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Keith Ellison Thinks 'Frosted' Glass Is an Assault on Government Transparency

The Minnesota Representative took CFPB Director Mike Mulvaney to task for 'frosted' glass office.

Rep. Keith EllisonTom Williams/CQ Roll Call/NewscomWhen you hear the words 'government transparency,' you probably think of open meeting requirements, internet databases of public records, lobbying disclosures, and so on. You probably wouldn't think of government offices being literally transparent—unless you're Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

In yesterday's House Financial Services Committee, Ellison lambasted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney for frosting the glass of his office space in the bureau's D.C. headquarters.

"You are the champion of transparency, right?" Ellison grilled the director. "And yet you have obscured yourself physically! And I find that to be ironic, sir."

Mulvaney said that the conversion of 13 CFPB offices from transparent glass to translucent glass was initiated by his predecessor and cost a mere $3,500—a positive bargain given the cost of other Trump Administration office renovations. When Mulvaney noted that Ellison's own office was physically opaque, the congressman countered with the classic 'I'm asking the questions' defense, saying, "I'm not a witness today. You are."

Following the committee meeting, Ellison posted a picture of Mulvaney's office to Twitter, again pointing to the supposed hypocrisy of supporting institutional transparency while not having an office that is physically transparent.

Ellison—apparently under the impression that he had stumbled across a winning issue—also issued a press release on the topic and wrote a letter to Mulvaney, saying that "obscuring your activities behind frosted glass was antithetical to your professed goals of increased transparency."

I can't imagine what important information would be gleaned from requiring the head of a government agency monitored at all times by his subordinates. This is the kind of blatantly partisan and pointless griping that Democrats bemoaned under Pres. Obama. Given the significance and autonomy of the CFPB, Elisson's crusade is borderline maddening.

As Reason's Eric Boehm noted in June, "the CFPB does not have to answer to Congress or the president for its actions. It gets its funding directly from the Federal Reserve, and is run by a single director (an unusual arrangement since most regulatory agencies are run by a bipartisan group of three or five individuals) who serves a 10–year term and cannot be removed from office before that time."

In October 2017 the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that the agency's structure was unconstitutional, writing, "[O]ther than the President, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire United States Government." (This decision was later overturned by an appeals court in January.)

Rather than take issue with this unaccountable structure, Ellison has praised it unconditionally, saying in a 2015 press release that "millions of Americans have had an ally protecting their mortgages, their paychecks, and their future."

This was back when the unaccountable powers of the agency were wielded by an Democratic appointee. With this power now in the hands of his partisan foes, one might expect Ellison to interrogate the structure and powers of the office. Instead, he's kvetching about its window tint.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    "You are the champion of transparency, right?" Ellison grilled the director. "And yet you have obscured yourself physically! And I find that to be ironic, sir."

    Ellison went on to compare the situation to rain on your wedding day, or a green light when you're already late.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He then made his wife stand on a calendar so she'd stop nagging him about taking her on a date.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Don't get me wrong - i think it's brave of Amelia Bedelia to finally transition, sexually AND racially.

  • Rhywun||

    Whatever you do, don't ask xir to "dust the furniture".

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    But are your windows opaque?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If he was Amelia Bedelia he'd actually be brutally effective at his job.

  • Rossami||

    Thank you. I haven't thought of those books in many years.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Why I'll bet Mulvaney wears clothing, too! The nerve of that guy!

  • StackOfCoins||

    Republicans are causing a lot of trouble, but you can always count on a Democrat to go full retard.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I hear that the POTUS plans to go "fully clear" with regards to the walls on his toilet stalls!
    BTW, Scientology can help us all in our quest to go to "fully clear" commode-mode!

    I am now "chanelling", imagining the POTUS in his fully-cleared toilet stall, and I am getting...

    Trumpty Dumpty, He's quite off-the-wall,
    Trumpty Dumpty won't stay in His toilet stall
    He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
    Totally regardless of whereever He sits
    Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
    He Twits us His thoughts, they're all SOOO deep!
    He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
    No matter the words, however absurd!
    He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
    Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
    They say He'll be impeached by June,
    Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
    So He sits and jiggles His balls,
    Then He Twitters upon the walls
    "Some come here to sit and think,
    Some come here to shit and stink
    But I come here to scratch my balls,
    And read the writings on the walls
    Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin'
    Giving birth to another Texan!
    Here I sit, on the pooper,
    Giving birth to another state trooper!
    He who writes these lines of wit,
    Wraps His Trump in little balls,
    He who reads these lines of wit,
    Eats those loser's balls of shit!"

  • Jerryskids||

    In October 2017 the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that the agency's structure was unconstitutional

    It was totally constitutional before then, of course. But that was back when the CFPB was an institution Elizabeth Warren could be proud of.

  • SQRLSY One||

    In visions given to me from the ghost of the Cruel Galactic Emperor Xenu...

    I now see the truth!

    Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is a secret Scientologist, and he wants to FULLY Clear us all!

    He wants to clear your glass!
    He wants to clear your ass!
    He wants to clear your engrams!
    He wants to clear your scamgrams!
    He wants clarity all around us!
    It would really astound us!
    He wants to clear your penis!
    But stay away from Venus!
    Your fly, she will trap!
    Then she'll give you the clap!

    Is it not CLEAR to ALL now, we need MORE Scientologists in our orifice!

  • Steve-O||

    _in October 2017 the D.C. Circuit Court ruled unanimously that the agency's structure was unconstitutional. . . . This decision was later overturned by an appeals court in January._

    Just to clarify, the D.C. Circuit _is_ an appeals court. And a _three judge panel_ of that court ruled unanimously that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional. The D.C. Circuit sitting en banc subsequently overruled the earlier panel determination on rehearing.

  • Aloysious||

    Next President. Right there.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I'd be proud to vote for him as this country's first Muslim President.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Russian troll trying to influence the election. What do you think this is, Facebook?

  • tlapp||

    This issue is a huge step forward for him. No anti-Semitic or racist remarks and Farrakhan no where in sight.

  • Marshal||

    I think the quote is There goes the next Chief of Police

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    A black sheriff?

  • Rebel Scum||

    he'd had the glass walls in the building frosted like this. How is that transparent?

    That's just...I mean...what the hell?

  • Mickey Rat||

    He has an problem getting metaphors.

  • Tony||

    But he's rather good with the literal.

  • SoCal Deathmarch||

    Yes, because he is literally retarded.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Lol

  • MarkLastname||

    America's first low functioning autistic congressman!

  • ||

    Even this is being generous as 'easy to perceive or detect, not obscured' is actually a definition of transparent and probably has been as long or longer than 'allowing light to pass through it'.

  • Árboles de la Barranca||

    Sharia-addled Ellison is completely off-base. The Director had bragged about the "translucence" of the Bureau.

  • Rhywun||

    I know this is mind-bending stupidity but it's so expected from every one of that lot that it almost seems churlish to make fun of him for it.

  • ||

    There's also the off chance that it's a badly botched attempt at sloganeering for which he should be roundly ridiculed.

    Sweep the bums out and drain the swamp I say.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Plenty of stupid people have no problem continuing to voice their stupidity even when they do get roundly mocked. For examples, check out the comments to anything posted on Hit'n'Run.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Ellison has praised it unconditionally, saying in a 2015 press release that "millions of Americans have had an ally protecting their mortgages, their paychecks, and their future."

    Some bitch named Fica keeps taking money right out of my paycheck. When you gonna do something about Fica, Keith?

  • SQRLSY One||

    I'd like to fuck a Fica!
    But the bitch! She calls me 'Honey",
    Then she takes all my money!
    She tells me she loves me,
    Then pushes and shoves me!
    She sings my praises,
    But for me, no raises!
    She promises to play with my trains,
    But on my parades, she constantly rains!
    I hope this is enough to show ya,
    She always do nuthin' but ho ya!

  • MarkLastname||

    And what about this judge Fisa issuing all these bizarre warrants? And don't even get him started on Freddy Macand Fannie Mae, those two scoundrels have been underwriting subprime mortgages like crazy! We might have to get that Rico fellow who put away all the mobsters to look into them.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "I'm not a witness today. You are."

    YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER. THIS WHOLE COURTROOM IS OUT OF ORDER. THE VENDING MACHINE IN THE LOBBY IS OUT OF ORDER. MY NOTES ARE OUT OF ORDER.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Odor in the Kangaroo court, dammit!

  • Number 2||

    To which Mulvaney should have answered:

    "Thanks to you, Senator Warren and your fellow Democrats, there is absolutely nothing you can do to me. You cannot cut my budget or have me removed. You have insulated me from your control. So screw you!"

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    He then should have gotten up and walked out.

  • ||

    I refuse to believe that there's no one in Minnesota disgruntled enough to press bared hams to one of Keith Ellison's transparent surfaces.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Minnesodans are far too nice to do that.

  • Rich||

    "A lotta guys might press bared hams to one of Keith Ellison's transparent surfaces."

  • SQRLSY One||

    Do we have a Constitutional right to bared hams?!?!

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    It's always nice to see someone proudly display their retarded douchebaggery.

  • Cloudbuster||

    It's transparently clear that Ellison doesn't have a three-digit IQ.

  • Longtobefree||

    By common core standards ,most likely

  • RabbitHead||

    I met him before he was elected, when he was just a self-important low-level hack.

    His idiocy was breathtaking. Totally impenetrable. He's convinced he's a genius too. I wavered between being infuriated and embarrassed for him .

    It almost hurts to be in the same room.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    It's always nice to see someone proudly display their retarded douchebaggery.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    (snort)

  • Jordan||

    Keith Ellison is nothing if not transparent.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    I hit submit and the page crashed. Usually when that happens on my phone it doesn't get the first one.

  • Rich||

    Obviously the solution is mandated 24-hour publicly-streamed body cams for all congresscreatures.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Hard to tell who's being more petty: Ellison or Britschickgiiiigik.

  • georgeliberte||

    From hence forth government workers must wear only clothing made from Saran Wrap to maintain transparency.

  • silver.||

    No thanks. I'd rather the whole country collapse.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Have you seen government workers? That's cruel and unusual punishment, for everybody else.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    If Ellison had his way, he'd ban usury and there would be no financial institution to regulate.

    I was strongly supportive of his nomination to lead the DNC. But, no, something, something, Farrakhan, something, something, Israel. DNC still is racist and Islamophobic, a batstion of white privilege.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
    - Mark Twain

  • josh||

    I'm having a hard time deciding if it's this story or the other one I just read that makes me more depressed...

    http://thehill.com/regulation/.....-correctly

  • tlapp||

    Please don't stop Ellison. Let him chase this ridiculous issue so he doesn't have time to get involved in anything that matters.

  • Marshal||

    Ellison—apparently under the impression that he had stumbled across a winning issue—

    I'd say two things:

    1. He's under the impression his base are complete and utter fools, and
    2. He's absolutely right about #1.

  • Steve-O||

    How are you supposed to jerk off in a transparent office?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Here, lemme show ya, Grasshopper...
    First get yerself an ass-stopper...

  • Steve-O||

    Go on . . .

  • Flight-ER-Doc||

    Like anyone needed even MORE proof that Ellison is a goddamned moron......

  • MarkInIowa||

    Are we talking white frosting or black frosting? Black Frosting Matters.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "No one needs opaque clothing"

  • Brad G||

    I wonder if Mulvaney has tinted windows in his car? Or in his house? Is this absurd, or what? What does this sort of irrational nonsense actually say about Ellison? It says he's your usual democratic idiot, who wouldn't know a sensible question if it smacked him in the face. When one party is so convinced of their superiority and absolute sense of being right, that no rational ideas ever penetrate the progressive bubble, there is something horribly wrong with out political process. Ellison is bad, but there are so many others like him, and even worse, in the dem. party, it's very spooky. It gets worse and worse, the more emboldened they are by their own considerably Marxist ideas -- and like those who used those ideas to implement their social systems at a very ugly cost, there is no tolerance for anything that challenges them. None. It's now the party of obstruction and intolerance -- other for tolerance for the many shades of deviancy and victimization.

  • MarkLastname||

    And surely the Daily Show will mock Ellison for this, right?

  • Echospinner||

    I think it is a great idea. The people working in the new Apple HQ are banging into the glass walls like a flock of starlings on a sunny day. These are the geniuses at Apple. Just imagine what government employees would do with clear glass walls.

  • Longtobefree||

    Ellison's wasting of tax dollars is completely transparent.

  • Kords||

    Ellison getting ratio'd hard on the Twitter.

  • Longtobefree||

    Is DC one of those jurisdictions where you can get someone committed for 72 hours observation because they are showing clear sign of mental illness?

    Or is that just for the civilians, not the ruling class?

  • zombietimeshare||

    You probably wouldn't think of government offices being literally transparent—unless you're Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

    To be fair, Ellison has the IQ of dry ice.

  • SukieTawdry||

    I must have x-ray vision or something because I can see through that glass.

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