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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 29, 2008 / 27 Menachem-Av 5768

Mother knows best

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Boy, it's a good thing the Obamas decided early on in this presidential campaign not to exploit those adorable little girls of theirs for political purposes. If they hadn't, Michelle Obama's speech Monday night at the Democrats' national convention would have been unbearable — instead of just slightly sickening.


What ever became of the real Michelle, the tough broad from the South Side who said what she thought no matter what? Remember her?


You know, the one back at the start of this campaign. The one who said that only now, for the first time in her adult life, was she proud of her country. We knew just what she meant, at least before she explained/weaseled out of it.


Ooo-wee. That got our attention. That lady was real.


But it's hard to conjure her up now, the Michelle Obama who wasn't going to let her husband's latest political flyer — not off to Springfield this time but the White House — interfere with her children's raisin'.


What ever happened to that Michelle? In Denver's mile-high atmosphere, she seems to have been replaced by some kind of Stepford Wife and Loyal Helpmeet. What a transformation: from cracklin' to white bread, State Street to Madison Avenue. It brought to mind Betty Crocker's latest makeover on the flour boxes. Or maybe a re-run of the old "Father Knows Best" sitcom from the proper 1950s.


The old Michelle Obama had to go. She'd been entirely too much her own person, acting as if you could campaign for First Lady and still be yourself. Her performance Monday night sent me off on a little nostalgia trip for the old Michelle. The way I sometimes sigh over the old Hillary Rodham, the Ivy League radical with the Coke-bottle glasses who once upon an ancient time would tell you what's what, and give you what-for, before she became the well-coiffed Hillary! of the bumper stickers and floor demonstrations.


And now, only in a much a shorter time, like a speeded-up time exposure, Michelle Obama has undergone the same extreme makeover. Monday night should have been the equivalent of a White Sox game under the blurry lights on a sweaty summer night at old Comiskey Park. Instead, the country gets Wrigley Field with its perfectly manicured ivy on the antique brick wall. Why, how Near North Side, how . . . Hyde Park! Somebody had got to the old Michelle Obama. The world as it is had struck while she was still orating about the world as it should be.


Who is it who makes our political figures brands instead of people? Who are the all-present, all-knowing and in the end all-corrupting They in every political campaign who soften John McCain's edges and turn Barack Obama's cool, reasoning approach into that of another pol shouting at us? The way he did Saturday when he brought on Joe Biden, the savvy Washington insider, as his running buddy and sideman.


What a show that was. And in old Springfield, where Abe Lincoln still walks at midnight. But not before. In the blinding heat of the day, Barack Obama had at last achieved his Transfiguration. He'd turned into an ordinary presidential candidate, complete with his vice presidential candidate and ax man at his side. All the shoddy traditions were being observed.


The new kind of politician — this year's Wendell Wilkie and Adlai Stevenson, someone free of boss rule if you believed the advance notices — had become the old kind of politician he was supposed to be running against. Delicious.


But hey, listen, pal, Wilkie and Stevenson lost, didn't they? And what people want, or at least what the party wants, is a winner. Which is why the show must go on.


It's what They decree, and everybody knows who they are — the campaign consultants, the marketeers, the pollsters and focus-group organizers, the political cosmetologists. You can hear them filling up dead-air time on cable TV 24/7, making the old test pattern of television's youth a thing of beauty and serenity by comparison.


Why, Michelle Obama is just like us now. She told us so. Barack Obama, too, is just average. Our leaders are no better, no worse, than the rest of us. Whew, that's a relief. The old Republic with its old demands? It's gone without a trace, replaced by this shiny new mega-democracy in which any distinctions between us and our betters have disappeared. Indeed, there are no more betters. We can all relax now.


We're not only created equal, now we're created the same. Local color? A sense of place? Distinctive architecture, accents, history, cuisine? How incorrect politically. Multicultural is the word now, meaning no distinct culture. We all blur. No one must stand out. Michelle is one of us!


This is what the image-makers call a re-introduction, and it worked. Listen to what one Arkansas delegate had to say on Mrs. Obama's performance Monday night. Thurman Metcalf of Rogers, Ark., a cosmetologist himself, looked on The New Michelle and approved:


"She proved she's real. She's one of us."


And isn't that the highest compliment?

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.

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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