Remember when Barack Obama was upset at the bonuses paid to AIG execs?

November 16, 2011

I mean, he was the picture of righteous indignation:

President Obama said Monday he will attempt to block bonuses to executives at ailing insurance giant AIG, payments he described as an “outrage.”

“This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed,” Obama told politicians and reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where he and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner were unveiling a package to aid the nation’s small businesses.

The president expressed dismay and anger over the bonuses to executives at AIG, which has received $173 billion in U.S. government bailouts over the past six months.

“Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”Obama was referring to the bonuses paid to traders in AIG’s financial products division, the tiny group of people who crafted complicated deals that wound up shaking the world’s economic foundations.

But when it comes to the millions of dollars in compensation, regular and bonus, paid to executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) that were at the very center of the sub-prime mortgage-bundling that poisoned the financial system and took down companies such as AIG, Obama’s outrage is… strangely mute:

That’s from the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who must really be Obama’s favorite congressman right about now. The committee is holding hearings today on the compensation scheme at the two GSEs and have issued a staff report in advance. Here’s an excerpt:

When the bubble burst in 2007, Fannie and Freddie began to lose billions of dollars of investments in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) guarantees. In September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) took Fannie and Freddie into conservatorship as a result of mounting losses stemming from the financial crisis.The Enterprises became de facto government entities, funded by preferred stock purchase agreements from the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). Today, the Enterprises remain a multi-billion-dollar drag on the federal government’s finances. Since they entered conservatorship, Treasury has provided $169 billion to Fannie and Freddie – and the payouts are scheduled to continue with no end in sight. According to recent FHFA projections, by the end of 2014, Treasury assistance to the Enterprises will total $220 billion to $311 billion.

Since the Enterprises have become government-funded entities, lavish payment packages have been doled out to their senior executives, and taxpayers have been footing the bill. In 2009and 2010, the Enterprises’ top six officers were given a total of more than $35 million in compensation. Of that amount, a total of $17 million in compensation was given to the CEOs of the Enterprises. Additional bonus installments for 2010 may still be forthcoming, and the two CEOs stand to make a total of $12 million in 2011. In addition, an executive has been awarded a substantial signing bonus – $1.7 million – upon joining the Fannie Mae. As these figures indicate, senior executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have become the highest compensated workers on the federal payroll – making as much as eight times more than the President of the United States. The executives even make more than their conservator, FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco.

(Emphasis added)

The outrageousness here is almost beyond measure. Again, these agencies were at the heart of the financial crackup. When the Clinton administration altered the CRA to pressure banks into making questionable loans via then-HUD Secretary and now NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, the two GSEs used the bundling and government-backed resale of these securities as a sugarcoating for the bitter pill they were making the banks swallow. Democrats desperately defended this practice against three different efforts at reform under the Bush administration.

And yet now, instead of being spun-off as wholly private enterprises or just shut down, and while they are still being bailed out by billions in taxpayer dollars, their executives are being rewarded with tens of millions in salary and bonuses — all funded by the taxpayer.

And Barack Obama is silent, his outrage nowhere to be seen.

Ed Morrissey is right: the reason is simple. Obama and the (Social) Democrats are quiet on this because they want to keep Fannie and Freddie around so they can use them as instruments for progressive social engineering — such as making even more sub-prime loans, which caused the problem in the first place.

But he’s only partly right; there’s another reason. For Obama to get angry over these bonuses and attack the GSEs would be to admit that government and Democratic Party policies, implemented in the 90s in concert with ACORN and other Socialist advocacy groups, were as much to blame for what has happened as the financial companies he loves to demonize — if not more so. And Barack Obama cannot do that.

Hence, the silence. A silence that speaks volumes.

RELATED: For an excellent book on the causes of the financial disaster, see Reckless Endangerment, by NY Times reporter Gretchen Morgenson and writer Joshua Rosner.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: Holder subpoenaed

October 12, 2011

Following up on his promise from yesterday, Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has issued a subpoena to Attorney-General Eric Holder for documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

They’re asking for a lot:

In accordance with the attached schedule instructions, you, Eric H. Holder Jr., are required to produce all records in unredacted form described below:

All communications referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jacob Chambers case, or any Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking case based in Phoenix, Arizona, to or from the following individuals:

a. Eric Holder Jr., Attorney General;

b. David Ogden, Former Deputy Attorney General;

c. Gary Grindler, Office of the Attorney General and former Acting Deputy Attorney General;

d. James Cole, Deputy Attorney General;

e. Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General;

f. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General;

g. Kenneth Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

h. Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

i. John Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

j. Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

k. Matt Axelrod, Associate Deputy Attorney General;

l. Ed Siskel, former Associate Deputy Attorney General;

m. Brad Smith, Office of the Deputy Attorney General;

n. Kevin Carwile, Section Chief, Capital Case Unit, Criminal Division;

o. Joseph Cooley, Criminal Fraud Section, Criminal Division; and,

p. James Trusty, Acting Chief, Organized Crime and Gang Section.

2. All communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.

4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to interdict weapons that had been illegally purchased or transferred.

5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where ATF broke off surveillance of weapons and subsequently became aware that those weapons entered Mexico.

6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including but not limited to documents and communications regarding Zapata’s mission when he was murdered, Form for Reporting Information That May Become Testimony (FD-302), photographs of the crime scene, and investigative reports prepared by the FBI.

And that’s not even half.

The command that the documents not be in any way redacted shouldn’t be surprising; as far back as last June, Issa was berating Holder for supplying documents that were covered in black ink, going so far as to tell the Attorney General he should be ashamed.

But it’s specification 19 that’s of particular interest:

All documents and communications between and among FBI employees in Arizona and the FBI Laboratory, including but not limited to employees in the Firearms/Toolmark Unit, referring or relating to the firearms recovered during the course of the investigation of Brian Terry’s death

I’m not 100% certain, but I believe this is in reference to a supposed “third gun” found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Terry, a gun which has since vanished. That would indicate the committee is not just looking to find out “who knew what and when did they know it,” but also specific information that would indicate a cover up and evidence tampering.

Expect Holder to slow-walk this one as much as possible, perhaps even challenging the subpoena in court. Given the DoJ’s reluctance to cooperate so far, I suspect the unredacted documents contain at least a few bombs waiting to go off.

But even that is fraught with risk for Holder and his boss: eventually the committee will get the documents, their power to investigate as part of their oversight function being widely acknowledged. But, the longer this fight, if there is a fight, goes on, the more trouble it is for Obama and his reelection campaign. At some point, Axelrod is going to come to The One and tell him it’s time to throw Holder under the bus, after which the President and the Attorney General in whom he has complete confidence will have a little chat.

Or will they? The Republicans won’t let this go, even after a Holder resignation or firing. And, once cut loose, Holder will have very strong reasons to name names in order to save his own skin, including “anyone” at the White House who may have known details of Fast and Furious.

Remember, it was a disaffected lawyer who finally broke the wall of silence around the Nixon White House to avoid becoming the scapegoat.

One other note: In case you’re wondering why Holder wasn’t commanded to testify in person, consider this to be “step one” — looking for information that would lead to questions that can then be put to the Attorney General in a “step two,” questions he would have to answer under oath before Congress and the nation.

Stay tuned…

RELATED: Prior Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: subpoenas on the way?

October 11, 2011

And probably including one for Eric Holder. Looks like Chairman Issa (R-CA) has decided “no more Mr. Nice Guy:”

CBS News has learned a congressional subpoena directed to Attorney General Eric Holder could go out as early as Tuesday, ordering him to turn over documents to lawmakers about when he was aware of a controversial gun smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports the the subpoena will come from the House Oversight Committee, led by Republican Darrell Issa. It will ask for communications among senior Justice Department officials related to Fast and Furious and “gunwalking.”

(…)

The subpoena will list those officials, says Attkisson – more than a dozen of them – by name.

(…)

A source familiar with the Oversight Committee’s plans tells CBS News the subpoena request was prompted by the Justice Department dragging its feet in voluntarily turning over information to investigators, and new documents obtained by CBS News last week which seem to contradict Holder’s account of when he learned of the operation.

The subpoenas will come in the wake of a stunning letter from Attorney General Holder castigating the majority members of Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Rep. Issa’s equally firm shove-back.

This move represents a crossing of the Rubicon as far as the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious goes; congressional subpoenas are not to be dismissed lightly. Will the administration fight them? As Ed at Hot Air figures it, Obama would be smart to warm up that bus and throw Holder under it, pronto; the last thing he needs is a major scandal in the limelight during his reelection bid. But, Obama has rarely show smarts in anything to do with public image or relations with Congress since becoming president. Quite the contrary, as administration officials have literally screamed at reporters who dared to cover Gunwalker honestly.

Frankly, I expect Obama and Holder to fight this well past the point of diminishing returns.

Time to stock up on popcorn.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

UPDATE: Oh, my. Now the DEA is implicated, too. Per Chairman Issa:

It was a joint operation in which DEA knew more than ATF.

As they say, there’s never just one roach under the carpet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: Rep. Issa calls for a special prosecutor

September 21, 2011

I knew this would happen eventually:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Tuesday called for a special prosecutor to investigate the growing “Fast and Furious” scandal, in which the Obama administration allowed guns to walk to Mexico, where they fell into the hands of drug lords and were found at the murder scene of at least one U.S. border agent.

Issa complained in a conference call that, “there is ongoing cover up of a pattern of wrongdoing that can’t be explained by any ordinary people (who tried) to do the right thing but made a mistake.”

The Obama administration has been slow to hand over documents to Issa’s committee, and when they have, they’ve been heavily redacted.

“Even though I have subpoena ability, I don’t have the ability to lock people up for contempt until they fess up and give us what we want,” Issa said.

A special prosecutor would have such powers, and would be independent of the government agencies that were responsible for creating and attempting to cover up details of the program.

That last is key: the scandal embraces or at least touches on several government departments involved with law enforcement — Justice, the FBI, one or more US Attorney offices, and the BATF at least. To leave the investigation of what is looking more and more like a criminal matter to the very agencies under investigation would lack any credibility; while special prosecutors (1) have in the past abused their power, it is the only tool we have that is both independent and can compel testimony under threat of punishment. (2)

Expect the calls for a special prosecutor to grow louder as we learn more about Operation Fast and Furious.

Footnotes:
(1) Some question the constitutionality of the special prosecutor (or “independent counsel”), but it was upheld in both Morrison v. Olson (1988) and later in US v. “Scooter” Libby. (PDF)
(2) Issa does have the option of seeking a citation for Contempt of Congress against Holder and other relevant officials, but that would require either referral to the US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, an Obama appointee and hence conflicted, or a trial before the House, which would turn into a circus that would probably work against the Republicans.

via Vermontaigne

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Predictable, really

June 22, 2011

The marketing divisions of the Democratic Party, aka The New York Times and The Washington Post, have launched a vigorous defense of the Obama administration in the wake of scandalous revelations about Operation Fast and Furious (“Gunwalker”) by launching a smear campaign against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the committee investigating this fiasco. Patrick Richardson at PJM’s Tatler blog has the story:

Issa of course has been holding hearings on the fiasco that was Operation Fast and Furious, where the ATF allowed thousands of guns across the border into the hands of the drug cartels, weapons which then began showing up at crime scenes, including the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The NYT is continuing to tell the lie that most of the weapons which end up in Mexico came from the U.S. They also show their complete ignorance when they say the weapons sold were military rifles. They were not. Whatever the semiautomatic rifles sold may look like, they are not true assault rifles. They do not have a selective fire capability, meaning they cannot fire full auto, as military rifles will. The NYT is merely using these hearings in order to push for the re-enactment of the so-called assault weapons ban while doing the administration’s dirty work.

The WaPo is perhaps more thoughtful in their attack, attempting to look like real reporting. Using anonymous sources to take potshots at Issa, claiming he was briefed in on the operation last year.

Let’s keep in mind that not only have two US federal agents been killed by guns that were allowed to “walk” over the border with the full knowledge of the ATF, but at least 150 Mexican soldiers, federal agents, and civilians. And Mexico is an ally.

If they were real newspapers truly concerned with the pursuit of the truth, the Times and the Post would be demanding to who knew what when and who gave the okays. They’d be digging into the serious foreign policy implications for the United States (1), and they’d be giving wall-to-wall coverage of the grotesque human tragedy caused by gunwalker — on American orders — something Representative Issa has described as “felony stupid;” an understatement if there ever was one.

But that would only happen if there were an (R) after the president’s name.

Real newspapers are mostly gone, at least at the national level. (2) Now, instead, we have PR flacks disguised as newspapers trying desperately to distract us from a trail that seems to lead directly to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, if not to the Oval Office itself.

Heckuva job, guys!

Footnotes:

(1) Supplying weapons to groups that threaten to destabilize a foreign state. Y’know, those little things we used to call “acts of war.”

(2) One exception is the Washington Examiner, which has a great lineup of journalists and analysts. Among the legacy media, CBS deserves real credit for following “Operation Fast and Furious” almost since the story first broke.

RELATED: Background and links

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It won’t die… IT WON’T DIE!!!

May 28, 2010

The Obama White House must be going nuts trying to get past the story of whether it offered a bribe to Congressman Joe Sestak a bribe to cede the Pennsylvania Democratic primary to Senator Arlen Specter. It just won’t go away. After months of saying nothing untoward occurred and that no offer was made, while Sestak insisted one had been made, the administration finally got its lies straight admitted that, yes, there was some discussion of a job – an unpaid advisory position. The kicker? The intermediary was former President Bill Clinton:

President Obama’s chief of staff used former President Bill Clinton as an intermediary to see if Representative Joe Sestak would drop out of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary if given a prominent, but unpaid, advisory position, the White House said on Friday.

Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, asked Mr. Clinton last summer to explore “options of service” on a presidential or senior government advisory board with Mr. Sestak, the White House said in a statement. Mr. Sestak said no and went on to win last week’s primary against Senator Arlen Specter.

The White House disputed Republican claims that the conversations might be illegal or improper. “There was no such impropriety,” Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, said in a memo released to reporters. “The Democratic Party leadership had a legitimate interest in averting a divisive primary fight and a similarly legitimate concern about the congressman vacating his seat in the House.”

Mr. Bauer went on to say that such horse-trading has been commonplace through history. “There have been numerous, reported instances in the past when prior administrations – both Democratic and Republican, and motivated by the same goals – discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaigns for public office,” he wrote. “Such discussions are fully consistent with the relevant law and ethical requirements.”

You know what? I agree with Bauer. This kind of thing has gone on as long as the Republic itself and, as I understand the law, talking over options and considering an unremunerated position doesn’t cross the legal red line.

If that’s what happened, and that’s a big “if.”

Consider: the day before this news comes out, Obama and Clinton had lunch together. On that same day, Sestak’s brother, who’s also his campaign manager, talked with White House officials about the bubbling controversy. It could be all on the up and up, in fact it probably (barely) is. But, toss in the pot an administration steeped in the Chicago Way of politics, an ex-President with a flexible sense of ethics, and a candidate who’s sorry he ever opened his mouth and really wants help winning his race, stir all that together, and you get…  Something that smells.

After all, if the truth was so anodyne, why’d it take so long to come with this stupid lie explanation? Experienced politicos aren’t buying it:

“I don’t believe that.  That may be what they’re concocting as a cover story.  But the idea that…Sestak is an Admiral in the Navy.  This is a smart, competent professional.  The idea that he misunderstood a free, unpaid job for the offer of Secretary of the Navy.  I mean, don’t you find that sort of boggles your mind?”

Not that Newt Gingrich would be biased or anything ( Rolling on the floor ), but I think he has a point.

And, just as Team Obama hopes this will all go away, Bill tosses red meat in front of reporters and bloggers by refusing to comment about the official explanation.

It may be that the Obama and Sestak camps are now telling the truth. It could be that White House Counsel Bauer is right that there’s smoke, but no fire. Yet something still smells here.

And I bet we’ll find out what before election day.

POSTSCRIPT: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been bulldogging this issue admirably since it first came up, but now he’s crossing the line into Dumb Land by bringing up the “I-word:” impeachment. Darrell, dude. Sit down and relax. Breathe deeply. Calm down. Remember the last time the Republicans went for impeachment? It took years to recover from that self-inflicted embarrassment, even though Bill really was guilty on at least one charge. To go for it again would be to take a shotgun to the party’s one remaining foot. The public is worried about jobs, the economy, crazed jihadis, and oil slicks, and won’t have any patience with us trying to force Obama from office before 2012. We’re trying to prove we’re responsible enough to be trusted with government and not a bunch of frothing putschists, remember? If it gets bad, he’ll just throw Rahm under the bus and that will be the end of it.

Besides, you do recall who’s next in line, don’t you??

RELATED: A Colorado candidate for a Senate seat says he got a job offer, too.

LINKS: At Ace’s, SorenKay votes for the coordinated lies theory. Sister Toldjah asks for a show of hands from anyone who believes this story.


A damning silence?

March 13, 2010

Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) has accused the Obama Adminstration of, in effect, offering him a bribe to drop his primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter (D-R-D-PA). Reporters have repeatedly asked White House Press Secretary Gibbs for information and clarifications. Gibbs has dodged these questions in a way worthy of a Nixon staffer. Byron York recounts the tale so far and asks how long will Gibbs keep stonewalling?

Sestak’s charge is a serious one that could potentially involve criminal conduct on the part of someone in the administration. And Sestak, while not offering any new details, is standing by his story. “Something happened last July before I got in the race,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program March 9. When he was asked about it on the radio program, Sestak continued, “I answered it honestly; I just said yes, but I didn’t go beyond that. And actually, Joe, I don’t think I should. That’s politics.” Just to clarify, Sestak said, of the radio interview, “They said to me, have you been offered a job not to get in the race, or to get in the race? And I said yes.”

Not only is the charge serious; Sestak himself, with his long career in the Navy before winning a seat in Congress, is a serious source. On March 8, at a health care event in Pennsylvania, President Obama referred to Sestak as “somebody who rendered outstanding service to our nation before he was in Congress.”

And yet, after an initial denial, the White House spokesman hasn’t been able to muster any comment on the allegation. Gibbs has not repeated the denial, hasn’t issued a new one, and has now dropped any pretense of checking on the story. How long will the Sestak Stonewall continue?

Between this and the long-simmering Inspectors-General scandal alone, there are more than a few political IEDs that could blow up on the administration before November.

RELATED: Politico reports on questions posed to White House Counsel Robert Bauer by Congressman Darrell Issa of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding Sestak’s accusation.

(via Power Line)

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Ace of Spades, and thanks for the link! :)

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey thinks this won’t go anywhere legally (and I think he’s right), but that it could be important politically.


Hope! Change! Cover Ups! The Chicago Way!

November 23, 2009

Today must be Scandal Day: first ACORN and now evidence that the White House lied to Congress about its involvement in the firing of AmeriCorps Inspector-General Gerald Walpin. According to documents released late last Friday and contrary to the fairy tale the White House told last June, there was no broad consultation or investigation conducted before the sudden decision to get rid of Walpin. Byron York of the Washington Examiner tells the story:

Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair. It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report.

The new documents support the Republican investigators’ conclusion that the White House’s explanation for Walpin’s dismissal — that it came after the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, unanimously decided that Walpin must go — was in fact a public story cobbled together after Walpin was fired, not before.

Walpin was axed on the evening of June 10, when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, who told Walpin he had one hour either to resign or be fired.  The next day, congressional Republicans, led by Grassley, objected, charging that Walpin’s dismissal violated a recently-passed law requiring the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice before dismissing an inspector general.

Pressed for the reason Walpin was fired, Eisen told House and Senate aides that the White House conducted an “extensive review” of complaints about Walpin’s performance before deciding to dismiss him.  According to the new report, Eisen told Congress that “his investigation into the merits of removing Gerald Walpin involved contacting members of the Corporation for National and Community Service [CNCS] board to confirm the existence of a ‘consensus’ in favor of removal.” But Republican investigators later discovered that during that “extensive review,” the White House did not even seek the views of the corporation’s board — the very people whose “consensus” purportedly led to Walpin’s firing.

Other than board chairman Alan Solomont, the Democratic mega-donor and Obama supporter who originally told the White House of his dissatisfaction with Walpin, “no member of the CNCS board had any substantive input about whether the removal of Gerald Walpin was appropriate,” according to the report. Only one other board member, vice-chairman Stephen Goldsmith, was even called by the White House, and that was on June 10, a few hours before Walpin was fired.  According to the report, Goldsmith told investigators that “the White House had already decided to remove Walpin and wanted to confirm [Goldsmith's] support for the action.”

The new documents show the White House scrambling, in the days after the controversy erupted, to put together a public explanation for the firing.

Read the whole thing, as well as a companion editorial that provides a good overview of the shenanigans at play here. Clearly Walpin was not fired because he was becoming senile and unable to discharge his duties -he’s been cleared of those and other  smears- but because his investigations were uncovering embarrassing and possibly illegal conduct on the part of a major supporter of President Obama.  Apparently a determination was made to just get rid of him in contravention of the law regarding IGs, and a rationale cooked up after the fact. A rationale, I might add, that was both a lie to Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa – and a blatant attempt to smear Walpin and ruin his reputation.

The question is, how far up the chain does this go? Who authorized the lies to Congress? Who ordered the illegal firing of Walpin? Who was trying to protect Sacramento Mayor Johnson? Stay tuned for these and other questions (and, one hopes, some answers) in our next episode of Cook County on the Potomac!

LINKS: Reporter Robert Stacy McCain has also done extensive work on what’s being dubbed IG-gate. More from Sister Toldjah and Hot Air.


Brave Sir Robin ran away….

October 16, 2009

What’s the best way to avoid a difficult vote when your increasingly unpopular party is up to its knees in scandal? When you’re in the majority, you simply run away:

Faced with a promised vote to subpoena documents on Countrywide Financial’s “Friends of Angelo” program, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee fled a scheduled 2 p.m. markup today.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the Ranking Republican on the Oversight Committee, had promised to call for a vote at today’s markup on whether to subpoena documents involved in the program that gave sweetheart mortgages to at least four Democratic government officials, including two senators. According to the Wall Street Journal, the program might have also benefitted the chairman of House Oversight, Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y.

Even if it had been ruled out of Order, Issa’s motion would have received a vote.

The committee’s Democrats simply failed to appear. Republican staffers say they caught them on tape leaving by a back door at 2:35.

Tito has queued up another video in honor of the Democratic majority’s sterling stand for principle over self-interest. Roll tape!


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