Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

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 18, 2012/ 26 Nissan, 5772

The Chumps Never Change

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The space shuttle Discovery was flown Tuesday on the back of a modified Boeing 747 from the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Fla., to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum annex near Dulles Airport, outside Washington, D.C., for a delivery fee of $11 million.

I am not complaining about the cost, though I do find it — only small pun intended — astronomical.

Getting the Discovery, which weighs 83 tons, aboard the 747 requires special equipment, and getting it off will require two cranes — but still: $11 million for one flight of about 800 miles?

But as I say, I am not complaining about the cost. The Discovery will be on display at one of the most extraordinary museums in the world, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Fairfax County, Va., a place well worth visiting.

The Washington Post did a really nice article Sunday on the planned transfer of the Discovery. The story was rich in detail and well-written, and I read it all the way to the end, an effort I usually reserve only for my own articles.

So that is why, four paragraphs from the end, I found this: "NASA calculated a delivery fee of $11 million, but the intragovernment transfer of funds 'just got too complicated,' said (Valerie) Neal (curator of human spaceflight at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum). So NASA waived the charges."

This is what I am complaining about. The bookkeeping of one government agency paying another government agency was so hugely complicated that nobody in the entire federal government could figure out how to do it, and so an $11 million fee was simply "waived."

In Washington, this did not cause a ripple of interest. After all, the late U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois allegedly once said, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money."

And Washington is the place where the Buffett Rule, which would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, is sneered at because it would raise only a pathetic $47 billion over 10 years.

So, you see, Ev Dirksen was wrong. In Washington, a "billion here, a billion there" is not considered "real" money at all.

But if somebody owed you $11 million like the Smithsonian owed the NASA, I bet you could have figured out a way to get it. Me, I would have asked for a check (certified, if possible) or a wire transfer. A U-Haul truck full of cash would have been gratefully accepted.

Imagine if this $11 million had had existed in your real life instead of the fantasy life of Washington.

(The scene opens at the kitchen table of Henry and Martha. The table is covered with a red-and-white checkered oilcloth. The morning sun weakly lights the room as Henry mops up the last of his sunny-side-up egg with a piece of toast and Martha sips her coffee from a chipped mug that says, "World's Greatest Grandma." The kitchen could be in Des Moines or Butte or Macon or Spokane or a thousand other U.S. cities or towns.)

Henry (wiping his mouth with a paper napkin): "Martha, if I owed you $11 million, would you find a way to collect it?"

Martha (putting down her cup): "Henry, if you owed me 11 hundred dollars, I'd sell you to the circus if I thought they'd pay that much for you."

(The scene is the sleek, yet comfortable boardroom of Kraft Foods in Northfield, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Around a sleek, yet comfortable conference table sit seven sleek, yet comfortable vice presidents and the CEO.)

CEO: "What seems to be the problem?"

Vice President for Macaroni: "The cheese division owes us $11 million and won't pay."

Vice President for Cheese: "It's not that we won't pay; we can't figure out how to pay. So we suggest the macaroni division just waive the $11 million."

CEO: "You're fired. Next up is Oreos. Is there a problem?

Vice President for Cookies: "No, sir!"

Vice President for White Stuff: "No, sir!"

But that's real life. That's not the government. In the government, everything is a problem, including how to transfer money from one pocket to another.

As I write this, I am watching the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on C-SPAN. It is investigating how the General Services Administration, which has 12,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $26 billion, blew through $800,000 on a lavish and vulgar party for some of its employees in Las Vegas in 2010.

That kind of money is just chump change, of course. And I am guessing that the investigation of the misspending of $800,000 will probably cost the government more than $800,000.

But it is necessary. In Washington, we call this reform.

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 Roger Simon's column by clicking here.


Roger Simon Archives


© 2009, Creators Syndicate