Parasites, UNITE!

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What? That parasite business a bit harsh for the first post of a new decade? Too hyperbolic? Over the top? Only it’s not. According to the Republicans — and the very rich patrons that they serve — the majority of us out here in the American experience are undeserving, non-contributing parasites, sucking at their body of wealth and privilege.

The Pub base, clueless foot soldiers cooperating with their own eventual demise, have been told that we’re emotionally unsound, dangerous lunatics that threaten the nation. On some level … perhaps subconscious … most of us apparently believe it. Or at least we behave as if we do. We practically apologize for every progressive thought or deed while the Pubs posture with a sense of certainty that borders on the pathological.

Last night, Charlie Rose spoke to a panel about the new congress, including David Brooks. Asked about the nonsense hanging over our heads if the newbie’s refuse to extend the debt ceiling in Spring, Brooks said it rested with Glenn Beck and the Palin-contingency. If they refuse to allow their elected to back down from the “big spending” rhetoric, everything will go badly and we may — for the first time in our history — default on debt.

To weep. Our future is in the hands of a man who warned his faithful in his New Years message that the nation cannot survive much longer unless it undergoes a fundamental transformation, draws a line in the sand and recaptures American exceptionalism.

We have quite a mess on our hands — actual, virtual and highly imaginary. Two of those three conditions exist in a vacuum, by the way, unaware of the others. We’ve pretty much got the actual sewed up, over here on the left; the virtual belongs to the pundits and Village people, in love with the sound of their own pronouncement. The highly imaginary are crawling the halls of Congress now with a new “mandate” from The American People™ and the Almighty’s blessing, planning their renewal of public policy with the glazed-eyed zeal of those attending a corporate weekend retreat.

Meanwhile, Republicans took turns slipping in to read a snippet from the Constitution into the public record; this is an effort to limit government based on a stringent interpretation of the text. I found it the kind of exercise you see at a kids play, where everybody has their name clipped to their jacket; political theatre as ham-handed as a kindergarten presentation with none of the charm.

As usual, there were few people in the hall. Most of what occurs on the floor [broadcast via C-SPAN or newscast] is attended by only a skeleton crew and handful of witnesses. We don’t require legislators to get together in one place unless there’s a vote — more’s the pity. There’d be less BS if we made them sit through their own crapfest. And DO feel the irony as the Tea Party newbie’s pledge to protect and defend a Constitution that they intend to manipulate and reinterpret in order to serve their own purpose.

I am appalled at the active participation of SCOTUS at this moment, busting all to hell the pretense that the Supreme Court is a deliberative body serving the needs of a WHOLE nation, not a particular party or class. The Right-leaning no longer even TRY to cover their bias, but it’s good to see their true colors — you MUST open this link to see how Scalia and Roberts are dealing with this new Pub House; and be aware that thin-skinned Sam Alito has pledged NOT to attend Obama’s State of the Union this year.

It is going to be a v-e-r-y loooooong two years for me. I will have to walk away from my computer often, pacing off my frustration and disgust. That’s how it was for eight years and that’s how it looks to be coming up again. But in some ways, it’s worse now — the certifiably crazy are deadly serious … accent on the deadly … and that’s a vitriolic combination.

The House represents the will of individual districts. We call it the People’s House because it’s a melting pot of ideologies. So here’s to Nancy Pelosi, God/dess love her, who kept control of her Dems and tabs on her Pubs, did an absolutely STUNNING job of passing through hundreds of progressive proposals. The Senate only scratched the surface of what was completed on her end. She was pilloried on the Right because of her power, her vagina and her utter competence! I’m glad she stayed on, gracious even in defeat and still a Dem MVP.

Now it’s Boehner’s turn … and I do want to draw your attention to his relaxed, laissez-faire personality [cry-baby-boo-hoo-stuff aside] because it’s always best NOT to discount these people based on their apparent simplicity or the cloddishness of their message. Think our own everyman’s-frat-boy, Dubby. He was a frighteningly inept dufus, continues to be one as, every time we hear about him, he makes another serious admission about his past even as he talks about picking up dog poop; and we still haven’t gotten him to prison as a war criminal or even seriously investigated. They’re canny, the clownish ones. Trust that and don’t think The Bone will let much pass him by.

I’m at the place … have been for years, but for sure lately … where I’d take truth better if they’d just quit trying some kind of inept Vulcan mind meld or Jedi mind-trick. For instance, Steve Benen, over at Political Animal, wrote a blog piece about how this House is a clone of DeLay’s, and this was one of the blog responses [this might be snark, but even then -- I appreciate the directness of such a statement]:

    Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView

    “…getting the old gang back together isn’t exactly encouraging.”

    Depends on your perspective!!! From my perspective, as a member of the rich wing of the republican party, it is extremely encouraging. Hopefully, Boehner will bring back ALL of ‘the good old days’ when our corporate lobbyists could write sections of laws and when our congressional ‘front men’ could pass out checks on the house floor before voting on bills that we have an interest in.

    Happy days are here again…

See? Isn’t that refreshing? A little truth-telling, however shocking initially, eases my mind. So let me be just as candid with this first post and warn you that the Republicans are going to do everything in their power to fuck us over, wring us dry and pretend we don’t exist. Less than 48 hours in, they’ve already begun saying one thing and doing another; with only a quarter of the American political platform at their disposal, they’re depending on the stupidity of the public to allow them a victorious power grab and return to business as usual.

It’s our job to make sure they don’t get it. Deep breath, my dears — the battle’s only begun.

There is no dearth of reads out there, assessing the situation — here are a few good ones, including a couple on Issa’s pending vendetta: stay tuned.


With New Congress, Crony Capitalism Comes to the Fore
Donald Cohen and Peter Dreier, HuffPo
January 5, 2011

House GOP Backtracking on Promised ‘Reforms’ Before They Even Get Started
Jason Linkins, HuffPo
01- 4-11

GOP bends its own new House rules
Jake Sherman, Yahoo News
Thu Jan 6,

Just hours after taking control of the House, Republicans passed a sweeping set of rules promising transparency and reform.

But the new majority is already showing these promises aren’t exactly set in stone.

After calling for bills to go through a regular committee process, the bill that would repeal the health care law will not go through a single committee. Despite promising a more open amendment process for bills, amendments for the health care repeal will be all but shut down. After calling for a strict committee attendance list to be posted online, Republicans backpedaled and ditched that from the rules. They promised constitutional citations for every bill but have yet to add that language to early bills.

Republicans say there are subtle reasons for these moves and that they certainly will follow their own rules throughout the 112th Congress. But the hedging on some promises shows just how hard it will be to always match the sharp rhetoric of the campaign with the ugly and complex work of running the House.

The promise of full debate in committees, for example, was inspired by Republican complaints that Democrats abused their power in bypassing regular debate. Republicans such as Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Rules Chairman David Dreier of California all have complained that Democrats in the last Congress didn’t bring a single bill under a process called the open rule — a mechanism that allows for nearly unlimited amendments and debate. None of the bills that will be brought to the floor this week will be brought under open rules. When asked directly whether he would bring the repeal bill to the floor under an open rule, Cantor dodged the question.

“The repeal bill is going to be a very straightforward document,” Cantor said this week. “It is going to reflect what I think most people inside the Beltway and outside the Beltway understand about the health care bill that was passed. It is a job-killing health care bill that spends money we don’t have, and we need to repeal it and replace it with the kind of health care that most Americans expect.”

Regarding the failure to put the constitutional citation into bills, Republicans say that typically will come when a bill hits the floor. The three bills that Republicans plan to introduce this week — one to cut the congressional budget, one to repeal the health care bill and another to instruct House committees to present new health care legislation — were posted on the Rules Committee website with plenty of time for review, but none had the constitutional citation for similar review. Aides vowed the citations would be available when the bills hit the floor. How detailed the citations will be remains to be seen, aides on both sides of the aisle say.

The committee attendance list — which had the potential to be used as a weapon in campaigns for those who miss meetings — never had a chance.

Behind closed doors in the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday evening, Republicans, led by conservative Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, swatted away the provision. Many in House leadership circles are hardly pleased that the conference dropped a plan that would have had committee attendance posted.

“Until we stop scheduling committee hearings at the same time, then its inherently unfair to say, ‘We’re going to schedule all these hearings at the same time and take roll,” Gohmert said in an interview with POLITICO, defending his amendment.

Gohmert seems to brush off the suggestion that this is a bid to decrease transparency.

“Come to the hearings,” he said. “But it’s not at all. Not roll back, my gosh, just hang around with me a while, you’ll see more transparency. But that’s not a matter of transparency. It’s a matter of inherent unfairness.”

Democrats already are griping about getting bypassed on the health care repeal. Rep. Henry Waxman of California, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said he’s feeling “left out because our committee’s being left out.

“The first bill that will be brought to the House floor will be to repeal the health care legislation — without a hearing, without subcommittee or a full committee or testimony from all the different people around this country that have an interest,” Waxman said.

Republican leadership aides say Democrats are simply complaining, and the majority obey the rules they put forth. Furthermore, Republicans say, Democrats ran the House processes into the ground and don’t have credibility to criticize their work.

Republicans contend that it’s only spending bills that would have an open amendment process. In fact, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier reiterated that point this week to a group of newly elected lawmakers.

And what about bypassing the committee process?

The bills didn’t go through committee because the committees aren’t totally assembled yet, and the GOP wanted to move on the legislation quickly, so they are taking the bills straight to the House floor, Republicans say.

And what about the quick work on the health care repeal bill — which also was exempted from deficit reduction rules?

“This [health care] issue was litigated — to the point of mass public protest — throughout the entire 111th Congress,” said Brad Dayspring, a Cantor spokesman. “In comparison to the Democrats’ 2,000-page takeover of health care, this is a two-page, straight repeal of Obamacare. There’s nothing to amend — you either support it or you don’t, and it’s doubtful that Rep. [Nancy] Pelosi will be able to keep her caucus unified like Republicans were in opposition” to the plan.

On one issue — the open rule for amendments — Republicans privately acknowledge that providing Democrats with amendments would have been politically dangerous. Democrats could have forced Republicans to vote on popular parts of health care overhaul — namely, eliminating provisions that would stop patients with pre-existing conditions from being rejected for health coverage.

But the way the first week is shaping up on the floor, an open amendment process just isn’t possible, Republicans say.

“Under the circumstances we have right now, there’s not an ability to do it,” Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said of an open rule. “We pledged an up-or-down vote. Our commitment was an up-or-down vote, and so a clean up-or-down vote means this is how you have to bring it to the floor. If you want to have an up-or-down vote, this is how you have to do it. And that is what our pledge was: an up-or-down vote.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said it’s important to show the American people that the GOP is moving quickly.

“Some things you don’t need a hearing on,” Scalise said of the health care law, which his committee will delve into later in the 112th Congress.

New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, who chaired the Rules Committee for the past two years, summed it up neatly while riding to the third floor of the Capitol after Boehner was elected speaker Wednesday.

“Sure. That’s what they were going to do. Wasn’t it?” she said of the open rule pledge that Republicans made. “That’s what I’ve been hearing for the last four years. There’s even more than that. No hearing. You fancy they would let me get away with that? It’s the first day, and they’ve violated everything they said they were going to do.” ++

Darren Goode contributed to this report.

Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
January 3, 2011

…. By the time disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) left Congress, the “culture of corruption” surrounding Republicans in Washington was pervasive. GOP leaders vowed to change course, but it was too late — in 2006, with the stench of failure impossible to ignore, voters grew disgusted and Republicans lost their House majority.

That was four and a half years ago. Now, DeLay is a convicted felon, but his party is back on top, at least in the chamber in which he used to serve. Republicans are seemingly aware of what went wrong the last time, and are anxious to prove this GOP majority won’t be like the last GOP majority.

Republicans won’t formally take the reins until mid-week, but the effort to turn over a new leaf is already off to a rough start. Take staffing decisions, for example.

Danielle Maurer will be the Director of Member Services for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Maurer is not without Capitol Hill experience: She was previously a senior floor assistant with then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s office.

Anne Thorsen will be the Speaker’s Director of Floor Operations. She’s worked on the Hill before, too: She held a similar position in the Majority Leader’s office under Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).

Tim Berry, meanwhile, will be the new chief of staff for House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Guess who Berry used to work for? The pick had been in doubt because Berry’s old boss, former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay, was recently convicted for money laundering in Texas. [...] Berry worked his way up the DeLay pecking order over ten years, from 1995 to 2005, serving as chief of staff for his last three years under “The Hammer.

So, DeLay resigned in disgrace and was convicted on money laundering charges, but the new Republican leadership team has hired DeLay’s old team to help run the chamber. Indeed, the new Speaker’s office will count on DeLay’s former aides to help manage the House floor.

In fairness, it’s worth noting that DeLay’s former team hasn’t been convicted of anything, and it’s a stretch to suggest they should never be allowed to work in politics again.

The point, though, is that the new Republican House operation is starting to look an awful lot like the old Republican House operation. DeLay’s aides will help run the show; corporate lobbyists have been brought on to shape policy; and the K Street project that Boehner swore to leave in the past is looking reconstituted.

Given the spectacular failures of the last Republican majority, getting the old gang back together isn’t exactly encouraging. ++

House GOP Ushers In Corporate Takeover
Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, and Tanya Somanader, ThinkProgress
January 5, 2011

Today, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will accept the House Speaker’s gavel from Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), marking the start of the 112th Congress and at least two years of Republican rule in the lower chamber. But while the GOP campaigned on a promise to govern on behalf of the American people, the reality is that not only did a top lobbyist help write the Party’s campaign pledge, but its agenda will also be heavily influenced by big corporate interests — and it starts at the top. Long before Republicans won control of the House last November, Boehner invited “senior Republican lobbyists and top officials from several large trade groups” to his office to discuss “their suggestions for a new GOP agenda.”

As the New York Times reported last September, “that sort of alliance” with top corporate lobbyists “is business as usual” for Boehner, who “maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.” And the big business lobbyist tentacles stretch beyond Boehner throughout the power centers of his Party, representing a new corporate takeover of the House.

THE CORPORATE CHAIRMEN: Just after the GOP won control of the House in last November’s midterms, the Center for Public integrity released a report examining the likely incoming chairmen of various House committees and found that they “have deep ties to the business community or the industries they will soon oversee.” For example, incoming committee and subcommittee chairs Reps. Bill Young (FL), Howard McKeon (CA), John Mica (FL), Doc Hastings (WA), and Spencer Bachus (AL) all have either received substantial contributions from the industries that their committees oversee, or have former staff members lobbying for those same businesses. Bachus, the new Financial Services Committee chairman, even said last month that the government’s role isn’t to protect consumers but to “serve the banks.” Now, House Republicans are turning to their business allies for advice on regulations.

Incoming Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) wrote to 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks asking them to identify which government regulations interfere with business the most. “In fiscal year 2010, federal agencies promulgated 43 major new regulations,” the California congressman wrote. “As a trade organization comprised of members that must comply with the regulatory state, I ask for your assistance in identifying existing and proposed regulations that have negatively impacted job growth in your members’ industry.”

INCOMING CORPORATE STAFFERS: The Washington Post reported last month that many of the incoming GOP members of Congress, several of whom had “won with strong support from the anti-establishment tea party movement,” have “hired registered lobbyists as senior aides.” At least 13 incoming GOP freshmen, including eight new House members, have hired industry lobbyists from the country’s biggest lobbying firms, as well as insiders who previously advocated on behalf of U.S. corporate giants such American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and 3M, the nation’s largest banks, and Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by right-wing philanthropists Charles and David Koch. Moreover, Republicans aren’t even trying to hide it. “I don’t share the disdain for lobbyists that seems to be often in the public venue,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) last month defending the new hires. “You want someone with experience,” he said.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Incoming freshmen aren’t the only ones turning to K Street for help running the new GOP-led House. Boehner announced last month that “he hired the medical device industry’s chief lobbyist as his policy director,” a move Sunlight Foundation spokesperson Bill Allison called “business as usual,” adding that the new staffer, Brett Loper, is “in a much better position to help his old employer” — the Advanced Medical Technology Association. New Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) announced last month that he hired a U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbyist who helped water down new Wall Street regulations last year as a senior staffer to oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Chamber led the fight last year to defeat Wall Street reform efforts and this particular lobbyist, Ryan McKee, made clear at the time what her intentions were. “We’re fundamentally trying to kill this,” she said. It appears the nation’s largest banking trade association — the American Bankers Association (ABA) — is excited about its prospects in the 112th Congress. “We had been disappointed with a number of legislative outcomes with the past Congress, and so we look forward to better outcomes with this Congress,” an ABA spokesperson said after the GOP midterm victories. ++

Unconstitutional Conservatism
Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, and Tanya Somanader, ThinkProgress
January 6, 2011

Today, one of the first acts of the new Republican majority will be to read the entire U.S. Constitution from the floor of the House of Representatives. While the GOP explains they are reading the document because they feel that Congress has strayed from the country’s founding principles, a reading of the entire Constitution is “something that has never been done in the chamber’s 221 year history.” The reading will lead off Thursday’s floor schedule, and will be run by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who said the reading “shows that the new majority in the House truly is dedicated to our Constitution and the principles for which it stands.” While some have lampooned the plan as mere political theater — a New York Times editorial called it “a presumptuous and self-righteous act” — Vanity Fair estimated the reading will cost $1.1 million — it nonetheless offers an opportunity for freshmen and senior Republicans alike to actually study the text of the founding document they claim to hold so dear. They might not like what they hear. In their effort to co-opt the radical tea party movement, Republicans have attempted to wrap themselves in the document and use the Constitution like a bludgeon against progressives. In reality, conservatives consistently ignore, distort, and pervert the Constitution in order to force it to fit their political goals and ideology. As the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Ian Millhiser wrote, “the GOP’s agenda is nothing less than a direct assault on America’s founding document.”

‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ PARTS OF THE CONSTITUTION: In an op-ed in the right-wing American Spectator, Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano asked a remarkable question for someone who describes himself as a fierce “constitutional conservative”: “Is any part of the Constitution unconstitutional?” “Yes,” Napolitano concluded. Napolitano’s absurd claim reflects a startlingly widespread conviction among conservatives. While claiming to defend the Constitution, conservatives are really only interested defending the parts they agree with, and are equally committed to dismantling the parts they do not. For example, a Progress Report analysis found that at least 130 GOP members of the 111th Congress — including their Senate leader, former presidential candidate, and numerous House leaders — want to “review” or dismantle the 14th Amendment and the right to birthright citizenship it guarantees. The text of the amendment could not be more clear: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The conservative plot to end birthright citizenship eerily reflects the vision of citizenship articulated by the Supreme Court’s infamous pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford. It has no place in the 21st century. Meanwhile, a number of prominent tea party politicians, including Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), have called for repealing the 17th Amendment, which allows state citizens to directly elect their senators. Indeed, as the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder noted in May, “It’s become a part of the Tea Party orthodoxy, now.” Why would the so-called constitutionalists of the tea party seek to maim the Constitution to make America much less democratic? “Supporters of the plan say that ending the public vote for Senators would give the states more power to protect their own interests in Washington (and of course, give all of us “more liberty” in the process.)” On top of that, conservatives seek to further dismantle the Constitution by undoing the 16th Amendment, which enables the income tax. Paying taxes is never popular, but it would be impossible to function as a nation if America lacked the power to raise the money it needs to “provide for the common Defense,” among other things that the Constitution charges the government with providing.

CONSERVATIVE DISTORTIONS: While seeking to remove whole parts of a document they call “sacred,” conservatives also work to subvert the meaning of other parts. The Constitution gives Congress broad authority to “provide for yet a growing movement of right-wing “tenthers” want to squelch this and other authorities to render the federal government almost powerless. This is particularly evident in the slew of lawsuits against President Obama’s health care reform law, and the judgment of conservative-activist-turned-federal-judge Henry Hudson striking down the law’s individual insurance mandate. The Constitution clearly grants Congress the authority to enact the law through the “Commerce Clause,” which allows Congress to regulate the national economy, and the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” which grants Congress the power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” this power to regulate the economy. Even George Washington University Law Professor Orin Kerr, who was a recent constitutional adviser to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), wrote that Hudson committed a “fairly obvious and quite significant error” by completely ignoring the “Necessary and Proper Clause” in his decision. Kerr’s colleague, Jonathan Adler, a leading opponent of environmental regulation, agrees that Hudson’s opinion “cannot be right.” Even House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) own lawyer Carrie Severino wrote in the conservative National Review that Hudson’s opinion renders that entire provision of the Constitution “meaningless.” Meanwhile, as Millhiser noted yesterday, today’s conservative movement’s distorted interpretation of the Constitution would send the country back a century, allowing illegal activities like child labor, whites only-lunch counters, and gender discrimination. And a growing number of conservative “tenthers” believe Social Security, Medicare, and the minimum wage are unconstitutional (Goodlatte himself said this week that he didn’t know if the minimum wage is constitutional).

THE PROGRESSIVE VISION: The Constitution is a progressive document, and has always been and remains central to progressive thought. The progressive view of the Constitution simply calls for embracing the whole Constitution — including the Bill of the Rights and the amendments ratified by “We the people” over the past 220 years — not just the fragments that happen to align with conservative ideology. Progressives recognize that the Constitution is the most enduring government charter in world history precisely because it was designed to be improved and adapted to the times, so these changes cannot be ignored in an attempt to return to some mythical earlier era to which conservatives constantly refer. Tea party conservatives often accuse progressives of undermining the text or abandoning its principles, when in fact it is progressives who must repeatedly defend the document and its emphasis on social justice, expanded franchise, and equality for all from conservative attacks. While conservatives accuse progressives of “judicial activism,” it is conservatives who increasingly legislate from the bench, such as in overturning decades of campaign finance law in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Progressives recognize that the Constitution sees “We the people” as the source of political power and legitimacy, and that it grants the federal government broad powers to better the nation, separates church and state, enshrines basic human and civil rights, promotes free and fair markets, and broadly protects the right to vote. Hopefully conservatives will see this as well when the document is read on the House floor. ++

Issa the Inquisitor
Richard (RJ) Eskow, Our Future
January 5, 2011

What’s the worst thing about Darrell Issa’s debut as Chairman of the House Oversight Committee? It could be his relentless, Gloria Swansonish, “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille” self promotion. It might be his manic insistence that he’ll conduct “hundreds” of investigations,or his letters to lobbyists offering to put his new powers at their disposal. Or maybe it’s his “hang ‘em first and try ‘em later” attitude toward the Administration. It’s certainly ironic that his first act as head of the committee that investigates misuse of government funds seems to have been … to misuse government funds.

Sure, they’re all bad. But the worst of all may be this: Issa’s making it clear that he’ll use his position to cover up Wall Street’s role in destroying the economy, and that he’ll resist any attempts to rein in the corporate misbehavior that puts us all at risk. That’s a shame: Issa once seemed like a fair-minded, independent voice, and he could have made an important contribution in his new position. Instead he’s bent on becoming a tinpot Torquemada bent on harrassing and punishing anyone who tries to thwart corporate America’s will [...]

Darrell Issa Invites His Capitalist Cronies to Cry Wolf
Donald Cohen and Peter Dreier, HuffPo
January 5, 2011

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington … I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
~ Barack Obama

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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