In Which the Washington Bureau Chief Parses a Chain E-Mail and, in so doing, Gives Herself a New Project
by Eileen | 1:21 pm, February 1, 2013 | Comments Off
I received the following chain e-mail. I have though, stripped it of the weird formatting and superfluous characters so endemic to the genre. You may thank me in the comments.
What organization is described by the following?
36 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least two businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 have credit so bad they cannot qualify for a credit card
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Obviously, it’s Congress.
But is it true?
It takes about two seconds to find that this particular email has been going around for years, alternately attributed to the Libertarian Party or to the unreliable blog Capitol Hill Blue. The link provided to the CHB blog does not work and the LP press release from August of 1999 references “a study” but gives no detail at all as to who conducted the study or where one might get a copy.
FactCheck.org weighed in, noting that the blog refused to provide citations or even name the Congressmen guilty of the listed infractions. The ‘study’ turned out to be rambling article without a single link or citation. Ultimately, Capitol Hill Blue withdrew the claims. What a shame. Figuring out the criminal records of our Congress would be a great project.
Enter the Peoples Press Collective.
Combing the web for the shameful moments of 538 people…well, we’ll call it an ongoing project.
That Congressmen misbehave is a given. Recently, we’ve seen a bipartisan smorgasbord of questionable decision making: money laundering and conspiracy (Tom DeLay), bribery, fraud, and tax evasion (Duke Cunningham), more bribery (William Jefferson), manslaughter (Bill Janklow), corruption (James Traficant), drunk driving (Vito Fossella), lewd conduct (Larry Craig), and money laundering and fraud (Frank Ballance).
And those are just the convictions for the Bush years.
Going further back, we were represented by fine men and women guilty of sexual assault and solicitation of child pornography (Mel Reynolds), fraud (also Mel Reynolds), extortion and tax evasion (Walter R. Tucker, III), misappropriation of campaign funds (Barbara Rose-Collins), lying about military service (Wes Cooley), voter fraud (Austin Murphy), bribery and conspiracy (Buz Lukens), check kiting (Carl C. Perkins), campaign fraud (Carol Hubbard), misdemeanor campaign finance violations (Mary Rose Oakar), filing false income disclosures (Walter Fauntroy), embezzlement (Dan Rostenkowski), conspiracy (Joe Koulter), and accepting bribes (Jay Kim).
Clearly, Congressmen are greedy and we should probably castrate the men as a prophylactic measure. Also, none of them should be allowed to drive or enter a bar.
Well start with the sitting Congress and consider indictments and convictions, admissions of behavior that, while not illegal, raises question about character, censures and reprimands, serious allegations with credible evidence, and whatever other little tidbits pop up.
We’ll avoid normative caterwauling over how kind someone is to her staff or what sort of tipper the ranking member is, and the like by stipulating right now that they all deserve to be publicly hanged for their lousy personalities and poor treatment of others.
Let the unalloyed character assassination begin.
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