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On the March 2010 meeting between Obama & the IRS Union Chief

Earlier today, I caught Jim Hoft’s report on ties between the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU, which represents, among others, employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)) and the Democratic Party.  Jim links us to the NTEU’s release just following the 2012 election where its president Colleen M. Kelley congratulated Obama on his reelection and noted the efforts her government employee union made on behalf of that Democrat.

Commenting on a report that President Obama met with Miss Kelley “the day before agency targeted Tea Party“, Ace wonders, as should we all, about the strange coincidence and considers the meaning of the meeting. He surmises how events might have unfolded in circumstances similar to this one, with a hypothetical President Tee meeting with the head of Union N which had supported him politically:

It would seem that President Tee could choose to go outside the normal chain of command to issue an illegal order by simply telling the head of Union N to inform the union members she leads to pursue the policy, rather than issuing a formal order to the head of the IRS.

 Ace spins out an interesting scenario which, given what we know about Chicago politics, does not seem that far-fetched.  That said, I’m with Ace who disagrees with the authors of the report he linked; “I don’t think this meeting is a smoking gun,” but I do think it is significant and news outlets should report it.

And journalists should be asking Jay Carney, in his next press briefing, to tell us what transpired in that meeting.  And they should ask the president as well.  Reporters should be doing what they can to learn what passed between the president and the union boss in March 2010.

UPDATE:  Maybe there is nothing to that meeting.  But, the time is indeed curious.

RELATED:  Over on the National Review’s home page, Andrew Stiles has a good piece on Miss Kelley’s union:

The IRS may be “an independent enforcement agency with only two political appointees,” in the words of White House press secretary Jay Carney, but its employees are represented by a powerful, deeply partisan union whose boss has publicly disparaged the Tea Party and criticized the Republican party for having ties to it.

UP-UPDATE: Doug Powers has more.

The Changing IRS Scandal Timeline….by The White House

From Politico:

The White House on Monday once again added to the list of people who knew about the IRS investigation into its targeting of conservative groups — saying White House chief of staff Denis McDonough had been informed about a month ago.

Press secretary Jay Carney said again that no one had told President Barack Obama ahead of the first news reports: not his top aide McDonough, nor his chief counsel Kathy Ruemmler, nor anyone from the Treasury Department.

Monday’s revelation amounts to the fifth iteration of the Obama administration’s account of events, after initially saying that the White House had first learned of the controversy from the press.

Various folks that I follow on Twitter have asked important questions over the past few days such as this one:

And my observations regarding the multi-scandals now enveloping our supposed brilliant and awesome President?

 

Obama advisor always looking for someone else to blame

After Obama’s roughest week,” reports Brian Hughes of the Washington Examiner, “White House points finger at GOP”:

White House officials on Sunday dismissed Republican attacks over three simmering scandals as a partisan witch hunt, hoping to put behind them President Obama’s single worst week in office and to move Washington’s attention back to his second-term agenda.

While Obama was delivering a commencement address at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, his top surrogates fanned out across the Sunday morning talk shows to defuse claims that the administration has violated constitutional boundaries and to blame the controversies on partisan politics as usual.

“We’ve seen this playbook from the Republicans before,” Dan Pfeiffer, a senior Obama adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What they want to do when they’re lacking a positive agenda is try to drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped-up hearings and false allegations. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Well, they wouldn’t need go on any fishing expeditions if Mr. Pfeiffer and his team would just answer the questions Republicans have been asking. It’s unfortunate that instead of answering those questions, Mr. Pfeiffer has chosen to blame Republicans.

Wish Mr. Pfeiffer had instead listened to his boss who just over four years ago spelled out for Jay Leno what he intended to do as President of the United States, including breaking that “pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.

Guess that’s a pattern Mr. Pfeiffer isn’t interested in breaking.

As the French say, Plus ça change. . . .

Surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging Obama

There is“, writes Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades,

. . . a fundamental disconnect between the White House’s actions and the White House’s words on the IRS scandal. The White House has repeatedly claimed that the President is “outraged” over the targeting — but there are surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging the leader of the free world. One of the folks involved in harassing conservatives got a promotion. Another got several thousands of dollars in bonuses. Even the thought of legal consequences is tossed aside as “irrelevant.”

The president’s outrage coincides with the story of the IRS scandal hitting the headlines.  Interestingly, as Jonah Goldberg observed on Friday, when people the president “views as his ‘enemies’” first “complained about a politicized IRS, what did he do? Nothing.”

If Obama were truly outraged by the targeting, he would have ordered the IRS to investigate as soon as the first reports became public.  And would use stronger terms than he has.  He would be ordering the Treasury Secretary not just to hold “those responsible for these failures accountable”, but would also be making clear that those responsible could lose their jobs — and face prosecution.

To note, as per Jonah’s point, the president didn’t ask the immediate past Treasury Secretary to take action when the story first came to light.  Nor has he specified how those responsible would be held accountable.

Doesn’t seem like the consequences will be very severe.