In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Dec. 16, 2009 / 29 Kislev 5770

Three Undemocratic Temptations

By Tony Blankley

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the Democrats in Congress approach the end of a frustrating first year's legislative effort, their leaders and the White House are being tempted by three possible shortcuts around the regular lawmaking process. Though the Democrats have a majority of 20 seats in the Senate and 79 seats in the House, now, just a week before Christmas, the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader and the White House have failed — so far — to pass into law their desired legislation in the matters of 1) health care provision and financing, 2) public debt and deficit reduction, and 3) carbon regulation and taxation.

Given the extraordinary effects such policy changes would have on the American economy and the American way of life, to enact such changes without benefit of informed majority votes in the House and Senate would be in violation of the constitutional process — certainly in spirit, perhaps in form.

The schemes, I suppose, are thought to be clever. On health care, because the Constitution requires revenue bills to originate in the House, the plan would take the shell of a minor House revenue bill, and then inserted in it would be the entire final health bill (called a Senate "manager's amendment"), negotiated largely among Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and such other party leaders as are necessary to ensure that the bill would pass both houses.

Then, with only minutes' notice, they could pass it in the Senate and hours later in the House, and it would be on the president's desk within a few more hours for his signature.

The provisions never would be seen or comprehended by most of even the Democratic Party members of the House and Senate. Certainly the public would have no chance to hear about the details, let alone a chance to contact their congressmen to express opinions.

Letter from JWR publisher

(By contrast, the original Medicare bills were designated as H.R. 1 and S. 1 in January 1965. The House bill moved forward to markup in the Ways and Means Committee and then to passage on the floor of the House on April 8, by a vote of 313-115. The Senate approved its version July 9, 68-21. A conference committee worked for more than a week in mid-July to reconcile 513 differences between the two versions of the bill. President Lyndon Johnson then signed the Medicare bill into law, July 30, 1965.)

On the public debt and deficit crisis, the White House, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, Judd Gregg (the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee) and other leaders (but not Speaker Pelosi, yet) want Congress to create a bipartisan commission that would have authority to add new taxes and rewrite all the tax codes, all the entitlement laws and any other laws affecting revenues or expenses in order to reduce the deficit to no more than 3 percent of gross domestic product. In other words, the commission could transmogrify the entire body of U.S. law, and then — reporting back to Congress after the election — each house of Congress would have one unamendable up-or-down vote.

What a shocking abrogation of representative government. This is not a matter of policy; it is a matter of constitutional process. Even our friends at the left-wing Daily Kos condemned this as "particularly galling" and favorably quoted the "strong opposition" statement of the progressive Campaign for America's Future, as do I:

"Those supporting this circumvention of the normal process have stated openly the desire to avoid political accountability. Americans — seniors, women, working families, people with disabilities, young adults, children, people of color, veterans, communities of faith and others — expect their elected representatives to be responsible and accountable for shaping such significant, far-reaching legislation."

Amen, my brothers and sisters of the left. The day that either of us loves our constitutional process less than we would love to see some particular policy enacted — that's the day democracy dies in America.

Finally, as the White House does not expect to be able to pass a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate, it has announced that it intends — without benefit of legislation — to have the Environmental Protection Agency regulate (i.e., tax, restrict or prohibit) any source that emits as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide a year (or, in some cases, 100 tons). At 250 tons a year, the kitchen in a restaurant, the heating system in an apartment or office building, or the running a family farm would trigger federal regulation; potentially, more than 1 million buildings, 200,000 manufacturing operations and 20,000 farms would fall under the arbitrary power of the state.

Of course, all these methods have been used before — commissions to decide base closings or Social Security changes, sharply interpreted expansion of regulatory authority over some small new category of creature or process, middle-of-the-night legislative passage of a pork-laden spending bill.

But the proposals before us now are of such a magnitude as to transform American life and work as we have known it. To have such momentous decisions made in the backroom by a half-dozen leaders (without the public's having a chance to comment) and then to have it rubber-stamped by obedient backbench representatives and senators who have not even asserted their prerogative to read the bills they are told to vote for — if that were to happen, then our people's Congress would become like the lackey-filled old Soviet Parliament.

To paraphrase Hannah Arendt: For the leaders to "speak in the form of commanding" and for the rank and file to "hear in the form of obeying" is not a transaction between free people.

Whatever the motives of their leaders, it is within the power — and it is the duty — of the rank-and-file members of Congress to insist on regular legislative order. Their careers — to say nothing of the republic — may require that insistence.

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.


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2009, Creators Syndicate