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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 July 2, 2012/ 12 Tammuz, 5772

Obamacare Survives, but Political Playing Field Has Changed

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding the Obama administration's health care legislation was a victory for the president, his administration and his party. Their most ambitious legislative achievement has not been nullified, and they are not left in obvious disarray.

But it is only a partial victory and in some ways not a victory at all, both in the short run electorally and in the long run in terms of the constitutional order.

Politically, Obamacare, as its critics call it, remains highly unpopular. It's possible that the court decision will boost its support, but unlikely.

Most voters want this law repealed. Mitt Romney and the Republicans want to repeal it. Barack Obama and the Democrats want to preserve it. It's not a winning issue for the incumbent.

Constitutionally, many conservatives are unhappy that Chief Justice Roberts and the four justices generally considered liberal voted to uphold the mandate to buy health insurance as a tax, which Congress is clearly empowered to levy.

But the fact remains that a majority of five justices, including Roberts, also declared that Congress' power to regulate commerce does not authorize a mandate to buy a commercial product. This will tend to bar further expansion of the size and scope of the federal government.

Moreover, the Constitution's limits on congressional power have now become, for the first time in seven decades, a political issue. They're likely to remain one for years to come.

This would not have been the case had the constitutional case against the mandate not been advanced by Washington lawyer David Rivkin, Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett and many others.

They did not quite prevail in the Supreme Court, but they changed not only the legal but also the political debate in a way almost no one anticipated three years ago.

Unhappy conservatives grumble that Congress can get around the declaration that a mandate is beyond Congress' enumerated powers by labeling it a tax -- or just by relying on five justices declaring it one.

But there's usually a political price to pay for increasing taxes. That's why Barack Obama swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. It's why Democratic congressional leaders did not call it one.

Chief Justice Roberts' decision undercuts such arguments, now and in the future. Members of Congress supporting such legislation will be held responsible, this year and for years to come, for increasing taxes.

And the Constitution's provision that tax bills must be originated in the House of Representatives means that the party controlling the House can effectively block such measures. That will be an argument for Republican congressional candidates for the indefinite future.

It should not be forgotten that the Supreme Court did overturn part of the Obamacare legislation, the provision allowing the federal government to cut off states from all Medicaid funding if they refuse to vastly expand Medicaid eligibility as the legislation requires.

Here, another novel legal argument, advanced by Vanderbilt law professor (and my law school classmate) James Blumstein, found favor with a majority of justices. The idea is that Congress can't use the leverage of partial federal funding to force the states to increase the size and scope of government.

This seems like a principle that could work powerfully against big government policies. Medicaid has been vastly expanded over the years in this manner. Now the court seems to be saying that game is over.

The court's decision elicited sighs of relief from the White House. The president's entire administration is not in disarray.

But the basic assumptions which he brought to office have proven unwarranted. Obama followed the New Deal historians in portraying history as a story of progress from minimal government to big government and in arguing that economic distress would make Americans more supportive of big government policies.

The unpopularity of Obamacare and the stimulus package have proven the latter assumption wrong. Most Americans are skeptical about the supposedly guaranteed benefits of centralized big government programs.

And history does not move in one direction toward big government, even if it did from 1929 to 1945. Mercantilism was replaced by free trade in the 19th century, New Deal regulation by deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Supreme Court's decision, while upholding Obamacare, tilts the legal and political playing field away from big government more than anyone anticipated three years ago, and probably for years to come.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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