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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 Dec. 31, 2010 / 24 Teves, 5771

A little learning to teach the teachers

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sometimes even The Washington Post, like that blind hog in search of an acorn, finds something beyond its usual diet of gloom, doom and unrelenting pessimism.

The front-page news in yesterday's editions was that in the new, 112th Congress, the Republicans who will rule the House will open the new session with a reading of the Constitution, and out loud. Not only that, but every new bill introduced in the House must be accompanied by a citation identifying the constitutional authority for the proposed law.

This naturally shocks a lot of folks raised on the idea that the founding documents of the republic are quaint and out of date, like the idea that new immigrants should follow the law in settling here. One distinguished young reporter for The Post, struggling to grow enough whiskers to shave, says the Constitution is not binding because it's more than 100 years old. (They probably didn't even have Twitter or Facebook back then, so what could James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson know?)

The new Republican leadership has invited Democrats to participate in the reading, 4,543 well-chosen words, including all 27 amendments, but Democrats, alas, are more likely to jeer than join. Nancy Pelosi and the San Francisco Democrats (not all of whom are from San Francisco) are no doubt pleased that reading the entire Constitution aloud has never been done in the House before but embarrassed that on two occasions when the entire text of the document was inserted into the Congressional Record, the guilty parties were both Democrats and both Yankees - Rep. Roswell Flower of New York in 1882 and Rep. Thomas Reilly of Connecticut in 1915.

The Post reports all this in the snarky tone the newspaper affects when it imagines (which is often) that its readers are not up to taking life as it comes and need remedial instruction and reassurance more than a mere recitation of the facts: "After handing out pocket-size [copies of the] Constitution at rallies, after studying the document article by article and after demanding that Washington return to its founding principles, tea party activists have something new to applaud. A pillar of their grass-roots movement will become a staple in the bureaucracy that governs Congress."

Tea Party activists are naturally pleased, but so are a lot of folks who imbibe stronger stuff than the English Breakfast brew. Even Democrats. The late Robert C. Byrd, the senator from West Virginia, carried copies of the Constitution in his pocket and frequently offered them to his constituents and anyone else interested in rewarding bedtime reading. It's clear that taking it straight powered the grass-roots movement that turned Congress upside down.

"On Nov. 2," says Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, "voters called for an end to reckless spending and a renewed commitment to the Constitution. These new rules show that Republicans are serious about respecting the Constitution."

The Post unearthed the usual grumblers. "I think it's entirely cosmetic," said Kevin Gutzman, a history professor at Western Connecticut State University. "This is the way the establishment handles grass-roots movements. They humor people who are not expert or not fully cognizant. And then once they've humored them and those people go away it's right back to business as usual."

The restive peasants at the Tea Party may be more "expert" and "fully cognizant" than the professors — who can't imagine anyone outside a faculty lounge to be "fully cognizant" — think they are. The typical professor, famously absent-minded and narrow in his life's experience, doesn't remember, if he ever knew, that the Constitution was forged by plain-speaking men who expected the founding document to be read by farmers, tradesmen and shopkeepers, many educated by listening to the cadences of authentic language as spoken from pulpit and pew. They learned more than many of our politicians, professors and even judges have ever done.

The new House rule requiring citations of constitutional authority for every piece of House legislation will ignite a debate that the chattering class thought was over and done with. They thought the peasants had gotten the word to shut up, tug a forelock and sit sullenly but quietly. "It's a big deal," says Brendan Steinhauser, director of state and federal campaigns for FreedomWorks. "That's a very basic starting point for all legislation — not only should we do it, can we afford to pay for it, but can we do it."

Back to square one, you might say, where it all started.

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

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