Representative Emanuel Cleaver II was in the news this week after he described the debt ceiling bill as a “Satan Sandwich.”
Cleaver is also an ordained Methodist minister, so one has to assume that he knows satanic when he sees it. His colourful remark was an instant hit on all the news shows, and Nancy Pelosi hurried to bask in the glow when she told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that “It probably is – with some Satan fries on the side.”
Cleaver, who is the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus was last in the news back in December when he appeared to champion a proposed $48 billion urban reclamation project for poor neighborhoods. Noted on the final page of an earmark spreadsheet on the Congressman’s website, the purpose of the request was to fund something called epicentre Kansas City.
The epicentre (E-centre) is a proposed / estimated / $48 billion dollar-(Phase One) mass /scale / urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and or eliminating poverty within underserved communities–by utilising mass / scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self reliance.
Well, it must all have been for a good cause, we’re sure. The “E-centre” was proposed by one Lamar Mickens, president of something called the Quality Day Campus, which he runs out of his house with his wife. The ambitious plan would have redistributed the billions to poor in the inner cities and so grow the consumer class who in turn would spend money and generate increased economic activity.
$48 Billion is three times the cost of all of the congressional earmarks in the 2010 budget. It would have been the biggest earmark of all time.
Now to be fair, Representative Cleaver claims that he never actually intended to propose this.
“Do you think I would request a $48 billion earmark in a city that is broke? … I mean, it’s absolutely ludicrous,” the former Kansas City mayor fumed in an interview a few days after this news broke.
Cleaver claims that his office reports on every earmark request that he receives, and he doesn’t screen which ones actually get submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for funding.
“Some ideas are absolutely crazy,” he said. “But we don’t say to them, ‘You’re stupid and this is a crazy idea.’ So we put all of these requests up. People don’t like to be dismissed.”
With that logic, crazy ideas like a proposal to spend $1 trillion to paint every home in America bright pink to encourage peace and harmony, or to spend $1.5 trillion to take over the American Health Care system would also have made the Congressman’s Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Project.
Oh… wait… They did pass that.
Cleaver has been in the news on several other occasions over the last few years. In 2009, the Congressman appeared in a photo with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus lauding the Castro brothers after a junket to Cuba.
Upon their return, Congresswoman Barbara Lee fairly swooned, explaining that “It was quite a moment to behold,” when she recalled her moments with Castro.
“It was almost like listening to an old friend,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Il.),
“We’ve been led to believe that the Cuban people are not free, and they are repressed by a vicious dictator, and I saw nothing to match what we’ve been told.” He further described Raul Castro as “one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met”
Finally, Cleaver will be remembered for his claims that he was spat upon by angry tea partiers on that fateful day last March when the Congress passed Obamacare and that he heard the ‘N-word’ as he walked a few yards behind Rep. Lewis. “It was like a chorus,” Cleaver said.
The only problem with that story is that despite all the videos and photographs that were taken that day, not one corroborated his claim. In fact, Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could produce evidence that the racial insults actually took place.
To this day, no one has come forward to claim the money.
We can only hope that Representative Cleaver keeps up his colourful commentary on the issues of the day.
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