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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 August 30, 2011 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5771

‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

By Dan K. Thomasson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a journalist I've been objecting to closed door meetings all my professional life, but if there is any hope of the "super committee" coming up with a miracle compromise on reducing the debt and putting the economy back on a strong footing it can't be accomplished in open session.

The reason should be clear to even those unschooled in the ways of special interests. All six Republicans and six Democrats on the panel have well defined loyalties to one narrow interest or another from old folks lobbies to anti-tax groups that are always ready to do battle against any sign of rational bartering. Even the idea of a hybrid approach to the committee's work -- a combination of public interviewing and behind door debate -- is probably not a good idea.

This committee has only three months to come up with some sort of solution to the nation's budgetary and debt dilemma that encompasses the need of reforming the tax code, Medicare, and unrestricted spending while at the same time dealing with continued unemployment that makes workable detente all that much more difficult. It is hard to imagine much success under the best of circumstances, let alone if the panel is forced to take all this up in one of those patented political circuses for which congressional hearings are so famous.

Does anyone believe for a minute that there is a Capitol Hill venue large enough to hold the lobbyists that would flock to open hearings where the steady sounds of tweets to their loyal supporters would provide the background noise? Can one imagine that any members with this thankless assignment would let political correctness be damned and speak their minds knowing full well the bombardment of objections would reach a disastrous crescendo from their home districts?

Of course they wouldn't. The Republican members known as the Grover Norquist Six because of their pledge to the anti-tax guru not to raise levies no matter what evidence supports such a move are expected to be a hard sell in the first place let alone if they have to stick their necks out in public. The same is true for the Democratic members who want nothing to do with any adjustment to Medicare and Social Security needed to meet the pressures of a demographic far different than when these programs were enacted.

Hold these deliberations in public? Why? The positions are well set out and the necessities obvious.

The prospect of reaching agreement by the Thanksgiving deadline is remote at best. This special committee concept was designed my masochists in the first place and the "leaders" of both parties made it all the more difficult by picking 12 members hardly known for their dedication to the art of compromise.

The only hope of this group bringing forth a workable plan for our salvation is for every member to take an oath swearing to the great spirit of bipartisanship and to spend 18 hours a day working on it sans outside influence. Fat chance of that in the first place and none whatsoever if the doors are open.

Some projects are so delicate that they simply have to be negotiated outside the public's prying eyes. The U.S. Constitution was hammered out in the sweltering heat of a Philadelphia summer sometimes without even the windows open to minimize the leaks. Besides, any results from this committee would have to be brought before what is known in parliamentary parlance as "the committee of the whole," and debated on the House and Senate floors.

In most instances the people's business should be conducted in the presence of the people. But in this case the people's positions appear so fragmented as to defy rational input as the recent debacle over raising the debt limit proved beyond much doubt. The only way to reach a resolution here is for the participants not to be afraid to use an expletive now and then and not to have to worry about the Grover Norquists of the world.

Like it or not, it simply is the nature of the political beast to have more courage when the door is closed than when it is open. Good luck anyway.

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I

08/22/11: Is college still worth it? Some majors are

08/15/11: Pray for miracle from debt committee

08/09/11: S&P mixes credit ratings with politics

08/08/11: Politics again takes precedence over common sense

08/04/11: In modern society, a distinct pattern of senselessness

07/29/11: A debt solution: Throw the rascals out, all of them

07/21/11: Campaign finance reform --- you're kidding, right!?

07/08/11: Casey Anthony jury did its job

07/05/11: Nailing a prominent figure or institution should come at a heavy risk — and an even greater price if proven a hoax





© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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