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December 2, 2014

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 Oct. 6, 2009/ 18 Tishrei 5770

What I suspect is that the president is probably a clinical narcissist

By Marty Peretz




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Frankly, I don't care that Chicago lost its bid for the Olympics.  Really, I don't.



But maybe the president's trip to Copenhagen was useful since his top battle commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, traveling from England to Denmark, had the opportunity to meet Barack Obama on Air Force One.  Their talking with each other is, after all, a rarity.  In fact, Obama and McChrystal had spoken but once since the general took on AfPak as his turf in early June 2009. With whom, then, is Obama conversing? And how independent of mind on military matters are they? Or are they of the touchy-feely persuasion?



Speaking in diplomatese, the White House press office graded the Obama-McChrystal conversation as "productive," which means neither a disaster nor especially gratifying. My guess is that, in this context, it actually means not impolite. Their differences have been a big topic in the news, and the standoff is clear: McChrystal wants more troops and has a strategy to mobilize them; the president wants less, many many less, and to get Kabul off the nightly news. During the campaign, he spoke of the American involvement in Afghanistan as a war of necessity rather than a war of choice, like Iraq, which was made to seem like a war of sinful desire. No longer.

If the president is true to his essential beliefs about foreign affairs, Obama actually wants out but can't design a clean exodus. His party swallowed deeply when it played along with his election strategy of pitting Iraq against Afghanistan. At rallies, the candidate's mention of a free Afghanistan was never an applause line. But now, nine months into the administration's life, there is much Democratic rumbling in the Capitol cloakrooms against more troops on the AfPak war front, the demand for which everyone knew was on its way, and even against maintaining the present troop level. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a man full of himself, will be nearly as puffy and cantankerous with Obama as he was with George Bush.



So, while the president did make time for a rather brief conversation with McChrystal in Copenhagen, the real purpose of his rushed trans-Atlantic flight was to grease the International Olympic Committee into naming Chicago as epicenter of the 2016 games. If you read closely in the newspapers, it wasn't as if Chicagoans were so ecstatic for the prize. Having the Olympics in town often turns out to be a big bust, burdening its residents, businesses and taxes for years thereafter. And, since the president is so much against national chauvinism, he might have contemplated that the games turn out to be among the most ritualized examples of hate on the planet, with the added cost of moving the poor around to make way for the rich visitors. When I was in Capetown, South Africa this summer, I saw from afar the still-being-built stadium for the 2010 World Cup soccer games. Now, South Africans are mad for soccer. But the talk in the street was against the expenditure, which comes to billions of rand and hundreds of millions of dollars even before anybody faces up to the inevitable cost over-runs. How many shanty-towns could have been replaced with this money? Or how about putting a water supply into these jungles of human refuse?



Anyway, whatever thought Obama may have given to these matters about Chicago, Valerie Jarrett had his ear. (The last time we know she had his ear was when she convinced him to bestow the National Medal of Freedom on that nice frigid anti-Semite, Mary Robinson. Beware!)



The front-page lead headline in the weekend edition of the Financial Times said it much too clearly for Obama's vanity: "Rio in carnival mood after Brazil beats Obama to the 2016 Olympics [1]." By contrast, it was a huge triumph for Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has long created his persona as an antagonist to the U.S. Not a Hugo Chavez, mind you, but an antagonist nonetheless. And not a danger to foreign investors. Lula actually held the line against the new Latin cult of socialism.



As the FT went on to say, the IOC "delivered an astonishing snub" to the president "by eliminating Chicago in the first round of voting." Chicago was dumped before Madrid was dumped and before Tokyo was dumped. Had the Obama folk not done any canvassing which would have alerted them to the fact that they were jet-setting to a humiliation?  Maybe Michelle's presence added to the over-confident sense of invincibility. Moreover, how could they lose with Oprah Winfrey in tow?



So this question arises: If Obama could not get Chicago over the finish line in Copenhagen, which was a test only of his charms, how will he persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons capacity or the Arabs, to whom he has tilted (we are told) only tactically, to sit down without their 60 year-old map as guide to what they demand from Israel.



What I suspect is that the president is probably a clinical narcissist. This is not necessarily a bad condition if one maintains for oneself what the psychiatrists call an "optimal margin of illusion," that is, the margin of hope that allows you to work. But what if his narcissism blinds him to the issues and problems in the world and the inveterate foes of the nation that are not susceptible to his charms?



Chicago will survive its disappointments and Obama will, as well. It is the other stage sets on which the president struts--like he strutted in Cairo and at the United Nations--that concern me.



I know that the president believes himself a good man. My nervy query to him is: "Does he believe America to be a good country?"

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

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Martin Peretz is the editor-in-chief of the leading liberal journal of thought, The New Republic.


© 2009, Martin Peretz

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