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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 Oct. 31, 2005 / 28 Tishrei, 5766

Down but Not Out

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Whither the Bush administration? Two months ago, just before Katrina hit New Orleans, the administration had a game plan that it seemed to be, more or less successfully, executing. Since then that plan has been blown away by hurricanes meteorological, political and, yesterday, legal. In late August, Congress seemed primed to extend the earlier Bush tax cuts. House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas seemed ready to push some form of Social Security reform through his committee and the House. John Roberts seemed headed for easy confirmation to Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. Iraq, at least in the minds of administration officials, was moving in the right direction, with new Iraqi security forces coming online and the constitution heading for approval in the election scheduled for Oct. 15.

Not everything has gone wrong. Iraqi voters did approve the constitution—a result the Washington Post reported on page A13. Judge Roberts was confirmed 78-22, though not for Justice O'Connor's swing seat but for the seat of the apparently similarly conservative chief justice, William Rehnquist. But the administration's response to Katrina seemed inadequate, and that impression was not much ameliorated by the better response to Rita and Wilma. And Katrina changed the subject. Liberals did not succeed in persuading the American people that we should launch a new war on poverty. But Mr. Bush's proposals—school vouchers for displaced students, urban homesteading—do not seem to have captured the public's imagination either. In the meantime, extending the tax cuts has been deferred. Social Security reform seems very much off the table and unlikely to be revived. Mr. Bush's greatest political asset up to Katrina had been the steadfast support of the Republican base. But it was conservative commentators and bloggers who led the successful battle against his Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

The Miers fight and the failure to advance Social Security reform teach the same political lesson: Mr. Bush can count on being firmly, and more or less unanimously, opposed by the Democrats, and he can succeed only when he has the strong support of the Republican base. That is the same lesson taught by the 2004 election, in which, despite a strong economy, he was reelected by only 51% to 48%. It seems reasonable to expect that his next Supreme Court nominee will be strongly supported by the base and will, despite vociferous opposition from the Democrats, be confirmed. We'll know more this week.


Conservatives are still seething with dissatisfaction about the president and his administration on two issues. One is overspending. House Republican leaders are currently struggling to put together a spending-cut package and are encountering great difficulty. Some Republicans want to cut defense and others do not; some committee chairmen don't want cuts on their turf. Speaker Dennis Hastert has done an excellent job of holding House Republicans together for seven years with between 221 and 232 Republicans—only a few more than the 218 needed for a majority. But the glue that has held those majorities together is money. The House and Senate leadership seem to need help from the White House to enact visible spending cuts. So far they haven't gotten much.

The other issue conservatives complain about is immigration. Mr. Bush has proposed a program to legalize illegal immigrants, but the sentiment of Republicans, even more out in the country than in Congress, is for sealing the borders and cutting down illegal immigration. Two significantly different bills with guest-worker provisions are before the Senate; the House may be inclined to pass just a border security bill without provisions for guest workers. Here too there is an obvious need for the administration to take a stand and superintend the process. The approach it took on Social Security—let's let members of Congress come forward with their own bills—didn't work well, and without administration guidance the result could easily be no legislation or a measure that costs Republican support among Hispanics or those angry at the spectacle of thousands of illegals crossing the border. Conservatives are ready to rally around Mr. Bush—but only if he gives them what they want on spending and immigration and the Supreme Court. He can't just wait for Congress to act.

George W. Bush did an admirable job in the 2000 campaign of setting forth a specific platform on domestic issues. As president, he has had considerable but not total success in getting Congress to enact his tax, education and health-care proposals. In the 2004 campaign he understandably stressed foreign policy and the war on terrorism and on domestic issues largely reiterated his 2000 platform with some emphasis on Social Security. But with the Social Security issue apparently sidelined, the gas tank is close to empty. It needs to be filled up again.

Fortunately, it appears that the Bush White House will have the services of Karl Rove available. Mr. Rove was not indicted along with "Scooter" Libby Friday and, while he may remain in legal jeopardy, the comments of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in his press conference gave the impression that further indictments are unlikely.

The indictment of Mr. Libby is of course a scar on the administration's record, but not one nearly so visible or disabling as a Rove indictment would have been. Mr. Rove has played a role in this administration that no presidential appointee has played in the first 212 years of our republic: chief political operator and chief policy adviser. He brings to his work an impressive knowledge of history and a sensitivity to the historic currents running through our times. He seems to have, despite his legal travail, the complete confidence of the president.

On many fronts the Bush administration can claim success—more than is registered in the polls. Tax cuts have helped to stimulate the economy. The No Child Left Behind Act, together with state and local efforts to make schools accountable for results, has been followed by some modest improvement in test scores; one might hope it is extended from the middle grades to high school. On health care, the private sector seems to be following the cues in the 2003 Medicare bill's provisions encouraging health savings accounts. But there are surely many other ways in which government can be made more accountable and in which citizens can be given incentives to make progress on their lifelong project of accumulating wealth. The Democrats have little to offer on these fronts; the thrust of their policies seems to be to make America more like Continental Western Europe, with its torpid growth and high unemployment. Mr. Bush has three more years and three more months in which to take the lead in another direction. Will he use them well or squander them?

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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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