As you’re probably aware by now, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell “Witch Hunt” Issa has launched a full-blown inquisition into emails belonging to Lois Lerner which were lost during a computer crash that occurred two weeks before her office even became aware of the criteria being used by the IRS’s Cincinnati field office to scrutinize non-profit groups.
The fact that the emails were lost weeks before she became aware of the situation and years before Issa became aware of the situation will not deter Issa from making ridiculous demands that cannot be met as long as we reside in empirical reality.
Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a subpoena to Lee Goodman, head of the Federal Election Commission, on Tuesday directing him to hand over all of Lerner’s communications from Jan. 1, 1986, to June 23, 2014. He specifies that this means all emails sent directly to Lerner, those from Lerner and cases in which she was included on the “cc” or “bcc” fields of an email.
Lerner worked for the FEC from 1981 through 2001, but it’s unclear why her correspondence from the mid-1980s would have any bearing on the current controversy surrounding her 2012 role in the IRS targeting tea party groups trying to secure tax-exempt status.
If you’re just joining us in this universe, various forms of electronic mail have been around for many decades but email as we know it today didn’t exist in 1986. And even if Lois Lerner had been using a primitive form of electronic mail in 1986, there’s virtually no chance that would be accessible or recoverable today.
But Darrell Issa does not have the dumbest proposal on the books today. That honor belongs to Louie Gohmert and his sidekick Bill Flores.
Representatives Flores (R-Dumb) and Gohmert (R-Dumber) and are ready to post a bounty on Lois Lerner’s emails.
The Identify and Recover Sent E-Mails Act from Reps. Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) would also offer a $500,000 reward for information that leads to a criminal prosecution over the missing emails and would cut the pay of IRS employees by 20 percent until they are found. [...]
Republicans insist the emails can be found and have accused the IRS of stonewalling their probe. [...]
“If you have a magical way for me to do that, I’d be happy to know about it,” [IRS Commissioner] Koskinen said.
You have to have sympathy for Koskinen. He’s being forced to answer to a group of rubes who still can’t figure out why the square box won’t fit inside the round hole; a feat achieved long ago by monkeys.
The Moronathon isn’t over, however.
The Identify and Recover Sent E-Mails Act would pay its bounty out of the IRS budget, meaning any funds being used to retain or back-up emails could be diverted to paying the bounty which could lead to the loss of even more emails.
If you want a federal agency to keep copies of all correspondence for all eternity, you have to properly fund them. Large hard drives and databases and the staff needed to maintain them aren’t free and “the cloud,” as it turns out, is not an actual cloud.