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 August 1, 2011 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5771

Heretical Thought: The System Is Working

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Walking by the bank of television sets out in the old-fashioned, wide-open, sunlit newsroom here in Little Rock, I just had to stop for a minute to see what the panel of distinguished commentators were saying about the latest capital-C Crisis. That's how it is in Teeveeland. No broadcast out of Washington or anywhere else is complete without a Crisis of the day, maybe hour.

The talking heads were wearing expressions even more solemn than usual. When I turned up the sound, it took only a ponderous phrase or two to realize they weren't being authoritative in the old Walter Cronkite, Brinkley-Huntley style at all. They were in their Sincerely Mystified mode.

You got the feeling that David Gergen and Co. were about to scratch their heads in genuine wonderment at the latest standoff in Washington. They couldn't seem to understand it, even after all the years they'd spent watching politicians in action, or inaction, in the nation's capital. They kept asking: Why? Why? Why? Here's what had them collectively gobsmacked:

After all these high-pressure weeks of intense negotiation between the executive and legislative branches, between the two parties in our two-party system and the two houses of Congress in our bicameral system and sausage factory, how was it that no agreement had been reached?

You could see the question marks in the pundits' eyes and hear the puzzlement between the lines of their comments: Doesn't anybody here know how to play this game? The deadline for a deal was fast approaching. Only a few more days and hours were left before the sky would fall. The bond markets were waiting. Yet no budget had been agreed on, no face-saving measure for both sides had been patched together and waved in triumph just in the nick of time. What was going on here?

These were experienced journalists on the tube. Yet they sounded stumped. The only thing that seemed beyond their comprehensive knowledge of The Process, it turns out, is . . . honest disagreement. One in which both sides have their principles, or at least prejudices, and are sticking with them, and aren't out just to score talking points.

To our sophisticates, this standoff was a novelty, a strangeness they hadn't encountered before in Washington -- even after all their years covering national politics. They were clearly struggling to get their minds around it.

Allow me to help: What we have here is a difference not just of opinion but of convictions. Going from left to right, let's start with a president who believes no deal, no compromise, and especially no tax -- excuse me, Revenue Increase -- is fair unless it raises the taxes the rich already pay. It's part of his political DNA.

The additional amount to be collected from the highest earners might be negligible in terms of balancing the federal budget or easing the national debt. Such an approach may even further hinder a still sputtering recovery by taxing away the venture capital it very much needs just now. But none of this matters to liberals of the kneejerk variety. It's the principle of the thing: The rich must be punished. Mainly for being rich. Hence it's no deal unless it includes a tax increase for those in the uppermost brackets. End of negotiations.

On the other, starboard side of the political spectrum, there are all the Republican congressmen elected in 2010 who promised to oppose any tax increase at all -- on anybody. And not increase the national debt unless maybe government spending is cut by at least a like amount. They seem to believe -- mirabile dictu! -- that a promise is a promise, their word is their bond, and all that. That kind of naivete may still be common out here in the sticks but it mystifies our sophisticates in Washington, where everybody who's anybody knows political promises are made to be broken.

Talk about the Spirit of '73: These tea party types in the House are proving as uncontrollable as the original bunch in Boston Harbor. End of negotiations.

Adherence to principle always scandalizes the respectables in both parties, the whited sepulchres of all persuasions, the tories of any era. But these unruly congressional types weren't compromising their principles on schedule. They needed to get with it.

But for some of us out here in flyover country, the spectacle of politicians whose word is their bond is actually refreshing. We didn't realize any were left.

Yes, we know, refusing to play the game according to the well-established rules in Washington is supposed to prove that the system is dysfunctional, to coin an overworked cliché. All the TV commentators on this highly regarded panel were just reflecting the conventional wisdom, which as usual is more conventional than wisdom.

But to a few of us simpler types, this little impasse in congressional halls demonstrates that the system is functioning, and not functioning, just as the writers of the Federalist Papers and the framers of the Constitution designed it. It's called a system of divided government, and by design it is supposed to work against itself as power checks power till somehow this Rube Goldberg treadmill clanks out the Will of the People.

A heretical thought: The miracle at Philadelphia in 1787, which the sophisticated told us even then wouldn't work, is still working. That sound you hear is just the friction of its unevenly moving parts. But they are moving. Even if none too fast, which is just the way the generation of Hamilton, Madison and Washington preferred it. Maybe those 18th-century gentlemen knew something that today's sophisticates have forgotten. Or never learned.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles