The second worst hearing of the week
Not content to blast basic workers' rights today, the Oversight Committee will be playing host to one of its most absurd hearings yet -- and frankly we're still trying to figure out what the heck is going on. On Friday, a joint subcommittee hearing will explore whether environmental laws and regulations are impeding border security. Led by Glenn Beck golden boy Jason Chaffetz, this sounds like a hearing to see if Republicans can pin illegal immigration on environmental protections.
Great figures of the 20th Century Republican Party
Media Matters delves into Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Issa protege and one of Glenn Beck's favorites in Congress. With Glenn Beck set to "transition off," having folks like Chaffetz in Congress to keep pushing crazy conspiracy theories will help maintain Beck's de facto subpoena power.
Putting the Issa Enterprises band back together to defend the boss
Looks like Issa Enterprises hasn't been slowed at all by the high-profile firing of Kurt Bardella amidst scandal last month. Instead of weakening the Issa message machine, it may have just expanded the tentacles, as Bardella has resurfaced just a month later with a long, detailed defense of his old boss. It marks the latest in a stream of detailed, indignant Issa defenses in the wake of last week's ThinkProgress report that federal earmarks that Issa secured directly benefit the value of property owned by Issa's family company -- defenses that are increasingly shrill in insisting there's nothing to defend.
Glenn Beck with Subpoena Power?
If you thought the conspiracy theories advanced by Glenn Beck were confined to Fox News and WorldNet Daily, think again. The newly minted chair of the House Oversight Committee is a huge fan.
It’s been a busy week already
It's been a busy new year already for Darrell Issa as he gets set up at the Oversight Committee. He started with a tour of the Sunday talk shows, walking back some particularly incendiary comments he made to Rush Limbaugh in October. But when then didn't work out quite as effectively as he'd hoped, he went back to CNN yesterday to backpedal further and argue over the meaning of the word "corrupt."
Issa can’t help the hyperbole
And then he went out and removed any doubt as to what we can expect from him. On CNN, he was, perhaps predictably, asked about his comments to Rush Limbaugh just in October that Barack Obama "has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times. He has ignored the very laws that he said were so vital when he was a senator." It was one of the most open and honest comments he'd made about his perspective on the Obama administration and how he would approach his role as Chair of the House Oversight Committee. Well, Issa did his best to walk it back, but really couldn't bring himself to walk it too far. Turns out, all he really meant is "that this is one of the most corrupt administrations" in modern times. So on some level Obama is personally off the hook.
It’s never enough for Issa
In other words, after voting against tax cuts for the middle class because it didn't include enough for the rich, Issa had his demands met and still is unsatisfied. This has nothing to do with principle or content of policy. Rather, it has everything to do with Issa's understanding that the most effective tactic for moving the country as far to the right as possible is to be relentlessly dissatisfied. Always insist that your opponent compromise, but never accept such a compromise if you can think of anything else to demand.
Issa only has one direction to travel
While Darrell Issa has been doing his best to sound reasonable in recent weeks, it's much harder to hide from the accumulated record of his career. Despite the recent crush of attention prompted by his upcoming gavel, Issa has been stirring up controversy for some time.