In a short blog item in TPM, Josh Marshall reminds us of the illustrious past of Rep. Ralph Hall (R, Tex) who is taking over as chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee. A member of an illustrious extended lobbying family, informally known as "Team Abramoff," Hall was the beneficiary of a sun-and-fun junket to the Marianas Islands (CNMI). In return, he was a good soldier for Abramoff, defending the appalling labor practices of the CNMI (Abramoff's client at the time). Hall's lowest moment came when he attacked, in the Congressional Record, the statement of a young Philippina, known as "Katrina," who, at the age of 14, had been dragooned into prostitution in the CNMI.
Hall's appalling role in the CNMI protection racket run by Abramoff is briefly seen in my film, "Casino Jack and the United States of Money."
So let's roll out the welcome mat for the new chairman, who will undoubtedly attack efforts to address climate change with the same vigor that he defamed a 14-year-old girl, who had the courage to try to speak up for human rights.