Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Darrell Issa

How Congressman Edolphus Towns Gamed the System

Ed towns

Ed towns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Chairman Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was finally able to wade through some 120,000 pages of documents pertaining to Countrywide Mortgage’s special VIP loan program, it came up with some surprising results: the former chairman of that same committee, Representative Edolphus Towns, (D-N.Y.) was on the list of those receiving special treatment. That may have explained why the committee had so much trouble in obtaining those documents in the first place: Towns stalled in issuing the initial subpoena.

In the report, Issa noted that the subpoena was issued only “after several months of resistance” from Towns, adding in a statement to the Associated Press on August 22 that “it was a long fight to expose how Countrywide used its VIP program to advance its business and policy goals.”

Investigative journalist Larry Margasak, who has been following the investigation from the beginning, explained that Towns not only had little interest in exposing his own “hand in the till,” he also wanted to keep his own committee from

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What is “Internet Freedom,” Anyway?

The Atlantic: Why Conservatives Must Heed Congressman Issa’s Call

Both conservatives and progressives believe the Internet should remain free. But they have very different views about the potential threats to Internet freedom, which is what tends to drive disagreements on policy.

An icon from icon theme Crystal Clear.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a very important article, one that deserves more attention than I can give it here. I hope you read it.

According to Fred Campbell, writing for The Atlantic,

Conservatives generally believe that governments are the primary threat to Internet freedom. The Internet became a global engine of economic growth, political discourse, and cultural transformation without centralized governance of its technologies or access policies. The highly decentralized nature of the Internet means that no single individual or company can dictate its future. Even the wealthiest private company in the world cannot force people to buy its products and services, prevent people from buying the products or services of its competitors, levy fines and taxes on the people, send people to prison, or declare war.

Whereas the progressives have their own definition:

Progressives generally believe corporations and property owners are equally as dangerous to the Internet as the government. In their view, regulation is necessary because government is the only guarantor against private threats to Internet freedom. Their ultimate goal is for the government to treat the Internet as a public utility subject to the same 1930s-style regulations that supported the Ma Bell telephone monopoly for decades. That’s why progressive advocates often analogize the Internet to public utilities like the electricity grid, waterworks, roadways, and the analog telephone system.

And there it is, in plain view: conservatives (I am one) believe in property rights and free markets. Progressives believe in total government control, all in the name of freedom. Individual rights don’t matter. It’s all about “collective” rights.

Thanks, Mr. Campbell, for a well-crafted and important article on internet freedom.

For a more detailed look at the parallels between “Net Neutrality” and the Ma Bell monopoly, read this article.

Senate Votes to Pump More Money into the Post Office

A United States Postal Service contractor-driv...

When the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 62-37, to continue funding the virtually insolvent U.S. Postal Service in April, it made clear its determination not to let reality enter into its deliberations.

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) put it perfectly:

The Postal Service is an iconic American institution that still delivers 500 million pieces of mail a day and sustains 8 million jobs. This legislation will change the USPS so it can stay alive throughout the 21st century.

There are so many errors of fact in that statement reflecting such a lack of understanding of the reality in today’s Postal Service that Lieberman should be ashamed of himself. The Postal Service used to deliver vastly more mail than it does today and is expected to deliver much less in the future. The Internet and email and social networking has decimated and largely eliminated vast swaths of what once was the service’s function: delivering the mail. Lieberman failed to mention that by “sustaining” (the liberal’s favorite term du jour) 8 million jobs it is reducing the private workforce by at least that many as funds are extracted from the private sector to keep the postal service alive. As for changing the USPS so it can stay alive “throughout the 21st century,” the insertion of some $11 billion allowed by the Senate might keep it going for three years before it runs out of money again.

By refusing to allow the Postmaster General, Patrick Donahoe, to make the cuts necessary to keep the service afloat, the Senate is making sure that

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Geithner Ignores Subpoena to Testify in Lehman Bros. Case

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasur...

The creditors’ committee representing what’s left of Lehman Brothers asked bankruptcy Judge James Peck last week to force Timothy Geithner—currently Obama’s Treasury Secretary but President of the New York Fed at the time of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy—to answer some questions. The original subpoena issued by the committee to Geithner to appear last August was ignored and so the committee appealed to Judge Peck.

The committee claims that Geithner played a pivotal role in Lehman’s collapse and may have “unique” knowledge about a last-minute transfer of some $8 billion out of Lehman to JPMorgan just before that collapse. Lehman is suing JPMorgan in an attempt to get that money back and Geithner’s testimony is crucial. Time is running out: The discovery period for the committee ends on March 16.

The committee claims that JPMorgan did a “last-second collateral grab” in order to save itself while inflicting fatal damage on Lehman at the same time. And Geithner was in on it. The week before the Lehman collapse Geithner made 35 phone calls to Lehman’s CEO Richard Fuld and another 10 calls to JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, and at least some of those calls, said the committee, centered on those collateral demands. Therefore, the committee insists that Geithner should be required to reveal what those calls involved.

Geithner has remained silent; however, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, Anthony Coley, said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss is about: “Treasury and the Fed have provided

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SOPA, PIPA Blackouts Are Working!

Wikipedia Goes Dark

After months of discussion between and among 1,800 contributors to Wikipedia, the online information source, it decided to “go black” on Wednesday to protest the dangers in two bills that threaten the freedom of the Internet. Many other websites are also participating in today’s protest.

The bills are the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to Wikipedia, the proposed legislation would put “the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted which means they won’t show up in major search engines. And SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.”

Ostensibly to reduce piracy, the bills overreach greatly. A single perceived violation, for instance, could get an entire website shut down or starved to death through forced cessation of payment processing or delivery of advertising to the website. How this might work if the bills become law is expalained by

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The US Post Office: Price it to Sell!

Image taken by User:Minesweeper on December 14...

Image via Wikipedia

Now that Congress has extended the due date for the Postal Service’s $5.5 billion pension plan payment to November 18th, various proposals to modernize and “rightsize” the service have appeared. The most comprehensive is the Issa-Ross Postal Reform Act, which endeavors to allow the service the freedom to do what needs to be done to keep it operating as a quasi-government agency.

If approved by Congress, the Act would:

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NY Times Targets Rep. Issa; Issa Fires Back

Darrell Issa

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

The implications in the New York Times’ article about Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) were clear even in the title: “A Businessman in Congress Helps His District and Himself”—Issa was using his position as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee to enrich himself.

In the article, Eric Lichtblau implied that even the close proximity of his congressional office and his business office “on the third floor of a gleaming office building overlooking a golf course” in San Diego, signaled a highly suspect intermeshing of corporate and political interests. Lichtblau said that

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Physician Sentenced to 20 Years for Medicare Fraud

The Department of Justice building in Washingt...

Image via Wikipedia

The case brought by the Department of Justice against Dr. Rene de los Rios of Miami, Florida, succeeded not only in sending the physician to jail for 20 years for systematically defrauding Medicare, but also in exposing the dark underside of the entire Medicare system itself. The sentence meted out by U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard was the second most severe sentence handed out to any doctor in South Florida, known as the “epicenter” of Medicare fraud. The dubious honor of the most severe sentence is held by

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TARP Criticism Misses the Point

PaulsonHenry

Image via Wikipedia

When TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky criticized the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as being ineffective, he blamed the Treasury Department for not setting clearer goals for that part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Only 390,000 homeowners “have seen their mortgage terms permanently modified since the $50 billion program was announced in March 2009. That is a small fraction of the three to four million borrowers who were supposed to receive assistance under the program.”

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Still Waiting for the Recovery

The emblem of Recovery.gov, the official site ...

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The economy has gained either 2.5 million jobs or 3.6 million jobs since the Recovery Act was signed into law in January, 2009, depending upon which statistical “model” is used, according to Christina Romer, Chair of the White House‘s Council of Economic Advisers. When compared to the report issued earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, neither number is even close.

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Sestak Coverup

Congressman Joe Sestak's official Congressiona...

Image via Wikipedia

The main reason Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, is pressing the issue over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA.) is owing to the reticence of the White House to be forthcoming about the matter. Most of the time, plausible deniability and the passage of time work well to make any potentially contentious or dangerous issue “go away.”  But not this time.

Back in July of 2009, well before liberal Sestak (Freedom Index rating of 0) decided to make a run for Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) Senate seat in November of 2010, he was approached by someone from the Obama administration who asked him to back off.  As incentive to leave Specter alone, Sestak said in an interview on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show in February this year, that the White House offered him a federal job.  Here is that conversation:

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2010 Census: Much More than Simple Enumeration

Logo for the 2010 United States Census.

Image via Wikipedia

The Census Bureau is facing an uphill battle to obtain all the information being demanded in the short form arriving in the mail at every household in the country, starting this week. As usual, the government is making a simple task complicated by reaching far beyond what the Constitution allows. Article I, Section 2 states:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann