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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 June 20, 2010 / 8 Tamuz 5770

A GOP gift in the gulf

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The eagerness with which Democrats pounced on the foolish comment of Rep. Joe Barton of Texas that BP had been the victim of a White House "shakedown" tells you everything you need to know about their need to change the subject from the problems confronting the Obama administration.

For weeks, it has appeared increasingly likely that voters will use the midterm elections in November to signal their unhappiness with the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the threat of uncontrolled deficits, the stalemate in Afghanistan and the continuing tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico by inflicting serious losses on Democratic candidates.

Unless.

Unless one Republican after another steps into the limelight, apparently eager to show that however bad the Democrats look, the opposition could be worse.

The parade of horribles that began with GOP Senate nominees (borrowed from the Tea Party movement) in Kentucky and Nevada challenging accepted wisdom on everything from civil rights to Social Security reached a new height with Barton's wildly mistaken decision to defend the world's most unpopular oil company from a fictitious strong-arm assault.

Barton, a longtime advocate of the oil and gas industry, seized a microphone right after President Obama had extracted a promise from BP executives that they would create a $20 billion trust fund from which to compensate families and companies victimized by the accident on its offshore drilling platform.

While almost everyone else congratulated the president for nailing down the commitment that gave force to BP's pledge to satisfy all legitimate claims, Barton discerned in the transaction a terrible threat to the free-enterprise system, calling it a Chicago-style "shakedown."

The leaders of the Republican minority on Capitol Hill had managed to swallow without gagging the musings of a Kentucky candidate who criticizes the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and a Nevada nominee who has problems with the Social Security Act of 1935.

But when Barton -- on the very day BP's chief executive was demonstrating his political ineptitude to derisive Republicans and Democrats on a House energy subcommittee -- appointed himself defense attorney for Big Oil, it was more than even the GOP leadership could tolerate.

House Minority Leader John Boehner and his lieutenants summoned the Texan to his chambers, ordered him to recant and apologize -- which he promptly did.

But not before White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had issued a stern rebuke on behalf of the president, followed swiftly by virtually every Democrat on Capitol Hill in reach of a camera, fax machine or phone.

To hear them tell it, Barton was not a solo malefactor but the guy who had given away the secret Republican command: Go forth and pollute. We've got your back.

Barton was the best thing that has happened to the Democrats in months. All of a sudden, they were not defending the undersea gusher they don't know how to cap; they were charging that the opposition was in bed with the corporate bad guys.

Why so eager? Because in the past few days, they had read election analyst Stuart Rothenberg's forecast that five of their Senate seats are leaning Republican and two others now under their control are toss-ups. If Democrats lose all of them, their Senate margin would be down to four seats.

A similar House analysis by academics Alan Abramowitz and Larry Sabato projects Republican gains of 32 to 39 seats. The latter number would be just enough to make Boehner the speaker, replacing Nancy Pelosi.

These numbers will change as the campaigns unfold. But you can see why the Democrats pounced on Barton, and why Boehner & Co. might want to hand out muzzles to their members.

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