Thursday, December 30, 2010

Incoming! (Alarming New House Chairmen)

Among the incoming new House Chairmen are some particularly alarming ones:

Rep Fred Upton (R-MI) is ascending to the Chairmanship of the House Energy Committee.  Great news, right?  Afterall, he's "admitted in the past that greenhouse emissions should be reduced."  But that's the old Upton.  After the transformative effect of attacks from Beck and the Tea Party stirred with hefty contributions from the pollution profiteering Koch Industries, there's a new Upton.  Now Rep Upton is co-writing articles with Tim Phillips of the AFP, a front-group the Kock brother's use to direct the Tea Party against government regulation that might otherwise force them to be responsible businessmen.

Rep Spencer Bachus (R-AL) snagged the House Financial Services Committee chairmanship, covering the banking industry.  Great new, right?  After all, he got slightly less in contributions over the 2009-10 election cycle from the finance/insurance/real estate sector than the outgoing Chairman Frank (D-MA) picked up over the last two years.  Ah, but here's the rub:  Rep Frank looked at his contributions and remembered not to be too terribly harsh to the banks -- important to the economy and such -- while writing regulations to make them conform to safer standards and make them more stable companies.  Rep Bachus, by contrast, says "In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."  He further explained that he meant he want to ensure we don't micromanage banks.  After deregulation and avoidance of new CDO regulation gave us this huge mess, haven't we had enough trouble from the Republican hands-off approach to oversight of the finance industry?

Then there's the new House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration issues chairman, Rep Steve King (R-IA).  According to the Huffington Post, "King calls illegal immigration a 'slow motion terrorist attack' and is generally in favor of the most drastic measures to curb it. He has some interesting ideas as to how illegal immigrants can be sussed out, involving shoes and ESP. And he's leading the charge against the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship as well."

Sure, some of the incoming chairmen aren't quite as alarming as these.  (Others are -- but aren't as easy to sum up.)  But even if these were the only worrisome ones, these are bad enough.

Additions 01/06/2011:

Then there's the new chair of the science committee, the guy who brought us the headline "GOP Kills Science Jobs Bill By Forcing Dems To Vote For Porn"

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