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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 June 19, 2006 / 23 Sivan, 5766

Stronger than he seems

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Things are looking up for George W. Bush and maybe for his party. The Democrats failed to win the special election in the 50th Congressional District of California June 6. Abu Musab Zarqawi was killed on June 7. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he would not seek an indictment of chief Bush adviser Karl Rove on June 12. Bush made a dazzling surprise trip to Baghdad on June 13 and followed up with a confident press conference the next day. The Senate voted 93 to 6 on June 15 and the House 256 to 153 on June 16 against U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

A turning point in the president's political fortunes? Maybe. But I'm inclined to think that Bush and the Republicans were not in quite as much trouble as most in the press thought, and I'm not sure these developments will produce an immediate surge in Bush's poll ratings. Why?

Start with the proposition that Bush's low standings in the polls have more to do with competence than ideology. It starts with Katrina: The president was unable to prevent the physical destruction of a large part of a major central city. That's bound to hurt, whoever's fault it was. The struggle in Iraq seemed to be continuing without an end in sight — and mainstream media have done their best to ignore or belittle signs of progress. The Harriet Miers nomination, the Dubai ports deal, the failure to get Congress to consider Social Security reform — all contribute to an impression of things out of control. That's not good for an incumbent president. In addition, Bush is at odds with the Republican base on the hot issue of immigration. So his support from Republicans is less solid than it was until 2005.

No alternative? But impressions of presidential incompetence do not necessarily translate to votes for the other party. We saw that in the California 50th race, where the Democratic nominee got 45 percent of the vote, just 1 percent more than John Kerry won in the district in 2004. To read the mainstream media, you would suppose that millions of enraged Democrats are ready to storm the polling places in record numbers and throw the evil Republicans out. But actual election returns don't seem to bear that out. Turnout has been robust in some states (Ohio), low in others (California), with no clear pattern. We haven't seen much in the way of a disproportionately large turnout increase for Democrats. That may come next November. Or it may not. Polls, unfortunately, aren't good at projecting turnout.

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Also, impressions of presidential incompetence are not necessarily set in stone. They can be altered by visibly good performance or just by the turn of events. Such as, perhaps, the successful targeting of Zarqawi, or the stand-up of the Iraqi government brought to our screens by Bush's trip to Iraq. These show what generally goes unseen in mainstream media coverage: the competence of U.S. troops and the growth of a capable Iraqi government and Army. But the process takes time. The news that U.S. and Iraqi forces are hunting down the terrorists listed in Zarqawi's documents provides a narrative of continuing successes. But that narrative needs to be sustained and extended to produce a turnaround in American public opinion. So the scoffers are probably right when they say not to expect an immediate jump in Bush's job ratings. But the impression — conveyed over time by visible events — that things are under control and moving ahead could produce such a change.

In the meantime, Republicans are trying to make this a comparative election between Republicans and Democrats, not just an up-or-down vote on Bush. Senate and House Republicans last week staged debates over whether to pull out of Iraq now or stay on. Democrats complained that these were meaningless debates aimed (as they said the debates on the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages were) at dividing voters. But on these issues it is the Democrats — their officeholders and their voters — who are divided, while the Republicans, with a few exceptions, are all on one side. The Democrats have profited politically from bad news from Iraq. Good news puts things in a different light and raises the question of just what Democrats would do if in power. For the moment they are, as ranking House Armed Services Democrat Ike Skelton said, "absolutely" divided. That's not a good posture from which to face the voters.

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BARONE'S LATEST
Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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