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
Posts Tagged ‘Paul Ryan’
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
Soon after the attacks on American embassies in Egypt and Libya, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan criticized President Obama for lacking a clear and forceful message to the world.
And while Romney was criticized for bringing up the President’s shortcomings, the latest example of how that criticism was right on the money comes from the mixed messages being sent by Victoria Nuland of the State Department (who always seems to be tasked with explaining the explainable, such as how the U.S. position on status of Jerusalem “has not changed”) and Obama himself.
Yesterday President Obama told the Spanish-language Telemundo television channel that Egypt was neither an ally nor a foe of the United States, and that the determination would be based on the Egypt’s response to the attack on the embassy and on its willingness to maintain the peace treaty with Israel. (Video here).
Later in the day, Nuland said the opposite, confirming repeatedly that Egypt was indeed an American ally – a “major non-NATO ally” (though she wouldn’t comment on what the President said). Check out the video below.
A White House spokesperson also confirmed that Obama was not signalling a change in Egypt’s status. This is yet another example of how Obama can have his cake and eat it to by acting tough on Egypt in public, but not actually doing anything to back it up. (Precisely his strategy for Iran, saying the U.S. will not accept a nuclear-armed Iran, but refusing to delineate any red lines for Iran’s nuclear program).
Ally or not, as Barry Rubin noted, the U.S. has offered to forgive $1 billion in Egyptian debt (the debt is over $3 billion total) as part of a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan which the administration lobbied for, Obama helped them acquire two German submarines over Israel’s objections, while their Islamist President received an invitation to the White House, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that Morsi was “his own man,” i.e., someone the U.S. could do business with.Daniel Tauber
Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.
There was virtually no discussion of foreign policy at the Republican National Convention. This was entirely appropriate given the crisis and priority of domestic issues. Yet I haven’t even seen a single article discussing this issue at all, and it is going to be important.
Here is the key factor: Mitt Romney, the Romney-Ryan ticket, and Republican congressional candidates have a variety of choices on foreign policy. Some of them can be bad and because there are different and complex issues the line taken will not—and arguably should not—be consistent.
Of course, there are the general principles: make America strong and respected again; support the soldiers; help friends and make enemies sorry that they are enemies. There must be an end to apologies and the defense of legitimate U.S. interests. Popularity is okay but respect and trust are far more important. Avoid either isolationism or excessive interventionism and get over the democracy-solves-all naivete. Don’t be chomping at the bit to go to war with Iran as a supposed panacea.
These are important but these principles don’t necessarily tell us how to do things. An average Arab citizen put it best in private conversation: “We don’t want an American president who acts like an Arab. We want an American president who acts like an American.” The old diplomatic virtues of credibility, national interests’ protection, preserving alliances and promises, recognizing friends and enemies, and so on need to be reinstalled.
The easiest theme is to stop helping anti-American dictators in Venezuela and several other Latin American countries; the Muslim Brotherhood (everywhere, including Hamas as the ruler of the Gaza Strip); and Hizballah; as well as many small terrorist groups and al-Qaida.
The basic grand strategy for the Middle East should be to form and lead a very broad and very loose—not institutionalized—alignment of forces opposing Islamism. These include showing real leadership to the Europeans, many of whom are better on this issue than Obama. It also means supporting Israel, of course, but there is a long list of others:
Governments: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain (despite its faults), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya (we hope, Obama can claim credit for that one), Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia (despite its faults), and the United Arab Emirates. You can add some other former Soviet Muslim-majority republics.
Opposition and democratic moderate movements: Iran, Lebanon, Syria (where the United States is supporting the Islamists!), Tunisia, and Turkey (see Syria, above). Let’s also keep in mind the Berbers, Christians, and Kurds in general as communities that overwhelmingly link their survival to fighting revolutionary Islamism. Such ethnic communities can also be found in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This cooperation to defeat radical Islamism, however it disguises itself, should be the backbone of U.S. policy. It can be implemented in a thousand different ways. Post-victory planning, which better start soon at least among independent analysts, needs to define these.
There are some Middle East problem countries that require special consideration.
It is time for a withdrawal from Afghanistan and a clever policy of backing—with a mixture of covert and financial as well as other assets—those who will fight to keep the Taliban out of power. Afghanistan is not going to be democratic or a nice place. But it must a place that does not threaten America again.
Yemen is a mess and, like Afghanistan, will continue to be a mess. The U.S. policy should cooperate to the maximum extent with Yemen on fighting terrorism without illusions about the nature of the regime and its willingness to betray the United States at any moment.
Qatar must also be treated with great caution. For reasons of local pride and ambition, it likes to stir up trouble and often supports Islamists, as well as playing footsy with Iran. Qatar should be treated with extreme suspicion not because its interests are different from America’s (everybody’s are) but because it likes to play the role of joker in the deck of cards.
Unfortunately, there is a parallel here with the far more important case of Pakistan. This is a headache without resolution. On one hand, the United States must ensure that the regime is not overthrown by radical Islamists. On the other hand, the United States cannot trust Pakistan at all to cooperate in fighting terrorism. Indeed, Pakistan is a major world sponsor of terrorism, not only against India but also to help the Taliban in Afghanistan, even—as we’ve vividly seen—al-Qaida! As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan the relationship with Pakistan should be reduced.Barry Rubin
John Burton, the chairman of the Democratic Party in California, apologized to those who took offense at his remarks comparing Republican statements to Nazi propaganda.
Following an uproar over the remarks, which were condemned by Democrats and Republicans, Burton issued a statement on Monday.
“To correct press reports of my recent comments about Republican lies, I did not call Republicans Nazis nor would I ever. In fact, I didn’t even use the word,” the statement said. “If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie — I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment.”
Speaking earlier in the day to a California radio station, Burton had said of Republicans in general and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan more specifically, “They lie, and they don’t care if people think they lie.” He also said, “As long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know.”
Goebbels was minister of propaganda for the Nazi Party and was a close associate of Adolf Hitler.
Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, criticized Burton for his comments.
“John Burton ought to know better than to bring the Nazis and their victims into our current political debates, but apparently the offense such remarks cause to Holocaust survivors and their families are of less concern to him than the prospect of political gain.”
Also condemning Burton was Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, who said, “That obviously doesn’t represent the views of the campaign,” adding, “There’s no place for that in the political discourse.”
Late last year, U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) also had likened Democrats to Goebbels, noting, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”
A host of Democrats condemned West’s remarks at the time.JTA
I had two interesting responses to my article on Baltimore and the decay of America and because my energy level is very low now as I begin treatment for cancer allow me to respond briefly.
One friend asks why you believe that Romney and Ryan have answers for fixing America. Because America must decide whether it is going to be a society of productivity, making new things and wealth, or merely looting and passing around the ruins of Rome. A city like Baltimore will not be rebuilt by taking money to lower living standards in the suburbs but by creating great new enterprises that produce goods and services people want.
Another polite reader put the following in the nicest possible way—I’m not being sarcastic—don’t the Republicans and Romney just represent nineteenth century plutocratic greedy capitalism dressed up as free enterprise? Millions of Americans believe this and unless they change their minds America will not change.
Yes, that evil Romney who wants to buy another 100 Rolls Royces not like those modest-living Kennedys, Gores, and all the rest, including a serious Democratic presidential candidate who betrayed his cancer-stricken wife after making a fortune on rather questionable legal actions. And I seem to recall a great lionized hero who–let’s face it there’s no doubt, murdered a poor young working-class woman and left her to drown without ever paying for his crime. Sure there are bad conservatives and bad Republicans, corrupt and immoral people, but for goodness sake you aren’t treating them as great tribunes of the masses, as the friends of the exploiters, as they line their pockets from yours.
It’s time to rethink the reality we live in.
Look, it ain’t 1895 any more. Does the American government tremble because of Ford, General Motors, U.S. Steel, Standard Oil of New Jersey, the Pennsylvania Railroad and other mighty enterprises many of which have collapsed completely?
No. It is the opposite, the corporations tremble before the government regulators who have the power to tie them into knots. And their main response is not to fight but to flee abroad.
Oh, mighty General Motors saved by the great Obama (Hooray! Hooray! For the great messiah of business) with billions of your taxpaying dollars in order to create employment…in China!
Do workers living in hovels fear the boss telling them they are now out of work with no unemployment or pension; that their hours are increased, that they are going to be thrown out of their company homes because they were ten minutes late at work?
No, it is the unions—at least where such things survive in the heavy industry—that have the whip hand. The government is 100 percent on their side. Do the big-bellied capitalists blow cigar smoke into the faces of newspaper editors and threaten to cut off advertising unless scandals are covered up? No, it is the government’s scandals that are covered up. And if anything the companies are made to face unfair charges.
The corporate executives want to look good. They want people to say and write nice things about them. They want to be regarded as good corporate citizens. They spend money running image ads about how they feed songbirds than on doing breakthrough research.
They can’t even get oil-drilling going off most of the coast at a time when America has no energy independence, prices are sky high, and the economy needs a boost.
What is reality here? Yes, there were such times in America of bullying plutocratic greedy polluting capitalist super-villains but that just isn’t 2012. And yes, too, there was a time when some redistribution of wealth was needed. That was decades ago, too. Know why? Because working stiffs had to buy all those cars, toasters, refrigerators, and other consumer goods rolling out of the factories. That’s why advertising was a good thing. That’s why America flourished after World War Two.
Tell me, is America’s problem today that there is a vast working class—even a vast poor class—that cannot buy cheap computers and expensive sports’ shoes?
And finally don’t forget small business, all those millions of people who aren’t big moguls trying to make a living for themselves and their families and their employees.Barry Rubin
Andrew Biggs highlights some basic facts about VP candidate Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare:
1. No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.
2. Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. “Premium support”—that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals—is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will.
3. Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals. Is this “gutting Medicare” and “ending Medicare as we know it”? In reality, it’s the market giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.Jewish Press Staff