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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 27, 2008 / 26 Menachem-Av 5768

Identity theft: The case of the talented Mr. Biden

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama's beautifully choreographed campaign, from the stunning debut in Iowa to the cheering masses in Berlin, may have just made its fatal error, and its name is Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., a U.S. senator from Delaware. Even though he once confused himself with The Hon. Neil Kinnock, MP.


It seems Lord Kinnock's rags-to-power story so entranced a younger Sen. Biden that he, uh, borrowed the Welshman's words (and whole speaking style) during his first bust of a presidential campaign in 1988.


That outing fizzled, like Sen. Biden's presidential campaign this year, but this time he's won one heck of a consolation prize: Barack Obama's nod for second place on the Democratic ticket. Congratulations, Sen. Biden. G-d help you, Sen. Obama. For there's nothing like a presidential — and vice presidential — campaign to expose every embarrassing detail of a candidate's life. Including any alter egos he's developed along the way.


Have we ever had an admitted plagiarist as a vice president? Well, it could be argued, though not very convincingly, that every politician prominent enough to have a speechwriter, or even a whole stable of them, is taking credit for somebody else's words. But that's no longer scandalous; it's common practice, and the speechwriters — far from considering themselves victims — may be flattered that theirs are the words The Candidate chooses to use.


One president — Franklin Roosevelt — was so proud of his speechwriters' words that he went to great lengths to leave the impression for future historians that he himself had written them, laboriously copying his First Inaugural over in his own hand. The only thing he had to fear was ... that his speechwriters would get credit for their own words.


Every writer, even a writer manque like a journalist, can well understand the temptations of plagiarism, as in the phrase that occurs to some of us almost automatically when we read some rare piece of well-turned commentary: "Gosh, I wish I'd written that!" What disturbed about Joe Biden in 1988 was that he didn't just steal Lord Kinnock's words but the Briton's whole life story.


There's a point at which plagiarism stops being scandalous and becomes just pitiable, and Joe Biden passed it 20 years ago. How sad. The self has become an equivocal commodity in the modern age, but can you think of another politician who's appropriated not just another's words but his life?


It's not as if this were the only case in which the talented Mr. Biden played a double role. With him, it's a pattern. He's such a talented shmoozer/glad-hander/salesman that he may actually believe what he's telling you at the time before turning around and stabbing you in the back. Recommended reading: Clarence Thomas' memoir, "My Grandfather's Son," specifically pages 235-36.


That's where Justice Thomas recounts how Sen. Biden, having promised him a fair hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, turned around, right off the bat, and quoted him blatantly out of context. "The point I'd been making," as Justice Thomas recalled, "was the opposite of the one that Sen. Biden claimed I had made."


This may be standard operating procedure in Washington's poisonous political atmosphere, the one Barack Obama has so often promised to change rather than perpetuate, but not for men with a sense of self, which Clarence Thomas certainly has. Thanks in large part to his grandfather — the stern, loving, devoted, grandfather who raised him.


And now Joe Biden has been assigned the vice presidential candidate's traditional role as hatchet man. He'll be smooth as silk, nice as pie, at it. Just as he was to Clarence Thomas. Not just before but after plunging the knife in. For after Sen. Biden had sandbagged Clarence Thomas, he assured the nominee that he would defend him in the future, at least on a couple of disputed points. "Judge, I know you don't believe me," he replied, "but if any of these last two matters come up, I will be your biggest defender."


Clarence Thomas's conclusion: "He was right about one thing: I didn't believe him."


Now the question is whether the American people should believe Joe Biden. This is supposed to be a man of rare judgment, according to Barack Obama, who used to stress judgment at the beginning of this campaign. Now he has chosen as his running-mate a "foreign policy expert" who opposed the first Gulf War, a diplomatic and military triumph, but supported the current war in Iraq, at least till it turned into a long travail. Only then did he suggest giving up and vivisecting Iraq — into three separate countries. At least.


Now the Surge has turned things completely around. Yet it hasn't been a year since Sen. Biden was dissing General David Petraeus's strategy in Iraq, which will go down in the annals of counter-insurgency warfare as a model to follow. To quote Sen. Biden's words to Tim Russert last September on what turned out to be the general's highly successful strategy:


"I think he's dead flat wrong. The fact of the matter is that there is — that this idea of these security gains we've made have had no impact on the underlying sectarian dynamic. None. None whatsoever...."


Despite Joe Biden's confident prediction that we would see an American humiliation in Baghdad akin to the last days of Saigon in Vietnam, we stand in the presence of an unacknowledged (at least at the Democratic National Convention) victory. And this is Barack Obama's idea of a man of judgment.


Just as Barack Obama is Joe Biden's idea of a clean, articulate candidate even if he is black. That was the gist of one of Sen. Biden's more idiotic comments during his brief but excruciating presidential campaign this year. And he seems to have meant it as a compliment.(One problem with talking all the time is that the talker is likely to reveal some strange attitudes.)


In short, there are aspects of Joe Biden's biography — the real one, not the one he borrowed from Neil Kinnock — that disturb. But not nearly as much as Barack Obama's idea of a man of judgment.

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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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