May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
January 16, 2009
/ 20 Teves 5769
No more search and destroy missions
When word broke that Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner had failed to pay employment taxes he owed for several years, the reaction in Washington was gentle. Politicians on both sides of the aisle defended Geithner as an excellent choice to head the Treasury in these troubled financial times and predicted that the incident would be little more than a hiccup in his confirmation process. The news media covered the breaking story, but without the hype and round-the-clock stories they've run when nominees hit a snag in the past.
Does this mean that Barack Obama's ascendance to the presidency is ushering in a new era of civility? I hope so. Previous presidents' picks haven't been so lucky. I should know. I was the subject of a media feeding frenzy eight years ago when I was nominated to be George W. Bush's secretary of labor.
Within minutes of my introduction by the president-elect, journalists were poring over every word I'd published and every interview I'd given in the previous 20 years.
Two days later, ABC News broke a story accusing me - erroneously of hiring an illegal nanny. Soon, TV satellite trucks surrounded my house and investigative reporters began scouring my neighborhood.
I decided to step down when it became clear after three days of non-stop coverage that I was becoming a major distraction for the new president. But I also wanted the opportunity to set the record straight: A decade earlier, at the urging of a friend, I had taken into my home an illegal immigrant who had no other place to live, given her financial and other assistance, and later helped her return to her native country. I didn't break any laws, though I did exercise bad judgment in not telling the president-elect's team in the vetting process what had occurred 10 years earlier.
Geithner has also been accused of employing an illegal immigrant. But the facts suggest he, too, is innocent of wrongdoing on that count. He hired the woman when she had a valid visa and, presumably, the requisite status to allow her to work in the U.S. but her authorization lapsed for a few months before she left his employ. By law, he was only required to check legal status when he hired the woman, so he should be off the hook on this issue.
Geithner's tax issue is more serious. For at least four years between 2001 and 2004, he apparently did not pay FICA and Medicare taxes on his earnings while employed at the International Monetary Fund. A subsequent IRS audit of Geithner's 2003 and 2004 tax returns exposed the tax liability, which he then paid, with interest. But he chose not to pay two additional years' taxes and interest for 2001 and 2002. Only when the Obama vetting team discovered the additional missing taxes did Geithner pay up. In all, Geithner paid more than $43,000 in back taxes and interest on his overdue employment taxes a sum greater than the yearly wages of the average American.
Geithner will have a chance to explain his actions when he faces the Senate Finance Committee next week for his confirmation hearings. I think it's worth reserving judgment until we know all the details. It will be interesting to see, in the meantime, how aggressively the media pursue the story. Reporters should do their job to unearth the facts they certainly didn't hold back against previous administrations' nominees. But that doesn't mean they should run to the presses with every wild allegation and uncorroborated accusation they uncover, especially when the nominee is muzzled by the informal rules that dictate he can't speak for himself prior to the hearings.
So far, most Republican senators are exercising admirable restraint not to go on the attack. But their desire to forego gotcha politics shouldn't be an excuse not to ask legitimate questions when the nominee is before them. Let Geithner speak for himself. His answers will determine whether he's fit to serve. And we'll all be a lot better off if we allow the confirmation process to work as it's supposed to rather than derailing it in a search and destroy mission.
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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)
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