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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 Oct. 28, 2013/ 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

The White House Comedy Club

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | While the nation’s attention has been riveted on the Keystone Congress, the executive branch was busy developing its own comedy routine. Picture the cast (you know the characters) shrugging their shoulders in unison: “Who, me?”

This would be the response to the glitch-rich health-care rollout, for which no one seems responsible. “Beats me. I thought it was working!” This would also be the response to the eavesdropping scandal, which soon could become an international showdown. “Who knew?” Hint: He used to work at the National Security Agency (NSA) and now lives in Russia.

Not least, the shrug also would be the response to a White House rumor that a certain Republican House leader said to President Obama during a government shutdown meeting, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”

Except no one said it. Shrug.

The rumor kicked off uncharacteristically glitch-free when Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) heard it from what he apparently considered a reliable source and posted it on his Facebook page. Early rumor embellishments suggested that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was the demon source, which later was clarified to impugn Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) who denied it.

In fact, no one said it, according to a White House official, who attributed the untruth to a “miscommunication” during a report by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Of course, Reid told the entire Senate Democratic caucus, identifying Sessions as the evildoer. Durbin did not name Sessions in his post.

Voilà! A rumor is born. Roll cameras. The White House regrets the “misunderstanding.” Cut.

Meanwhile, the “rollout,” a term forever tarnished by the ineptitude displayed since Oct. 1 when Americans were finally going to be able to sign up for “affordable” (translation: I buy, you pay) health insurance, has been an embarrassment. Even if one is inclined to grant the benefit of the doubt (because technology can be a beast), evidence suggests that the “glitches” were the result of poor judgment and bad decisions.

But whose?

Four contractors hired to set up the computer system testified during congressional hearings that system testing began just two weeks before the launch date — and the test failed. Part of the problem was a decision not to allow customers to browse anonymously, as most people doubtless would prefer. Privacy and all that (chortle, chortle). Instead, people had to fill out forms before they could take a peek at the merchandise — an unmanageable burden to a system inadequate for the immense demand.



Who made that decision? The contractors testified they didn’t know who made the decisions or who was responsible for correcting problems. One can blame the computer guys, of course. Or demand the head of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, under whose supervision the Affordable Care Act falls. But ultimately, the responsibility for the popularly known “Obamacare” rests with the person who insisted in the midst of a historic recession, a global financial meltdown and record unemployment that we needed to overhaul the entire health-care industry.

Not to drone on, but yet another “meanwhile” demands attention: A photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal saves writers a thousand words. She may be giving the evil eye to a photographer as she arrives at a European Union summit in Brussels, but it perfectly captures sentiments she has expressed upon learning of a report that the NSA had been listening to her cellphone conversations.

Not only Merkel but as many as 35 world leaders may have been targets of our eavesdropping, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. They are not amused.

Consequences, which include potential damage to a transatlantic free trade agreement, are yet to be fully imagined. What we cannot avoid registering is that we look like not the glimmering city on the hill but a ship of untrustworthy fools.

We reportedly eavesdrop on our allies and force citizens to buy insurance through a system we can’t manage. We concoct character-smearing rumors and attach them to our political adversaries. And that’s just the executive branch. Most important, we have damaged our bonds of trust with nations we need to keep as friends.

Any one of the above would make for a very bad week in governance. Combined, they suggest an uncomfortable conclusion to the world we purport to lead: The lights are flickering in the city on the hill, and our ship of state is foundering.

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