Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

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.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo