Tales from the Trail

You can take it to the bank: Unbowed Maxine says she won’t cut a deal

She broke no rules, she has no regrets, and she won’t cut a deal with the U.S. House of Representatives ethics committee. That was the message a defiant Democratic lawmaker Maxine Waters had for the media on Friday.

The 10-term California representative brought her trademark feistiness to a lengthy news conference in the bowels of the U.S. Capitol. Her chief of staff Mikael Moore (who also happens to be her grandson) went through the ethics charges against her, and her defense against them in mind-numbing detail.

BLACKS/BERNANKE“I won’t go behind closed doors. I won’t cut a deal. I will continue to talk about the fact that I have not violated anything,” Waters declared at the news conference in the Capitol Visitors’ Center, which is below ground. She flayed the ethics committee for having not yet set a hearing in her case.

The House ethics panel accused Waters of three counts of breaking House rules earlier this month for allegedly assisting a bank in which her husband was a stockholder get help from the federal government.

The case comes on the heels of 13 charges by the ethics panel against Representative Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, adding to the woes of President Obama’s party in Congress as it struggles to maintain its majority in mid-term elections this fall.

Massa waning as news fodder but may rise again to plague Democrats

AUTOS/BAILOUT

Eric Massa may soon vanish from the 24-7 news cycle. But the martyred Democrat, who says he fell from grace beneath the naked power of Satan’s spawn, could reappear some day soon as a burr under the saddles of his former congressional colleagues.

Republicans would like Massa to do for them what Mark Foley did for Democrats four years ago: provide a scourge with which to flail the other guy in a mid-term election year.

Foley, a Republican, resigned from Congress in September 2006 amid allegations that he sent sexually explicit emails and instant messages to male congressional pages. As such, he was among the denizens of that swamp of Republican corruption that Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain just before Democrats took control of Congress and gave her the speaker’s gavel.

Democrat gets naked with Rahm Emanuel, labels him “son of devil’s spawn”

USA-OBAMA/

Eric Massa knows all about awkward. The House Democrat, who leaves Congress today over a sexual harassment complaint by a male staffer, says he’s been up-close, personal and naked with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — all at the same time.

Emanuel, Massa has decided, is a blood relative of Satan.

“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn. He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive,” Massa says in a recording from his radio show posted to the RealClearPolitics Web site.

Massa’s close encounter with Emanuel occurred in the showers of a congressional gym about eight weeks after he entered Congress in January 2009.