Patterico's Pontifications


Malkin on Issa Investigations

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:21 am

Good reading.

Now is a good time to congratulate a reader of mine on his new job on Issa’s staff. He is a colleague and a friend and he will do a great job.

I have not yet asked him what happened to the Sleestak investigation. Obama offering a job to a green glassy-eyed rasping lizard sounds like a felony to me. I’ll see if I can get the inside scoop on why that investigation is bring dropped.

51 Responses to “Malkin on Issa Investigations”

  1. The investigation into Sestak was dropped because there was ample evidence past GOP administrations did the same thing. It was smart not to open that Pandora’s Box.

    East Coast Chris (c31a9b)

  2. If it is wrong for one, it is wrong for both.

    JD (6fed24)

  3. JD, I don’t understand Issa’s comments there either. ‘The GOP did it’ is hardly an excuse not to investigate it.

    The Sestak job offer is disturbing. I think the real problem is that it leads down a road to impeachment. It’s that serious, and the GOP doesn’t want to go down that road. Once the investigation gets to a certain point, it will be impossible to stop.

    But it’s still Issa’s job to investigate. Pigford seems ripe for yet more congressional hearings. The black panther crap and so many other issues under Holder are raising more red flags than a Chinese military parade.

    Issa has subcommittees. So does the Judiciary committee. We have the ability to investigate several issues at the same time. Some will dead end, and some will not.

    I’m glad to hear that Republican committees are hiring good people, because they need a lot of them to have any hope of getting this work underway. Malkin’s right that we have to manage our expectations, but some of this stuff cannot be ignored.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  4. Issa had better grow a pair real soon… The american people demand it.

    tdaly (4c9c4e)

  5. Why WOULDN’T the GOP want to go down the Impeachment road? I cannot see one single reason why NOT to do that.

    Something else for Issa to consider. Berwick has turned the FDA advisory committee into one of his death panels with the revocation of approval of Avastin for Breast Cancer, making the decision, not based on safety or efficacy which is it’s only legal mandate, but on cost, which is not within it’s purview.

    Then there is the non-moratorium moratorium on offshore drilling which is driving the cost of oil towards $100/bbl and destroying the offshore drilling industry in this country.

    Then there is the FCC overstepping it’s legal authority to regulate the Internet which is not within it’s purview either.

    Then there is the EPA overreaching it’s legal purview on CO2 emissions…

    Whole lot of regulatory overreach going on here… this cannot possibly NOT be coordinated by the Obama admin, yet more reasons to impeach the bastard.

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  6. Why WOULDN’T the GOP want to go down the Impeachment road? I cannot see one single reason why NOT to do that

    Personally, I agree that if a president is committing felonies there is no alternative. However, I do recognize that these scandals are corrosive to the office and the country, would cause a lot of hardship and perhaps rioting, and probably be a political albatross to the GOP.

    There’s a downside to it, to say the least. But there’s a bigger downside to letting this kind of thing slide. If Issa’s position is that both parties are doing this, that’s a sign things need investigation more urgently, not less.

    It’s far, far too early to say Issa is spineless. He may be playing a long term political game. Perhaps he doesn’t want to show his hand on certain issues while the groundwork is being laid.

    But a lot of people elected a GOP house specifically for oversight of these issues. In particular, the DOJ is out of control, so I hope Smith is on the ball.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  7. Everything Rorshach listed is a feature to the Dems, not a bug.

    JD (6fed24)

  8. Why not go down the impeachment road? Have you forgotten what happened the last time a president was caught red-handed committing a felony, and the Congress felt obliged to impeach him? The country did not take well to it, and punished the Congress for doing its job.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  9. One needs to build up evidence for a charge, like
    impeachment, thats what you have the hearings for.
    And one has to learn from the failure to oversee
    with Clinger and Burton, the difference between now and then, is that it is much more policy driven than
    now. the Auto task force, the bank extortion scheme,
    the various IG’s that had their investigations, curtailed or were outright terminated

    narciso (6075d0)

  10. i just want to note for the record that Patterico’s Sleestak reference is proof that in my tenure, i have not made the place nerdier. The nerd levels have remained steady.


    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Narciso’s right that we should have the hearings before we decide whether impeachment is even realistic, but I think there are two sides to the impeachment problem.

    One side is that impeaching a president will lead to outrage by the public. The other is that avoiding impeachment will establish a new normal and more corruption. I’m glad we impeached Clinton, even though it was a disaster, because I think it’s a strong disincentive for high officials to perjure themselves.

    The real problem is that this country elects a fair number of bad people to high office. Until that problem is solved, there is no right way to handle felonies by presidents. Either you let it slide and see more corruption, or you enter a political hell.

    This country elected Obama with very little good reason to, because of imagery. We’re going to eventually learn better. It’s just a matter of how bad can it get first.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  12. One factor to consider in an impeachment hearing is a dishonest media that will distort the story.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  13. Well that’s a given, remember how Nixon pointed out Kennedy and Johnson’s foibles, but got no traction, yet Clinton was free to point out anything that happened with the GOP; and it was the talking point
    for weeks.

    narciso (6075d0)

  14. Issa: Remember that Obama is a highly disliked individual now. Don’t fall this ruse of a “comeback” or bounce. In 2007-2008 Obama won because nobody knew who he was. He was a blank canvas, and everyone painted their dreams onto him (52.70% of voters in 2008 anyway), and the media fiercely shielded his past from scrutiny. That’s all gone now for Obama. People know who and what he is now, and they are mostly repulsed by the guy and his policies. Please muster up some courage and fight.

    P.S. Pigford II makes a mockery of our entire way of life and governance. If that goes unprosecuted it will be noteworthy and disgusting.

    Frederick (4f7681)

  15. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not that bothered by Sestak in principle by what was done. The president is considered the head of his/her political party, as such brokering agreements of people working together for the good of the party is normative. As long as people are not promised things they are unqualified for, and the only think at stake is positioning within the party (not personal financial gain, etc.) I assume it happens all of the time and I’m not sure what the fuss is.

    Now, if the law is broken by doing it then there is the obvious issue of breaking the law as its own problem; but if it is a common practice maybe the law needs to be changed rather then selectively enforced. It seemed that Sestak was so up front about it that he would not have suspected there was any wrong doing involved- unless he is that cut-throat for power he would throw under the bus the under-the-bus-thrower-in-chief, which seems a bit much

    Besides, as Dustin and Rorschah point out, there seem to be enough things where the American people are being directly affected that are also worthy of investigation to keep people busy.

    But I’m happy to be enlightened if someone can tell me why I should be more worried about the Sestak issue.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  16. One small correction. Specter’s the lizard, Sestak happens to be the other lizard.

    narciso (6075d0)

  17. I thought we were talking about lizards and amphibians on the other thread…. I must have missed something…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  18. Isn’t this the same Issa who started crying, literally, when Arnold Schwangenegger entered the governor’s race during Grey’s impeachment? He has the spine of a boiled noodle.

    nk (db4a41)

  19. I see I was unclear: impeaching the President will not go down well with the public. Congress should avoid it if at all possible. But if clear evidence emerges that he personally committed a crime, then what choice will they have? They’ll be back where Congress was in 1998, with no honourable choice but to impeach, no matter how disastrous the consequences.

    In hindsight it would have been better had Clinton’s perjury not been brought to light, because then there would have been no need to impeach him. Similarly it would be best not to investigate Obama for felonies that the public doesn’t care about, so as not to find evidence that would force Congress to impeach him. Better to go after his subordinates. By all means find the evidence against Holder and impeach him. If some reason can be found to impeach Napolitano, so much the better. Tarnish Obama’s image by showing how he surrounds himself with corruption. But don’t go after him personally until there’s evidence of a crime people will actually care about.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  20. I see I was unclear: impeaching the President will not go down well with the public. Congress should avoid it if at all possible.

    What I was saying wasn’t about what congress should do, but rather what it will do. They will probably think exactly as Milhouse is thinking. I may disagree, but if we have a real crisis with getting spending under control, maintaining the power to fix that is a top priority.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  21. Milhouse, In Obama’s case, I think you are VERY wrong. The American populace are pretty damned close to armed insurrection over his crap. Frankly I’m kinda surprised someone hasn’t already made an attempt on his life yet. The only reason I think it hasn’t gone down that road yet is the possibility of impeachment by the newly elected congress, or at a minimum checkmating his policies until more rational people can replace him. either that, or they realized they’d have both Biden and Pelosi in line to replace him. Biden by himself is mostly harmless, he’s too stupid to be effective, but Pelosi was another thing entirely. That is no longer the case since she is no longer majority leader. If Issa or someone else were to impeach him, they’d be a shoe in to replace him in 2012. They might get lucky and get both Obama and Biden in the same net, leaving the presidency in GOP hands leading into the elections. At a minimum, having Obama fighting impeachment going into the 2012 elections will be an albatross around his neck and certain to lead to his defeat.

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  22. Rorschach, I suspect some kooks out there are trying to assassinate Obama, just as some did to Bush, and it’s just not making the papers.

    But as long as we have elections, that’s treason against democracy to shoot leaders (i realize you aren’t supporting that approach). it’s futile, too. The problem is America’s choices in leadership, not the particular result of the choice. If not Obama, then Hillary. We’d have a better foreign policy and a more skilled agenda, but the same deficit and probably many of the same new entitlements.

    More than half of the voters are only a couple of years removed from actually trusting Obama with our country. A huge number of them will refuse to accept any impeachment effort, falling for whatever analysis they get from Katie Couric or even Jon Stewart and David Letterman. They will insist that all politicians do what bill Clinton and Obama do, and the GOP will lose some power.

    Does that mean we shouldn’t prosecute felonies by the President? No. But the cost for doing so is real.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. Dustin, if we find out about the President’s felonies, honour will make us prosecute, and pay the cost. So it’s better not to find out about them in the first place.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  24. Milhouse,

    Please clarify: Are you saying if the President has committed crimes worthy of impeachment, it’s better we don’t find out about them because the consequences of said impeachment might be disastrous? If so, then aren’t you saying that the determining factor in going forth with the impeachment process is public reaction – rather than the crime itself?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  25. I’d hate to think a popular leader is less vulnerable to prosecution than a demonized one.

    The truth is, the media simply makes the cost benefit ratio favor democrats. What was done to Palin with constant lawfare could never be done to Obama, for example.

    But that doesn’t make Milhouse wrong in his calculation.

    I don’t see anyone directly responding to MD on what about the would-be Sestak deal makes it more important than other oversight priorities, aside from mere criminality (which is enough for me). I recall that a lot of Obama’s elections were settled in sleazy ways that got other candidates to withdraw or be sticken or slimed by a judge. Chicago politics should be exposed.

    In particular, I find any example of democrats being undemocratic to be politically valuable.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  26. I’m hopeful that Issa is just spreading around the investigations to a number of committees. Just this morning, Marsha Blackburn was on Fox saying her committee is going to take on the FCC actions:

    sybilll (d14aec)

  27. Obama is driving himself into the ground, no impeachment necessary. In fact, it might be an unwelcome distraction from the task at hand, namely, limiting and rolling back the size of government.

    But I have little faith in that prospect anyway…

    Taktix® (e8fa7a)

  28. Issa is the worst kind of politician; he has previously said he is going to “clean” things up. But recently, I read he will not subpoena Obama’s birth certificate to answer the long awaited question: Is Obama a natural born citizen. Despite all of the huff-and-puff; realize that OBAMA, because his father was NOT a U.S. citizen, is NOT natural born. All of everything else is smoke-and-mirrors.

    I wrote to Issa and he replied with what looked like a standard pre-generated reply that said is so many words that he would not use his subpoena powers the way that I had hoped.

    I replied that he (Issa) is terrible. I voted for him and I woefully resent it. It will not happen again. I get the idea that since Issa is an Arab (closet Muslim?) he is going to protect Obama, another closet Muslim. Issa is Lebanese; 92% of which are Arabs.

    AdrianS (accc54)

  29. Dana, I am saying that investigating the Sestak affair may well lead to discovery of a felony by the President; if that were to happen, Congress would be honour-bound to impeach him. But that would be a very bad idea. The best way to avoid such a dilemma is not to investigate in the first place. Don’t ask questions that you don’t want to know the answer to. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing.

    People tend to forget this: Clinton’s perjury and suborning perjury came out of nowhere. Starr wasn’t expecting to find it when he first looked into the Lewinsky matter. On the contrary, he expected that particular trail to lead to Jordan, who could then be pressured to testify about Clinton’s real crimes, the financial ones that were at the heart of Starr’s investigation. But the trail didn’t lead to Jordan, it led straight to Clinton, who of course couldn’t be flipped on himself. He was happy to be in the dock for perjury in a sexual matter, which the public couldn’t be made to care about, rather than taking bribes, which he was almost undoubtedly guilty of, and which the public would have cared about a lot more. In hindsight it would have been better had Starr ignored that lead in the first place. We would never have known about the whole affair, and Congress would not have been forced to impeach him.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  30. Thanks Adrian for polluting the thread.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. I wish he had said, there’s no area that’s off limits, that is relevant to ethical implementation

    narciso (6075d0)

  32. Issa is a closet muslim helping conceal the part of the constitution that says you aren’t a natural born citizen if you’re born, naturally, in the USA.

    Also, I eat paint.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. A lot of paint.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. Dustin, try the lead stuff! It’s good for you!

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  35. BTW, the evidence proves Obama’s a citizen, despite WND concepts of what citizenship means and what requirements they can put on the constitution’s requirements without an actual amendment.

    I don’t have a problem with calling for his certificate, but it’s obviously an issue Obama wins on, and would love to see the right fixate on. The core reality is that politics are cultural. We understand that America elected Obama after this issue was discussed. The election is meaningful, and trying to exploit some conspiracy theory to deny that meaning is dark and makes Obama seem sympathetic.

    It’s better to just admit he’s a weirdo or a schemer to not release this original certificate, and move on to much more interesting issues. Nothing on his birth document is Obama’s fault, though, and most folks realize he’s playing rope-a-dope. I fully support states that insist on proof of eligibility for office to get on the ballot (even though some nuts will say that is unconstitutional, the government has a legitimate interest). I also suspect the vast majority of birther comments are concern trolls or mobies. Adrian’s comment sounds a lot like the original moby of saying the Bush supports abortion in secret.

    I am confident that if Issa is holding back on an investigation, it is because of political calculations aimed at empowering the most conservative agenda possible. Maybe he’s wrong, or gutless, but I suspect he’ll do a good job.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  36. And Darrell Issa is of Lebanese Christian heritage.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. #

    And Darrell Issa is of Lebanese Christian heritage.

    Comment by SPQR — 1/3/2011 @ 12:59 pm

    I hate responding to racial conspiracy theories directly with the kind of point SPQR makes, but obviously it’s ugly and unfair to claim he’s a closet muslim. Like I said, I suspect concern trolls will be out in force against Issa and others that the democrats are afraid of.

    I’ve met Issa. He seemed like a really smart guy who wasn’t afraid to say the truth, but that’s just one man’s first impression. He is going to be under a Sarah Palin style attack for the next 2 years.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  38. Just WHAT would you have them “investigate” on Sestak?

    The man has given a couple of differing versions himself, and he’s the only witness. You want to call a former President before a House Committee? Sorry, that’s so dumb it must be a libertarian idea. All it would accomplish is give the Democrats something to point to and divert or diminish interest in the real oversight hearings.

    Since there is ZERO chance Obama is going to waive privilege for any aides to come talk about it, either, why waste everyone’s time when there is so much rotten fruit which can be picked?

    Estragon (ec6a4b)

  39. Issa is really scaring the lefties and will be subjected to constant attacks from them and their surrogates. If you meet a Lebanese in the US, the chances are about 99% they are Christian if they are here. Just as most Palestinians I have met here are Christian. There is a big diaspora of Christians from all the Muslim countries including Iran.

    Mike K (568408)

  40. Rorschach,

    Long time no see – real super glad to hear about Anne – man what great news

    Getting back to your comments – there are a few more investigations – the Union Bailout – the pressure on Damiler Benz to sell Chrysler and their share holders not getting a say, and just a host of others…

    EricPWJohnson (2925ff)

  41. What pressure upon D-B to sell Chrysler.
    Cerebus bought Chrysler from D-B in May of 07!

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  42. Obama is a sleazy liar with no moral compass, and he is indeed (as Issa said before he walked it back) the most corrupt president in history. Issa is about to make Barry’s life VERY uncomfortable. I wish the congressman Godspeed.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  43. AD – don’t let facts get in the way. The ironic part is that the actual facts are bad enough on their own.

    JD (07faa1)

  44. JD, all in all, I think D-B counts its lucky stars that they unloaded it when they could, even if they took a small hair-cut at the time;
    better than the large hair-cut that Cerebus and others took.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ab7109)

  45. Oh, AD, I know that. I was noting how the one who makes stuff up embellished the facts. What he did for the unsecured union creditors should have been criminal, to be sure.

    JD (07faa1)

  46. I recall that a lot of Obama’s elections were settled in sleazy ways that got other candidates to withdraw or be sticken or slimed by a judge. Chicago politics should be exposed.

    Comment by Dustin — 1/3/2011

    Sure, his first election was won by a last minute objection to signatures on a candidate’s petition, stabbing in the back someone who had earlier befriended him and gave him the chance to run. Apparently the powers that be in Chicago were behind him because he did not get slapped down for it. Then he won a Senate seat by getting his opponent trashed by the release of sealed divorce papers.

    As if that wasn’t sleazy enough, when you contrast it with his hypervigilance over things that are routine to be released, like a college transcript, it really amounts to a dishonest character.

    All that said, I doubt if there was anything illegal about any of it, but they are all things that in general Americans find repugnant that were glossed over.

    Let’s say the following happened:
    BO: Hey Joe, Barach here.
    JS: Hello Mr. President, how was your golf outing this morning? (Had to do it.)
    BO: Well, I don’t want to brag…so I won’t, but there is something else I wanted to talk to you about.
    JS: You’re organizing a little 3-on-3 and want me to play?
    BO: No, I’ve seen you play- your elbows are sharp and high, I might get a cut lip, and that would be embarrassing. Besides, when the Secret Service sees blood they just might take you down first and ask questions later. No, I wanted to talk to you about your future plans. I hear you want to make the jump from the House to the Senate.
    JS: Yes I do. Specter turned on us years ago, now he’s turned on the Repubs, he really has little base left so I see it as time for me to make my move.
    BO: Well, makes a lot of sense in some respects.
    JS: In some respects? What doesn’t make sense?
    BO: Well, Arlen did me a big favor coming over when he did, and we’ve already back-stabbed him a couple times, not giving him seniority on committees and other things we promised him; now I don’t mind back-stabbing, but there is a limit or no one will believe anything I say.
    JS: So you’re saying?
    BO: Joe, you have a lot of good years ahead, even if Specter can win re-election, who knows if he’ll even live through his term. If you want something with a little more challenge or clout than being a member of the House, I’m sure we can find a good position for you as a stepping stone on up. I am the Democratic Party, Joe, the president is always head of his party, even a novice like you should know that.
    JS: Well, what kind of thing did you have in mind?
    BO: Let’s just say that as long as a person has the appearance of being qualified, I can put a person anywhere I want. And you actually are qualified for a number of things. I make positions up if I want to, positions of power. How would you like to be my personal liason to the Navy? The top dog in the Navy would have to go through you to communicate with me, would you like that? If that isn’t a good fit, I’m sure we can work something out.
    JS: Well, I’ve already built a following for a Senate bid- lots of Dems here on the ground in PA aren’t very enthused about working to elect Specter, even if you think he’s owed it.
    BO: Maybe so, Joe, maybe so. I’ll tell you right now don’t expect any help from the DNC in running in the primary. For now I’ll let you do that on your own if you want. I’ll tell Arlen he’s got my support, but that I can’t put a gun to your head and force you to drop out…
    JS: …Um…that’s generous of you, sir.
    BO: Wha? Oh, that was just a figure of speech, Joe, you know how I can be without a teleprompter. Laughs. Talk to you later.
    JS: Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Mr. President.

    If that happened, or something similar, what law is being broken? I’m sure that even if a law was broken, this general kind of discussion has to be common if under different specific circumstances.
    So, educate me why I should care about this, especially when there’s a heck of a lot of other things more directly damaging to the country.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. I saw this:
    Paul Khoner

    “Darryl Issa is investigating the criminal actions of Rattner, who just got busted and the whole DOE ATVM and Loan Gaurantee favoritism, misdirection of applicants, misdirection of funds and log-jamming of applicants that compete with Rattner’s, Lachlan Sewards, Matt Rogers, Steve Spinners and Mr. Tobins special Interests at DOE/WH. Feinstein and others will go down along with her husband on his Mongolia lithium, Tesla and Blum Capitol scams. It cost taxpayers over $30B in losses”

    Paul (e42764)

  48. Folks, which do you want?
    Do you want to try to discredit Big Government and the regulatory state?
    Or do you want to discredit Obama?
    Remember that the first alternative will result in the second alternative becoming a reality, but the second alternative on its own will not result in the first alternative becoming a reality. Issa’s agenda suggests he’s chosen the first alternative.

    And much of the “scandals” you think should be investigated are simply the normal corruption of politics. Best way to get rid of that is to minimize the influence of politicians, not just Obama, and best way to do that is to discredit the idea of Big Government.

    I think you see where I’m going: cure the disease, not the symptoms. I’d like to think Issa is choosing to battle the disease.

    Or maybe he’s afraid of being seen as too partisan. I’m not a mindreader, but I hope he’s made his choices based on trying to discredit the idea of Big Government

    kishnevi (0e4d8b)

  49. If so, then aren’t you saying that the determining factor in going forth with the impeachment process is public reaction – rather than the crime itself?

    The network news are carrying water for Obama and will determine the narrative to protect him, as they have for the past three years.

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  50. There are the investigations to Americorps, (Kevin Johnson) and the transportation dept’s IG; there are
    the deals to swindle the bondholders at Chrysler
    and GM, one might chalik up the coordination attack
    on Toyota; the DOT spokesman is an OFA hack from Ohio, the fraud underlying the oil drilling moratorium, the stimulus disbursements, that’s more
    than enough for two years

    narciso (6075d0)

  51. However, the #1 priority, above all else must be the close investigation of the Voting Rights Division at the DOJ. That must come first and override all else, because it affects our very democracy, and not incidentally the GOP’s ability to win elections. There is definitely enough there to impeach somebody high up in the DOJ, and quite possibly Holder himself. Certainly those who lied to Congress the last time this was looked at should be brought up on charges. That whole den of vipers needs to be exposed for the racist miscreants they are, and fired before they can do more harm.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

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