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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 April 24, 2009 / 30 Nisan 5769

Obama Lets Congress — and Lobbyists — Do the Work

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The balance between the executive and legislative branches in writing laws has changed over the centuries. In the 19th century, Sen. Stephen Douglas wrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act, with President Franklin Pierce just an interested bystander. In the 20th century, President Lyndon Johnson reportedly insisted that Congress change not one word of the Great Society legislation he sent down from the White House.


The first presidents of the 21st century have taken approaches between those two extremes. Under George W. Bush, the White House pretty much drafted the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and negotiated the numbers with members who cast the critical votes. On the No Child Left Behind Act and the 2003 Medicare-prescription drug bill, the White House presented its plans and then negotiated with committee leaders — a bipartisan group on education, mostly Republicans on Medicare.


Barack Obama spelled out his positions on the issues during the campaign, but is letting members of Congress do almost all the heavy lifting now that he's in office.


Thus the $787 billion stimulus package was largely written by members of the Appropriations committees, with concessions made to the three Republicans whose votes were needed in the Senate. Health care bills are now being fleshed out by Chairman Max Baucus and ranking Republican Charles E. Grassley in the Senate Finance Committee, and by Democratic committee chairmen in the House. The administration has proposed cap-and-trade legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions, but the sole working draft made public has come from House committee chairmen Henry A. Waxman and Edward J. Markey.


For those who remember Obama's promise to be a transformative leader, it comes as a surprise to see such deference to Congress. Obama insiders explain that when Hillary Clinton tried to draft a health care bill without input from Congress, the project crashed and burned.


One might add that Obama never acquired much legislative expertise in his three years and 10 months as a senator, most of which he spent campaigning for president. Better, perhaps, to leave it to Congress, where Democratic senators have considerable experience legislating and the relevant House committees are led by experienced and unusually competent chairmen.


But there are problems with Obama's approach, as there were with Stephen Douglas' and Lyndon Johnson's, and for that matter with George W. Bush's.


The first problem is that the congressional sausage factory can produce laws with embarrassing amounts of gristle and waste matter. Appropriators wrote their wish lists into the stimulus bill, and while the results might look attractive to their constituents, they were held up to ridicule by Republicans and bipartisan critics of pork-barrel spending. The stimulus package hasn't gotten any more popular as the details have come out.


Second, there is a danger of being whipsawed between competing extremes. In a story on the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post, advocates of a government health insurance plan threatened to withhold 70 votes if the House Democratic leadership propitiated moderate Democrats who have qualms about destroying private insurance. Douglas cobbled together the Kansas-Nebraska Act with some provisions supported by one half of the Senate and others backed by the other half, with the only overlapping vote being Douglas' own. It's not clear that today's party leaders have the skill to achieve this impressive political feat.


Finally, there is the problem that Congress can simply ignore the president's priorities, as the Republican Congress ignored George W. Bush on Social Security in 2005. That could be the fate of cap-and-trade legislation. Nearly half the Senate Democrats voted against including this in the budget resolution, which would have made it easier to pass — a clear sign that members from states and districts that depend on coal-fired electric plants don't want to impose high utility rates, not just on those evil folks who make more than $250,000 but also on the considerably larger number of their constituents who use electricity.


In the meantime, we are presented with a scene that would have delighted Mark Twain. A president who campaigned for office promising to banish lobbyists from his midst has left it in the hands of Congress to work out all the details of complex legislation that would have enormous effects on economic activities of all sorts. The entirely predictable result is a profusion of lobbyists such as Washington has never seen. Quite an accomplishment for the candidate who promised hope and change.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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