Home
In this issue
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 Feb. 25, 2011 21 Adar I, 5771

Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There have been worse times to start a new job in Washington. When Abraham Lincoln arrived in the capital 150 years ago this week, for example, the South had already seceded.

Jay Carney, the new White House press secretary, didn't have anything quite so dire on his hands when he took over the briefing room podium last week. But President Obama has put his new spokesman in an unenviable position: He is the mouthpiece of an administration that has painfully little to say.

The Middle East and North Africa are erupting in violence. A shutdown of the federal government looms. State governments have been disrupted by noisy protests. And, yet, the White House has been inexplicably passive.

CNN's Ed Henry asked why it has taken Obama so long to speak out about the violence in Libya.

"The president puts out statements on paper sometimes," Carney explained.

AP Radio's Mark Smith pointed out that "since your briefing began, West Texas crude topped $100 a barrel. Is this just a matter of watching, or is there anything the U.S. government can do?"

Carney opted for the former. "I don't want to speculate about where prices will go, or any other potential things in the future," he replied. "We're just monitoring it."

ABC's Ann Compton asked about whether the state budget standoffs would become a national phenomenon.

"I'm not going to speculate on his behalf or mine about where this debate is going," the press secretary said.

Carney even portrayed as a passive gesture the administration's announcement that it would no longer defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act. "The administration had no choice," he said. "It was under a court-imposed deadline to make this decision."

The passivity wasn't the fault of the new spokesman. He merely had the uncomfortable task of articulating a coherent policy in the absence of one. The problem was most glaring on the Libyan uprising, which the president has handled with the detachment of a powerless observer.

Finally, after days without speaking publicly about Libya, Obama addressed the cameras Wednesday evening. The president's statement was admirably strong in its denunciation of the Libyan regime's "outrageous" and "unacceptable" violence against its people. And he repeated the language of an earlier, written statement about the "universal rights" of the Libyan people to peaceful assembly.

But when it came to articulating American policy in the region, the president was again vague. He said he asked his advisers to "prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis." He said he was continuing to determine "how the international community can most effectively support the peaceful transition to democracy in both Tunisia and in Egypt." He ignored a reporter's question about what action he would take on Libya.

That lack of clarity probably means his spokesman can expect more of the questions he got during his Wednesday briefing.

ABC's Jake Tapper asked if Carney could "articulate a policy that the Obama administration has for this sweeping wave of protests."

Carney offered a few bromides about "the universal rights of the citizens" and such.

Tapper pointed out that these are principles, not policies. "Is it fair to call this policy, as it's formulated, ad hoc or ad libbed?" Tapper inquired.

The press secretary did not think this would be fair -- but he had difficulty convincing the press corps.

"If there is a clear set of principles, why has the president chosen to not enunciate them for several days now?" asked CNN's Ed Henry.

"So it's fair to say we are in the midst of, sort of, changing, reworking our Middle East policy?" asked NBC's Chuck Todd.

Carney retreated to more talk about timeless principles. And that's about the best he can do -- until the president devises a policy for him to talk about.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on Dana Milbank's column by clicking here.


Previously:



02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group