The Worst Person in the Universe: Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA)
Note: This is the first in a new series called “Worst Person in the Universe.” It’s a bastard ripoff of Larry Flynt’s “Asshole of the Month” column which used to appear in Hustler, and Kieth Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” television segment on MSNBC. This month’s playmate is Republican Congressman Frank Wolf, of Virginia.
Frank Wolf is the worst person in the universe.
Rep. Wolf is a longtime Republican congressman from Virginia. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives way back in 1980, riding the cozy coattails of Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory. Since then, Rep. Wolf has been as faithful as a potted planet, deeply rooted to every corporate-funded, neoconservative, right-wing cause. Like a slice of cold stale pizza, he’s one of the stale leftovers of the late Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority,” a witch-hunting political movement of Bible-thumpers who once professed to know what’s good for us all, and was dedicated to transforming America into a modern theocracy named “Jesusville.”
Today, Rep. Wolf represents one of the wealthiest congressional districts in the nation, which are the Northern Virginia counties on the western outskirts of Washington, D.C., out near Dulles Airport and the pastures of wonderland beyond. His constituents are far wealthier and more conservative than average, even by Virginia standards. Yet many of Wolf supporters earn their living and made their considerable fortunes from close connections to the federal government, conceding obvious paradoxical hypocrisy to their core belief in “limited government.” Amend that to “limited government that benefits us.”
For years, Rep. Wolf has been a rash on the ass of the gambling industry that won’t go away. He fabricates and exaggerates, instigates, and exacerbates.
Fortunately for those of us addicted to the sin of online poker, he’s retiring at the end of this year. However, don’t start celebrating just yet. He’s likely to be replaced by a copycat conservative, you know one of those flip-floppers who professes defending the virtue of “individual freedom” against the intrusion of big government, while insisting the federal government to tell you precisely what you can do, and how to live your life.
Rep. Wolf opposes all forms of gambling on moral grounds. But he’s also politically astute enough to know that Victorian-era thinking won’t play in today’s mainstream. So, he opposes the expansion of gambling (and by association — online poker) for other reasons, most of which are fabrications. The latest ruse for stopping gambling is “national security.” After all, who’s willing to go on record against that?
Consider the jaw-dropping verbiage contained in Rep. Wolf’s letter, where he quotes from an FBI report, which was sent to his fellow congressmen and dated Jan. 13. In the letter (copied below from the link supplied by the venerable Marco Valerio), Rep. Wolf makes an eye-popping number of assertions.
The third paragraph reads:
“Online poker attracts big money. As recently demonstrated by American poker player Brian Hastings and his Swedish competitor half a world away, a single online poker game facilitated the international transfer of $5 million in mere hours. Accordingly, an established al-Qaida poker network could extract enough untraceable money from the United States in just a few days to fund several 9/11 attacks.”
QUOTE: “An established al-Qaida online poker network”….? Really? Al-Qaida is setting up a poker network? Will this be something like Full Tilt Poker?
Wait. It gets more outrageous.
QUOTE: “Extract enough untraceable money from the United States in just a few days”….? Is Rep. Wolf (and F.B.I.) saying money might be extracted from the United States (to fund terrorism)? FROM the United States? Huh? Run that by me again? Did the staffer who wrote this mean to scribe the word “TO,” but made a mistake? Very sloppy.
And how exactly would a terrorist network utilize an online poker site in order to plan and fund an attack? How is that done? I’m perfectly willing to concede the point that Rep. Wolf is an authority on matters of national security and online technology since he’s been in office for so long. Why then would he sign his name to a letter warning about the POTENTIAL (but ridiculously unlikely) risk of an online poker site being a conduit for international terrorism? Such a bold assertion demands an explanation. Once again, how would that happen?
Since they can’t explain such a scenario, allow me to step in and offer a more likely threat. Couldn’t usual banking procedures and the same methods used all over the world to fund previous terrorist attacks not only in the U.S. but other countries be used in the future? What say you, congressman?
Oh, and this final whopper. QUOTE: “To fund SEVERAL 9/11 attacks.” Emphasis mine on SEVERAL.
I guess ONE 9/11 attack isn’t shocking enough as a national call to arms to stop gambling and poker. SEVERAL!
To be fair, there’s a very good reason why Rep. Wolf doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Chances are, he didn’t write the letter. He probably didn’t even read it before sending it out. That’s nothing unusual in today’s Washington. Most of the real work is done by congressional staff and mid-level cogs in the gears who run the sub-committees. It’s quite likely that this letter affixed with Rep. Wolf’s illegible signature was penned by a 30-year-old staffer who wouldn’t know the name Brian Hastings from the Battle of Hastings.
But the lies and red herrings remain one and the same. Left with nothing else to argue, their side of the debate has come down to scare tactics. Creating confusion. Making up outlandish scenarios with absolutely no shred of evidence, nor basis in fact. Lying. Throwing something against the wall and hope it might stick. This is what the opposition to legalized and regulated online poker has become — the rambling excretions of billionaire hypocrite and convicted money-launderer Sheldon Adelson and his bible-thumping buddy in Congress, Rep. Frank Wolf.
Yes indeed, Frank is now crying wolf.
There’s an old saying that goes if you want to know about the merits of something just take a look at who’s against it. If true, surely this is a political battle we shall eventually win. What’s left of these dinosaurs will soon be extinct. Together or apart, Sheldon Adelson and Rep. Frank Wolf have about as much a future in influencing the nation’s political discourse as La Toya Jackson has of creating a hit song.
What a piece of work he is. If there’s still any doubt Rep. Frank lives in a bygone era, let’s do one final thing. Examine his congressional voting record on major issues. Wrong, wrong, wrong on virtually every issue to everyone except those who bought Sarah Palin’s book. Take a look:
Voted “NO” on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation.
Voted “NO” on the Violence Against Women Act.
Voted “NO” on allowing embryonic stem-cell research.
Voted “NO” on enforcing anti-gay hate crimes.
Voted “NO on enforcing limits on pollution that causes global warming.
Voted “NO” on tax credits for renewable energy.
Voted “NO” on protecting roaming animals on federal lands.
Voted “NO” to end offshore tax havens and promote small business.
Voted “NO” on removing armed forces from Afghanistan.
Voted “YES” on making The Patriot Act permanent.
Voted “YES” on extending the use of federal wiretaps.
Voted “YES” on decreasing gun waiting period from three days to one.
Voted “YES” on a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Voted “YES” on a Constitutional amendment prohibiting desecration of the American flag.
Voted “YES” on banning adoption by gay people.
Voted “YES” on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion.
Voted “YES” on banning the funding of Family Planning as part of any foreign aid assistance.
Voted “YES” on prohibiting needle exchange and medical marijuana.
Voted “YES” on giving federal aid only to schools that allow voluntary prayer.
Voted “YES” on barring the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
Voted “YES” on authorizing military force in Iraq.
SOURCE: ON THE ISSUES (FRANK WOLF)
Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence is overwhelming. The vote is unanimous.
Congratulations, Congressman Frank Wolf on being the worst person in the universe — at least until next month.