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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 Dec. 12, 2007 / 3 Teves, 5768

Who is Huckabee? Preacher, populist, problem-solver and . . . president?.

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's happening again. They're back, the out-of-state reporters, the magazine writers, the blow-dried television types who want to know who this guy is, this presidential candidate out of Hope, Ark., of all places.


This year the subject of all this intense interest is one Michael Dale Huckabee, who must be tearing 'em up because he's started to catch it from all those frontrunners in the Republican primaries who aren't frontrunners any more, largely thanks to him. Which means he's going to be questioned and investigated, poked and prodded, exposed and provoked by a very free press. Which is how the system is supposed to work, however irritating the Frontrunner of the Moment may find it.


By now the Huck's dramatic rise in the polls has attracted the interest of the kind of always with-it, thoroughly cosmopolitan TV news producer who wouldn't know an evangelical from a fundamentalist. (An evangelical Christian basically believes the same things as a fundamentalist one, only he ain't mad about it.) Brother Huckabee is of the evangelical persuasion unless you happen to catch him on a bad day, but he hasn't had many of those lately on the campaign trail.


The Huck is not just a highly effective preacher but populist; he has a knack for reducing complex issues to simple terms, which has made him a fast-rising presidential candidate. How that talent would serve him as president is something else. To mention a couple of his not-so-small problems: His experience in foreign policy is a vacuum, his single speech about it vacuous. And his recent drift toward protectionism is more a tribute to his populist and political instincts than to his knowledge of economics. He has a feel for where the crowd is heading this election year, and seems all too eager to get ahead of it. That may be how to win elections, but is it a good way to govern?


This year's Man from Hope retains the wide streak of vulgarity that makes him and Don Imus such good buddies — and which seems to appeal to a lot of voters. Call it the common touch. What ever happened to the Mike Huckabee who used to have such a thin-skinned, petty streak when criticized? It's remarkable, the way the touchy old Mike Huckabee we knew here in Arkansas has managed to rise above the slings and arrows he used to over-react to. His self-discipline on the presidential campaign trail has been impressive. So far. I figure it'll break only if he starts slipping in the polls.


There's a species of Republican true believers right here in Arkansas who've always suspected his bonafides as an honest-to-goodness fiscal conservative and social reactionary. They're largely to be found up in the hills, which tend to be Republican territory in any Southern state because of complicated historical, ethnic, economic and geological reasons having to do with soil, slavery and the plantation system. Back when he was a feisty, hefty pol instead of a walking — no, running — advertisement for weight loss, Brother Huckabee used to fondly refer to such critics as Shi'ite Republicans.


Much the same anti-Huckabee line is now being repeated and amplified by the high-powered Club for Growth, which has launched an all-out effort to dub the Huck just another tax-and-spender. To hear the bean-counters in The Club tell it in their videos, television commercials, YouTube potshots and general frontal assault, Mike Huckabee "spends money like a drunken sailor." (The Club's turns of phrase aren't very original. Its specialty is numbers, not metaphors.)


This kind of criticism can be as powerful as any set of statistics wrenched from the context that produced them. The Club has a point — but only on paper. When you compare the dramatic tax cuts enacted early in the Huckabee administration here in Arkansas with the later tax increases, you come up with some $500 million in additional taxes. An impressive amount.


But on closer examination, it turns out that some $400 million, or four-fifths of the total, went to carry out the state Supreme Court's order in the Lake View case and keep Arkansas' schools constitutional. Mike Huckabee had little choice in the matter if he was going to obey the law. Some did urge him to defy the state's highest court, but this isn't Orval Faubus' Arkansas any more.


If you're looking for Mike Huckabee at his best, there are times when he's been magnificent, as when he steered Arkansas through his first strange day as governor when his disgraced — and convicted — predecessor refused to leave office as he'd promised. The impasse went on for most of a long, harrowing, painful and embarrassing afternoon. Throughout, the rightful governor stayed calm and determined, and, once the crisis had passed, even showed charity toward the confused, recalcitrant man who'd blocked his way. Talk about a bridge over troubled waters.


But his best moment came when Gov. Huckabee personally welcomed the Little Rock Nine to Central High School 40 years after they'd been denied entrance by Orval Faubus, noting that throughout the years of debate and division and historical revision since, "we in Arkansas have wandered around in ambiguity, all kinds of explanations and justifications. And I think today we come to say once and for all what happened here 40 years ago was simply wrong. It was simply evil, and we renounce it."


The air in this state suddenly shone clearer after that. Clear as atonement and redemption. Others spoke on that occasion. Mike Huckabee transformed it into a kind of covenant with a better future.


We've learned a thing or two since 1957, thank goodness. And as governor, Mike Huckabee did more to improve education than pour money into it; he's been interested in improving outcomes, not just raising inputs.


There were other tax increases during Mike Huckabee's more than a decade as governor. But should he have left the state's highways in the miserable condition in which he found them, rather than press for a long overdue bond issue? Should he have left the state's poorest children without health insurance, ignoring the needs of the least of these? Should he have frittered away the state's tobacco settlement instead of reserving it for an ambitious public health program? Most of those higher fees and taxes were justified by either pressing necessity or a prudent investment in the state's future. He left Arkansas a healthier, wealthier state — economically, educationally, physically.


To some of us, what the Club for Growth considers Mike Huckabee's great failures sound more like a list of his great successes. When it came to economic policy, he was less interested in griping about problems than solving them.


The Huck doubtless has his failings as a policymaker. For example, he's got a weakness for zany, untested schemes like the national sales tax he's now supporting as a substitute for the income tax. Then there's the draconian approach he's started to flirt with when it comes to illegal immigration. He must know that, however popular such an approach may be among Republican voters in the presidential primaries, it isn't just unenforceable but belies every humane, realistic, Christian thing he's long said about this vexing problem. Presidential politics can be bad for the character.


As for his sad part in the parole of Wayne DuMond, a murderer and rapist who was freed to kill and terrorize again, Mike Huckabee should have donned sackcloth and ashes and had done with it — instead of talking about the role others played in that awful train of events. He should have accepted responsibility for it, as he did, and just stopped there.


But his usual, practical approach to pressing problems isn't anything Mike Huckabee need be ashamed of. Quite the contrary. If he's failed the Club for Growth's litmus test, he didn't fail his state.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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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