In 2006, during the presidency of George W. Bush, the Justice Department launched the first of a series of misguided "gunrunning" schemes that eventually led to the death of federal Agent Brian Terry. Rather than look to ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, however, House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa's (R-CA) spent his tenure as a committee chair trying unsuccessfully to embarrass Attorney General Eric Holder.
Next week, Issa plans to escalate this witchhunt by holding an committee vote on a resolution to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. Here's what you need to know about this vote:
1. Issa Has No Case: Issa's uncovered no evidence showing Holder bears any blame for the botched operations begun under George W. Bush, even though the Justice Department turned over thousands of pages of documents concerning the operations. Instead of accepting this fact, Issa has requested many more documents containing confidential information regarding ongoing law enforcement investigations, and is now threatening to hold Holder in contempt if these documents are not turned over. Holder is entirely correct to withhold these documents, however, because Justice Department documents are not subject to congressional subpoena if they would reveal "strategies and procedures that could be used by individuals seeking to evade [DOJ's] law enforcement efforts."
2. Reagan's Justice Department Agreed With Holder: President Reagan's Justice Department warned in the 1980s that the Constitution's separation of powers prevents the kind of documents Issa is seeking from being revealed to Congress because of the risk that the legislature could "exert pressure or attempt to influence the prosecution of criminal cases."
3. Law Enforcement Rejects Issa's Witchhunt: Issa's efforts to embarrass Holder are an unnecessary distraction that hinders the Department of Justice's ability to do its real job. As an organization representing numerous senior law enforcement officials warned Issa, his efforts are "an impediment to the vigorous enforcement of violence and crime."
4. Even Top Republicans Think Issa Goes Too Far: After Issa leaked his plans to pursue contempt charges to the media, the House Republican leadership pressured him to back off. Indeed, even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has indicated that Issa is overreaching.
5. Issa Is Fixated On A Conspiracy Theory: Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of this affair is what Issa once suggested his investigation will uncover. In an interview with Sean Hannity, Issa claimed that the Obama administration "made a crisis" when they continued the Bush-era gunrunning operations because they wanted to "us[e] this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's Second Amendment rights." This accusation originates from a former militiaman who supports violent resistance to imagined government attempts to seize his guns. And it amounts to an accusation that a series of botched gun stings that begun during the Bush Administration were actually part of a secret Obama plot to release guns to Mexican drug lords, so that those guns could then be used to kill federal agents, which would then cause a national uprising in support of gun control.
On the one hand, you have a bipartisan group of senators from farm states who understand how vital this bill is to them and would prefer to put the usual dumb games aside and cap voting to a reasonable number of amendments, to prevent the whole thing from either failing or taking the "10 years worth of temporary extensions that no one likes" option that our upper chamber has come to master. On the other hand, you have senators who see what we might call "opportunities."
There is also the huge question of EPA
flyovers that monitor the growth of toxic manure pools that violate environmental regulations and kill everyone death drones taking naughty pix of the hardworkin' family farmer and his small children while they're naked. Rand Paul is said to be concerned.
Great questions of our times: Should the bison be the national mammal?
A few weeks ago, Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota introduced the National Fluff My Constituents Act, a.k.a. the National Bison Legacy Act, to name the bison the National Mammal of the United States. That's about as clear a way as possible to say you hate humans, Tim Johnson. Why isn't the Overtaxed Small Business Owner the national mammal, or the fertilized egg? The Senate fucks up everything it tries. But at least it's tackling this big question. Let's hear the fors and againsts and try to reach a verdict, because if the Senate gets this question wrong, or right, American unemployment will remain at historically high levels. READ MORE »
The Supreme Court has rejected the Obama birth certificate lawsuit headed by crackpot teabagger Alan Keyes.
Exploiting and Indulging Fat, Stupid Americans
Ashby tells me that Burger King has introduced a bacon sundae. That's a hot fudge and caramel sundae with bacon pieces sprinkled on top and a whole stick of bacon jammed into the side.
At the risk of sounding like the King of All Liberals, I seriously think they ought to tax the shit out of these things — the Double-Down, the Doritos Taco and this awful bacon swirly — and use the revenue to help finance a public option. In 2008, $147 billion was spent on obese Americans. Coupled with smoking, obesity will cost $2.4 trillion over 10 years.
The fast food and soda companies are exploiting self-indulgent Americans who subsequently create huge demand for prescription drugs and medical services, contributing to an exponential increase in costs. In other words, shitty food and the people who buy it are creating a burden on our healthcare system. There ought to be cost for doing this kind of business.
By now you've probably seen the report documenting a 40 percent drop in the net worth of American families, however if you were watching Fixed News yesterday you may have been lead to believe that it was that darn Obama again.
It was a jaw-dropping statistic that was flashed across the country yesterday, the Federal Reserve has figured out that over the last three years the net worth of the average American family has fallen 40% over three years, wiped out two decades worth of America's wealth, mainly because house values have dropped. When you saw that number, that American debt, or American wealth down 40% in three years what did you think?
It's down 40 percent in the last three years! Obama's fault!
Actually, no. The Fed report was for 2007 to 2010. That is not "the last three years."
Fox News is the marketing department of the RNC.
Bob Cesca: We ignore them at our own peril
What Eric Boehlert said. Times a thousand.
If the left ignores Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, D.C. reporters will spend their time reading legislative small print? Well, either that or an unchecked Limbaugh and Fox News will effectively destroy Democratic politicians and their initiatives with an endless barrages of lies and smears.
I'm thinking it's the latter. And that's only because history is on my side.
Ask John Kerry how initially ignoring the right-wing media's meticulously planned-out Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear campaign worked for him and Democrats in 2004. Ask the same question to former ACORN leaders who saw Congress move to defund the group based on the dishonest attacks waged by the right-wing media. Or ask National Public Radio's former CEO, Vivian Schiller, who was forced to resign in the wake of a bogus right-wing smear campaign.
Ask any of those victims if they think the best way to combat the reckless nature of the far-right press is to pay its practitioners no mind.
The truth is, the far-right media in this country is waging a war.
It might feel futile and pointless at times, but it's serious business and constant vigilance works. I will continue to talk about Rush Limbaugh until he and his co-conspirators are retired and using Medicare to get their Oxycontin (Viagra isn't covered — sorry Rush).
They're doing this…
Since Republicans major wins in 2010 handing them full control in numerous states, they have been slashing education funding at a rapid rate while at the same time cutting corporate tax rates. This is now having very detrimental effects.
…while at the same time proposing stuff like this.
They're out of their minds.
If I wanted to, I could post Idiot Quotes of the Day all day long. The right has no shortage of liars and bigots in their cesspool of stupidity to ever fear running short of material. Case in point, Republican Congressman Jeff Landry of Louisiana decided to attack the Obama administration for mandating that contraception be included in health insurance policies by spouting this bit of nonsense.
Down here in south Louisiana this is huge, this is very important to my constituency. I think the biggest problems that a lot of Americans are having out there is the hypocrisy of this administration. Remember, this is an administration who has no problem granting special status or waivers to Muslims as they go through TSA screenings. Look, as they believe that there is a need to grant them special rights as they go through the TSA screening based upon their religion, that's fine, I'm ok with that. But then don't turn around and attack Christians when they stand up and say 'listen, we believe that the policies you're putting in place violate our religious freedoms as well.
They literally just make this shit up as they go. Glenn Church over at Foolocracy easily handles this one.
If Muslims were really getting exemptions, the Council for American-Islamic Relations would not have issued a press release calling the screenings "invasive" and "humiliating." CAIR did present a list of recommendation, but it did not seek to have Muslims opt out of the TSA process. Their main emphasis was to avoid the full-body scanners, which are deemed offensive. A lot of non-Muslims would agree. CAIR urged that in place of the body scanners pat-downs could be completed in private for Muslim women who felt uncomfortable with the security procedures.
Ahh, stubborn little facts…but Republicans don't care. They've got their shtick down to a science. The following set of rules is taken from How to Defeat a Black President With a Funny Sounding Name Who Prevented Us From Fucking Up Our Country From Inside the White House For Another Four Years So Now We're Forced To Fuck It Up From Congress.
- Adopt a position…any one will do as long as it is in direct opposition to the one adopted by Obama and Democrats. Especially sweet are positions that are the exact opposite to what Republicans believed in mere months ago. There's nothing like messing with progressives' heads.
- Create a lie…any lie will do. The bigger and more outrageous you make it, the better it is. And feel free to pull it out of your ass if you must. Actually, it is preferable if you do pull it out of your ass for whatever it is, Fox and the rest of the right-wing noise machine will back you up all the way.
- Repeat the lie over and over so that every wingnut within earshot of a radio or television will hear it enough times and come to accept it as the gospel truth.
- Use the lie you created in Step 2. to defend the position you adopted in Step 1. and you're done.
See how easy it is when you don't have a shred of integrity to hold you back?
This rant is too good to not share.
There no longer exists any doubt that Mitt Romney intends to win the White House by conducting the most dishonest, unscrupulous and reprehensible campaign ever devised, in mere whimsy. The unethical stench of this man is not only breathtaking, it's meteoric. I have never seen anything like it, never heard anything like it, never imagined anything like it.
All you American political history books, move over; there's a new king of demagoguery in town, and future history will never see his malevolent depths of dishonor again.
What triggered this outburst? Today in St. Louis, just today, in just this one day, mind you, this despicable wretch of a man called President Obama's economic policies a "moral failure of tragic proportions"; and he threw in, just for the hell of it, I guess, that "There is nothing fair about a government that favors political connections over honest competition and takes away your right to earn your own success. And there is nothing morally right about trying to turn government dependence into a substitute for the dignity of work."
It's only June, and Mitt Romney has already exhausted all the hideous possibilities of a Dorian Gray mentality that would make even Oscar Wilde blush. Moral. That's this pathetic, vile little pol's new favorite word. Moral. Here's a man who leads a party that endorses torture as well as unprovoked war, and coddles the rich while showing indifference to the poor. Moral.
Combine Gray with Elmer Gantry and you'd still come up short of the "moral" abomination that calls itself Mitt Romney.
Pathetic, vile little pol. Definitely a keeper.