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June 16, 2009

Will Democrats Cover Up the AmeriCorps Scandal?

That's Byron York's headline.

Other headlines he considered before settling on this one included:

Will Wolverines Bite You If You Cover Yourself in Marshmallow Fluff and Taunt Them With Your Genitals?

Was Evel Knievel Really "All That," or What?


Is Brian Dennehy the Hardest-Workin' Man in Show Business ?

"Yes," is kinda what I'm drivin' at here.

I'm bolding the facts of the matter in case you haven't heard of this. Not sure if a coblogger covered it here.

Can Republicans in Congress get to the bottom of President Obama's sudden -- and suspicious -- decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin? The answer is no -- unless some. Democrats show interest in what could possibly be the first scandal, or at least mini-scandal, of the Obama administration.

In dismissing Walpin, the president seemed to trample on the law -- a law he himself had co-sponsored as a senator -- that protects inspectors general from political influence and retribution. In addition, it appears that at least part of the reason Walpin was fired was for the tenacity he showed in investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by a friend and supporter of the president, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. Walpin got the goods -- evidence of Johnson's serious misuse of federal dollars -- and the inspector general ended up getting fired for his troubles.

So the Walpin case is just the kind of thing the watchdogs of good government in the House and Senate might investigate. But Democrats enjoy solid majorities in both houses, and thus control what will be investigated, and how any investigation will proceed. As the minority party, Republicans have little power to do anything.

"We can't move something through a committee," says one Republican Senate aide. "We can't issue a subpoena. But we can write letters, and we can jump up and down."

That's pretty much what Republicans are reduced to doing now.

York notes that Democrats, then in charge of Congress, blocked every effort to investigate the White House Travel Office firings under Clinton. The investigation, of course, only proceeded when Republicans took the Congress.

I wish there were some institution -- say, some privately owned and operated business of some kind that asked questions and filed reports and held the government to task through external pressure, constituting a... well, for lack of a better phrase, let's say constituting an effective "Fourth Branch of government" or something.

You call me crazy, but a man can dream.

UPDATE: ABCNews just announced it would turn over the network for three hours to allow the Obama Adminstration to say whatever it likes about this scandal.

The Obama Administration plans to fill that time by running the "Obama Cut" of The Dark Knight, which is just like the actual version of the movie except with Obama digitally replacing Batman, Lt. Gordon, and Harvey Dent, at least before he goes all kill-crazy, at which point he is digitally replaced by Rush Limbaugh. To add some "zing" to the movie, they'll also be intercutting in exciting World War Two combat footage and hilarious clips of lions and rhinos having sex.

"ABCNews is committed to presenting all sides of the debate," an ABC spokesman said. "Both Obama's view of the issue, as well as the views of the murderous terrorist The Joker."

A Better Joke: DelD--

Who cares about one lousy inspector general?

Why, just last month Obama saved or created 102,000 new inspector generals.

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posted by Ace at 03:05 PM

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