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 December 17, 2012/ 4 Teves 5773

When is a majority not a majority?

By Dan K. Thomasson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When is a majority not a majority? Answer: when it is a vote in the U.S. Senate.

There are 100 members in the upper chamber of Congress, as anyone beyond the third grade should know. That means a majority is 51. Right? Wrong!

Because the Senate makes up its own rules, the number of votes it takes to adopt nearly almost any legislation beyond simple housekeeping measures is 60. That's because of a clearly undemocratic process called the filibuster. It allows a handful of opponents to thwart any or all of the important stuff Congress is supposed to do because of ideological or political differences or out of just plain spite. This device can only be shut off (they call that cloture) by reaching the 60-vote plateau.

Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to change the rules and a small group of his fellow Democrats and some outside folks have asked the courts to rule whether the filibuster is constitutional. For us laymen, it seems a fair question, although minority Republicans who have been effectively blocking key votes on controversial legislation are dedicated to making certain it doesn't get answered and nothing changes at least until they somehow win back control of the Senate.

Before we come down too hard on the GOP, it has to be noted that when Democrats were in the minority, they felt about the same way as the Republicans do today. Without the power to alter the mathematics of a simple majority, how would the minority ever be anything but a whining bunch of naysayers without any clout?

For Americans who have been suffering through the legislative turmoil of recent decades not being able to count on much of anything important, knowing that something could get done for the money they have been paying the largest bozo club on the planet would be a huge relief. The gridlock produced by the filibuster is as bad as (actually worse than) any traffic jam here caused by an unpredicted blizzard at rush hour when all the fear-maddened drones exit their government offices seeking escape. Besides, the filibuster lasts a lot longer and does far more damage.

It seems doubtful at least from a common sense perspective that the Founding Fathers of this frequently inept system envisioned the majority as being anything more than one past half of the total. In less recent history there were occasions when someone would grab the floor and try to talk to death a bill or an amendment as Jimmy Stewart did in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." But that wasn't often. Between 1840 and 1900, the device was used a mere 16 times and those were on the thorniest questions to face the nation, like slavery.

If you should have any doubts about the obstructionist value of this insidious and debilitating method of getting your way without the numbers to support it, it seems important to pay attention to its current popularity. Between 2009 and 2010, there were more than 130 filibusters recorded, practically wiping out any semblance of majority rule and turning the legislative process into a joke.

Humorist Will Rogers once said Congress was the greatest collection of comedians in the world. Every time they passed a law it was a joke. Well, that doesn't hold true today since they rarely pass anything that might make things better for the majority of the rest of us. Oops, there's that word again ... majority. So questions like immigration or solvency in the entitlement programs and on and on never get dealt with.

Opponents of doing away with the filibuster see it as the only means of balancing the legislative power structure, preventing the minority from becoming an impotent opposition. They argue that it would be stepping over the line between legislative and judicial boundaries for the courts to decide how the Senate conducts its business. For us untutored in the finer points of constitutional law, it is a simple mathematic principle on which the nation was founded. It is called the majority rules, and in the Senate that means 51 votes for and 49 against — or at least it should.

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.


12/12/12: Government snooping's historical precedent

11/13/12: Petraeus learns a lesson the hard way

10/26/12: High court must settle affirmative action

10/16/12: Report confirms SATs flawed indicator

08/20/12: All the news fit to tweet?

07/27/12: Economic disillusionment marks young voters' views

07/20/12: Will Postal Service follow Pony Express route?

07/13/12: Paterno's statue should be covered up

07/10/12: 8.2 jobless rate endangers Obama's job

07/03/12: It's still the economy, stupid

06/19/12: Mitt Romney's chances look better

06/08/12: Pakistan not an ally worthy of the name

06/05/12: Americans have a right to be bloated

06/01/12: Quota system would dilute school's quality

05/27/12: Even now, Memorial Day means summer camp

05/18/12: Is there a public right to know too much?

05/09/12: American exceptionalism --- exceptional generosity

05/04/12: The Edwards trial is a sorry affair

05/02/12: Common sense needs to be taught . . . to school administrators

04/30/12: We must deal with college student debt rate

04/10/12: At least Ryan has a deficit-cutting plan

04/05/12: Celebrate one-year rent-a-teams?

03/12/12: A kinder, gentler day when fists settled disputes

03/05/12: Do conservatives want a victory or a statement?

02/27/12: Hillary vs. Jeb?

02/17/12: Why wait for the until GOP nominating convention?

02/17/12: Prez is not a god, just a cause of O.G. D.: Obama Governmental Dysfunction

02/13/12: Minor tardiness doesn't warrant court action

02/08/12: College rankings aren't always reliable

02/01/12: Millionaire Fans Watching Millionaire Players

01/30/12: Kiriakou case may plug leaks, stifle democracy

01/09/12: Feds need to find if Brit hackers targeted 9/11 families

12/23/11: NIH flu-strain decision endangers us all

12/09/11: U.S. Postal Service may be beyond saving

11/30/11: Do-gooder gets deserved earful

11/24/11: Lawmakers should pledge to think on their own

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