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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Oct. 19, 2010 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Profligate Congress should read its own bills

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's a scene in "Fahrenheit 911," left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore's mostly forgotten 2004 tirade against George W. Bush, that some of today's unhappy voters might recognize.

Moore was angry that Congress passed the Patriot Act so quickly that some lawmakers hadn't read the whole bill. So Moore went to Democratic Rep. John Conyers for an explanation.

"How could Congress pass this Patriot Act without even reading it?" Moore asked.

"Sit down, my son," Conyers said, lowering his voice as if to reveal a trade secret. "We don't read most of the bills. Do you really know what that would entail, if we were to read every bill that we passed?"

Years have passed, and we're in a completely different political environment today. But there is still no single complaint about Congress that resonates more with voters than the charge that lawmakers do not read the bills they vote on. How can they enact far-reaching legislation that touches almost every part of American life without even knowing what they're passing?

"Imagine if you went into your doctor and you're sent to a specialist and they don't even look at your chart or talk to you," says Rob Steele, a Michigan cardiologist who is challenging longtime Democratic Rep. John Dingell. "That's what is going on. They're not reading the bills, and they're not representing the people."

Across the country, Republican candidates -- men and women who, like Steele, have never run for public office before and aspire to become citizen-legislators -- feel the same way. So much so that a read-the-bill provision was the least controversial part of the House Republicans' Pledge to America, unveiled Sept. 23.

"We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives," says the Pledge. "No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on."

Republican leaders didn't come up with that provision on their own. They got it by listening. "It's the expectation of the voters," says a GOP aide. "Our members are routinely being asked, 'Did you read this? Did you understand what it meant?'"

It wouldn't be hard to do. Republican Rep. John Culberson and Democratic Rep. Brian Baird already have a measure pending, H.R. 554 -- aka the "Read the Bill" bill -- that would require that the final language of a bill be available on the Internet for 72 hours before it is voted on. So far, it hasn't passed.

Of course, the Pledge can't promise that every lawmaker will actually read every bill. If enacted, it would just assure that all have a chance to do so. And even if lawmakers take the time to read a particular bill, there is always the question of whether they will understand it. While some things Congress passes are simple, others are quite complex. Bills amend obscure sections of legislation that has been passed, amended and amended again over the years. Complicated formulas for Medicare are adjusted in ways that can cost the taxpayers billions. Byzantine tax provisions are laid out. It's not always easy to understand.

To make sure that reading the bill actually improves the legislative process, GOP leaders routinely make available members and staff who are well-informed about this or that issue, as well as outside experts who can help.

Experience shows that smart citizen-legislators learn quickly. Tom Coburn, now a senator from Oklahoma, was a doctor who had never run for anything when he won election to the House in 1994. Jim DeMint was a businessman with no political experience when he ran for the House in 1998. Today, they're leading their party.

If it ever were to happen, the practice of actually reading bills would have one more effect that hasn't been much remarked on: Congress would probably pass fewer bills. That's something John Conyers himself foresaw when, in "Fahrenheit 911," he speculated on what would happen "if we were to read every bill that we passed."

Conyers thought for a moment before answering his own question. "Well, the good thing, it would slow down the legislative process." After the past 18 months, can anyone deny that reading, thinking and slowing things down on Capitol Hill would be a good idea?

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.

Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.


Previously:




10/13/10 Why Big Labor couldn't match Glenn Beck's rally
10/11/10 Trash-talking Democrat faces defeat in Florida
10/05/10 A GOP unknown in striking distance of Barney Frank
09/28/10 Administration inflates green-jobs numbers
09/20/10 In Delaware, GOP should target Dems, not O'Donnell
09/14/10 GOP Insiders Wary of Landslide Predictions
08/31/10 For Obamacare supporters, judgment day approaches
08/23/10 Obama has himself to blame for Muslim problem
08/17/10 Cut spending without cutting services? Start here
08/17/10 For Michelle Obama, extravagance dents popularity
08/09/10 Obama's zealous civil rights enforcer gets busy
08/02/10 A battle between Left and Right --- inside the GOP
07/26/10 GOP spoiling for fight over Berwick appointment
07/20/10 How long will the public tolerate Afghan war?
07/12/10 NASA's Muslim outreach: Al Jazeera told first
07/02/10 Legal complaint against Gore is detailed, credible
06/28/10 Obama and Dems heading for electoral disaster
06/21/10 Who told Obama drilling is ‘absolutely safe’?
06/14/10 Billions for ‘green jobs,’ whatever they are
06/07/10 Sestak a no-go for any job. So what was the deal?
05/31/10 As economic worries worsen, White House puts on the glitz
05/25/10 GOP dilemma: Fight Kagan, or go along?
05/11/10 Enforcing nation's immigration laws would be a bargain
05/03/10 How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle
04/27/10 What's behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?
04/20/10 As government expands, beware the post-office example
04/19/10 Who wins in 2010? Good luck reading tea leaves
04/12/10 GOP Obamacare strategy: Try repeal, then cut
04/05/10 Obamacare was mainly aimed at redistributing wealth
03/30/10 Message to Dems: People still don't like Obamacare
03/23/10 The coming consequences of Obamacare
03/16/10 Marco Rubio and the Republicans who love him
03/15/10 GOP hopes town halls take health care off table
03/08/10 Dems turn risky health vote into manhood contest
03/01/10 Why Obama defies the public on health care
02/22/10 South Carolina mulls 2012: Romney? Palin? Huck?
02/16/10 GOP winning war over Miranda rights for terrorists
02/09/10 Who are the 300 terrorists held in U.S. prisons?
02/02/10 Is Obama dissatisfied with being president?
01/19/10 The Republican dilemma: Good Michael or Bad Michael?
01/12/10 Now the lawmakers are figuring out what they didn't know
01/05/10 GOP deserves blame for Democratic excesses
12/29/09 Dems' dreams of a blue West begin to turn red
12/22/09 Why Dems push health care, even if it kills them
11/30/09 Dems' kamikaze mission: Health care by New Year's
11/23/09 Why it's a mistake to bring Gitmo prisoners here
11/16/09 Dems' slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint
11/10/09 Obama can't be community organizer for the world
11/02/09 At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled 10/26/09 ‘Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care’
10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



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