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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. 13, 2009 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Dems May Regret ‘Pass Anything‘ Strategy

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Former President Bill Clinton visited Capitol Hill recently to deliver a pep talk to Senate Democrats. "It's not important to be perfect here. It's important to act, to move, to start the ball rolling," he reportedly told senators. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel sounded a similar theme in an interview with the New York Times. "I'm sure there are a lot of people sitting in the shade at the Aspen Institute ... who will tell you what the ideal plan is. Great, fascinating. You have the art of the possible measured against the ideal."

So the strategy on crafting sweeping legislation that will profoundly alter one-sixth of the U.S. economy in the midst of the worst recession in 20 years is: Don't stress about the fine print. Just pass something!

This is the momentum theory of government. Governing is like campaigning: Keep the bandwagon rolling along and the voters will follow in the slipstream. Fail to do this, Bill Clinton warned, and Democrats may suffer the same fate in the 2010 elections that they did in 1994, after HillaryCare went down to defeat.

The former president is an acclaimed tactician and he may be right. But so many of his assumptions — and those of the Obama administration for whom he was speaking — are dubious.

In the first place, it isn't at all clear that Democrats lost in 1994 because they failed to pass health reform. A better explanation of the 1994 result was that voters were spooked by the attempted federalization of health care and expressed their displeasure by voting Republican. Certainly the subsequent retooling by the Clinton administration — agreeing that the "era of big government (was) over" and focusing on small matters like curfews and school uniforms — suggests that Clinton himself believed the health care reform was an overreach.

The Democrats also seem confident that — no matter how sloppy or unseemly the process of getting to passage may be — voters will be pleased with health care reform after it becomes law.

This, too, is a leap of faith. It requires a stubborn indifference to the steadily accumulating polling data showing that voters — particularly the all-important independents — are souring on health reform and are worried about overspending in Washington. An Ipsos/McClatchey poll in early November found that 49 percent of respondents oppose the health care reforms being considered in Congress while only 39 percent approve. In October, the numbers were 42 disapprove, 40 approve. Among independents, the number disapproving of health reform jumped from 38 percent to 53 percent. An October CNN poll found the approve/disapprove at 49/49. In November, disapproval took the lead with 53/45.

In the immediate afterglow of President Obama's inauguration, a bare majority (51 percent) of Americans believed that "government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people." That seems to have been the high water mark. By late October, only 46 percent agreed. More ominously for Democrats, the liberal Brookings Institution published a survey showing that 53 percent of Americans worry that if government gets more involved in health care delivery, it will make matters worse. A Bloomberg poll found that fully 62 percent would be willing to risk lengthening the recession rather than to further increase the national deficit.

As for whether the voters will thank the Democrats if they succeed in ramming through a bill (Harry Reid is reportedly considering the reconciliation strategy in the Senate that would require only 51 votes), recent history should give them pause.

In 1988, with the support of the AARP, the House passed the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act by a vote of 328 to 72. A year later, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had to literally flee an angry crowd of unhappy constituents wielding placards bearing slogans like "Don't Tax the Seniors." The law was repealed 16 months after passage by a vote of 360 to 66.

The House-approved bill contains, among other things, $170 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage; $56.7 billion in cuts to home health care aids; $42.3 billion in cuts to the prescription drug program; and $5.3 billion in cuts to rehabilitation facilities. If these remain in the final bill, only two outcomes are possible. Either the cuts will not materialize, in which case Democrats will have to explain why they irresponsibly deepened an already punishing debt; or the cuts will bite, in which case the anger of older voters will make Rostenkowski's experience seem like a ticker tape parade.

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