“Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the House Banking Committee, says his successful intervention to keep a General Motors distribution center open in his Massachusetts district isn’t evidence that Congress will have undue influence in running the new 60 percent government-owned auto company,” John Fund wr ites at www.opinionjournal.com.
“ ‘I don’t think this will lead to a pattern,” Mr. Frank assured the Hill newspaper recently after word spread that his phone calls had secured a new lease on life for a GM facility in Norton, Mass.
“The Obama administration has repeatedly said decisions by the new GM will be made by its executives without undue government influence. But influence doesn’t have to take the form of overt orders from the White House to be ‘undue,’ as Mr. Frank’s calls to GM CEO Fritz Henderson showed.
“Mr. Frank says his involvement isn’t likely to be replicated because the facility he went to bat for wasn’t an auto plant or a dealership. He said keeping the distribution center open was environmentally sound because otherwise auto par ts would have had to be trucked to New England from a facility in Philadelphia. Mr. Frank also waved off a suggestion that the episode proved that rules are needed to stop lawmakers from jawboning to keep plants or dealerships open.
“ ‘I can’t make the connection’ that would give the justification for such rules, Mr. Frank cheerfully says. After all, he added, he didn’t call the Obama administration to keep the Norton facility open, but instead went right to GM management.
“Hmm. That’s an argument that disproves any hope of GM being run in a ‘nonpolitical’ matter. On the contrary, the administration might have to intervene regularly just to protect the company from 535 legislators. GM Chief Henderson is hardly in a position to ignore requests from powerful committee chairmen like Mr. Frank, because GM will never be done needing government favors, from tax rebates for car buyers to fine-tuning of mileage rules.” at the Department of Homeland Security,” Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
“[Two weeks ago], Mudd withdrew his nomination out of concern that attacks by Senate Democrats over his work on anti-terror programs would be a ‘distraction’ to the Obama administration. This past November, CIA officer John Brennan pulled his nomination to be CIA deputy director for the same reason,” said Mr. Hoekstra, the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Democrats are using highly qualified intelligence officers as pawns in a political game. These officers are being punished not for any wrongdoing but for their success in administering innovative anti-terror programs that kept our nation safe from terrorist attack over the last seven years. The programs they helped run were not rogue operations; they were briefed to, reviewed by, and funded by Congress. Indeed, the record shows that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was among the U.S. lawmakers who were briefed on these programs from the start. ...
“President Obama, unfortunately, has been part of the problem. His statement that the CIA committed ‘mistakes’ in its interrogation programs, along with his decision to release memos on terrorist interrogations, sent a message to intelligence professionals that he will not stand behind them.
“It’s time to stop this assault on our intelligence community, which is not just wrong but also dangerous.”