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 January 7, 2009 / 11 Teves 5769

Team Obama dabbles in drama

By Roger Simon

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For an outfit known for its lack of drama, Team Obama has become a downright thrill show.

Bill Richardson! Rick Warren! Rod Blagojevich! Roland Burris! Talk about a ride through the fun house.

President-elect Barack Obama doesn't bear responsibility for all these speed bumps on the road to a better, happier, more respected America, but he certainly bears responsibility for some of them.

Obama's selection of Bill Richardson for secretary of commerce didn't seem like an awful idea. Richardson certainly has accomplished some things in his life, and he wanted an administration job really, really badly. He wanted to be vice president and didn't get it. He wanted to be secretary of state and didn't get it. So he lowered his sights to "Anything in the Cabinet Whatsoever," and he got it.

Exactly why Obama felt he had to give Richardson something is unclear. Maybe it was an act of compassion. Maybe Richardson had threatened to hold his breath until he turned blue. In any case, he got the nomination.

But Richardson clearly did not get the vetting that is supposed to go along with it.

A few weeks ago, I bumped into Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who told me about his own vetting for vice president this time around and all the forms he had to fill out and how he had a personal interview with Obama.

Obama asked Bayh if, in essence, there were any skeletons in his closet.

Bayh mentioned a minor incident that didn't really touch on him directly and also said that he had once tried marijuana. That was it, Bayh said.

Obama looked at him. "You really haven't had much of a life, have you?" Obama said.

Both men laughed. One hopes, however, that the vetting process for high office goes beyond what the potential nominee tells you.

In the case of Bill Richardson, however, it seems not to have.

Jonathan Martin of Politico recently reported: "Barack Obama's transition team pressed Bill Richardson about a federal probe into 'pay to play' allegations against his office. ... But a Democratic source said Obama's questioners came away empty-handed."

Jake Tapper of ABC News recently reported that "officials on the Obama transition team feel that, before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract toward a major financial contributor."

See something slightly off-kilter in both of those examples? I do. Maybe it's because I was a criminal courts reporter for several years, but in my experience, people with something to hide often hide it.

Hey, call me cynical.

The transition team "pressed" Richardson and came away "empty-handed." The transition team felt he was "not forthcoming." But he got the nomination anyway? How did that happen?

How come somebody didn't say, "Gov. Richardson, we think you are very well-qualified for the position of commerce secretary, but so are about 11,000 other people in these United States, and we think we can find somebody who is a little more forthcoming."

Or how come somebody didn't say to Obama: "Before we name this guy, let's keep looking into this. After all, a late appointment is better than an embarrassing appointment."

So blame this drama on Team Obama.

Then there is the matter of Rick Warren, the pastor of the Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., whom Obama has invited to give the invocation at his inauguration. This is no small thing. Even though Warren preaches at a megachurch, this will undoubtedly be the largest audience he has ever addressed.

Warren has certainly done good works in his life, including fighting global poverty and AIDS, but he also was a prominent supporter of California's Proposition 8, which outlaws gay marriage in the state. "This is not a political issue," Warren wrote in a church bulletin. "It is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about."

Obama opposes gay marriage, but he also opposed Proposition 8, calling it "divisive and discriminatory."

So why did Obama give a prominent role in his inauguration to Warren? It is understandable in terms of raw politics. The Democrats want to reach out to evangelical voters (Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean has been meeting with groups of evangelicals for years), and Warren is considered a moderate by many. So why not toss him a speech? After all, 2012 is right around the corner.

But the angry reaction of the gay community and others caught the Obama people flat-footed. They didn't fully appreciate how volatile Proposition 8 had become as an issue.

Nor was Obama's defense especially satisfying. Obama said that Warren had invited Obama to Saddleback Church to give a speech, and now Obama was inviting Warren to speak.

But this isn't just any speech. It is an inaugural invocation, and it has huge symbolic importance. And the new administration is going to be on tenterhooks until it hears what Warren actually plans on saying.

So for this drama, blame Obama.

As for Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, neither has learned the difference between being spectacular and being a spectacle.

More on them in the future, but Obama has shown a wise amount of distance from both. Their drama cannot be laid at his feet. But, unavoidably, he is going to have to bear their burden on his shoulders.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate