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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Nov. 29, 2006 / 8 Kislev, 5767

A recipe for cynicism

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Full-time political junkies are often criticized for their cynicism. We're too blasť, too dismissive of idealism, ideas, hope and plain old do-goodery. There's merit to this complaint, and I would have more sympathy for it if Washington were not a cesspool of intellectual reprobates and rent-seeking whorishness. There's a reason the golden spirit of the high school overachiever ("and if we all work together, we can make this the best yearbook ever!") turns to dross in this fetid swamp of institutionalized asininity.


Take, for a timely example, Medicare Part D, a.k.a. the prescription drug benefit. If Washington is a sausage factory, then this is surely the most jumbo of wieners. Here's how it works: Various private insurance firms are invited to offer competing drug-insurance plans to everyone eligible for Medicare. Everyone is entitled to the basic program, but they can choose others if they want, on the assumption that private competition will drive prices down and that people will pick plans better suited to their specific needs. It sounds good, though in the process the government created a vast new universal old-age entitlement at a time when entitlements are greasing the skids toward a fiscal train wreck.


Recall that President Bush pushed for a prescription drug benefit as a way to beat Democrats at their own game of "Socialize that Medicine!" ("I'll take long lines for $1,000, Alex.") The Republican House, that famed bastion of fiscal rectitude, had for the most part already endorsed such a plan even before Bush proposed it, though the congressional GOP complains that Bush's "big government" siren song led them astray. But when Bush sent his proposal to Congress, it was a humble affair, aimed primarily at the needy. It was the GOP Congress that removed the free-market gristle from the bill and poured in pure pork fat, so as to ensure a smoother texture of pure entitlement.


Meanwhile, Democrats, furious that the Republicans had stolen their issue, rejected the whole Medicare plan on the grounds that it was an expensive "giveaway" to Big Pharma and insurance companies. Democrats, it seems, prefer even more expensive giveaways to the voters. For example, Sen. Dick Durbin's alternative plan, proposed shortly after Medicare Part D was passed (and still officially under consideration by the Democrats), never contemplated that market forces could lead to anything good. So he insisted that consumers must — must! — pay $35 a month in premiums. It turned out that competition has made $35 expensive by comparison — one plan costs a mere $6 per month, and the average is $32. Dick Durbin: granny gouger!


Now that the Democrats have taken over Congress, they are promising to "fix" Medicare Part D by making it more government-run, more generous to better-off recipients, and much less profitable for those evil disease-curing drug companies. The hitch is that the current, supposedly disastrous plan costs much less than expected and seniors are overwhelmingly happy with it. Shocking, isn't it? People like to get expensive stuff cheaper!


Oh, and before I get grief about minimizing such a vital issue, let's keep in mind that the greatest generation has a lot going for it, but a healthy aversion to statism isn't one of them. In 2000, when the prescription-drug crisis was reaching a crescendo — Al Gore seemed to find old ladies who had to choose between pills and food everywhere he went — senior citizens were nonetheless the most insured Americans. All of them were entitled to Medicare, most had other insurance, and four out of five of them already had prescription drug coverage by a third-party provider. Yes, some poor seniors needed help, but as a group, old people spent more of their money on entertainment (5.3 percent) than they did on drugs (3.2 percent). And yet the federal government refused to create a new entitlement to cheap "Matlock" DVDs.


The subtlety of mind behind the Democratic push to have the government "negotiate" — i.e. dictate — drug prices can be summarized in a statement by Robert M. Hayes, president of something called the Medicare Rights Center: "It only makes sense that if the industries do less well, the taxpayers and the consumers will do better."


By all means then, let us burn these industries down and salt the earth where they stood, for then we will live in consumer nirvana!


Hayes was talking to the Washington Post, which, having covered the "devastating" effects of Bush's plan before the midterm elections, has now suddenly discovered the plan works pretty well after all. "Success of Drug Plan Challenges Democrats," blared the headline.


And people wonder why we're so cynical.

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