Posts Tagged ‘Ways and Means’
Last week, the Internal Revenue Service informed the House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means that they had “lost” nearly three years worth of emails from Lois Lerner, the disgraced IRS official at the center of the scandal involving the IRS targeting of conservative and tea party groups, because her computer crashed. Naturally, many were skeptical of the claim given its questionable convenience.
Many also arrived at the logical conclusion that if the IRS had actually “lost” Lerner’s emails, then surely they would be able to recover them from the emails of other officials at the IRS that she was communicating with. Yet, today the IRS announced that it has also “lost” the emails of six other high-level officials at the center of the investigation into the suppression of conservative groups by the agency.
The Obama administration promised to be the most transparent administration in history, little did we know this would mean they could make things disappear entirely. Given the convenient details of the misplaced emails this is clearly not a computer problem, as the IRS claims. This is a fundamental failure of leadership at the highest levels and a betrayal of the nation’s trust. ‘It’s a glitch’ may as well be the 21st Century version of ‘I am not a crook.’
As Charles Krauthammer said, “Nixon was a piker to the Obama Administration when it comes to concealment, hiding, or pretending that they can’t find stuff.”
Think about it. Why didn’t Nixon use the excuse that the recording system crashed? Maybe he wasn’t as corrupt as our current administration.
The overly convenient and lousy excuses coming from the Obama administration are generally reserved for guilty adolescents and banana republics. It’s clear that the administration has moved from obstructing the activity of conservative and tea party groups to stonewalling Congress by whatever means necessary.
The rampant cover-up by the IRS of its targeting of conservatives is beyond outrage. If this were a Republican administration, Democrats would have already drawn up articles of impeachment. You doubt that? Democrats introduced six different impeachment resolutions during President George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House. Republicans have introduced exactly zero impeachment resolutions against Obama.
I think it is past time for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the IRS from top to bottom. It’s clear that a deceitful administration will not police itself.
U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, is a politician on life support. The Ways and Means Committee is the tax writing committee, responsible for our tax code and overseeing the IRS. And the Chairman is under an Ethics Committee investigation for cheating on his taxes.
The Ethics Committee has announced that it has expanded its investigation into Rangel. This came on the heels of a resolution in the House seeking Rangel’s removal as Chairman of Ways and Means until the investigation is concluded. Not surprisingly, that resolution was turned down on a 246-153 vote. Two Democrats voted with all Republicans to remove Rangel. It’s pretty unlikely that they’ll get a campaign contribution from Rangel any time soon, but it is Rangel’s fundraising prowess and his huge contributions to fellow Democrats that likely kept more Democrats from voting for the resolution.
Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to remove Rangel as Chairman will only hurt the image of Congressional Democrats and will likely be used against any vulnerable Democrat who has taken contributions from Rangel’s campaign committee or PAC.
I predict that the patience of rank and file Democrats is going to wear thin and they are going to start to grouse that they need this millstone removed from their neck. I suspect Rangel won’t be Chairman by next fall.