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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 June 11, 2008 / 8 Sivan 5768

Dining room dollars

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Al Gore claims that "good enough for government work" once implied that such work met the highest standards of excellence. Maybe. But in the U.S. Senate's kitchens, "good enough for government work" means any meal that doesn't require a stomach pump.


The first time I was invited to the Senate for lunch, I was jazzed to sup in the corridors of power. By the time I got my meal, which seemed to have sat under a heat lamp since LBJ was running the place, I felt more like Robert Redford in the 1980 film "Brubaker," when the new warden, pretending to be an inmate, eats in the prison dining hall, where the food often moves on its own.


As befits a government-run commissary, the Senate cafeteria has a decidedly Soviet attitude toward variety. It has averaged only two new menu items a year over the last decade. The food is so bad, every lunch hour Senate staffers rush to the House side of the Capitol like starving New Yorkers of the future storming the last Soylent Green vendor.


According to auditors, the chain of restaurants run by the Senate food service, including the snooty Senate Dining Room, has almost never been in the black. It's lost more than $18 million since 1993 and has dropped about $2 million this year alone. If the food service doesn't get an emergency bridge loan of a quarter-million dollars, it won't be able to make payroll.


So how will the Senate fix the problem? Well, with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein taking the lead, the Democrats — that's right, the Democrats — have called a classic Republican play: Privatize it.


The House of Representatives made the switch in the 1980s, and its food service is now better. And profitable: The House has made $1.2 million in commissions since 2003. True to the Founders' vision of the Senate as the more slow-moving branch of government, the Senate has taken 20 years to follow suit.


This was a painful decision for many Democrats who believe that privatization cannot be justified simply because it delivers better service and higher quality for less money. "What about the workers?" they cried. Apparently, some Democrats feel that the top priority in the restaurant business is to generate paychecks for people who are bad at their jobs.


Feinstein, head of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, was forced to deal with reality. "It's cratering," the Washington Post quoted Feinstein as saying. "Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses."


Yes, yes, go on, Dianne. Run with that thought. Explore it, as the therapists say.


Perhaps you might meditate on the District of Columbia's public school system, which spends roughly $14,000 a pupil in exchange for one of the worst educations in the country. Every year, one of the greatest mysteries in the nation's capital is whether textbooks have been delivered to the right kids, or even to the right schools. It can take until Christmas to get it all worked out. FedEx Corp., meanwhile, can tell you where any of its millions of packages are in more than 100 countries, right now. (Why not just FedEx the textbooks to the kids?)


Or you might ponder the hilarious example of New York's OTB. For most of the last 40 years, these state-run betting parlors have actually lost money. Apparently, the house always wins — except when Uncle Sam is the bookie.


Look wherever you like, it's not as if there's a shortage of examples. And more are on the way.


Indeed, all augurs point to a tsunami of government ambition in the years ahead, particularly if Barack Obama wins in November. Obama promises a national health insurance plan overseen by the kith and kin who serve the Senate its navy bean soup. He believes that the failure of public schools — like D.C.'s — is largely attributable to the under-funding of education. D.C.'s schools already are among the best-funded and worst schools in the country. By all means, let's have more of the same!


Feinstein, to her credit, witnessed an abject failure of government right under her nose — on her plate, in fact — and did something about it. "It's clearly not the sort of thing that I ran for the Senate to do," she said, according to the Post. "But somebody has to do it."


Alas, the possibility that she or her colleagues will make a similar call about anything that doesn't affect them directly in less than another 20 years seems too much to hope for.

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