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?
Her stand-up career will require better press coverage than her re-emergence has received. For a while there on Wednesday it seemed she might become a major story. CBS’s top of the hour radio news reported on her loose-lipped references to the targets of her political vigilance. But the next day’s New York Times buried the news in a tiny item for its braille users, and the Washington Post ran its bloodless story way back on the federal page, alongside news of road closures and government pension adjustments. Its reporter Josh Nicks came through like a champ, from the opening line, in fact, as he noted that Lerner had “once used an offensive term to describe conservatives…” Only once, huh? He’s checked all her missing emails? Close readers won’t help but notice that Hicks’ story is full of “holes.”
Our president is feeling very sad these days. His campaign to get himself impeached isn’t going as planned. He had to talk mean to Vladimir Putin. His many friends at Hamas have tunnel vision. He’s having to rely on John Kerry to save him from the world (or the world from him), and in the New York Times he was scolded for not including “girls” in his recent “brother’s keeper” extravaganza. So much for the deeper cause of his sadness, the kind only a father can feel. As PBS reported, “President Obama gets emotional over Malia’s impending departure to college.” Mind you, she’s not even a high-school junior yet. Perhaps if he works harder to get himself impeached and then convicted she’ll qualify for a Pell Grant and other forms of government aid. Two years in his economy can be an eternity.
Meanwhile, before Malia flies off to Stanford or Oxford or the Sorbonne in 2016, think dad will finally take her golfing? Do they ever shoot hoops together? Or at 6’1 can she already beat him? How’s the quality vs. quantity time scale looking in their relationship? All the things PBS hasn’t considered.
There’s been a welcome breakthrough at a major trouble spot, as the Washington Post Editorial Board headlined: “Redskins name change inevitable.” So are death and taxes, though those weren’t on the board’s mind. Nor was the possibility that the Redskins might marry the Cleveland Indians and not keep their maiden name. But then what? Will that be enough to call off the dogs?
Incidentally, the former first lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell, currently on show trial with her estranged husband Bob on corruption charges, is a former Redskins cheerleader. Would it help her defense if from now on she called herself a onetime Indians cheerleader? Or should she simply argue for dismissal on the grounds that her Redskins’ past has prejudiced public opinion against her and is making it impossible to receive a fair trial?
Is it any coincidence that the Dow fell 300 points yesterday just after the New York Times devoted its entire editorial section to its scientific case for marijuana legalization? The Times is clearly at its deadhead stage, and proud of it, calling the drug safer than evil alcohol and dread tobacco and less addictive than… heroin. But does it cause global warming? Typically, not a word about it from the deniers at the gray hag. And what about marijuana’s “impact on young people”? Well, yes, but did you know young people are smoking less tobacco and drinking less alcohol these days? All the good news that’s fit to print, except in the case of the woman known as Lois Lerner. That makes the NYT a deserving EOW. We wish it many “frightening hallucinations,” its term for an occasional minor side-effect of its drug de jour.
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