In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 10, 2006 / 10 Adar, 5766

I'm home, dear ... and dear ... and dear

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Say the name Mitt Romney and three words invariably follow: The Mormon Factor.

Especially this political season as Romney considers a 2008 presidential bid at the same time HBO is premiering a polygamy sitcom, "Big Love," this Sunday.

Yes, we've apparently exhausted all comedic plotlines and have had to turn to a small sliver of oddball humanity for new material. You can imagine the producers brainstorming:

"OK, we've done desperate housewives; we've done sex in the city; we've done the gay thing. Hey, don't bogart. I've got it! A Viagra-popping polygamist with his three wives."


And we wonder why they hate us.

Of course polygamy is illegal in the U.S.   —   and the Mormon church stopped the practice more than 100 years ago. Even so, a few polygamists still practice the multiple-wife arrangement such that now we can gather 'round the tube and enjoy the fantasy no one really wants to enjoy. Schadenfreude never felt so good.

"Big Love," which frankly sounds like something people deny ever having accidentally watched in their hotel rooms, has people wondering again whether the Mormon Factor will be a problem for Romney should he decide to run for president.

Romney hasn't said he's running yet, but he has announced that he won't seek re-election as governor. That fact along with his travels, speaking engagements and frequent television appearances suggest that he's on the ballot unofficially. Romney also has made several visits to South Carolina, where he's officially stumping for Gov. Mark Sanford's re-election.

Perhaps more to the point, South Carolina is home to the first Southern Republican primary. Life in S.C. these days feels like fraternity rush week as both Democrats and Republicans try to charm would-be voters in perhaps the longest pre-election presidential campaign in history.

Inevitably, the question of Romney's Mormonism comes up. Romney isn't worried and already has demonstrated his sense of humor about some of the stereotypes television viewers will enjoy with "Big Love." During a now-famous speech, he joked that he believed that marriage is between "a man and a woman ... and a woman ... and a woman."

Otherwise, his strategy is to shift focus away from Mormon doctrine and theological differences to shared values. Unlike some candidates who quote scripture to establish their religious bona fides, Romney walks the walk. "Family values" isn't just a campaign slogan; family values define his life. He married his high school sweetheart, and together they raised five sons.

Whatever Romney's Mormon distinctions, he is a social conservative and has fought most of the important battles on his home turf, from same-sex marriage to cloning to stem cell research. He's pro-life, though he promised during his gubernatorial campaign that he wouldn't do anything to change abortion laws if elected. And he's got a track record of "competent conservatism," as some of his admirers have put it.

When Romney became governor of Massachusetts, for example, the state had a $3 billion deficit. Today, Romney can boast a $1 billion surplus. Moreover, he's filed legislation that would ensure health insurance coverage for every citizen in his state. He also is pushing for education reforms that would force parents to be better partners with schools in low-performing districts.

"Force" is perhaps too strong a term, but "voluntary" doesn't quite cover it either. As proposed, parents who receive state child-care funds   —   and whose children are in underperforming districts   —   would have to attend a couple of weekend parenting seminars.

Surely there must be something wrong with a man like Romney, who is unfairly handsome and, perhaps, too squeaky-clean. Like a good Mormon (and some Evangelicals), he never has taken a drink or smoked. He doesn't even drink coffee or tea, though does permit himself an occasional Diet Vanilla Coke. (Note to Mitt: Drop the vanilla.)

What else? He's been hugely successful in business; saved the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from scandal and bankruptcy; is rich and doesn't accept a salary as governor. He's smart, articulate, a wonk who knows his material. "No one's whispering in his ear," in the words of S.C. Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, who also used "charisma," "charm" and "wow factor" to describe a recent Romney visit down South.

So, what is wrong with this guy, anyway?

Oh, yeah.

He's a Mormon.

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