Release List Reviews Shop Join News DVD Giveaways Video Games Advertise
DVD Reviews | Theatrical Reviews | Price Search Buy Stuff Here
DVD Talk
DVD Reviews DVD Talk Headlines HD Reviews


Add to My Yahoo! - RSS 2.0 - RSS 2.0 - DVD Talk Podcast RSS -


Go Back   DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk > Religion, Politics and World Events

Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-02-17, 07:02 PM   #1
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,356
The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

The 115th Congress is set to meet tomorrow, and to pave the way for the new GOP agenda, Republicans have moved to neuter the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Quote:
House Republicans voted Monday night in favor of a proposal that would weaken Congress' outside ethics watchdog and remove its independence.

Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte's proposal would place the independent Office of Congressional Ethics -- an initial watchdog for House members but without power to punish members -- under oversight of those very lawmakers.

This will now be included in a larger rules package that will be voted on in the full House of Representatives Tuesday.

Goodlatte argued that changing the ethics review process "strengthens the mission" of the office and it will remain the panel to review potential rules violations.

"It also improves upon due process rights for individuals under investigation, as well as witnesses called to testify. The (ethics office) has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work," Goodlatte said in a written statement Monday evening.

GOP Rep. Hal Rogers, the Appropriations Committee chairman, told reporters he backed the proposal because "it's the right thing to do."

Rogers said there were "numerous examples" of members "who were falsely accused by this group who had to spend a fortune to get their good name ‎restored so I think there's been an abuse."

Texas Congressman Bill Flores also backed the change saying the panel is "out of control‎, we don't even get constitutional rights, constitutional protections. They don't tell us who accuses us and they leak the data -- they are out of control."

Currently the ethics panel operates as an independent, non-partisan entity that has the power to investigate misconduct against lawmakers, officers and staff of the United States House of Representatives. Originally created by Congress under Nancy Pelosi's speakership in the wake of multiple lobbying scandals, it continued to act as an independent body under then-House Speaker John Boehner.

The proposal carries the appearance of House members taking power away from the office that can investigate them for misconduct.

Members of both parties complain that panel often takes up matters based on partisan accusations from outside groups with political motivations, and once they launch a probe members have to mount expensive defense campaigns.

But outside ethics group point to the ethics panel as the only real entity policing members and argue its independent status and bipartisan board are an appropriate way to oversee investigations.

"Gutting the independent ethics office is exactly the wrong way to start a new Congress," said Chris Carson, spokesperson for League of Women Voters, in a statement. "This opens the door for special interest corruption just as the new Congress considers taxes and major infrastructure spending."
Now we see how urgently America needs Trump to drain the swamp. I for one am holding my breath in anticipation of how he'll smack down Congress for this clear and egregious attempt to subvert independent oversight.

Any minute now....
__________________
Goodnight, everyone. Tomorrow will be worse.
Blog
Twitter
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 07:12 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 69,357
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Wow, they're basically admitting that unprecedented corruption is coming.
__________________
Xbox Live: Runner Groucho
PSN: RunnerGroucho

"The Borg is a species" -- Tracer Bullet (Citation)
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 07:41 PM   #3
DVD Talk Legend
 
Bronkster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: AnaheimLand, SoCal
Posts: 11,493
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

I feel America greatening already!
__________________
This signature is brought to you by whichever advertiser is currently abusing the page.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 07:45 PM   #4
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 24,108
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Wow, they're basically admitting that unprecedented corruption is coming.
Trump's in charge now. Nothing but corruption is on the way.
__________________
Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow. - Men in Black
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 07:52 PM   #5
DVD Talk Legend
 
Abob Teff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not necessarily Formerly known as Solid Snake
Posts: 15,058
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Wow, they're basically admitting that unprecedented corruption is coming.
Coming? It's been here.
__________________
dvdjunkie32 forgets how Otterville works: I only asked for some simple advice, not 7 pages of mockery.

Kurtie Dee gets Otter:Think about that: Since you're asking us, you know what you want to do is wrong.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 11:42 PM   #6
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,356
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

A bit more detail on the ... um, ethics reform package.

Quote:
Defying the wishes of their top leaders, House Republicans voted behind closed doors Monday night to rein in the independent ethics office created eight years ago in the wake of a series of embarrassing congressional scandals.

The 119-to-74 vote during a GOP conference meeting means that the House rules package expected to be adopted Tuesday, the first day of the 115th Congress, would rename the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and place it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Under the proposed new rules, the office could not employ a spokesperson, investigate anonymous tips or refer criminal wrongdoing to prosecutors without the express consent of the Ethics Committee, which would gain the power to summarily end any OCE probe.

The OCE was created in 2008 to address concerns that the Ethics Committee had been too timid in pursuing allegations of wrongdoing by House members. Under the current House ethics regime, the OCE is empowered to release a public report of its findings even if the Ethics Committee chooses not to take further action against a member.

The move to place the OCE under the Ethics Committee’s aegis stands to please many lawmakers who have been wary of having their dirty laundry aired by the independent entity, but some Republicans feared that rolling back a high-profile ethical reform would send a negative message as the GOP assumes unified control in Washington. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and has proposed a series of his own ethics reforms.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed the amendment to the House rules package, speaking out against it in the Monday evening conference meeting, according to two people in the room.

But the measure’s sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that it “builds upon and strengthens” the current arrangement and that it improves the due process rights for the House members under investigation and witnesses interviewed in the course of OCE probes.

“The OCE has a serious and important role in the House, and this amendment does nothing to impede their work,” Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte’s amendment to the House rules “provides protections against any disclosures to the public or other government entities,” according to a summary provided by his office, and also mandates that the Ethics Committee — not the OCE itself — make any referral of a potential criminal violation to law enforcement.

“Feedback from Members and staff having gone through review by the OCE has been that those under investigation need increased protection of their due process rights, greater access to basic evidentiary standards, and a process that does not discriminate against them for invoking those rights,” the summary said. “The amendment seeks to strengthen each of these needs while maintaining the basic core of OCE’s functions.”

The measure also prohibits limits the OCE’s jurisdiction to the previous three Congresses, aligning its statute of limitations to the Ethics Committee’s.

An OCE spokeswoman declined to comment Monday. Because Monday’s vote was taken in a private party meeting, there is no public tally of how members voted on the proposal.

Ethics watchdog groups warned that the amendment could undermine public confidence in Congress.

“Threatening its independence is a disservice to the American people who need a nonpartisan body to investigate the ethical failures of their representatives,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, a watchdog organization. “The fact that they do not want an Office with ‘Congressional Ethics’ in the name is a pretty good metaphor for how ethics scandals will be dealt with if this rule passes.”

Democrats, then in the House majority, established the OCE in 2008 in the aftermath of the lobbying scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff to conduct ethics investigations free from political influence. But in recent years, some members of Congress have sought to limit the office and its work.

At the start of the last Congress, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) pushed for a rule change to stress that people being investigated by the OCE could not be denied their constitutional rights and had a right to counsel. According to media reports, Pearce raised the objection because he felt a staffer in his office had been treated unfairly.

The OCE’s rules permit people under investigation to work through a lawyer.

Last summer, Pearce repeated such complaints during comments on the House floor, when he proposed an amendment to limit the OCE’s funding, arguing that it was justified by government-wide budget restrictions and the need “to give notice to the OCE that we’re watching what you’re doing.”

The pushback hasn’t come only from Republicans. In 2011, Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) — who had been subject to an OCE investigation — drafted an amendment to slash funding from the OCE by 40 percent, calling the office “redundant and duplicative” of the House Ethics Committee. That amendment was rejected.

Democrats pounced Monday on the Republicans’ move. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the GOP “has acted to weaken ethics and silence would-be whistleblowers” and that the proposed arrangement “would functionally destroy” the OCE.

“Republicans claim they want to drain the swamp, but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” Pelosi said. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

The House Ethics Committee is composed of sitting members of Congress, five Republicans and five Democrats, while the Office of Congressional Ethics is run by a six-member board with two alternates. One alternate position is vacant.

It does not have subpoena power, but its reports and investigations are often a first vetting in situations where members are alleged to have violated the rules of congressional conduct. Several of the cases reviewed by the OCE have been referred to the House Ethics Committee for further proceedings.

Unlike most congressional committees, the Ethics Committee is evenly divided between the majority and minority parties. A senior GOP aide not authorized to comment publicly on the matter noted Friday that because of that, Republicans could not act unilaterally to protect members of their own party.

But in the decades before the OCE was created, the Ethics Committee was routinely criticized for protecting lawmakers of both parties by sanctioning members in only the most egregious and well-publicized cases.

In the Senate, there is no equivalent of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
So House Republicans, meeting behind closed doors on a federal holiday, take a secret vote to eliminate independent ethics oversight. They even prevent the oversight board from being able to report to the FBI if they find out about, hypothetically, a Congressman who's caught raping interns in his office, or paying hush money to kids he molested back when he was a high school gym teacher.
__________________
Goodnight, everyone. Tomorrow will be worse.
Blog
Twitter
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 11:51 PM   #7
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Ghostbuster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,756
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

As I said in the Trumpocalypse thread, Republican legislators are basically ignoring Trump's campaign plans and promises and moving forward with their traditional agenda. For example, they apparently don't care that Trump promised not to reduce the benefits of Social Security and Medicare. As Gingrich recently said, Republicans are preparing "the third great effort to break free from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal system."

Newt Gingrich: The incredible reason why Trump could succeed in turning Washington upside down at FoxNews.com
__________________
"I don't know what [Donald Trump]'s talking about, but clearly neither does he."

- Christopher Hill, former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-17, 11:53 PM   #8
Time Lord
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 52,324
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Pretty telling that this was their first move. I guess the unprecedented amounts of corruption will just be an open secret. And yet people are calling Obama a backstabber.
__________________
“Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Check out my vinyl collection!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 12:43 AM   #9
DVD Talk Legend
 
Why So Blu?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 23,474
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

But Hillary! Bengazi! Thanks Obama!


  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 06:52 AM   #10
Admin-Self Banned
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 28,111
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Disgusting, but predicable given the way this generation of Republicans handles the rest of their business. The swamp is running over into my backyard for Cripes sake.

Need a serious get out of the vote of Dems for Congress in 2018.
__________________
"Redistricting has made a tiny slice of ideological activists the power brokers in who gets sent to Congress."

www.endgerrymandering.com
Gerrymandering in the US
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 07:59 AM   #11
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 18,302
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

So what's the Republican spin on this?

It's hard to maintain my "sensible Republican" logic when I see something like this. Because the votes are private, I will assume that all Republicans voted for the changes.
__________________
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 09:43 AM   #12
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,356
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

On the bright side, we see the first crack between Trump and Ryan's leadership.

__________________
Goodnight, everyone. Tomorrow will be worse.
Blog
Twitter
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 09:44 AM   #13
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 5,333
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
Disgusting, but predicable given the way this generation of Republicans handles the rest of their business. The swamp is running over into my backyard for Cripes sake.

Need a serious get out of the vote of Dems for Congress in 2018.
I think this is disgusting and seems like a serious hole that needs to be plugged in the checks and balances of our government. That said, dirty laundry and corruption are politician things, not a Republican things, so I don't put much hope in simply voting in a bunch of Democrats next time.
__________________
--Kevin--
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:05 AM   #14
Admin-Self Banned
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 28,111
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
I think this is disgusting and seems like a serious hole that needs to be plugged in the checks and balances of our government. That said, dirty laundry and corruption are politician things, not a Republican things, so I don't put much hope in simply voting in a bunch of Democrats next time.
The most obstructionist Congress in our lifetimes was Republican controlled.
They didn't allow the President to even nominate a Supreme Court Justice.
Republican legislatures consistently try to suppress Democratic votes under the guise of voter fraud laws.

The Democrats have a lot of issues, but the subversive, anti-democracy actions of the Republicans are far far worse.
__________________
"Redistricting has made a tiny slice of ideological activists the power brokers in who gets sent to Congress."

www.endgerrymandering.com
Gerrymandering in the US
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:11 AM   #15
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di Salò
Posts: 31,744
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
On the bright side, we see the first crack between Trump and Ryan's leadership.
Ryan is opposed to it as well, from what I've read.
__________________
"Fifth Element may be as dumb and artless as Johnny Mnemonic, but since a frenchman made it it must be ART!" -Pants
"...I think it's a low blow to draw attention to wendersfan's drunken state. " - dork
"Just because their victims are still alive doesn't mean they didn't commit murder." - grundle
"You concentrate on the sad wanna be hooliganism and let us worry about the actual soccer." - rocketsauce (final score: Columbus 2-Chicago 1)
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:25 AM   #16
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 6,098
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Ryan is opposed to it as well, from what I've read.
Yeah, that's what it says in the article Sean posted prior to his post with the Tweets. We (collectively everyone who understands how horrible Trump is) really need to be vigilant with accuracy. There's no reason to help Trump supporters rationalize themselves out of the cognitive dissonance that's bound to start taking a toll at some point.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:33 AM   #17
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
joeblow69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Palm Springs
Posts: 6,053
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Ryan is opposed to it as well, from what I've read.
That's what he says, but the vote was anonymous, so we really have no idea.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:39 AM   #18
DVD Talk Hero
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 49,542
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Ryan was all for it. Ryan has been anti-Trump from the start and has been looking for any opportunity to create chaos within the Trump camp. Like I've said before, he is Establishment. This is one of many things he has helped facilitate, and will be doing more if Trump cannot or will not remove him as Speaker.

Ryan knew about this and could have anonymously sent Trump a heads up, and then Trump would have done his usual Tweet BEFORE the weekend, which would have sent a large spotlight on the issue, and the committee would have been dissolved in minutes due to the press getting a hold of it.

This was purposeful by Ryan.
__________________
Blu-ray Titles: ~1,050 | HD DVD Titles: ~323

"I don't sell airplane parts. I've never sold airplane parts."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:45 AM   #19
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,356
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Ryan is opposed to it as well, from what I've read.
He says he opposes it. If he really does, he's in a position where he could have it brought to the floor as a separate issue when the whole House votes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
I think this is disgusting and seems like a serious hole that needs to be plugged in the checks and balances of our government. That said, dirty laundry and corruption are politician things, not a Republican things, so I don't put much hope in simply voting in a bunch of Democrats next time.
The whole committee came about because Republicans covered up Mark Foley fucking 16 year old boys in his office (while being a staunch opponent of gay rights, naturally). Of course the Speaker of the House for much of the cover up was Dennis Hastert, who turned out to be a pedophile.

What's the last Democratic scandal that was comparable? Anthony Weiner's sexting? The Dems threw him under a bus right away.
__________________
Goodnight, everyone. Tomorrow will be worse.
Blog
Twitter
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 10:55 AM   #20
DVD Talk Hero
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 49,542
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

How would this be the last Congress. Is there a new proposition I'm not aware of that just stops at #115?
__________________
Blu-ray Titles: ~1,050 | HD DVD Titles: ~323

"I don't sell airplane parts. I've never sold airplane parts."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 11:02 AM   #21
Admin-Self Banned
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 28,111
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
How would this be the last Congress. Is there a new proposition I'm not aware of that just stops at #115?
Well if the world explodes it might be.
__________________
"Redistricting has made a tiny slice of ideological activists the power brokers in who gets sent to Congress."

www.endgerrymandering.com
Gerrymandering in the US
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 11:04 AM   #22
DVD Talk Hero
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 49,542
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

That's a good point.
__________________
Blu-ray Titles: ~1,050 | HD DVD Titles: ~323

"I don't sell airplane parts. I've never sold airplane parts."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 11:06 AM   #23
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,356
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Reporters on Twitter say Republicans are holding an emergency meeting after their offices got inundated with angry phone calls. If you have a Republican Representative, you should probably give them a buzz. Giving Congress a good scare on the first day of session can't hurt.
__________________
Goodnight, everyone. Tomorrow will be worse.
Blog
Twitter
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 12:18 PM   #24
DVD Talk Hero
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 49,542
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Looks like Republicans just reversed themselves on the OCE revamping.

And go fuck yourself, Paul Ryan. Unfortunately, this was part of your approval for today.
__________________
Blu-ray Titles: ~1,050 | HD DVD Titles: ~323

"I don't sell airplane parts. I've never sold airplane parts."
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-17, 12:37 PM   #25
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 18,302
Re: The 115th (and possibly last) Congress

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
How would this be the last Congress. Is there a new proposition I'm not aware of that just stops at #115?
__________________
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:51 PM.


Copyright 2011 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0