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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 January 30, 2008 / 23 Shevat 5768

This President's appropriately modest agenda

By Robert Robb

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The state of the union is much better than the state of George W. Bush's presidency.


Although the country currently has an economic headache, the recovery from the triple hit of the dot.com bubble, recession and the 9/11 attacks was remarkable.


The economic recovery produced strong revenue growth for the federal government which has resulted in an essentially balanced budget. The deficit is less than what the federal government is spending in large capital purchases, which are customarily financed by state and local governments.


The surge in Iraq has significantly reduced the violence, created civic living space in much of the country, and renewed hope for the country's future.


Perhaps most important of all, there has not been another domestic terrorist attack since 9/11.


Yet Bush's approval ratings are abysmal and every public opinion poll indicates that the country wants a change in direction. Why the large disconnect between the reality of the country's situation during Bush's presidency and public opinion regarding his stewardship?


Part of it is due to factors beyond Bush's control.


Due to globalization, the pace of the creative destruction that is an inherent part of a market economy has quickened. Jobs are created and eliminated more rapidly. People are feeling economically insecure.


Some of the traditional bridges to the middle class for those without a college education — manufacturing and construction — have weakened. For manufacturing, it has been primarily a result of mechanization and productivity gains and only secondarily off-shoring. For construction, it is largely a result of the depressive effect of uncontrolled immigrant labor on wages.


Incomes have been rising, particularly after-tax income due to the Bush tax cuts. However, inflation is eating away the gains.


Inflation has been very rampant in health care and higher education, two markets substantially influenced by government. However, general consumer inflation is now over four percent.


While these factors are largely outside of Bush's ability to influence, he didn't use his bully pulpit to address and explain them and perhaps adopt more extensive and broadly-based cushioning programs, such as retraining accounts. The predominant attitude coming out of the Bush administration was that the sense of anxiety was irrational; the economy was doing fine. Of course, by rushing into an emergency stimulus package, the administration is flashing neon signs that the economy is not fine.


Meanwhile, the Fed is taking action that will exacerbate the inflation problem.


This has been a Bush tendency. Avoid hard discussions, such as why tax cuts for the wealthy are economically important. And when hard discussions cannot be avoided, paper them over with a political solution. If economic anxiety has reached a politically unavoidable level, throw $150 billion at the population.


On Iraq, things might be going better. But the American people still believe that the enterprise hasn't been worth its cost.


Bush's political persona has also not worn well. The Texas swagger doesn't match the American sense of uncertainty and unease on many fronts.


And after seven years, the lecturing style of Bush's speech-making grates. His State of the Union address was full of things Congress "must" do. His foreign policy speeches are full of things other sovereign countries "must" do.


Well, Bush may have identified things Congress and other countries ought to do, or that it would be beneficial for them to do. But they are independent entities. Enacting the Bush agenda is not a "must" for them.


I should cheer Bush finally getting tough on spending and earmarks. But I just can't work up that much enthusiasm or appreciation. The fact that he only found a backbone on spending after Democrats took over Congress just makes it too hypocritical and hollow.


American politicians rarely leave the stage gracefully. But the modesty, in substance if not in length, of Bush's State of Union address suggests he might manage the process better than most.


Stripped to its essence, this was Bush's pitch: I have some things I need to say politically. But the bottom line is this: please don't pull the rug out from under me on Iraq and don't rob me of the surveillance capability to protect the country against terrorist attack.


That's an appropriately modest agenda for a man who retains power but has lost persuasion.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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