policy, legislation and laws favorable to their interests. They have fully staffed offices just like any business would – only their ‘business‘ is getting legislation for their unique interests.

These groups are filled with highly-paid lawyers who represent the interests of the entity and actually write laws and legislation briefs.

In the modern era this is actually the origination of the laws that we eventually see passed by congress. Within the walls of these buildings within Washington DC is where the ‘sausage’ is actually made.

Again, no elected official is usually part of this law origination process.

Almost all legislation created is not ‘high profile’, they are obscure changes to current laws, regulations or policies that no-one pays attention to.  The passage of the general bills within legislation is not covered in media.  Ninety-nine percent of legislative activity happens without anyone outside the system even paying any attention to it.

Once the corporation or representative organizational entity has written the law they want to see passed – they hand it off to the lobbyists.

The lobbyists are people who have deep contacts within the political bodies of the legislative branch, usually former House/Senate staff or former House/Senate politicians themselves.

The lobbyist takes the written brief, the legislative construct, and it’s their job to go to congress and sell it.

“Selling it” means finding politicians who will accept the brief, sponsor their bill and eventually get it to a vote and passage. The lobbyist does this by visiting the politician in their office, or, most currently familiar, by inviting the politician to an event they are hosting. The event is called a junket when it involves travel.

Often the lobbying “event” might be a weekend trip to a ski resort, or a “conference” that takes place at a resort. The actual sales pitch for the bill is usually not too long and the majority of the time is just like a mini vacation etc.

The size of the indulgence within the event, the amount of money the lobbyist is spending, is customarily related to the scale of benefit within the bill the sponsoring business entity is pushing. If the sponsoring business or interest group can gain a lot of financial benefit from the legislation they spend a lot on the indulgences.

Recap: Corporations (special interest group) write the legislation. Lobbyists take the law and go find politician(s) to support it. Politicians get support from their peers using tenure and status etc. Eventually, if things go according to norm, the legislation gets a vote.

Within every step of the process there are expense account lunches, dinners, trips, venue tickets and a host of other customary financial way-points to generate/leverage a successful outcome. The amount of money spent is proportional to the benefit derived from the outcome.

The important part to remember is that the origination of the entire process is EXTERNAL to congress.

Congress does not write laws or legislation, special interest groups do. Lobbyists are paid, some very well paid, to get politicians to go along with the need of the legislative group.

When you are voting for a Congressional Rep or a U.S. Senator you are not voting for a person who will write laws. Your rep only votes on legislation to approve or disapprove of constructs that are written by outside groups and sold to them through lobbyists who work for those outside groups.

While all of this is happening the same outside groups who write the laws are providing money for the campaigns of the politicians they need to pass them. This construct sets up the quid-pro-quo of influence, although much of it is fraught with plausible deniability.

This is the way legislation is created.

If your frame of reference is not established in this basic understanding you can often fall into the trap of viewing a politician, or political vote, through a false prism. The modern origin of all legislative constructs is not within congress.

“we’ll have to pass the bill to, well, find out what is in the bill” etc. ~ Nancy Pelosi 2009

“We rely upon the stupidity of the American voter” ~ Johnathan Gruber 2011, 2012.

Once you understand this process you can understand how politicians get rich.

When a House or Senate member becomes educated on the intent of the legislation, they have attended the sales pitch; and when they find out the likelihood of support for that legislation;  they can then position their own (or their families) financial interests to benefit from the consequence of passage.  It is a process similar to insider trading on Wall Street, except the trading is based on knowing who will benefit from a legislative passage.

The legislative construct passes from K-Street into the halls of congress through congressional committees.  The law originates from the committee to the full House or Senate.  Committee seats which vote on these bills are therefore more valuable to the lobbyists.  Chairs of these committees are exponentially more valuable.

Now, think about this reality against the backdrop of the 2016 Presidential Election. Legislation is passed based on ideology.  In the aftermath of the 2016 election the system within DC was not structurally set-up to receive a Donald Trump presidency.

If Hillary Clinton had won the election, her Oval Office desk would be filled with legislation passed by congress which she would have been signing. Heck, she’d have writer’s cramp from all of the special interest legislation, driven by special interest groups that supported her campaign, that would be flowing to her desk.

Why?

Simply because the authors of the legislation, the originating special interest and lobbying groups, were spending millions to fund her campaign. Hillary Clinton would be signing K-Street constructed special interest legislation to repay all of those donors/investors.

Congress would be fast-tracking the passage because the same interest groups also fund the members of congress.

President Donald Trump winning the election threw a monkey wrench into the entire DC system…. In early 2017 the modern legislative machine was frozen in place.

The “America First” policies represented by candidate Donald Trump were not within the legislative constructs coming from the K-Street authors of the legislation.  There were no MAGA lobbyists waiting on Trump ideology to advance legislation based on America First objectives.

As a result of an empty feeder system, in early 2017 congress had no bills to advance because all of the myriad of bills and briefs written were not in line with President Trump policy. There was simply no entity within DC writing legislation that was in-line with President Trump’s America-First’ economic and foreign policy agenda.

Exactly the opposite was true. All of the DC legislative briefs and constructs were/are antithetical to Trump policy.  There were hundreds of file boxes filled with thousands of legislative constructs that became worthless when Donald Trump won the election.

Those legislative constructs (briefs) representing tens of millions of dollars worth of time and influence were just sitting there piled up in boxes under desks and in closets amid K-Street and the congressional offices.  Legislation needed to be in-line with an entire new political perspective, and there was no-one, no special interest or lobbying group, currently occupying DC office space with any interest in synergy with Trump policy.

Think about the larger ramifications within that truism. That is also why there was/is so much opposition.

No legislation provided by outside interests means no work for lobbyists who sell it. No work means no money. No money means no expense accounts. No expenses means politicians paying for their own indulgences etc.

Politicians were not happy without their indulgences, but the issue was actually bigger. No K-Street expenditures also means no personal benefit; and no opportunity to advance financial benefit from the insider trading system.

Without the ability to position personal wealth for benefit, why would a politician stay in office?  The income of many long-term politicians on both Republican and Democrat sides of the aisle was completely disrupted by President Trump winning the election.  That is one of the key reason why so many politicians retired immediately thereafter.

When we understand the business of DC, we understand the difference between legislation with a traditional purpose and modern legislation with a financial and political agenda.

Lastly, this is why -when signing legislation- President Trump often says “they’ve been trying to get this through for a long time” etc.   Most of the legislation passed by congress and signed by President Trump in his first term is older legislative proposals, with little indulgent value, that were shelved in years past.

Example: Criminal justice reform did not carry a financial benefit to the legislative bodies, and there was no financial interest funding the politicians to pass the bill.  If you look at most of the bills President Trump has signed, with the exception of a few economic bills, they stem from congressional construction many years ago.

This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Deep State, Donald Trump, Economy, Election 2016, Election 2020, Environmentalism, Legislation, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

291 Responses to DC’s Legislative Business…

  1. islandpalmtrees says:

    This is interesting

    Is it necessary to reduce the wealth of the wealthy, in order to reduce, the corruption in the government?

    To frame the question differently: Is a poor thief less likely to seal than a wealthy one.

    The studies say yes.. So all we have to do is to take their money from the wealthy.in order to fix the government. Since they are more unethical, likely to cheat and steal.

    Rich people more unethical, likely to cheat and steal, study finds
    February 28, 2012 By Freya Petersen
    http://media.pri.org/s3fs-public/styles/story_main/public/madoff_interview_2011_10_27.jpg?itok=RU9VqQKh

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-02-28/rich-people-more-unethical-likely-cheat-and-steal-study-finds

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fools Gold says:

      How about this one, people who chart and steal are not Christian’s and zero moral ethics. Just like the days when Jesus walked the earth and witnessed it. Satan lives here and loves division. Rebuke Santa and all who walks with him…

      Liked by 6 people

    • john says:

      Bernie, is that you?

      Liked by 3 people

    • benzy says:

      The problem with a study such as the one stated is that it usually does not take one thing into account. Is the “poor thief” poor because he is less likely to steal OR is he poor, because he simply isn’t very good at it. It might not be that he is less likely to steal, just not as efficient and hence less wealthy

      Liked by 1 person

      • islandpalmtrees says:

        Please look at the title of the study again, “Rich people more unethical”. They like ethics.

        Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concerns matters of value, and thus comprises the branch of philosophy called axiology.

        So is the Bible a study in ethics – I say yes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rayvandune says:

        Joe Biden was widely regarded as the least-wealthy of all Senators, but hardly by having the most virtue!

        Like

    • Stuart Smalley says:

      Interesting concept. Except DC will not police itself. So any adaptation of the system will require an outside force to affect the change.

      Liked by 2 people

      • islandpalmtrees says:

        I agree. It’s clear that DC will not self correct or police itself. And, with more money being added into the hands of the Rich. The job of policing itself becomes more difficult.

        So what happens to a government when it’s law enforcement becomes more and more dysfunctional from the like of ethics?

        Like

    • Such a fallacy! Trimming expenses to increase revenues is a false urban myth… Run a business the ONLY way to increase revenue is to increase production and cut waste improving operational efficiency. that’s textbook Business 101. Blaming capitalism and high earners is making the rest into victims. You’re citing leftist propaganda. And if you think morals are bolstered by poverty or less wealthy you’re crazier than Bernie!

      Liked by 3 people

      • My comment was in response to islandpalmtrees assertion above that wealth (capitalism) erodes values/morals when its nothing more than people with flawed characters. There are plenty of wealthy folks who are honest and moral.

        Like

        • starfcker says:

          So tulips, when you end up with an oligarchy because unethical and immoral people have gamed the system, how do you propose that we fix that? The only force on Earth capable of disruptting that concentrated power is a just and ferocious federal government. It doesn’t matter how you do it, tax policy, antitrust, the method is unimportant. It’s just a job that needs to be done. It’s going to be ugly, and it’s not going to follow any hallowed conservative doctrine. So be it, it needs to be done.

          Like

          • VoteAllIncumbantsOut says:

            ALL,
            There is a very great chance the markets turn down starting this week because capital investments around the globe are very concerned of a Bernie Sanders win in the White House but we all know that this will not happen. However, it doesn’t matter.

            The reason I’m putting this down for you all to read is they will turn this against President Trump attempting to stop his re-election chances.

            This is not by any means manipulation. There is great concern for capital flows around the globe looking for the best place to park their investments. As of right now, Sanders has investors concerned because he is currently winning in all the states so far. Even though Trump has done amazing and great things for the USA, a Sanders win will tear it all down and I think we can all agree with their concerns. Remember, 90% of the news globally is left leaning and most investors outside our country have know idea the support President Trump really has, they only hear Bernie is winning.

            Pull up the Dow Jones and S&P daily charts and notice what is considered a classic divergence, when price makes a higher high but the MACD makes a lower high this is a classic divergence. If the markets break below the 50 Simple Moving Average, chances are it heads towards the 200 SMA.

            Global investments.
            https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$INDU

            Domestic investments.
            https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$SPX

            Like

  2. walt39 says:

    This is brilliantly done, SD.

    It’s done in a very similar way at the state level. When as a citizen you manage to press a lawmaker about what’s in a bill he’s sponsoring you generally find he has no idea what’s in there. He has a couple of canned phrases about why his bill is so important and that’s ALL. If you tell him what’s in there — which it will take you some study to discover because it’s generally pretty well hidden — he may say no that’s not in there — that’s not what it does.

    Furthermore this cannot be fixed within the current setting.

    Pay of a Congressman from citizens — about $700/day
    Pay (‘campaign contributions’) from others (SD figure) about $16,000/day

    Who would YOU be working for?

    This cannot be fixed by law. Congressmen are worth $16,000/day because they can move enough money for that to be a rational price. The only fix is a much smaller federal government, one in which the amount a Congressman can move is comparable to what we citizens pay them.

    It would be simple math to work backward and figure out what total federal discretionary spending would have to be to make $700/day a rational price for a Congressman but I haven’t done it. My guess is that the government of 1950 minus a million or so clerks whose jobs are now done by computers would come close. We can get rid of half a dozen cabinet departments, get rid of much of what the others do, and see how things settle.

    I’m confident that we WILL do this, although — unfortunately — only on the other side of economic collapse. I guess we have to take what we can get.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Rowdyone says:

      I’m troubled by the assumption of many that corruption of our legislators is primarily because of lobbyists. Certainly they present temptation to even the most well intentioned legislator. But Representatives are well aware of the game being played before they’re elected. Why else would they go to such lengths to get to Washington? So many of these people are corrupted before they get there and recognize that the whole game is based on selling their vote. They, some more than others, are sellers. Lobbyists are buyers. And they sell their votes to other legislators for return favors all the while knowing where their vote will be sold to without personal repercussions. Folks, the swamp is and is controlled by Congress.

      Liked by 2 people

      • underwhelmingposter says:

        As a former (unpaid) lobbyist in our state, I have seen up close what Sundance has described here. Most of the legislators are not knowledgeable about most things before them in their committee (does not matter which committee). An issue is brought to a member of the committee that is involved mostly with the area you are presenting. The first hurdle is to get a legislator to agree to hear about it. That requires that you know in detail the current legislation, and what changes would make it better, If you do not donate to campaigns, then this is an uphill climb. Once one person is interested, they may talk to other legislators – to see what the interest may be. Once you have found interest and some support, you may be asked to meet with their staff to “help” write the proposed changes. The staff is the place where the details are worked out. The legislation must provide what was presented to the legislators informally. Once proposed legal change or new law has been written by the staff, it is submitted as a registered bill for consideration. The bill then has to have the interest and backing to actually be “heard” in committee. Many, many bills die without being heard. It is then that the lobbyist must testify before the committee to demonstrate the reasoning and the value. Your bill may also go to other committees if part of the proposed law/ changes touches on their jurisdiction. Finally, if everything goes well, it goes for a floor vote (usually the House-where bill originate). These are called “readings” and there are three. Then the vote and if passed, the Bill goes to the Senate. The lobbying and testifying starts all over again. You have to find support not only within the legislator, but also have people who benefit from the changes be prepared to testify before committees (or more often, exert any interest they may have in more casual settings). By the way, from onset to passing a bill the gets written into law on the fast track is three years! In my situation, I was not a donor to any politician or cause. I happened to see a need and set about lobbying (you must be registered). The local newspaper was intrigued that a private citizen could do what was done. I must say, I was never asked for donations or contributions throughout. It is an anomaly, for sure, since I started to be present with some of those type of lobbyists. So, while only on a state level, and in a very short story, I agree with what Sundance has stated, But is at least one case, the motives on all fronts seemed to be for the good of the people. BTW, the reward was being at the Bill signing by the State Governor, and getting an autographed copy of it.

        Liked by 11 people

        • Richard says:

          Similar deal for me except I was trying to kill legislation and wasn’t completely unknown in the capitol because of a former life. It was a complicated issue and the legislators were clueless but they sure did know where the money was. Bad guys had unlimited money and we were running off individual contributions from non-wealthy people. Came closer than I thought we would-only 4 votes different in one of the Houses-and my ploy to run the clock out almost worked. The legislators didn’t understand how their own calendar worked either. Alas the party leadership did.

          Liked by 6 people

      • Unsk says:

        I think most Congress Critters will tell that they need and have to take he Lobbyists payoffs because running for Congress or the Senate is so damn expensive and if they don’t take it their opponent will.

        The money floating around Congress since Glass/Steagall unleashed the Big Banks into Investment banking has been enormous. Add to that the big money that Big Pharma has paid to keep drug innovation a cartel and then add that the huge payoffs through second party channels of course that the ChiComs have been paying to our devoted “public servants”, particularly to people like Diane Feinstein, Pierre Delecto Romney, Justine Amash, Cocaine Mitch, and Richard Burr.

        Like

    • Thinker says:

      Your valuation of wealth does not even count what they and their families make on insider trading. Congressmen and women cannot be convicted of insider trading– gee isn’t that convenient! Wonder who wrote that law?

      Liked by 5 people

  3. jhohn says:

    Fascinating and depressing. Makes you wonder if it can ever be fixed and why they haven’t tried to take out PDJT the old fashioned way?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pale rider says:

    Sundance has references to this often but very good to get it all in one heap. So my question, why pay a moron to sit up there and just vote him or herself into wealth??

    Liked by 3 people

    • Co says:

      Seems to be the motivation for anyone to run. They walk away millionaires and look down at We The People as their personal cash cow.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pale rider says:

        Yep! All those ‘crazies’ trying to get out of taxes because they see them as unconstitutional, don’t seems so crazy anymore. But, they are all dead. Huh, imagine that??

        Like

  5. AnotherView says:

    Sundance, did you know Charles Ortell who does Sundays With Charles on Jason Goodman’s Youtube Channel constantly sings your praises? He’s a big fan.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. wvcoalman says:

    Excellent explanation of how the real world in The District of Corruption works and why Donald J. Trump is so despised by members of both wings of the Uniparty.

    Sundance’s synopsis is really what needs to be taught in schools instead of the “Schoolhouse Rock” “I’m just a Bill” version of how a Bill is written and gets to become law. They leave out the important, slimy part that involves the grifting and lining of the pockets of everyone’s interest involved….except the citizen taxpayer footing the expense.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. dilonsfo says:

    I have noticed that politicians say “I have introduced a bill…” so perhaps the questions should be “who wrote the bill?” It would be interesting and instructive to see what that answer would be. I noticed the Klobuchar is preaching in the debates about the 100’s of bill she had introduced. Like to know who wrote them.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. Amendment suggestions.

    A bill can be no longer than than 10,000 words and must be written at a 3rd grade level of education. The proposed bill must be publicly available in its final form for 90 days before being voted upon.

    Regulations are not permitted under any circumstances. These must be written as legislation and voted upon by the Congress.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Dennis Martin says:

      The NFIB has been working with POTUS since before his election. POTUS knows small and independent businesses are the backbone of our economy & communities.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. gildie says:

    Hey Lou Dobbs! If you read this article, you could do our country a great service by making
    it the opening segment on your show next week.

    Liked by 8 people

  10. Sounds like an endorsement for Ron Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ploni says:

    Classic, Sundance. Simply classic!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. pyrthroes says:

    Either decentralizing plus procedural and other reforms re-dispose DC’s “new class” perpetual incumbents [cf: Pendleton Act of 1883], or Franklin’s American Experiment will deliquesce forever by AD 2148 or so at maximum.

    Since Eisenhower, if not from Wilson and FDR, what’s happened here is the bad faith, false pretense, ill-willed Uniparty’s devolution of Jersey City’s Frank Hague, NYC’s Boss Tweed, Boston and Chicago’s Whitey Bulger, Al Capone, to national levels on heels of Wilson’s grotesquely anti-Federal Amendments XVI and XVII (national Income Tax plus “direct election” of street-walking Senators vs. State Legislatures’ institutional representatives).

    Hot air rises, water flows downhill… anyone concerned to close these floodgates on a non-personality basis –meaning to reverse political-economic incentives regardless of an anomalous Trump Administration’s accident-of-fate– must first repeal Wilson’s extraordinarily misconceived “transforms” (think 1919’s “Prohibition” Amendment XVIII repealed by XXI in 1933).

    Honored in the breach for a full century, it’s well past time for America’s indirect democracy within a Federal Republic to reassert its bona fides while DC’s rumpfed K Street Congress flares and sputters, then goes straight to hell.

    Liked by 5 people

    • chiefworm says:

      Pyrthroes, eloquently written but to sum it up quickly I propose to say “A Revolution is needed to reset our government to the ways outlined by our Founding Fathers via the U. S. Constitution and the first Ten Amendments.
      Our Founding Fathers understood mens hearts yet underestimated the evil of the “uneducated” and morally corrupt. The lack of real education of the masses that is needed to sustain our Representative Republic is sorely lacking.
      …steps off soapbox…

      Like

  13. Bob Parker says:

    This is simply TREMENDOUS STUFF Sundancabout!!

    I have learned so much the way Congress functions with just this post. Make a school book out of this & make it mandatory government education class in high schools everywhere & watch how many kids begin to start understanding government!! No more Sheeple!!

    More importantly, this wonderfully informative post sheds light onto “Cocaine” B*tch McConnell & Flimsy Lindsey Goober Graham with their frequent non-support of President Trump. Now we understand how the Uniparty as a whole likes that corporate/lobbyist dinero rolling in.

    This post explains how/why President Trump has had to put up with & makes his accomplishments to me even more remarkable.

    Thank you for the education SD!!

    Liked by 7 people

  14. Minuteman says:

    One approach would be to make it too expensive to buy Congress by increasing the number of representatives and senators. Say one rep per 100000 persons in population and 10 senators per state. This would also dilute each individual senator’s power. Lobbying and buying more than 1500 representatives plus 250 senators would make it more economical for the state and the people of the state to own their own representation and more costly for others.

    After that have congressional sessions conducted online, with the official connection for the congressmen at location(s) designated by their state and district, but only allowed in the home State for Senators and home district for representatives. Congress would meet in DC for ceremonial events like the Presidential Inauguration and the State of the Union Address.

    Additionally executive agencies need to be heaquartered in a location that has an affinity for the industry it regulates or according to any other reasonable criteria.

    Liked by 1 person

    • boogywstew says:

      10 Senators per State is 500 Senataurs. 1 Congressman per 100K citizens, figuring 330 million US population = 3,300 Congressvermin

      Like

  15. bethabcd says:

    Thank you, Sundance! A real eye opener!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Eastender says:

    Excellent article Sundance. Thanks for the specifics on all that goes on regarding just who writes legislation and who benefits and just how President Trump’s election has thrown a monkey wrench into the much relied on system.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Eastender says:

    Excellent article Sundance. Thanks for the specifics on all that goes on regarding just who writes legislation and who benefits and just how President Trump’s election has thrown a monkey wrench into the much relied on system.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jerry Joe says:

    Lawmakers want to put a body camera on every police officer in the country… Put a body camera with audio on every representative in Congress – 24/7. Make it a live feed on the internet; 2nd time it isn’t working is an automatic felony with a prison term for same time as duration of term elected.

    Problem solved.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. CKL says:

    And notice it was Republicans retiring not Democrats.

    Liked by 2 people

    • efilnikcufecin101 says:

      No, you notice the Lame Stream Media ONLY announced Repubs that retired. but thanks for playing…

      Liked by 1 person

    • dbobway says:

      Good observation, CKL.
      Why would that be?
      My guess, if you watch 5 minutes of the Democrat Presidential debate?
      These people are delusional. They are going to get this President out.
      It’s just a matter of when.
      Our form of government is based on 2 simple principles, to carry ourselves,
      Truth and morals. In our everyday world, these ways of life are evident,
      In every way, except, when dealing with our government.
      Not all the rich are without these principles.
      When we vote, those principles must be at the very top of the list of the candidate’s qualifications.
      Democrat or Republican.
      The Democrats picked a few in 2018, who have these qualities, but their hands were tied prior to being picked. If these same Rep.s win again, they are free now to work, for us.
      I believe that is one very important aspect to getting are country back.
      When those 40 some thousand, pro 2nd amendment, protesters came out in Virginia, 4 Democrats changed their vote against the gun grabbing bill. It didn’t pass.
      It is vital to have a few do that in the Federal house, for Democrat voters who live by the principles of truth and moral clarity, it would give that Democrat voter some hope to hang their hat on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • boogywstew says:

      Mostly Republicans. 18 Demorats and 34 GOP didn’t seek re-election to the House. Of course some of those sought election to the Senate or took positions in the Trump administration. 10 Demonrats and 23 GOP retired from public office altogether.

      Like

  20. sDee says:

    And…. this is all why we will never hear or see this on the “news”.  Nearly unlimited advertising revenue from these corporations, regulatory mandates, and candidate campaigns, ensures the narrative and radio silence of the truth.

    With the power of unchecked monopolies growing, especially BigTech, we now live under a near complete form of neo-fascism.

    I try to fight urbanization and other UN agendas at the local level. The money flowing from Federal programs, “non-profits” and corporate behemoths seems virtually unlimited. I see small businesses/contractors and rural communities squeezed and pushed aside as counties and regions turn blue. Property rights are stolen, and property taxes targeted to feed this machine.

    Our money is being extracted for our own demise as the elites’ decadent enclaves grow and thrive.

    Already, Opportunity Zone funds/incentives are being hijacked by “regional governance” coalitions.

    Please President Trump, please stop the Federal money pipelines – it is insurmountable at the local grassroots level.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Absolutely right on the money. I’ve been saying for years that corruption starts at the local level. As christians become less and, less corruption becomes more and more. The love of money is the root of all evil.

      Liked by 2 people

    • efilnikcufecin101 says:

      Commiefornia, where I live is a HUGE example of this Machine of Evil Intent. We are about to have our Property Taxes Quadrupled overnight, Rents will Triple or more and 60% of Californians will either sell All of their possessions to “pay rent” or become Homeless, which is what the Attorney General, (the Wetback) Beccerra and his admittedly Illegal Alien family that he brags he is STILL bringing ILLEGALLY across our borders. Yet Calimorons continue to elect CRIMINALS like him and Worse, like Gavin Newsom Piglosi’s nephew.
      California has LOST a Congressional Seat for the first time in its 172 year existence due to a Mass Exodus, that, by the way is still in Full Swing. I gather signatures for Ballot Measures here in Commiefornia, and I can tell you first hand we are under a Mass Exodus for the 4th year and running and that the Commiefornia voter just gets Dumber and Dumber each and every year, of those that are remaining and of those being Imported by Soros and Co. etc. the DNC operative branches.
      California has “Driven off a Cliff” we are just waiting to see how deep the Crevice it has fallen into will be as it has Not hit Bottom thus far, but I have a feeling we are very close….

      Liked by 5 people

      • sDee says:

        It is not just California. NC regions like Charlotte and Raleigh are hitting the sales and property taxes like kids behind a soda fountain. Year after year home owners and voters seem to just line up and say “hit me again – please”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Orygun says:

        The whole West Coast has been corrupted. What used to be sleepy fishing towns are now resorts with properties being bought up by people from all over the world.
        The corrupt city managers find their way into the county and then the state level.

        At that point the corrupt cities have control of the state and the judiciary along with the luxury of being able to count the votes. If you contest the constitutionality of a law it ends up in the state supreme court which is full of the same lefties as the lower courts.

        Everyone at the State level is waiting for their Donald Trump to rally around to clean this mess up. He has proven we are the majority but our votes have been nullified by the illegal voting and fraud taking place.

        Like

      • treestar1313 says:

        Indeed. But it doesn’t help when the top two vote getters are only on the ballot, ensuring two dems to vote for governor and no Republicans. No such thing as the lesser of two evils – two evils exactly alike.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Without term limits there is no way to curb this corruption.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TarsTarkas says:

      Term limits would simply exacerbate the situation Sundance described. Also empowering the permanent bureaucracy as well. They would be able to outwait pesky gadflies then.

      Liked by 2 people

      • starfcker says:

        I totally agree, Tars. Most people have never thought that through. Term limits would do nothing. The only answer is prosecuting corruption.

        Liked by 1 person

        • starfcker says:

          We all know the Clintons would sell the country out for another nickel. But don’t forget, it was mostly Republicans who set up this system. Rick Santorum. Grover Norquist. Newt Gingrich. Trent Lott. Tom Delay. They called it the K Street project. And it made them all wealthy men at the expense of our country.

          Like

  22. Phil McCoxwell says:

    A watchdog group that does nothing but post all of the daily legislation on the docket, with highlights of the key points and who is sponsoring the legislation, who actually authored it and who that sponsors donors are would be pretty enlightening. These people need to be elevated and made famous in a bad way.

    Think about it. We spend most of our time screaming a politicians and trying to vote them out of office when in reality we should be going directly after every lobbying entity that has a pulse inside of DC. They have to be laughing at us. That is the meat and potatoes. How can we do that?

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Not so much……….
    We have been lied to so much we are numb

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Co says:

    Term limits come to mind. The motivation to run for office to exit office as a millionaire while using We The People as their cash cow is depressing and disheartened. Did the Founders themselves have lobbyist way back then? I would like to think the Founders of this great nation just plain loved their country. How passe’ SMH

    Liked by 2 people

  25. phillip jeffreys says:

    Anyone who lives in the DC area and does business knows this dynamic is absolutely spot on. It emphatically is an insiders’ game. The picture is incomplete, however. It will. eventually all collapse. The system has no self-governor for reasons Sundance adduced. Eventually, endlessly monetizing the debt will collapse the financial system. Multiple efforts have been underway behind the scenes to decouple the International trading system from the dollar as the reserve currency. The dollar at present is simply fiat currency printed on demand – i.e., to fund the Congressional feeding trough gristmill. When this eventually happens, the whole house of cards is going to collapse. Big time. Sundance’s meme on Main Street versus Wall Street plays into this bigger picture. The two dymanics need to be tied together to paint a fuller picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken Maritch says:

      “Main Street” is now strongly tied to “Wall Street” with the booming 401k’s and retirement plans. You take down Wall Street, Main Street will feel the pain.

      Like

      • phillip jeffreys says:

        You are correct – a condition that prevailed long before PDJT arrived. The point I’m making is that an effort is being made to decouple the two. The details need to be drawn out to understand whether the strategy is a good one and, if it is, whether it can succeed. Just asking Sundance to apply his considerable analytic skills toward the bigger picture of how the Congressional money laundering scheme connects to, abets and exacerbates the stability of the financial system. Have we already passed the point of no return? I know I’m interested in the anser to that one. The implications go way beyond just investment strategy.

        Liked by 3 people

  26. Ken Maritch says:

    I would love to see Lou Dobbs take this article and run with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Zydeco says:

    The “United States of America” doesn’t really exist except for the Fourth of July fantasy.

    Like

    • Texian says:

      The Republic of Texas still exists.. it naps most of the time.. our State gubmint tiptoes around it.. even in the Capitol building rotunda.. in dire times, they will need it.. in the larceny of Liberty, they fear it..

      it’s a double edged sword.. they don’t want to disturb it.. it has a lot of teeth.. and you don’t dare try to pull them.. because the end result will be the same..

      I can hear my neighbor right now.. he’s sharpening his teeth.. he does that most every weekend.. the Lone Star flies high on the pole in his front yard.. it all makes me feel safe.. God Bless Texas..

      Like

  28. Bubby says:

    Another great scathing post about how totally corrupt our Federal Govt in DC has become. Makes me wonder if Sundance isn’t really a pseudonym for a think tank of conservatives. How can one man be so right so often, so prolific, so intuitive, so able to connect the corruption dots, so productive on a blog and tweeter, is able to describe and manage cold anger, create memes, comprehension skills extraordinaire, has a legendary memory and do all this and more on a daily basis??? I mean no disrespect because I’m in awe. My feeble mind can’t keep up with all that Sundance has thrown at us to understand the state of our Republic and how many forces are trying to destroy our founding and our Founding Fathers! Sundance you are the Paul Revere of this day and time a light in darkness! Thank you for all you do we are blessed! Godspeed Sundance!

    Liked by 9 people

  29. Caius Lowell says:

    Thanks for this Sundance! When you first said, “politicians are not leaders, they’re salespeople,” I had not thought of this but it had the ring of truth. You also let us know that the US Chamber of Commerce was more PRC than US, which I also did not know. This post helps put a lot more detail around the issue. People say that economics drives geopolitics, but economics is hard to observe so people mostly focus on personalities. Posts like these highlight the incentives and transactions underlying the actual economics of geopolitics.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. efilnikcufecin101 says:

    I printed your article sundance and plan to pass it out at California Schools and Universities to the best of my ability along with God’s word. The latter is needed More than the former, but both are very educational and Especially for Today’s American. I do hope you don’t mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. SMR says:

    One simple question: if this true – and I believe it is – how did Trump get acquitted in the Senate? Why did they not take the opportunity to return to the “status quo”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • teabag14 says:

      An excellent question. There is much we cannot & do not know about what is going on. One word comes to my mind and that word is “leverage”. Maybe “political capital” also fits. But I think of the first word, leverage, as something one has when one enters the fray; while political capital seems to be what one accumulates as one moves successfully forward. Apparently VSGPDJT now has an abundance of both. ❤🇺🇸🙏

      Liked by 2 people

    • doohmax says:

      It appears to me that there some Uniparty Republicans who realize the support Trump has at ground level in this Country. And this support increase with every futile effort to take him down by the powers that be in Washington. Every attack only makes him stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. SMR says:

    One simple question: if this true – and I believe it is – how did Trump get acquitted in the Senate? Why did they not take the opportunity to return to the “status quo”?

    Like

  33. Bogeyfree says:

    Now imagine what must have been involved and the amount of money involved to various individuals in order for us to give 20% of our Uranium to Russia?

    And the sad part so many know this happened but won’t do a damn thing to expose it.

    How is it that 2 registered Whistleblowers have never been spoken to? Why isn’t their deposition at this point plastered all over the media?

    It’s not just Congress that is shameful.

    Liked by 5 people

    • lolli says:

      Bogeyfree,👍
      You are so right. Both sides of the aisle, in other words, uniparty, and that is why they are all in on the cover up.

      Like

  34. Jesse says:

    Absolutely perfect!
    This is my go to site and has been for three years. I think I have commented once, maybe twice. Usually the content is way above my ability to even understand it let alone add to it. It’s my go to site because your batting average is far above everyone else’s. I’m always grateful and thankful for your insight, as well as the insight of the regulars here at the treehouse.

    This article is different in that I actually understood it from start to finish. Simply and beautifully layed out. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in each and every day!

    Liked by 9 people

  35. Bogeyfree says:

    Only when there are net worth audits of all Congress men the day they take office and then up to 10 years after and these audits include immediate family.

    If a person’s net worth jumps by over 30% year over year make them show how

    If they can’t explain it they are kicked out of Congress.

    Convention of States is the only way to get something like this and Term Limits put in place and the inmates will never vote any of these controls on themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Phil better says:

    “We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it. “
    What this really means is, we the politicians already know how much $$$ we are going to get from it, you get to see how much it will cost you.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Deplorable Texan says:

    Pelosi…..”I’m a master legislator”, lmao. More like master grifter.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Kristin DeBacco says:

    Republican politicians retired in 2018
    Jeff Flake Arizona
    Bob Corker Tennessee
    Orrin Hatch Utah
    Ed Royce CA-39
    Darrell Issa CA-49
    Dennis Ross FL-15
    Tom Rooney FL-17-27
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen FL
    Lynn Jenkins KS-02
    Dave Trott MI-11
    Gregg Harper MS-03
    Frank LoBiondo NJ-02
    Rodney Frelinghuysen NJ-11
    Ryan Costello PA-06
    Bill Shuster PA-13
    Trey Gowdy SC-04
    John J. Duncan Jr. TN-02
    Ted Poe TX-02
    Sam Johnson TX-03
    Jeb Hensarling TX-05
    Joe Barton TX-06
    Lamar Smith TX-21
    Tom Garrett VA-05
    Bob Goodlatte VA-06
    Dave Reichert WA-08
    Paul Ryan WI-01

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Ish Kabibble says:

    Term limits (short ones) and for staffers too. No lobbying after as well. Break the cycle. I can dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. StanH says:

    Once again brilliant overview Sundance, of swamp politics 101.

    Let us not forget that wonderfully cynical phrase “Money is the mothers milk of politics.” This explains everything that takes place in the swamp.

    They’re not up there to do the peoples business but to replicate the financial miracle of $232 Million Dollar San Fran Nan. If they keep their noses clean and do what they are told by leadership they too can become wealthy, doing the “peoples work.” They’ve passed laws giving politicians and their staffs cut-outs making insider trading perfectly okay in the swamp. You or I would go to jail.

    A good current example of the two tiered justice system that we are witnessing. The coup attempt, and how Stone, Manafort et al were handled, and how the actual lawbreakers for now seem to be skating. It’s because they all know that this was the uniparty in protect mode. They all knew it was going on and they all helped. If AG Barr really goes after this it could expose deep, deep corruption in both parties.

    This is the same system that gave us, GATT/NAFTA/TPP/NWO/CRA (Community Reinvestment Act)/Barrycare/World Bank/ 30 to 1 Derivatives/CFR …you can go back a 100+ years and look at through these lens and understand how we got where we are at. Sickening. They are literally trying to drive this country to Civil War to preserve the graft. We are the Existential Threat to the country/swamp they were referring to when our Great President Trump was elected.

    Ever so often you can get a glimpse of what these swamp rats believe in and it ain’t you and me. When We The People crushed the swamp in 2010 with the Tea Party movement. The swamp moved into swift action. The entire MSM, along with the poverty pimps started calling us “Racist.” All backed up by racial politicians, like John Lewis, Jim Clayburn, Alcee Hastings, Sheilie Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters et al. …to say that we were spitting on them as they paraded passed the Tea Party protesters.

    Our own great leader Andrew Breitbart offered a $100k Reward for any evidence whatsoever, no one ever claimed the reward, because it was complete and utter crap.

    The swamp wasn’t done with the Tea Party. Next they unleashed the alphabet agencies to harass and in many cases ruin fine people for simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights. Even with a Republican congress not a thing was done to Lois Lerner, except a golden parachute and a cushy retirement, for her service to the swamp.

    Also having to do with 2010. Trent Lott (R) Miss. and John Breaux (D) Louisiana both retired from the senate, and Trent made statements to the effect, they had done their public service and it was time to make some money. Well glory be. They formed a lobbying firm for the oil & gas to lobby the very institution that they had both recently retired from, the Senate & House of Representatives. In a random act of journalism Trent Lott was caught on an open mic saying to paraphrase, “what are we going to do around here with a bunch of Jim DeMint’s running around.” Well, this will not stand. The swamp with a willing criminal in the White House mobilized the government and went after the American citizen.

    I could write on this for a week. There is not one piece of legislation that has moved through the House and Senate. Not one piece of public policy that is not colored by this same lens. In other words our “public servants” have been running a fraud on the American people for decades.

    This is why we must stick with our Great President Trump through thick or thin. Their con only works in the dark. It’s a thin veneer, ballyhooed by the bought and paid for MSM. They will use wedge issues to keep the American people fighting with one another, divide & concquer. They know if this veil is fully lifted, which it is, there will be hell to pay. We the People have much more in common that we have differences, this is what we need to accentuate, not our differences. Stay real close to our President Trump and we will crush them!

    This is a vitally important article and is the hub of criminality that we face and is the reason for the swamp hysterics. Don’t fall for MSM narratives, they are our enemy.

    Be cool, hang tough and be prepared!

    And remember: “Always follow the money.”

    KAG!

    Liked by 4 people

  41. free2313 says:

    98% of Politians end up becoming Venal Politicians, because they are so willing to sell their influence, especially in return for a bribe; their family members are also open to bribery. And lest we forget, there are to many judges, who find it an easy path to become Venal Judges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Remington says:

      ….’in the end, you are, exactly, what you are…’ The real problem is these creatures do not understand the difference between right and wrong. They disgust me. Crooks and creeps to the core…..

      Like

  42. thedoc00 says:

    SD has hit the nail on the head. During my professional career, I wrote and edited many a White Paper and draft legislative bill on behalf of a congress critter seeking help from our companies tall, blond, blue eyed, miss America congressional liaison honeypot.

    Term limits will not solve this problem but it may be useful and illuminating to require a bibliography of contributors for public record be attached to every bill, along with potential pay-out and impact to the contributors. This may be a laborious requirement but would put some sunlight on the process.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      I was nearly fired or demoted for things I would NOT write and/or say. My career was definitely limited for things I would would write.

      Like

    • starfcker says:

      “seeking help from our companies tall, blond, blue eyed, miss America congressional liaison honeypot.” Most people are unaware that the motherload of recruiting for pharmaceutical sales reps is college cheerleading squads. Somehow those cheerleaders carry an enormous and innate knowledge base of the wonders of branded pharmaceuticals, and this makes them extremely valuable to those companies.

      Like

      • thedoc00 says:

        I would add that the congressional liaison “honeypots and cheerleaders” with whom I dealt were also pretty darn smart, very articulate and savvy in how to exploit their looks as well. You underestimated one of these gals at your own peril.

        Like

      • Debra says:

        Prostitutes come in all flavors and styles. Some even carry whips and chains. Others can ‘manipulate’ without ever laying a hand (or any other body part) on their client . . .

        Like

  43. Linda K. says:

    I recall when Trump was elected and he wanted to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with the Republican ideas for health care that must have have been developed during all those years of debate and contention. Ironically, Republicans had no plan at all.
    Apparently, independent health care is not a good money maker for our legislators.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. theoldgoat says:

    Where does all these vast sums of money go? Lawyers are obviously getting their share, but how much goes into the bank accounts of these politicians? How is it legal that they take all these bribes, which is what they amount to, with no repercussions whatsoever?

    This isn’t really any different than some oligarch type system, while the politicians get wealthy, and we see our tax dollars and elections end up being their play thing.

    It”s quite disturbing that all of them are bought and paid for. Is it any wonder why there has been a deep state controlling things, when we don’t have politicians doing their real job, but listening instead to those who are giving them tons of cash. Are there any principles left in this country?

    Like

    • thedoc00 says:

      Your final question, in the last sentence of your comment, illuminates the overall objective of efforts to destroy any of the forces within our society that instills a sense of morals, right vs wrong, ethics et al using fixed and absolute standards vs the use of relativism as the standard or having no fixed standard at all.

      -Removing religion from schools
      -Subversion and destruction of religion
      -The boy scouts
      -The many variations of the equal rights for “xxxx” movements
      -Transgender normalization and indoctrination of children as young as age 4-5
      -Normalization of political violence
      -One way news report
      -No civics lessons in school
      -No teaching fixed standard ethics in schools
      -Elimination of problem solving skills education
      -Rewriting of history in our schools, on PBS, on the History Channel …

      The continuing assault is all about the destruction of a fixed foundation of moral and the ethical conduct.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. ltravisjr says:

    “…they can then position their own (or their families) financial interests to benefit from the consequence of passage. It is a process similar to insider trading on Wall Street, except the trading is based on knowing who will benefit from a legislative passage.”

    SD, you comprehensively explained the nuts and bolts of how legislation works within Congress. The part above, though, is the one part where you didn’t explain or give any concrete nuts and bolts examples of how it specifically works in practice. I am sure it happens but could you (or anyone) please flesh this part out for us because this is where it gets personal.

    Like

  46. 🍺Gunny66 says:

    Sometimes when I think about it too much……the only thing that brings me back around is Yogi….

    Just to break it up a little…..some of the best….just some…

    “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. ”
    ― Yogi Berra

    “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
    ― Yogi Berra

    “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
    ― Yogi Berra

    One of my favorites…

    “Nobody comes here anymore, its too crowded”
    ― Yogi Berra

    Liked by 4 people

  47. Everett Miller says:

    My daughter is a state-house lobbyist, and verifies SD comments all the time–but this trading/bartering/buying and selling of votes is called ‘POLITICS’. (It’s nothing new; Mark Twain wrote some great fiction about it)
    TIE-IN TO CURRENT EVENTS: Blago got put in prison for doing what every politician does every waking hour–trading power and favor. POTUS Donald Trump rightfully set him free to walk around like Hillary (who did the same thing with the foundation)

    Like

    • deplorable says:

      Buying and selling of votes is wrong and illegal. It is called bribery. Rationalizing that “everybody does it” does not make it right but only contributes to the problem.

      Like

  48. Heroic Dreamer says:

    Great article, Sundance. Thank you.

    You have explained this dynamic before but it seems that I have to read it over and over again, in order to fully wrap my brain around this. It’s as if I just don’t want to see that we elect our “public servants” so they can enrich themselves on behalf of lobbyists who often work against our interests.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. This frames the Term Limits for Congress in a focused light. Reducing the amount of time a legislator sits in office merely amplifies the impact of lobbyists preying on legislators not knowing enough by way of elected experience. While I am for Term Limits imposed on the entirety of Congress, I believe simultaneous reforms to the entrenched lobbyist effort must occur, as well.

    Like

  50. calfcreek says:

    It’s like the comedian said; “I had the right to remain silent, but not the capacity.”
    We The People have the ability to stop this. If 95% of Congress was replaced every two years instead of being re-elected, and we constantly told them that if they don’t scale back the Federal Government by 80% we will continue to vote them out, they would change eventually.
    We have the right to do that; but we don’t have the capacity.
    Liberty is hard.
    Slavery is easy.

    Like

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