Pride of place probably goes to this interview of SIGTARP (and Obama ’08 supporter) Neil Barofsky by Jake Tapper (via Hot Air). Barofsky engaged in a strong pushback to the White House / Treasury Department’s attempt to contradict his release of numbers indicating that the administration was planning to spend 23.7 trillion dollars to repair our financial system; the best quote from that was probably “Perhaps their criticism is that we dare to do math.” Barofsky was also very firm about the fact that he has no intention of going back on the administration’s own stated ideals of transparency. Listen to the whole thing, and contemplate that this all started with a 700 billion dollar bailout, with a review period in the middle. Funny how this balloons, huh? – And Barofsky doesn’t even think that there’s particular amounts of skullduggery going on.
Meanwhile, there’s the Walpin thing. It turns out (via the Sundries Shack) that Rep Doris Matsui (D-CA), whose district includes Sacramento, called up the administration to get stimulus money for the city. This was done at the end of March; and the reason that she intervened was because Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson was at the time under a dispute with IG Gerald Walpin about Johnson’s misappropriation of AmeriCorps funds for personal services. A timeline is necessary at this point: Continue reading Inspector General situation updates.
The short version: it’s moving along.
“We’re not there yet,” one Democratic source on Capitol Hill said last week, when asked about the prospect for hearings on the Obama administration’s firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. Congressional investigators are still conducting interviews in the case, so the question of whether to “pull the trigger” on a full-blown inquiry — with subpoenas for witnesses to testify under oath at committee hearings — has yet to be decided.
The fact that both Democrats and Republicans are involved in investigating the Walpin dismissal is, however, highly significant. With Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, bipartisanship is absolutely necessary to getting the truth about the AmeriCorps case, as with the other cases in the smoldering “IG Gate” scandal.
The Democratic party’s quandary here – as Stacy notes later in the article – is that while they don’t want to go up against the administration they also don’t want to have to explain to the voters why they participated in what the GOP will call a cover-up, and for good reason. In fact, pushing for an investigation would probably be beneficial for Democratic Congressmen looking to burnish their reputations for being ‘independent’ and ‘principled.’ That doesn’t mean that they’ll participate, but it’s not a trivial consideration, either. The President’s approval rating is currently somewhere between 53% and 59%, depending on who you ask: which is good, but not good enough to make going against his wishes the act of a fool.
So, we’ll see.
Crossposted to RedState.
[UPDATE] In honor of Troglopundit’s request for respect for the KISS principle, here goes:
Fred Weiderhold quit rather than tell Congress he was under Biden’s thumb.
If you don’t have time to read the report that apparently triggered the Weiderhold matter (said report is also available via Senator Grassley’s office, as part of his ongoing investigation) – or even Stacy McCain’s article – here’s a quick timeline.
- June 18, 2009: Fred Weiderhold, Inspector General for Amtrak, receives a report from a third-party legal firm indicating that Amtrak’s Law Department’s oversight of the Office of the Inspector General resulted in a situation where (as Grassley’s letter put it) “Amtrak’s policies and procedures have systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act.” The firm recommends that Congress be notified, either at the next semiannual report or immediately.
- June 18, 2009 (evening): Weiderhold resigns.
Well, sometimes the story isn’t complex. Please read on – but one last summary detail: the General Counsel for Amtrak is Eleanor Acheson, who is well-connected with the Biden family. Continue reading The Report that triggered the Weiderhold ‘retirement.’