Failed VP Hopeful, and House Budget "Genius" Paul Ryan, whose Budgets never seem to balance while making the poor pay for the excesses of the rich apparently thinks he knows more about IT support than the head of the IRS. And he's really really angry about it.
WASHINGTON – A congressional hearing Friday into how the Internal Revenue Service lost thousands of emails from an ex-official accused of targeting conservative groups turned into an angry shouting match, with Republicans accusing the IRS commissioner of lying to Americans.Please note, he doesn't ask a question - when Mr Koskinen attempts to answer him he's cuts him off and says "I don't have a question". Because he pretty much thinks he already knows everything. He just wants to complain that apparently the IRS doesn't know how to answer questions they haven't been asked yet - such as "Have the hard-drives of any other IRS employees crashed?"
“This is unbelievable," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., angrily told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. That’s your problem. Nobody believes you.”
Koskinen responded, “I have a long career. That’s the first time anyone’s said I don’t believe you.”
"I don't believe you," Ryan shot back again.
Koskinen set a defiant tone during his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, telling lawmakers he felt no need for the agency to apologize amid accusations of a cover-up in the targeting scandal of conservative groups.
The answer to which was "Yes." And Ryan was apparently upset that they didn't get that answer - until after they'd asked the question, as if they should have already mentioned it.
Because according to Ryan - "That's not forthcoming."
But y'know what? That's not Governing, either.
I've often found that reading all the way to the end of an article you usually find out that the author knows a ton of stuff that would make the entire story a moot point, but he wants to get the story published so he doesn't mention any of that until after all the phony fireworks have all cooled off. This report in particular comes from the Fox News Website and shows that this writer already knew that Ryan was Full of Shit before they started typing.
There a five key facts that Prove Ryan's Rant is just a Stunt.
#1 - Lois Lerner didn't even hear about the inclusion of "Tea Party" in the IRS BOLO until after her hard drive had already crashed
Lerner's computer crashed sometime around June 13, 2011, according to emails provided to Congress. She first learned about the Tea Party reviews on June 29, according to the inspector general.So if Lerner didn't hear anything about "Tea Party" BOLOs until June 29th, what exactly does it matter that her hard drive and emails from before June 13th were gone? None of those lost emails would have even addressed this particular issue, now would they?
#2 IRS Forensics Team already tried to recover the drive and notified her that they couldn't recover it in August of 2011.
The IRS has said technicians sent Lerner's hard drive to a forensic lab run by the agency's criminal investigations unit. But the information was not recoverable, a technician told her in an Aug. 5, 2011, email.So it was nearly a month after losing her drive that Lerner was informed it was a lost cause.
#3 - The IRS email servers at that time were only backed up for six months
At the time that Lerner's computer crashed, IRS policy had been to make copies of all IRS employees' email inboxes every day and hold them for six months. The agency changed the policy in May 2013 to keep these snapshots for a longer, unspecified amount of time. Had this been the policy in 2011, when at least two of the computer crashes occurred, there likely could have been backups of the lost emails today.IMO That's not a "conspiracy" it's a budget and upgrade issue. it would seem that the IRS probably uses a system like Outlook (or perhaps MacMail) that uses standard POP3 access to download copies of all the persons mail from the server to their local hard drive where they compose and respond to them. The server data is backed up for six months but the actual long term storage is on the local hard drives themselves, until they crash and can't be recovered.
The crux of Ryan's complaint would seem to be that no one tried to restore the 6-months of archived emails for Lerner before that period expired - which is a legitimate oversight- but even if they had done that, It would have been only good for six months - not all the way back to 2009 and it wouldn't have included any of the files on her drive until she happened to have emailed copies to or from someone else.
Generally speaking, people get emails from work and respond to them within a day or 48 hrs over the weekend. What they might have missed that day they can ask to have resent, or will otherwise be sitting on the server waiting for them to reconnect their email, so for most people if you've lost your email history that may not matter as much as losing your address book and contact lists. Certainly some people like to use their own emails as a business audit trail - I know I do - but then that's why I don't download any of them to a local hard drive, I let all my emails remain on the server so their always up to date and the same no matter which computer, phone or other device I'm using at the time to access them. As a result I could lose, and have lost, any one of my computers or phone but I'm not gonna lose any of my Email - and even sensitive work-product files I tend to keep on a shared server or cloud drive for ease of access and disaster recovery - but unfortunately the IRS just isn't set up that way.
Lerner tried to have her drive and files restored by the IRS' Criminal Investigative Division. They failed. In theory, they could have gone to the server backups during that 6 month window to recover emails - but it seems that the truly irreplaceable data were files located on the hard drive itself, not in the emails.
It was unclear why the IRS did not attempt to recover the emails from backup servers in June 2011, especially since Lerner told an IRS computer technician in a July 2011 email, "There were some documents in the files that are irreplaceable."No, it's not unclear - she didn't say according to this quote that "there are some EMAILS" that are irreplaceable - she said some files that are irreplaceable. Those are two different subjects, because the thing is with emails - they all have a sender and also a receiver. If you lose one end, you still have the other.
#4 IRS has so far recovered over 24,000 of Lerner's Emails from other IRS Accounts.
The IRS was able to find copies of 24,000 Lerner emails from between 2009 and 2011 because Lerner had sent copies to other IRS employees. Overall, the IRS said it was producing 67,000 emails to and from Lerner, covering 2009 to 2013. The agency said it searched for emails of 83 people and spent nearly $10 million to produce hundreds of thousands of documents.So really, there's yet again no real "problem" here.
#5 IRS didn't even know about Lerner's dead drive and missing emails, until 9 months later and Congress didn't ask about it until almost a year later.
In May, more than two months after the IRS discovered the emails were missing, the IRS assured Camp that it would provide all applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status in 2010 and 2011, including all files, correspondence and internal IRS records related to them. Camp had asked for the records in May 2012The IRS discovered the hard drive and emails were gone subsequent to the "Tea Party" issue in February of 2012, which is 9 Months After the drive had crashed and the 6-month roll-over for the email servers had already expired.
The original data is gone.
Contrary to what Paul Ryan would claim IRS hasn't stalled or evaded in trying to get the data - it's just gone. Where they can, using email from other employees - at the cost of $10 Million - they've been able to reconstruct many of Lerner's emails however none of the missing ones are even relevant to the Tea Party BOLO.
Arguing that the IRS woulda, shouda, coulda kept their data longer or otherwise go ahead and do a partial server restore for the emails even though that wouldn't bring back the lost files on her drive - because email is obviously more important actual work product - is just flat-out ridiculous. Even if they'd done that there would still be almost 2 years of emails missing on top of all of her hard drive files.
And also there's one more fact - although not mentioned by Fox News - that makes this entire "scandal" a moot point. We already know that No Tea Party Groups were denied 501(c)(3) status, yet some progressive groups were. "Tea Party" groups were included in the BOLO section for "emerging issues" but "Progressive", "Blue" and "ACORN" were also on the lists as "Historical Issues".
The IRS provided the heavily-redacted lists to ThinkProgress, after nearly a year-long search. From the earliest lists through 2012, the “historical” section of the lists encouraged reviewers to watch out for “progressive” groups with names like “blue,” as their requests for 501(c)(3) charitable status might be inappropriate. Their inclusion in this section suggests that the concern predates the initial 2010 list.So the thing is that "Tea Party" was an addition to an existing list that already had "Progressive" on it and also that this was removed before Lois Lerner was even informed about it in June of 2011.
Explicit references to “Tea Party,” included in the “emerging issues” section of the lists, also began in August 2010 — but stopped appearing after the May 10, 2011 list. From that point on, the lists instructed agents to flag all political advocacy groups of any stripe. The documents instructed the agents to forward any “organization involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy” applying for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status be forwarded to “group 7822″ for additional review. Groups under both categories are limited in the amount of of lobbying and political activity each can undertake.
So yet again, what exactly do her Emails from 2009 to June 13, 2011 matter in relation to something that she had nothing to do with at that time?
All it is, is a chance for Grandstanding Republicans like Ryan to shout scream and make unfounded accusations over. But if you even know half the facts - he just sounds like what he is...
As you'll recall, millions of Bush White House emails conveniently went missing between 2003 and 2005, including those in the critical days during which the administration formulated its response to Ambassador Joe Wilson and his covert CIA operative wife, Valerie Plame. In July 2007, Darrell Issa accused Plame of perjury. Then, in February 2008, Issa turned IT expert and brushed off the email imbroglio as merely a software problem. As Mother Jones reported that March:In addition to Bushies using RNC.com accounts to do official government business that wouldn't be subject to the Federal Records Act - I was a Lotus Notes Developer/Programmer around 1998-1999, I know Issa was talking out of his hat then, and so is Ryan now.
During a House Oversight Committee hearing last month on the preservation of White House records, an indignant Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a frequent critic of Chairman Henry Waxman's investigations, did his best to play down the extent of the Bush administration's now well-documented email archiving problems. Defending the White House's decision to switch from the Lotus Notes-based archiving system used by the Clinton administration, Issa compared the software to "using wooden wagon wheels" and Sony Betamax tapes. To observers of the missing emails controversy, Issa's comments seemed little more than an attempt to deflect blame from the White House for replacing a working system for archiving presidential records with an ad hoc substitute. But to IT professionals who use Lotus at their companies, Issa's remarks seemed controversial, if not downright slanderous. Now, according to an executive at IBM, the software's manufacturer, the California congressman has apologized for his characterization of Lotus and offered to correct the congressional record.