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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 March 7, 2012/ 13 Adar, 5772

Settling in to Washington's ways

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Three years into his presidency, Barack Obama has finally overcome his pesky, puritanical aversion to K Street.

As a candidate, Obama pledged that lobbyists “will not run my White House.” But on Monday, the president brought in one of this town’s most prominent lobbyists to run his White House — or at least a nice piece of it.

Steve Ricchetti, whose long list of lobbying clients included Fannie Mae, General Motors, the American Hospital Association and Eli Lilly, was tapped to be counselor to Vice President Biden.

Ricchetti achieved this feat — getting around the ban on lobbyists serving in the administration — by using one of Washington’s most-honored traditions: the loophole. Just as Obama won the presidency, Ricchetti de-registered as a lobbyist for his various clients. But he remained president of the lobbying firm that continued to work for many of those same clients, as well as a few more, such as the American Bankers Association.

Only in today’s Washington could a president circumvent his own ban on hiring lobbyists by hiring the head of a lobbying firm.

Ricchetti no doubt will give Biden excellent counsel; he has more than a quarter-century of experience in politics and government, and he is highly regarded around town. But his appointment shows just how flimsy Obama’s ethical reforms have been — and how absurd the official standards are for who is a “lobbyist” in the influence industry. For many Americans, this sort of chicanery adds to a suspicion that the fix is in.

Ricchetti has been through the revolving door more often than a bellhop at the Mayflower Hotel: Blue Cross Blue Shield, then the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, then the Clinton White House, then lobbying, then back to the Clinton White House, then more lobbying, this time starting Ricchetti Inc. with his brother, Jeff. (A call seeking comment from Ricchetti Inc. wasn’t returned.)

The brothers recently started another firm, Midwest Gateway Partners, with former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. National Journal reported last year that the firm would “do some lobbying work.” Steve Ricchetti’s bio was removed from Midwest’s Web site this week.

Ricchetti’s hiring is not a unique event. Obama’s campaign has hired Broderick Johnson, who had been a lobbyist for Microsoft, Comcast and TransCanada, the company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Earlier, Obama administration officials got around their self-imposed rule (which prevents a lobbyist from serving for two years) by granting waivers to people Obama sought to appoint, such as former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn, who got a top job at the Pentagon.

The leniency shown to Ricchetti and Lynn might not be so awkward if Obama hadn’t enforced his ethics policy more vigorously in other cases. The administration declined to grant a waiver to Tom Malinowski so he could serve as human rights chief at the State Department; he was disqualified because he had lobbied for torture victims as an official with Human Rights Watch.

Ricchetti didn’t need a waiver because he hadn’t been a registered lobbyist for two years. But the timing of Ricchetti’s decision to de-register as a lobbyist for his dozen clients was curious: effective in the fourth quarter of 2008. The firm later filed an amended 2008 report in July 2010, de-registering Ricchetti as a lobbyist for the hospital association.

In joining the White House, Ricchetti is trading places with one of his fellow executives at Ricchetti Inc., James Heimbach. Another revolving-door specialist, Heimbach was a lobbyist with Ricchetti until 2006, later joined the Obama White House, then returned to lobby at Ricchetti Inc.

Obama once disapproved of Ricchetti’s activities. His campaign in 2007 criticized Hillary Clinton for having Ricchetti as one of her top fundraisers. The Obama campaign later criticized Clinton for requesting an earmark sought by a Ricchetti client.

And there were many clients over the years: AT&T, Reed Elsevier, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Siemens, Sirius XM, Amgen, Boston Scientific, America’s Health Insurance Plans, eBay, Dow Chemical, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, among others, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Cumulatively, they paid Ricchetti and his firms millions.

Now, while his brother keeps the lobbying business going, Steve Ricchetti is in a good position to help old friends. An administration official pointed out that Ricchetti will recuse himself from matters involving former clients, which is reassuring. But his latest tour in the White House should make him even more valuable as a lobbyist if and when he returns to K Street.

Such an arrangement may not violate the letter of Obama’s ethics policy, but it makes a joke of the spirit of reform he promised.


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Previously:



03/06/12 AIPAC beats the drums of war
03/05/12 Did Republicans forget the women's vote?
02/29/12 Mitt Romney's acceptance speech, in (mostly) his own words
02/28/12 Common ground becomes a great divide
02/27/12 An expert witness for the GOP gender gap
02/21/12 Where Romney shines
02/15/12 A Republican death wish?
02/14/12Obama's budget games
02/13/12 Are GOPers playing right into Obama's hands?
02/08/12 Obama pumps the compressor of Joe Hudy's Extreme Marshmallow Cannon
02/07/12 Abramoff's atonement
02/01/12 Why we in the media just love Newt
01/31/12 The end of the road for Newt Gingrich?
01/25/12 Gingrich is Obama's best surrogate
01/24/12 Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney's attack dog
01/16/12 Mitt Romney's Al Gore problem
01/12/12 Kamikaze Gingrich, on the loose in South Carolina
01/11/12 Journalists' campaign trail secrets revealed
01/10/12 Mitt Romney's money problem
01/09/12 Newtonian exceptionalism
01/05/12 Mitt Romney out of control
01/04/12 Indecision 2012: In Iowa and the GOP
01/03/12 Rick Santorum's curious closing argument
12/28/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/23/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/20/11 Strange brews and views?
12/19/11 Cellphone ban would be a distraction
12/15/11 Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Malfunction Minuet
12/14/11 The presidential auction of 2012
12/12/11 Newt's tactics comes back to haunt him
12/06/11 Can an anthem save Occupy non-movement?
12/05/11 The winner of the GOP campaign: Washington
11/30/11 Barney the bully: Congressman Frank's other legacy
11/23/11 Jon Kyl's search-and-destroy mission
11/21/11 Pay to play, brought to you by Washington
11/17/11 Big enough to save the supercommittee?
11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
09/28/11 Cain could deliver
09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
08/03/11 Government on autopilot
08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
07/27/11 Life imitates sport
07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
06/24/11 ‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
06/02/11 The Weiner roast
06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


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