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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Who Says Everyone Is Jewish until Proven Otherwise?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

I was speed reading through a pile of new books last week and came across a marvellous article in a new collection by Charles Krauthammer, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics. The book looks really good. I recommend it.

Here’s the little article that caught my eye because I am known to be asking the “are-they-Jewish’ question here on my blog.

Krauthammer says in the article (partly tongue in cheek) that everyone is Jewish until proven otherwise. Krauthammer’s Law: Everyone is Jewish until proven otherwise By Charles Krauthammer

Strange doings in Virginia. George Allen, former governor, one-term senator, son of a famous football coach and in the midst of a heated battle for reelection, has just been outed as a Jew. An odd turn of events, given that his having Jewish origins has nothing to do with anything in the campaign and that Allen himself was oblivious to the fact until his 83-year-old mother revealed to him last month the secret she had kept concealed for 60 years.

Apart from its political irrelevance, it seems improbable in the extreme that the cowboy-boots-wearing football scion of Southern manner and speech should turn out to be, at least by origins, a son of Israel. For Allen, as he quipped to me, it’s the explanation for a lifelong affinity for Hebrew National hot dogs. For me, it is the ultimate confirmation of something I have been regaling friends with for 20 years and now, for the advancement of social science, feel compelled to publish.

Krauthammer’s Law: Everyone is Jewish until proven otherwise. I’ve had a fairly good run with this one. First, it turns out that John Kerry — windsurfing, French-speaking, Beacon Hill aristocrat — had two Jewish grandparents. Then Hillary Clinton — methodical Methodist — unearths a Jewish stepgrandfather in time for her run as New York senator.

A less jaunty case was that of Madeleine Albright, three of whose Czech grandparents had perished in the Holocaust and who most improbably contended that she had no idea they were Jewish. To which we can add the leading French presidential contender (Nicolas Sarkozy), a former supreme allied commander of NATO (Wesley Clark) and Russia’s leading anti-Semite (Vladimir Zhirinovsky). One must have a sense of humor about these things. Even Fidel Castro claims he is from a family of Marranos.

For all its tongue-in-cheek irony, Krauthammer’s Law works because when I say “everyone,” I don’t mean everyone you know personally. Depending on the history and ethnicity of your neighborhood and social circles, there may be no one you know who is Jewish. But if “everyone” means anyone that you’ve heard of in public life, the law works for two reasons. Ever since the Jews were allowed out of the ghetto and into European society at the dawning of the Enlightenment, they have peopled the arts and sciences, politics, and history in astonishing disproportion to their numbers.

There are 13 million Jews in the world, one-fifth of 1 percent of the world’s population. Yet 20 percent of Nobel Prize winners are Jewish, a staggering hundredfold surplus of renown and genius. This is similarly true for a myriad of other “everyones” — the household names in music, literature, mathematics, physics, finance, industry, design, comedy, film and, as the doors opened, even politics.

But it is not just Jewish excellence at work here. There is a dark side to these past centuries of Jewish emancipation and achievement — an unrelenting history of persecution. The result is the other more somber and poignant reason for the Jewishness of public figures being discovered late and with surprise: concealment.

Look at the Albright case. Her distinguished father was Jewish, if tenuously so, until the Nazi invasion. He fled Czechoslovakia and, shortly thereafter, converted. Over the centuries, suffering — most especially, the Holocaust — has proved too much for many Jews. Many survivors simply resigned their commission.

For some, the break was defiant and theological: A G-d who could permit the Holocaust — ineffable be His reasons — had so breached the Covenant that it was now forfeit. They were bound no longer to Him or His faith.

For others, the considerations were far more secular.

Why subject one’s children to the fear and suffering, the stigmatization and marginalization, the prospect of being hunted until death that being Jewish had brought to an entire civilization in Europe?
In fact, that was precisely the reason Etty Lumbroso, Allen’s mother, concealed her identity. Brought up as a Jew in French Tunisia during World War II, she saw her father, Felix, imprisoned in a concentration camp. Coming to America was her one great chance to leave that forever behind, for her and for her future children. She married George Allen Sr., apparently never telling her husband’s family, her own children or anyone else of her Jewishness.

Such was Etty’s choice. Multiply the story in its thousand variations and you have Kerry and Clinton, Albright and Allen, a world of people with a whispered past.

Allen’s mother tried desperately to bury it forever. In response to published rumors, she finally confessed the truth to him, adding heartbreakingly, “Now you don’t love me anymore” — and then swore him to secrecy.

(Washington Post, September 25, 2006)

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Hillary Tells Huma to Choose between Her and Weiner

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Hillary Clinton, an undeclared candidate for the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, has told Human Abedin to ditch Anthony Weiner if she wants to advise her former boss at the State Dept., The New York Post reported Monday.

The ultimatum has been given before but has greater meaning following Weiner’s embarrassingly poor finish in the race for New York mayor. He surprised observers by topping the polls three months ago, but his popularity rapidly sank when it was revealed he continued to send “sexting” messages ever after he repented and said he had returned to the straight and narrow path.

A source told the newspaper, “Hillary is horrified by Weiner, and thinks that he is an embarrassment to his accomplished wife. She wants Huma to leave him behind. But Huma is torn between her family and loyalty to Hillary.”

A representative of Clinton denied the report, but relations between Human and Weiner are known to be far from the best despite her decision last year to stick with her man – and their Muslim baby boy – and their Muslim baby boy

A Closer Look at Bill de Blasio’s Record

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary for mayor, has been running his second television commercial of the campaign, titled “Dignity,” since Monday. Fact checking the ad, Michael Barbaro of the NY Times found it quite misleading. Mr. de Blasio argues he’s the only candidate pledging to end the way the Police Department carries out the stop-and-frisk tactic. The problem with that claim is that his opponents have all, in one way or another, pledged to reform it, too.



Nor is Mr. de Blasio, per his claim, the only candidate proposing an income tax on the rich to pay for education. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, has proposed raising the city’s marginal income tax to pay for after-school programs, among other things.

“Dropping the misleading word ‘only’ from several of his claims, or using it more carefully, would do wonders for the accuracy and credibility of his commercials,” Barbaro concludes.

Bill de Blasio’s exaggerating his role as an advocate for the issues he believes are at the top of voters’ concerns is nothing new. In fact, his record of representing the outer-boroughs, as he now promises not to let down any New Yorker, is far from exhilarating.

Back in 2001, when he first ran for City Council in the 39th district, Mr. de Blasio was examined for mismanagement and controversial ties that had put in question his credentials at the time. “[Bill de Blasio] carries a lot of baggage as well,” The Village Voice wrote in a profile on the race for council.

“De Blasio was elected to School Board 15 in 1999, and his tenure has been rocky. Many public school parents charge that de Blasio was stubbornly supportive of Frank DeStefano, the former superintendent of District 15 who resigned in the winter amid allegations of overspending and mismanagement. Reports first surfaced in the fall of 1999 that DeStefano had begun to run up big deficits, taking himself and other school officials on several expensive junkets costing a total of more than $100,000. One year later the school deficit topped $1 million, leading to the cancellation of a popular after-school reading program while DeStefano maintained an expensive car service.

“De Blasio still defends his decision to stick with DeStefano for as long as he did. “He was a visionary and a great educator, but he was a horrible communicator,” de Blasio says of DeStefano. “I was deeply concerned, but I was not going to make a final decision until I saw the evidence.” In the end, de Blasio says, “he could have made better decisions, but I don’t think the spending was wildly excessive. Both of my parents were victims of the McCarthy era. I do not take lightly the idea of ousting someone. You have to have the evidence.”

“De Blasio has also been linked to the flap over New Square, the Hasidic village in upstate New York that has been mired in pardon scandals. Candidate Clinton assiduously courted the small Rockland community last year, winning the town by the whopping margin of 1400 to 12. Six weeks after the election, Israel Spitzer, New Square’s deputy mayor, met with the Clintons at the White House, where pardons for four New Square civic leaders convicted of fraud were discussed. In January, Bill Clinton commuted their sentences, leading to a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in which several Hillary Clinton campaign aides were called in for questioning. At a Manhattan fundraiser for de Blasio in December, Spitzer made a $2500 donation, the largest permitted under the city’s Campaign Finance Board. De Blasio refused to comment on that matter, including the issue of whether he was questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. De Blasio would only offer this comment: “I’m waiting to hear what’s going to happen with that.”

in 2007 as councilman, Mr. de Blasio was lambasted for not living up to his promises and for a lackluster performance as representative of his district.  In a hard hitting piece by a local blogger named “Parden Me For Asking,” Mr. de Blasio was criticized for running a dysfunctional office and keeping himself distracted from the issues that mattered to the neighborhoods he represented, going back to his time he served on the Board of Education before his run for council.

Weiner’s Wife Huma Now on the Hot Seat

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The good news for New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner is that the heat he has been taking for sexting is shifting to someone else. The worse than bad news is that the subject is his wife, Huma Abedein.

Her problem is not sexting. Her story is far less sordid than his husband’s but possibly is even graver. She is suspected of misusing her connections as aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and using inside political information for private purposes.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley wanted to know about Mrs. Weiner’s  access to information while working for the Teneo Holdings strategic advisory group based in New York.

“The State Department and Ms. Abedein haven’t provided a single document that I requested,” Sen. Grassley told the New York Daily News. “Putting up a stone wall raises a lot more questions about how the program is being used than it answers. I intend to pursue more complete answers to my questions.”

The senator’s office released for publication a letter she sent, stating, “I certainly never ‘gathered information from government sources for the purpose of informing investment decisions of Teneo’s clients,’ as the Senate letter suggests,”

Abedein was the deputy chief of staff at the State Department under Clinton, but after the birth of the Weiners’ son, when she was long out of the State Dept., she was granted status as a “special government employee,” a designation that allowed to work from home as a part-time consultant to State while acting as a consultant for Teneo.

By the way Hillary’s husband ex-President Clinton is a aboard member of Teneo. Huma pulled in a cool half a million dollars from the two jobs.

You Can’t Outleft the Left

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

The dominant struggle of the 20th Century was the attempt to reconcile the growth of industrial economies with the social welfare demands of the left. The various attempts to “Steal the Thunder” of the left by adopting its social programs led to horrors such as Nazism on the one hand and the growth of the welfare state on the other.

Communism was finally defeated by adopting its program. The national battle against a Russian Communist empire was won while the domestic struggle against the left was lost.The welfare state created a fifth column of bureaucrats and recipients to act as the left’s electorate. Instead of stealing the left’s thunder, they subsidized the triumphant long march of the left.

The liberal Republican prescription is still to Outleft the left, adopting some of its more popular ideas and social policies in a more sensible fashion. And they have never understood that the strategy, even when it succeeds in the short term, is doomed. You don’t win by making your enemy stronger. The left understands that. That is why it’s strategies once in power involve deepening and expanding its institutional power while destroying those of the right.

The temptation to Outleft the left is always there and always doomed because adopting the ideas and positions of the left means that you have already lost.

Mastering the craft of political expediency only gets you through an election. But if you adopt enough expediencies, moving left to win battles, the day will come when there are no more elections because the war has been lost.

Allying with the far left against the left on national security can be as tempting for some libertarians as bending on social welfare and amnesty is for some liberal Republicans. But it’s equally a dead end.

The media has begun conniving in the downfall of Obama because the election is over and the next election will require a Democrat who will run against Obama in the same way that Gore ran against Clinton and McCain ran against Bush.

In 2008, Obama ran to the left of Clinton on national security. There are signs that this time around Hillary Clinton will try to run to the left of Obama on national security taking advantage of the national dissatisfaction with multiple wars to push a return to a 9/10 Clinton Administration era of ignorance and inaction.

The ultimate beneficiary of the NSA outrage will be Hillary Clinton. And even if that we’re not the case, trying to Outleft the left still fails even when it appears to work. Mainstreaming the ideas of a Glenn Greenwald because at a given time he makes a useful club to beat Obama with will only ensure a future version of Obama who is even further to the left.

Outlefting the left only radicalizes it and then the left radicalizes the country. Defeating Obama by empowering the left would be as pyrrhic a victory as winning the Cold War while empowering the welfare state.

What distinguishes conservatives within a party whose political operatives all too often sacrifice principles to political expediency are those principles. It is often said that those who hold to their principles lose sight of the bigger picture. But principles are the bigger picture.

Either we fight for principles or for power and it’s easy to tell the difference. Principles are consistent regardless of who is in power. Everything else is political expediency.There can be a conservative case made against NSA data mining, but the case had to be consistent. Treating drones as an ingenious weapon under Bush but an evil death machine under Obama is not a principled position. If the NSA is bad, it was bad under Bush. If drones are bad, they were bad under Bush.

There is a fundamental difference between opposing a political targeting program in the IRS under Obama and jumping on the left’s side of any national security issue because it allows us to hit Obama even when the issue did not originate under Obama.

Not all scandals are created equal. Some scandals are an outrage because they violate our principles and because they are a declaration of war against us. Others are a scandal because a bunch of international left wing activists who oppose every conceivable American military action say that they are.

A conservative case on any issue does not rely on the likes of Glenn Greenwald for support. If what we truly fear is the tyranny of the left, then what possible good can come from empowering the far left?

That’s not allying with Stalin against Hitler, it’s allying with Stalin against Socialists.

If you go into a struggle of ideas, you should know what your principles are and derive solutions from them. Greenwald and the rest of the far left does. Their principles lead them to reject terrorism as anything other than a response to American foreign policy. Their solution would be total surrender and appeasement. Imagine a policy that makes Obama look like a militarist and exceptionalist and you’re there.

Many believe that there can be nothing worse than Obama. History suggests otherwise. There can always be worse and the seeds of that are here today.

The Democrats embraced the anti-war movement to bring down Bush and the end result of that alliance was Barack Obama. If Republicans embrace the anti-war movement to bring down Obama, forcing the Democrats to go even further to the left, what political monsters will be spawned from that mating?

In a long struggle it is easy to lose sight of your principles. The question is have we lost sight of our principles in fighting terrorists, as the left insists, or after fighting a long bitter war against Obama for so long are we losing sight of the fact that our larger struggle is not against Obama, but the ideas and institutions of the left that he is a part of?The enemy isn’t just Obama or his flunkies. It’s also Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore. It’s the entire transnational idea that denies the right of nations to defend themselves and indicts them endlessly for imaginary crimes against the Third World.

The only way to make a conservative case against tactics like the NSA wiretapping is to reject that premise and the likes of Greenwald. Unless that is done, the case belongs to the far left and adopting it is not an act of principle but expediency. Trying to beat Obama with the ideas of the left by undermining America will only give the left an even bigger victory.

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.

Hillary and Bill Clinton Give Weiner the Cold Shoulder

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Anthony Weiner can forget about any support from Hillary and Bill Clinton if he decides to run for mayor of New York City, the New York Post reported Monday. The main reason is Huma Abedin, Weiner’s Muslim wife who suffered disgrace shortly after their marriage when Weiner was caught using the Internet for online relationships with women.

Abedin, unarguably Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, decided to swallow her pride and remain married to Weiner, one reason being that she was pregnant. She had the emotional support of her former boss who went through a similar period following the scandal of the relationship between her husband Bill and his aide Monica Lewinsky

“The Clintons wish Weiner would just disappear. Every time he pops up, it’s a reminder of Bill’s scandal with, and it isn’t helpful to Hillary’s hopes for 2016,” one Democrat told the New York newspaper.

The Clintons are not expected to officially endorse a candidate for the mayor of New York.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hillary-and-bill-clinton-give-weiner-the-cold-shoulder/2013/05/13/

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