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 Sept. 24, 2007 / 12 Tishrei 5768

North to the Future: The men who gave us the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ may be headed there themselves

By John H. Fund

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On Friday Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin ordered the state to prepare a "fiscally responsible" alternative to the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," which made the state a national laughingstock and shone an unwelcome spotlight on the pork-barrel greed of its all-Republican congressional delegation. The $398 million bridge would have connected Ketchikan (population 7,400) to its airport on a nearby island inhabited by 50 people.

The same day, the Associated Press reported that the FBI has recorded two phone calls between Sen. Ted Stevens, who sponsored the bridge, and Bill Allen, a Stevens patron who dominated state politics as the head of the oil-services firm VECO until he pleaded guilty to bribing state legislators this year. Mr. Allen has also testified in open court that he paid some of the bills incurred in the expensive remodeling of Mr. Stevens's Alaska home. Last month, FBI agents raided the senator's home to secure evidence about the remodeling work. Few expect Mr. Stevens, who has served since 1968 and rose to become chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, to survive politically.

An era is ending in Alaska politics. For decades the state justified its raids on the federal treasury because Washington owned so much of the state and had locked up so many of its natural resources to development (the oil underneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge being the most famous example). In what some called "compensation," the state made sure it became No. 1 in the nation for pork per person — $984.85 for each Alaskan in 2005.

The arrogance Alaska congressmen displayed in pursuing their taxpayer largesse was stunning. Rep. Don Young, the former Transportation Committee chairman and the state's lone House member, became famous for trying to secure funding for another dubious bridge near Anchorage, this one costing $223 million. Art Nelson, Mr. Young's son-in-law, is part owner of 60 acres of what he described as "beautiful property" — land that would be opened up to development by the new bridge. He admitted discussing the project with his father-in-law. Mr. Young said he saw no conflict of interest.

But Mr. Young is nonetheless highly sensitive about the projects he promotes. Earlier this year Rep. Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican, sought to trim $11.8 million from programs for aboriginal populations in Alaska and Hawaii. Mr. Young, who once threatened to chew off the ear of an opponent, turned on Mr. Garrett with similar ferocity: "Those who bite me will be bitten back." He bellowed against members who would attack his projects: "It's my money!" He then claimed that the GOP lost control of Congress in 2006 because of "members who want to cut spending."

Even many of Mr. Young's constituents seem to disagree. A poll conducted this summer by the free-market Club for Growth found that 66% of Alaskans disapproved of the "Bridge to Nowhere." When asked to choose between a prospective candidate who wants to cut federal spending "even if that includes cutting some money that would come to Alaska" and a candidate who is willing to increase overall federal spending "as long as more federal spending and projects come to Alaska," the vote was even more lopsided: 71% of Alaska's residents chose the skinflint.

Adding to Rep. Young's woes, The Wall Street Journal reports that he has become a target of the same federal investigation that's been looking into connections between Sen. Stevens and VECO. Mr. Young has a lot more to worry about than whom to bite on the House floor. The same can be said for Mr. Stevens, whose pork-barreling days are likely numbered.

Of course, politicians naturally want to take credit for dragging federal dollars home. But the GOP Congress let the situation go berserk. In 2005, Congress authorized a record 13,999 earmarks. The scandals surrounding just a few of them involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham sent reporters scurrying to find what other nuggets of news might be buried in the remainder. Majority Republicans suffered most, even though Democrats routinely secured an estimated 45% of earmark spending.

Now it's Democrats who are championing earmarks and trying to hide them from the public, all the while proclaiming their desire for openness. House Minority Leader John Boehner took an important step toward reclaiming the party's fiscally conservative brand last week when he announced he would try to force a vote on greater earmark transparency.

It's time for Senate Republicans to step up to the plate. It's increasingly clear that their Sen. Stevens has ethically compromised himself and brought shame to the Senate. Will his colleagues continue to kowtow to him as a powerful Appropriations Committee member and allow him to serve on other key committees? Or will they send a signal that they are prepared to shun senators who abuse the public trust?

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JWR contributor John H. Fund is author, most recently, of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, John H. Fund