In this issue

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 Nov. 4, 2013/ 1 Kislev, 5774

Better the president shouldn't know

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The list of things this president didn't know continues to grow:

He didn't know that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative groups like the Tea Party for special scrutiny.

He didn't know that the Justice Department was obtaining subpoenas that let its gumshoes peek at a Fox News correspondent's notes.

He didn't know that the National Security Agency was spying on Germany's chancellor and various other leaders of Western countries.

He didn't know about Benghazi or Fast and Furious, either.

Naturally, he had no idea that his "signature achievement," aka Obamacare, was having a host of problems with the website that was supposed to assure its success.

And he certainly didn't know that, when he famously said, "If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan," you couldn't.

What this president didn't know, in short, was a lot.

And that can be a good thing.

Because what a president doesn't know can help him.

That's right. Having known about some disaster in the making, he might have to take responsibility for it. This way, he can plead innocent on grounds of ignorance.

His aides didn't do a president named Eisenhower any favors by letting him know about those U-2 flights over the Soviet Union, necessary and prudent as they might have been. So that when one of them was shot down on the eve of an important summit meeting, Ike felt obliged to lie about it -- and was promptly called on it, to his and the country's great discomfiture. Better he shouldn't have known.

Then he wouldn't have had to lie about it, and, maybe worse, be caught at it.

If only he hadn't known....

Then he would have had Plausible Deniability.

The phrase now is associated with the reign of King Richard (M. for Mountebank) Nixon, as so many euphemisms for dirty tricks are. But the concept was well-established long before it became part of the American lexicon. Its purpose: to save a head of state from having to accept responsibility for any dubious actions on his watch.

Shielded by ignorance, a president could then swear, if in more elevated language than your average mobster testfying before a congressional committee, "I didn't know nuttin' about dat."

How could Jay Carney, this president's loyal press secretary, claim that his boss knew nothing about the scandals over at the IRS? Mr. Carney explained that "some matters are not appropriate to convey to him, and this (was) one of them."

Ron Ziegler, who was Richard Nixon's official mouthpiece, could not have put it more delicately.

The object of the game called Plausible Deniability is to distance the chief executive from policies his administration executed. At least when they fail. And especially if they fail spectacularly.

It helps to adopt the passive tense at such unfortunate moments, as in Ronald Reagan's classic formulation when the Iran-Contra deal was exposed: "Mistakes were made." That way, the impression is left that nobody actually made those mistakes, especially a president of the United States.

When the disaster comes to light, the president can then be shocked -- shocked! -- and as scandalized as anybody else by what his administration was up to.

It's a useful if cynical concept, the term of art known as Plausible Deniability.

And with some administrations, like this one, a recurrent theme.

It's got an impressive pedigree, too, both in history and literature. See the works of an an Elizabethan playwright and man of the world, one William Shakespeare, specifically Act II, Scene 7 of "Antony and Cleopatra."

In the play, the Roman statesman Pompey is entertaining the new triumvirate of that world-girdling empire -- Marc Antony, Octavius Caesar and Lepidus -- aboard his galley when his adviser Menas interrupts him during cocktail hour. It seems Pompey's major-domo has devised a scheme that's sure to work, and he can't resist letting his boss know how clever he's been to concoct it.

Menas begins his whispered aside with Pompey by tempting him with the one lure no politician may be able to resist -- power. Great power.

"Wilt thou be lord of all the world?" asks Menas.

"What say'st thou?" asks Pompey, who heard him very well.

"Wilt thou be lord of the whole world? That's twice."

"How should that be?" asks Pompey, his interest whetted.

"But entertain it, and, though thou think me poor, I am the man will give thee all the world."

"Hast thou drunk well?" asks Pompey, who's been the one drinking.

"Now, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup. Thou art, if thou darest be, the earthly Jove: Whate'er the ocean pales or sky inclips is thine, if thou wilt ha't."

"Show me which way," says Pompey, who is not an unambitious man, and Menas shows him:

"These three world-sharers, these competitors, are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable; and when we are put off, fall to their throats: All there is thine."

Menas gets an immediate response to his proposal, though it is not the one he had hoped for.

"Ah," says Pompey, "this thou shouldst have done, and not have spoke on't! In me 'tis villainy; in thee't had been good service. Thou must know 'tis not my profit that does lead mine honour; mine honour, it. Repent that e'er thy tongue hath so betray'd thine act: being done unknown, I should have found it afterwards well done; but must condemn it now. Desist, and drink."

So go the best-laid plans of mice and mendacious men.

Poor old Pompey, saddled with a jabbering aide like Menas, would have found today's White House staff much more to his liking. It knows what to not let him know

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.

© 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.