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 Sept. 11, 2009 22 Elul 5769

Line in the Sand, Squiggle in the Mud

By Roger Simon

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The guy knows how to give a speech. Give him that.

Barack Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night was both an elegant celebration of the American character and a strong denunciation of our current inability in this country to "engage in a civil conversation."

But will it really help him pass health care reform? Did it really draw any lines in the sand or just add a few more squiggles in the mud?

Most importantly, did the speech unite his own party? That was his true goal.

Although Obama said the door to his office "is always open" to Republicans, it is unlikely that many will walk through it. (Few will even bother to poke their heads in.)

For 46 minutes, cameras captured Republicans sitting on their hands, shaking their heads or playing with their BlackBerrys. At one point, Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina was bad-mannered enough to shout, "You lie!" (If Democrats had shouted "you lie" every time they thought a Republican president had lied to them, Richard Nixon would still be speaking.)

A few things in the speech were new. A hint about limiting malpractice suits against doctors. A little more about how to pay for reform. (No new taxes on individuals, apparently, or at least none he mentioned.) But mostly it was a repackaging of what Obama had said before.

And when it came to the public option, the message was still the same: Obama likes the idea of a public option, but it is only a means to an end, "and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal."

Triggers? Co-ops? All good. Let's just get 'er done. That was his real message.

"I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," he said.

Get 'er done. And get 'er done now.

Why? Because the current system doesn't work, and it will only be worse in the future. "Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing," Obama said and began a litany of gloom. "Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it most. And more will die as a result. We know these things to be true."

Find anything in there you like? But he has said that from the beginning: The status quo does not work, and so dramatic change is worth it, even though dramatic change can be scary.

What about the Democratic lawmakers who are worried about their re-election in 2010 if they vote for health care reform in 2009? Obama did not offer them dramatic new ideas or specifics. Instead, he offered them himself, his power to deliver a message and, he hopes, his ability to move the polls.

A popular president can give cover to legislators. They can hover around his flame for both light and protection.

But when the president's poll numbers sink, that flame is dimmed and the cover is gone.

Obama's poll numbers have been sinking, and what is worse, he has been in danger of getting shoved off center stage and out of the spotlight by those shouting about death panels and socialism.

Although Obama has the biggest megaphone in the world, he was getting drowned out these past few weeks. He was losing control of the message even within his own party. The public option, to him, has always been a minor part of a major bill. But the very fact that Obama has been unable so far to keep the public option from dominating the debate is a sign of how difficult it is, even for a president, to control public conversation in a new media age.

He hopes his speech will help put that to rest, will at least unite his party in a flood of good feelings. At one point, he said, "While there remain some significant details to be ironed out ..." and laughter from both Democrats and Republicans rang out in the chamber. Obama looked surprised. He is sure he will get 'er done.

To Obama, the glass is way more than half full. "There is agreement in this chamber on about 80 percent of what needs to be done," he said Wednesday night.

And he may be right. But that last 20 percent is going to be wicked hard.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate