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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 March 11, 2009 / 15 Adar 5769

Obama leverages his political risk in first 50 days

By Tony Blankley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many of the media are following the convention of assessing President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office. The term first was applied to new American presidents during Franklin Roosevelt's spring of 1933, when, between March and June, he proposed and Congress passed unprecedented federal programs: the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Securities Act, the Banking Act and others.


But Obama may wish to note that the term "100 days" derives from Napoleon's escape from Elba in March 1815, his brilliant reforming of an army, his march through France, and his final defeat by the British and the Prussians at Waterloo. It's up in the air which precedent will apply to Obama.


After 50 days on the job, the average of his job approval polls, according to Real Clear Poltics, is 60.3 percent — almost precisely average for such data on presidents since Richard Nixon. (It would be a little below average if Kennedy and Eisenhower were included.) His negatives in most polls are a little higher than average, which means that initially undecided members of the public are forming opinions a little faster.


Ronald Reagan's and Bill Clinton's numbers generally went up from this point in their presidencies; Nixon's and Carter's went down. So the polls don't tell us much.


But these polls do not yet reflect the effect on public opinion of his budget announcements. There are two likely effects, one obvious and predictable and the other subtler and more delayed.


The first is that those who are to be more highly taxed begin to know who they are. By proposing limiting charitable donations and mortgage interest deductions — along with higher marginal and capital gains rates — for the upper-middle class (and, in effect, most of small business), he not only threatens already-hard-pressed charities and churches but also pulls another support out from under real estate valuations.


By going straight at the nation's investors with tax increases, he risks undermining already-flagging investor confidence. All this Obama presumably already knew was the political and economic price for getting his hands on more taxpayer dollars to spend.


But vastly more dangerous to the Obama presidency (and the nation) was his decision to go full steam ahead to immediately start to transform health care; fight carbon dioxide energy sources with new taxations that will increase the cost of all energy, goods and services; and increase new expensive education entitlements as part of a federalization of American education.


It is this decision not to postpone those multiyear, multitrillion-dollar programs until the economy and the financial system are revived that exposes Obama's presidency to a possible catastrophic meltdown in its first term.


Obama not only is failing to focus more or less exclusively on protecting the financial system and the economy that depend on it but also is letting his ideological ardor drive him to expend both his own and his administration's attention, along with the vast new tax dollars, on those programs rather than on the financial and economic crises.


Thus — and here is his political danger — if the financial system fails (and much of the economy along with it), it will be a fair, true and politically lethal charge against Obama that he didn't do all he could as soon as he could to protect us from the catastrophe. It was this decision that shocked even some of his moderate supporters, such as David Gergen, David Brooks and others, who are muttering in private.


And this misjudgment is only compounded by the slow and inept start of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the man who has the line responsibility to fix it and who only this past weekend got around to nominating some of his vital sub-Cabinet officials. The failure of both Obama and Geithner, in the five months since the election, to come up with a plan to deal with the toxic assets and insolvency of major financial institutions may well look even more irresponsible than it already does if the derivatives crisis in fact hits the world.


The great whispered-about possible crisis that financiers and governments around the world shudder over is what to do about the more than quadrillion (thousand trillion)-dollar notional value of the world's derivatives (what Warren Buffett called the financial WMD) — should that notional number become crystallized and, thus, real.


By comparison, the U.S. gross domestic product is $14 trillion; the U.S. money supply is $15 trillion. The GDP of the entire world is $50 trillion; the real estate of the entire world is $75 trillion; the world's stock and bond markets are worth about $100 trillion.


The notional $1.14 quadrillion (as reported by the Bank for International Settlements, which is in Switzerland) only becomes real (and frightfully dangerous) if either counterparty to a derivative goes bankrupt and if the defaulter is a major institution. Then it would start a cascade of cross-defaults that might well infect and bring down the world financial system.


It may well be that the U.S. government has put up $180 billion to sustain the solvency of AIG because of AIG's derivatives holdings. Our government may well need to spend trillions more before this is over on other tainted institutions and hope that is enough to hold off the derivatives catastrophe.


By trying to fix the financial system and the economy inattentively and with one hand tied behind his back (as he fritters away both attention and trillions on new health care and education entitlements and carbon use), Obama is betting so much more than his presidency. His willingness to take that risk is the chilling lesson of the first 50 days. Taking that risk itself is the political equivalent of a dangerously leveraged derivative.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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