In this issue
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 March 13, 2006 / 13 Adar, 5766

The Lessons of 1994

By Michael Barone

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Twelve years ago I was the first in the national press to write that the Republicans had a serious chance to win a majority of seats in the House. That article appeared in the issue of U.S. News that hit the newsstands July 11, 1994, less than four months before the election. That's how late it was in the cycle before anyone except Newt Gingrich and his acolytes took seriously the possibility that the Republicans would win control for the first time in 40 years. In this cycle, many reporters have been contemplating the possibility that Democrats will take it back this November. That's partly because most reporters are Democrats and find that result congenial. More important, Democrats can take control with a net gain of only 15 seats this year, while Republicans needed 40 in 1994 (and got 52). It's always easier to see how a party can gain 15 seats than 40 — although 1994 was the only time in the past 20 years that any party gained more than 10.

Democrats' chances of taking those 15 seats are not very good — if the voting patterns and political contours that have held steady since the 1995-96 budget showdown continue to prevail. Ordinarily in a decade we see a shift in these patterns. Some geographic regions or demographic groups move to one party or the other, or the whole electorate does. But that hasn't happened in the past 10 years. In the five House elections starting in 1996, Republicans have won between 49 and 51 percent of the popular votes, Democrats between 46 and 48.5 percent of the popular votes. Nor have regional patterns changed much. From 1990 to 1996, the nation's largest metro areas became more Democratic while rural areas and the South became more Republican. Since then, things have stayed about the same. And this is regardless of whatever problems were facing party leaders like Bill Clinton, Gingrich, and George W. Bush.

The redistricting that followed the 2000 census was based on those same voting patterns. That's why so many safe seats resulted from Republican gerrymanders in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Texas; Democratic gerrymanders in North Carolina and Maryland; and bipartisan incumbent-protection gerrymanders in New York, California, Illinois, and Ohio. If the political contours should shift, as they did in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, then some seats designed to be safe will become marginal, and some will shift to the other side.

Southern slide? That's what Democrats hope is happening this year. Pollster Stanley Greenberg says his latest Democracy Corps poll shows Republican support falling sharply in the Deep South, in rural areas, and among downscale men — groups among which Republicans have had big leads. Such a change wouldn't affect many House races, because these groups are concentrated in districts that are heavily Republican. But it could put another dozen or so Republican seats in play, over and above the dozen or so where Democrats are making strong challenges (Republicans are making strong challenges for about half a dozen Democratic seats).

In years when voters have shifted sharply to one party — Democrats in 1974, Republicans in 1994 — the winning parties captured only about half the seats they targeted. So even if the field of contested seats expands as Greenberg suggests, Democrats could take the House only if they picked off half their targets while successfully defending every one of their own contested seats. But few seats are captured without strong challenger candidates, and while Democratic recruiting has had some successes, it hasn't produced serious challengers in all these seats. Democrats have a chance to win the House, but it's far from a sure thing.

Of course, not all the factors have played out. At this point in the 1994 cycle, the Clinton healthcare plan had not yet collapsed, the Democrats had not yet embraced gun control, and the Republicans had not yet rolled out their Contract With America. Will rural voters, however cross with Bush, vote to install as speaker of the House a San Francisco Democrat? Finally, the polls, whatever their bad news for Republicans, offer few clues about who's actually coming out to vote. In 2004, Republicans won because they did a better job turning out their party base than the Democrats did. They expanded the electorate and have a bigger reservoir of voters to draw on. My guess is that turnout more than voter shifts will determine who wins in 2006.

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Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. 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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