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December 2, 2014

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 April 28, 2014 / 28 Nissan, 5774

GOP likely will benefit from Obamacare in 2014, but how they could overplay their hand

By David M. Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama asked for a national debate on health care, and he got his wish. The problem for the Democrats, and consequently for the president, is that the national debate is still going on.

Technically called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as the ACA and often described as Obamacare, the overhaul of the American health-care system was signed into law almost exactly four years ago. And yet the debate rages on — and will continue to do so if Republican lawmakers, strategists and potential presidential candidates have their way.

Other issues in American life have persisted politically for more than four years — slavery, of course, monopolized the political debate for a third of a century, and Vietnam for a decade — but such endurance is rare, and in ordinary circumstances the likelihood of an issue with high political attention in April remaining at the top of the mind in November is very small.

The Republicans are wagering that health care will be different, and they surely take comfort in polls that show continuing public skepticism if not hostility toward the health-care law. Overall, Americans disapprove of the 2010 act by a 54-to-43 margin, a range that in the Gallup Poll has remained generally consistent since last fall.

It is true that disapproval of the health-care law varies substantially by party identity. Look carefully at those Gallup numbers and you will see that Republicans are as much as 17 times more likely to disapprove of the law than are Democrats. That is a stunning figure but, given the contemporary political atmosphere, not out of synch with the polarized national conversation.

In ordinary times Democrats might actually take comfort from those findings. If the overall margin against the law were 11 points and their partisan rivals were 17 times more likely to oppose it than Democrats themselves, then there might be a glimmer of hope for them. But Gallup also tells us that independents are as much as five times more likely to oppose the law as Democrats. That’s trouble.

But it is not a surprise, and the Democrats have their talking points ready. They are saying, though not everybody is believing, that in this fall’s midterm congressional elections they can run on Obamacare, not run away from it. Here’s the argument, provided in an interview last week with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chair:

“Are Republicans really going to ask 8 million people to give back their insurance and to take their kids under 26 off their health care and to deny affordable coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? They’re obsessed with opposing the president even if opposing the president hurts the middle class.”

She acknowledged that Democratic candidates in some races may prefer to express skepticism of the health-care law — “It will be an individual decision,” she said — but insisted that the issue is a winner, even in her state, where in January a Republican won a special election in a Tampa-area district carried by Mr. Obama in both 2008 and 2012. “That was truly a special election,” she said.

The importance of health care in November depends in some measure on the magnitude of two issues — the level of the law’s applicability and the level of the law’s opposition.

The Gallup survey shows that two-thirds of Americans believe they are unaffected by the health-care law, and the division between those who believe the law has hurt them (18 percent) and those who believe it has helped them (15 percent) is tiny.

Though the Obama administration has highlighted the 8 million people who have signed up, the newly insured constitute only 4 percent of the country and, given established voter participation patterns, represent an even smaller part of the voters in a midterm election. Though these newly insured skew Democratic by a 54-24 margin, they are generally younger than the population overall and thus are far less likely to vote.

Plus these factors: Democrats hope the opposition to the health law will wither away much the way the opposition to Social Security disappeared over time. The GOP ran against Social Security in the 1936 election and their nominee, Gov. Alf Landon of Kansas, lost all but two states.

The difference, however, is that virtually everyone paid into Social Security, giving almost all Americans a stake in the system and, eventually, benefits from the system, an advantage not replicated in the health law.

In addition, the people who dislike the Obama health law have a higher level of political intensity and involvement than do the people who support it.

Mr. Obama and his allies will portray the plan as a success, arguing that 15.6 percent of Americans now are uninsured, down from 18 percent a year ago. (Within March alone, according to Gallup, the rate of uninsured dropped more than a point.)

True — but as recently as the beginning of the 2008 general election, when Mr. Obama was the Democratic nominee, the rate was even lower (14.4 percent). Team Obama is going to have to have an answer for that.

In fact, the Democrats may continually have to provide health-care answers, or a series of revolving answers. There is every indication that the Republicans who hope to ride into a Senate majority on the health-care issue also hope to ride into the White House on it. Most of the likely presidential candidates have stated unequivocal opposition to the Obama health-care law.

All this raises a vital strategic question for the Republicans: Might it actually be better for the GOP to fall just short of a Senate majority in November than to win a majority in the chamber?

The answer may be yes. If they inch up against the Democrats but don’t actually seize Senate control, they’ll have little hope of overturning the Obama plan or, given the president’s certain veto of any repeal legislation, substantially weakening or de-funding it. They will force Democratic senators who supported the legislation to squirm as they affirm their 2010 vote and leave the health-care plan in place as a pinata: something they can bludgeon to their advantage in the 2016 primaries and the presidential general election.

The Republicans can win by losing. And the Democrats can lose by winning. It’s a cynical outlook, to be sure. But it is perfectly suited to an age of cynicism.




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David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

© 2014, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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