May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
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The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
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Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
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Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
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74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
July 18, 2008
/ 15 Tamuz 5768
Barack Obama: The flimflam candidate
During my more than 60 years of covering national politics, I have never seen a candidate's principles and character so effectively tarnished after so extraordinarily inspiring a start as Barack Obama's. He has come to resemble another mellifluous orator I came to know in Boston during my first time reporting on a campaign James Michael Curley, the skilful prestidigitator whom Spencer Tracy masterfully played in the movie "The Last Hurrah."
Obama's deflation has not been due to ruthless opposition research by John McCain's team but by the "change" candidate himself. Like millions of Americans, I, for a time, was buoyed by not only the real-time prospect of our first black president but much more by the likelihood that Obama would pierce the dense hypocrisy and insatiable power-grabbing of current American politics.
Also, as a former teacher of constitutional law, Obama gave me "hope I could believe in" that he would rescue the Constitution's separation of powers, resuscitate the Bill of Rights and begin to restore our reputation around the world as a truly law-abiding nation.
Savoring the high expectations he had secured among so many Americans, Obama has decided he can also come closer to securing the Oval Office by softening his starlight enough to change some of his principles toward the calming center of our stormy political waters. In a defense by Dan Gerstein, a New York political consultant echoing what you'll be hearing more of from Obama's campaign operatives the gossamer script goes:
"He is trying to broaden his appeal to a larger electorate and to be true to this postpartisan, unifying message that he's been campaigning on." But instead of the ennobling clarion trombones of CHANGE we have been promised, this "adjusting" of one's principles has long been the common juggling of our common politicians.
Accordingly, as his presidential campaign gathered such momentum, Obama, with justifiable pride, pointed to the resounding fact that most of the bountiful funds he was raising came from small donors, "the people," not the sort of supporters who move above us in private jet planes.
But after abandoning his pledge to abide by public financing, this apostle of cleansing the political culture is now going after the high rollers. As the July 3 New York Times reported, "Last week, the Obama campaign collected about $5 million at an event featuring celebrities in Los Angeles. The evening began with a dinner at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for more than 200 people who had contributed $28,500 per couple, or raised $50,000."
Then there is the current furor among a rising number of Obama contributors with wallets far below the $50,000-a-pop crowd about his change on the "compromise" FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that passed the House and Senate, and has been signed by the grateful president.
The flimflam candidate had assured his faithful enthusiasts that he would filibuster this bill (which will immunize the telecommunications companies that enabled the president to break the law in his once-secret warrantless wiretapping) that turned our privacy rights upside down and out.
Now, by dismissing the scores of lawsuits against these companies from Americans wanting to know whether they've been ensnared in this giant government-spun Web, the president and such supporters as Obama will have made it close to impossible to conduct meaningful investigations of the intricate nexus of the ways these telecommunications giants can collect leads to Americans with no connections to terrorism and could continue to so long as they're assured by a future lawless administration that national security demands breaking another law.
But what could be wrong with a new Obama approach, to assert his religious faith by, if elected, expanding the government funding of faith-based social services through churches and other religious institutions? The former constitutional law professor does avoid one separation-of-church-and-state problem by pledging that the recipients of these taxpayer funds could not engage in hiring discrimination on the basis of an employee's religion, thereby not limiting those hired to that particular faith.
However, I expect professor Obama knows of the importance in constitutional case law of the need to avoid excessive entanglements of the state with religious institutions. To prevent churches and other religious groups that get government funds from both discrimination in their employment practices, and from proselytizing with taxpayers' money, will require careful and extensive monitoring by the state.
Says the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, a Baptist minister and president of the Interfaith Alliance, in the July 4 Jewish Week:
"You can say none of this money should be used for proselytizing or that there shouldn't be discrimination, but what does that mean for the little storefront agency, where there can be a subtle or even more blatant form of discrimination, and where proselytizing does occur?" And not just storefront recipients.
But Obama insists this program will be the "moral center" of his administration. Just where is his own center of credibility?
I remember the surge of hope for a national change as a child, during the Great Depression, when, while my mother would walk blocks to save a few cents on food, there came Franklin Delano Roosevelt! I haven't seen such a surge since Obama's first chorus, but I can no longer believe in this messenger of such tidings.
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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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