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Cronyism 101: How cronyism works and why nothing will fix it

As the 2016 presidential election approaches, we continue to hear common rhetoric from past elections as they attempt to appeal to the ‘common man’ to avoid being tied to any form of political cronyism. Is the corruption we hear about on news something so foreign and contrary to human nature that it only exists in the vacuum of politics? Hardly.

Cronyism: the unfair practice by a powerful person (such as a politician) of giving jobs and other favors to friends

Cronyism is usually portrayed by the media and Hollywood as a very evil thing, a corrupted system fostered by inequality but the actual definition could apply to you or me. Maybe it’s a bit naive to believe that the normal or fair state of society would be void of considerations such as familial relations, friendship, etc. Some are born into wealth and power, but if you aren’t one of the lucky ones you have to earn it. Why do you think some parents push their children throughout grade school for the chance to spend $50,000 a year at an Ivy League university? It’s the hope that it will open their children to the world of the wealthy, the influential, and the powerful.

It’s not a problem of disparity of income but rather a disparity of power.

A primary driver for top law students who aim to get into large powerful law firms and forgo their own practice is that established law firms are led by powerful people with deep connections between two other ‘important people,’ whether those connections be large corporations, politicians or judges.

None of this is new and every single change instituted to combat cronyism has failed and actually establishes a more corrupt working environment. Just imagine each well intentioned idea to combat cronyism as another hurdle in life for people coming from the lower or middle class. Hurdles don’t affect people at the very top from becoming more rich or powerful. They only slow down people at the middle or very bottom.

Nepotism: the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to relatives

Consider for a moment Bill & Hillary Clinton’s daughter: Chelsea Clinton who, according to Politico, earned $600,000 per year as a part time news correspondent for NBC News. Also during this same period of time, Chelsea was also vice chair of her parent’s non-profit, The Clinton Foundation, where she continues to work to “to drive the vision and programmatic work” (yes, that’s a direct quote from the Clinton Foundation website). 

“If that name hadn’t been connected to American royalty, she could have expected to rake in between $100,000 and $200,000 as a first-year network correspondent, a job that people from less-high-profile families snare only through years and years of tireless work covering the news. That salary range is confirmed by several people familiar with the compensation levels at major network news outlets.” – Washington Post

Daughters of powerful men of politics
Daughters of powerful men in politics: Meghan McCain (left) and Chelsea Clinton (right).

Democrats don’t own a monopoly when it comes to thriving on a disparity of power. Meghan McCain, daughter of Republican senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, has a cozy job at FoxNews after running a blog during her father’s presidential campaign in 2008. Since joining Fox News she’s imparted her viewers such intellectualism as:

“Ted Cruz, in many ways, is the thinking man’s Donald Trump” – Meghan McCain on FoxNews

Corrupt: having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain

Why don’t we see people from either party decrying these specific instances of nepotism? Because they’d like to believe their sons and daughters will be ‘taken care of’ when the time comes, wouldn’t you? The key to understanding cronyism is that it’s all self serving. When these people donate a portion of their wealth to a charity, they aren’t donating to small, localized charities with low overhead. They donate to the largest charities with the most overhead and the kicker is that they load these non-profits with family members, business associates, and friends who all make hefty salaries as chair members on non-profit board of directors. Why do you think the top 19 charities CEO salaries make over $1 million per year? If that doesn’t bring you to tears, think about this: highest paid non-profit CEO receives almost $3 million dollars per year!

Both Chelsea Clinton and Meghan McCain seem like fine people and their families should be proud of their successes but it would be incredibly naive to believe that these two women received the same opportunities as a commoner. Countless people at NBC and FoxNews are, as we speak, at the very bottom of the industry are scratching and clawing their way to get a ‘piece of the pie’ and get passed over time and time again.

Imagine the repeating surnames in Hollywood as they propagate from one generation to the next whether they be a Barrymore, Kardashian or Baldwin.

One area of hope is ironically in major sports. It’s one of the few professions where you cannot skate by on your family’s name. There were periods of racism and discrimination in major sports but once those were lifted, we quickly saw minority athletes gain dominance at the upper echelons of major sports and now currently minorities make up 41.2% of the players across all Major League Baseball teams.

Everyone isn’t on the same playing field and they never will be

As the old saying goes: ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ Reciprocation and loyalty are admirable qualities across all income levels and might be more important in upper circles of society because they are usually positive traits.

Good thieves never get caught, sort of like good politicians. In our society, we actually reward them with their own television shows and airtime. We listen to them intently as they tell us how the other party is full of cronyism and how they can fix it if we only elect them. Perhaps that’s the point… to give us hope… it certainly hasn’t given us anything else. If some people actually gain hope from partisan politics, then there’s at least one thing gained from the rhetoric of politics. Sadly, it’s misguided hope.


Leaked DNC emails expose conspiracy to lower Bernie primary turnout by handing out ‘Pot Brownies’

WikiLeaks has released a new trove of leaked DNC emails outlining what appears to be a conspired attack on Bernie Sanders months ago during state party primaries. The plan seemed to prey on a common strain amongst Bernie voters: their love of THC.

The shocking emails include Evite invitations sent on behalf of what has now been discovered as fake Bernie Sander campaign organizers. Events titled: “Get your Pre-Bern On!” solicited millennials with weed parties which would include: dubys, pot brownies and hinted at speeches from popular Tumplr personalities.

Pre-Bern EvitePre-Bern Evite Message

One specific attendee of these events, who asked that we keep their identity confidential, lamented the quality of the baked goods and entertainment.

“The brownies were obviously a cheap box mix. Oh and the Tumblr speakers? They basically just setup a Macbook Pro and played our favorite videos on sexual identity politics it was very disappointing! I regretted it immediately when I woke up and realized that Bernie had lost New York.”


LGBT pets lag behind humans rights in spite of gay, transgender parks

SAN FRANCISCO – Without a doubt, 2015 was a huge year for LGBT rights in the United States, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage and the arrest of Kim Davis. Full steam ahead for a more fully liberated society in 2016! Or maybe not… according to gender study researchers at the Wesleyan University, who point to the lackluster number of gender reassignments of pets. While Americans have embraced different sexual identities of each other, we sadly have left our four legged friends behind.

San Francisco and Madison become the first cities in the country to open gay and transgender pet parks but according to veterinarian gender researcher Katherine Schultz, gender dysphoria continues to be the most under diagnosed disorders in the feline species.

“Cats are suffering from more sexual identity issues than any other species in the animal kingdom, many even surprisingly have no sexual identity whatsoever. This would likely explain why cats do not like to be dressed up, whether it’s a tuxedo or formal dress… they detest it.

On the other end of the spectrum, male dogs have been observed to have higher prevalence of bisexuality as they are inclined to hump just about anything put in front of them.”

On June 24th, when San Francisco opened up the world’s first Gay Dog Park they also passed laws to finally allow female dogs to hike their legs up to urinate on any hydrant or tree in the city regardless of how messy it seems to unsuspecting strangers. Bathroom habits of male and female animals may seem small but they play an important role in sexual liberation according to researches.

Sadly, the national spotlight continues to evade our favorite members of the animal kingdom as senate bill SB1210 has stalled in the senate. This crucial bill would have finally allowed veterinarians to determine when their patients were born with the wrong sexual glands and perform reassignment surgery (without human companion’s approval). As 2017 quickly approaches, many wonder if our four legged friends will ever experience true liberation, due to gridlock in the senate… it seems that many of them will continue to wait.


Sudden Yoga Death Syndrome devastates San Francisco, Seattle

The West Coast is bracing for continued casualties as FEMA announced a state of emergency in both San Francisco and Seattle after thousands of adults participating in yoga have begun dying of what appears to be extreme and sustained boredom. Cumulative death tolls tragically reached 4,300 by Thursday afternoon and President Obama has warned that total death counts may reach 10,000 by time congress can pass a law banning or at least heavily regulating yoga.

Sudden Yoga Death Syndrome (SYDS) started afflicting young to middle age affluent urban Caucasian Americans early last week where it spread to similar demographics in the Asian community. Everyone on the West Coast is being warned to not only avoid yoga studios but also independent coffee shops, spin classes and Improv until the Centers for Disease Control identifies the exact cause of SYDS. As researchers begin studying the disease, one puzzling fact they are working on is understanding the only groups with known immunity to SYDS, males with sickle-cell anemia and those who rely on public transportation.

In other news: Lululemon (LULU) stocks are trading down 98% for the day at $1.44/share.


Subtle Cocktail Recipes for the One Percenters

If you are one of the many Americans who would love to live like a One Percenter but are closer to living under a bridge than spending a night in the Plaza hotel, consider our list of Cocktails from some of the world’s most famous One Percenters.

Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘Blood Diamond’ – using diabetic needle, let enough blood over a diamond for two drops to fall into the glass, 1 jigger St Germaine, 1 jigger Vodka; shake ingredients and serve in martini glass garnished with star fruit or the ‘most expensive fruit you can find’
-“As I said before, if I bleed for the diamonds then what more can you ask of me? Wait, what was the question?”

Bill Cosby’s ‘Back Stage’ – drop two roofies at the bottom of a champagne glass, fill 3/4 way with sparking wine, top with Everclear
-“When you are looking to seal the deal without the squeal, this drink is the real deal.”

Jerry Jones’ ‘Blue Star’ – in a traditional highball glass filled with ice add vodka (Tito’s) and garnish with body glitter and silver mascara
-“For when you f*ck up and wake up in Houston. Well I guess that’s two of the same thing.”

Jay-Z’s ‘Stash Spot’ – in a highball glass filled halfway with ice add 3 jiggers of Hennessy and garnish with an orange rind
-“This drink helps dulls my senses enough to deal with some of the biggest psychopaths in this industry… well this drink and 6 lines of coke.”

Kim Kardashian’s ‘Nude Selfie’ – 1 raw egg yoke, 1 jigger cognac (Henessey), 1 jigger Grey Goose Pear, 1/2 jigger Goldschläger, juice from half a lemon; shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a chilled martini glass
-“This is like totally my favorite drink to relax before taking an accidental fully nude selfie”

Rupert Murdoch’s ‘5th Wife’ – 1 jigger sake, 1 jigger lychee liquor, 1 jigger Patron (tequila), 1/2 jigger licorice liquor; shake with ice and serve in a chilled martini glass
-“I’ve never tried these ingredients together but I figured this drink has to work out better than the last four”

Rockefeller’s ‘First Billion’ – In a highball glass drop in 1 sugar cube peppered with bitters and mashed into a fine grit. Add ice, 2 jiggers of American Rye Whiskey and 1/2 jigger of Fireball Whiskey stirred well and garnished with an orange rind
-“My butler made me the curious drink after my first billion and I credit it with my good luck ever since.”

Warren Buffett’s ‘Breakfast’ – 1/2 jigger coffee liquor, 1/2 jigger of Sambuca and 1 shot of Espresso; stir together and serve in a large mug
-“While I’m not a heavy drinker, this refreshing cocktail helps me feel like the self loathing rich person I am while I cope with my vast wealth.”

Woody Allen’s ‘Taboo’ – fill a highball glass with ice, add two jiggers of Soju topped off with seltzer stirred gently
-“Preferably you want to use the youngest Soju imported from South Korea, it tastes better if it’s not given the chance to age.”


ISIS denies responsibility for feeding starving orphans in Syrian town

DAMASCUS, SYRIA – The international world is still puzzled at the recent food care packages that arrived anonymously on Saturday in the war-torn town of Damascus. So far, no coalition forces has claimed responsibility for the food which showed up mysteriously early Saturday morning prompting Islamic State official from clearing up any rumors that they perhaps provided food for the starving orphan children of Damascus. In an official statement, they denied any responsibility for the works of charity:

“We absolutely deny these rumors that we had anything to do with ‘care packages’ or food for starving children in Syria in Damascus or anywhere in Syria. The West, including United States, continues to spread propaganda that is evil, vile and a threat to all Muslims everywhere.”

ISIS is still reeling from recent strings of losses including losing all of their first battles against people who are actually armed with weapons, circumstances that has caused them to lose three quarters of their territory in Syria.

Sunday morning, a new press release was translated from Arabic where the Islamic State seems to be shifting from fears of appearing weak and sympathetic by declaring responsibility for new hosts of plagues on the earth including “sexually transmitted diseases, internet viruses, and global warming everywhere” and that they [ISIS] should be considered “more dangerous than ever.”


Congress passes bill offering Justin Bieber as sacrifice for years of ‘terribly executed’ cultural appropriation

WASHINGTON, DC – Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was joined by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in celebrating the passage of bipartisan bill (HB13638) in the House of Representatives to finally offer the African American community symbolic restitution for decades of awfully executed cultural appropriation by calling for the public hanging of the Canadian turned American pop tart. The bill, introduced in 2015, was put on the fast track after Justin Bieber’s recent rash of odd behavior culminated by dreadlock hair extensions and a fresh facial tattoo of a cross.

All 425 members of the House of Representatives voted ‘yay’ during a late Monday session moving the bill to the senate where it’s expected to pass for President Obama’s final signature who hailed the bill as their only successful law this session and congratulated congress on a “meaningful and lasting step in the right direction.”

Additionally, all Justin Bieber albums will be banned from public places and effigies of his previous works of defecation will be financed by new War Bonds.

UPDATE 5/10/16: HB13638, restitution for cultural appropriation, has stalled in the senate upon recent revelations from the Associated Press (AP) report that Justin Bieber is actually Miley Cyrus in drag. To the dismay of pop fans throughout the world, both identities were fictional characters invented by the recording industry and played by 5 different actors, two of which are still living. HB13638 is currently being modified in the Senate to bring the remaining two perpetrators to justice.