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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 December 24, 2012/ 11 Teves, 5773

B is for bizarre --- also for Boehner, budget and Washington bozos

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How long is this show going to go on in Washington, and must it? They say closing time for its costars is midnight, December 31. That's when the president and the speaker of the House need to agree on the federal budget Or Else, but politicians never met a deadline they couldn't postpone, as in Can, Kick Down the Road.

This year's burlesque is turning into a melodrama (working title: Meltdown) as both sides steer the country right over the dreaded (cue scary music) Fiscal Cliff! Thelma and Louise, here we come. The Mayans couldn't have written a scarier doomsday scenario into their calendar, and this one is about as convincing.

The country is supposed to be petrified as the witching hour approaches without an agreement on the federal budget, all those reviving Bush tax cuts end, and "automatic" cuts go into place for every federal entity, including the Army and Navy. Not since the Perils of Pauline has there been such a production. And it's about as tough to take this farce seriously.

For the moment John Boehner and Barack Obama trade places before the camera as each plays his latest card in this high-stakes game of bluff, bluster and general bombast. Both rate an Oscar even if their script deserves a great big national yawn. (Some of us are old enough to have seen this show before.)

The speaker unveiled his Plan B to great fanfare. It was supposed to meet and raise the president's bid -- a demand that tax rates rise for the wealthiest Americans, which Mr. Obama defines as those making more than $200,000 a year. (Or $250,000 for couples.) This might come as news to a lot of owners of small businesses who file as individual taxpayers, but the president says they're filthy rich and deserve to be punished for it. That's the important thing, you see, not whether taxing away capital would be good or bad for a still ailing economy.

The speaker came back with his Plan B (for Bluff?) by offering to raise rates on those taxpayers who make a milliion a year. Although at last report he couldn't even get his own caucus to approve so transparent a dodge. And so this game of Texas Hold 'Em goes on as the few still watching stifle a yawn and drift away -- which would seem the most sensible response to Mr. Boehner's latest dud. Plan B's fate may stay in the headlines for a whole other 24 hours before the next counterbid arrives from the White House. If any does.

The only sure result of actually raising taxes on millionaires, as the experience of other countries demonstrates, is that millionaires vanish. When the Brits raised the rates for the highest earners, next time Inland Revenue looked around for some, lo and behold, a lot of those British millionaires had become Belgian or Bahamian ones.

Much the same farce is being enacted in France. Its former president, Nicholas Sarkozy, predicted just what would happen in his country once Francois Hollande's socialists took over and proceeded to raise the tax rates: That country's millionaires would soon become other country's millionaires. "It could be a filmmaker, an actor, a writer, an entrepreneur," Mr. Sarkozy warned. "They will not stay!"

They didn't. Gerard Depardieu, the movie star, may be the best known of the lot to suddenly become a Belgian, but Bernard Arnault, reputed to be France's richest man, led the departing drove, applying for citizenship in La Royaume de Belgique last August. For that matter, M. Depardieu was offered a Russian passport by that noted egalitarian, Vladimir Putin. Who knew he was such a friend of the arts, or at least multi-millionaire artists?

Meanwhile, the farce in Washington goes on. Each side is outdoing the other when it comes to propositions, publicity stunts, and other theatrics not worth paying serious attention to. Perhaps the most sensible comment offered on Plan B came from a Republican congressman from South Carolina, one Michael (Mick) Mulvaney: "I'm just tired of talking about it. I'd rather talk about golf." The games being played in Washington would make golf look like a serious intellectual endeavor.

It's all enough to bring back memories of the Clinton administration's master stroke when the leading roles in this game were being played by a different president and speaker of the House, those two master actors Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.

When the country was headed over that decade's Fiscal Cliff, then known as The Trainwreck, the White House explained that it just couldn't afford to keep the national monuments open in Washington under these perilous fiscal circumstances. So the myriads of tourists who'd come to the nation's capital to pay their respects to the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial were told that those sites were being closed down -- and they howled on cue. Just as we're now expected to.

The names of the players may change from time to time, but not the game. Over in La Belle France, the astute M. Sarkozy could see what was going on. He called this kind of politicking "mindless demagoguery," but we'd wager it's quite mindful, even premeditated. It's the kind of thing that is carefully planned and meticulously carried out by consultants and campaign managers in political war rooms across the country. The 30-second spots are readied, YouTube videos readied, and the mass data analyzed to target those most susceptible to such low appeals. They even have a category of their own in political adspeak: the Low-income, Low-information audience.

But whether it's the rich or the poor we're being urged to hate at the time by separate but equally cynical the demagogues, the motive behind their game remains the same: to enlist our class and/or racial prejudices in favor of their political goal of the moment. Whether it's to win an election or advance another suspect deal.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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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.

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