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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 31, 2008 30 Menachem-Av 5768

The Mush in California's Middle

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If John McCain becomes president, he will be confronted by a Congress with significantly larger Democratic majorities than today's — majorities furious about high hopes dashed by an eighth Republican victory in 11 presidential elections. And if the normal pattern of off-year elections holds in 2010, those majorities will expand. So McCain would have to deal with a hostile legislature for four years, as Arnold Schwarzenegger has done for almost five years. For that reason, and because these two self-styled post-partisan, reach-across-the-aisle mavericks admire one another it is pertinent to survey Schwarzenegger's governorship of one-eighth of America's population.


Becoming governor in 2003, when Gov. Gray Davis was recalled, Schwarzenegger promised frugality. But even adjusting for inflation and population growth, spending has increased 20 percent under Schwarzenegger. The $102 billion general fund budget is $15 billion in deficit. This year Sacramento will swallow 9.58 percent of personal income, up from 8.78 under Davis, who was recalled because . . . does anyone remember?


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In January, Schwarzenegger proclaimed: "I will not raise taxes on the people of California." Then he proposed raising the state's sales tax — the nation's highest (7.25 percent statewide with local additions) — a full penny on the dollar, unless (mostly low-income) Californians vastly increase the amount of money they squander on the state's poorly performing lottery, thereby enabling the state to borrow against projected future lottery earnings. Now Schwarzenegger favors a "temporary" sales tax increase.


Schwarzenegger began governing as a Republican, but public employees unions easily defeated his four principled proposals — reform of public employees' pensions, merit pay for teachers, automatic spending cuts when the budget is not balanced and redistricting to be done by retired judges. So he made a Democratic operative his chief of staff and has governed accordingly.


He said he would support relaxing term limits on state legislators only if they promised to support transferring their redistricting power to nonpartisan retired judges. The legislators broke their promise, but he still favors relaxation.


When he ran for governor, desperate conservatives rallied 'round, reassured by reports that he had read Milton Friedman. But his governance has been, as populism usually is, both incoherent and predictable, a product of his gut and gusts of popular opinion.


When funding stem cell research was the indicator of advanced thinking — nothing ages faster than intellectual fads — he helped burden the state with $6 billion more in bond costs (including $200 million a year in interest for 30 years) to fund it. In 2003, Davis signed a law requiring employers with 20 or more workers to provide them with health insurance or pay into a state fund that would. Citizen Schwarzenegger called it a "job-killing health-care tax" and supported the referendum that repealed it. But Gov. Schwarzenegger, scrambling aboard the "universal coverage" bandwagon, proposed a pay-or-play mandate on employers with 10 or more workers: Provide insurance or pay a 4 percent payroll tax. Because imposition of new taxes requires a two-thirds legislative majority, Schwarzenegger called his proposed $12 billion in new taxes (including those on the gross revenue of doctors and hospitals) "levies" or "fees."


"It's not a tax" because "you take it for health care," not general revenue. Those from whom it would have been taken did not appreciate the distinction. Real Republicans helped killed the plan.


Today, politicians attempt to prove their gravitas and virtue by trying to fine-tune the planet's thermostat, so Schwarzenegger favors loading the state's sputtering economy (its 7.3 percent unemployment rate is 28 percent above the national rate) with taxes, fees and regulations. Nevada and Arizona thank him for the businesses he drives their way.


California Republicans have lost seven consecutive U.S. Senate races, hold only 19 of 53 congressional seats, have not controlled the state Senate since 1970, have controlled the assembly for just one year (1996) since 1970, and have bleaker prospects today than when they plighted their troth to the action hero who says: "Look, I cut to the chase. I know what the Democrats like, and I know what the Republicans like. So, I say let's meet somewhere in the middle." But Gov. Weather Vane, as the Orange County Register calls him, usually finds the middle in the middle of the Democrats' legislative caucus.


The other seven-eighths of the American population should understand that what Californians are enduring has a name: "post-partisanship." Somewhere, Gray Davis is smiling.

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

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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