A little sunshine, anyone? (via the NYTimes)
There have been many examples of the shambles that the Republican-controlled Congress made of its responsibility for oversight of the Bush administration. But none was so peremptory as the mass firing of 60 House appropriations investigators last month — virtually the entire hired staff responsible for tracking spending abuses in such money pits as the Iraq war, intelligence operations and the $62 billion Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
The dismissed investigators — former F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents and other professionals — did not have their contracts renewed because their work has “not been that good,” in the words of a Republican spokesman who offered no compelling evidence. An attempt was made to sell the purge as a bipartisan decision, but it turned out to be the unilateral order of the committee’s Republican chairman, Jerry Lewis of California….
There had been a bipartisan tradition on the committee, with majority and minority leaders proposing and signing off on investigation assignments. But that degraded with the arrival of one-party rule as Republicans shirked their oversight duty. This was obvious three years ago when the ranking Democrat, David Obey of Wisconsin, was rebuffed in his proposal for an investigation of the freewheeling intelligence operation quietly constructed by the administration in the Pentagon.
Mr. Obey takes the committee gavel in January, and among his tasks will be restocking the investigation staff and setting the committee back on a productive, bipartisan course. This should not be a matter of party vengeance, as some Republicans fear. Rather, it’s a necessity of the course set by the voters to end one-party rule and find out what the government is actually up to.
I don't know about you guys, but I am looking forward to a whole lot of sunshine being applied to all that muck that's been swept under the rug the last five plus years. America deserves to know the truth about how its government is operating…not some trumped up snowjob.
Here's to some accountability.
(H/T to reader neokneme for the NYTimes editorial link. The above YouTube is a kicky little tune by Katrina And The Waves that hits my mood spot on as I think about the coming sunshine in DC. Also, some classic Bill Withers is a great way to kick a case of the Mondays as well. Enjoy!)