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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 18, 2010 / 6 Tamuz 5770

Playing the bully is fun, tempting even a president

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Since he doesn't know what else to do about the Gulf oil spill, Barack Obama plays the schoolyard bully. By throwing sticks, stones and the occasional grenade at British Petroleum the president diverts public attention from his own considerable shortcomings.

It's working, sort of, but only for the short run, which is sometimes enough to get a politician out of a rough patch. The public, being as frustrated as Mr. Obama, dutifully joins the mindless din of threats, imprecations, insults and other affronts to the only people, bad or not, who know how to cap a runaway oil well. Seeking relief in the short run is tempting because presidents, like fake messiahs and other con artists, come and go. The consequences of presidential calamities and catastrophes, like the destruction of the American health care system, stay with us well into the long run.

Anyone who listened to the president Wednesday night (his numbers were down considerably) could see and hear frustration in his voice. No one, not even a messiah, can watch his approval numbers plummet so dramatically and not feel frustration, and even a little fear. Mr. Obama has never given evidence of seeing himself as others see him, but even he must be aware that he is in a job requiring different skills than he has. Making pretty speeches, as entertaining as pretty speeches are, just doesn't get the job done. Oil wells just won't listen. Why wouldn't he feel the growing fear the rest of us do?

A Web site called the Global Language Monitor, which studies these things, reckons that the president aimed his speech at the elites, not the plain folks that politicians and their gurus ordinarily crave. The president's pie-in-the-sky talk about an alternative-energy future thrilled the elites, who figure that, being smarter than everyone else, they can avoid most of the sacrifice to get to that distant future. His only specifics, that he would continue his ban on new off-shore drilling, certainly couldn't thrill any of the plain folks along the Gulf coast who will be thrown out of their jobs to buff the asthetics of the elites. Mr. Obama, despite his reputation as a great orator, spoke mostly in long sentences crafted in the passive voice beloved by bureaucrats, academics and other fuzzmasters determined to avoid being clearly understood as in, "mistakes were made," not the honest and robust "I made a mistake."

Mr. Obama not so long ago decided we shouldn't call the war on terror "the war on terror" because it might offend the Muslim red-hots who are making war on us, but he nevertheless cast the effort to plug the Deepwater Horizon well in metaphors that any warmonger would love. He called the plugging and the clean-up a "battle" against "an oil spill that is assaulting [our] shores and citizens." Now the president is fighting two wars, an undeclared war in Afghanistan and a declared war against an oil slick. Whoever finally plugs the well should expect the Medal of Honor, or at least the Navy Cross, with the president himself to pin the medal on the winner's breast in a ceremony aboard a Gulf oil rig.

The British government, rightly suspicious of Mr. Obama's true feelings about America's oldest, most reliable and most effective ally, regards the president's declaration of war against the oil slick to be a declaration of war against BP shareholders (40 percent of whom are Americans) and British old-age pensioners whose trust funds are invested in BP stock shares. The president finally invited BP executives to the White House this week, 58 days after the Gulf spill, and allotted them 20 minutes (about the length of time championship basketball teams get in Mr. Obama's office) to agree to a $20 billion fund to pay for the damages to the Gulf Coast.

David Cameron, the new British prime minister, urged the president to keep his appetite for public revenge in reasonable check: "BP is an important company. It is an important company for people's pensions, it employs thousands of people in the UK, it pays a lot of tax. It's important to try to give some level of clarity and certainty so that the company can actually continue and be financially stable . . . This shouldn't be about going after BP just for the sake of it."

This sounds fair and reasonable, but fairness, clarity, certainty and reason are not on the president's agenda. Leading a lynch mob may not be a workable strategy for the long run, but in the short run it's an entertaining diversion.

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.

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