WASHINGTON –Today, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa released the following responding to the Attorney General’s statement that he does not respect members of Congress, including 17 Democrats, who voted to hold him in contempt:
“Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional,” said Chairman Issa. “President Obama once campaigned as someone who wanted to bring America together but instead appointed divisive and highly partisan figures like Attorney General Holder who are arrogantly dismissive of those who question them and demand transparency.
“Finding out why the Justice Department made false denials about Operation Fast and Furious, and only corrected the record after ten months of public pressure, is a legitimate exercise of congressional authority.The Attorney General clearly believes he is above the law and is not accountable to the duly elected representatives of the American people or the institutions of our democracy.”
The Note: Eric Holder’s Contempt for Contempt
By Chris Good—2/28/2013
Attorney General Eric Holder shrugged off the House’s move to hold him in contempt last year because he didn’t respect the votes by those who chose to do so.
In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview Wednesday, ABC News’ Pierre Thomas asked Holder how he reacted when House Republicans voted with 17 Democrats to hold him in contempt of Congress last June over ATF’s “Fast and Furious” gun scandal.
“It’s something that I think was unfortunate,” Holder said. “I think it’s a result of this kind of partisan sport that I think we engage in here in Washington far too often.”
Holder said the votes it didn’t bother him, considering who cast them.
“But I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder told ABC News. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”
All but three House Republicans voted to hold Holder in contempt. Two of them, Reps. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., have since left Congress–meaning Holder does (or did) not respect most of the current Republican House delegation.
Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., voted against holding Holder in contempt, and House Speaker John Boehner didn’t vote, meaning Holder’s blanket statement does not apply to those two.
At issue was Holder’s compliance with a House subpoena to turn over documents related to the ATF’s Fast and Furious program to disseminate and track guns in Mexico.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., spearheaded the crusade against Holder and the Fast and Furious program, repeatedly accusing the attorney general of obscuring facts and refusing to comply with his investigation, and insinuating that top officials at the department, including Holder, likely knew about the program before terminating it.
The Justice Department maintained that it had consistently complied with Issa’s requests and that it had produced every kind of document typically handed over under such circumstances.
Holder took another jab at Republicans when asked about the current partisan stalemate over deficit reduction and the looming automatic budget cuts, which Holder says ill interfere with vital law-enforcement missions and endanger U.S. security.
When asked about how much of the blame Obama’s administration deserves, Holder said he wasn’t sure “it’s an awful lot.”
“I mean, I think this president came into office with the notion that he wanted to change how Washington does business. I think this president has extended his hand on any number of occasions,” Holder said.
“And I think we’ve seen too often the opposition not being what I would call a responsible opposition party, but a part that simply is opposed to anything the president has wanted to do,” Holder said. “And I think that has led to partisan gridlock that the American people are not satisfied with and that frankly does not serve the interests of this nation.”
From ABC’s Chris Good, Pierre Thomas, Jason Ryan, Jack Cloherty, and Jack Date
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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