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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 June 8, 2010 / 26 Sivan 5770

From photo-op to OOPS!

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama went to a photo-op at a trucking firm in Hyattsville, Maryland Friday (6/4), and made a fool of himself.

The addition of 431,000 jobs in May shows "the economy is getting stronger by the day," he said.

This was a remarkably stupid thing to say, since the employment report issued that morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was so disappointing the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points on the news.

Nonfarm payroll employment did grow by 431,000 -- but 411,000 were temporary jobs with the Census Bureau. Private sector employment grew by just 41,000, the BLS said. That represents a 75 percent decline in private sector job growth from April, which indicates a slowing, not a growing, economy.

The economy needs to add at least 100,000 private sector jobs each month to keep pace with population growth, so ground was lost in May.

The photo op in Hyattsville had been scheduled because the White House was expecting private sector employment to grow by about 150,000. But when the bad news came out, apparently neither the president nor his staff could adjust his prepared remarks in time to keep Mr. Obama from sounding silly.

There's been a lot of that lately. President Obama's policies have been unpopular for quite some while. Now his sluggish reaction to the oil spill in the Gulf has some doubting his competence, and the burgeoning jobsgate affair has some doubting his integrity.

Republicans, understandably, stress that someone in the White House may have committed a felony if federal jobs were offered to Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania and to former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff in exchange for dropping out of Democratic primaries.

Democratic political professionals have other concerns.

The first is that the meddling in the Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania and Colorado was gratuitous. Mr. Sestak and Mr. Romanoff were as likely to support the Obama agenda as Sens. Arlen Specter and Michael Bennet, and, arguably, are stronger general election candidates.

The second is that the meddling was so clumsy. In the case of Mr. Romanoff, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina left an email trail that is very difficult to explain away.

The third is that the meddling was so ineffective. Neither White House blandishments nor White House threats (if any were made) induced Mr. Sestak or Mr. Romanoff to drop out.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the president was "unaware" of the overtures made to Mr. Romanoff. Mr. Obama's performance at his press conference May 27, at which he professed not to know whether the woman he had appointed to head the Minerals Management Service resigned, or was fired, makes Mr. Gibbs' statement, alas, plausible.

The president and his senior aides are novices on the national stage. Some missteps in, say, pursuit of Middle East peace or in response to the oil spill in the Gulf were inevitable. But these guys were supposed to be good at politics. The evidence suggests they stink at it.

Consider the photo op in Hyattsville. When the bad news came in from the BLS that morning, the event could have been cancelled (a ready made excuse would have been to expand his visit to the Gulf), or Mr. Obama's remarks adjusted so he didn't sound as if he were living in a parallel universe. But it didn't happen.

The fault may be chiefly the president's. He doesn't seem to respond well to changing circumstances if a teleprompter isn't handy. But this reeks of bad staff work.

Reasonable people can differ on what the president should have done in the wake of the Gulf oil spill. But he certainly could have appeared to be doing more. Mr. Obama's visit to the Gulf Friday (6/4) was his third in the 46 days since the crisis began. When normally friendly journalists point out President Bush had visited the region eight times during the same number of days after Katrina, you have a perceptual problem that easily could have been avoided.

Mr. Obama probably would rather play golf, or talk basketball with Marv Albert, or attend Paul McCartney concerts than do the things presidents are expected to do. But a president like that needs a staff of handlers, not enablers.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Obama is up to the job. It's clear his staff isn't.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly

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