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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 Dec. 2, 2005 / 1 Kislev, 5766

Cunningham's constituents deserved what they got

By Froma Harrop


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Randy "Duke" Cunningham was more than a criminal. He was a head case. And the astounding thing about the California Republican's career is that federal prosecutors had to take him down. The voters didn't have the self-regard to do it themselves.


Any number of politicians could have this conservative congressional district in and around San Diego. The people didn't have to be represented by a total screwball.


Some might forgive, even enjoy, crusty candor in a decorated Navy pilot, which Cunningham was. But the man's outbursts overshot any rough charm and landed in lunatic city. That his constituents now express shock that he could do bad things makes you wonder.


Where do we start with Randy Cunningham? How about the time in 1998 when, while visiting a hospital, he gave the finger and threw the "F" word at an elderly cancer patient? It seems that the patient, a World War II veteran, had challenged Cunningham's assertion that the defense budget was too low. In 1984, Cunningham had dared Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., to a fistfight for opposing one of his pet pieces of legislation. But for all his tough-guy bluster, Cunningham fell apart at the smallest sign of dissent.


He also loved to make menacing statements, and not just to Democrats. "Your son is dead meat," he told Rep. Nick Smith in 2003, after the Michigan Republican voted against the Medicare drug benefit. Smith's crime was turning down a $100,000 bribe that the Republican leadership had offered him for voting "yes." Smith's son was running for Congress, and the money would have gone into his campaign. The son, Brad Smith, lost in the GOP primary.


"I have flown an F-14 over this Capitol with a 20-millimeter gun that could shoot 6,000 rounds a minute," Cunningham told Congress, while purportedly discussing an assault-weapons ban. "I could disintegrate this hall in half a second." In 2004, he made a similar comment to a high-school history class in Encinitas, Calif. "I could've disintegrated this whole school in half a second," Cunningham said.


One month later, the voters elected him to an eighth term.


Like many bullies, Cunningham could dish it out but he couldn't take it. In 1994, he supported retaining the death penalty for drug kingpins. Four years later, his son was convicted of helping smuggle 400 pounds of marijuana from California to Massachusetts. At the sentencing, Cunningham cried and asked the court for leniency. "He's never been in trouble before," the congressman said, ignoring that his son had tested positive for cocaine three times while out on bail. The son got 2-and-a-half years. Cunningham generated enough hypocrisy to light up San Diego, but the voters always looked the other way.


Even his corrupt conduct — taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors — was off the wall. A sane man would have buried that money in the backyard or hidden it in the Cayman Islands. He instead turned up with a Rolls-Royce, a yacht, Persian rugs and two antique French commodes.


Cunningham sold his house for $1.7 million to a defense contractor, who then unloaded it at a $700,000 loss. The lawmaker subsequently bought a $2.6 million house and let another contractor pay off his $500,000 second mortgage.


The House Ethics Committee wasn't very interested in this, but any decent investigative reporter could have seen the oddities of this lush lifestyle. Several did, and so here we are, marveling at Cunningham's blatant disregard for appearances.


Some readers may note that the man is mentally ill, a point I would concede. They may take me to task for using such insensitive terms as "head case," "lunatic" and "screwball." But my heart is hardened. I'm not working on any insanity defense for Cunningham. Nor have I been moved by his latest round of blubbering. Cunningham is now out of Congress and needs to be taken out of general circulation, as well.


The mystery remains: What on earth was in the voters' minds, year after year? Set aside the recent revelations of official corruption. Cunningham made the sort of violent remarks, threats and references to his weaponry that would have gotten a high-school student expelled and the police notified. Yet the voters are now surprised that he cheated, too. I just don't get it.

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.


Froma Harrop is a columnist for The Providence Journal. Comment by clicking here.

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