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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 June 11, 2012/ 21 Sivan, 5772

Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how

By David Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | A lot of high-priced consultants are gathering quietly now, plotting how to retain control of the government or to capture Washington. At great cost per hour, they are poring over data, consulting poll findings, weighing demographic and geographic considerations, drawing up scenarios for how Barack Obama should portray his handling of foreign affairs and whom Mitt Romney should select for his running mate.

Let them consult, ponder, argue, postulate. For most of the rest of us, outside the closed doors and hushed conversations, there is no reason to be daunted by the mystery of presidential politics this year. You can acquit yourself credibly at any cocktail party by mentioning these four critical factors and ordering yourself another cherry daiquiri, specifying fresh lime juice of course.

The economy

This is an all-purpose, all-time hardy perennial. The scrawled sign on the wall of Bill Clinton's Little Rock headquarters in 1992 proclaiming that the economy, stupid, was the issue, contained no special insight. It's almost always the economy. It was the economy in 1992, when it was in a ditch, and it was the economy in 1996, when growth was steady, inflation was low and unemployment was rare. It's the economy now, too.

But with a difference. The issue this time is the stewardship of the economy amid an international financial crisis. Mr. Obama will argue conditions could be a lot worse, Mr. Romney will argue they should be a lot better. Many of Mr. Obama's allies won't mention that they think his stimulus was too small, and lots of Mr. Romney's backers won't mention that they find his newfound economic conservatism a little ungenuine and a little unsettling.

In truth, none of those arguments may matter much. If there's a repeat of the kind of grim economic news that greeted the nation this month, Mr. Obama will spend the rest of the campaign on the defensive.

Right now there's not much either candidate can do to affect the economy by November, though Mr. Obama is the ship's captain and will be regarded as the responsible officer on board. One of the two men will be the beneficiary, the other the victim, of events unpredictable now.

Young voters

They came out in droves for Mr. Obama four years ago. He must win them in similar numbers this time, too.

But there's a trap here, and it's easy to be ensnared in it. The pool we describe as "young people" in 2012 isn't the same pool that was described that way four years ago. Just as young people graduate from high school and from college, they also graduate out of the "young people" category. Many of the young people who voted for Mr. Obama aren't, strictly speaking, young anymore. And all of them are four years older, some of them are four years wiser and most of them have been burned by the past four years.

Then there are the new "young people" who couldn't vote last time around but are eligible now. They grew up with even more diminished horizons than those who came before them. The advantage here remains with Mr. Obama, but he has a new audience and must master a new sales pitch for them.

Catholic voters

Few incumbent politicians have bungled their relationship with a key constituency as consistently, as needlessly, as thoughtlessly and as thoroughly as Mr. Obama has with Catholic voters.

Four years ago this group -- which really isn't a group, it being about a quarter of the electorate and thus so large as to be prone to division -- sided with Mr. Obama over Sen. John McCain by a healthy margin, 54 percent to 45 percent. That roughly reversed the margin that George W. Bush held over Sen. John F. Kerry, himself a Catholic, in 2004.

Now ardent Catholics are alienated and casual Catholics are mystified as Mr. Obama, with his initiative to include contraception in health-insurance plans, has set himself at odds with the church hierarchy. He and Mr. Romney at this point are basically tied among Catholic voters.

Could it be that the Obama team reached for the "women's vote" -- the gender gap is an important precept of its general-election strategy -- and in so doing jeopardized the Catholic vote?

In that question is a caution for us all: Just as there are millions of Catholics who do not vote as a monolith, there are millions of women who do not vote in liberal lockstep. Watch the generalizations.

The lift of a driving dream

More than 40 years ago White House speechwriter Ray Price wrote this line for Richard M. Nixon: "What America needs most today is what it once had, but has lost: the lift of a driving dream." In the years that followed, "the lift of a driving dream" went from being a lovely grace note in a Nixon speech to a ridiculed phrase applied to purplish prose.

For our purposes, we return to its original meaning.

In 2008, Mr. Obama provided the lift of a driving dream without speaking drivel. He gave flight to deep-seated hopes and deeply felt frustrations. Only in 1980, when Ronald Reagan captured Americans' yearning to feel optimistic again, and in 1960, when John F. Kennedy captured Americans' yearning to feel idealistic again, has a presidential candidate in modern times had that effect. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't in 1932.

Mr. Obama has failed as president to provide the lift, although at least some of the dreams of some of his allies -- such as advocates of national health care and gay rights -- have been realized. But Mr. Romney has failed as candidate to provide lift as well.

Politics isn't only position papers and tax policies, vows to propose this or to veto that. There is also a bit of silvery stardust to it. That stardust seldom lasts; Mr. Obama's has all but vanished, just as Pierre Elliott Trudeau's did in Canada and Tony Blair's did in Great Britain. Even so, voters crave a bit of it, even (or especially) in times of economic distress.

It's the economy, yes. But that may not be the only thing that will need a lift in this election. A driving dream will, too. Listen for it. It may matter.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





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