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Just because there’s still a Justice Department investigation rattling around you doesn’t mean lobbyists can’t contribute to buying a portrait for you to hang in your congressional committee’s hearing room. But don’t reach for those checkbooks. The effort to raise $30,000 for a portrait of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), former chairman and now ranking GOP member of the House Appropriations Committee, has met its goal, we hear.
The investigation, a subset of the probe of disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, apparently has been dormant for a while, indicating Lewis is in pretty good legal shape. And even if the investigation heats up, there’s no worry that Lewis’s portrait won’t be hanging soon in the hearing room — even if he’s indicted and convicted. After all, former House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud in the House Post Office scandal and did over a year in the slammer, and his portrait proudly hangs in that hearing room.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature