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Must-Read Op-Eds for Tuesday, May 14


THE IRS WANTS YOUEDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNALAsked about the IRS news on Monday, Mr. Obama said that "if in fact IRS personnel" targeted conservatives, that would be "outrageous" and those responsible would be held "accountable." That's nice to hear, but he was making conditional what the IRS has already admitted, which is not as bad as what we are learning it really did.

OBAMA’S SECOND TERM BLUES SET INDANA MILBANKWASHINGTON POSTObama’s response did him little good because it failed to get him out in front of the scandal. Rather than taking quick action — firing those involved or opening an investigation with more teeth than the inspector general’s — he has left himself at the mercy of events, and will be called to respond as details dribble out. This was exactly his problem with Benghazi. ... [I]f Obama wishes to avoid the endless scandals that plague many second-term presidents, he needs to say more sooner.

OBAMA DOUBLES DOWN ON BENGHAZI DENIALJONATHAN TOBINCOMMENTARYWhile the president insists there’s nothing new to discuss, the emails and the testimony of the whistle-blowers to Congress last week makes it clear there’s plenty of evidence to show that there was a deliberate intention to deceive the American people by both the State Department and the White House. His Nixonian denial of the problem illustrates not only his arrogance but also the way the White House bubble insulates him from political reality and inconvenient facts. Far from being a sideshow, the president’s rhetorical question about his critics providing help in ensuring that these events are not repeated is easily answered. The best way to do so is make sure those who made these mistakes are held accountable for them.

POLITICAL CORRUPTION AT THE IRSMICHAEL GERSONWASHINGTON POSTI believe that government has valid purposes that are more than minimal, and that public service is essentially noble. But most Americans, myself included, become libertarians when a policeman is rude and swaggering during a traffic stop. Give me that badge number. It is precisely because police powers are essential to the public good that abusing them is so offensive. The same holds for overzealous or corrupt airport-security agents. And it is doubly true with IRS personnel who misuse their broad and intimidating powers. It is enough to bring out the Samuel Adams in anyone.

GOVERNMENT THEY LOVE GORES MEDIA’S OX JONATHAN TOBINCOMMENTARYThe story about the AP has special resonance because it comes on the heels of the IRS scandal in which officials of the tax agency singled out conservative groups for selective scrutiny because of their criticism of the administration. But while as far as we know now that outrageous instance of abuse of power can only be traced back to Obama’s philosophy rather than directly to orders issued by senior figures in the White House, the infringement of the rights of the AP staff is of sufficient magnitude that it is almost impossible to imagine that it happened without the specific endorsement of Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly with the knowledge of the president. In other words, our chattering classes are getting a taste of the treatment that had heretofore only be meted out to people that were unofficial members of the administration’s unwritten enemies list.

MY MEDICAL CHOICEANGELINA JOLIENEW YORK TIMESI wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. ...For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.