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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 Feb. 24, 2011 / 20 Adar I, 5771

Remembering Clinton and the Episodic Apologists

By Bob Tyrrell



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Frankly, I did not think of Chris Matthews as an episodic apologist until I watched his MSNBC documentary this week, "President of the World: The Bill Clinton Phenomenon." The episodic apologists are a familiar fixture of the Clinton administration, much as the court historians are a fixture of the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Whereas the court historians always could be relied upon to spin history FDR's heroic way, the episodic apologists always end up slobbering all over the Clintons — albeit with a twist.

The court historians were always pretty straightforward. They adored FDR from the beginning to the end. The episodic apologists' lives are endlessly more complicated and melodramatic, as the Clintons are more complicated and melodramatic. There seems to be a script prepared for them. The apologists begin with high hopes and admiration for Bill and Bruno. Then Bill and Bruno fail them. The Clintons lie before grand juries or filch White House property while exiting for Chappaqua, or they are caught in Troopergate, in Travelgate, in Filegate or renting the Lincoln Bedroom. Of a sudden, the apologists suffer blighted hopes. First they become indignant. Then they feel used and abused. Some cry in public. Finally, hope springs anew.

In 2005, John F. Harris, then of The Washington Post, wrote in his book, "The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House" — after years of such humiliating scandals — that the Clintons are "the two most important political figures of their generation." Perhaps he forgot about George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich. By the way, Harris was tapped by Matthews to shill for Clinton the other night.

However, I would have expected more of Matthews. To be sure, he was always a reliable Democrat on most public matters and public figures, but on Clinton, he was often skeptical. During the Monica Lewinsky, shall we say, exposure, and subsequent impeachment proceedings, he seemed impatient. I always suspected that it was his Catholic sense of right and wrong that was triggered by the Clintons' amorality. Apparently, enough time has elapsed for him, too, to join the episodic apologists.

This week's documentary was hagiography for a rogue. If it ever raised an uncomfortable question for the "World President," I missed it. His scandal-plagued presidency, its "Animal House" exit and the reckless way he has amassed his fortune got not a nod of interest. "Bill Clinton's position in the world continues to grow," hymned Matthews. "He's part dignitary, part humanitarian, part politician, part international statesman and somehow greater than all of them." Well, he has done some good of late, but few presidents have been more self-absorbed and mediocre, and in fact, he piffled away almost a decade as the Playboy President when America needed a competent chief executive. I always have compared him to Warren G. Harding, right down to his love of golf and the bossy wife, though Mrs. Harding was relatively honest and did not make such a thing of her hair.

Halfway through the hourlong gush of celebration, there was one name mentioned, I think by way of criticism. It came fast and without much elaboration: Marc Rich. He was the most notorious of the 140 pardons and 36 commutations granted by Clinton in the hours before leaving the White House. Actually, there were many more miscreants in Clinton's back-of-the-hand insult to federal prosecutors, including money launderers, drug dealers, murderers and even Susan McDougal, whom Clinton had said he never would pardon. The Clintons' brothers were discovered arranging pardons for cash, along with former White House aides. Then there was the White House property, for which the Clintons finally made a minimum payment, the office equipment that their staff sabotaged and the property stolen from Air Force One on its last flight with the Clintons. Finally, Bill began his fundraising campaign for a comfortable retirement, $43 million in the first four years, much of it from very dubious sources, such as the Red Chinese. The fundraising continues.

The Clintons' White House exit led even Democrats to inveigh: "totally indefensible" (Joe Biden); "disgraceful" (Jimmy Carter); "terrible," "devastating" and "appalling" (William Daley); "Clinton is utterly disgraced" (Robert Reich, secretary of labor under Clinton); and "some of Mr. Clinton's closest associates and supporters are acknowledging what his enemies have argued for years — the man is so thoroughly corrupt it's frightening" (The New York Times' Bob Herbert). I could continue, but you get my drift — and all would be back on board in a couple of years.

Two editorials stick in my mind from these early years of Clinton's presidency of the world. The Times called for congressional investigations, lamenting that the "former president ... seemed to make a redoubled effort in the last moments of his presidency to plunge further and further beneath the already low expectations of his most cynical critics and most world-weary friends." The New York Observer noted that the Clinton critics "were right, after all. Mr. Clinton was, in fact, an untrustworthy low-life who used people for his own purposes and then discarded them." As for Hillary, the newspaper explained that New Yorkers had "made a terrible mistake, for Hillary Rodham Clinton is unfit for elective office. Had she any shame, she would resign."

Oh, and by the way, on the day of the MSNBC documentary, a headline in The Washington Post read, "Several big donors to Hillary Clinton now facing criminal allegations."

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

JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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