Hip-Hop Congressman

Keith Ellison of Minneapolis has made a splash as the first Muslim Congressman. We have noted his ties with radical groups like the Nation of Islam, CAIR and the Muslim American Society. Yesterday, though, he gave an interview to a less controversial–I guess–news outlet: BallerStatus, an on-line hip-hop magazine.
The interview is rather funny, as Ellison has to figure out how to answer questions like:

BallerStatus.com: Don’t be such an idealist. Think of how boring life would be if you never got sick. How the heck could you cut class? Or take two weeks off of work with a “stomach bug” when you’re really at a cheap motel in South Dakota in the company of a lady of the night who doesn’t have a last name?


BallerStatus.com: Life is luck. If you’re tall, you play basketball. If you can sing, then you sing. If you’re a pretty white girl with blonde hair, that’s it, end of story, you just have to wake up every morning and get out of bed, there’s no worries. For the rest of us, we need someone watching out.

I guess that “someone” is the government. The interviewer asks Ellison about Louis Farrakhan’s influence on him; Ellison’s answer is, I think, a bit disingenuous:

BallerStatus.com: How great an influence was Minister Farrakhan on you?
Rep. Ellison: Not much.

There is a lot of talk about hip-hop, which leads to an exchange about the Don Imus affair, which leads to a general denunciation of talk radio:

BallerStatus.com: But how ironic was it for people like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to even bring up so called “dangerous rappers” or “snitching” when they preach racism and hate speech on the radio every day?
Rep. Ellison: Oh man, they get up there and speak that nonsense constantly. The fact of the matter is, now matter how you feel about Don Imus, there’s a whole lot worse than him on the radio. He was a sacrificial lamb.

It would be interesting to know what “preaching [of] racism and hate speech” Hannity and Beck have indulged in. Needless to say, no examples were forthcoming.
Ellison is trying to make “credit justice” his signature issue as a young Congressman. As best I can understand it, “credit justice” means beating up on credit card companies and shifting costs from some cardholders to other cardholders:

BallerStatus.com:***Anyway besides the war, what are you focused on in the coming months?
Rep. Ellison: One thing I want to work on is the credit justice issue. I mean the fact is a lot of people who aren’t making much money will turn to credit cards to make it. If you’re late on the credit card, every credit card you own will increase your rates up to as high as 32%. That means it’s expensive to be poor, because the poor pay more. It shouldn’t be like that. It should be the opposite if nothing else. So I’m trying to do something about these credit cards.

A week or two ago, there was a committee hearing in Washington at which several representatives of credit card issuers appeared before a subcommittee of which Ellison is a member. Ellison took the opportunity to push for legislation he has introduced that would ban certain alleged practices of credit card issuers.
So Ellison will be continuing the Democrats’ tradition of economic demagoguery. The interview closed with demagoguery of a scarier kind:

BallerStatus.com: Let’s allow you to get back to work. There’s a certain balding man from Wyoming who needs to be indicted and put in prison.
Rep. Ellison: Let me just say that you can do anything you want if you just put you’re mind to it. ***

I assume the “balding man from Wyoming” is Dick Cheney. In the world of BallerStatus, Keith Ellison passes for a moderate.
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