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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 April 17, 2014 / 17 Nissan, 5774

And they call it ... success!

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | There are times when the master politician has to be a master illusionist. And there are too many times when he doesn't fool anybody, perhaps not even himself, and some little Toto reveals the Great and Powerful Oz as just another little man behind the curtain. And the illusion can no longer fool even the long illusioned. Despite a beautiful stage setting like the Rose Garden at the White House, the perfect if artificial lighting, and the usual supporting cast of intellectual munchkins in the merry old land of Washington, singing, dancing, prancing and applauding all around. For no matter how many times the Wizard waves his wand over his Signature Accomplishment, it gets harder and harder to distinguish it from his signature failure. Or wave away the failures still to come -- even as those of the past are decked out in new costumes and billed as glorious successes.

But the show must go on, as it did last week when the chief executive and ringmaster of this star-studded production bid a long overdue adieu to his loyal servant and scapegoat, the Hon. Kathleen Sebelius, now happily former secretary of Health and Human Services, before swinging around to welcome her successor, the lucky bureaucrat who now inherits this royal and continuing mess.

But one of the qualifications for the job of Great and Powerful Oz is to put the best face on even the worst of debacles, which the equally Hon. Barack Obama did -- in his by now practiced and ever sonorous way. And so this RMS Titanic of federal bureaucracies sails on, crashing into icebergs every Tuesday and Thursday, changing course with every collision but to no clear avail.

This is the kind of continuing collapse an experienced illusionist will know how to deny no matter how many firewalls on this ship collapse or interior compartments fill with bilge. So last Friday our president, looking straight at the TV camera and an increasingly skeptical nation, hailed the wonders Ms. Sebelius had performed with Obamacare: "Under Kathleen's leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done." Mission Accomplished!

Don't believe it? Why, said the president, "the final score speaks for itself," which must have been a vague reference to the 7.5 million people signed up for his Signature Debacle at last announcement. What a shiny, splendid, glittering number!

Just don't ask too many pesky questions like, "How many of these folks already had insurance before, but had their policies canceled and will have to pay higher premiums now?" "How many exceptions, delays, waivers, 'protected classes' and escape hatches in general have been necessary to paper over the holes in this tub, and how many are yet to come?" And, perhaps most relevant and troubling of all, "How many of the young and healthy are signing up for this wondrous program in order to offset the older and sicker being covered, and so keep this whole Rube Goldberg contraption afloat?" Answer: There isn't one. Nobody knows, or at least dares not guess. Better to just dance and prance around the wonderful wizard who's brought all this to pass.

Surely someone as intelligent as our president can see through all the hooey he feels obliged to peddle, but being a master politician, i.e., a Wonderful Wizard, entails certain sacrifices, beginning with one's own dignity. After all, the president's slightly exaggerated version of events, to quote a character in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, is "merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative."

And yet some of us can't help but remember, indelibly, other highlights of Kathleen Sebelius' unfortunate tenure at HHS, like the time last October when she was in the midst of telling a congressional hearing that Obamacare's website hadn't crashed at all, appearances very much to the contrary. "It is functional," she explained, "but at a very slow speed and very low reliability, and has continued to function." Even as giant screens all around the hearing room trained on that very website continued to show its unwavering announcement: "The system is down at the moment. We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon." Soon turned out to be weeks, if not months.

It only seems like an eternity that the country has been waiting for this not so Affordable Care Act to click in and work. But remember this: The system never crashed. It couldn't be allowed to, not in the merry, merry land of Obamacare, aka Denial.

In the Rose Garden last week, everything was coming up roses, of course. And like roses, Obamacare requires lots of fertilizer to produce those pretty blooms, however illusory.

It's quite a show. It's just not much of a health-insurance program. Somebody get a hook and repeal-and-replace this farce, cutting out the army of patronage used mainly to expand the Medicaid rolls in the guise of a new government program. And save those of its features that always did have bipartisan support, like letting 20-somethings stay on their folks' insurance till they're almost 30-somethings, and making sure prior health problems don't keep an American from getting some kind of health insurance.

But would those simple fixes be too down-to-earth for this master illusionist, even as his latest and greatest illusion fades?

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

Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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