But Congressional records and interviews show that Mr. Rangel was instrumental in preserving a lucrative tax loophole that benefited an oil-drilling company last year, while at the same time its chief executive was pledging $1 million to the project, the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at C.C.N.Y.JILL: Whoops. MEGAN: "Drill, baby, drill," said the Democrat from atop the most powerful committee in Congress, "Just as long as I get mine." JILL: And he was raising money for a school for public service. What did you say about irony earlier? MEGAN: Charlie Rangel says that serving Charlie Rangel's ego and sense of personal self-importance is serving the public because Charlie Rangel is America and so can you. JILL: Well, the school is supposed to be named after him. Doesn't that kind of imply, "I do what I want"? Who can blame the guy? MEGAN: It's the functional equivalent of his Presidential library, only he's not President and he's raising money for it from lobbyists and companies with business before his committee while still in office. I hate when Democrats do this shit, mostly because then other Democrats move to protect them and I'm like, god damn it, didn't you assholes run on change and cleaning up corrupt official Washington in 2006 and 2008? Do you really think people won't notice? But then no one does notice and I'm forced to admit that there is no accountability in our system. And then I crack open a bottle of wine. JILL: I find that's an appropriate response to most situations. MEGAN: Anyway, onto slightly less depressing news, or not, depending on how one views nepotism and political dynasties, Joe Biden has found a way for Beau Biden to have his deployment cake and eat his Senate seat, too, and that way is Senator-to-be Ted "Seat Warmer" Kaufman. JILL: You know what would be a great career? Professional Congressional Seat-Warmer. All the benefits of being in Congress (like getting to call yourself a Congressman or a Senator), none of the icky stuff like actually having to make important decisions. MEGAN: No 3 am phone calls for you! You're just there to let the leather cradle your ass for a couple of years, collect your health insurance, ensure your pension, and get the fuck out. JILL: Exactly. They get pretty good health insurance, too. I'd take it. MEGAN: Yeah, mine's going up 15% next month despite the fact that I've used it exactly one time in the last year. That's an inflationary increase, if you consider 15% something like 3.8%, which is the current rate of inflation. JILL: Damn. I just got off student insurance and started on private, and it's not fun. Students: Milk that shit as long as you can. MEGAN: Financial independence is totally overrated, kids. Just ask Citibank or AIG. JILL: It's true. They're much happier now that Big Daddy Government is back in charge. So just live in your parents' basement for a while. It works for us bloggers. MEGAN: Yeah, who needs things like "accountability" and "facing the consequences of your actions" when you can just ask Big Daddy for a 20 (billion) dollar "loan" and go back to doing what you were doing? Which definitely involves screwing up. Hey, if I am about to go bankrupt, do you think Hank Paulson will pay my debts in exchange for a half-hearted spanking? JILL: Well, when you put it that way... He might just say yes.
Sometimes, like turkeys killed beside Sarah Palin, your suffering only serves as a backdrop to the televised platitudes of those higher up on the food chain. The credit crunch and foreclosure is just a scene-setter for the banks' bail-out, and your deployment to a war zone is just the back drop for the furtherance of someone's political career. Your sacrifice to donate $50 to Obama is a mere pittance to the "donations" made by oil companies at the request of a powerful Democratic Congressman to fund his eponymous school after which he just happened to help them keep a multi-million dollar tax break. In the midst of all this depressingly shady news, Jill Filipovic of Feministe helps me find yet a few things to be thankful for, like poultry, broken bones, the potential benefits of moving back home and getting half-heartedly spanked by Henry Paulson.MEGAN: Hey, Jill, only two days left until we stuff our faces with turkey and most of the known universe has seen one slaughtered behind Sarah Palin. How many people do you think will be eating something else this year? JILL: I'm guessing that seeing those poor birds killed on TV will boost Tofurkey sales at least a little bit. I'll still be eating the real thing, though. You? MEGAN: Yeah, I'm fine with being omnivorous. I had a pet chicken in college and I still happily eat chicken. My problem is more finding a restaurant that will be serving it that won't douse it in gravy and plop it down over mashed potatoes because I am not into gravy and I don't like mixing my foods like that because I am still 5. JILL: See, I say, slather the otherwise-healthy turkey in everything bad for me — especially gravy and mashed potatoes. Doubly on the potatoes. MEGAN: There is, however, one supposed carnivore among us that will not be eating turkey this year: Ann Coulter. JILL: ...is it wrong to feel a little Schadenfreude over the fact that Ann Coulter has her mouth wired shut? MEGAN: If it is wrong, than I'm not sure I want to be right. I believe irony might be my new favorite Thanksgiving side dish. JILL: Seriously. Although I'm sure we'll all miss her on Thanksgiving day when we turn on cable news and there's no one to tell us that it was good for white settlers to kill off Native Americans, and that's what we should be celebrating. Or something along those lines. Maybe Michelle Malkin can fill in. MEGAN: We did forcibly convert lots of them like Ann suggested we do to Muslims in their countries, so that is probably exactly what she is celebrating. On the other hand, I'll be giving thanks that the economic downturn, while fucking with my 401(k) and minimal stock portfolio is fucking dozens of hard-core, right-wing Republicans out of their jobs as Freedom Watch goes down in flames. JILL: That's the best news I've heard all day. And it looks like Republican lobbyists are out of jobs, too. It's a little concerning, since now I'm not sure who's going to protect us from the Islamofascists under our beds... MEGAN: Or from the tyranny of environmental and financial market regulation that threatens to stifle innovation and harm our economy... JILL: I believe we call that "socialism," Megan. Except when a Republican president spearheads it. Then it's just good common sense, to help poor, downtrodden hedge fund managers. MEGAN: That's just good governance! And, at least those hedge fund managers aren't bribing for the favors, unlike that oil executive and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel.