Conventional wisdom has often said that it doesn’t matter why one is famous, only that one is famous. Sad to say, I believe that Rep Anthony Weiner(D, NY) would hasten to disagree. Until his lewd and salacious actions were made public, the majority of Americans would have been unable to identify him by name or picture. Now, he probably holds the title of our most well-known congressman.
But my interest is not so much with what he did but rather the reactions, both pro and con, that have ensued. Part of my reasoning is that I am not very surprised with what he did. The internet has greatly facilitated these types of behavior in and secondly, he is not the first politician to be caught.in some type of compromising position.
On to the reactions. Some are almost funny, some surprising (considering the sources) and some are inconsistent. However, I have tried to avoid comments that are lewd or suggestive in. This mess has even divided prominent Democrats with Reps Rangel and Clyburn offering support; Rangel even saying that after all he did not go out with little boys. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has urged him to resign, probably the first commonsense statement she has made since taking the job. And former speaker Pelosi gravely concurred.
New York’s top elected Democrat Chuck Schumer is appalled and disappointed. Besides Weiner is taking over his spotlight. The Clintons are furious and probably for the best reasons of anyone other Weiner’s wife, the former Huma Abedin. You will remember that Bill officiated at their July 11, 2010 wedding. Besides Huma has worked for Hilary for quite sometime and that the entire fiasco conjures up memories of Bill’s escapade(s). So far there has been no public comment by the Clintons but one can only imagine what they are thinking.
And then we have the celebrity comments which for me fall under the class of what were they thinking and don’t they have people to forestall these public comments. Television journalist Rachel Maddow said that Weiner exhibited “bad manners.” Barbara Walters said that the pictures she had seen were “flattering.” Joy Behar opined that the pictures were not the congressman, implying a frame, even after he confessed that they were. And that paragon of virtue Alec Baldwin said that works in a very highly stressful environment and was just letting off steam.
Finally, some comments that alone. They originate with MSNBC host, Chris( Tingles) Matthews. He has made frequent comments about Weiner that express his disgust, wonder at what he was thinking,etc. And then he proceeds to hold Mrs Weiner partly responsible. And finally ne bemoans the political consequences. If Weiner does not go away the Democrats will “never” again control of the House. And see if you recognize yourself in the last statement.
” Because the people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian, conservative, culturally-you can say” backward” if you want-they don’t like this stuff.”
Thank goodness I didn’t hear Bill Maher and Jane Lynch give a dramatic? comedic? reading of Weiner’s text messages. Wonder what Paul Harvey would have thought?
- Anthony Weiner Adds to The List of Infamous Politicians (socyberty.com)
I have heard it said many times by announcers and commentators that in a football game, particularly professional football, that a holding penalty could be called on virtually every play. But of course it isn’t or a game would never be completed or nothing of consequence would happen.
I wonder if it’s a bit like that in politics. For our purposes, the officials would be the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, chaired by California Democrat Zoe Lofgren. Said committee is also known as the House Ethics Committee. No doubt there are members of Congress, past and present ( Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay,etc) who call it by other names. The committee is composed of 10 members, equally divided by party. Bet it’s not the committee of choice for many members.
The committee is very visible these days due to the “charges” brought against New York Democrat Charles Rangel and California Democrat Maxine Waters. From what I hear and read, the charges against Rep. Rangel are the more severe. In fact, the President has even implied that it would be a good thing if Mr Rangel just quietly stepped aside. Thus far, that has not happened although he did relinquish his position as Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Perhaps the negotiations are still ongoing between Mr Rangel’s representatives and those of the Committee. Meanwhile, he continues to be on the ballot for the fall elections. In fact, there is a big event scheduled for August 11, ostensibly to celebrate his 80th birthday, which actually was June 11. But the event’s real purpose is that of fund-raiser.
Generally, his name on the ballot was tantamount to re-election since he won in 2008 with about 80% of the vote. He actually has some challengers this time, one of whom has an interesting pedigree, one Adam Clayton Powell, IV.
Anyway, one last interesting piece of information. There are already people saying that the charges against both Rangel and Waters are racist and that the Republicans better not try to use this in the fall elections, an accusation of racism before the fact, I guess. One of the leading proponents of this is that paragon of journalistic objectivity, Keith Olbermann. So, Mr Olbermann, a question or two. Remember that the President has indicated resignation for Mr Rangel would probably be the best choice and also that one of the Ethics Committee members is Congressional Black Caucus member and my congressman, G K Butterfield.
I don’t necessarily believe the charges are racist in nature, but are based more in actions that perhaps were not the ideal. But we shall soon see, if the charges proceed further.
Rep Charles Rangel, D, NY is the Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He is serving his second term as chair and his 20th term in the House from New York’s 15th District. The committee among other duties has responsibility for writing the tax laws that we all love so much.
Unfortunately, Rep Rangel has had a bit of trouble with those tax laws, as in not paying taxes that he should have paid to the tune of about $500,000. So, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the matter. And, alas, it found that he had violated House rules.
Now this when it gets really good and a bit complicated. we have appearances from Speaker Pelosi, Senator Dick Durbin and the President as well as unnamed staffers who are really the ones at fault here.
First, the President has a say. In days gone by, he had called Rangel untouchable. Now, according to Robert Gibbs, Obama says that the House has rules for a reason, they must apply to everyone and that members of Congress “ought to be accountable.” The New York Daily News account, written by Michael Mcauliff and Richard Sisk, has this headline. President Barack Obama abandons Rep. Charles Rangel against ethics charges. Ok, so it isn’t great grammar but their point is clear.
Next we have Speaker Pelosi and Senator Dick Durbin. First, the Speaker. She is asked a question by ABC’S Elizabeth Vargas about the Rangel charges and how it appears to back up the feeling among many that Congress is corrupt. First, Pelosi refers to her 7 years on the Ethics Committee and then says something that just flat out amazes me. ” What Mr Rangel has been admonished for is not good… it was not something that jeopardized our country in any way.” Is that amazing or what? So, I wonder what would fall under the category of jeopardy in her view? Say, a Republican doing something similar. Paging Tom Delay. Good freakin grief.
Next is Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. Remember, he’s a senator commenting. He refers to Rangel’s military service in the Korean conflict. Because of that service , Durbin elects to give him a pass.
And, this last group is almost funny, if it were not sad. It seems to be a coordinated media defense, based on Pelosi’s comments. Messrs Joe Scarborough, Paul Krugman, Zbigniew Brezinski and Andy Serwer. Can’t be sure about Scarborough the host but the other folks seem to say, eh, no big deal.
Stay tuned, there will be more.
Sometimes things are said and done in the political realm that just about leave one speechless with astonishment. One has the thought that they surely did not say or do such and such and if they did, did they mean it? Perhaps a a better thought would be, what were they thinking? On to some examples. AIG is much in the news these days for multiple reasons, none that are very good.The company through some bad decisions or stupid mistakes or something, found itself on life support late last fall. In the intervening months, the government has poured huge sums of money into the company, such that the feds now own 80% of AIG.
Now, pay close attention to what is happening now. As soon as AIG announced the pay out of some $165 million in bonuses, a veritable firestorm erupted. They cant do that, those crooks, those robbers and worse. There have been death threats(some aired by CNN), Obama is gonna make this right, Pelosi is having a fit, etc. The best of the worst may have been Sen Charles Grassley, Republican, Ia who said these bonus recipients should resign or commit suicide. Those were the only honorable choices. After someone realized what he said, a spokesman announced that he really didn’t mean it.
It gets even better, believe it or not. Treasury Secretary Geithner was Chairman of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve which helped to orchestrate the early AIG bailouts. Said he knew nothing about the bonuses. Diplomatic envoy Richard Holbrooke was on AIG’s board for almost eight years and among other duties, served on the compensation committee. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Mr Holbrooke knew nothing, about the bonuses, that is. Wisely, Mr Holbrooke is keeping a low profile.
Today,the House passed a bill, with 40 minutes debate, taxing the bonuses at a 90% rate for those earning over $ 250,ooo. Two days ago, House Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel was against using the tax code as a weapon to target individuals. Today, he was totally on board.And finally, we have Senator Chris Dodd,Democrat, Ct who yesterday admitted that he had been involved in key legislative changes that helped pave the way for AIG to pay the now outrageous bonuses. However, he did it at the behest of Treasury officials. Sure he did.
Don’t forget that along with the President, Mr Dodd was a great beneficiary of AIG contributions. It truly is the show that never ends.
Two of the most powerful members of Congress are Democrat representatives Henry Waxman of California and Charles Rangel of New York.Mr Waxman represents the 30Th district in the land of Arnold and is the new chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Mr Rangel represents New York’s 15Th congressional district and is the chairman of The House Ways and Means Committee. If you are not familiar with these gentlemen yet, in the words of Yoda, “You will be . “
Mr Waxman is strongly committeed to doing something about the environment and has every intention of getting an environmental bill out of committee by Memorial Day with the able assistance of his California colleague, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. What will this bill look like, provisions, restrictions, changes in your lifestyle etc,. who knows at this point. Bet you wont like it though.
As for Mr Rangel, he is making some noise,again, about reintrducing the military draft, the third time he has done so. Will he succeed before his ethics problems trip him up or will he just continue merrily along the way running one of the Congress’ most influential committees ?
Remember these faces. They will be back and back and back.
( Rangel,picture #1 and Waxman, picture#2)
Democrats on parade !!
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