Power Has Its Privileges

[Breaking news at the bottom!]

From The Washington Post:

GOP Leader Tight-Lipped on Ensign

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) repeatedly refused to answer questions Friday about a New York Times report that embattled Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) negotiated a cover-up of his extramarital affair with a campaign staffer, with his friend Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) serving as a financial intermediary.

How can Mitch McConnell be tight-lipped when he has no lips?
Original DVD cover

At a Friday morning news conference, McConnell faced a barrage of questions from reporters about the Times’s 4,000-word front-page investigation suggesting that Ensign may have improperly used his office to aid his mistress and her husband, who had been one of Ensign’s top Washington staffers. Asked if Ensign could still be effective, McConnell said, “Sen. Ensign continues to serve,” and said he does not have “any observations to make about the Ensign matter.”


Ensign publicly admitted his affair with Cynthia Hampton earlier this year, but the Times’s detailed account of the senator’s efforts to mitigate the damage generated significant buzz across Washington and threatens to further damage Ensign’s political future. The story shows how Ensign marshaled his political connections with corporate leaders in Nevada to help Hampton’s husband, Douglas Hampton, find a lobbying or consulting job after he left Ensign’s employ. The Times also reported that Coburn served as an intermediary between Ensign and the Hamptons in discussing a “large financial settlement” to help them rebuild their lives.


In accordance with standard procedures, the Senate Ethics Committee is looking into charges of misconduct regarding Ensign’s affair.

“Whenever allegations of improper conduct are brought to the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee, we open a preliminary inquiry,” said Natalie Ravitz, a spokeswoman for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the ethics panel. Ravitz declined to comment further on the Ensign investigation.


WASHINGTON β€” New details concerning U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s role in talks over whether a former mistress of another senator should receive compensation triggered questions Friday about the Oklahoma Republican’s earlier denials.


Ensign’s affair with his then-campaign treasurer, whose husband worked as a top Senate aide to Ensign, triggered a months-long scandal that continues to play out in the media.

New revelations were reported this week by The New York Times.

They indicate that Coburn might have been much more involved in talks concerning whether Cynthia Hampton, Ensign’s former mistress, should receive money than his earlier remarks indicated.

In July, Doug Hampton, Cynthia Hampton’s husband, said in an interview with a Las Vegas Sun columnist that Coburn had encouraged Ensign to make some kind of restitution. Coburn denied Hampton’s comments in remarks to reporters for several news outlets.

“None whatsoever,” he told the Tulsa World when asked whether he had discussed some kind of payment to the Hamptons.

“I categorically deny that.”

In its story, The New York Times described “a series of intense, though ultimately futile conversations intended to reach a financial settlement.”

Coburn reportedly told the newspaper that he raised the issue with Ensign.

Both men are known as conservative Christians, and they are associated with a Capitol Hill townhouse linked to a secretive organization that, among other activities, puts on the national prayer breakfast that has drawn presidents and leaders from around the world for years.

According to the newspaper, Coburn dismissed an $8.5 million figure from the Hamptons’ attorney as ridiculous but then passed a roughly $2 million figure to Ensign, who rejected it.

“That’s a joke; forget it,” Coburn told the newspaper, recalling Ensign’s reaction.

In July, it was revealed that Ensign’s parents had paid $96,000 to the Hamptons and two of their children.

Coburn, who before his July remarks mostly refused to address issues swirling around Ensign, declined a request Friday for an interview.


Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Coburn’s activities will be covered by her organization’s renewed request for the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to look into Ensign.


[Sloan said] questions now should be asked about whether Doug Hampton’s meeting with Coburn and other senators violated the lobbying law as well as the purpose of any payment to Ensign’s former mistress.

Sloan said it could be viewed as “hush money.” She also described as “ridiculous” Coburn’s earlier claims that he might refuse to answer questions about Ensign from the ethics committee because he had privilege as both a church deacon and a physician.

Coburn was neither Ensign’s deacon nor his physician, Sloan said.

“It was a laughable privilege claim,” she said, adding that clearly now Coburn is “spilling his guts” to the New York Times.

This just in, kids!! Ms Sloan is correct, and Coburn’s claims of priest/penitent privilege and doctor/patient confidentiality aren’t going to fly. Senators Ensign and Coburn knew that, so they thought of an even better privilege. The senators were married in a secret ceremony in 2008 in California. Mr. and Mr. Ensign-Coburn are going to rely on the spousal privilege from now on. I have the photographic proof. Here’s a photo of the happy couple when they returned to C Street after flying back to D.C. from California.


Remember you heard and saw it here first!


Filed under Barbara Boxer, humor, Mitch McConnell, movies, parody, politics, religion, Republicans, Scandals, Senate Ethics Committee, snark, Tom Coburn, Wordpress Political Blogs

43 responses to “Power Has Its Privileges

  1. Is there a politician out there that isn’t cheating on his wife? For a bunch of bible thumping white guys they sure know how to get their freak on.

  2. They look so happy, don’t they?

    I wish them many years of wedded bliss.

    • should we all chip in for a present, wickle? maybe a nice new file cabinet, so they can keep all their lies straight.

      • You know, that’s a great point. I don’t think that we appreciate properly how difficult it is for these people to live their dishonest lifestyles. I mean, there are incompetent liars like Mark “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford who don’t deserve as much respect, and there are the somewhat-weak-because-of-desperation ones like Larry “wide stance” Craig, but most of them put a lot of work into telling lies and keeping them straight. We don’t show enough appreciation for all of that hard work done by our lords and masters.

        I’m sure they’d appreciate it if we licked their shoes clean or something …

        • you know, wickle, there are a few of them whom i would actually feel some sympathy for, if they weren’t so hateful. they feel forced to live a life of lies for whatever reasons. too bad they don’t have enough courage to say, ‘this is who i am, if you don’t like it, it’s your problem.’

          • True enough. Then again, some of these people don’t even have to admit it. Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh are still actively speaking about how they promote family values, David Vitter was recently featured by the Family Resource Center as a speaker, and so many other examples.

            … And yet they accuse Pres. Obama, whose family seems to be pretty much intact, stable, and happy, of not being a real Christian.

            • those you listed are not the ones i had in mind when i said i might have felt some sympathy. newtie, rushbo, and diaper dave are all despicable trolls who deserve as much sympathy as they offer–in other words, none.

              • Yeah, I seem to have sidetracked myself with the hypocrisy of the “Christian” organizations like FRC.

                For Mark Foley I could have had sympathy if he’d just decided to come out instead of carrying on with pages on the side and pretending to be a good upstanding Righty.

                Larry Craig is about the same — not the men’s room escapades, mind you. Again, if he’d just come out, that would be okay. His plea bargaining, trying to take it back, then “wide stance” nonsense make it impossible not to be disgusted by the guy.

                • wickle,
                  what i find the most offensive in larry craig’s case (and others who are still in the closet) is how he took his guilt over what he considers his own shortcomings and instead of finding help dealing with it, he turned it into a crusade against all gay people. in the case of foley, it was just icky because it concerned kids.

                  • Yes. There are ways to deal with homosexuality and conflicted feelings … crusading isn’t a healthy or decent one.

                    As I said in the other thread, I’m waiting to hear James Dobson and Tony Perkins come out.

                    Then again, maybe if we were allowed to discuss homosexuality openly, they could see healthier alternatives. Maybe if Craig or Foley had had a decent sex ed class …

                    • it’s very sad when people feel forced by society to live a lie. personally, i don’t think of homosexuality as abnormal. some people are short, and some are tall. some are fat, and some are skinny. some are straight, and some are gay. i don’t understand why someone else’s preferences should impact anyone else’s life.

  3. Uhh, Mom, Dad, I boned some skank at work and now I have to get her hubby off ny back. Can you guys hold off on that condo in West Vail and float me a little career saver of a loan ? I know I styill haven’t paid off the last loan but come on I am an elected official and I do have an image to protect… Love, Junior.

    • lucky for junior that mommy and daddy won’t have to put the condo or anything else on hold to pay off little cindy. they’ve got plenty of bucks, and even if they didn’t, junior has plenty of his own to “lend” to them. junior just couldn’t pay them off directly, because it would have put him in legal jeopardy. hmmm…how’d that plan work out for you, junior? πŸ˜†

  4. writechic

    I saw a segment last week on MSNBC. An author who has made C Street a pet project talked about member values in weirdly Mafia terms. IE. The Family.

    So it was no surprise to this author that Coburn stepped up to help Brother-Senator Staff Fucker.

    • that’s jeff sharlet. he must be making a fortune off that book he wrote. he showed the msm how real investigative reporting is done.

      i think the family is more akin to a cult than the mafia. it’s run like the mafia, and doug coe is like the don of one of the mafia families, but the followers are more like cult followers than wiseguys.

      • writechic

        Definitely culty…and a subjective, alien morality. I guess that’s why I thought mafia. One set of rules for them. Another set for everyone else.

        • very much mafia-like in that the rules don’t apply to them, but it’s the unquestioning acceptance of that philosophy and the unblinking loyalty that is totally cultish and really, really scary. 😯

  5. I think Ensign is circling the drain, but this Coburn cat needs to be looked at very closely.
    He seems to be hip-deep in a lot of other Republicans’ dastardly deeds.
    He’s like the father confessor to every philandering politician in America, yet he never seems to counsel them to do the right thing.
    Plus he’s a total wingnut.
    And he’s from Oklahoma, the anus of America.

  6. Coburn absolutely must have some colossal skeletons in his closet.
    I think it might be a C Street membership requirement to cheat on one’s spouse with partners who are totally verboten.
    None of the C Street philanderers has extramarital sex with just some random woman they met. They’re either staffers, hookers or foreigners.
    I figure Coburn (as the ringleader) must have an Asian/Black transexual hooker amputee with a bad heroin habit stashed away somewhere.
    Some enterprising journalist ought to put a tail on that scumbag.

    • πŸ˜† the only problem is that there are things Mi>an Asian/Black transexual hooker amputee with a bad heroin habit just won’t do. one of those things is tom coburn! :p

      besides, i’m still hoping he’ll get caught with lindseypoo and mitch mcconnell in a 3-way. (why isn’t there a vomit emoticon?)

  7. Nonnie, since we ran out of “Reply” buttons up there …

    “i don’t understand why someone else’s preferences should impact anyone else’s life.”

    I agree. Having once had a different view on it, I can sort of explain, but not really. In truth, I think it comes down to this … some people are obsessed with other people’s lives.

    To get religious again … Jesus told us to remove the planks from our own eyes before going after someone else’s speck. The point is that I have more than enough sin (or self-destructive behavior, or whatever you want to call it) in my own life … I don’t need to go after yours.

    As for homosexuality, I think it attracts attention because it’s icky to some people. To be honest, I can’t imagine why two men would want to have sex with each other … so I don’t.

    Other people are sort of obsessed with it (thus my theory that a lot of those guys need to come out).

    As for gay marriage being a threat to traditional marriage … more than half of marriages end in divorce already. Just what harm, exactly, is letting someone else get married (rather than just living together) going to make it any worse?

    • wickle,
      i think it’s more than the ick factor. i think that everyone has a bit of duality in them, and some people can’t deal with it. however, let’s just, for the sake of argument, say that it’s the ick factor. i personally think it’s incredibly icky to even consider doing the nasty with bill mcconnell, newt gingrich, or rushbo (among many, many others). does that mean that everyone who agrees with me should ban together and demand that marrying any of them should be illegal? beyond marriage, though, what about gays in the military? there are translators we desperately need who can’t serve, only because they’re openly gay. now we’re talking about national security. i saw this ridiculous woman on cnn last night arguing against gays in the military, because she has a list of old retired military guys who don’t like the idea. it was infuriating.

      • Actually, a law to keep Gingrich from breeding might be appropriate …

        Seriously, yes, it’s absurd. Right now, what we need more than anything else is more translators … and getting rid of them isn’t helping.

        I’ll see if I can find the article I saw once which made a great case against letting heterosexuals serve in the military … since male-on-female rape does happen and no one can think of an example of gay assault, it went from there.

        Then again, I’ve heard it argued that men don’t want to have other men gawking at them all the time. The rebuttal I heard from the other side was, “You’re not that cute; get over it.” I thought that that was a good comeback.

        • wickle,
          did you hear that moron, louie gohmert, comparing homosexuality to pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality? personally, i think gohmert is just saying whatever he can to garner some attention for himself. i don’t think he believes 80% of what he says (and if he does believe it, that’s even scarier). however, there are idiots who will hear him, believe every word, and spew forth that nonsense as though it was gospel.

          when they write up that bill to ban procreating with newtie, let’s make sure louie is banned as well. what a despicable piece of dirt he is.

          • I didn’t hear him, but I’ve heard people make that case before.

            Of course, children, animals, and dead bodies aren’t consenting adults.

            • i think only sick minds can even make that kind of connection.

              • A friend of mine, who’s recently come out, posted this on Facebook. Don’t know if he made it up or got it from somewhere, but it made interesting reading:

                1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

                2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

                3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

                4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

                5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

                6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

                7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

                8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

                9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

                10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

                (Actually, I do have to say that I’m not sure we adapted to the service economy … but the rest stands.)

                • perfect! and the 8 showing up as the smiley with shades somehow made it even better! πŸ™‚

                  • Have I mentioned how much I hate automatic smiley-“emoticon” things?

                    I remember when : -) was good enough. I guess people can’t manage to look sideways and still get it, huh?

                    Forget gay marriage, I’m going to campaign against emoticons.

                    • oh no, wickle! 😯 don’t do that! if you do, we’ll have to be on opposite sides of the issue, and i don’t want to be your enemy! πŸ˜₯ i love the smileys. πŸ˜‰ they’re really cool. 8)

  8. Oh, alright … I’ll just remember my extra spaces that make things work out. 8 )

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