Mood: on fire
Now Playing: Finally, Theyre Embarrassed --- No Their Corrupt & Crooked
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
I say theay are crooked rip-off thieves ...ALL OF EM.... read more from the NU Times article I found on 3.12.10
Finally, They’re Embarrassed
House Democrats are suddenly in a rush to ban corporate earmarks, those just-for-our-donors legislative favors that benefit everybody but the taxpayers. It is the right thing to do, but it is also a classic case of closing the barn door just in time for Election Day.
Meanwhile, holier-than-thou Republicans are trying to trump with a call for a much-too-sweeping ban on all earmarks, even those helping nonprofit endeavors.
The quid-pro-quo awarding of government contracts — and the scandals that come along with it — has been especially rampant in recent Congresses. Most notoriously there was the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that bedeviled Republicans right into minority status.
Democrats should have been feeling endangered ever since the Justice Department began investigating the coziness between defense contractors and high-ranking members of the Appropriations Committee. But their enthusiasm only blossomed after the ethics committee gave all seven members involved a blanket exoneration.
The appropriators — five Democrats and two Republicans — steered more than $245 million in earmarks through a defense lobbying firm now under criminal investigation. The lawmakers received more than $840,000 in political donations from the firm’s corporate clients.
The House ban was announced just days after the committee blithely pronounced the coincidence of generous defense contracts and political contributions as just that — a mere coincidence that does not “support a claim that a member’s actions are being influenced by campaign contributions.” The committee, notably, deep-sixed the recommendation from its new advisory panel, the Office of Congressional Ethics, to open a more thorough inquiry into two of the seven: Representatives Peter Visclosky, a Democrat of Indiana, and Todd Tiahrt, a Republican of Kansas.
Whether this embarrassment can be trumped by a last-minute earmark ban is doubtful. Senate Democrats instantly announced opposition to the House ban. That means, in final conference bills, corporate donor earmarks can be salvaged by grateful senators.