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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 March 14, 2005 / 3 Adar II, 5765

Dems are out of gas

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What do Democrats want? Many answers, or partial answers, can be found in the 90th anniversary issue of the New Republic, in the post-election issue of the American Prospect, and in various other writings by smart Democrats unhappy with the defeat their party suffered in 2004. These writers avoid the left blogosphere's wacky claims that the election was stolen. They understand that both parties played to win and turned out many new voters. John Kerry got 16 percent more votes than Al Gore. George W. Bush got 23 percent more votes in 2004 than in 2000.

Most of these Democrats focus on domestic policy. New Republic Editor Peter Beinart has called for purging those Democrats unwilling to robustly fight the war on terrorism. But that position has not elicited much response, except for calls to show more respect for the military and a certain quietness among vitriolic Bush critics after the Iraqi election.

On domestic policy the Democrats' thrust is to expand government to help ordinary people. But few get specific. In the American Prospect, historian Alan Brinkley says Democrats should re-engage "with issues of class and power." But exactly how he doesn't say. In the New Republic, Jonathan Chait argues that, while conservatives are guided by ideology, liberals are guided by facts. Expanding government is a matter of examining facts and doing the sensible, compassionate thing. But he doesn't have the space to get very specific. Nor does he address David Stockman's argument that in policymaking, powerful interests tend to trump powerful arguments— a criticism Democrats make, sometimes cogently, of Republican practices.

The New Republic's Martin Peretz takes a bleak view: Liberalism is "bookless," without serious intellectual underpinnings, as conservatism was 40 years ago. Back then, the liberal professoriate was churning out new policies, some of which became law. Today, the campuses provide liberals less guidance. The economics departments have become more respectful of markets and more dubious about government intervention. The social sciences have followed the humanities into the swamp of deconstruction. Peretz notices that liberals have no useful ideas about education. That overstates the case, but most reform ideas have come from the right, while most Democrats have focused on throwing more money at the teachers unions.

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No strategy. The bleakest picture comes from two usually optimistic analysts, Stanley Greenberg and James Carville. In their latest Democracy Corps memo, they lament that, despite what they see as Republican stumbling on Social Security, voters don't think Democrats have new ideas for addressing the country's problems. By denying that Social Security has problems, "Democrats seem stuck in concrete." In the New Republic, John Judis takes a longer view. Since the 1970s, he notes, Democrats have had little success expanding government. He blames international competition, the decline of private-sector unions, and stronger business lobbyists. A revival of liberalism, he writes, "would probably require a national upheaval similar to what happened in the '30s and '60s. That could happen but doesn't appear imminent."

The Democrats' problem is that they have proceeded for years with a goal of moving America some distance toward a western European welfare state. But Judis looks at Europe and sees a failing model: high unemployment, stalled economies, and the welfare state in retreat. Nor is raising taxes on the rich a sound strategy; Democrats did that in 1993, and Republicans won control of Congress in 1994.

Democrats in power can make small, quiet moves toward redistribution, like the expansion of the earned income tax credit in the Clinton administration. Out of power they can focus on policies for which arguments can be made by vivid anecdotes, like prescription drugs for seniors. Or they can obstruct change and wait for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to gobble up larger shares of the economy. But that will take time. For now, Democrats are facing the fact that general arguments for a larger welfare state just don't seem attractive to most voters.

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BARONE'S LATEST
Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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