(Moved to the top)
This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.
7:30 a.m.: At WaPo — “The D.C. businessman at the center of an ongoing city corruption investigation secretly spent more than a half-million dollars on get-out-the-vote efforts for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to interviews and court documents filed Wednesday. … A search of federal campaign records found no evidence that Thompson or White disclosed the alleged expenditures or activities to the Federal Election Commission, as required by campaign finance laws.”
7:35 a.m.: At the Wall Street Journal — “Lois Lerner’s Own Words; Emails undercut the official IRS story on political targeting.” An excerpt:
In a February 2011 email, Ms. Lerner advised her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is “very dangerous,” and is something “Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on.” Ms. Lerner adds, “Cincy should probably NOT have these cases.”
That’s a different tune than the IRS sang in May when former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller said the agency’s overzealous enforcement was the work of two “rogue” employees in Cincinnati. When the story broke, Ms. Lerner suggested that her office had been unaware of the pattern of targeting until she read about it in the newspaper. “So it was pretty much we started seeing information in the press that raised questions for us, and we went back and took a look,” she said in May.
Earlier this summer, IRS lawyer Carter Hull, who oversaw the review of many Tea Party cases and questionnaires, testified that his oversight began in April 2010. Tea party cases under review are “being supervised by Chip Hull at each step,” Ms. Paz wrote to Ms. Lerner in a February 2011 email. “He reviews info from TPs, correspondence to TPs etc. No decisions are going out of Cincy until we go all the way through the process with the c3 and c4 cases here.” TP stands for Tea Party, and she means 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups.
So we see that there were deliberate delays and obstruction.
Read the whole thing.
9:10 a.m.: Groundhog Day headline — “Obama signals shift back to economic focus.” One good thing about preoccupying the administration with Syria would be that they’d have less time to focus on ruining the economy more than they already have.