Sunday, February 01, 2009

How's That "Draining the Swamp" Thing Going?

Remember all those crooked Republicans and their scandals?

Let's recap for folks who are having trouble keeping up - Geithner, our new Treasury Secretary and overseer of the IRS, learned by way of a 2006 IRS audit that he had a tax problem for 2001 through 2004, but relied on the three year statute of limitations to avoid payment on the 2001 and 2002 liabilities; he resolved these only after his nomination in late 2008.

Daschle "became concerned" last June but dragged his feet on resolving the issue until after he had been nominated to a post requiring Senate confirmation.

And that's just two Cabinet secretaries. It's been over 6 months since Senator Dodd (Connecticut) promised to release documentation pertaining to the sweet mortgage deal he received from Countrywide (a biggie in the subprime mess), going after the John Kerry Award for not releasing promised information (how's that navy discharge paperwork coming, Horseface?). Senator Conrad of North Dakota got a similar deal. Barney Frank is still defending Fannie Mae, trying to justify his meddling there. Charlie Rangel, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, hasn't paid taxes on income property and has illegally kept more than one rent-controlled apartment in New York so he can live in a sweet suite. Congressman Jefferson knows that "hot" means stolen, which is why he kept over $90,000 in his freezer at his house.

When Republicans took over the Congress in 1994, one of their reforms was to put term limits on committee heads--to keep them from building up too much power and becoming susceptible to corruption. Speaker Pelosi has overturned that wise rule.

We're 12 days into an Obama Administration, with over 21 months until our next elections.

I don't trust but a few politicians.

Update: How about the congressmen mentioned in this story?

New York's Charles Rangel and five other Democratic members of the House enjoyed a trip to the Caribbean sponsored in part by Citigroup (see above) in November - after Congress had approved the $700 bailout for financial firms (including Citigroup).

The members no doubt will object to the terms "junket," but that shoe fits. The National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group, has asked Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to investigate the Nov. 6-9 excursion to the island of St. Maarten.

It was called the Caribbean Multi-Cultural Business Conference, but "the primary purpose ... for most participants appeared to be to take a vacation," said the NLPC. And not only was the timing lousy, but "corporate sponsorship of such an event was banned by House rules adopted on March 1, 2007, in response to the (lobbyist Jack) Abramoff scandal," the group pointed out.

Joining Rangel on that trip were Donald Payne of New Jersey, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Donna Christenson, delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Ellen K said...

It's funny how the newspapers are going under. I reference that because on the Dallas Morning News blog they are lamenting the RIF that is being put in place and fearing the demise of newspapers altogether. I mention this because despite the largely conservative views of many Texans, most of the editorial content and the soft news stories and features were in the tank for Obama. To a certain extent, they have made their bed and must lie in it. So what do you think the chances are that they will ever remotely touch on the various members of the Democrat party that owe taxes or who are involved in lawsuits over less than stellar behavior?

Darren said...

Leopards don't change their spots, Ellen K.