Thursday, January 26, 2017

In The Trump Era, Who Needs Ethics Rules?


Ro Khanna is holding PhRMA's feet to the fire in the House

Former Congressman Chaka Fattah started his 10 year prison sentence yesterday, after being convicted last June for fraud and bribery charges. Wednesday was a busy day for corrupt lawmakers. Nebraska's most heinous Republican state legislator, Senator Bill Kintner finally announced he is resigning... just as his colleagues were about to kick him out of the Senate. He called a press conference and told the media "To paraphrase Richard Nixon, you won't have Bill Kintner to kick around anymore." He had been fined for having cybersex on state-owned computers with various women. His response to that was to get on twitter and carry on about how the 2 million-plus women who participated in the anti-Trump marches last weekend are two ugly to be sexually assaulted.

Although his resignation doesn't go into effect until Monday, Jim Scheer, the Speaker of the legislature, asked him to stay off the floor and refrain from participating in any debates or votes.

Kintner is a longtime woman hater, having attracted attention in 2013 by responding to a non-political question in a newspaper about what the biggest mystery in the world is: "Women. No one understands them. They don't even understand themselves." But, of course-- as is often the case with right-wing bigots-- women aren't the only group he's disdainful of. Two years ago the Nebraska Latino American Commission condemned him for routinely using racist slurs against Hispanics during debates in the legislature.

In his resignation announcement he portrayed himself as a fighter for the far right crackpots who sent him to the legislature. "[A]s much as my heart says to fight," he said, "my head says it is time to step away from the Legislature... I hesitate to do so as I know my resignation will be hailed as a victory to the progressive and aggressive liberal movement. However, one of the most gifted leaders of all time was King Solomon in ancient Israel-- a man of many gifts and many challenges. In the Bible, King Solomon’s writing in the book of Ecclesiastes, sets forth that: 'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to come together.'"

Our old friend Jane Kleeb is now the chairman of Nebraska's Democratic Party. Her statement must have driven Kintner out of his narrow mind: "The Women's March just took down their first politician. The Nebraska Democratic Party welcomes the resignation of Bill Kintner and looks forward to electing a candidate who stands up for women and working class families."

Unfortunately, the governor will appoint another Republican nitwit to the seat and there won't be an election to fill it until 2018.

Now let's skip over to Florida and check on what's up with another typical corrupt conservative 4th Judicial Circuit Mark Hulsey III, who just resigned rather than face an impeachment trial the following day. Like Kintner, Hulsey felt entitled to voice his ugly racist and misogynistic sentiments whenever they popped into his crazy right-wing head. The Jacksonville judge is best known for telling African Americans who came before his bench to get on a boat and go back to Africa.

A sample of the complaints from the Judicial Qualifications Commission reveals a minefield of issues.

“Among other comments: a. You referred to the prior lead Staff Attorney as a “bitch” and a “cunt." b. You have demeaned female Staff Attorneys by referring to them as like cheerleaders who talk during the national anthem. c. You berated a Staff Attorney who failed to remain in the courtroom while a jury was deliberating. During this capital trial, you required the Staff Attorney to provide you with basic information about capital trial procedures, and then, at the end of the two-week trial, you unfairly berated, and blamed the Staff Attorney for mistakes you made during the course of the trial,” the JQC alleged.

Grace-Marie Turner is a far right ideologue working furiously against healthcare. Tuesday, Diane Black (R-TN), one of Congress' most extremist Republicans and chair of the House Budget Committee, had her testify as the president of a crackpot anti-healthcare think tank, the so-called Galen Institute she stated 20 years ago to help the GOP undermine Medicare. Her "Institute" is almost entirely funded by Big PhRMA and she is the go-to lunatic for the Republicans when they want a witness to babble nonsense about preventing Congress from passing legislation that would give American consumers fair drug prices.

Tuesday's Budget Committee hearing was about repealing the Affordable Care Act. There are 22 Republicans on the committee and just 12 Democrats. It hasn't been seen as a likely place for much resistance. But last week, Pelosi appointed two freshman firecrackers to the committee, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) and suddenly all bets are off. Watch Khanna go after Turner in the video up top. It's well known in DC that Turner is a highly paid lackey of the pharmaceutical industry and that she carries their water but she doesn't admit it publicly and the public isn't aware of it. Khanna wanted to make sure that her deceitful, misleading testimony is seen through those lenses. He asked her to disclose her Big PhRMA donors and admit how much she's taken from them in return for repeating their self-serving messages. She refused. "If you're giving testimony to the United States Congress," he reminded her, "the public should have a right to know what financial interests your organization has."

I asked Khanna about the hearing yesterday. He told me that "[b]y pursuing an aggressive line of questioning, I was hoping to inspire Democrats to be bold and fearless in speaking truth to power. We won't win by being polite or philosophical. We will win by taking on special interests and exposing the ulterior and financial motive of the dark forces in American politics. Let's learn from Sanders. Our party needs more young Turks willing to challenge the status quo and stand on conviction."

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question that comes to my mind is this:

Clearly these truly odious hominids (there are sooooooooo many) got elected.. by a majority of those voting... HOW THE FUCK?!?!?

I mean is the usa truly this evil? Or as in the tx district electing louie gomert... are they truly this fucking stupid?

I think the answer has to be yes.

And for perspective, I ask whether the Democraps will try to win these seats with bought/paid for asshats who might be more circumspect with their language, but who will still never represent the 99.99% as they fellate the interests of their donors?

"WE" are fucked when "we" elect evil. But "we" are no less fucked when "we" elect the slightly less worst corrupt neoliberal neocon asshats the Democraps offer up.

"WE" are fucked until "WE" decide to NOT BE FUCKED any more. That means finding an alternative to the Democraps.

The very first step in solving any problem is to adequately understand the problem.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The phrases "ethics rules" and "ethics enforcement" imply that there are these things called "ethics" or some shit.

Clearly there are none. Each commandment, maybe excepting the 1st, is being broken as SOP. Special kudos to nearly all of congress for their unnatural love of mammon which repudiates the 2nd; and ALL of them violate 6-10 daily before they finish their morning coffee.

But they enjoy 95%+ re-election each cycle, so clearly none of this matters to the voters.

So what's the big deal?

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, let's NOT learn from Sanders.

He said the right things and seemed earnest. But when he wasn't swept into the nomination by enough voters, he immediately capitulated and returned to supporting the democrap status quo... which ends up being a tiny bit slower decay than the Rs cause.

We need to learn to NOT surrender the first time the dumbfucktardia fails to understand our wisdom.


Post a Comment

<< Home