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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 Oct. 5, 2009 / 17 Tishrei 5770

Will the Real President Stand Up?

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama has reached the moment of truth for answering the persistent question about his core beliefs and political priorities. The coming votes in the House and Senate on his signature health-care reform effort will tell us more about the president than anything so far in his White House tenure.

The challenge is not one he invited. All during last year's campaign, Obama skillfully skirted the question of whether he was a moderate, consensus-seeking pragmatist, as his words suggested, or a faithful adherent to the liberal agenda, as his voting record demonstrated.

In stylistic terms, he cultivated the pragmatic image. On issues, he was alternately one or the other — lining up with the liberals on Iraq and civil liberties, for example, but joining the hard-liners on Afghanistan and the budget.

In the campaign, he took the moderate side of the health-care debate — disagreeing with Hillary Clinton on the necessity for an individual mandate to buy health insurance and suggesting that he would be satisfied with incremental progress toward covering all the uninsured.

But now, a number of factors have combined to strip him of the camouflage that he once enjoyed when it comes to health-care policy.

His effort to craft a bipartisan package with significant Republican support has failed, as GOP leaders in Congress have chosen to take their chances on handing him a costly defeat rather than opting to claim a share of the credit for success. With Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine apparently the only Republican who might vote for the evolving legislation, Obama will have to find virtually all the votes he needs among his fellow Democrats.

Also, the debates inside the five House and Senate committees that have shared in drafting the bills have dramatized the deep ideological splits on the Democratic side of the aisle. The symbolic issue has been the public option — the proposal for a Medicare-like insurance plan competing with those offered by private companies.

Four of the five committees have included that proposal; the fifth, the Senate Finance Committee, has explicitly rejected it.

Beyond that much-hyped dispute are multiple disagreements on the cost and financing of the overall reform, with no consensus between the more conservative Democratic Blue Dogs and the more numerous liberals, especially in the House.

The first imperative for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is to find a formula that will produce 218 Democratic votes in the House and 59 of the needed 60 votes in the Senate.

Obama will have to be an active player in that process. But he also will have to negotiate something that will be workable in the real world. As he contemplates a reelection race in 2012, he needs at least three years when his most important domestic initiative has not blown up in his face.

What are his chances of pulling it off? It will not be easy. In the House, Pelosi and a clear majority of the Democratic caucus members want a liberal bill, including the public option. They may have to offer some cosmetic concessions to the Blue Dogs, but they are unlikely to yield on the main points.

In the Senate, on the other hand, while the liberals may prevail on floor amendments to install the public option, they cannot by themselves deliver 60 votes for passage. At this point, the leverage swings to the handful of more conservative, small-state Democratic senators who, with the Republicans, may be able to force substantive changes.

As this plays out — finally, in a House-Senate conference committee — the political cost of the Republican decision to be simply a blocking force will become clear. Had the GOP furnished even a few votes in return for seeing some of their concerns addressed, chances are that Obama and the Democratic congressional leaders would not have felt the necessity to keep all the liberals in line. This would have given the president more room to maneuver.

As it is, his main leverage point is the realization among nearly all Democrats that nothing would be as costly to them, in their individual 2010 races, as the failure of this Congress, with its heavy Democratic majorities, to pass a substantive health-reform bill.

That may be enough in the end for Obama to succeed. But the task of getting there will really test him — and expose his core values.

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