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 Jan. 5, 2007 / 15 Teves, 5767

Changing of the guard

By Linda Chavez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At first glance, it's an ambitious agenda. House Democrats plan to pass ethics reform and stem cell research funding, increase the minimum wage, decrease the interest rates charged on student loans, lower prescription drug prices for the elderly, and boost homeland security — all in the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress.

Their hope is to show what do-nothings the Republicans were when they controlled the 109th Congress. But the Democrats' agenda has little to do with what brought them to power for the first time in 12 years — namely, dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq. Nor does it take on the pressing domestic issues facing the country in a meaningful way.

The Democrats' model seems to be the whirlwind of legislation passed in the first days of Republican control of the House in 1995. Republicans, who had been out of power for the previous 40 years, quickly enacted a series of reforms, the "Contract with America," which focused on changing the way Congress, especially the House of Representatives, had been doing business for decades.

It's instructive to look back at what the Republicans promised — and what they were actually able to achieve — in those first heady days. The first item on the Republican agenda in 1995 was requiring "all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to Congress." In retrospect, it's hard to imagine that this policy wasn't always the case, but under one-party rule for so many years, Congress had become notorious for exempting itself from many of the measures it foisted on others.

Republicans easily passed legislation that made civil rights and other laws that applied to all employers apply to Congress. Republicans also limited the size of congressional staffs, re-allocated committee staffing and member assignments more equitably between the majority and minority, limited the terms of office for committee chairmen, eliminated proxy voting in committees, and made other changes to the way Congress conducted its business. But in the end, these changes didn't bring about fundamental reform, especially as the Republicans became more entrenched in power.

Now the Democrats are turning the tables. They plan on ramming through a number of bills — even if they get little Republican support — that will make them appear to be good-government types who also happen to be taking care of the little guy. It's no accident that the Democrats' list of must-pass legislation includes expansion of government benefits to the elderly, students and low-wage workers — each group makes up part of the Democratic base.

But where are the Big Ideas? Or any fundamental challenge to the Bush administration? Sure, some Democrat chairmen are planning committee hearings on the war in Iraq, and a handful of Democrats want to take on the president's tax cuts — but don't expect anything revolutionary to happen, and for good reason.

The Democrats' margin is too slim to accomplish major changes in direction on either the war in Iraq or domestic policy. Americans may be unhappy with the conduct of the war, but their discontent hasn't developed into a real anti-war movement. There won't be any cuts on funding for the war anytime soon, nor will millions take to the street in protest of our involvement in Iraq.

And the Democrats can't claim much of a mandate on other issues either. Raising taxes — even if Democrats argue it is only on "the rich" — doesn't play well with most Americans. Immigration, another important issue that should be dealt with, is nettlesome for the Democrats as well as the Republicans. And real Social Security and Medicare reform would entail hard choices about limiting future benefits, which Democrats are terrified of addressing.

So for all the hoopla and the changing of the guard, it's not likely much of real significance will happen in Congress in the next 100 hours, days or even weeks. Ten or 12 years from now, we'll likely look back on this week as more atmospherics than substance.

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.

JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Linda Chavez Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate