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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Party’

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Analysis: Chuck Schumer Now the Most Important Man in the World

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

(JNi.media) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is one of two dozen Republicans racing for the White House, on Tuesday challenged Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who will become the Senate Democratic leader in 2017, to turn his back on President Obama and help kill the Iran deal.

“Chuck Schumer is supposed to be the guardian of Israel. He goes around everywhere and says, ‘My name is Schumer. It means guardian of Israel,’” Graham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Well, if you care about Israel, you will not put her in this box,” Graham said. “If you care about the United States, you will not allow our chief antagonist to become a nuclear threshold nation guaranteed in nature with no restrictions for them to go beyond that.”

An aside: according to Ancestry.com, the roots of the name Schumer are in Middle Low German, a schumer is “good-for-nothing,” “vagabond.” But what’s in a name?

“The Iran drama is only beginning. Assuming that Obama can sell this deal to Congress—Chuck Schumer, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Tuesday night. And he’s absolutely right.

Many Democrats in the Senate will be taking their cue from Schumer on the Iran deal. “He will be the canary in the coal mine,” writes Doug Bloomfield. “He will be watched for his dual roles as a party and Jewish leader – he has boasted of being Netanyahu’s best friend on Capitol Hill,” and he has close to 1.8 million Jewish constituents, the vast majority of whom love Israel and loath President Obama.

Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, signed into law by the president, directs the President, within five days after reaching an agreement with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program, to transmit to Congress the text of the agreement and all related materials and annexes and affidavits.

It also directs the Secretary of State to prepare a report assessing all the various relevant agencies’ capacity to verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

The foreign relations committees then hold hearings and briefings to review the deal for 60 days, ending sometime in the second week of September, 2015.

The Congress disapproves. It’s part of the law, as is the presidential veto that follows, it’s as if those guys were writing a screenplay:

The President may not remove the sanctions for:

12 days after the date of passage by both Houses of Congress of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval, and

10 days after the date of a presidential veto of a congressional joint resolution of disapproval passed by both Houses of Congress.

If Congress passes the resolution of disapproval with a veto-proof, two-thirds majority — then the sanctions cannot be lifted, the deal is dead.

That last part is the most crucial: can Congress beat a presidential veto? Possibly. But only if Chuck Schumer wants it. And for Schumer to want it means that the most prominent act of the next leader of the Senate Democrats would be to defeat a Democrat in the White House.

Not likely.

On the other hand, there are those 1.8 million New York Jews, and AIPAC, and Bibi…

This is what Schumer said in a statement he released on Tuesday:

“Over the coming days, I intend to go through this agreement with a fine-tooth comb, speak with administration officials, and hear from experts on all sides. I supported legislation ensuring that Congress would have time and space to review the deal, and now we must use it well. Supporting or opposing this agreement is not a decision to be made lightly, and I plan to carefully study the agreement before making an informed decision.”

It probably means he’ll take his time, and then take some more time, and then, over the rest of the summer, start leaking hints that this is the best deal we could hope for, and by the time Labor Day comes and goes, he’ll side with the President.

Hillary Clinton Says She Will Be Better Friend than Obama to Israel

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Hillary Clinton has promised that Israel will have her as a better friend than President Barack Obama if she is elected President next year.

She also exclaimed that Iran poses an “existential threat” to Israel, as if any serious presidential contender thinks otherwise.

While strongly supporting attempts for a “good” deal with Iran, she is trying to reassure wealthy Jews that they can safely contribute to her campaign coffers and can sleep safely last night knowing that she will be good for Israel, even if Israelis spend the night running to bomb shelters.

That is what President Obama also said in 2008. That is what every presidential candidate says, but American Jews lover to hear because they want to believe it.

When it comes to the deal being negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran, Clinton is playing both sides of the fence, and it is not clear where she stands. Politico interviewed 10 donors and fundraisers and reported:

Donors who see a deal as important to world peace have come away thinking that Clinton shares their perspective, but so, too, do donors who oppose any prospective agreement as compromising Israeli security.

Clinton is no different from Obama and every other politician. “No deal is better than a bad deal,” she said, but what is a bad deal? Is it possible to make any deal with Iran can call it “good?”

Since no one yet knows if a deal with Iran will be reached and if so, what it will contain, Clinton can safely hedge her bets.

At stake is $2 billion that Clinton’s aides hope to raise for her campaign and super PACs.

in the meantime, she is boasting that her personality and experience as Secretary of State are guarantees for Americans Jews that she will be a lot friendlier than Obama when it comes to relations with Israel.

She started name-dropping, referring to former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren as “Michael” whom she said she knows well.

The penchant for American Jews to buy assurances that the American-Israeli relation will be just fine and dandy was summed up by Politico’s report on a fundraiser last month at the home of Democratic party donor Jay Jacobs. An Orthodox rabbi asked Clinton about threats to Israel, and Jacobs told Politico:

She did stress in no uncertain terms her full and fervent support of the state of Israel and the defense of the state of Israel. And the people in the audience who heard it seemed to be comfortable with her answer.

Good grief!

What did the rabbi think she would say? Did he really believe that Clinton would say, “Well, you know all the talk about threats to Israel is just talk to get more money from the military-industrial complex. Israel can fend for itself. Let’s talk about the economy and immigration.”

Of course she fervently supports Israel. That is what J Street also says.

At least she was honest when she stated, “I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of the U.S.”

That is what any president of the United States should do. He or she should be “pro-American” and not “pro-Israel.”

The kicker is that being pro-Israel usually is the best thing for the United States, even if presidents can’t admit it.

Jewish Sen. Bernie Sanders to Run for President

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Jew who is not involved in organization religion, will toss his hat in the political rang today and announce he is challenging Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic party’s nominee for president in 2016.

We would write that he is throwing his kippa into the ring except for the faint possibility that he even owns one.

Vermont Public News (VPR) reported, “Sanders will release a short statement….and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks…. Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.”

Sanders is an Independent and a vocal critic of “corporate America” and the government’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

A socialist, the 73-year-old Sanders wants to make campaign finance reform, climate change and the rich-poor gap as the center of his campaign, and he will focus on the proposed TPP to try force Clinton to declare whether she supports or opposes it.

Sanders might be exactly what the United States needs, someone who is not afraid to challenge the “billionaire class” instead of cooperating with it while the middle class, as in almost every other western country, fells it is becoming an endangered species.

His being Jewish is not going to win him any points from Orthodox or even the Conservative Jews.

Sanders, born in Brooklyn, once volunteered on an Israeli kibbutz after university, an experience which may have bolstered his socialist views.

As for Judaism, he is not actively involved, and the Burlington, Vermont Free Press reports:

When it comes to the impact of religion on his life, he said, ‘I find myself very close to the teachings of Pope Francis,’ and he described the pope as ‘incredibly smart and brave.’

A quote from Pope Francis also graces Sander’s Sanders for President Facebook page.

Judaism and being Jewish are not part of his public face. The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote last January after an interview with Sanders, “With a series of observations about the Jewish history of rootlessness and oppression, Sanders begins to describe the role of his lower-middle-class upbringing in forging him into the Congress’ only self-described socialist.

Sanders boycotted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress last month. He has deep roots in the civil rights and the anti-Vietnam war movements but has tried to remain neutral concerning Israel.

He said a Town Hall meeting in Vermont last year that Israel “over-reacted” to Hamas missile attacks but noted that the terrorist organization attacked from within populated areas and wants to destroy Israel.

If it is good news that this Jew is running for president, pray that he beats Clinton so he can lose the big race.

Below is a video of Sanders explaining why he boycotted Netanyahu’s speech.

Poll Shows Most People Don’t Trust Clinton

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Polls showing Hillary Clinton as the hands-down winner over any Republican candidate in next year’s presidential elections have left some Democrats with concern that the survey results may not be great news.

A Quinnipiac University published on Thursday revealed that only 38 percent of the respondents trust Clinton, while a majority of 54 percent thinks she is not honest or trustworthy.

She tops the polls when pitted against GOP candidates, and her leadership qualities are considered strong by those who participated in the poll, which also shows Marco Rubio as the emerging favorite among Republicans.

Quinnipiac’s Tim Malloy said of the poll results:

This is the kind of survey that shoots adrenaline into a campaign. Marco Rubio gets strong enough numbers and favorability ratings to look like a legit threat to Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has the nomination as the Democratic candidate sewed up if she stays healthy and if no more scandals are exposed, but it still is a free-for-all in the Republican party.

When Quinnipiac asked voters to decide between different Republican candidates and Clinton, Rubio came out best with 43 percent, followed by Rand Paul with 42 percent, Chris Christie with 40 percent and Jeb Bush with 39 percent.

More significant is that Clinton did not win majority support against any of the rivals. Her largest showing was only 46 percent when rated against Paul and Bush. She won 45 percent against Rubio and Christie.

The CNN poll is the only one that gives Clinton more than 50 percent support, It also show her with a 14-point lead over Rubio, the favorite in its survey,

A Fox News survey gives Clinton only a three-point lead over Paul and a four-point lead over Rubio and over Bush.

Like the Quinnipiac poll, she did not win more than 47 percent support from respondents.

Republicans will work hard to play up the issue of honesty, a virtue that has not been Clinton’s ace, especially, since it was discovered that she used her personal e-mail account when she was Secretary of State.

She also carries the stain of her handling, or mis-handling, of the assassination of  the U.S. ambassador in Libya.

Rubio, son of immigrants from Cuba, will be only 44 years old in May, and Clinton is 67. She has more experience, but Rubio is trying to turn his age to an advantage with an approach that the United States needs leadership that is not “stuck in the 20th century.”

Nancy Pelosi Will Oppose Iran Deal Legislation

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) will oppose Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R) legislation that allows Congress to review President Obama’s Iran deal, according to a report in The Hill.

Pelosi warned that the proposal by Senator Corker threatens to kill Obama’s deal.

Pelosi said, “Senator Corker’s legislation undermines these international negotiations and represents an unnecessary hurdle to achieving a strong, final agreement.”

But not all Democrats aren’t on the same page with Pelosi.

Rep. Steve Israel (D) implied that Pelosi was a partisan-based decisions when he said, “If President Bush had proposed this deal, I would demand the right to review it and to vote on it. President Obama is proposing this deal, I reserve the right to read it and vote on it… It shouldn’t matter who the president is, Congress has a constitutional responsibility to weigh in on deals of this magnitude and that’s exactly what we should do.”

There are apparently enough votes in Congress and the Senate for the proposal to pass, but President Obama has threatened to use his veto if it does.

If all the Republicans support the measure, only 45 Democrats would be needed to override the President’s veto.

Wasserman-Schultz Puts Stamp of Approval on Intermarriage

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done somersaults after making a comment noting the “the problem of intermarriage” in the Jewish community and then insisting she does not oppose it.

It is a bit bewildering that Wasserman Schultz, who also is head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), felt the need to retract a comment that should not have raised too many eyebrows.

Her remarks were made at a Jewish Federation event, in which she said:

We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage. We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community—particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance.

The playback must have sounded too committed to her and anyone, mostly in the Reform Movement, whose idea of “commitment” is not to be committed to anything, such as the Torah, that interferes with the individual as the judge and jury of what is wrong and right.

Here is how she backtracked:

At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it.

Is it guilt that was behind her repentance? Does she feel guilty for saying intermarriage is a “problem” when members of her family are a “product of intermarriage”?

Is it forbidden to say that intermarriage is a problem?

Apparently so.

Wasserman Schultz has implicitly put her stamp of approval on the “problem” of assimilation, which is estimated at 60 percent in the United States.

Reform Judaism does not officially oppose or favor intermarriage, although there is a clear trend of its clergy to officiate at weddings between a Jew and a non-Jew.

Polls show that only 25 percent of children of intermarried couples identify themselves as Jewish, and the term “Jewish” can be understood in its widest and most liberal interpretation that gives a person the self-satisfaction of calling himself a Jew while wolfing down a cheeseburger on Yom Kippur.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Ira M. Sheskin, of Cooper City, director of the University of Miami’s Jewish Demography Project, as saying, “There’s no question that there’s significant concern in the Jewish community over the percentage of people who are choosing not to marry Jews… From the point of view of a community that wants to see itself around in the next 100 years, it’s not a good trend.”

Wasserman Schultz’ Conservative synagogue Rabbi Adam Watstein told the Florida newspaper that “intermarriage is a feature of the reality of the Jewish community in the United States.”

That is true if the Jewish community accepts intermarriage. It is not true if it does not.

Prof. Sheskin mentioned that there is intermarriage in his own family, but that didn’t stop him from forecasting the obvious result of intermarriage for Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz couldn’t go that far, and her justification of what she admits is a “problem” is one more alarm siren for what remains of American Jewry.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/wasserman-schultz-puts-stamp-of-approval-on-intermarriage/2015/02/06/

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