That didn’t take long. A mere 12 hours ago the Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted to put the OCE under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee; disallow the OCE from accepting anonymous tips from whistleblowers; stop investigating anything if the House Ethics Committee wanted the investigation stopped; not investigate anything that might have happened before January 3, 2011; not discuss its findings or even hire a spokesperson; and, not investigate any criminal cases or turn allegations of corruption over to law enforcement agencies. [BuzzFeed] Then came the questions, perhaps the best of which was: When has anyone accused Congress of being TOO ethical? Now the House Republicans have scrapped the plan. [The Hill]
However, watch for a pattern here. This “jurisdictional” issue has been raised before, in the case of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [HFSC 2013] [MPA 2016] Here’s a prediction for 2017 – the House Republicans will try to “reform” financial regulations by placing the CFPB (the outfit that caught Wells Fargo manipulating its staff and customers) under Congressional control. What about a Republican controlled Congress having jurisdiction over mortgage lending practices and pay-day lenders could possibly go wrong? Oh, well, there was that mess back in 2007-2008…
One thing about which there doesn’t seem to be much controversy: The Russians hacked the Democrats. (Except if you ask Trumpster Flack Kellyanne Conway, The Trumpster, or Vladimir Putin.) The geeks were on to this back in July 2016 when Motherboard posted this article. The New York Times has a compilation of reports on Russian hacking. In the face of all this actual evidence we have the Trumpster’s contention that “he knows things,” [CompWorld] and Conway’s advice that we should be listening to Julian Assange…[cnbc]. The Trumpster will have more to say, promise the flack, later this week. We should add those comments to:
1. The April 2011 Trumpster comments that his investigators “couldn’t believe what they were finding in Hawaii” (about the President’s birth certificate.) Trumpster told Meredith Vieira he had investigators there; however, there’s still no evidence he actually sent investigators to Hawaii. [HuffPo 2016]
2. On April 27, 2011 the Trumpster vowed to release his federal income tax returns. We’ve not seen hide nor hair of these to date.
3. August 9, 2016: the Trumpster says that his wife Melania will have a press conference to settle details about her immigration to this country. [Hill] No press conference yet.
4. September 9, 2016: The Trumpster vowed to release more detailed medical records. [BloombergNews] Nothing released to date.
5. December 12, 2016: The Trumpster postpones his press conference on his business conflicts of interest for “a month.” He had told reporters on November 30th there would be a press conference on December 15th. [MMA/Bloomberg]
I’d not advise anyone to hang by their hair or hold their breath waiting for the Trumpster to divulge any information on any of these topics much less on the hacking.
And, again, there’s a pattern. One of the things that an overwhelming amount of scientific investigation and analysis tells us is that global climate change is very real. Faced with this, the energy industry fought back with attempts – not to attack the science itself – to sow doubt, and to promote those “doubts” in popular media. [guardian] This play goes back to the Tobacco campaigns of an era past. Now, it’s “hacking.”
17 United States security and law enforcement agencies report that the Russians hacked the Democratic Party, and election efforts. That’s 17 out of 17. There’s no doubt here. Except – backers of the Trumpster using popular media to sow doubt. We’ve seen this pattern before, and before, and before. The media keeps falling for it.