chutz‧pa /ˈxʊtspə, ˈhʊt-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[khoot-spuh, hoot-]
–noun Slang.1. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
2. audacity; nerve.
3. Alcee Lamar Hastings
The last part of this just struck me as too much in this era of Culture of Corruption:
An editorial in South Florida Sun-Sentinel denounced Rep. Hastings with this tidbit: "Personal and political paybacks are the first order of business for Hastings."OK, so he's a congressman and, well, boys will be boys. And who cares even about the background: That he was impeached as a federal judge for taking a $150,000 bribe. He'll note that he wasn't convicted of the criminal charge. (mainly because his partner in crime refused to testify - and was later pardoned by Bill Clinton) So Hastings just looks to be one of those congressional connivers, one of those scoundrels we shake our heads about. A well-what-are-you-going-to-do situation.
The biting editorial resulted from Hastings putting his girlfriend, a disgraced former lawyer who was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court for "multiple offenses," on the public payroll as his "office liaison and staff assistant."
According to the Sentinel, Alcee Hastings owed her "more than $500,000 in legal fees for representing him during his 1983 bribery trial and his 1989 impeachment hearings before Congress." Alcee Hastings continues to employ her as his scheduling assistant, paying her more money than even his chief of staff gets, causing another reporter to comment, "She must be some scheduler."
And Rep.Hastings treated his scheduler Vanessa Griddine to many perks. For instance, he spent over $14,000 on a taxpayer-paid trip to Belgium. Almost $3000 of this was listed as per diem expenses for the lucky couple and 11,400 was spent on what must have been a marvelous flight across the pond.
Upon returning from the junket, Hastings told reporters that he was very concerned that the House Ethics Committee had not taken Rep. Tom DeLay's case more seriously.
Except for one thing. This is the man Nancy Pelosi wants to make the next chairman of the House of Representative's Intelligence Committee. Yikes. Our secrets guarded by a man who can be bought for what George Soros spends on a party weekend.
H/T: TCS Daily