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December 2, 2014

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 Jan. 2, 2014/ 1 Shevat, 5774

Memo to Obama: Sooner or Later Reality Matters

By Bernard Goldberg



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Senator Tom Coburn, the Republican from Oklahoma who has more sense than most of his colleagues in Washington, has a guest column in the Wall Street Journal running under the headline, "The Year Washington Fled Reality."

Here's his first sentence: "The past year may go down not only as the least productive ever in Washington but as one of the worst for the republic." I can think of a few years that were worse — the years of the Civil War, the Depression Years, the Vietnam and Watergate years immediately come to mind. But we get the senator's point.

And there is one part of his column that I think truly captures the sorry state of how business was conducted in 2013 by one particular charismatic politician in Washington. Here's what Senator Coburn writes:

"The culture that Mr. Obama campaigned against, the old kind of politics, teaches politicians that repetition and 'message discipline' — never straying from using the same slogans and talking points — can create reality, regardless of the facts. Message discipline works if the goal is to win an election or achieve a short-term political goal. But saying that something is true doesn't make it so. When a misleading message ultimately clashes with reality, the result is dissonance and conflict. In a republic, deception is destructive. Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no consent. And without consent we invite paralysis, if not chaos."

He's right, of course. President Obama misled us, at best — and lied to us at worst, in order to get his healthcare reform through Congress. Mr. Obama is a politician who too often confuses campaigning with governing — he's very good at the former, not so much the latter. You get the impression he says what he has to say to win over the crowd — because he's confident he can. But, as Senator Coburn says, without truth there can be no trust. So now more Americans distrust Mr. Obama than at any time in his presidency. His deception got his signature piece of legislation through Congress, but he's paying a price for his "success."

But President Obama isn't the only one guilty of "message discipline" — he's not the only one who seldom strays from slogans and talking points. This is the bane of opinion pundits and commentators too, especially on cable TV and talk radio.



This is how it works: liberals don't like conservatives, so they find anything and everything to ridicule the enemy, to marginalize and delegitimize the other side, while ignoring their own team's mistakes. Conservatives are no better. If President Obama picks his nose on the golf course, it gets the same attention on talk radio and on some conservative TV shows as if he personally dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Neither side can say a good word about the other side. It's against the rules. It's giving aid and comfort to the enemy. No, talk radio and cable TV didn't create the polarization that is tearing this country apart. But for all the good they do — highlighting news that old media tend to play down, giving voice to people who would have no voice in the so-called mainstream media — opinion radio and TV sure made things worse. They speeded up the process of division. So now, conservatives only want to hear what other conservatives have to say and liberals only want to hear liberals. Neither side really wants to hear opinions that might make them re-think their entrenched views. All we want today is to nod along as someone on radio or TV validates our firmly held biases. It's "safe" inside the echo chamber.

And the non-stop bashing of the other side, to use Senator Coburn's words, creates "dissonance and conflict." It undermines trust. It's destructive. That may be good for business — and it is! — but it's not good for America.

President Obama, in 2014, needs to learn the difference between campaigning and governing. It won't be easy for him. Charisma — especially when deployed to win over "low information" Americans may work for a while. But sooner or later reality matters. And then, all the charisma in the world won't save a smooth politician who has lost the trust of the people who once adored him.

As for the pundits who think because they have a national audience they must have something important to say: They need to shut up every now and just listen. They might learn something. And that goes for this humble pundit too.

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JWR contributor Bernard Goldberg, the television news reporter and author of several bestselling books, among them, Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news. He is widely seen as one of the most original writers and thinkers in broadcast journalism. Mr. Goldberg covered stories all over the world for CBS News and has won 10 Emmy awards for excellence in journalism. He now reports for the widely acclaimed HBO broadcast Real Sports.

He is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a member of the school's Hall of Distinguished Alumni and proprietor of BernardGoldberg.com.


Previously:

© 2013, Bernard Goldberg

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