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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 July 23, 2012/ 5 Menachem-Av, 5772

The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | BRIDGTON, Me. -- The lumberjack felling monstrous trees for the masts of British ships. The woodsman walking amid the firs on the frigid back door of Canada. The lobsterman with his craggy face turned toward the icy wind. The potato farmer mining the hard earth for her October harvest.

All these are caricatures, the beloved traditional portraits of Mainers at work -- determined, brave, above all independent. And so in this rugged state -- a mountain and maritime redoubt situated hard by Quebec and New Brunswick, its folk myths written by Kenneth Roberts, painted by Winslow Homer and transformed into a noir nightmare by Stephen King -- we should not be surprised to see that the central political figure of this political year is himself an Independent.

He is Angus King, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and a former governor who is the favorite to win a Senate seat in November -- and to mount a frontal attack on the culture of the nation's capital.

Mr. King, 68, is a contemplative man, by temperament no revolutionary. He has the air of a tweedy senior faculty member poking through the mustier recesses of Bates's Ladd Library and Bowdoin's Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, perhaps because he has taught at both colleges. But this summer he is fired with rebellion and passion -- and, in a year when politicians are regarded with contempt, with possibility.

Mr. King's campaign aims at the heart of Maine's most revered mythology, cultivated even more vigorously now that the state has growing traces of suburbanization and as the Internet and satellite television have reduced the isolation that created Maine's character in the first place.

"The native identity is completely wrapped up in the coast's rural character: hunting and fishing, access to the shore, lakes, streams and forests is regarded as a near birthright," Colin Woodard wrote in "The Lobster Coast," his classic portrait of the state. Maine, which won its independence from Massachusetts two centuries ago, celebrates its weather-beaten sense of independence -- and its ability to solve problems without rancor and recrimination.

"People here are fed up with what's going on in Washington," says Mr. King. "The Senate is broken and trying to fix it with another partisan isn't going to do it. It turns out that this is exactly what the people here think."

Mr. King is aiming to replace a Maine icon, Sen. Olympia Snowe, a moderate herself, much respected for her independence from her own Republican colleagues. She stood down from a re-election fight, a poignant moment that seemed a sad symbol of the paralysis of politics in Washington.

The King campaign has sent both parties into upheaval -- Mr. King expects an onslaught of $2 million to $4 million in negative ads underwritten by super PACs to begin any day now -- and has raised questions of how he might be regarded, and how he might comport himself, in the Capitol.

Will he do what most independents do, which is to drift into one of the party caucuses so as to win influential committee assignments? Or will he hover above the two parties, threatening them both by the quiet moral superiority a true independent would automatically possess in a poisoned partisan atmosphere? And if he holds the balance of power in a divided Senate, what ransom might he demand?

In a way, Mr. King would underline the Senate's principal contradictions. The chamber is governed by partisanship. The House undertakes the charade of allowing all members to vote for the speaker, but the Senate is more baldly partisan, and without artifice, its rhythms ruled by the majority leader.

But it also empowers the individual. Far more than in the House, individual senators possess almost unbridled power, for in the upper chamber most routine matters require unanimous consent. A truly independent-minded lawmaker can transform political theory into chaos theory with the merest effort.

Which is why Mr. King is both threat and opportunity.

"This is no lightweight," says former Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker, who after leaving the Capitol served as an Independent governor of Connecticut. "He knows that being a Republican now is dicey at best and being a Democrat isn't much better. This is an ideal time to be an Independent. The whole country is bloody well fed up with both parties."

Mr. King's effort is bolstered by three faces of familiarity -- Maine's familiarity with Independent politicians, its familiarity with political figures spurning partisan conformity and its familiarity with Mr. King himself.

Three Republican women in modern times have been fiercely independent in Washington -- Margaret Chase Smith (1949-1973), Ms. Snowe (beginning in 1995) and Susan Collins (beginning in 1997). Another Republican, Rep. William Cohen, later an unorthodox senator and secretary of defense in a Democratic administration, voted in the House Judiciary Committee to impeach President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. That very year, James B. Longley was elected governor as an Independent governor.

Mr. King, the only Independent governor in modern times to be re-elected, is so familiar a figure in this state that the bumper stickers that seem to be everywhere in this lake town say simply, "Angus." Like Ann-Margret or Cher, no last name necessary.

"When I'm campaigning nobody talks to me about health care or even the economy," says Mr. King. "It's 'the system' people talk about. Why can't they compromise? Why can't they act like adults? Why can't they represent the public interest instead of the parties? People just want the problems solved. Washington realizes how far out of touch it is."

Mr. King may talk in an idiom of upheaval but he possesses a gentle touch -- a seldom-noted but much-cherished part of old Maine -- to match his revolutionary rhetoric.

That's what the poet and novelist May Sarton was speaking of when, in 1994, a year before she died, she wrote: "As I think about it today in my 81st year, looking out at the sea from my desk, I realize that what I have found in Maine is more than courtesy and kindness. It is grace."

In the coming weeks, Mr. King must show that grace and prove that his policy positions -- favoring gay marriage, abortion rights and banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- don't make him a Democrat in Independent clothing. But it's not so much where he stands on issues that seems to matter this summer. It's the fact he doesn't stand with either party.

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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