Contempt in Congress

Friday, June 22, 2012

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY14), and member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, discusses the ongoing congressional investigation into the flaws of the "Fast and Furious" program, including the vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt and the decision by President Obama to assert executive privilege with regard to certain documents requested by Congress.


Carolyn Maloney

Comments [39]


Simple question: Will "The Brian Lehrer Show" do an equivalent segment with a House Republican on this subject?

A search of the WNYC website shows a tremendous imbalance in voices on the subject of Fast and Furious. One progressive-Democrat from the House; Al Sharpton, and (on "The Takeaway") a writer who substantially sides with the Obama Administration. Is there anyone else of note that you have interviewed?

Jul. 02 2012 01:43 PM

No analogy is precisely on point, but this one is kind of cute.
YMMV ;-)

" . . . What if Walmart, the “largest seller of firearms and ammunition in America,” had knowingly sold 2,500 firearms to straw purchasers with the intent of having those purchasers carry those guns across an international border and sell them to drug cartel members in Mexico? . . . "

" . . . And lastly, what if explanations given by Walmart board members regarding the authorization of this straw-purchasing, gun-walking program were in conflict with the testimony given by their executive? And what if both they and their executive snubbed their noses at Congressional requests for documentation that would explain who knew what and when?

What would happen to Walmart if that company did these things? . . . "

Jun. 23 2012 07:33 PM
Calls'em from McLean, VA

@ Jack - Off point again? What did the President know and when did he know it? The much smaller and better controlled Bush DOJ program ended with a strict recommendation to NOT repeat their experiment.

The 0bama regime saw an opportunity to clamp down on domestic guns sales using a crisis of their own making as an excuse. Unfortunately for 0bama they lost control of their evil scheme and it got at least one American Border Patrol Agent killed - Brian Terry; and probably dozens if not hundreds of others killed as well.

Listen, what is death to the 0bama regime. He's happy on the golf course while he blithely launches drone strikes everyday, assassinates American citizens, puts in place ROEs (Rule of Engagement) that are so bad & have gotten so many of our boys killed that members of the regime disgracefully disarm our troops when they visit them on their photo opts.

Trust me people in law enforcement, the military and the intelligence community know what is happening and Fast & Furious is 0bama's Water Gate and will bring him down.

Jun. 23 2012 12:01 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@geTaylor - I don't intend to get caught in a tit for tat on this with you. Your opinion is pretty bogus and your debate style is wasting my time from this point.

@CallsEm in VA...Ever heard of Operation Wide Receiver?

Jun. 22 2012 03:20 PM

Gee "Jack",

Why would you be using "willy-nilly" 'bad language' with me?
I thought this comment line was for people who didn't conduct discussions by way of bad language.

Jun. 22 2012 11:59 AM
Calls'em from McLean, VA

PS - As of February 20, 2009 Carolyn Maloney was listed as a member of the Congressional "Progressive" Caucus.

Enough said.

Jun. 22 2012 11:48 AM
Calls'em from McLean, VA

The question now is what did the President know and when did he know it?

I'm sorry to say that Congresswoman Maloney is full of baloney. I have never heard more obfuscation and disinformation from an American government official since Watergate. She was Kafkaesque. While she tried to spin the issue as "gun control," (her #1 issue) the "Fast & Furious" debacle was an unlawful program poorly executed; and one that has contributed to many murders including an American Border Patrol Agent – Brian Terry.

Fast & Furious is solely a creature of 0bama regime politics designed for domestic purposes and it will be its Watergate. It was designed by the White House - 0bama, Holder, Jarret, etc. to “create a condition” that didn’t really exist to institute gun control via executive order in the US. The 0bama regime sent thousands of weapons to Mexico and then didn’t track them. Insanity!

The vast majority of weapons used by Mexican gangs are military and LE grade. They are weapons stolen and sold to the drug gangs by corrupt Mexican military and police as well corrupt Central & South American military & police. As one of your callers mentioned, why would the bad guys want an American semi-auto shot-gun or a bolt or lever action rifle when they get fully auto military grade machine guns, grenades and hand held missiles.

There are also "stories" of guns and other drug and money connections to Chavez & Venezuela and Castro & Cuba who supply cheap & nasty weapons to the cartels. This case is not going away and will be one of many reasons that 0bama is going to lose in a landslide in November.

Jun. 22 2012 11:40 AM


It has been brought to my attention that my last comment is wrong in its reference to the Congresswoman.

I am sorry for publishing that mis-information.

Jun. 22 2012 11:36 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey


You need to check your sources again...Yesterday's SCOTUS decision did NOT permit the use of 'bad language' willy-nilly...It did eliminate substantial fines without appropriate forenotice. It sent the case back for further adjudication. I'm inclined to think that they won't bother to re-try the case.

If your takeaway from your sources is that SCOTUS has sanctioned on air crotch shots and potty-mouth, it just proves that you need better sources.

Lastly, the FCC doesn't monitor political blogs. I would stand behind a 'substantial truth' test for broadcast news. Unfortunately, that wouldn't clean up the propaganda on cable...

Jun. 22 2012 11:33 AM

Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

"@geTaylor - Your "in quotes" summations of Obama and his positions tell us all we need to know about your news sources and on what basis your opinions are derived! Take your head from out of your *ss and try some original ideas."

Thanks for confirming that my meaning was clear. Something in the tone of your communication indicates that you might hold another view, but it's lost in your subtlety.
(BTW: SCOTUS decided a case yesterday, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, that would let you use "un-asterisked" forms of words. Be warned, I think that the moderator for this thread is particularly tough - I can't seem to make a point about Congresswoman "Baloney's" views on this topic being affected by her family's tragic history with guns.) World Peace

Jun. 22 2012 11:22 AM

@MartinC -

Some voters will hold Obama responsible for the failure to improve because they are DESPERATE and need the income. If Romney were to win (shudder) do you really think the first thing out of the new Congress will be anything other than a new 'focused stimulus'. Probably labeled differently but in essence the same thing. Directed government spending intended to prime the pump of aggregate demand.

Other voters will hold the GOP responsible because their loose money policy caused the problem (along with lack of oversight), the GOP blocked Democratic efforts to improve the situation and the GOP have DONE NOTHING to get the unemployment down despite their 'loud and clear' rhetoric following the 2010 election. The Party doesn't care about the American people. They care about American people with money. Unfortunately, their own programs force them to care about fewer and fewer of us.

My vote is already cast but sit back and watch billions spent trying to sway those opinions.

Jun. 22 2012 10:58 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@geTaylor - Your "in quotes" summations of Obama and his positions tell us all we need to know about your news sources and on what basis your opinions are derived! Take your head from out of your *ss and try some original ideas.

@Dennis Maher from Lake...Why should BL and the guest spend any time trying to explain the inexplicable. The looney NRA theory that this was 'done on purpose' to strengthen American sentiment against our own 'right to keep and bear' is ludicrous and only subscribed to by the out of touch. It makes right-wing call-in show listeners feel good to believe it but it isn't true or close to being true. LIHOP - on the Right or the Left - without any facts - just suspicions - does no one any good.

Jun. 22 2012 10:45 AM

We have moderated a comment. Please remember to stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.

Jun. 22 2012 10:44 AM
Steve from Manhattan

So the Republicans are pulling a mean-spirited anti-American political stunt to exploit the weaknesses of the Democrats in an election year... So what's new? That Obama and the Obama administration are hell-bent on protecting Bush and Bush administration members is also nothing new -- even if they get into trouble for their efforts. ONCE AGAIN the Republicans are dictating and defining the debate, and the Democrats seem incapable of defending themselves, let alone making their case, pushing back, or heaven-forbid, getting out in front of an issue and trying to define it themselves. This is much ado about nothing, but will have real consequences for Americans. No wonder we are all so fed up with BOTH parties!!!

Jun. 22 2012 10:32 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

I agree with JoeCorrao....great show !! Bravo, Brian.

(Especially since it's on the Obama Public Radio network.

Jun. 22 2012 10:30 AM


A member of President "I-Don't-Need-No-Stinking-Legislature" makes a separation of powers argument! Next she'll be talking about how the "I-oversee-drone-strike-kill-lists" and "We-unleashed-the-Stuxnet-Virus" administration needs to shield the Justice Department's sources and methods for replying to Congressional inquiries.

Jun. 22 2012 10:29 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey


A congressman's position on this issue is a check-off for NRA support. The bigger issue - Lax American gun acquisition rules leading to too many dead Mexicans, which in turn are caused by high American demand for drugs -- doesn't provide enough marquee value to suit the GOP. Impressions over actual impact. It's the modern GOP standard of operation.

Jun. 22 2012 10:28 AM
Dennis Maher from Lake Luzerne

Re Phil's call: Neither Brian nor Carolyn responded to his charge of a conspiracy by the Obama admin to gut the 2nd amendment and institute major gun control. This is all over the right wing media and needs to be addressed. This has to be one of the grandest conspiracy theories of all time.

Where is all the serious reporting on this?? There seems to be no real analysis of Brian Terry's death or what the Phoenix ATF office was up to in '09 and before. We just aren't being informed on these things.

Jun. 22 2012 10:27 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well said - BK.

Jun. 22 2012 10:27 AM

Bush ran the exact same program- it was called Wide Receiver. So where were Issa & the Repubs & their phony indignation back then??

Jun. 22 2012 10:26 AM
John from Texas

Sometimes you can tell when it is all lies.

Simple question: HOW were they going to track these guns????? Imbedded GPS????

Obviously, there is no way to do it.

So, the question is, what were they REALLY doing???

If I say, this post will probably be censored (the NY TIMES did) so let's leave it to the listeners' imaginations.

Jun. 22 2012 10:26 AM
Mike from Inwood

Chris from Queens : Do you realize none of the documents requests pertain to the program? All were generated after the program was ended.

Jun. 22 2012 10:25 AM

Great show Brian...hard hitting

Jun. 22 2012 10:24 AM

No one has mentioned the various IG reports from the DOJ IG documenting how GWB expanded the Gun Runner program into Fast & Furious.

Add in the NRA database restrictions on gun tracing, etc. that already hamper post-crime tracing here in the US.

Jun. 22 2012 10:24 AM
Susy from Manhattan

They're going after Holder because he is black and looks like Barack Obama. If this complicated story trickles down to most of the voting public, they'll just replace one with the other. Let's get real. That is what this is.

Jun. 22 2012 10:24 AM
Mike from Inwood

JoeCorrao says: "The guy talking about the ultimate issue is gun control here in the US is right on"

He may seem to be to you, but he is also no expert, except at his local bar.

Jun. 22 2012 10:23 AM
BK from Hoboken

Either it's a real investigation or not. if its a real investigation, then drag Mukasey and the original architects of the program under Bush. Them you have the credibility to ask Holder to produce more info.
Congress has no credibility- Republican or Democrat. They are all pathetic. Maloney is an embarassment to me as a Dem. Issa is a politically motivated muckraker. They deserve each other.
I still think of and laugh at the Daily Show bit where they actually tried to find the 11% who actually approve of Congress!

Jun. 22 2012 10:23 AM
Dan from across the bridge

Darrel Issa's got a lot of stones sitting in judgment of anybody, what with his shady sullied past.
Read "Top 10 Darrell Issa Hall of Shame Moments"

Jun. 22 2012 10:22 AM
Mike from Inwood

Brian - Have your researchers look for Bush using Executive Privilege to protect people in his administration far beneath him under Attorney General Mukasey.

Jun. 22 2012 10:21 AM

@caller "Phil"-
Wow! So it's a vast left wing conspiracy to gut the Second Amendment?! Geez, I had no idea.
Btw, have there been any black helicopters stalking you lately?

Now if you'll excuse me I have an appointment back on the planet Earth....

Jun. 22 2012 10:19 AM

The guy talking about the ultimate issue is gun control here in the US is right on.

Jun. 22 2012 10:18 AM

ask why i'm paying for a farmers aid bill for the red states

Jun. 22 2012 10:17 AM

George W. Bush invoked executive privilege 6 times in 8 years.

Clinton: 14 times in 8 years.

Jun. 22 2012 10:16 AM

take the investigation all the way back to Bush and Gonzalez...Maloney is here as a partisan voice...she is spinning it. People died (not just the 2 border guards) ALL needs to be investgated.

BTW CM...there is 70000 documents they haven't revealed

Jun. 22 2012 10:15 AM

Carolyn Maloney is offering non-response responses, except for her few points about the program during the Bush administration and Mukasey's time at Justice.

So we see again the dual-double-standard. Republicans and Democrats alike apply standards to others that they expressly reject for themselves.

Obama has taken this to new depths with his gross constitutional violations in denial of due process, abusively frivolous prosecutions of whistleblowers, etc.

Jun. 22 2012 10:12 AM
Chris from Queens

I'm conflicted here. I really do believe we need an open inquiry into this misguided program. I also believe that nobody in Washington, and most certainly nobody in Congress, does anything for any reason beyond base personal gain. Can we get an independent inquiry? Naive, I know.

Jun. 22 2012 10:11 AM
Robert from NYC

Carolyn Maloney is full of baloney.

Jun. 22 2012 10:09 AM

The Obama administration — Holder _and_ Obama included — has indeed demonstrated contempt for Congress and for the Constitution, including aggressive often mean-spirited attacks on principles of openness, transparency, truth, and due process.

Jun. 22 2012 10:02 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

The Democrats claim this Holder issue is all a distraction. Actually, they need some .... here are a few headlines from the wires this morning -

Employers Post Fewest Job Openings in 5 Months ......
US Home Sales Slipped 1.5 Percent in May ......
World stocks fall amid US jobs, housing gloom ......
Morning MarketBeat: Slowdown Fears Slam Stocks ......
FISCAL CLIFF: The National Association of Manufacturers said the looming cuts in January will lead to the loss of 1,010,000 jobs, including 130,000 manufacturing jobs, by 2014 ......

Jun. 22 2012 08:36 AM

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