Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Two out of three ain't bad. But it ain't good, either.

That's like a 67, or a D+. (Same number Julian Castro got in his re-election last Saturday, as I recall. Some people call that "whopping".)

Anyway, two of the three "scandals" were laid to rest yesterday: Benghazi is finally over, and so is the IRS thing, at least for the most part. That leaves Eric Holder, twisting a bit in the wind.

Attorney General Eric Holder is facing what is likely to be aggressive questioning by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee on topics ranging from the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at The Associated Press to the government's handling of intelligence before the Boston Marathon bombings.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said he was concerned about the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service, which is now the focus of an investigation by Holder's Justice Department. The hearing was to take place Wednesday.

The more time they spend on IRS, the less time there will be for the only thing left that matters.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday defended the Justice Department's secret examination of Associated Press phone records though he declared he had played no role in it, saying it was justified as part of an investigation into a grave national security leak.

If it was so grave, then why wasn't he involved?

Asked about it at a news conference on a separate topic, Holder said he removed himself from the leaked-information probe because he himself had been interviewed by FBI agents as part of the investigation. He said he wanted to ensure that the probe was independently run and to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. It was the Justice Department's No. 2 official, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who made the decision to seek news media phone records, the department said.

"This was a very serious leak, a very grave leak" that "put the American people at risk," Holder said. He called it one of the two or three most serious such episodes he had seen since he became a prosecutor in 1976 but did not say specifically how the disclosure of information about the plot had endangered Americans.

In February, CIA Director John Brennan provided a less-than-ominous description of the plot in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He told the panel that "there was never a threat to the American public as we had said so publicly, because we had inside control of the plot and the device was never a threat to the American public."

That should be enough contradiction for Republicans on a mission witch hunt war path.

I don't feel bad for the AG. As I posted yesterday, he's probably stayed too long. And he's likely to stick around longer just to keep the GOP from bragging about a scalp on their belt.

Condemnation of the government's seizure of the AP phone records came from both political parties.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called on Holder to resign, saying he had "trampled on the First Amendment."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said "the burden is always on the government when they go after private information, especially information regarding the press or its confidential sources. ... On the face of it, I am concerned that the government may not have met that burden."

Declared the No. 2 Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland: "This is activity that should not have happened and must be checked from happening again."

Yeah I thought that was the job of the Congress, too.

Holder is that half-gallon of milk in the fridge with yesterday's expiration date on it. It might still be okay, but it probably isn't. If you have a cast-iron stomach, though, go ahead and drink it.

Me? I'd throw it out. Getting rid of it now might keep the bad bacteria from spreading to other things in the fridge. The longer you wait, the worse it's liable to get.

But whatever you do, don't listen to Morning Joe. They're ALL idiots over there.


Gadfly said...

On the IRS, the whole real problem, beyond as you said, that the IRS should never do this, and it's never right, no matter who it's done against ...

The whole 501(c)4 section needs to be revamped, per your Booman link.

Of course, the Rethugs, whenever they talk tax reform, won't include something like that.

Greg said...

Let's see -- we have a president so uninvolved that he doesn't know hat is going on in his administration even when the White House counsel's office has the information for weeks and an AG who can't remember important details about serious matters. They both need to go -- back into private life at a minimum, if not into a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.