Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Change Is Here

During the campaign the Republicans promised change, specifically, less government control over our economy and over everything we do. Well, even though they are not yet in change, Republican change is already here. No, they haven’t accomplished anything yet about the economy. But they are working hard on ethics.

They didn't say so before, but one of the big areas of government control the Republicans want to change is the Office of Congressional Ethics. Would you have believed it? According to ABC News:

But the future of that office [of Congressional Ethics] is in question. Despite publicly promising more transparency and disclosure of the inner workings of Congress, behind closed doors, the GOP leadership has made moves indicating the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) may be targeted for cuts or extinction.

According to an email seen by ABC News, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., called the OCE on Friday, Nov. 5, just three days after the midterm elections in which Republicans regained a majority and control of the House. During that phone conversation, ABC's source said, the California representative asked for justification of its continued existence.

Why would Republicans do such a thing? They promised transparency and are giving us opaqueness. Do any recently elected Tea Party Republicans have ethical problems? Do the old Republican leaders have ethical problems? Do you think Republicans are worried they would not be able to confer with their lobbyist colleagues about legislation dealing with finance, regulation or healthcare?

Perhaps Republicans like to work in secret. Secrecy is helpful if you are trying to help the super-rich and Big Business. The less people know about legislation to emasculate financial regulation to help financiers or to decrease the tax burden of the rich by switching the burden to the middle class, the easier these things are to accomplish.

Removing the Office of Congressional Ethics is an example of the type of change we may expect from Republicans. Sure, they advocate another change: cutting spending. What spending? The one item the Republicans have focussed on so far is earmarks. Now, I'm against earmarks. But earmarks represent less than 1% of the budget. Cutting out all earmarks will have a miniscule effect on the deficit.

Rah, rah, rah! Republican change is here.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 22, 2010 6:54 PM
Comments
Comment #313799

Paul, Why has ABC been the only one to see and report this? I haven’t heard anything on MSNBC, CNN, or FOX. One congressman cannot shutdown the office of congressional ethics and I doubt very much any other congress person will join him except maybe Rangle or Waters.

Posted by: KAP at November 22, 2010 7:23 PM
Comment #313802

Stephen D., when your house is full of the unethical, who wants an ethics committee watching their every move?

The scandals surrounding Republicans and Democrats in office these last 2 decades would take several books to detail and cover.

My fear is, enough Democrats might just vote with Republicans to do away with the ethics committee, now that Republicans are in control of the House.

But, here is the nub of the issue, the Ethics Committee has been horribly partisan. Partisan toward the shared unethical behavior by both Party’s members, and all the corrupt practices both parties have enacted into law for the protection of themselves and their corrupt acts.

Bottom line, there is no substitute for the American voter holding ALL politicians responsible for this kind of corruption of our political and governing processes. The Filibuster has become one of the most corrupt actions against the very idea of democratic rule, that has ever been visited upon Congress and the American people. And yet, both parties refuse to touch that mutually beneficial piece of corruption.

I say, do away with it. It doesn’t work for the American people, and our democracy anyway.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 22, 2010 7:28 PM
Comment #313804

My Bad, I addressed that to Stephen D, when I should have addressed it to Paul Siegel.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 22, 2010 7:30 PM
Comment #313814

Paul

How has this transparency thing been working with the Democrats in charge? Nancy had little use for it. Democrats talked. That is what they did well. Nancy protected Murtha until the day he died. She tried to protect Rangel and Waters.

Posted by: C&J at November 22, 2010 7:57 PM
Comment #313850

C&J-
She let Rangel get convicted for his ethics violations. That’s some protection.

Question is, even if the Democrats didn’t pursue these matters, What justifies the Republicans cutting it out entirely? Don’t the Republicans want to look better than the Democrats, be better at government?

You ought to be concerned about your folks first, their transparency, their behavior. Questionable behavior happens all the time with the powerful in Washington, in both parties. The question is whether your’e seeking to raise standards, or paralyze their application.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2010 9:13 AM
Comment #313853

The ethics committee is political theater. Who cares?

Posted by: gergle at November 23, 2010 10:41 AM
Comment #313858

I’m trying to figure out, within the limits of what the committee can do, just what you think they should have done. They could no longer strip his leadership position, he was no longer in charge of Ways & Means. They could not legally shoot him, even though they can legally carry guns. They could have recommended impeachment, but there was a dearth of actual proof of criminal activity. He was found guilty of all they could prove and was censured. Which one of you would have done more? And, why would you have done so?

I’m not sure what would have happened had this been a Republican Ethics Committee, and the miscreant a Republican, but I’d expect about the same. The findings of guilt places the onus where it really belongs…with his constituency. Apparently they like him. Void ought to be hard after this one next election cycle…if he’s still alive and able to run again.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 11:20 AM
Comment #313866

Paul,
If the Republicans want debt reduction than let them start with introducing a bill in the House which will freeze or lower the pay of Congress. For why I doubt if Boehner has the courage to stand up to the rest of Congress and tell them that Change begins with them. I do believe one could make the Ethical Complaint that failure to do just that would violate the Trust bestowed upon the House Republicans this past election. Since I do believe the first step in lowering the spending of government should come from those who are in charge of telling the rest of us to accept cuts in spending.

That would be Ethical would it not?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 23, 2010 1:39 PM
Comment #313871

Paul, I read the link you provided and could only find one Republican Representative mentioned. How does one Republican translate into Republican(s) as a whole? I hardly expect any one Republican or Democrat speaks for the entire party. Even Prez Obama does not enjoy that power.

As usual, the herd mentality kicks in and the posts become a litany of sins about all R’s and D’s. I believe we sometimes have a failure to read and comprehend on WB.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 23, 2010 2:50 PM
Comment #313885

RF,

Perhaps you should actually READ the thread? I reread it just to make sure, and for the life of me, could not find a litany. When the requirement is to only talk about things you agree with and the way you want to talk about them, it is somewhat limiting on the others. Believe it or not, some political issues are…well, for the want of a better term…political. We have two political parties who pass or don’t pass major legislation. Some of that is important to talk about. Some are equally important to both major parties, ie, ethics, and those who regulate ethics. Care to include your opinion on what Paul had to say?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 5:17 PM
Comment #313886

Marysdude, sorry you didn’t understand my comment about “litany”. I read the link and commented that only one Republican was the subject yet for Paul and others it became Republican(s). The litany I referred to was how signular morphed into plural and then became the same old free-for-all critism of each party in general.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 23, 2010 5:23 PM
Comment #313888

Marysdude asks…”Care to include your opinion on what Paul had to say?”

It’s not possible to comment when Paul moves from singular to plural (one R to all R’s)…to which do I respond? Do I respond to the singular R which was the subject of his post, or do I forget about the subject and join the usual fray of R’s vs D’s and their respective libany of sins?

Frankly, I don’t pay much attention to what a single member of congress is quoted as saying. I want to move ahead and not dwell on the past but rather concentrate all my efforts on the nation’s future, if there is to be one.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 23, 2010 5:35 PM
Comment #313895

RF,

The subject of the thread is what the writer of the thread says it is. It is up to us to respond or not respond. I’d suggest that if you are not satisfied with the way the subject is presented, you might save your responses to a subject or thread more to your personal liking. You always have the option of applying for authorship and starting your own threads. You may have formed your own litany here on this one.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2010 7:25 PM
Comment #313911
Paul, I read the link you provided and could only find one Republican Representative mentioned. How does one Republican translate into Republican(s) as a whole? I hardly expect any one Republican or Democrat speaks for the entire party.
Posted by: Royal Flush at November 23, 2010 02:50 PM


I agree with Royal Flush. I also expect this type of projection from Paul Siegel. ABC news is just showing its bias. No suprise there either.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 23, 2010 9:54 PM
Comment #313969

Stephen,

You said, “You ought to be concerned about your folks first, their transparency, their behavior. Questionable behavior happens all the time with the powerful in Washington, in both parties. The question is whether your’e seeking to raise standards, or paralyze their application.”

I agree, and I see absolutely no reason that the ethics committee should be done away with. Based on the source Paul cited, I’m hoping that this was just a misguided thought of one of the Republicans.

It appears, however, that some Democrats are already at least part way there. According to the article, the only legislation currently pending regarding the ethics committee was penned by Democrats who seek to reduce some of its power and transparency. What do you think about that?

Posted by: Rob at November 24, 2010 7:04 PM
Comment #313970

Rob-
It’s a terrible idea.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 24, 2010 7:13 PM
Comment #313982

Rob,

Do you have a link? As round toothed as that committee is, it is certainly better than nothing. I’ll fire off some letters and make some calls…can’t hurt…might help.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2010 10:13 PM
Comment #313989

Mary’s,

It’s in the abc article that Paul cites about four pages in, the link is to the actual legislation.

Thanks,
Rap

Posted by: Rob at November 25, 2010 12:23 AM
Comment #313993

little willie says..I agree with Royal Flush. I also expect this type of projection from Paul Siegel. ABC news is just showing its bias. No suprise there either.


All news other then faux news is biased. No suprise there.

Posted by: Jeff at November 25, 2010 1:19 AM
Comment #314013

Rob,

Here’s a quote from one of the OCE member:

“You can judge our effectiveness based on our work,” said Jon Steinman of the Office of Congressional Ethics. “Before there were maybe one or two published ethics reports every decade, and we’ve published 12 in counting just in this Congress.”

It explains why congresspersons from either party might want that office abolished. Democrats influences in the respect are going to be slim and none during the next two years, and as you can see, Democrats seem to favor keeping the office. If you are in favor of keeping at least a facade of integrity in Congress, you’ll start making calls and writing to those who WILL have that power.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 25, 2010 2:34 PM
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