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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 December 10, 2012/ 26 Kislev, 5773

Another overtime election

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | This is a peculiar season in American politics. The big game is over, the score is in the record book, yet there are more innings to be played. A lame-duck Congress and an exhausted president cannot leave the field.

This is the eighth time since the Nixon years Congress has gone into overtime to address pressing budget issues. Each time the crisis was described as the worst ever, though rarely has that been true. But with so much at stake, so much contention in the political system and so few easy options, it may actually be the case this time.

Yet there is a sense of unreality surrounding the pas de deux in which the principals are engaged, much like the ones the Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy are undertaking in holiday productions of "The Nutcracker" this month.

For now, the White House and the Republican House are playing to the wrong audience. They are behaving as if they are trying to win an election, rather than sculpt a solution. The beginning of wisdom in this crisis is that neither side should win. The goal is political resolution, not political absolution.

Maybe this is the time to take a deep breath and dig deep into the fiscal Cliff Notes, using this sober time of reckoning to take on the vital national questions we almost always skirt. For we need to recognize that even after the election, the big national questions have not been answered. In fact, they have not been asked. Since this is going to be a wrenching season anyway, here are some questions we would prefer to evade but shouldn't:

  • Should the budget be framed as a moral balance sheet or a financial balance sheet?

    This question prompts important debates about income inequality, social mobility, financial rectitude and national economic health. The greatest dodge in American civic life is the facile view that good economics are good politics. How do we know that will be true in the current case -- not a garden-variety contretemps but a raging crisis -- even in the unlikely event that it was true in the past?

    Elements in both parties believe the tax system should be an expression of American values, but they have vastly different values. Some liberals believe -- though they deny this is their view -- that the purpose of the tax system is primarily to foster fairness. Some conservatives believe -- they're in denial, too -- that the tax system should be designed only to create jobs and foster entrepreneurship. Again, neither side should win, or lose, completely.

  • Is the tax system designed to raise revenue or shape economic behavior?

    This question is seldom raised, never answered, in part because the pugilists want to answer one way some of the time, the other way the rest of the time.

    Some want to use the tax code to shape behavior, whether to conserve energy or encourage home ownership, almost always with phony arguments that distort the economy but please powerful interest groups. Others want to use the tax system to spur growth or, while lowering rates, to promote freedom -- although four of the five nations with the highest tax rates as a percentage of income (Belgium, Germany, France and Sweden) arguably are as free as we are.

  • Have the legal definition of "entitlements" and the popular meaning of the word been so confused that we are on a path to economic disaster?

    Tens of millions of aged and infirm Americans are legally entitled to Social Security and Medicare benefits as currently constituted. But just because these social benefits are called "entitlements," does that mean everyone has to be entitled to them or that they have to be distributed at current levels, even if the ratio of money being diverted into the system already is out of whack with the money pouring out of it?

    Medicare has not strayed much from its 1965 moorings. And it is not surprising that, with the population aging and medicine advancing, Medicare costs are growing. But these costs can be contained -- by adjusting reimbursement formulas and eligibility requirements. Changing conditions require changed regulations.

    Social Security is a slightly different matter, though Democrats are chary of acknowledging that. Its role in American life has changed substantially since 1935. It was designed as an income supplement, not a pension, though today that difference has been lost. During the salad years, the country was happy to ignore that distinction. Now, the notion that Social Security is an entitlement in any way other than in the legal sense needs a full debate.

    If nothing else, the country needs to recognize that if it were permissible to enhance these entitlements, as they have been with cost-of-living adjustments, then it's also possible to reduce them.

  • Has our political rhetoric so perverted our political system that our words get in the way?

    We have just completed a presidential campaign in which the Democrat employed the most virulent class-warfare language of any major-party candidate at least since Franklin Roosevelt, perhaps since William Jennings Bryan. Obama partisans inevitably will argue that the high pitch of the president was promoted by a shocking, dangerous level of income inequality in the country. Perhaps so.

    But the Republicans -- especially the new-style, middle-class conservatives, who have nothing in common with the malefactors of great wealth that Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, deplored in 1907 -- aren't the economic royalists that FDR, a Democrat, deplored 29 years later. Obama needs to sound like a president looking for a solution to a crisis, not a candidate seeking votes in a campaign.

    Obama was not alone in excess. His opponents described him as a European social democrat if not an outright socialist, which would be news to real socialists, who would instantly dismiss Obama as a feckless, spineless moderate with a hopelessly innocuous petit-bourgeois outlook.

    So, first step: We need to clean up the language before we can clean up the economic mess. Then tackle these questions.

    Comment by clicking here.

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


    Previously:



    12/03/12 Defining the Obama presidency: Our re-elected chief executive has the whip hand now, but how will he use
    11/19/12 New Hampshire 2016
    11/12/12 Obama's second chance
    11/05/12 America's first martyr to free speech
    10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
    10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
    10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
    10/01/12 Debating the debates
    09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
    08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
    08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
    08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
    07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
    07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
    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





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

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