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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 Sept. 7, 2009 / 18 Elul 5769

Obama Cannot Escape Hard Choices in September

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Very active." That's what White House aides say Barack Obama is going to be this month. That's probably an understatement. Obama faces September deadlines on three issues, on each of which he could get himself in political trouble, not only with those on the right and center but also those on the political left.


Only one of those issues is domestic: health care. Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress, scheduled rather hastily for Wednesday night, gives him a chance to turn around public opinion, which has been going against his policies, and to generate something like the enthusiasm his candidacy created last year.


But he faces a binary choice: The president must either insist on a "government option" insurance plan or must let it be known that he will sign a bill without one. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House won't pass a bill without the government option, and leftist Progressive Caucus members threaten to withhold their votes from any such bill. But Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad says a government option bill can't pass the Senate.


Sooner or later the old politician's dodge — "some of my friends are for the bill and some of my friends are against the bill, and I'm always with my friends" — won't wash. As a practical matter, Obama will surely sign a bill without the government option, and the Progressive Caucus most likely can be whipped into line by Pelosi. But the always angry left will become even more angry at their leader when these realities are acknowledged.


Obama may also face a binary choice on Afghanistan. Reading between the lines of stories on Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recommendations, it seems likely that the White House has been pressuring him not to ask for more troops and that he will do so anyway, and with the approval of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Obama, having already dispatched more troops there, will be asked to double down on a policy that public opinion polls show is unpopular with Democratic voters — and with some conservatives, like columnist George Will, as well.


Obama is averse to using the V-word (victory) and the American left since the Vietnam years has not wanted to see America victorious in war. They think it makes us look chauvinistic and proud about our nation when we should be, as Obama often has been, apologetic for its sins. But accepting a recommendation for more troops would set him on a course where victory is the only acceptable result, which will make the angry left angry at him.


The third issue on which Obama will need to choose is Iran. Earlier this year he set a deadline of September for the beginning of talks with Iran. Presumably he thought the mullahs would become convinced of his good will by now and that the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York would be a venue for talks.


But the popular opposition to the rigged Iranian elections in June and the internal turmoil within the mullah regime make it unlikely that Obama will have any reliable negotiating partner. And as George Perkovich of the dovish Carnegie Endowment says, "The Iranians show no sign that they're going to be genuinely prepared to negotiate." They're more interested in getting nukes than in getting to yes, even with a president with an Arabic middle name.


A failure to engage the Iranians will probably not enrage the American left, which tends to see the United States as a bad actor in need of behavior adjustment, rather than a rogue regime like Iran's. But it does raise the awful question, which George W. Bush passed on to Obama, of how to prevent this murderous regime from obtaining and using nuclear weapons.


Septembers often present difficult challenges for leaders. Sept. 11, 2001, transformed and defined George W. Bush's presidency. September 2008 gave us the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the near-collapse of the financial system and the beginning of a deep economic recession. Obama met that challenge better than his rival candidate John McCain by remaining calm, sounding reasonable and cooperating as a minor player with those who were making the difficult decisions.


That won't be enough this September. "To govern is to choose," John Kennedy said, and Barack Obama is going to have to make some tough choices this month — choices that could antagonize his left-wing base.

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




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