On December 4, the New York Times reported this:
MIAMI — The Obama administration overturned a ban preventing a wealthy, politically connected Ecuadorean woman from entering the United States after her family gave tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns, according to finance records and government officials.
The woman, Estefanía Isaías, had been barred from coming to the United States after being caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. But the ban was lifted at the request of the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton so that Ms. Isaías could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration.
It was one of several favorable decisions the Obama administration made in recent years involving the Isaías family, which the government of Ecuador accuses of buying protection from Washington and living comfortably in Miami off the profits of a looted bank in Ecuador.
The family, which has been investigated by federal law enforcement agencies on suspicion of money laundering and immigration fraud, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to American political campaigns in recent years. During that time, it has repeatedly received favorable treatment from the highest levels of the American government, including from New Jersey’s senior senator and the State Department.
Amidst the swirling controversies over police shootings, grand jury decisions, race-baiting, fake rape allegations, Obama’s unilateral reversal of U.S. Cuba policy, ISIS, the Sony hack, Jonathan Gruber and more, not to mention the holidays, this story received almost no dissemination, yet in its own, slimy way is more important than any of the rest. For it is the quietly growing tumor of government corruption, allowing money to confer special privileges on the wealthy and policy that undermines the rule of law, that saps the nation of its public trust, and that creates the cynicism that eats away at our democracy’s vitality and strength.
Why did this story avoid media and public attention? It was a perfect storm of factors that make a news story unattractive to journalists and unfathomable to the public:
1. It involved a foreign citizen with a name that typical Americans need help to read and pronounce, not an American celebrity or a foreign crook with a catchy name like “Johnny Chung.”
2. The scandal has to do with U.S. squabbles with a foreign government, and one that the public doesn’t pay much attention to. How many Americans could find Ecuador on an unmarked map?
3. It involves immigration. With Obama giving the green light to illegal immigrants in the hundreds of thousands, what’s the big deal about a rich woman from Ecuador? If she wants to come here, why doesn’t she just sneak across the border like everyone else, and magically become a heroic, “undocumented” immigrant?
4. It takes too long to explain what’s going on. These are the kinds of stories the Times still does better than anyone else, and the kind of stories that, for example, USA Today, is literally unable to cover competently in its sound-bite, 300 word, read-it-while-you-gulp-down-you-coffee format.
5. It’s also the kind of story that the Clinton/Obama Spin Brigade can easily make so confusing that the average reader will say, “Never mind.” Media Matters, the shameless one-sided “watchdog” that begins with the premise that Democrats can do no wrong and Republicans can do no right, published a classic on the Times story, because, as we all know, the Times is a relentless critic of the Obama Administration. MM’s theory is that the story is misleading because the family also gave money to some Republican politicians in the course of buying favors. So what? It was the Obama Administration and the Clinton State Department that granted the special dispensation, and did so, pretty clearly, because Isaías’s family lined Democrat pockets. Media Matters exists to flog rationalizations #1. The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it,” and # 2. The “They’re Just as Bad” Excuse; this is virtually the sum total of all their defenses against criticism of Democrats.
In other words. we are distracted, lazy, ignorant, rushed, trivial, inattentive,easily confused and none too bright. No wonder our leaders have utter contempt for us.
The facts are that the administration of the President who promised ethics and transparency and the State Department run by the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate offered U.S. laws for sale to rich Ecuadorans, it stinks, and we—neither Democrats nor Republicans nor Independents— shouldn’t tolerate it.
22 thoughts on “The Estefanía Isaías Scandal: See, This Stuff Shows The Ethics Rot In Our Government, And We Don’t Even Notice It”
When, oh when will we snap out of it and start sending people to the gibbet?
Do we not have it backwards that public officials are held to a lower standard than the general public, or am I crazy?
That is not necessarily an either/or question, joed…
I don’t suffer from mental illness, though. In fact, I enjoy it.
Reminds me of a joke: Charles Manson is paroled, and is sitting down to dinner with his new fiancé’s nervous parents for the first time. He says “Godalmighty, is it cold in here, or am I crazy?”
That’s it. Joke’s over.
As I become more familiar with this and other stories like this, I become more and more convinced that Jesse Waters segment on Fox News has some validity. He has denied searching out the willfully ignorant, but I didn’t really believe him. I’m starting to.
…and I’m just about ready to jump on the bandwagon accepting the film “Idiocracy” as a documentary sent back from the future (though not as far into the future as I once thought).
Not Sure for President !!
Ugh. There’s terrible movies that never had a chance of being good. Then there are terrible movies, like Idiocracy, that COULD have been good…but were completely botched. Those are more frustrating than the never-had-a-chance terrible movies.
What? Idiocracy is awesome! Of course it’s bad, the same way Rocky Horror Picture Show is bad.
A bribe is a bribe, no matter how you try to dress it up. Tuesday, the former governor of Virginia is looking at a possible 10+ years for doing a lot less than this. But then, he is a republican, so different rules apparently apply.
Lies, deceit, lies and deceit — all self-serving for an unethical Administration. Do we really think that the public has woken up and that’s why there is a Republican majority in both houses? Nope. We are a nation of morons — and the Republicans or Democrats who have have been elected have been elected for the wrong reasons — and we deserve what we get.
The Founders are rolling over in their graves. Yes, some were slave-holders (who were products of their times and let their slaves free in their wills), all were intellectual snobs (with good reason, I think), but who believed that the firm overarching philosophy for creating this Republic would prevail. The intellectual renaissance that occurred in Massachussets and Virginia were real. But their basic belief in the longevity of this philisophy was wrong. It’s not just John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Tom Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and the rest who seem to be well known (especially for their biases and pecadilloes – – putting it kindly). What percentage of Americans know that James Madison crafted the Constitution (a Virginian) and that George Mason (also a Virginian) also insisted that the Bill of Rights be adopted as an addition to the Constitution, because of his firm belief that absent specifics about the rights of Americans had to be so distinct from England?
So what does the federally-inspired “CORE curriculum” teach us? Nada. I have a relative who retired early from a Texas jurisdiction because all they were doing was “teaching the test.” And who devises the “test?” The Department of Education, which exists only to to preserve itself and the version of education and history mandated by others.
I am in despair. We are only creating more ignorant voters, to the exact purpose of the national government
These guys (our revered “Founders”) were not perfect (e.g., an early requirement that all voters should be landholders, e.g.), politically or socially, but they had a vision for this nation that has been lost.
Founder-bashing is so cool; so in vogue. These are the same dolts that worship the liar-in-chief, a man that couldn’t hope to possess 1/4 the integrity of these great men in 5 lifetimes. Another consideration is the fact that keeping the Continental congress of one accord was already a herculean task. Bringing up slavery at that time would have resulted in hopeless gridlock. Speaking of Common Core, check this out:
Now, does that not seem to be a subliminal message, or am I crazy (Jack don’t answer that)? To me, Common Core reads like a blueprint for making a generation of servile, obedient, machine-operating drones.
I’m on the fence about the landowners provision, truth be told, but I’m right there with you about getting the government we deserve. We’ve been asleep at the helm for far, far too long, and I think the United States, at least, is on the other side of its apogee. I love my children so much that it hurts, and it breaks my heart to see the mess that they’re inheriting
If, by “other side of the apogee” you mean we are in a downhill slide, fostered by a liberal agenda that has taken over our education system and most (but not yet all) of our judicial system, I agree. My mantra, we are doomed. At present, there is very little we can do to stop it. At some point in the near future, Jack will, I’m sure, post something that will allow me to comment on what I think our future holds, but not now.
It is what I mean. We’ve lost our way, and I think that there’s pain and suffering ahead, but I’m also a firm believer in God’s grace and mercy, and that things will eventually get better. One of the amazing things about human beings is that we have the capacity to emerge stronger, wiser, and kinder from great trials, and this also gives me hope. One of my favorite quotes from Ghandi:
“Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”
The problem is that (and I apologize if I sound like a conspiracy theorist) since the end of WWII, the Liberal powers-that-be have been angling to take over the schools, because they knew Hitler was right…indoctrinate the children and they will rule forever. The one ray of hope is that with this THOROUGHLY incompetent President, they may have over-played their hand.
I hate to sound like even more of a conspiracy theorist, but sometimes I wonder if he’s as incompetent as he appears. Many of the left’s goals have come to fruition on his watch.
I don’t underestimate him, but I certainly hope that he HAS overplayed his hand. His best asset is the fact that the GOP has yet to consolidate against him under a leader and an agenda to throw back the Obamanist power grab.
Absolutely agree. I fall back on my normal statement…”We are doomed.”
This was supposedly for Elizabeth I
I never even heard of this one, Jack. I guess it got hidden in the maze of other ongoing outrages that have characterized recent political history. The fact that Ecuador is a virtual communist country today only increases the irony factor here in that Madame Clinton is succoring (for cash, of course) a rich matron who likely collapsed what was left of that country’s economy by stealing the last few pesos they had!