I was venting a little earlier today about the Watergate-ization of the bonus brouhaha. Well, talk about life imitating historical analogy. According to this wire report (via TPMMuckraker), the government's inspector general for TARP (i.e., the bank bailout) had the following exchange while testifying before a House Ways and Means subcommittee this morning: 

Republicans on the House of Representatives subcommittee pressed Barofsky [the IG] on whether Geithner knew of the impending payouts worth 165 million dollars when he approved an extra 30 billion dollars in bailout money for AIG this month.

"The audit that I announced in my opening statement will have the answer to that question, whether he knew," the inspector-general said, vowing that his probe would get to the bottom of "who knew what, when and why."

Again, I'm all for establishing the basic facts, particularly for the guy who's job it is to do so. But I think we'd be well-served if we could just dial back the melodrama a bit.

--Noam Scheiber