May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
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Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
June 30, 2008
/ 27 Sivan 5768
Why Veeps Now Matter
"Not Exactly a Crime" is the title of a book on America's vice presidents published in 1972 a year before Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign for actually committing a crime.
The office of vice president has long been the butt of jokes you know the punch lines but as we await Barack Obama's and John McCain's choices for vice president, we do so with the knowledge that vice presidents in the last five administrations have been important officers of government. (Yes, including Dan Quayle see Bob Woodward and David Broder's book). How the vice presidency has been transformed is an interesting story that takes us from the Founding Fathers to recent history.
The framers of the Constitution created the vice presidency to solve the problem of succession. They expected that electors meeting in state capitals would vote for two candidates from different states, with the No. 2 vote-getter becoming vice president. It worked well twice. Then the unexpected emergence of political parties produced bizarre results.
In 1796, John Adams was elected president and his opponent, Thomas Jefferson, vice president. In 1800, the electors produced a tie between Jefferson and his ticket-mate, Aaron Burr, broken only by an opposition Federalist in the House of Representatives. The Twelfth Amendment promptly passed, providing that electors cast separate votes for president and VP. Parties would nominate one man for each office.
The result, with few exceptions, was the nomination of mediocrities to balance a ticket geographically or ideologically. In 1824 and 1828, the nomination for the dominant Jeffersonian Party was secured by John C. Calhoun, who disagreed bitterly with his two presidents, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. After the first Democratic national convention took on the task of picking VP nominees in 1832, Calhoun resigned and returned to the Senate.
For 130 years, only one vice president Martin van Buren was elected president in his own right without having succeeded to the office first. Republicans re-nominated sitting vice presidents only twice in their first 100 years, until Richard Nixon was re-nominated and re-elected in 1956. One vice president nominated across party lines, Andrew Johnson, was so unpopular as president that he was impeached by the House and missed removal from office by one vote in the Senate.
The problem was that everyone knew vice presidents had little to do. Presiding over the Senate is a clerk's job, and opportunities to break ties there seldom arise. As late as the 1950s, veeps did business from an office in the Capitol and had little occasion to visit the White House.
When Harry Truman was summoned there on April 12, 1945, and told of Franklin Roosevelt's death, he did not know that the president was out of the city he had met with him just twice in his 82 days as vice president. After Truman's first Cabinet meeting, Secretary of War Henry Stimson took him aside and told him the government was developing a weapon of enormous power. This was the first time Truman had heard about the atomic bomb.
Truman's unpreparedness may have prompted some later presidents to give vice presidents useful things to do. Dwight Eisenhower sent Richard Nixon on important foreign trips. John Kennedy gave Lyndon Johnson responsibility for the space program. Gerald Ford gave the energetic Nelson Rockefeller some assignments, then dropped him from the ticket.
Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale turned the vice presidency around. Mondale had offices and staffers in the West Wing, regular one-on-one meetings with the president and access to top appointees. Their example has been followed since. And presidential nominees have not waited for the very last minute at the convention to pick their VPs since Ronald Reagan did it in 1980. Potential VPs are vetted closely and with a view to how well they could work with the president. An office that was long the vermiform appendix of American government has become a useful organ.
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The New Americans
Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. 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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