The Mythical High Ground
In an effort to regain the ethical high ground in Washington DC, which admittedly is lower than a parasite on the belly of a flounder on the floor of the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean, Republican Party leaders announced a series of lobbying reforms to counteract the publicity they've received due to the Jack Abramoff expose (scandal is such an ugly word.)
This is kind of like a skulk of foxes calling for a new collection of locks be placed on the hen house. Which they get to install. And reference their brother-in-law as vendor.
Shockingly, the prospective reforms don't really reform much. One of them is a bill that calls for a cap on gifts. Or is it a bill calling for a cap on gift caps? Or does it cap the bill length of gift caps? No matter.
Another calls for filing more disclosure reports. Like there's anybody in place to read the ones that aren't being filed now. As in most grand-standing Congressional efforts, these policy changes are so "mostly for show," they make the Golden Globes look like Nobel Laureate biochemical research.
You have to understand: inside the Beltway it is more imperative to give the appearance of doing something than actually doing anything. Outside of massive and continuous fundraising, that's pretty much their job description. So, in the spirit of appearing as if I'm helping, I've come up with some further reforms that don't do much but look good set in embossed type, and will serve to pad out their list.
Possible New Republican Congressional Ethics Reforms:
- Footrests in all chauffeur-driven limousines to be reconfigured from leather to naugahyde.
- Lobbyists required to keep their jackets on when assisting with writing legislation in committee meetings. Ties may still be loosened.
- Oil companies no longer to receive extra-special treatment. From now on, they are to only get special treatment.
- In order to lessen the appearance of ethics violations in Congress, the Congressional Ethics Committee is to be disbanded.
- Campaign contributions no longer allowed to be direct-deposited to off-shore accounts. Must be deposited in on-shore banking institutions. Pseudonyms are discouraged.
- A frivolity tax to be levied on all tasseled loafers sold in the 202 area code.
- Persons or organizations revealing instances of Congressional Ethics Violations will be prosecuted under the full penalty of the law. And you can be sure a law will be written to punish them.
- All Congressional shredders to be upgraded to units employing motors of at least 8 horsepower.
- Ex-lawmakers hereby prohibited from making cameo appearances on "The OC" and "Gilmore Girls." "Skating with Celebrities" is OK.
- Six-drink maximum to be strictly enforced when flying on corporate jets during travel of less than 1,000 air miles.
- When procuring the services of an escort, American-born men and women will be given the right of first refusal.
- Henceforth, all no-bid contracts to Halliburton will be delivered through the US Postal Service instead of being Fed-Exed.