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 April 28, 2011 24 Nissan, 5771

Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?

By Dana Milbank

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama's birthday, according to Hawaiian long-form birth certificate No. 61-10641, is Aug. 4. This should not be confused with his official birther day, which, after the peculiar events of Wednesday morning, will henceforth be observed on April 27.

Before walking into the White House briefing room to talk to the world about the release of his almost 50-year-old birth certificate, Obama paused in the press office to watch NBC's Today Show, where Matt Lauer was talking with White House reporter Chuck Todd.

"It's an extraordinary moment -- kind of shocking and surreal," Todd told Lauer. "This statement by the president is going to be about the birth certificate, not about these changes — the announcement about the new defense secretary, Leon Panetta, and the new head of the CIA, David Petraeus."

A few seconds later, Obama walked into the briefing room — and began by complaining to Todd, sitting in the first row. "I was just back there listening to Chuck," the president said. "He was saying, 'It's amazing that he's not going to be talking about national security.' I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it."

Sorry to contradict you on your birther day, Mr. President, but you're wrong. NBC had opted to go live with Obama's remarks because it had originally expected an announcement of his new national security team, now scheduled for Thursday.

Instead, Obama decided to draw the nation's attention to the conspiracy theory suggesting that he was not born in America. He was stooping to address this oft-disproved canard, he said, because the media had turned it into the nation's No. 1 news story.

"Now, normally I would not comment on something like this," he said. "But two weeks ago," when he and the Republicans outlined their budgets, "the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that are represented here."

Sorry again, Mr. President, but, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which tracks news coverage, the birther story accounted for all of 4 percent of coverage that week. The top issue was the economy — which claimed 39 percent of coverage — and, in particular, Obama's budget speech.

Obama did not address the real source of the birthers' rebirth: the vanity candidacy of Donald Trump. Trump's surprisingly popular bid for the Republican presidential nomination, based largely on spreading the birther libel, contributed to the belief among Obama's foes that he was foreign born; in a new USA Today/Gallup poll , 43 percent of Republicans thought so.

It was reasonable for the White House to counteract the conspiracy types by releasing the original certificate (Obama long ago released the standard form Hawaii considers to be a legal birth certificate.) Less evident is why Obama felt he needed to lower himself by appearing in the briefing room, escorted by his chief of staff, to defend himself against the birthers.

As Obama acknowledged, he won't ever satisfy a certain "segment of people." For racial and other sinister reasons, they are determined to view him as illegitimate. Indeed, Trump, who held a victory news conference minutes before Obama's appearance, shifted cynically and seamlessly to a new line of attack on Obama's legitimacy.

At a stop in New Hampshire, he first congratulated himself for forcing Obama to release the birth certificate ("I am very proud of myself"), then raised suspicions that it might be a forgery ("Experts will look at it") before pivoting to suggest that Obama is an academic fraud. "The word is, according to what I've read, was that he was a terrible student," Trump alleged. "I don't know why he doesn't release his records."

Obama has potentially released Republicans from a trap: The birther issue had been splitting the party and turning the GOP presidential race into a circus. In a briefing preceding Obama's statement, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, accompanied by the White House counsel and press secretary, allowed that it was in Obama's "long-term political interests to allow this birther debate to dominate discussion in the Republican Party." But, Pfeiffer said, Obama "thought it was bad for the country."

Reporters, who hadn't been expecting a dump of vital records, asked questions as if they were notaries. "You've got two certified copies? . . . "Does that have a stamp?"

Then came a better question: "Why does this rise to the level of a presidential statement?"

Pfeiffer, like his boss, blamed the press rather than The Donald. "It's not for me to say why mainstream media organizations began to cover this debate," he said. "They'll have to answer that for themselves."

On the same podium a few minutes later, Obama picked up the same theme when he urged his listeners not to "get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers."

Speaking to "the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press," the president said: "We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do."

The president then flew off to Chicago to be on Oprah.

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04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation

© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group