Home
In this issue
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 4, 2010 / 22 Sivan 5770

Trying to plug a hole with rant and rage

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When then all else fails, it's time to panic.

Whatever else President Obama has or hasn't done in the weeks since British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank off the Louisiana Coast, he has so far demonstrated his signature cool, calm and detached approach to dealing with the environmental tragedy.

This is clearly the wrong approach. Spike Lee, the moviemaker, says it's time for the president to "go off," to start jumping up and down and show some entertaining fury and frenzy. The rage should be directed at somebody at British Petroleum. Spike knows drama. "If there's any one time to go off," he says, "this is it, because this is a disaster." Well, thanks for that, Spike. Now we know it's a disaster.

Hollywood knows a disaster when it sees one. James Cameron, the moviemaker who thrilled the children of the world with puppy love on the "Titanic," is pouting because British Petroleum hasn't invited him to New Orleans to take over direction of the effort to fix things -- in the words of President Obama, to "plug that hole." Mr. Cameron knows that if you can plug a hole in a script you can plug a hole in the ground. He not only made a movie about a sinking ship but he has experience working with undersea robots. He dismisses the professionals trying to plug the hole as "morons."

Still, it's a pity that John Wayne is still dead. The Duke once made a movie, "Hellfighters," about fighting oil-well fires. In the movie, he never went to an oil-well fire he couldn't put out. Somebody should send a DVD of the movie to New Orleans. Maybe it has useful tips.

We haven't seen such a Hollywood presence -- or attempted presence -- in Louisiana since Sean Penn paddled his rowboat to flooded New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Sean's most memorable rescue attempt ended in embarrassment and rue and he only got in the way of the grown-ups. But he got his picture in the newspapers.

It's not just Hollywood folks. Everybody wants a piece of the action. Douglas Brinkley, the presidential historian, echoes Spike Lee's plea for rant and rage from Mr. Obama. He wistfully recalls the president's talent for sending campaign crowds into spasms of rapture and joy, chanting "yes, we can," and he thinks more such spasms could plug the hole: "There was a feeling Obama was going to be one of those presidents [who] moved us with words the way John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan did in recent decades." Alas, Mr. Obama shows only irrelevant attributes of Jimmy (the "nukuler" engineer) Carter and Lyndon (the wizard of the straddle) Johnson, when what the multitudes need is entertaining bloviation. "In a time of great crisis, people aren't looking for Johnson or Carter. They are looking for powerful rhetorical leadership -- words that move the country in a positive direction." Maybe a flotilla of ships with crowds of gawkers chanting "yes, we can" could descend on the Gulf. James Cameron and Spike Lee could find those Styrofoam columns that formed the Parthenon-like backdrop for Mr. Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Chanting crowds need heroic backdrop, too.

Soon everyone will have a solution. A child prodigy in New York, still working on her Ph.D in engineering, says she got to cogitating about the problem and told the New York Post that she figured out what to do in less time than it takes most people to work a crossword puzzle. She would sink flat tires into the well, then inflate them to squeeze a seal. "I figured experts would know more about it than I did but their ideas didn't work," says Alia Sabur, 21. "So I started thinking about it." Miss Sabur read novels at 2 and played the clarinet in a symphony orchestra at 11, so plugging the hole would be child's work.

The president is trying his best to reassure the multitudes, eager to resume chanting, that he is, too, angry and furious, full of what our more literate grandparents called "choler." He even sent his press flack out to tell reporters that he had seen the president rage. The problem, White House sources assure me, is that the teleprompter has been programmed for cool and composed, and there's no software for craze and choler.

All the know-it-alls assume that British Petroleum, losing millions by the minute, is dawdling and daydreaming while their oil well sends oil profits to salty oblivion. But the smart money is, as usual, on the professionals, hated or not. The professionals are not very entertaining and they're just not very good at panic. But we have a lot of people who are.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Wesley Pruden Archives

© 2007 Wesley Pruden

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles