Monday, April 23, 2007

Pete Sessions votes against honoring "Silent Spring" author Rachel Carson

Only within this moment of time represented by the present century has one species--man--acquired significant power to alter the nature of this world. --Rachel Carson
We all know Pete Sessions is a "clear skies" kind of guy, hoping to clear the skies of noisy things like birds by giving tax breaks to big polluting industries, and weakening EPA rules so industries can keep pumping toxins into our air. So it's no surprise that Pete Sessions voted with a slim minority of Republicans (joining his buddy in pollution, Joe "Smokey Joe" Barton) against naming a post office in honor of Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. Pete was one of only 53 Republicans who voted no (See H.R. 1434, roll call 246).

When in Pennsylvania, visit the Rachel Carson Post Office, at 896 Pittsburgh Street in Springdale, Pennsylvania, and pay homage to a great American scientist, who dedicated her life to making sure our springtimes were noisy with birdsong.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The story of "Teflon Pete"

Sessions watchers will want to check out this article from Texas Observer about the rise and decline of our inept congressman. The article begins with a summary of the divorce case he was involved with:
On the first day of September last year, Congressman Pete Sessions was in a place no congressman would want to be: sitting in a conference room with a pack of divorce lawyers, describing how a longtime friend and campaign contributor shuffled assets while trying to avoid a $1.4 million judgment in a stock fraud case...

...“It wasn’t the kind of thing you’d expect a congressman to get involved with,” said one of Ahron Katz’s many lawyers. “It was a fraud within a fraud within a fraud.”
The article continues with an overview of Sessions' less than stellar career in Congress:
Sessions is 52, and after 11 years in Congress, his career arc should be ascending. He won his last election by 56 percent at a time when Republicans in Dallas were being overrun by an astonishing wave of Democrats. In 2004, after the bitter Republican redistricting engineered by former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Sessions all but vaulted over other potential candidates to take on—and defeat—the formidable, longtime incumbent Democrat Martin Frost. But Sessions’ fortunes have been stalled for some time. He is still the fourth-ranking member of the House Rules Committee, where he’s been since beginning his career in Congress. He’s developed a reputation for political mediocrity, questionable decision-making, and the occasional bonehead move. He failed in a bid to become chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Lobbyists from both parties say he falls into what may be the most perplexing of political categories: irrelevant.
And then, there are the scandals:
In late 2001 and early 2002, he signed letters to Bush administration officials on behalf of tribal casino interests represented by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Sessions also traveled to Malaysia on a trip funded by a sham think tank created by Michael Scanlon, Abramoff’s partner in crime. As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Sessions has been accused of promoting the interests of a California software firm that employed his former communications director. The company received at least one Navy Department contract for $800,000, and its officers, in turn, contributed at least $55,000 to Sessions’ political action committee, known as PETE PAC.
Of course, like most Republican scandals, Sessions' scandals involve higher math and geography, which is boring to most people. In the U.S., the scandal has to involve sex to get people outraged. So we're kind of out of luck there, unless there's a really desperate Washington intern with bad taste in men who'd like to do our Congressman. Anyone?