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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 March 14, 2011 / 8 Adar II, 5771

On Libya and budget, President Obama votes ‘present’

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the Illinois legislature state Sen. Barack Obama voted "present" 129 times. Today he seems to be voting present on two major issues, Libya and the budget. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters Thursday that the United States and other nations have "taken a range of steps . . . to squeeze Gadhafi, isolate him, really turn him into a pariah."

But the steps the United States has taken may well have bolstered Gadhafi's determination to crush the rebellion against his regime.

On the one hand we supported the United Nations resolution giving the International Criminal Court jurisdiction to prosecute Gadhafi and his minions. That means we have blocked off any escape route to a safe retirement.

On the other hand we have interpreted the Security Council resolution ordering an arms embargo as applying to the Libyan rebels as well as the Gadhafi regime.

Or at least that's the interpretation of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. An anonymous White House source said maybe the resolution doesn't apply to the rebels.

The White House has said the United States will send aid to the rebels and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with their transitional council next week.

Aid, not arms; a meeting, but (unlike France and Portugal) no official recognition. The president seems to be voting "present" once again.

It is understandable perhaps that he has not chosen to impose a no-fly zone, as Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry has urged; military intervention is an enterprise with serious risks.

But the hesitancy to recognize the rebels as an alternative to a regime the president has said "must go," as urged by former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, is harder to fathom.

Meanwhile, the news is that Gadhafi's forces have captured cities both in eastern and western Libya that were held by the rebels. Military outcomes are hard to predict, but the time when we might have helped turn the tide against Gadhafi may have passed or be rapidly passing. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a Senate committee he thought Gadhafi would survive.

Obama seems to be voting "present" on the budget as well. His proposed budget for 2012 failed to address the looming problem of entitlements identified as critical by his own bipartisan economic commission.

He designated Vice President Biden as his chief negotiator with congressional leaders on budget issues, at which point Biden embarked on a presumably previously scheduled seven-day trip overseas. Plenty of practical politicians would regard that as an insult meriting a two-word response with a tough letter to follow.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' claim that they were meeting House Republicans halfway on spending for the remainder of fiscal 2011 was quickly debunked by media fact-checkers, and 11 of the 53 Democratic senators voted against their own budget plan. Freshman Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia even took to the Senate floor to complain that the president was absent from the bargaining table.

The result is that the government is being funded for two- or three-week periods, with deadlines looming, negotiations going on and off -- and no one answering at 202-456-1414.

One must concede that the issues involved here are difficult. The revolt against the Gadhafi regime in Libya poses difficult questions, and even those advocating certain responses, like Kerry and Wolfowitz, concede that there is no assurance that they will work as hoped.

On the budget the two parties are far apart. The House Republican leadership, responding to their 87 freshmen and to the voters' verdict last November, clearly have the momentum in pushing for additional cuts in spending.

Democrats who increased spending so sharply in the stimulus package and budget passed in 2009 have principled reasons for resisting and probably hope that a failure to agree followed by a government shutdown will help their party as they believe happened in the 1995-96 confrontation between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.

Voting "present" may be a responsible move for a legislator genuinely undecided about which way to go. But an executive voting "present" is choosing a course with consequences whether he likes it or not.

"The buck stops here," said the sign on the desk of the 33rd president, Harry Truman, who was quick to make decisions -- sometimes too quick. The 44th president's tendency seems to be something like the opposite.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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