Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Duke bites the dust

Recently, on the Voices page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, there has been a discussion about the many perceived failings of "liberals." As you may know, every known social ill from polio to child prostitution can be laid at the doorstep of "liberals." I penned a little missive seeking to understand the dark and covetousness nature of the so-called "conservative" movement. I wrote the following:

There is nothing clever or elevating about promoting the financial advancement of a favored few at the expense of most working people It may be an easy path to economic gain, but you simply can't make it into a distinguished school of thought. If it were possible, that would make Al Capone a mental giant.

I wisely concluded,

..Conservatives do not possess an organized governing philosophy, they do have a scheme, and it is a very successful formula for winning elections. Sadly, all that matters to this bunch is the victory party and the payoffs.

Who could have imagined that I would be so swiftly vindicated? Thank you Duke Cunningham. You are excessively greedy, a disgrace to your office, an embarrassment to your district, and a prime example of Republican conservative values in action. Here is the gist of it from the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Diego -- A tearful and trembling Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-San Diego, resigned Monday after pleading guilty to receiving $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and evading more than $1 million in taxes.

yep,Cunningham is ever the fiscal conservative.

Cunningham admitted a pattern of bribery going back to 2000, with contractors supplying him with Persian carpets, silver candelabras, a Rolls Royce, a 19th-century Louis-Philippe commode, travel and hotel expenses, use of a yacht and a lavish graduation party for his daughter.

In return, Cunningham used his high-ranking position in Congress -- he served on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Intelligence Committee -- to "influence the appropriations of funds and the execution of government contracts."

He could do 10 years. I predict not one day in prison.

The always-entertaining Mother Jones had this about our favorite GOP former congressman, Duke Cunningham.

The Billy Carter Award for Most Amusing Political Relative

Randall Todd Cunningham: The son of Duke "Death Penalty for Drug Kingpins" Cunningham (R-Calif.) was convicted for possession of 400 pounds of marijuana. In court, the congressman cried and pleaded for mercy, explaining that his son "has a good heart. He works hard. He's expressed to me he wants to go back to school." While out on bail, the hardworking son tested positive for cocaine use three times; when an officer tried to apprehend him following the third positive test, Randy hurled himself out a window and broke his leg. Still, the congressman -- who has denounced Clinton's "soft-on-crime liberal judges" and railed against "reduced ma...mandatory-minimum sentences for drug trafficking" -- won for his son the mercy denied so many others. Randy got 30 months -- half the federal "mandatory" minimum sentence.

I presume that, when he faces sentencing in a few short weeks, Cunningham will demand a harsh judge to impose the maximum sentence upon himself.

Final thought. Who else is on the take? It seems a reasonable question considering the scope of this little mess.

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