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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 June 14, 2013/ 6 Tamuz, 5773

The Cincinnati lie

By Rich Lowry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The IRS hadn’t spoken four sentences about its targeting of conservative groups before it blamed “our line people in Cincinnati.”

Those were the words of Lois Lerner on May 10, when she acknowledged the misconduct in an answer to a question planted at an American Bar Association conference. In a phone session with reporters later that day, she famously admitted that she is not good at math. It turns out that she is not good at geography, either.

The locus of the IRS scandal, it has steadily emerged, is not in Cincinnati but in Washington, where lawyers and supervisors were aware of and directed the special scrutiny for tea party groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. This has falsified a line of defense that the administration and its allies have held as assiduously as Lt. John Chard’s troops at Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War.

Jay Carney explained on May 20: “There were line employees at the IRS who improperly targeted conservative groups.” Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington state summed it all up at a Ways and Means Committee hearing by saying, “This small group of people in the Cincinnati office screwed up.” Just the other day on the “O’Reilly Factor,” James Carville held out the possibility that the whole mess was caused by — yes — “some people in the Cincinnati office.”

They have all made Cincinnati a byword for scandal. By their account, there’s no explaining Cincinnatians. They are a strange and foreign people, noted for their bristling hostility to the tea party and their cussed resistance to direction or oversight from above. It’s a wonder the IRS is even able to maintain an office in Cincinnati, given the inherent recklessness of workers in that remote southern Ohio city.

The Cincinnati explanation has many virtues. It serves to minimize the scandal by blaming it on what sounds like a bureaucratic backwater, and it throws lower-level employees — rather than their supervisors — under the bus. Most important, the Cincinnati IRS office is about 505 miles from the White House, 504.2 more miles than the IRS headquarters at 1111 Constitution Ave. N.W.



But the Blame Cincinnati First crowd should have had no credibility from the beginning. As my National Review colleague Eliana Johnson reported, the inspector general report, released right after the scandal broke, detailed in its chronology how Cincinnati employees constantly interacted with Washington. In May 2010, staff in the so-called Determinations Unit in Cincinnati were told to “send additional information request letters to the Technical Unit for review prior to issuance.” The Technical Unit is in Washington.

About a week later, the Technical Unit “began reviewing additional information request letters prepared by the Determinations Unit.” IRS lawyers in Washington approved intrusive questions of tea party groups and even wrote them. Staff in Cincinnati complained that all the micromanagement from Washington was gumming up the works.

The House Oversight Committee investigation has found the same thing. A Cincinnati employee named Gary Muthert said in an interview with committee investigators that he flagged tea party applications because his supervisor told him that “Washington, D.C., wanted some cases,” specifically it “wanted seven.”

Johnson reports that another Cincinnati employee, Elizabeth Hofacre, was shocked when Lerner initially blamed Cincinnati. She told committee investigators, “It was a nuclear strike on us.” For her, the motivation was obvious: “I just thought when Lois Lerner dropped that bombshell, ‘Oh, it was Cincinnati’s problem,’ she thought it would go away, but instead it exploded.”

In Hofacre’s telling, it’s impossible to have a rogue operation of a couple employees in Cincinnati “because of how we are organized.” She explained, “the managers, they have really tight inventory-control systems. I mean they get periodic prints of our inventory, so they know exactly what cases we had, how old they are, how long we have had them and stuff like that. So these two rogue agents running amok for three years, even for three months, it would never happen.”

Notwithstanding all this, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings has pronounced the IRS scandal solved. He cites the testimony of one Cincinnati manager who says he has no reason to believe that the White House was involved. The manager also says the focus on the tea party arose because someone in Cincinnati went to the Technical Unit with questions on how to handle an initial application in 2010.

Even if this account is correct, it’s a far cry from the Cincinnati-centric defense initially on offer. It means that Washington was involved from the very beginning. As director of Exempt Organizations, and someone who knew about the targeting and was involved in the targeting years ago, this shouldn’t have been a surprise to Lois Lerner. She, after all, works — or worked — in Washington.

The Obama administration’s scandal trifecta has recently become scandal overload. But the IRS is still the most portentous. For now, the initial line of defense at Cincinnati is in ruins.

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© 2012 King Features Syndicate

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