In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Jan. 22, 2009 / 26 Teves 5769

Unreal expectations? President Obama asked for them

By Victor Davis Hanson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For nearly three months since the election, we have been warned by President Obama, his staff and the media not to burden him with unreal expectations that no mere mortal could meet.

But why then consciously borrow from Abraham Lincoln's speeches? And why re-create Lincoln's historic train ride to his inauguration — especially by flying back from Washington to Illinois to then return to D.C. by slow-moving railcar? Lincoln took the train because it was the only feasible way to get to Washington in 1861, not to copy the grand arrival of some earlier American savior.

Candidate Obama once adopted a presidential-like seal. He held a mass rally at Berlin's Victory Column (after his request for the more dramatic Brandenburg Gate was refused).

He adopted Greek temple sets at the Democratic convention. And like Zeus on Mt. Olympus, he talked about making the planet cool and the oceans recede.

And now he's capped all that by warning us to lower our expectations!

But if Obama deliberately takes on the trappings of a messiah, why shouldn't we expect messianic solutions?

The alterations in positions during Obama's pre-presidency were praised as "flexible" and "bipartisan." Perhaps. But Obama did not adjust on just an issue or two. Instead, he went whole hog.

It would be difficult to find a single major policy position that he hasn't backtracked somewhat on, especially on matters of foreign policy and the war against terror. Yet throughout the campaign, Obama and the media argued that the manner in which Bush waged the war against terror was harmful to the republic. So, were Bush's polices wrong then, but suddenly right now?

Successfully having it both ways has been evident again on matters of his appointments. Obama defeated Hillary Clinton by running as a Washington outsider who promised new hope and radical change — and anything other than more Bush or Clinton.

Then he imported much of the old Clinton team for governance — Rahm Emanuel, Leon Panetta, John Podesta, Larry Summers, Hillary herself and a score of others — to put a far more articulate and hip veneer on George Bush's current foreign policy. The Obama team has drafted more old-style former congressional insiders than any administration in memory.

What is going on here? Apparently, Obama accepts that the country is both still center-right and yet eager for a nontraditional national spokesman — glib, young, cool and able to charm a hostile world that is often hypocritical toward and envious of America.

In times of economic uncertainty and war, once Obama moved toward the center voters could see him as a trans-racial healer who offered vague change, made them feel good about themselves and, unlike John McCain, was the antithesis of the stodgy old white guy George Bush.

But Obama's hard-left base had promoted Obama the liberal activist for different reasons. They want much more of a state role in the economy, while making American society, at home and abroad, look a lot more European.

So to satisfy both left and center constituencies, Obama seems to stick with the status quo on major issues while offering symbolic gestures and low-profile appointments to radical environmentalists, gay and minority activists, open-borders reformers and labor unionists.

In return, progressives will stick with Obama for a while, on the assumption that he alone can carefully prep and hypnotize the country to soon accept a more left-wing agenda.

And when anyone seems to object to this off-putting balancing act, Obama returns to soaring rhetoric to soothe away the acrimony the way he once did with the Rev. Wright mess last spring.

This triangulation may or may not work at home. Yet abroad it is a different story, where one cannot vote present or charm tough guys and thugs who do not always appreciate flexibility — and may interpret it as weakness to be exploited.

The Iranians prefer to talk, talk, and talk — while they get the bomb. Vladimir Putin wants consensus and dialogue — about re-establishing a right-wing version of the Soviet Empire. China loans us trillions to buy its goods — with the idea that it will soon leverage our financial policy. Europe wants to be courted while expecting America to both lead and be criticized for leading. The Palestinians for now want Israel gone from the West Bank and Gaza — and, at a not-so-future date, gone, period.

The much-maligned George Bush handled all these characters with often unambiguous, if inelegant, talk, and a no-nonsense toughness. If Obama, in contrast, feels he can offer them vague hope-and-change great-expectations rhetoric, and make himself agreeable to the world abroad in the manner he did so to us at home — well, then, lots of luck!

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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