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 Oct. 5, 2006 / 13 Tishrei 5767

Public praise is fair game

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last month, Virginia Republicans claimed to be shocked — shocked! — that Democratic Senate candidate James Webb, a former Republican who served as Navy secretary and assistant defense secretary during the Reagan administration, would run a TV ad showing a clip of the former president extolling Webb in a speech 21 years ago. Now Democrats in Massachusetts are having a similar attack of the vapors. They profess to be scandalized by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey's new commercial, which includes clips of Democratic politicians praising her at a recent bill-signing ceremony.

File both complaints under: Spare us. It's tiresome enough to hear politicians denounce "negative campaigning" whenever their opponents criticize them. Are they now going to cry foul over compliments too?

The Webb and Healey campaigns have refused to pull the spots in question (which can be seen on their respective websites). And rightly so. Both ads fall squarely within the bounds of truth-in-advertising. If anyone deserves to be whacked, it is the complainers, for making much ado about absolutely nothing.

In Webb's ad, Reagan is seen addressing the Naval Academy's graduating class of 1985. "One man who sat where you do now is another member of our administration," he says. "Assistant Secretary of Defense James Webb — the most decorated member of his class. James's gallantry as a Marine officer in Vietnam won him the Navy Cross and other decorations."

That brought a protest from Webb's Republican opponent, US Senator George Allen, as well as a request from Nancy Reagan, via the Reagan Presidential Foundation, not to use the 1985 footage. "Using the president's name, image, or likeness implies endorsement, which is neither fair nor respectful of any candidate," the foundation's letter said.

Webb is running for the Senate as an antiwar Democrat, and there is no reason to believe that Reagan would have endorsed his candidacy. But the ad doesn't imply that he would have. Reagan's words are seen and heard in context, and even Virginians who couldn't care less about politics are probably aware that the Gipper, who died two years ago, hasn't endorsed anybody in the Senate race. On the other hand, if Reagan admired Webb enough to salute his wartime heroism and government service, why shouldn't voters know about it?

Even more meritless is the demand by a clutch of Massachusetts Democrats that Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey yank a TV spot in which they are seen praising her efforts to push through a tough new law on sexual predators. One of those Democrats, state Senator Steven Baddour, declares in the ad that Healey "deserves a great deal of admiration and respect" for her work on the bill — yet complains now that his words have "been twisted to appear as though I am endorsing Kerry Healey, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth."

But Healey's commercial twists nothing. Its opening words precisely set the scene: "Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006," the announcer says. "Kerry Healey signs historic sex-offender bill. Democrats praise Healey's leadership." Several of those Democrats are then shown doing just that.

Unlike Reagan's comments about Webb, the Democrats' praise for Healey was uttered not two decades but two weeks ago, in the midst of a heated gubernatorial campaign, by experienced politicians who knew exactly what they were doing. Baddour and the others may claim to support Democratic nominee Deval Patrick, but that wasn't the impression they gave on Sept. 21. As the nonpartisan State House News Service reported that day, the bill-signing event "quickly turned into a contest over which urban Democrat could lavish Healey with more praise." Some of those Democrats even used the occasion to comment on Patrick's left-wing politics, and to air concerns that a Democratic victory would, as one of them put it, "bring Massachusetts back to . . . the Mike Dukakis era."

Indeed, so fulsome was the acclaim for Healey that day that some State House reporters assumed they were seeing the emergence of a Democrats-for-Healey committee. Were they? Sure, Baddour & Co. loudly swear fealty to Patrick now. But they're the ones who made Healey's TV spot possible in the first place, then stirred up enough controversy to guarantee it plenty of free publicity. The idea that none of that was intentional is a little tough to swallow.

While political junkies try to figure out the angles, all that Massachusetts voters need to know about Healey's ad, and Virginia voters about Webb's, is that the words they quote are presented in context, and were not repudiated by those who spoke them. Whether they like it or not, what politicians say publicly is in the public domain. Even when they say something nice.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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