Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cain: Final Decision How, If to Coninute ‘A Week From Now’

Huff Post Reports: Herman Cain said he will make a final decision on whether or not he will continue his 2012 presidential run one week from now.

Cain, whose campaign has been riddled with controversy amid accusations of sexual harassment and an affair, said in an interview with Fox News Wednesday he hasn’t set a specific time to announce his decision.

“It will be several days. I haven’t set an exact time yet,” Cain told “Your World” host Neil Cavuto.

On Tuesday, Cain said he was “reassessing” his campaign… Cain told Fox News he was reconsidering the course of his campaign because the accusations have put a strain on his family.

“This is why we are reassessing and the answer is yes, it is constantly weighing on me and my family, especially my family, because it continues to stir in the news,” Cain said. “This is why we are going through the reassessment.

“It is having a toll and anybody would do the same thing,” Cain continued.


VIDEO: Paul Stabs Newt in Stomach; Rips his Guts Out; Cuts Him Off at the Knees

I am sorry friends. I have not found more accurate words to describe the new video released today by Ron Paul where he takes apart Gingrich at his core. Paul challenges Newt on Policy; Values and Seriousness. Any objective Newt-backing Conservative who sees this will need to jump off this Newt balloon. This is the most damning video – I think – that GOP2012 has produced thus far.


Newt: I Didn’t Need To Be a Lobbyist, I Charged $60,000 Per Speech’

RCP Reports: Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich defend himself from accusations that he lobbied for Freddie Mac and other companies. Gingrich was addressing a crowd in Bluffton, South Carolina.

“I did no lobbying of any kind, period. For a practical reason and I’m going to be really direct, okay? I was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down,” Gingrich said.

“Normally celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches every year. We were selling more,” he added.


Bachmann Would Close Non-Existent U.S. Embassy In Iran

The Huffington Post: Michele Bachmann told supporters in Iowa on Wednesday of her lofty plans for American diplomacy, claiming that a Bachmann presidency would mean no U.S. embassy in Iran.

Considering the recent hostility in the Iranian capital of Tehran against the British embassy, the comment might not seem particularly out of place — if not for the fact that the U.S. hasn’t actually had a functioning embassy in Iran since 1980.


IRS: $153 Million in 2010 Tax Refunds Still Undelivered

CNN Money Reports: The Internal Revenue Service is holding onto tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds that it hasn’t been able to deliver to consumers.

A total of 99,123 taxpayers are still owed refunds this year but haven’t received them due to mailing address errors, the IRS said. That amounts to a total of $153.3 million in unclaimed refunds.

While this is a small percentage of total refunds — less than 0.01% –  the taxpayers impacted are missing out on some serious cash, with the average refund check valued at $1,547.

To avoid missing a refund in the mail, the IRS recommends that taxpayers opt for direct deposit of their returns when they file their taxes.

If you did opt to have a refund check mailed to you this year, you can check the status of your refund and resolve delivery issues by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website.

If you don’t check the site, you may have no idea that the IRS has been trying to send you your money. The agency does not contact taxpayers by e-mail or phone when it is unable to deliver a refund check


Swing State Michigan Turning More Jewish

JTA Reports: Blair Nosan grew up in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, attended the University of Michigan and then, like thousands of other young Jews from the beleaguered state, moved away.

Though she grew up in a heavily Jewish area, Nosan, 26, had felt disconnected both from her Jewish identity and the nearby city, which was undergoing its own debilitating population drain. Over the last decade, 25 percent of Detroit’s residents have taken flight. Some 5,000 young Jews left Michigan between 2005 and 2010, according to a 2010 survey by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

But then Nosan came back.

In 2009, she moved to Detroit to work in its burgeoning urban agriculture scene, eventually starting her own pickling company, Suddenly Sauer.

Nosan was startled to learn that she was part of a significant migration of young Jews to the Motor City — a young Jewish renaissance that has been as unexpected as it has been successful. It’s evident not just in numbers but in a resurgence of Jewish activity and vitality in the heart of Detroit, including among Jews who had never been Jewishly active.

“I did not expect to find a Jewish community at all,” Nosan told JTA, echoing the sentiments of many of Detroit’s new Jewish residents. “Most of the Jews were living in Detroit as participants in the Jewish community, but with their Jewish identity in mind were trying to fill in the blanks of this long history we had had in the city but weren’t raised with.”

Over the last few years, a slew of new programs from the institutional to the grass roots and from suburb to city have blossomed in the Detroit area.

Detroit’s first Moishe House opened in June in midtown, and its occupants — five from the suburbs of Detroit and one from Los Angeles — have been holding five or six Jewish events a month. The most recent was a sauerkraut workshop taught by Nosan that attracted 16 people.

At a bar in Royal Oak, a suburb near Detroit, Rabbi Leiby Burnham began a weekly program in 2007 called Torah on Tap to talk about Judaism in a bar setting, with the drinks paid for by an anonymous donor. Starting with seven people, the event now draws as many as 100 per week.

The most striking example of the transformation of Jewish life in Detroit is at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, the last remaining synagogue in the city. Detroit once was a major hub of Jewish life, with 44 synagogues. But after race riots in the 1960s and economic decline, most of the city’s whites — Jews included — left for the northern suburbs, repeating a pattern taking place in cities across America.

In 2008, the 90-year old conservative shul was in dire straits — open only once a week, often unable to assemble a minyan and without a rabbi (the last one had died in 2003). The board was considering packing it in and selling the historic four-story building.

“Some didn’t think we had a future,” said David Powell, who has attended Isaac Agree for decades. “We continued to plod along until reinforcements came.”

Starting a few years ago, those reinforcements began to come in the form of young social activists and entrepreneurs who were drawn to the city by its growing arts scene and revitalization programs that offered subsidized rent and unique employment opportunities for social justice work. Many of the Jews among them came to the synagogue, in the process changing it. They began running services, serving on the board and organizing events of the sort that the old shul had never seen: Israeli film screenings, potluck dinners, Israeli folk dancing. Community activists also used it as a gathering place.

“The synagogue wasn’t meeting the needs of the city, and it was struggling,” said Oren Goldenberg, a filmmaker and prominent activist in the community. “It needed to adapt.”

Isaac Agree became more and more popular. Services were held three days a week rather than one. Events were organized to celebrate all the holidays. The synagogue started offering Hebrew lessons and even conversion classes. And now every Friday night it hosts a Shabbat dinner.

“I liked Isaac Agree because it stayed; it’s been here the whole time,” Nosan said. “That’s a poignant point of entry for the community — what’s already here and been here, and figuring out new energy that’s being brought to the table.”

In the past few years, Isaac Agree has more than tripled its membership households, becoming the only conservative synagogue in Michigan not to suffer a decline, according to the 2010 federation survey.

“There are definitely more Jews here then there were a year ago,” said Goldenberg while having coffee in Avalon International Breads, a bakery co-founded by Jackie Vicks, a 20-year resident of the city who joined the synagogue last year. “I live here. When things change, I know it.”


Video: Paul Camp Labels Romney, Gingrich Flip Flopers

Maybe Ron Paul has only seven points in the polls with little chance to be the Republican nominee. But his team is certainly doing a strong job in letting Republicans know that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich switch and slide from side to side on many issues. The video runs more than two minutes and uses at least in one place a misleading “flip-flop” against Romney in terms of Stimulus: Romney was in favor of stimulating the economy (who wants?) but was against Obama’s Stimulus. This is not a flip nor a flop. Anyway, here is the video:


Campaign Video: Romney’s Second TV Ad

The Note Reports: The Romney campaign released its second television ad of the campaign season today, a 30-second spot that will air, like the first one did, in New Hampshire.

But that’s about all that’s similar about the two ads. The first ad released just over a week ago and titled “Believe in America” ignited a firestorm of criticism when it used a misleading quote from President Barack Obama.


GOP2012 FL Poll: Newt 41%; Romney 17%; Cain 13%; Perry 7%

Real Clear Politics Reports: Newt Gingrich leads Mitt Romney by more than 20 points in the important
early-voting state of Florida, according to a new Insider  Advantage poll.

Gingrich has 41 percent support while Romney has 17 percent. Businessman Herman Cain, who is fading in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity, sits in third place with 13 percent. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 7 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul has 4 percent, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has 3 percent, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum rounds out the field with 1 percent.

The former House speaker has benefited from strong debate performances and the collapse of candidates such as Perry and Cain, who enjoyed brief spells at the top of the field. He has attempted to cast himself as the “conservative alternative” to Romney, who shot back in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday night, charging that Gingrich is a “lifelong politician.”

The Florida poll comes on the heels of an Insider Advantage poll released Tuesday that showed Gingrich leading by 15 points in Iowa. And a Rasmussen Reports poll also released Tuesday showed Gingrich moving closer to Romney in the former Massachusetts’ governor’s stronghold of New Hampshire. Nationally, Gingrich holds a narrow 2.5 percentage point lead in the RCP Average.

Florida’s Jan. 31 primary comes 10 days after South Carolina Republicans go to the polls, offering Sunshine State voters a chance to add clarity to the race after the traditional early-voting states have their say.


Obama Seals Records of Border Patrol Agent Murdered by Failed Holder Program

The Weekly Standard reports that the Obama administration is trying to conceal the details of the killing of a Border Patrol agent with weapons obtained illegally through operation Fast and Furious:

And to think that Attorney General Eric Holder is getting testy about congressional calls for his resignation. After all, the Justice Department has nothing to hide, right?

The Obama Administration has abruptly sealed court records containing alarming details of how Mexican drug smugglers murdered a U.S. Border patrol agent with a gun connected to a failed federal experiment that allowed firearms to be smuggled into Mexico.

This means information will now be kept from the public as well as the media. Could this be a cover-up on the part of the “most transparent” administration in history? After all, the rifle used to kill the federal agent (Brian Terry) last December in Arizona’s Peck Canyon was part of the now infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the disastrous scheme allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels.

The murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent is related to a Justice Department willingly turning over thousands of guns to Mexican criminal gangs, and Obama administration is hiding information about his death from the public. Amazing.


Opinion: Political Differences Between Orthodox and Other Jews

Gary Rosenblatt at The Jewish Week writes: When journalist Peter Beinart talks about the growing alienation between young American Jews and Israel, and with their Jewish practice, he is quick to point out that he isn’t referring to the Orthodox.

In recent years there has been a major shift in voting patterns from Democrat to Republican among the Orthodox, primarily over the issue of Israel. Whether or not he is seen as a Muslim or follower of Rev. Jeremiah Wright — it seems unlikely he could be both — President Obama is viewed with deep suspicion, if not outright hostility, as a negative factor for the Jewish state.

The fact that the levels of strategic and military cooperation between Jerusalem and Washington are at a high point is trumped by the troubled personal relationship between Israel’s prime minister and the American president, and the feeling that Obama has disrespected Netanyahu publicly and privately.

More and more I hear friends in the Orthodox community express their willingness to vote for anyone but Obama in the 2012 election, convinced that he has no patience or sympathy for Israel. Even moderates in the Orthodox community on domestic issues say they are willing to tolerate an ultra-conservative president who will be demonstrably supportive of Israel.

That reflects the fact that many Orthodox Jews list “Israel” as the No. 1 issue on which they will determine who to vote for next year in the national elections, unlike most other Jews.

One reason why close to 80 percent of American Jews voted for Obama in 2008, and a majority will do so again next year — though his numbers are likely to decline — is that only a small percentage of the U.S. Jewish community is Orthodox, generally estimated at between 10 and 20 percent.

Most American Jews are still liberal, and see themselves as supportive of Israel, certainly, but also caring deeply about a wide range of domestic concerns, from the economy to human rights, and deeply distrustful of Republican candidates who speak about their fervent Christian beliefs.

According to a recent American Jewish Committee survey of American Jewish attitudes, 53 percent of American Jews disapprove of Obama’s policies toward Israel; among Orthodox Jews the disapproval rate is 81 percent.

Overall, 45 percent of American Jews approve of Obama, a 23 percent drop-off from 2008, but 6 percent higher than Americans in general; among Orthodox Jews, who represent 9 percent of the AJC sampling, Obama’s disapproval rate is 72 percent.

As society has become more open, religious families are increasingly conservative, culturally as well as politically. It’s true of Americans in general, and it certainly holds among Jews.

A number of surveys show that with Orthodox women averaging between 3.3 and 7.9 children (the more observant, the more children) as compared to 1.86 for other Jewish women, it won’t be too long before the Orthodox become the majority of an American Jewish community that will continue to decline in overall numbers.

Whether or not anything can be done to stem the growing divide within and among our people, at least we should be more aware of it, and talk about it. There are discussion groups between Jews and Christians, and Jews and Muslims; how about a few more between Orthodox Jews and the rest of the community?

Read full article at The Jewish Week


Video: Mitt Romney Visibly Irritated In Fox News Interview

Noah Rothman of reports that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been reluctantly breaking his policy of radio silence with the media as it becomes ever clearer that he cannot simply coast to the Republican presidential nomination and win by default. In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, Romney received some tough questions and became visibly perturbed by the line of questioning.

See for your self:

Watch the latest video at


Video: Obama, Carter – Two Presidents, One Excuse

The NRSC released a new ad pounding Obama, comparing him to Carter. One can say that this ad is brutal on Obama. and as is with other Republicans, this ad hits Obama for using the term “Lazy;” a term that Democrats claim is used out of context and does not reflect what the Presisdent really meant. Here is the minute-long video:



Mitt Romney Move to Impress Latino Voters

The Southern Daily Press reports that Team Romney is putting in a serious effort to shore up latino votes.

Beaten by John McCain during the 2008 primary, former MA governor Mitt Romney lost his bid for being the Republican candidate because he did not get the support of Miami-Dade County. Arizona senator McCain got the support of political royalty at the time robbing Romney of his victory.

However, Mitt Romney made an impressive move this week to garner more support in South Florida. The region is crucial to Romney’s bid for being the Republican candidate and will also be crucial in the general election in the United States should he become the official candidate of the Republican party.

In order to get support there, Romney’s campaign team announced that they are supporting 3 well-known politicians in the Miami area. This includes Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. All three politicians, according to reports, are considered as political royalty in South Florida, especially in the Cuban American community. The three will reportedly serve as Romney’s foreign policy advisors – a rather good move by the former governor’s camp.

Romney will be campaigning in the western part of Florida on Tuesday. The Romney camp is paying a lot of attention to the region, analysts say, since this might give him his signature victory. The primary will be on January of next year, a final test for the camp’s financial and organizational clout.


11 Lawmakers Subpoenaed in Fla. Election Law Case

AP via Miami Herald: Two groups opposing Florida’s new Republican-sponsored election law have subpoenaed 11 Florida lawmakers in a federal court challenge.

The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times reported the subpoenas on Tuesday.

A lawyer for the Florida League of Women Voters and National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic group, confirmed the subpoenas but declined to name the lawmakers. The newspapers, though, said the subpoenas went to six senators and five representatives, all Republicans.

They include two senators who voted against the law, Paula Dockery and Mike Fasano.

Others include Sen. John Thrasher, a former state GOP chairman, and the sponsor, Rep. Dennis Baxley. Opponents say the law is designed to suppress voting by minorities, young people and the elderly. It reduces the number of early voting days and restricts voter registration drives.


Gillibrand is Organizer of New “Moderate Senate 2012″ PAC

Capital NY Reports: The PAC is set up to benefit seven of the 23 Democratic senators up for re-election next year, including Gillibrand, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Bob Casey, Tom Carper, and both Nelsons, Bill and Ben.

It’s a group that will be key to the Democrats’ fortunes in the upper chamber, where they currently hold a shaky six-seat majority. Only Gillibrand and Delaware’s Carper occupy what are considered “Solid Democratic” seats by the Cook Political Report, which might be why this particular group wants to emphasize the  “moderate” aspect, for PAC-naming purposes.

Gillibrand, who represented a conservative-leaning upstate district in the House, has been one of the more liberal voices in the Senate since her appointment in 2009 by David Paterson.

A spokesman for Gillibrand said the PAC was organized for a single joint fund-raiser, per F.E.C. rules, and is unlikely to be an ongoing operation in the future.


Christie attending Republican Governors Association conference in Orlando

Star Ledger Reports: Gov. Chris Christie is attending the annual Republican Governors Association conference in Orlando Wednesday to meet with other party leaders to talk conservative policy and politics.

Christie, the vice chairman of the national organization, is taking part in private meetings and will make a public appearance Wednesday with Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who is chairman of the association, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

When Christie is out of state, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno serves as acting governor. More than two dozen GOP governors plan to attend the event, which began Monday.

Christie’s been increasingly active on the national stage. He was courted for months by conservatives and high-powered Republican fundraisers to run for president until he finally bowed out in early October.

One week later, Christie appeared in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first presidential primary, to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and help set him apart from other candidates and President Barack Obama.

At a news conference in Camden Monday, Christie tore into Obama for not taking a more prominent role in helping a bipartisan congressional panel known as the “supercommittee” reduce the nation’s debt.

“I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved,” Christie said. “Well then what the hell are we paying you for?”

He added: “It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”


GRIDLOCK: Obama to Attend Three NYC Fundraising Events Wednesday Afternoon

The NYP Reports: An oblivious Obama is hitting Manhattan tomorrow for three separate fund-raising and glad-handing events — creating a perfect storm for gridlock on what is already one of the busiest traffic days of the year.

The unbelievably ill-timed visit coincides with the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree — a people-packed event as famous for snarling traffic as it is for its display of twinkling lights.

The tree lighting — which begins two hours after Obama lands at Kennedy Airport — will force street closures on Fifth and Sixth avenues between 48th and 52nd streets, as well as shuttered east-west blocks in that zone.

At the height of the yuletide Midtown madness — which draws tens of thousands of tree-gawkers every year — Obama will be zipping around in his motorcade, darting around the area of congestion and closing whole blocks in his path.

Obama will land at JFK at about 5 p.m., then will likely take a helicopter into lower Manhattan. His first event is a $10,000-a-head party at a private residence, likely on the Upper East Side, said a source.

To accommodate the presidential motorcade, parts of the FDR Drive are expected to be closed at the height of rush hour.

Obama then heads to an uber-exclusive fund-raising dinner at Gotham Hall, an upscale catering joint on Broadway and 36th Street. Tickets go for a cool $35,800.

Expect 34th Street to be shut down in parts to transport the president to that soirée because the Secret Service prefers using wide thoroughfares.

Obama’s attending a reception in honor of gay rights at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street at 7:30 p.m. — a half-hour after the tree lighting kicks off.

Those two events are just a few short blocks apart.

As if the tree lighting and presidential visit aren’t bad enough, Wednesdays are extra busy in Midtown because of Broadway matinees.


Cry Baby AG Holder Begs “the Daily Caller” to Stop Asking That He Resign

Politico Reports: Attorney General Eric Holder made an unusual plea Tuesday, urging a conservative news outlet to stop drumming up calls for his resignation.

“You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it,” Holder told a reporter for the Daily Caller who asked the attorney general to respond to what the online news organization has tallied as 52 calls for his resignation over the Fast and Furious scandal.

The Caller said its reporter introduced himself to Holder after an anti-counterfeiting event at the White House complex and asked for Holder’s reaction to the resignation calls, which are linked to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives-run gun-trafficking investigation that reportedly allowed more than 1200 guns to flow to Mexico with little or no effort to track them. Most of the weapons are believed to have wound up with Mexican drug cartels.

Holder has called the so-called gunwalking tactic “unacceptable” and said it violated standing department policies. However, he has said he didn’t know weapons were being intentionally sent across the border until ATF whistleblowers complained to Congress and the press.

Media Matters, a media watchdog organization with a liberal perspective,said the Caller deserved to be called out for ginning up the resignation drive.

“Holder is right: This isn’t a grassroots movement of conservatives calling for Holder to step down, it’s a concerted effort by a supposed media organization to push him out,” Media Matters said.


Video: Satellite Image Shows ‘Extensively Damaged’ Iranian Missile Site

Fox News Reports: A Washington-based research group has released a  satellite image showing an “extensively damaged” Iranian missile base two weeks  after an explosion at the site was reported.

Paul Brannan, a senior research analyst for the  Institute for Science and International Security, which specializes in nuclear  weapons programs, said some of the buildings at the compound near the city of  Bid Kaneh appear to be destroyed following the Nov. 12 explosion, which Iranian  authorities have characterized as an accident.


Video: Fallout from Union-Forced American Airlines Bankruptcy

Reuters Reports: American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday to cut labour costs in the face of high fuel prices and dampened travel demand, capping a prolonged descent for what was once the largest U.S. carrier.

AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines, also filed for bankruptcy and replaced its chief executive.

The company, which employs about 88,000, has been mired for years in fruitless union negotiations, complaining that it shoulders higher labour costs than rival domestic and foreign carriers that have already restructured in bankruptcy.


Video: Perry Flubs Voting Age; 2012 Voting Date

CBS Reports: During a speech New Hampshire on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “those of you that will be 21 by Nov. 12th, I ask for your support and your vote.” It’s unclear what election is held on Nov. 12th.



Massachusetts Considering Banning Romney Records

Reuters: Massachusetts officials are reviewing a state court ruling to determine whether they should ban public access to paper records generated by Mitt Romney when he was the state’s governor.

Officials say the review was not prompted by a request from the Republican presidential contender, but Massachusetts officials have received a surge of requests for records from Romney’s governorship.

The review, revealed to Reuters, follows reports by the Boston Globe last week that just before Romney left the governor’s office in 2007, 22 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives and internal e-mails from Romney’s administration were wiped from a state server.

Romney was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and worked with a Democratic-led state house to close a budget shortfall. He signed a healthcare overhaul that required nearly all state residents to buy insurance or face penalties.

Massachusetts’ healthcare law became a model for President Barack Obama’s nationwide healthcare overhaul, enacted into law last year.

As a presidential candidate, however, Romney has criticized “Obamacare,” calling it an overreach by the federal government. His views on healthcare are criticized in TV ads by the Democratic National Committee that cast him as a flip flopper.

Republican and Democratic foes of Romney say the e-mail scrub and questions about whether the public should have access to Romney’s gubernatorial papers undermine efforts to assess his dealings as a politician and elected official.

At issue is Massachusetts officials’ confusion over what rights the public has to see Romney’s records, and what rights he has to keep them private.

State records typically are considered state property; Massachusetts’ Public Records Law grants public access to such records as long as certain types of data, such as personal information, are redacted.

However, officials say, a state court ruling in 1997 could be interpreted to mean that the governor’s records are not subject to public disclosure requirements.

Romney’s campaign said present Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, was behind efforts to cast Romney as secretive about his record in office.

“It looks like Deval Patrick is doing the Obama campaign’s dirty work. We expect to see more of these political attacks to distract from Obama’s horrible record on jobs. In leaving office, the governor’s staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice. Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks,” said Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul.


The confusion over the law’s application to Romney’s papers has been particularly evident this week.

On Monday, a senior state archivist told a Reuters reporter that because of the policy review, the state archives two or three weeks ago had been told to shut off public access to all Romney papers it held, including documents that previously were available for public review.

Later that day, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, the official in charge of the state archives, said the ban on access to Romney’s records was in force only for a few days and archivists were now free to give access to records that previously had been made public.

However, officials indicated that for now, archivists will not process requests for disclosure of previously undisclosed Romney papers.

Michael Comeau, director of operations for the Massachusetts State Archives, said that since Romney left office, only about 20 percent of an estimated 600 to 700 boxes of his records held by the archives had been made public. That disclosure followed a review of their contents by non-political archivists who removed or redacted material, such as personal information, whose disclosure is restricted by law.

A catalogue of box titles compiled by the archivists indicates that some of the contents relate to controversial issues that arose during Romney’s governorship. Those include health care, same-sex marriage, and problems with the “Big Dig” a massive tunnel and highway project through Boston.

Journalists who went through some of the boxes when Romney briefly entered the last Republican presidential race four years ago found little controversial or illuminating material.

State officials said they did not know whether Romney or his aides went through or removed any material from the files before they were turned over to the state archives.

Galvin’s spokesman, Brian McNiff, said the state review is continuing and he did not know when it would be completed. Galvin, a Democrat, was not available to comment.

McNiff declined to specify what possible outcomes of the current review could be. However, other officials said one possibility is that the state could deny access to all of Romney’s records, including records released previously.

One state official, who asked for anonymity when discussing a politically-sensitive issue, said at some point before he left office, Romney asked for official permission to destroy some of the records generated during his term as governor.

The official said that details of this request could only be made public in response to a freedom of information request. Reuters filed such a request on Monday.


The Campaign to Delegitimize President Obama Over Israel

From Steve Cheffey at the JPost: The campaign to delegitimize US President Barack Obama in the eyes of
pro-Israel voters will only intensify between now and November 6.

Opponents of territorial compromise are terrified that President Obama is serious about helping Israel realize the dream of two states living in peace and security side by side.

Opponents of territorial compromise and Americans who use concern for Israel to mask concern about paying their fair share of taxes compose most of the 20-25 percent of Jews who vote Republican. But that’s not enough to win an election; hence their efforts to distort President Obama’s record on Israel. Most Jews
support the Democratic domestic agenda, so if there is no reason to oppose the president based on Israel, there is no reason to oppose him at all.

Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program, restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the previous administration, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, taken USIsrael military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, and is mounting a diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

Obama’s record on Israel compares favorably to any Republican president. In much the same way that Republicans attacked John Kerry’s strengths through the Swift Boat distortions of his record, we can look for critics of President Obama to use three techniques between now and next November.

• Repetition of falsehoods

Negative attacks work even when their audience eventually learns they are false because they plant in the brain an impression that can never fully be erased. That’s why we keep hearing about “snubs” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calls for “return to the 67 lines” (by repeating them here, I’m falling into the trap). Because we are so concerned about Israel, these baseless attacks can’t help but make us wonder why these allegations keep coming up if there wasn’t something to them.

Even after these attacks are disproven, they raise doubts about the credibility of those who unveil the falsehoods. Instead of questioning the credibility of those who sling one pile of mud after another in the hope that something will stick (they all stick, subconsciously – that’s the idea), we question those who successfully refute falsehood after falsehood, saying to ourselves “these people defend Obama again and again, no matter what. What would it take for these people to admit Obama is bad for Israel?”

• Baseless speculation

We heard for weeks that President Obama might not pull out of Durban II, the anti-Israel hatefest, but his decision to boycott Durban II was just one story, one day. We heard for weeks that President Obama might back a UN resolution criticizing Israel, but his veto was just one story, one day. We are now hearing, based on a snippet of French translation of one sentence that itself is neutral, that Obama might dislike Bibi Netanyahu. What matters is the president’s actual record on Israel, not his personal opinion of an Israeli leader. If disliking Netanyahu is anti-Israel, is disliking Obama anti-American? If so, there’s a lot of anti-Americanism on the Right.

• Guilt by association

President Obama has surrounded himself with pro-Israel advisers, from Hillary Clinton to Dan Shapiro to Joe Biden to Rahm Emanuel. Yet we still hear about alleged influences from Obama’s past. Obama has been president for nearly three years. Evaluate President Obama the way the pro- Israel community has always evaluated our leaders and representatives: by looking at what they’ve done, not by trying to read their minds or via conjectures about influences that are impossible to prove or disprove.

If unprecedented military cooperation between the US and Israel, unambiguous opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and unrelenting defense of Israel in international forums is what happens when someone knows Jeremiah Wright, we ought to send all our candidates to his church. President Obama’s record proves that he is one of the best friends of Israel ever to occupy the White House. The only question is whether attempts to manipulate the emotions of pro-Israel voters by distorting the president’s record will succeed. The answer depends on our ability to separate fact from fiction.


Opinion: Cain’s Possible Exit Could Deal a Death Blow to Romney

Chris Cillizza posted on his blog “The Fix” the following: The latest allegation swirling around businessman Herman Cain could well amount to a political death blow for his already-reeling presidential campaign. And that’s bad news for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Romney has been the lone steady figure in the Republican presidential race, holding firm at between 20 and 25 percent in national primary polls. Meanwhile, a parade of would-be rivals — Donald Trump, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Cain — have risen rapidly and fallen just as quickly. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is the latest to try to seize that mantle.

While the vast majority of the media coverage has focused on the ups and downs of the anti-Romney candidates, that glosses over the fact that the former Massachusetts governor hasn’t been able to win over large swaths of conservatives — remaining almost entirely stagnant for months.

Take the CNN poll. In the last four national polls — the first in early September, the last just before Thanksgiving — Romney has won 21 percent, 22 percent, 26 percent and 24 percent. (Gingrich, by contrast, went from 7 percent to 8 percent to 11 percent to 22 percent in those same surveys.)

What those numbers suggest is that Romney’s best (only?) path to the nomination is if conservatives, who seem to have decided they won’t be with him, fracture among several candidates rather than unify behind a single one.

That reality is true on the national level but equally true in early voting states like Iowa and South Carolina where Romney seems to have a solid 15 to 25 percent but hasn’t moved much beyond that number. A Bloomberg News Iowa survey showed Romney at 18 percent — bunched with Cain, Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

(That’s not true in New Hampshire, where Romney’s geographic proximity and the close attention he has paid to the state make him a clear frontrunner.)

The latest allegations regarding Cain, when coupled with the dead-in-the-water candidacies (at least for the moment) of one-time conservative alternatives Perry and Bachmann, make it increasingly likely that Republicans looking for a Romney alternative will view Gingrich as the only viable option.

That could spell trouble for Romney — particularly in Iowa and South Carolina — as he goes for a quick and decisive victory in the early days of the primary race in hopes of spending his attention and money on President Obama and the general election.

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