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They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nov 23, 2011
/ 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5772
Cleaning up after supercommittee implosion
The congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee was not necessarily destined to fail, but it was always a long shot at best.
Its dozen members conceded Monday what the Associated Press termed "ignominious defeat," but a failure to work miracles is hardly ignominious. And a miracle is what the panel would have needed in agreeing on $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over a decade.
Congressional and presidential commissions, task forces and panels work best when there is broad agreement on the goals and the means to get there. These groups also give lawmakers political cover for courses of action that may prove temporarily unpopular.
The two sides on the supercommittee agreed on the goal of bringing a national debt that has reached $15 trillion under control. There was no agreement on means. The Democrats want to reach it mainly by raising revenues, taxes, if you will; the Republicans want to do so by major cuts in federal spending.
There were some credible efforts at compromise by various panel members, but they were shot down, often by the leaders of their own parties. Co-chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said efforts would continue even after Wednesday's official deadline, but they are likely to be desultory and it's difficult to envision a scenario for success.
What is sometimes dismissed as partisan bickering is, in fact, deep philosophical division. But for fans of largely political posturing, there is plenty of grandstanding to come.
Next month, Congress must decide whether to extend President Barack Obama's temporary 2 percent cut in the payroll tax, whether to renew his extended unemployment benefits and somehow reverse a planned 27 percent cut in payments to doctors treating Medicare patients.
And, let us not forget, only one of the 12 spending bills for government operations that were supposed to have been finished by Sept. 30 has been passed and signed by the president. Seven other bills are mostly done; and on four measures only one house has acted.
If there is no action as the end of the year approaches, the practice has been to roll the leftover measures into one bill and push it over to the next session. These bills are often messy and contentious because they offer one of the rare opportunities that lawmakers have left to slip in special-interest measures.
Congress rarely hangs around much in January, but in February Obama sends his fiscal 2013 budget to the Hill. Meanwhile, the House and Senate are supposed to come up with their own budgets. The House will; the Senate, again, may not get around to it.
If Congress can't agree on $1.2 trillion in tax hikes and spending cuts, those cuts go into effect automatically across-the-board in January 2013. Congressional Republicans, who got themselves into this trap, hope to avoid those cuts, especially in defense, that the Pentagon says will leave a hollow military.
Those cuts will be deeply unpopular with the public, but Obama says he will veto any attempts by the Republicans to get around them. "There will be no easy off-ramps on this one," he said.
If so, there will be a pretty spectacular collision that may make the country yearn for the days of endless bickering.
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