Home
In this issue
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 June 3, 2010 / 21 Sivan 5770 5770

Obama's Katrina: The Politics of It Is Oily, Too

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you missed the president's news conference Thursday, his first in 10 months, here's a succinct summary: It was about the oil spill. And it's mainly somebody else's fault.

Whose? BP's or the previous administration's (his favorite scapegoat even though he's been president now for some 16 months). Or it's the fault of unnnamed "federal agencies" he really has nothing to do with, or the "culture" of the oil industry and government regulation thereof, or ... you name it.

This he called taking responsibility.

Yes, the president admitted his administration was too slow when it came to preventing the catastrophe, and "I take responsibility for that. There wasn't sufficient urgency in terms of the pace of how those changes needed to take place. Obviously, they weren't happening fast enough."

But that confession required only seconds; the rest of his hour-long press conference was pretty much devoted to how other people hadn't done their jobs. You'd think he was back on the campaign trail attacking the president. Somebody ought to tell him he's the president now.

Nothing has been so revealing of this commander-in-chief's lack of military training than his response or lack thereof to this long, slowly but ever deepening crisis. Because instead of just saying, "No excuse, sir," and clearing the air, there he was at still another rostrum last week talking, talking, talking ... instead of clearly acting on the ground, or rather in the water. The sludge, both physical and political, just keeps coming.

Campaigning and governing mix in a republic, and certainly in a democracy. It's hard to draw the line between spirit and substance. Which was it that buoyed the country when FDR and later Ronald Reagan lifted the nation's morale -- their sublime confidence or actual policies? The two mixed. But in this administration, they begin to separate -- as clearly as oil and water. Disenchantment sets in, and with it failure.

This administration, the president wants us to know, has been on this crisis since, yes, Day One: "Those who think we were either slow on the response or lacked urgency, don't know the facts. This has been our highest priority."

That's nice. But if the administration really has acted quickly, urgently, then why did his Director of Minerals Management have to resign just hours before his press conference? Was it just a coincidence? Did she just happen to pick this time to decide she needed some down time?

The director -- S. Elizabeth Birnbaum. Esq. -- left "on her own volition," announced Ken Salazar, who is still secretary of the Interior. Is it only the lower-downs in this administration who have enough shame to submit their resignation when things go terribly wrong on their watch? Who knows? Not the president. When asked about it, he said he'd just heard about the resignation that day, and didn't "know the circumstances in which this occurred." That was just after he'd got through explaining yet again how on top of things he's been.

So whom are you going to believe, the president's description of this administration as responsive and fast-acting, moving urgently to contain the catastrophe, or your own lying eyes?

Down in Louisiana, the Cajun Cato himself, James Carville, sounded less like the defender of the administration he's consistently been and more like another worried, frustrated and impatient Louisianan. The president, he complained, "just looks like he's not involved in this. Man, you got to get down here and take control of this and put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving. We're about to die down here."

The moral of this story: When it's your own shoreline that's in danger, it kind of changes your perspective. It gives you, in the words of that scholarly work of political science, "A Boy Named Sue," a different point of view. (Cash, J.) That's when politics stops being some kind of abstract, spectator sport and becomes a matter of life and death. Mr. Carville has started sounding like Randy Newman singing the Looziana Blues: "Louisiana, Louisiana, they're tryin' to wash us away...." Again. In oil this time.

Last time, it was Katrina. By the time George W. Bush finally jettisoned his flood czar, Michael "Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job" Brown, much of the damage -- human and political -- had been done. In the end, having to work with a bumbling governor and an equally inept but raging mayor of New Orleans, that president tried to muddle through -- and failed miserably. Finally, much too late, he found his can-do man in Lieut. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, U.S.A., a commander even Ragin' Ray Nagin, aforesaid joker of a mayor, had to approve of.

As soon as the Creole Napoleon landed, he could be seen all over the streets of the flooded city barking orders at mere colonels. Or as Mayor Nagin had to admit: "Now, I will tell you this -- and I give the president some credit on this -- he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is Gen. Honoré. And he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussin' and people started movin'. And he's getting some stuff done."

But where is this president's General Honoré? Happily, Louisiana now has a governor who actually seems to know his business -- Bobby Jindal -- but the feds keep dragging their feet whenever he makes recommendations. Such as: Quick, build barrier islands. (And send the bill to BP.) Quick, get out of the way and let city and parish officials protect their people and resources. Quick, get Louisiana more booms to ward off the approaching tide of gunk before the Gulf Coast starts to look like one big used oil filter.

The last president we had was done in by a natural disaster; this one could be done in by an unnatural one. One president demonized by his kneejerk critics was enough. Please, not again. Barack Obama needs to find his General Honoré in a hurry. Wouldn't it be something if he chose this young, energetic, proven governor to lead the charge? Even if Bobby Jindal is a Republican. At last Barack Obama would begin to carry out his promise to be a leader who can work across party lines to get things done. And, boy, does something need to get done. Like yesterday. No, last month. 'Cause they're washing Louisiana away again. And ain't nobody in charge.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles