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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 June 13, 2010 / 1 Tammuz, 5770

Jerry Brown, California's Prince of Self-Transformation

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As part of a union-backed "independent" expenditure campaign in support of Attorney General Jerry Brown's gubernatorial effort, the California Nurses Association has formed a retinue that trails GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman with a cartoonish figure named "Queen Meg." Have these true believers never noticed that the attorney general is the real thing when it comes to political royalty?

In fact, Brown is the prince of a California political dynasty, founded by his father, the former Democratic Gov. Pat Brown.

Brown's early political career reads like a red-carpet roll out. First a minor fiefdom — a community college board. Then secretary of state. Then, still in his 30s, California governor in 1975.

Since Brown lost a U.S. Senate race to Pete Wilson in 1982, he has assumed the role of wandering prince — continually reinventing himself, trading on his political connections and then, when convenient, shamelessly distancing himself from them. He can always return. So he went from being state Democratic Party chairman, the ultimate insider, to an independent whose "general thinking doesn't fit the mold of a party" to a Democratic candidate again.

Even as a candidate for Oakland mayor, Brown underwent a complete transformation. At first, he promoted a plan for "Oakland Ecopolis, a Plan for a Green Plan." The mayor's Oakland would mirror a new-age Italian hillside village, disdainful of "mere economic development." His Oaktown: "A baby smiles and a flower grows." And: "Oakland Ecopolis is both far away and very near."

Brown's true talent, however, has been to sense what voters want to hear. By the time he was elected mayor in 1998, he was a pro-development politician with the goal of drawing 10,000 new residents downtown. Better yet, the majority of new downtown housing was privately financed.

Brown also shed the anti-law enforcement tone he used as a talk-radio show host. (Read: "Some people might say that this increase in the prison population is a conspiracy, because it seems to be working almost perfectly for those with extra capacity for sale.") This mayor wanted more cops on the beat.

I voted to re-elect Brown, as he was the best mayor Oaktown had seen in years. Granted, the bar was low.

Still, not all was sunshine in Groovy Oakland. Brown used eminent domain powers to evict good taxpaying businesses like Revelli Tires and Autohouse — not to accommodate public works, but so that a private developer could build apartments on their land. I credit Brown for his zealous defense of redevelopment, even if I consider the policy outrageously heavy-handed.

His biggest mistake was ousting the highly capable and well-respected Robert Bobb as city manager. Brown then doubled down on dumb by naming Deborah Edgerly as Bobb's replacement.

Now-Mayor Ron Dellums had to fire Edgerly in 2008 amid the allegation that she had tipped her nephew, who worked for the city as a parking-meter repairman, before an impending police raid on a gang. A city audit cited Edgerly's penchant for "inappropriately hiring close relatives in lieu of well-qualified individuals."

The issue isn't simply that Brown dumped a great administrator in favor of a big-trouble replacement. It is the suspicion that Brown loves to campaign, but not to govern. That once he wins office, he loses interest in it.

Note his camera-happy tenure as attorney general. Want to talk about Anna Nicole Smith or Michael Jackson? Brown will go on your TV show.

Yet when it comes to taking a stand on the three-days-a-month furloughs enacted by the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — whom he seeks to replace — suddenly Brown is tongue-tied. He filed a brief against furloughs for constitutional offices (like his), but in April, a press secretary told me he had no opinion as to the legality of furloughs in state agencies controlled by the governor.

Last month, Brown told the Sacramento Bee in an e-mail that he would try to settle the anti-furlough lawsuits filed by labor unions representing state workers. That's a cheap hedge — it tells voters nothing. Ditto his stock phrase about how those with the biggest belts will have to tighten them.

I've seen Brown wow rooms with such quirky talk, and marveled at his pose as a disinterested politician who is prepared to gore all oxen.

The lore continues that, even though the SEIU has endorsed Brown and even though Big Labor is bankrolling the independent expenditure campaigns designed to elect him, Brown is so unpredictable that he just might benefit from their money, use their support and then with a fey shrug not return their favors.

Some even talk of Brown as so selfless that he might choose to become a one-term governor just so that he clean up Sacramento as his last hurrah in political life.

For my next column, I will argue there IS a tooth fairy.

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© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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