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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 Aug 21, 2012 / 3 Elul, 5772

No campaign in lotus land

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LOS ANGELES. Not for nothing do the bundlers, bag men and swag agents call California the golden state. They decamp here early and stay late. A lot of the money they raise for the campaigns is collected in California.

But the presidential candidates themselves spend their time mostly elsewhere.

California, with its 45 electoral votes, has become irrelevant to presidential politics. Neither a Democrat nor a Republican wants to waste his time here.

There's a lot going wrong in California, and it looks a lot like what's going wrong in the rest of the country. The state is broke. Unemployment is up, standing at 11 percent. California is running an annual deficit of $16 billion and by some estimates 2,000 wealthy Californians leave every week to find new homes where taxes and regulations aren't so onerous. This ought to be a recipe for Republican opportunity.

But it's not. The latest Field Poll, the yardstick by which California election prospects have been measured since 1947, shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by 18 points, 55 percent to 37 percent. Field finds that a majority of Californians think the country is moving in the wrong direction, but a larger majority think the president is doing a good job nonetheless. Not so long ago, California was a battleground state, with both presidential candidates criss-crossing its length (770 miles) and breadth (250 miles). No more. California is so blue that both candidates come here mostly to mine for money, making only perfunctory appeals for votes. Democrats regularly strike gold in Beverly Hills. Both parties understand that California is almost as blue as the District of Columbia. Why waste time?

The state's Republican party has shrunk almost to irrelevancy, too. There's no Republican holding a statewide office and Democrats control both houses of the state legislature, and by wide margins. One Republican consultant says the party has become a cult.

"It's no longer a statewide party," Allan Hoffenblum, who has consulted with Republican candidates for 30 years, tells the Los Angeles Times. "They're down to 30 percent [of the state electorate], which makes it impossible to win a statewide election. You just can't get enough crossover voters."

The good news for the national Republican party is that, 45 electoral votes or not, rabidly blueCalifornia is no longer necessary to put together the 270 votes needed to win the White House. This is due in part to the South, once the keystone of a Democratic campaign, becoming the Solid South once more, this time for the Republicans. It's a conservative counterweight to the left and right coasts.

There are two Californias, too. In fact, argues Victor Davis Hanson, the columnist, historian and classics scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, "California" is a misnomer. There is no such state, but two cultures, each dysfunctional in different ways. "Apart they are unworldly, together a disaster."

Coastal California, outwardly prosperous, carefree and where the dreamy lotus of Greek legend grows in utopian abundance, runs north along the Pacific from San Diego to San Francisco. Crippling regulations that curb timber, oil, gas and farm production have turned an inland empire into a vast hinterland of poverty and despair. While the state's population grew by 10 million in the two decades after 1980, the number of Californians on Medicaid grew by 7 million. A third of all Americans on welfare now live in California. Unemployment has soared above 15 percent. If you would see the future, come to California's Central Valley. If coastal California is the south of France, interior California is impoverished Greece.

"In the Never-Never Land of Apple, Facebook, Google, Hollywood and the wine country," says Mr. Hanson, "millions live in idyllic paradise. Coastal Californians can afford to worry about trivia - and so their legislators seek to outlaw foie gras, shut down irrigation projects in order to save the three-inch Delta smelt, and allow children to have legally recognized multiple parents. .. coastal utopians have little idea where the fuel for their imported cars comes from, or how the redwood is cut for their decks, or who grows the ingredients for their Mediterranean lunches of arugula, olive oil and pasta."

The coastal elites are not only drunk on their feel-good good life, but they're reaching for a little hair of the dog. Gov. Jerry Brown, the "Governor Moonbeam" of yesteryear, is popular along the coast because he prescribes more of what has sickened interior California. He's pushing a fanciful high-speed train that will cost the state trillions of dollars, along a route already served by bankrupt Amtrak.

If you were running for president, you wouldn't want to campaign here, either. Just take the money and run, to somewhere else.

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

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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