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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 May 14, 2008 / 9 Iyar 5768 5768

Which McCain would be president?

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the no-holds-barred battle for the Democratic presidential nomination mercifully nears an end, renewed attention is being focused on the several John McCains bearing the Republican armor. Having written that I cannot vote for Barack Obama because he is an extremist on abortion who refused to even save a sudden live baby resulting from a botched abortion, I also have concerns about the consistency of some of McCain's positions.


The First Amendment being the foundation of our constitutional self-government, I recall McCain's comment about the McCain-Feingold "clean elections" law that directly and significantly silences the opinions of a range of advocacy groups at crucial points during presidential campaigns.


In the March 26 New York Times, Matt Welch, a former Los Angeles Times editor, quoted McCain: "I would rather have a clean government than one, where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt." The straight-talk express rides over free speech.


As the torrent of money on both sides of the current presidential race makes clear — through large loopholes in that law — presidential politics is far from cleaner, even as the First Amendment is now seriously diminished.


Also, as noted in the April 7 Newsweek, McCain pledges his election will mean a return to what Thomas Jefferson insisted is essential to our reputation in the world: "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind."


What has severely eroded the worldwide respect for us, including the respect of some of our primary allies against the homicidal terrorists, are the CIA's "renditions." CIA agents kidnapped terrorism suspects off the streets of Italy and other countries and "rendered" them to such nations as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, known for torturing their prisoners, thereby extracting information that not even the CIA, with its "special powers," could get.


These renditions have been valuable propaganda and recruiting tools for Al Qaeda and other terrorists. Also helpful to our enemies are the CIA's secret prisons in various parts of the world, where "enhanced interrogation techniques," as President Bush approvingly calls them, are practiced, including waterboarding (during which the suspect is made to believe he is immediately about to drown unless he opens up to his torturers).


McCain has won much approbation here and around the world as an insistent opponent of the United States torturing prisoners. But recently, when both the Senate and the House passed an amendment to an appropriations bill requiring that the Army Field Manual — forbidding torture — be expanded to include the CIA among all the other nontorturing branches of the services, McCain voted against it. And the president vetoed the legislation — with support from McCain.


McCain's willingness, as he has stated, to insulate the CIA from the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment that it has so often violated may connect to his admiration for Dick Cheney, a key protector of the CIA's methods. As quoted in Matt Welch's "McCain: The Myth of a Maverick" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), McCain says Cheney is "as capable and sensible a public servant as I've known" (page 149).


My deepest concern about McCain is whether, as our next president, he will recognize his enormous responsibility to restore the Constitution's separation of powers. In both parties, also including many independents, there is a stark realization that the Bush administration has expanded unilateral presidential powers more radically than any other in American history.


However, whatever can be accomplished to restore that core of the Constitution by the next president's leadership and congressional legislation can be blocked by the Supreme Court. On May 6, McCain, noting that Bush's successor may have two (or more) vacancies to fill on the Supreme Court, proudly disclosed that the models for his nominees would be the present chief justice, John Roberts, and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. (He has previously added William Rehnquist.)


Roberts and Alito have shown hardly any concern for the Bush administration's extrajudicial and often covert disregard for the Constitution's checks and balances on the ever-growing surveillance and databasing of Americans and the brazen disregard of the most elemental due process at Guantanamo Bay, including the often brutal conditions of confinement. There are likely to be no trials there until the next administration.


The Bush legacy includes so much more contempt for the rule of law, from which the Constitution has to be rescued. We now know, for instance, that the telephones of American civilian attorneys representing Gitmo prisoners are bugged by the Justice Department! McCain has often emphasized protecting the values of "who we are as Americans."


Those values are in the oath he will take if he becomes president. After being sworn in, will he write a classified signing statement reserving his sole right to reinterpret that oath?

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Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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