A Dreadful Pun
Wednesday May 31, 2006
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Let's review the bidding on the current status of the Culture of Corruption (partial listing):
Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham had a menu of bribe opportunities available to government contractors and is now the Ranking Member on E Block.
Democratic Congressman William Jefferson has been videotaped by the FBI accepting $100,000 in a cash money bribe and will likely be joining Cunningham in a prison reality show named "The Duke and Jeff."
Republican Congressman Bob Ney is implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandal which includes trips and free tickets to sporting events in return for official favoritism.
Jack Abramoff - who was better at personal PR than at lobbying - has pleaded guilty to all manner of misdeeds involving Members of Congress receiving free trips, meals and tickets to sporting events.
About 15,000 former staffers of senior Members of Congress are singing to the Feds like Divas at the Met about how they were involved in giving, or taking, or giving AND taking bribes - including free meals, trips and tickets to sporting events.
Fast Harry is a Senator from the state of Nevada (Not, as you may remember, Nev-ah-da) so this was a home field deal.
Supporters made it clear that Reid was a "former boxer and boxing judge" and Reid said the free tickets "would never influence his position on the boxing bill and that he was simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry."
In an earlier era a Congressman from Florida was videotaped taking a bribe from undercover agents the Congressman believed to be Arab businessmen in a sting operation named "ABSCAM."
When he was busted, he said he was acting in an undercover capacity, carrying on his own investigation into this kind of bribery.
The jury's verdict was, in effect, "Yeah. Right."
In the photograph which shows Fast Harry sitting ringside, his seatmate is Sen. John McCain. McCain, however, paid for his ticket.
McCain, obviously, thought there was at least the appearance of impropriety, so why wouldn't a reasonable person - sitting right next to him - think that maybe he should, too?
Harry Reid is not, by any normal accounting, a "reasonable person."
In fact, Fast Harry has a real sense of entitlement. He had at least two meetings with Abramoff staffers and, shortly afterwards, according to the AP, sponsored "a spending bill that targeted $100,000" to an Abramoff client and "also wrote at least four letters favorable to Abramoff's tribal clients around the time Reid collected donations from those clients and Abramoff's partners."
Yet, he declined to return any of the associated donations.
Am I the only one who is beginning to see the vaguest skeleton of the dimmest outline of the faintest glimmer of a PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR here?
Substitute the name "DeLay" for the name "Reid" and take a guess at how official Washington - the popular press and the Democrats in Congress - would be viewing this activity.
I want the FBI to get a search warrant for the freezer in Harry Reid's house. We might find an entire casino, wrapped in tin foil, hidden in there.
Fast Harry is lucky that was John McCain sitting next to him at the prize fight.
Had it been some peach of a babe being wild about Harry, Reid would have been forced to invoke the "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas Rule," which, when applied to a Member of the US House or Senate is known as the "Peach and Be Date Clause."
Hence, the title.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A special request, during this Memorial Day Week, that you take a look at something some volunteers are doing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the families of injured military personnel.
Also, the AP story from which all this was taken, a Mullfoto which made me laugh out loud, and a Catchy Caption of the Day.
The senior Democrat in the United States Senate, Harry Reid, was photographed in a front row seat for a major boxing match in Las Vegas for which he had, according to the Associated Press, "accepted free ringside tickets to three professional boxing matches from Nevada officials who were trying to influence his federal legislation regulating the sport."
Copyright © 2006 Richard A. Galen
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