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December 2, 2014

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 July 2, 2009 / 10 Tamuz 5769

Cap and confuse

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's how to get a dubious bill into law, or at least past the U.S. House of Representatives, which of late has deserved to be called the lower chamber:


— First, make the bill long. Very long. So long no one may actually read it, supporters or opponents. Introduce a 310-page horse-choker of an amendment at 3 in the morning on the day of the roll-call vote. So it can't be examined too closely or too long. Only after the bill passes may its true costs emerge. To cite an old proverb I just made up: Pass in haste, repent at leisure.


— Make sure that the bill itself, which was already 1,200 pages long before this super-sized amendment was added, surpasseth all understanding. (Which may be the only thing it has in common with the peace of God.) No sense risking a reasoned debate. Just round up enough party-line votes and give the majority its orders.


— Insert all kinds of exceptions into the bill so those special interests that stand to benefit by them — whether regional, economic or ideological — will join the stampede.


— Coat the bill and the campaign for it with high-sounding sloganspeak, if not hysteria. Warn that The End Is Near unless this bill is passed, at least if you consider the year 2100 near. (Imagine the hoots if, in 1909, the scientific establishment had announced what the world's average temperature was going to be a hundred years hence.) Accuse anyone not willing to rubber-stamp the bill of treason — against the whole planet. Honest. See columnist Paul Krugman's latest j'accuse in the New York Times.


— Keep the faith. Science may retain a healthy skepticism, but scientists can be as true believers as any of the rest of us, just as in the 1970s it became an article of "scientific" faith that the next ice age was imminent. Now it's global warming. Talk about running hot and cold. There's no fundamentalism like scientific fundamentalism. (Well, maybe secular fundamentalism.) Who says the Age of Faith is passed? Some folks'll believe anything if it comes from an authoritative figure in a lab coat. Or maybe Al Gore on one of his jet-setting tours in the cause of saving energy.


— If necessary, change the subject at the last minute. Say, from climate change to creating jobs. And, hesto presto, though the vote may be close (219 to 212), a confusing bill can be on its way to becoming even more confusing law. Which is just what happened the other day in the U.S. House of Representatives. No wonder it's the Senate that's called the deliberative body. There's still hope it will stop this rush to misjudgment. Thank goodness for a bicameral legislature.


— Forget the actual content of the bill, since few if any can understand it anyway. Instead, just recite talking points. It's a lot easier than actually thinking. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, didn't even bother to answer the minority leader's numerous and pointed criticisms of this energy bill. Surprise: It's not actually about saving energy after all, but about providing employment. At least to hear her yell it. Instead of a speech, she just repeated, like a cheerleader: "Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. Let's vote for more jobs." And not stop to think.


Whoever said you never want to see sausage made or laws passed did a grave injustice to sausage-makers, who are surely engaged in a much more wholesome enterprise.


Maybe the bill's boosters are talking about how to create jobs for government bureaucrats and corporate carbon-counters, which this bill would certainly do. To excess. It would set up a complex market in "carbon credits" that would allow some industries to sell their carbon quotas to others. Even if such an approach reduced carbon emissions in this country, it would scarcely have any effect on total emissions worldwide. Because huge developing economies like those of India and China would continue to pour increasing amounts of carbon into the atmosphere… .


But there's no need to go into detail when just chanting incantations will solve all the world's pollution problems and revive the economy, too. Jobs, jobs, and more jobs! Save Our Planet! Suspend disbelief and go with the administration's projection that taxing industries will actually "save or create" hundreds of thousands of jobs. Just as the $787 billion stimulus package was going to keep unemployment at or below 8 percent the rest of this year. It rose to 9.4 percent in May, at least according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but what does it know?


If some 1.6 million jobs have been lost since the administration's stimulus package was passed, just think of how many more jobs would have been lost without the huge bail-outs and government outlays! Look at it this way: The worse things get, the worse they would have gotten without this administration's high-spending programs.


To quote Max Baucus, the Democratic senator who's now chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, when he was grilling Timothy Geithner, the current secretary of the Treasury and de facto CEO of General Motors, Chrysler, AIG, and who knows how many other giant corporations to come: "You created a situation where you cannot be wrong. If the economy loses two million jobs over the next few years, you can say, yes, but it would've lost 5.5 million jobs. … You've given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct."


Heads they win, tails we lose. Not to put too fine a point on it, this numbers game is fixed. But why let mere facts get in the way of a grand vision? The numbers can be rearranged later to show how the economy is actually growing and, of course, how the planet was saved.

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

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here. Paul Greenberg Archives

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