Patterico's Pontifications


Dems to Throw Unethical Congressman a Big Ol’ Birthday Bash

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 3:20 pm

The Hill reports that Democrats are taking the ethics violations against Charlie Rangel very seriously:

Democratic leaders and major party donors plan to hold a lavish 80th birthday gala for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan next month, despite 13 ethics charges pending against the veteran lawmaker.

Lobbyists and other party donors received invitations this week to join Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and New York Gov. David Paterson (D) at one of New York’s finest hotels to celebrate Rangel’s birthday.

Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are also listed as featured guests, according to an invitation viewed by The Hill.

Some potential guests received the invitation a day after the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct issued a report accusing Rangel of multiple ethics violations.

While some Democrats think Rangel has become politically radioactive in Washington, the invitation lists a variety of enticements to get people to show up to his birthday bash and contribute to his campaign.

Get video footage, Republicans. It’ll come in handy in about three months.

Phyllis Schlafly Speaks the Truth

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:44 pm

Via Instapundit, R.S. McCain quotes Phyllis Schlafly making a point about the support unmarried women have shown for Obama:

For example, do you know what was the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama? . . . Unmarried women. Seventy percent of unmarried women voted for Obama. And this is because, when you kick your husband out, you’ve got to have Big Brother government to be your provider. . . .

While a generalization, Schlafly’s point is right on the mark. Government welfare programs create circumstances that encourage fatherless households; it is therefore little surprise that the women of these fatherless households tend to vote for the person who will maximize their government benefits.

McCain notes that some on the left have cynically attempted to paint Schlafly’s comments as extreme, and to tar Republicans with their alleged extreme nature by association. But Republicans need not fear this dishonest tactic. As McCain points out, Schlafly’s facts are correct. One should not need to fear speaking the truth.

Perhaps some of the problem comes when people misread Schafly. Some have argued that Schlafly is suggesting that women who divorce their husbands are all (or mostly) greedy women who, in divorcing their children’s fathers, are motivated to do so by a desire to get on the government dole. This is an obvious misunderstanding on several levels. First, many unmarried mothers did not divorce; many never bothered to marry the father to begin with. Second, Schlafly was not discussing the motives for mothers separating from fathers; she was discussing the motives for why mothers, having separated from fathers, might vote for the form of government that best financially substitutes for those fathers. Third, Schlafly never said her statement applied to ALL unmarried mothers, and people need to be able to make arguments without including countless caveats about possible exceptions to their largely correct generalizations — otherwise arguments lose their force.

Here is a generalization for you: when I see violent criminals in court, they tend to be fatherless. When government welfare policies encourage fatherless households, they encourage crime and violence. And when anyone — unmarried women or anyone else — votes for expanding the welfare state, they are voting for a continuation of this depressing and dangerous cycle.

Pointing out that women who raise children without fathers vote their pocketbooks is not irresponsible. It’s simply speaking the truth — and it’s a truth that needs to be told.

What’s Wrong with Chicago?

Filed under: Crime — Jack Dunphy @ 1:16 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

I have a new piece up over at Pajamas Media in which I look at the sorry state of affairs in Chicago, home to some of the country’s best people but worst politicians. The Chicago Sun-Times took a look at a particularly violent weekend in 2008, during which forty people were shot, seven of them fatally. The Sun-Times discovered that, even two years later, no one had been convicted in any of those crimes, and that only one accused murderer was awaiting trial. None of the other six murders had been solved, nor had most of the non-fatal shootings.

Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

New Shoes for the Cause of Justice

Filed under: Crime,General — Jack Dunphy @ 12:19 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Perhaps it’s a result of all the miles they walk on picket lines and in protest marches, but I find it odd that whenever the perpetually aggrieved take it upon themselves to vent their anger over some perceived injustice, said venting almost invariably includes the looting of a shoe store.

Two weeks ago, the Oakland Police Department released photographs taken during the riot that followed the involuntary manslaughter verdict in the death of Oscar Grant. One can’t help but notice that, for people outraged to the point of violence, some of them appear to be having a pretty good time as they help themselves to other people’s property.

–Jack Dunphy

Maxine Waters to Face Ethics Charges

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:41 am


A House panel is preparing to accuse Rep. Maxine Waters of at least one ethics violation in her efforts to help a bank with ties to her husband, and the longtime Los Angeles Democrat plans to fight the charges in a House trial, according to a source familiar with the case.

The allegations were presented Friday to Waters, the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential.

As Inspector Clouseau said about the priceless Steinway he just destroyed: not any more.

The allegations come as Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) faces a House trial on 13 ethics allegations, adding to the political troubles of Democrats confronted with a tough battle to hold onto their House majority in the November midterm election. Rangel, 80, and Waters, 71, are both high-profile, longtime members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The racism is appalling!

I wonder if Waters is at the end of her career, like Obama says Rangel is.

P.S. I want Obama to end his career with dignity very soon as well. Or without. Either way is good.


Texas Officials to Feds: Don’t Mess With Texas’ Oil and Gas

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 4:56 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Ten top Texas officials including Governor Rick Perry have written an open letter to the Texas Congressional delegation asking them to oppose legislation that would replace state authority to regulate oil and gas production with federal control:

“Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding legislation contemplated by Congress that would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders:

“This week, I joined a number of state leaders in urging the Texas Congressional delegation to fight back against this latest encroachment into states’ authority, which would effectively strip states of the right to regulate oil and gas exploration and production within their own borders.

“This pending legislation represents a sad continuation of Washington’s ongoing efforts to seize control over every facet of American industry and life, efforts that continue to place untold numbers of Texas jobs at risk. This latest takeover attempt is as unprecedented as it is illogical, given that it essentially hands authority over all gas and oil exploration to the same people who were overseeing the process when the Deepwater Horizon exploded.”

Here is the letter.


An Early Look at 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 4:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Newt Gingrich reviews the GOP field for President in 2012 and sees several candidates including Romney, Palin, Huckabee and several others.

Meanwhile, PowerLine’s John Hinderaker likes Tim Pawlenty.


Oregon Officials Won’t Prosecute Gore

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports former Vice President Al Gore won’t be prosecuted regarding allegations made by a massage therapist. More concerns about the accuser’s story are detailed at the link, including this:

“The Portland Tribune said it thoroughly investigated her allegations – including interviewing the accuser – only to determine it wasn’t responsible to move forward with a story. The paper reported that she failed a polygraph test. At least one other news organization also declined to publish a story.”

I didn’t realize newspapers investigated criminal allegations this aggressively.


Bleak Economic News

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 3:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bloomberg News posts two reports that together paint a bleak picture of the American economy:

  • U.S. economy grew 2.4% in Second Quarter, Below Forecast
  • U.S. Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Fell to 67.8
  • A third report seems reassuring but if we look deeper, is also troubling:

  • Most U.S. Stocks Rise as Confidence Overshadows GDP
  • Stocks grew because the Dow corporations have been able to keep earnings high, but revenues continue to fall below expectations. In other words, businesses have been able to maximize productivity from workers but they can’t increase revenues as more and more consumers spend less and less.

    And that is not good news.

    — DRJ

    Hey, Rangel! Just Take Your Payoffs in the Form of a Campaign Donation Like the Rest of Us!

    Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

    Charlie Rangel may be having his ethics trial during campaign season, when we can all sit in front of the TV with our buckets of popcorn and be captivated by stories like this:

    In one of the more important allegations against Mr. Rangel, the committee charged him with ethics violations for his solicitation of Eugene Isenberg, the chief executive of Nabors Industries, an oil company that was seeking a tax break from the Ways and Means Committee when he pledged $1 million to the Rangel Center.

    Mr. Rangel met with Mr. Isenberg and his lobbyist to discuss the tax break, which the congressman previously opposed, in February 2007 — the day it was being considered by the Ways and Means Committee.

    The tax break ultimately passed, with Mr. Rangel’s vote, saving Nabors more than half a billion dollars. Eleven days after the meeting, City College cashed a $100,000 check from Mr. Isenberg.

    The committee charged that the interactions violated ethics rules because they could be construed as influencing the congressman’s vote. But Mr. Rangel and Mr. Isenberg have both said that the contribution was unrelated to the tax issue, and Mr. Rangel’s written response Thursday asserted that he never did political favors for donors, or anyone else.

    You’ve heard of members of Congress wrangling over chairmanships and such. I think we need to invent a new term for when you change your vote after getting paid off: “Rangeling.”

    At least, that’s how it seems to me today. I might change my mind tomorrow, after a meeting with a person I’ll simply call “Mr. Green.”

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