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Posts Tagged ‘romney’

A Quick Analysis of Obama’s Trip

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

What a far cry he is from his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. I cannot think of two more opposite ends of the pole with respect to their views on Israel and the Jewish people. The President has already amply shown his support for us in both word and deed. Financially, militarily and in the world of intelligence cooperation. That is old news. But with this visit he exceeded even my own optimistic expectations.

The President’s visit to Israel ended this morning as he continues on to Jordan. But he has left behind a far better understanding between himself and Israelis… and dare I say even many Jewish people who have been skeptical about his true support – suspect of his underlying motives. Unless one is completely detached from reality, I don’t see how anyone can come away with anything but appreciation for what the President has done and what he has further committed to.

I have been paying pretty close attention to what he has been saying over the last couple of days. I am now convinced that he understands what Israel is all about. He understands the biblical connection and the millennia of yearning to return to our homeland. Up until now that was not clear. He also still recognizes the additional imperatives of Israel as a Jewish homeland because of the Holocaust. Where ‘Never Again’ can be worked upon with the freedom it requires.

The President understands our need for security as well as anyone. He knows that Israel is surrounded by enemies that would destroy her if they could. He recognizes that many countries in the world unfairly criticize Israel. And perhaps most importantly, he recognizes that any peace deal must be predicated on security. One cannot move forward without insisting upon it.

He also recognizes the amazing contrasts of our ancient biblical homeland and its modern contributions to humanity in medicine, science and technology; business and the arts. Israel has given the world 10 Nobel Prize laureates.

He respects Judaism and has even incorporated a Pesach Seder into the White House. Not that it is an entirely Halachic Seder. But that he knows enough about it to think it a valuable addition to the White House and its message of freedom as a lesson for his daughters to experience.

There are those who might cynically say that he says and does all of this just to get Jewish support. But I truly believe that is not his reason. I think he is genuine in his expression of appreciation – and even admiration for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

And yet there are those who still compare the President to his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright. How, they say, could he be a part of that church for so many years and not share Wright’s negative extremist views of both Israel and the Jewish people?

I can’t answer that question. But I do not have scintilla of doubt in my mind. He does not share those views. He truly repudiates them. Those who somehow still think he does must have a mental block against reality when it comes to him. I can only speculate why… and won’t attempt to do so here.

The issues I did have with him in the past have mostly disappeared on this trip. I did not think he had any warm feelings for Israel… and that his support was based on an intellectual understanding of “the right thing to do.” Which is one reason why I supported Romney in the last election. I felt his relationship with Israel was a much warmer one.

The President’s cool relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu bothered me too. But I no longer feel that way. The relationship between the two leaders seems to have improved considerably. I never thought the two hated each other. But it seems from this visit that they might even like each other.

Not only that, but their positions on key issues are either identical or very close to it. They are on the same page with respect to Syria. They are nearly on the same page with respect to Iran. The President even went a step further than he has in the past supporting Israel’s right to act unilaterally against Iran. He understands that Israel’s proximity to Iran plus the constant threats to wipe it off the map pose a far more immediate and greater danger to Israel than the lesser but very real danger it poses to U.S. and the rest of the world.

Even his position opposing the settlements seems to have moderated a bit. Although he still opposes them – he seemed to understand the need for construction within established areas due to natural growth. His criticism in this respect was mild, but understandable as he still sees it as an obstacle to peace.

But he also understands that a bigger obstacle is the security that Israel requires before any peace deal can be achieved. A security that is far from being realized at the moment. The “Arab Spring” has toppled old despotic regimes but has caused instability. Egypt, the largest Arab nation has been replaced by Islamists far less sympathetic to Israel than the previous Egyptian government. That lessens – rather than increases security.

Barack Obama seeks peace in that region. He correctly says that peace is ultimately the only real way to achieve security. And he has repeatedly emphasized that to Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He also correctly says that there are many Palestinians who reject the violence of Hamas et al and their supporters. He feels that Abbas would be a partner for peace. I agree with him. Not that Abbas wouldn’t rather take over all of Israel and expel all the Jews if he could. But he knows he can’t. He is a realist. I think he would make peace if Hamas et al were not ‘players’ interested in undermining that goal.

My only difference with the President is that the religious fanaticism that has been driving much of the Arab Spring and has democratically elected an Islamist government in Egypt. It is the dominant force in the Middle East. Syria, Iran, Egypt, Gaza… all those places are governed and mostly populated by religious fanatics whose fanaticism outweighs common sense. Just yesterday in Syria 42 people were killed by a suicide bomber whose target was a cleric that supported Assad. Suicide bombers are what Israel sees when they think about security issues.

One cannot make peace with a realist like Abbas when the religious fanatics are in control. Increasingly so it seems. So the President’s idea about taking chances for peace are at best wishful thinking. But I agree with him in principle. If we could eliminate the Islamist terror, I think we could – and would – make peace very quickly. As of now. It is at best a pipe dream.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the President even understood that deep down – and only advocates “taking chances for peace” for political reasons. Secretary of State, John Kerry’s upcoming trip to “restart” peace negotiations is probably not going to produce anything. But it will at least send a message that the U.S. is trying.

The bottom line for me is that after this visit, the President leaves no doubt in my mind that he is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps the best friend Israel has ever had. And I didn’t even vote for him. But I also know that there are those who refuse to believe it… and that they will always see him in a negative light.

Which is too bad. I think he deserves Hakoras HaTov for what he’s done, and what he has promised to do. Israel recognized that and that is why they presented him the Presidential Medal of Distinction – Israel’s highest honor… the first sitting President in history to ever receive it.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

How Old Movies Show What New Movies Say Are Lies

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Many young people nowadays are indoctrinated to believe that American culture has always been dominated by conservative, racist, and other nasty influences. Understanding of the complex history has not been balanced by this new indoctrination and distortion. It’s merely been made biased in the opposite direction far more systematically than it ever was before.

Racism against African-Americans and many other things in American history are undeniable–and shouldn’t be. Consequently there was plenty of room for improvement. But that same history also shows there is no need for endless self-flagellation.

I’ve often noticed this but it came to my attention again in rewatching the film that brought John Wayne to stardom. What better way to learn about the true and dominant themes of democracy, equality, and real anti-elitism than that classical Western directed by John Ford, “Stagecoach” (1939)?

As a traditional Western, the film depicts the Americans—not whites, Americans—as good guys in a battle with the Apaches. The legitimacy of Americans being in the southwest is not questioned.Aside from this are the following plot points:

–The stagecoach driver is married to a Mexican-American woman. No negative aspersions are cast at all. This is totally accepted. Incidentally, all three of John Wayne’s wives were “Hispanic.”

–The heroes of the film are an outlaw, whose motives for killing a man are portrayed sympathetically, and a prostitute.

–One theme that runs through the film is how the “respectable” people are mean to the prostitute and that’s a terrible thing.

–Although the women are treated by the male characters as delicate, etc., their behavior shows them to be courageous, clear-headed, and as tough as circumstances require.

–The main villains are a banker and an ex-Confederate officer who has turned gambler, shot men in the back, and is a social snob.

–The banker, who is absconding with his bank’s embezzled funds, is a super-patriotic hypocrite. For example, he says, “And remember this — what’s good business for the banks is good for the country” and, “It always gives me great pride in my country when I see such fine young men in the U.S. Army.”

Another line from the banker is, “America for Americans! Don’t let the government meddle with business! Reduce taxes! Our national debt is shocking, over a billion dollars! What the country needs is a businessman for president!”

That’s not in 2012 but 1939. And remember that as he is the bad guy so the audience is expected to groan and think that such a person is horrible and disgusting. When the mass media in 2013 portray a group like the Tea Party as racist–reduce taxes; high national debt–or in 2012 portray Mitch Romney unfavorably–a businessman for president?–the ground was well-prepared. In what film was a community organizer a villain?

Other plot points include:

–The moralistic, deliberately uglified—respectable women of the town are presented as narrow-minded prigs.

–One of the stations the stage coach visits is run by a Mexican-American team, including the manager, who are portrayed sympathetically.

–When one of the passengers makes a racist remark about the Apache wife of the Mexican-American manager, he’s made fun of. And note that the man’s statements are made in the context of fear that she might somehow be a spy for the Apache forces whose imminent attack they fear. And on top of that he’s not from the West and unused to seeing Native Americans. The other man who distrusts her is, of course, the evil banker. While she might actually be helping the Apaches, the banker is wrong when he accuses her of being a thief of his stolen loot, which he soon finds.

–In an early scene, the cavalry scout has reported that the Apaches have gone to war. Asked how do they know he’s telling the truth, an officer replies, “He’s a Cheyenne. They hate Apaches worse than we do.” So all Native Americans are not portrayed as the same; some are allies. Today, the fact that some tribes were aggressive and “imperialistic,” engaging in massacres and tortures of others—motivating the latter to side with the U.S. army–is hidden, since that would distract from the narrative that only whites are racist and aggressive.

You Can’t Out-Liberal the Liberals

Monday, January 21st, 2013

So after a long bout of mocking Mitt Romney for saying that he sought out binders full of qualified female appointees, complete with protesters outside one of his campaign offices dressed in binders, the appointed hour came and the new cabinet of the man who was too good for binders of women was white and male.

There was some awkward fidgeting in the media. A few suggestions that maybe there should be a little more diversity. And that was followed by the new official talking point that diversity doesn’t matter, it’s all about the impact of the policies. Suddenly the Party of Affirmative Action began making conservative arguments for merit and representation, over racial preferences.

To some this was proof that liberals don’t really believe in anything. And that’s true and it isn’t.

Modern American Liberalism is the movement of a wealthy white upper class meant to suppress the working class and the mercantile class. Think of it as the revenge of the barons against the merchants and the wrath of the old New England elites against the Nouveau Riche. It adopted the Jewish and Catholic immigrants who accepted its values and codes. It even occasionally brings in more exotic figures, like Barack Obama, so long as they have gone to the right schools and share their values.

Liberals champion multiculturalism, they enact diversity requirements and push through immigration, and then they send their children to private schools and buy houses in white neighborhoods. They are mostly unaware that they are doing this. They’re just doing what comes naturally. Like most people, liberals are most comfortable among their own kind.

Their kind is not so much a racial group, as it is a cultural one. If you’ve ever set foot in a liberal stronghold, then you can already recognize the very expensive casual wear, the cars with progressive bumper stickers, the beaming helicoptered children, the reusable bags and the other markings of the American upper class. The one that may spend 5 years slumming it in a big city, gathering tattoos and experiences, before retreating to the traditional comforts of a posh suburb and a high end do-nothing non-profit job.

They emphasize minorities, but most minorities, especially after the passing of the melting pot that another generation of liberals implemented, don’t fit all that well into the cultural liberal landscape. It’s why Obama plays golf, even though he’s bad at it. It’s why his campaign staff and his cabinet leans toward the same white males who still run most things, including liberalism.

Liberals have varying degrees of awareness of this, ranging from aggressive denial to passive denial, much as conservatives have some degree of awareness that FOX News personalities are likely more liberal than they pretend to be. And like most such conflicts, the information gets filed away in favor of focusing on a more immediate problem.

The diversity that could be seen in a photo of Cheney on September 11 or Romney’s appointments are completely meaningless because you cannot win an argument with a liberal by being more liberal than him. It’s fun to try, but it doesn’t actually work for the same reason that you can’t be more Catholic than the Pope.

The liberal program is not just diversity. It’s a grander and vaster program. And those who promote the program can violate any single aspect of it, without facing any consequences or contradictions, so long as they remain valuable players.

Bill Clinton could act out the bad part in every sensitivity training video. Obama can pay women less. Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton can make racist jokes. Obama can govern through Executive Orders and start illegal wars. So can any Democrat. None of that matters because they’re all plays in the big program. And the “Big Program” means a new world with good stuff for all. Accomplishing it means ignoring the little sins that would lead to any little person being lynched, jailed or denounced.

Liberals are busy lining up to defend Chuck Hagel, a former Republican who hated homosexuals, opposed abortion and on most issues, aside from foreign policy, was fairly conservative. But that doesn’t matter because Hagel is now on Team Prog. Local interest groups may object, but the liberal purpose in having Jewish or Gay or Female auxiliaries is so that they can support the larger program. When they don’t support it, they’re told to shut the hell up.

NY Jewish Boroughs Voted Romney

Monday, November 26th, 2012

An analysis of a recent New York Times article examining the presidential voting trends of all the New York precincts determined that almost all Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney over Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.

According to an article by Front Page Mag, Romney won over 90 percent of the Jewish votes in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Manhattan Beach, Belle Harbor, Howard Beach, Kew Garden Hills, Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.

The article noted that support for Romney was irrespective of the level of income of the neighborhoods.

Jer. Post’s Hoffman Tells Jewish Students Israelis’ View of Obama Vacillating

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

On the eve of the 2012 elections, Gil Hoffman, the Chief Political Correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, gave a lecture at Franklin & Marshall College, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The lecture was titled, “Red States, Blue States and the Jewish State: An insider’s perspective from Jerusalem on the U.S. election’s impact on Israel.”

Hoffman covered a variety of topics, seeking to educate the audience on what the U.S. elections mean for Israel, and how Israelis view the candidates, but he made it clear that both he and the Jerusalem Post did not endorse any candidate.

Two of the major points Hoffman addressed were the relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the threat of the Iranian nuclear program on Israel.

Earlier in President Obama’s term, Hoffman met with Natan Sharansky, former Soviet refusenik who now heads the Jewish Agency for Israel. Sharansky told Hoffman that the source of tension and disagreement between Obama and Netanyahu arose solely from what Netanyahu experienced as unpleasant surprises.

Hoffman elaborated on those surprises: During a meeting between Obama and Netanyahu in May of 2009, Obama demanded the halt of Israeli settlement building and expansion, without notifying Netanyahu’s administration of this demand prior to their meeting. Hoffman also noted Obama’s publicly announced proposed peace plan back in May 2011, just one day before Netanyahu’s scheduled visit to the States. The plan was based on the “1967 borders,” which Obama justified, supporting the Palestinian necessity to “govern themselves, and reach their full potential in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

Throughout Obama’s first term, Jerusalem Post polls revealed vastly fluctuating opinions of Israeli citizens on whether or not the U.S. President was pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Israelis’ ratings of President Obama changed dramatically from the all-time low of a four percent pro-Israel rating in Aug. 2009, in contrast with the President’s 54% positive rating in Sept., 2011. The 54% pro-Israel rating was announced just after Obama went to the U.N. and delivered a speech opposing the Palestinian statehood bid.

Hoffman told this college audience that Iran is the issue Israelis care most about.  He also told them that war is the last approach Israel wants to take. When asked about the possibility of an imminent Israel attack on Iran, Hoffman answered as follows:

“There are 10,000 missiles aimed at Israel today from Gaza — 10,000. There are 40,000 missiles aimed at Israel today from Southern Lebanon. It doesn’t matter whether it would be Israel attacking Iran or an international consortium of air forces attacking Iran, either way, the retaliation would come against civilian populations in Israel.   That’s why it’s so important to do everything possible to make the sanctions and the political approaches work.”

Hoffman added, “Before Israel attacked the nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, did you see Israeli leaders talking about it every other day? We didn’t even know that those facilities existed before then, and the fact that Israeli leaders are talking about it every other day is a pretty good sign that they are not [planning an imminent attack].”

Prior to the U.S. election, 57% of Israeli Jews supported Romney, 27% supported Obama. Israeli citizens — along with Prime Minister Netanyahu — have at times been disappointed and frustrated by President Obama, yet Hoffman said that Israelis “saw both sides” in this year’s U.S. election.

In a Jerusalem Post poll taken in Sept. 2012, 78.8% of Israeli Jews were optimistic about Israel’s future. With President Obama now set for a second term, this number will be closely monitored for any changes.

Hoffman concluded the evening by informing students, faculty, and local residents who attended the event about how they could help Israel from their homes.

“I say helping Israel is easy,” Hoffman said. “E.A.S.Y., which stands for Education, Advocacy, Solidarity, and Your money.”

Text of Romney Concession Speech

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

This text was taken from a report by The Washington Post:

ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.

ROMNEY: His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

(APPLAUSE)

This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made.

(APPLAUSE)

And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life.

(APPLAUSE)

ROMNEY: She would have been a wonderful first lady. She’s — she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.

I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home.

(APPLAUSE)

I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.

(APPLAUSE)

They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.

And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country — the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates — I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.

Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You’ve been the very best we could have imagined.

ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.

And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.

We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.

ROMNEY: We look to job creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.

And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.

(APPLAUSE)

And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.

Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys.

(APPLAUSE)

Dick Morris: Romney by a Landslide: 325 – 213

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It’s refreshing to see a guy willing to bet his career on what looks from this end of the time tunnel to be a gross example of wishful thinking – except that in this case, pundit Dick Morris has been through a few careers already, first as a Republican, then as advisor and campaign manager for Bill Clinton, then as a Republican again, with enough strange and off-color anecdotes to keep an entire lineup of political comics in business.

I believe the above introduction is necessary so that you would go get whatever grains of salt you’ve got left in your political cupboards and rely on them heavily when reading the following predictions. Because, let’s face it, they’re incredibly seductive.

“That’s right,” says Dick Morris, it’s going to be “a landslide for Romney approaching the magnitude of Obama’s against McCain. That’s my prediction.”

Morris contends that Romney will win the McCain states from 2008, as well as Florida, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In other words, all the baby-blue states Democrats have grown to love and think of as their own (with the exception of Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina) are really pink states. Romney is going to sweep them, and end up with 55% to Obama’s 45% of the national vote, if not an even wider margin.

Morris says that even though the Romney campaign was “brilliant,” as he puts it, the Obama side will lose because of their own mistakes.

The Obama negative ads in swing states were refuted by Romney’s congenial appearances during all three debates. He turned out not to be the monstrous robot they said he was.

Obama never made a convincing defense of his record, other than to say that it was GW Bush’s fault, and he had no vision to sell for the next four years. He didn’t ignite anyone’s imagination. So once people stopped fearing Romney, there was no other reason left to vote Obama.

Obama took too many states for granted, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. He was misled by his own echo chamber. He should have treated them as swing states and invested heavily there. That’s what Romney did in North Carolina.

Obama looks tired. It’s not only his actual lack of sleep, there’s a sense that the man is used up, that, deep inside, he wouldn’t mind losing this one and go get a much deserved rest. McCain looked that way, four years ago. Bob Dole did in 1996. It’s hard to shake that feeling, no matter how many times he and his circle insist you’re “energized.”

And he looked mean and angry. He started talking about revenge in the last week of the campaign – voting for me is the best revenge, he said (I’m paraphrasing).

(To be perfectly frank, Obama is showing signs of being normal with his subtexted reluctance to do another four years of this hellish chore. I’m not sure that when we say someone is a “political animal” it’s such a big compliment. And yet, we don’t call our leaders “political humans.”)

Benghazi was a terrible mess, a collapse of the Intelligence network in Libya – and Obama should have said so on day 1. And Hurricane Sandy, with all the accolades from Gov. Christie and Mayor Bloomberg, was a very traumatic moment for many millions of Americans who might not be so wild about their incumbent president just now. Both events exposed an incompetence on the part of the Administration. Maybe the Benghazi failure didn’t touch so many voters, but, trust me, Sandy did.

Granted, Obama didn’t come across as callused and aloof as did GW Bush with Katrina, he jumped on his plane and went places right away – but a week later, people are still hungry and without power. You think they have a soft spot for the man at the top?

So, there it is, Dick Morris’s extremely convincing arguments why Team Romney is going to run away with the ball today. Like I said, very seductive…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dick-morris-romney-by-a-landslide-325-213/2012/11/06/

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