Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Oct. 31, 2013/ 24 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

The wages of presidential deception

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | By 1968, President Lyndon Baines Johnson was finally done in by his "credibility gap" -- the growing abyss between what he said about, and what was actually happening inside, Vietnam.

"Modified limited hangout" and "inoperative" were infamous euphemisms that Nixon administration officials used to mask lies about the Watergate scandal. After a while, few believed any of the initial Reagan administration disavowals that it was not trading "arms for hostages" in the Iran-Contra scandal.

George H.W. Bush thundered during his campaign to "read my lips: no new taxes," only to agree later to raise them. Bill Clinton's infamous assertion that "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" was followed by proof that he did just that with Monica Lewinsky.

The George W. Bush administration warned the nation about stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and never quite recovered its credibility after the WMD were not found. No one believed Bush when he told incompetent FEMA Deputy Director Michael Brown that in the midst of the Katrina mess he was doing a "heck of a job."

Yet the distortions and lack of credibility of the Obama administration have matched and now trumped those of his predecessors. The public may have long ago forgotten that Obama did not close down Guantanamo as promised, or cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, or stop the revolving door of lobbyists coming in and out of the executive branch.

The public may even have forgiven the president when the stimulus bill never lowered unemployment as promised, or when his misleading boasts about vast increases in oil and gas production came to fruition despite, not because, of his efforts.

But the distortions and broken promises have now become so frequent that many at home and abroad are finally tuning out the president. Almost nothing promised about the Affordable Care Act is proving true. Contrary to presidential assurances, Obamacare has not lowered premiums or deductibles. It will not reduce the deficit or improve business competitiveness. It really will alter existing health plans and in some cases lead to their cancellation. Signing up is certainly not as easy buying something online on Amazon.

Two considerations often turn these presidential ethical lapses into political disasters. Unfortunately, both apply to the present administration.

First, the economy must be robust to offset the deception. Voters rejected the first George Bush for deceiving them, largely because the economy tanked in 1992. Yet the public did not turn on an impeached Bill Clinton, given that the economy was quite robust in 1998. Watergate's lies came at a time of oil embargos and stagnation. In contrast, Reagan survived Iran-Contra because of the boom years.



Second, we expect presidential mendacity to be sporadic rather than serial. By 1968, even when LBJ told the truth, no one listened. In 1973, no one believed anything that the Nixon administration asserted.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has presided over five years of continued economic sluggishness that have not diverted attention from his administration's disingenuousness. If unemployment were down to 5 percent, the gross national product growing at 4 percent and the budget nearly balanced, we might have forgotten about the Benghazi cover-up, the monitoring of AP reporters, the politicization of the IRS and its vast overpayment in income tax credits, the NSA disclosures and the Syrian mess. Or if Obama had spoken untruthfully only once, made false promises just twice, or offered empty boasts merely three times, he might have been forgiven.

If Republicans agree to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, can they be sure that Obama won't suspend "settled law" on border enforcement as he did with the employer mandate? If Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius assures yet again that Obamacare is suffering from a mere glitch, why should we believe her?

For that matter, will a Saudi ambassador or an Israeli diplomat now trust Obama when he swears that Syria's next use of chemical weapons will cross a red line, or that another newly discovered secret Iranian nuclear facility is a game-changer?

Will German Chancellor Angela Merkel listen to Obama when he insists that the NSA did not monitor her phone? Would the American public trust administration officials if they stated on television that the next attack on a U.S. embassy was due to anger over a mere video, or that Guantanamo would be closed in 2014?

Obama understandably came into office with a sense of immunity. His personal story and nontraditional background made him an emblematic figure. An enthralled media had unfortunately redefined its role as an appendage to, rather than an auditor of, the presidency. After the unpopular Bush administration, even Obama's empty "hope and change" platitudes were considered deep.

Yet after nearly five years of scandals, untruths and hard economic times, a now-ignored Barack Obama has finally learned that even an iconic president can tell one too many untruths.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2013, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast