Weiner’s Toast, But His Pension Lives On

June 16, 2011

It’s official: we won’t have Rep. Anthony Weiner to kick around any more. At his 2:00 p.m. press conference, Weiner announced his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives. Unfortunately for We the People, his resegnation doesn’t mean our tax dollars have seen the last of him.

Evidently resigning in disgrace is not enough to prevent him from cashing in on the fairly generous pension our members of Congress have come to expect: Weiner can hope to see upwards of $40,000 (with cost of living adjustments) once he reaches retirement age. That despite the fact that he’s almost guaranteed to fall on his feet into a cushy consulting, lobbying, or talking head-type job which would likely pay even more.

This is definitely some budget worth cutting. And here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you are forced to resign your seat, your pension goes with it. If you decide not to run for re-election due to scandal (or mere criminality), your pension is revoked.  If you refuse to resign despite being censured or found guilty of ethics violations, your pension goes bye-bye.

Of course, this would include not only Weiner, but other recent scandal-ridden miscreants such as Ensign, Massa, and Lee, as well as Rangel, Frank, and likely Maxine Waters and the Sanchez sisters.

In fact, I have an even better idea: No pensions at all for our elected federal officials. It might ensure that only dedicated civic-minded public servants would run for office and serve. It would also solve the problem of term limits, as those elected would ultimately have to get a real job in order to qualify for a pension.

No, Weiner is roasted, but his pension will catsup with him eventually. And no doubt he’ll enjoy it with relish.


Monsterometer vs. Frog Exaggerator

June 13, 2011

If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you probably recall the episode which the title of this post refers to: Searching for the Loch Ness Monster, Professor Frink accidentally uses his “frog exaggerator” instead of the Monsterometer to track what he believes to be Nessie:

So it goes with the Fourth Estate and Anthony Weiner (and Van Jones, Mark Foley, Bill Clinton, Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank, William “Cold Cash” Jefferson, and the litany goes on and on.)

Folks, in the case of Weiner et al, we’re using the Frog Exaggerator where we should be using the Monsterometer. We’re freaking out over what is essentially a dirty, tawdry story of a powerful little man, er, spanking the light fantastic without touching a woman (caveat: should minors turn out to be involved, that whole narrative will change.)

In other words, we have a frog on our foot, and our moral compass is blowing it out of proportion. Yes, Weiner is a dirty, lying, lecherous, grasping, selfish, sack of steaming fertilizer from a loose-boweled, feral elitist pig. But in the larger scheme of things, he’s just a little frog on this Republic’s foot. He is not the problem. The problem is that we are mistaking the frogs for actual monsters, which do exist and which desperately need to be addressed. But until we identify the frogs simply as frogs, the real monsters will continue to wreak havoc unabated.

And here be monsters, indeed. Our culture is super-saturated in hubris, greed, agenda, arrogance, and general lack of morals–in our government, in our media, and in our people. Our nation is insolvent and teetering on the brink of hopeless indebtedness to foreign powers. Due to insane government policies, energy prices are rising and likely to skyrocket any day. Our borders are open and those who wish us harm are streaming across without hindrance. The fact that our politicians and media are corrupt and venal is, sadly, among the least of our worries.

We should be using the Monsterometer to identify and fix the real problems. Instead we’re obsessed with the exaggerated frogs at our feet.


What A Difference A Day (and an Internal Poll or Two) Makes

June 12, 2011

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (how I love that phrase!) last week:

“Nancy Pelosi has declined to join fellow Democrats in demanding Rep. Anthony Weiner’s resignation, according to the Associated Press. The House Democratic leader and former speaker said that the decision of whether he resigns should be left up to Weiner and his constituents.”

Former Speaker Pelosi this week:

“Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help,” Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said in a statement. “I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a member of Congress.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz last week:

“I think this is a personal matter and that’s how it should be left.”

(In fact, Debbie was so adamant about Weiner’s Twitter behavior being a personal matter that that’s pretty much all she would say on the subject to CNN’s Wolf I Lost On Jeopardy Blitzer. She sounded like a broken record.)

DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz this week:

“This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Rep. Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House — and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important — his and his family’s well-being,”

Poor Weiner. With friends like that, who needs enemies?


Rep. Weiner Explains It All (Finally!)

June 1, 2011


Yeah, locusts, that’s the ticket.