Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » September 2005 » A new definition of "chutzpah"?

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09/18/2005: A new definition of "chutzpah"?

You know the classic one of course: "A man murdering his parents and then throwing himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds he's an orphan." Over at Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall gives us another example, courtesy of notorious corrupt congresscritter Randy "Duke" Cunningham of California:

Wow! Old habits sure die hard for our man Duke Cunningham.

You remember how Duke got MZM, Inc. owner Mitchell Wade to pay (roughly) double the price for his old house. Then he took Wade's bribe and mixed it together with a few sweetheart loans from Thomas Kontogiannis to buy the new mansion in Rancho Santa Fe.

After Duke's career imploded this summer, the feds sued to take ownership of the new mansion since it was bought with the proceeds of Duke's bribes from various contractors. Presumably, that and the rest of Duke's so-so publicity over recent months has put something of a damper on his efforts to unload the mansion.

In any case, apparently the best offer Duke's gotten for the place is $2.5 million, $50,000 less than he bought it for 20 months ago. But Duke says it's
real value is at least $3.3 million (a questionable level of appreciation in a decelerating real estate market).

Now, back in the old days when Duke was living large and he got into a jam like this, the standard procedure was to find a corrupt defense contractor to chip in a few hundred thousand dollars. But since that probably won't work out any more, Duke says the
US Treasury should pay him $800,000 to make up for the money he should be getting for the house.

That's right. Duke says the feds should make him whole because he can't pocket the full Duke-appraised 'market' value.

Why is this guy stil in Congress?
The Federal Government should pay Duke $800,000 for his house? I think the Feds should give it to him in trade, as it were. Like in a multi-year occupancy of one of those palatial Federal prison cells that I'm sure ol' "Duke-stir" voted to fund during his term as a congresscritter.

Len on 09.18.05 @ 11:51 AM CST

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