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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 Sept. 20, 2010 / 12 Tishrei, 5771

Dems at War: Public Unions vs. Gentry Libs

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My subject today is the civil war raging in one of our great political parties, as highlighted in recent primary elections.

No, I'm not talking about the split between the tea partiers and the Republican establishment (is there a Republican establishment anymore?). I'm talking about the split between two of the core groups of the Democratic Party, as witnessed in the Sept. 14 primaries in heavily Democratic New York (63 percent for Barack Obama in 2008), Maryland (62 percent Obama) and the District of Columbia (92 percent Obama).

In each there was a split between the public employee unions that do so much to finance Democratic campaigns and the gentry liberals who provide Democratic votes in places like Manhattan, the Montgomery County suburbs of Maryland and Northwest Washington, D.C. And in each case, the public employee unions won.

Fred Siegel, professor at Cooper Union and unexcelled analyst of contemporary New York politics, identifies two big winners there. One is Eric Schneiderman, a public employee union stalwart who won the Democratic nomination for attorney general, the office whose previous holder, Eliot Spitzer, was elected governor in 2006 and whose current incumbent, Andrew Cuomo, seems certain to be elected governor this year. The other is the Working Families Party, controlled by public employee unions, which provides many Democrats, including Cuomo, an extra line on the ballot.

The big question is whether Cuomo, if elected, will keep his promises to hold down spending or whether he will cave in to the unions. Siegel predicts his governorship "might well be pulled apart by these cross-tensions."

Head down Interstate 95 to Maryland, and you see a similar picture. Longtime local analyst Blair Lee IV, whose father was acting governor in the 1970s and whose great-grandfather was elected U.S. senator in 1913, notes that candidates supported by public employee unions whipped their opponents in Democratic primaries. In Montgomery County, the only county council member defeated was targeted by the public employee unions.

Here at the Washington Examiner, we have read with interest editorials written by our friends at The Washington Post denouncing the greed of the Montgomery County teachers unions. Unfortunately, their editorials (and ours) don't seem to have cut much ice with the county's gentry liberals, who either stayed home (turnout was a record low) or did the bidding of the unions.

But the most stark demonstration of the public employee unions' power came in the District of Columbia, where Mayor Adrian Fenty was defeated in the Democratic primary by Council President Vincent Gray. There's no Republican candidate, and Gray is as good as elected.

Four years ago, Fenty carried every precinct in the city. In office, he has drawn national attention for his appointment of Michelle Rhee as school superintendent. Rhee's reforms have produced higher test scores, stable rather than declining enrollment, a teacher evaluations system that has resulted in dismissals of dozens of incompetents and a union contract giving administrators greater flexibility in assignments.

Rhee won national acclaim but antagonized politicians like Gray with deep roots in Washington's black community. Blacks here, as in most large cities, have been more likely than average to work in public sector jobs — a legacy of the days half a century ago when governemnts, at least north of the Potomac, didn't discriminate against blacks as many private firms did.

As a result, Gray struck a chord with black voters when he denounced Rhee's teacher layoffs — the same layoffs that gentry liberals hailed as eliminating bad teachers who hold back children from poor families.

This divide is apparent when you look at the election returns. Gray won citywide by a 54 percent to 44 percent margin. Fenty won 72 percent in Ward 2 (Georgetown and West End) and 79 percent in Ward 3 (west of Rock Creek Park), both dominated by gentry liberals. Gray won 82 percent in Wards 7 and 8 (east of the Anacostia River), both heavily black.

Gentry liberals and public employee unions were allies in the Obama campaign in 2008. But now they're in a civil war, in city and state politics. This raises the question of whether the Democratic Party favors public employee unions that want more money and less accountability, or gentry liberals and others who care about the quality of public services. Right now, the unions are winning.

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




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