Home
In this issue
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 Nov 24, 2011 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own

By Dan K. Thomasson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The other day I watched this pompous little man prance around the stage of national television obviously enormously pleased with himself. I couldn't help but think the only things missing were a Roman-style laurel wreath around his head and a violin that he could use to fiddle while democracy burns down around us.

In the old days, "taking the pledge" meant swearing off alcohol forever. In today's congressional Republican world, it means doing the same to independent thought about one of the key life or death issues in the national economy -- taxes -- and mindlessly entrusting one's elected obligation to do what is best for the nation to the judgment of one Grover Norquist, also known in many circles as the Most Powerful Man in Washington.

He is the chief of Americans for Tax Reform, one of those special interest groups whose money and influence more and more decide the fate of Americans, like it or not.

And who is to argue with the assessment of his political stature considering that almost every GOP member of Congress has signed his pledge to forever forgo support for an increase in taxes no matter the consequences, which Norquist promises will be far better than if they had not done so. To do otherwise, he cautions will mean the political death penalty.

The result of Norquist's messianic demands, replete with wanted posters for those who dare disobey him, is the current failure to deal with the debt crises which most every economist of standing agrees needs some new revenues folded into the mixture of budget cutting and entitlement reform. All Republican members of the stalled supercommittee on debt reduction have signed on Norquist's dotted line.

How in good conscience does an elected member of the national government sign away his ability to think for himself on any issue? Norquist argues that they don't. His organization he says is merely a surrogate for the voters who decide whether their lawmakers have been faithful to the ideals they espoused when elected. He does admit to influencing their decision by pouring large amounts of money into election campaigns to defeat those who oppose his edicts.

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who co-chaired the bipartisan budget reduction commission, is one of those who openly deplores Norquist's hold on Republican tax policy. He concedes that Norquist may be the most powerful man in the capital -- as counterproductive to rational solutions as that clearly is. What's that about a government of, by, and for the people? Where did that idea originate?

This sort of outsized influence is not unknown in American history. The Prohibition movement had several of those with more clout than sense and, believe it or not, the only reason they succeeded was the passage of a federal income tax which could replace the revenue lost from liquor excise taxes when the country foolishly went dry. The liquor tax made up one-third of the federal budget.

During his interview with "60 Minutes," Norquist proudly displayed the framed signed pledges of lawmakers past and present, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who now wants to be president of the United States, and just might have second thoughts about the matter should he happen to be elected. He also displayed his official "wanted" posters for errant lawmakers on the walls of what easily could pass as the lobby of a U.S. post office.

Norquist has been plotting his ascent to power apparently since he was 12 when he began volunteering in the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon. Some say he might have been the model for Alex P. Keaton, Michael Fox's buttoned up young character in the television show "Family Ties." His idea as he expressed it seems to be to turn the tax clock back to the early 20th century when the nation's population was a third of what it is now and societal needs were largely ignored. He says he should not be blamed for the supercommittee's failure to resolve the debt nor the impact that has on the economy. He's probably right. We should blame the lawmakers foolish enough to follow him. They should take a pledge -- to think on their own.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


11/22/11: Iowa: Vital to GOP now, irrelevant later

11/16/11: Pentagon's ‘senior mentor’ service takes hit

11/14/11: With Congress, expect more intransigence

11/08/11: Paterno's illustrious career faces tarnished end

10/31/11: The FBI is burned by its Boston informants

10/18//11: President Inexperienced again picked style and enthusiasm over caution. He must pay

10/10/11: Prosecutors routinely abuse plea bargaining

10/04/11: In Christie,shades of William Howard Taft

09/27/11: One word for Obama's prospects --- ‘bleak’

09/26/11: Obama quickly running out of time

09/23/11: Big-time college football is now all about the money

09/22/11: A trip to the dentist cleans out your wallet

09/06/11: College rankings a useless exercise

08/31/11: Thankful a mother isn't alive to see this hungry mess

08/30/11: ‘Supercommittee’ should meet in secret

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

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles