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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 March 15, 2012/ 21 Adar, 5772

Pundits Gasp as Economy Dents Obama's Poll Numbers

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You can almost hear the note of surprise in their voices when you read the Washington Post and New York Times reporters' stories on their papers' latest political polls.

Surprise! Just when they thought that Barack Obama was pulling ahead, with positive job ratings, and just after the mainstream media have been savaging Republicans for two words Rush Limbaugh uttered on his radio program, Obama's numbers seem to be tanking.

Actually, the numbers are not so striking or so surprising. The media narrative for the last four weeks has been that the president's job approval has been rising in response to good economic news.

But the economic news has not been all that striking. We had a quarter in which economic growth reached 2.8 percent. We've had two months with job growth of better than 200,000.

Peachy. But in 1983, the year before Ronald Reagan's re-election, the gross domestic product rose 8.9 percent not just for one quarter but over the whole year. There were two months when job growth was 729,000 and 660,000.

That's the kind of economic recovery that enables an incumbent president's campaign to run a credible "Morning in America" ad. If the Obama campaign ran one now, it would be fodder for "Saturday Night Live" and Jon Stewart.

Nor was the supposed spike in Obama's job rating so high. In the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls, it never got better than 49 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove.

Now the ABC/WaPo poll has it at 46-50 and the CBS/NYT poll at 41-47. Rasmussen Reports tracking has it at 47-52.

That downtick is not huge, though it seems to be offsetting the February uptick. Some basic factors are still working for Obama. Americans want to think well of their presidents; this helped Bill Clinton in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2004. Many voters do not want to be seen as rejecting the first black president.

On the other hand, Obama's major policies are unpopular. You can gauge that by the number of words devoted to the stimulus package in his last State of the Union: zero.

Or by the persistent unpopularity of Obamacare. Or by the fact that 50 percent in the ABC/WaPo poll strongly disapproved of his handling of the economy.

Or by the response to Democrats' claims that Republicans were waging a "war on women" by opposing the administration's mandate that religious affiliated organizations' insurance policies cover birth control.

The New York Times in its print article buried its own results, as blogger Mickey Kaus noted. Its poll showed women favored allowing religious organizations to opt out of such coverage by a 53 to 38 percent margin. The margin among men and women together was 57 to 36 percent.

Four dollar gas prices surely took a toll on the president's numbers as well, despite his repeated boasts that domestic oil production is up.

Americans know the president cannot set the price at the pump. But they are also apparently aware that his administration shut down oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and has been slow-walking drilling permits, that it banned offshore drilling over other coasts and that it denied a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Keystone denial remains astonishing for reasons that, I suspect, any Democratic pollster would tell you if you could promise absolute confidentiality.

A February Pew poll showed a 42 to 15 percent margin for building the pipeline. The fact that Obama was lobbying Senate Democrats last week to block the pipeline and that all but three voted to do so won't help the president or his party.

Last year, I described the Keystone decision as a "no-brainer." It never occurred to me that Obama would decide to favor the rich environmentalists he encounters at fundraisers over the mass of the American people who want the Canadian oil and the construction jobs the pipeline would supply.

Obama's February uptick and March downtick in the polls will probably not be the last fluctuation we will see in his political standing.

Opinion about Mitt Romney, who at this writing seems virtually certain to be the Republican nominee, could fluctuate even more. Events could shift opinion, too.

But some fundamentals are unlikely to change. Voters' focus is on economic issues and on these most oppose the president's policies. His media cheerleaders who thought his February numbers meant the election was over were fooling themselves.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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