Darrell Issa, Arsonist And Insurance Swindler, Should Resign

Yesterday, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Plouffe, took to the tweeting machine in order to chastise Darrell Issa, the Obama-hating chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

plouffe on issa
Forget for a moment the “arsonist/insurance swindler” reference. The “loose ethically” link was to an article on The Hill reporting on Issa’s outrageous but revealing comments on Sunday about Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney.

In case you missed it, Issa called Carney a “paid liar” who is “still making up things” about the IRS non-scandal. Issa also made it clear that, as a good Tea Party conservative, he is following the rules of Republican logic in the Era of the Scary Negro: first reach a conclusion and then find the premises. Here is the context of his statement about Carney:

…the administration is still — their paid liar, their spokesperson…he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this a local rogue. There’s no indication — the reason that Lois Lerner tried to take the Fifth is not because there is a rogue in Cincinnati, it’s because this is a problem that was coordinated, in all likelihood, right out of Washington headquarters and we’re getting to proving it…

Yes. The conclusion comes before the evidence and it is this kind of reasoning that is governing all of the so-called scandals going on, scandals created by GOP extremists and propagated by a willing and illiberal press.

But Issa wasn’t just aiming at Jay Carney or practicing the art of Republican reasoning regarding the IRS drama. He had some arrows in his quiver of shame for Attorney General Eric Holder, yet another Scary Negro. Issa said Holder was lying “by most people’s standards” and then said, “Don’t use perjury lightly” as he was, well, using perjury lightly. He helpfully added,

Perjury is a criminal charge that has to be proven.

Yes, that’s right. Perjury is a specific crime that requires evidence and courts and all that icky proof stuff. It’s much easier just to call someone a liar or to call ill-advised screening techniques used by IRS employees a “scandal” because one doesn’t need evidence for those things, only the charges and accusations, which the press, hot on a juicy scandal story, will report again and again.

As an example of how this stuff gets reported, Mika Brzezinski opened a segment this morning on Morning Joe with this intro,

After weeks of scandal and controversy…

See?  All you have to do is generate controversy and talk incessantly about scandal and, voilà, you’ve got yourself “scandal and controversy” that will be reported as such.

This morning former Obama press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said that the notion Darrell Issa was in charge of government oversight is becoming a joke in Washington, D.C.  I wish that were true. But it isn’t. As long as Issa sits in that chairman’s chair, as long as CNN or CBS or ABC or NBC report on his antics as if they were serious investigations, then he is no joke. He is deliberately attacking the legitimacy of the Obama government in particular, as well as the federal government in general, and he is contributing to the dysfunction—no, paralysis—in Washington.

And with all the problems out there in the country, from chronic unemployment to falling bridges, a paralyzed government is no joke.

Candy Crowley asked Issa whether Eric Holder should resign and Issa smiled and said,

That’s up to the President.

The last thing Darrell Issa wants is for Eric Holder to resign. As long as Holder stays in office, Issa will stay in the headlines and on the Sunday talk circuit. And he will thus enhance his career as a folk hero to right-wing fanatics who hate Democrats, especially that pigmented Democrat in the White’s House and his pigmented Attorney General.

Finally, back to David Plouffe’s reference to Darrell Issa as being a “suspected arsonist/insurance swindler.” Politico reported on Plouffe’s comments with this nice little summary of the matter:

Issa is a successful businessman whose is [sic] the nation’s largest manufacturer of anti-theft devices in vehicles. Though he and his brother were charged with stealing a car in the 1970s, prosecutors later dropped charges, and Issa said he was a victim in the incident, according to a New Yorker profile of Issa from 2011. After a suspicious fire at his business’s factory, the company’s former owner said he suspected Issa set the fire for insurance, but a cause of the fire was never determined and no charges were filed, according to the profile.

Talk about your scandal and controversy. Now, normally I would give Mr. Issa the benefit of the doubt here and say that while it is true that someone suspected him of being an arsonist and insurance swindler, no one ever actually proved he was.

But as a tribute to Republican logic, as a paean to the kind of stuff that Issa has been doing since he became chairman of that House oversight committee, I will go one better than David Plouffe and say that Darrell Issa is an arsonist and an insurance swindler simply because a) someone accused him of these crimes and b) there is, therefore, a controversy about it, which means there is a scandal.

All of which means that this arsonist and swindler should resign immediately.

By God, Fix The Airport Delays Now! The Heck With Everything Else!

In the news today we find this:

Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place.

The disclosure came as sentiment grew among Senate Democrats as well as Republicans for legislation to ease the impact of the cuts on the FAA, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held talks with key senators.

Get that? The story begins, “Under growing pressure…” Under growing pressure from whom? Exactly who is putting such pressure on Congress and the White House that suddenly there are bipartisan efforts to fix a problem that bipartisan efforts—the sequester—caused in the first place?

But that’s not why I bothered to mention this development. This is:

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said that if Congress “wants to address specifically the problems caused by the sequester with the FAA, we would be open to looking at that.

“But that would be a Band-Aid measure,” he added. “And it would not deal with the many other negative effects of the sequester, the kids kicked off of Head Start, the seniors who aren’t getting Meals on Wheels, and the up to three-quarter of a million of Americans who will lose their jobs or will not have jobs created for them.”

Now, Jay Carney is right of course. Fixing the problem of flight delays at airports is only a small part of fixing the damage the sequester has done, is doing, to folks around the country. But I find something amazing, something telling, about what Congress and the White House are planning on doing regarding FAA furloughs and flight delays.

Republicans apparently are willing to get together with Democrats to fix a small problem that affects folks who fly—folks who can afford to fly, which generally means more affluent folks and a lot of business people—but they refuse to get together to fix the much larger problem of kids getting booted out of Head Start or older folks getting fewer Meals on Wheels, or the rather large number of Americans who will not have jobs because of the sequester.

That Republicans ignore poor kids and the elderly and the unemployed but are willing to fix a problem that at the most inconveniences folks who do a lot of expensive traveling on airplanes—which means a lot of Republican constituents—tells us everything we need to know about the Republican Party.

And that Democrats are apparently now willing to settle for this kind of “Band-Aid” approach and are not demanding that we also fix the problems the sequester has caused for people who won’t be spending much time waiting a few extra minutes at airports, tells us a lot about the Democratic Party leadership these days.


Obama: A Little League Socialist

Here was the headline on HuffPo on Wednesday afternoon:

Jay Carney: Don’t ‘Buy Into The B.S.’ From GOP About Obama’s Spending Record

That story began:

WASHINGTON — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had some advice for reporters on Wednesday when it comes to covering President Barack Obama’s record on spending: “Don’t buy into the B.S.” 

And then there was this headline from ABC News on Wednesday evening:

President Obama Denounces Republican ‘Wild Debts’: I’m Not an Over-Spender

Obama was quoted in the story:

I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law. My opponent won’t admit it, but it’s starting to appear in places, like real liberal outlets, like the Wall Street Journal: Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace  in nearly 60 years. Think about that.

What was all the fuss about? What was Obama referencing? It was the following, from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch early Wednesday morning:

Obama spending binge never happened

Commentary: Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s

Here’s how the story began:

As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

Now, we have discussed all this several times, but here is yet another graph from the WSJ piece to refresh your memory:

As you can plainly see, Obama is in the Little League of federal spending growth (and, by the way, so was Bill Clinton; the Big Leaguers, Reagan and both Bushes should all be in the spending Hall of Fame).

Let’s face it, being a Little League spender ain’t good for a President who is night and day labeled by right-wingers as at least a socialist, if not a secret Communist who will, if given a second term, unleash his diabolical European fury on the country.

Joe Scarborough blathered on this morning about how “government keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger” and referenced “the explosive size of government.”

Well, if that is true—and don’t forget that federal revenues as a percentage of our GDP in the Obama years is lower than any time since 1950 and state and local revenues have been fairly consistent since 1990—it is not Barack Obama who has made it so.

He is simply the dubious beneficiary of policies the basis of which relied on voodoo economics: cut taxes and, voilà, the economy and government revenues will grow, grow, grow enough to pay for two protracted wars, a brand new—ever growing—Homeland Security bureaucracy, a new prescription drug entitlement program, as well as the rest of what government does.

Let’s quickly look at federal spending since 2002, also from the WSJ article:

Clearly those blue lines were dictated by the red lines that came before and not some devilish creation of that wicked, big-spending socialist in the White’s House.

So, as Jay Carney said, don’t “buy into the B.S.” because, as the President said himself:

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