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December 2, 2014

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 May 24, 2013/ 15 Sivan, 5773

Barack Obama as the Great Gatsby

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Washington is a one-industry town. The nation's capital has wonderful art museums, concerts and theaters, but they're only supplements to the big story playing out on the front pages, always the government. We often miss the delicious ironies and insights that the literary and artistic culture can offer with its alternative views into the behavior of our species.

Having just seen the movie and then read again F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby," I'm struck by how the narrative of this American classic slips, slides and collides into analogies of what's happening to "the great Obama." With the theatricality of three scandals ascending, we see certain themes emerge. Barack Obama is no Jay Gatsby in search of an elusive fantasy whose name is woman, but he has fostered a government built on his ability to project a fantasy of himself onto others, so that they do what they think he wants.

The great Obama isn't a giver of parties, where he remains aloof and hardly known, but he is the aloof leader of his political party. That's what leading from behind is all about. Others do the dancing and singing. It's difficult to imagine that the president called in the bureaucrats at the IRS and gave them the order of the day, but those worker bees who targeted conservative political organizations for abuse were sure he would approve of their work. The targeting began a day after a union official representing IRS workers met with the president. Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt division, invoked the Fifth Amendment rather than answer questions of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs.

The president makes a defense of the First Amendment, but he has expressed no outrage over his administration's snooping into telephone records of reporters at The Associated Press, or the prying into the emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. Like the circle around Gatsby, there are shady people standing behind Obama.

The dangers caused by careless people who hurt others and get away with it is the theme that runs through "The Great Gatsby." We have a similar culture at the State Department, which if not corrupt is criminally careless, where passing the buck and playing games behind the scenes beats doing the right thing. What actually happened on that dark night in Benghazi on an anniversary of 9/11 remains vague to the public, but the dreadful reality is that four men died pleading for help that was never sent. We don't know whether a rescue mission would have succeeded, but we know it was not attempted. That strikes many of us as cowardly. More than 60 percent of Americans in one poll say Washington should have done more.

Baz Luhrman's movie "The Great Gatsby" focuses specifically on the spectacle of a society out of control at wild, glamorous parties at the Gatsby mansion, though the man who throws them is hardly known. Gatsby makes appearances amidst speculation about who he is and what he does, but nobody cares very much when they're having fun.

As timelines, explanations and equivocations continue to shift and slide, the president's job approval ratings continue to fall, so far to 45 percent, down 2 points in a month. Fully 68 percent say they think the government's protections of civil liberties are disappearing.

When the Democrats nominated Barack Obama in 2008, columnist Charles Krauthammer described the candidate as a "dazzling mysterious Gatsby ... a deeply engaging, elegant, brilliant stranger." So true. The candidate came with a colorful biography; he was the latest personification of the American Dream, not a rags-to-riches story, but a symbol of the emerging triumph in the old struggle against racism. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives admired and criticized by different lights, but nearly everyone felt a certain pride about electing the first black man to the highest office in the land. This contributed to a powerful myth of the man. As appealing as the myth was, it didn't tell us anything specific about his abilities and talents to lead the nation through difficult and complex times.

Daisy tells Gatsby how he always looks so "cool," just like the man in an advertisement. That sounds like Barack Obama. Whether we like or dislike his message, the man remains cool. We've paid a price for that. Like Nick Carraway, the narrator of "The Great Gatsby," we watch scandal and shame unfold with an ominous sense of failure and menace, craving "moral attention."

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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