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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 11, 2009 / 15 Adar 5769

GOP lacks leader but has potential

By Kevin Ferris


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At least we know now why no one at the White House had time to ask job applicants if they paid their taxes. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was too busy pushing earmarks he couldn't get as a congressman and organizing attacks on Rush Limbaugh.

Those things take time, especially if you also have to convince taxpayers that you're serious about budget reform while cramming almost 9,000 earmarks into a bloated spending bill.

And with Emperor W and Darth Cheney gone, a new face of the Republican Dark Side is needed.

The Rush thing is likely a fallback. If President Obama revives the economy, wins the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, prevents Iran from going nuclear, brings peace to the Middle East, and stops the oceans from rising, then start writing that second inaugural address. But if Obama falls short, the reason will be obvious: That guy on the radio.

It's possible the public would buy that. But what if, in 2010 or 2012, the country wants an alternative? Will Republicans be ready to step up?

The answer could be found at last weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference - if one looked beyond Emanuel's talking-points memo on the event.

For now, the answer is no. There are numerous internal disagreements. There's no real national election strategy. In terms of policy, conservatives are on the sidelines. They have sound alternatives to offer, but they don't have the floor.

However, they are laying the groundwork to take advantage of any openings next year.

Start with policy. The conference's keynote speaker was Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, who ripped his party for "losing direction, sacrificing principles, and failing to offer a vision relevant to most Americans."

But signing on to an irresponsible stimulus package - the opening salvo of Obama's "new era of responsibility" - was not the way to go, Ryan said. He noted, "My 7-year-old daughter showed more restraint when she put together her Christmas list for Santa Claus."

Then he offered some budgetary and economic alternatives:

Tie the dollar to a standard of stable value to help prevent wild fluctuations of prices for gasoline and other commodities. (If Ryan can make this into a winning sound bite, he deserves to run the House.)

Simplify the tax code down to two lower rates, 10 and 25 percent, depending on income.

Develop market-based, portable, universal health-care insurance.

Reform the federal budget process, and impose a spending cap of about 18 percent of GDP.

(Yes, he does have details. Go to www.house.gov/ryan and click on "A road map for America's future.")

Also at the conference, Newt Gingrich offered his own pro-growth agenda, including investments in energy and transportation; payroll-, income- and business-tax relief; abolishing capital gains taxes; homeowner assistance; promoting U.S. energy resources; tying antifraud and antitheft policies to state aid; and saving the secret ballot for workers in union elections. (See www.americansolutions.com.)

On the politics side, there were plenty of calls to arms and shots at Democrats. Gingrich, for example, urged voters to elect people who will read bills before they vote.

But there were also more-measured bits of electoral wisdom. One came from Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who is in charge of the Republicans' Senate campaign.

Cornyn said his goal was to find candidates who fit their states - not his conservative ideology. In 2006, a similar strategy allowed liberal, pro-choice Democrats to turn to candidates such as the pro-life Bob Casey in Pennsylvania and conservative Jim Webb in Virginia, and ultimately to win the Senate.

Acknowledging the anger at the three GOP senators who voted for the stimulus package, including Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, Cornyn nevertheless warned, "I'm occasionally frustrated by the way my colleagues vote. But a circular firing squad is no solution to the problems the party has."

TV host and former congressman Joe Scarborough advised candidates to think about tone as they campaign. Remember the optimism and can-do spirit of Ronald Reagan, he advised. And drop the name-calling.

Most of the weekend's speakers took that advice. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was perhaps the most eloquent, in a moving address about fighting for principles and ideals, which evoked American heroes ranging from Civil War officer Joshua Chamberlain to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

If anything, the weekend showed that no one person is calling the shots among conservatives and Republicans. They are a movement and a party in recovery. But there's also plenty of potential - should an opportunity arise.

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

Comment by clicking here.

Kevin Ferris is commentary page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer.



Previously:


03/05/09: A dangerous naivete in foreign policy
02/25/09: Beware ‘dialogue’ on race
12/29/08: ‘Chicago II’: A governor's story
12/11/08: Operator: Welcome to transition hotline
12/03/08: How Obama will fight a growing front in Afghanistan
11/25/08: GOP ahead of curve for change
11/13/08: Prayers for President-elect Barack Obama
10/03/08: Obama's lowball attacks: Suggesting that McCain is a bigot runs afoul of the high-minded ‘unity’ tripe
09/06/08: It's unlikely that a President McCain would be driven by political ideology
09/04/08: Bold McCain will sharpen the contrasts

© 2008, Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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