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 August 9, 2011 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5771

Fat President, Lean Government?

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A week ago, Los Angeles Times editors asked readers if New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has the look of a president.

"Is America ready for a president who, frankly, doesn't look healthy?" they asked.

Sheesh! You'd think corpulent Americans might catch a break in these sensitive times.

The editors explained that presidential image has always been important. That's why presidents conceal bad habits -- Barack Obama's smoking, for instance -- while portraying themselves as vigorous and fit.

But how do you conceal an Ernest Borgnine gut?

The editors explained that in the TV era, being fit and good-looking surely doesn't hurt presidential aspirations; Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin (if she runs) are examples.

Fair enough.

But the editors overlooked an interesting historical truth: Our chubbier presidents have run some of our leaner governments.

Washington Examiner columnist Gene Healy, commenting on a Slate article that examined chubbier presidents' records, offered some interesting insights.

Of our four chubbiest chief executives -- William Howard Taft, William McKinley, Grover Cleveland and Zachary Taylor -- "three governed lightly," Healy said.

McKinley brought high tariffs and an unnecessary war, but Cleveland thwarted government growth by "wielding his veto pen more than any president before him."

And Taft, who installed a plus-sized bathtub in the White House, didn't start any major wars or federal programs and fought Teddy Roosevelt's "grandiose visions of presidential power."

Those fellows governed well before my time, but not our most recent chubby president, Bill Clinton.

He had the appearance, as comedian Dennis Miller put it, "of the guy at your fraternity who used to tap the keg."

He worked hard to portray himself as fit and vigorous -- though that didn't work out so well.

We had to suffer through images of him jogging through Washington, flabby thighs and gut jiggling, veins bulging from his reddened forehead.

Whatever Clinton gained with the public was quickly shattered when a canny photographer caught him and Hillary dancing in swimsuits during a Virgin Islands vacation. His flabby torso was on display for the world to see.

During a 1993 Martha's Vineyard vacation, photographers captured him swimming in the surf. His big-gutted image made clear that our commander in chief made more than one pass at the buffet.

But nobody much cared.

Say what you will about Clinton, but he turned out to be pragmatic. Compromising with Republicans, he left office with a surplus.

He was followed by George W. Bush, our fittest president, who spent $5 trillion more than our government brought in, driving our debt to nearly $11 trillion.

Bush was followed by Obama, one of our leanest presidents. Though he inherited a mess, his Keynesian gamble has not worked so well. Our debt has already grown by $4 trillion on his watch, and he has presided over America's first-ever credit downgrade.

Meanwhile, Christie has taken on entrenched interests and turned New Jersey's deficit into a surplus.

To be sure, difficult times call for difficult measures, and in such times, folks don't care so much about appearance as about results.

The informal L.A. Times survey backs that up. Some 70 percent of respondents said Christie's weight and appearance are not an issue.

Which makes sense to me.

A fat president and a lean government are suddenly looking better than a lean president and a fat government.

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© 2011, Tom Purcell