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With the Democrats in Control, the Culture of Corruption is Far from Over

Let's take a look at Speaker-Elect Pelosi's choices for House chairmanships.

First she abandons Rep. Steny Hoyer for Jack Murtha as House Majority Leader. The same Jack Murtha who still has the Abscam albatross around his neck and who stabbed our troops in the back by accusing them of murdering Iraqis in Haditha in cold blood while the investigation was still going on.

Second it looks like she's going to pass over Jane Harmon in favor of Alcee Hastings, a former judge who was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for accepting a $150,000 bribe.

Take a look at what Mary Laney writes in today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Payback happens all the time in politics. But choosing Hastings as chairman of anything -- let alone a committee as important as Intelligence -- is just plain wrong. This committee has oversight on the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Armed Forces Intelligence. Hastings shouldn't be allowed near anything having to do with such vital national security matters. It's amazing he's even in Congress with his record.


While a federal judge in Florida -- and only two years after being appointed to the bench by President Jimmy Carter -- Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for giving a lenient sentence to two men charged and convicted of racketeering.

He was acquitted of the charge of bribery in a Miami court after an alleged accomplice went to prison rather than testify against him. But in 1989 the Democratic-controlled House took a look at the evidence and impeached Hastings for bribery and perjury by a 413-3 vote. The Senate -- also Democratic controlled -- convicted him on eight articles of impeachment and removed him from the bench. Pelosi voted for Hastings' impeachment.

[snip]

Hastings has one of the worst absentee records on Capitol Hill. When he does appear, his record on national security is nearly as much a disgrace as his past. He has voted against electronic surveillance, against the Patriot Act, against trial of terrorist combatants by military tribunals, against terrorist financial tracking measures and against border control. In other words, he's down on national security, against all funding for it, and should be the last person ever considered to become the head of a House committee charged with overseeing intelligence.

Should Pelosi actually follow through and give Hastings the chairmanship of the Intelligence Committee, it would turn the House of Representatives into Theater of the Absurd.

And this is who Pelosi thinks should be Chairman of the very important House Intelligence Committee?

The culture of corruption is far from over. In fact, it looks as if it's just beginning.


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Comments (27)

One wonders what it says ab... (Below threshold)
mantis:

One wonders what it says about our country, or at least certain districts, when voters are willing to elect a former judge who was clearly willing to take bribes to Congress. Ditto a former Ku Klux Klan member, a Hezbollah supporter, and a congressman who's willing to take trips financed by the Tamil Tigers (my congressman, sadly). Yes I know all of these examples are Democrats, and yes I know there are parallels on the Republican side, but the Democrats are back in power now in Congress; times have changed.

Why is this guy in Congress? I'm not going to speculate as to why Pelosi would see fit to appoint him as chair of the intelligence committee, since so far there is no credible reason to believe she will, and if in fact she does intend to do so I can only hope that continued bad press will dissuade her. But really, why would anyone vote for this guy other than the fact that he belongs to the party they are aligned with?

It's high time the Democrats cleaned their own house. The leadership can't reverse the voters' will, but there is no need to appoint crooks to committee chairmanships.

Not to worry, Kim, I may agree with you on this one but do not doubt that I think you are a talentless pos who has no problem parroting terrorist propaganda when it is politically expedient. Btw have you ever tried writing your own thoughts and opinions, instead of just linking to a story or post and saying ditto, in your own provocative, if retarded, way?

Pelosi has endorsed Murtha,... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Pelosi has endorsed Murtha, but that doesn't mean that he's got the job. Steny Hoyer can still end up with the nod. Peliso wrote a letter endorsing Murtha, but the job is still up in the air, and requires a vote.

I'm not current on Hastings chances, but then I doubt you are either, Kim. This iappears to be just another hit piece, will little substance or facts. Doesn't accuracy count for anything in your posts, Kim?

Still angry about the butt kicking last Tuesday, eh?

Now that the dems won an el... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

Now that the dems won an election, expect much more of this chicanary. 2008 will be a bitch for them, though.

Unfortunately for the non-p... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Unfortunately for the non-partisan citizen, the MSM doesn't scrutinize the Democrats like it should, and does those on whose names after followed with (R).

The fact of the matter is that the 'culture of corruption' is rampant in the party known as 'incumbents', and is largely independent on whether there's an (R) or a (D) after the name.

Looks like Mantis and Lee a... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Looks like Mantis and Lee are even angry in victory. Boy, you guys just can't let it go.

This is a completely valid point a la Hastings, as valid as your fears expressed virtually nonstop about Bush and the Repubs. in Congress.

Mr. Hastings is senior after Harmon, and Pelosi hates Harmon; you can read all about it in NYT and WaPo.

Boy, you guys need to get a life.

Looks like Mantis and Le... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Looks like Mantis and Lee are even angry in victory. Boy, you guys just can't let it go.

I don't speak for Lee but I have experienced no victory. I am not a Democrat and the Republicans I voted for lost (Ok, one Democrat I voted for won, but it is a very local post).

I am a liberal, yes, and I have no problem claiming that (though it is a nebulous label, at best). However, it remains to be seen if my values have won in this election cycle. My prediction is they haven't. Sorry for the inconsistent verb tense, but these are strange times.

Mr. Hastings is senior after Harmon, and Pelosi hates Harmon; you can read all about it in NYT and WaPo.

Well, there's always Silvestre Reyes, isn't there? Wait, why am I even responding to Mitchell?

"times have changed."... (Below threshold)
yo:

"times have changed."

How?

The only thing that has changed is the letter after the crook's name.

People voted in the Dems in order to enact change, problem is, they won't get it. They'll get more of the same.

The only difference being that Reps have a long history of bouncing the crooks, while the dems find a way not only to re-elect them, but to put them into powerful positions in order to exact revenge.

I don't think the country is going straight down the shitter because of the new Congress, but I'm certainly not hopeful based on what I've seen.

If Pelosi carries through with her support of these crooks, we're all in trouble.

Oh, and mantis, if you want and example of doing something in a retarded way, I'd say calling someone a "pos" is a good example.

The immaturity of the left in full bloom, folks.

"Wait, why am I even res... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Wait, why am I even responding to Mitchell?"

Did Mitchell say something? I didn't see it - Looks like that new "moron filter" on Firefox 2.0 is working perfectly.

I won't speculate on who Pe... (Below threshold)

I won't speculate on who Pelosi will go for, but I do know she is under a lot of pressure from the CBC. She has done nothing to quell any chatter that she will select Hastings and she's not under any obligation to either. We'll see. I really don't want to think she'd be quite that foolish. I hope she is aware of the public outcry she'll receive from members of her own party as well.

Perhaps we should replace t... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Perhaps we should replace the (R) and (D) after the rep's names to a univesral (P) for politician and be done with it.

All we can hope of is massi... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

All we can hope of is massive gridlock in Washington. Those assholes can't do anything right anyway and we pay them a ridiculous amount of money (when you count the generous undeserved pension for life with annual COLA) so we should count on business as usual for a while.

Perhaps we should replac... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Perhaps we should replace the (R) and (D) after the rep's names to a univesral (P) for politician and be done with it.

Good idea. Could also stand for plutocrat.

Even better mantis. ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Even better mantis.

My prefered solution: Decla... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

My prefered solution: Declare Washington politicians a game species, in season whenever their chamber is in session.

SCSIwuzzy,Heh heh,... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

SCSIwuzzy,

Heh heh, problem with that is apparently only Republicans have guns, so only the Democrats would get shot.

That and the fact there would likely be a few friendly fire incidents from Vice President Cheney.

Lee, you proved my point, y... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Lee, you proved my point, yet again.

They are so blind who will not see . . .

Heh heh, problem with th... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Heh heh, problem with that is apparently only Republicans have guns, so only the Democrats would get shot.

This independent owns a gun. Too bad we have a handgun law here in Chicago (the nation's murder capitol) and I have to keep it in the burbs. But I believe in the rule of law, so...

Chicago has not been the na... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Chicago has not been the nation's murder capital since 2003.

Florida's the serial killer... (Below threshold)

Florida's the serial killer capital. Beat THAT!

Washington DC is the cultur... (Below threshold)
John Holmes:

Washington DC is the culture of corruption, Democrat or Republican. Thats the truth if anyone here even cares for the actual truth.

Let's also not forget Dirty... (Below threshold)
Proud kaffir:

Let's also not forget Dirty harry's land deals in the Senate. However, to be fair, if you decide not to vote for crooks during in an election, you probably would eliminate all the candidates.

It's not only in DC. Now we... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

It's not only in DC. Now we have the dim Mayor of Jersey City caught lying about his military service. Green Beret, no way. Why can't a dim ever tell the truth about his/her military service. How many does that make in the past 6 years, 100 or so dim liars. They all seem to want to be hero's but don't have the guts.
I'm still trying to figure out how a shave tail Lt. from Ma. was allowed to write himself up for so many awards to fulfill the plan he went to Vietnam with. Become a phony hero for his political future.

Chicago and Florida are the murder captial of the world. Even Bagdad which receives all the news can't hold a candle to their murder rate. The Mexican border towns are doing their best to outdo all of them, but the criminals crossing the borders aren't dangerous.

"With the Democrats in Cont... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

"With the Democrats in Control, the Culture of Corruption is Far from Over"

Yeah, duh.

What are these guys contest... (Below threshold)

What are these guys contesting now? That Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury? That Pelosi is going to back him for the Intel Chair? That he has one of the worst attendance records on the Hill?


Murtha isn't exactly squeaky clean these days, either. There are serious questions about his brother, a lobbyist, and directed federal contracts.


WE recently had a mayoral e... (Below threshold)
Judith:

WE recently had a mayoral election in Boston, MA Mayor Menino, with the collusion of the newspapers, repressed the information about all the murders in Boston (not to mention other crime) and handily won the election. In dems areas we suppress murder, rape and crime statistics, but inflate them in Iraq in order to achieve our "agenda". What a country!

Gloriously missing from thi... (Below threshold)
wavemaker:

Gloriously missing from this thread is FN's rabid defense of Hastings.

Yeah, conspicuous in his ab... (Below threshold)

Yeah, conspicuous in his absense, eh wavemaker?




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