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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘senator’

Senator Boxer Wants to Abolish Electoral College

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) who is retiring in January 2017 has introduced he last bill, and it’s a big one. Boxer’s legislation, submitted on Tuesday, will abolish the Electoral College, leaving the choice of a president up to the popular vote.

“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said in a statement. “When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed 2 million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama.”

“The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” Boxer insisted, stressing that “every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”

Boxer’s bill requires an amendment to the US Constitution (number 28), and three-fourths of the states would be needed to ratify the bill within seven years — should its pass in Congress.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Sophie (née Silvershein) and Ira Levy, Barbara Boxer has been the junior Senator from California since 1993. In October 2002, Boxer voted against the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force by the Bush Administration in Iraq. In June 2005, Senators Boxer and Russ Feingold (D-WI) cosponsored Senate Resolution 171 calling for a timeframe for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

President Elect Donald Trump is the fifth person to win the presidency while losing the popular vote. The most recent was George W. Bush in 2000. The other three times all took place in the 19th century. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans would get rid of the electoral college.

“In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,'” Boxer said in her statement. “I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”

JNi.Media

Senator Mark Kirk – A Proven Friend

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

One problem (among many) with Donald Trump’s candidacy that is that it will affect the down ballot candidates of the Republican Party. I say this as a non partisan – although a right leaning one on most issues. I vote for the individual not the party. If one looks at my voting record – that would be amply reflected. I voted for Bill Clinton twice as I did for Ronald Reagan. As much as I don’t like Hillary Clinton, she is the lesser of two evils. I will vote for her over the disastrous Trump.

Many of Clinton’s supporters say she will govern from the center. But I think her primary opponent, Socialist Bernie Sanders, has pushed her even further to the left than she was before. A lot more than her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The way to prevent some of her liberal agenda from bearing fruit is to vote for a Republican congress in both the House and the Senate. Because even though Clinton is less of a disaster than Trump by far, she is still a disaster. Her economic programs consisting of more tax and spend entitlements will increase the budget deficit and the national debt. And we already owe China the family farm!

What’s worse is that she will continue the foreign policy of her predecessor. That too is a disaster. Just to take one example – instead of increasing the crippling sanctions on Iran and bringing them to their knees, where the world could have dictated much better terms for removing those sanctions – the deal made by the US gave Iran – the biggest state sponsor of terrorism – billions of dollars to further that cause; allowed them to keep most of their nuclear infrastructure intact; and a few years hence allows them to pursue nuclear weapons freely. This is a country that has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. They have been vowing this for over 35 years. Soon they will have the means to do it.

This is not a foreign policy that will benefit mankind. It is a prescription for a major nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future that will affect the entire world. And yet this is the kind of foreign policy she enthusiastically supports.

I am still going to vote for her for what are becoming increasingly obvious reasons. But in my view it is vital to do what we can to counteract her agenda on both the economy and on foreign policy. Which means voting for Republicans down ballot. I say this even though I do not vote ‘party’ but ‘individual’. That should still be the guiding principle for everyone. But surely one should not vote against someone because of their party’s Presidential candidate. That would be biting off your nose to spite your face.

In Illinois, Republican Senator Mark Kirk is being challenged by a war hero, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. She is an Iraq War veteran that suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm.  I salute her service. For her sacrifice and dedication, she deserves the eternal gratitude and respect of all the American people regardless of party affiliation.  But that does not make her an ideal candidate for office. We must look at her policies

For those who care about the welfare of the Jewish State, her policies are not so stellar. She is party loyalist that supports the Iran deal. More telling is her endorsement by J-Street, the liberal lobbying group that was established as a counter to AIPAC. This the pro Israel lobbying group has been successful in arguing Israel’s case to our elected officials. AIPAC is respected in Washington on both sides of the political aisle. They are seen as a required stop for every Presidential candidate seeking office.

J-Street tends is tends toward a more Palestinian view of things –albeit without the antisemitism that often accompanies it. Their view is that Israel should make peace right now with a 2 state solution. This ignores the increased terrorism that would be generated if the entire West Bank were handed over to them. A lesson that should have been learned by handing over Gaza. Israel thought that would be a great gesture.  Palestinians could then show us what peaceful co-existence would be like in a 2 state solution.

We all know how well that worked out. We cannot give Palestinians control of the West Bank until we can be assured that they will not turn it into another Gaza. Which is the opposite of what their popular leadership (Hamas) has all but promised to do. Tammy Duckworth is of the J-Street mindset apparently. She apparently feels that Israel can ignore the reality of Gaza and hand over the West Bank to their leaders.

The United States cannot afford to do this to its closest ally in the Middle East. It would be against America’s best interests. Not to mention immoral.The West Bank must remain in Israel’s hands until such time it can be proven that it will not turn into another Gaza.

Both Kirk and Duckworth were invited by Agudath Israel of Illinois to address a group of rabbinic and lay leaders across the spectrum of Orthodoxy in Chicago. Kirk accepted and met with this group. Duckworth has not yet decided if she can swing it. The following excerpt is why anyone that cares about the State of Israel should vote for Kirk. From Matzav:

In a passionate response to a participant who asked what motivated him to fight for Israel and the Jewish people, Senator Kirk explained that he views it as a primary moral obligation. He described himself as a student of history who appreciates the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the persecution they have endured for generations. “We must learn lessons from the 1930’s: take the threats of Israel’s enemies seriously and understand that appeasement only emboldens them. We must do whatever we can to right the wrong done to the Jewish people. It is the moral test of our generation to stand up and do what we can to protect this special nation.”

Senator Kirk did not just have this meeting for political expediency. He is a true friend of the Jewish people. After he was elected in the last election he requested to address the Jewish community to express his views about Israel and the Jewish people. The Jewish community responded by inviting him to speak at KINS, a Modern Orthodox Shul in Chicago’s West Roger Park. A neighborhood heavily saturated with Orthodox Jews. He did not have to do this. He was already elected. And yet he still expressed a desire to show us who he is.

This is the man we should support. Mark Kirk is a Republican that must remain in congress. He is a good man and deserves to be re-elected. Even if only to retain a Republican seat in a very likely Democratic administration.  We could use a lot more like him. This is not to say that Ms. Duckworth is an antisemite. I’m sure she is not.

But why go with an unproven candidate endorsed by J-Street – while the proven one is such a great friend to the Jewish people?

The media has been reporting that it is a very close race. (The same cannot be said for the vote for President. Illinois rarely goes Republican and it will surely not do so this time.) Please do not stay home – even if you can’t stand either candidate. Your vote will count. This election is too important to ignore. Come out and vote for Kirk. I will be. I hope you will too.

Harry Maryles

Sen. Ted Cruz Snubbed by GOP Mega-Donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson After Non-Endorsement

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Texan Senator Ted Cruz may have won a battle Wednesday night but it sure looks like he lost the war. He was pointedly turned away from billionaire Sheldon and Miriam Adelson’s suite at the Cleveland Arena Wednesday night after not endorsing Donald Trump in his speech on Day 3 at the Republican National Convention.

Cruz had stood his ground and plainly refused to endorse the party’s elected candidate to run for president of the United States.

He paid a price for his choice in the party, in media coverage, politically across the spectrum and financially as well.

When he later went to the on-site suite of Las Vegas Sands Casino chairman and his wife, each a billionaire in their own right — perhaps to explain himself more fully — he was pointedly turned away.

The message could not have been more clear.

This was one that Cruz should have seen coming. The couple had told media in the spring they would back Trump.

All the candidates had, from the start, signed the same agreement: they would back the party’s nominee at the end of the process. Ultimately, Cruz balked, with personal ethics winning out over politics. Ironically Donald Trump respected his choice.

Sources in the Cruz campaign told CNN the former candidate “expected people to not approve” and was “not surprised at the reaction.” But his wife required a security escort to leave the arena — which he may not have anticipated. His own state party chairs were disgusted with what they called “selfish” behavior and some denounced him to his face on the floor. A Fox News team doing the post-analysis pointed out that he seemed to be “running for the next campaign, maybe for 2018,” calling him the “eternal presidential candidate” with a chuckle.

The speech started out strong enough, talking about Republican values, support for freedom, law and order, good education and healthcare — the very things backed by GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. He even backed the now-infamous “wall” to block illegal migrants, and called on everyone to come out for the vote in November. He praised the “New York delegation.”

But Cruz appeared to take a left turn somewhere towards a description of his parents’ struggles, and the grieving daughter of one of the Dallas cops who was shot and killed by a U.S. Armed Forces veteran-turned-terrorist.

“We must make the most of our moments, to fight for freedom, to protect our God given rights, even if with those with whom we don’t agree, so that when we are old and gray, and when our work is done, and we give those we love one final kiss goodbye, we will be able to say freedom matters and I was part of something beautiful,” he said.

Bam.

The crowd booed, as Cruz said his final lines and left the stage.

Apparently none of this was a surprise to the Trump campaign, whose people knew when Cruz took the stage on Night 3 of the Republican National Convention that he would not endorse their nominee. He had already told them, and in fact Trump’s people had seen the text of his speech, and vetted it.

(The text of the speech can be found in The Washington Post.)

But as everyone pointed out after the night was over, it was in the interests of the party and the two candidates to show unity and largeness of spirit in allowing all the former contenders a chance to speak. That included Cruz, and his sour grapes.

Hana Levi Julian

Sen. Cotton to Visit Israel for More Ammunition against Iran Deal

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, one of the loudest voices against the nuclear deal with Iran, will arrive in Israel on Sunday for a week-long visit that can be assumed is aimed at arming him with more ammunition to try to shoot down the nuclear Iran agreement in the Senate.

The Israel government announced:

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be visiting Israel from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, 2015.  During his trip to Israel, the Senator will be updated on strategic and diplomatic issues, as well as other major developments in the region.

Senator Cotton, in office as of January 2015, serves on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and Banking committees.

Updating him on “strategic and diplomatic issues” just before Congress returns from a summer recess with the Iran deal the number one item on the agenda means that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will send Sen. Cotton back with a suitcase full of arguments to try to win a veto-proof majority against the deal when it comes for a vote.

Sen. Cotton was behind the controversial letter that he and several senators sent to Iran to “inform” it that a nuclear deal would not be binding on the next president.

Earlier this month, he told Israeli reporters that the Obama administration has not made it clear to Iran that it could use force to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He then said that the U.S. Armed Forces could bomb Iran’s nuclear program “back to zero.”

Sen. Corker stated:

You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,

Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.

That is music to the ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the timing of next week’s visit is not coincidental.

The Prime Minister and President Barack Obama are desperately campaigning against and for the deal, respectively.

Media continue to report more evidence that the deal is full of holes and that Iran already is has taken moves to get around it, such as the report Thursday that it has built an addition to its Parchin nuclear facility.

However, party loyalty usually is paramount to intellectual honesty. New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer came out against the deal and promptly faced a campaign prevent him from becoming the next party leader in the Senate to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who backs the deal.

Even Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker admits that Obama will win. He told The Tennessean:

Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove.

The Hill reported that President Obama lacks only five out of 15 undecided Democratic senators to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Chuck Schumer Explodes as 60 Jewish leaders Look On

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) Sen. Charles Schumer was meeting with some 60 Jewish American leaders in Washington DC last week, when he couldn’t take the pressure any more, and by pressure we mean the voices of Jews everywhere telling him to vote with the Republicans, against President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

One source told The NY Post that Schumer, who is about as even tempered as they come most days, “exploded” in the meeting.

On his Monday press conference in his Midtown office, which included his distant cousin, comic actress Amy Schumer, the Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“This is such an important decision that I will not let pressure, politics or party influence [me],” Schumer said.

Schumer has received an estimated 10,000 phone calls to his office over the past two weeks, most of them from opponents of the Iran agreement.

JNi.Media

Obama Accuses GOP Senators of ‘Common Cause with Iran Hardliners’

Monday, March 9th, 2015

President Barack Obama responded Monday to an open letter sent to Iran by 47 Republican Senators to Iran, about the limitations of any agreement signed by his administration with Tehran acquiescing to a nuclear development program the Congress may not like.

Obama accused the senators — who included three presidential candidates — of aligning with Iranian hardliners.

The letter said that any such agreement signed by the president or Secretary of State John Kerry might only last as long as Obama remains in office because it is formatted as an “executive agreement.”

“It’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” Obama told reporters in a brief news conference in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon.

Asked what might happen following any agreement signed by the U.S. and world powers if Congress does not like the deal, the president replied, “If we do (sign) then we’ll be able to make the case to the American people.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Shoe on America’s Foot, Swapping Taliban Terrorists for a Soldier

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama is finding himself in the same position as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – having to explain a controversial decision to outraged lawmakers and a questioning public.

Obama faced the nation on Saturday night to defend his directive to negotiate a prisoner swap with the Taliban terrorist organization in order to free the lone American soldier held hostage by the group in Afghanistan for the past five years.

Like that of former Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the background behind the capture of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was less than heroic. Shalit was not in combat when he was kidnapped by Arab terrorists in a cross-border raid in southern Israel in 2006. According to a blog post by prominent U.S. civil rights attorney Jonathan Turley, Bergdahl was taken prisoner after leaving his base in east Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

On Saturday, the 28-year-old army soldier was released by his Taliban captors in exchange for five Taliban members who were freed from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The deal was reached after a week of intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, which allegedly will maintain custody of the Taliban detainees for one year.

U.S. officials said efforts to negotiate the soldier’s release began in November 2010 and that his return became a top priority in May 2011. The opportunity to resume talks over the issue emerged several weeks ago, Turley wrote.

The U.S. president called the deal part of America’s “iron-clad commitment to bringing our prisoners home.” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in making the announcement that he informed Congress on Saturday of the decision, adding that the U.S. had “coordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised.” He thanked the Emir of Qatar for that and for his “instrumental role in facilitating the return” of the soldier.

But the United States has also had a legal “iron-clad commitment” not to negotiate with terrorists, as it happens.

Turley quoted a joint statement expressing outrage and concern over the swap by top U.S. Congress member Howard P. McKeon, (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of Sergeant Bergdahl from terrorist captivity,” the two lawmakers said. “However – we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom.

“American has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.”

Hm. Sound familiar? Perhaps an echo of the fears expressed by the Israeli public over endless “good will gestures” forced on its government by the U.S. State Department to free convicted Arab terrorists in order to keep the Palestinian Authority at the negotiating table? Or the outrage expressed by families of victims of terror when more than 1,000 bloodthirsty jailed terrorists were freed in exchange for the lone Israeli soldier held hostage for more than five years by the Iranian-backed Hamas rulers of Gaza?

Yes – the same Hamas terror organization with which PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now intends to unite his Fatah faction in a Palestinian Authority “unity” government. Mind you, most of those freed terrorist murderers are still at large, armed and dangerous, working on their next “projects.”

Gee.

America’s lawmakers also pointed out that President Obama “clearly violated laws” requiring him to notify Congress 30 days prior to the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Those laws require him to explain exactly how the threat posed by those terrorists was substantially mitigated.

Rachel Levy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-shoe-on-americas-foot-swapping-taliban-terrorists-for-a-soldier/2014/06/02/

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