May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
March 5, 2007
/ 15 Adar, 5767
Tripping Over the Inevitable: The Coming Backlash Against the Clintons
In the 1920s, the Brooklyn Dodgers finished in sixth place seven times in eight years. Late in that unfortunate period, a droll sportswriter, noting the team's listless play, wrote, "Overconfidence may yet cost Brooklyn sixth place."
Hillary Clinton's campaign did not display overconfidence when it directed the recent fusillade at Barack Obama. Her campaign's rhetorical megatonnage was in response to a prominent Obama contributor saying rude things about her. Her overreaction was one of several developments that have clarified the Democratic contest.
Bill Clinton has said, regarding presidential candidates, that Republicans like to fall in line and Democrats like to fall in love. Which explains the Clinton campaign's palpable panic: Democrats have fallen in love, but not with her.
Republicans tend to nominate the next person in line: Vice President Richard Nixon, not Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, to follow President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960; Vice President George H.W. Bush, not Sen. Robert Dole, to follow President Ronald Reagan in 1988; Dole rather than Lamar Alexander or any other contender in 1996; Gov. George W. Bush, whose dynastic lineage propelled him past Sen. John McCain in 2000.
There is a Republican tinge to Sen. Clinton's campaign: She is next in line. That fact combined with the Clintons' (how often the plural is pertinent) money machine, combined with the Clintons' earned reputation for ferocity is supposed to impart to her an aura of inevitability.
But such an aura annoys voters by telling them that they really have no choice. And that can provoke them to play the game that G.K. Chesterton called "Cheat the Prophet": The players listen politely to explanations of what is inevitable, then they make something else happen, which defeats boredom.
Boredom, the sociologist Robert Nisbet wrote, is among the universal and insistent forces driving human behavior. Mankind's nervous system evolved during millions of dangerous years (saber-toothed tigers, etc.). Now, however, mankind has suddenly, in a few millennia, encountered the monotony of orderly life, which bothers human brains formed by and for hazardous circumstances.
Among the cures of boredom that Nisbet listed are war, murder, revolution, suicide, alcohol, narcotics and pornography. He might have added presidential politics. Memo to the Clinton campaign: Inevitability is boring.
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So is a narrow range of choices. Democrats have many interesting candidates, but governors often are the most plausible candidates to be the nation's chief executive and only one remains in the Democratic race New Mexico's Bill Richardson. Three former governors Virginia's Mark Warner, Indiana's Evan Bayh and Iowa's Tom Vilsack have left the field.
Vilsack said the demise of his candidacy was determined by " money and only money." Well, yes, but there were reasons, political and ideological, why he could not find buyers for what he was selling. Nevertheless, his statement triggered the usual laments about the determinative role of money in politics. This year we are told to be horrified by the fact that by November 2008 the presidential contest will have cost $1 billion. Which means that the two-year process will cost half as much as Americans spend every year on Easter candy.
Candidates do have to spend too much time raising money. But that is because the government, by banning large campaign contributions, has transformed a huge American surplus money into an artificial scarcity. The government began to do this for anti-competitive purposes.
The modern drive for campaign finance "reforms" is usually said to have been initiated by Democrats in response to Watergate. Democrats did start it, but before Watergate, in response to their traumas of 1968.
That year, Sen. Gene McCarthy's anti-Vietnam insurgency disturbed the Democratic Party's equilibrium by mounting a serious challenge to the renomination of President Lyndon Johnson. McCarthy was able to do that only because a few wealthy people gave him large contributions. Democrats also were alarmed by former Alabama governor George Wallace's success in 1968, and they mistakenly assumed that Wallace, too, was mostly funded by a few very large contributions.
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According to John Samples of the Cato Institute (in his book "The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform"), congressional Democrats began the process that culminated in criminalizing large contributions the kind that can give long-shot candidates, such as Vilsack, a chance to become competitive. Yes, the initial aim of campaign "reforms" was less the proclaimed purpose of combating corruption or "the appearance" thereof than it was to impede the entry of inconvenient candidates into presidential campaigns. In that sense, campaign reform is a government program that has actually worked, unfortunately.
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