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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 Sept. 21, 2009 / 3 Tishrei 5770

Baucus's Bumpy Middle Road

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the early 1970s, when Max Baucus, now the senior senator from Montana and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was contemplating entering politics, he sought advice from many veteran public servants.

His steps brought him to the Washington law offices of James H. Rowe Jr., who came out of Montana and Harvard Law School to join FDR's White House staff and later became a counselor to Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and many others of that generation.

As I eventually heard, Rowe — who took the time to teach this reporter valuable political lessons — was impressed with the young, good-looking visitor who was backed by a wealthy, well-established Montana family, and encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

But before he left, Baucus asked Rowe one surprising question: Do you think I should run as a Republican or a Democrat?

Rowe, the old New Dealer, said, "I sure hope you'll be a Democrat." The ideological ambivalence implicit in that question has dogged Baucus throughout his career. Always a Democrat, he has never been a sure vote for his party's leaders, and on many occasions he has aggravated the more partisan of his colleagues by insisting on going his own way.

It has never hurt him at home. Montana is a bifurcated state. The eastern two-thirds look like the Great Plains states of Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas and vote as conservatively as they do. But the western, more mountainous third includes mining centers such as Butte and the academic towns of Helena and Missoula, where Democrats find their votes. Baucus has straddled the divide.

When President Obama put health care at the top of his domestic agenda, Baucus saw the opportunity to cap his career with a historic piece of legislation. Concerned that the other committee with health jurisdiction, then headed by Sen. Ted Kennedy, might move ahead of him, Baucus staked an early claim and let the White House — and everyone else — know that he would be the one who mattered.

As it turned out, it was that other committee, led by Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut after Kennedy's terminal illness sidelined him, that completed its work first. But with Baucus leading lengthy negotiations with the "Gang of Six," three Republicans and two other Democrats on Finance, Obama and congressional Democratic leaders kept sliding the deadline for a floor vote in hopes that Baucus could deliver a bipartisan bill.

Last week, Baucus conceded that his effort had failed — at least, so far — and said that he would offer his own bill for amendment in committee this week.

He is not alone in discovering that the task of restructuring one-sixth of the American economy and navigating the myriad conflicting interests and constituencies involved is indeed a daunting one. In the House, the bill shaped by three committees has a price tag that many regard as excessive and includes the "public option" that appears to be a nonstarter in the Senate. Dodd's bill faces similar objections.

But it is almost certainly the case that none of the other chairmen has as much riding on this issue as does Baucus. Dodd has written significant bills such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and has a major hand in the financial regulatory bills Obama hopes to see passed this year.

The three House chairmen also have many trophies in their cases. George Miller was a co-author of No Child Left Behind. Henry Waxman's name is on the energy-climate bill awaiting a Senate vote. Charlie Rangel, like every other Ways and Means Committee chairman, produces important tax, trade and welfare legislation as regular as clockwork every two years.

This was to be Baucus's moment. But when it came last week, he had to admit that he had enlisted not one Republican supporter and then had to endure criticism from his fellow Democrats that his measure fell short of what the campaign had promised.

As usual, Baucus is in the middle. But it is a miserable place to be.

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