The latest meme in Perpetual Outrage Land has former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman practically living in the Oval Office. It’s a scandal ya’ see – and a perfect example of how to gin up outrage over the thinnest bit of information.
Bill O’Reilly: “You must explain under oath what you were doing at the White House on 157 separate occasions.”
The Daily Caller: “IRS’s Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member.”
Brit Hume tweeeted: “Sooner or later this will have to be answered. What was the ex-IRS chief doing at the White House all those times?” (Ahem, answered by whom Brit? Does FOX News not have any reporters?)
Did. Not. Happen. An actual reporter went and actually reported the charge and it turned out that it Did. Not. Happen.
First, she explains how visitors logs work, what they mean and how they very often only mean that a name is ‘precleared’ for a meeting or event, even if the person never attended. And, she informs us, ‘White House’ usually means either the Eisenhower Executive Office Building or the New Executive Office Building (17 blocks away). And then, doing the ‘reporting’ thing, she look things up and gets into the weeds.
Here’s a taste. This is just 2010 (the other years are at the link); this is the year of the bi-weekly health reform deputies meetings, i.e. regularly scheduled working meetings.
Eisenhower Executive Office Building, recorded as Old Executive Office Building
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office for Health Reform
- Sarah Fenn, staff assistant, working with DeParle
- Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Robert Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget
- Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget
- Margaret Weiss, again
- Ezekiel Emanuel, special adviser to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for health policy, detailed from his post at the National Institutes of Health
- Michael Hash, again
- Ariel Levin, special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget. One of her recurring meetings gets the description “THIS IS FOR THE BI-WEEKLY HEALTH REFORM DEPUTIES MEETING.”
- Alex Hornbrook
New Executive Office Building
- Terri Payne, Office of Management and Budget
(actual) White House (but not Oval Office)
- Jason Furman, again
- Chelsea Kammerer, White House special assistant to the director of intergovernmental affairs. Shulman signed in to attend a July 22 West Wing bill signing for the “Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act” in the State Room of the White House along with White House staff and at least 81 people from outside the building. You can watch Obama deliver remarks on it in this video; the law created “measures that hold government accountable for responsible use of taxpayer dollars and cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.”
- Nancy-Ann DeParle, again
I’m not seeing much this morning – perhaps someone inside the right-wing noise machine (so named by Eric Alterman?) read her story and send out a memo to find a new narrative for this week.