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#ResistTrump: Call congress to stop ratbag Repubs from breaking ethics oversight

Congressman Bob Goodlatte: Neither good nor a latte

UPDATE: Republicans removed this provision from the rules legislation. It’s not clear if they’ve dropped it forever or just because it looked bad to do it on the first day of the new session. 

So Congressional Republicans had a private meeting last night in which they voted overwhelmingly to launch what you might call an anti-ethics bill. They[re attaching a sneaky little amendment onto a bigger bill that will strip away much of the power of the independent committee overseeing congressional ethics. The vote is scheduled to take place today.

Politico explains:

In one of their first moves of the new Congress, House Republicans have voted to gut their own independent ethics watchdog — a huge blow to cheerleaders of congressional oversight and one that dismantles major reforms adopted after the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Despite a warning from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republicans on Monday adopted a proposal by Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to put the Office of Congressional Ethics under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.

The office currently has free rein, enabling investigators to pursue allegations and then recommend further action to the House Ethics Committee as they see fit.

Now, the office would be under the thumb of lawmakers themselves. The proposal also appears to limit the scope of the office’s work by barring them from consider anonymous tips against lawmakers. And it would stop the office from disclosing the findings of some of their investigations, as they currently do after the recommendations go to House Ethics.

Who watches the watchdog? In this case, the people being watched by the watchdog watch the watchdog. No conflict of interest there!

As I mentioned, the House is scheduled to vote on the proposal TODAY. So hop to it! You can easily find the name and contact info of your congressional representative here.

The dude behind this is the lovely Bob Goodlatte (R, VA), who, it turns out, is neither good nor a latte. Even if you’re not in his district, you might want to give his DC office a call at (202) 225-5431. If you can’t get through, you can find numbers for his local offices at the bottom of his official website. There’s an email form there as well, though it’s restricted to those who live in his district. He’s also on Twitter.

And while you’re feeling civic-minded, why not thank Nancy Pelosi for speaking out against the proposal? Call her at (202) 225-4965 or (415) 556-4862, or contact her through her website. If you live outside her district and aren’t going to call, hit her up on Facebook or Twitter.

For handy advice on what to say when you call a congressperson’s office, see this post of mine from last week.

45 replies on “#ResistTrump: Call congress to stop ratbag Repubs from breaking ethics oversight”

The office currently has free rein, enabling investigators to pursue allegations and then recommend further action to the House Ethics Committee as they see fit.

Now, the office would be under the thumb of lawmakers themselves.

… saw that….

They HAVE to do this, because… y’know, th’ liberals

This makes complete sense. Just like “trickle-down” economics, in order to increase tax revenue, you lower taxes. So if you want more ethical behaviour from congress you must gut the ethics watchdog.

This is “trickle-down ethics”.

The Representatives — all of ’em — are getting sworn in at noon today, so their offices will probably be too busy to talk to you in person.

I just spoke to my Representative’s local office and they didn’t know if he was at the meeting last night.

See, I assumed that Republicans would wait until Trump decreased in popularity, and in an effort to get their boy Pence in, would use Trump’s ethic’s violations to get him out of office (of course they would wait a little over 2 years for this, so Pence could also run for two full presidential terms)

I guess this might be the first step in this – stop the watchdog from investigating – so that they can control him, until they don’t need him anymore.

Also, let’s face it, most are lying douche-canoes, so I’m sure they want their own actions for not be looked at closely.

My hashtag for 2016 was #everythingisawful2016, I have already upgraded it to #everythingishorrible2017.

And now Trump is all, like, “OMG, you guys, that was way too obvious!”

This from the man who bragged about his wealth and power entitling him to sexually abuse women….

@Dan Hoan I think they are just counting on Pence running things from behind the scenes because Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing and will lean heavily on Pence as a more experienced politician.

Besides, under Trump they can do just about whatever they want and it will be blamed on Trump; most of the American public is not well-educated on the purview of congress vs the president, etc. he’s a disposable figurehead that they can hide behind for the next four years – nobody is going to want to re-elect him after they actually see him in action anyway, so they don’t have to worry about making things any worse for the republican party’s chances next election. They’re trying to minimize oversight so they can take full advantage of him while they have him.

Yes, they’ve dropped it for now…although Trump did indicate he thinks the Ethics Committee is “unfair.”

I hope the thousands of people who jammed Congressional phone lines are giving themselves a pat on the back today. They deserve it.

Let’s keep holding their feet to the fire.

I’m making a note of this for future reference – Donny Cheeto didn’t do anything to fight this; all he did was jump on the bandwagon, once it was clear that the power grab was already doomed.
Actually, he didn’t even do that – it’s clear that he’s opposed to the OCE, even in the tweets where he called out the Republicans’ attempt. All he essentially said was “Not now!”, not “Never!”

And he’s also not clever enough to plot something like this – set up a bald-faced power grab, then oppose it to show how he’s ‘draining the swamp’. All it shows is that he’s opportunistic and has the press well-trained to swallow whatever he tells them.

Kellyanne Conway downplays Republicans gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics: “I don’t want people to think that ethics is gone”

Trump’s most recent high profile conflict of interest became apparent on New Year’s Eve, when he attended a dinner seated next to Joseph “Joey No Socks” Cinque, a known associate of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti.

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/03/kellyanne-conway-downplays-republicans-gutting-the-office-of-congressional-ethics-i-dont-want-people-to-think-that-ethics-is-gone/

@kupo

Oh that is beautiful.

@Kat

This is getting dumber and dumber. Are they trying to pull a “it’s not blatantly unethical if you do it in the open” like with corruption ?

@Sinkable John
Ya got me.

I’ve never known an American president to party openly with a gangster. It seems that every day the man finds new ways to shock me.

@Scildfreja

Beginning to sense a theme here…

They figure they got through the election like that, so they might as well continue ?

It’s unfathomable how broken the American system will be after they’re done with it.

I’ve never known an American president to party openly with a gangster. It seems that every day the man finds new ways to shock me.

On the plus side, in this way my relationship with Donald stays fresh.

A surprise every day!

The US Republican Party: getting “swampier” all the time.

@peevee to Trump, the very notion of ethics applying to him is “unfair”

@ kat. Can’t say I’m shocked. Disgusted, yes. But “shocked” left the station a long time ago.

Trump did indicate he thinks the Ethics Committee is “unfair.”

The dumpster thinks ETHICS is unfair

oops, ninja’d by Conan

@Scildfreja:

Trump spokesman says corruption is legal if you do it in the open

Some of the mess from here and from the previous post about Trump’s sons reminds me of Rob Ford here in Toronto… who claimed he was not guilty of corruption despite (while only a councillor, not the mayor yet) using city letterhead to solicit donations for his football program, because he wasn’t getting any of the money himself and was giving it all to the charity. Never mind that it could give the implications that donating to his favourite charity would get you favourable treatment, which was one of the things the corruption guidelines were there to prevent.

Really, about the only saving grace of that whole fiasco was that Rob Ford was forced to admit, on the witness stand, that he had absolutely no idea what the bylaws he’d violated actually said, despite having previously voted for them as a councillor.

A friend of mine who’s an old school Transformers fan summed it up with a pair of lines from the original series, where Megatron says, “You’re either lying, or stupid.” To which Starscream responds, “I’m stupid! I’m stupid!” as his only real defence of his previous behaviour.

@Jenora, I do have to wonder whether the very concept of “corruption” is different for some people. To the point where no amount of corruption will be self-evident to the person doing the immoral activity. People have a natural tendency to evaluate themselves as more moral and more positive than they really are, but … wow. The lack of self-reflection is staggering in some people.

(Typically but not always right-leaning. Tough to say clearly where that divide lies)

As for Starscreeeammmmm, pchhh. He gots nothin.

@Scildfreja:
*laughs* That was my introduction to Death Battle, actually. And given the two involved, the result was inevitable. Scary to realize that Rainbow Dash is actually faster than Starscream in flight, pushing hypersonic.

I presume you’ve seen the most recent Death Battle, Deadpool vs. Pinkie Pie?

KellyAnne reminds me more and more of the Iraqi Information Minister (around the 2003 US-Iraq War). Whatever happens, her leader is right, and things are going wonderfully!

Oh Jesus, putting RD up against Starscream is unfair. Screamer’s ego is surpassed only by his incompetence. RD should be up against a real Seeker, like Thundercracker. 😀

OT, but I see that Lindy West has left Twitter. The usual assholes are jubilantly celebrating.

@kupo, that pic is genius. I never get tired of it 🙂

@PoM, Inorite? I mean, I’m still pretty sure that Rainbow Dash would beat them, but I mean, make it a little fair, huh?

… aaaaapparently Transformers meets Ponies is a thing. Huh.

http://orig02.deviantart.net/b34b/f/2014/109/2/c/transformers_vs_my_little_pony_page_7_by_kitfox_crimson-d7f6o3p.png

@Mish, that’s terrible, but then I went to Lindy’s tumblr and saw this:

http://68.media.tumblr.com/7eff486b3acad806eda59508f6fb930d/tumblr_mubzwgUj9N1rq4uvro1_500.jpg

so, you know. She’s leavin’ Twitter but she ain’t gone. Take heart in happy kitty!

Kat:

I’ve never known an American president to party openly with a gangster. It seems that every day the man finds new ways to shock me.

Well, Joey No Socks (also known as “the Preppy Don”) claims to be an ex-gangster. He’s not the only wise guy Trump has associated with: I recommend reading The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, which has a lot of sordid detail.

Trump and Joey “No Socks” Cinque go back a ways. Cinque is (or perhaps was?) president of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (despite having no background in the industry), which has showered numerous “prestigious” awards on Trump properties, and on Trump himself. It appears to be largely a con: the awards are chosen by its board of trustees, of which Trump is (or was) a member, and which is stuffed with various Trump employees and associates. Non-Trump properties can get awards by paying membership fees…

@Scildfreja

HAH HAH HAH! That comic is GOLD.

I imagine it’s a thing because MLP is the stereotypical girl’s cartoon, and Transformers is the stereotypical boy’s cartoon. MLP vs. GI Joe could also be a thing for the same reason, but the hilarity factor would be less. Transformers and MLP both have an automatic level of ridiculousness that can only multiply against one another.

I’m going to just drop this here and pretend I didn’t link to the Pit. I endorse nothing.

https://www.fanfiction.net/Transformers-Beast-Wars-and-My-Little-Pony-Crossovers/65/621/

As for the Republicans crippling the ethics watchdog: why the hell wouldn’t they do that? Let’s face it, they’ve learned that they can behave in a cartoonishly evil way (as well as just not doing their fucking jobs) and still get re-elected, so what’s to stop them?

@Moggie

Well, Joey No Socks (also known as “the Preppy Don”) claims to be an ex-gangster. He’s not the only wise guy Trump has associated with: I recommend reading The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston, which has a lot of sordid detail.

Thanks for the tip.

If Mister No Socks is aka the Preppy Don, then I guess that Mister Golden Socks (his feet are yuge!) is aka the Angry Don.

Reading Trump supporters on Twitter is like rubber necking on freeway during an accident…..sad, but too in awe of lack of awareness from them to look away.

Oh, yes, MLP/TF is a thing, all right, and has been for years. Pre-FiM, there used to be a photo webcomic (fumetti I believe is the usual term) called ‘My Little Beast Wars’ which had some of the Maximals and Predacons dropped into an MLP universe. (Imagine a horse-form Transformer skipping along to ‘I feel pretty!’) It later included at least one G.I.Joe riff as well. It’s been gone for years, though.

On the other site I regularly post on, there are many saying that it is due to the many phone calls from their constituents that caused the House to table their Ethics agenda for now.

Good.

Keep that pressure up. It seems to be working.

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