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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 1, 2011 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5771

The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority

By David M. Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Memo to Washington: You have no idea how bad you look right now.

And another thing: No one will emerge as a winner from this debt-ceiling debate and debacle.

Not the president, who sought to grab the high ground of compromise last week by portraying his plan as "shared sacrifice" and who sought to take a populist profile by describing the debt-ceiling crisis as one manufactured by Washington.

Not the House speaker, who is visibly pained by the pressures he is feeling from both old guard and tea party Republicans and who sought refuge last week in criticizing the president as intransigent.

Not the House freshmen, who in hewing to principle are at odds with the principles of the American system.

Not the liberal fire-eaters, who in seeking to preserve entitlement programs exactly as they are written today refuse to see that those very programs have changed as the nation's prosperity and priorities have changed.

Everyone knows this standoff is one of the signature tests of the time -- more significant than the government shutdown of 1995, which occurred in peacetime and during relative prosperity.

Everyone knows that the truth laid bare in this festival of folly isn't that Americans are unwilling to pay the costs of their lifestyle but that the political class is unwilling to serve the broad interests of the majority of Americans who sent their representatives to the capital to do the nation's business, not to engage in rhetorical and economic funny business.

Everyone knows that the president and Congress have diminished themselves in the public's eye and around the world.

At the heart of this display of self-righteousness and selfishness is a series of misperceptions by people who, sadly, pride themselves on being accurate gauges of the public's interests, if not always the public interest.

The Washington drama is, in fact, superb drama. At the center are two relatively new faces, Barack Obama and John Boehner, and a new political force, the tea party, and together they're in one of history's high noons. One side believes desperately that it is guarding the interests of the poor and the vulnerable. The other side believes just as devoutly that it is standing on the ramparts of freedom and guarding the integrity of the economy. They both stand at the extremes and speak of their concern for the middle.

These are big personalities vying for advantage in a struggle with big stakes. But while these leaders say they are thinking big, they are not acting big. And the spectacle that has played out the past several weeks in Washington has served to underline not the power of the two parties' viziers but the weaknesses of them.

Historians likely will look back on this crisis with wonder, asking how the two parties could have fiddled with public opinion while Washington's reputation, and bond rating, smoldered. They may conclude that this sorry episode was the manifestation and not the cause of the rot at the heart of the political system in this period. They will argue that the exhausting swings in public sentiment -- a deeply conservative president from Texas repudiated by a liberal president from Illinois who himself was repudiated by a grass-roots rebellion with tea leaves in its DNA -- doesn't show a public unwilling to make up its mind but instead displays an electorate unhappy with everybody and willing to punish anybody who is in office. It is not Democrats who won in 2008 and Republicans who prevailed in 2010 but incumbents who lost in both.

The clash of Summer 2011 is largely the result of twin factors: Mr. Obama believed in 2009 he had a mandate for his own ideas rather than understanding he was the beneficiary of public impatience with George W. Bush. Mr. Boehner may not have believed this winter that the public had given a mandate to the tea party rebels, but he felt the survival of his speakership required him to act as if he did, even if the GOP victory of 2010 came largely because the Republicans were lucky enough to be out of office when the public rebellion flared again.

The two questions for our time -- two questions that cannot be answered by politicians or journalists but rather are left to historians and political scientists -- are these:

• Why did the Republicans' loss in 2008 strengthen them while the Democrats' victory weakened them?; and

• Given that both Mr. Obama and the tea partiers triumphed on the strength of being seen as departures from an unresponsive political establishment, why could they not convert their visions into mainstream popularity, or even unite their own parties?

Of course, it is perfectly plausible that the fault, to reverse the Cassius calculus from Julius Caesar, is not in themselves but in their stars.

These political players -- Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner, the tea partiers -- came of age at a time when the velocity and passions of the new media of the 21st century were completely out of synch with the leisurely, deliberative institutions of a political system created with the Enlightenment values of the 18th century, before "friend" was a verb and when people of the president's race were counted as three-fifths of a person. Their ascendancy coincided with, and was the result of, the ascendancy of well-funded interest groups that bolster their treasuries by ever more aggressive appeals to the extremes. They are politicians who cannot afford to alienate the groups that support them but which foster political division.

More than 170 years ago Richard Henry Dana Jr. embarked on a great sea voyage he chronicled in "Two Years Before the Mast." At one point he looked at this country of vast riches and wondered if it possessed men worthy of them. "In the hands of an enterprising people," he wrote, "what a country this might be!"

In all times, but especially this fraught time, political genius consists in repudiating Bismarck's view that politics is the art of the possible. It is in finding a way to expand the notion of what is possible. If the political class can figure out how to do that, what a country this might be.

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



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





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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