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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘candidate’

After Sandy, Volunteers Crisscross Manhattan to Help

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In a nearly dark corner of lower Manhattan, in an area otherwise known as Tribeca, Rabbi Zalman Paris stands tall, cellular phone in hand, to answer another call from a young volunteer eager to offer assistance. Days after Hurricane Sandy left millions across New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey without electricity, food or water, there are plenty of people who want to help victims and their communities recover.

From his window, Paris, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Tribeca and SoHo, watched the storm hurl itself into the homes and lives of residents nearby. The storm prevented him from venturing outdoors, but the moment he was able to, the rabbi assembled a plan and a team to help his neighbors.

“Many organizations have joined us in our efforts to help those in need during this hard time,” he said.

Paris partnered with Rabbi Levi Shmotkin of Chabad Young Professionals, Ari Teman of JCorps, and Julie Menin, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President.

“We brought in a paramedic to aid the elderly, who with no way out of their buildings needed immediate medical attention,” Shmotkin relayed.

Menin detailed that she kept the 10,000 people on her contact list updated by email.

“People would email that they needed food, water, diapers and baby formula. I then sent an email blast to Rabbi Paris,” said Menin.

All told, more than 100 volunteers traversed lower Manhattan, crisscrossing the city’s streets to visit nearly 3,000 apartment units in one day alone.

One longtime JCorps volunteer named Jillian described her experience as “eye opening.” More than 100 volunteers assisted the Tribeca effort.

“Today we visited some housing developments of the lower east side to bring food and water to the elderly and disabled citizens who are without,” she said. “You really become thankful for what you do have during a time like this.”

With the Sabbath approaching, they are hoping that the electricity will be restored.

“We may not have power, but we will definitely be spending the Sabbath with the many people and volunteers who are here with us,” said Paris. “Although many fled the neighborhood prior to the storm, our focus was on those that didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Mitt Romney for President

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

I am not a partisan voter. My voting record clearly shows that. Here is my voting record since 1968:

Humphrey (D) McGovern (D) Carter (D) Reagan (R) Reagan (R) Bush (41) (R) Clinton (D) Clinton (D) Gore (D) Bush (43) (R) McCain (R)

I choose candidates based on who I think will be do the best job for the country, for Israel, and for the Jewish people. I do not vote by party.

Although I have finally made my decision – for the first time I am not as sure as I usually am about which candidate will actually be the better President.

The last debate added nothing toward that end. The two candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain the same in my eyes. Their views were not made clearer at all on any of the issues that are important to the American people nor to me as a Jew.

I recently wrote that their views on Israel though not identical are both positive – and not all that dissimilar. I also said that for the first time my decision would not be based on that issue. Instead -“It’s (still) the economy, Stupid!” Of course the economy matters to Jews just as much as it does to everyone else. But it is definitely not a Jewish issue.

I do not see any break away solutions by either candidate. The President’s policies have thus far not done the job. Unemployment is still high – as are gas prices. His stimulus polices haven’t really helped all that much. The deficit is soaring . He is also over focusing on environmental issues – by over regulating businesses and preventing more opportunities to become energy independent. That too stifles economic growth. And adds to the deficit

His counter to that is that a divided congress is holding him back from doing more. And that his energy policies are the most productive in history. But that doesn’t explain why he didn’t do more to fix the economy during the first 2 years of his administration when he had a bullet proof congress. Instead he focused on a passing a controversial health care bill that contributes to the exploding deficit.

Romney on the other hand wants to implement a supply side economic policy that lowers taxes for everyone. He says that small businessmen many of whom file individual tax returns would be hurt by the higher taxes the Obama administration wants to impose on them and that would dis-incentivize them from investing the capital they need to grow their businesses and hire new people.

The President countered that Romney’s economic policy does not add up and that it would either explode the deficit even further, or that he would have to cut popular deductions like mortgage interest to make up for the loss.

Romney says that he would go full bore into developing all sources of energy including off shore drilling and do things like extending the Canadian pipeline (which the President rejected).

Obama also claims that he has actually increased oil production under his administration.

Romney would increase the military budget to restore it to the levels that existed before the Obama military budget cuts.

Obama says that the military doesn’t need to be as large and expensive as is used to be – even according the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Increasing the military budget will only grow the deficit.

How the President will grow the economy is still a mystery to me. Platitudes like “the rich must pay their fair share” are meaningless hyperbole designed to appeal to class envy in my view.

He has had four years to fix the economy and he hasn’t done it yet. He still blames Bush saying he inherited this mess from him – and that it was much worse than anyone thought. He touts the fact that in spite of that – the economy has still improved. Though admittedly only slightly. He now claims he needs more time and a willing congress.

Romney says Obama’s polices have failed and it’s time for someone else with a different approach to try. He claims his business experience will help him achieve more private sector jobs and a return to a healthy economy.

‘Career Politicians Are What’s Killing Us’: An Interview with Councilman and Congressional Candidate Dan Halloran

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran is looking to pull off a BobTurner-like victory as a Republican congressional candidate in a predominantly Democratic Queens congressional district (the newly redistricted 6th CD).

Halloran, 40, is a lawyer who worked in private practice and as a prosecutor for several district attorneys before being elected in 2009 to the City Council. He recently spoke with The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press: How did you get your start in politics and what attracted you to it?

As an attorney I’d always been peripherally interested in politics, interested in the policies that drive our legislation. I grew up in a very tight-knit Irish Catholic family with roots in the political world. My father was a deputy commissioner in the Koch administration, my great-grandfather was a chief of police, and my cousin, Lieutenant Vincent G. Halloran, an FDNY First Responder, died on 9/11. But in 2009, one year into the Obama administration, I became very concerned about the direction in which our country was headed.

You’re a Republican who has been endorsed by the Libertarian party. Though much of fiscal conservative and libertarian philosophy overlap, there’s a sharp difference when it comes to foreign policy. Can you explain your views on both?

I’m what’s called a right libertarian or constitutional libertarian. I believe very firmly that our economic policy has to be market driven; that over-taxation will be the death of the republic. I believe very strongly in the Constitution itself and staying within the four corners of that document. I think we have expanded the commerce clause to mean almost anything and it’s absurd. That’s the libertarian side of the coin.

But as a right libertarian, my perspective on foreign policy is that the world is such a convoluted place right now that what we should do in the ideal is not practical. We give seven times as much money to Israel’s enemies as we give to Israel. And you can’t wonder why Egypt has an authoritarian Islamic regime when we’re the ones who helped topple a stable, albeit non-democratic, regime. Now we see the fallout in Syria, in Yemen, in Libya. Once we’ve destabilized that region we see what the consequences are. We have an ambassador dead, our embassies stormed…. And threats continue.

Do you feel the policies of the Obama administration, particularly during the Arab Spring, increased those threats and what advice can you offer to address them?

It wasn’t a spring; it was the beginning of a winter. Obama ushered it in under the feigned promotion of democracy – one man, one vote. And what it’s been is one man, one vote, one time. After that you will not see democracy; you will see theocracy.

There are things we can do about this crisis. America should maintain its military presence vis-à-vis Israel and we should keep the fleet there to ensure that the trading waters are open for business. Foremost, we need to cut off economic aid to any country that defies our foreign policy perspectives, and that should include humanitarian assistance. Look, I understand the notion of fostering amity, but there’s a bottom line. And the bottom line is if you want our help, you have to play on our team. And if you’re not willing to, then go your own way. Because what happens is that when you give them humanitarian aid, they’re able to divert the resources they do have to war and violence.

Hamas is a perfect example of how through bad foreign policy we’ve armed the enemy, given them legitimacy, and now a stage to act on, an appearance of being legitimate. Yet all we’ve done is undermine Israel’s national security, which in turn undermines ours because it’s the only stable, democratic rule-of-law government there…. There’s a perception in the world that we no longer stand with our allies and that we will only pay lip service to longstanding relationships.

You traveled to Israel this past summer with the International Committee for the Land of Israel. Can you describe how seeing the facts on the ground affected your perception?

It made it more real. But I’ve always been a hawk. In that respect I am a right-wing Republican. I’ve always supported settlements, because if the rule of law applies, then whether you’re black or white, Christian or Jew, it shouldn’t matter where you live as long as you lawfully purchase property there. For us or the UN to say unilaterally you may not buy land there because you are a Jew would be the equivalent of my saying if you’re Catholic you can’t move into Williamsburg because you’re not an Orthodox Jew or you’re a black man you can’t move into [a white neighborhood]. Really? Would that stand up in some court of law somewhere in the United States? That would never be tolerated. Yet when the world community tells Israel the very same thing, somehow it’s okay because it involves Islam.

Topics For Third Presidential Debate – This One’s On Foreign Policy

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Bob Schieffer of CBS News is the moderator for the final presidential debate which takes place tonight, October 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET in the Lynn University auditorium in Boca Raton, Florida.  Schieffer chose and announced the topics which will be addressed – subject to late-breaking news.  They are, in random order:

America’s Role in the World

Our Longest War – Afghanistan and Pakistan

Red Lines: Israel and Iran

The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism I

The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism II

The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s Word

The issue of what happened in Benghazi, Libya in September 11, 2012 is likely to come up in at least one if not several of the different topic areas.  President Obama will seek to put a definitive end to the questioning about how his administration handled the crisis, and presidential-hopeful Mitt Romney will seek to lay out the inconsistencies in the narratives presented by this administration over the course of the six weeks since the tragedy.

The consequences of the “Arab Spring” is likely to come up during at least one of the topics, as will the question of whether or not terrorism is being routed by President Obama’s policies, or whether it is in the rise, in part because of the president’s policies.

The decision to leave Afghanistan and the continued drone policy favored by President Obama is also likely to be discussed tonight.

Israel is most likely to be discussed in the “Iran Red Line” topic, and each candidate will try to show why he is the candidate whose policies will be most effective in protecting Israel and promoting regional stability.

An economic aspect of foreign policy may come up in the form of a question about the European financial crisis and what role the United States should play in addressing that problem.  In addition, questions about the economic fallout of China’s ever-growing and influential role in the global economy is sure to further highlight the stark differences between the two candidates.

The format will be six 15-minute segments addressing each of the different topics.

Bob Schieffer has been with CBS News for more than 30 years.  He has covered all four major beats in Washington – the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill.  Schieffer has covered every presidential race since 1972.

Obama’s Last Stand

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Democrats do not have a great track record in the White House. The number of Democratic presidents who have won second terms is small and becomes much smaller with the second half of the 20th Century. Unlike Congressional shifts which reflect regional politics more than a national referendum, the Presidency is a referendum on the usages of the nearly unlimited power of its holder.

The Democratic strategy has been to substitute iconography for competence and their iconic presidents have invariably been men of dubious character. FDR rode to power on the coattails of the Roosevelt name, after conducting a smear campaign against Teddy Roosevelt’s son who would have been the natural candidate.

Once in power, FDR assembled a grab-bag of bad ideas from European Socialists and Fascists and employed a small army of writers and artists as propagandists to lionize his programs. Marginally competent, Roosevelt the Second cultivated an aristocratic paternal air, surrounded himself with experts and programs to create public confidence.

FDR did not fix the economy, but he did lead the country through World War II while preemptively losing World War III, which was enough to give him the iconic status that had made his presidency possible.

The Roosevelt Administration, with an assist from Harry Truman, had largely created the Soviet Empire through its betrayal of Eastern Europe and the Republic of China. The Liberal camp had been thoroughly infiltrated by Communist agents and was full of sympathizers for the Soviet Union.
Before WW2 the USSR had been a regional backwater power with a network of international agents at its beck and call. After WW2, Communists were on the verge of swallowing up Western Europe and had taken China.

Truman’s disastrous China policy led to the Communist takeover of a potential world power and to the bloody Korean War. The aftermath of the FDR Administration was largely preoccupied with covering up the disastrous results of its Communist-friendly program. The campaigns against McArthur and McCarthy were necessary to cover up the consequences of Truman’s China policy and FDR’s USSR policy.

The Democrats lost the White House and the public turned to Eisenhower to clean up the strategic mess left behind by the progressive party. The great national crisis was Communism and the Democrats had not seen the crisis coming and had no credibility in deploying a policy to combat the Soviet Union.

To retake the White House the Democrats needed a new image and a candidate with credibility fighting Communism. That candidate was to be a Kennedy, a member of a family at odds with FDR due to its Nazi sympathies, whose patriarch had taken careful care to burnish the Anti-Communist credentials of his sons.

FDR had been the avuncular figure in the chair; JFK was to be the youth candidate. The new man, a creature of the old Joe Kennedy, with fresh new ideas written for him by ghostwriters. Like FDR, JFK was a manufactured figure. And like him, JFK was a man of ideas with no ideas who disguised that lack with an army of experts and the cultivated illusion of intellectualism.

JFK was not particularly Anti-Communist, but that was a necessary qualification for any candidate looking to carry on FDR’s work. The Democratic Party had adapted to the collapse of its old coalition of New York merchants and Southern plantation owners after the Civil War by embracing Republican Unionism with a vengeance and jettisoning the last of Jefferson to become the party of big government.

FDR had borrowed Lincoln’s ruthless unionism and blended it with Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-monopolism; mixing together the work of two Republican presidents and claiming it for his own. JFK similarly took up elements of a Republican civil rights program and blended it with their aggressive Anti-Communism to create a new Democratic identity.

The underlying program in both administrations had nothing to do with the depression or war; but of building up a national political machine using the same methods of urban political machines. The core ingredient was class warfare. FDR put a genteel patina over class warfare while JFK phrased it as an idealistic ambitious form of American Exceptionalism that made it seem American.
FDR and JFK both borrowed Lincoln’s martyrdom, FDR by acting as a long-serving wartime president, and JFK, posthumously through his assassination. Obama has taken on a crude form of that martyrdom by virtue of race.

JFK’s death left his upgrade of Eisenhower’s “Dime Store New Deal” unfinished. LBJ took up the baton as the consequences of Vietnam tore apart the coalition between Liberals and Leftists leading to a culture war.

FDR died before events would have forced him to block Communist ambitions in Europe and turned the intelligentsia against him, allowing him to retain the services of the progressive propaganda corps. But JFK’s façade of Anti-Communism had committed him to international policies that broke apart the coalition between Liberals and Leftists. As much as the left might have supported JFK’s domestic program, and even forgiven his domestic show of affiliation with the Anti-Communists, by the time he was replaced by LBJ, the stress fractures were just too big and they tore apart the Democratic Party.

After that the Democrats lost the ability to compete on national security. Their attempts at salvaging the white male vote led them to two southern governors. Carter imploded on National Security, but Clinton thrived through two terms in the Post-Soviet period when history no longer seemed to matter. But history did matter.

The Communism menace had risen on FDR’s watch. Muslim terrorism began its ascent under JFK and reached critical levels under Clinton. The Democratic failures on Communism made Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan possible. Their failures on Islamism made Bush possible.

Obama was the third Democratic bid at an iconographic presidency. Like FDR, he was confronted with an economic crisis, and like JFK he faced a global conflict. And like both men, he proved inept at handling both, relying on armies of experts and making unwise decisions. As with JFK’s first term, the consequences of his foreign policy have not still struck home with a decisive enough emphasis to turn the public against him, but unlike FDR, there is no war to distract from the economic situation.

Obama has been running on his iconography for a while now and like an old beat up car, he never noticed that it gave out on him a while back. The debate was a wakeup call, but it won’t be the last one. He has to run on something, but he can’t run on the economy or race and that just leaves national security. The Benghazi attack emphasized the disastrous consequences of his foreign policy, but they also did him a favor by shifting the debate to the foreign policy arena.

With FDR fading and the cult of JFK not as strong as it used to be in the twilight of the Boomers, the Democratic Party needed a third icon to further integrate its political machine into the infrastructure of the government.

The Democrats needed to win badly in 2008 because it put them in a position of exploiting a crisis to protect and expand their institutions, both private and public, that might have otherwise been targeted by a Republican on an austerity mission. Defeating McCain, who despite his own reputation for pork had a cost-cutting streak, was a major victory because it avoided the specter of having McCain do to them what Prime Minister Cameron, another non-conservative conservative, had done to the institutions of the liberal state in the UK. Defeating Romney, who is also running as a cost-cutter, is an even bigger priority for the same reason.

The ideological and emotional issues are secondary to this core bureaucratic mandate of protecting the political machine that the post-Civil War Democratic Party had built up. Unlike Bush, Romney is not running as a compassionate conservative looking to reconcile social spending with conservative politics. And Romney’s campaign is not focused on the international politics that might divert him from putting the domestic house in order.

Pushing Romney back into Bush territory, as Benghazi may have done, may neuter him even if he wins, and shifts the focus away from the economy. But the public does not appear prepared to follow that shift with polls still showing the economy as the primary focus. And that focus contains a dangerous trap.

Any shift to foreign policy risks a dangerous discussion about the Islamist rise to power that was aided and abetted by Obama, in the same way that FDR had aided and abetted the rise of Communism. The Democrats did not survive the debate when it broke out during the Truman Administration. Should an honest discussion begin about the defeat in Afghanistan and the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the Middle East under the guise of the Arab Spring, the result may be as great a blow to Obama’s prospects.

Obama’s last stand is also the Democratic Party’s last stand. A hundred years of foreign policy and economic failures at the hands of a corrupt mafia is about to come home to roost. The Democratic Party has marginalized itself, abandoning mainstream Americans while openly embracing a trillion dollar welfare state.

Iconography elevated Obama as it did FDR and JFK, but it cannot see him through a constellation of crises. And if he falls, then his party falls with him.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

To Tell The Truth: An Unlikely Scenario

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Despite public surveys that show the general public largely opposed to negative campaigning, the overwhelming majority of candidates in contested races have refined this strategy almost to an art form.

And why not? After all, many of these same polls also conclude that this type of campaigning – whereby the candidate too often distorts his or her opponent’s record while spewing venomous personal attacks – works, as seeds of doubt regarding the opponent’s fitness for office are planted in voters’ minds.

But imagine if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney discarded this strategy in favor of saying what they really think and what they offer the American people.

Under this unlikely scenario, here is what I’d like them to say. We’ll begin with President Obama:

I have been accused by some political detractors of supporting economic policies that have a distinct socialist bent.

Well, if governing with compassion by advocating the creation of a society that benefits the American people by equalizing the social status of all Americans makes me a socialist, I proudly plead guilty.

If ensuring that as many Americans as possible have the basic necessities of daily living, even at the cost of taking more from those who have made it and giving that share of the pie to those who, for whatever reason, have not, makes me a proponent of income redistribution, I will proudly wear the title of the “Robin Hood of American politics.”

If the cost of solving today’s economically challenging times is to spend beyond our means, a strategy nobody really likes but one that is sometimes necessary, then I will propose in a second term more stimulus spending and more entitlement programs. Yes, there are times in a nation’s life when the government must spend, even when resources are scarce, to protect the have-nots.

I realize that some describe this policy as an irresponsible means of spending other people’s money and mortgaging the fiscal future of the next generation. But, if reelected, I will continue my policy of deficit spending to rescue America from an economic catastrophe that I inherited from my predecessor – something I apologize for reminding you of yet again.

The protection of Social Security in its current form from insolvency and the maintaining of Medicare and Medicaid for our nation’s seniors and disabled are areas I will pay particular attention to in a second term. And if adequate resources in the national treasury are lacking to fix these impending problems, I will yet again tax the wealthy Americans among us.

And my justification for this is simple: If the ultra-conservative chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, concluded that it is within the government’s right to force one American to provide health insurance for his or her fellow American through higher taxes – as he ruled recently when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of my universal health care legislation – then surely Congress and I can see to it that certain Americans, namely high-income earners, pay whatever is necessary to secure a better future for the most vulnerable among us.

If a judicial champion of conservatism like John Roberts says that any type of taxation can be left to the discretion of the executive and legislative branches of government, its imposition on anything those branches deem necessary to improve America’s human condition should logically be supported.

And speaking of government’s legal right to impose necessary revenue enhancers on taxpayers, government must have the same right to impose mandatory regulations – similar to my administration’s health care legislation’s rules – on businesses that unfairly profit off the backs of American workers. And my administration, in protecting workers’ rights, will determine what constitutes unfair profits and act accordingly.

My general philosophy of good government at work is this: The longstanding general business principle of putting greed over equality and profit over compassion must go by the wayside. For as President Woodrow Wilson once said, “we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.”

* * * * *

In the national security and foreign policy realms I will continue to punish the guilty, as my order to kill Osama bin Laden and my policy of using drones against terrorists in Pakistan has demonstrated. But my overall goal remains what it has always been: a secure international peace that will stand the test of time, through the values of decency and humaneness that made and that keeps America great.

Adelsons Again Donate $500K to Super PAC Supporting Boteach

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife for a second time have given $500,000 to a Super PAC supporting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s bid for Congress.

The Adelsons gave the money to the Patriot Prosperity PAC, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the gift, after having given the same amount earlier this year. They also gave $10,000 directly to the Boteach campaign.

Boteach is running as the Republican candidate in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District against eight-term incumbent Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).

Boteach, who once was affiliated with the Chabad movement, bills himself as “America’s Rabbi.” He hosts a show on TLC called “Shalom in the Home” and is the author of several books, including “Kosher Sex,” “Kosher Adultery,” “The Kosher Sutra” and, most recently, “Kosher Jesus.”

Adelson has said multiple times that a candidate’s support for Israel is critical to whether he gives and how much. He has given $10 million to a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and earlier in the campaign put $20 million toward Newt Gingrich’s GOP primary bid.

Super PACs can raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as individuals, and indirectly support a political candidate. They cannot by law coordinate with the candidate’s official campaign.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/adelsons-again-donate-500k-to-super-pac-supporting-boteach/2012/10/17/

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