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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 August 12, 2011 / 12 Menachem-Av, 5771

The system works

By Charles Krauthammer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Of all the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom in today’s Washington, the most lazy, stupid and ubiquitous is that our politics is broken. On the contrary. Our political system is working well (I make no such claims for our economy), indeed, precisely as designed — profound changes in popular will translated into law that alters the nation’s political direction.

The process has been messy, loud, disputatious and often rancorous. So what? In the end, the system works. Exhibit A is Wisconsin. Exhibit B is Washington itself.

The story begins in 2008. The country, having lost confidence in Republican governance, gives the Democrats full control of Washington. The new president, deciding not to waste a crisis, attempts a major change in the nation’s ideological trajectory. Hence his two signature pieces of legislation: a near-$1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in galactic history; and a health-care reform that places one-sixth of the economy under federal control.

In a country where conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1, this causes a reaction. In the 2010 midterms, Democrats suffer a massive repudiation at every level. In Washington, Democrats suffer the greatest loss of House seats since 1948. In the states, they lose over 700 state legislative seats — the largest reversal ever — resulting in the loss of 20 state chambers.

The Tea-Party-propelled, debt-conscious Republicans then move to confront their states’ unsustainable pension and health-care obligations — most boldly in Wisconsin, where the new governor proposes a radical reorientation of the power balance between public-sector unions and elected government.

In Madison, the result is general mayhem — drum-banging protesters, frenzied unions, statehouse occupations, opposition legislators fleeing the state to prevent a quorum. A veritable feast of creative democratic resistance.



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In the end, however, they fail. The legislation passes.

Then, further resistance. First, Democrats turn an otherwise sleepy state Supreme Court election into a referendum on the union legislation, the Democrats’ candidate being widely expected to overturn the law. The unions/Democrats lose again.

And then last Tuesday, recall elections for six Republican state senators, three being needed to return the Senate to Democratic control and restore balance to the universe. Yet despite millions of union dollars, the Republicans hold the Senate. The unions/Democrats lose again.

The people spoke; the process worked. Yes, it was raucous and divisive, but change this fundamental should not be enacted quietly. This is not midnight basketball or school uniforms. This is the future of government-worker power and the solvency of the states. It deserves big, serious, animated public debate.

Precisely of the kind Washington (exhibit B) just witnessed over its debt problem. You know: The debt-ceiling debate universally denounced as dysfunctional, if not disgraceful, hostage-taking, terrorism, gun-to-the-head blackmail.

Spare me the hysteria. What happened was that the 2010 electorate, as represented in Congress, forced Washington to finally confront the national debt. It was a triumph of democratic politics — a powerful shift in popular will finding concrete political expression.

But only partial expression. Debt hawks are upset that the final compromise doesn’t do much. But it shouldn’t do much. They won only one election. They were entrusted, as of yet, with only one-half of one branch of government.

But they did begin to turn the aircraft carrier around. The process did bequeath a congressional super-committee with extraordinary powers to reduce debt. And if that fails, the question — how much government, how much debt — will go to the nation in November 2012. Which is also how it should be.

The conventional complaint is that the process was ugly. Big deal. You want beauty? Go to a museum. Democratic politics was never meant to be an exercise in aesthetics.

Not just ugly, moan the critics, but oh so slow. True, again. It took months. And will take more. The super-committee doesn’t report until Thanksgiving. The next election is more than a year away. But the American system was designed to make a full turn of the carrier difficult and deliberate.

Moreover, without this long ugly process, the debt issue wouldn’t even be on the table. We’d still be whistling our way to Greece. Instead, a nation staring at insolvency is finally stirring itself to action, and not without spirited opposition. Great issues are being decided as constitutionally designed. The process is working.

Notice how the loudest complaints about “broken politics” come from those who lost the debate. It’s understandable for sore losers to rage against the machine. But there’s no need for the rest of us to parrot their petulance.

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