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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 July 29, 2013/ 22 Menachem-Av, 5773

The McWeiners of the world

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Over two decades of covering politicians’ scandals, I’ve often been asked a version of this question: What makes them do such stupid things?

Based on my extensive experience, I respond with a version of this answer: I don’t know.

But I do have theories. And that brings me to this week’s McWeiner controversy.

Most news accounts treated these as two separate scandals: Anthony Weiner, the disgraced Democratic congressman and would-be mayor of New York, had been exposed again as a digital flasher, sending “selfie” pictures of his privates to women. Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor of Virginia, was found to be taking gifts and loans from a businessman McDonnell had helped.

Their offenses — particularly their responses upon being caught — are much the same.

By coincidence, both men found themselves apologizing for their misdeeds on the same day, July 23. McDonnell’s was cowardly, done via Twitter while he was out of the country; Weiner’s was handled in yet another bizarre news conference. But both were reluctant, their statements less expressions of contrition than naked efforts to make the problems go away. These were the apologies of narcissists.

“I want you to know that I broke no laws,” McDonnell wrote in a statement expressing regret not for the gifts he took but for “the embarrassment” — which occurred when he was found out.

Weiner, though acknowledging his misbehavior, quickly pivoted to blaming others. “With 49 days left until primary day, perhaps I’m surprised that more things didn’t come out sooner,” he said. “This was a very public thing that we had happen to us,” he added, as if somebody else had forced him to send out photos of his genitals.



Their offenses are similarly pointless: Weiner threw away a promising career by exchanging smut with women he claims he never met. McDonnell, once mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, undid his reputation by accepting sums — a $6,500 Rolex, a $15,000 splurge at Bergdorf Goodman — that were trivial compared to those he could have earned after leaving office.

Both men seem to have the condition that afflicts so many officeholders who get into trouble, from Clinton to Foley to Sanford to Spitzer: a sense of invincibility, and a belief that the usual rules don’t apply to them. They take ever bigger risks, as if it is a form of thrill-seeking, or they can no longer gauge risk.

Weiner’s was particularly flamboyant: On the day in 2010 when the House voted to approve Obamacare, and Republican lawmakers stood on the House balcony riling a tea party crowd below, Weiner showed up and taunted the gathering. “I feel like Mussolini now!” he said.

The narcissistic strain is common, and it predates the rise to power. It takes a certain personality to believe that one is meant to lead. This is reinforced once in power by sycophantic staffers. The problem has become worse as congressional redistricting leaves more lawmakers with safe seats, but the phenomenon is not Washington’s alone: McDonnell honed his invincibility in Richmond, and Weiner continued his behavior after resigning his House seat.

Whatever the origins, the McWeiner apologies show what happens when the lawmaker’s innate grandiosity is nurtured. From McDonnell’s Twitter account came this message: “Gov Bob McDonnell releases important statement: Repaid loans, apologized,” as if checking boxes. The tweet also cited a “report” — issued by one of McDonnell’s lawyers — saying the company of the businessman who sponsored McDonnell received “no benefit.”

It later emerged that McDonnell was in Kuwait and Afghanistan when the perfunctory apologizing was occurring. He gave a satellite interview to a Washington TV station, saying with a smile, “I’m not going anywhere. I love this job.”

Likewise, when Weiner was asked at his news conference what he would say to “those people who want you to drop out of the race,” he shot back: “I’m sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race.”

McDonnell padded his brief statement with a proclamation that “Virginia has never been stronger and I plan to focus on creating even more jobs.”

Weiner, in turn, said the new revelations -- that he continued sexting even after his wife told People magazine last summer that he had reformed himself -- doesn’t change “the fundamentals of my feelings here, and that is that I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they’re willing to still continue to give me a second chance.”

Or a third chance. Whatever the number, the McWeiners will always think they deserve it.

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Previously:



07/24/13 Obama's lifeless agenda
07/23/13 McCain, the 'maverick', is back
07/22/13 Is Liz Cheney feeling the effects of a saner GOP?
07/12/13 Oh, snap! Republicans are alienating the electorate
07/10/13 When a coup is not
07/09/13 George W. Bush returns as a uniter
07/07/13 Obama & friends: The change that wasn't
07/04/13 Testing Power's patriotism
07/03/13 Snowden's self-sabotage
06/25/13 Justice Samuel Alito's middle-school antics
06/24/13 For John Boehner, it's job security vs. legacy
06/20/13 Tea party scalds Marco Rubio
06/19/13 Congress has become a rubber stamp for the NSA
06/17/13 The left turns compliant on violating civil liberties
06/12/13 Climate activists are resigned to the inevitable
06/11/13 The secrecy backlash leaks were inevitable.
06/06/13 All in the White House family
06/03/13 Holder stewing in his own juices
06/03/13 Cleaning up D.C.'s house
05/27/13 Where money talks
05/23/13The IRS passes the buck
05/22/13 In AP, Rosen investigations, government makes criminals of reporters
05/14/13 Obama's second-term blues set in
05/08/13 Child's play with the budget as Dems and Republicans battle
05/06/13 When governing is seen as a game, we all lose
05/02/13 Mark Sanford's comedy of errors
05/01/13 Presidential bystander: Obama has already lost control of his agenda
04/29/13 A Washington weekend of honor and dishonor
04/26/13 Conservatives rebel against GOP leaders
04/24/13 Military tribunals don't work
04/23/13 A lack of appetite for Sen. Mike Lee
04/17/13 Washington moves on
04/16/13 At Supreme Court, cookies and baseball bats
04/15/13 A Senate stirred by a message from the heart
04/12/13 Rand Paul goes to Howard University in peace, receives quiet
04/11/13 Libs get angry at prez's triangulation
04/13/13 The new protest recipe: Less disruption from demonstrators on the Left
04/08/13 Obama's feeble salary 'sacrifice'
04/04/13 Hagel pulls rank -- with caution -- on thinning the ranks
04/03/13 The NRA has effectively disarmed its critics
04/01/13 Obama on guns ---- he's missed his chance
03/22/13 Obama in Israel: The presidential tourist
03/21/13 On Syria, Iraq's shadow is long
03/20/13 Standing with Rand, nervously
03/19/13 The Grand Old Punt
03/18/13 Conservative Confab Turns Into A Three-Day Therapy Session
03/14/13 Republicans go after Obamacare. Again.
03/13/13 Paul Ryan's magical budget
03/12/13 The limits of charm
03/04/13 The same old song: In Washington, everyone fights rather than solves
02/26/13 Sequester? No problem. To the moon!
02/25/13 GOP governors make peace with Obamacare
02/21/13 For Jesse Jackson Jr., the rules do apply
02/20/13 A grand bargain on life support
02/18/13 Lindsey Graham's no deal
02/14/13 A Lew-dicrous loophole
02/13/13 Let the bleak times roll
02/12/13 Senator of the evening: Bob Menendez has been selling his influence
02/11/13 'Trust me' is not enough on drone warfare
02/07/13 Chip off the Paul block: How will Rand separate from his father?
02/06/13 Empty talk, happy talk
02/05/13 John Kerry, finally where he belongs
02/04/13 With a friend like Jim Inhofe ...
01/29/13 Rubio's immigration 'reality' show
01/27/13 Ryan And Pence Represent Polar Opposites Of GOP
01/24/13 Congress's daffy duck saga
01/22/13 So much for unity: Obama's speech failed to rise to the moment
01/21/13 Less an inauguration than a tepid rerun
01/03/13 The GOP's savior
01/03/13 Boehner defined by a Sandy sidestep
12/21/12 Obama in focus, yet all over the map
12/20/12 A deal or a mutiny
12/13/12 Joe Lieberman's sad send-off
12/10/12 Post-thought think tank: Why DeMint and Heritage are a perfect pair
12/06/12 Republicans wave the white flag
12/05/12 Romney's last duty
12/04/12 Obama's poor efforts at transparency
12/03/12 The urge to purge: Rational Republicans defy purists at their own peril
11/30/12 The naked 'fiscal' truth: Lawmakers can't hide the lack of progress
11/28/12 Santorum's new cause: opposing the disabled
11/20/12 Norquist in defeat
11/19/12 Susan Rice's tarnished resume
11/15/12 Let those poor states secede
11/12/12 Whole lot of blaming going on
11/08/12 At Romney headquarters, the defeat of the 1 percent
11/07/12 Why I voted Republican
11/06/12 Romney's new tune
11/01/12 The Supreme Court's dog-day afternoon
10/31/12 A perfect political storm
10/29/12 Behind the Clinton 'bromance,' a stealth campaign
10/25/12 A Trumped-up bomb
10/24/12 Groupthink Live: How conventional wisdom congeals in 2012
10/23/12 The sound of worldviews not colliding
10/22/12 The tea party is helping Dems
10/18/12 Moderate Mitt wins conservatives' blessings
10/16/12 Reid's latest salvos are beneath the dignity of his office
10/08/12 Obama pays price for ducking the questions
10/05/12 Mitt Romney holds his own -- and then some -- in first debate
10/03//12 The Zinger candidacy --- all sugary platitudes, no protein
09/25/12 Obama makes room for 'The View'
08/17/12 Hateful speech on 'hate' groups: The Family Research Council is no KKK
08/16/12 Now Dems are employing harsh tactics
08/14/12 Paul Ryan on soapbox at Iowa State Fair
08/13/12 Romney's welfare gambit
08/07/12 Harry Reid's latest broadside
07/26/12 Romney can't have it both ways on defense spending, tax cuts
07/19/12 Ron Paul, fed up
07/17/12 The rotten results of one-party rule
07/11/12 The missing giants of the Senate
07/09/12 Representative Gaffe
07/02/12 The umpire strikes back
06/25/12 Norquist delivers the GOP's marching orders
06/19/12 The left, feeling left out
06/18/12 Skip the falsehoods, Mr. President, and give us a plan
06/15/12 The Wall Street Senate
06/13/12 Jeb Bush's heresy
06/12/12 Pileup at the White House
06/11/12 Obama's fate could be in Europe's hands
06/04/12 Welcome to Camp Competitive
05/31/12 Digging a racial grave
05/30/12 A new conspiracy theory: Is Romney a unicorn?
05/29/12 Do Republicans really want to clone one for the Gipper?
05/24/12 Obama's protectors are under the microscope
05/22/12 Obama's Old World mess: Allies are coming up short at a key moment
05/16/12 Where have all the candidates gone?
05/15/12 Barack Obama, the first female president
05/14/12 Irrationality wins: Voter cure for Congress's failures will likely backfire
05/08/12 Obama's marriage mess: His advisers scramble to clean up his 'evolution'
05/07/12 Taking out Dick Lugar
05/03/12 Gingrich may have ended campaign, but he will remain out of this world
05/02/12 Our do-almost-nothing Congress
05/01/12 President Obama, campaigner in chief
04/25/12 Romney's immigration Etch a Sketch
04/23/12 A congressional deal on immigration? Dream on
04/19/12 Dems battle back against Republican 'war on women'
04/18/12 Debauchery: An American govermental specialty
04/17/12 Silent witness
04/12/12 Rebuffing Obama's gimmicky 'Buffett Rule'
04/11/12 Santorum's Gettysburg surrender
04/09/12 The facts vs. Mitt Romney
04/06/12 Mitt Romney, talking to the press, keeps the press at a distance
04/05/12 From tracking al-Qaeda to tracking the wayward spouse
04/04/12 Budget cuts as back-door deregulation
03/26/12 My pet Mitt
03/22/12 Mitt Romney's latest gaffe may be etched in history
03/20/12 Supreme Court conceives of life after death
03/15/12 Conservative for Obama: The British PM as campaign prop
03/14/12 In Section 60, a silent search for meaning
03/13/12 Super Friends, unite
03/12/12 It's time to believe: Romney's a winner
03/07/12 Settling in to Washington's ways
03/06/12 AIPAC beats the drums of war
03/05/12 Did Republicans forget the women's vote?
02/29/12 Mitt Romney's acceptance speech, in (mostly) his own words
02/28/12 Common ground becomes a great divide
02/27/12 An expert witness for the GOP gender gap
02/21/12 Where Romney shines
02/15/12 A Republican death wish?
02/14/12Obama's budget games
02/13/12 Are GOPers playing right into Obama's hands?
02/08/12 Obama pumps the compressor of Joe Hudy's Extreme Marshmallow Cannon
02/07/12 Abramoff's atonement
02/01/12 Why we in the media just love Newt
01/31/12 The end of the road for Newt Gingrich?
01/25/12 Gingrich is Obama's best surrogate
01/24/12 Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney's attack dog
01/16/12 Mitt Romney's Al Gore problem
01/12/12 Kamikaze Gingrich, on the loose in South Carolina
01/11/12 Journalists' campaign trail secrets revealed
01/10/12 Mitt Romney's money problem
01/09/12 Newtonian exceptionalism
01/05/12 Mitt Romney out of control
01/04/12 Indecision 2012: In Iowa and the GOP
01/03/12 Rick Santorum's curious closing argument
12/28/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/23/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/20/11 Strange brews and views?
12/19/11 Cellphone ban would be a distraction
12/15/11 Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Malfunction Minuet
12/14/11 The presidential auction of 2012
12/12/11 Newt's tactics comes back to haunt him
12/06/11 Can an anthem save Occupy non-movement?
12/05/11 The winner of the GOP campaign: Washington
11/30/11 Barney the bully: Congressman Frank's other legacy
11/23/11 Jon Kyl's search-and-destroy mission
11/21/11 Pay to play, brought to you by Washington
11/17/11 Big enough to save the supercommittee?
11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
09/28/11 Cain could deliver
09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
08/03/11 Government on autopilot
08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
07/27/11 Life imitates sport
07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
06/24/11 ‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
06/02/11 The Weiner roast
06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


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