In this issue
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 Jan. 18, 2007 / 28 Teves, 5767

Barack Obama: American idol

By Cal Thomas

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | That Sen. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. chose the day of "American Idol's" season premiere to launch his presidential exploratory committee is nicely symbolic.

Part of the attraction and seductiveness of Sen. Obama — perhaps the main attraction — is that he is mostly a blank slate on which others can write what they choose. Now that he's announced formation of an exploratory committee to help him decide whether he should run for president (is there any doubt?), the moving fingers will begin writing soon enough.

Much of what Obama says resonates with many people, including me. In his exploratory committee announcement, which he recorded on video and put on his Website (barackobama.com/video), he notes, "how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics." There can be no question about that. He also says, "…our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, common sense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions." Right again.

Then he says, "We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans."

Here is where things could get sticky. Obama is a liberal Democrat. He favors abortion rights, gun control and tax breaks for the middle class (though, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service, the top 1 percent of income earners pay nearly 35 percent of the income tax burden). On which of these contentious issues might he compromise in order to diminish the bitterness and partisanship in politics? Would the left be bitter and partisan were he to pursue consensus on these issues?


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It could be argued that much of the bitterness in politics has been caused by liberal elitists who have used the courts to ram social change down our throats without regard to the democratic process. I see Obama as being a part of this ideological strain. Does he believe activist judges should interpret the Constitution through a left-wing prism and the people should have no say in such matters? Most liberals believe so.

If this were a contest about looks and style, Obama might have an edge. If it were a competition about which candidate is the best orator, he'd win. But it is neither. Regardless of party, a president must have the credentials and especially the worldview to be a credible leader. He (or she) must also be respected, even feared, by those who hate and want to destroy America. Whether a president wins personality and popularity contests is irrelevant. It only matters that a president pursues American interests first.

Does Obama have such qualities and should a political neophyte, a former state senator from Illinois, with just two years of experience in the U.S. Senate, be hired for the world's most important job? Should voters exert blind faith that he is up to the challenge?

What is Obama's view about the threat from terrorists from without and within our country? He says the United States should never have gone to war in Iraq, that invading the country was a bad strategic blunder, but that having gone, we must make sure that Iraq is stable. Does he consider a stable Iraq with an elected and functioning government important enough to finish the job?

If not, would he accept responsibility for what would likely follow a withdrawal of U.S. troops, a withdrawal he proposed in November, such as a terror state that might launch attacks against its neighbors and recruit suicide bombers for missions inside the United States?

"Only through this phased redeployment can we send a clear message to the Iraqi factions that the U.S. is not going to hold together this country indefinitely — that it will be up to them to form a viable government that can effectively run and secure Iraq," Obama said. "It is time to give Iraqis their country back, and it is time to refocus America's efforts on the wider struggle yet to be won."

But what if, for whatever reason, Iraqis are not yet ready to bear full responsibility for their country and for the insurgency that seeks to permanently occupy it? Would he accept responsibility for such a gigantic policy failure? When you're president, you don't get to pass the buck.

These are the questions that need answering. We have a right to know what manner of individual aspires to the Oval Office, before we give him, or her, the honor, privilege and responsibility of the office.

In short, it's time to start writing on that blank slate and to seriously contemplate what's written there.

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 Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.

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