Monthly Archives: February 2012 - Page 2
Dan Slack Reports: An invitation says simply “Please join President Obama for a discussion and reception with supporters like you in Washington, DC.”
Turns out, “like you” appears to be Jewish.
The campaign fundraiser at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC, Monday was intended to be a “Jewish Constituency Focused” event, according to a Democratic announcement obtained by POLITICO.
“There will be no spiritual homeland for Christians to return back to” if that Holocaust does occur, said West in the same speech… “There will be no homeland for the Jewish people in the United States of America for their birthright. This is a dangerous situation and we have to take the Iranians for their word.” West also warned that Israel’s other hostile neighbor, Syria, could quickly turn from its current political turmoil to war against Israel. West, who is a veteran of the Iraq war, has been among the most vocal pro-Israel supporters in Congress since joining the House in 2011. Early last year he chastised President Obama for calling for a two-state solution, saying that the United States ought not to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority. The Hill
Report Politico: If Michael Grimm is worried about the mounting allegations against him, he sure isn’t showing it.
A world away from Washington, the freshman congressman is taking an avoid-and-conquer public relations approach to reports that he’s involved in a fundraising scandal involving straw donors and illegal cash in envelopes. Instead, Grimm is spending long days with the people he hopes will have his back: the store owners in Brooklyn, the people who operate and ride the Staten Island Ferry and a bevy of local politicians. He spent his recess shaking hands, smiling and engulfing himself in nonstop constituent work.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage “a bad thing” and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do. USA Today
The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward. The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent, as both the White House and Republicans push plans to lower rates. – The Hill
Forward Reports: The mega-leaks website, WikiLeaks, has partnered with the hackers cooperative Anonymous, to publish internal emails of the American strategic intelligence company Stratfor. In one of the hacked emails, Stratfor officials discuss information obtained from one of their sources who reports that Israeli commandos, in cooperation with Kurdish fighters, have destroyed Iranian nuclear installations.
CNBC Reports: The National Association for Business Economics says forecasters have raised their expectations for employment, new home construction and business spending. But they held on to their average prediction that America’s gross domestic product, or GDP, will grow at a rate of 2.4 percent, with stronger growth happening in the second half of the year. That’s a slight improvement from 2011.
NABE economists see the unemployment rate sticking at 8.3 percent this year, matching January figures. That’s improved from their November forecast of 8.9 percent.
In housing, economists predict builders will break ground on 700,000 homes this year, up 15 percent compared with 2011. They predict 850,000 will be built in 2013.
Millions of dollars in White House money has helped pay for New York Police Department programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance. The money is part of a little-known grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to the New York and New Jersey region through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA. – AP Via VIN
Politico Reports: a social-media campaign is being waged to pressure Rep. Dave Camp to encourage a top staffer to grant his wife a Jewish divorce, and the lawmaker shut down public posts on his Facebook page after a flood of comments about the issue.
Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, employs a staff member, Aharon Friedman, who is the subject of intense anger from some in the Orthodox Jewish community for refusing to provide his wife with a Jewish divorce decree, known as a “get,” despite the finalization of their civil divorce nearly two years ago.
“Santorum is nuts, and I say that in a loving way. He is someone who is of the belief that religious obligations that he has can be imposed on other people. Now I don’t mind his imposing on himself the business of no pre-natal care, no abortion. That’s okay from his point of view. But in my judgement it’s nuts to try to impose that on other people of other religions who don’t agree with you.” Politico
The Blaze: Gush Katif was a cluster of 21 Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin thought were vital to Israel’s border security. In August 2005, however, under the auspices of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gush Katif as well as four additional communities in Samaria, thus displacing some 9,000 residents from their homes. Gush Katif was also a thriving agricultural zone with 4,000 greenhouses producing some of the countries best organic produce. After the IDF left, thousands of Palestinians looted the area and laid it to waste.
JTA Reports: Jailed American Jewish contractor Alan Gross “was no spy,” Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a meeting with two visiting U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Richard Shelby.
Leahy (D-Vt.) told The Associated Press that Castro made the remark during a 2 1/2-hour meeting in Havana on Feb. 23. Leahy and Shelby (R-Ala.) offered to take Gross back to the United States on their plane, AP reported. Leahy told the AP that “we have a long way to go” to win Gross’ release.
FLASHBACK to 1/30/09: Chief Business Correspondent for U.S.News Predicted Ford Will Need Gov Bailout to Survive
Obama likes to say that when he came into office everyone agreed that but for Government bailing out everything and everyone, the banks, the auto industry and the economy will collapse. Indeed, I did find such a prediction against Ford made of Jan 30 2009 by Rick Newman of U.S. News. But three years later and WITHOUT a bailout and as a smaller firm than GM, Ford is more profitable than GM.
“There was nothing deliberately done wrong here. This was something that happened as a mistake. Killing Americans in uniform is not a mistake, ” said Santorum. “Say it’s unfortunate…but to apologize for something that was not an intentional act is something that the president of the United States in my opinion should not have done.” ABC News.
Mitt Romney, in a tight race against Rick Santorum for next week’s Michigan primary, took a side trip from Michigan campaigning to Daytona Beach, Fla., to attend the 54thrunning of the premier stock-car racing event of the season, the Daytona 500. It’s a regular pilgrimage for both past presidents and presidential contenders trying to solidify their standing with NASCAR dads, the bloc of patriotic, blue-collar voters with a history of voting Republican. Today’s Daytona 500 trip is Romney’s second appearance at the Daytona International Speedway. He toured the track in August 2007 as a presidential hopeful. - LAT
Boston Globe: Some are old enough to recall pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh’s tickertape parade. Others can share vivid memories of World War II or the Great Depression.
But unlike most people their age, New York City’s federal judges prefer to strike one topic from the record: retirement.
One of Iran’s strategic policies is to strengthen the Lebanese army, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated during a meeting with Lebanese Minister of National Defense Fayez Ghosn in Tehran on Sunday. Iran’s principled policy is to promote the convergence of regional countries, enhance security and stability in the region, and oppose any infringement on the rights of the world’s nations, Vahidi said. Lebanon should have a strong army to defend its interests in the region, he said. Vahidi added that Iran believes that stability and security in Lebanon and the region are interlinked. Teheran Times
Iran’s defense minister warned that an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic will lead to the collapse of the Jewish state, state television reported Saturday, in one of the strongest statements from Iran indicating it would retaliate should Israel attack its nuclear facilities. Israel has recently stepped up its verbal threats that it could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The U.S., Israel and many West nations fear that Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons, while Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes such as producing energy. AP Via Herald Net
Ron Kampeas Writes: I’ve covered this territory repeatedly, but now PolitiFact weighs in: The claim by Mitt Romney that President Obama has not imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, and that the sanctions he has imposed were at Congress’ behest, is “mostly false.”
Here’s the summary: