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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 April 11, 2011 7 Nissan, 5771

Shutdown theatrics

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even in a town known for its kabuki theater, this one takes the kimono.

"We want to avoid a shutdown," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"No one wants the government to shut down," said House Speaker John Boehner.

"There's no reason why we should have a government shutdown," said President Obama.

If that were so, a government shutdown would have been averted weeks before it was. If negotiators were driven by logic, the possibility of a shutdown never would have arisen. Instead, they decided to go to DefCon 1 over a skirmish involving a fraction of 1 percent of the federal budget.

It's enough to stir nostalgia for Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton. At least when they played shutdown brinkmanship, they did it over big stuff. The dispute over crumbs in the current year's budget is particularly discouraging when you consider that the parties have yet to begun talks on future budgets — where they are trillions of dollars apart.

Friday night's deal, reached with all of an hour to spare, was preceded by a needless, and reckless, game of shutdown chicken. The idea was to push things to the last minute, because any accommodation before then would be seen as surrender. "We didn't do it at this late hour for drama," Reid said after the deal was reached. No, they did it so late because both sides had an incentive to go to the brink: They were, as usual, rallying their ideological bases.

As Reid and Boehner met with the president Thursday evening, an e-mail from Guy Cecil, director of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee, landed in the in-boxes of Democratic contributors. "Republicans — catering to each and every demand of the tea party — are intent on shutting down the federal government," he warned. The e-mail linked to a form asking for credit-card contributions as part of the "Shut Them Down Project." Wrote Cecil: "We need to raise $100,000 in the next 36 hours to call out the GOP extremists."

Republicans justifiably protested the Democrats' use of the shutdown for financial gain, but the Grand Old Party was up to its own tricks. Outside the Capitol, several Republican lawmakers encouraged Tea Party protesters who were chanting "Cut it or shut it" and waving pro-shutdown signs. "It's time to pick a fight," Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told the crowd.

Blame for the brinkmanship should be liberally spread. At one point, Republicans rejected a deal that cut the budget by more than they originally proposed. The White House wouldn't accept a short-term extension, even though it was largely consistent with administration priorities. And both undermined negotiations with trash talk.

"The Republican leadership has the Tea Party screaming so loudly in its right ear that it can't hear what the vast majority of the country demands," Reid told the Senate Wednesday morning.

"The president isn't leading," Boehner countered at an afternoon news conference.

Late Wednesday, Reid reported that "I have confidence that we can get this done" — only to rescind that the next morning. "I am not nearly as optimistic — and that's an understatement — as I was 11 hours ago," he proclaimed.

Just before that, Boehner was on "Good Morning America," redrawing a hard line. "There's no daylight between the Tea Party and me," he reported.

The two couldn't even agree what they disagreed about. Reid reported to the Senate that "our differences are no longer over how much savings to get."

Countered Boehner: "There is no agreement on a number."

Later, Reid accused: "There are people cheering for a shutdown."

Then, Thursday night, the pair issued a joint statement saying they had "narrowed the issues."

But by Friday morning, Reid was helpfully advising Republicans to "look in the mirror and snap out of it," tossing in the word "shameful." Boehner responded that "we're not going to roll over and sell out the American people," tossing in the word "damn."

The Post's Felicia Sonmez counted seven shutdown-related news conferences in seven hours on Friday. Democrats accused Republicans of endangering women's health. Republicans accused Democrats of endangering the troops.

At one point, The Post's Paul Kane attempted to draw back the curtain on the kabuki, pointing out to the speaker that each day followed the same pattern of brinkmanship.

"Oh, really?" Boehner replied. He assured Kane that "all of us want this to be finished."

If only their actions had backed that up.

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Previously:



04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group