After news broke that the House ethics committee plans to admonish Rep. Charlie Rangel for violating House rules, Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately came to Rangel’s rescue, once again.
No surprise here since in the past Pelosi has been Rangel’s most prominent defender through his many tax evasion episodes – thieves sticking together and all that.
“I think that every member is entitled to have his day before the ethics committee,” she said. “They have said he did not knowingly violate the rules. And, again, if this were the end of it, that would be one thing. But there’s obviously more to come and we’ll see what happens with that. But every member has that right.”
Pelosi said, “All I saw was the press release where it said he didn’t violate the rules of the House.” She noted that the report said Rangel didn’t know he was violating rules that applied to a lobbyist-funded trip to the Caribbean.
Pelosi pointed out that the ethics committee found that Rangel’s staffers knew corporate money was paying for trips even though Rangel claims he didn’t.
“I think it’s quite a statement to hold members accountable for what their staffs knew,” she said. “I’ll be interested to see how that reverberates.”
Typical Charlie Rangel to go with the twofer “ignorance” and “the staffer did it” defense.
Pelosi failed to mention whether Rangel should stay on as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, but this might be a good time to remind her about the promise of the most ethical administration ever.
“Obviously they have other issues to deal with,” Pelosi said. “We’ll just see what happens next and what comes out of the ethics committee.”
John Murtha could not be reached for comment.
No matter how much we would like to believe in our leaders – in the end they are only politicians.
The most recent disappointment comes from the new Republican Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown. It didn’t take long for this new face from the northeast to fall for the old bipartisanship con and side with the Democrats.
Up for vote was a $15 billion spending bill disguised as a job creation package. The bill includes a tax credit for businesses that hire unemployed workers. A credit few businesses will find useful mainly because tax credits are not the reason employees are hired, unless you’re ACORN.
Then there are subsidies for state and local construction bonds and $19.5 billion to shore up a highway-construction fund.
So, instead of creating an atmosphere for long term growth we see politicians throw taxpayer billions at temporary government jobs.
Scott Brown joined four other Republicans, 55 Democrats and two independents to overcome a procedural hurdle that sets up a final vote later this week.
Brown said the bill was not perfect but would help put people back to work. “I hope my vote today is a strong step toward restoring bipartisanship in Washington,” he said in a statement.
It must be said that Republicans didn’t back Scott Brown so that he would restore bipartisanship or vote with Democrats on another massive spending bill. He was elected to help stop runaway spending, stop the hijacking of the economy, stop ObamaCare and stop the government takeover of the private sector.
After this unexpected move we might begin to wonder if electing Scott Brown was a mistake. The answer at this moment in time is no. He is still far better than any Democrat running for the seat. But his action makes it crystal clear that depending on any politician to always do the right thing is a fool’s ploy.
A dozen French winemakers and traders have been found guilty of a massive scam to sell 18 million bottles of fake Pinot Noir to a leading US buyer.
The judge in Carcassonne, south-west France, said the producers and traders had severely damaged the reputation of the Languedoc region.
The 12 more than doubled profits passing off the wine to E and J Gallo under its Red Bicyclette brand.
In a statement on its website it said it was “deeply disappointed” to learn its supplier, Sieur d’Arques, had been found guilty of selling falsely labeled French Pinot Noir.
The court ruled the 12 had deliberately and repeatedly mislabeled the wine as one of the more expensive varieties of grape in order to get a better price from E and J Gallo.
The Red Bicyclette Pinot Noir single grape wine is hugely popular in the United States.
French Customs Officers spotted the swindle and called in investigators. They found the amount of Pinot Noir being sold to Gallo was far more than the region produced. Some of those in the scandal were not even Pinot Noir producers.
The judge handed out suspended jail sentences ranging from one month to six months for the most prominent wine trader and ordered all the defendants to pay fines.
The fines ranged from 1,500 euros ($2,050; £1,300) to the top figure of 180,000 euros ($247,050; £156,500) for Sieur d’Arques. The judge said that the accused together made seven million euros in profits from the scam.
The judge said: “The scale of the fraud caused severe damage for the wines of the Languedoc for which the United States is an important outlet.”
A lawyer for Sieur d’Arques, Jean-Marie Bourland, told Agence France-Presse: “There is no prejudice. Not a single American consumer complained.”
A lawyer for three other defendants argued his clients had delivered a wine that had Pinot Noir characteristics.
E and J Gallo said it was no longer selling any of the wine to its customers.
Not a bad scam – You double your profits and when caught get a slap on the wrist. Just a wild guess, but I’d say the odds are extremely good that false labeling continues.
I especially like the part where the lawyer said, “Not a single American consumer complained.”
French humor no doubt.
The US course of action and a just punishment for such a grand scheme is to no longer buy French wine.
That would be American humor.
Have you ever wondered what the lowest form of life is?
Don’t bother pondering it too long because without a doubt it is the lowly politician. What other conclusion can be reached as we watch them purposely destroy the economy?
The excuses are as many as there are self-serving bureaucrats, but excuses won’t cut spending, pay down debt, increase jobs or cut the trade deficit.
If there is to be an illusion of strengthening the economy there must be an attempt to develop domestic energy.
The U.S. used 22.8 trillion feet of gas and 5.2 billion barrels of oil in 2009. Locked up by federal restrictions are approximately 43 billion barrels of oil and 286 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Without access to these resources, average natural gas prices will rise 17% by 2030 and electricity prices will “necessarily skyrocket,” as Barack Obama once said, by at least 5%.
These are not climate fantasies derived by running faulty assumptions and bad data through inaccurate computer models. This is simple math, common sense and Economics 101.
Energy is expensive.
Why are we leaving vast amounts in the ground while importing it from others. What exactly are we saving it for? What reason is there to neglect the wealth and jobs to be found in our waters and under our feet?
It all comes down to the complete and utter failure of our politicians to do what is best for the long-term health of the nation. Meanwhile, the economy continues to tank, the jobless rate continues to rise, the many taxes continue to be oppressive and domestic oil & gas remains an untapped resource.
Our biggest deficit these days is in the area of common sense.
Senator Scott Brown-(R MA) got his first lesson in the fallacy of Washington Democrat bipartisanship after being broadsided by a very partisan attack from Vice President Biden.
Sen. Scott Brown thinks Vice President Joe Biden was “off base” when he suggested Sunday that the Massachusetts Republican get his facts straight on the legal procedures for military tribunals.
“It was insulting,” said Brown, who frequently jabbed the administration during his Senate campaign for giving suspected terrorists legal representation.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” last weekend, Biden shot back that “he doesn’t know whether the new senator from Massachusetts understands that when you get tried in a military tribunal, you get a lawyer, too.”
“He’s trying to give me a lesson on military law, and I didn’t think it was appropriate,” Brown told POLITICO. “And I thought he was off base when it comes to explaining to the American people that somehow I need a lesson on whether people get attorneys — of course they get attorneys. There’s a difference as to what type of attorney they’re going to get and when they’re going to get that attorney, and how are they treated, and what rights do they, in fact, get.”
Brown said he is particularly incensed by Biden’s remarks because he’s served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for more than 30 years and is currently the Guard’s top defense attorney in New England.
“I know the military rules and regulations and procedures from A to Z,” Brown said.
Biden’s comments came as part of the White House’s effort to defend its move to try alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal court, as well as the decision to read Miranda rights to the accused Christmas Day bomber.
“I’ve always felt that suspected terrorists should be tried in military tribunals and not civilian court, and as a matter of fact so do the majority of Americans,” Brown said. “The big difference is are we going to pay $1,000 an hour for a private attorney and treat him as a civilian or ordinary criminal in a criminal court, or are we going give him a military attorney who’s going to be paid as a captain, major or lieutenant colonel, and obviously go through the military tribunal process?”
American voters are listening to Senator Brown and like what they hear. The consensus surrounding Sloppy Joe Biden is that he is pretty much an idiot that lucked into his present situation.