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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

The Canada Factor: Policies for a Stronger Continent

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Building U.S.-Canada relations is more urgent than ever, both economically and in foreign affairs. If America intends to keep its advantage as a superpower, it will greatly help to ally with its neighbor, Canada. While Canada has depended upon the U.S. historically as the stronger military might, it has, under a Conservative Government, demonstrated global leadership in economic policy and foreign affairs. Given the rise of economic superpowers such as China and India, and the challenges from our enemies, such as Islamists, a strong foreign policy and a functional economy are key.

Under its current policies, the U.S. faces the threat of becoming a lesser nation, starving its golden goose, pro-growth investment policies; governed by unsustainable socialist domestic ideologies like Europe (and California domestically); inviting aggression by hollowing out its defense with often irreversible deep cuts to military spending.

In the meantime, China, a potential adversary, surges ahead with its plans to control space, the presumed next theater of war; while the U.S. radiates a shaky, undefined foreign affairs mandate which sends the message to global adversaries that America is without a captain; and to Israel, not to count on America’s tradition of support.

Canada, by contrast, has demonstrated economic leadership and an unwavering support for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, which several countries in the Middle East outspokenly seek to destroy — as specified under the Charters of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and as the Palestinian government-controlled media continues daily calls for its obliteration.

For most Americans, the economy takes precedence in the upcoming elections. Romney came out swinging in the first of three debates for the Presidency, which Gallup polls called the biggest debate victory in recorded history. According to Romney, America is faced with tax hikes — for both modest businesses as well as the wealthy — that would not only slow job creation, but cause partial lay-offs as employers cut back working hours to sidestep new tax requirements.

Then, however, came the realities of what Romney pointed out: that over the last four years, gas prices have doubled, food prices and health insurance costs have increased while median family income has continued to decline. Even though Obama continuously repeated that the economy he inherited was one of the worst since the Great Depression, Obama’s “recovery” according to Forbes, has ended up worse than the Bush recession that Obama’s election was supposed to reverse. It would have been hard to imagine the economy worsening even further, but in the face of the failed promises of “hope and change,” it did.

Americans, especially youth, cannot afford to gamble on the current brand of fiscal policy seen in the States: nearly 50% of college graduates over the last five years are either unemployed or underemployed, according to a study by Rutgers University.

As if to make a bad situation worse, President Obama then said of the “Occupy Movement,” “we are on their side.” Foremost among this disparate movement was early advocate David Graeber, an anarchist, anthropologist and proponent of communism. Occupy Wall Street spilled over into Canada, lugging along with it the same lack of order with no central message, except calls to nationalize the banks, “Free Palestine,” and hate the rich while wanting their money, an economic plan referred to in television clips by the U.S. President as a desirable “transfer of wealth.”

Souvenirs of “Occupy” stopovers consisted of waste and filth in respectable communities and in their camps, and even physical attacks. New York police alone had to spend over $5 million in overtime for work related to the “Occupy” protesters  That was the movement whose side the President of the United States had declared he was on.

In looking at the contrast between the U.S. and Canada during the economic downturn, the conservative fiscal leadership of Canada, reflected on how it had fared. Canada had experienced an expanding economy and when the G20 gathered in Toronto, the nation excelled on the world stage. The Huffington Post advised Americans : “Need A Job? Try Canada, Where Hiring Is Booming And Home Prices Are Rising.” Forbes also put Canada at the top of its list of places to do business, while another report highlighted that even Moody’s believes in Canada’s housing market and economy.

Christine Williams

Our Ambassador Died, This Administration Lied (Video)

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

For weeks the story coming out of this administration, from all fronts, was that the assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was the result of a demonstration by Libyans angered over a movie that insulted their prophet Mohammad, a raucous demonstration which got out of hand.  Over time, different officials began to admit that while the source of the violence may have been terrorists, including even Al Qaeda or its affiliates, those terrorists took advantage of the anti-Innocence of Muslims film demonstrators.

In fact, there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12.  There was no demonstration against the film that insulted Mohammad, or any other kind of demonstration. There was an assault on our country.  And our government officials knew that, yet repeatedly attempted to spin it away from that conclusion.

Nearly a full month after the tragedy in Benghazi, senior State Department officials provided a briefing Tuesday evening, October 9, about the events that transpired in Libya on September 11, 2012. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which held a previously-scheduled hearing on the security situation in Libya the next day, said of that briefing that finally, the “State Department began the process of coming clean on what occurred in Benghazi.”

What actually happened, 11 years to the day after the greatest assault on U.S. icons ever – our financial district, our military headquarters, and an effort to attack the very heart of our government which fell short, but still killed dozens of civilians on that third plane – was a carefully planned blow at the heart of the U.S. government in a Muslim country which this government helped save from a brutal dictator.

The official U.S. representative to Libya, the very symbol of our country, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was murdered on 9/11/12 – we still do not know exactly how or when.  Three other Americans were also murdered in Libya that day – their deaths were not accidental byproducts of a demonstration that spun out of control.

What we learned from Congressman Darrell Issa, (R-CA 49th District) is that

The State Department news conference made very clear it had never been the State Department’s position, I repeat, never been the State Department’s position that in fact this assault was part of a reaction to a video or the like.  This has been corroborated by numerous witnesses and whistleblowers.

What’s more, Issa explained

Contrary to early assertions by the administration, let’s understand, there was no protest, and cameras reveal that, and the State Department and the FBI have that video.

And speaking of that video, the one in California, made by an individual , also clearly had no direct effect on this attack.  In fact, it was September 11th, the anniversary of the greatest terrorist attack in U.S. history, it was that anniversary that caused an organization aligned with Al Qaeda to attack and kill our personnel.

And yet, week after week, this administration at its highest levels – our president, our secretary of state, our Ambassador to the United Nations, repeated the same excuse, blaming a cheap and poorly-made movie that dared to criticize Islam’s historic leader, for which we officially apologized, over and over again, when in fact it was cold hatred of this country that resulted in the four American deaths on that day.

Furthermore, according to Cong. Issa, while it is still far from clear whether additional security reinforcements which had been requested but denied by the State Department would have saved the lost American lives on this year’s September 11th, this administration “seemed preoccupied with the concept of normalization.”  By that, the congressman explained, the administration was creating “artificial timelines,” to reduce the U.S. presence and replace them with local Libyans.

This is consistent with this administration’s efforts in regard to other hot spots around the globe, as we learned from Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent who was repeatedly physically and sexually brutalized by Egyptians in Tahrir Square last spring.

On October 2, Logan let loose in a speech to the Chicago’s Better Government Association’s annual luncheon, in which she accused the administration of downplaying the number of Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan in an effort to speed up its reduction in forces there. She also claimed Washington acts as apologists for the Taliban by downplaying their links to Al Qaeda and the strength of their organization.

Logan was clearly fed up by what she described as misinformation coming out of Washington over the past two years.  She said she decided to finally speak out because, “I can’t stand that there is a major lie being propagated.” That lie, she explained, is that the American military has weakened the Taliban.  The statements that there are different aspects of the Taliban, and that what we are now seeing in Afghanistan is “the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban. … It’s such nonsense.”

White House spokesperson Jay Carney responded to questions raised by the State Department briefing and the Congressional Oversight hearing that “from the beginning, we have provided information based on the facts that we knew.”

While this has been the party line, it is difficult to square Carney’s statement with the testimony provided by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Charlene R. Lamb, at the Oversight hearing.

Lamb testified on Wednesday that on September 11, State Department officials immediately activated the Imminent Danger Notification System just after 9:40 p.m., which is when loud voices followed by gunfire and explosions were heard within the compound.  She said that from that moment forward, she could follow the events as they occurred “almost in real time.”  There was no demonstration, there was an attack on the U.S. Consulate.  There were no facts upon which the statements blaming a video or a demonstration gone amok could have been based.

There appears to be a pattern emerging of efforts on the part of this administration to provide a false sense that tensions within global hot spots in the Islamic world are easing.  Based on actual available evidence at least in Libya and, according to Logan in Afghanistan, the U.S. forces cannot leave those areas to competent, secure local forces.  And it is not true that when there are outbursts of violence, the sources for that violence are insensitive assaults on the dignity of the local sensibilities, such as blaming westerners for daring to insult Islam’s prophet Mohammad.

Ironically, there are those in the Obama campaign who are currently engaged in an effort to represent Governor Romney as a liar.

As Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal pointed out in today’s paper,

Speaking the day after the debate in the press cabin of Air Force One, top Obama adviser David Plouffe said, “We thought it was important to let people know that someone who would lie to 50 million Americans, you should have some questions about whether that person should sit in the Oval Office.”

The Democratic National Committee’s Brad Woodhouse said, “Plenty of people have pointed out what a liar Mitt Romney is.” Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says Republicans “think lying is a virtue.”

A lie is a conscious untruth known to be untrue when spoken.  The revelations made by the State Department and the Oversight Committee hearings this week regarding the source of the tragedy in Benghazi support the view that there may indeed by those who think “lying is a virtue,” but it isn’t Governor Romney.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Adelson Gives $500,000 to Shmuley Boteach Super PAC

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and his wife have donated $500,000 to an independent super PAC that endorses Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s congressional run for the 9th Congressional District in northern New Jersey.

The casino mogul and his wife, Miriam, each gave $250,000 to the Patriot Prosperity Political Action Committee, which is supporting Boteach’s candidacy against the incumbent – Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited “people close to the Adelsons and the PAC.”

The Adelsons previously gave $10,000 directly to Boteach’s campaign. Sheldon Adelson and Boteach are personal friends, and Boteach recently wrote an article in The Jewish Press harshly condemning the “below-the-belt attack” by David Harris, President of the National Jewish Democratic Council, who accused Adelson of personally approving prostitution in his casinos.

In a statement to The Jewish Press Boteach said,”I treasure the Adelsons’ support. They have been dear friends for a long time and were among the earliest backers of my campaign. Not only are they heroes in the Jewish community for their mega-philanthropy, but they are among the most generous and sophisticated political donors in the country.

“Their decision to support my campaign – and, apparently, to help fund a group that will be backing my campaign – proves that there’s a passionate need in American politics for a values-based candidacy. This donation is a game changer.”

The donation is only the most recent contribution the Adelson’s have made to Republican candidates this election season. They have contributed $10 million toward Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign, and contributed $10 million to Newt Gingrich during the Republican primaries.

The Adelson’s have been active philanthropists in a variety of Jewish causes, giving close to $100 million to Birthright Israel, $25 million donation to Yad Vashem, as well as donations to the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the Zionist Organization of America, among other groups.

Boteach’s platform includes support for school vouchers and making marital counseling tax deductible in an effort to lower the divorce rate. He has criticized his opponent for signing a letter with 53 other Congressmen which condemned Israel for “collective punishment” against Palestinians in the Gaza blockade.

JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Press Staff

US Jewish Peace Group Calling Romney Racist over Palestinian Culture Comment

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

In an entirely predictable effort to use the word “Jewish” to attack those who support the Jewish State, the organization Jewish Voice for Peace invited other haters of Israel to sign a letter to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, lambasting him for his “racist” and “ignorant” statements about Arab Palestinians.

In one of the more hotly debated statements Romney made on his trip to Israel last month, he attributed the vast disparity in economic health between that of the robust Israeli one and the dismal one of the Palestinian Authority to, in part, a difference in culture.

Given that the two societies live in the same climate, with the same geologic infirmities, is it a wonder that someone might think to look to culture to explain the vast difference between the two?  Of course, the naming of children’s sports teams, streets and town squares after people who blow themselves up in order to murder as many Jews as possible is surely an indicator of cultural inclination.

But the JVP folks insist that the reason for the disparity in economic health between the two societies is the “Occupation.”

Rabbi Joseph Berman of Temple B’Nai Israel in Revere, Massachusetts, is the Boston chair of JVP and sits on its rabbinic council.  Rabbi Berman delivered the JVP petition to Romney’s national headquarters in Boston, on Monday, August 6, 2012.  The petition “demands” Romney apologize to the “Palestinian people” for his “cultural differences” statement regarding the Arab Palestinian people.

Your statements in Jerusalem regarding the growth of the Palestinian and Israeli economies were inaccurate and misleading. Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian land makes it impossible for the Palestinian economy to succeed, not “cultural differences.” Your comments were not a reflection of the values Jews, Americans, and our allies hold dear. We call on you to apologize to the Palestinian people for your willful lack of understanding of the facts on the ground and the racist assumptions behind them.

Given what they describe as Romney’s racism, JVP claims that this election season “is a unique moment to raise the issue of the Occupation in the presidential election. We all know the Occupation is what’s holding back the Palestinian economy.”

Is it?  Back in 2002 the pre-eminent Middle East historian Efraim Karsh slew that sacred cow. Karsh explained that, actually, the very best thing that ever happened to the economy, the overall health, the educational levels and the standard of living for the Arab Palestinians was precisely what JVP and others claim is the reason for their misery: the so-called “Occupation.”

Following the 1967 war, when Israel became responsible for the Arabs living in the disputed territories, their life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 years in 2000; their infant mortality rate plunged from 60 out of 1000 to just 15 in 2000; during the 1970’s the economy in the territories and Gaza was the fourth fastest growing in the world, illiteracy rates plummeted to just 14 percent, the lowest of all Arabs in the surrounding Arab countries.  In 1967, when Israel first gained control over the territories, there was not a single institution of higher learning, by the beginning of the 1970’s there were seven.

The JVP petition claims that Arabs are under-paid in the territories, but, in fact, Arabs living in Israel and the territories have among the highest standard of living of any Arabs anywhere in the world.

But Jewish Voice for Peace echoes the outrage of Palestinian Authority spokesman Saeb Erekat’s response to Romney’s cultures claim. They are insisting that rather than Arab intransigence and a culture that glorifies murder and terrorism, it is the mere statement of a US presidential candidate that has destroyed the chances for negotiations that JVP, at least, claims would lead to the creation of the holy grail of progressive Jewish politics – the creation of a Palestinian State.

Professor of Medieval history Richard Landes, writing in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, August 6, shored up Karsh’s exposure of the “Occupation” as Middle East bogeyman (“Richard Landes: Romney Is Right on Culture and the Wealth of Nations“).  While Karsh wrote about the benefits brought to the Arabs by their exposure to, and entwining with, the Israeli economy and technological progress, post-“Occupation,” Landes struck hard on aspects of Arab culture that practically ensure stagnation.

Arab culture, says Landes, views intellectual curiosity and exuberant innovation as subversive.  He writes that Arab culture  “emphasizes rote learning and unquestioning respect for those in authority,” and public criticism of authority invites “sharp retaliation.”

Landes brings the argument full circle.  In the speech he gave in which he discussed the impact of culture on both the Israeli and the Arab economies, Romney cited historian David Landes, Richard’s father. The son pointed out, in his Journal op-ed, that “Blaming others for one’s own failures prolongs failure. Even though his own government daily chooses a culture of death, not life, Mr. Erekat wants to blame Israel for Palestine’s woes; no admission here that he and his colleagues might have some role in the suffering of their own people.”

If blaming others is at least a root cause of the dismal Arab economy, and if JVP and their fellow travelers encourage that culture of blame, then perhaps it is also the culture of those such as Rabbi Joseph Berman and his comrades at JVP which must bear at least some of the blame for the cycle of Arab failure.

More Good Works by our Brothers and Sisters at the Jewish Voice for Peace:

JVP supports Presbyterian Divestment

JVP is very proud to have been part of the broad coalition supporting Presbyterian efforts to boycott settlement products and divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation since 2004. We are especially proud of the members of our youth branch — Young, Jewish, and Proud (YJP) — and of our Rabbinical Council who were in Pittsburgh this year at the General Assembly meeting in support of the resolutions.

TIAA-CREF: Divest from the occupation

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) has endorsed the TIAA-CREF campaign and is urging all groups working on boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns in the US, especially on university campuses, to endorse the campaign and join it, whenever possible, to amplify its reach and impact across the US. 

Campus Divestment

On April 28, 2010, students at the University of California at Berkeley failed by just one vote to overturn the veto of the original student council vote of 16 to 4 to divest from companies that specifically profit from the occupation, but they helped launch a new phase of the movement for justice.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Rubin Reports: Extra! Extra! World Agrees on How to Solve Syrian Civil War!

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
http://rubinreports.blogspot.co.il/
“The early bird might catch the worm but the early cat catches the bird.”
–Me
Here it is at last. The perfect case study of the “international community’s” diplomacy on the Middle East, as quoted from a Wall Street Journal article describing efforts to resolve the Syria conflict. And the article has the perfect headline, too!
World Powers Reach Syria Compromise
So the problem is solved, right?
“‎An international meeting in Geneva on Saturday on Syria’s crisis agreed, with support from Russia, to support a political transition. However, officials at the meeting said any chance for a political transition to succeed rests on the willingness of the Syrian regime to cooperate.”

That’s right! The powers have agreed to a transition to a new government which will go into effect as soon as the current dictatorship agrees to be overthrown and its rulers flee for their lives and watch their supporters probably be massacred. Perhaps the world will then install a new Islamist government in Syria, forcing it down the throats of the real democratic opposition, which will be dedicated to spreading revolution and striking against Western interests.

Isn’t diplomacy wonderful?

Next week: The world solves the Israel-Palestinian conflict!

Barry Rubin

FBI Arrested Peter Madoff

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Peter Madoff, the younger brother of jailed Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff, has been taken into custody by the FBI.

Peter Madoff, 66, surrendered himself Friday morning at his lawyer’s office in midtown Manhattan ahead of an expected guilty plea to criminal charges related to the Ponzi scheme, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He is the eighth person to plead guilty to criminal charges in the government’s investigation into the collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities since December 2008. Numerous Jewish foundations and individuals had invested with the firm. Among the victims were Hadassah, the American Jewish Congress and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

The former chief compliance officer is expected to plead guilty to falsifying the records of an investment adviser, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud, make false filings and commit other crimes. He has agreed to serve 10-year-prison term and forfeit all of his assets, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in a North Carolina federal prison for crimes associated with the Ponzi scheme.

Earlier this week former Madoff money manager J. Ezra Merkin agreed to turn over $405 million to duped investors in the scheme. That was the first settlement resulting from a government action against Merkin.

JTA

Romney Gaining Momentum As Obama Struggles

Monday, June 11th, 2012

A week of setbacks for President Obama has the GOP excited about Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s chances to emerge victorious in November.

Last Tuesday, Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker survived a recall election, which was seen by many political observers as a referendum on the parties’ differing fiscal visions for dealing with the ongoing economic issues facing the United States. Initiated by opponents of Walker’s plan to curb collective bargaining rights for state employees, his victory was interpreted as a sign that voters were opposed to investment in government as a means to stimulate economic growth, which Obama supports.

More importantly, the Wisconsin recall election seemed to energize Republicans who have offered Romney lukewarm support at best. The New York Times, in a story today titled “GOP Mood Toward Romney’s Fall Prospects Brighten,” reported that consensus is building that Romney has a real shot at victory, quoting Republicans that had supported Romney’s opponents during the Republican primaries and conservatives that had previously been critical of him. The value of this growing consensus is found not merely in its moral victory but also in more vibrant fundraising and activism.

According to the New York Times piece, Romney and the Republican party already yielded more money in May than Obama and the Democratic Party ($76 million vs. $60 million), a significant achievement considering that Obama’s fundraising for the 2008 presidential campaign broke previous records for presidential campaigns, and is said to have revolutionized presidential fundraising.

Making matters worse for Obama, he made an uncharacteristic misstep last Friday by stating in a press conference that “the private sector is doing fine.” Known for its media savvy and disciplined message, the Obama administration spent the rest of Friday and the weekend focused on damage control, but Romney and the GOP had already seized on the comment as proof that Obama is out of touch with regular Americans and out of solutions for the American economy.

Last week also saw increasing pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Justice Department’s botched ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running sting. Appearing before the House Oversight Committee by subpoena, Holder was accused of dragging his feet in providing information about which high-level Obama administration officials knew about the botched sting, which resulted in the death of a US border agent. As of this writing, the Committee is set to vote on holding Holder in contempt of Congress.

At the same time, the Obama administration is dealing with accusations that the White House had in recent weeks leaked highly classified information on the targeting of Al Qaeda militants by drones and the cyber-weapon Stuxnet. Republican lawmakers are claiming that the White House risked exposing intelligence operations for the purpose of political gain. Obama has strenuously denied the accusation, and Attorney General Holder has opened criminal investigations into the leaks.

Enthusiasm is also waning among people that only four years ago were die-hard Obama supporters. “Obama Girl,” AKA Amber Lee Ettinger, who became famous for her YouTube video “Crush on Obama,” told the Daily Caller on Friday that she is “not as excited as I was the last time,” and refused to offer Obama a public endorsement.

Of course, all of this negative publicity comes against the backdrop of economic numbers that suggest slowing economic recovery and job growth.

Recent polls are also bearing out Romney’s growing momentum. Rasmussen’s most recent poll has Romney leading Obama by one percentage point (46% – 45%), and a Gallup tracking poll from the first week of June shows the same results. Though this may seem like an early, insignificant lead, when viewed in light of the past month, there is a clear trend in favor of Romney. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from May 20 had Obama leading Romney 47%-43%; thus, a five point swing has occurred over 3 weeks.

Gallup also polled Jewish voters, and found that as of June 5, Obama was supported by 64% of Jewish voters, while Romney received the support of 29%. Although he holds a 35% point lead over Romney, it is worth noting that in the 2008 Presidential election Obama received 78% of the Jewish vote.

Solomon Burke

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/romney-gaining-momentum-as-obama-struggles/2012/06/11/

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