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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 July 31, 2008 / 28 Tamuz 5768

When Congress Works

By David Broder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you were to ask Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd — the principal architects of the massive housing bill signed yesterday by President Bush — which of its many features pleases them most, the answer would surprise you.


It is not the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the embattled mortgage giants, or the aid the bill provides for thousands of homeowners struggling to afford their subprime loans in a faltering real estate market.


Instead, it is the section creating the National Housing Trust Fund, a creative way of meeting the chronic shortage of affordable low-income rental units — a huge problem in cities and rural areas across the country.


Dodd, a senator from Connecticut, told me, "That is the part that will have the greatest long-term impact." Frank, a Massachusetts representative, said in a separate interview, "That's what I'm most proud of."


Their views are echoed by two other legislators without whom this legislation would never have made it to the White House. Democratic Sen. Jack Reed brought his passion for affordable housing with him from Rhode Island and never gave up on pressing the cause. And Richard Shelby of Alabama, the former chairman and now ranking Republican on the relevant Senate committee, gave the measure the bipartisan backing it needed.


Even with Shelby's help, Dodd notes, the bill had to survive several cloture votes and the threat of a presidential veto, later withdrawn.


The lobbying campaign that supported this effort began in 2001 and involved hundreds of local governments and social service agencies. Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition — the person who coordinated the campaign — kept hammering home the basic numbers: 9 million extremely low-income households in the United States and only 6.2 million units of affordable rental housing.


The bill addresses that imbalance by creating a new program within the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The National Housing Trust Fund does not depend on annual appropriations by Congress, which might never arrive, given the size of the federal budget deficit, the costs of two wars and runaway health-care programs.


Instead, it taps a portion of the profits that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac make on their mortgage loans, estimated to yield at least $300 million a year and perhaps as much as $700 million.


Fannie and Freddie have had a rough time in the current housing slump, but all the sponsors of this legislation told me they are confident the two big lenders will survive. In one of the compromises that cleared the way for passage of the bill, next year the profits of Fannie and Freddie will be held in reserve to offset any losses the government incurs in helping seriously strapped mortgage-holders. So it will be 2010 before funding of the trust begins.


Each year, as the money comes in, the trust fund will distribute it to the states using a formula that measures the seriousness of their low-income-housing needs. At least 90 percent of the funds must be used to construct or rehab rental units. All of the benefits are ticketed for very low- or extremely low-income households.


For far too long, the federal government has been shirking its responsibility to help the neediest Americans meet their basic housing needs. Food stamp allocations have been increased repeatedly to combat hunger, in part because the farm lobby values the additional markets for its products.


But Crowley says this bill is "the first low-income-housing production program passed by Congress since 1990 and the first that specifically serves extremely low-income families since 1974."


That legislation of this scope and potential has passed Congress would be worth celebrating at any time. That it has happened now, when Congress is so mired in partisan battles and so paralyzed by the unmet challenges of energy, education, immigration and fiscal irresponsibility, is almost a miracle.


The public has registered its disgust with the performance of this Congress, and I have been equally harsh in my judgment. It is a particular pleasure, therefore, to salute a rare action that shows both professionalism and conscience in the lawmakers.

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Previously:

07/29/08: Management 101 for Senators
07/24/08: Obama's success abroad was pure luck
07/21/08: Obama's success abroad was pure luck
07/17/08: Governors offer real world wisdom. Obama and McCain would be wise to listen
07/14/08: Foes and allies strive to peg a shifty Obama
07/10/08: Fixing How We Go to War
07/07/08: Decider on the High Court
07/03/08: One Nation No More? Civics Needs a Boost, but Our Identity Endures
06/30/08: Dumbing Down the Presidency
06/26/08: Voting's Neglected Scandal
06/23/08: Why don't we know what makes Obama tick?
06/19/08: Foreign Policy's Best Hope
06/16/08: Perot, Back On the Charts
06/16/08: The Many Gifts of Tim Russert
06/12/08: Why Hillary played the womyn card
06/08/08: Eclipsed by the Adventures of Hillary
06/02/08: Obama in retreat
06/02/08: Reality vs. the Mythmakers
05/29/08: Hamilton Jordan's Message to Obama
05/27/08: Let the Veepstakes Begin
05/19/08: The mental exercise of placing Obama in the Oval Office requires more imagination than did moving Reagan from the silver screen to Pennsylvania Ave.
05/15/08: For Obama, a Lost Moment
05/12/08: The price of delay
05/08/08: Phoniness and inevitability
05/05/08: Winning by destruction: An insider reveals the Hillary game plan
05/01/08: Candidates' high-mindedness is rooted in religiosity; but Hillary and McCain don't have hater as inspiration


© 2008, by WPWG

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