Frank Sinatra put it best — and that’s why the lady is a tramp. Her stage name is Lois Lerner, and she has entertained readers of this police sheet ever since its revival. For a while there she thought she should hide behind a Fifth Amendment curtain. Others at her IRS studio chipped in as well, erasing her from its many archives. At one point we lost track not only of her service at the agency, but of any tax records she might have filed on her own behalf. In true Orwellian fashion she was becoming a nonperson, until as luck would have it, a few scraps emerged depicting her as a fully alive-in-the-flesh woman of passionate commitments. With tart tongue she denounced conservatives as a rear guard of sorts (the actual language we’ll leave to others to de-classify) and major security risks, and in so doing she has regained her personhood. Forget pleading the Fifth — from now she can hide behind the First Amendment. With a lovely tongue like hers, she deserves to be known as the Lenny Bruce of the IRS. Will her show open in Cincinnati?
Enemy of the Week
We used to think, he’ll never talk alone. But that was before we got the picture. There he is, standing in the middle of nowhere to the southwest of the West Wing, at a mini-podium, next to a mini-table, accompanied by no one, not even the teleprompter twins. And he’s saying something mean about Putin, a repeat actually of what he’d said about Putin three days earlier. So much for the flexibility he said he’d have in dealing with Russia. A change of locations doesn’t count. No doubt he replayed his anti-Putinisms in La La Land yesterday, but the press and cameras weren’t there, so we’ll never know, unless the Russkies let us know themselves.
Even EOW laureate Piers Morgan was appalled. “President Obama massively dropped the ball just now,” he tweeted. “23 Americans killed and he says ‘it looks like a terrible tragedy’ then back to jokes?” If you’ve lost Piers, is there anyone left to lose? Perhaps Joe Biden, whose looks our president mocked during his photo-op stop in Wilmington yesterday. Then it was on to New York City for an up-to-$32,000-a-pop fundraiser or two. Seriously. His timing is impeccable. Will he next impose sanctions on himself?
But enough about him. Let’s hear a word of cheer from someone else. We’ve settled on the fleshiest fish in the barrel, former whatever he was Al Gore, who’s still at it, droning away in Australia this time about how climate change is “the biggest crisis our civilization faces.” A few days later Brisbane registered it coldest morning in 103 years. Must be because Al absorbed all the heat.
Everyone’s scolding our president for passing up a golden opportunity to participate in his one-millionth photo-op since 2008. But it’s not his fault. No one made him a serious offer. Had Republicans been less obstructionist they would have asked a certain blonde Danish prime minister to intervene. “Mr. President,” she would have purred, “do please join me for a selfie along the Rio Grande.” It’s not enough that they’ll always have Johannesburg. Before you know it, we’d have seen them splashing and frolicking in the river’s borderline waters, pursuing full immersion in the immigration crisis. Michelle, we assume, would have come along as chaperone and lifeguard. Afterward, the president would have appeared before the press, still dressed in dripping trunks and life vest. Summer is supposed to be about fun.
His place in history assured — or at least in post-World War II history, as befits a nation largely unaware that anything preceded its idea of the Big Bang — our president is settling into his Quinnipiac-confirmed role as worst U.S. president in living memory. It’s a terrific honor actually, a salute to a leader who has displayed both vision and valor.
Call John Koskinen a late bloomer. According to records on our hard drive before we crashed it, he is 74 years old, thirty-three days short of the magical 75. Before he caught Paul Ryan’s attention, we had never heard of him. Now he’s unanimous victor in the EOW sweepstakes. Such insolence, such arrogance, such contempt for all humanity we had not seen in a public official since the last time we paid attention to those who escaped from the losing side of World War II to some friendly dictatorship in the southern parts of South America and got caught. Is it any surprise that the Koskinen soccer stadium at Duke University is named after him? Wonder where he picked up his expertise in soccer?
Hillary’s on another one of her listening tours and so we have no choice but to listen. So tune in we have, and what did we hear? A lot of two-worders including a revival of her favorite two-word phrase: “you know.” You know, when she’s at her profoundest and dead broke. If Ray Charles were her ventriloquist, she would have said, “I’m busted.” (Not to be confused with any drug raid that’s been erased from her records.) Or as Bill, channeling Charles himself, always wanted to tell her during their co-presidency, “I’m gonna send you back to Arkansas.” So tell your mama, tell your pa, dear readers: “What’d I say” is shaping up to be the theme of her solo presidency.
Finally we have confirmation of the old saw that history repeats itself as farce. A joyous Susan Rice has shown the way, going on a Sunday show to prattle the official line that “Sgt.” Bowe Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.” She really was insistent in that way she has that her stating something makes its it true. Some might say she wasn’t really repeating history because this time she went on only one Sunday show, not five of them. In other words, she went AWOL after the first show. But others see strange symbolism and symmetry, the one vs. five combination corresponding to the one for five swap pulled off with the big bang Taliban. And let’s not overlook a similar video connection — this time featuring one intended to offend non-Muslim sensibilities in its depiction of “Sgt.” Bergdahl’s final moments among his captors.
Secretary Shinseki worried too much. Nothing bad will happen now that he's resigned. President Obama will continue to love him. Look at the above photo. Have you ever seen truer affection? It was taken on May 3, at the White House Correspondents’ dinner, some twenty-four days after Secretary Sibelius (she’s the one in the silvery dress and hair) resigned in what one thought was national disgrace. There’s no such thing anymore, at least in certain circles. In fact, we bet Mr. Shinseki will be Mr. Obama’s date at next year’s Correspondents’ dinner. Our photographers are on stand-by.
The Rev. Wright wasn’t around, so our leader found a worthy substitute, the great DB Richard Sherman, visiting the White House along with other Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks to receive full presidential honors and lessons on leadership and teamwork. But not before “Sherman” was singled out for his mic work. That was a knowing reference to the trash talk little Richard engaged in upon securing his team’s playoff win against hated San Francisco. The sort of talk and taunting that remains as classless as that when Muhammad Ali bullied a fighter he’d just knocked out. The very kind of behavior our president regards as the stuff of good sportsmanship. He just loves Sherman & Co.’s “Legion of Boom” defense.