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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 Sept. 10, 2008 / 10 Elul 5768

Why Should Palin and Voters Be Reverent Toward Obama's Community Organizing?

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama and many in the left blogosphere have hurt feelings over Sarah Palin's comments on community organizers. They evidently think that everyone should regard Obama's years as a community organizer with the reverence — I choose a religious word deliberately — they do. Pretty naive. They can count on mainstream media to follow the party line pretty closely. But MSM's voice is not the only one heard in politics today.


Community organizing along the lines of Saul Alinsky strikes me as a quintessentially Chicago phenomenon, and Obama, with no previous ties to Chicago, decided to move there when he took up community organizing in the 1980s and returned there to do it again after he finished Harvard Law School. Alinsky's style of community organizing is premised on the continuing existence of a partially corrupt and deeply incestuous political machine that cannot be dislodged but can be pressured. I recall one community organizing project launched, I think, by Alinsky: He wanted some change in public policy, so he had people sit in all the toilet stalls at O'Hare International Airport and remain there for hours. O'Hare was the favorite project of the late Mayor Daley (and of the current Mayor Daley as well), and the sit-in resulted in a quick capitulation by "Da Mare."


But Obama seems to have rejected the Alinsky model. That's the thesis of a fascinating article by John Judis in the New Republic. Citing Obama's memoir and some independent reporting, Judis argues that Obama decided that community organizing was a dead end and concluded that electoral politics was the way to make real change. He made his leap shrewdly. Living in Hyde Park/Kenwood, he cultivated a left-wing base that included the unrepentant terrorist bomber William Ayers, who admitted to setting bombs at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, and 13th District state Sen. Alice Palmer. Part of the 13th District was in Hyde Park, but most of its voters were on the overwhelmingly black South Side, where Obama made friends by joining the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church. At Ayers's house, he got Palmer's endorsement to succeed her; then, when she re-entered the race, he challenged her ballot petitions and got her (and all the other candidates) thrown off the primary ballots.


As a state senator and then as a U.S. senator, Obama took care not to antagonize the Chicago civic establishment. His patron in the state Senate was Emil Jones, who was backed by Mayor Richard M. Daley over Jesse Jackson Jr. in a special congressional seat race in 1995. He backed a redistricting bill that reshaped the 13th District to include all of Chicago's lakefront from the Indiana border to North Michigan Avenue, so as to include the neighborhood where many of Chicago's richest and most prominent civic leaders (and campaign contributors) lived. The redistricting reduced the district's black percentage from 74 percent to 58 percent. He supported Todd Stroger for Cook County Board president over a reform candidate in 2006, when Stroger was put on the ballot to replace his incumbent father after his death. Alinsky assumed that the machine would always be there and believed you must stir up opposition to it. Obama assumed that the machine would always be there and that if you can't beat 'em then you must join 'em — or at least do business with 'em. There's an obvious contrast here between Obama and Sarah Palin, who defeated both of her predecessors as governor in 2006 and chartered a clear course of reform.


Questions: Why should we be obliged to take a reverent view toward community organizing when Obama evidently did not? And what basis is there in his career to see Obama as a reformer?

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