Friday, January 21, 2011

Naughty or NIssa?

Ryan Lizza has a must-read article in this week's New Yorker about the extremely shady background of the new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Goverment Reform (and car alarm king), Darrell Issa.

You remember Issa -- in addition to being the guy who funded Gray Davis' recall in 2003, he's the congressman who recently told Rush Limbaugh that President Obama's administration was "one of the most corrupt presidencies in modern times." (A claim so absurd that Issa himself started walking it back almost immediately.)

Well, it turns out that in addition to his penchant for demagoguery and impolitic dumbness he's also (probably) a criminal.

There is strong circumstantial evidence that he is a car thief; an arsonist; guilty of insurance fraud; that he fired one of his employees by while pointing a pistol at him (as well as other weapons charges). In a more charitable interpretation, he is just extremely, extremely unlucky -- while also being extremely, extremely lucky. (Isn't it lucky that three weeks before his factory burned to the ground he upped his fire insurance? And managed to take all important and relevant documents out of the building?)

Certainly, Issa would not be the first person in politics who broke a law or two when he was a teenager. But the list of sketchy actions that Issa is said to have committed is long. And it stretches well into his adulthood.

And this is the guy with subpoena power?