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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 3, 2010 / 17 Teves 5770

National security is in President Obama's court

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the new year begins, two facts emerge: George W. Bush is officially retired as the fault-guy for the nation's ills, and Barack Obama owns the game.

Whether he wants to or not.

Every president deserves a year of grace to adapt to the job and adjust to its Himalayan learning curve. As Obama's first year ends — almost with a bang, thanks to a lonely Nigerian who found love in jihad — his grace period is up.

Indeed, depending on how he responds to the security breach that almost brought down a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam, Obama's presidency is at risk of being rendered prematurely impotent.

If Bush could be blamed for the dot-connecting inadequacies that helped enable the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, eight months into his administration, then Obama can fairly be held responsible for the incompetence that allowed a disaffected jihadist to get explosive powder onto a plane.

The banality of our most recent would-be attack is almost too on-the-nose to exploit, but really. The son of a Nigerian banker, already a punch line to all who've been spammed by e-mailers alleging to be Nigerian bankers promising riches, packs his underwear with explosive material? Was this fellow computer-generated by a cartoon character?

If it weren't all so bloody horrifying, the incident would be ridiculous.

Which, come to think of it, is a fair appraisal of the Obama administration's initial performance when faced with a potentially catastrophic terrorist strike. The dots that needed connecting were all but performing the California Raisin dance. Were we ever justified in hoping for better?

Letter from JWR publisher


National security was never considered Obama's strong suit. Back in September 2008, if I may be excused for quoting myself, I wrote: "I worry that Obama isn't serious enough about terrorism and free markets. . . . I worry about Obama's over-intellectualizing — that he will get lost in a maze of deep thoughts and fail to be decisive when necessary."

Or lost on a golf course, as the case may be.

Obama's open-collared vacation response from Hawaii was delivered on Katrina time — about two days too late — and fell a few links short of reassuring. Something about humans and systems failing. Yes, well, that would about cover it.

Deep breath.

The cool detachment that was so attractive when political opponents were trying to rile Obama is suddenly becoming annoying. Preternaturally unflappable, his demeanor in these circumstances borders on inappropriate.

What does it take to get a rise out of Barack Obama? Not that we need bombast and flared nostrils. Calm in the face of potential disaster is laudable, but it's a fine line between executive tranquillity and passive nonchalance. Like a tone-deaf disc jockey, Obama plays elevator music when the crowd wants John Philip Sousa.

But action is being taken, we're told. Investigations are underway and reports are being tabulated. Soon decisions will be forthcoming as to whether we bomb al-Qaeda outposts in Yemen or insist that travelers liberate their inner Britneys and go panty-free through security checkpoints.

Full-cavity searches can't be far from the minds of bureaucrats looking for ways to create a faux sense of security rather than figuring out how to draw simple inferences from red flags, recently in numbers sufficient to spell out "Allahu Akbar" on a halftime football field.

The brightest among many was the perpetrator's own father's reports — both in person (twice) and by phone to U.S. officials —that his son had become radicalized and might be dangerous. A CIA report describing those concerns apparently never made it through the Byzantine intelligence channels until after the foiled attack on Christmas Day.

Why? It was for just such coordination that the Bush administration four years ago created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which in April came under fire by its then-inspector general, Edward Maguire, days before he was replaced. Maguire's report may provide the simplest answer to what went wrong.

In addition to criticizing the amount of time intelligence chiefs spend briefing the White House and Congress instead of managing the intelligence apparatus, Maguire blasted the ODNI for bureaucratic fat and financial mismanagement.

In fairness to Obama, Maguire's findings were completed before the president assumed office, but they were not released publicly until April. Even so, Obama has had plenty of time to tweak the system he now blames for the underwear bomber.

It's his ball now; time to stop dribbling.

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