In this issue
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 August 9, 2007 / 25 Menachem-Av, 5767

Whom to Blame for the Bridge's Collapse? Why, Bush, Of Course!

By Larry Elder

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "How long will it take," I thought, as I watched the coverage of the collapsed bridge outside of Minneapolis, "before someone blames President George W. Bush?" It turns out, not long.

As divers attempted to locate possible victims submerged in the murky waters of the Mississippi, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said, "I think we should look at this tragedy that occurred as a wake-up call for us. We have — all over the country — crumbling infrastructure, highways, bridges, dams, and we really need to take a hard look at this." Calling it "the right thing to do" for the infrastructure and the economy, Reid said, "For every billion dollars we spend in our crumbling infrastructure, 47,000 high-paying jobs are created." Reid also implicated the White House, "Since 9/11 we have taken our eye off the ball."

The way bridge maintenance became the job of the federal government requires explaining.

How many people know that the federal government played virtually no role in the construction of the first coast-to-coast highway? The Lincoln Highway, an improved, hard-surfaced road spanning 3,400 miles from New York City to San Francisco, was conceived and built in the early 1900s, and relied heavily on private and corporate donations for funding. Private-sector visionaries, with the assistance of state and local taxpayers, established the Lincoln Highway in 1913 — three years before the first federal highway funding (1916), and 12 years before the numerical route marking of the first interstate systems (1925). Entrepreneur Carl Fisher, who conceived the idea for the highway, built headlights for cars. Wanting motorists to drive at night, Fisher pushed for improved roads, which ultimately led to the paving of then mostly dirt roads.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on the grounds of national security, sought and received congressional funds to construct the federal Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. But Eisenhower also touted the economic benefits of the highway — thus corrupting and expanding the framers' intent of the commerce clause in the Constitution.

We now have a federal highway system. But why does the federal government — rather than the states — continue to bear the responsibility of its maintenance?

In Indiana, Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels realized that his state lacked the money to maintain the Indiana Toll Road. For $3.8 billion, the state entered into a 75-year lease with a consortium of an Australian company and a Spanish company. As a result, Indiana no longer faces billions of dollars in road maintenance. In exchange, the investors intend to raise tolls for those using the roads. In Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley did something similar. He leased the Chicago Skyway — an eight-mile elevated highway — for 99 years in a $1.8 billion deal.

At one time, James Monroe, our fifth president, felt the Constitution disallowed federal toll collection, federally funded repairs and federal jurisdiction over the multi-state Cumberland Road. In 1822, Monroe cast his only veto against such a bill, even though his home state of Virginia stood to benefit.

According to Monroe's biography on the University of Virginia's americanpresident.org, " . . . As the United States continued to grow, many Americans advocated a system of internal improvements to help the country develop. Monroe thought this a good idea; he believed that the young nation needed an improved infrastructure, including a transportation network to grow and thrive economically. However, [Monroe] did not think that the Constitution said anything about the authority to build, maintain, and operate a national transportation system. . . . The issue came to a head when Congress passed a bill in 1822 to repair the Cumberland Road, or National Road, and equip it with a system of tolls. . . . Monroe vetoed the bill, however; it was his contention that the states through which the road passed should undertake the setting up and collecting of tolls because Congress lacked the authority to do so." (Three years later, on his last day in office, Monroe signed a bill authorizing extension of the Cumberland Road, leaving some constitutional scholars scratching their heads.)

Today, the federal government passes highway bills every six years or so, replete with pork projects. The last one, passed in 2005, included snowmobile trails and horse trails, as well as a documentary about infrastructure in Alaska. Some of the money never gets to critical highway maintenance.

So Americans continue the schizophrenia of demanding that the federal government keep us safe against our enemies, while simultaneously demanding a federally funded welfare state that saps time, attention and money from the very business of keeping us safe.

Well, we can always blame Bush.

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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