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 July 18, 2011 16 Tamuz, 5771

Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate

By Dana Milbank

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Seems just about everybody in this town has gone mad.

President Obama and congressional leaders storm out of meetings and exchange taunts. As the nation nears a calamitous default on the national debt, Senate Democrats waste much of a week debating a symbolic resolution about taxing millionaires. Republicans opt for a fight on the House floor over light bulbs.

But one man, Sen. Rob Portman, continues to do the people’s business. On Thursday, the Ohio Republican shepherded through the Energy Committee, in a bipartisan vote of 18 to 3, a bill promoting energy efficiency that he had written with New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. The day before, he stood in a windowless room beneath the Senate chamber to announce legislation to reduce prisoner recidivism that he wrote with the fiercely partisan Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

The show was vintage Portman: sober, smart — and exceedingly dull. He droned on in his Midwestern monotone about program streamlining and legislative reauthorization. “Let me put some statistics behind this,” he said, rattling off many.

This somnolent performance is exactly why I have admired Portman since I met him years ago when he was in the House, before he became President George W. Bush’s trade representative and budget director. That Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is soliciting the freshman senator’s advice on debt negotiations gives me a slim hope that reason will prevail.

Until recently, Portman’s seriousness wouldn’t have been unusual. But in this generation of lawmakers obsessed with the next election, Portman is part of a dwindling sanity caucus.

It isn’t about ideology; Portman is as conservative as they come and, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), is a favorite to be the GOP vice presidential candidate. Rather, Portman’s distinction is his archaic view that national interest should come before political calculation. “We need a lot more of that,” said one Democratic friend, Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.), who hopes Portman will be the deus ex machina in the debt standoff. “As the clock ticks, I have high hopes for Rob.”

From the start, Portman thought it was a bad idea to use the debt-limit vote to force a showdown, presciently arguing that Republicans didn’t have much leverage because the consequences of default would be so dire. “I am a fiscal conservative with a conservative record, but I think sometimes we don’t focus on the results,” he told me. “Inevitably, if you’re focused on that, you have to reach out to the other side.”

Portman and I spoke in the Senate Reception Room, decorated with Brumidi frescos and portraits of five of the great senators, including Portman’s hero, Robert Taft. Taft, a fellow Cincinnatian, was deeply conservative and known as “Mr. Republican,” but when a commission led by John F. Kennedy chose portraits for the room, they included Taft with legends such as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.

“He was clearly a conservative, but he was also clearly a member of the Senate who was well regarded and respected as someone who got things done,” Portman said. And Taft, like Portman, was “a boring Midwesterner.” Portman embraced the heritage. He requested Taft’s old desk on the Senate floor (it had been assigned to Al Franken) and settled into Taft’s old office in the Russell building. He celebrated Taft in his first Senate speech.

Contrast that with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who sits at Clay’s desk but used his maiden speech to denounce Clay, “the Great Compromiser” — for compromising.

Portman’s politics are no less conservative than Paul’s, but the uncompromising approach is foreign to Portman. “We’ve now got to pull back, all of us, from our purity test and come up with how we get something done here that deals with the underlying fiscal problem,” he told me. “This is a time in our country’s history when we have to figure out how to focus on results or we will fall further behind.”

Though Portman signed an anti-tax pledge, he sees the possibility for more tax revenue as part of an overall tax-reform package. He also sees “hope around the corner” that the debt standoff can be resolved.

“Some of these people who are unbending and unwilling to work together,” he said, “see a result that will come years from now as a result of changing the country more fundamentally. I just don’t think we can afford right now not to focus on getting things done.”

Here’s hoping the unbending will heed the bland Ohioan who carries Bob Taft’s torch.

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

Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.


07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
06/24/11 ‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
06/02/11 The Weiner roast
06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation

© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group