Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I had seen this elsewhere but had not the time to post on it. Pejman Yousefzadeh had and advises (other than some good old fashioned tarring and feathering),
"The worst thing the GOP could do after the elections is to scare away what might remain of a libertarian base to the party, and this seems like just the tactic to do that."
I'd suggest the flight of the conservatives would be as significant if it weren't for the fact they would be the ones carrying the pails of tar and bags of feathers to the party.

But a couple of other notes are due this. One, although the consensus weaselly excuse of those involved was that "giant omnibus package" bills are the problem for these things slipping through, the real problem is having the attitude that informs one's thinking and allows one to say, "Clearly there was never any desire to access personal information, and it's unfortunate that some have misrepresented and exaggerated the purpose of this language." as Bill Young R-FL did. It is not the desire intended in writing the bill but the text of the bill that will apply if it is made law and rather than being unfortunate, it is fortunate 'some' have chosen to point out that the text might be misconstrued to disasterous effect if retained. Some people consider that thinking through the consequences.

Second, it does seem somewhat patrician to demand, as Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. does, that the author "needs to be identified and held to account because that is beyond the pale." The author was likely some poor plebe handed a vaguely worded memo from some poor plebe on the Committee staff who was handed a memo from some poor intern on a Senator's staff who was told to "Get us some provision for more members of the committee to have access to IRS facilities and all the stuff they have."

There are many more interesting questions to investigate than who authored the text. One would be, considering there has been a provision in the law for Committee Chairmen to do just what this provision sought for all committee members, what was the rationale for now asking for this expansion in the first place? No explanation was offered (or asked) about that.

Another would be, do these folks spend much time considering the consequences of their lack of oversight of their committees (staff)? That doesn't bode well for our confidence in their oversight of the IRS.

Lastly, why do they have to pass a second bill to repeal a provision of the bill now passed but not yet sent to the President to sign into law; can't have a plebe black magic marker the offending provision, set it on their respective majority leader's desk for voice vote on Dec 6 which no one has to look at because hardly anyone saw it the first time through? If not, I will have to send an e-mail to the President to ask he please make sure he signs the Omnibus package first.

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