Daily Archives: 02/20/2012
J.J. Goldberg Reports: Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gaming billionaire, is reported to be on the verge of donating another $10 million to the pro-Newt Gingrich super-PAC Winning Our Future, which should give some new steam to Gingrich’s fading hopes of winning the Republican nomination. But not that much. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Adelson doesn’t particularly expect Gingrich to win. He wants to keep the former House speaker going in order to split up Rick Santorum’s social conservative base and smooth the path for Mitt Romney, who Adelson considers more electable in November.
United States Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper joins the growing list of senior American officials dispatched to Israel to pressure Jerusalem into abandoning plans for an attack against Iran. If one follows the international media, think tanks and the news in general, it does appear that an Israeli strike may be launched in the early spring. – Read More at YWN
The Islamistization of the Arab Spring movement has placed “enormous pressure” on Israeli defenses and progress in the peace process, Benjamin Netanyahu told American Jewish leaders. The Israeli prime minister, speaking Sunday night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’ annual meeting in Jerusalem, said his country’s economy must continue to grow to support financing of the increased defense needs. – JTA
CNN Reports: Silicon Valley renaissance man Peter Thiel donated another $1.7 million in January to a super PAC that backs Ron Paul, according to disclosure documents filed Monday. The PayPal co-founder donated $1 million on January 3, and followed that up 10 days later with an additional $700,000 gift.
The donations, disclosed in Federal Election Commission filings, account for almost 75% of the $2.3 million collected by the Endorse Liberty super PAC last month. Thiel made donations of $150,000 and $750,000 to the super PAC in December, gifts that were disclosed in the committee’s year-end filing.
Netanyahu is scheduled to visit Washington for the annual AIPAC conference where he will be a key guest speaker, and the two leaders will have an official meeting during the second day of the conference. Israeli prime ministers have commonly met with US presidents when visiting Washington, DC for AIPAC’s annual policy conference. However, this year’s newly announced meeting may prove particularly significant, since it comes amidst a flurry of reports suggesting that Israel is considering military intervention to try to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, and that the Obama Administration is seeking to discourage any such course of action. – Times of Israel
Azi Paybarah Reports: After a Times editorial this morning called for a formal investigation into Rep. Michael Grimm, he went on “Good Day New York” to accuse the paper of being an extension of the Democratic Party.
“Look, it’s the timing,” Grimm said. “The judge just moved up the primary from September to June and they have to get a candidate to run against me and they can’t because I’ve been doing extremely well all year, fighting for Staten Island and Brooklyn, so they want to run a smear campaign to get a candidate to run against me.”
Former Black Panther member and now New York City Councilman Charles Barron spoke to capital Tonight about his run in NY10 against Congressman Ed Towns: “My campaign is going great. While others are raising money; we are raising people. While they are trying to get endorsements; we are getting to the masses of grass-roots people who actually vote… I know they are always trying to throw someone into the race because I almost defeated Towns in 2006. They threw Assemblyman Roger Green into the race, and now they are throwing another Assemblyman this time to try to stop Ed Towns from being defeated.”
Colin Campbell Reports: Councilman Lew Fidler, the Democratic candidate in the special election for former State Senator Carl Kruger’s seat, put out a long list of 266 endorsements when his campaign began. Now, it seems at least a handful of these backers, mostly rabbis, are no longer on board with Mr. Fidler as he campaigns in the heavily Jewish, southern Brooklyn district.
One of these original endorsers, Rabbi Chaim Benoliel, even signed a letter saying a vote for Mr. Fidler is contrary to Torah law due to his socially liberal positions. “It is therefore considered to be a great Chilul Hashem and Assur [forbidden according to Torah law] to vote for or to provide funding,
Politicker: Senator Chuck Schumer predicted Democrats at all levels of government will emerge victorious against Republicans in this year’s elections during his speech last night at the gala scholarship dinner that closed out the annual New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus association weekend in Albany.
“The tide is beginning to turn, these hard right, nasty people who only care about the people at the very top, well, we peeled back the curtain and the American people are seeing who they really are,” Mr. Schumer said.
Politicker Reports: At a Saturday afternoon rally largely dedicated to defending Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm in the face of criminal fundraising allegations, Councilman Jimmy Oddo, who’s also a candidate for Borough President, decided to start his speech with a bang.
“It’s my style to take things heads on, so I want to start by addressing the controversy of the day,” Mr. Oddo began, taking off his jacket to reveal a sweater vest underneath.
“I have been wearing sweater vests long before a particular presidential candidate, okay?” he proclaimed.
Jewish groups around the country have responded to the Occupy movement with a certain degree of enthusiasm, incorporating religious projects within the framework of these social protests. Rabbi Arthur Waskow of Jewish Renewal now suggests that there’s no better time to explore the pressing social, economic, environmental, and spiritual crises of our age than at Passover. He’s putting out a call to religious leaders and active laypersons to participate in an Occupy Passover event. – NewVoices.Org
The JC Reports: The representative body of Jewish supporters of the Democratic Party has criticised its Republican rival group for using Israel “as a partisan wedge issue”. The criticism by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) came in response to an advert circulated by the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) challenging President Obama’s record on Israel.
The RJC video alleged that the Obama administration planned to slash funding for Israel’s missile defense.
NYT Writes: Should Israel decide to launch a strike on Iran, its pilots would have to fly more than 1,000 miles across unfriendly airspace, refuel in the air en route, fight off Iran’s air defenses, attack multiple underground sites simultaneously — and use at least 100 planes.
That is the assessment of American defense officials and military analysts close to the Pentagon, who say that an Israeli attack meant to set back Iran’s nuclear program would be a huge and highly complex operation. They describe it as far different from Israel’s “surgical” strikes on a nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007 and Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981.
Oil prices reached and passed the $104-$105 level only in recent days, yet prices are the pump are already on the rise. This suggests that yet higher gas prices should be expected; certainly if the elevated oil prices continue to hold or perhaps if it rises even more.
The national average for a regular gallon gas today morning was $3.56, according to AAA. The NY average is $3.87; NJ is $3.51; CT $3.86; FL $3.67; OH $3.44; MD $3.61 and CA $4.03. In all places prices are higher with almost twenty cents per gallon than from a mere few weeks ago.
UPI Reports: An Iranian official said it was selling crude oil to new customers after opting to stop oil deliveries to British and French companies. Oil prices rose Monday after Iran announced it was halting exports to some European customers in response to sanctions imposed by the European Union.
“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped,” government spokesman Alireza Nakzad, was quoted by British daily newspaper The Daily Times as saying. “We will sell our oil to new customers.”