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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 January 10, 2008 / 3 Shevat 5768

Barack Obama: Feeling good

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Politicians don't usually get me excited, but Barack Obama does. Maybe it's the contrast between him and the elocutionally-challenged President Bush. Having lived through and reported on the Civil Rights movement, perhaps the source of my euphoria is the possibility of a black man being taken seriously as a presidential candidate when just four decades ago in America he would have been barred from certain hotels, restrooms, lunch counters and neighborhoods. Electing Obama, some rationalize, might be the propitiation for our racist sins; a fulfillment of Dr. King's dream about judging a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.


There is a double standard still applied to black people in America, however. The media and "black leadership" play down the accomplishments of a Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice because of their associations with the Republican Party (though Powell was also associated with the Clinton administration, he remains a Republican) while Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama are lionized because their liberal policy positions comport with most of those in the media, academia and the rest of the liberal establishment.


If you read Obama's record, however, you'll find his positions differ little from those of Hillary Clinton. According to a compilation of the voting records and position statements of Clinton and Obama (available at www.2decide.com/table.htm) the two senators hold identical positions on nearly every issue. From abortion on demand (support), to the war in Iraq (for withdrawal and against the troop surge), embryonic stem cell research, gun control and plenty more, both candidates are joined at the ideological hip.


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The difference is that Obama makes us feel good and Hillary Clinton doesn't. Obama has the prettier family portrait. As with JFK, who doesn't long to see children romping around the White House? That would make our youth-obsessed Baby Boomers feel young again, an objective that occupies increasing amounts of their time.


Ronald Reagan made many feel good, but he had a well-developed sense of who he was and what he wanted to do (defeat the Soviets, cut taxes, reduce the size and reach of government). Obama's chief foreign policy position seems to center around talking to Islamic leaders rather than defeating radical Islam. Does he seriously believe people who think they have a religious mandate for wiping out America and dominating the world would negotiate anything less? Talking does not pacify an enemy; an enemy must be defeated. Any goal that is less than victory is naive in the extreme.


I admire Obama's rhetoric about changing the tone in Washington and seeking consensus to overcome corrosive polarization. But consensus requires compromise. On which of his liberal positions would Obama compromise? Abortion? Taxes? Growing government? He hasn't said. Maybe if he gets the nomination he will. One plays to one's base (in his case a very liberal base) during primary season and then races toward the middle after receiving the nomination.


Others before Obama have come to Washington with the announced intention of "changing the tone." No one changes Washington. Washington changes them. The Congress, of which Obama is now only a freshman member with no legislation he can point to that has his name on it, checks and balances legislation proposed by the chief executive. No president can dictate policy. Hillary Clinton failed in her attempt to impose universal health care on the country when a Democratic-majority Congress refused to go along.


Flirtations are fun and make people feel good, but at a time of turmoil in the world and serious threats to our nation, to indulge in feelings over substance can be costly. The last time we put feelings first, we got Bill Clinton (and before him, Jimmy Carter). President Clinton mostly ignored the terrorist threat, preferring instead his own physical satisfaction. That preference contributed to 9/11. Don't we have it backward? Shouldn't a president's policies make us feel good?


To promote feelings instead of policy is pure self-indulgence. We can't afford that luxury in a president.

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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