Saturday, January 08, 2011

Republicans Get Down To Dividing Up The Spoils


The new Republican House chairmen are busy doling out subcommittee chairs this week. Yesterday there was a big hurrah when Texas freak Lamar Smith, tragically the new head of Judiciary, eliminated the House's most anti-Hispanic bigot, Steve King (R-IA) as the top Republican on the Immigration and Enforcement panel. Not that anyone is too excited about the slug he picked instead, California racist Elton Gallegly (although... Gallegly's district is now around 25% Hispanic, which will lead to some interesting organizing possibilities). Still, it's great to get Tom Tancredo's successor's hands off the steering wheel. Smith seemed to target the two worst and most conspicuous clowns on his committee, King and Louie Gohmert, with denial of advancement.

But the big subcommittee moves yesterday were all about Appropriations-- the fount of free-flowing corporate bribes. Or I should say "founts," plural. Regardless of which party is in control, all the most corrupt Members try to get on Appropriations. Under Republicans it was Abramoff's favorite committee and under Democrats, Jack Murtha used it the same way Republicans do. Boehner knew he couldn't get away with reinstating as blatant a criminal as Jerry Lewis as chair so he made sure someone just as corrupt, but less likely to get indicted, Hal Rogers (R-KY), "the Prince of Pork," got the plum assignment. And this week Rogers selected his "12 cardinals," the all-powerful subcommittee chairs whose main functions will be to squeeze money out of special interests for Republican election campaigns.

The biggest source of corruption has always been the Defense subcommittee-- that's where Lewis served before becoming Appropriations Chair and that're why Duke Cunningham is now serving time in a federal prison. It's certainly one of the most singularly corrupt places on Capitol Hill and Rogers picked a singularly corrupt earmarker as subcommittee chair, C.W. Bill Young of Florida, who was granted a rules waver to get the position, despite his reputation of playing fast and loose with the taxpayers' money. Rogers deemed Jerry Lewis (and Young), "chairmen emeritus," a make believe position that allows these 2 crooks to sit on all subcommittees.
Heading the Appropriations Committee's Agriculture subcommittee will be Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) who had also wanted the defense position, Rogers said. [Kingston immediately announced he will work to deny food safety efforts any funding, working hand in hand with Frank Lucas, new head of the agriculture Committee another vicious opponent of food safety.]

The Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee will be overseen by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and the Energy and Water subcommittee will be overseen by Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.).

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) will head the Financial Services subcommittee while Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) will head the Homeland Security subcommittee formerly headed by Rogers. Aderholt is switching subcommittees from the Legislative Branch subcommittee.

The Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee will be headed by Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.).

The Interior and Environment subcommittee will be headed by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) while the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee will be headed by Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas). Culberson had been seen as in line for chairman of the Homeland Security appropriations panel. [Simpson is eager to do his bit to end the EPA's regulatory functions by defunding them and leaving the environment to the polluters, his campaign financiers.]

Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) will be in charge of State and Foreign Operations while Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) will be in charge of the large Transportation spending account.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) will head the Legislative Branch subcommittee which controls the smallest amount of spending. He is switching from the Military Construction subcommittee to do so.

Labels: , , , ,


At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Bil said...


Sarah Palin:

Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Pls see my Facebook page.

Metaphor, no more…


Post a Comment

<< Home