Friday, December 4, 2009


Like many stay-at-home moms, I am in charge of the family budget.  And, like many families these days, it is getting harder and harder to make ends meet.  Clipping coupons helps, of course, as well as cutting back on luxuries and certain household expenses.  But sometimes it seems like an exercise in futility. 

Especially when I read articles like this one from the Washington Post.

Rep. Bennie Thompson D-MS is under an ethics investigation.  Mr. Thompson is chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and in late March he convened a hearing where he warned Visa, Mastercard and other credit card companies that they would be facing expensive new rules for tighter security standards in the near future. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Thompson is not really in a position to make such threats - this is more the purview of the Finance and Judiciary Committees (although committees sometimes do overlap).  One would imagine the Homeland Security Committee would have more important things to discuss, though - Ft. Hood and the NY terror plot come to mind. 

Some of his staff wondered if there might be an ulterior motive to the credit card threats.  Interestingly enough, he amassed over $15,000 in 'campaign contributions' within weeks of his warning. 

An ethics review was launched in early summer, prompted by a former committee aide who claimed she was fired when she complained about improper requests from lobbyists.  The credit card threats are only a part of the multi-pronged investigation, including a committe oversight hearing Thompson held at his Mississippi alma mater basically outlining how minority and disadvantaged businesses can score government contracts.  The hearing sounded more like a job interview, with many of the potential job candidates eventually contributing to Mr. Thompson's campaign coffers.

So far, no legislation has been proposed regarding credit card security.

This story makes me crazy.

One of the reasons it has been harder to balance the family budget has been increases in credit card fees and interest rates. 

And now, reading the Washington Post article, I wonder if the sudden jump in interest rates for most of us is because the companies were back loading funds to offset the threatened new taxes by this greedy little piggy, drunk with power and looking to score.

On top of that, his doling out of prize (taxpayer funded) contracts to donors is costing us, too, so he's getting us coming and going.  One would assume the donors are asking for extra funds, too, so that they can properly 'thank' their benefactor.  Political money laundering extraordinaire....

How much you want to bet Pelosi calls off the investigation?



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