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. 13, 2010 / 4 Tishrei, 5771

Oh vanity, O's vanity

By Kathryn Lopez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If Carly Simon were a conservative, she might be writing, "You're so vain, you probably think this White House is below you," to accompany the next big tea party rally.

Some of those who try to make some sense -- or science -- of politics for a living have been scratching their heads about President Obama lately. There was the ostentatious vacation, followed by the apparent boredom with the Iraq address that he didn't even have to give, and certainly not in the way that he did -- as a formal, primetime, Oval Office event. There was the wading (botched and incoherent) into the Ground Zero mosque debate. There is the constant belittling of his Republican critics, lowering the office of the president to attack the largely unknown House minority leader, John Boehner.

If you were a White House political strategist, you might be bewildered and dismayed, never mind stressed. If you are a Democrat in the unfortunate position of running for re-election, you're running far away from wherever the commander in chief is, to the best of your ability -- and your integrity, if that's of concern to you. In short, none of this has proven to be smart politics, certainly not in the short term, at a time when the Democrats are sinking and could use a leader to lift them up -- or at least not make it worse.

Some of what Obama does can be attributed to a fondness for socialism. He has a very different understanding of the role of the federal government than some of us (who follow the Founding Fathers and the Constitution) do, on a number of issues. But matters of ideology aren't sufficient for an attempt to understand Obama lately. He doesn't seem to be an ideologue in the purest sense. He's also not a long-term thinker in any kind of strategic, political or ideological way. He made a lot of Democrats fall on their swords for a healthcare plan that could conceivably be dismantled before it's even close to fully implemented.

The answer for all the analysts may be just a bad, old-fashioned case of vainglory, one that the man just can't keep in check. Thus the snippy Slurpee comments, about Republicans standing on the sidelines (drinking them). Besides the issues of truth -- Boehner has been making concrete bipartisan proposals, so he can't legitimately be attacked for standing on the sidelines -- more Americans today could probably relate to 7-Eleven than to Martha's Vineyard.

From the beginning of his presidency, Obama has not been fond of critics, real or imagined. And make no mistake: some of the critics he talks about are 100 percent straw men -- the critics he broad-brushes without naming names, and the ones he names only to add the most manipulative mischaracterizations of their views. From early on, he reportedly had the audacity to ask elected officials, directly, not to take him on publicly.

His version of bipartisanship requires the opposing side to abandon everything it stands for.

Obama is mired in the midst of a vainglorious fluster right now, and he seems to lack any self-awareness about it. In a classic campaign move, he appeared on daytime talk show "The View" this summer. On that a.m. gabfest, he said: "We shouldn't be campaigning all the time." He would go on to sound almost biblical about it: "There is a time to campaign and then there is a time to govern."

There's good news, though. His poll ratings are falling and the intensity of the rallies against his policies is mounting. Opposition-party candidates this year seem to have drive and backbone: They are not as ready to surrender their country to its remaking as Obama would like them to be; they want to have something to show for their time in Washington, and don't simply want to lord their victory over others. They can see beyond themselves and their next election.

Only time will tell how this all shakes out, in November and thereafter. But there are warning signs. Boehner -- and America -- might just benefit from the summer bonfire of the presidential vanity. Politics works in mysterious ways.

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