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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 Feb. 23, 2011 / 19 Adar I, 5771

Reality-Based Politics

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At the risk of giddy over-optimism, I have the hunch that the American voting public is beginning to demand legislating that actually deals with the nation's problems. There is creeping -- still ambiguous -- evidence of this, starting with the national polling data.

I argued last December that President Barack Obama's support for the extension of the Bush tax cuts would not end up helping him once the 2011 legislating season started picking up steam, because by principle the president was toward the left side of the political spectrum -- and the public was toward the right -- particularly on the matter of public debt and deficit.

Consider the recent polling. Using the reliable RealClearPolitics national average of polling, the president's job approval was about 45 percent positive and 49 percent negative at election time in November, down about 4 percent. He inched up over the holidays to about even, and then in early January (before Congress was getting back into the controversial matters), he went upward to about 49 percent positive and 46 percent negative, plus 3.

In the aftermath of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting and the president's exceptionally well-received speech, his job approval level reached a high of 51-43 percent in late January, an 8-point advantage. The latest numbers are back down to 48.8 percent positive to 45.3 percent negative, a 3.5 percent positive for the president but a negative 5-point swing in the first month of substantive policy argument domestically and conspicuous turmoil abroad.

Then last week came the president's proposed 2012 budget, which was poorly received, even by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, MSNBC and the rest of the liberal media, all of them accusing the president of failing to lead on the great issue of debt and deficit. His advisers then rushed him out for a news conference repair job, where the come-away presidential quote was that the Washington press corps was "impatient" with him on his handling of the deficit.

But the building evidence is that the public is also impatient. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's approval level is shooting up in the polls as he loudly and decisively cuts the state budget (including state pensions) to deal with his state's emergency.

The public still has clearly in mind the riots in Athens, London and Paris and the deficit crisis in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Britain, France, Portugal and more of the European Union. For the first time, it is clear to all the world that modern, successful, stable Western democracies can actually run out of money and have their borrowing requests virtually rejected by the international bond market.

The fiscal reality of crisis in Europe is driving the political reality of impatience in American politics.

And now we have the astounding spectacle of Wisconsin, where the Democratic state senators have left the state rather than attend the vote for modest but necessary cuts in public employee benefits proposed by the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, who was elected to do precisely what he is proposing (including restricting public employee unions' collective bargaining powers).

Compounding the spectacle is the Cairo-like demonstrating by tens of thousands of union members -- particularly teachers who have called in "sick," thus forcing the closing of many Wisconsin public schools. (Of course, unlike Cairo, Wisconsin is part of the American democracy, which has just had a fair and honest biennial election -- and it has done so more than 100 consecutive times -- in which the people were able to speak and elect their chosen leaders.)

Though we do not have reliable polling on the Wisconsin controversy yet, it was a telltale sign over the weekend when the head of the teachers union urged teachers to go back to work. Public unions are in a justifiably low standing with the public.

And after three years of private-sector firings -- plus 9 percent unemployment, salary cuts, home mortgage crises and 401(k) shrinkage -- the 91 percent of the American work force that works in that private sector (53 percent for small businesses with even lower benefits) is entitled to feel little sympathy for Wisconsin schoolteachers, who receive an average of $89,000 in salary and benefits and contribute $0 to their pension plans and only 5 percent to their medical insurance. (The average private-sector employee contributes 29 percent.)

The president's strong support for the public workers union lines up -- at least for the time being -- a both state and federal policy debate that may well yield needed deficit reduction legislation and dangerous political waters for the Democratic Party. The Democrats seem to be prepared to defend the idea of not dealing with the deficit crisis. Have the Democratic strategists (including those in the White House) really thought through the electoral implications of that decision?

Of course, huge, good news for America on an unrelated topic may break out somewhere (though probably not in the Middle East, Mexico, Europe or Asia) -- and I hope it does.

But if "deficits and debt" continues to be the defining issue of American politics for the next 18 months -- and if the Democrats from the White House to the statehouses stay in their current head-in-the-sand posture -- Democrats may be approaching a nasty electoral meltdown of their party in November 2012.

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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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2011, Creators Syndicate

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