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 Nov. 25, 2009 / 8 Kislev 5770

How to Play Both Sides of an Issue

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's got to be about the oldest dodge in the book: When a politician casts a momentous vote on a major issue, and doesn't want to take responsibility for it, the pol minimizes its importance. The folks back home are told it was just a little ol' procedural vote, and they needn't worry their pretty little heads about it.


Blanche Lincoln, the senior senator from Arkansas, has got this routine down pat. When the showdown on the health-care bill came Saturday night, she cast the deciding 60th vote to cut off debate on whether to let this huge hodgepodge of a bill advance to the floor of the Senate. It could prove the most significant vote of her otherwise unremarkable political career.


Once debate on whether to proceed with this ever-morphing blob of a bill is cut off, as it now has been, the Democratic majority in the Senate won't necessarily need a super-majority of 60 votes to pass it. A bare majority of 51 would suffice, although another procedural hurdle could quite likely require the Democrats to muster another 60 votes in the Senate to make the most radical change in the nation's health-care system in decades. And it will be Blanche Lincoln's vote that made it all possible. Much as she might try to deny it.


The senator says she's against a public option — that is, a government-run insurance scheme with all its dangers to private insurers, and to workers who could be dumped into it by employers unwilling to go on paying their employees' insurance. Yet it may be Blanche Lincoln's vote that opens the way for just such a drastic change.


Despite all our president's glib assurances, Gentle Reader, few things might remain the same about your health insurance once such a bill becomes law. And that includes your choice of doctors and treatments, your Medicare or Medicaid or private health insurance, or anything else to do with your health care. The changes may be put off for a few years, but changes there would be. Big ones.


Then there are all the taxes, fines, subsidies and other complications such a bill could rain down on the American economy. That's no small thing, for the health-care industry represents a sixth of that economy. And all these changes would come when the country needs stability and steady growth, not more drama and uncertainty. The message of Saturday night's vote in the Senate: Tighten your seats belts, folks. This could be a bumpy ride.


No wonder people are nervous about this dramatic transformation of the American health-care system. As broken and bureaucratic as that (non)system already is, more layers of expensive bureaucracy and impressive deficits aren't likely to fix it. The American people know that. You can almost feel the groundswell of concern, not to say anger, about what this 2,000-page bill would mean, which is not at all clear.


The surest result of all that uncertainty could be a strong reaction against those senators who let this new and troubling approach to health care become law — senators like Blanche Lincoln.


Yet the senator tried to depict her vote as no big deal — just a vote on a procedural matter, "nothing more or less" than that. But the senator has got to know full well that procedure can be all when it comes to determining the outcome of a congressional debate, and in this case it is.


As a senator, Blanche Lincoln has always had the soul of an administrative assistant. She knows the wheels and gears and levers and hidden passageways deep in the great legislative machine, but not necessarily its purpose — except of course to maintain itself and those who operate it. Nothing better illustrates how a narrow expertise can become the enemy of wisdom than this vote of hers Saturday night. Now she'll have many a morning after to reflect on its consequences. And so will the voters of Arkansas.


Whatever the ramifications of the new health-care system that finally emerges from all this confusion, Blanche Lincoln and her fellow Democratic "moderates" are going to be responsible for its passage. And no amount of talk about how they cast only a "procedural" vote is going to hide the fact that their votes let this thing get to the floor of the Senate.


As for those on the other side of the issue, they may not be happy with Sen. Lincoln's attempt to straddle the issue, either. They object to her saying she opposes a government-run insurance system. And in return they will oppose her.


It happens to politicians who set out to please those on both sides of a highly contentious issue: Instead they can wind up offending both sides. A fate they richly deserve.


Instead of taking a clear stand for or against this whole developing blob of a health-care bill, Sen. Lincoln may have waffled her way into political trouble — and evoked the ire, or at least contempt, of the electorate. She may have been so slick this time she's outwitted herself.

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.

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles