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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 Oct. 31, 2012/ 15 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773

How a presidency falls apart

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1968, it was called the credibility gap. Lyndon Johnson was no longer able to make it seem we were winning the war in Vietnam. Not that he hadn't tried. But after years fighting there, the sad truth was beginning to out. The president and all the president's men weren't able to convince the country that they knew the way to victory there, or even a draw. All our commanders in the field seemed able to do was provide more body counts, even while Ho Chi Minh and his comrades in Hanoi were sending more and more bodies to fill their ranks in the South.

LBJ was a big man with big hopes and dreams and ambitions, but the war was swallowing his Great Society, and his own presidency. He would lose the trust of the American people, and without it no president can succeed.

A few years later, it would be Richard Nixon who gave up after the drip-by-drip revelations that added up to Watergate and a devastating loss of trust in an American president.

Jimmy Carter faced much the same downward spiral in public confidence as he proved powerless in the face of an economic malaise that would overwhelm his presidency. At the end, he was reduced to donning a sweater, turning the thermostat down, and blaming Arab oil sheikdoms for his -- and the country's -- seemingly intractable problems.

Americans are not inclined to accept apathy as a substitute for action. Any more than they may accept Barack Obama's excuses in place of a clear agenda for his second term.

Now the details of the September 11 attack on our consulate at Benghazi begin to come out, one by one, each raising more suspicions than the last.

A month has passed since what at first was described and largely dismissed as a series of spontaneous riots and assaults on our legations across the Middle East. Those were protests mainly against a stupid anti-Muslim video, we were told. But that explanation began to fray as soon as it was offered, and there's not much left of it by now.

Now what happened at Benghazi appears more of a deliberate attack by a terrorist group urged on, or even unleashed by, a message from al-Qaida's current chieftain -- Ayman al-Zawahiri -- just before the attack on our consulate there. Was that warning ignored? Or just dismissed as part of the inevitable fog of war that descends over any battlefield?

Yet the warning from al-Qaida was relayed to Washington, even to the White House situation room. It was picked up by the Associated Press. There's doubtless more to come about the attack in Benghazi, and about how poorly we were prepared for it.

For now, the country has been left waiting and wondering. Especially about a president's credibility, his greatest asset in any struggle. How explain Washington's lethargy? You can almost hear the White House wishing this news story would just go away, but it doesn't, day after day.

American foreign policy has suddenly come to the center of the presidential campaign because that policy is unraveling. What happened at Benghazi has become both the symbol and culmination of its failure. Things that are working well don't attract that much attention and continuing interest.

This administration's failure to protect our people in Benghazi may be the one undisputed fact -- and judgment -- to come out of all the different, ever changing versions of what happened at Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

We the people deserve, and increasingly demand, an explanation. The president has found time to criss-cross the country as the campaign ends, appearing at rallies to deliver speech after speech. But there is no sign he plans a White House press conference to explain what happened at Benghazi and, perhaps more important, didn't happen. Why were we caught so unprepared after so many warnings?

This is the way a presidency comes apart -- not with a bang but a series of whimpers. When a presidency winds down, it seems to do so all of a piece -- the great plans and stirring phrases fade away into a general malaise. The poli-sci types should have a name for it: presidential entropy.

For now the president seems to be just playing out the clock, sticking with his talking points even as they grow less and less credible, hoping to preserve a lead he once enjoyed. There's no doubt public trust in his administration has eroded, but how far? We'll know November 7.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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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.

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