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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Party’

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.

Netanyahu Wants to Discriminate against Terrorists

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is backing a bill to be submitted by outgoing Communications Minister Gilad Erdan to cancel social security and other benefits for terrorists and “those who identify” with terrorism.

The Prime Minister already is getting flak from the United States for the “Jewish State bill,” which the U.S. State Dept. did not directly oppose but about which he noted to reporters on Monday, “We expect Israel to stick to its democratic principles.”

Indirectly reacting to the remark, Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Tuesday there is no contradiction between defining Israel as a Jewish state and a democratic state.

Israel is faced with Fifth Column terrorism, and the government recently re-instituted the policy of destroying terrorists’ homes, assuming the Supreme Court dos not get in the way by deciding that doing so would deprive terrorists of their basic rights”

The United States last week condemned the practice in Israel, but said it is perfectly okay for Egypt to destroy hundreds of homes of Arabs in Sinai to create buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt.

That is a matter of “self-defense,” said U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki, as reported here.

Destroying a home of a terrorist in eastern Jerusalem is different, she explained, because it involves borders that the United States does not agree with.

We are waiting to see if the State Dept. wants to stick its nose deeper into Israel’s domestic polices, but it is worth nothing that a Democratic party Congresswoman from New York last month said he will introduce a bill to stop Social Security payments to former Nazis.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney said, “It’s deeply disturbing and I’m deeply disturbed that these individuals continue to receive Social Security benefits even after the Justice Department identified them as Nazi war criminals,” speaking with Business Insider.

“If you’re a Nazi war criminal, you’re a Nazi war criminal. You should not be receiving Social Security benefits. Period,” she added.

 

And what about terrorists?

“’ll look at cutting off benefits to terrorists that are deported,” she added.

Rep. Jim Moran, Notorious for Repeated Clashes with Jews, Retires

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, a longtime congressman from northern Virginia who repeatedly clashed with pro-Israel and Jewish groups, is retiring.

Moran, 68, told media Wednesday that he would not run again in his district, which comprises Arlington, Falls Church and parts of Alexandria and Fairfax County, because it has become strongly Democratic, making his vacant seat safe for the Democratic Party. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Moran had repeated clashes with pro-Israel groups and with Jewish members of his Democratic caucus over claims he made in 2003 and 2007 that without Jewish support, the United States would not have launched the war with Iraq.

A blunt speaker who never got the hang of holding his tongue, he got into deeper trouble with his apology in 2003, when he seemed to accuse Jews of controlling who gets elected.

His district includes one of the fastest-growing Jewish populations in the Washington area, and in the 2002 election he solicited a letter from Jewish lawmakers praising his support for Israel.

A year later, after his claim at a town hall meeting that “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” a number of the Jewish lawmakers who had signed the original letter repudiated him and said they would no longer support his election.

Referring to that repudiation and other calls for him to step down in an interview with a newspaper in which he also apologized for the original offensive remark, he said: “It’s unhealthy for the American political process for any group within our society to be able to decide who should and who shouldn’t represent a constituency.” That occasioned another round of condemnations.

His notoriety was such that in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama welcomed Moran’s endorsement, which was routine – and simultaneously reassured the Jewish community that he disagreed with Moran on who was to blame for the Iraq War.

Whenever he was faced with such complaints, Moran would note that one of his daughters had converted to Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz Turning Her Back on Israel over Iran Sanctions

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s pro-Israel image is being tarnished – make that blackened – by a firmly based report that she is the number one obstacle to a bi-partisan Congressional initiative to threaten new sanctions on Iran, effectively scuttling the recent interim agreement secured by President Barack Obama and the rest of the P5+1 club.

Her spoiler role, reported Wednesday by the Washington Free Beacon, starkly differs from her wild support in August 2012 for the “hardest-hitting sanctions in history” against Iran thanks to Congress having made “clear to the world [that] we are resolute in using all tools at our disposal to halt Iran’s nefarious nuclear ambitions.”

Those “nefarious ambitions” apparently have transformed in less than 18 months into the development of enriched uranium for medical research and other do-good humanitarian efforts that are a disguise for a nuclear warhead headed for Israel, if not Washington.

President Obama has threatened he will veto any Congressional bill to impose harsher sanctions on Iran and put a hole in his “engagement” with the Ayatollahs. Nevertheless, leading Democrats such as New York Sen. Charles Schumer and New Jersey’s Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker don’t buy it, and they support the proposed bill that shows Iran it cannot get away with murder literally.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland also was on the sanction bandwagon but backed off in the past two weeks. Why?

All fingers point to Wasserman Schultz, the Free Beacon reported, and the reactions back home in her strongly Jewish South Florida district are far from favorable.

“Every minute she is publicly silent, or working against bipartisan efforts to pressure Iran, is a minute she is siding with the Mullahs over the American people who overwhelmingly want mounting pressure,” one Democratic Congressman told the Washington newspaper.

“Debbie has been busy at home telling her constituents she is doing all she can to stop Iran, but in reality it appears she is busy behind the scenes working to scuttle bipartisan action to put increased sanctions pressure on Iran.”

It quoted a South Florida Jewish community leader as saying that her constituents have serious problems with her new soft-on-Iran position.

She has a Congressional ally with Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who also opposed the bi-partisan effort, but she will have a lot of explaining to do at a meeting this week called by Jewish leaders in her South Florida district.

Wasserman Schultz’s spokeswoman did not reply to the Free Beacon’s request for a comment on the report.

The first sign of her currying favor with President Obama and closing her eyes to Iranian’s Islamic wish to annihilate Israel came on November 25, after the interim agreement was reached.

“I commend President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Under Secretary Sherman and their team for the tremendous amount of work they put into these negotiations,” she said in a press release. “This agreement provides a framework to stop the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran while we work to negotiate a broad, comprehensive deal to permanently dismantle their nuclear weapons capability.”

After having bragged in 2012 that the Congressional sanctions caused Iran “a daily loss of $133 million and 1.2 million barrels of oil… [and] that we will not accept a nuclear Iran, and that we are prepared to use all options at our disposal to keep the world free from this Iranian threat.” she has swallowed the Obama “let’s trust Iran” policy hook, line and sinker.

Wasserman Schultz is ignoring official Iranian statements that make it clear it signed the agreement to buy time.

For example, the interim agreement would prohibit Iran from adding more centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facilities.

So how did Iran follow up? Well, at least it is honest, to wit:

“We have two types of second-generation centrifuges. We also have future generations [of centrifuges] which are going through their tests,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said less than two weeks ago.

Also last December, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Arak reactor in Iran that is designed to use plutonium, which could be used to construct a bomb, is “frozen stone cold, where it is” and “we’re actually going to have the plans for the site delivered to us.”

Really?

Salehi announced a week later that Iran’s heavy water installations Arak will continue its work with full power.

If Wasserman Schultz still believes that Iran has turned over a new leaf and no longer has “nefarious ambitions,” all she has to do is look at Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah, now up its neck in Syria and working with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, is smuggling anti-ship missiles from Syria piece by piece after previous attempts to smuggle them into Lebanon were ruined by Israeli intelligence, followed up by Israeli aerial strikes on the weapons.

So Iran really does not need a nuclear bomb if it can simply use Hezbollah to blow Israel off the map.

Wasserman Schultz may be the woman who saves President Obama from having to veto the sanctions bill, which already has the support of 50 senators, twice as many as when the bill was introduced last month, and one short of a majority.

The bill is aimed at putting teeth into the interim agreement by declaring that Iran must abide by it rather than simply biding time until a final agreement is reached, if that ever happens.

If not, then new sanctions would go into place.

It appears that the only thing that might change Wassermann Schultz’s new go-soft-on Iran position is a severe backlash from her constituents, who are more worried about the Iranian nuclear threat against Israel – and the United States – than she is.

Conn., Virginia Campaigns Use Ill-Gotten Jewish Mailing Lists

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The address list and labels from the Greater New Haven Jewish Federation were used by the campaign for a mayoral candidate in the Connecticut city.

The mass mailing in support of Toni Harp was delivered over the weekend. Some recipients recognized the labels as originating from the federation, the New Haven Register reported.

Syndney Perry, executive director of the federation, told the newspaper that the federation never takes a position during an election.

Perry told the Register that the only three people at the federation who had access to the labels said they had no knowledge of how the Harp campaign got the labels. She said the campaign for the Democratic candidate and state senator did not ask her for permission to use the federation’s mailing list.

Meanwhile, the local Democratic Party in northern Virginia used the directories of at least two area synagogues and a Jewish day school to send information for an official campaign event hosted by gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The directories include the personal contact information for every synagogue member.

Campaign interns who are members of the organizations reportedly procured the lists.

The Post-Obama Democratic Party

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Two elections ago, the Democratic Party was on the verge of being torn to shreds. After a long series of dirty tricks and one stolen election later, there was an uncomfortable coming together.

Obama and his cronies kept most of the important positions, while the Clintonites got a few pieces of the foreign policy apparatus. The arrangement satisfied no one, but it kept ticking along until the Benghazi attacks happened.

By the time Benghazi happened, Clinton and Obama needed each other more than ever.  Obama needed the Clintons on the campaign trail to sell him to more moderate Democrats who remembered that times had been better under Bill. Hillary needed Obama to anoint her as his intended successor.

The awkward dance, complete with an injury, a congressional hearing and a 60 Minutes interview and then the real fireworks began.

Hillary Clinton had turned lemons into lemonade, getting what she could out of Obama. State had looked like a good spot for her because it would insulate her from the backlash over the economy. And she would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for Benghazi. It wasn’t quite leaving on a high note, but as bad as Benghazi was, no one in their right mind would want to be associated with what is going to happen in Afghanistan. At least no one who isn’t as dumb as Hanoi John who began his career with Viet Cong and Sandinista pandering and will end it watching the Taliban take Kabul.

Benghazi hasn’t slowed Hillary Clinton down. And her target is the same old target from 2008. We’re back in that 3 A.M. phone call territory. The truce between Obama and Hillary Clinton ended on 60 Minutes. It’s not exactly war, but it is politics.

While Obama and his cronies plot out the second term, Hillary Clinton is plotting out her election campaign. These days every presidential campaign begins with the ceremonial burial of your own party’s predecessor. It wasn’t just McCain who kept a careful distance from Bush, Gore kept a careful distance from Clinton and Bush Sr. kept a careful distance from Reagan. The reinvention invariably involves the ritual jettisoning of some portions of your predecessor’s program and personality.

Hillary Clinton isn’t betting on being able to ride Obama’s coattails. Not only are the coattails short, but the same electorate of younger and minority voters whose turnout he could count on, won’t be quite as eager to come out for her. Her people are not betting on Obama’s strategy of dismissing mainstream voters and counting on making it up with a passionate base. To win, Hillary Clinton will have to win back some of the same voters that Obama alienated during his two terms.

The script is already written. You can spot it peeking through select mainstream media editorials. Watch for those instances where mainstream media pundits blame Obama’s inexperience and his failure to reach out across the aisle for his shortcomings. Those mentions aren’t so much an attack on Obama as they are a campaign sign reading, “Hillary 2016.” It’s subtle for now, but a year from now, those grudging admissions that Obama fell short in some areas will come with the strong suggestion that next time around, someone more experienced and more able to build bridges could do better.

Republicans will rightly wonder on which planet, Hillary Clinton is an experienced bipartisan leader. But compared to Obama, she is, and these days we are grading on one very gentle curve. Clinton had begun building that image for the 2008 election and now her people are taking it out and dusting it off again. The Democratic Party is being given the chance to choose the sensible experienced candidate that it failed to choose last time around. And the fact that the candidate in question is actually neither is one of those things that doesn’t really make a difference.

In preparing for a Post-Bush candidacy, Hillary gambled that the public would want someone a little more to the right and so she cultivated an image as a conservative member of the Democratic Party. Not only did she cultivate the image, but she made an occasional effort to vote that way and build those alliances. It was good planning, but a bad bet. Unlike Bill, Hillary was never an instinctual politician. Bill plays it by ear, while Hillary makes long term plans and is caught by surprise.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/daniel-greenfield/the-post-obama-democratic-party/2013/05/19/

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