Stupid ideas department

That could be a running feature of any blog featuring politics, but I’ll start with this.

There was a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing last week that degenerated into a circus. Chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the ringmaster, apparently expects committee members to be something he is not as he pursues a snipe hunt against Biden: Serious.

He complained that the hearing, ostensibly about holding Biden’s attorney general in contempt, was a “very important one” (it’s not) but was “hijacked by a few unfortunate soundbites.” (I’ll skip those; you can, if you wish, read about them here.)

Comer has introduced a bill that would require presidents to disclose their relatives’ foreign earnings (see story here). That’s stupid because presidents don’t necessarily know what their adult children are up to, what their income is, or where it comes from.

And it won’t stop them. Anybody who’s been a parent knows you can’t make kids do anything (or refrain from doing things). Most of the time you don’t even know where they are, or who they’re hanging out with.

For example how was Biden supposed to keep his son Hunter from serving on Burisma’s board (and getting paid a ridiculous sum for doing so), or Trump keep his son-in-law Jared from scooping Saudi money into his newly-formed investment firm?

If that becomes a law, there will be no way to enforce it, especially against a president like Trump who’s above the law, in whose emoluments Comer has taken no interest whatsoever.

The bill doesn’t “make explicit any disclosure requirements for companies owned by family members.” That’s stupid because it’s a hole the Donald Trumps and Hunter Bidens of the world can drive a fleet of trucks through.

“Influence peddling is a cottage industry in Washington,” Comer says, and “deficiencies in current law” have “led to a culture of corruption.” Comer claims his legislation will ensure that “presidents, vice presidents, and their family members cannot profit from their proximity to power.” Oh, sure; now do Supreme Court justices.

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