What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 19, 2013

Not So Fast, My Friends

It should not be surprising to readers of this blog that the editorial board of the Tribune-Review routinely misleads its audience by only presenting part of the story when it tries to make some point.

What's only surprising about this example is how much they mislead over such a short amount of text:
Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, forced to resign in the conservative-targeting scandal, was set to leave that post anyway, as early as June. Ooooh, talk about “forceful” action, eh? [Bolding in original.}
Let's take a trip to an actual news source to see how much they left out.  While still spinning the "ain't so much 'fired' meme" ABC does fill out some telling details:
It appeared that President Obama had taken decisive action late Wednesday when he announced that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had demanded the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller amid the growing scandal over targeting conservative groups. But it turns out that Miller was subject to a term limit that would have forced him out of the job in three weeks.

Miller, a 25-year career IRS employee, was appointed acting commissioner on November 9, 2012. According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, his 210-day term would have set his last day in that post as June 8.

This does not mean that Miller is not paying a price. His intention had been to go back to his job as Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, a position that put him in charge of the tax exempt unit at the center of a scandal over targeting conservative groups.

This statute makes it clear Miller could not remain acting IRS commissioner unless he was proactively reappointed as acting commissioner for another 210 days, or Obama nominated a permanent commissioner allowing Miller to remain in the job until that person was confirmed.
So Obama could have tried to appoint him to another 210 days (and let's be honest, that would have been a foolish thing to do considering) or Miller could have remained acting commissioner while his replacement was confirmed.  In any event he planned on remaining in the IRS to a position that would have overseen the unit at the center of the scandal.

Instead, he resigned completely from the agency (and let's be honest, that was the right thing to do considering).

Now go back to read what the braintrust presented to you.  They left out the part about how Miller was planning on staying with the IRS after his 210 days was up, didn't they?

How much does that change the meaning of their all too short blurb?

Alot, doesn't it?

Hardly surprising, coming from Scaife's braintrust.

1 comment:

Vannevar said...

I don't see any indication that he's resigned from the federal gov't. (speaking as a former fed myself).

I do see that he's leaving IRS. "It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June"

I have not seen any document that quotes him or the Administration saying that he's leaving govt service or resigning from govt service.

A lot of headline writers have said that he's resigned. But no official has said that. Seems like an oft-repeated illusion with a bit of desire tossed in.