IRS lawyers ought to enjoy themselves this holiday weekend because, as the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott reports, "they'll be busier than normal next week." IRS counsel will make two separate appearances next week in court to explain and defend the agency's handling of Lois Lerner's now-missing emails.
The Obama administration has managed to keep the IRS story just below full-blown-scandal level for months now. The Washington-based establishment media, long friendly to Barack Obama and his White House, have been willing to accept at face value the increasingly implausible nothing-to-see-here claims of top IRS and Obama administration officials. Many reporters are eager to believe Democrats' claims that the scandal is yet another example of right wing hysteria. When Republicans make wild public accusations without evidence to support them, as we've seen in abundance in recent weeks, they make it easier for lazy reporters to move the IRS story from their "potential scandal" box to their "Washington dysfunction" pile.
The possible shift from Congress to the courts may complicate that framework.
On July 10, IRS lawyers will appear in federal district court to explain why they never reported the emails missing in the context of a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch. And the following day, the IRS legal team is expected to try to block outside access to the evidence that Lois Lerner's computer crashed—if such evidence exists.
Tapscott reports the IRS lawyers "will have to explain to U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton why the IRS shouldn't be required to let an outside expert evaluate whether emails on the computer hard drives of former IRS official Lois Lerner and six colleagues really are lost forever, as the agency recently told Congress.
“Responding to a motion filed Monday by True the Vote, a Houston-based conservative nonprofit at the center of IRS targeting during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns, Walton issued an order Tuesday to hear arguments next week."
The IRS and its leaders have thus far avoided serious legal scrutiny. The Department of Justice "investigation"—led by a high-dollar Obama donor, overseen by an attorney general who may be the most loyal of the Obama loyalists, who reports to a president who has already declared that there was not even a "smidgen" of corruption—has predictably yielded little.
With others now reviewing the evidence, that could change.
The Republican party's best chance to win a statewide office in California for the first time since 2006 all started with a check for $800. Pete Peterson’s wife Gina is graphic designer in Santa Monica who owns her own business, a limited liability company. Last year, she was getting ready to pay her company's annual $800 licensing tax to the secretary of state’s office, which oversees business licensing. Only in California are LLCs taxed so much just to keep a license. In Delaware, the annual tax is just $300, and in Missouri, it’s just a one-time $50 free.
We hear a lot, these days, about how President Obama is not like Lyndon Johnson and thanks be to heaven for that small mercy. The point seems to be that the president doesn't know how to arm twist, sweet talk, bribe, and emasculate both friend and enemy (of which he truly had neither) in order to further his agenda. Since many among the chattering class believe, still, in that agenda, his is generally regarded as an excellent presidency. Never mind that more than half a century after Johnson declared war on poverty ... poverty is still winning.
Caribbean-based company ICSSI had seen its lucrative contract to X-ray the cargo entering the Dominican Republic languish for years when, in 2011, it began searching for an investor with political pull. Perhaps someone with the right connections would be able to pressure the Dominicans into enforcing the contract, which was valued at somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion over 20 years. And that special someone, it seemed, was Salomon E.
A newly released study by Transparency International finds the United States less corrupt now than it was in 2011. According to the survey's rankings, the U.S. is the 19th least corrupt country in the world this year; in 2011, the U.S. ranked 24th.
From my amateur vantage point there are three kinds of politi-cians. The first are the “process” types. They may have gone into politics for idealistic reasons or for the opportunities, but in the end, especially if they are long-serving, the process becomes the whole game, and they find themselves gobbled up by it. The result has been bigger and bigger government.
New York governor David Paterson, beset by charges of witness tampering in the case of a close aide accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend, has spoken of legalizing ultimate fighting as a revenue raiser to help close the state’s $8 billion plus budget gap. But New Yorkers looking for brawling entertainment need look no further than the Democratic caucus of the state senate where Paterson had been a member for 20 years.