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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 August 7, 2011 / 7 Menachem-Av, 5771

Making hay at the Ames straw poll

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Being in politics, said Eugene McCarthy, is like coaching football: You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it is important. The game of presidential politics is especially arcane in the cunning weirdness of the Ames straw poll, a quadrennial fundraising event for Iowa’s Republican Party.

Republicans praise entrepreneurship, and in Iowa they practice what they preach. The poll, first staged in 1979, occurs Aug. 13. It will record the presidential preferences of persons transported to Ames by competing candidates, who will also buy their supporters’ $30 tickets. It would be naughty to compare this to a poll tax, but it does purchase the right to vote. Supporters will be fed, flattered and entertained in spaces the candidates rent for that purpose, this year paying a minimum of $15,000, and up to $31,000 for the best one.

Ron Paul paid $31,000, which is good news about inflation: In 1999, George W. Bush paid $43,500. Paul wins many straw polls because his intense supporters nurse an implacable grudge against the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The New York Times says that Paul’s online fundraising event “Ready, Ames, Fire” added $550,000 to the $4.5 million he collected in the second quarter. Also, events seem to be validating his message, which is that the country’s financial condition is awful.

This year, the Ames contest of most consequence is between the tortoise and the hare — between former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and current Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. He would be much easier to elect than to nominate; regarding her, reverse that.

If Pawlenty’s methodical long-march-through-the-cornfields strategy pays off in Ames — that is, if he gets perhaps 4,000 votes — he can partially upend the national media narrative that has cast him as already a spent force. His understanding of the stakes is apparent in the fact that he is investing $1 million in the Ames event — about one-fourth of the $4.2 million he raised in the second quarter.

Pawlenty emphasizes, as tortoises will, the long run. His campaign believes that Bachmann is potentially a flash in the pan whose campaign is brittle because of her propensity to say peculiar things (e.g., about Concord, N.H., the Founders and slavery, John Wayne). Pawlenty’s problem is the short run — between now and Saturday.



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If Paul finishes first or second, the political community will shrug: There he goes again, the Babe Ruth of straw polls. If Paul and Bachmann, in either order, capture the two top spots, Pawlenty’s campaign may be mortally wounded. If another candidate propelled by an intense faction — former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a favorite of evangelicals who in 2008 were 60 percent of Republican caucus participants — also finishes ahead of Pawlenty, the Ames circus will have destroyed the only one among the six candidates who bought space — and therefore are permitted to speak — at the event who has a realistic chance to be nominated and defeat Barack Obama.

The six who have bought space are Pawlenty, Bachmann, Paul, Santorum, Herman Cain and Michigan Rep. Thad McCotter. Three other announced candidates are also on the ballot: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman. Adding to the zaniness of the Ames exercise is this: Polls indicate that the last piece of the Republican nomination puzzle, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is nipping at the heels of front-runner Romney. But Romney has not bought space in Ames, and Perry is not on the ballot — although write-in votes are permitted.

The Ames poll has not reliably predicted the winner of Iowa’s caucuses five months later, and the caucuses have been an uncertain trumpet regarding the winner of the nomination. In 1979, George H.W. Bush won the poll and the subsequent caucuses but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan. In 1987, Pat Robertson won the poll, Bob Dole won the caucuses and Bush won the nomination. In 1995, Phil Gramm and Bob Dole tied in the poll, then Dole won the caucuses and the nomination. In 1999, George W. Bush won the poll, the caucuses and the nomination. In 2007, Romney won the poll, Mike Huckabee won the caucuses and John McCain won the nomination.

In 2011, a purchased, or at least rented, small portion of the nominating electorate of the state that ranks 30th in population can profoundly influence the coming political choices of voters in the 49 other states. You can’t make such stuff up. And you wouldn’t want to.

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