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.
McHenry blocks Barney Frank testimony on Dodd-Frank
Oversight business will kick off after the recess tomorrow morning with a hearing on whether Dodd-Frank reforms of the financial sector have effectively ended 'too big to fail.' Stirring up the necessary acrimony and controversy, subcommittee chair Patrick McHenry refused to allow Barney Frank -- namesake of the legislation -- to appear at the hearing. McHenry, incidentally, has received major campaign funding from the banking and insurance industries and been called out for conflicts of interest after investigating banker bonuses after accepting contributions from Countrywide.
Penny wise, pound foolish
Since taking the reigns of the Oversight Committee, Darrell Issa has been quick to exercise Congressional jurisdiction over local DC government, fitting well with his proclivity for micromanaging while missing the bigger picture. When reorganizing the Oversight committee, creating new subcommittees and reconsituting others, Issa lumped oversight of DC in with the census, the National Archives, and... health care. In charge of the subcommittee, he chose South Carolina freshman Congressman Trey Gowdy. Gowdy was one of the early success stories of the Tea Party movement in 2010, running far to the right of veteran Republican Bob Inglis, unseating him in a contentious primary challenge.
Issa discovers his inner hypocritical libertarian
A joint hearing on Wednesday into TSA screening procedures revealed stunning hypocrisy from Darrell Issa, who was apparently completely unaware or uninterested in how absurd he sounded. During a deservedly critical grilling of TSA officials on invasive screening methods, Issa remarked:
Hearings old and new
Calls for investigation into the ATF "Gunrunner" project has been simmering for a while, and Issa announced this week that it is one of his primary investigations:
Full week of hearings on tap
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has hired outside legal counsel to deal with the process of turning over evidence requested by Darrell Issa. No word on how much that outside counsel will cost, but it will likely be a notable relative to FCIC's approximately $8 million total budget. As Frank Rich notes, that budget is less than one-sixth that of the new 'Spider-Man' musical, and Issa's "only conceivable purpose is to ward off any future attempts to pursue the still unanswered questions about the meltdown."
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.
Meeting the subcommittee chairs
More housekeeping: Darrell Issa began rolling out subcommittee chairmanships last week, further clarifying what the Oversight Committee will look like for the next two years. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) will take on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations. Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04) will handle Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending. And Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10) will take the reigns on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs.
Issa uses the Postal Service to bash unions
The USPS needs reform, and incoming Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe understands that full well after 35 years with the service. But using those needed reforms as a lame excuse to bash working Americans won't help anything. It's just par for the course with Darrell Issa.