Simple question from Major Garrett: Is the White House happy with the “responsiveness” of the IRS officials who’ve testified thus far? For a thorough analysis of why the answer would, in a sane world, be heavens no, read Guy Benson. For the quick-and-dirty analysis, simply consider the fact that after hearing from former IRS commissioners Steve Miller and Doug Shulman and not hearing from nonprofits chief Lois Lerner, we still don’t have the name of the IRS official who ordered the targeting of tea-party groups. We have guesses, we have theories, we even have Miller helpfully admitting that he was told whodunnit — and then forgot. We have a lot of disdainful smirks and buck-passing from him and Shulman and maybe we have a contempt charge in the making for Lerner after she started talking and then clammed up. We certainly have a lot of lefty commentators chirping in the aftermath that none of this constitutes a scandal. But the only useful info to come out of the hearings thus far that I can recall offhand is the fact that Shulman visited the White House 118 times while he was commissioner. “Is that unusual?” you ask. Yep, extremely:
Mark Everson, who ran the IRS during most of the George W. Bush administration, from 2003 to 2007, apparently visited a single time, grousing that he felt like he had “moved to Siberia” because the tax collection agency was so out of the policy loop.
The alibi the White House has wedded itself to is that it had to work closely with the IRS to implement ObamaCare. But House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says “it’s hard to believe” the IRS’ abusive targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups did not enter into the conversations that took place at these meetings, at least “in passing.”
Shulman knew conservative groups were being targeted in spring 2012 and supposedly never once mentioned it to his superiors, despite being at the White House every week or so for years. And now you’re prepared for the latest video highlight from The Most Transparent Administration Ever.
By the way, it occurred to me this morning that I haven’t seen a single report in the past two weeks following up on WaPo’s bombshell-in-the-making about the CIA having asked the AP to hold off on reporting its big classified scoop about Yemen for an extra day even though the threat to national security from publication had already passed. Has Carney been asked to explain that yet? WaPo implied — and not subtly either — that there was no intelligence reason for the CIA to request further delay from the AP. The real reason, it suggested, was that the White House wanted to have a big glorious announcement of the Yemen operation on its own timetable with the presidential election in full swing and the AP was inconveniencing them by running the story a day before they were ready. Has there been even one news story following up on WaPo’s lead since then? Any comment, Jay?