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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 31, 2013/ 22 Sivan, 5773

The Lois Lerner state

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is appropriate that the worst scandal of the Obama administration— the IRS targeting of conservatives — is a scandal of administrators and bureaucrats, of otherwise faceless people endowed with immense power over their fellow citizens and running free of serious oversight from elected officials.

They are the shock troops of the vast bureaucratic apparatus of the federal government. Its growth has been one of President Obama’s chief goals, and the one he has had the most success in achieving. He has greatly enhanced the reach and power of regulatory agencies that are an inherent offense against self-government, even when they aren’t enforcing the law in a biased way.

The administration’s corruption isn’t bags of cash or lies about interns; it is the distortion of our form of government by sidestepping democratic procedures and accountability and vesting authority in bureaucrats. The administrative state is, fundamentally, the Lois Lerner state.

In an excellent essay in the journal National Affairs, Chris DeMuth calls the regulatory agency “the most potent institutional innovation in American government since the Constitution.” He notes that the regulatory state has three hallmarks, at least since the 1970s when its independent power began to grow.

One, Congress delegates lawmaking to the agencies by giving them massive discretion in implementing the vaguest of mandates. Two, there are no constraints on their effective spending power since the costs of their rules “are borne almost entirely by the private sector.” Third, they enjoy “relative insulation from public debate and criticism.”

Needless to say, this is not how American government is supposed to work. It reflects the mindset of the Progressives rather than the Founders. “The Constitution was designed,” DeMuth writes, “to make lawmaking cumbersome, representative, and consensual; the regulatory agency was a workaround, designed to make lawmaking efficient, specialized, and purposeful. It was a way to accommodate growing demands for government intervention in the face of the constitutional bias for limited government.”

And it has worked: “It has enabled the federal government of a vast, populous, diverse democracy to partake directly in the everyday affairs of scores of millions of citizens and businesses.” Some of them, like the conservative organizations that applied for 501(c)(4) status and got harassed by the IRS for their temerity, we hear about; most we don’t.

The administrative state is an open invitation to high-handedness. My colleague Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a piece for Bloomberg View on Obama’s lawlessness. Most of the examples have to do with the administration ignoring or distorting the laws via the bureaucracy. Obamacare says that states have to set up exchanges before the subsidies and penalties in the law apply? No matter. The IRS says it will pay out subsidies and impose penalties regardless of whether states set up exchanges.

We have immigration laws such that providing an amnesty for so-called DREAM kids would require a new statute? Not to worry. The president simply directed his agencies to ignore the law and institute a version of the DREAM Act.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the IRS scandal is organically connected to the president’s signature initiative, Obamacare. Sarah Hall Ingram had been commissioner of the tax exempt and government entities division of the IRS, and now is in charge of the Obamacare office at the IRS. Looked at from one angle, Obamacare is less a health-care law than an expansion of IRS power.

The IRS needs about 2,000 additional full-time equivalent employees to undertake what one agency official calls “the most extensive social benefit program the IRS has been asked to implement in recent history.”

As a general matter, if there is a characteristic line in the major legislative initiatives of the Obama administration it is “the secretary shall….” The secretary of Health and Human services shall figure out how to make Obamacare work, and although they aren’t secretaries, the heads of an alphabet soup of financial agencies shall do the same for Dodd-Frank. Meanwhile, Congress works on the next sprawling enterprise it wants to set in motion and hand over to the administrative state.

Currently, it is the Gang of 8 immigration bill. Its architects want to do for immigration what Obamacare does for health care and Dodd-Frank does for the financial sector — invest an administrator (in this case the secretary of the department of Homeland Security) with extraordinary discretion, and entrust a bureaucracy with an enormous task beyond its capacities (the orderly, rapid processing of 11 million illegal aliens).

In Washington, the power of the administrative state always grows. It needs one, two, many Lois Lerners. The IRS official has already taken a fall, and may be headed for an even steeper one. But there are many more like her. They are indispensable to government by and for the regulators.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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