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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 21, 2013/ 12 Sivan, 5773

The dream and the reality

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama believes in the public sector. He thinks it should be made ever more expansive and entrusted with ever more complicated tasks. Its unions should be powerful. It should be hailed by all the great and good, and attract the nation's best and brightest.

This is how the president portrays the public sector at a level of glittering generality. Then there's the reality of all that government that is too big for him to monitor, the workings of which he learns about only when he reads the newspapers and watches TV. There's the incompetence, the dishonesty and the self-justification. There's the spectacular unfairness and the obtuseness, all exemplified in the Internal Revenue Service scandal.

The innocent explanation of the affair is that the IRS's Cincinnati office was so poorly run, it couldn't manage to stop itself from discriminating against tea-party organizations applying for 501(c)(4) status - for years.

As it happens, the recent reporting on the Cincinnati office portrays a dreary backwater with all the elan of your local Department of Motor Vehicles. But not discriminating against organizations shouldn't be overly difficult. It doesn't require any technical expertise, just a modicum of fairness. The IRS couldn't summon it.

According to Lois Lerner, the director of the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt organizations division and the poster-bureaucrat for the scandal, there was a flood of applications for 501(c)(4)s that necessitated the "centralization" of the cases. The targeting of the tea-party groups wasn't targeting at all, but an efficiency measure gone awry. "They did it because they were working together," Lerner says. "This was a streamlined way for them to refer to the cases."

In fact, The Washington Post notes that the number of applications barely ticked up from 2009 to 2010, when the practice of selecting tea-party groups began. It also makes no sense to respond to an overwhelming influx of applications with multiple rounds of intrusive and extraneous questions and with years-long delays. That is a way to create a backlog, not to alleviate it. It is a way to create more work, not less.

IRS functionaries still don't think that they did anything wrong, in the sense that everyone else would understand it. Lerner maintains that the IRS workers "didn't have the appropriate level of sensitivity about how this might appear to others, and it was just wrong." But stringing along organizations from one side of the ideological spectrum, while quickly approving groups from the other, isn't an appearance problem, it's a real problem.

Ousted acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller told Congress that the agency was guilty of "horrible customer service," which makes it sound like it delivered pizzas to the wrong address or failed to honor advertised discounts on merchandise.

If the IRS weren't so blase about other people's rights, it would have found a way to stop trampling them long ago. The IRS didn't have the excuse of everyone else in Washington. It didn't have to wait for the outcome of any inspector-general report. It already knew it was guilty. It could have exposed its wrongdoing at any time, and thus ensured a stop would be put to it immediately through the blunt force of public outrage.

It didn't. Instead, it obfuscated and misled in congressional testimony, and strung everyone along. We are supposed to believe that IRS officials bungled at everything except keeping the agency's own misconduct under wraps for as long as possible. They were ham-handed at everything except planting a question at an American Bar Association conference so Lois Lerner could pre-empt the inspector general's report - and do it, in classic Washington fashion, on a Friday the day before its release.

President Obama has a dream of what the public sector represents. In his rhetoric, it is a shining expression of our togetherness. He might want to acquaint himself with the actual government over which he presides from such an Olympian distance, and adjust his enthusiasm accordingly.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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