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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 11, 2014 / 13 Tammuz, 5774

Harry Reid plays the dirtball game

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | Harry Reid is the majority bumpkin of the U.S. Senate, vying with the vice president to say weird, goofy, sometimes amusing and often embarrassing things. His Democratic colleagues typically chuckle, roll their eyes, and put it down to ol' Harry just being old Harry. (He's only 78, but in his case 78 is the new 90.) Long-suffering aides shrug at his bellicose ad-libs and call it "just Harry getting out ahead of his skis."

Nevertheless, when he stands up on the Senate floor his colleagues hold their collective breath. No one can predict what's going to come out of that motorized mouth. Like Joe Biden, he's always good for a laugh. He once joked that with the arrival of summer and with high temperatures and humidity, "you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol." He welcomed Barack Obama to the presidential race in 2008 because he was "light-skinned" and spoke with "no Negro dialect." He once applauded a better than expected jobs report with the remark that "only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good."

When a reporter asked him how the death of Ted Kennedy would affect health-care reform, he replied, "Oh, I think it's going to help us." He is nevertheless a fortunate bumpkin, because he has aides to decide when apologies are necessary. It's a job that keeps two aides employed full-time.

But with the November elections now less than four months away, Democrats are no longer laughing. They're feeling vulnerable, and headed toward the cliff looming over the Valley of Oblivion, a canyon of death with no bottom. Some of them are asking why Harry is spending so much of his time and ammunition on two imagined villains largely unknown to the public and who are not on anybody's ballot.

Mr. Reid has become addicted to shooting dirtballs at Charles and David Koch, two "ultra-billionaire" brothers who contribute to Republican and other conservative candidates and causes. This year alone Mr. Reid has made nearly two dozen speeches about the Koch brothers on the floor of the Senate, not all of them coherent. He has made unflattering mention of them in other speeches 250 times, by the accounting of Politico, the Capitol Hill political daily. He calls the brothers "power-drunk billionaires," which is apparently worse than power-drunk billionaires who finance Democratic candidates and causes. George Soros and various Silicon Valley, Park Avenue and Wall Street billionaires, contributors to Democratic candidates and causes, do not count as "power-drunk".

The Koch brothers so frighten Mr. Reid that he wants to amend the Constitution, trashing 238 years of uncompromising precedents, to silence the opposition. He's determined to reduce campaign spending (unless it's campaign spending for himself and his friends), perhaps with an amendment like one by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, a Democratic colleague, to give Congress a power the Founding Fathers could not imagine, the power to regulate political speech. Forty-five Senate Democrats have signed up as co-sponsors.

Mr. Reid calls this the regulation of "dark money," and he tells Politico that "it's a fundamental problem that requires a dramatic solution and that is why I will keep pushing for a constitutional amendment to get this dark money out of our political system." Once done, the money can be bleached, whitened and camouflaged to make it harmless for politicians of Mr. Reid's ilk. The leader from Las Vegas, after all, absorbed his ethical tone from croupiers and casino owners. He imagines that he's a politician with a virgin's conscience, not easy after decades of struggling with wistful desire.

Mr. Reid does not hide his pleasure in vilification as political strategy, and took particular glee in applying dark rumor and sordid innuendo to paint Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat in 2012. He hasn't had similar success in painting the Koch brothers, who are richer than Mr. Romney, as knaves and blackguards.

But he keeps trying. The pollsters on the left say the fun is just beginning, and they have high hopes for the politics of destruction. They're encouraged that name recognition of the brothers is rising, and that Mr. Reid has driven their negatives into the high 30's and moving toward the 40s, where Barack Obama is stalled. If they can make "Koch" a dirty word, then Mr. Reid can apply Joe McCarthy's guilt-by-association to Republican congressional candidates.

Even if it doesn't work, he'll have fun trying. "After the 14th statement adverse to me issued by a spokesman for the Koch brothers," he said not long ago, "it seems abundantly clear I have gotten under their skin."

But after two dozen speeches in the Senate and calling them out 250 times in other places, it's certainly abundantly clear that the brothers have got under the bumpkin's skin.

Wesley Pruden Archives

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© 2014 Wesley Pruden

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