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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Aug 17, 2012 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5772

Picking on poor Ol' Uncle Joe

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everybody's piling on Joe Biden, and it's not quite fair. Of course, a presidential campaign, like life, is unfair. We have John F. Kennedy's word on that. Maybe we should give ol' Joe a break. He's our only source of campaign humor, if not exactly the sharpest wit.

Even The Washington Post, now in full-battle dress to protect Democratic interests, thinks it's OK to pick on ol' Joe. Writes Post blogger Alexandra Petri: "He inspires the sort of discomfort one feels upon introducing one's fiancÚ to Grandpa after he has had a Scotch too many."

One's fiancÚ should just grin and bear it. But one never knows, as Fats Waller famously asked, do one? A lot of Joe's malapropisms, blurts and boners - the remarks the press, eager to display a foreign language skill, inevitably calls "gaffes" - are just the sort of thing that endears Joe to a lot of other grandpas. The vice president, after all, is constitutionally harmless, like a wart in an embarrassing place on the body politic.

It's certainly true, though, that Joe has overdrawn the unlimited checking account Barack Obama gave him on inauguration day. The president's dilemma, and it is a true dilemma, is what to do about the second banana. He knows he couldn't trust Joe at the funeral of the president of Volta, upper or lower, since foreign funerals are the default preserve of veeps. But he can't indulge himself by bouncing Joe off the ticket, either.

The suggestion from some Republican worthies that the Democratic ticket could be cured of foot-in-mouth disease by recruiting Hillary Clinton is an indulgence of mischief, meant to needle the president. (As if on cue, the White House rose to the bait, firing back at Sarah Palin.) The last presidential candidate who blinked was George McGovern, who relieved Tom Eagleton in 1972 in the wake of revelations that Mr. Eagleton had once submitted to electric shock treatments to clear the fog between his ears.

President Obama's defense of Joe this week, that he's only guilty of something called "phrasing distractions," was no doubt meant to be mild scolding, and Joe should button his lip when he feels the urge to spill and splurge. Joe has been around long enough to know that a politician, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, never gets a pass to mention race without genuflecting first toward Al and Jesse, and maybe Maxine Waters, too. "Slavery is nothing to joke about," says Doug Wilder, the former Democratic governor of Virginia.

Joe just can't quit talking about slavery, perhaps a reflection of Delaware's curious Civil War history. Delaware flirted mildly with secession before its legislature voted unanimously to stay in the union, and it contributed troops to both union and Confederate regiments. Delaware's congressmen needled Abraham Lincoln mercilessly throughout the war. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't apply to Delaware and the four northern slave states and the legislature didn't get around to freeing its slaves until it adopted the 13th Amendment eight months after Appomattox. Joe, a native Pennsylvanian, has continued the Delaware tradition of ambivalence (or at least inadvertence).

He once curried South Carolina favor reminding an audience in Charleston that "my state was a slave state, my state is a border state. [Delaware was] a slave state that fought beside the north. That's only because we couldn't figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way." Well, only Maryland, actually, but Joe's point is clear enough.

Joe has been mostly harmless and nearly always entertaining, like Yogi Berra but without Yogi's shrewd philosophical insights. He once told a Democratic caucus that "if we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong." Borrowing the essence of Teddy Roosevelt's most famous remark, he assured skeptics of Barack Obama that "I promise you, this president has a big stick." He described Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Joe usually means well, even if he doesn't show it. He's not as smart as Paul Ryan, but he'll help the Republican ticket, too. So a little compassion is in order. Rudy Giuliani says Joe may not have the "mental capacity" to be president, but even if true he wouldn't be the first prospective bumbler in chief in the office that John Nance Garner called "not worth a warm pitcher of spit."

It's important to keep first things in mind. "To err is human, to forgive divine," as the 17th-century poet Alexander Pope reminds us. Or maybe the 20th-century philosopher Mae West said it better for our times: "To err is human, but it feels divine." "

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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