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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Ryan’

Speaker of the US House to Israel: “We Stand Shoulder to Shoulder With You”

Monday, April 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan stressed that the US relationship with Israel is more important than ever at a meeting this morning, April 4, at the Knesset with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

“We will work shoulder to shoulder with you against threats,“ Speaker Ryan said. “That’s why I came here and this is the point I wanted to stress.”

“Our friendship with Israel is more important to us than it was in the past,” Ryan added at the meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

Following Congressional legislation last June requiring European trade partners to reject BDS, members of Congress introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2016 this past February, which gave federal approval to US states to divest from or prohibit investment in entities associated with BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel].

“I and members of Congress are working and fighting vigorously with every discovery of BDS and boycott of Israel,” Ryan emphasized.

Paul Ryan has been Speaker of the House for about half a year after having been elected to the position last October following the resignation of his predecessor John Boehner. Ryan elaborated upon his display of friendship with Israel during his current tenure as Speaker of the House.

“I entered the position not too long ago and my first work meeting was with President Reuven Rivlin,” noted Ryan. “Also, this trip of mine to Israel is my first [as Speaker of the House].”

“This was not done by accident,” continued Ryan. “I wanted to come to Israel first to emphasize the level of US commitment to Israel and the valiant friendship with Israel is important to us.”

Speaker Edelstein also expressed his appreciation for the friendship between the United States and Israel.

“We know we have true friends in the US, in Congress, and in the White House,” Edelstein said to Ryan. “I very much appreciate your presence here along with an entourage of other members of Congress.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Will Obama Also Attempt to Waive Iran Terrorism Sanctions?

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Remember all the promises that the only sanctions to be lifted would be those related to Iran’s presumed efforts to obtain nuclear weapons? Well, many other seemingly iron-clad promises have gone by the wayside. For example, how could it be that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Nuclear Iran Deal) included provisions that lift the embargo on Iran for acquiring conventional weapons, or – even more frightening – the embargo on intercontinental ballistic weapons?

So, the concern arose, what if the administration decided to waive the anti-terrorism sanctions under the tax code (specifically, 26 U.S.C. 901(j))? That regulation states that U.S. taxpayers cannot get credit for taxes paid to countries with which the U.S. has severed diplomatic relations or which the Secretary of State has designated as a supporter of terrorism.

As a general matter, the President has the authority to waive that measure “in the national interest.” Do you see the problem? It is the president’s decision to make.

Given the many sleights of hand surrounding the Iran Deal, on Sept. 22, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a letter to President Barack Obama. In that letter Ryan asked Obama whether his administration had made any commitment or promise to exercise his waiver authority for sanctions imposed on Iran due to its engagement in terrorism.

Ryan also asked whether the president would commit not to exercise his waiver authority with respect to Iran during the remainder of his term in office.

There was no response from the White House.

Because the White House refused to answer those very direct questions in Ryan’s letter, Rep. Peter Roskam, chair of the Oversight subcommittee of Ways and Means, decided to be proactive.

Roskam put together a hearing which was held on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to which experts were invited to testify about whether the administration could and should waive the sanctions on Iran which were imposed because of Iran’s terrorist activity and its sponsorship of global terrorism.

Roskam explained the genesis of the anti-terrorism regulations contained in the Internal Revenue Code with respect to Iran.

They were introduced thirty-six years ago, after the Iranian mullahs came to power and their thugs seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding hostage hundreds of Americans. The U.S. responded to that act of terrorism by severing diplomatic relations and imposing economic sanctions against Iran.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, was the first witness to testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

Dubowitz, a well-respected expert on the Nuclear Iran Deal, explained the current, post-JCPOA situation. He testified that Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terror, and is known to be currently holding four Iranian-American citizens and refuses to give information about a missing American citizen who vanished after traveling to Iran eight years ago.

Dubowitz maintains that the JCPOA will not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability – the central position of the Obama administration. Dubowitz said that while the deal provides extensive sanctions relief to Iran, he insisted it was imperative that the U.S. administration employ various “non-nuclear” sanctions, including through the use of the tax code, to prevent enriching those in the Iranian regime who continue to engage in terrorism.

In fact, it was the FDD director’s suggestion that the U.S. increase sanctions and take other measures to prevent Iran from continuing its position as the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith also testified at the Terrorism Sanctions hearing. Feith was asked to testify specifically because the only other president to waive tax code terrorism sanctions was his former boss, President George W. Bush, regarding Libya.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Paul Ryan Set to be Next Speaker of the House

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

It now appears that Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R) will become the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives after a supermajority of members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus voted for Ryan in a session Wednesday evening, Oct. 21.

Shortly after current Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) announced last month that he would not seek to retain his position, attention began to focus on Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate.

Ryan, 45, is known as a strong fiscal policy expert. He is currently chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and former chair of the House Budget Committee.

Until this week Ryan had shied away from seeking the Speaker position, insisting that he already had his dream job of chairing the Ways and Means Committee. Many understood his reluctance as a recognition that the very conservative element in the Republican party did not feel that Ryan was a member of their fold.

On Tuesday, Ryan said he might accept the speakership position if the party united behind him and if it accepted several conditions, one of which was to remove the procedure known as “vacate the chair” which is essentially a no-confidence vote, with teeth, that takes place within two days of the motion being initiated.

While members of the House Freedom Caucus had balked at some of Ryan’s conditions, by Wednesday evening enough had become convinced that Ryan was the right person to assume the role of Speaker.

It is expected that Ryan will be selected as the Republican choice for Speaker of the House by next Wednesday, and a floor vote confirming his position should take place the following day.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Hillary ‘F.’ Clinton Way Ahead of the Pack in Poll

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a 6-1 lead among Democrats answering a Washington Post-ABC News poll on their choice for president in 2016.

Clinton, whose middle name easily could be “F.” considering how many times she has been reported as using the “f—“ word,  has virtually no competition in both areas – the nomination for presidency and an uncouth vocabulary. She has used the four-letter word not only as an adjective for Jews but also as an adverb for almost every subject imaginable.

For better or worse, Clinton has 73 percent backing of Democrats, according to the poll. The second most popular is Vice President Joe Biden, with only 12 percent.

On the Republican side, the nomination is up for grabs, and the party does not look like it is any better shape than it was in 2012, when it failed miserably to take advantage of President Barack Obama’s sagging popularity.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aura has been blackened by the recent bridge-traffic scandal, and he is in third place with 13 percent support, behind Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. None of the potential candidates has solid backing from the Tea party.

After Christie, there are senators Ted Cruz of Kentucky and Marcio Rubio of Florida.

The Republicans have a year or so to get their act together and unite, a distant possibility at this stage of the game.

Clinton, if she runs and wins,, would be the first woman president of the United States and the first president whose husband held the office.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Congress to Obama: Time to Punish Arabs for Blowing Up Oslo and Blowing Off the US

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

A bi-partisan majority of congressional members sent a letter to U.S. President Barak Obama late last week.  In the letter, the members insist that the time has come for this U.S. government to hold the Arab Palestinian leadership responsible for their bald refusal to comply with repeated requests from the United States government to refrain from seeking an enhanced status at the United Nations General Assembly, as is required of the Arabs under the Oslo Agreements under which it is bound.

The PLO pledged in the Oslo Agreements that it would take no unilateral actions to change the status of the disputed territories and Gaza.

Congressional leadership that has long been involved in working with Israel and the Arab Palestinians in attempts to resolve the Middle East conflict, such as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee, U.S. Reps. Edward R. Royce (R-CA) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY, Chairman-designate and Ranking Member-designate, respectively, of the Committee, along with more than 230 other members of  Congress, signed and sent the letter to the President on Friday, December 21.

The letter informed the President that “we believe the United States must react strongly to the ‘Palestinian’ leadership’s failure to uphold its obligations,” and explained that in order to send a clear message of U.S. disapproval, the Arab leaders must learn that their actions are not “cost-free,” and, “at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.-‘Palestinian’ relations.”

Congressional members suggested that the minimal steps the U.S. should take at this time would be to close the PLO office in Washington, D.C. and to call on the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem – who is, illogically, responsible for relations with the Arab Palestinians but not Jewish or Arab Israelis – back to Washington for consultations.

The congressional letter to President Obama points out the necessity for the U.S. government to ensure that the UNGA vote on November 29 “does not serve as a precedent for elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums.”

Should the PLO attempt to force its hand by seeking membership in those other UN institutions, the congressional members told President Obama that, “we should do everything possible to make sure that does not happen, including by reaffirming our commitment to maintaining and enforcing U.S. laws that require withholding U.S. contributions from any international forum that grants membership to the PLO.”

The PLO envoy in Washington, Maen Aerikat, told the Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, that the congressional letter “is an attempt by Congress to undermine the U.S. administration in any possible role it is planning to play in Palestinian affairs.”

In addition to pointing out that “punitive measures won’t pay off.  If they were effective we would have already changed our mind,” Aerikat railed at Israel, suggesting it was behind the congressional effort.  He said, “It is a political decision, a decision on the part of the Israeli government to escalate things against the Palestinian people at home and here…the U.S. is their other front.”

In a letter circulated to members of Congress by the PLO Envoy on December 14, Aerikat sought to dissuade Congress from responding to the PA provocation.  Aerikat makes several points in his letter, one of which should qualify for the Chutzpah Hall of Fame.  Perhaps he forgot that the action taken by Congress was in response to the decision by his colleagues to spurn dialogue and negotation, and instead to take unilateral action by introducing a one-sided resolution at the U.N.  This is what Aerikat wrote:

Engagement and dialogue is the only way to express the views of Congress.  Biased and one-sided resolutions cannot contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive for a political resolution to the conflict.

Not all Jews supported the congressional effort.  In the interview with Ma’an, Aerikat appreciatively listed both J Street and Americans for Peace Now as organizations that oppose the initiative to punish the Arab Palestinians for violating the Oslo Accords by seeking unilateral changes through the UN vote.  Although not mentioned by the PLO Envoy, the Union for Reform Judaism has also actively lobbied against congressional efforts to shutter the PLO Office.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Ryan Still Has a Job

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

While he lost out on becoming the Vice President, Paul Ryan did manage to win in Wisconsin and keep his congressional seat. Ryan was competing against Democratic businessman Rob Zerban.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bias Charge: Obama Is Friends with VP Debate Moderator Martha Raddatz

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

President Barack Obama attended the wedding of the correspondent who will be the moderator for the only debate between Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential hopeful Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) which takes place tonight.  Martha Raddatz, ABC Foreign Affairs senior correspondent and tonight’s debate moderator, married Julius Genachowski, in 1991.  Genachowski was a few years behind President Barack Obama at Columbia University, and they were both officers of the elite Harvard Law Review.  Both graduated in 1991, the same year Raddatz and Genachowski married.

Genachowski, from Great Neck, New York, was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to be the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  The FCC is an independent agency of the U.S. government, which regulates communications capabilities in North America.  Genachowski’s parents are Holocaust survivors.  His cousin is Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Orthodox Union Kosher Division, and a well-known scholar and student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.

In what has been described by some as a lame effort to downplay the significance of the connection between Raddatz and Obama, David Ford, spokesperson for Raddatz’s employer, ABC News, sent an official statement to various media including Politico and the Daily Beast, even before the article appeared which questioned the propriety of Raddatz as moderator. Even the liberal Huffington Post questioned the propriety of the pre-emptive statement which claimed that “nearly the entire [Harvard] Law Review” attended the wedding of Raddatz and Genachowski.  When pressed by the Daily Caller, which broke the story, to name additional law review members who attended the marriage, Ford came up with only one other name.

The ABC statement was apparently prompted by calls from the conservative news outlet, seeking confirmation of the connection between Obama and Raddatz.  That release states:

Martha Raddatz is known for her tough, fair reporting, which is why it was no surprise to her colleagues inside and outside ABC News that she was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates for this assignment. Barack Obama was a law school classmate of Raddatz’s ex-husband Julius Genachowski at Harvard. At the time Barack Obama was a student and president of the Law Review. He attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers including some in the Bush administration. Raddatz and Mr. Genachowski divorced in 1997 and both are now remarried.

After an initial story dismissing the Daily Caller‘s suggestion that Raddatz may be biased, or that, at the very least, the connection should have been disclosed, Politico‘s Katie Glueck did a follow-up article, headlined “Right defends Raddatz’ debate role.” Glueck went through a litany of conservative pundits who were unmoved by the suggestion that Raddatz might be an inappropriate choice as moderator simply because Obama attended her wedding some twenty-odd years ago.

Among the conservatives whom Glueck catalogues as certifying the issue as not-an-issue, Commentary‘s John Podhoretz had the best line, “I have no memory of who attended my 1997 wedding to my ex-wife and I’d like to keep it that way. I bet Martha Raddatz is the same.”  Others who expressed disinterest included the Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin.  Despite the title of the Politico follow-up, at least as many conservatives were mentioned as bothered by the connection and the lack of disclosure, as those who took a pass.

Absent from the Politico articles, and indeed all other commentaries other than that of the Daily Caller, is the failure to call ABC on its clearly from-the-hip, and outright wrong statement that “nearly the entire Law Review” attended the Raddatz-Genachowski marriage.  In fact, out of approximately 70 members of that year’s Harvard Law Review membership, only Barack Obama and one other, thus far unnamed, member was apparently at that wedding.  That doesn’t make the selection of Raddatz wrong, but it does make ABC’s efforts to downplay it, and everyone’s willingness to ignore the the inaccuracy of the statement, raise at least an eyebrow.

Greta Van Sustern of Fox News, reported that the Ryan campaign said “no” when asked the day before the debate about whether they were concerned that Raddatz would be biased because of the long-time connection between Raddatz and Obama.

Instead, when asked what he thinks Biden’s biggest weakness will be at the debate, Ryan said: “Barack Obama’s record.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/media/bias-charge-obama-is-friends-with-vp-debate-moderator-martha-raddatz/2012/10/11/

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