Congressman Darrell Issa (R,CA) is a ranking member of the Committee On Oversight and Government Reform. He fired off a letter to Rahm Emanuel over the threats and jack-booted tactics being practiced by Obama’s regime. He gives ’em both barrels.
Dear Mr. Emanuel:
As you know, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) recently raised questions about the failure of the stimulus and suggested on a national television show that stimulus money scheduled to be spent in future years ought to be returned to the American taxpayers.
Following Senator Kyl’s remarks, according to Politico, you coordinated an “assault” on Senator Kyl and other critics of your policies by directing four cabinet secretaries to write to Jan Brewer, the Governor of Arizona, asking pointedly if, in light of Senator Kyl’s remarks, Governor Brewer wished to forfeit taxpayer money directed to Arizona by the stimulus. These tactics have been characterized as “a fist to the nose” and a message to “Back off.” While this type of scare tactic may work in Chicago, it will not work to intimidate me or other Members of the United States Congress.
At the risk of adding to the “weeks of frustration” you’ve reportedly felt in response to criticism of the Administration’s ineffective and wasteful policies,a please allow me to bring the facts about the stimulus to your attention. In selling the stimulus package, the Administration promised the Congress and the American people that the legislation would create or save 3.5 million jobs and prevent the U.S. unemployment rate from rising above 8%
……I thought the outdated and discredited Keynesian economic theory behind your effort was misguided and I opposed the stimulus. Unfortunately, recent economic data has validated my opposition.-The U.S. economy lost 433,000 jobs in June, bringing the unemployment rate to 9.5%. These job losses come on the heels of other declining economic indicators, and bring the total number of American jobs lost since President Obama took office to over 2.6 million.
I and others have dared to bring these facts to the attention of President Obama, the Congress and the American people. You’ve unfortunately reacted by once again resorting to the playbook of the Chicago political machine. As Politico reports, you “launched a coordinated effort to jam” Senator Kyl and other Administration critics:
…. [A]fter seeing Kyl and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) again paint the legislation as a failure on Sunday talk shows, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel directed that the letters from the Cabinet secretaries be sent to [Governor] Brewer, according to two administration officials.
The fact that the letters were coordinated by you to maximize the level of intimidation is supported by the timing, structure, and content of each letter. Not only were the four letters all sent the day following Senator Kyl’s remarks, but they were also remarkably similar in tone and sentence structure. For example, consider the following comparison:
Letter from Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation:
On Sunday, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren’t presently underway. I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know. (emphasis added)
……Politico reports that in response to these letters, Governor Brewer “knew she’d been thrown a high, hard one.” The president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry felt the need to respond to these tactics by penning a column under the headline: “Mr. President: Don’t Bully Arizona.” At what point do you believe your practice of Chicago-style politics violates a public official’s right to speak out in favor of alternative policies? The American people have a right to know what role you played in developing the threatening letters to Governor Brewer and whether you intend to continue to engage in these tactics in the future.
……I can assure you that any attempt to intimidate me or silence my criticism of the stimulus through such Chicago-style tactics will be futile.
In order to assist the Committee with its investigation of this issue, please provide the following information by close of business on Tuesday, August 11,2009:
1. Your response to Politico ‘s report that “White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel directed that the letters from the Cabinet secretaries be sent to [Governor] Brewer, according to two administration officials.”
2. A full and complete explanation of the development of the four July 13 letters from the cabinet secretaries to Governor Brewer, including but not limited to the role you or any other White House official played in writing the letters or encouraging the writing of the letters.
3. All records and communications between you and Secretary LaHood, Secretary Salazar, Secretary Donovan, and Secretary Vilsack refening or relating to the decision to send the July 13 letters to Governor Brewer.
4. A full and complete explanation of the role of the Democratic National Committee and the White House Office of Political Affairs in authoring, encouraging, facilitating, or directing the four July 13 letters from the cabinet secretaries to Governor Brewer.
Darrell E. Issa
I can hardly wait to see how Emanuel responds.
Senator John Cornyn (R,TX) fired off his own email to Obama:
Dear President Obama,
I write to express my concern about a new White House program to monitor American citizens’ speech opposing your health care policies, and to seek your assurances that this program is being carried out in a manner consistent with the First Amendment and America’s tradition of free speech and public discourse.
Yesterday, in an official White House release entitled “Facts are Stubborn Things,” the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was “a lot of disinformation out there,” and encouraged citizens to report “fishy” speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech, writing that “rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.” Phillips wrote “If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed “fishy” or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests.
By requesting that citizens send “fishy” emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.
I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House. I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a program-and I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action.
So I urge you to cease this program immediately. At the very least, I request that you detail to Congress and the public the protocols that your White House is following to purge the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in “fishy” speech.
And I respectfully request an answer to the following:
How do you intend to use the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in “fishy” speech?
How do you intend to notify citizens who have been reported for “fishy” speech?
What action do you intend to take against citizens who have been reported for engaging in “fishy” speech?
Do your own past statements qualify as “disinformation”? For example, is it “disinformation” to note that in 2003 you said: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan”?
I look forward to your prompt response.
Opponents of Obama’s fascist bullshit are fed up and they’re fighting back. When legitimate concerns are raised over ObamaCare, and the tax/spend/bailout disaster, it’s met with intimidation tactics, fatuous accusations of “racism”, and calls for snitching that would make Hitler and Stalin very proud.
Democrat cockholsters don’t target real threats to our country—like radical muslims—with the same voracity they do political opponents.
Hope and Change!