Sunday 21 July 2013

The blind detective

Many years ago there was a TV show called Longstreet. It was about a guy who pursued a career as a detective, even though he was hampered by the fact that he was blind.

These days when I watch what’s going on over on Capitol Hill, I feel like I’m watching one long episode of Longstreet. Because I’m looking at a self-appointed crack investigator who is seemingly, what other word is there? – blind.

I’m talking about Darrell Issa, the Inspector Javert of the House of Representatives.

When probing the IRS “scandal”, Issa didn’t see that the IRS was probing both liberal and conservative groups, that they granted more permits to conservative groups and only punished liberal groups; he didn’t see this because he ordered the people amassing the data not to report on the IRS’s scrutiny of liberal groups.
He didn’t see that a number of conservative groups were, in fact, flagrantly breaking the law.
He didn’t see that Rove’s group got $3 million in free air time from Fox and never paid tax on it.
He didn’t see that the other conservatives sustained no damage – they can still operate as non-profits while the IRS decides their case -- which is why they didn’t even sue.
He didn’t see that the probes were launched entirely within the IRS, without involvement from the Obama administration; even Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal admitted it.
He didn’t see that the IRS chief who originally launched all this was a Bush appointee…. A Republican.
Issa didn’t see that the inspector general’s report cited improper managerial supervision at the IRS, caused in large part by the fact that the IRS hasn’t had a permanent chief for half a year, due to Congressional obstruction by…Republicans. Likewise the IRS office where it all started was under-staffed.
He didn’t see that when the Obama administration heard what was going on, they told the IRS to stop. Even though the investigation is not only legitimate, it should be expanded to include the big political groups which are using the IRS code to violate the law: in fact Congress has decreed that 501c4 groups must be probed to prevent abuse. Congress, dominated by…Republicans.
He didn’t see that these abuses of the tax code proliferated in the wake of the Citizens United case which was driven by…Republicans.
He didn’t see that this pattern of activity would have been caught earlier, because the IRS formerly had internal regulations for catching this sort of behavior, but the wave of deregulation removed those safeguards. Deregulation driven by…Republicans.
He didn’t see that there was clearly no political motivation for the IRS probes, which even Republican Senator Roy Blount admitted.
He didn’t see that the IRS staffer who launched the probe was a Bush appointee who worked for anti-tax ayatollah Grover Norquist.
He didn’t see that Obama loves the Tea Party because it is destroying the GOP. The last thing he’d  want to do is attack them.

Makes Mister Magoo look like Legolas.

Issa didn’t notice that when the IRS and the DOJ were investigating crooked tax forms and dangerous, illegal leaks to journalistic organizations like the AP and Fox, they were doing what they are required to do by law and specifically mandated by subpoena: investigate illegality. A federal judge found the Fox reporter in question to be a co-conspirator. A crook – the kind of guy the DOJ gets paid to investigate. Unless this is all part of the GOP effort to try to criminalize anything Democrats to do, as they did with Clinton – trying to criminalize government officials actually doing the jobs we pay them to do, to include properly filling positions in agencies and the federal bench. What next, making it a crime for Democrats to keep breathing?

Issa didn’t notice that, unlike Obama, Obama’s predecessor had no problem using government tools for political purposes. Bush launched a holy war against Planned Parenthood, drove ACORN out of business, purged blacks and Democrats from voter rolls, tried to make it harder for Democrats to vote, used the DOJ to target Democrats for prosecution, fired U.S. attorneys who prosecuted too many Republicans and too few Democrats, audited Greenpeace, audited the NAACP, used the IRS to monitor the political activities of taxpayers, used a terrorism task force to target civil rights groups, spied on anti-war activists, targeted the Post and the Times using the FBI, drove Bill Maher’s show off the air, and outed a serving CIA officer.

Interestingly, Issa DID know about the IRS probe in 2012 before the election; Obama didn’t. So I guess it was Issa who threw the election to Obama by hiding the information.
And Issa didn’t see that the infamous talking points in the Benghazi “scandal” were edited, not by Hillary Clinton, but by Victoria Nuland, a Cheney protégée and Bush appointee.
He didn’t see that his own GOP colleagues cut funding for embassy security.
He didn’t see Hillary taking responsibility for the case and demanding an independent investigation.
He didn’t see the dozen attacks on diplomatic facilities during the Bush era, not including all the attacks in Baghdad.
He didn’t see that reinforcement did in fact arrive at the CIA compound.
He didn’t notice that Obama did indeed call the case terrorism.

This may be why his House probes uncovered nothing. Your tax dollars at work!

Of all the people in American governmental life, the GOP has chosen this pathetic blind man to provide oversight into government operations. I guess we should be glad he’s not doing oversight over our nuclear arsenal or Fort Knox or something.

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