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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 30, 2010 18 Tamuz 5770

Kagan's Vapid and Hollow Charade

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Few events in government are as consciously theatrical as a Supreme Court confirmation. The senators are grandly arrayed in the front of the room, lacking only togas to convey their sense of austere dignity.

The audience is huddled in the rear, and between them is the nominee, sitting at a small desk -- facing a motley crew of crouched photographers -- alone, though carefully rehearsed.

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who years ago called such hearings "a vapid and hollow charade," helped ensure they were exactly that this week.

She also once said of the hearings that a "repetition of platitudes has replaced discussion of viewpoints" and "such hearings serve little educative function, except perhaps to reinforce lessons of cynicism that citizens often glean from government."

So what are we to make of her opening statement, one that could have served as an entry for an American Legion high school essay contest?

"I will make no pledges this week other than this one," Kagan said, "that if confirmed, I will remember and abide by all these lessons: I will listen hard, to every party before the court and to each of my colleagues. I will work hard. And I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle and in accordance with law."

Vapid? A repetition of platitudes? Naw.

And how about the senators, who could have done some real fact-finding instead of reinforcing "lessons of cynicism"? They chose reinforcing cynicism.

Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama danced around the ring with Kagan over military recruiting at Harvard (where students are apparently falling all over themselves to get into uniform), but in the end he didn't lay a glove on her, being reduced to saying her statements were "in variance with reality" without having really proved it.

Sessions was followed by grocery store heir Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, whose first question was -- and I am not making this up -- "Please tell us why you want to serve on the Supreme Court and what excites you about the job."

OK, show of hands: Did he come up with that himself, or did his staff have to write it for him?

One was left wondering if the public would not be better served by forcing nominees to appear on "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation" and "This Week" -- or at the very least "Larry King Live" and "The View" -- instead of going through the current process?

Would we really learn less? Could we possibly learn less?

Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah began his questioning by saying to Kagan, "You're doing well" and then asked her to answer his questions "yes or no to the extent you can." For the next half hour, she answered not a single question "yes" or "no."

After one extended exchange, Hatch said, "We have to have a little back-and-forth every once in a while otherwise this place would be as boring as hell."

It was anyway, though the bizarre ramblings of lame duck Democrat (sort of) Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania did have its moments, though nothing even close to the pubic hair on the Coke can weirdness of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991.

According to a Los Angeles Times profile of Kagan, some of her former colleagues at the Harvard Law School said she could be "warm, obsequious, charming, intimidating and sometimes temperamental."

Kagan did not show most of those qualities to the senators (though she did make a funny remark about probably being in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Day, "like all Jews").

Instead, she chose the qualities she has rehearsed for weeks: cool, calm and safe.

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