No surprise – Rangel broke ethics rules
The House ethics committee accused Rangel on Thursday of accepting corporate money for trips to Caribbean conferences in violation of House rules. The committee said it couldn’t determine whether Rangel knew about the financing, but found that his staff did — and concluded Rangel was responsible for learning the truth.
Ironically, as the ethics committee was finalizing its report, the New York Democrat was attending President Barack Obama’s bipartisan summit in an attempt to rescue the party’s health care bill.
Rangel’s case is certain to raise questions of whether the 20-term lawmaker, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, can retain his post in an election year.
If this was Rangel’s only ethics problem, it might not be crippling to Democrats. But still looming is a much larger ethics investigation. That one is focusing in part on Rangel’s use of official stationery to raise money for a college center in his name; and his belated financial disclosure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unreported assets and income.
The unreported assets included a federal credit union account worth between $250,001 and $500,000; a Merrill Lynch account valued between $250,000 and $500,000; tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds and $30,000 to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily brownstone building in New York.
Ed Morrissey agree with John Stossel that UL could perform the functions of the FDA given their performance in areas such as burglary / fire alarms and electrical safety. Like the Classic Liberal, who made a similar point awhile back, Morrissey misses the fact that in many cases NRTL testing (UL is an NRTL lab) is mandated by law. The NEC calls out NRTL compliance and it is adopted wholesale by most jurisdictions. 29 CFR also mandates NRTL compliance for certain classes of product. If manufacturers didn’t have to comply with these provisions they wouldn’t. Believe me I know. My previous employers constantly tried to skip the NRTL certification. (That isn’t to say some testing wouldn’t be done due to international requirements but in many cases that testing is voluntary and can be skipped if the manufacturer is willing to run the risk and just sign the declaration of conformity). Another point that both Morrissey and Stossel overlook is that before the FDA there were voluntary organizations that regulated things like Food Safety. They were inefficient because there was no reason for manufacturers to comply. I’m not saying that there isn’t a private market based solution out there, but UL isn’t the model to use. It has never in it’s history really been forced to compete. Stossel mentions Consumer Reports as another possibility, but they only test products after they are on the market.
Colonel Rebel being replaced by Admiral Ackbar? What’s the world coming too? (BTW don’t tell George Lucas or he will constantly want to go back and remake every game film)