Daily Archives: 12/20/2011
CNN Reports: The speakers in both state houses of Iowa and New Hampshire are expected to hand former House Speaker Newt Gingrich their endorsements in the critical early presidential nominating states.
Gingrich is scheduled to travel cross-country Wednesday in order to attend both announcements. Iowa Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen will endorse Gingrich in Des Moines at the Iowa State Capitol early in the day. Iowa holds the first-in-the-nation caucus on Jan. 3.
New Hampshire’s Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien will back Gingrich in a joint announcement with the former House speaker in Manchester Wednesday afternoon. New Hampshire will host the nation’s first primary to select a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on Jan. 10.
Chanukah descended on the United States shortly after sundown on the East Coast, and the Republican Presidential contenders were out in force with their greeting; each in their distinct way.
Of the first two to greet were Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. Their tweets hit the waves after 4:40 PM, with Huntsman tweeting: As the celebration begins tonight, Mary Kaye and I would like to wish Jewish families across America & the world a Happy & Joyous Hanukkah. At the same time, Romney wrote, Tonight, as Hannukah begins, Ann and I extend our best wishes to all our Jewish friends celebrating the Festival of Lights.
At about 5:45, Rick Perry tweeted a simple Happy Hanukkah. This followed five minutes later with a greeting from Newt Gingrich: “I would like to wish all those who celebrate a Chag Chanukah Sameach, or a Happy Chanukah.”
Rick Santorum is busy with his two endorsements in Iowa so he didn’t have a chance to tweet a greet at this time, and Michele Bachmann at the time of this writing, did also not yet greet. However, based on her understanding that you say “Sholom Alaichem” at the end of a speech (see RJC speech), I expect she will tweet a greeting at on the last day of this Hanukkah…
JTA reports: Mitt Romney would not commit to moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or to pardoning Jonathan Pollard.
Romney, a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination who has garnered the greatest support among donors, met privately Monday with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Washington Jewish Week reported.
On Jerusalem he said he would “consult with the government of Israel” before he makes a final decision.
“It’s easy for me to promise, but it’s something I would consult with the government [of Israel] on,” the Washington Jewish Week quoted him as saying, relying on a source present at the meeting.
Romney’s chief rival, Newt Gingrich, has said he would move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on his first day in office.
Romney has said that some of Gingrich’s pronouncements on the Middle East amount to bomb throwing and should not be made without first consulting the Israeli government.
Romney also would not make promises on Pollard, the Israeli spy jailed for life, according to this account of his remarks. He said he was “open to examining” the issue.
ABC Reports: After a bipartisan bill to extend the payroll tax cut for two months passed the Senate on Saturday and was expected to fail in the House today, lawmakers in Washington could hang their hats for the holidays tonight without extending the 2 percent tax cut.
If Congress does not act before Jan. 1, the average American would get a New Years gift in the form of a $1,000 tax hike.
Both parties have already agreed that the tax break should be extended, but a political fight revolves around how to pay for the $112 billion tax cut, which went unfunded last year and which both parties have vowed will not add to the deficit this time around.
If the temporary holiday is allowed to expire, as it is set to do on Jan. 1, 160 million workers would see their payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, jump back to 6.2 percent, meaning Uncle Sam would take an extra $1,000 from a worker who earns $50,000 in 2012.
“If it doesn’t happen, every paycheck in the country will go down on Jan. 1,” said Chuck Marr, the director of federal tax policy at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. “It’s real money. Every person you see every day has a thousand dollars less money. That’s a lot of bucks.”
Because payroll taxes are only collected on the first $106,800 of income, cutting the rate has the greatest impact on low and middle income earners, groups that tend to spend the largest proportion of their income.
Former powerful Jewish lobbyist Jack Abramoff says in an exclusive interview with GestetnerUpdates.Com “it could be” that someone in a powerful place decided to take him out. However, he says he never gave much thought to it. Instead he humbly admits that he did non-kosher things in his lobbying life, for which he served a few years in prison.
“I was the best in this business, but then I was assassinated,” Mr. Abramoff said. However, “All was from Hakadosh Baruch Hu.”
The book Capital Punishment authored recently by the former lobbyist shook up Washington, most notably on the issue of Insider Trading, which permits lawmakers to buy stock in firms of which they have information not available to the public. A person on the street would pay $50,000 to obtain insider information and then he may land up in prison, says Abramoff. “But the lawmakers get the information for free, and it’s legal too.”
The once powerful lobbyist says in the GestetnerUpdates.Com interview that he was not surprised that politicians dropped him the minute things started to unravel. He cites the Mishna which warns that ‘politicians present themselves as friends when things look promising yet are not around when things go tough.’
Audio: Part One of the Interview:
Part Two of the Abramoff Interview:
NYC is still shaken by the news that a 27 year old criminal shot dead a long-serving NYPD officer. People became more outraged when they learned that prosecutors asked for only $2,500 bail last time the “perp” who has a long criminal record came in contact with the law. Worse, two Judges in two separate recent incidents surrounding the killer, decided that he can walk and walk without bail. Mayor Bloomberg of course is out there blaming Gun Laws for causing this death.
As far I am concerned the real and underlining problem here is Ideology; the thinking of Liberal prosecutors and Leftist judges. To them, being a White Collar criminal is worse than being a bloody killer. For many on the Left, a White Collar criminal needs to get the worst treatment such as no or high bail and many years behind bars because the White Collar offender is ‘full of greed making a life off the backs of poor Bubbys and Zaidies.’ But as for the drug dealer and bloody killer? ‘O, he just had a bad upbringing; it’s not his fault.’
This sick ideology is the reason why so many years is given to Orthodox Jews who get caught up in the law: Most of their offenses is White Collar and in almost all cases those people are prosecuted by Liberal US Attorneys, and are sentenced by Liberal judges. The only notable exception in recent memory is Rubashkin who was sentenced by a Right-winger. But his case overall as a matter of fact was driven by the Left: Be it PETA; Unions, the NYT, the Prosecutors or the three Hispanic Congressmen who made a visit to IA blaming rich businessmen for ‘using’ immigrants.
Instead of Mayor Bloomberg “inviting” to the Funeral lawmakers who oppose strict Gun Laws (which NYC has more than enough yet didn’t help here because the Gun came from VA), Bloomberg should instead invite Leftist Judges and Prosecutors to the Funeral of the fallen officer and show them what their stupid education and twisted thinking has caused.
Wash Times Reports: An analysis by The Washington Times found that the fundraising arms of the Democrats took in 30 percent more in lobbyist donations than Republicans in the first six months of this year, a lead but a significant drop since the heady days of 2008 and 2009 when Democrats dominated with ratios of 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, respectively. The figure is at odds with the grass-roots image that Democratic leaders have cultivated.
Congressional disclosures through June show the Republicans’ fundraising groups – the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee – received $1 million from lobbyists compared with $1.3 million taken in by the Democrats’ committees this year.
In 2008, candidate Barack Obama barred his party’s main fundraising unit, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), from accepting donations from lobbyists and political action committees (PACs) immediately after he became the party’s presidential nominee. But the move afforded political advantages while forgoing almost nothing, records show: Lobbyists hardly ever gave to the DNC to begin with and preferred to give more directly to its chamber-specific counterparts.
Lobbyists contributed $1.6 million to Democratic Party committees in the months before the ban and $1.7 million in that period a year later, indicating Mr. Obama’s oft-touted efforts to keep special interests at a distance have done little to curb their giving to Democrats.
The Blaze Reports: ESPN college football analyst Craig James, who starred as a tailback at Southern Methodist University and with the New England Patriots in the 1980s, announced Monday he was running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican from Texas, a GOP fundraiser said.
James, who appears on the cable network’s weekly game broadcasts, has been flirting with entering politics for more than year. Republican fundraiser and close friend Roy Bailey told The Associated Press on Monday that James informed him he was running for the 2012 Senate seat and was in the process of dropping off his official candidate papers in Austin.
“I think it’s great for Texas. Anytime you have someone with Craig’s street smarts and business sense and willingness to serve the public, it’s a great thing,” said Bailey, who added that he would help raise money for James. Messages left for James were not immediately returned.
Though James’ name recognition could be an advantage in the race, it also could hurt him.
James is a polarizing figure who was embroiled in Texas Tech University‘s 2009 decision to fire popular football coach Mike Leach over allegations the coach mistreated James’ son, a Red Raiders player, after he sustained a concussion. He also was a member of the record-setting SMU football team in the early 1980s when the program entered a series of scandals that ultimately forced the NCAA to shut it down.
His late entry into the Senate race puts him a in a primary field already crowded with well-known and wealthy candidates who are vying for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert and former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz have spent months raising money and collecting endorsements from prominent Republicans. The deadline to enter the race is Feb. 1.
News Busters Reports: Did you know that seasonally adjusted full-time employment in September 2011 was lower than it was when the recession officially ended in June 2009, and that this was the case for 26 of the first 27 post-recession months?
Full-time employment finally surpassed the June 2009 level for two consecutive months in October and November… For those who are wondering, during the first 29 months after November 1982, the official end of the Reagan-era recession according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, full-time employment increased by almost 8 million!
NJ Ledger Reports: Conservative Republican Scott Garrett, whose congressional district stretches from the northwestern part of the state to the Hudson River, could be out of a job now that he has built up some clout on the powerful Financial Services Committee.
It could be Steve Rothman, a Democrat from Bergen County, who in 2007 backed a long-shot presidential candidate named Barack Obama when most Democrats in New Jersey supported Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Or it could be Leonard Lance, a mild-mannered moderate Republican from Hunterdon County, though that seems less likely.
Any way the 13-member commission slices it, when its work is done after three days of negotiations, one of New Jersey’s elected representatives will be on the way out of a job.
Not surprisingly, the state’s congressmen will be watching closely when the panel — which includes six Democrats and six Republicans — closets itself today at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick.
“They’re very, very concerned,” said Alan Rosenthal, a professor at Rutgers University who has been involved in the process twice.
At the least, he said, all of the districts will change to some extent. The state’s population did not grow fast enough over the last 10 years, so the state has to give one of its 13 House seats to a faster-growing state in the South or West.
“If there’s anything a congressman cares about, it’s the number of partisan constituents they have,” Rosenthal said. “They nurture every last partisan constituent. And one district will have to disappear altogether.”
This much is almost certain: The northeastern part of the state — the slowest-growing portion — is going to lose a congressman.
AL Jazeera Via the Daily Beast Reports: A retired general who advises the military government’s PR department told an Egyptian newspaper that the protesters fighting with soldiers “deserved to be thrown into Hitler’s ovens.” While another general did not go as far with his comments, he said that protesters were deliberately provoking soldiers in order to destroy the state. Tensions between the Egyptian security forces and protesters continue to rise, as a fourth day of clashes bumped the death toll to 12 since Friday. Police used water cannons and tear gas to fight back protesters wielding stones in Tahrir Square. Meanwhile, Egypt’s military rulers said that it had foiled a plot to burn parliament down.
CNS Reports: One day after the United States handed over to the Iraqi authorities a Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist accused of killing at least five American soldiers, Iraqi officials were quoted as saying the prisoner will face criminal charges – for illegal entry.
Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press Saturday that Ali Musa Daqduq would be prosecuted for entering the country with an illegal passport, an offense carrying a prison term of just over five years.
The officials also said an investigative judge would consider the U.S. allegations against him, AP reported.
One of the final actions taken by the U.S. government as the last American troops left Iraq was to hand over Daqduq over to the Iraqis, a move congressional critics described as “disgraceful.”