Daily Archives: 12/15/2011

Report: Newt’s ‘Jewish Friend’ Adelson NOT Donating $20M for SuperPAC

ABC Reports: A spokesman for a Las Vegas casino billionaire and a super PAC official are denying a published report that the billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, has committed $20 million to the super PAC, Time for Newt, which supports Newt Gingrich.

Charlie Smith, founder and president of Time for Newt and the group behind it, Solutions 2012, denied this morning’s report of the commitment by Politico.

Though Adelson and his wife did give the maximum $2,500 each to the Gingrich campaign, Smith said it would be “very out of character for Mr. Adelson to announce something like this to the press.”

“We certainly weren’t involved in putting any information out there,” Smith said.

A spokesman for Adelson, Ron Reese, told ABC News the report of the $20 million donation is false and he does not know the source of the claim.

Video: Perry Says he ‘Wants to be the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucus’

At Thursday’s Iowa debate, Rick Perry compared himself to NFL star Tim Tebow:

Romney Claims Support of Former Reagan Admin Officials

Boston Globe Reports: The former Massachusetts governor today unveiled a coalition of “Reaganites for Romney,” led by Jerry Carmen, a Reagan administration official and former ambassador to the United Nations.

Romney, in a release announcing the coalition of 35 public figures formerly associated with Reagan, said the individuals “were part of a movement that changed America and the rest of the world.”

“The smaller government policies of the Reagan era helped turn around a struggling economy and create millions of jobs,” Romney said. “And the strong defense of freedom around the world led to the crumbling of empires and dictatorships.”

That’s a big jump from the Romney who during his 1994 Senate race with Edward Kennedy tried to reject the Democrat’s attempts to tie him to Reagan. “I was an independent during that time of Reagan-Bush,” Romney said during a debate. “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”

Video: In Fox Interview, Paul Attacks Newt for Avoiding Draft in the 1960′s

Says Paul: Newt backs all the wars ten times more than I do, but I was drafted; he got deferments:

VIDEO: Corzine Served Court Papers on House Floor

But he didn’t take. Instead it was put on the floor and an attorney picked it up:

Average #GOP12 Iowa Polls Taken This Week: Newt 23; Mitt-Paul 18.6; Perry 10.6

Yes, I also check the RCP poll averages but at times it keeps in its count polls that were taken ten-fifteen days earlier, such as a CNN/Time poll taken early December which is in today’s RCP average of Iowa.

Ten days in politics is a life time, so let us focus on the Iowa polls that were taken and released this week (PPP; Insider’s and Rasmussen. All but one day of ARG was taken last week so it is not in this count): Newt Gingrich gets 23%; Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are tied at 18.6%; Rick Perry has 10.6% support; Michele Bachmann is almost equal with 10% backing; Rick Santorum retains 7%; and Jon Huntsman shows 4.6% support.

Video: Karl Rove: Let’s Get This Done!

American Crossroads, a Super Pac run by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie has released a ad called “Let’s get this Done” making the case for a republican Victory in 2012. check it out:

ADL Rips Lowe’s for Pulling ads from Show on Muslims

JTA Reports:  The Anti-Defamation League and a Reform movement group have expressed concern with a decision by Lowe’s to pull its ads from a show that depicted Muslims in a positive light.

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, both wrote to Robert Niblock, CEO of the home supplies giant, about the decision to pull ads from The Learning Channel show “All-American Muslim.”

Foxman said his group was “disappointed” by the decision to pull advertising from the cable network’s reality show, which tracks Muslim-American families in the Dearborn, Mich., area, “since it appears that they took this action in response to an appeal that was rooted in anti-Muslim prejudice.”

A group called the Florida Family Association, backed by a number of  anti-Muslim bloggers, has led a campaign calling on advertisers to pull  their ads from the show.

The Florida group describes the show as “propaganda” hiding Islam’s “clear and present danger.”

Video: Romney Using Gingrich’s 2010 Praise on Jobs

Romney ad shows Gingrich saying “Romney in his business career created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinate, so he can actually talk about it!”

Newt’s 20 Million Dollar Jewi$h Friend

Politico reports: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is planning to direct $20 million to an outside group backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, multiple sources told POLITICO – the first answer to urgent pleas from allies to the former speaker’s long-time billionaire supporters.

After leaving Congress, Gingrich cultivated a network of a few dozen uber-wealthy backers who poured tens of millions of dollars into a network of groups that helped him maintain a foothold in politics. Now, operatives supporting his presidential campaign are asking those same donors to write fat checks to a suite of new super PACs they hope can spend big on ads to offset Gingrich campaign fundraising that had lagged behind his rivals.

Adelson is considered the prized get for pro-Gingrich groups.

Ron Reese, a spokesman for Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. declined to comment.

But sources who requested anonymity told POLITICO that Adelson planned to cut a check to one of the PACs as soon as this week.

A major contribution from Adelson would enable the recipient group to start airing ads in Iowa to counter a week-long anti-Gingrich on-air assault that is already taking a toll on his frontrunner status in the Hawkeye State, according to private and public polling.

Adelson and his wife Miriam Adelson each contributed the $2,500 maximum to Gingrich’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in August. But there weren’t many options for them and other wealthy donors looking to give more to help Gingrich through the summer, when his campaign was on life support.

That changed as Gingrich’s campaign started surging last month, prompting his allies to create new outside groups known as super PACs that can accept unlimited funds to air ads supporting him.

Perhaps the leading player in the pro-Gingrich super PAC space, Winning Our Future, was unveiled this week and is being headed by Becky Burkett, who was the lead fundraiser for Gingrich’s main political vehicle over the last few years, the fundraising juggernaut American Solutions for Winning the Future.

That group raised $54 million – including $7.7 million from Adelson – between its late 2006 creation and its collapse this year after Gingrich left it to run for president, according to Internal Revenue Service filings.

Read full article on Politico.com

Audio: Why Jews Vote for Democrats

(Audio Below) The simple answer to the question why Jews vote for Democrats despite Republicans being stronger on Israel, is this: Most Jews in the United Sates are non-Observant and have nothing with religion. Therefore, the Democratic Party seems to be a perfect match. For this same reason, Orthodox Jews who are more concerned with God, family, values and morals tend to vote Republican.

As for the issues of Israel… Well, a Jew whose Judaism is confined to Latkes on Hanukkah and Matzo during Passover, is less likely to know, care much or feel any connection to Israel. This would apply to most Jews in the United States as most American Jews are not religious. No, I am not saying that non-Observant
Jews don’t care for Israel. But yes, I am saying you are less likely to find Israel-caring Jews among the non-Observant class.

Furthermore, even among Jews who care for Israel, it is still not a priority in their day-to-day life, barring of course any major flare-ups in the Middle East. This was proven by a Siena poll taken before the NY-9 special election, where voters were given the option to name one issue as most important to them: Only seven percent in a district comprised thirty percent of (Orthodox) Jews named Israel as THE most important issue to them, while a total sixty percent in the poll picked economic issues as their priority. With Israel out of the way, it comes back to economics (depending which election of course), where the Democrats historically fared better than Republicans.

So… 1) Since being non-Observant is in-line with the ideology of Democrats; 2) since Israel is not much of an issues to a majority of U.S. Jews, and 3) since Democrats tend to have the upper hand on economic issues, you get election results where 70% overall U.S. Jews vote for the Democrats. But for Orthodox Jews 1) to whom being religious is the basis of their education; 2) to whom Israel is largely important; and 3) to whom the Democrats’ policies of pushing people onto government assistance didn’t solve their economic issues and problems, they will logically vote Republican in strong numbers, as seen time and again in recent years where more and more in the orthodox community have grown tired with the Democrats on economic issues.

Video: Rick Santorum Finally getting some support from a Super PAC

The Iowa Republican reports that Rick Santorum is about to get a little help from his friends, or at least a friendly Super PAC called the Red, White, and Blue Fund (RWB Fund).  Starting today, the RWB Fund will being running ads that encourage Iowa caucus goers to support Santorum for President.

According to the group’s website, it is spending $200,000 to air the ad statewide for the next week.  The 30-second ad was produced by SRPC Media, a well-respected media firm that has done work for John McCain and Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns.  SRPC also produced ads for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in addition to a number of other high profile races.

It’s noteworthy that Santorum has a TV presence before Bachmann does.  The two are slugging it out to earn the support of social conservatives in the state.  The Santorum campaign has struggled to convince voters that he is capable of winning in Iowa even though the campaign has a passionate following of social conservatives.  A TV presence should help Santorum solidify his support, while also helping convince those that already lean his way to get on board.

With Iowans’ TV sets beginning to fill up with negative ads, the positive Santorum ad may be able to cut through the chatter to help Santorum provide a spark for his campaign.

Video: New Perry Ad blasts Gingrich and Romney

Perry released a new campaign commercial blasting Newt Gingrich for supporting increasing the federal debt ceiling, and Romney for raising taxes on businesses in MA.

Karl Rove: Donald Trump and Our Debate Mania

Karl Rove wrote this OP-ED in the Wall Street Journal:

‘Sloppy looking . . . hack . . . bad person . . . so-called pundit.”

What sin prompted these classy insults from Donald Trump? I objected to him moderating a televised Republican presidential debate. Originally scheduled for Dec. 27, it has now been canceled (after only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had agreed to participate).

When the debate was announced, I suggested Mr. Trump was unlikely to be an impartial questioner. He had already said he would be “probably endorsing somebody right after” the debate and was already “leaning” toward one candidate. He had also threatened to run for president as a third-party candidate. It would be folly, then, for the GOP to lend credibility to a prospective spoiler who, if he entered the race, would split the anti-Obama vote.

I added that it wasn’t wise for Republican presidential hopefuls to associate with someone who began his own (aborted) bid for the GOP nomination by declaring Barack Obama ineligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States—an opinion he still holds today.

Mr. Trump’s reaction simply reinforced my points. But this kerfuffle obscures larger questions about the merits and shortcomings of this year’s GOP debates. A dozen have been held so far this year, with another being hosted Thursday night by Fox News.

On the plus side, the debates have allowed every potentially serious candidate to be seen by large audiences (an average of 4.5 million people have tuned in to each one). They have helped candidates sharpen sound bites and flesh out images. And they’ve kept alive candidacies that might have otherwise died due to lack of interest.

For the most part, the debates have been helpful. Before them, the “generic Republican” never led President Barack Obama in any Gallup survey. Since early July, the generic GOPer has often been leading Mr. Obama. The debates likely contributed to this shift.

Still, there can be too much of a good thing. Debates have nearly crippled campaigns, chewing into the precious time each candidate has to organize, raise money, set themes, roll out policy and campaign.

Each debate kills at least three days: one day (and sometimes two) to prepare, the day of the debate, and the day after, spent dealing with the fallout from the night before. This late in the process—there are 19 days until Iowa and 26 days until New Hampshire, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays eliminating crucial campaign days—many candidates might want to chart their own schedules and set their own message priorities. But the debates won’t allow for that.

This also needs to be said: What we’re watching are not really debates. They are seven- or eight-person news conferences. Their choppy nature makes cogent argument difficult and thoughtful policy discussion almost nonexistent. There’s a premium placed on memorable sound bites and snappy comebacks. Those are the clips that are endlessly replayed.

Debates transfer power to the media, draining it from the campaigns. Moderators and their news organizations—through questions they frame or select—have more impact than candidates on what’s covered and discussed. Because each debate is a lavish feast of comments and confrontations, the media also decide what aspects are most worthy of post-debate coverage.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was right when months ago he tried to get control of this unwieldy process—one in which candidates often have no input into a debate’s time, place or format. But his efforts to limit the number of debates and space them out came to naught: The campaigns told him to butt out. I suspect many of them now regret rejecting his efforts for a practical and rational way to ensure a sufficient, but not a suffocating, number of debates.

Thursday’s Fox News debate is the last time all the candidates will share a stage before the Iowa Caucuses on Jan. 3. What each of the candidates and their campaigns do in the coming three weeks—especially the seven or eight days left before voter attention shifts from primaries to presents—will determine their fate in the Hawkeye State.

For good or ill, this year’s record-breaking mass of debates has made the contest the most unpredictable, rapidly shifting, and often downright inexplicable primary race I’ve ever witnessed. And voting hasn’t even begun.

Orthodox Jewish Voters Courted By GOP Presidential Field

Andrea Stone a the Huffington Post Reports: When Newt Gingrich recently called Palestinians an “invented” people and refused to take it back, everyone from the liberal advocacy group J Street to the neoconservative Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) pushed back.

But if the Republican presidential frontrunner was trying to throw gasoline on a fire, one small but influential group of voters were stoked by his words: Orthodox Jews.
“People feel very comfortable, very haimish with him,” said Ezra Friedlander, a public relations consultant with deep ties to New York’s Orthodox Jewish community. “You walk into a room with Newt Gingrich, you don’t have to start explaining to him. He can tell you.”
Most American Jews — liberal, secular and stubbornly Democratic despite disappointments with President Barack Obama — wouldn’t be caught dead in the same room with Gingrich or most of his GOP rivals. But if Rick Perry is unlikely to be schmoozing anytime soon with voters on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Texas governor would feel ideologically right at home among the black-hatted Hasidim of Brooklyn.
Indeed, Perry was given a stage in New York this fall during the United Nations General Assembly meeting to slam Obama’s policies on Israel. The event was organized by Orthodox Jewish Republican activist Jeff Ballabon.
Gingrich recently held a quiet visit with New York Orthodox leaders. Mitt Romney, who was in New York Wednesday for a series of fundraisers that included one with Stephen Schwarzman, the Jewish Republican founder of the private equity mega-fund Blackstone, has been rumored to be planning a visit to Borough Park. Many in that Ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhood still fondly recall Rick Santorum’s swing through the area during the 2004 Republican convention.
Back when President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was still new, there was a Yiddish saying: Dos velt, der velt keyn kumen, un Roosevelt. “This world, the world to come, and Roosevelt.”
That was how most American Jews saw politics then — and many still do now.
But according to a dozen Orthodox and other Jewish leaders interviewed by The Huffington Post, for Ultra-Orthodox Hasidim who still speak the mamaloshen and for modern Orthodox Jews worried about Israel, the Republican Party is where they feel most at home.
Religiously observant, conservative Jews account for only one in 10 American Jews, who themselves make up just 2 percent of the population. More than half of Ultra-Orthodox Jews live in the solidly Democratic New York metropolitan area. Yet Orthodox Jews are emerging as a political force in the 2012 election. Significant enclaves in key battlegrounds such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, where Obama must win to be reelected, could provide the margin of victory in a tight contest.
Why else would candidates trip over themselves to court support at the recent Republican Jewish Coalition forum? Why else would the White House’s new Jewish liaison, Jarrod Bernstein, choose a breakfast sponsored by the Ultra-Orthodox Haredi organization Agudath Israel for his first public speaking event?
“That spoke volumes about the need to do outreach to the Orthodox community,” said New York community activist Chaskel Bennett. “We are loyal and appreciate those who show us loyalty.”
Jews have long been integral to Democratic fundraising, making up as many as half or more of the party’s major individual contributors. While there are wealthy Orthodox donors, it’s not clear whether they will have the same impact on the GOP.
If secular Jews are “the ATM for many liberal Democrats, then certainly the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox are rapidly becoming the ATMs for conservative candidates,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democratic consultant recently ordained as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi.

Video: A voters guide to Republicans

This is a must watch. Bill Whittle has done a terrific job with his new video  Declaration Entertainment on a voters’ guide to Republicans. It’s not what you think:

Reform Rabbis Rip Jewish House Leader Cantor for his Record on Values

Jewish Week Reports: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican now serving in Congress, is scheduled to speak today at the Reform Biennial – but not everyone is thrilled about it.

A group of Reform rabbis is circulating a petition protesting Cantor’s appearance at the event because, in their words, “his voting record has indicated fierce opposition to the human and civil rights of LGBT Americans.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had garnered 160 signatories out of a hoped-for 1,000. The biennial, which is taking place in Prince George’s County, has drawn an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 attendees.

Stephanie Bernstein of Bethesda, who helped orchestrate the hastily organized petition drive, said Cantor’s position on LGBT-related issues “is anathema to what the Reform movement stands for,” adding: “It’s ironic that the biennial is being held in Maryland, where a marriage equality bill faces an uphill battle. This
is not a difference over tax policy. Some things are not negotiable.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center: Media Matters Bloggers ‘Guilty of Dangerous Political Libels, ‘Toxic anti-Jewish Prejudices’

Washington Jewish Week Reports: The Simon Wiesethal Center called the attacks made on it by some liberal bloggers “dangerous political libels” that resonate “with historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices.”

The Wiesenthal Center is *commenting on the reports and writings of several bloggers at Media Matters and the Center for American Progress’ Think Progress blog. The material was highlighted in a report published last week by Politico discussing how the left leaning CAP and Media Matters find themselves at odds with more centrist elements of the Democratic Party on the issue of Israel.

The Politico piece highlighted several controversial comments that were made on Twitter on elsewhere by CAP and Media Matters bloggers. The bloggers, for instance, called several centrist and neoconservative supporters of the Jewish state “Israel Firsters,” among other things, and accused them of having “dual
loyalty.” (The Wiesenthal Center is among those who’ve been targetted by CAP and Media Matters.)

“When it comes to the charges of being ‘Israel Firsters’ and having ‘dual loyalty,’ we not only plead innocent but also counter-charge that these sponsored bloggers are guilty of dangerous political libels resonating with historic and toxic anti-Jewish prejudices,” the center said in a statement issued today. “These odious charges have been around. since Henry Ford in 1920 said ‘wars are the Jews’ harvest,’ Charles Lindbergh in 1940 condemned Jews for conspiring to plunge America into World War II, and ‘Jewish neocons’ were charged with colluding with Israel to cause the 2003 Iraq War.”

The Wiesenthal Center also calls on CAP to “disown” some of the bloggers who have come under fire fortheir reports. “The Center for American Progress ought to stick to fair-minded discussion of serious issues about the U.S’. future,” the statement says. “It ought to disown immediately ‘Israel Laster’ bloggers who take the low road and drag down policy debates into the gutter of individual and group defamation.”

Perry Stresses Faith, Family on Iowa Bus Tour

Politico Reports: Rick Perry began his campaign for redemption by stressing his appeal to Iowa’s evangelical Christians. Perry, an evangelical Christian himself, has often brought his religion into the public sphere, including a full-day prayer rally at a Texas stadium two weeks before entering the presidential race…

With just under three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses and the evangelical vote that buoyed Mike Huckabee’s win here four years ago still up for grabs, Perry kicked off his 14-day, 44-city bus tour with a speech that invoked the importance of “values” nine times in 20 minutes.

“I’m going to Washington D.C. to save this country and put the values back into the White House. Faith, family and freedom. That’s what this election’s really about,” Perry told the crowd of about 70 at the Bayliss Park Hall, to drowning applause.

The Texas governor’s campaign is betting on their candidate’s retail strength and financial advantage to make the difference in what’s a last-ditch effort to get back his spot at the top of the polls — with a barnstorming tour through the state that will stress values along with revamping the tax code and instituting a part-time Congress.

“This president has not only had a war on our economy. This president’s also had a war on our values,” Perry told the crowd there, and again at the last stop of the day in Denison. “He stopped funding for Catholic Charities, simply because they won’t perform abortions. Their values are important to me.”

“This Justice Department is trying to impact long-standing law that basically says whether or not a church can hire or fire a minister or their staff, because of their values,” he continued. “That’s a war on values. That is a war on religion. And Americans are not going to accept this assault on their values anymore.”

U.S. Iraq Exit Helps Israel in Potential Air Srike on Iran

Washingotn Times writes this: The U.S. military’s fast-approaching Dec. 31 exit from Iraq, which has no way to defend its airspace, puts Israel in a better place strategically to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iraq has yet to assemble a force of jet fighters, and since the shortest route for Israeli strike fighters to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, observers conclude that the U.S. exit makes the Jewish state’s mission planning a lot easier.

Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the Iraqi military will maintain radars to monitor the country’s airspace, but it has not taken possession of American F-16s to guard that space.

“The country has a capable and improving capability to see the airspace, a viable system to provide command and control, but no system to defeat incoming air threats until it gets either the F-16s or ground-based systems or, optimally, some of both,” Gen. Buchanan told The Washington Times.

Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by the Iraqi air force.

Retired Air ForceGen. Thomas McInerney, who advocates a U.S. strategic bombing raid to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites, agreed that Iraq’s open airspace would make it easier for an Israeli mission.

“Yes, it will be,” he said. “However, it will be much easier for Iranian forces to get to Israel through Iraq via land and air.”

Joe Lieberman Agrees With Bush: Iraq War Sparked Arab Spring

Wash Times Reports: Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman said Tuesday he believed the war in Iraq and   the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 eventually led to the  democratic  uprisings of the Arab Spring because it provided proof that  dictators  can be overpowered.

During a recent visit to the region, Mr. Lieberman, a onetime   Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut, said he met a   parliamentarian who talked about the role of the Tunisian street vendor   who set himself on fire in sparking the series of anti-government   protests and revolts throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.

“He said that was a direct cause of the uprising, but it really began   when people saw the Iraqi people pulling down the statue of Saddam   Hussein … because it said that these tyrants are not forever,” Mr.   Lieberman told a group of reporters at a breakfast organized by the   Christian Science Monitor.

Mr. Lieberman, a strong backer of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, said he   would prefer to keep “some troops” in Iraq to help solidify the   country’s security, despite President Obama’s plan to withdraw all U.S.   forces by year’s end.

Video: WH Deputy of Economic Council Thinks Americans are Dummies

Listen to the first sixty seconds and note that he thinks Americans are clueless dummies:

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