Daily Archives: 01/10/2012
See the ongoing results on my Twitter account https://twitter.com/#!/yossigestetner
1) Yes, Mitt Romney is/was the “front-runner” all along, but he didn’t do so with securing 50-60 percent of the Republican base. He did so with maybe 1/4 of Republican support in the polls. Where is/was the rest 70-80 percent of the Republican Party? Well, they are split between Conservative candidates, or perhaps candidates who sell them self as such.
2) Indeed, Romney “won” Iowa and swept New Hampshire. But… in both states, non-Republicans were able to vote in the races. Therefore, it was not exactly a “Republican Race” to be used as a barometer of the strength or weakness of the values supported by Conservatives.
MSNBC Reports: A former Marine whose wife of 54 years was killed last year in the Tucson shootings that left six dead and 13 injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, has strong feelings about the Arizona lawmaker and her retired astronaut husband, Mark Kelly.
“Every time I see them on TV,” George Morris told the Arizona Republic, “it makes me want to vomit.”
He said he and his wife had gone to Giffords’ town-hall meeting outside the grocery store in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011, to complain to his congresswoman, who he says kept voting for liberal causes.
But before he had a chance to vent his anger, a gunman began shooting people in the crowd. Morris’ wife, Dorothy, 76, was killed in the rampage, and he was hit in the legs and back. Giffords was shot in the head.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday Iran’s decision to enrich uranium near the city of Qom was “especially troubling” and urged Tehran to return to serious talks with Western powers over its atomic program.
“This step once again demonstrates the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for its responsibilities and that the country’s growing isolation is self-inflicted,” Clinton said in a statement.
Clinton’s strongly worded comments repeated U.S. concerns over Iran’s announcement that it had started enrichment at the underground Fordow bunker near Qom, which came amid rising tensions between Tehran and western powers.
Iran denies Western suspicions that its nuclear program has military goals, saying it is for purely peaceful purposes.
“The circumstances surrounding this latest action are especially troubling,” Clinton said.
Ran Kampeas writes this regarding the MSNBC report of Jack Lew ignoring Clinton’s phone call: One incident involves a Shabbat call he received from President Clinton. He came home from synagogue and the phone rang. As was his practice, he waited until the answering machine clicked on to see if it was urgent enough to pick up. As it happened, it was a White House staffer telling him to ignore the earlier message from Clinton, who had been phoning from overseas and had forgotten that in Washington it was still Shabbat. The matter was not urgent enough to interrupt Lew’s observance, Clinton told the staffer to tell Lew.
A congressional redistricting plan being considered this week by the Tennessee legislature would remove all of the major Jewish institutions and much of the Jewish vote from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen’s 9th District, he said Monday.
Cohen, the first Jewish congressman elected from Tennessee, said the plan draws an ‘appendage’ west from the proposed 8th Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Stephen Fincher, up the Poplar Corridor as far west as The Links at Galloway Golf Course….
‘Nearly every Jewish person in my district would be taken out because the Jewish people in Memphis all live out east,’ Cohen said. ‘There’s a handful in Downtown and Midtown.’
Politically, Cohen said, he wants those voters in his district because he has represented their interests in the state senate and in Congress for 20 years.
‘There’s a commonality of interests from social issues as well as foreign policy where there’s been a connection over the years,’ he said….
Cohen’s district is home to major Jewish congregations such as Temple Israel, the Baron Hirsch Synagogue, Beth Sholom Synagogue, the Jewish Community Center, the Plough Towers retirement home and other concentrations of Jewish voters, Cohen said.
Politico Reports: Obama’s new chief of staff Jacob Lew has been hailed by Congressional Democrats as a great choice to replace William Daley, who unexectedly handed in his resignation last week. Lew also has — or had – fans on the GOP side of the aisle as well, according to POLITICO’s Ben Smith, who wrote during budget negotiations last year that even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had good things to say:
“No one was more prepared and more in tune with the numbers than Jack Lew,” Cantor, whose walkout brought the talks near collapse [June 23], told POLITICO. “He was always very polite and respectful in his tone and someone who I can tell is very committed to his principles.”
But Republicans seeking to thwart attempts by the Obama administration to cut military spending had better be on guard. In Smith’s profile, titled “Lew: A liberal GOP says it trusts,” Lew told Smith that reining in defense spending remained on his mind.
A day after appointing an Orthodox Jew to a powerful post, we have this from Politico:
The president will appoint Cecilia Munoz, the White House director of intergovernmental affairs and lead liaison to the Hispanic community, as the next director of the Domestic Policy Council, a senior administration official told POLITICO. Munoz replaces the departing Melody Barnes.
The Note Explains: Of the 767,383 registered voters in New Hampshire, 312,621 are registered as “undeclared,” or roughly 41 percent of the total registered voting population, a larger percentage than both Republicans (30 percent) and Democrats (29 percent). Historically, these voters have contributed in large blocks to the Republican party primary. According to past exit polls, voters who identified as being “independent” have never accounted for less than 30 percent of the total voter turnout in the GOP primary in the past 20 years.
The group hasn’t always voted in line with the Republican Party. In 1992 they split even for incumbent President George H.W. Bush and his primary challenger, Pat Buchanan, at 48 percent each. In 1996 they split evenly again- this time for Pat Buchanan and then Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, 27 percent each. Bob Dole, who eventually went on to win his party’s nomination that year, lagged behind with 18 percent of the independent vote.
In 2000 Independent voters overwhelmingly supported John McCain, with 62 percent among voters identifying with this group. McCain still received the majority of votes from the independent sector in 2008, but his margin of victory was smaller — he received 38 percent of the vote, while Mitt Romney received 30 percent.
Star Ledger Reports: Gov. Chris Christie will postpone his annual State of the State address today but will still pay a visit to the Legislature to eulogize his close friend, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, who died suddenly Monday night.
DeCroce, a longtime Assemblyman and leading Republican of the state’s lower house, collapsed and died in a bathroom inside the Statehouse late Monday night, just moments after the 214th Legislature held its final voting session.
A teary-eyed Christie made a visit to the legislative offices shortly after DeCroce died, hugging lawmakers before discussing the revised schedule.
JTA Reports: Israeli lawmaker Anastassia Michaeli was suspended from the Knesset for a month for throwing water at a colleague during an argument.
The punishment was handed down Tuesday to the Yisrael Beiteinu Party lawmaker following the incident during a debate in the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee meeting a day earlier.
Michaeli on Tuesday apologized to Raleb Majadele of the Labor Party, saying her actions “happened in the heat of the moment. I was upset. I had no intention of disrespecting the Knesset or Knesset member Majadele.”
The punishment is considered to be harsh; suspensions usually last one to two days. Arab lawmaker Hanin Zuabi was punished recently with a two-week suspension for participating in the 2010 Gaza flotilla.
PolitickerNY Reports: The New York State Legislature returned to work yesterday and passed its first agreement of the 2012 session–the Iran Divestment Act. Modeled after similar legislation in California, the Iran Divestment Act will prohibit companies from signing or renewing state or local government contracts if they provide good, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran’s energy sector. The bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Foreward Reports: As New York draws new congressional lines, Gary Ackerman, an influential House voice on Middle East issues, is at risk of losing his seat to redistricting.
New York’s byzantine redistricting process is months away from completion. What is clear is that before New Yorkers go to the polls in November, the state will have two fewer seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. And scuttlebutt among political operatives has Ackerman’s seat on the short list of those that are threatened.
New York Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf wasn’t making any predictions, but he said that Ackerman’s district is “a logical place” for a congressional seat to be eliminated. He said that Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s Long Island district is alternatively at risk. Sheinkopf and others pointed to crowding among Long Island congressional districts and to Ackerman’s relative lack of clout in local Democratic politics.
Observers say Ackerman could end up fighting with newly elected Republican Rep. Bob Turner, who last fall won the seat long held by Anthony Weiner.
Haaretz Reports: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez lavished each other with praise on Monday, mocked U.S. disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal.
“Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever,” the Iranian president told socialist leader Chavez at the start of a visit to four left-leaning Latin American nations.
Despite their geographical distance, the fiery anti-U.S. ideologues have forged increasingly close ties between their fellow OPEC nations in recent years, although concrete projects have often lagged behind the rhetoric.
Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela at the start of a tour intended to shore up support as expanded Western economic sanctions kick in over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time,” Chavez said in a ceremony to welcome Ahmadinejad at his presidential palace in Caracas.
Both men hugged, beamed, held hands and showered each other with praise.
As he often does, the theatrical and provocative Chavez stuck his finger right into the global political sore spot, joking that a bomb was ready under a grassy knoll in front of his Miraflores palace steps.
“That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out,” he said, the two men laughing together.
“The imperialist spokesmen say … Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflores basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles … It’s laughable.”
“If the seat still exists and the district looks something like it looks now… then this is something I will be interested in doing.”
So says Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D) in an exclusive GestetnerUpdates.Com interview regarding a potential run against Congressman Bob Turner (R- NY9) this year. The Assemblyman however made it very clear that redistricting is key and in the mean time he is focused on the legislative agenda in Albany. Among them, Mr. Lancman is pushing a bill that will protect workers safety at the work place.
Lancman says if he indeed runs for Congress he will run on his record of accomplishments in the Assembly since early 2007, and by no means will he shun the President: “I will support the guy who gave the order to Kill Osama Bin Laden; the guy who ended the Iraq war; the guy who is ending the war in Afghanistan. That’s my view on national level issues.” But the ambitious Assemblyman says, “If I have the good fortune to run for Congress, I will be talking of my record in the Assembly and what I would want to do in Congress.”
On April 16, 2006 Josh Bolton took over the White House Chief of Staff post to serve President Bush and held the post until early 2009 when Rahm Emanuel started serving for President Obama. Both of them are Jewish.
Today, January 9th 2012, Jack Lew was appointed to be Chief of Staff. He too is Jewish.
Bolton and Emanuel held the post for a combined four and a half years. Then came a stretch of fifteen months when the position was held on an interim basis by Pete Rouse for a few months, and then by Bill Daley for almost a year, but is stepping down at the end of the month.
If everything goes well for Lew, he will certainly hold the position all through the end of Obama’s current term which comes to a close on January 20’th 2013. This gives us a total of five and half out of almost seven years that the top position in the Executive Office of the United States is held by a member of the Jewish community.