The last time we met “This Old Socialist,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters, (D-Delusional), she was being probed for “ethics violations,” which is fed-speak for “things for which you and I go to jail, but which is legal for congress.”
Waters, then, was gamely trying to vie for a leadership position on the Financial Services Committee despite a dogged investigation regarding her finances and influence peddling that had dragged out for months. She was doing so in the wake of the announcement that the committee’s ranking Democrat, Barney Frank (D-Dope) (pun intended) was leaving congress to fulfill his lifelong dream of getting married to a surfer/marijuana dealer. Or was that a marijuana dealer/surfer?
Anyway, Frank had already realized one dream when he covered the banking and financial industry with a fresh layer of federally-subsidized, regulatory dirt that we call the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (ha!), the newest regulatory scheme that has screwed up a good country.
But as Frank goes off to greener pastures, now imagine this: the Dodd-Frank and…Waters Wall Street Shakedown and Consumer Ruination Act.
Because gone are the days when it seemed that either Waters would decline the position Frank was occupying (pun intended) as ranking member or face ethics charges stemming from, um, doing stuff that would ruin the rest of us.
Maxine will not now face any charges from any of the previous allegations that were being investigated by congress, to wit: Maxine apparently has paid family members close to $1 million from public or campaign funds since 2007, according to a recent report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). In 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 she was named to CREW’s Most Corrupt politician list.
Additionally Waters was being investigated for using undue influence to secure a $12 million TARP bailout for a bank in which her husband was a director and a shareholder. Waters has reimbursed herself and her husband for over $15,000 in various expenses, including hotel, office supplies and gasoline. Her campaign has also loaned $25,000 to a non-profit on which she is a board member and of which her daughter is president. CREW says that no payments have been made on the loan as of last April.
But all of that is now old news.
Congress finally got down to the bottom of things ethics-wise for Maxine- like they always do for “members”- and found out that Waters, while still a socialist, is perfectly fit to represent Democrats as the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee.
There is illegal behavior and then, apparently, there is only congressional behavior.
That means that if Democrats capture the US House again, ole Maxine gets to be the top finance dog in congress, writing cool, new financial services legislation for all of us.
And here’s how she earned that privilege: According to Politico Waters donated over $250,000 to the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee in the last several weeks of the election cycle, including over $11,000 to candidates in her home state of California.
Ah, nothing secures the position of ranking member of the financial services committee better than: 1) being acquitted on all congressional ethics charges and 2) subsequently providing $250,000 of good, old-fashioned financial services of your own to Party's candidates.
Remember Maxine called for “socializing” the oil industry when Bush was president because oil prices were too high. She told oil executives that they had to bring prices down or she’d socialize the industry. She called for a trillion dollar jobs bill after the trillion dollar stimulus failed, and dared the Tea Party to come after her while telling us all that they could go “straight to hell.”
Writes the Washington Post:
“I’m not afraid of anybody,” Waters said at the summit in Inglewood, Calif. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned, the ‘tea party’ can go straight to Hell.”
I think it’s proper to say that Waters, even now, wants tea partiers to end up in the actual, physical Hell.
She also claimed before the collapse of the housing market brought about in part by decade-long abuses at Fannie Mae that “we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and in particular at Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines.” Time Magazine listed Raines’ reign at Fannie Mae as “blameworthy” in its list of 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.
So, no; it doesn’t surprise me that using influence to secure a TARP loan for a bank that was mismanaged by your husband isn’t unethical according to the standards of congress; or that using campaign funds and public money to enrich your own family doesn’t rise to the level of abuse of public trust.
Nor does it surprise me that Maxine Waters, “This Old Socialist,” would get her shot at writing, re-writing and re-re-writing financial services laws for a country already on the ropes.
But it does make me sick.
This country has gone straight to Hell.