In this issue

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 Feb. 9, 2009 / 15 Shevat 5769

Calm and Cool on a No Good, Very Bad Day

By Michael Barone

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Tuesday, Feb. 3, was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for Barack Obama.

First, his appointee for White House chief performance officer resigned, apparently because she had failed to pay unemployment taxes on household help several years ago.

Then, in the early afternoon, before the president was scheduled to have interviews with five television news anchors, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle wrote Obama asking that his nomination to be secretary of health and human services (and to serve as a White House staffer on health) be withdrawn because of his tax problems.

He had failed over the past three years to pay about $142,000 in taxes. Even more embarrassing, most of the unpaid taxes were for the value of a car and driver service he had enjoyed for three years. He had come a long way since his intensive personal campaigning elected him to the House from South Dakota in 1978 by 139 votes — out of 129,000 cast — at age 30.

Daschle was the second Cabinet nominee with a tax problem. Timothy Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary despite having failed to pay about $26,000 in self-employment taxes when he was working for the International Monetary Fund. The argument was made on behalf of both Geithner and Daschle that they were uniquely qualified for their jobs — but uniquely qualified in different ways.

Geithner is arguably uniquely qualified to make policy. As head of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, he may have had more knowledge of the workings of financial markets than anyone else in the world, with the additional advantage that he had not been working for any of the financial firms that have encountered turbulence. And, with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, he has been making decision after decision in the financial crisis.

Daschle was uniquely qualified for his job not on policy but on politics. He evidently knows a lot about health-care policy, but many other people acceptable to the Obama administration do, too. The unique value that Daschle has is that he knows the legislative process and the players (he served with 69 current members of the Senate, and 21 of the rest are Democrats).

As majority or minority leader for 10 years, he knows how to put legislation together, overcome objections, negotiate deals and reach compromises. Obama got it right when he told Fox News' Chris Wallace just hours after Daschle's withdrawal that he was the "best person to achieve health-care reform and get people together."

It's hard to think of anyone else who has that combination of knowledge and political skills. (One I'd suggest looking at is Tennessee's Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, who fashioned a state health insurance program that has turned out to cost less than projected.)

So it looks less likely now that the Obama administration is going to be able to put together a health insurance program and pass something resembling it through Congress anytime soon. Getting 218 votes in the House for any Democratic plan will be easy. Getting 60 votes in a Senate that currently has only 58 Democrats (and will have 59 if Minnesota's Al Franken is seated) will be much harder.

And there's another problem when you tackle health care. America does not have one health-care and health-care-finance system; it has many health-care and health-care-finance systems. That means that different states and different regions have players with different interests — interests that will generally get a hearing from their members of Congress. Those who will be negatively affected by an Obama plan will lobby their representatives, including Democrats, and many of them may be heard and heeded.

You can imagine what the outcry will be. Special interests! Lobbyists! But remember that the unique qualification that Daschle brought to the table was not policymaking but lobbying.

The First Amendment of the Constitution gives all of us, "special interests" included, the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." When government channels vast flows of money, or when it decides moral issues on which people have strong views, Americans are going to lobby to affect its decisions. Candidate Obama denounced the influence of lobbyists and said they would have no place in his administration. President Obama found it necessary to ask for exceptions for his deputy secretary of defense, and his HHS and agriculture secretaries.

On the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day when Daschle bowed out, the Senate was considering the stimulus package Obama wants to sign by Feb. 16. His efforts to get bipartisan support in the House failed after the Appropriations Committee added many of its pet projects and the Democratic leadership made only the most minor changes, at Obama's request, to attract Republican votes.

The question now is whether Obama will muscle Senate Democrats and press for changes that will make the bill more palatable to Republicans. He made one such move in his interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, who asked him whether he wanted the House's "buy American" provisions out of the bill.

Obama indicated that he didn't want "provisions that are going to be a violation of World Trade Organization agreements or in other ways signal protectionism." That answer and his demeanor in all five anchor interviews showed a coolness and sense of command, even on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. A positive sign, for there will be more such days ahead.

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The New Americans  

Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.

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