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May 31, 2016 / 23 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Party’

Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told a packed Conservative synagogue in Atlanta Thursday night that the biggest factor that will determine if runs for the White House is whether his family can handle it.

His speech was part an Obama-Biden blitz to convince Jews to back the nuclear deal with Iran, which now has enough backing in the Senate to defeat an opposition attempt to override a presidential veto if Congress rejects the deal.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was not what Biden had to say about “ObamaDeal” but rather if he will run. He answered questions from the audience, including one about putting his hat in the ring, and said:

Honest to God answer is I just don’t know

The most relevant factor in my decision is whether I and my family have the emotional energy to run.

Some people might think that is not appropriate. But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.

And everybody talks about the other factors — the other people in the race, whether I can raise the money and whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor. The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake an arduous commitment that I would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?’

His circumstances are far from ordinary. His son Beau Biden, who was considering running for governor of Delaware, died of brain cancer last May.

The Vice President mentioned a previous tragedy, the death of his first wife and daughter in an auto accident in 1972, in his speech at the Ahavat Achim synagogue. Biden said:

I know from previous experience after my wife and daughter … there’s no way to put a timetable to it.

“If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But I have to be honest with you and everyone who’s come to me, I can’t look you straight in the eye and tell you I can do it. That’s as honest as I can be.

Considering unfavorable polls of Hillary Clinton when it comes to honesty, Biden is an appealing alternative to the former Secretary of State and to Bernie Sanders, whose popularity has soared in the polls.

Sanders’ success reflects a large sector of the population that is fed up with “establishment political,” but as the Democratic nominee for president. he would leave the Democratic party more vulnerable to a loss to the Republican candidate, assuming the GOP nominee will be someone other than Donald Trump.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Undecided’ Sen. Cardin Predicts Congress Will Back Obama on Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said Tuesday he remains undecided on how to vote on the nuclear deal but that he is sure President Barack Obama will win the needed support in the Senate to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Speaking to students at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, Sen. Cardin did not name which Democratic senators will fall in line but said thematic number of 34 will be reached by the end of the week.

The Associated Press said that Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is scheduled to talk about the deal later today and probably will support President Obama.

Cardin is facing intense pressure from Jewish voters in Maryland to vote against the agreement. He is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox synagogue that generally is very supportive of Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Wasserman-Schultz ‘Blocked DNC Resolution Supporting Iran Deal’

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

At the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting which is being held in Minneapolis, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), who is the chair of the DNC, reportedly blocked consideration of a resolution backing the Nuclear Iran Deal, according to the Washington Post.

The resolution would have put the DNC on record as supporting the agreement in advance of the end of the August recess and the return of Congress members to Washington when they will take up debate on the issue.

James Zogby, who is the co-chair of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee, instead substituted a letter of support for President Barack obama and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“We wanted to show support for the president,” he said. “We found that the best way to show support was a letter that members would sign on to, and the overwhelming majority of DNC members signed onto the letter. This is the President Obama we elected in 2008 who said, ‘I choose diplomacy over conflict,’ and he did it,” the Post reported.

According to Zogby, “a sizable majority of the members of the national committee signed the letter.”

In addition to his position at the DNC, Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute.

A Democratic Party spokesperson claimed procedural issues were the reason the resolution was not considered, but other party members said Wasserman Schultz blocked it.

Wasserman Schultz has not yet publicly made a commitment either to support or to oppose the deal. She represents a heavily Jewish district which includes Miami Beach and up along the coast to just below Fort Lauderdale and then west to route 27. She sits on the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Clinton Puts Her Foot in the Mouth (Again) with ‘Boxcar’ Remark

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Hillary Clinton once again has proven that the best way for her to win the Democratic nomination for president is to keep her mouth shut.

She now is the target of scorn and anger for her remark Friday that Republicans want to “round up” immigrants and “put them…in boxcars.”

Any reference to packing people into boxcars immediately brings to mind the Nazis’ shipping out Jews to death camps in cattle cars and box cars.

Clinton’s spokesman Mick Merrill said that she there was no allusion to the Holocaust and charged that Republican Jeb Bush also used the word “boxcar,” although his reference was in a statement condemning the idea. He said in June, “I don’t think our country is going to be the kind of country that puts people on boxcars and sends them away.”

Clinton’s full statement on Friday was:

I find it the height of irony that a party that espouses small government would want to unleash a massive law enforcement effort, including perhaps National Guard and others, to go and literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.

I just find that not only absurd, but appalling.

Clinton also suffered foot in the mouth disease on Thursday when she made a snobbish and dictatorial remark after Fox News’ Ed Henry asked her three questions:

Were you aware that your husband wanted to give paid speeches for repressive regimes like North Korea?    Do you have any comment on these new e-mails that have raised questions about the conflict of interest involving your aide Huma Abedin? And finally, can you name one other cabinet secretary who had their own server?

Clinton answered only the first question, which was the least damaging, and preceded her response by saying:

Well, let me answer one of your questions, because I think that’s what you are entitled to.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

100 People Pay $33,000 To Meet Obama At Las Vegas Jews’ Home

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

President Barack Obama turned up at the home of Las Vegas Sun newspaper owners Brian and Myra Greenspun Monday night, where 104 people each shelled out $33,400 for the privilege.

Greenspun, who was a college classmate of Bill Clinton, is a longtime backer of President Obama and boosted the fundraiser for the state’s Democratic party, Politico reported.

Retiring Sen. Harry Reid asked the president to show up to help pump cash into the campaign for former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Reid in the Senate.

Greenspun took over the paper from his father Hank, who  conducted secret missions to transport military equipment to Israel during the War for Independence.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

MoveOn Members Yank Support From Schumer Over IranDeal

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

The U.S. debate over IranDeal is beginning to get dirty.

Less than 24 hours after Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York announced he would oppose IranDeal, the MoveOn advocacy organization released a statement saying it would withhold major campaign support from the senior senator.

MoveOn communications director, Nick Berning was quoted by The Huffington Post as saying, “We want to demonstrate to those who haven’t made their decision yet that there will be substantial political consequences for those who want to take us to war.”

Schumer announced last Thursday night he will oppose President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran over its nuclear development activities.

“After deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote ‘yes’ on a motion of disapproval,” Schumer said. “While I will certainly share my view and try to persuade [other colleagues] that the vote to disapprove is the right one, in my experience with matters of conscience and great consequence like this, each member ultimately comes to their own conclusion,” he added.

The bottom line, he said, was this: “Are we better off with the agreement or without it?”

The answer, he said, was that after 10 years, “If Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.”

The senator, considered the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, explained that he was concerned that after ten years, Iran will still be free to build a nuclear weapon.

Schumer drew instant praise from Agudath Israel of America for his action, however. “Senator Schumer has spoken out consistently and forcefully over the past several years about the grave threat a nuclear empowered Iran would pose to America and its allies, especially Israel,” the group said in a statement issued Friday morning.

The senator was also “courageous.” in stepping out on a limb to make his decision, Agudath Israel noted. “He is the first and thus far the only Senator of his political party to publicly announce that he will be voting against the position of the Administration.

“His high rank among his Democratic Senate colleagues surely created an incentive for him not to buck the leadership of his party. Fortunately, however, as he said in the statement he issued in announcing his intention to vote to disapprove the JCPOA, Senator Schumer made his decision “solely based on the merits … without regard to pressure, politics or party.” For this he deserves our sincere admiration and deep appreciation.”

Obama needs 34 votes in the Senate in order to sustain a veto he has vowed to advance to override the legislation if the motion of disapproval is passed.

Hana Levi Julian

NY’s Senator Schumer and Cong. Engel Will Vote Against the Iran Nuclear Deal

Friday, August 7th, 2015

If there was one member of Congress upon whom all eyes came to rest to see which way he would vote on the Nuclear Iran Deal, it was New York’s senior senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer, a Democrat who all understand is in line for a leadership role in the Senate, was watched closely for many reasons: He is Jewish, he represents New York State, he is a senior senator, and being pro-Israel has always been a badge he proudly wore.

Still, many of those watching Schumer have been seeing him through jaundiced eyes. No matter which way he decided, he would greatly disappoint supporters who have enormous control over his political future. Would he risk angering the leadership of his party and the man at the top of his ticket? Or would he vote to support the Nuclear Iran agreement and anger many of his constituents?

Those with practiced eyes concluded that Schumer would split his decision, first voting against the agreement in the initial round, but then either not voting to override the veto if the vote was close, or voting to override, but only if the count was such that the veto could not be overridden, not matter how he voted.

But the reasoning Schumer provided in his statement announcing his decision may lock him into voting for the same outcome, both times.

Schumer broke the agreement down into three different categories: the restrictions on Iran in the first ten years of the agreement; the restrictions on Iran after ten years; and the non-nuclear components and consequences of the deal. As his guide for which way to vote, he asked himself whether we are better off with this agreement or better off without it.

The senator explained that he sees various weaknesses during the ten year lifespan of the agreement, such as insufficient inspections access, including the need to obtain a majority of the other parties to agree to an inspection, and a cumbersome snapback mechanism. Schumer said that while there were problems with this portion of the agreement, it was possible to decide either way.

During the period following the sunset clause of the agreement, however, Iran would be stronger financially and “better able to advance a robust nuclear program.” Even more importantly, at the end of the agreement and with Iran as a threshold nuclear state, it would also enjoy the blessing of the world community. In other words, its leap into nuclear weapons capability would be sanctioned by the leadership of the world’s leading nations.

Schumer concluded that we would definitely be better off without the deal than with it, given the scenario at the conclusion of the JCPOA.

Finally, the non-nuclear aspects of the deal gave Schumer the most pause. In his opinion, the infusion of billions of dollars into Iran in the wake of sanctions relief could lead to catastrophic consequences. Unless one believes that Iran will moderate and cease its support for terror across the region, the lack of restrictions on how the money will be used was a fatal flaw.

if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Schumer does not believe that Iran is about to moderate or that it will become more moderate during the course of the agreement.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

Schumer’s decision became public just hours after the junior senator from New York, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, also a Democrat, announced that she will support the agreement.

New York Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-D-16) also announced on Thursday evening that he would oppose the JCPOA.  The reasons he gave were similar to Senator Schumer’s: the limitations on inspections capability, the influx of massive amounts of money in the wake of sanctions relief and the lifting of bans on intercontinental ballistic missiles and advanced conventional weapons.

Engel is the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nys-schumer-will-vote-against-the-iran-nuclear-deal/2015/08/07/

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