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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 Feb. 10, 2006 / 12 Shevat, 5766

To avoid Abramoff fallout, take the Lieberman Pledge

By Dick Morris


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Just do it!


That is the message from Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). Don’t wait for legislation or ethics rulings, just follow his example and voluntarily announce that you and your staff will not accept gifts, meals or travel from lobbyists or groups with interests before Congress.


As Lieberman says, “It’s time to try to set some examples here.”


Lieberman, the most ethical member of the Senate (this is not damning with faint praise!), is setting up the only way to avoid fallout from the Jack Abramoff scandal and get clean for election day.


The lobbyist scandal is penetrating deeply into the public consciousness. Only the House bank scandal loomed as important in the past three decades. Before that, one has to go to Abscam and Watergate to find parallels.


But, unlike the other scandals, this one has a clear partisan skew. Because it has absolute power, the Republican Party is proving Lord Acton’s admonition that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In the latest Fox News poll, voters, by 2-1, see the scandal as primarily implicating Republicans.


All the focus on legislation to correct lobbying abuses raises the central point: Those who pretend to oppose these practices have the option of simply not participating. As Nancy Reagan said: “Just say no.”


The Lieberman Pledge will catch on. In the elections of 2006, insurgents will happily take the pledge (they have likely never even met a lobbyist or accepted a ham sandwich from one) and incumbents will be hard-pressed not to follow. Pledges have a way of being contagious.


It is worth bearing in mind how the current corrupt system of lobbyist funding of trips and favors originated. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, taxpayers picked up the tab for most foreign travel by legislators. It was called junketing, and it was relatively clean — wasteful and hedonistic, but clean.


A lot of political consultants seized on these junkets and asked voters if they really wanted to pay for their congressmen and senators to take trips they could not afford to take themselves. Voters answered no, and many members went down to defeat.


The result was that no legislator would rack up a large public tab for travel. Enter the lobbyists who offered a way to take vacations without making the taxpayers pay for them.


But the political impact of this issue is as great now, with lobbyists in the spotlight, as it was then, with tax money involved. Its potency is enormous. Any member who faces a vaguely difficult fight for reelection had better find shelter behind the Lieberman Pledge.


In the always-entertaining game of raising public expectations of honesty versus the growing ingenuity of the politicians in fooling them, the newest battlefront is going to be earmarking. Once the debate over the line-item veto raged between the parties, but the greater and greater use of earmarking by members of Congress to pay off campaign contributors has made the line-item debate obsolete. Voters understand that earmarking is not to create jobs but to generate and reward campaign contributions.


So while legislators are considering pledges, they might want to follow the example of newly elected House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has refused to earmark appropriations bills. Voters are coming to understand that these special amendments are increasingly responsible for runaway federal spending, and they are no longer willing to reward it or even to tolerate it.


This scandal is not going away, nor will it be without electoral consequence. The response must come form the Republican leaders in the House and Senate. They must make sure that reforms keep pace with the exposures as the scandal deepens.


But no legislative action can replace the actions of individual legislators in taking the Lieberman Pledge.


Take it before it gets too late.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is author, most recently, of "Because He Could". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.



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