File this under, be careful what you wish for. As expected Charlie Rangel temporarily stepped down from the Chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee this morning. His replacement Pete Stark who is just a few fries short of a happy meal. The Hill’s description is a bit more gentle.
The 19-term Democrat has a penchant for making controversial remarks, and when Republicans controlled the House, Stark challenged then Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) to a fight during a Ways and Means Committee hearing
Truth is this guy is more than CRAZY, he has thin-skin and is constantly exploding publicly into racial epithets, strange allegories, or every cuss word you can imagine.
On one occasion in 1990, for instance, he openly described the George H.W. Bush administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, an African American named Dr. Louis Sullivan, as “a disgrace to his race and his profession” for opposing Stark’s proposals for socialized medicine. This prompted Sullivan to retort: “I guess I should feel ashamed because Congressman Stark thinks I am not a ‘good Negro’ … [and he is] not ready to accept independent thinking by a black man.”
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In 1991 Stark impugned his “Jewish colleagues” for supporting the Persian Gulf War. He referred to New York congressman Stephen Solarz, who co-sponsored the Gulf War Authorization Act, as “Field Marshal Solarz in the pro-Israel forces.”
During a private 1995 meeting with Connecticut congresswoman Nancy Johnson, Stark called Johnson a “whore for the insurance industries” and suggested that her knowledge about health care was restricted to what she had heard during “pillow talk” with her husband, who was a physician.
In 1999 Stark attacked conservative California state welfare director Eloise Anderson (who is black and a former welfare mother), saying she would “kill children if she had her way.” Anderson’s sin was to be an advocate of welfare reform.
During a 2003 legislative mark-up session on pension funds, Stark hurled epithets such as “fruitcake” and “cocksucker” at Republican colleagues.
During debate on the House floor on October 18, 2007, Stark made the following remarks to Texas Republican Joe Barton:
“Republicans sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war? You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”
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Then there was the time Stark threatened to throw a reporter out the window.
Fasten your seat belts and buy the extra-large bag of popcorn, something tells me that Pete Stark’s tenure as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is going to be entertaining.
While you are waiting, you might as well listen to this Pink Floyd Song that may have been written with Pete Stark in mind.