In this issue
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 June 23, 2009 / 1 Tamuz 5769

Bad Times for Whistle-blowers

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As recent AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin tells the story, when a White House aide called him on June 10, Walpin thought the administration was calling him to enlist his support — as a prominent Republican member of the New York bar — for the confirmation of Sonya Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, Special Counsel to the President Norm Eisen informed Walpin that President Obama wanted Walpin out of his job.

Now the question is why Obama let him go.

Walpin's defenders believe Obama fired him because Walpin was a successful whistle-blower, who blew the whistle on the president's friends and pet causes.

In 2008, the Corporation for National and Community Service asked Walpin to check out St. HOPE, a Sacramento nonprofit run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson, who was subsequently elected mayor of Sacramento. Walpin's office found that AmeriCorps members had misused $847,673 in federal grant funds between 2004 and 2007 and that AmeriCorps hires had been misused to "personally benefit Johnson, including driving him to personal appointments, washing his car and running personal errands" and campaigning in a school board election.

Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown later announced a legal settlement that called for Johnson, St. HOPE itself and a former St. HOPE executive to repay taxpayers more than $400,000 the corporation had received in grants. On June 4, Walpin issued another report, this one questioning $16 million in awards by the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. As Walpin explained in a letter to CUNY, "The program doesn't work because it adds no service to the community which is not already provided by the Fellows program. Therefore, taxpayers are not getting their money's worth."

Clearly Walpin is a stickler. "There are people in our country who badly need the money for these community service benefits," he told me over the phone.

And clearly his attitude rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Brown complained that Walpin was not content to conduct an unbiased investigation into Mayor Johnson and St. HOPE, but instead "sought to act as the investigator, advocate, judge, jury and town crier."

According to Eisen, Walpin's review — which led to his dismissal — was "unanimously requested" by a bipartisan board, after a May meeting at which Walpin appeared "confused, disoriented" and "unable to answer questions."

"Is he being fired for doing his job?" asked Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista (San Diego County), ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. To Issa, this episode is reminiscent of the Bush firings of U.S. attorneys — whom Bush had a right to fire, as they served at the pleasure of the president, but not a right to smear their reputations.

Issa also is concerned that the firing of Walpin may violate the Inspectors General Reform Act, which says, "The President shall communicate in writing the reasons for any such removal or transfer to both Houses of Congress, not later than 30 days before the removal or transfer." The letter Obama sent was incredibly vague — only later did the administration call into question Walpin's possession of his marbles — and denied Congress the opportunity to respond first.

The icing on this cake: Obama was a co-sponsor of the bill that included the above language to guard the independence of inspectors general from partisan pressure.

Was Walpin right about CUNY? I have no idea. But he must have been right about St. HOPE, as the Sacto nonprofit and its execs promised to pay back almost half the money.

As Walpin told me, when any group misuses AmeriCorps money for a political campaign or to get a free car wash, "That's like stealing a welfare check from a single mother." And Obamaland thinks he's confused.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate