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May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

GOP’s Sen. Ted Cruz Courts Jewish Vote in Las Vegas

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

“So tell me, is this the ‘Ready for Hillary’ group?”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was in Las Vegas talking to Republican Jews on Saturday mixing humor with barbs aimed at top Democrats like Hillary Clinton, running for the 2016 nomination for president.

The junior senator from Texas was addressing a packed room at the Republican Jewish Coalition Spring Leadership Meeting, where influential Jewish leaders also heard him talk about his love of Israel and the president’s failed foreign policies.

Cruz had a stacked scheduled that day, and was slated to head to Iowa from Nevada for a second confab with a Conservative Christian audience in Waukee, where he later talked about Democratic “liberal fascism,” intolerance and “extremism.”

But first he made time to do a little kibbitzing in Las Vegas.

“You know the ‘Ready for Hillary’ campaign has just announced they have their first title: director of email security,” he went on. The barb, referring to the scandal over Clinton’s use of a private server for her entire tenure as Secretary of State – and subsequent deletion of all emails she chose not to share with the U.S. government investigators – underlined one of the major points of the GOP campaign against the top Democrat.

Republicans are hoping to convince voters that Hillary Clinton is not honest or loyal and cannot be relied upon to serve the American people faithfully in the White House.

Although there’s plenty of evidence to support the contention, oddly it seems to be a pretty hard sell. All of the numerous GOP candidates are hammering on these points; perhaps one will get through.

So far Senator Marco Rubio seems to be closest to making the grade. In a recent Fox News poll, Clinton won 45 percent of voters’ loyalties with Rubio was close behind with 43 percent; a statistical dead heat between the two. No one else came as close from the GOP side of the fence.

Israel Ranks 11th Happiest Nation in the World

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Pharel Williams knew what he was doing when he came to Israel to collect footage for his on-and-on “happy” music video.

The Jewish State has again found itself among the happiest nations in the world, ranking number 11 in this year’s annual World Happiness Report for the second year running.

Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the report placed Switzerland as the happiest country in the world among 156 countries surveyed in 2014.

Following closely were Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada, along with Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

The United States is not nearly as happy: America ranked at Number 15.

NY Times Notices That Obama Pushes Off Netanyahu Meeting (Again)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

President Obama has again pushed off a potential meeting with PM Netanyahu.

The NY Times reported on Thursday that President Obama informed a group of American leaders on April 13th that he would only meet with Netanyahu after negotiations with Iran were over. Obama is afraid that Netanyahu would publicly criticize the Iran deal if they met before the negotiations were over.

If the NY Times had read JewishPress.com, they would have known that this is the second time Obama has delayed a Netanyahu meeting since the Israeli elections ended.

JewishPress.com first reported on April 6, that Obama said he would only meet with Netanyahu, after Netanyahu set up a coalition, which is expected to be mid-May.

This latest report pushes off that potential meeting off by at least an additional month and a half.

On the other hand, despite reports that Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, is persona non grata in the White House, and that Obama wants a different Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer is hosting Vice President Joe Biden at Israel’s Independence Day bash in Washington D.C., which some are interpreting as an attempt by the administration to mend fences with the Netanyahu government, or at least reduce the tension.

Obama Gift List to Former Enemies Continues: Cuba Plucked from Terrorism Sponsor List

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

So, let’s see. He “reset” with Russia’s Putin – ask the Crimeans what they think of that move -, he sent loving happy new years notes to Iran, and that produced a warm and loving feelings towards America. He drop-kicked Egypt’s Mubarak from the buddy league but snuggled up with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi. That did not do much for Morsi, and he spit in the eye of Israel’s Netanyahu whom everyone agrees actually benefitted from Obama’s animosity.

So to whom is U.S. President Barack Obama now handing out party favors? Why, it’s none other than Raul Castro, el jefe of Cuba.

That’s right. The happy dictator to our immediate south either was granted this gift or was simply rewarded, unbidden, with the imminent delisting of Cuba from the U.S.’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

First, the punishments which will be lifted if Cuba is removed from the terrorism list include: a ban on arms-related exports and sales; 30-day Congressional notifications for exports of goods or services deemed “dual use,” meaning they could have peaceful uses but they also could have be used to support terrorism; and prohibitions on economic assistance.

Unless Congress acts to prohibit the delisting, 45 days after the President issues the report making that recommendation, Cuba goes off the list.

How did this happen?

We learn from a press release issued by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday, April 13, that Obama directed the State Department to launch a review and then provide him with a report to determine whether Cuba should continue to be designated as an official terrorism sponsor this past December. The president did that as a “critical component of establishing a new direction for U.S.-Cuba relations.”

Well, perhaps not surprisingly, the State Department recommended “based on the facts and the statutory standard” that Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism be rescinded.

To be sure, it might have been possible for the State Department to determine Cuba was ineligible for removal from the designated list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Why, according to the State Department’s statement, if Cuba had “provided any support for international terrorism during the previous six months,” or if it had refused to provide “assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” those naughty boys would remain on the terrorism list. But the answers to the questions being asked were such that the president was able to give one of his new best friends, Raul Castro, the good news.

In issuing its statement recommending the removal of Cuba from the state terrorism listing, the State Department carefully pointed out that the narrow requirements it focused on constitute the qualifications set by Congress for what countries can be removed from the terrorism sponsors list. That statement also pointed out that the criterion for review was a narrow and Congressionally-determined one.

The basis for removal from the list does not mean that American authorities have determined Cuba, a Communist nation with one political party, is no longer engaged in repression or human trafficking or any other significant departures from modern democratic societies, but those issues are not part of the calculation for terrorism sponsoring de-listing.

“While the United States has had, and continues to have, significant concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions, these concerns and disagreements fall outside of the criteria for designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” is how the State Department couched it.

“Circumstances have changed since 1982, when Cuba was originally designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism because of its efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America. Our Hemisphere, and the world, look very different today than they did 33 years ago. Our determination, pursuant to the facts, including corroborative assurances received from the Government of Cuba and the statutory standard, is that the time has come to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the statement continued.

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.

Hillary Clinton’s Video Launch: ‘I’m Running for President’

Monday, April 13th, 2015

It’s a new day in America; or at least, that’s what Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers would like U.S. voters to believe in a launch video aimed square at Middle America.

Americans have been busy, with many “getting ready” to do things in their lives, as the narrator explains. The camera has been busy too, filming all of them, but gracefully swings its way towards Hillary Clinton.

In a voice-over that runs while she is filmed chatting with the workers in a factory and others at a bare table in a “middle America” luncheonette, Clinton cheerfully chimes in, “I’m getting ready to do something too.”

Her hair is carefully coiffed, yes, but the camera work is equally careful too, with the photographer making sure to soften the focus. Clinton comes across as a main player — but a kinder and gentler one, with fewer harsh wrinkles and angles and no loud colors in her makeup to interfere with the message. She wears a cobalt coat over a sky blue turtleneck sweater with soft white earrings and her makeup is very, very understated – so much so, in fact, that one might even wonder whether she is wearing any makeup at all.

This is intentional: Clinton almost manages to look like the women in the luncheonette around her. Almost, but not quite. The casual elegance in her hair styling and assertive body language make it clear she is not.

And then she explains why, in a stand-up shot while wearing a sleek navy blue jacket over a brightly contrasting tomato-colored shell peeking from beneath, her hair more sharply styled in a chic conservative wave blown back from her face, with understated makeup enhanced just a bit more. The camera’s focus is sharper now, the softness dispensed with.

“I’m running for president.”

Everyday Americans need a champion, Clinton explains in the campaign launch video that depicts the lives and dreams of Middle America, young America, older America, gay America, single, married and family America. All-America.

“I want to be that champion, so you can do more than just get by.”

“I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m hitting the road to earn your vote… When families are strong, America is strong.”

The message is concise, the editing is tight and the photography faultless. Clearly, Hillary Clinton has her tech team’s ducks all in a row.

The only problem now is her track record.

Obama Rolls Red Carpet for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Run

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama appears to be rolling out the red carpet for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to launch her campaign for the presidency on the Democratic ticket in 2016.

Obama told reporters in Panama during a news conference at the Summit of the Americas on Saturday, “I think she would be an excellent president.”

The former first lady was a “formidable candidate” against him when they were both running for the Democratic nomination in 2008, he noted. The president added that Clinton will have strong messages to deliver if she decides to run.

Which she has.

Media have already been informed the official campaign announcement is to be made some time today (Sunday, April 12) with the release of an online video via social media – a “new type of campaign launch,” as Fox News noted – to be followed with a handful of small-group events in Iowa.

On Saturday, Clinton’s campaign team circulated a memo entitled “We Are Hillary For America” to her supporters listing guiding principles. The memo explains the aim of the campaign is to “give every family, every small business, and every American a path to lasting prosperity by electing Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States. This campaign is not about Hillary Clinton and not about us – it’s about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families,” the memo reads.

It ends by telling supporters, “We are guided by Hillary’s bedrock values of hard work, service, fairness, and faith in the American Dream.”

That last is a statement that will undoubtedly face intense scrutiny from countless op-ed writers, bloggers and other columnists who have long memories of Clinton’s track record in other arenas.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is also expected to announce his intention to run for the GOP nomination next week, most probably on Monday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-rolls-red-carpet-for-hillary-clintons-presidential-run/2015/04/12/

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