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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 Nov. 29, 2010 / 22 Kislev, 5771

Can a centrist movement succeed?

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a political culture where moderation is the new heresy, centrism is fast becoming the new black.

Political outliers - not quite Republican, not quite Democrat - are forming new alliances in a communal search for "Home." Exhausted by extremism and aching for real change, more and more Americans are moving away from demagoguery and toward pragmatism.

Soon they may have options. A new political group, No Labels ( www.nolabels.org ), is hoping to mobilize and support a centrist political movement. Led by Republican strategist Mark McKinnon and Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson, the organization has raised more than $1 million so far - and the formal launch isn't until next month. Backers include Andrew Tisch, co-chair of Loews Corp.; Ron Shaich, founder of Panera Bread; and Dave Morin, a former Facebook executive.

The group hopes to attract politicians who feel that they've lost elections for being too moderate and voters who feel homeless. There are plenty of each.

Congress's historically low approval ratings, the anti-incumbency spirit of the midterm elections and the influx of Tea Party-backed candidates - not to mention Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart's well-attended "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" - are all testament to dissatisfaction with Washington's systemic failings.

Alas, there is little reason to hope that things will change or improve when the new Congress convenes in January. Republicans seem determined to continue their "hell no" strategy. New Tea Party legislators seem determined to fight establishment Republicans, thus diluting Republican power. Democrats aim to dig in their heels.

Witness recent reaction to the preliminary bipartisan fiscal reforms recommended by Erskine Bowles (Democrat) and Alan Simpson (Republican), both respected for their nonpartisan approach to problem-solving. Neither party was enthusiastic, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objecting most strenuously. "Hell no" isn't just for Republicans anymore.

All of which points to more gridlock.

When the porridge is either too hot or too cold, the moment for something in between is ripe. More Americans now self-identify as independent rather than Republican or Democrat, even though they may be forced by a lack of alternatives to vote in traditional ways.

But what if there were an alternative? There's little appealing about either party dominated by a base that bears little resemblance to who we are as a nation or the way most of us live our lives.

Yet moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans alike have been banished. Purged, really. Some of them have landed in the No Labels camp.

Jun Choi, a Democratic former mayor of Edison, N.J., told the Wall Street Journal he lost because he wasn't extreme enough. Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire state senator, thinks she lost for being too moderate.

In South Carolina, Republican Rep. Bob Inglis lost because he wouldn't demonize Barack Obama. In a recent interview, he told me that he refused to say that Obama is a Muslim, or that he wasn't born in the United States, or that the president is a socialist. Inglis was warned by a Republican operative that conceding Obama's legitimacy would cause him problems. Indeed, Inglis lost to a Tea Party candidate.

Inglis is otherwise one of the rational conservatives who dare to suggest that, yes, we have to make painful cuts in entitlements. And, heresy of all, he acknowledges that climate change is real and that a carbon tax, offset by tax cuts elsewhere, is a plausible approach to regulation.

Inglis's measured, thoughtful tone corresponds to a different school of political thought than what has dominated this past political season. Rational and calm, he resisted the finger-pointing and hyperbole that tend to capture attention and votes.

Can an Inglis ever survive in such a culture? If not, what are we left with?

The answer may be partially evident in the write-in election victory of Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The first successful write-in candidate in a U.S. Senate race since Strom Thurmond was elected in 1954, Murkowski won the third way. Defeated in the Republican primary by Sarah Palin's pick, Joe Miller, Murkowski refused to fade into history's index of has-beens.

She kept her seat by promoting ideas and solutions and by rebuking partisanship.

Alaskans are by nature independent and reliably rogue, as the nation has witnessed. Thus it may be too convenient to draw conclusions about a broader movement, but centrism has a place at the table by virtue of the sheer numbers of middle Americans, the depth of their disgust and the magnitude of our problems.

All that's missing from a centrist movement that could be formidable is a leader.

Anyone?

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