I kind of feel for Megan McArdle, here; the woman clearly wants to live in a world where both American political parties are serious-minded about the debt, our ongoing fiscal crisis, and the economy in general. Heck, so would I. Unfortunately, we instead live in a world where the Democratic party thinks that it’s a good idea for Maxine Waters to be the Financial Services Committee Ranking Member. This is an… alarming thought, although for right now it’s merely an opportunity for people to show as much disapproval as they personally dare*.
Megan then tries to reach for a silver lining, and discovers that it’s actually molten steel:
The best hope is that this is entirely symbolic, and they figure it’s safe to make her the senior member as long as she won’t actually be in charge of anything. But having put her in a highly visible slot, it will be very difficult to dislodge her in the event that the Democrats retake the house, and Maxine Waters is expected to actually architect new legislation concerning the financial system. And even typing those words strikes terror into my heart.
Well, that’s what happens when people simply unquestionably ACCEPT the word of Democrats that they’re serious-minded people when it comes to the economy. Free hint: serious-minded people would have submitted a budget in the Senate by now.
If you’re trying to remember which Sanchez sister was the one that got the Pelosi-era Ethics Committee to whitewash a violation of House rules about hiring other Members of Congress’ staffers as a favor, it’s a trick question, of course: they both were.
I hope that this helps. One heck of a political dynasty that these two are building for themselves, huh? – And here I thought that the Carnahans were… suboptimal.
*Yes. It was fun to watch her have to retract that. No doubt seething all the while.
That’s what the Washington Post reports, at least (H/T: The Daily Caller). To refresh people’s memories: Rep. Waters used her position on the House Financial Services Committee to intervene on behalf of OneUnited Bank, which happens to be a bank with a personal connection with Waters. The case was set to go in September, only to be delayed at the last second. It will be looked at in the next Congress, much to the displeasure of Democrats.
Highlights from the WaPo article:
The ostensible reason for the delay of the Waters case is that new information in the investigation was suddenly deemed necessary for a proper prosecution. Current Ethics chair Zoe Lofgren (D) took this event as an opportunity to try to get two investigators fired; this was blocked by Rep. Jo Bonner (R), who is the current Ranking Member*.
Lofgren allegedly mucked up the investigation from the start by not being aggressive on subpoenaing either Rep Waters and/or Rep. Barney Frank (chairman of Finance) and his staff.
Lofgren also allegedly encouraged an unseemly haste to the proceedings, from trying to lock in a pre-election trial date to cutting investigators’ allotted time to present their case by four-fifths.
By all accounts, Lofgren had also not prepared herself or her committee for a scenario where Rep. Waters was prepared to fight the charges; thus creating a leadership crisis when Waters did not make a deal.
There was an interesting development in the Rep. Maxine Waters ethics trial last Friday: the charges were abruptly sent back to Ethics’ investigative subcommittee for review… and ‘mum’ was, as they say, the word as to why. Oh, Rep. Waters immediately claimed vindication – which she would probably do if they were loading her onto a tumbrel – but there hasn’t been much chatter about this. There may not be for a while, assuming that more details of the story don’t break today.
However, there is one aforementioned detail, courtesy of the NYT, courtesy of Contentions: apparently the charges are being reviewed because of a new set of emails, which purportedly “show that [Rep. Waters’ chief of staff Mikael] Moore[*] was actively engaged in discussing with committee members details of a bank bailout bill apparently after Ms. Waters agreed to refrain from advocating on the bank’s behalf.” Again, Rep. Waters’ staff is claiming that said emails actually will vindicate her; again, that’s pretty much what they’d say any which way. Right now, about the only consensus is that it’s unlikely that the Waters trial will actually take place during the 111th Congress. Continue reading Maxine Waters trial delay.
You have probably read or heard by now that one of Senator Barbara Boxer’s used-to-be-senior-aides got busted for trying to bring pot into Capitol Hill. I say ‘used-to-be’ because they fired him, of course: aside from the bad image generally, as the Politico article notes Sen. Boxer is currently being a War on Some Drugs warrior when it comes to pot legalization. Now, I will not pretend that I do not have a certain rough sympathy for the fellow, coupled with a healthy contempt for his underlying arrogance. As someone privately commented to me on the matter, it must be pretty bad having to got to work for a Senator like Boxer every day: you’d almost need a painkiller. And/or a powerful anti-nauseant. As this is thus only indirectly Sen. Boxer’s fault, I’m not inclined to rake her personally over the coals for this.
Back in May it was reported that the failing, yet politically-connected Shorebank in Illinois was to be bailed out. The bank actually closed last Friday, but was resurrected yesterday and turned into a new bank – one that will of course have no obvious relationship to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), who lobbied very strenuously to save Shorebank… even though it’s not based in her district. It is, however, the bank that Schakowsky’s convicted felon husband Robert Creamer used to partially extricate himself from the consequences of his fraud scheme; the bank provided critical assistance to Creamer that allowed him to avoid default – which would have beneficial effects on his sentencing a decade later*. There is a strong whiff of this transaction being part of a quid pro quo – with the latter half being paid off, well, right about now.
If you’re wondering why Jan Schakowsky can get away with having her and her husband being tied up in a dirty bank deal without censure by the House of Representatives, while Rep. Maxine Waters is currently facing ethics charges for her and her husband’s involvement with OneUnited, the answer’s easy: Schakowsky is white, and is thus simply fundamentally real to Democratic leadership in a way that no African-American Member of Congress could hope to be to them. It should not be a surprise that House ethics investigations are being allowed to continue only against those legislators whose seats are considered locked-in by the Democrats anyway.
Yes, let me clear: I’m explicitly calling the House Democratic leadership a bunch of racists. They are, you know. And it’s never more obvious than when you consider the things that they don’t do, when they don’t have to.
PS: Joel Pollak is the GOP candidate for IL-09, and he’s been all over this topic. I’ve met him: he’s a good guy. Check him out.