Can you see Russia from the Senate Commerce Committee?

More resume padding from McCain. Senate Commerce does not “oversight [sic] the whole economy.” The guy is a chronic b.s. artist, though he’s not all that good at it.

A little more resume-padding from John McCain: “I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce committee, that oversights [sic] every part of our economy.”

Given how badly messed up things are, I’m not sure why McCain is so eager to claim credit. And if Senate Commerce really “oversights” the whole economy, what’s McCain’s excuse for his admitted ignorance of economics?

But in fact the jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee (official list below) is a tad bit more restricted than “every part of our economy.” It it has telecoms and common-carrier regulation, plus consumer protection except in financial services. Merchant marine and fisheries. Science and technology. That’s about it on the economy. (Full jurisdiction list at the jump.)

Financial services is in Banking and Housing. Taxation and Social Security are in Finance. Spending is Appropriations. Infrastructure is mostly Public Works. Health care is in Health, Education, and Labor.

So McCain’s claim that he understands the economy has about as much basis as his claim that he knows how to win wars.

Now after 26 years in Congress does McCain really not know what his own committee does? Or was he fibbing?

My sense is that the right answer is “neither.” He wasn’t lying, but he wasn’t trying to tell the truth, either. McCain was just bullsh*tting.

He does that a lot, though he’s really not very good at it, and he seems to regard it as unfair of the press to treat his b.s. as if he meant it. (After McCain called the Supreme Court decision about habeas corpus for Gitmo detainees “One of the worst decisions in the history of the country,” a reporter asked if he seriously meant to compare it to Dred Scott or Plessy or Korematsu, and McCain just laughed it off, saying of course when he said “one of the worst” he didn’t actually mean one of the worst.)

John McCain. Ready to bullsh*t from Day One.

h/t ThinkProgress

1. Coast Guard.

2. Coastal zone management.

3. Communications.

4. Highway safety.

5. Inland waterways, except construction.

6. Interstate commerce.

7. Marine and ocean navigation, safety, and transportation, including navigational aspects of deepwater ports.

8. Marine fisheries.

9. Merchant marine and navigation.

10. Nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences.

11. Oceans, weather, and atmospheric activities.

12. Panama Canal and interoceanic canals generally, except as provided in subparagraph (c).

13. Regulation of consumer products and services, including testing related to toxic substances, other than pesticides, and except for credit, financial services, and housing.

14. Regulation of interstate common carriers, including railroads, buses, trucks, vessels, pipelines, and civil aviation.

15. Science, engineering, and technology research and development and policy.

16. Sports.

17. Standards and measurement.

18. Transportation.

19. Transportation and commerce aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: