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I didn't see this posted and I think you might enjoy it.

I am guessing many Kossacks are also Redditors or are at least familiar with Reddit. For those who aren't, it's kinda like Kos, except with about a million categories. But like Kos, it's user-driven, and users vote both submissions and comments up and down (similar to recs). Reddit also has a category called IAmA which is basically an "Ask Me Anything" post. So you will see people with interesting jobs or stories, celebrities, and all kinds of other types of people--and users get to "ask them anything" in a completely user-moderated forum. Generally there is proof of who the person is as well. It's pretty cool!

Today I came across an eager-sounding IAmA from just 11 hours ago that was already to the front page:

IAmA Congressman Darrell Issa, Internet defender and techie.  Ask away!

There's a lot that could be said about Darrell Issa--his latest was not allowing Sandra Fluke to testify, and his all-male panel on contraception generated this viral photo:

Hearing Pics

I could go on about Issa, but let's cut to the chase below the squiggly.

In his introduction, Issa states:

Good morning. I'm Congressman Darrell Issa from Vista, CA (near San Diego) by way of Cleveland, OH. Before coming to Congress, I served in the US Army and in the innovation trenches as an entrepreneur. You may know me from my start-up days with Directed Electronics, where I earned 37 patents – including for the Viper car alarm. (The "Viper armed!" voice on the alarm is mine.)
Now, I'm the top taxpayer watchdog on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where we work to root out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the federal bureaucracy and make government leaner and more effective. I also work on the House Judiciary Committee, where I bring my innovation experience and technology background to the table on intellectual property (IP), patent, trademark/copyright law and tech issues…like the now-defunct SOPA & PIPA.

With other Congressman like Jared Polis, Jason Chaffetz and Zoe Lofgren – and with millions of digital citizens who spoke out - I helped stop SOPA and PIPA earlier this year, and introduced a solution I believe works better for American IP holders and Internet users: the OPEN Act. We developed the Madison open legislative platform and launched to open the bills to input from folks like Redditors. I believe this crowdsourced approach delivered a better OPEN Act.

Yesterday, I opened the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Madison, which is a new front in our work to stop secretive government actions that could fundamentally harm the Internet we know and love.

When I'm not working in Washington and San Diego – or flying lots of miles back and forth – I like to be on my motorcycle, play with gadgets and watch Battlestar Galactica and Two and a Half Men.
Redditors, fire away!

He then gives a pair of updates:
UPDATE #1 heading into office now...will jump on answering in ten minutes
UPDATE #2 jumping off into meetings now. Will hop back on throughout the day. Thank you for your questions and giving me the chance to answer them.
and a photo of him "answering questions" which I can't embed here but I can link to his official Flickr account: (I don't think he looks too happy.) One commenter suggests that he link to the actual IAmA on Reddit, to which he responds "Great suggestion. DONE!"

And that's where the awesomeness begins...
(I highly recommend visiting the link!)

Here are some of my favorites:

As a defender of the internet, why did you vote for warrantless wiretapping and retroactive telecom immunity in 2008?
This was one of only a few non-SOPA questions he answered. He responds:
Thank you for asking. After 9/11, an extraordinary amount of cooperation by our communications industry was necessary to find out who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans, and who continued to pose an active threat to Americans in our country and around the world.

Americans in the telecom industry were called into classified sessions and asked to help in this effort and were asked to tell no one, not even their own coworkers. Some would say Bush had no right to do that, but that's a fight btw the Executive Branch and Congress. I believe those telecom workers acted in good faith, and as we set up a constitutional due process under FISA in 2008, we need to eliminate any ambiguity and legal uncertainty surrounding the patriotic actions they took prior.

But as you might expect, users thought they should comment on that:
we need to eliminate any ambiguity and legal uncertainty surrounding the patriotic actions they took prior.
Then why grant them retroactive immunity? How are we supposed to determine the legality of their actions if we are barred from challenging those very actions in court?


patriotic actions
Oh, it was patriotic? No need for the 4th amendment then...


Translation: We traded your privacy for "security" that wouldn't have helped prevent any terrorist attacks.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin

and it just goes on...
You've made private transactions totaling more than $1 billion over the past decade. Do you think there should be limitations on the private transactions Members can undertake given the inherent conflicts of interest in drafting legislation that affects your investments? Would you oppose having elected officials' assets placed in blind trusts while in office?


How can you call yourself a "techie" when you authored the Research Works Act?
Your bill is almost universally opposed by research scientists, and runs counter to the open-source principles that make the Internet possible.
(To other redditors: The bill is basically dead now, the scientists won)

Statement by Issa/Maloney:

"The American people deserve to have access to research for which they have paid. This conversation needs to continue and we have come to the conclusion that the Research Works Act has exhausted the useful role it can play in the debate."


What is your comment on the American Family Voices complaint failed against you with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for using your public position to advance your private financial interests? PDF Letter

Do you find it ironic that the Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been accused of using his position for personal gain?


Why did you refuse to allow Sandra Fluke to testify and why did you only hear from male religious leaders on a matter of women's health? Do you regret your decision?


You voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
You voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman.
You voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.
You have been rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.
Why are you against gay rights? Can you explain the above record? How is this not infringing on people's unalienable rights?


Alright, Issa, I know you've seen this. Your one good work on SOPA doesn't stop your consistent stigmatization of gay people like myself. You treat me like a second class citizen. I am a resident of your state, and yet constantly have voted a bigoted party line that flies in the face of any research and common sense.

I suppose you won't respond to this. I suppose you'll say something about protecting religious liberties or traditions, even though none of the provisions that you voted against could curtail religious liberties - especially since there are potential "religious liberties" that are "curtailed" in regards to someone's religious beliefs on race or people of other religions.

We are stigmatized, stereotyped, demonized, and you side with these lies. But as a Congressman who has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to protect the rights of LGBT Californians like myself, I'd love to hear you explain this.


You have sponsored the Health Care Incentive Act (HR 42 IH), which would allow employers to credit health care benefits toward the minimum wage of employees. As it is worded, this would allow employers to pay employees as little as $5.15 an hour if they are receiving health benefits (the value of these creditable benefits has not been determined).

While this would be a boon to some employers, as they essentially would be able to get away with paying their employees less, do you think this tradeoff is in the best interest of the middle class? Do you honestly believe that a worker in 2012 (let alone a parent with a child or a household with a dependant) could survive on $5.15 an hour?


Is the war on drugs worth the cost? Is it working?


Do you make it a habit of dismissing people as "operative[s] for the Democratic Party" when they ask you a question about investigating possible institutional malfeasance on the important issue of climate change or was that just an unfortunate isolated incident?

In what way is mentioning that Koch Industries contributes to the Heartland Institute "crossing the line"?

These are just a sample of the comments. But here's my favorite:
Will you continue to be a redditor after completing your AMA?

Darrell Issa: So far the experience has been good. I hope to be able to do another one of these in the future. Be sure to tell your friends to join the next one.

be sure to tell YOUR friends to join the next one.

I love the internet.

Your Email has been sent.
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