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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 May 3, 2005 / 24 Nisan, 5765

The Perils of Obstructionism

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While trying to understand the flow of events, it's a good idea to keep in mind the basic fundamentals that tend to guide the players and point to different outcomes.

The first is that the 2004 election reshaped the electorate. Total turnout was up 16 percent, an extraordinary amount, matched in magnitude only four times over the last 108 years. John Kerry's vote total was 16 percent higher than Al Gore's, while George W. Bush's vote total was up a huge 23 percent from four years before.

The NEP exit poll (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/epolls/ ) showed voters with a party identification of 37 percent Republican and 37 percent Democratic, the first time Republicans have equaled Democrats since random sample was invented in 1935. No American under age 80 has ever seen such a Republican electorate.

The second fundamental is that in the 2004 cycle, Old Media influence declined, while New Media influence increased. Old Media — /The New York Times/, CBS, ABC, NBC — is staffed mostly by liberals, and their work product inevitably reflects this. New Media — talk radio, Fox News Channel, the Internet Web logs, which together are called the blogosphere — are in many cases staffed by conservatives, and their work product reflects this.

In the old days, when Old Media had an effective monopoly on what most voters learned about politics and government, you would not have heard much about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charges against John Kerry and you would not have seen any questioning of the forged documents Dan Rather relied on in his "60 Minutes II" broadcast aimed at undermining George W. Bush. But in 2004, thanks to New Media, the Swiftvets got a hearing and Dan Rather's documents were proved dubious by the blogosphere in less than 24 hours.

For the last several weeks, George W. Bush and the Republicans have been taking a beating in Old Media. Yet when you look at the state of play, you find that they're not doing as badly as that coverage suggests.

The Republican Congress has passed bankruptcy and class action legislation with plenty of Democratic support. Last week, it passed a budget resolution with room for tax cuts and that seems to ensure oil drilling in the tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The House Republicans backed down and rescinded their ethics rules changes, but they did so in the confidence that Old Media's target, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, has done nothing that violates House rules. The Senate Republicans seem to be moving ahead toward a rules change that would allow a majority of senators, not 41 Democrats, to determine who will or will not be a federal appeals court judge or — the real stakes — a Supreme Court justice.

Back in January, Senate Democrats were saying that they would shut down the Senate if Republicans made this rule change. Now they are singing a different tune. Minority Whip Richard Durbin, one of the most partisan Democrats, assures everyone that they're not really going to obstruct very much at all.

The reason is that Democrats know that obstruction does not play well at the polls. Voters at some point ask what you stand for. Old Media are not going to paint Democrats as obstructionists. But New Media can. For years, Sen. Tom Daschle received positive coverage in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, South Dakota's dominant newspaper. But during the 2004 campaign, several local anti-Daschle blogs took on Daschle and the paper, and circulated stories that put him in a less favorable light. Daschle had won seven elections in South Dakota. He lost in 2004.

In his press conference last week, George W. Bush pointed the way to a progressive solution for Social Security. You pay for low-income workers' personal accounts by cutting high-income workers' future benefits. You let low-income workers accumulate wealth as most Americans already do over the course of a lifetime, and the cost to high-income workers is low because they depend less on Social Security anyway.

At the moment, Democrats seem determined to reject this progressive approach. But even Old Media's polls, often slanted on this as on other issues, show that voters recognize there is a problem. So far as I can tell, no Republican was defeated in 2002 or 2004 by a Democrat who pledged "no change in Social Security." Republicans who had a plan beat Democrats whose plan was a blank piece of paper.

How this issue will play out in Congress is unclear. But do Democrats want to face this reshaped electorate with our reconfigured media with no other message but obstructionism?

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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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