Cumberland Times-News


June 22, 2014

No surprise

IRS can’t blame Fido for this situation

— It’s an excuse that’s so old, lame and worn-out that it has become a cliche.

Some of us tried it when we were young and didn’t know better — it never works — although we know of at least one time it actually happened. The teacher believed it because the student turned in the shredded and slightly soggy remains of his paper.

You’ve heard it: “The dog ate my homework.”

A similar scenario is playing out in the halls of Congress, with claims by the Internal Revenue Service that an unknown number of e-mails related to the tea party investigation have been lost because federal employees connected to the probe experienced hard drive crashes.

At issue is the IRS handling of applications for tax-exempt status, particularly those from politically conservative organizations.

Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he wants the hard drives of every one of those computers. Forensic science has come a long way. It’s amazing what experts can find in computers that seemingly have crashed for good or had their memories erased.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said efforts were made to recover e-mails that were lost when former commissioner Lois Lerner’s computer crashed in 2011, but they proved futile.

The IRS already has released thousands of documents to Congress, but Koskinen said it will share no more details about the lost e-mails until it has finished its own review.

That, he said, is because Congressional Republicans are releasing inaccurate interim information. On this, he may have a point.

What one believes regarding almost any situation involving politics depends entirely upon what one wants to believe. The so-called “spin doctors” have become so convincing that regardless of how different their stories may be, an impartial observer doesn’t know what to think.

It should surprise nobody that the IRS investigation has taken a contentious partisan turn.

Like “The dog ate my homework,” it’s nothing new — at least in Washington.

Text Only
  • Sleep under the stars! Be a game warden!

    July 27, 2014

  • He was here long before Duck Dynasty

    July 27, 2014

  • Very first memories of a very long life

    July 27, 2014

  • FSU Planetarium has new outreach program

    Several years ago, the FSU planetarium acquired an iPad. Months later, we purchased an iPad projector with necessary cables. I purchased a number of astronomical apps this year for the iPad. So I’m interested in visiting schools in this county to teach the stars and planets to classes. The astronomical apps allow you to survey the current evening night sky and show the planets, bright stars and star groups. One of the apps shows the planets close up with wonderful surface detail (as if you were cruising by in a spaceship). The apps I’ll be using can be purchased from the iTunes app store for a few dollars.

    July 27, 2014

  • O’s, Pirates will be buyers, but when?

    Not that we should expect any blockbuster deals to go down as Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, but the names you hear in Baltimore are catcher Kurt Suzuki and starting pitchers Ian Kennedy, A.J. Burnett and Jorge De La Rosa.

    July 27, 2014

  • Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    July 27, 2014

  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014