1) I should point out again that I read the Bucks County Courier Times so you don’t have to.
Today’s lowlights? Well, for starters, I give you J.D. Mullane (here)…
A rare moment. My wife and I found ourselves alone in a quiet house. The kids were out, and we had an hour or two to kill.
"What do you want to do?" Mrs. Mullane asked.
"Don't know," I said. "Hey - how about we go to the unemployment office and count the Obama/Biden bumper stickers in the parking lot? Nah. Take too long."
Read this, asshat (And gosh, what happened to the new-found tolerance of Mullane towards those out of work that he showed in that column recently about the two ladies applying for jobs? Guess as far as J.D. is concerned, they’re all just a bunch of “pony-tailed, hippie dudes” and “dudettes,” I guess.)Update 4/21/10: Here is more required reading for J.D., by the way.
Oh, and in the paper’s “Vent” section, some fellow wingnut claimed that the only success from Obama’s recent nuclear summit was the declaration that Canada won’t attack us, or something (click here for the reality point of view), and a Guest Opinion writer did his best to propagate the lie that IRS agents will be added as a result of recently-passed health care legislation (uh, no).
No wonder our discourse is stupid.
2) And that’s probably an appropriate segue into this item (you can always count on clownhall.com to add some hilarity to your day; they tell us the following about former Repug U.S. House Rep Richard Pombo of California)…
In California, Pombo is looking to reclaim a seat he lost in 2006, as the wars' popularity waned and Republicans faced ethics accusations. Democrats painted Pombo as an associate of the toxic lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and he lost with 47 percent of the vote in 2006.
How dare those dastardly Dems actually turn over some seamy rocks hiding Pombo’s business dealings, including the following (here)…
Pombo asked the Department of the Interior to suspend guidelines for wind-power farms that protect endangered species of birds from being killed in the turbines. Pombo did not disclose that his parents receive payments for the wind power turbines on their ranch – in 2001 they received $125,000 in royalties.
In 2004, Pombo paid his family members more money out of his political action committee than his opponent spent on his entire campaign. Pombo paid his wife $85,275 and his brother $272,050 for services ranging from bookkeeping, fundraising, consulting, and unspecified services. Pombo's wife and brother received a total of $357,325 from his political fund over the last four years for the aforementioned duties.
Pombo has supported the construction of two freeways in his district that run through land that he and his family own. Pombo has obtained $21.6 million in federal taxpayer dollars to study the freeway projects. Critics claim that neither freeway project address the needs of the community, although it certainly would increase the property value of land owned by Pombo and his family.
On January 8, 2006 the LA Times reported, "Reps. John T. Doolittle and Richard W. Pombo joined forces with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas to oppose an investigation by federal banking regulators into the affairs of Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz, documents recently obtained by The Times show" . Furthermore, "When the FDIC persisted, Doolittle and Pombo — both considered protégés of DeLay — used their power as members of the House Committee on Resources to subpoena the agency's confidential records on the case, including details of the evidence FDIC investigators had compiled on Hurwitz" . Consequently, "the investigation was ultimately dropped" .
And this Daily Kos post tells us, among other things, that Pombo once “traveled across the country holding hearings on what he considers the excesses of the Endangered Species Act, and even advocated for continued hunting of elephants in Africa for their ivory tusks.”
I will acknowledge that the Dems have work to do for this fall, but I cannot imagine that they could be in straits dire enough to open the door for characters like Pombo to seep into office once more, with he being a reason why the Repugs were voted out of power to begin with.
3) And finally, the New York Times tells us the following (here)…
WASHINGTON — The court-appointed examiner who dissected the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy is expected to criticize the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday for its decision to “stand by idly” as the investment bank veered toward collapse.
The S.E.C. knew that Lehman did not have adequate liquidity and had exceeded its own limits on risk-taking but in essence did nothing, the examiner, Anton R. Valukas, will say in testimony released in advance by the House Financial Services Committee.
One of the most damning findings in Mr. Valukas’s 2,209-page report last month — that Lehman used accounting gimmicks to hide the extent of its indebtedness — was not known to the S.E.C. He wrote: “I saw nothing in my investigation to suggest that the S.E.C. asked even the most fundamental questions that might have uncovered this practice early on, before Lehman escalated it to a $50 billion issue.”
The S.E.C. chairman at the time, Christopher Cox, told Mr. Valukas that he believed that the agency’s jurisdiction “was limited to Lehman’s broker-dealer subsidiary and that it was not the regulator of Lehman itself.”
This is typical for Cox’s “hands off” management of the SEC; as noted here from 2005, he was brought on in the first place to replace former chairman William Donaldson, who (came) under pressure from Republicans who objected to his hard-line reforms.”
And as noted here from December ’08…
In March, a few days before Bear Stearns nearly collapsed into bankruptcy, Cox told reporters the agency was closely monitoring the five investment firms and had "a good deal of comfort" in their capital levels. Then, as federal officials orchestrated the rescue, Bear Stearns was bought by rival JPMorgan Chase (JPM) with a $29 billion government backstop.
Oh, and as noted here from 2004, Cox “called for a congressional investigation of the validity of documents that CBS News obtained for a story questioning Bush's attendance at Guard duty in Alabama.”
Would that he had showed the same initiative in the matter of investigating actual fraud when it mattered as opposed to a manufactured one.