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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 June 9, 2010 / 27 Sivan, 5770

The little engine that might

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Pentagon doesn't want it. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says it's unnecessary. Former President George W. Bush was against it, as is Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto a defense authorization bill that includes it.

So why have so many House leaders voted for a $485 million "earmark" for General Electric and Rolls-Royce for continued development of an alternate engine for a military jet, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?

In a rare turn of bipartisanship amid promises to cut spending and trim the deficit, everyone from Blue Dog Democrats to members of the Progressive Caucus to the Republican Study Committee (RSC) approved funding the extra engine. What gives?

From this, one might infer that those voting for the engine have done so irresponsibly. So goes the spin coming from Capitol Hill the past few days, compliments of Pratt & Whitney, the company that builds the engine currently being used in the Strike Fighter, under an exclusive contract that gives the company a monopoly.

I was one of the media people targeted by the Pratt & Whitney PR machinery. An e-mail arrived in my inbox making the case for principles being compromised by congressional leaders.

Included in the e-mail was the following information:

Of the 32 RSC members who signed the "No Earmark" pledge, 17 voted for the engine fund, including RSC Chairman Tom Price, Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor and Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence.

There's nothing terribly surprising about Republicans voting for a pro-market, defense-enhancing item. On the other hand, at a time when cost cutting isn't so much an option as an imperative, why not avoid duplication and spend development funds elsewhere -- or not at all?

Reading on: Twenty-three House members of the Blue Dog Coalition, who have vowed to cut spending, voted for the "earmark." The same goes for 29 members of the Progressive Caucus, including two of the vice chairs, Democratic Reps. Diane Watson and Dennis Kucinich.

Wait, peace-love-and-doves Kucinich voted for it? Something smelled fishier than the ruined shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Conspiracy theories abound. One popular among conservatives is that Pratt & Whitney is working with the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste to characterize those who voted for the "earmark" as spendthrifts liberated from principle. A screen grab of a pro-Pratt & Whitney ad produced by CAGW shows that it was paid for by Pratt & Whitney. The St. Petersburg Times reported that both parties said the "slip" was a mistake.

Erin Dick, a Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman, told me in an e-mail that "as a matter of company policy, we do not disclose the organizations we support." Other groups opposing the extra engine include Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Center for American Progress, the Project on Government Oversight and the Lexington Institute.

There may be legitimate reasons to oppose the extra engine, but there is also another way of viewing the votes in favor. I like to call it the free market, where competition often leads to lower costs and better quality. The Government Accountability Office, which studied the issue, concluded that though the alternative engine program would cost significantly more than a sole-source program, it could in the long run reduce costs by as much as 12 percent.

Practically speaking, there is also the real concern that having just one engine could compromise national security. Under the current, sole-source arrangement, by 2035, the F-35 would be responsible for 95 percent of our fighter attack force, according to the Institute for Defense Analyses.

Finally, though the funding is being characterized by opponents as an earmark, it is nothing of the kind. Under House rules, an earmark is a request to authorize or appropriate money to a specific entity or locality in a way that thwarts the competitive award process. Congress has been funding the second engine for years to ensure competition, and the Armed Services Committee has long supported this competition as a national security imperative on a bipartisan basis.

Whether GE/Rolls-Royce or Pratt & Whitney can make a better engine or whether we need a backup engine is for others to determine. The Senate defense bill, which has been approved in committee, does not include funding for the extra engine and has yet to reach the Senate floor. But nowhere does competition make more sense -- and "spin" less sense -- than with our instruments of defense.

Sometimes an earmark is good for you. And sometimes a watchdog could be a fox.

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