Tag Archives: Lois Lerner

Stop making me laugh, Mr. Speaker

John Boehner might be the most unintentionally funny politician in Washington, D.C.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, for instance, told conservative journalists that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Benghazi/e-mail kerfuffle just won’t go away.

Imagine that. They won’t vaporize. Become old news. They won’t be relegated to the back burner.

And why do you suppose that’s the case?


It’s because Boehner and other Republicans won’t allow it.

That’s the short answer. Indeed, it’s the only answer I can figure at the moment.

The Benghazi matter will stay in the public eye for as long as Congress wants it to stay there. Boehner, according to the Washington Examiner, intends to keep the focus on Benghazi and the e-mails that have been called into question by the House Select Benghazi Committee chaired by Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Boehner said this: “They deleted all the (former IRS director) Lois Lerner e-mails, but they keep finding them. You know, these things just don’t go away. So I don’t know where the server is, I don’t know what condition it’s in, I have no idea, but the American people deserve the facts. That’s all. Just tell us what the facts are.”

So, the hunt will go on. Benghazi will remain in front of voters. Boehner wants the truth, by golly, no matter what.

I don’t know whether to dismiss Boehner’s ridiculous assertions about why these matters won’t fade into oblivion or whether to enjoy watching these fishing expeditions. On one hand, the Benghazi tragedy — in which four Americans were killed in that September 2012 fire fight launched by terrorists at the U.S. consulate in Libya — has been settled. Members of Congress, though, keep looking for more … and then more after that. They seem intent on finding something — anything — that’s going to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

That, I submit, is why the Benghazi e-mail tempest will keep going.

Correct, Mr. Speaker?


IRS controversy lives on … and on

The Internal Revenue Service controversy hasn’t yet blown up into a full-scale scandal, no matter how hard the right wing tries to make it so.

Now the talking heads and pols on the right are clamoring for a special counsel to investigate the matter. Recall, now, that it began with revelations that the IRS was vetting conservative political action groups’ requests for tax-exempt status. It does the same thing for liberal groups, too, but the conservative chattering class got all wound up over it and have raised a stink ever since.

Now there’s been further revelations about two years worth of emails that went missing from IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s computer. What the heck happened to them?

Republicans, not surprisingly, are trying to tie the IRS matter to the White House, even though no evidence has been uncovered that the IRS was doing anything under White House orders. They want to implicate the president — naturally! — for all this. So far they’ve come up empty.

A special prosecutor might be a good idea if Congress could limit the scope of his or her probe. The last notable special prosecutor hired was one Kenneth Starr, who was brought in to investigate the Whitewater real estate dealings involving President and Mrs. Clinton. Starr, though, went rogue and discovered the president had engaged in a tawdry relationship with a young White House intern.

The House of Reps impeached him because he lied to a federal grand jury about that relationship; the Senate acquitted the president at trial.

Is a special prosecutor needed in this case? I believe the GOP-led House of Representatives has looked thoroughly into this matter and has found zero evidence of White House complicity in anything involving the IRS.

That, of course, will not end the clamor.

Congressional dust-up ends with apology

That was a brief tempest on Capitol Hill.

What figured to be a festering sore on Congress has ended with an apology from the chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee to the panel’s ranking minority member.

Now, let’s all get along, shall we?


Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., had the turned the microphone off while ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., had sought to “question” Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who had taken the Fifth while refusing to answer questions relating to the IRS political action committee investigation controversy that just won’t go away. Seems that congressional Republicans continue to smell blood in the water and want to make hay whenever possible.


Issa disrespected Cummings by turning off the mic and then walking out of the hearing room while Cummings was expressing his anger at the way he was being treated.

The House of Representatives the next day rejected a resolution to condemn Issa for his boorishness.

Issa then called Cummings and apologized. Issa said, “As chairman, I should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on, and I take responsibility.” Cummings accepted the apology. Both men said they want to move on.

One way to put this issue behind them — and us — is to stop the incessant questioning of officials when they know they won’t get any answers to a controversy that’s been covered to the nth degree. Issa still appears to be looking for any White House involvement in what’s been determined to have been an IRS field office decision to probe conservative PACs closely in their request for tax-exempt status. Let’s also note that the IRS has done the same thing to liberal PACs.

Cummings was angry at the badgering.

Issa was gentleman enough to apologize.

So, guys, let’s get on with the business of governing.