Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 July 29, 2010 18 Menachem-Av, 5770

Why Are We Beginning to Hate Congress?

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recent polls show that more than 70 percent of the public holds an unfavorable view of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wins about a 10 percent approval rating; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has similarly rock-bottom poll numbers.

Why this astounding -- and growing -- disdain for our lawmakers? After all, Congress has had plenty of scandals and corruption in the past, such as the House post office and check-kiting messes the Charles Keating payoffs, and the Abscam bribery.

But lately, Congress seems not merely corrupt, but -- far more worrisome -- without apparent concern that it has become so unethical.

A "culture of corruption" was the slogan of the Democratic Party to win back Congress in 2006. And indeed there was lots of sleaze then among incumbent Republicans.

Reps. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.), Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Tom DeLay (R-Texas) all left Congress under a cloud. Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) saw their careers ruined over creepy sex allegations. Convicted felon Jack Abramoff ran a criminal lobbying syndicate by which big money earned special attention from Republican lawmakers.

But when reform-minded Democrats took over, the mess got no better, and possibly worse -- suggesting that the problem was not politics, but what Congress itself had become. Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) was convicted on multiple counts, including bribery and racketeering. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who recently stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, for over a year has been under investigation for numerous transgressions -- from rent-control violations and tax avoidance to improper lobbying and omissions from financial disclosure forms. The late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) had seemed destined for an investigation into quid-pro-quo relationships between the money he received from boosters and the earmarks he earned them. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) managed to get a cut-rate home loan from a tottering bank -- and a great deal on a vacation home in Ireland from a seller with connections to someone for whom Dodd lobbied for a presidential pardon.

Presidents come and go, but Congress stays the same in its habit of borrowing money. In the latest nearly half-trillion-dollar spending bill, Congress included more than 5,000 special earmarks. Senators and representatives routinely dole out dubious grants to their own constituents, usually in some way connected with campaign contributions. They worry little about the rising federal debt or the value of such spending for the nation at large.

When questioned, our representatives -- reminiscent of the old French court at Versailles -- act like they live in a rarified, untouchable universe.

Rangel shrugged off his ethics problems as racially motivated. Would-be reformer Pelosi -- who, along with other Democrats, has railed about corporate CEOs and their perks -- asked that her private plane be upgraded to a huge government jet so she would not have to refuel on her way home to California. Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia struck a Capitol Hill police officer who asked her to show identification upon entering a House office building. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called an airline attendant a "bitch" last year after she repeatedly asked him to turn off his cell phone in accordance with federal law.

It is understandable, but not healthy, for a democracy to have little respect for legislators such as these. So, how could these self-absorbed grandees show voters a little contrition?

A good start would be to ban the egomaniac naming of monuments, parks, buildings and roads after living senators and representatives. The rest of us don't expect to have things named after us at work or school for simply doing our jobs. Congress should not either.

Members of Congress should adopt pay-as-you-go lawmaking. It is easy to win friends by handing out someone else's money, but harder to ask voters to pay the ensuing bill. Appropriate the money first; spend it second.

Can't legislators go back home and get a life after their terms? Why don't they quit lobbying their former colleagues for profit, and stop finagling for lifelong sinecures at some federal or state agency?

And why can't members of Congress abide by the very laws they pass? If members wish to change health care, they should enroll in the same plans they mandate for others. Congressional offices should be subject to the same labor rules that private businesses work under -- from sexual harassment statutes to overtime compensation.

Our self-absorbed Congress should start to reform, fast. Right now, the American people seem to think that the main purpose of holding congressional office is to boost egos and get rich later on -- and in the process make the rest of us poorer.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2010, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles