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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 June 27, 2010 / 15 Tamuz 5770

Obama's tightrope

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two departures from the Obama administration go a long way toward illuminating what is important -- and what is not -- in determining its political fate.

The firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the resignation of budget director Peter Orszag represent the most significant fraying in the top levels of government since Barack Obama took office 17 months ago.

Obviously, they are not similar. McChrystal was canned after being called back from Kabul and given a brief hearing at the White House because he and his aides had been monumentally indiscreet in discussing, in the presence of a reporter, their views on the shortcomings of the president and his national security team.

Of his own volition, Orszag announced his pending retirement as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. He wasn't pushed; he jumped, looking for shorter hours and a bigger paycheck.

When I say these departures show us what is really important in the judgments about Obama that will be forthcoming -- first in the midterm elections in November and then in 2012 -- this is what I mean:

As forecast by his campaign, Obama has staked almost everything in his reputation as commander in chief on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. He staged a long and heavily publicized review of the war strategy, concluded it by adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to the struggle, set a mid-2011 deadline for beginning a withdrawal and picked McChrystal as the commander to carry out the task.

That choice -- recommended by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who fired McChrystal's predecessor -- has backfired, but the president insists the change of command does not signal a change of strategy. His fingerprints are still indelibly on the war.

Instead, he has turned to Gen. David Petraeus, the hero of President George W. Bush's Iraq surge -- which Obama opposed -- and handed him the mess that is Afghanistan.

At some point, a nuclear Iran may pose an even greater challenge for Obama. But for now, and likely in 2012, he will be rated on national security by what happens in Afghanistan.

Why is Orszag's departure equally significant? Because he has been at the intersection of three domestic concerns as important in their way as Afghanistan is in its realm: health care, the budget and the economy.

The OMB director provided much of the intellectual firepower behind Obama's approach to health-care legislation. He shaped the budgets that have become increasingly the center of debate between Democrats and Republicans. And he has been a central voice on overall economic policy.

Those topics loom large on the agenda for the next two elections. On all of them, Obama is walking a fine line. He has tried to finesse some of the issues in health care by phasing in his proposals and by avoiding the direct approach of a "public option" or expanded Medicare. Similarly, on the budget and economy, he has called for stimulus measures but also promised spending restraint and ultimate fiscal discipline. In Afghanistan, too, he is trying to have it both ways, sending in more troops but still standing by his vow to begin a withdrawal.

All of these measures -- and the men behind them -- are controversial. And over all of them looms the issue of Obama's leadership. As the latest Pew Research Center poll confirms, none of the president's actions so far at home or abroad have damaged his overall approval numbers -- which remain just below 50 percent.

What has changed dramatically is the perception of him as a leader. The number describing him as a strong leader has dropped from 77 percent in February 2009 to 53 percent in the latest Pew poll -- perhaps in part because of the futility of the federal response to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Firing McChrystal was a strong action, but it will benefit the president only if Petraeus has one more miracle in his pocket. What a gamble.

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