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July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘marco rubio’

Black Republican Ben Carson Running for President

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.

Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.

The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.

His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.

Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.

He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”

He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.

After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:

I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.

In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.

His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,

“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”

Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.

He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:

We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.

President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.

“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson added in his book, “I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

Iran Legislative Compromises may Cause Nuclear Explosion in Washington

Monday, April 27th, 2015

This week the U.S. Senate will meet to discuss what input Congress will have before sanctions imposed on Iran for violating a slew of U.N. Resolutions regarding its nuclear program can be lifted.

The offerings of amendments by various senators – whether for wholly ideological reasons, for presidential campaign purposes, or a combination and perhaps other factors – may result in a nuclear explosion of a whole other sort than the one the entire process was created to circumvent, and this one entirely within Washington, D.C.

The legislation formally known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and informally as the Corker or the Corker-Menendez bill, was unanimously approved and voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month.

The INARA which came out of committee imposed a change on the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Until then, Congress played no role.

With the passage of Corker’s bill in its current form, Congressional sanctions against Iran could not be lifted even following a signed agreement with Iran, for 30 days, while Congress reviews the Agreement.

Congress could vote against lifting sanctions if it votes down the final deal, although this would require the vote of a significantly higher number of Senators than most think is likely, and led some critics to say the final version was actually helpful to the administration, despite their feigned annoyance.

The bill in its current state would also require this administration and all future ones to certify that Iran was following the terms of the agreement.

Corker, with the assistance of Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin (D), successfully maneuvered the bill out of the SFRC without any of the threatened amendments which they claimed would kill the deal, and leave Congress with no voice at all.

But, as Corker himself admitted, anything can happen in the “Wild West” of the full Senate floor.

And it looks like quite a few gunslingers are loading up their barrels with various amendments, any one of which may force a serious showdown between the administration and the Senate, between the Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate, and even, perhaps, amongst the Republicans themselves.

Florida’s presidential contender Marco Rubio (R) is busily showing the gathering crowd what ammunition he plans to unload, and he has quite an array in his arsenal. Each of these amendments, if passed, would constitute a condition Iran would have to meet in order for the U.S. to lift the current Congressional sanctions on Iran.

Rubio wants to require Iran to recognize the state of Israel. He also wants Iran to release American prisoners being held, such as Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) wants the administration to certify that Iran is not supporting terrorism targeting Americans at home or abroad.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) want a provision which would require Congressional approval of the deal, rather than simply the right to defeat it.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he will introduce an amendment that will require the administration to treat this deal with Iran as a treaty and not simply an executive agreement. The difference, of course, being that Congress plays a full partnership role with respect to a treaty, and almost no rule in an executive agreement.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-ARK), prime mover behind the Congressional Republican’s open letter to Rouhani, which supporters of the administration claimed was treasonous, said he agrees with Johnson. “A major arms control treaty with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should be treated as a treaty,” Cotton said.

“The president should have to get 67 votes for a major nuclear arms agreement with an outlaw regime,” said Cotton. He wants to lower the number of votes needed to reject a deal from 60 to 51.

All those packing amendments are Republicans. “I have not heard of a single amendment on the Democratic side,” said Foreign Relations ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who worked closely with Corker to keep the SFRC members in line during the vote in that committee.

One option being discussed which would appease the opponents of the current bill, and still avoid incorporating language that may prove insurmountable for the Iranians, is to allow the inclusion of a “sense of the Senate” provision. This means the concerns would be raised in the narrative portion of the bill, but those points do not become an enforceable part of the legislation.

Debate in the Senate will begin on Tuesday, April 28. Once the bill is voted out of the Senate, it then has to be taken up in the House of Representatives.

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.”

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio Launches Presidential Run

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has launched his run for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016, reinforcing the new reality in America: diversity is officially “in.”

The senator made his announcement yesterday (Monday) during a speech in Miami.

Rubio is using his heritage as the son of Cuban immigrants to counter the Democratic female wannabe “champion” of the American dream, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Both follow a successful two-term president who ran on the themes of America’s strength in diversity, “hope” and “change” each time around.

Rubio, age 43, is the youngest candidate in the field thus far and represents the up-and-coming generation of the party. He is presenting himself as the person who can unite all the Republican party factions from one end of the spectrum to the other, and bring to the nation new economic solutions for the 21st century.

Rubio served as a member of the House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008 and rose to the position of Speaker of the House before he was elected as Senator in 2010. He is seen as a moderate in the party and serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.

In every way, Marco Rubio stands in complete contrast to Hillary Clinton, 67, a graduate of Ivy League university and a long-standing member of the elite Establishment.

“A leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over and we’re never going back,” he told supporters in his debut attack on Clinton.

Ditto with his closest GOP competitor, Jeb Bush, 62, whose brother and father both have already preceded him in the White House.

“I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a maid can have the same dreams and the same future as those who come from power and privilege,” Rubio said, with a nod towards the venerable political background of his GOP competitor.

But in both comments, Rubio also sounds surprisingly like … Bill Clinton and – yes, sadly – incumbent President Barack Obama.

Neither the talk of “change” nor the “American dream” theme were different from any other presidential rhetoric heard on previous campaign trails. Much of it may also be found in his new book, “American Dreams.”

The good news is that Rubio has already made some of his positions clear, openly slamming Obama’s “dangerous concessions” to Iran and his administration’s “hostility” to Israel. In fact, Rubio was talking about the Iranian issue back in 2013, defining it not as an Israeli problem but as one that faces the entire world. An armed Iran is not something the United States can live with or contain, Rubio said at a news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a visit to Israel that year. “We hope the sanctions work, but we’re also preparing for the possibility that they won’t,” he said.

Israel lives “in a challenging neighborhood,” Rubio commented. He made it clear that America’s commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship was bipartisan and said “it should remain that way.”

During a meeting with then-President Shimon Peres, Rubio told reporters Jerusalem was “of course the capital of Israel.” He also said that although a two-state solution must be established, it was not clear whether Israel’s security could, in fact, be secured under such an arrangement. The solution, said Rubio, could only be reached in direct talks between the two parties themselves: no third side could force any arrangement. Nor should the United States be dictating any policy about the settlements, Rubio said; this too was an issue for the two sides in direct talks and should not involve any third parties.

Marco Rubio Delivers Blistering Speech on Obama’s Assault on Israel

Friday, March 20th, 2015

h/t Washington Free Beacon

And for good measure:

Bi-Partisan Senate Trio Demand Answers From Kerry on UNRWA Conduct in Gaza

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

At least some members of the U.S. congress finally realized that if weapons belonging to Hamas were found in UNRWA facilities, questions need to be asked of UNRWA employees as to how those weapons got there, who put them there, who observed them, what – if anything – was done to remove them (or to keep them there), along with other pertinent and essential lines of inquiry.

U.S. senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), sent a letter last week to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, demanding an investigation into the actions of  the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) during the fighting in Gaza.

The senators used very strong language to condemn the agency on several different bases.

First, the discovery, on three different occasions, of Hamas weapons in UNRWA facilities, whereupon the weapons were returned to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

Second, UNRWA has repeatedly issued statements condemning Israel and ignoring the wrongdoing of Hamas.

And third, the senators pointed out the very troubling close affiliation between Hamas and UNRWA, the irrefutable proof of which was the election of 25 Hamas candidates were voted onto the 27 member UNRWA ‘s workers’  union board in 2012.

Next, the senators explained why they are convinced it is appropriate for them to demand such an investigation into UNRWA: we pay for it! The United States contributed $294 million in 2013. It is the single largest donor to UNRWA. Since 1950, more than $5 billion U.S. taxpayers’ dollars were funneled into UNRWA.

Senator Mark Kirk is a member of the Senate Appropriations sub-committee which has jurisdiction over the Department of State, as well as U.S. contributions to U.N. activities. Kirk said in a statement posted on his website:

I am demanding a credible and independent assessment of UNRWA’s actions during this crisis. Given UNRWA’s ties to terrorism in the past, U.S. taxpayers deserve immediate answers and full transparency regarding their intentions and actions. The State Department must make clear to the U.N. that it need to take all necessary steps to prevent Hamas from using taxpayer-funded property to launch attacks against our allies.

Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added:

When leaders and organizations of the United Nations blur the clear distinction between a nation-state defending itself and a terrorist organization attempting to murder civilians, Americans take note. When an organization funded in part by the U.S. suggests that the two are morally equivalent, U.S. taxpayers take note. Israel is undertaking extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas cynically uses other Palestinians as human shields and deliberately attempts to kill Israeli civilians. U.N. resources and personnel cannot be complicit in Hamas’ violent terrorist actions.

Senator Marco Rubio is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rubio had the following to say:

As the U.N.’s leading source of funding, American taxpayers will not tolerate the use of U.N. facilities by terrorists to stage attacks against our allies. We know Hamas has been using civilians as human shields and stores its weapons and fighters in civilian buildings, but for the U.N. to stand idly by while Hamas attacks Israel from its facilities is an outrage. This is the latest example of why the U.S. needs to bring greater transparency and accountability to the U.N. by pursuing reform of its programs and institutions.

The text of the letter the senators sent to Secretary of State Kerry:

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We write to express our profound concern with the troubling role the United Nations Refugee and Work Agency  (UNRWA) has played during the ongoing crisis in Gaza, including multiple instances of weapons found at UNRWA schools as well as one-sided statements from UNRWA leadership that unjustly condemn Israel. For instance, on July 14, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl stated that Israeli security forces are acting “contrary to international humanitarian law” and also called Israel’s Gaza blockade “illegal.”

As you know, UNRWA admitted on July 17, July 22nd, and July 30th that it found rockets belonging to Hamas on its property. We commend UNRWA’s quick condemnation of these incidents, but are concerned with the ultimate fate of these rockets, which UNRWA claimed to have turned over to the “local authorities” or have gone missing. We fear that this means these rockets may have found their way back into Hamas’ hands.

We urge the State Department to launch an independent investigation into these incidents and to call on the United Nations leadership to hold UNRWA accountable, including by reprimanding or dismissing the UNRWA staff responsible as appropriate, as well as asking the U.N. to ensure that these incidents never take place again.

In the course of your investigation, we ask you to examine the fate of these rockets, what measures the U.N. took to secure UNRWA property, and how the U.S. intends to work with the U.N. to make sure incidents like these are never repeated.

As you know, the United States is the largest donor to UNRWA and has contributed almost $5 billion to the organization since 1950. The United States taxpayers deserve to know if UNRWA is fulfilling its mission or taking sides in this tragic conflict.

We look forward to your reply,

Sincerely,
Now that the strong statements have been made and a letter from three members of senate committees with jurisdiction over the State Department and the U.N. has been sent to the secretary of state, it behooves Israel’s supporters to demand follow-through.

Rubio Tells Peres, ‘Of Course’ Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio boldly stated to President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem Wednesday that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but the office of the president omitted the remark in its Hebrew language press release of the meeting.

Already touted as presidential timber for the 2016 election campaign, Sen. Rubio told President Peres that Jerusalem is “of course the capital of your country,” a statement that no president or vice president would dare make given Palestinian Authority demands on the city.

U.S. State Department spokesmen on several occasions have refused to give a straight answer to reporters’ questions concerning the location of Israel’s capital.

The omission of Rubio’s statement in the official press release reflects Peres’ adulation of President Barack Obama and his concern not to rock the boat with Washington.

The Florida senator is on his first official visit to Israel, and his vocal recognition of Jerusalem sets the stage for a sharp contrast with Obama, who is to arrive next month for a visit that has been promoted in Israel as “Operation Unbreakable Alliance.” Obama, unlike previous presidents, has constantly terms Jerusalem neighborhoods of tens of thousands of residents “settlements” because they are in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Sen. Rubio also told the president that the relationship between the United States and Israel is Washington’s most important in the region, if not in the world. He added, “Israel represents all of the values of the United States.” He also said the American government cannot accept a nuclear Iran.

President Peres spoke about the “peace process,” his favorite topic, and also spoke with the senator n poetic language on the Middle East.

“We are an island of democracy in an uncertain and uneasy ocean, which is raging,” he said. “We must defend our island and do whatever is possible to calm the storm.”

On relations with the United States, Peres stated, “There are varied opinions in Israel, but one subject on which we all agree is the love of the United States” towards Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rubio-tells-peres-jerusalem-is-israels-capital/2013/02/20/

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