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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

U.S. Midterm Elections 2014: How Will Obama’s Behavior Impact Today’s Scores?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

U.S. citizens are going to the polls today (Tuesday November 4) to cast their ballots in midterm elections for Congress, with candidates being chosen in races where seats in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and a number of gubernatorial races are up for grabs.

Thanks to Democratic President Barack Obama and probably the most dominant GOP Congress since 1929, it is likely that when the dust settles, America will wake up to find the first Republican majority in the Senate in years. Analysts are predicting that the House could see its largest Republican majority, in fact, in 65 years.

In New York State, however, incumbent Governor Andrew M. Cuomo — who is endorsed by The Jewish Press print edition – is not likely to lose his position.

A Democrat like his father, former Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo appears likely to win today’s re-election by a comfortable margin. The 56-year-old governor headed a bipartisan delegation this summer to show solidarity in a 3-day visit to Israel during the counter terror Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

A former housing secretary during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, Cuomo is seen as a shoo-in over Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the executive of Westchester County due to his efforts to cap property taxes and help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy. People interviewed by The New York Times also cited his strong support on equal wages for women and similar issues in its own pre-election coverage.

Also in New York, general state elections are taking place as well, with residents casting their ballots for representatives to the State Assembly, the State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

In Maryland, the race for governor that originally was considered an easy win for Democrats now looks to be a toss-up.

Democratic candidate Anthony G. Brown, currently the state’s Lieutenant Governor, has had a difficult time in the past month convincing voters his term will look different from that of his boss, Governor Martin O’Malley. With Maryland facing hard times and a struggling economy, people along the Chesapeake Bay are looking for the “change” long promised by another man of color in his first term of office, incumbent Democrat President Barack H. Obama.

Republican candidate Larry Hogan has attacked O’Malley’s tax increases, slammed the fading finances and says he can bring more jobs to the state. He says, simply, that Marylanders just ‘can do better’ and he can make that happen.

The message has been heard and the race is now a tight one, with the two men showing only a single-digit difference between them in the polls as they enter Election Day.

Senate Approves ‘ISIS Bill’ – US Military Hopes for More

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The U.S. Senate approved the “ISIS bill” 78-22 in a ‘last gasp’ vote Thursday, approving a measure to train and arm 5,000 Syrian rebels one day after members of Congress had done the same.

After the vote, both senators and congress members then fled Capitol Hill, heading for a grueling fall campaign prior to midterm elections.

The bill itself went straight to the desk of President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

But even as the president prepared to approve the measure intended to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, U.S. military leaders are growing more concerned. So is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), who was quoted by the Washington Post as saying Obama should listen to his commanders.

“I think it’s very important that he does follow the advice and counsel that he receives, the professional advice of the military. They are the ones best suited to do that,” McKeon said.

But as to Obama’s ban on ‘boots on the ground,’ the lawmaker added, “I realize he’s commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility. I would also request that he not take options off the table.”

Retired Marine General James Mattis told the House Intelligence Committee in testimony on Thursday that Obama’s ban on combat troops in the Middle East would cripple the military.

“Half-hearted or tentative efforts – or air strikes alone – can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” Mattis told American lawmakers. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.”

The testimony followed a public suggestion two days earlier by the chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, not to rule out the possibility. According to the Post, Dempsey pointed out that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander for the Middle East, had already made the recommendation at least once in connection with a case in Iraq – but was overruled.

The U.S. military has carried out 176 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq since August 8. Obama has hinted the U.S. will also carry out air strikes against the terror group in Syria as well.

But given the clear opposition expressed by Iran and Russia, let alone Syria — and to some extent, the threatening posture maintained by Iran over the issue – it is not at all clear when or even if Obama will actually send American warplanes into Syrian skies.

Eric Cantor Joins Wall Street Investment Bank

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is joining a Wall Street investment bank as vice-chairman and managing director.

Cantor, 51, who served as the Republican congressman for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, also will be elected to the board of directors of the global investment bank, Moelis & Company, the bank announced Tuesday.

He will be based in the bank’s New York office and is scheduled to open an office in Washington.

“Eric has proven himself to be a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions,” Ken Moelis, chairman and CEO of Moelis & Company, said in a statement.

After a career in the Virginia legislature, Cantor was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 and was made chief deputy whip just two years later, before his 40th birthday.

Cantor, who was the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, was as majority leader the most senior Jewish lawmaker in U.S. history and had ambitions of becoming speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Little-known college professor, David Brat Cantor, who had the national backing of the insurgent Tea Party movement, defeated Cantor in the primary in June. Brat accused Cantor of betraying conservative principles on spending, debt and immigration.

Cantor stepped down from his position as House majority leader and from his congressional seat on Aug. 18.

Netanyahu Meets with House Armed Services Members

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to radical Islamists in Iraq and Syria in a meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee Thursday evening.

“We’re faced with common enemies, radical Islamic terrorists who have absolutely no inhibitions on executing people, terrorizing people, targeting innocent civilians,” Netanyahu said at the meeting with a bipartisan delegation led by chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.). “These are common enemies of Israel, the United States and all the civilized countries. And I think we should take a common stand to defeat them.”

McKeon in his response pledged continuing support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, credited with deflecting over 80 percent of targeted missiles in the recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“On the House Armed Services Committee, we’re happy with the work we’ve been able to do, working with you on [Iron] Dome and how you’ve used it to protect human life,” he said. “And we will keep that bond and that friendship and that special relationship that we have forever.”

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal outlined tensions between the Netanyahu government and the Obama administration over Israel’s direct lobbying of Congress and the Pentagon for supplementary weapons supplies.

‘Last Minute’ Iron Dome Infusion from US

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

The Congress voted Friday morning to transfer an additional $225 million to Israel for the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The move came less than 24 hours after Hamas terrorists kidnapped an Israeli soldier during a cease fire demanded by the United States and the United Nations.

President Barack Obama immediately signed the measure into law, and the funds were transferred overnight, according to a report posted by ABC News.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee two weeks ago approved the transfer of $351 million, bringing the total appropriations for Israel to $621 million.

The funds transferred last night followed a unanimous vote of approval by the Senate just before the start of a long Congressional recess.

“This is a good example of us being able to put aside partisan considerations and work together to help our good friend, Israel,” Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Politico.

“I will stand by Israel for a lot of personal reasons but certainly for political reasons,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “And I have no hesitation in declaring to the world that’s how I feel.”

Senatora Tom Coburn (R-OK) tried but failed to convince his colleagues to pass an amendment to offset the costs of helping Israel by “reducing unnecessary contributions to the UN.”

United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, meanwhile, earlier had slammed the United States for funding the entirely defensive Iron Dome anti-missile system.

“Americans not only equipped the Israelis with weapons used in the Gaza Strip but also helped Israel in the amount of almost a billion dollars to develop the Iron Dome system that protects the residents from rocket fire,” Pillay said. “Gaza residents were not given similar protection from Israeli bombing.”

Pillay has called for an international investigation of Israel’s counter terror operation in Gaza, claiming the IDF is guilty of war crimes. She has not, however, used the same criteria in addressing the actions of Hamas, who started this war, and freely uses civilians as human shields in combat and in placement of weaponry for use against Israel.

Peres Bids Farewell to US and Threatens to Continue to Praise Abbas

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden awarded outgoing President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal Thursday for his decades of dedication to saying the word “peace,” especially with Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas but not so much with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Peres again took the opportunity to heap admiration on Abbas, only weeks after the head of the Palestinian Authority regime in Ramallah embraced the Hamas terrorist organization with a unity pact.

Peres has made a career of telling Western leaders what they want to hear, mainly that he is willing to sell out all of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem in return for praise. Peres backed the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in 2005 and then showed his remarkable ability for being out of touch with reality by expressing out loud his amazement that Hamas responded by attacking Israel with missiles.

Equally amazing is that Western leaders and media still headline Peres every time he says, as he did on Thursday, “President Abbas is clearly a partner for peace.

“There were people who thought otherwise, I feel they are now closer to my judgment than their own.”

It is not clear what  people he meant because Peres has been preaching to a dwindling chorus for decades.

There is Talmudic passage in Baba Metzia (page 66) that illustrates the meaningless of Peres’s declarations.

“Reuven” sold land to “Shimon” but without any responsibility to compensate Shimon if a creditor were to step in and take the land. Seeing that Shimon  was so sad over the possibility, Reuven promises, “If it is taken from you, I will return any improvements of crops that you grew on it by giving you my best property.”

The Gemorrah concludes that the promise consists of “empty words’ and were said only to make Shimon feel better.

That has been Peres. Everyone makes him feel so good that he has no idea of what is going on in the world outside of his presidential residence and room of trophies, award, certifications, medals and honors, the least of which is the Nobel Peace Prize that he won along with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

With peace partners like that, Israel indeed had no enemies.

By insisting that Abbas is “peace partner” despite his his regime’s maps  showing that all of Israel is “Palestine” and despite his glorification of ”martyrs,” Peres is uttering empty words that the Netanyahu government does not honor.

In return, he is showered with empty words that bring Israel lots of faint praise that means, “We love you, Israel, and now please be good Jews and do as we say and stop being Jewish and Israeli.”

Speaking of empty promises, President Barack Obama said farewell to Peres with a promise that he would not let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Peres said, “I am leaving the office, but I am not leaving the battle for peace,” which he threatens to take to the corporate world.

“We can combine the Israeli companies with other global companies. Companies go without nationality; you don’t have to raise your national flag. Governments are suspicious; companies are not.”

Companies are not suspicious?

Peres really said that?

Probably so because he is good at “empty words.”

Eric Cantor Stepping Down as House Majority Leader

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Eric Cantor will be stepping down as House Majority Leader by July 31, according to a Washington Post report.

The scramble is now on as to who will get to replace him.

Cantor has also decided to not run as a write-in candidate in November’s election.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/eric-cantor-stepping-down-as-house-majority-leader/2014/06/11/

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