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Times change, norms change, politicians with different standards come and go, and it’s all for the better, except maybe not, especially when you are talking about two Democratic speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives.

They’re interesting comparisons, Sam Rayburn of years ago and Nancy Pelosi of today, and maybe what’s different about them gives us insight into our own times.

Known by friends as “Mr. Sam,” Rayburn was raised in meager circumstances on a Texas cotton farm and decided as a boy that he wanted to be a politician. He started out as a teacher, became a state legislator, got a law degree and turned up as a representative in Washington in 1913, hanging around until 1961.

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Jay Ambrose

Despite a couple of interruptions, he was speaker for 17 years, a record, and that was no accident. He stayed mostly behind the scenes, working politely and persuasively with others, mastered the content of just about every bill and found ways to get hugely important things done, such as supplying electricity to rural America.

He was around for two world wars and was a New Deal enthusiast, especially worried about the poor. Even though his father was a Confederate cavalryman, he evolved into a civil rights advocate. He wouldn’t take a nickel from anybody for anything.

While a state legislator, he was also a member of a law firm that represented a railroad paying handsome fees. The legislature dealt with railroad issues, and even though there was no legal impediment, Rayburn said no fee for me, please.

When he died, he had $15,000 in the bank.

Pelosi, whose father was a congressman and mayor of Baltimore, climbed her way up in San Francisco politics, made it to the House and became its first woman speaker. She has always been outspoken on the issues, has been an unbeatable fund-raiser and has played an important role in the passage of such legislation as Obamacare.

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This year, she became speaker again, and every now and then has seemed lost in her leadership, still a liberal, ad hominem dogmatist but unclear on whether to keep House procedures reasonable or mystifying to some of us observers.

No worthy guidance came from the youthful, irrational rebels in her changing party, but she is now tightly bound with them on the goal of impeaching President Donald Trump. She has worn a coat of righteousness in saying, for instance, that Trump belongs in prison, but her righteousness seems a bad fit.

By way of example, let’s go back to 2008 when the House was considering a popular bill that would stop Visa from charging vendors swipe fees and bringing home stacks of moolah. Pelosi was speaker of the House then and exempt from laws prohibiting insider trading, and her husband got a chance to buy Visa stocks in an initial public offering, making quite a bit of money over time.

A Visa political action committee gave Nancy Pelosi $1,000 to help her re-election. She had a meeting with Visa executives.

The bill did not make it to a vote and was in fact stalled for two years.

The stock purchase was examined by various news outlets, including “60 Minutes,” and Pelosi has said she was always on the side of consumers. Once, when asked about some of this at a press conference, she cut the questioner short, saying, “It’s not true and that’s that.” She has now suggested that Trump testify before the Democratic-directed impeachment hearings, and he might consider saying the same thing.

Pelosi’s husband has been highly successful in the real estate and venture capital business, and the two have had maybe eight adventures in initial public offerings, it is reported.

Their worth is estimated at $29 million.

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Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at speaktojay@aol.com.

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(18) comments

jdinfinity

DWYT, I have to juz for a second Hive....

"You and Hive want to be Dicks? I can be a Dick to."

Spoken like the person you are Bo.

There is no bigger in metaphor yet smaller in the literal sense.....of that we have no doubt...

Hive

Common sense...use it, dingers. Be very careful for what you wish...it might happen...

Hive

DWYT, JD, the too-predictable mouthings of those with extreme tunnel vision is all too obvious,

Whatever!

bolake

Sorry to disappoint you JD but I’ve never shed a tear about anything you or Hive have said about me. I pretty much laugh off your ridiculous statements. You make me look good. My little... wouldn’t fit up your arse as easy as Hives’s does but who knows, your arse is pretty big pretty much anything would fit up there. Does he pay you for stroking his lizard? Not that it matters because you two make such a cute couple. It’s not the size that matters but how you use it that counts, at least that’s what your mother told me when your dad wasn’t around. You and Hive want to be Dicks? I can be a Dick to.

killallthelawyersfirst

Interesting. I am an evidence person. Mr. Bolake wrote above, "I can be a Dick to." Maybe the evidence has been presented, and accepted.

jdinfinity

Awww.....did we make little girl Bo peep cry??

So profane for such a tiny little, little man, with probably, most definitely a little...

Matches the size of your pea-sized brain...

Go follow your flock dinger, those sheep must be looking mighty fine for you today...

bolake

JD do you know the difference between brown nose and $hitt Faced? Depth perception. With your head up Hives’s arse you are the latter.

bolake

Hive - So what you’re saying is you don’t self- flagellate (masturbate) because JD strokes your lizard.

You’re a Tool Hive, a Real Tool.

Hive

Bo, I read Ambrose's opine.

I also read below comments.

JD enumerates your gambits accurately.

We all are only what we do, not what we say (claim) we do.

Continue your self-flagellation (masturbation), with your choir devious.

I also have no time for it.

Amen!

bolake

Hive - Stay focused. Jay Ambrose Said after years of public service that Sam died with only $15,000 in the bank. He also mentioned Nancy has amassed $29 Million. Sorry if you missed the connection Jay made about people amassing fortunes while in public service.

jdinfinity

Hive u should just take a page out of my new book in these forums as I've discussed with you at Mullis. Dunno why you bother with this dinger? My days of doing so are at an end, I can tell you that.

If someone is mentally incapable of being on the level, just ignore 'em.

Bo is an idiot, along with his dinger president, and doesn't deserve any feedback in these forums to stroke his self absorbed narcissistic ego like his prez...

He barely reads the articles or our responses, he doesn't inform himself on the issues other than regurgitating fox news, and all his arguments are off subject political changes to deflect actually discussing the issues at hand.

Besides, any person that could say something so stupid, so asinine as he did that one time with,

"People that talk smart just do it because they really aren't smart"

Is an idiot...case and point.....and doesn't deserve any attention to the drivel they spew forth. The guy spelled 'witness' as 'whitness' for cyring out loud. Such is a level of stupidity beyond unbelievable...

Hive

Bo, Who mentioned money?

Money is not the issue...duh!

Whatever!

bolake

Hive - you can’t handle the truth.

I believe I am on point. Deal with it!

When Sam died, after years of serving in Congress he had $15,000 in the bank. Nancy is now worth over $29 Million. All gained while serving in Congress. YetNancy wants to put Trump in prison. For what making $Millions prior to serving as POTUS?

Hive

Bo, Do you read stuff, or just go off, with your roadapples?

You wish to make a point, stay on point!

bolake

“Pot calling kettle black”. I don’t see it that way. Pelosi and Husband made their $Millions after Nancy was elected. Trump made his $Millions before he was elected. More like Apple and Oranges . IMO

Hive

What is sad is American apathy...how loose we have become...with our own integrity (defenses).

We seem to be too want-oriented, proportionately more than "need oriented."

A nation of I got or will get "mine." Won't work!

Maybe we need a war to scare us half to death to get our selfish arses in gear!

jdinfinity

Pot calling the kettle black.

How many other republican congressmen make the same shady inside deals? Countless.

How many of them blatantly follow policies, including destructive energy policies, at the expense of our health and safety? ALL.

And real estate? Really?

Who the cretins that tanked the financial system , only to be rewarded with jobs working in the cabinet of the president? Drain the swamp, a total total joke...

Ambrose once again, showing is hypocritical idiocy in full bloom in the irony of cold winter...

The republican way of pointing fingers to deflect responsibility for abhorrent behaviour of their own..

Sad...

Hive

Tell you what, when Sam ran things, even the Senate toed the line...

Drinking tea is nothing new, save going along en masse with obvious lies is not!

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