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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 August 20, 2007 / 6 Elul, 5767

It was the summer of 1980 . . .

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Today is my father's yahrtzeit, the anniversary of his death. It's the custom to light a candle and say the Kaddish. The prayer takes me back to the summer of 1980. The cancer my father would never acknowledge was shrinking him away — just as the record-setting drought that summer was shrinking away the trees, the crops, the grass. It all seemed to fit together.


Each weekend we would pile the kids into the old Ford station wagon and drive down to visit him. It was exactly 184 miles to the house in Shreveport. That's where the governor's office found me one Sunday. There was an election on, and Bill Clinton was asking what he ought to do about the Cuban refugees arriving at Chaffee.


What could I tell him that I hadn't already written? He'd said just the right thing when the first Cubans arrived in May: "The Cuban refugees," he had emphasized, "came to this country in flight from a communist dictatorship. I know that everyone in this state sympathizes and identifies with them in their desire for freedom. I will do all I can to fulfill whatever possibilities the president imposes on Arkansas to facilitate the refugees' resettlement in this country."


It was a promise, but it proved only a Clinton promise. The summer of 1980 set in, it was an election year, there was some trouble at Chaffee, tempers grew short, and the governor was no longer volunteering to do whatever the president — it was Jimmy Carter then — asked.


By September, Bill Clinton was furiously trying to out-demagogue his GOP rival, Frank White, on what would come to be called The Cuban Issue. At one point he would threaten to call out the National Guard if that danged Carter sent any more Cubans to Arkansas.


But this was still the middle of that long hot summer. Bill Clinton wasn't desperate yet, and he was asking me what he should say.


I remember standing in the hallway of the house at 544 Forrest Avenue, by one of those old telephone nooks that used to be built into the wall, listening to my immigrant father breathe in and out in the next room, slowly, laboriously. On the phone, the governor of the state explained that a lot of people were growing uneasy with the presence of These People in Arkansas.


I understood. He was looking for some politically savvy way out of having said the right thing months back. If it was a morally acceptable way, so much the better, but any way would do. First things first: Win this election. I felt like Jack Burden in "All the King's Men" listening to Willie Stark explain the facts of political life.


All I could do was to tell him to do the right thing — and remind voters that these newcomers would soon enough be Americans, too, and that they and their children would never cease to be grateful for this country. As the son of immigrants who had themselves found a home in America — and never let their children forget it — how could I say anything different?


I don't think it was the advice the governor was looking for, since he certainly didn't follow it. Surely he would have lost the election if he'd taken it. He wound up losing the election anyway, but only after competing with his successful opponent for the low ground.


That was the last time Bill Clinton asked me for any advice, to my relief. Newspapermen should not be giving politicians advice. Our only concern should be the readers. It was not a comfortable conversation, telling somebody something you knew he felt was of absolutely no use.


That was the last election Bill Clinton would lose. It was as if he had learned something in 1980: Never offend a single voter. Take no political risks. Doing the right thing isn't as important as doing the politic thing.


My father would die August 18, 1980, or, by the Jewish calendar, the 6th of Elul, 5740. I think about that summer every year about this time, and feel the heat once again. And also the elation that goes with the peaceful end of a long struggle, the freeing of the spirit from pain and all things earthly, including politics.

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