The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.
He Won’t Be Mobile Much Longer
“Mobile Man Must Forfeit Porsche, More Than $338,000”—headline, Press-Register website (Mobile, Ala.), Dec. 2
Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control
“Children in Tears as Santa Is Carted Off in a Police Riot Van After Christmas Parade”—headline, South Wales Evening Post (Swansea), Dec. 2
It’s Always in the Last Place You Look
“Cops: Walmart Shopper Hid Pair of Cow Tongues in His Trousers”—headline, TheSmokingGun, Dec. 2
Disclosing an Invasion of Privacy Would Be an Invasion of Privacy
“Less than a week after ’fessing up that it found some 2,500 documents potentially showing that the IRS shared taxpayer returns with the White House, the Obama administration has reversed course and won’t release the trove to a group suing for access,” reports the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard:
In an abrupt decision, the Treasury inspector general’s office said that the documents are covered by privacy and disclosure laws and can’t be provided to Cause of Action, despite a promise last week to hand over some 2,500. . . .
“All of the 2,043 pages of documents we have determined to be responsive were collected by the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to the determination of possible liability under Title 26 of the United States Code. These pages consist of return information protected by 26 U.S.C. § 6103 and may not be disclosed absent an express statutory exception,” said the office in a letter dated Dec. 1.
It’s something of a Catch-22, but the logic is not obviously unsound. If the IRS violated taxpayer privacy by providing information to the White House—and as Glenn Reynolds never tires of reminding us, President Obama himself “joked” about auditing his enemies—it’s easy to imagine that disclosing specific details of the violations without compounding them. All of which is a strong argument for a confidential but independent investigation of the administration’s abuse of the IRS.
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”