CNN’s Ed Henry Schools Republican Guest Darrell Issa on His Revisionism
This morning on the January 2 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, job denier Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (the one with subpoena power who promised to use it against the President), gets schooled over and over again by Ed Henry. Yes, Ed Henry, false equivalency strawman defender of CNN’s cozy relationship with Right Wing Hate bloggers like Eric Erickson. I’m feeling all dizzy from the whiplash!
On issues from job creation to Issa’s infamous claim that President Obama is the “most corrupt President” in modern times, Henry fact-checks Issa at every turn and refuses to let go. He actually says the things you are usually screaming at your TV as the host sits there comatose while Republicans revise history and move the goal posts. This Sunday morning, you’ll be spared the morale zapping, soul-killing death of being subjected to a million unchecked lies.
My goodness, this is a nice way to start off the New Year.
Here’s a brief taste of CNN’s Ed Henry Fact Checking Rep. Issa’s False Claim That The Stimulus “Didn’t create jobs”, courtesy of Media Matters:
As you can hear, the GOP is still pushing the cruel Hoover policy of social and economic Darwinism that left billions starving and homeless during the Great Depression. Thank goodness they weren’t in charge these last two years. But if you thought that was fun, the schooling didn’t end with the fact-checking on job creation. No, sir. In fact, that was the cherry on top of the disemboweling of Republican revisionism this morning.
Transcript courtesy of CNN. We begin with a bang:
HENRY: But are you going to have specific hearings laid out January, February? Do you have a plan already?
ISSA: Oh, obviously. In the last Congress, Chairman Towns and I did FDA oversight. We’re going to continue that. There is more work to be done on food and drug safety, those kinds of items which the American people care about perennially.
(As if you would know or care what the American people care about, Sir….after all, you’re all hung up on how created jobs aren’t real jobs as if that matters when someone is starving.)
We’re going to start into the whole question of Medicare. Here you have $100 billion of waste. You know, “Obama-care,” for all of it what it wanted to do, it didn’t touch the fact that basically they pay to non-existent entities in the tens of billions of dollars every year. That has got to be changed.
HENRY: Now I notice you just used the word “Obama-care,” that’s not exactly a non-partisan look at what the health care reform is. That’s what partisans call it when they want to attack it. They call it “Obama-care.”
(oh, no you didn’t Ed! You’re supposed to act like you don’t know that’s a slam!)
ISSA: And in all fairness, people always call everything “reform” when they want you to think it’s reform.
(Nice distraction, Issa! Look over here at the shiny ball Ed, because after all, reform is something the Republicans know a lot about! Let’s not forget their first order of business is to dismantle the House Ethics Committee and that they ran John McCain and Sarah Palin as reformers. Oh dear, we might need a tissue for this nostalgic moment.)
ISSA: The health care bill clearly, when it became law, was about expanding Medicaid mandates that have been at least tentatively ruled unconstitutional, and a big growth in government, and the reform was extremely light or nonexistent.
So as Republicans, our goal is to repeal what was done on a partisan basis, come back and do on a bipartisan basis real reform, and my committee, which has the dominant amount of oversight historically needs to make the case for where that waste, fraud and abuse is, where government is part of the problem, where government can be part of the solution.
(See, Mr Issa, the American people didn’t want y’all involved in our business after Bush so we voted you out. It’s not that the Democrats didn’t care enough about your opinion, it’s that WE didn’t care. It’s called an election. It’s the way we do it here in the USA!)
HENRY: I’ve been reading a lot of the profiles the big newspapers as you get ready to take the gavel and you’ve been talking about bipartisanship, working with Democrats on your panel. But that’s not the approach you took — right before the election, you went on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. Let’s listen to that.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
ISSA: It’s going to be acrimonious. There’s no question. He has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HENRY: You have since said you regret saying that.
(I’ll bet. I’ll just bet he made a New Year’s resolution to stop makin’ things up in honor of the troops!)
ISSA: I corrected — what I meant to say – you know, on live radio, with Rush going back and forth — and by the way that was because Rush had me on to answer the question of — about coming together, having compromise. He didn’t like the compromise word, when I said we’re going to agree to disagree and then we’re going to find a kind of common ground, the kind of compromise that makes — and gets things done.
(I corrected, I mean, so corrected implies I was wrong and I can’t admit that. Darn I’m gettin’ all flustered. This isn’t how we roll on Fox, Ed! Aigh, Rush! I mean, Rush! What did you expect me to do on the Grand Poobah’s show? This is so unfair! He was talking and then I was talking and then he said things and then I…well…Rush!)
In saying that this is one of the most corrupt administrations, which is what I meant to say there, when you hand out $1 trillion in TARP just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect.
When I look at waste, fraud and abuse in the bureaucracy and in the government, this is like steroids to pump up the muscles of waste.
(Oh, Lordy…I seriously do not know how this man manages to keep a straight face through that parsing of history.)
HENRY: But first of all, on TARP, that was before the Obama administration. That was pushed through by the Bush administration, not — so how could you call the Obama administration one of the most corrupt ever if the Bush administration pushed TARP through?
(Oh noes! Ed is following up revisionism with reality! Issa is very, very confused and unhappy….Conservatives’ heads are popping. The TARPS are all Obama’s fault! They know this for sure. They heard it on Fair & Balanced!)
ISSA: I was — I wasn’t talking about TARP legislation. What I said…
(But honey, that’s what you said. It was a great moment of goal post moving! Take credit for it.)
HENRY: But you said now that that’s what you meant.
(Doh! Er…..again, so unfair.)
ISSA: What I said was the administration got this money. That money sent trillions of dollars of extra money that were basically used like presidential earmarks, handing them out, deciding what to do with General Motors and Chrysler, who lives, who dies, what union gets the benefit.
(We should have let the auto industry fail to punish the notion of collective bargaining which my friends, I mean, those guys with the big money, don’t like. Yes. See? Corrupt, I tell you!)
All of that would not have been possible if Congress had done its job, if we’d said, Mr. President, in the case of President Bush, what is it you need; tell us blow by blow, dollar by dollar, and we will give you the money on a case by case basis.
Instead what happened is we gave President Bush, and President Obama inherited $80 billion worth of walking-around money with no guidelines so that what was supposed to help financial institutions ultimately bailed out car manufacturers.
(Yada yada, talking points drone)
HENRY: OK, but specifically you also went — went after President Obama in the Joe Sestak case in Pennsylvania and called it “Obama’s Watergate,” and you said it was an impeachable offense. So I know you’re — you seem to be backpedaling now and saying you’re not going after him.
ISSA: Ed, just so you understand…
(Yes, Ed, just so you understand, this isn’t normally how we “do” interviews. OK? We say our stuff and you nod. Why are you asking me questions????)
HENRY: But why did you call…
ISSA: Just so you understand, you’re misquoting. And it’s very important that we get it right here.
HENRY: No, we found the quotes, and you…
(Oh, boy. Ed came prepared. This is getting ugly…)
ISSA: What you’ll find is…
(Yes, what you’ll find here is that Issa said one thing to get elected but it meant nothing. Now that he’s responsible for getting things done, he needs to walk back on those lies so please stop asking about reality, Ed. This is really unfair!)
HENRY: In an e-mail, you said…
ISSA: I quoted Dick Morris…
HENRY: Right, that’s who said…
ISSA: … who had said it was an impeachable event. OK…
HENRY: And an e-mail you put out said it was Obama’s Watergate.
ISSA: OK, so let’s not — let’s not compare the two.
(Um, Issa, it was your email. You compared the two. Hello? Sir?)
HENRY: Well, but Watergate was impeachable offenses.
(This is SO not what I signed up for Ed!)
ISSA: Ed — Ed, I came on your show, but don’t create a statement which has to be answered…
(ED! This is not how we do media! We faxed you our talking points and you agreed not to ask any icky questions! I’m getting super mad!)
HENRY: … Obama’s Watergate. It’s not a creation.
(Er, but, my emails…I mean, I didn’t mean….Stop making me accountable! How dare you!)
ISSA: It is in fact an example of misconduct, in my opinion. Now, what happened throughout this process — and I’ve made this very clear — is we’ve discovered the problem’s bigger than that. It’s bigger than President Obama.
President Bush’s people said we did the same thing. Guess what? It was a criminal event under the law — a Criminal event, when President Bush’s people did it, and I don’t know when they did it. They’ve just admitted that they did it, when president — well…
(See, we’re walking this one back Ed, so do not bring up impeachment! The people don’t like us enough for that yet! You’re really getting on my nerves and I won’t be back to CNN. You will never get me on this show again!)
HENRY: In terms of trying get a candidate out of a race…
ISSA: When you offer a position, paid or unpaid, existing statute makes it illegal to offer that job in return for affecting an election. That is — that is something we’ve got to get to stop. The American people do not want ambassadorships or any other position handed out to save a party money.
HENRY: So do you still believe it was Obama’s Watergate, the Joe Sestak case?
ISSA: Once we knew, as we discovered, that it turns out that Republicans and previous administrations thought it was OK in spite of the absolute black and white letter of the law, it got bigger — it got bigger than President Obama.
HENRY: So are you going to investigate the Joe Sestak case?
ISSA: No we’re not. Here’s the whole point.
(We just said that to get elected, Ed! How stupid are you?)
HENRY: But if it was Obama’s Watergate, now you’re going to walk away?
(I mean, have you people no ethics, no values? You said it was Watergate but you’re walking away? How can it be?)
ISSA: Ed, what we know now is we know that there is a problem in government that executive branch people think it’s OK to do this. It’s not OK.
Do we need to get this administration to stop doing it? Do we need, if anything, to find out who it was in the Bush administration that thought it was OK to use your taxpayer dollars to affect a Republican primary? That’s — it was wrong if it was done in the Bush administration. It’s wrong in the Obama administration. But remember, the focus of our committee has always been, and you look at all the work I’ve done over the last four years on the oversight committee; it has been consistently about looking for waste, fraud and abuse. That’s the vast majority of what we do.
HENRY: Well, let’s — Congressman Boehner, who is going to be the speaker, has said he wants to cut $100 billion from the federal budget and he wants to start with committees.
How are you going to fund all these various investigations when Democrats point out that you had the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate the timing of the — of its suit against Goldman Sachs some time ago because there was a suggestion that you had that maybe the Democrats were timing that suit so that it would help them pass financial reform legislation?
Basically the SEC inspector general went through 3.4 million e- mails from 64 employees. They took all kinds of sworn statements. They spent weeks and weeks on this. And at the end there was nothing there.
How much did an investigation like that cost and are you going to be transparent about how much taxpayer money you’re spending on all of this?
(Someone finally asked them about wasting our tax payer dollars on their witch hunts. Some fiscal conservatives they are.)
ISSA: Ed, I’m glad you asked this because what we did was we noted the timing. We sent to the SEC — and the inspector general there said yes, this looks like the kind of thing that we follow up and investigate.
He conducted an investigation, with no interference and no guidance from us. He did what he thought was right and he reported out his findings. When his findings came out and said, yes, it’s a coincidence; it’s not any corrupt behavior, we never said or did another thing. That’s government doing what it’s supposed to do.
HENRY: But they went through 3.4 million e-mails and found nothing. It cost a lot of money, didn’t it?
(Yes, it did but we don’t want to talk about that. It’s just the tax payers money. It’s not like we need to spend that money on jobs or anything for the people. We have an agenda to derail President Obama! Can’t you people understand that?)
ISSA: First of all, they have the tools in government to go through 3.4 e-mails in a matter of hours on a keyword search, the same as you go through trillions of things when you do a Google search.
(Someone really needs to tell Republican Sarah Palin about this handy tool! She’s been dodging the FOIA requests for her emails for two years!)
So let’s understand. The I.G. has a budget; he lived within his budget; he did his investigation the way he thought he should do with no interference from Congress, only a letter saying we think you should consider looking at that.
They agreed — they actually agreed and expanded their investigation, but they did it without any interference. It was the Obama administration, because these people are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate — the Obama administration investigating itself and coming up with a legitimate finding that there was no wrongdoing in spite of the way it looked. That’s government doing its job properly.
HENRY: OK, I want to fact-check something you said in this morning’s Los Angeles Times. You said, and we told this…
(Oh my god, we’re not done with the fact-checking? Issa checking his back for knife)
ISSA: I must have gotten up really early.
(Maybe the Congressman has hard time remembering what he says and when he says it? Poor thing.)
HENRY: Well, you said, “After a trillion-dollar stimulus that didn’t create jobs, a trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and a trillion-dollar health care overhaul, the American people believed we need more oversight, not less.”
On that first part, a trillion-dollar stimulus that did not create jobs, you say. Bloomberg has a story out also saying “Employment probably rose for a third month in December, bringing U.S. payroll growth last year to $1 million and pointing to further improvement in the labor market for 2011, economists said before a report this week.”
How can you make the case that no jobs have been created?
How can he, indeed!
I’ll end this here with the summation of Issa’s Hoover-esque talking points that created jobs aren’t jobs (maybe he won’t mind giving his up then). I really wish someone would explain to the Republicans that Americans who are out of work and STARVING do not care if you make up a job for them or not. They want to WORK. And since Republicans keep sending their jobs overseas, we now have to make up work for people (otherwise known as reinvesting in our country, but this patriotic notion is not valued by the GOP).
To sum up our Sunday morning, Issa was schooled heavily by Ed Henry. Issa pretends he never suggested impeachment, Issa suggests Obama was in office in November of 2008, Issa says it was worth it to spend millions looking for something to get Obama on that turned out to show zero evidence of corruption, and lastly, although Issa and his pals don’t mind “creating work” for government employees regarding frivolous ethics charges and using your tax dollars to do so, they do not want you to have a job that might be created. This is what happens when Republicans only go on Fox News; they get super comfy in their talking points and can’t handle facts.
Darrell Issa, your basic Republican nightmare, exposed by Ed Henry this Sunday morning. Well done Ed.