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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 Sept. 4, 2009 / 15 Elul 5769

More Cowbell…er, Obama

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |

ABC News reports that Barack Obama has returned to Washington, only to step off the plane and "into his next domestic crisis." He "planned to leave the details of health care reform to Congress, but today the White House says he'll play a much stronger role." The Associated Press says Obama is "backing away" from his "'it's-all-on-the-table' approach" and is "prepared to get louder and more involved in the details of a health care overhaul." "This weekend," NBC Nightly News explained in its lead story, "the president signaled an aggressive stance to put his personal stamp on the sweeping legislation."

There's only one problem. These stories were all reported nearly three months ago upon Obama's return from his largely failed European mission. And yet, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Obama's planned address to a joint session of Congress next week "will insert the president into the heated debate in a way he has avoided all summer." The Washington Post informed readers that the "White House is scrambling to take control of the health-care debate after watching from the sidelines." A "senior aide" to Obama says the president will be "much more prescriptive."

Why the White House press corps didn't just change the date on their old copy and run it again is beyond me. And I'll leave it to others to ponder the media's seemingly infinite capacity to give Obama as many do-overs as he might need.

Why the Obama administration is determined to do the time warp again is easier to decipher. Obama's advisors think the answer to every problem is more cowbell, if by "cowbell" you mean "Obama." It's like Obama guru David Axelrod is the Christopher Walken character from the "Saturday Night Live" skit about Blue Oyster Cult (if you don't know the reference, Google "cowbell").

Every time someone comes up with an alternative to throwing Obama on TV, Axelrod says, "No, no, no. Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription ... is more Obama!"

But is that really what the doctor ordered?

Obama's address next week will be his third prime-time appeal in three months and the fifth in his 7-month-old presidency. The networks are chagrined about this, not least because the ratings half-life of these events is severe. (Fox's broadcast network beat out the other networks by running "So You Think You Can Dance" instead of his last prime-time press conference.) More relevant, they haven't done Obama much good.

His July 22 press conference was billed as perhaps Obama's last chance to save health care reform. It tanked (partly because Obama's attack on the Cambridge police dominated the press). Afterward, public support for ObamaCare dropped significantly. A Pew poll taken that week found that more people opposed the proposals being considered by Congress than supported them, and that Obama's overall approval had dropped 7 points from the previous month. Other polls showed similar declines.

Now, more than a month later, things look even worse. The obvious solution? Even more cowbell.

But what is lacking is not cowbell, it's substance the American people can support. Obama will reportedly be "more specific," but he won't commit himself to any particular piece of legislation. This suggests that the White House still thinks it has a communication problem, and if only it dispels the cloud of "lies" belched up by the opposition, there will be nothing but blue skies ahead.

Funny how the people who run the most sophisticated communication operation in the history of the presidency keep concluding that their difficulties stem from their inability to get their message out and never from what their message actually is.

And so, rather than change the substance of the message, they're grabbing an even bigger megaphone: an address to a joint session of Congress. Three out of the last four presidents gave just one address to a joint session of Congress, and all but one of them reserved such occasions for major international events, like a war or, in Ronald Reagan's case, a breakthrough with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Only Bill Clinton used such a venue for a domestic priority: health care reform.

That didn't work out so well either.

Just seven months into Obama's presidency, the White House is turning up the speakers on the cowbell as loud as they will go. And, heck, if you love cowbell, it's going to be a real treat. But in all the ways that matter, it may just end up being more noise.

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