Fast and Furious: Elijah Cummings throws the dead under the bus to protect Obama and Holder

April 30, 2012

Last week I reported that the Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R – CA) House Oversight Committee was preparing contempt of Congress charges against Attorney General Eric Holder for non-cooperation and defying subpoenas in the committee’s investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. Also known as “Gunwalker,” the administration’s supposed plan was to funnel guns and grenades to the cartels and then, somehow (1), trace them to their leaders. This plan went horribly awry, resulting in the deaths of more than 300 Mexican civilians, police, federal agents, and military, as well and one, perhaps two United States federal officers. It is this failed, fatal, operation that Chairman Issa’s committee has been digging into in order to find out how something this boneheaded could take place, all with little help from the Justice Department of the “most transparent administration, ever.”

Ranking committee Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, however, will have none of that nonsense:

Rep. Elijah Cummings warned Rep. Darrell Issa against turning a potential contempt resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal into “an election-year witch hunt,” he wrote in a letter late last week.

“Holding someone in contempt of Congress is one of the most serious and formal actions our Committee can take, and it should not be used as a political tool to generate press as part of an election-year witch hunt against the Obama Administration,” the Maryland Democrat wrote Friday to Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Congressman Cummings was incensed that the draft citation was leaked to the press:

“Leaking a draft contempt citation that Members of our Committee have never seen suggests that you are more interested in perpetuating your partisan political feud in the press than in obtaining any specific substantive information relating to the Committee’s investigation,” he wrote. “These actions undermine the credibility of the Committee, as well as the integrity and validity of any contempt actions the Committee ultimately may choose to adopt in the future.”

Cry me a river. A congressman complaining about leaks to the press is about as credible as Captain Renault being shocked to find gambling in Rick’s cafe.

No, what’s really going on here is a hack congressman trying to spin a message about unfair Republicans (2), in order to protect a cabinet officer and his president. The truth of what may have happened in Operation fast and Furious, including possible massive violations of federal and state laws, matters less than Obama’s electoral chances.

We’ve seen this show before: it was called “Watergate.” Only no one died that time.

Meanwhile, 300 (and counting) Mexicans and federal agents Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata still have no justice.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

Footnotes:
(1) I say “somehow,” since, without any tracking devices or, indeed, any effort at all to trace the guns once they were in Mexico, it remains a mystery as to just how the DoJ, ATF, and other involved agencies ever expected to link these weapons to their buyers. The only way to ever see them again was to recover them at crime scenes, which usually meant people had been killed, too.
(2) I’m sure we won’t have to wait long before accusations of “racism” are made, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, my. House drafting contempt citation against Attorney General Holder

April 27, 2012

It’s on:

Republican House leaders are finally holding Attorney General Eric Holder accountable for some of his actions. Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, drafted a 48-page contempt of Congress citation against him. The charge? Repeatedly obstructing and slowing the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.

This means the top House leaders are on board. The top committee officials met for most of the day in Speaker John Boehner’s office and he gave them permission to move ahead. Finally!

If adopted, the resolution will be sent to the US attorney’s office in DC or to an independent counsel. This will force the DOJ to hand over the tens of thousands pages they still owe the Oversight Committee. Mr. Holder and other officials claim they are cooperating, but they’ve only turned over 6400 documents, most of them heavily redacted. In February Rep Gosar told me a lot of them are repeats.

All I can say is 300 dead Mexicans and two murdered US federal agents demand justice. Good job, Chairman Issa and Speaker Boehner! Now file it, vote on it, and pass it.

Don’t. Let. Up.

RELATED: Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

UPDATE: In a later report, CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (aka “The only MSM reporter to seriously cover this scandal”) corrects an earlier article to say that Boehner’s office hasn’t approved the Contempt of Congress vote — yet:

CBS News has confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was provided a 48-page long draft by Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders,” a Republican leadership aide told CBS News.

Congressional staffers involved in the discussions say leadership approval is not needed for the Oversight panel to proceed. However, Boehner would have to okay any vote taken by the full House of Representatives.

via Tabitha Hale

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“You will not be a burden to society. You will give back.”

January 10, 2012

Mia Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, is running for the House from Utah’s newly created 4th congressional district. Here’s her introductory video:

An African-American woman who’s a conservative Republican and a Mormon? I hope she’s ready for the trash that’s going to be thrown at her by race-baiting liberal Democrats and their support groups (such as the NAACP) should she succeed. Nothing is more threatening to their stranglehold over the Black vote than a minority man or woman who rejects the culture of entitlement and dependence on government. Just ask Allen West.

From Mia’s bio:

In November 2011, Mia Love filed to run for Utah’s newly formed 4th Congressional District based on her demonstrated leadership on conservative principles. She credits her parents with providing the foundation for her ideals. After many years of living in the unstable, regime-torn socialist island country of Haiti, her parents immigrated legally to the United States with $10 in their pockets in hopes of achieving the American Dream.

Mia was born in Brooklyn, New York and eventually moved to Connecticut. Mia recalls both parents working hard to earn a living, her father at times taking on second jobs cleaning toilets to pay for school for their three children. On the day of Mia’s college orientation, her father said something to her that would become the ethos for her life:

“Mia, your mother and I never took a handout. You will not be a burden to society. You will give back.”

I don’t know who else is running in the district, nor has Ms. Love posted on issues, yet, so this isn’t an endorsement. But, if this is an illustration of her character and beliefs, then I will say that she is the kind of person we need many more of in Congress.

Her site.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Barney Frank to retire

November 28, 2011

via The Hill:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will announce Monday that he is not seeking re-election, ending a 32-year career in the House.

Frank, 71, is the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and the architect, with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), of the sweeping Wall Street regulatory reform law enacted in 2010.

He is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. in his district, according to a spokesman, who said the congressman would announce at that time the reason for his decision. His retirement will deprive the House of one of its most colorful characters, a man known for his quick and often caustic wit.

And also known for being one of the most vociferous defenders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, claiming there was no problem while those two agencies were at the core of the building sub-prime mortgage disaster. He’s also been a loud advocate of raising taxes and gutting the defense budget. Saying he has a “caustic wit” is a euphemism; he truly is one of the biggest jackasses in our national life. Congress can only be improved by his absence.

Enjoy your retirement, Barney. And good riddance.

RELATED: Earlier posts about Barney Frank. Smitty at The Other McCain has a blog roundup.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Meet Jim Moran (D-VA), anti-democratic Democrat

October 24, 2011

Let’s be blunt — Democratic pols are having a breakdown as they are forced to face three things: their treasured statist, social democratic policies are an abject failure (1); only a fifth of the nation identifies with the Democrats’ statist philosophy and policies (2); and their leader is a schmuck who is leading them to a massacre in 2012 that will make the Great Shellacking of 2010 look like a walk in the park.

So, having to face the fact that the general voting public doesn’t like them and their policies much and is working within the democratic system to stymie their plans and (eventually, we hope) undo the damage they’ve done, we shouldn’t be surprised when their inner progressive comes out and they decide to say “to heck with the democratic system and the Constitution itself (3), we’ll just rule by decree!

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran told The Daily Caller on Thursday evening that President Obama should “refinance every home mortgage” without congressional approval in order to “reset the economy.”

“Absolutely, I think [Obama] should do that but there are not a lot of places where he can act unilaterally,” Moran told TheDC during Conservation International’s Oct. 20 dinner in Washington, D.C.

“If he chooses to act unilaterally,” Moran said, “the likelihood is that there will be language in the appropriations bills that will prohibit him from spending money for that purpose. That’s just the political reality. But notwithstanding that, I think he should do everything he can do on his own to stimulate jobs.”

Obama has already asked his Council on Jobs to identify areas of the American Jobs Act that can be implemented without congressional authorization.

Moran told TheDC that he would “like to see” the Obama administration “refinance every home mortgage at three-and-a-half to four percent” interest, which he said can be accomplished without approval from Congress.

“The banks aren’t doing it, but the federal government can borrow money at three-and-a-half percent today. They should use that money to refinance every home mortgage, and that would put $750 billion into homeowners pockets,” he said. “It would reset the economy, and I think it’s the one thing that would most quickly get this economy back on its feet.”

*sigh* 

Not only does Representative Moran want Obama to spend money without authorization, but he wants Obama to borrow nearly another trillion dollars. Let me remind Congressman Moran of Article I, section 8, clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which defines the powers of Congress:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

Only Congress can borrow money on the credit of the United States; that power is granted to no one else.

And yet James Moran, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Virginia’s 8th district, wants the President of the United States to usurp powers granted only to Congress, because the meanie Republicans are doing what their constituents elected them to do and blocking any more idiotic ideas — such as Jim Moran’s.

May I suggest to Congressman Moran, since he finds the Constitution he swore to uphold and defend such a pain in the rear, that he do the honorable thing and resign?

First it was Governor Perdue (D-NC) advocating suspending congressional elections in 2012. Then it was Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., urging Obama to declare Congress in rebellion. And now Jim Moran wants Obama to borrow and spend money without any concern for the people’s elected representatives.

Professional Democrats have a real problem with democracy, don’t they?

via Ed Morrissey, who exposes the economic stupidity of Moran’s “plan.”

Footnotes:
(1) Cash for Clunkers. The Stimulus act. The CLASS program. The Durbin Amendment to Dodd-Frank. The earlier mortgage bailout.  Their loan programs to the “green companies” of tomorrow (See: Solyndra. Tesla and Fisker). And I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch more.
(2) It’s hard to claim to be the “party of the people” when only one-in-five will even admit to aligning with you.
(3) Well, who can blame them? The document is over 100 years old and it probably confuses the poor dears.

(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)


Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee: conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “buy American” should be “buy African-American”

September 27, 2011

I’m glad to see she’s against playing racial politics:

While speaking with Tavis Smiley of PBS, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee said conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “stop playing racial politics.”

This from a member of the caucus that does little else but play the race card.

Seconds later, Jackson Lee went on to say that buy American should be “buy African American.”

She also said that if Obama’s jobs bill is passed, that contractors who “do not look like” her need to make sure that if they get federal money, their workforce “better be reflective of those suffering double-digit unemployment.”

“I don’t consider it discrimination, I don’t consider it affirmative action,” she added.

No, it’s just a bit of ethnic strong-arming. “Nice business you have there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

Roger L. Simon is right: the Congressional Black Caucus should be disbanded. Far from fighting racism, they exploit it for personal gain and in the process harm the very constituency they claim to serve. (Although in Jackson-Lee’s case, I doubt she’s smart enough to know what she’s doing.)

By the way, Sheila, this conservative blogger does not plan to shut up. But you can take your racial grievance pandering and shove it.

via Clarice Feldman

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Well, that didn’t take long

July 26, 2011

Troubled Congressman David Wu has resigned:

Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., announced his resignation today following allegations he engaged in “aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior” with a young woman.

“The time has come to hand on the privilege of high office,” Wu said in a statement. “I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.”

Wu said that his resignation would be effective upon the resolution of the debt ceiling crisis.

“This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues,” he said. “It is also the only correct decision to avoid any distraction from the important work at hand in Washington.”

After which he will go into the Halloween costume business.


Oregon scandal, another special election in the offing?

July 23, 2011

What is it with congressmen and their evident inability to keep their pants zipped? Now it’s Democrat David Wu of Oregon, who stands accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a teenaged girl:

According to the Beaver State-based outlet, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor accused the Democratic congressman of pursuing an unwanted sexual encounter said to have occurred last year. The young woman reportedly raised the matter in a voicemail left at Wu’s Portland office this past spring. An unnamed source tells the Oregonian that she sounded “distraught” in her message.

This is not the first time that Wu has come under scrutiny over matters unrelated to his work in the political domain. Earlier this year, the congressman found himself combating calls to resign in the wake of demonstrating questionable behavior. In February, Wu cited a reaction to mental health drugs in resisting calls to step down.

Apparently Wu’s behavior has been so erratic that his staff staged an intervention:

Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and — more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching — around potential voters and donors.

Most of all, they were worried for Wu, a 55-year-old single father of two children.

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period.

“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues that day. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else.”

Wu, however, remained defiant, sources said. He left the meeting and said he was going to a movie.

Oregon Live details further bizarre behavior by Congressman Wu. It seems as if he has serious mental health problems and is in need of treatment; his staff surely thought so. Perhaps the best thing for all concerned would be for him to resign so he can get the help he needs, and so the people of his district can choose a better representative.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I pity the fool who crosses Rep. Allen West

July 20, 2011

And that fool yesterday was Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL), who is also Chair of the Democratic National Committee. During yesterday’s debate in the House before the vote on the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill and after Rep. West had left the room, Wasserman-Schultz attacked him in all but name:

“The gentleman from Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said of West, “who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from South Florida.”

Wasserman-Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that the measure “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

I read somewhere that the correct response to an ambush is to counterattack directly at the enemy, rather than hunkering down. If so, then former Lt. Col. West drew his saber and charged:

From: Z112 West, Allen
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

Ouch! That left a mark.

But don’t think I don’t have sympathy with Rep. Wasserman-Schultz… believe it. I have none.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is nothing more than a race-baiting hyper-partisan tool and professional pol whose main goal is to serve the Democratic Party’s needs before her own country’s.

Some might argue that Rep. West should have held back, been a gentleman, generally “above it all” and “better than that.” Bunk. What that really means is that we should stand their and take the progressive Democrats’ churlish behavior on the chin, for they will never act with grace regardless of how restrained we are.

As far as I’m concerned, Representative West gave Representative Wasserman-Schultz exactly what she deserved.

Can’t wait for next time!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: the scandal that breaks the Obama administration?

June 14, 2011

I’ve said for a long time that I think Eric Holder is the worst Attorney General since the wretched A. Mitchell Palmer (1) and should be forced to resign or be impeached. From his failure to protect voting rights on a color-blind basis to his vindictive persecution of CIA interrogators questioning al Qaeda terrorists and his incompetence in handling the trials of terrorists, he’s not just incompetent — he’s doing genuine harm.

But it appears the scandal that may finally bring Holder down (and his boss?) is one that’s been simmering on the backburner for months and is only now coming to a boil: Operation “Fast and Furious,” aka “Gunwalker,” a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms plan to trace the flow of firearms to Mexican drug cartels by letting US gun-dealers sell them the weapons.

What could go wrong?

At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens (aka “Confederate Yankee“) looks at the forthcoming hearings, reviews the fatal results of Gunwalker, and concludes Obama and Holder have plenty of reason to stonewall Congress:

Rumors began to fly over a week ago that a .50 BMG weapon supplied to Mexican drug cartels by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was used to bring down a Mexican military helicopter in May. According to CBS News, the use of that weapon can be confirmed, and it turns out the helicopter was one of two  fired upon by suspected cartel members.

The raid on the cartel that the helicopters were supporting was successful, netting more than 70 weapons, including the helicopter-down .50 BMG rifle and other weapons traced back to the botched ATF Operation Fast and Furious, also know as “Gunwalker.”

To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot  with ATF-supplied weapons. While the theory behind the plot was different, the end result is no more deplorable than Iran’s arming of Iraqi terrorists.

At least two American law enforcement officers have been murdered with ATF weapons as well. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry  was killed with “Gunwalker” firearms in Arizona, while ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata  was killed in an ambush in Mexico with a gun the ATF allowed to be sold to a cartel gun smuggler in Dallas.

The damning evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice agency is a major supplier of cartel weapons will go in front of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week, in what could be a damning indictment of the ATF’s senior leadership and Eric Holder’s leadership of the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Holder has apparently ordered the DOJ to fight Congressional oversight, with the DOJ and ATF ignoring seven letters and a subpoena  from the committee. Neither Holder nor ATF Director Ken Melson will answer questions — which may lead to them being held in contempt of Congress.

Be sure to read the rest.

One can see why Holder would want to keep information from the House committee: if true, it reveals a mind-boggling level of stupidity and possibly criminal recklessness at ATF and Justice that has lead to the deaths of people on both sides of the border.

Owens hints at a hidden agenda behind the program, and one wonders if he isn’t on to something. Obama, as well as the Left in general, have long been advocates of strict gun-control, regardless of the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. Encountering resistance from the gun-rights lobby and conservatives in Congress, the administration has even worked to circumvent the Second Amendment via international treaty. The President has regularly lied about the role of US firearms in Mexico’s violence, far exaggerating their numbers. Could it be that one of the “side benefits” of Gunwalker was to provide more “ammunition” for the administration’s gun-control agenda?

I’d hate to think that was the case, but it can’t be completely discounted, either.

And that leads to the other reason Holder might rather risk a contempt citation at this week’s hearings than tell the truth: if Obama knew of this plan in advance and approved of it or at least didn’t stop it, or if he found out about it afterwards and didn’t do anything about it, then he bears responsibility for an operation that has cost the lives of US and Mexican federal agents and armed dangerous gangs allied with our declared enemies. It could easily be a fatal blow to his reelection chances.

Which means it’s time to ask The Question: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

BACKGROUND: CBS, in particular reporter Sharyl Attkisson, has been doing yeoman work on this story from its earliest days, reminding us of what the MSM used to be. Here’s one of her first reports. The whole series of articles is here.

RELATED: The Diplomad draws a connection from the ATF to… Thor Heyerdahl?

Footnotes:

(1) Hmm… Also appointed by a progressive Democrat president. I detect a pattern.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Weinergate: Question of the day, double-standards edition

June 10, 2011

Writing at Pajamas Media, Rand Simberg first thinks back to how hard (1) Bill Clinton fought to stay in office after a far worse sex scandal in a far more important office, then looks at all the Democrats suddenly calling on Congressman Anthony Weiner to resign and asks a simple question:

Can someone explain to me what Anthony Weiner did that was so much worse than what Bill Clinton did that he is being asked by his fellow Democrats to resign?

As someone who had the graphic details of then-President Bubba’s sexual escapades seared —SEARED! (2)– into my mind at the time, I have to say this is not only a simple question, but a good one.

Look at prior congressional sex scandals:

  • In 1983, Congressman Gerry Studds (D) was reprimanded for having sex with a 17-year old male House Page. Studds not only didn’t resign for what was arguably a worse offense (3), he turned it into a triumph, actually being applauded in the House when he stood on the floor to receive his reprimand.
  • Idaho Senator Larry Craig (R) was caught soliciting sex in a public restroom. He first resigned, then stayed to finish out his term.
  • Senator David Vitter (R) visited brothels, probably committing a crime (4), yet he not only did not resign, he was reelected.
  • And, my favorite, Barney Frank (D), whose “personal aide” ran a gay escort service from Frank’s apartment. (Frank claims he never knew until… Yeah, right.) And Barney is still there.
  • In a non-sex scandal, New Orleans “Dollar Bill” Jefferson (D) was widely believed to be as corrupt as the day is long, but he only left when defeated for reelection.

I’m sure we can think of others that are worse than a congressman cheating on his wife with phone and internet-sex, yet weren’t asked to resign. And all these people lied as much as Weiner — though probably not so wretchedly.

(Note: While John Ensign did resign in the wake of his scandal, there is a strong possibility of criminal violations in this case.)

So, to repeat Simberg’s question, if Clinton, Studds, Craig, Vitter, and Jefferson all got to stay, why does Anthony Weiner, whose offenses were lesser, have to go?

To be frank, since no crime was committed that we know of, let his voters pass judgment on him. They’ll be passing judgment on themselves, too.

And, as a partisan who wants to see the Democrats crushed in 2012, I want Weiner to stay so that our side can turn him into one of the “faces of Congress” for the election. Ask yourselves why the Democrats are pressuring him to go, now — it’s because they’re scared we’ll do just that.

So, there’s your question for the day, folks: Dear Democrats — if Bill could stay, why not Tony?

via Ed Driscoll

Footnotes:

(1) Get your minds out of the gutter.

(2) Just like Kerry in Cambodia, only this really happened.

(3) Not the sex itself (the age of consent in DC is 16), but for violating the trust implied in parents sending their teens to work in the House.

(4) Or is that not a crime in Louisiana?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anthony Weiner: serious question

June 2, 2011

Okay, yesterday I was laughing, but something occurred to me this morning: Congressman “I’m a big deal” Weiner sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. That committee includes the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, the jurisdiction of which is:

National energy policy generally; Fossil energy, renewable energy resources and synthetic fuels, energy conservation, energy information; Energy regulation and utilization; Utility issues and regulation of nuclear facilities; Interstate energy compacts; Nuclear energy; The Clean Air Act and air emissions; and, All laws, programs, and government activities affecting such matters.

(Emphases added)

Weiner does not sit on that subcommittee. But, since the full committee’s purview includes areas considered by the subcommittee, that means Representative Weiner almost certainly has a “top secret” security clearance so he can be properly informed when considering issues dealing with our nuclear power plants, not just technological secrets but also their physical security in an age of mass terrorism.

Think about that.

Anthony Weiner has just shown the world how irresponsible and careless he is. Forgetting for a moment his apparent inclinations toward infidelity, his childish “sexting” makes him vulnerable to blackmail (1). The Soviets used to do it all the time, and you can bet our enemies would be happy to do it today:

“So, Tony. What’s it going to be? Do we get details of the security at San Onofre, or does your wife get to see those other pictures, the ones that you thought were safe, when she opens tomorrow’s ‘Post?'”

Sure, the dialogue is corny, but the situation is potentially quite real.

So, let me ask: Is there any reason why this juvenile dope shouldn’t lose his security clearance and be consigned to the Committee on the House Cafeteria?

(1) Anyone willing to bet that this is the first time he’s done this, and there aren’t more photos out there? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) shows again she is a bigoted dimwit

April 14, 2011

And this time she has company, in the form of two liberal (I assume) radio hosts who join her in mocking people who identify with the Tea Party, and Southerners in general. I’ll let them speak for themselves:

Moe Lane absolutely destroys Sanchez on the factual errors she commits in this interview, such as where most of the new representatives come from, but I want to point out something else: Note the cavalier contempt for conservatives’ concern over the constitutionality of Congress’ actions*. Instead of her showing respect for others’ respect for the document they and she are sworn to defend, Sanchez (and her interlocutors) mock them — and their funny names and accents.

Stupid red necks. Why can’t all y’all be like Loretta and just go along to get along and stop fussin’ yourselves over a silly old piece of parchment?

On the other hand, Loretta fits in perfectly fine with her caucus, the leader of which thinks elections really shouldn’t matter.

This isn’t the first time Congresswoman Sanchez (D-Race Card) has shown herself to be more than willing to play on race and ethnicity to gain an edge: when Arizona passed SB 1070, its bill to enforce federal immigration law that the Fed refused to enforce, Sanchez equated supporters of the bill with White supremacists. (Be sure to see the comments for a full discussion.) And during the 2010 election campaign, Sanchez, a member of the enlightened Democratic Party, went on Spanish-language channel Univision to tell her Hispanic viewers that the Vietnamese community in the district were trying to “steal our seat.” Sadly, she won.

Abraham Lincoln once famously said:

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

I’d suggest to the congresswoman that she take Mr. Lincoln’s words to heart, but she passed the point of no return long ago and the secret is out.

PS: Sanchez is a louse, too. She tried to get Representative Gabrielle Giffords kicked off a committee while Giffords was lying in a hospital fighting for her life after being shot in the head.

PPS: And let’s not forget she likely cheated her way into the House, too, on the strength of illegal votes in her 1996 election.

PPPS: Must be a family thing; her sister, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-No Free Speech), sponsored legislation to restrict free speech on the Internet.

*Absolutely accidental alliteration. I swear.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) is a disgrace

January 26, 2011

In the past she’s been a shameless race-baiter; now she’s revealed to the nation, her district, and her caucus just how dumb she is:

Behind closed doors, California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez has proposed removing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) until she recovers from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson, The Daily Caller has learned.

The proposal sparked an outrage, according to those in the room — including from those in Sanchez’s own party.

“It’s not appropriate,” Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes told The Daily Caller, adding that there was outrage among some members in the room when Sanchez made the suggestion. “It’s bad for morale during her recovery period.”

Reyes and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington put up most of the fight against Sanchez, and helped squash the idea.

Politicians and pundits like to talk about the “optics” of a situation, how it will look to the public. You can imagine what went through the Democratic leadership’s minds when nitwit Sanchez suggested this: “Sure let’s kick to the curb the most sympathetic member of our caucus, just after she’s taken a bullet to the brain. That’ll play well on TV and talk radio!”

Then there’s the legislative side of this nonsensical idea: the Republicans hold a seven-seat majority on HASC.  Giffords’ vote wouldn’t be decisive without several Republican defections, so replacing her is meaningless. Sanchez’s staff tried to pass this off as making sure Giffords’ interests were represented, but that can be done by other members of the committee (such as Sanchez, since she cares so deeply) without putting the boot to a colleague who’s already been through so much. (And Reyes has a good point. Morale in rehab counts for a lot, and learning that the work she enjoyed so much is being taken away from her, however temporarily, wouldn’t help.)

Really, I don’t see how Sanchez benefits from this proposal, so I’ll have to put it down to congenital stupidity. She may not be the worst member of California’s 54-seat delegation (There’s stiff competition for that honor), but she’s definitely in the bottom five.

UPDATE 10/30/2014: Edited to remove an error in which I confused her with her equally execrable sister, Linda.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


So ignorant, it’s scary: the sequel

January 19, 2011

Last summer I wrote a post about the mind-numbing witlessness of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).  Now, on top of her ignorance of History and Science, she’s shown herself to be devoid of any understanding of the Constitution*, too, by declaring that a repeal of ObamaCare would be unconstitutional:

Arguing that the Commerce Clause provides the constitutional basis for ObamaCare, Jackson Lee said repealing the law by passing Republicans’ H.R. 2 violates both the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.

“The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process,” she said in a speech on the House floor moments ago. “That is what H.R. 2 does and I rise in opposition to it. And I rise in opposition because it is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured.

She continued, “Can you tell me what’s more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?”

Jackson Lee mentioned the names of several people who she said would be helped by the national health care law, including a schizophrenic, a dialysis patient, and somebody whose mother cannot otherwise get dental care. “I know they would question why we are taking away their rights,” she said.

Actually, I should think they would more likely question whether she has two firing synapses in her head. And does anyone seriously think she’d even be giving constitutionalism a passing glance, if her party hadn’t been massacred in the last election by voters sickened by the Democrats’ cavalier disregard for the Constitution?

She won’t understand it, but I’ll try.

Dear Sheila,

The US Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. That means –try to keep up, now– it limits what the federal government can do, assigning it specific powers and reserving the rest to the people and the states. It does this to protect the individual liberty of Americans from tyrannical power-grabs by a distant government. (If you had paid attention in History class, you’d recall we fought the Revolution for that very reason.) This is why the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, the Second the individual right to bear arms, and so on.

What the Constitution does not do, regardless of what Franklin Roosevelt and Cass Sunstein say, is mandate that the government give you stuff. It is not required to give you food, clothing, a place to live, a new TV, gas for your car, a pony on your birthday, or insurance coverage. Your twisting of the Fifth Amendment to say that the government must mandate insurance coverage lest someone’s life be taken from them is… bizarre. If that’s the case, then the government should buy everyone a gun, too, since otherwise someone might lose his life and property in a robbery. You know what happens when you rely on the government to give you everything you could want? The citizen becomes an infantilized servant.

And “due process?” I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean. Are you really saying that the government cannot deny someone insurance coverage without a court hearing? Wait. I don’t want to be giving you any ideas…

Sigh. What’s the use? She’s a progressive through and through, dedicated to the proposition that all Men are to be made equal by the government and are endowed by the government with whatever rights the government makes up that week**. And it’s not a coincidence that handing out goodies and calling them “constitutional rights” is a good way to bribe her constituents*** into reelecting her, which they seem quite willing to do.

But it doesn’t change the fact that she’s dumber than a box of rocks.

*Of course, that’s a common problem among Democrats. Some Republicans, too, but it’s pandemic on their side.

**I’d suggest she read the original, but why bother? It’s over 100 years old and probably too confusing for her.

***Can’t wait to see what reapportionment does to her district. Schadenfreude, baby!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Paul Ryan gets it

December 17, 2010

This video has been making the rounds on the Internet, and I have to join in. The Republican congressman from Wisconsin defends the passage of the compromise tax package last night and refuses to let the perfect be the enemy of the good:

A lot of people are boosting Ryan for vice-president or even president in 2012, but I’d be thrilled if he remained chairman of the House Budget Committee for the next ten years. We need sane voices in the legislature, too!

LINKS: Jennifer Rubin is impressed.


Their tears are like the finest liqueur

November 19, 2010

I admit, I’m enjoying this:

Dejected Democrats wiped away tears on the House floor Monday night while Republicans congratulated themselves on winning back control of the lower chamber.

(…)

Freshman Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.), who lost her reelection bid, wiped away tears as she hugged fellow members of the class of 2008, many of whom lost on Nov. 2.

Less than three feet away, ousted Nevada freshman Rep. Dina Titus (D) appeared to brush away some tears in a less obvious manner.

Ladies, after the crap your party inflicted on the nation over the last two years, you got what you deserved, so cry me a river.

While I laugh.

Via Allahpundit.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Democrats vote to make Republicans happy

November 17, 2010

They’ve elected to retain Nancy Pelosi as their leader:

The closed-door vote Wednesday will let the California congresswoman shift from House speaker to minority leader in January, despite concerns by some Democrats that the party needs new leadership after suffering huge midterm election losses.

Pelosi has refused to take the blame and pinned party’s losses on stubbornly high unemployment.

The House Republicans really should send their counterparts some sort of thank you gift; the way Nancy has “lead” the Democrats, the Elephants will have a two-thirds majority after 2012.


Voting with our feet

November 17, 2010

One of the functions of the decennial census is to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives.  While this doesn’t enable us to determine  in detail who is moving where and why, one can make a few broad generalizations with some confidence based on the likely apportionment.

And one of the chief among them is that people are fleeing high-tax, heavy government states like the plague:

Migration from high-tax states to states with lower taxes and less government spending will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses, according to a study by Americans for Tax Reform

Eight states are projected to gain at least one congressional seat under reapportionment following the 2010 Census: Texas (four seats), Florida (two seats), Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington (one seat each). Their average top state personal income tax rate: 2.8 percent.

By contrast, New York and Ohio are likely to lose two seats each, while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be down one apiece. The average top state personal income tax rate in these loser states: 6.05 percent.

The state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations, ATR found. As a result, per capita government spending is also lower: $4,008 for states gaining congressional seats, $5,117 for states losing them.

The article also draws a correlation between states that require the payment of union dues (losing seats) and right to work states (gaining seats).

There are some obvious lessons to be drawn here about tax competition and free labor: first, businesses and wage-earners will be attracted to states that let them keep more of their own money and not burden them with excessive regulation.  The second and related point is that granting unions a monopoly over labor (or access to taxes disguised as “representation fees” for those who don’t join the union) drives up the cost of labor to such a point that businesses will look to relocate elsewhere. It’s no coincidence that businesses (and their jobs) are fleeing high-tax, big government California, while low-tax, light-regulation Texas accounts for half of all the jobs created in the nation over the last year.

Will job-killing states learn this lesson? But maybe, like so many addicts, not until they hit rock bottom.

UPDATE: A timely example, via Heliogenic Climate Change.

-ANAHEIM, R. Frautschy: (…)

A recent discussion with my accountant determined that in order to comply with AB32 it will cost me almost the same amount as my yearly payroll. Now add in all the new or raised business taxes, and I must more than double the company income to make ends meet.

I received an offer from the state of Nevada. If I move my company to Nevada, my taxes will be 83 percent lower, no AB32 complications. Lower health care costs and more. It’s a no-brainer. I am laying off my entire staff and moving to Nevada. So, as of Dec. 31, 2010, the state of California will have 32 highly skilled workers on their unemployment hands. The unemployment rate is high in Nevada, so I can hire all new employees for much less.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)