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 August 6, 2007 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5767

The consolations of history

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Knowing a little history is a great time-saver. One need only read the headline over a "news" story to realize it's an old story, and feel free to go on to the sports page.

For example: "Panel labels 2 Bush aides in contempt/ Vote seeks House citation regarding prosecutor firing" —Page 1, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 26, 2007.

To which anyone with even a smattering of American history might respond: There they go again.

How long have such subpoenas been used to embarrass American administrations? Well, that kind of story was probably front-page news when John Marshall issued a subpoena for Thomas Jefferson's correspondence in the Aaron Burr treason trial.

The script had been refined many times — indeed, it had become a classic performance — by the time Joe McCarthy's notorious Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was issuing subpoenas left and left in 1953.

The cast of characters changes from era to era, but the tug-of-war between the executive, judicial and legislative branches of the federal government has been going on since there was a federal government.

The founding fathers designed it that way, so that each branch of the government could keep the others from dominating the whole constitutional system, and therefore the people.

Checks and balances, the civics textbooks used to call it. It's not news but it's always drama when the subpoenas are being rolled out. You could almost hear the drum roll behind the opening paragraph of that front-page story:

"WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to seek contempt of Congress citations against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and one-time counsel Harriet Miers, setting up a constitutional confrontation over the firings of federal prosecutors."

The good ol' Washington Post ran the subpoena story on its front page, too, and its tone, too, was fairly melodramatic. The administration was said to be making a "bold new assertion of executive authority" by resisting these subpoenas, and various constitutional "experts" were quoted calling its reasoning "astonishing … breath-taking … Nixonian." There was talk of a "constitutional crisis."

Crisis? Confrontation? This is more like an old, old dance in which the partners know their steps very well. Congress demands testimony, documents, evidence or anything else that might embarrass an administration. Then the administration declines to provide it, citing what has come to be known as the doctrine of executive privilege.

This minuet has been going on a least since 1796, when a president named George Washington declined to give the House of Representatives documents relating to the negotiation of John Jay's unpopular if prudent treaty with the British. And the precedent was set.

It was set for a good reason. How equal would supposedly co-equal branches of the government be if the legislative were given access to the candid, confidential discussions of the executive? About as equal as they would be if the White House had access to all the confidential discussions of members of Congress and their aides. And how long would discussions in the White House remain candid if presidential aides knew that what they tell the boss in confidence might not remain confidential?

It was Washington's far-seeing young aide, Alexander Hamilton, who explained in Federalist Paper 70 that a unitary executive branch headed by one accountable official was essential to effective republican government. And it was Hamilton who, as the first president's most trusted adviser, understood that the principle of executive privilege flowed logically from the separation of powers in the Constitution that he had helped shape, and then argued for in the Federalist Papers.

Washington had the good judgment, as usual, to take his brilliant aide's advice, and the doctrine of executive privilege was born. It would become a tradition. The wisdom of our Federalist forbears tends to be obscured at partisan times like these (and theirs) but it still beckons like a light. If we would but see.

A number of presidents have invoked executive privilege over the years. Not just George Washington in 1796 but Presidents Jefferson, Monroe, Jackson, Tyler, Polk, Fillmore, Buchanan, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Cleveland, both Roosevelts, Coolidge. Hoover, and Truman. And, in more recent times, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

They all understood that the power to subpoena is the power to destroy, and that they owed a duty not just to their own presidency but to future ones to fight such intrusions.

Speaking of Messrs. Nixon and Clinton, both Congress and the courts have every right to use subpoenas in order to obtain evidence of a possible crime — like Richard Nixon's White House tapes or Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony. Hence the current attempt to manufacture a crime, or at least a scandal, out of this president's decision to replace eight federal prosecutors, all political appointees who were serving at the president's pleasure.

If the Democratic majorities in Congress think they've got the goods on this president, or on his hapless attorney general, then let them begin impeachment proceedings and prove that high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed. But as Richard Nixon infamously said on tape, and Bill Clinton demonstrated at excruciating length, "Perjury is an awful hard rap to prove."

In place of impeachment proceedings, what Congress is producing is a lot of overheated rhetoric. Exhibit No. 1 may be the letter to the White House from John Conyers and Patrick Leahy, chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Its most questionable assertion: "The veil of secrecy you have attempted to pull over the White House by withholding documents and witnesses is unprecedented…."

Unprecedented? Tell it to George Washington.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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