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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 Oct. 8, 2010 / 30 Tishrei, 5771

The Colbert Democrats

By Charles Krauthammer




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A president's first midterm election is inevitably a referendum on his two years in office. The bad news for Democrats is that President Obama's "reelect" number is 38 percent -- precisely Bill Clinton's in October 1994, the eve of the wave election that gave Republicans control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

Yet this same poll found that 65 percent view Obama favorably "as a person." The current Democratic crisis is not about the man -- his alleged lack of empathy, ability to emote, etc., requiring remediation with backyard, shirt-sleeved shoulder rubbing with the folks -- but about the policies.

(For more opinions on the midterm elections, check out David S. Broder's "John Boehner's useful thoughts on fixing Congress," E.J. Dionne Jr.'s "Virginia's 5th District race may say a lot about the electoral landscape" and Katrina vanden Heuvel's "Ignore the pollsters and champion the progressives.")

And the problem with the policies is twofold: ideology and effectiveness. First, Obama, abetted by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, tried to take a center-right country to the left. They grossly misread the 2008 election. It was a mandate to fix the economy and restore American confidence. Obama read it as a mandate to change the American social contract, giving it a more European social-democratic stamp, by fundamentally extending the reach and power of government in health care, energy, education, finance and industrial policy.

Obama succeeded with health care. Unfortunately for the Democrats, that and Obama's other signature achievement -- the stimulus -- were not exactly what the folks were clamoring for. What they wanted was economic recovery.

Here the Democrats failed the simple test of effectiveness. The economy is extraordinarily weak, unemployment is unacceptably high, and the only sure consequence of the stimulus is nearly $1 trillion added to the national debt in a single stroke.

And yet, to these albatrosses of ideological overreach and economic ineffectiveness, the Democrats have managed in the past few weeks to add a third indictment: incompetence.

For the first time since modern budgeting was introduced with the Budget Act of 1974, the House failed to even write a budget. This in a year of extraordinary deficits, rising uncertainty and jittery financial markets. Gold is going through the roof. Confidence in the dollar and the American economy is falling -- largely because of massive overhanging debt. Yet no budget emerged from Congress to give guidance, let alone reassurance, about future U.S. revenues and spending.

That's not all. Congress has not passed a single appropriations bill. To keep the government going, Congress passed a so-called continuing resolution (CR) before adjourning to campaign. The problem with continuing to spend at the current level is that the last two years have seen a huge 28 percent jump in non-defense discretionary spending. The CR continues this profligacy, aggravating an already serious debt problem.

As if this were not enough, Congress adjourned without even a vote -- nay, without even a Democratic bill -- on the expiring Bush tax cuts. This is the ultimate in incompetence. After 20 months of control of the White House and Congress -- during which they passed an elaborate, 1,000-page micromanagement of every detail of American health care -- the Democrats adjourned without being able to tell the country what its tax rates will be on Jan. 1.

It's not just income taxes. It's capital gains and dividends, too. And the estate tax, which will careen insanely from 0 to 55 percent when the ball drops on Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Nor is this harmless incompetence. To do this at a time when $2 trillion of capital is sitting on the sidelines because of rising uncertainty -- and there is no greater uncertainty than next year's tax rates -- is staggeringly irresponsible.

As if this display of unseriousness -- no budget, no appropriations bills, no tax bill -- were not enough, some genius on a House Judiciary subcommittee invites parodist Stephen Colbert to testify as an expert witness on immigration. He then pulls off a nervy mockery of the whole proceedings -- my favorite was his request to have his colonoscopy inserted in the Congressional Record -- while the chairwoman sits there clueless.

A fitting end for the 111th Congress. But not quite. Colbert will return to the scene of the crime on Oct. 30 as the leader of one of two mock rallies on the Mall. Comedian Jon Stewart leads the other. At a time of near-10 percent unemployment, a difficult and draining war abroad, and widespread disgust with government overreach and incompetence, they will light up the TV screens as the hip face of the new liberalism -- just three days before the election.

I suspect the electorate will declare itself not amused.

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