Thursday, February 09, 2006

Neo-connecting the Dots: Delay, Deny, Derail the Investigations

The mask has come off the GOP, and the face behind it is even more frightening than the mask was. Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press reports:
Indicted Representative Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee.

This is the Republican's version of in-kind replacement. Delay was given the committee seat vacated when Duke Cunningham (R-California) stepped down after he pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes.

Bill Burton of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said, "Allowing Tom DeLay to sit on a committee in charge of giving out money is like putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA."

I think Burton's analogy is flawed. Putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA wouldn't be nearly as outrageous as putting Tom Delay back on the Appropriations Committee is. Brownie's just incompetent, which by GOP standards these days is downright virtuous.

There's more, of course.

Delay also got a seat on the House subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, which is presently conducting an investigation of the Jack Abramoff influence peddling scandal. Delay, as you may know, had close ties to the U.S. Family Network, an advocacy group almost entirely funded by corporations linked to Jack Abramoff.

The Justice Department itself is under investigation by the Senate Judiciary committee over the NSA spying shenanigans. Watch the contest develop between Delay and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) to see who can shout the loudest, "Everything they did was legal!"

The house Justice Department committee also has responsibility for NASA, and hence the Johnson Space Center, which is located in Delay's Houston area district.

Funny thing. As Associated Press and other news sources have reported, Bush appointed NASA Inspector General Robert W. Cobb is under investigation for allegedly failing to investigate safety violations and retaliating against whistle blowers. At least 16 individuals have files complaints against him.

The agency conducting the inquiry is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an agency under the Justice Department, which is overseen by the House subcommittee Tom Delay just got assigned to.

Hold on, there's one last thing.

Chris Swecker, assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, is the head of an outfit known as the "Integrity Committee."

To paraphrase Comedy Central's John Stewart, you couldn't make this stuff up, but you wish to God you had to.

And to think that anybody at all criticised Hillary Clinton for saying the U.S. House of Representatives is run like a plantation.


  1. "Report to the Ministry of Truth, immediately."

    It really IS 1984, in so many ways.

    I made a Big Brother joke about thoughtcrime just this morning. A co-worker (50ish guy) didn't get it at all. Never read 1984? No, he said. Maybe you should, I said.

    My bet is Sessions will be louder (and for future reference, if he ever gets outta line, they'll always have Stormie Janzen!)

  2. A 50ish guy who never read 1984. No wonder we're in so much trouble.

  3. Maybe we should all be p.o.'d at Orwell for giving Rove his playbook.

    Jeff, isn't anyone in the MSM calling the Republicans on this horse manure?

  4. Not that I can see, Doug, but it often looks to me like some of the MSM guys float stuff out there for guys like me who can "afford" to put the pieces together and publish them.

    I forget now how I came across the original Times piece, but something made me keep pulling the string, and I wound up with this.

  5. Mainstream media:

    "NONE of that matters -- who cares?! We stopped a Terra Attack (in 2002)! WOOHOO! Take that...! (even though we can't be told which country, who, or where, W said so... so... ignore everything else, pay no attention to the looting going on in D.C.)... Now, more on Britney Spears driving with her baby on her lap!"

  6. Interesting that the Appropriations Committee controls the cashflow to the Department of Justice.

    You know, the department that's investigting Tom DeLaY?