Darrell Issa: Annoyer-in-Chief?

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Every Congress seems to produce a designated pest, adept at drawing attention to nuisance issues (and his nuisance self) while making trouble for the other party when it controls the White House. Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, played that role during the Bush administration, while Representative Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana, did it before him in the Clinton years.

That’s how Mark Leibovich launches into the meat of his New York Times profile of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who’s filling the role of designated congressional annoyance for the current administration. Leibovich hits several of the high notes that make Issa a particularly interesting character: his troubled past, his car alarm fortune (“step away from the car” is a recording of his voice). He even digs up a new anecdote about Rahm Emanuel flipping Issa the bird in the House gym (a story Emanuel denies). But if you’re looking for more Issa trivia, check out my September 2009 profile of the congressman. Did you know that members of the Jewish Defense League were accused of plotting to pipe-bomb Issa’s district office in 2001? Or that Issa nearly ran for California governor himself after backing the recall campaign against Gray Davis? Now you do. Read up, and get ready for an interesting few years should the Republicans regain Congress (and hand Issa subpoena power). 

 

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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