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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 Nov 29, 2011 / 3 Kislev, 5772

Presidents in the Age of Twitter

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Thomas Jefferson collected old books and French wines, Warren Harding collected poker buddies, and FDR collected stamps. Harry S Truman collected sheet music and played the piano.

But not so long ago, wife-collecting was regarded as over the line. Cats do it, dogs do it and even educated fleas are said to conduct serial impermanent romances. But presidents were held to a tougher moral standard.

Newt Gingrich, the latest Republican flavor of the fortnight, is testing the theory that Americans have outgrown making such moral judgments about politicians and their amours. Nelson Rockefeller thought he was on his way to the White House in 1964 when he divorced his blueblood wife to marry a lady named Happy. This was a mighty scandal, as difficult as that may seem to our randy, rowdy and enlightened age, but Mr. Rockefeller was regaining traction in the primary campaign when Happy birthed their child on the eve of the Californiaprimary. Barry Goldwater won a narrow victory and the rest, like Nelson Rockefeller, is forgotten history. Mr. Goldwater was swallowed in a November landslide, but his candidacy reshaped both his party and the nation's politics.

We've reduced our presidents since to mere celebrities, making them compete for public attention with the likes of Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen and the usual assortment of hip-hop "artists". Moral standards are for sissies. The presidential debates have further reduced the candidates to pretenders to Comedy Central, competing with puns, one-liners and bon mots, often auditioning for cable-TV talk shows. Mike Huckabee didn't make it to the White House but got a TV show, and he still gets an occasional mention as somebody's prospective running mate.

Since celebrities are celebrated for their easy banter about fluff, this is a rich environment for a talented big talker. Newt Gingrich, for example, who shoots with a blunderbuss that enables him to hit an occasional target even without aiming. He's the General Motors of political Twitter. Twittering was once what only crows and magpies did, but the politicians love it because it enables them to deposit soundbites in numbers big enough to splatter sidewalks and windshields from coast to coast. Newt claims 1.3 million Twitter "followers," and Mitt Romney and Herman Cain have only 200,000 followers each.

A president with a noisy enough gift of gab might Twitter and execute the office of president at the same time. "I think I will probably teach a course when I'm president," Newt told a New Hampshire audience the other day. "I will probably try to do something that outlines for the whole country what we're going to try to accomplish. It will be free." He expect to "use Twitter frequently," he told NBC News, "and speak to the country less." He thinks Americans "would like you to only bother them when it really matters." This is a fascinating vision of how a White House would work: The president Twitters away the country's troubles with all the free time on his hands.

"The idea would be, why wouldn't you want a president in the age of social media to methodically, in an organized way, share with you what they're going to accomplish so that those people who really won't understand it can understand it."

This would work, however, only if the rest of the world co-operates. John F. Kennedy once asked Dean Rusk in a moment of frustration why there was so much trouble in the world. "That's easy," his secretary of State told him. "At any given moment half the world is awake."

The Middle East alone, populated with demons and worms, supplies trouble enough that would put President Gingrich's Twitter account on hold. The uproar in Pakistan over the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in an errant NATO helicopter strike on a Pakistani border post demonstrates just how an unexpected event can impose on a president's Twittering time.

The Pakistani generals are not worth much as reliable allies, but they're all we've got. Like all rented allies, the Paks are sometimes willing to help a little, but only when it's convenient. There's no morality among nations, as Newt the Historian knows well. Chipping at the margins of a threat is enough to keep any president too busy to Twitter. Only someone divorced from reality would expect more than that.

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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