Political corruption has displayed many faces over many decades as politics has been practiced in the United States of America.
The latest face now just might belong to a New Jersey Democratic U.S. senator, Bob Menendez. The federal government has indicted Menendez and his wife, Nadine, on charges that they took bribes.
Here’s what is so astonishing: FBI agents searched the couple’s home and found gold bars and cash-stuffed envelopes hidden in clothing in the couple’s closet. Oh, and get a load of this: Agents discovered that many of the envelopes had Menendez’s name on them … implying strongly that, well, the cash was placed there for nefarious purposes. The loot totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars!
The question that goes far beyond the Menendez scandal deals with just how widespread is this kind of behavior. I won’t believe it is endemic among politicians. Although as it involves a guy who has faced questions such as this before, I am struck by the alleged hubris Sen. Menendez has exhibited.
Pressure is mounting for Menendez to resign. It is coming from Democrats, which tells me that the New Jersey lawmaker has — shall we say — zero friends/allies in the Senate. He cannot continue to work effectively representing New Jersey residents while also voting on laws that affect all of Americans. He needs to go!
There also needs to be some serious soul-searching among pols, along with those who support our pols. This level of corruption simply cannot be allowed to stand.
The problem that awaits? Preventing this kind of bald-faced greed remains arguably the most awesome task awaiting those who remain in office.
Dan Patrick quickly made me regret that I issued a compliment to him over the way he had presided over the impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The lieutenant governor, who presides over the Texas Senate, received a bouquet from me because he seemed to be impartial and unbiased in his handling of the trial in the Senate.
Then came Paxton’s acquittal by 30 senators … and what did Patrick do? He shot off his pie hole by declaring that the Texas House that had impeached Paxton had wasted Texans’ tax money by alleging that Paxton had committed impeachable offenses. Paxton was impeached overwhelmingly, I must add, in a bipartisan vote among House members.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan, a fellow Republican, was having none of that, telling Patrick that the lieutenant governor only has revealed his bias. I’ll go with Phelan on this one.
I hate having regrets over what I spew on this blog. But I’ll be damned if I am feeling them now, with Patrick suggesting that he was able to hide his bias.
Oh, and now he wants to conduct an audit of the money spent to impeach the attorney general and then put him on trial. What does he hope to find? That the money went to partisan interests whose mission was to enough evidence to convict the AG?
Sounds as if Patrick has ripped a page out of the congressional GOP caucus’s playbook as it seeks to find a reason — any reason — to impeach a U.S. president.
My old-fashioned streak is beginning to show itself over the debate emerging on the dress code that is being relaxed because one of our 100 senators just doesn’t like to wear a tie, slacks and a sport coat while he’s at work on the Senate floor.
Senate majority leader Charles Schumer wants the code relaxed because Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., doesn’t like the dress code.
I admit to being a fuddy-duddy when it comes to dressing respectably while doing the people’s business. I do not accept that Fetterman’s desire to work in a hoodie, shorts and sneakers must be the new normal for the Senate.
This happens in my mind to be an absurd reaction.
The dress code isn’t codified. There is no punishment under the law if a senator chooses to dress “casually” at work. The rules have been in place for a long time and until right now it rarely has come under examination.
We see some House members occasionally wearing just shirts and a tie while conducting committee business. Here again, why not just throw on a jacket and look the part of a serious lawmaker?
I am having trouble grasping why this is even a discussion topic. To my way of thinking, it all seems just plain silly.
Why in the name of sound fiscal management is Congress — led by Republicans in the House of Representatives — unable to approve a long-term budget deal that avoid the catastrophe that awaits us at the end of this month?
The federal government might be headed for another shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve enough money to keep services running. These are the services that you and I pay for with our tax money, services we expect to receive in return for the government demanding our funds.
Is it me or does it appear that these crises always seem to play out when the GOP controls the congressional purse strings while a Democrat sits in the big chair behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office?
This particular House GOP majority, although it is of an extremely slim margin, is being driven by the impulses that coarse through the veins of the MAGA Moron caucus that has managed to outshout not only Democrats but also the more reasonable members of the once-great Republican Party.
The MAGA minions insist on impeaching President Biden before they consider approving a federal budget. For what? Beats the hell out of me!
The MAGAites even have steamrolled House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into toeing their line. McCarthy went seemingly overnight from being someone who blamed the MAGA mouthpiece in chief for inciting the 1/6 assault on our government to becoming one of the dipsh**’s chief allies in the House. That’s not good enough to satisfy the MAGA morons.
So, here we are. Government could shut down again by Oct. 1. We’ll get to hear nonsensical speeches from GOP House members and perhaps even some senators about the wisdom of shutting it all down.
It is government performed by the cosmically stupid.
My patience with congressional Republicans is wearing thin, so thin in fact that I feel the need to call them out on all that so-called “evidence” they purport to have on President Biden’s alleged corruption.
Where is it? What is it? From whom are they getting it?
The U.S. House is embarking on that impeachment inquiry sought by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, at the behest of the MAGA morons to pull his strings. The usual gang of loudmouths say the House must actually impeach the president before they act on things such as, oh, a federal budget.
Good grief, man!
Evidence? An actual “high crime or misdemeanor”? Have they developed a pattern? Hell no!
They have concocted a conclusion. Now the House Republican caucus is looking for a trail that will lead them to the conclusion they already have approved.
We hear a lot these days about the “rule of law,” yes? This isn’t how the rules work. They work when you come up with sufficient evidence to investigate; then you investigate and then you reach whatever conclusion your probe leads you … not the other way around!
What we see in this inquiry is more akin to the “rite of revenge.” House Democrats impeached Donald Trump twice after the then-POTUS sought a political favor from a foreign head of state and then exhorted the mob of traitors to storm the Capitol Building on 1/6.
Republicans won’t stand for that, so they’re seeking something to hang round a Democratic president’s neck.
I hear a glimmer of good news out there, which is that many non-MAGA moron Republicans are joining their Democratic colleagues in Congress and warning of the folly of impeaching a president who — if I may be blunt — does not deserve it.
An amazing transformation has occurred within the American political dictionary over the past, oh, six year or so.
The term RINO has taken on a new meaning, one that has nothing to do with what I understand the acronym was created to symbolize.
RINO is shorthand for Republican In Name Only. I long have understood the term as one that describes someone who talks a good Republican game, but who veers far from normal GOP orthodoxy with his or her votes or public policy decisions.
These days? It is used as an epithet for anyone who opposes the presence of Donald John Trump on the political stage. Here’s where the irony gets so rich you damn near choke on it: Of all the prominent Republicans in action today, Trump himself is the personification of a RINO.
He once said that abortion should be legal, then he changed his mind. He has disparaged the men and women who serve in the military. Trump has cozied up to dictators such as, let’s see, former KGB spy Vladimir Putin, Marxist North Korean thug Kim Jong Un. He trashes our intelligence network. Trump wants to yank the United States out of NATO. He applauded Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. During his term as president, the nation rang up the largest debt in history.
Do you get where I’m going here?
And yet those who adhere to Trumpism contend that those who don’t are the RINOs of this world.
Trump has redefined Republicanism, turning into something barely recognizable to real Republicans.
Therefore, he has reshaped the American political glossary, turning it into … damn, I don’t know what to call it.
What in the world am I not getting as I watch the MAGA Moron Caucus within the House Republican Party clear the decks for an impeachment inquiry into President Biden?
Four years ago, the House GOP caucus resisted impeaching Donald Trump despite irrefutable evidence he had violated the U.S. Constitution by asking a foreign head of state for a political favor in exchange for weapons to defend itself against an aggressor nation. The House impeached Trump, but he avoided conviction in the Senate.
Then came the assault on the Capitol Building that Trump provoked. It was all done in broad daylight. The House impeached him a second time over the objections of MAGA morons. Again, Trump escaped conviction.
Here we are now. The GOP caucus is full of revenge, having taken back control of the House. They want an impeachment now. The charges? The high crimes and misdemeanors?
Hmm. We don’t know. They haven’t spelled anything out. Why not? Because — in my view — there is nothing to spell out! They’re going to look for “widespread corruption.” They’ll seek to find something the president did to qualify as an impeachable offense.
Absent any actionable evidence, though, the MAGA loudmouths keep blathering about impeaching Joe Biden. They want his head on a proverbial platter … no matter what!
They are hectoring Speaker Kevin McCarthy into launching an impeachment inquiry, even without a vote in the House — which well could fail were it to be taken. McCarthy is caving to the MAGA crowd, to which he likely owes the speakership.
This is a disgraceful display of vengeance politics … at its worst!
Mitt Romney has decided to call it a career, announcing today he won’t seek re-election to another term in the U.S. Senate in 2024.
What am I supposed to think about that? Here’s what is crossing my mind at the moment.
The Utah Republican did not get my vote for president when he ran in 2012 against President Obama. Indeed, I didn’t much care for him when he sought to undo the good things Obama accomplished in his first term in office.
Then along came Donald Trump, the political party hijacker who commandeered the Republican Party and turned into something unrecognizable. Romney resisted Trump’s tug on the party and then called him out in 2016, referring to Trump as a “phony” and a “fraud.” Mitt Romney did not endear himself to the MAGA faithful who continue to hang onto Trump’s every dimwitted pronouncement.
Which leads to me to believe that Romney knew what stood before him in a 2024 re-election campaign … that the Trump acolytes would be targeting Romney for defeat.
Sen. Romney represents the “establishment” wing of the GOP, which is about to lose an articulate champion for what is left of a once-great political party.
It was striking to me as I watched the nation commemorate the 22nd year since the 9/11 attacks that one man was missing from all the ceremonies we saw.
At Ground Zero. At the Pentagon. At the field in Shanksville, Pa. Dignitaries noted the tragedy that befell the nation. They saluted the first responders. The spoke to the unity that brought Americans of all political stripes together.
Who was missing from all of this? The man we once hailed as “America’s Mayor,” Rudolph Giuliani has become persona non grata.
The more I think about it, the more I am left to conclude that no political figure has fallen farther and more dramatically than Giuliani in the 22 years since he burst on the American political scene simply by being a man of strength and dignity trying to rally New York City from the wreckage brought by the terrorists.
He would become Time’s Person of the Year in 2001 … and with great reason. He stood like a colossus over rubble where the Twin Towers once stood. Americans looked to him to provide strength that would feed the rest of us.
America’s Mayor delivered … in spades.
Now, though, he has become a ridiculous caricature of himself. He stands with a former POTUS who lost the 2020 election and proclaims that he actually won it. Giuliani has been indicted by federal and state grand juries. He is in danger of losing his law license.
Do I pity him? Do I lament his fall from the nation’s grace? Not for a second. The man made his choice willingly and I’ll presume with a clear head.
Given all the chaos that he engenders these days it would be the depth of folly for him to appear publicly to take part in events designed to remember the horrendous event that handed him the opportunity to stand tall.
America’s Mayor has become America’s Joke.
Kevin McCarthy made it official: He has instructed the relevant U.S. House of Representatives committee chairs to rev up an inquiry into whether to impeach President Biden.
Which begs this question: Is there a clearer demonstration than this of just who is calling the shots within the People’s House? It ain’t the speaker of the body, but rather it’s the MAGA moron cabal that forced him to act in this irresponsible manner.
Speaker McCarthy is in charge by the slimmest of margins in the House. He owes the speakership to the concessions he made to the MAGA cabal that wants this impeachment inquiry.
What are the charges? What high crime and misdemeanor has the president allegedly committed? Where will this inquiry go and how long will it last?
The MAGA morons want it to go through the next election cycle, keeping the heat on the president for as long as humanly possible.
We are about to witness a staggering abuse of power within the House of Representatives that could rival any such abuses we already have witnessed.
And why? For what reason? I believe I know.
It’s revenge for the twin impeachments leveled against Donald Trump … and it is disgraceful.