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 August 16, 2010 / 6 Elul, 5770

Tom Vilsack in context

By David Broder

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Over the years, reporters learn that there are a relative handful of the public officials with whom we deal who can be counted on to expand our understanding of events. These are the men and women who have probed deeply into the forces shaping the country -- or their part of it -- and often anticipate the challenges still to come.

During the eight years he was governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack came onto my radar as one of those rare individuals -- a man who planted useful thoughts every time I interviewed him. So I was surprised when Vilsack was cast as the fall guy in the ugly incident last month involving the forced resignation of an African American government employee who was accused by a blogger of reverse discrimination against a white farmer.

As you may remember, Shirley Sherrod, the Agriculture Department official, was shown by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart in a brief excerpt from a speech she had made in which she seemed to suggest she had held back on helping the white farmer. When the full speech was released, it became clear she was telling the story to illustrate how she had overcome any racial animus she might have harbored. And the farmer praised her for her exceptional help.

Vilsack, who had acted on the basis of partial and misleading information in firing her, called and offered his apologies and another job, which she has not yet accepted.

Talking with friends about him, I realized that they were oblivious to the context of the exceptional public official I had known -- a man who was a perfectly plausible presidential aspirant in 2007 until he ran out of money. I also realized that I had no idea what Vilsack had been up to in the 18 months since President Obama appointed him agriculture secretary.

An hour's conversation last week demonstrated that he is as deeply engaged as ever -- and working on a variety of fronts. His chief concern, as it was as governor, is the condition of rural America, which is facing challenges not so much because of the Great Recession but as a result of long-term trends. Ninety percent of the counties faced with persistent poverty are in rural America, Vilsack says.

Those trends -- an aging, less educated and declining population with an average annual income $11,000 below that of their urban neighbors -- are not because farmers are hurting. Indeed, farm income is up 9 percent over last year, and farm exports are at nearly record levels.

But most of those living in rural America are not farmers. And so the formula for boosting those counties includes an emphasis on exploiting their energy resources, creating local food markets for local products, expanding broadband and promoting outdoor recreation.

One feature Vilsack brought from Iowa is his plan to set aside a small portion of the economic development funds to be channeled into eight or 10 counties that have done their own bottom-up planning and to come up with a blueprint embracing all elements of the community. "We did it in Iowa," Vilsack says, "so I know it works."

That is the main game, but there are other projects as well, from the improvement of the nutritional value of school lunches to the assistance that he is providing to Afghanistan's ministry of agriculture. Vilsack has 64 of his people working in that ministry, trying to convince Afghan farmers that, rather than growing poppies for the opium trade, they can find more profits in pomegranates and grapes.

Ironically, far from being insensitive to racial issues, as Breitbart implied, Vilsack has worked assiduously to clean up the remnants of the historic lawsuits filed against his department by blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, farmers and female employees. If the Senate ever clears the appropriation, that goal, too, may be part of his worthy legacy.

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