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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 May 17, 2013/ 8 Sivan, 5773

Not-so-strange bedfellows

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | Breaking news: Conservative organizations suddenly have found common cause with one of their favorite objects of contempt — the benighted Mainstream Media.

Or as the tea party queen and former Alaska governor likes to put it, the “lamestream media.”

In a twist of irony, the two groups have coalesced around a common enemy: the U.S. government.

Revelations the past few days that the Internal Revenue Service has been giving special attention to conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status have converged with the news that the Justice Department has been seizing phone recordsfrom the Associated Press. Reaction from both camps has been outrage seasoned with constitutional fervor.

Not to overstate it, but nothing less than free speech is at stake, about which no one should be confused.

Briefly, the IRS singled out specific groups with words such as “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names for special scrutiny, including asking for donor lists. Needless to say, this could have a chilling effect on donors who prefer anonymity, but it also smacks of intimidation. The implication: Criticize the government and you will pay. Literally. The targeting, moreover, was not a rogue operation by some random field agents in Cincinnati, as originally claimed, but, according to The Post, involved IRS officials in Washington.

“Outrageous” was the term President Obama used Monday during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama promised to get to the bottom of it even though, as president, he can’t directly contact the IRS about a tax matter. This is owing to the legacy of Watergate, when then-President Richard Nixon used the IRS to intimidate his perceived enemies. The unavoidable comparison is, well, unavoidable.

Obama can rattle some cages, though, and given his administration’s almost daily scandal production, he’s going to be a busy zookeeper for the foreseeable future. No sooner had the Benghazi, Libya, hearing concluded than the IRS story broke, followed by reports of the Justice Department probe. The latter’s investigation pertained to reporters’ phone records over a two-month period affecting four bureaus, including the AP’s congressional office, and more than 20 lines potentially used by hundreds of reporters and, significantly, their sources.

Americans accustomed to hating the media — a popular pastime of self-proclaimed “new media,” often meaning someone with an iPhone and a laptop — should stop hitting “snooze” on their wake-up call right about now. When the choice is between distrusting reporters and distrusting the government, there’s no contest, especially when the aggrieved are groups of people (tea partyers and self-proclaimed patriots) whose chief organizing principle is distrust of government.

Reporters, though they are merely human with all the attendant imperfections, are fundamentally on the patriot team. They’re sort of like cops: You hate them when their blue lights appear in the rear view, but you love them when something goes bump in the night.

Though some journalists and even some institutions can be politically biased, a news organization exists for the purpose of reporting on organized power, especially the government. If tea party people worry that government is bearing down on them through its confiscatory powers via the IRS, then they have double reason for concern when the media are threatened.

Who in the White House or Congress will be willing to speak off the record if they fear being exposed to or by the Justice Department? This isn’t only outrageous; it is dangerous.

The government can legitimately investigate journalists in the interest of national security, as has been claimed here. Officials say that an AP story last May about a failed al-Qaeda plot raised flags about potentially dangerous leaks. But there is a serious question whether the AP situation warranted such a massive and covert search.

Out of fairness (or fear of punitive repercussions?), early reaction to these revelations has focused on the incompetence of the Obama administration rather than any sinister intent. Similarly, the administration’s incorrect reporting of events in Benghazi are claimed to have been the product of miscommunication and inter-agency turf squabbles rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead the public heading into the presidential election.

Whatever.

Pending a verdict from investigators investigating investigators, it is abundantly clear that something is awry at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., not least of which is an apparent failure to understand the basic principles of American governance. Incompetence may be an explanation, but it is hardly reassuring.

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