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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘democrat’

Clinton Aide Skips Subpoena, IT Specialists Cite Fifth Amendment at Clinton ‘Emailgate’ Hearing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

A former State Department employee and two IT specialists from the company that maintained the private server for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, all refused to testify Tuesday before a Congressional committee hearing on the matter of the former Secretary’s deleted emails.

Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano, who received a subpoena to appear before the House Oversight Committee, was actually a no-show at the hearing.

Lawmakers were amazed at the temerity of the former State Department employee who had been ordered to appear to testify on the deletion of some of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Pagliano was the one who had set up the Democratic presidential candidate’s private email server.

But the aide chose not to testify, and didn’t show up for the meeting, instead allegedly exercising his Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution, not to testify against himself.

The committee members argued about the matter, with their views split straight down party lines.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said, “He should be here. When you are served a subpoena by the United States Congress, that is not optional.”

That view was supported by Florida Republican Congressman John Mica, who suggested the committee consider ‘contempt of Congress’ as an option.

But committee member Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) argued the subpoena placed Pagliano under threat of criminal prosecution: Chaffetz had already asked the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to investigate deletions from the server, thus raising the possibility of a criminal probe. “It puts him in jeopardy coming before this committee while that criminal referral is in existence,” Lynch said. “He’s an American citizen. I know the Constitution gets in the way of this committee sometimes,” he added with heavy sarcasm.

Two employees of Platte River Networks, the Colorado-based company that maintained the server – Bill Thornton and Paul Combetta – were also subpoenaed to testify before the committee. Both arrived for their appearances but neither was willing to talk: each repeatedly exercised his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions.

Questioned on the security of the server and deletions of certain emails from it, Chaffetz was forced to excuse them both after endless repetitions of the same response: “On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer and exert my Fifth Amendment right.”

Justin Cooper, an IT specialist and the Clinton advisers who set up the email address, did respond to questions from the lawmakers about cyberattacks on the server, as well as who had access and how it was protected.

With two more hearings to go, the Congress members have yet to see an unedited, unredacted copy of the “unclassified” material from the server, let alone a redacted copy of classified reports.

Democracy in action?

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Activists Campaign at the DNC

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Pro-Palestinian Authority activists are out in full regalia at the Democratic National Convention, led — of course — by liberal American Jews sporting bold bright black and yellow logos on white tee shirts that proclaim “I support PALESTINIAN Human Rights” as if to assert that no other human rights exist.

Florida delegate Ahmed Bedier responded on Twitter to the activists with equal pride that his delegation had “just raised [the] Flag of Palestine at #DNCinPHL during platform vote #ProgressiveforPalestine” .

Remember, readers, it’s not really about America, or the Democratic Party, after all, or even about the United States Democratic presidential nominee.

It’s all about the “nth” generation millenials who still dream about their fantasy status as “refugees” or that of their friends — or who have romanticized “the Cause” on their behalf.

But these armchair liberals have yet to spend a gap year with their grandparents or those of their friends in the homes they say they miss so much. The ones that once were administered by the Jordanian authorities or the Egyptians, that is.

They’re in better condition today, but those villages were so badly maintained that in many of them there was sewage running in the streets. More than 90 percent of the homes were forced to provide their own electricity via personal diesel-run generators and their own water from village cisterns and tanks on their roofs.

So many of the village had basic infrastructure that was so badly maintained, in fact — the numbers are so overwhelming — and the population has remained so hostile, that it has taken this long for Israel to be able to do anything about it.

But many of the residents, particularly in the Palestinian Authority where four generations have been fed a steady diet of government-sponsored incitement via the media, the mosques and the school curriculum, that they prefer their misery and their PA citizenship to any improvements from Israel.

But hey, why should anyone complain about their nostalgia for the “good old days” if that’s what they prefer? After all, Jordan is right next door and just a hop over the Allenby Bridge, and Egypt is just south of the border — assuming that either of their loving Arab brethren will open their doors to let them in.

Hana Levi Julian

NY May Lose One of Its Pro-Israel Congressional Seats to Sanders’ Backed Democrat

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Zephyr Teachout, a former New York gubernatorial candidate and a Fordham law professor, defeated Livingston town Councilman Will Yandik to win the Democratic primary for the Hudson Valley, NY, 19th Congressional district. Teachout, a progressive, was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and many influential Democrats in the district. In November she will run against Republican John Faso.

Teachout is on the record as opposing NY Gov. Cuomo’s new order prohibiting awarding state contracts to BDS-supporting companies, which has earned her the support to many pro-BDS groups.

Back in 2014, when she ran against Cuomo for NY Governor (and won an impressive 26%), Teachout was accused of being anti-Israel. Last week, in a Time Warner Cable-sponsored debate with her primary opponent, she refused to declare her support for Cuomo’s anti-BDS order.

But on Tuesday, she finally went on the record, telling the NY Post, “I don’t support BDS.”

“I support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people living in peace and security alongside the state of Palestine as the national homeland of the Palestinian people,” Teachout told the Post. As to the BDS campaign, she declared: “I see that as not productive toward the ultimate goal of peace and security in the Middle East. … There are other diplomatic approaches open to those on both sides of this issue.”

According to Zach Carter, writing for Huffington, Teachout is very popular with progressives, and was one of a very select group of House candidates endorsed and helped by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The Sanders campaign helped raise money for the Teachout campaign. As a result, Teachout raised more money in the first three months of her campaign than any other House candidate from either party in the state of New York, relying mostly on small donors, with an average contribution of less than $50—just like Bernie.

Back in 2014, NY Jewish politicians bashed Teachout for her refusal to reveal her stand on Israel, which was widely interpreted as her unwillingness to reveal just how hostile she was to the Jewish State. In a September, 2014 press conference, on the eve of the primary vote, Councilman Mark Weprin called Teachout’s views “outrageous” and “offensive,” and then Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (Ah, those were the days) called her views “unacceptable,” adding that her and her running mate’s “failure to stand strong with Israel speaks volumes about their true feelings when it comes to protecting and defending the Jewish state … We as New Yorkers cannot accept this. We as New Yorkers have a strong and profound connection to Israel.”

In 2014, Jacob Kornbluh reported that Teachout hired Robert Akleh, a former Field Director for the Working Families Party, as her campaign consultant, to the tune of $60,800. Akleh had been fired as campaign manager for Bronx state Senate candidate Oliver Koppell after The NY Post questioned his anti-Israel rants on his Facebook page. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of New York Board of Rabbis, said in a statement back then:

“I was shocked to read in today’s news that Democratic candidate for Governor of NYS would choose to spend over $60,000 on a consultant who has made inflammatory comments against the State of Israel. The Jewish community in New York is the largest outside of Israel. As Israel is currently being dragged into war by Hamas, it is especially disturbing that a candidate for Governor would associate with someone who has a clear anti-Israel bias.”

Rabbi Potesnik added: “We call upon Zephyr Teachout to unambiguously let New Yorkers know what her position is regarding this issue.”

JNi.Media

Will Israel be ‘Trumped’ by the US Presidential Elections?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

There is a great deal at stake for Americans voting in this year’s U.S. presidential elections — but at least as much is riding on the results for the State of Israel.

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been one of the few candidates in the race to insist he would maintain neutrality when dealing with Israel and the Palestinian Authority from the White House.

Israeli Jews surveyed so far have nevertheless expressed more faith in his ability to deal fairly with Israel than any of the other candidates.

This may be due to Trump’s blunt, “in your face” style – the very characteristic that so alienates some of his American audiences – but which is similar to a large percentage of Israelis in the Jewish State.

It is far easier to deal with a person who is “up front” about their intentions, one might say, than a smiling politician who hides the weapon. Moreover, Trump pulls no punches about dealing with tough situations in a like manner – a necessary Middle Eastern attitude.

But probably the biggest factor in his popularity has to do with his willingness to simply say he will be neutral in dealing with both sides.

At an MSNBC town hall meeting in South Carolina on Feb. 17, Trump described a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as “probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make.” What he did promise was that if he were elected president, he would “give it one hell of a shot.” This was a deal in which he would act as “sort of a neutral guy,” he said. Wisely, when asked whose fault it was that no agreement had been reached so far, he deflected the question – and did not blame either side.

That is the mark of a real negotiator, one who has the seasoned skills of someone who has been at the table for a very long time. It gives the lie to those who claim Trump lacks foreign policy experience; they forget that Trump has been dealing with political leaders around the world for years while cutting deals in nations on different continents for his various business interests.

Israelis have too often heard American politicians claim their undying support of Israel only to throw the Jewish State under the bus as they try to “bring peace” to the Middle East.

However, at a Republican debate held on CNN, Trump did comment at one point: “It doesn’t help if I start saying, ‘I am very pro-Israel, very pro, more than anybody on this stage… With that being said, I am totally pro-Israel.” But he was unwilling to go farther, and made no promises whatsoever. Certainly no promise to ‘bring peace to the Middle East.’

Nearly every single U.S. presidential candidate has vowed to move the American embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem – and not one has done it once taking office.

Every American president swears up and down about the “unbreakable bond” between the two countries – but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama from freezing the supply of basic military equipment and ordnance in the middle of Israel’s defensive counter terrorist war with Hamas in the summer of 2014.

Promises are one thing and action is quite another, and if Israelis have learned anything, it is to know not to depend on fancy promises. So when a guy like Trump says he will be neutral, after flowery vows of endless support – that gets the attention of Israelis who are really sick of making that run for the bomb shelters.

Trump’s style and substance is straightforward, simple and different. He’s making no promises and no pretensions to expertise. He is an executive who says he’ll run the country pretty much the same way – by hiring top experts to do what they do best, in the areas of their specialization.

Hana Levi Julian

Sanders Keeps His Judaism Silent, Israel at a Distance

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

As residents head to the polls for Super Tuesday 2016 to choose a nominee for president in 12 states, Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is fighting to stay in the race against former Secy of State Hillary Clinton.

Folks in Vermont know their U.S. Senator likes to keep his Jewish faith on the “q.t.” and they have accepted it with equanimity.

But not so the American Jewish community at large – and that fact may now be creating a backlash at the polls, when Bernie Sanders most needs the support of The Tribe.

After his February 9 win in New Hampshire – the first Jewish candidate to win a major party presidential primary – Jews outside the country have been watching his progress closely. It was more sluggish than one might expect, given the swashbuckling performance he turned in last month.

Part of the problem is while most candidates are wide open about their personal backgrounds – they have to be for transparency’s sake – Bernie Sanders has been dismissive, almost brusque, about his own Jewish faith.

And in America, faith is very much an issue. There is still plenty of anti-Semitism, which Sanders is obviously trying to avoid, but most voters prefer some belief in the One Above. Complete secularism is not popular in the United States at election time.

After all, even on the U.S. dollar it says, “In God We Trust.”

Yet Sanders works hard to evade the issue. He does not identify himself as a Jew publicly even in the “cultural” sense. In fact, in 30 years as a politician he has totally avoided the issue, colleagues say.

He was heckled in Vermont during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and was among the few senators who did not co-sponsor the Senate resolution supporting Israel in the war. It passed with a voice vote.

As a presidential candidate, Sanders said he consulted the far-left ‘J Street’ lobby and the Arab American Institute founded by Jim Zogby on Mideast Policy. Last year he was one of the first who announced they were skipping the historic address to Congress on Iran by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is skeptical about Sanders as a candidate. “He’s never really been that identified that strongly with pro-Israel advocacy,” Hoenlein said.

Coming from Hoenlein, who is more of a centrist himself, that is a whopping red flag.

Perhaps all this is not as surprising as one might think, however, given his family background and the fact that his second wife, Jane, was raised a Roman Catholic. Sanders grew up in Brooklyn as the son of immigrants; much of his father’s family was wiped out in the Holocaust. In fact, he once told still remembers the call his father received in the middle of the night, telling him a relative had arrived at a DP (displaced person’s) camp.

From that, he told Margaret Talbot at New Yorker magazine, he learned that a 1932 election had led to the murders of 50 million people. From that, perhaps he left unsaid, he also learned early on that Jews could die when identified as Jews.

His brother Larry was quoted by PBS in an interview in England where he lives, as saying that being Jewish is “very important to us. There was no problem of debate, it was just a given in our lives, just as being Americans was a given in our lives. But Bernard is not particularly religious. He doesn’t go to synagogue often. I think he probably goes to synagogue only for weddings and funerals, rather than to pray.”

Hana Levi Julian

Obama Negotiated with Cuba ‘Behind Everyone’s Back,’ Lawmakers Charge

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama negotiated with Cuba to restore diplomatic relations “behind everyone’s back,” lawmakers charged Wednesday night after he announced the restoration of full diplomatic ties with the island nation.

News agencies in the United States buzzed on Thursday with the details of how Obama accomplished that task in a personal 45-minute telephone call on Tuesday with President Raul Castro. The call followed 18 months of secret talks between the White House and Cuban officials that also involved the highest levels of the Vatican – and Pope Francis himself.

As part of the deal, USAID worker Alan Gross returned from Cuba on a U.S. government 757 aircraft after five years in custody, along with a U.S. intelligence agent who had spent the last 20 years of a life term in prison.

The move, which was carried out without any knowledge of Congressional lawmakers on either side of the aisle, inflamed already hot tempers about Obama’s penchant for doing things on his own. Media commentators and some legislators on Thursday referred to the president as “King Obama.”

The president further exacerbated that anger by saying he was “ending an outdated approach that had failed to advance U.S. interests for decades… The previous approach failed to promote change, and it’s failed to empower or engage the Cuban people,” he said. “It’s time to cut loose the shackles of the past and reach for a new and better future with this country.”

Democratic lawmakers expressed shock and disappointment that the president had spent 18 months negotiating with an “enemy, Communist regime” without even consulting with any other legislator from his own party.

Members of the Cuban immigrant community were incensed that Obama had cut through more than half a century of sanctions and provided a “shot in the arm” to the repressive regime they fled for its brutality.

Castro said the 52-year embargo had caused enormous human and economic damage. He added there was still disagreement on many issues, including that of foreign policy.

Following the announcement, however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average leaped, possibly in response. Media commentators began discussing what the economic implications would be if Congress could not control corporate financial and production flow in and out of Cuba.

Hana Levi Julian

How I Stopped Fearing the Tea Party Apocalypse and Started to Love It

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

The most memorable early executive act on the part of the newly elected President Barack Obama, for whom I voted in 2008, was to embrace his predecessor’s economic stimulus package, push it up to $800 billion and give it to all the many speculators and fat cats who had caused the collapse in the first place.

As far as I was concerned, this was an act of class betrayal of an enormous magnitude. The White House and the loyal media bombarded us with the notion that if we dared permit sick, corrupt financial institutions to meet their natural demise it would mean the end of civilization. They were—so we were told—just too big to fail. Millions of Americans could go underwater with their properties – that we weren’t afraid of, but if AG stock holders were left at the end of the day with what amounted to so much useless paper – that would have been catastrophic.

What Obama should have done back then, which would have surely brought us over the hump in a couple of years—instead of schlepping a delusional recovery for the better part of a decade—was to hand out trillions of dollars to local municipalities, so they would in turn give them to their citizens for make-work. Dig ditches, mow lawns, fix bridges, write poetry, I don’t care. It wasn’t about the end product – it was about getting money into people’s hands so the economy would be resurrected not on Wall Street, but in the thousands of towns and hamlets across America. Because when you give a poor man a paycheck, he goes right away and pays for food, clothing, rent. It’s the best distribution system known to man. If it took ten trillion dollars – what the heck, print ten trillion dollars and send them out to fix the country.

You would be worried about inflation, you’re saying? Well, since the dollar has been taken off the gold standard in 1971, inflation is caused by one, singular factor: what it costs banks to buy money from the Fed, the U.S. central bank. If they pay half a percent or so in interest—as they’ve been doing for decades now—then there’s no inflation. The only other possibility for an inflation is if there’s a shortage of goods, and then too many dollars are chasing too few goods and the prices soar. Look around you – we’re in a merchandizing glut, despite all the economic catastrophes and the poverty line and the single mothers – there are still way too many iPhones out there for each American.

But you don’t have to agree with me on any of the above to understand the following: If, back then, in early 2009, when President Obama was pushing his stimulus package in all the wrong directions, a group of 80 Democrats had stood up on their hind legs and said, Hell, No, We Won’t Go, I and all my Democratic friends would have rushed to the streets to cheer them on.

That’s the part I find hard to accept – why is it that when 80 right-wing parliamentarians are standing on their hind legs and telling their leadership and their president to go to hell, they won’t sign on to what they consider to be a wrong budget policy – why are they being attacked as messianic crazies, just this side of the loony bin?

Former Labor Secretary in the Clinton Administration Robert Reich, whom I happen to like very much, had this to say to Spiegel about the Tea Party Congress members: “Some of them really have contempt for the entire process of government. They’re followers of people who say that we ought to shrink government down to the size that it can drown in a bathtub. They hate government viscerally. They’re not in Washington to govern; they’re in Washington to tear it down.”

I’m not telling you anything you haven’t seen and read over the past month or so, and as the looming date of the “default” grows nearer, those character assassinations will only get nastier. And the polls are showing that America is buying it, and seems to be blaming the Republican party for our economic mess. And since our politicians live and die by the polls, it’s quite possible they’ll find a way out of this crisis, maybe for 6 weeks, maybe for 2 months, who knows.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/how-i-stopped-fearing-the-tea-party-apocalypse-and-started-to-love-it/2013/10/13/

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