In this issue

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 Feb. 15, 2008 / 9 Adar I 5768

Obama: Old Wine, New Bottle

By Mona Charen

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It says a great deal about a liberal Democrat that he does not outrage conservative Republicans. To mention the Clintons, Howard Dean, Al Gore, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry to this crowd is to inflict hypertension. But I, for one, can sit through an entire speech by Barack Obama without flinching. I can admire his poise, his fluid delivery, and his self-confident, dignified presence.

Part of the reason Obama doesn't send his political adversaries up the wall is that he employs the language of unity and patriotism. He is clearly the most gifted speaker to grace American politics since Ronald Reagan. And as with Reagan, there is a basic decency to Obama that blunts dislike.

But as he moves into the lead for the Democratic nomination, however much we may delight in seeing the air deflate from the Clinton dirigible, we must ask: What would a President Obama look like?

Much of his rhetoric is lighter than air — almost content-free. It's the past versus the future, hope over fear, one nation not two, yes we can, turn the page, and so forth. But when you get past the music and really focus on the lyrics, Obama emerges as an utterly conventional, down-the-line liberal Democrat. He claims to be all about the future, but his policy ideas are about as modern as disco and the leisure suit.

In pitching his universal health care idea, Obama asserts that Americans spend twice as much per capita on health care as Canadians or Germans, yet "our outcomes are not better, in some cases they are worse." He is correct about per capita spending, but not about results. As evidence of our poor outcomes, he cites infant mortality statistics from the state of Mississippi (and only Mississippi, our poorest state) to suggest that infant mortality rates are rising.

The use of infant mortality as a measure of health care quality has been shown to be unreliable. Infant mortality is closely tied to social factors like illegitimacy, maternal drinking and other misbehavior far more than to the availability of health services. Further, cross-cultural comparisons are problematic, as countries define the term differently. In some countries, a newborn must breathe and show other signs of life before a death will be counted in the statistics. In America, every baby delivered (including severely premature infants) counts. Further, as US News & World Report has noted, "In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth." In the U.S., we count them all. Besides, infant mortality is also closely tied to multiple births. Because so many Americans are resorting to (expensive) fertility treatments, our rate of multiple births has skyrocketed in recent years.

Obama always summarizes his health care pitch with the dubious claim that if we just simplify record keeping and streamline health delivery, we can save "$100 to 125 billion per year, enough to provide health insurance to every man, woman, and child in the country."

That's dubious, to say the least. It's the no trade-offs necessary happy talk he peddles on many issues. We don't have to make difficult choices about energy. If we simply increase required miles per gallon to 45, "we'd have to import zero oil from the Middle East." And echoing Al Gore, Obama urges that green technology will be a great source of new wealth as American ingenuity devises improved products.

Well maybe, but if environmentally friendly products were great wealth generators, why would government need to subsidize them? And while Obama doesn't shrink from recommending new taxes, he assures listeners that these will be paid only by the rich. Is this new or cloyingly familiar? He who taxes Peter to pay Paul can usually count on the vote of Paul.

The war on terror scarcely exists in the world Obama traces for his audiences. Instead, he focuses relentlessly on what he regards as the misguided war in Iraq. "We need to do more than end the war," he intones, "we need to end the mindset that got us into war." We know which mindset Sen. Obama will bring to foreign policy — the "diplomacy only" style last employed to such great effect by Jimmy Carter.

"Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom," Obama offers in one of his better lines. But a little worldliness would not be amiss for the golden-tongued senator. All of that soaring rhetoric is supported by policies that are so old they creak. Obama may be shiny, bright and new, but his ideas are suffering from senility.

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 on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate