2:01 PM, Jan 8, 2015 • By JOSHUA GELERNTER
Confirming a new attorney general is near the top of the new Senate's to-do list. The power not to confirm the president's nominees is near the top of the Republicans' new consignment of political clout. Needless to say, without the White House, the GOP can't implement their preferred policies, but they can use the confirmation process for quid pro quos. They should focus on the president’s AG nominee, Loretta Lynch, and they should refuse to confirm her until she commits to appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate the IRS.
So long as the Justice Department is controlled by the Obama administration, it's going to obstruct any investigation that might embarrass the White House. So the Republican Senate can hold hearings—on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the keeping-your-doctor fiasco, the outing of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan (remember that?), and any other cover-up it's inclined to try to unravel. But the IRS’s persecution of Americans of a particular political stripe is far and away the most important scandal of the bunch. It's the defining corruption of the era.
Requiring Lynch to promise a full investigation, headed by a special prosecutor, has ironclad precedent. In 1973, the Senate Judiciary Committee threatened to reject the appointment of Elliot Richardson unless he appointed Archibald Cox as a Watergate special prosecutor. Richardson was confirmed as attorney general on May 25, 1973; a week before that, on May 18, it was announced that "Attorney General-designate Elliot L. Richardson" had appointed Cox, and agreed, per the Judiciary Committee's demands, to give him "an unprecedented degree of independence from Federal interference and influence in investigating and prosecuting the case," according to a contemporaneous report in the Harvard Crimson. (Richardson was a Harvard alumnus.)
As things stand, the Republican caucus is gearing up to grill Lynch on immigration; enforcement of immigration law is expected to be her principal litmus test. Which is fine, but ultimately, the executive amnesty is going to be decided by the courts, and in the short term, the IRS targeting is more important. The emails of six IRS employees have gone missing. Thanks to a lawsuit and a court order, some of those "lost" emails have been recovered. The Senate should decline to confirm a new attorney general until it's been assured that every one of the remaining lost emails is going to be found, and that the corruption at the IRS is finally going to receive the scrutiny it deserves.
11:24 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig has the details of yet another damaging Obama scandal:
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
As bad as that is, it gets much worse:
11:29 AM, Aug 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The VA has created a small public relations problem for itself. Which, to say the least, is something it did not need.
Lerner also laments 'hoi palloi' ruining exclusive neighborhoods in emails
1:43 PM, Jul 31, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
Media coverage of yesterday's latest development in the Lois Lerner
Jul 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 43 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The twilight of the scandal-plagued Obama administration is upon us, and voters are faced with a real conundrum. Which of the failures of progressive governance should be confronted first? The Mideast is an even more blood-drenched goat rodeo than pessimists predicted. There are 50,000 illegal immigrant children warehoused at the border. The IRS is starting to bear a resemblance to the Stasi. Then there’s the roiling Obamacare disaster, and the related politically driven crusade against religious liberty. The Bergdahl swap. Benghazi. Fast and Furious. One could go on.
10:38 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Veterans Affairs, following the iron law of institutional self-interest, has been paying its people well – improperly and, possibly, illegally so – at the expense of it supposed “clients” and its mission.
11:31 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Reporting on the Veterans Affairs, its problems, and what Congress might do to solve them, Craig Harris and Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Arizona Republic are not terribly encouraging. They write that:
9:12 AM, Jun 24, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
Forty-four years after the legendary May 1970 Life magazine cover story first exposed the disgusting and shameful mistreatment of our nation’s Vietnam-era veterans in government medical facilities, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is once again in desperate need of reform. Courageous whistleblowers have exposed systemic corruption and exposed falsified records, secret waiting lists, and delayed care — representing yet another scandalous and unconscionable neglect of our nation’s veterans.
8:28 PM, Jun 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The IRS reportedly used a private company to back up emails, a new report claims. The company is called Sonasoft, which boasts, "Email Archiving Done Right."
9:35 AM, Jun 19, 2014 • By KEVIN NICHOLSON
The events of the last few weeks have been gut wrenching for many active duty members of the military and veterans. We have watched the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care scandal unfold, the absurdly lopsided trade of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five top-level Taliban commanders, and now the loss of hard-won Iraqi cities to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) following the premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops from that country.
2:47 PM, Jun 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Jake Tapper has a report of VA officials telling members of Congress to buzz off, more or less, when they came looking for information about the sort of thing that has been in the news lately – lost patients, long waits for this who are not lost, and a clever bookkeeping system for covering it up.
9:09 AM, Jun 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Veterans Affairs has problems. This, we all know. Among the questions raised since those problems first began making headlines are: how widespread are they? Are we talking outliers? A few rogue operators. Or is the system, itself, dysfunctional. Today’s partial answer to that question is … kind of looks that way.