Draining the swamp? Republicans in the House have moved to weaken an independent ethics office, placing it under the oversight of the House Ethics Committee.
This is actually a complicated story, because the panel as it presently exists has been misused a number of times for political partisan reasons, and clearly was a threat to the Republicans now in charge and planning many significant changes to the government in the face of a very hostile and partisan press.
Nonetheless, making this the new Congress’s very first move seems ill-advised politically, and does suggest they are trying to shield themselves from justifiable investigations. It also gives their opponents a convenient hammer to hit them over the head unnecessarily. Then again, those same opponents would have used this ethics panel against Republicans anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.
Either way, this story gives us a taste of the coming years. It will certainly not be boring.
Update: The House has pulled the amendment so that no change to the ethics panel will take place. While there are plenty of good reasons why they should not have introduced this change now, and should back off, the manner in which they folded so quickly does not bode well for the more difficult changes that they propose to pass in the coming years. Are they going to fold when they try to repeal Obamacare and the left and the press goes bonkers? I suspect yes. Will they fold when Trump proposes slashing the EPA budget and the environmental movement goes nuts in protest? I suspect yes.
These Republicans have no courage, made worse by their lemming-like herd instincts.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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