Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Did Matt McCall force Lamar Smith to do his job?!?

Congressman Lamar Smith is chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  During the seven weeks since the Obamacare roll-out debacle, the SST committee has done nothing.  All of a sudden, this morning, Congressman Smith unveils the following piece in Breitbart News:


Many Americans have experienced the ill effects of Obamacare. That’s because the President’s broken promises are piling up. He promised that if you like your health care plan you can keep it. But for millions of Americans, that’s not true.

He said that the law would make health insurance more affordable. But across the country, Americans are seeing their premiums go up, not down. And when launching, the Obama administration said that the website was safe, secure and open for business. We now know that isn’t true, either.
The data obtained by is one of the largest collections of personal information ever assembled. It links information between seven different federal agencies and state agencies and government contractors.
The website requires users to provide personal information like birth dates, social security numbers, and household incomes in order to obtain information about potential health coverage. But security experts have expressed concern about flaws in the site that put this personal data at risk and subject users to the threat of identity theft.
This week, the Science Committee, which I chair, held a hearing to examine security and privacy concerns about the Obamacare website. We heard from witnesses outside the government who are experts in cybersecurity and hacking websites. They provided a convincing evidence of the vulnerabilities that underlie
The rest of the piece is a commendable explanation of security failures in the Obamacare website.  Kudos to Lamar Smith for belatedly getting his committee up to speed.  But, when the SST committee has been silent for seven weeks, why now?!?

That's where Matt McCall enters the picture.

Last week, Matt McCall (Smith's GOP Primary challenger) embarrassed Lamar Smith back in the district.  Following 2 cancellations at events where they were both scheduled to appear, McCall called out Smith.  Less than a week later, a U.S. House committee Smith chairs is holding hearings into Obamacare.  The timing is, to put it mildly, suspicious.  But better late than never.

Cahnman's Musings has reached out to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology committee for comment and will update this post if they respond.

Update: We spoke to a staffer on the Science committee about an hour ago.  The staffer informed us that plans for this hearing began about ten days after the Obamacare roll-out.  It takes 4 -6 weeks for a hearing to happen after staffers begin planning.  That's Standard Operating Procedure in Congress.  While this is a condemnation of how Congress operates, it looks like Lamar Smith's story checks out on this one.

1 comment:

  1. Matt McCall has been provided with proof that for years Lamar Smith has ignored our efforts to bring corrupt public officials to justice and to recover OUR money.

    Local HUD Field Office Director Richard Lopez and his superiors are well aware that representatives of the City of San Antonio, Texas presented false statements and fraudulent audits to federal investigators in case # HL-10-0465 in an effort to conceal the theft and misuse of tens of millions of dollars. They are well aware that HUD-OIG agent Victoria Marquez refused to interview material witnesses, ignored proof of the crimes, allowed a fraudulent report to be published citing the misuse of only $648 from 2004-8 and then allowed HUD IG Donohue to present the false information to members of Congress including Texas Congressmen Lamar Smith. Audio recordings and certified mail shows that federal investigators/officials were provided with proof that City IT Manager Jose Medina and vendor Isabel Gonzaba (IG Communications) conspired to submit known fraudulent invoices when they stole upwards of $200,000 over a four year time frame. Proof was submitted showing that illegal, no-bid contracts were steered to friends at SanTel (overcharge of $10,800 in one contract), LaserConnect, SBC and IG Communications. Proof was submitted that the City- Information Technology Department internal telephone billing account -“ the variable “ - was illegally , secretly manipulated to allow unauthorized access to over $5 million a year over the past thirty years and that tens of millions of dollars were stolen and misused. Proof was submitted that since July 1, 2009 City officials participated in illegal meetings in violation of the Texas Open Meeting Act and OMB requirements that all financial business be conducted in an open, public forum. Proof was submitted showing that city attorney Bernard and others used public funds to hire the law firm of Fitzpatrick & Kosanovich to defraud our judicial system and conceal the criminal activity. The criminal cover-up continues.