Dec. 9, 2013
: In Windy City, religion confronts a gust of cold air
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
Nov 17, 2011
20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772
Big enough to save the supercommittee?
Sixteen hours between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill brought out the best and the worst in our leaders.
The worst: With just a week to go before the all-important deadline for the congressional supercommittee to come up with a plan to avert a looming debt catastrophe, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell left his office at 6:58 p.m. and went home for the night.
Two minutes later, as The Post’s Paul Kane observed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did the same, decamping for his home at the Ritz-Carlton residences in the West End. He must have been exhausted from the day’s hard work: A 15-minute meeting with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss the progress, or lack thereof, of the supercommittee. It was the first and only meeting the two leaders had on the topic since the supercommittee was formed.
Yet the morning after this failure of leadership, there was a sign of hope: 45 lawmakers – a bipartisan and bicameral group – assembled in a House television studio to urge the dozen supercommittee members to make the unpopular decisions needed to fix the debt problem.
“Supercommittee, we’ve got your back,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).
“We’ll have your back,” agreed House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
“We are here,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), “to make sure the supercommittee knows that we’ve got its back.”
“We got their back,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) concurred.
Their clichés were tired, but their bravery was refreshing: Democrats willing to cut Medicare and Social Security, and Republicans willing to raise taxes, because that’s what’s in the national interest.
As somebody dedicated to mocking politicians for their misdeeds, I’m often asked whether there are any good ones. Well, on the stage Wednesday morning was a group of lawmakers engaged in the best tradition of public service. (For a full listing of these profiles in courage, you can see the House members’ names here, and the senators here.)
In all, there are 147 members of the self-proclaimed “Go Big Coalition” — and that’s the problem. It represents not even a third of the 535 members of Congress. While some members of leadership were in attendance Wednesday (Hoyer, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Republican Conference Chair Lamar Alexander), not one of the top leaders -- Reid, McConnell, Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Eric Cantor – has joined the effort.
In fact, the supercommittee is getting little support from leadership on either side, and some, such as Reid, have been overtly hostile to efforts to forge a debt compromise. That has made the supercommittee members, who were appointed by the leaders, far less willing to cut a deal: Though they know that the panel’s failure to act would further undermine confidence in government, it wouldn’t be as devastating as having the entire Congress vote down the supercommittee’s recommendations next month.
Back in July, when the compromise was forged to create the supercommittee, the nation’s attention was focused on the effort. A week before the deadline to reach that deal, President Obama and Boehner gave dueling speeches to the nation. Now congressional leaders are working bankers’ hours, and the public has lost focus: A Politico/George Washington University poll found that 88 percent of Americans are not familiar or only somewhat familiar with the supercommittee.
The lawmakers who crowded the stage Wednesday morning tried to change that. “Most Americans, if they saw this scene behind me, would say, ‘I didn’t think that was possible,’ ” Durbin said, “‘I didn’t think you could bring together so many Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate to agree on anything.’”
And these guys actually seemed to like each other. Hoyer made a show of celebrating his “fraternity brother” Chambliss and his “partner,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). “The public doesn’t believe that we have good friends across the aisle,” he said. “That’s not accurate.”
It was a rare feel-good moment, but it was brought back to reality during the question time, when a reporter pointed out that Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.), the supercommittee’s Republican co-chair, has said up to that point that he would not compromise any further on taxes, while Republicans are complaining that Democrats haven’t offered a new proposal in a week.
“Failure’s not an option,” Hoyer said. “Our country needs us now.”
Another questioner asked about all the Republicans who had signed a pledge not to raise taxes. “We are ready to make the compromises and build the solutions that can help bring all the parties together,” Crapo said. He and his colleagues, he added, are “ready to stand here and make the kinds of decisions that will help us as a nation to solve our fiscal crisis.”
If only the Go Big Coalition had a majority.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.
• 11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
• 11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
• 11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
• 11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
• 11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
• 10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
• 10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
• 10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
• 10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
• 10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
• 10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
• 10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
• 10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
• 10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
• 10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
• 09/28/11 Cain could deliver
• 09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
• 09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
• 09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
• 09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
• 09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
• 09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
• 09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
• 09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
• 08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
• 08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
• 08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
• 08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
• 08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
• 08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
• 08/03/11 Government on autopilot
• 08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
• 07/27/11 Life imitates sport
• 07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
• 07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
• 07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
• 07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
• 07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
• 07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
• 07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
• 06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
• 06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
• 06/24/11 Mission accomplished, Obama style
• 06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
• 06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
• 06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
• 06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
• 06/02/11 The Weiner roast
• 06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
• 05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
• 05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
• 05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
• 05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
• 05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
• 05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
• 05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
• 05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
• 05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
• 05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
• 05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
• 05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
• 05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
• 04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
• 04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
• 04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
• 04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
• 04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
• 04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
• 04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
• 04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
• 04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
• 04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
• 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