I guess I should add that found shells should be thrown back into the ocean as other sea creatures use them as homes and protection.
Darrell Issa Shows Contemptible Disregard for the Constitution or what is Darrell Issa hiding?
The chairman’s heavy-handed style invoted the reproach that the contempt vote was “nothing more than a political witch hunt,” as People for the American Way president Michael Keegan termed it.
“To be sure, Congress has a legitimate interest in investigating Operation Fast and Furious, but Chairman Issa and Republican majority on the Committee appear to be more interested in scoring political points than in getting to the bottom of what happened,” argued Keegan, who added that, “The hoops the Committee is demanding the Attorney General jump through illustrate that these contempt hearings are as partisan as they are extreme. Over the course of this ‘investigation,’ the Committee has ordered the A.G. to produce documents whose confidentiality is protected by federal law, has refused to subpoena Bush Administration officials to testify about their knowledge of the operation during their time in office, has refused to allow public testimony from officials whose testimony counters Issa’s partisan narrative, and has repeatedly rejected the A.G.’s efforts to accommodate the committee, making compliance all but impossible.”
Issa’s actions undermined not just his own credibility but any sense that he and his allies might be acting in defense of — or with any regard for — the Constitution.
There is no reason to suggest that Holder is above criticism for his actions as Attorney General. He has been called out by Democrats as well as Republicans on a variety of issues. And he has not always managed his response to Issa’s abuses well. Nor should anyone who vaiues transparency and government oversight be pleased when a president determines that it is necessary to invoke “executive privilege” in a fight with Congress, as Barack Obama has done to thwart Issa’s demands.
But it is Issa whose actions have been contemptible. He is demanding deliberative documents that are ordinarily off-limits to Congress, a big ask, yet he has not built a credible coalition of supporters for the demand. And when the details of the documents and the issues involved are laid out—along with the offers by Holder to brief the committee—it quickly becomes evident that the committee chairman is so unwilling to compromise that he won’t take “yes” for an answer.
It is an old legal and political tactic to keep asking for documents when all the relevant documentation has either been released or as in this case, the AG has offered to brief the committee in private. No, you must have some more documents somewhere – example Paul Mirengoff at Power Liars:
Those Fast and Furious documents must be dynamite. That is an assertion without evidence. Conservative web sites irregardless the hundreds of words they use – are using that as a large part of their argument. There must be more, we just know it in our hearts. Yet looking back over the way in which Issa has conducted his “investigation” it is obvious he is ignoring witnesses and documents that go back to the Bush administration and their “gun walking” program. There is also another aspect of the gun walking program that is laden with public relations land mines – the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Terry was apparently killed with one of the guns sold in the program. I would never make the case that gun walking was the brightest idea ATF ever had. It is certainly tragic that anyone, especially a law enforcement agent was killed in connection with the program. That said, one assumes that Terry’s family has followed things closely, yet they have been quick to publicly condemn Holder, yet have no public criticisms of Issa. because of the circumstances what the Terry family says carries some wait in terms of the public perception and political aspect, if not the purely legal one. Why haven’t they used that leverage to pressure Issa about the political witch hunt agenda. In contrast to truth finding. One thing about arrogant narcissists like Issa is they will slip up eventually. He let the public know how he viewed his war on AG Holder in an interview on Fox, Fast & Furious Inanity Reaches New Heights
Darrell Issa, one of the GOP’s star attack dogs, more or less admitted the fever swamp origins of tea party outrage over Fast & Furious when he told Sean Hannity that Obama was using the program to “somehow take away or limit people’s Second Amendment rights.”
I’ve read some circumstantial evidence in the last few months that Issa and conservatives were, at least in part, using fast and Furious to whip up some more gun control conspiracy outrage among the NRA crowd. It turns out yet another time in which reasonable people were correct and conservatives have been caught being less than truthful and their motivations purely political. Rightie libertarians join in at The Volokh Conspiracy. VC writes an occasional good post about 1st amendment rights. Who do they go to for facts about Fast and Furious one of the fast and Furious Urban Myth cultists David Kopel, who writes, Is President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege valid?
Fast & Furious was a program implemented by the Arizona office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, in Sept. 2009 through January 2011.
he could buy himself some plausible deniability by claiming that he was going with the name change, but gun walking started back in the Bush administration.
The 2007 probe operated out of the same ATF office that more recently ran the flawed Operation Fast and Furious. Both probes resulted in weapons disappearing across the border into Mexico, according to the emails. The 2007 probe was relatively small — involving over 200 weapons, just a dozen of which ended up in Mexico as a result of gun-walking. Fast and Furious involved over 2,000 weapons, some 1,400 of which have not been recovered and an unknown number of which wound up in Mexico.
Earlier this month, it was disclosed that the gun-walking tactic didn’t begin under Obama, but was also used in 2006 under his predecessor, George W. Bush. The probe, Operation Wide Receiver, was carried out by ATF’s Tucson, Ariz., office and resulted in hundreds of guns being transferred to suspected arms traffickers.
The older gun-walking cases now coming to light from the Bush administration illustrate how ATF — particularly its Phoenix field division, encompassing Tucson, Ariz., as well as Phoenix — has struggled for years to counter criticism that its normal seize-and-arrest tactics never caught any trafficking kingpins and were little more than a minor irritant that didn’t keep U.S. guns out of the hands of Mexican gangs.
Even those cases against low-level straw buyers are problematic for the ATF. There is no federal firearms trafficking law, making it difficult to prosecute cases. So law enforcement agencies resort to a wide variety of laws that do not carry stringent penalties — particularly for straw buyers.
Documents and emails relating to the 2007 case were produced or made available months ago to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, though the Republicans on the panel have said little about them. In the congressional investigation, committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has focused on the questions of what Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, knew about Fast and Furious, and when he knew it.
Following the e-mail trail from that investigation it is clear that mistakes were made. Did a list of mistakes ever make it to Holder’s desk. Did he ever have the details of what field agents were doing. Since the Phoenix field division chief of the ATF seemed a little confused about the details and legal authorization it seems doubtful that Holder knew of and approved Fast and Furious. And he obviously cannot be held responsible the program that it morphed out of, Operation Wide Receiver.
Some essential reading on the subject, What The Right Wing Media Won’t Tell You About The Subpoenaed Fast And Furious Documents – Holder has provided over 140,000 documents to Issa. Issa keeps asking for documents because he cannot find any that support his wacky agenda. And Five Things To Know About The Republican Witchhunt Against Attorney General Holder.
Back during the Bush-era many Democrats said over and over again that the Bush administration was lying about what they knew and did leading up to 9/11. Conservatives, with no proof said they were lying. They were wrong than and they continue to be wrong. Conservatives owe the USA yet another apology the country will never get. This is from a report done in 2004: Claim vs. Fact: Condoleezza Rice’s Opening Statement
CLAIM: “We decided immediately to continue pursuing the Clinton Administration’s covert action authorities and other efforts to fight the network.”
FACT: Newsweek reported that “In the months before 9/11, the U.S. Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called ‘Catcher’s Mitt’ to monitor al-Qaida suspects in the United States.” Additionally, AP reported “though Predator drones spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times in late 2000, the Bush administration did not fly the unmanned planes over Afghanistan during its first eight months,” thus terminating the reconnaissance missions started during the Clinton Administration. [Sources: Newsweek, 3/21/04; AP, 6/25/03]
Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
Ace national security adviser Condoleezza Rice is among those conservatives who said no one could have predicted that al-Qaida would attack.
CLAIM by Rice : “We increased funding for counterterrorism activities across several agencies.”
FACT: Upon taking office, the 2002 Bush budget proposed to slash more than half a billion dollars out of funding for counterterrorism at the Justice Department. In preparing the 2003 budget, the New York Times reported that the Bush White House “did not endorse F.B.I. requests for $58 million for 149 new counterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts and 54 additional translators” and “proposed a $65 million cut for the program that gives state and local counterterrorism grants.” Newsweek noted the Administration “vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism.” [Sources: 2001 vs. 2002 Budget Analysis; NY Times, 2/28/02; Newsweek, 5/27/02]
Again from the NSA papers,
And yet, simultaneously, the CIA declared that budget concerns were forcing it to move its Counterterrorism Center/Osama bin Laden Unit from an “offensive” to a “defensive” posture. For the CIA, that meant trying to get Afghan tribal leaders and the Northern Alliance to kill or capture bin Laden, Elias-Sanborn says. “It was forced to be less of a kinetic operation,” she says. “It had to be only for surveillance, which was not what they considered an offensive posture.”
“Budget concerns … CT [counterterrorism] supplemental still at NSC-OMB [National Security Council – Office of Management and Budget] level,” an April 2000 document reads. “Need forward movement on supplemental soonest due to expected early recess due to conventions, campaigning and elections.” In addition, the Air Force told the CIA that if it lost a drone, the CIA would have to pay for it, which made the agency more reluctant to use the technology.
I read at least a couple of conservative blogs or magazine sites every day. Every day they have some new black helicopter tale about Democrats. They never turn out to be true. Yet time and again from Watergate to Iran-Contra to letting Bin laden escape to failing to protect the country in the months leading up to 9/11, Republicans have been found to be malevolent and criminally negligent. And they want to cut Mitt Romney’s taxes and increase taxes on the middle-class, Middle class could face higher taxes under Republican plan, analysis finds
To wit, the budget of GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan(R-WI)—which calls for big tax cuts, small deductions, and severe spending cuts—would raise middle-class taxes, and give a huge break to the wealthiest Americans. The Washington Post reports:
The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday. […]
The net result: Married couples in that income range would pay an additional $2,700 annually to the Internal Revenue Service, on top of the tax increases that are scheduled to hit every American household when the George W. Bush-era cuts expire at the end of the year. Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.
One more Republican conspiracy that said more about them than the truth was the health care reform will kill grand ma conspiracy theory. That was a lie of monstrous proportions repeated by mouth breathers with no sense of decency or shame. What is true is that killing health care reform might well kill grand ma, Over 26,000 annual deaths for uninsured: report
More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the United States each year because they lack health insurance, according to a study published ahead of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.
On reading that news many Republicans probably cheered.
In early 1841 at the age of 21, Herman Melville shipped out on a voyage to the Pacific Ocean aboard the Massachusetts whaler Acushnet, which he deserted in the Marquesa Islands after only 18 months. He then served briefly on the Australian whaler Lucy Ann; the Nantucket whaler Charles & Henry, and in the US Navy. His whaleship experience supplied the background for his sixth and most famous novel, Moby-Dick, or the Whale, published in 1851. The first American edition of Moby-Dick of 2,915 copies did not sell well at $1.50 and only netted Melville lifetime earnings of $556.37.
Although he continued to write poetry and fiction, Melville supported himself as a New York City customs inspector for 19 years before dying in 1891 at the age of 72. It was not until the 1920s that Melville achieved recognition as one of the icons of American literature. This 1930 edition of Moby Dick, published by Random House and illustrated by Rockwell Kent, introduced Melville to thousands of Americans.
Every year there are a few lists of overrated classics. Moby Dick does not usually make those lists and for good reason. It is actually a good book.