Darrell Issa... Congresspimp from California, chairman of House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and on at least three different occasions accused of car theft, escaping twice by throwing his brother under the bus, is this week's WikiDick.
This SF Chronicle article from June, 2003 when Issa was humping for the governorship of California by leading the recall campaign against Gray Davis details those three occasions and provides us with proof that the "American Dream" is not totally dead and that indeed, any two bit grifter can, if he applies himself diligently and has no scruples or ethics, become a multimillionaire and thereby attain positions of high dominion over us mere mortals. Mr. Issa's total lack of character and integrity and his checkered background make him the ideal Republican operative charged with bringing down the president before 2012.
As Oversight Chairman, Issa has the power to investigate... well... just about anything he doesn't like and the things he doesn't like include President Obama, Democrats, unions, Democrats, Postal Workers, Democrats, Community Organizers, Democrats, anything that benefits the many over the few and... Democrats.
According to this New Yorker article:
In 1997, he decided to run for the United States Senate. His impressive background-working-class high-school dropout, Army officer who helped protect the President, and self-made high-tech tycoon interested in law and order-helped him attract some of the best campaign operatives in California. He started out by spending two million dollars on radio ads. One of the first declared, "Sometimes people mispronounce his name, but, once you get to know Darrell Issa, you discover this is a life with more great chapters yet to be written."
Issa didn't even win the Republican primary. Although he outspent his main opponent, Matt Fong, the state treasurer, by some nine million dollars, he lost by five points. His campaign fell apart after a burst of investigative reporting raised serious questions about his honesty and his past. Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.
In May of 1998, Lance Williams, of the San Francisco Examiner, reported that Issa had not always received the "highest possible" ratings in the Army. In fact, at one point he "received unsatisfactory conduct and efficiency ratings and was transferred to a supply depot." Williams also discovered that Issa didn't provide security for Nixon at the 1971 World Series, because Nixon didn't attend any of the games.
A member of Issa's Army unit, Jay Bergey, told Williams that his most vivid recollection of the young Issa was that in December, 1971, Issa stole his car, a yellow Dodge Charger. "I confronted Issa," Bergey said in 1998. "I got in his face and threatened to kill him, and magically my car reappeared the next day, abandoned on the turnpike."
These anecdotes and more are also covered in his Wiki (LINK):
Issa dropped out of high school and enlisted for a three-year tour in the Army on his 17th birthday. He served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician, defusing bombs, after having been shown a movie about soldiers in that specialty during World War II. He would later claim his unit had provided security for President Richard Nixon, sweeping stadiums for bombs prior to games in the 1971 World Series, and that he had always received the highest approval ratings during his service. A 1998 investigation by the San Francisco Examiner found that these claims were not true: Nixon did not attend any of that year's World Series games, and at one point Issa was transferred to a supply depot after receiving an unsatisfactory evaluation. According to Issa, the Examiner reporter had misunderstood an anecdote he had related.
After receiving a hardship discharge in 1972 following his father's heart attack, Issa earned his General Educational Development (GED) certificate and began taking classes at Siena Heights University, a small Catholic college in Adrian, Michigan. He continued his military service in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)."
Twice during that year he was arrested. In March, Issa and his brother William were charged with stealing a Maserati from a dealer's showroom in Cleveland. Issa says it was a matter of mistaken identity by the Cleveland Heights police; the case was later dismissed.
Before that had happened, in December 1972, police in Adrian pulled Issa over for going the wrong way on a one-way street and, as he was retrieving his registration, saw in the car's glove compartment what turned out to be a .25-caliber Colt automatic handgun inside an ammunition box, along with a military pouch containing 44 rounds, a tear gas gun and two rounds for that. Issa was charged with carrying a concealed weapon; ultimately he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of possession of an unregistered firearm. He was sentenced to six months' probation and paid a small fine. At the time Issa told police that Ohio law allowed such possession of a handgun with a justification; his was the need to protect the car and himself. Years later, he said that the car and gun were his brother's, which William Issa supported. He had been unaware of the gun's presence when inadvertently driving the car the wrong way down the alley and that, to the extent of his knowledge, there had been no ammunition present. The entire incident, he had believed, had been expunged.
After getting his MBA from Kent State and completing ROTC, He returned to the army where he apparently had the exemplary record he falsely claimed during his prior service, rising to the rank of Captain and being commended by Wes Clark as a "promote over others" candidate.
When Issa became the Republican hatchet man who was almost solely responsible for the recall of California's Governor Gray Davis in 2003, he had to use his own money. At that time, Issa donated almost 2 million dollars to the recall effort because he had plans to be crowned the new and improved governor of California. Issa's ambitions to govern the state in which he was, years earlier, indicted along with his brother for auto theft, never came to fruition because the Republican party pulled the rug out from under Issa and his dreams of power. He sobbed openly when withdrawing his name as the chosen one.
As Ryan Lizza says,
"Now that he had been given the power to subpoena, investigate, and harass the Obama Administration, Issa was being described as a future leader of his party-and the man most likely to weaken the President before the 2012 election".
I'm wondering where he'd be today if he hadn't always had his brother to blame stuff on. My brother and I outgrew that stuff about the time we were 12 or so when we decided we needed to start accepting responsibility for our own actions. Obviously, some people never do.
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The Cheat Sheet at The Daily Beast provides us the following:The Next Civil-Rights MovementThe 700,000 or so transgender people in the United States are, Eliza Gray writes in The New Republic, "some of the least protected, most persecuted people in[...]
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Whatever happened to the notion that you were not entitled to your own facts?
[I]t appears that [Michele Bachmann's] supporters have altered Wikipedia to make it appear that John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father, even though he was only a child when his father John Adams, America?s second President, signed the Declaration of Independence.
Michelle Bachmann also misspoke yesterday, saying that John Wayne was born in Waterloo, Indiana, when in reality John Wayne [Gacy] the serial killer was born in Waterloo, Indiana. The Wikipedia page for John Wayne was also changed to make his birthplace Waterloo, Indiana, even thought John Wayne was born in Winterset, Indiana.
Sigh. The authoritarian cognitive dissonance that would rather vandalize an online encyclopedia rather than admit that Bachmann's grasp on American History is lacking is frightening.
But what is more frightening is that someone can make these kind of stupid mistakes, double down on them and then still be considered a "serious" candidate and not laughed off the field.
Bachmann told me in an interview Tuesday that she wouldn?t call herself a feminist?instead, she simply described herself as ?pro-woman and pro-man.? When I pressed her on the matter, the Minnesota congresswoman said she sees herself as an ?empowered[...]
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The bankruptcy hearings of the Giordano's Pizza chain in Chicago took a strange turn this week, when a sovereign citizen was thrown out of the courtroom after he made vague threats and caused what the judge called a "sideshow."
Marshall Home, a sovereign citizen from Arizona, had intervened in the case by filing a claim to a $150 million lien against Giordiano's, which Philip Martino, the pizza chain's trustee, says is fraudulent.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Pamela Hollis tossed Home from the hearings after he popped in to testify Tuesday. As the Tribune reports:
Then the judge asked Home to answer questions under oath, reminding him that what he said could have serious consequences.
"And vice versa," Home said.
"Who are you threatening?" the judge asked Home.
After Home continued interrupting Judge Hollis, he was escorted out by three security officers.
The case centers around Giordano's owner John Apostolou, who was forced to give up his control of the pizza chain, which he's owned since 1988, after his businesses fell into $45.5 million worth of debt. The chain has been under bankruptcy protection since February, but Apostolou only lost control after he submitted some court filings in the style of the sovereign citizen movement. One filing declared that Apostolous and his wife are "American Freemen, free inhabitants of the Illinois state, and we find it impossible to obtain State declared Legal Tender at Law." They also said they don't believe in U.S. currency or the legal system, typical beliefs of sovereign citizens, who generally consider almost all branches of the U.S. government to be illegitimate.
The Department of Justice asked the court to appoint a trustee to handle the business soon after the filings.
Earlier this year, Home filed a petition in Arizona seeking to declare the state of Arizona and U.S. government bankrupt. The Apostolous were among dozens of signatories, whose names were included in the petition. On May 18, the Arizona bankruptcy court dismissed the case and declared that Home was a "vexatious litigant.".
Home calls himself the Chairman of Arizona's Independent Rights Party, which offers legal help and "Foreclosure Recovery Services." The site states: "Experience to our party members has shown that lawyers should not be allowed in our Courts nor our government."
An August 2010 report by the Anti-Defamation League on the sovereign citizens describes how some sovereigns have sought to take advantage of the mortgage crisis by claiming they can help people save their homes from foreclosures -- for a fee, of course.
Apostolou, for his part, testified that he hoped Home would help him with the bankruptcy, and that "he had signed documents for Home but had never borrowed or lent him any money." Apostolou also said he and his wife didn't understand what they were signing. But, he told the Tribune of Home: "He's a man who cares about people, who helps people save their homes from illegal foreclosures."
Big news in the legal battles over Obama's healthcare reform law. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has upheld a key provision of the law as constitutional - ruling in a 2-1 decision that its requirement that most Americans carry insurance does not[...]
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A win in the courts today for Team Obama on the President's signature legislation. Another step on the way to the Supreme Court:
The Obama administration won the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law on Wednesday as a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans obtain health insurance.
The ruling is the first of three opinions to be delivered by separate courts of appeal that heard arguments in the health care litigation in May and June. Opinions are expected soon from panels in both the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., and in the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta.
Lawyers on both sides of the case widely expect the Supreme Court to take one or more of the cases, perhaps as soon as its coming term, which starts in October. The speed of the Sixth Circuit ruling could help ensure that timing.
The Sixth Circuit opinion is the first on the merits that has not broken down strictly along seemingly partisan lines. Two of the judges on the panel were appointed by Republican presidents and one was appointed by a Democrat.
Barack Obama?s press conference ends up being an effort to put aside childish games and restore government to an adult level on national issues.
?Call me na´ve,? he tells reporters. ?But my expectation is that leaders are going to lead.?
At one point, he contrasts Congress? dealing with the debt limit to the way his daughters do their homework a day early, not waiting until the last minute and ?pulling all-nighters? to get it done on time.
Members of Congress ?need to do their job. They need to go ahead and make the tough choices...
?This is not a situation where Congress is going to say we won?t buy this car or we won?t take the vacation. They took the vacation. They bought the car. And now they are saying maybe we don?t have to pay. If the United States government, for the first time, cannot pay its bills, if it defaults, then the consequences for the U.S. economy will be significant and unpredictable. And that is not a good thing.?
Meanwhile, with as much apparent patience and good humor as he can muster, the President chides the GOP?s line in the sand against raising taxes for the richest Americans:
?If you are a wealthy C.E.O. or hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They are lower than they have been since the 1950s. And they can afford it. You can still ride on your corporate jet. You?re just going to have to pay a little more.?
With his temperament, this is about far as Barack Obama will go with his impersonation of Harry Truman running for reelection against a ?do-nothing, good-for-nothing? Congress in 1948 and, against all odds, winning reelection.
At least it?s a start.
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All of which is another way of saying NewsCorp just sold MySpace for $35 million. Honestly, if I was Google, I’d have quietly bought the site and shut it in down in time for a non-beta release of Google+, or if I was Facebook, just bought it and shut it down. But hey, one company’s dying, flailing competitor is another company’s potential bargain, I guess.
A new study shows that Minnesota LGBT students experience significant harassment and bullying for their sexual orientation:
- 80 percent reported verbal harassment.
- 47 percent reported physical harassment (pushing).
- 19 percent reported assaults (punching, kicking).
- Almost 100 percent reported hearing “gay” used in a derogatory manner.
- 92 percent reported hearing other anti-gay terms.
Safety concerns have been heightened in Minnesota schools after a spate of suicides in the Anoka Hennepin School District that parents and friends speculate were motivated by bullying.
A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is on Minnesota’s 2012 ballot, which means opponents of equality will be pouring millions of dollars into the state to spread stereotyping stigma-mongering messages over the next year and a half. When young LGBT people are surrounded by conservative attitudes and are not accepted by their families or communities, it greatly increases the likelihood that they will attempt suicide or experience other negative health outcomes.