The Obama administration must acknowledge the existence of an independent investigation into former White House senior economics adviser Austan Goolsbee’s alleged unauthorized access to the Koch brother’s tax returns, a court ruled Tuesday.
A federal judge ruled the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) must disclose to watchdog group Cause of Action whether records of an investigation exist.
Basically, Goolsbee pretty stupidly leaked tax information about Charles and David Koch – although ‘leaked’ isn’t the right word; maybe ‘blabbed’ would be a better one – and the administration has been trying to bury the resulting investigation ever since. And it’s a pretty comprehensive burial: as the above quite demonstrates, the government doesn’t want to even admit that there’s a report. And the reason for that is that once it’s admitted that such a report exists, well, somebody in Congress will have the right to look at it. And, judging from election trends, somebody in the Senate next year will have both the right, and the desire, to peruse the report…
PS: I seem to recall that Austin Goolsbee once had a good name among policy folk. This administration may treat its enemies abominably, but I can’t say that it treats its friends well…
Quick background: there’s a lot of oil in Canada. Quite a bit of it is tied up in the form of oil sands, which radical Greenies hate with the same passion that normal people reserve for ax murderers or child rapists. Despite this hatred, the Canadians have noticed that the price of oil makes oil sand development highly cost effective, which is why they were planning to build the Keystone Pipeline to ship the stuff from Canada to American refineries and distribution centers. This promised to make both America and Canada quite a bit of cash and make our energy costs significantly cheaper, which is why the Greenies successfully pressured President Obama to ‘temporarily’ delay the project.
Anyway: strictly speaking, it is not quite accurate to say that former White House Council of Economic Advisors Chair (and Obama mouthpiece) Austan Goolsbee called opponents of the proposed Keystone Pipeline “naive.” It’s more accurate to say that he called the idea of opposing it ‘naive’ – in fact, that’s pretty much explicitly what Goolsbee said: “It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline.” And it is a bit naive, of course.
But then, opposing the pipeline is also homophobic.
Not to mention straight-up racist.
Continue reading Scene from the Conflict Oil Wars: Austan Goolsbee v. the Naive Greens