Home
In this issue
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 Nov. 22, 2010 / 15 Kislev, 5771

Burning down the House

By David M. Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Political unity? Not this month.

I'm not talking about the voters at the polls. I'm talking about the pols in both parties. You'd think the shellacked and the shellackers would at least feel common cause, either huddling in defeat or rejoicing in victory. Not our guys. They're even turning on their own.

Ordinarily the adults offer some wisdom for the playground, urging grace in defeat, magnanimity in victory. Those apparently are lessons for another day.

After this month's elections, the victors crowed, the vanquished whined. Then, in the Republican Party, the victorious insurgents took off on the party regulars. Across the great political divide, the liberals, who were the symbols of voter resentment, turned on the moderates, whose views were closer to public sentiment -- though, fatefully, not close enough for the Blue Dogs, as the Democratic centrists are called, who were battered black-and-blue and suffered losses far out of proportion to their numbers.

No wonder the public, viewing this Shakespearean spectacle that is at once comedy and tragedy, shrugs and says: A pox on both your Houses. Both your parties, now that we're at it.

Let's start with the guys who won the election. Some of them won because they were rebels, catching a breeze in the spring only to find it had become a gale by the fall. Carl Sandburg wrote how Lincoln carried in his vest pocket a riff from the great humorist David Ross Locke (who wrote under the name Petroleum V. Nasby and edited Ohio's Toledo Blade) in which everyone was "agin" everything. Some of the tea partiers are agin nearly everything, and that includes the Republican leadership.

No, no, they say when the reporters inquire, we're cool with the party grandees, but in truth they're cool to the political establishment that the Republican leadership now personifies, even in the Senate, where the GOP remains in the minority. The new House leadership has reached out to the insurgents, offering "a larger voice" -- Senate Republicans are demanding that, too, and encountering some opposition -- but promising few specifics.

Meanwhile, Republicans last week also grappled with an issue fraught with symbolic importance even if it has minimal economic importance: earmarks.

Earmarks are specific spending provisions keyed to specific areas, and there is nothing particularly new about them; in the broadest brush the Tennessee Valley Authority legislation from the New Deal was a huge earmark involving 10 states -- each of which, by the way, voted for George W. Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 elections and seven of which went Republican in each of the last three presidential elections.

But now the Republicans are having a range war over earmarks, which were opposed by 11 of the 13 new Republicans in the Senate. The rebels regard earmarks as mischief, and mostly they are. The regulars, until last week including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, regard earmarks as implicit in the power of the purse the Constitution provided the legislative branch, and that's technically true, though a bit of a stretch from a group that ordinarily doesn't like to stretch its definition of what the Constitution says.

When it comes to original sin -- a concept this group is more comfortable discussing -- they're guilty. The Republicans who have been around awhile have been glimpsed shopping at Earmarks R Us more than once. (GOP Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi has his own personal shopper there.)

Not that the Democrats don't have their problems, symbolized in last week's debate over whether to retain Speaker Nancy D. Pelosi as their leader once they shed their power in the House come January. It's never good for a party to have lawmakers running for re-election vowing to topple their own leaders. Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn never saw anything remotely like that.

And that was only the first battle among Democrats. The juicy fight over leadership will be followed by a beefy fight over taxes, and already liberals and moderates are wrestling over whether, or more precisely how broadly, to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that are to expire at the end of next month. Some Democrats are willing to let most of them continue, despite the implications for the deficit. (Their motto: In for a dime, in for a trillion.) Others are willing to permit tax cuts that assist the poor and middle class, but not those for the wealthy.

This is a struggle worth watching, and not only for the spectacle. For a generation Republicans have defined themselves by taxes. For the next generation, the Democrats might.

While we're watching the political class tear itself apart, don't miss the internal and external conflicts involving the bipartisan commission on reducing the deficit, which produced a plan so sweeping that it managed to alienate almost everybody, a sure sign that its plan has merit but not prospects.

So far: Democrats hate the proposed adjustments to Social Security, even though the system is heading toward catastrophe. Republicans hate the tax increases, even though marginal rates would drop. Motorists hate the hike in gasoline taxes, even though the nation remains dangerously dependent on oil from the most unstable region of the world. And lobbyists for the real estate industry hate the elimination of the mortgage-interest deduction for homeowners, even though most industrial countries, including Canada and every major economic power in the European Union, have no such provision.

In a month of remarkable quotes this might be the most remarkable: "I told people in the White House I had spent more time listening to people in the opposition party than they had done as a whole group," Erskine Bowles, the Democrat who is co-chairman of the deficit-reduction commission, told The Wall Street Journal.

He's probably right. Former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, the Republican co-chairman, could probably say much the same about his crowd. Not that anyone will listen. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and mode

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



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





© 2010, THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles