I've watched a lot of C-SPAN in the past two years, which means a LOT of Congressional hearings, and the quality of our representatives leaves a lot to be desired.
But never have I seen such uniform incompetence as was on display May 26, 2010 when Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall testified to the House Natural Resources Committee about the audit of MMS (Minerals Management Service).
Unlike Neil Barofsky, the Inspector General for TARP, who relishes finding problems, Ms. Kendall seemed determined to minimize their findings. As did all the members of the committee, Republican and Democrat, asking if the problems were really much worse than in other agencies, if the issues of fraternization were not common in other agencies, if proposed changes to ethics rules would be unfair in being limited to MMS, etc., etc.
Worse, when the committee members weren't subtly defending MMS, their questions were uniformly unthoughtful and poorly phrased (to be kind). Half the time, quite frankly, I couldn't figure out what they were asking and I suspect that they didn't know either.
Again, poor questions and demagoguery are not uncommon in Congressional hearings. But there are usually at least a few competent committee members. Not here.
I suggest that the House dissolve this particular committee and find some people with an interest in and real knowledge of the issues.