San Jose Mercury News reports that Tom DeLay did not leave office quietly.
"The Hammer," who is facing trial in Texas on campaign money laundering charges, is expected to deliver one final House floor speech today. But he got in some last licks yesterday in a private speech to colleagues.
In the meeting, DeLay urged lawmakers to "stand on principle" and ignore the nattering negativism of the news media, as he explained to reporters waiting outside.
He told colleagues that they kept a majority in Congress because moderates and conservatives each "gave a little," said a source in the meeting.
But in a USA Today interview, he accused fellow Republicans of "panic, depression and woe-is-me-ism" and said they risk losing control of the House.
DeLay's parting shots were met with cheers from colleagues, who leaped to their feet in lengthy applause that left the tough-talking Texan near tears.
Who better to deliver the message that the GOP has to 'stand on principle' than the completely unprincipled Tom DeLay? Even if we forget about Jack Abramoff, money laundering, and rampant corruption, we still have a man who was a defender of sweatshops, slavery, and forced abortion.
In 1999, Salon reported that in the Marianas Islands,"Wages in the factories average about $3 per hour -- more than $2 less than the U.S. minimum wage of $5.15. No overtime is paid for a 70-hour work week. But that's hardly the worst of it. Far away from the swank beachside hotels, luxurious golf courses and the thousands of Japanese tourists snorkling around sunken U.S. Navy landing craft in the clear waters, some 31,000 textile workers live penned up like cattle by armed soldiers and barbed wire, and squeezed head to toe into filthy sleeping barracks, all of which was documented on film by U.S. investigators last year."
What's this have to do with DeLay? Salon tells us, "'Even though I have only been here for 24 hours, I have witnessed the economic success of the Marianas,' DeLay told a banquet crowd. As for the critics of the plantation system, DeLay told the dinner crowd darkly, 'You are up against the forces of big labor and the radical left.'" That's right, the 'dark forces' were labor and the left, not the businesses keeping de facto slaves in a de facto concentration camp.
Molly Ivins wrote in April, "The islands are home to classic sweatshops. In 1996 and 1997, Abramoff billed the Marianas for 187 contacts with DeLay's office, including 16 meetings with DeLay. In December 1997, DeLay, his wife, and their daughter went on an Abramoff-arranged jaunt to the Marianas. DeLay brunched with the Marianas' largest private employer, textile magnate Willie Tan.
Tan had to settle a U.S. Labor Department lawsuit alleging workplace violations. According to the book The Hammer by Lou Dubose and Jan Reid, among the violations common on the islands is the forbidding of women to work when they are pregnant, which led to a high abortion rate.
"DeLay didn't have time to look into such allegations since he was busy playing golf and attending a dinner in his honor sponsored by Tan's company. According to The Washington Post, it was at this dinner that DeLay called Abramoff 'one of my closest and dearest friends.' He also reminded those present of his promise that no minimum-wage or immigration legislation affecting the Marianas would be passed.
"'Stand firm,' he added. 'Resist evil. Remember that all truth and blessings emanate from our Creator.'" He then went with Tan to see a cockfight.
"This is why DeLay's professions of Christianity make me sick. He was there. He could have talked to the workers. Instead, he chose to walk with the powerful and do real harm to the very people Jesus mandated we especially care for."
DeLay can take his 'principles' and jam them up his... Well, use your imagination. DeLay is a nihilist who believes in nothing but Tom DeLay and getting yanked out of congress might just be the only good thing he's ever done for America.