Opening Act: A Day in the Life of a Troll

Hoyt Connell, climate change troll

Ann Marimow tells the disturbing tale of how the DOJ tracked James Rosen’s reporting.

They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.

A New York Times reporting team dives into the recent secret history of the Cincinnati IRS office.

The Exempt Organizations Division — concentrated in Cincinnati with fewer than 200 workers, according to I.R.S. officials — is staffed mostly with accountants, clerks and civil servants. Working for one of only three I.R.S. divisions not charged with collecting tax revenue, specialists in the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati primarily review and process roughly 70,000 applications for exemptions each year, relatively few from groups engaged in election activity.

Inside the agency, the unit was considered particularly unglamorous. “Nobody wants to be a determination agent,” said Jack Reilly, a former lawyer in the Washington office that oversaw exempt organizations. “It’s a job that just about everybody would be anxious to get out of it.”

Paul Waldman plays out the Obamascandals and assumes that the administration will repeat the Clinton lessons and victories.

There will be more hearings, each one hyped by Republicans as the one that will “blow the lid off” this whole thing. They will fail to deliver much that’s actually revelatory. Nevertheless, the volume of discussion and speculation will rise inexorably. Republicans will begin calling for President Obama’s impeachment; first it’ll be a few nutbar Tea Partiers, then it will spread to some of the seemingly more sane ones, and finally the desire for impeachment will be nearly universal on the right. John Boehner will know in his heart that it’s a terrible idea, but he may be confronted with a rebellion: schedule an impeachment vote, or face a leadership vote. Boehner’s choice could be between impeachment and seeing Eric Cantor take his job (whereupon there’d be an impeachment vote anyway).

Ana Marie Cox sees the same future: Republicans getting all excited by the modest hand they’ve been dealt, and blowing it.

Ken Cuccinelli has found an out from the the state’s public records law.

And Mother Jones gets to know one of its most diligent Internet trolls, who turns out to be a mild-mannered prostate cancer survivor.