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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic National Committee’

One More Jewish Billionaire Can’t Hurt: Carl Icahn Trump’s Next Regulations Czar

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

The market’s ultimate outsider, investor, activist shareholder, and philanthropist Carl Icahn, who spent decades raiding and rearranging corporate headquarters to fit his and his fellow shareholders’ vision, will be drafted to serve as special adviser to President Donald Trump on overhauling regulations, the Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday.

Icahn, 80, was raised in a Jewish identified family in Far Rockaway, Queens, where his father, a sworn atheist, served as a cantor in a local synagogue. He is a world-renowned philanthropist, including large contributions to Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, of which he is a trustee, and which, in return, named a building the Icahn Medical Institute and, in 2013, renamed the Mount Sinai School of Medicine the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Icahn, who believes the Environmental Protection Agency hurts business, has been an influential member of the Trum transition team, including playing a central role in selecting the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in identifying Trump’s choices for other key posts, according to the WSJ. One of his contribution was the nomination of Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross to run the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively.

Both Trump and Icahn believe American businesses have been overregulated under the Obama administration, resulting in retarding investments and slowing down the economy. Icahn will become President Trump’s big stick in loosening regulations.

“I’m involved with Donald where he wants me to be—I believe he respects my views and I think he listens to me,” Icahn told the WSJ. “What Trump is trying to achieve is to show business in a lot of this country they aren’t going to be ruined by absurd regulation by bureaucrats.”

Trump for his part praised Icahn’s negotiating skills and said “his help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable.”

The Democratic National Committee criticizing Icahn as being loaded with conflicting interests, what with his billions in investments and his business dealings.

“It looks like Trump isn’t the only billionaire set to profit off of the presidency,” DNC spokesman Eric Walker said in a statement.

The WSJ got one cute scoop out the Icahn interview: when Mr. Trump the billionaire investor to consider becoming his Secretary of the Treasury, Icahn, also a late-nighter, joked that he doesn’t get up early enough to work for Trump. “I told him when you’re done tweeting, call me,” Icahn said. “I’ll be up.”

JNi.Media

Saban, ADL’s Greenblatt: Ellison Clearly an Anti-Semite

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Movie mogul and major Democratic party donor Haim Saban on Friday night at a Brookings Institution dinner attacked Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a leading candidate in the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, calling him an anti-Semite.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean dropped out of the DNC race on Friday, urging Democrats to elect only a full-time chairman, implying Ellison would not make an effective party leader because of his Congressional commitments. Speaking on Friday to state party chairs in Denver, Ellison said that if he’s elected chairman, he’d consider leaving Congress to devote his attention to rebuilding the party.

The fact that Ellison may be the next Democratic party decision maker stirred up Saban’s harsh response.

Speaking from his table at the dinner, Saban said: “I would just like to clarify something about Keith Ellison and him running for head of the DNC. […] I think it’s important for this audience to know. First, The fact that Keith Ellison is a Muslim is a non-issue at all. That is not an issue. With that out of the way, if you listen to Keith Ellison today and you see his statements, he’s more of a Zionist than Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin combined. I mean, really, it’s amazing, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Then Saban delivered his punch line: “[But] if you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted – he is clearly an anti-Semite, an anti-Israel individual. Words matter, and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party. Now I’ve said what I had to say.”

On Thursday, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, not a rightwinger in anyone’s book, issued an almost identical statement, albeit in a less blunt style:

“When Rep. Ellison’s candidacy to be chair of the Democratic National Committee was first reported, ADL did not rush to judgment.  Instead, we took a hard look at the totality of his record on key issues on our agenda. We spoke to numerous leaders in the community and to Mr. Ellison himself. ADL’s subsequent statement on his candidacy appreciated his contrition on some matters, acknowledged areas of commonality but clearly expressed real concern where Rep. Ellison held divergent policy views, particularly related to Israel’s security.

“New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel. In a speech recorded in 2010 to a group of supporters, Rep. Ellison is heard suggesting that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, saying: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”

“Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.  His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S. These comments sharply contrast with the Democratic National Committee platform position, which states: “A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.”

It appears that with or without Ellison at the Helm, rank and file Democrats are abandoning their party’s traditional relationship with the Jewish State. Israeli born Prof. Shibley Telhami, introduced a survey of “American attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” at the at the Brookings Institute Saban Forum 2016, using 1,528 panelists with a 2.5% margin of error, that included the question: “Is Israel an ally or a burden to the United States?”

Most respondents, 76%, across party lines, agreed that Israel is a strategic asset to the U.S. But a majority of Democrats (55%), say that Israel is also a burden.

The breakdown by age of respondents across the lines regarding the notion that Israel is a burden: 61% of people 55 years of age or older disagree that Israel is a burden to the U.S., while 31% agree that it is a burden.

51% of 35 to 54 year olds disagree with the notion of Israel being a burden. But only 49% of 18 to 34 year olds disagree with it.

JNi.Media

Report: Obama Talked Hillary into Conceding

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton on election night and talked her into conceding to Republican candidate Donald Trump, The Hill reported this weekend. Citing Clinton campaign sources, Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, authors of an upcoming book on the campaign from Crown Publishing, have told The Hill that Obama advised his former Secretary of State, “You need to concede.”

Obama made his move at 1:30 AM, according to the new book, after the AP had called the race for Trump. A while later, close to dawn, Clinton called Trump to concede her defeat.

According to The Hill, a fight has ensued between the Obama and Clinton camps over the wisdom of the concession so early in the process, and of trying to force a recount of three Rust Belt states: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Several Clinton campaign sources are now saying the Democratic candidate would not have called Trump had Obama not pushed her to do it, because the numbers were very close. “If anybody knew what actually happened that night, no one would have conceded,” one source said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee does not want to be officially affiliated with Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s effort to recount the votes, because they are afraid of being perceived in a negative light as sore losers and as calling the elections rigged – something they criticized Trump for after the third debate. But the Democrats are nonetheless hopeful that Stein would succeed in proving an error in tabulating, if not worse, an outright hacking of the vote.

Stein filed her request for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday, hoping to be able to enforce a similar move in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. Wisconsin registered just under 3 million votes, and the deadline to complete a recount is Dec. 13. Stein’s campaign needs to raise about $7 million for the effort, and so far its online crowdsourcing has picked up more than $6 million as of Saturday night.

President-elect Trump has tweeted furiously in response to the recount effort, stating, among other things, “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.” He also called the Green Party’s effort a “scam” to “fill up their coffers.”

JNi.Media

Pro-Israel Jewish Democrats Oppose Keith Ellison’s DNC Bid

Friday, November 18th, 2016

By Rafael Medoff

A growing number of pro-Israel activists and Jewish community figures are expressing concern that Minnesota’s U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will turn the Democratic Party away from Israel if he is elected party chairman.

The election of Ellison “would bode badly for Jews,” longtime Democratic consultant Dr. Hank Sheinkopf told JNS.org. “His positions on Israel fit the pattern, noted by recent research, of identified liberal anti-Israel bias and the movement of Democrats away from Israel.”

Defending Farrakhan

Ellison’s controversial statements and actions date back to the 1990s, when he served as a local spokesman in Minnesota for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement. Ellison raised eyebrows when he publicly claimed in 1995 that Farrakhan “is not an anti-Semite.”

Since his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, Ellison has emerged as one of the most vocal congressional supporters of the Palestinian cause. He has organized letters urging more U.S. pressure on Israel, voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, and spoken at fundraising events for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a hardline anti-Israel group. While visiting Hebron this past summer, Ellison tweeted a photograph of a placard accusing Israel of “apartheid.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack of Englewood, New Jersey, a prominent Jewish supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said he would be “disappointed” if Ellison is chosen as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because that would “accelerate the process” of pulling the Democratic Party away from its traditional pro-Israel positions. Genack told JNS.org that he will be speaking to his colleagues in the party to explain his “concerns about Ellison’s views on Israel.”

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents a heavily Jewish district in Brooklyn, strongly criticized the decision by New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to endorse Ellison. In an interview with JNS.org, Hikind, asked, “Does Senator Schumer actually believe that there is literally not a single other person in the Democratic Party, anywhere in the country, who would be a better choice than Ellison? Why is Schumer in such a rush to support a candidate who is so unfriendly to Israel?”

Hikind said Ellison “is the most radical candidate imaginable, someone who represents the extreme left wing of the party, which is why he’s being promoted by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and J Street—in other words, Ellison is being backed by all the wrong people if you care about Israel.” The assemblyman noted that Ellison has occasionally claimed to be a friend of Israel, “but if Israel has to depend on support from the Ellisons of the world, it would be in serious trouble.”

Possible defections

Some pro-Israel activists recall, with dismay, Ellison’s efforts to unseat a pro-Israel New Jersey congressman, Steve Rothman, in 2012. Dr. Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a Jewish political action committee in northern New Jersey, said it was “extremely unusual” for Ellison to target Rothman, “since Rothman was a fellow Democrat, in a district halfway across the country—what could motivate him to go to such great lengths?” Ellison spoke at mosques in New Jersey, urging Arab-Americans to vote against Rothman.

Chouake told JNS.org he fears that if Ellison is elected chair of the DNC, “one of his priorities will be to pull the party away from Israel.” Ellison represents “the fringe of the Democratic Party, not the center, and would it make even harder for the party to have broad appeal.”

The rise of Ellison could drive Jews out of the Democratic Party, according to Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a private wealth manager who worked in the administrations of New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican. “There are many longtime Jewish Democrats who are on the fence about whether to stay in a party that has been tilting away from Israel—and if Ellison is elected, I believe a good percentage of them will leave the party,” Wiesenfeld told JNS.org.

Wiesenfeld criticized Schumer’s endorsement of Ellison as “a crass political calculation—he sees the party succumbing to the far left, and he wants to go with the flow so he can retain his position.” He said that “Schumer’s phone should be ringing off the hook with calls from members of the Jewish community, asking ‘What happened to your promise to be a ‘shomer’ (guardian) of Israel?”
Ellison’s office did not return a request for comment from JNS.org.

The only other declared candidate so far for the chairmanship of the DNC is former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. A date for the election has not yet been set. According to party rules, it must take place prior to March 31, 2017. To win, a candidate needs the votes of a majority of the 447 members of the DNC. About one-fourth of the members are the chairs or vice chairs, of state branches of the Democratic Party.

JNS News Service

Wikileaks: DNC Strategy Was to Push Trump to Front of Republican Line

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

It appears that pushing into the limelight an esoteric, buffoonish, self-absorbed candidate so he would win the Republican presidential nomination — was the Democrats’ strategy from the start, their surefire way of propelling Hillary Clinton to the presidency.

“We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously,” states an April 7, 2015 email memo from the Democratic National Committee, exposed by Wikileaks. At the time, the “pied pipers” were Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson.

If you were wondering how come Donald Trump received so much free media exposure for months and months, why every comic in North America used him for fodder, and why he was consequently able to knock off his rivals so effectively — part of it, of course, had to do with his bombast personality and on-screen shenanigans, but part of it was supported by the opposition.

Under the heading “Our Goals and Strategy,” the memo stresses that “the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

“We don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party,” the memo recommends.

The memo outlines three strategies to make this happen: “1) Force all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election; 2) Undermine any credibility/trust Republican presidential candidates have to make inroads to our coalition or independents; 3) Muddy the waters on any potential attack lodged against HRC.”

It was a sound strategy, which most of us believed had worked as we all entered election day 11/9. “Most of the more-established candidates will want to focus on building a winning general election coalition,” says the strategy memo, suggesting that “more will need to be done on certain candidates to undermine their credibility among our coalition (communities of color, millennials, women) and independent voters.”

But while pointing out just how “outrageous” Trump, Cruz and Carson are as choices for the presidency, they also had to be mainstreamed, to help them gain the GOP primary votes. “In this regard,” says the memo, “the goal here would be to show that they are just the same as every other GOP candidate: extremely conservative on these issues.”

The DNC’s purpose in pushing up the most extreme, outrageous GOP candidate had to do with the party’s fears regarding Hillary Clinton’s own shortcomings. An email from Mandy Grunwald, a media advisor for the Democratic Party, that was forwarded to John Podesta, sums up the results of a focus group and lists Clinton’s vulnerabilities. Here’s the abridged version:

“Out of Touch – Should we add that HRC hasn’t driven a car in thirty-five years?

“Cronyism, foreign governments, I would name some of the countries, particularly those in the Middle East.

“Wall Street. ‘When HRC recently spoke to bankers at Goldman Sachs, instead of holding them accountable for their activities that crashed the economy, she told them that banker bashing was foolish and had to stop.’

“Obama’s Third Term. I would add ‘We need a new direction.’

“Ineffective. ‘Clinton flew all over the world, but she can’t name a single major accomplishment she made as Secretary of State.'”

To be able to win with so many strikes against her, Clinton’s people felt she had to go up against a rival who would make a fool of himself and become the brunt of a million jokes. The strategy worked, winning Clinton the popular vote in 2016 – but not the election.

David Israel

DNC Staff Make Fun of Jewish Congressman’s Weight Problems

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Last summer, Jerrold Nadler was New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House Member who supported President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, a point which was not lost on his opponent in last June’s primaries. Oliver Rosenberg, a Yeshiva University graduate and an orthodox Jew, argued that the Iran vote showed Nadler as being out of touch with his voters. Nadler, 69, won his primary election in a landslide, with Obama’s endorsement. But neither his crucial vote on the deal nor his firm hold on his own district have earned Nadler the respect of the Democratic National Committee staffers, the same folks who conspired with ousted DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz against candidate Bernie Sanders.

It all had to do with Congressman Nadler’s girth. In 2002 and 2003, Nadler underwent laparoscopic duodenal switch surgery, which helped him lose more than 100 pounds. But over the years all the weight came back, as often happens, unfortunately, with extreme diets and other dramatic measures. Now the NY Post has discovered among the thousands of DNC emails released by WikiLeaks last month an exchange that referred to Nadler in terms that might change his vote should another Iran deal come around.

It began with a mid-May request from Nadler’s office to attend an Obama fundraiser on June 8 at the home of Kenneth Lerer, the former chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, Managing Director of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed. Lerer lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which means he might be a constituent of Nadler’s, whose district stretches from the Upper West Side down through Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, the Financial District and Battery Park City, and over to Brooklyn, where it includes parts of Borough Park, Kensington, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.

“Do you really want Nadler there?” then DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan asked the White House in the exposed email.

Presidential aide Bobby Schmuck wrote back that President Obama wanted Nadler to attend the fundraiser, but without a guest. He emailed: “No +1.”

At which point DNC staffer Zachary Allen mocked Nadler’s weight problem. Here’s the May 18 email exchange, courtesy of Wikileaks via the NY Post:

Allen: Homeboy is NOT little.

Kaplan: I thought he got his tummy tucked.

Allen: He did, but like [Gov. Chris] Christie it all came back.

One day later, Zach emailed Kaplan about Nadler: “He was petitioning on my corner the other day and I thanked him for supporting the Iran deal and he bear hugged me. I kinda love him.”

Gotta’ love those bears.

And another day later (sifting through Wikileaks emails is like eating peanuts, you just can’t stop) Zach emailed Jordan Kaplan—who has since stepped down, mired in the Wasserman Schultz scandal: “Are we back to the point where I can say I love you? Because I’d like to.”

And Kaplan emailed back: “I love you too. No homo. Phew.”

So now when they ask you if you think the DNC (and the White House) is being run by children, you can answer with certainty, well, maybe not children, but teenagers, for sure. But no homo. Phew.

JNi.Media

50 Detained in Philly as Protesters Burn Israeli Flags at DNC Convention [video]

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Reporter Byron Tau tweeted Wednesday morning that “protesters are burning an Israeli flag now in front of the secure perimeter and chanting ‘intifada.'”

As can be seen in video snippets that are being uploaded on Facebook and YouTube, a woman whose face was covered in a black bandanna, Hamas fashion, set an Israeli flag on fire amidst a group of protesters outside of the cordoned Wells Fargo arena in Philadelphia. A person standing next to her was waving a Palestinian flag. There were reports of protesters burning the American flag as well.

The protesters are Senator Bernie Sanders supporters who have not heeded their own champion’s call to join the DNC in supporting the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton against their common enemy, GOP candidate Donald Trump.

More than 50 protesters were detained on Monday following a demonstration outside the Wells Fargo Center by activists from Democracy Spring. Police issued the detainees citations for disorderly conduct,

Sanders activist Jocelyn Macurdy Keatts told CNN she supports the Democracy Spring “very coherent” set of demands. “There seems to be legislative leverage here,” she said, adding, “The Democrats are already moving further to the left to accommodate Bernie supporters.”

It should be noted in this context, that during the writing of the DNC platform, Sanders fielded five rabid anti-Israel proxies who tried to enter anti “occupation” language into the platform, and they were blocked firmly by the majority of the platform committee: five Clinton proxies and four proxies appointed by then DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz has been maligned this week and forced to resign her post, but it should be remembered that in the DNC she is one of the most consistent pro-Israel voices. She may differ with rightwing Jews and Israelis on the two-state solution, but she has been a dyed in the wool pro-Israel legislator. And, unlike many fellow Democrats, and despite the fact that she was Obama’s handpicked leader of the Democratic National Committee, the Congresswoman attended Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. She ended up voting for the Iran deal, which turned out to be a giant mistake, but she did not shame the Israeli PM publicly as other Democrats have done.

Inside the DNC convention hall, Palestinian and Soviet flags were being waved proudly.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/50-detained-in-philly-as-protesters-burn-israeli-flags-at-dnc-convention-video/2016/07/27/

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