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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 April 26, 2005 / 17 Nisan, 5765

Tom DeLay's drama also rich in comedy

By Michael Kinsley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You can't entirely blame Tom DeLay for being annoyed and feeling abused. He is trapped in a Washington kabuki drama not of his own devising.

Two different government investigations are looking into Mr. DeLay's relationship with a bunch of Indians he undoubtedly knew hardly at all and cared about even less.

One of these investigations is asking whether he ripped off these Indians. The other is asking whether the same transactions amount to his Indians buying improper influence in a dispute with some other Indians. So they can't even decide if these Indians are the good guys or the bad guys, but Tom DeLay is the bad guy no matter what.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff got $82 million from various Indian tribes trying to protect their gambling interests and kicked $4 million of it to Ralph Reed. All poor Mr. DeLay got was a trip or three to Europe, a round or two of golf, and a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.

Mr. DeLay isn't entirely paranoid in thinking that the press is out to get him, though this is less because of any liberal bias than because (a) he's a smug, preening SOB, or at least he has chosen that public image; (b) he's the most powerful person in Congress — the press helped Newt Gingrich bring down Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright, too; and (c) he's down and wounded, so naturally it's the moment to pile on. I don't defend these motives. I merely clarify that they're not ideological.

The Chinese water torture drip-drip-drip of daily revelations must be driving Mr. DeLay crazy. But it is not the result of an elaborate scheduling operation down in the bowels of Liberal Media Conspiracy Inc. It's the opposite: When a story is hot, and competition is fierce, you go with the tiniest morsel before someone else does.

Speaking of Mr. Gingrich, media high spirits can explain — but not nearly justify — the absurd overimportance awarded to an equivocal remark (Mr. DeLay should "lay out his case") by this discredited has-been. It's been treated like the first encyclical of the new pope.

Mr. Gingrich was last seen leading the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky while conducting a secret affair his married self with a congressional aide. If Mr. DeLay is thinking, "Who gives a rat's elbow what Newt thinks?" I'm with him. But Mr. DeLay can perhaps take comfort in knowing that however censorious the press may be in the heat of scandal, journalists are tolerant and forgiving in the 5- to 10-year time frame. We don't really want to drive anyone interesting off the stage.

Although the scandal is real and its unreeling is very enjoyable, all of the specific issues that propel it are bogus. Mr. DeLay can't say this either, although he must think it. Did the Indians spend $82 million and did they contribute to Republican candidates and causes that are as alien to them as they are to their Republican beneficiaries in any attempt to influence government decisions? No, not at all: The Couchatta Indians of Louisiana simply felt very strongly that the Senate majority leader needed to see Moscow firsthand, and play a little golf while he was at it.

Why is it illegal to attempt to influence a specific vote, but perfectly OK to attempt to influence several votes, or all votes? What on earth difference does it make whether the Indians, per instructions from Mr. Abramoff, sent the money for one of Mr. DeLay's golfing trips to the think tank that allegedly was paying for it before or after the trip, or whether the funds were earmarked? Looking for influence peddling in Washington is like looking for air. You can't see it, because it's everywhere.

Bogus technicalities and press excesses aside, though, the whole Abramoff-Reed-DeLay story is pretty wonderful. You gotta love the basic plot line of a Washington lobbyist organizing a religious campaign against gambling on behalf of gambling interests trying to block competition.

You gotta love imagining the scenes where Mr. Abramoff explains the white man's ways to bemused Indian tribal leaders. ("Why yes, writing large checks to nonprofit public policy groups so that our leaders can travel to distant lands and hit a small ball with a stick until it goes into a hole is a rich tradition going back many thousands of years.")

You gotta love angelic Ralph Reed piling on the whoppers. He had no idea that his $4 million to stir up anti-gambling sentiment in Louisiana came from gambling interests in Texas. Never wondered where the money came from and never bothered to ask.

The final twist is almost too neat: Mr. Abramoff goes back to the disappointed tribe whose casino he has gotten shut ("those moronic Tiguas," as he memorably calls them) and offers his services to get it reopened. You can't buy that kind of irony.

Or apparently you can.

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

Michael Kinsley is Los Angeles Times Editorial and Opinion editor and former editor of Slate.com. Comment by clicking here.



04/18/05: The Evolution of the Neocons
04/11/05: Two Doofuses, Too Adorable
04/04/05: Democratic Superiority, by the Numbers
03/28/05: Life as we don't know it
03/21/05: Girl problems in Op-Ed Land



© 2005 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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