May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Jan. 12, 2010
/ 27 Teves 5770
The Transformation of Barack Obama: Surprise Us, Mr. President
"Nothing is lost save honor."
What a difference a year makes. And how differently the country begins to see Barack Obama, the shining hope as a presidential candidate, now that he's President Obama. And acting like any other president who'd rather make the big decisions behind closed doors with only his cronies present.
Oh, for the days of Camelot! Here is Barack Obama in January 2008 promising that his overhaul of the country's health-care system would be worked out in public view indeed, on camera. Nossir, these all-important negotiations wouldn't be conducted "behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so the American people can see what the choices are." (Applause.)
That promise became a mantra of his campaign, repeated at every whistle stop and photo-op to ever mounting cheers from the suckers. It was one of his most effective applause lines. Naturally it turned out to be only an applause line.
Even good ol' Brian Lamb at C-SPAN (one of the heroes of this often tarnished business) took Barack Obama seriously, committing his network and public service to carrying "all important negotiations" so We the People would have "full public access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American."
Sure enough, right on schedule, like an invitation to cynicism, the public is being shut out of the final, most important negotiations between House and Senate conferees on Obamacare. The president's promise of transparency has proven all too transparent. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are running this express train for their president, and it ain't stopping for no public inspections.
What a fraud. But it was a mighty effective one for a while. You have to admire this president's smooth touch even as you see through it. He's even better at this game than Bill Clinton was. Which is saying a lot.
The great promise of an Obama administration was that its head was going to be a different sort of president, a different sort of politician. He was going to open up the process and Bring Us Together. (Shades of Dick Nixon.) But he turns out to be not so different from the last president after all.
There is a difference, however: People expected more of him. People expected so much of him, he disappoints far more than his predecessors. That's the curse of rising so high so fast; the fall can be deeper and steeper.
Barack Obama came into the Oval Office having won a measure of faith almost unprecedented in an American president. But if he loses that trust, his great strength will be gone. Even those of us who never believed he would be as open with the public as he promised to be will be sorry to see him disappoint so many who so believed in him. It doesn't help the country.
Hope. Change. Audacity. Those were the watchwords of the old Barack Obama. It is hard now even to conjure up the memory of that shining figure. Hope and change have become ironic words when used in connection with this president. Audacity remains, but it is being used for more and more dubious purposes, like secrecy in government. Result: The Party of the People, the incarnation of the great god Demos, now ushers in still another Age of Cynicism.
It is the spoilsmen who are in charge now, determined to get while the getting's good that is, before the mid-term elections are upon them. Look at all the payoffs made across the board to squeeze Obamacare past the U.S. Senate. If you can stomach the sight.
It's not too late, Mr. President. You can still take Brian Lamb up on his offer. Surprise us cynics, shock us. Just a word from you all right, along with a little nudge would be enough to keep your word. Open those negotiations, unlock those closed doors, let the people see what's going on. Or do you dare? That audacious you may not be.
Paul Greenberg Archives
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