While everything else has been going on, two senior Democratic Members of Congress, Maxine Waters (DEMOCRAT-Calif) and Charles Rangel (DEMOCRAT-New York) have been, essentially, indicted by the House Ethics Committee for violation of House rules.
Both of those findings came well in advance of the House resuming its back-breaking schedule of a two-week work period between the August-September recess and the October-November pre-election recess.
When the Ethics Committee reported its findings, the expectation was that both Waters and Rangel would have their hearings/trials prior to the pre-election break.
It now looks as if both Members and their Democratic colleagues will skate on their potentially criminal activities until after the mid-term elections on November 2.
See the look of shock and surprise upon my face.
Waters is accused of using her official status as a senior member of the House Banking Committee to get special favors for a bank in which her husband had a significant financial interest. Rangel is accused of 13 violations - THIRTEEN - of House Rules.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (DEMOCRAT-Calif) is the Chair of the supposedly bi-partisan Ethics Committee but, according to the Washington Post "did not respond to requests for comment."
Back in the day, when Speaker Newt Gingrich was being hung out to dry by that same committee, the Chair was Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) who not only moved the Gingrich case along in regular order but, as I remember it at the time, appeared to bend over backward to ensure that no one would accuse the Committee of being partisan.
Zoe Lofgren would do well to read the timeline of the Gingrich case and act accordingly.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (DEMOCRAT-Calif) will go down as one of the least effective and most partisan Speakers of the House in modern history. It is not without cause that she will have successfully engineered the defeat of House Democrats to the point where she turned the House back to Republicans a scant four years - four years - after she took control.
It takes a special level of ineptitude, which is not common to normal folk, to accomplish that. Nancy Pelosi has reached it.
While Pelosi was pulling the sheets up over the Maxine Waters/Charlie Rangel ethics mess, President Barack Obama was in Wisconsin trying to rally students at the University of, in Madison to his side.
Obama spoke before a huge crowd on the U of Wisconsin campus urging them to regain the fervor of the election campaign of 2008.
But, according to the Gannett news service there are three polls which show that in the race for U.S. Senate the Republican challenger, Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson, is leading incumbent DEMOCRATIC Senator Russ Finegold.
"Rasmussen Reports has Johnson leading Feingold 51 percent to 44 percent. Public Policy Polling has Johnson ahead 52-41 in a poll conducted over last weekend. And CNN/Time has Johnson up 51-45 percent among likely voters."
Democrats explained the polls by pointing out that the Rasmussen poll was taken right after Johnson won the primary and that the CNN/Time poll shows Finegold with a two percentage point lead among registered (but not likely) voters.
You are not likely to see Barack Obama in Morgantown, West Virginia anytime soon rallying support among Mountaineers. In West Virginia, the race to replace the late Senator Robert Byrd was supposed to be a walk-over for DEMOCRATIC Governor Joe Manchin (D). Oops!
According to Charleston TV station WSAZ:
"All eyes are on West Virginia as the race for Sen. Robert Byrd's unexpired term becomes tighter every day. A new poll now shows Republican John Raese with a slight lead, 48 percent to 46 percent."
Why? According to a Public Policy Poll, "Obama has a 30-64 approval rating in the state."
Political guru Charlie Cook wrote of the Senate:
"Eight of the 12 vulnerable Democratic seats are in the Toss Up column. The ones in the most danger are the open seats in Illinois and Pennsylvania and those of Sens. Harry Reid in Nevada, Russell Feingold in Wisconsin and Michael Bennet in Colorado."
Cook sees a GOP pick up of 7 or 8 but "could be as high as nine or 10. A GOP gain of 10 seats would flip control of that chamber."
Who would have thought that Harry Reid (DEMOCRAT-Nev) might be in a position to preside over a lame duck session in which he is the lame-duck-in-chief?
Nothing set in stone, but it looks like the DEMOCRATS are on the run.
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