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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 Feb. 27, 2009 / 3 Adar 5769

Dead End

By Mona Charen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It became clear back in October when the tsunami called the financial crisis washed over the United States (and the rest of the world), that the 2008 election might be a deeply consequential one. Until the economy tanked, the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain was about conventional Democrat/Republican disagreements. Even differences over the war in Iraq and foreign policy had seemed to contract with the continued progress of Gen. David Petraeus' strategy.


Though Barack Obama had the most liberal voting record of any senator, his campaign gave no appearance of extremism. You might have had your private doubts, but on paper he was a gun-defending proponent of traditional marriage who simply wanted to make government work better. Pro-union? Sure. A down the line supporter of abortion rights? Yes. But an FDR-style statist with grand ambitions to alter the American political landscape? No.


Immediately after the election, Obama chose a number of centrist advisers and even kept Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Some of us wondered whether he was really planning to govern from the center. Left-wing bloggers began to shift uneasily in their chairs. But they can relax now. With his "stimulus" package and his quasi-State of the Union address this week, President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he intends to hustle this country into European nanny state socialism if he can (and just as fast as he can).


The president thinks he has the opening to do so because this contraction, a bust following a boom such as free markets have experienced since the dawn of trade, has been interpreted by the political and journalistic classes as an unprecedented collapse of capitalism. Obama, his serene, non-confrontational style notwithstanding, has been adept at fueling this panic. Nothing less than "catastrophe" loomed if we failed to pass the most gargantuan government spending orgy in history. (James Glassman offers a useful historical tour of previous attempts to stimulate the economy through spending in the March issue of Commentary magazine. They are ineffective.)


With the public suitably frightened and biddable, Obama now strides to the podium and begins prescribing particular government policies. (Have you noticed his troubling habit of denying what he is doing? For example, in his speech to Congress he said he asked for the stimulus bill "not because I believe in bigger government — I don't." And in recommending a bailout of mortgage holders, he denied that any relief would go to "speculators" or those who "bought more house than they could afford" but that is exactly what the package will do.)


Suddenly, because the economy nose-dived in the middle of an election, we are living in Obamaland, where Barack's policy ideas are to be rushed into legislation. He thinks it would be a good idea for medical records to be digitized. Well, some in the field have questioned whether the investment in digital records would really be worth the cost. Perhaps the money could have been better spent elsewhere while the digitalization would have been spread out over more years. But so much for that debate. It's in the stimulus bill now.


Similarly, Obama has decided that we should spend billions more on preschool education because as he put it, "we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life." Well, that's actually doubtful. I refer the president to "The Myth of the First Three Years" by John Bruer. He argues persuasively that we have been misled about the importance of early learning; that the brain is actually quite plastic and lifelong learning is the norm. Other brain researchers agree. There is also controversy about even such gold-plated programs as Head Start.


But this is a strange way for a democracy to make policy. We shouldn't be in the position of trying to persuade the king or dictator. Policy shifts should be slow and gradual. One state should experiment with universal preschool and then compare results after say, five years, with other states that don't have it. That is how we successfully reformed welfare in the 1980s and 1990s. States like Wisconsin led the way with reforms that proved efficacious and then the nation followed. (That success, by the way, has been undermined by the stimulus law.)


Obama, like other liberals, wants to dispense with experimentation and debate (which he dismisses as the "the same old gridlock and partisan posturing") and sluice an enormous liberal/socialist wish list, to include single-payer health care, universal college education, and so-called green energy into law.


It will be difficult to resist this charismatic figure, but let's be clear about this: Though he denies what he is about, he is pulling the country dangerously toward a statist dead end.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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