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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Staunch Israel Supporter Rep. Bachmann Calls It Quits

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, a staunch supporter of Israel, announced Wednesday she will not for a fifth term in Congress next year.

Like Alaska’s former Gov, Sarah Palin in 2008, Bachmann was a darling of the Tea Party. After she launched a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination last year, she quickly became a frequent target for media mockery for several statements that were full of historical and factual errors.

Bachmann, who is not Jewish but volunteered on a kibbutz in 1974, delivered speeches as a fundamentalist Christian who has said she “grew up with a love for Israel.” She has asserted that Israel and the United States “share the same exceptional mission – to be a light unto the nations. I was raised in a home full of love for Israel. We learned that our Christian faith is rooted in Judaism.”

She was one of the founders of the Tea Party movement but believed the support from a vocal minority was broader based than it was. After she topped initial polls and then fell to the bottom of the pack in the crowded contest for the nomination, she dropped out of the running.

The campaign is history, but recent federal investigations have targeted her for misusing campaign funds.

She denies any wrongdoing and said the probe has nothing to do with her decision not to run again. In an eight-minute video explaining her decision. Bachmann tried to persuade supporters, if not herself, that she was sure she would win if she were to run again, although Jim Graves, who almost defeated her last year.

Which Genius in the GOP Came Up With This One?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

There was a time in the 80s when standup comedians were required by law to wear loud blazers and louder ties and to demand answers to life’s unanswerable questions about senseless products, airline regulations and the other inconveniences of modern life. “Who were the geniuses who came up with that one?” was their demand.

The Republican Party, which has been a joke for almost as long as it has been a party, is in the hands of those same geniuses. Fresh off two defeats in presidential elections, they have come up with the plan of all plans to get back on top.

First, they will nuke their own grassroots by raising money to attack deviant Tea Party candidates and protect true conservatives who support amnesty, tax shelters and tax hikes. Considering that the Tea Party was responsible for the first Republican victories since 2004, how is spending money going after it bound to attract voters and improve prospects for more victories in 2014.

Second, they will add 11 million Democratic voters to the rolls through amnesty for illegal aliens as part of a brilliant plan to stop being a national party and settle down to fighting pitched battles for local council seats. Even the geniuses behind the election polling and ORCA should be able to win a few those. And if they can’t, then it’ll be time to raise more money to keep down some of those pesky Tea Party types trying to run for school boards while saying politically incorrect things.

Fortunately there is a clear path to victory. All we have to do is convince the Party of Consultants that all is lost and that they should come out as Democrats now. If they do that, then the Democratic Party will be a useless ruin within a decade. If they don’t do that, the Republican Party will have the same policies as the Democratic Party, except for the part where it wins elections.

The establishment wanted Romney in ’12. And they got him. They assured us that he was the only electable candidate. And when he lost, they told us that he didn’t fail, the country failed him. And if a campaign built on Staples couldn’t catch fire, it must have been due to the descent of the country into a nation of takers.

And they have a plan for ’16. They’ll run an immigration friendly candidate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio to win the Latino vote. Sure, Rubio lost the non-Cuban Latino vote in Florida, and unless the entire population of Cuba gets imported to the United States and legalized between now and ’16, he’ll only win, at best, as much of the Latino vote as Bush did, or as Rick Perry did, which isn’t enough to win an election, especially once you’ve legalized the 10 percent of Mexico that lives north of the Rio Grande. But after they blow that one, the geniuses will step up to the plate and blame the Tea Party for a loss by another of their perfect candidates because during the primaries Rubio or Bush was forced to disavow Amnesty II or Amnesty III.

The Republican Party of ’12 looks a lot like the Democratic Party of ’88. It’s outdated and running on fumes. All its slogans are tired and its leaders seem completely out of touch. Even the most unfair attacks stick to it, because it has no momentum. It isn’t going anywhere because it’s enclosed in a shell of outdated ideas and tired figures from its past who prevent anyone from coming to the fore. That same state of affairs led to the unlikely candidacy of Bill Clinton among the Democrats, but assuming that an obscure southern governor will battle his way through the Republican primaries to reveal a talent for national politics may be hoping for too much. And if he did, the establishment would spend their cash reserves to crush him in favor of a reliable choice like Paul Tsongas.

It didn’t have to be this way. The Tea Party gave the GOP a shot in the arm. Suddenly it was acting and thinking like a revolutionary party. There were ideas in the air, energy on the ground and anger coalescing into action. And then it all got shut down for four months of infomercials about Staples because the establishment had gotten what it wanted and decided to play it safe before the big game.

The Republican Party has no ideas. Its only ideas involve deciding which liberal platform to “evolve” its way up to and how to sell that “evolution” to the base. And a lack of ideas comes from a lack of beliefs.

There comes a time in every struggle when a man wonders why he’s doing this. And if the only answer is to win, then he isn’t really fighting for anything. He’s being competitive. Or he’s fighting to make money. Or because it’s all he knows. All three attributes describe the Republican Party now. Its leadership does not believe in anything. It believes in winning in that abstract corporate competitive way. It doesn’t really know why it’s fighting though, except that the other guys will make a mess.

A party without ideas borrows them from its enemies. The big idea that the Republican establishment has is to be more like the Democrats. They just can’t decide which area they want to imitate them in the most. But the one thing they do know is that they need to get those annoying conservative ideas off the stage first.

Going after the Tea Party is sound strategy for the establishment, not from the standpoint of winning elections, but of keeping their jobs. If you lose, then you need someone to blame. The establishment is protecting its scalps by claiming the scalps of the reformers who might give them the boot. That’s one way of winning a circular firing squad. And of losing all the elections that follow.

Without ideas or beliefs, the Republican Party stands for very little except being the Party of Staples, and while Staples seems like a very nice store, it’s not really enough to base a whole country on. If the United States is to be reduced to a superstore full of office supplies, then America is no more exceptional than a stack of writing paper, four rulers and some office furniture shoddily made in a factory in some polluted Chinese megalopolis.

As the Staples Party, the Republicans are interested in importing more cheap labor into the country. It may not be good for the country, but it is good for the people who sign their checks and that’s good enough. And if Amnesty destroys the Republican Party, then they’ll find someone else to make their checks out to. Influence can always be bought, even in totalitarian countries, ethics and ideas cannot.

The Republican Party is an organization at war with its base. The Republican leadership and its backers think big. Their base thinks small. That inability to think small, to echo the concerns of ordinary people lost two elections. Reagan and Bush won, in no small part, because they appeared to be part of the small world of ordinary people. They shared their culture and concerns. They gave signs of being able to think small, and though the media ridiculed them for it as buffoons and dopes, Bonzo and the Bushisms had the last laugh. But that sensibility never sank into the leadership.

The establishment has failed to come to terms with the fact that the GOP cannot be a party of urban liberals and has been the exact opposite of that for some time. It can’t even be the party of wealthy people who live in liberal areas and agree with liberals on many things, except national defense and excessive regulation. The Republican Party can either become one with its base, or it can either try beating it off with a stick some more while waiting around for Meghan McCain to deliver the new hip conservative movement.

The Republican Party has spent so much time trying to win over swing voters that it has lost sight of the fact that it is presiding over an empty hall, a vast echoing space in which nothing is happening. The Tea Party may be the last hope of the GOP, its final chance to connect with a base, gain some fresh energy and ideas, and emerge in fighting shape in ’14 and ’16. And if it can’t do that, then there’s always room on the standup comedy circuit of the big empty hall.

A longer version of this article originally published at Sultan Knish, under the title, “Who Were the Geniuses Who Came Up with This One?

Simcha Felder Wins State Senate Seat

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Former Councilman Simcha Felder is the new State Senator for the newly cobbled “super Jewish district,” having won 65 percent of the vote against the GOP incumbent Senator David Storobin.

Felder, an Orthodox Jew, has been endorsed by the Jewish Press, to represent a district that includes Borough Park, Midwood and Homecrest.

Although he was running as a Democrat, Felder supported the Romney-Ryan ticket and said he would caucus with the GOP if it retained control of the Senate in Albany.

GOP Claiming a Rout in Pennsylvania Based on Absentee Ballot Returns

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The website GOP.com on Monday suggested that President Obama’s campaign is trying to protect Pennsylvania, sending big gun Joe Biden to a state that was considered safe for Democrats. The website claims the reason for the sudden change in strategy was the huge GOP edge in absentee ballot returns in that state, which went for Obama by 10% in 2008.

In 2008 the GOP edged the Democrats by a mere 2% in absentee ballot returns, says the website As of Monday, the GOP’s lead was 18.8% — a 16.9% bump. Republicans have turned in 55.2% of the absentee ballots to date while the Democrats have returned just 36.4%.

GOP.com boasts a huge effort on the ground in Pennsylvania in recent months, with more than 60 staff and dozens of offices, adding: “We have made over 5 million volunteer voter contacts including over 1 million volunteer door knocks across Pennsylvania. That voter contact is paying off in the absentee ballot returns and clearly the President’s campaign sees it in their numbers. That’s why they are playing defense in the Keystone state as Governor Romney’s momentum allows us to expand the map.”

But while this good news for Romney may be very real, every single poll conducted in Pennsylvania in the past two weeks gives the edge to Obama, including Rasmussen Reports, which on October 24 showed Obama with a 51-46 lead. The poll average is at +4.6 in Obama’s favor.

Next Tuesday is going to be a very long night, possibly well into Wednesday…

The GOP’s Anti-Sharia Plank

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Republican convention delegates voted last week to adopt a platform plank, cautioning against the use of foreign law in U.S. courts. While jurists such as Supreme Court Justice Scalia have said that “foreign legal materials can never be relevant to an interpretation of the meaning of the U.S. Constitution,” and Justice Thomas has written that the Court should not “impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions on Americans,” other jurists have searched foreign legal sources to locate “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

This GOP platform provision, however, represents something beyond concern over the practice of buttressing sketchy legal reasoning with extra-American sources; the GOP statement also objects to Sharia law or any other foreign legal code that threatens to creep into judicial decisions disguised as validated ethnic customs. As suggested, this admonition would apply when claims in a legal dispute are based upon cultural codes with deficient individual and civil right protections compared to American constitutional standards.

The publicized New Jersey spousal abuse case first raised widespread alarm when a trial court judge refused to issue a restraining order against a husband despite the established record of domestic violence and assault (reversed on appeal). The judge ruled that the husband did not demonstrate sufficient legal criminal intent in light of an imam’s testimony that wives are required to comply with husbands’ sexual demands. The man’s wife, known in the opinion as S.D., was 17 on the day of her wedding and did not know the bridegroom before the marriage ceremony in Morocco.

Another case that presented the Sharia terms of a foreign marriage in an American court is that of Joohi Hosain. When Joohi left her marriage (under strict Sharia rules, wives are not generally allowed to sue for divorce), her husband in Pakistan sued for custody of their daughter, Joohi fled to America on a student visa with her daughter, and eventually presented her custody case in U.S. courts after her by-then-ex-husband pursued her to Maryland. Although Joohi explained that making an appearance in a Pakistani court would likely result in accusations of adultery and the possible punishment of whipping or stoning, the Maryland appellate court determined that even so, the mother had the notice and opportunity to be heard and was thus afforded proper due process. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals then deferred to the Pakistani ruling that it was in the best interest of the child for the father to have primary custody.

About half of the cases involving Sharia family customs which have been presented for adjudication by American judges involve marriages solemnized in other countries, but many Islamic domestic marriages are also based on Sharia norms. These domestic unions present unique challenges: they often begin with disregard for the state law regarding the registration of officiants and the licensing of marriages. Even worse is the disregard for due process and informed contract formation when marriages and property distributions are arranged without the bride’s participation.

After a review of both foreign and domestic Islamic marriages, I recently presented a survey to the Federalist Society that considered both published and unpublished family court cases that adjudicated Sharia terms. To date, about 25 U.S. family law cases reflect the U.S. approval of the Sharia-based marital terms in the family court or the court of appeal.

Consider the plight of two Muslim American women. First, Hamideh Saba Saadatnejadi, an American of Iranian descent, married in Tennessee after her father negotiated the Sharia version of a dowry. However, the imam was not registered with the state, and the required marriage license was not filed. The union did not last long, and her husband tried to extort Hamideh’s interest in the Sharia prenuptial (part of which was agreed to by the husband to deter him from marrying up to three additional wives if he returned to Iran) by threatening not to file the marriage license unless she relinquished claim on her dowry. The family court ruled the marriage void as required procedures were not followed, but the appellate court reversed the decision and recognized the marriage based upon substantial compliance with Tennessee law.

Courts went the other way in New Jersey when Faranak Yaghoubinejad married her husband according to Sharia formalities but without complying with licensing laws. Again, when Faranak filed for divorce, her husband conveniently claimed that the marriage was not legal. The trial court this time upheld the marriage based upon the union having some elements of a marriage, but the appellate court reversed the decision, saying the “ceremonial marriage of purported spouses was absolutely void.”

African American May Run for NY Mayor as Fusion Candidate of Orthodox Jews, Evangelicals

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

The NY Post’s Michael Benjamin, himself a former Democratic assemblyman, reported that NY State Senator Malcolm Smith from Queens, a Democrat, is planning to be the city’s 109th mayor, come 2013, running on the Republican ticket. He also suggested that Smith’s trial balloon had rattled some GOP leaders, who are attempting to nip it in the bud. Democrats are saying Smith is just a stalking horse for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, meant to sway black votes from former city Comptroller Bill Thompson.

To remind you, Malcolm Smith’s former 15 minutes of fame happened over his pitifully short stint as State Senate majority leader — when he lost his majority after Democratic senators Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate defected to the GOP. It was political slapstick at its worst, and quite a record from which to recover. In the end, Smith was deposed by the Senate Democrats.

Benjamin reminded his readers that Smith still faces questions about a suspicious awarding of the contract to run the Aqueduct “Racino,” and irregularities at some charities with which he is associated.

“One of the questions we ask candidates is, ‘Have you ever done anything that would be an embarrassment to you or the Republican Party?’” Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa told the NY Daily News. “I don’t think he could pass that test.”

Except that the same Daily News report says State Republican Chairman Ed Cox confirmed that he met with Smith “at the urging of a mutual friend,” but declined to comment further.

“There’s an opening for a fusion candidate in the 2013 race,” says Benjamin, pointing out that all the Democratic candidates have been left of center, yet as the last five mayoral elections have shown, the left no longer has the majority even in New York City.

The alliance Benjamin envisions would combine Republican voters, the Orthodox Jewish bloc, outer-borough “Koch Democrats” and minority voters.

He suggests that the Haredi and the evangelical Christian communities are actively looking for a “traditional-values standard-bearer.”

The conservative blog “PlanetAlbany” opined that the best candidate would be an African-American former Democratic assemblyman who is pretty conservative on social issues, and an insightful political observer – namely NY Post pundit Michael Benjamin.

Colin Campbell of “Politicker” reminded his readers recently of the growing influence Orthodox Jewish voters are commanding in NY City politics, and that “even though the community’s voters might side strongly with the Republican candidate in the 2013 mayoral race, they are mostly registered as Democrats and candidates seeking to win the Democratic primary are extensively courting the community.”

All the candidates recognize this reality and are working hard to engage Orthodox voters, reported Yossi Gestetner a few months ago. As the candidates competing for the nomination are nearly identical on social issues, some have been working to separate themselves in other ways.”

Gestetner brought the example of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who started his own Iran boycott website and took a firm stance against the campaign within the Park Slope Food Co-op boycotting Israeli products, calling it “wrongheaded and an affront to American values and interests.”

Last week Governor Andrew Cuomo may have committed a costly mistake when vetoed a bill that would have made it possible for many special-education students to be placed in private schools using public funds. Catholic and Orthodox Jewish groups had lobbied for the bill, arguing that children learn best in settings that resemble their home environment.

It may be just the kind of rallying point that would help elect New York’s Third Consecutive Republican mayor.

McCain Says Adelson Contributions Are ‘Foreign Money’

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The former GOP presidential candidate, himself a devout campaign finance reformer, is accusing the current GOP candidate of accepting foreign money in exchange for influence over U.S. policy. The plot thickens more than a little when the agent of influence is a Jewish billionaire and the foreign power in question is the State of Israel.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asserted that the involvement of anonymous donors and super PACs in American elections will lead to corruption, PBS reported.

McCain alleged specifically that money from outside the country may be helping one PAC: billionaire contributor Sheldon Adelson, owner of casinos in the United States, Macau and Singapore, has pledged $100 million to Republican interests this election cycle.

“Maybe in a roundabout way, foreign money is coming into an American campaign,” McCain told Judy Woodruff on Thursday.

The 2008 Republican presidential nominee has been a critic of the Supreme Court decisions that paved the way for super PACs.

McCain and former senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) were the chief sponsors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, known as the McCain–Feingold Act, which regulates the financing of political campaigns.

According to PoliPundit.com, the active ingredient in McCain’s borderline xenophobic objections, as well as in Adelson’s move to bear hug Romney into submission, is Israel.

On a trip to Las Vegas late last month, Romney and Adelson had a private meeting, according to that website, after which Adelson attended Romney’s dessert fundraiser for those who contributed $50,000 or more.

People close to Adelson said that he wants to be certain about Romney’s positions on support for Israel. Adelson has publicly criticized President Barack Obama’s support of Israel as too weak.

Woodruff also asked McCain about the comparisons between the president’s “doing fine” gaffe and what McCain said about the fundamentals of the economy during his 2008 run as the Republican nominee. Specifically, she probed his feelings on the striking similarity between the attack ad the Romney campaign issued on Thursday, and Team Obama’s ad that many have said was McCain’s fatal blow.

“We’re in the midst of a fiscal meltdown. When I said, look we’re in a terrible fiscal crisis but the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” McCain said. “So I think there is a difference between the two.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/mccain-says-adelson-contributions-are-foreign-money/2012/06/15/

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