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Posts Tagged ‘elitism’

The gilded nobility otherwise known as politicians get lavish compensation packages, particularly when fringe benefits are part of the equation. But that doesn’t include their first class travel to exotic overseas locations. And even that doesn’t count the walking-around money they get – sometimes as much as $300 per day. But they’re supposed to actually spend their “per diem” money, not keep it, and this has gotten some of them in trouble. Here’s an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal report on the issue.

Congressional investigators are questioning a half-dozen lawmakers for possibly misspending government funds meant to pay for overseas travel, according to people familiar with the matter.

…Congressional rules say the daily travel funds, called a per diem, must be spent on meals, cabs and other travel expenses. But when lawmakers travel, many of their meals and expenses are picked up by other people, such as foreign government officials or U.S. ambassadors.

That can leave lawmakers with leftover money. Lawmakers routinely keep the extra funds or spend it on gifts, shopping or to cover their spouses’ travel expenses, according to dozens of current and former lawmakers.

The cash payments vary according to the cost of living and range from about $25 a day in Kabul to more than $250 a day in one part of Japan. Lawmakers also usually request and receive an additional $50 a day. Leftover funds can add up to more than $1,000 a trip for longer visits to expensive regions.

…The travel inquiry is the latest in a string of ethics investigations in the House that could hurt Democrats at the polls in November by undermining the party’s message that it has “drained the swamp” of ethics abuses in Washington.

The House ethics committee is also pursuing high-profile cases against Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California. Both lawmakers could face public proceedings in coming weeks that would be the congressional equivalent of a trial.

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While the public is rightly skeptical of granting our government overlords unlimited power – which they are busy gathering for themselves nonetheless – there’s one group of people who think it would be just dandy to grant limitless power to the Political Class: the Political Class.

By a 54% to 43% margin, the Political Class believes the federal government should be allowed to do most anything. Mainstream voters reject that view by a 94% to three percent (3%) margin.

At a July 24 Town Hall meeting, Democratic Congressman Pete Stark of California may have inadvertently articulated the Political Class view. In responding to questions about whether or not the recently passed health care law is unconstitutional, Stark said, “I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from rules that could affect your private life.” In response to a follow-up, he added, “The federal government, yes, can do most anything in this country.”

…The gap between the Political Class and Mainstream voters is seen in other data as well. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Political Class voters believe the United States is generally heading in the right direction. However, among Mainstream Voters, 84% say the country has gotten off on the wrong track.

The ruling elites are becoming increasingly out of touch from the rest of society.  That their primary objective seems to be the acquisition and exercise of power is all the more reason not to entrust elites with any in the first place, especially over things as important as our retirement savings and health care.

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I don’t know whether he is a poster child for the dangers of inbreeding or a rich dolt who is seeking meaning in his life, but Prince Charles takes left-wing hypocrisy to an entirely new level. His “carbon footprint” almost surely is bigger than 99.9 percent of the world’s population, yet this pampered and clueless aristocrat thinks he was put on the earth to save the rest of us from sins such as “global warming” and ”unbridled commerce.” If he gave up the throne and dedicated himself to a life of genuine self-denial, I would call him a clueless moron. Until that happens, he is best categorized as a hypocritical clueless moron.

The Prince of Wales says he believes he has been placed on Earth as future King ‘for a purpose’ – to save the world.

Giving a fascinating insight into his view of his inherited wealth and influence, he said: ‘I can only somehow imagine that I find myself being born into this position for a purpose.

‘I don’t want my grandchildren or yours to come along and say to me, “Why the hell didn’t you come and do something about this? You knew what the problem was”. That is what motivates me.

‘I wanted to express something in the outer world that I feel inside… We seem to have lost that understanding of the whole of nature and the universe as a living entity.’

His impassioned comments come during a film about his belief that unbridled commerce has led to the destruction of farmland and countryside.

…But the Prince has previously come under fire for hypocrisy over his eco-values.

Last year he commandeered a jet belonging to the Queen’s Flight to attend the Copenhagen climate change summit, generating an estimated 6.4 tons of carbon dioxide – 5.2 tons more than if he had used a commercial plane.

…Graham Smith, of the anti-monarchy group Republic, said: ‘He is under the impression he has been sent to save the world and deliver us from our sins. It’s quite delusional.

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Thanks to Instapundit for drawing attention to this Financial Times report showing how ultra-rich elitists and politicians flew to South Africa on private jets, which meant both big carbon footprints and also resulted in ordinary people missing a key soccer match because the airport was too cluttered for many commercial planes to land. The Hypocrite-of-the-Year Award goes to Leonardo DiCaprio, who piously lectures ordinary people about how they should be good environmentalists (translation: pay higher energy taxes and reduce travel), but then engages in Al Gore-style global jet setting.

Hundreds of fans bound for Durban for the Germany-Spain World Cup semi final missed the game because their flights were unable to land, after air traffic authorities closed the city’s airport because of congestion on the runway caused by private aircraft.

…Wire services reported that among the VIPs heading for the semi-final by jet were Spain’s King Juan Carlos, South African President Jacob Zuma, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and socialite Paris Hilton.

The BA pilot, who held his plane for around 45 minutes above Durban in the vain hope of getting a landing slot, told passengers he had no choice but to take the plane to Johannesburg because the plane’s fuel was starting to run low.

He announced that the problem was caused by the airport allowing too many private jets to land at Durban, leaving the runways clogged up and unable to accept scheduled flights.

Confusion was heightened at OR Tambo airport by the lack of any senior officials to explain the problem. One junior official said she believed around 15 scheduled flights, mostly from Johannesburg, were unable to land in Durban.

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