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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 12, 2013/ 4 Tammuz, 5773

We can't trust Obama

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The contradictions at the heart of the Obama presidency are finally out in the open. As a result, a man who came into office hell-bent on restoring faith in government is on the verge of inspiring a libertarian revival.

There have always been (at least) two Barack Obamas. There is the man who claims to be a nonideological problem-solver, keen on working with anybody to fix things. And there is The One: the partisan, left-leaning progressive-redeemer.

As E.J. Dionne, a columnist who can usually be counted on to make the case for Obama better than Obama can, recently wrote, the president "has been a master, as good politicians are, at presenting different sides of himself to different constituencies. In 2008, he was the man who would bring us together by overcoming the deep mistrust between red and blue America and the champion of progressive change, the liberal answer to Ronald Reagan."

The dilemma for Obama is that neither is panning out because both incarnations rely on trust. The president never had much trust among Republicans, and he lost what he had when he opted to steamroll the stimulus and, later, Obamacare, on a partisan basis.

Of course, that's not how most Democrats have seen things. They've seen the last five years as a tale of Tea-Party-fueled madness and racism. The conviction that conservatives are crazy, stupid and/or bigoted in their opposition to Obama is what has allowed the two Obamas to exist side by side. Both iterations could blame the Republicans for any shortcomings or failures.

Then came the Benghazi debacle. The president's base, according to polls and what little MSNBC viewing I could stomach, never wavered in its conviction that Benghazi was a nonscandal. But even if you don't think it was a scandal (as I do), many partisans admit the administration's response, politically and in real time, was a mess, casting the White House as deeply political and not exactly truthful.

Cue the Justice Department, which deployed the Espionage Act against a Fox News reporter and subpoenaed the records of more than 20 Associated Press phone lines. Obama tried to play the Janus game again, saying that he was "troubled" by the reports of his own administration's actions. The media have let him get away with this bystander act when it comes to things like the prison at Guantanamo Bay, but not necessarily when it comes to threats to themselves.

And then the floodgates opened. The IRS compromised the integrity of the domestic agency that is supposed to be the most immune to politics. Worse, the White House's best defense was that it was simply asleep at the switch as the agency went rogue -- in ways that just happened to align with the president's oft-expressed ideological and political preferences.

The IRS scandal is a cancer because if you can't trust Obama to keep that agency from being politicized, you can't trust him to keep anything immune from politics -- including health care and, more relevant, the National Security Agency.

I have some sympathy for Obama in that his support of these vast data-mining programs might be a sign that he has matured in office. He naively denounced the "false choice" of compromising our ideals for the sake of security in his 2009 inaugural speech. Now he's touting such trade-offs as essential.

Or it could be that, like so many presidents before him, Obama thinks there's nothing wrong with executive power when he's the executive. Either way, the NSA story undermines trust in both Obamas.

In late May, the president announced in a speech that the war on terror was essentially over. In early June, he's defending a data-mining operation that even Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) -- an author of the Patriot Act, which authorizes surveillance by the NSA -- is denouncing as dangerous overreach he never intended.

The idealist wants credit for ending the war, while the alleged pragmatist wants to keep a surveillance apparatus that has no justification if the war on terror is truly over. Maybe he's right on the merits. The problem is that fewer and fewer people are willing to take his word for it.

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