In this issue

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 14, 2014/ 13 Shevat, 5774

Gates waited too long to speak out

By Dana Milbank

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The criticism has been coming from all ideological quarters: Robert Gates should have waited longer before airing his differences with President Obama, Vice President Biden, the White House staff and Congress.

I think he waited too long.

The critics, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), are probably correct about the damage the former defense secretary has done with his memoir. He has undermined a sitting president’s ability to conduct foreign policy, complicated the end of the war in Afghanistan, and made it less likely that future presidents will reach across the aisle for top advisers.

In his memoir, officially set to be released Tuesday, Gates also undermines his reputation as an honorable man above Washington maneuvers. Now he looks like just another hack settling scores — and he’s on a book tour defensively complaining, as he did on NBC’s “Today” show Monday, that his words have been “hijacked” by partisans “taking quotes out of context.”

For all these reasons, Gates should have made his objections known sooner, when he still might have been able to do something about them. Instead, by his own account, he seethed quietly. Had he spoken up at the time — privately or, if that didn’t work, publicly — he might have had some influence in changing the problems he saw: a worthless Congress, an insular White House staff and a president insufficiently devoted to his own policies.

“I never confronted Obama directly over what I . . . saw as the president’s determination that the White House tightly control every aspect of national security policy and even operations,” he writes. “His White House was by far the most centralized and controlling in national security of any I had seen since Richard Nixon.”

On CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” Rita Braver asked Gates whether, in retrospect, he should have spoken to the president about this directly. Gates replied that “things don’t happen that way if the president doesn’t want them to happen that way.”

Braver asked whether he thinks “they are still running things from the White House.”

“I actually think it’s gotten worse,” Gates said with a laugh.

It probably has. I and many others have been writing for years about this White House’s insularity and the president’s vacillating public support for positions — and how this is impairing everything from Syria policy to the Obamacare rollout. Gates might have improved the situation if he had used his considerable clout to make the case to Obama — and if that failed, to voice his concerns to Congress, the media and the public. Instead, he followed a favorite saying of his: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

Gates had a reputation for being a truth-teller during his time in office, cleaning up the mess at the Pentagon left by Donald Rumsfeld and helping the Obama administration forge a consensus on Afghanistan. But, by his own account, he wasn’t telling the whole truth.

Think of the national conversation that the only person to serve as defense secretary under a Republican and a Democratic president could have started by saying at the time what he thought of Congress: “uncivil, incompetent in fulfilling basic constitutional responsibilities, micro-managerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned, often putting self (and reelection) before country.”

Rather than write about it years later, imagine the impact he would have had if he actually did what he had the urge to do: “All too frequently, sitting at that witness table, the exit lines were on the tip of my tongue: I may be the secretary of defense, but I am also an American citizen, and there is no son of a bitch in the world who can talk to me like that. I quit. Find somebody else.

No, it wouldn’t have served any purpose for Gates to have volunteered in real time his belief that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy” for 40 years. But he certainly could have been more forceful at the time in his objections to Tom Donilon and other White House staffers meddling in the chain of command. After one such incident, he writes, “My initial instinct was to storm out, telling the president on the way that he didn’t need two secretaries of defense.”

But he held his tongue, and now Gates is answering critics who think he should have held it until after Obama leaves office. “These issues are with us today,” Gates told NPR’s Steve Inskeep. “These are not issues that can wait to be written about in 2017.”

They shouldn’t have had to wait until 2014, either.

Earlier this month, when bipartisanship was still in the air, Reid told Bloomberg’s Al Hunt that he wouldn’t campaign against McConnell, who is facing a difficult reelection. “I’m a traditionalist here, and that isn’t anything I’ve ever done and will not do,” Reid said.

That was a bit disingenuous, because Reid had already hosted a fundraiser in Las Vegas for McConnell’s Democratic opponent, and Reid’s political action committee had already given her money. The candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, would probably be hurt politically by appearing with Reid, anyway.

But in calling himself a traditionalist, Reid was arguing against the mafia culture that has gripped the Senate since 2004, when Bill Frist, then the Republican leader, went to South Dakota to campaign, successfully, for the defeat of then-Minority Leader Tom Daschle. The DSCC, under Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, retaliated by running TV ads targeting McConnell in 2008. In 2012, the NRSC, run by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, raised money to try to defeat Reid in Nevada. The political committees are under the de facto control of the majority or minority leader, and several senators have used the chairmanships as steppingstones to leadership.

When they aren’t ordering hits on each other, the senators use the committees to taunt each other. Monday morning, the Republican committee issued a statement saying: “Harry Reid will tell you he’s not concerned about losing the majority — hell, Reid will say just about anything on most days, but his actions speak louder than his words.” Wednesday, the Republican group declared: “Vulnerable incumbent Senate Democrats — from Kay Hagan to Jeff Merkley, Mary Landrieu to Mark Pryor, Jeanne Shaheen to Mark Begich all lied to their constituents.”

When your day starts with trash talk from people who are trying to kill you politically, is it any wonder things quickly devolve?

Reid, on the Senate floor this week, accused Republicans of “hostage-taking” and ridiculed McConnell for delaying what the GOP leader called “non-essential” confirmations: “Does the Republican leader consider the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security — the individual tasked with protecting us from terrorist attacks — ‘non-essential’?”

McConnell, in turn, told reporters he “can’t imagine” Republicans would agree to increase the debt limit without more spending restrictions. And he delivered a broadside against Reid for stripping Republicans’ right to filibuster nominees: “As we end the year, it’s a tragedy the way the Senate is being run into the ground by basically one person. . . . It’s going to be hard to get the Senate back to normal.”

But he’s wrong there. Going to the mattresses is the new normal.

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