Under Joe Biden, our corruption is becoming Africanized

This week, we learned from a House panel that Joe Biden and his family members took $1.3 million from a Chinese energy firm. 

According to this NBC report:

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee published a memo Thursday alleging that Hunter Biden and at least two relatives were paid $1.3 million from an associate of the president's son who had links to a Chinese energy company.

They are alleged to have been paid after the associate, Rob Walker, was wired $3 million in March 2017 from a Chinese energy company affiliated with another company that Biden had been doing business with. The recipients of the $1.3 million in payments were Biden, his uncle James Biden and Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter's brother Beau Biden, Comer said.

"It is unclear what services were provided to obtain this exorbitant amount of money," Comer said.
Some of it was dolloped out in packets, as if they were paychecks, some went to people with no possible merit utility to China's giant energy company, and in every transaction, Joe Biden took his cut. He was, according to the emails found on son Hunter's abandoned laptop, "the big guy."
Biden was asked about these payments, and in a reflexive way, claiming they never happened:



But they did happen, and Congress has the receipts on it. He's convinced he can lie his way out of it, but the receipts don't lie. 
My question: What kinds of amounts are these? $1.3 million at one pop? When in U.S. history have we seen these kinds of payouts to an extended family group for what's obvious corruption. And how many more of these payments were there?
Most political scandals in the U.S. involve four- five- and six-figure cash amounts. A random walk down political corruption road in the U.S., to read the news, has snippets like these:

Prosecutors say Nuru's ranch on 20 acres in Colusa County "is truly a monument to his grifting," that it was built and furnished by those vying for city contracts, and that bribes helped pay his mortgage. He also received a $36,000 "Rolex, luxury international vacations, envelopes of cash, and splashy holiday parties for City VIPs."

Also charged in the case -- developers, contractors, a restaurant owner, two recology executives, and Nuru's girlfriend, the former director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services.

Mayor London Breed, who dated Nuru more than 20 years ago, was not charged with any crimes but admitted to receiving $5,528 for car repairs and a rental car in 2019 from him.


Prosecutors contend that in exchange for Ridley-Thomas' efforts on behalf of the then-dean of the social work school, Marilyn Flynn, the politician's son was given admission to USC with a full tuition scholarship and a paid professorship. 

Flynn admitted helping to disguise and funnel $100,000 from Ridley-Thomas' campaign account through the school to another nonprofit, United Ways of California, for the benefit of the Policy, Research & Practice Initiative, a new nonprofit initiative founded by Sebastian, according to her plea agreement. 

Former Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter was sentenced Tuesday to 11 months in prison and three years of parole for corruption charges stemming from his misuse of more than $200,000 in campaign funds for a slew of personal expenses.
In October 2012, federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Washington, D.C., investigated Jackson for alleged financial improprieties, including possible misuse of campaign funds.[115][116] Sixteen days after being re-elected to another term, Jackson resigned effective on November 21, 2012, citing his health problems and acknowledging the ethics investigations.[117]

Jackson and wife Sandi signed plea agreements in early February 2013. Jackson Jr. agreed to plead guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, mail fraudwire fraud, and criminal forfeiture—having used about $750,000 in campaign money for over 3000 personal purchases that included a Michael Jackson fedora and cashmere capes.[118]

The higher amounts generally involved corruption or misuse of money extended over a number of years. None are a million-dollar amount.
What were the Chinese buying for this kind of money and were the Bidens delivering it? It seems to be corruption on an untold scale, most shockingly because it comes as news about a sitting American president. Perhaps there's an innocent explanation here, but it's not obvious now and the Bidens aren't helping things. We know the Clintons became a fountain of corruption in Bill's post-presidency, but when did the price go up to the kinds of levels last seen in third-world countries? When did it cross the line from post-presidencies to accusations directed at sitting presidencies?
Overseas, the amounts have long topped million-dollar amounts -- from the millions stolen from Venezuela's $1 trillion oil largesse, which has left that country a pit of corruption, a narcostate, an impoverished smoking ruin, with no serious oil production to speak of; to the millions stolen by Soeharto and his cronies in Indonesia; and the millions stolen by the first Marcos family in the Philippines; to the corruption of Vladimir Putin in Russia, where millions were stolen to construct palaces and yachts while millions ordinary Russians make do without heating, running water, or flush toilets; to the astronomical corruption seen in sub-Saharan Africa, by strongman-dictators such as Mobutu Sese Seko, who left the People's Republic of Congo not exactly a good place for the people, but plenty good for him.
Andrea Widburg pointed out an important distinction between the levels of corruption seen in Africa and Asia, citing Keith Richburg's extraordinary memoir of his time spent in Africa as an African-American foreign correspondent for the New York Times called "Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa" -- That there is a such thing as functional corruption, and dysfunctional corruption -- and while the functional kind seen in Asia is bearable until an economic downturn comes (see: Soeharto) based on public money skimmed, but nevertheless spent, the really bad kind is what's seen in Africa, where the roads and bridges are budgeted for, but never built at all because the entire cache of allocated money is stolen. Venezuela under this arrangement had the Asian kind until Hugo Chavez, and then the corruption began to resemble what's seen in Africa, leaving the entire nation a dysfunctional shambles.
Here is the passage from Richburg's book:
How's the U.S. doing these days on the functional front? One can only think of the bust of the Silicon Valley Bank for lending out money to companies to build useless products no one wants to buy. While only our cities have come to resemble the shambles seen in Africa, it appears that with the corruption "fees" rising to astronomical levels, it won't be long before we start seeing the dysfunctional African kind of corruption across broader swathes of the U.S. to go with it. 
That's the africanization of American corruption and it's Joe Biden's doing. What a legacy that leaves as we watch corruption in the states reach these untold levels, the global standard, the end of our neat, ethical, little law-abiding republic, and certainly the end of American exceptionalism. We all know that this was what Democrats since the days of Barack Obama have wanted -- but who knew that by ending American exceptionalism that they meant this?


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