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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 July 15, 2010 / 4 Menachem-Av, 5770

Outside Washington, feeling hopeful on the budget crisis

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | BOSTON —- Sometimes you can see events in Washington more clearly when you get out of town.

Before I came here last weekend to cover the annual summer meeting of the National Governors Association, I shared the general Beltway view that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is an exercise in futility.

After all, it was almost strangled at birth, when a half-dozen Republican senators who had endorsed the idea of a bipartisan panel to tackle the deficit and debt problem reneged and voted against it, only to see President Obama rescue it by executive order.

The odds seemed hopelessly stacked against its finding the needed 14 votes among its 18 members to send a package to Congress for the promised up-or-down vote in December.

But then I heard the commission co-chairmen, Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, and Erskine Bowles, a former Clinton White House chief of staff, brief the governors for an hour. I shared the reaction of Mike Beebe, the governor of Arkansas, who said: "I don't know that I ever heard a gloomier picture painted that created more hope for me."

Together, Bowles and Simpson laid out a scenario of a growing gap between the demands on government and its available resources that "is like a cancer," as Bowles put it.

The commission may be a bad joke in Washington, but it was clear that the governors — many struggling with recession-bred budget crises — take it seriously.

Like Beebe, they found hope in the fact that, however tough the odds, Simpson and Bowles have created an environment in which serious people are grappling seriously with the biggest domestic challenge facing government.

What I learned from them — and several commission members interviewed back in Washington — is that they have pooled their very disparate talents: Simpson, cloaking his blunt cowboy directness in good humor; Bowles, a walking computer of a number-cruncher with the patience and tact of a Southern squire.

The trust they have found in each other is increasingly shared among commission members. Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, who is accustomed to the roughhouse tactics of the House, has been welcomed by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. Andrew Stern, the feisty former president of the Service Employees International Union, has found common ground with archconservative Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma in wanting to scrutinize Pentagon spending. And David Cote, the chairman of Honeywell International, has impressed Alice Rivlin, the brainy Democratic former director of the Office of Management and Budget, with his insistence on action.

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a co-sponsor of the bill creating the commission and now a member of the panel, told me that many of the Capitol Hill commissioners have been meeting almost weekly, searching for the path forward.

Nothing has been negotiated yet, and all kinds of pitfalls loom, but the outlines of possible agreements are becoming clear.

On nondefense discretionary spending, Obama already has proposed a three-year freeze that could set the pattern for a longer-term compact.

Social Security has been studied so thoroughly that commission members say "there are 34 ways" to balance the books, once the political trade-offs are accepted.

Health care will be the biggest challenge on the spending side, with some Democrats — and apparently the White House — resigned to the fact that the painfully negotiated 2010 law will have to be reopened to strengthen badly needed cost controls, no matter how awful the prospect of resuming that debate.

On revenue, Republican members are "keeping an open mind," rather than repeating their rote objections to any taxes. Bowles is helping them by suggesting that no taxes increase before 2012 and that, ideally, revenue should be raised and spending should be lowered so they balance at no more than 21 percent of the gross domestic product. Also, he suggested that two-thirds to three-quarters of the savings should come from the spending side, not new taxes; that tax expenditures (loophole closing) could make a major contribution, as they did in the 1986 deal under Ronald Reagan; and that no value-added tax should be imposed without cutting current levies.

Before any decisions are made, an election looms, and then a series of votes testing whether a 14-vote consensus can be found. But contrary to what is thought in Washington, there is hope.

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