Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Alan Gross To Be Obama Guest At SOTU

The Maryland man who spent five years in a Cuban prison for smuggling internet equipment for the Communist nation's tiny Jewish community will be a guest of President Obama at tomorrow night's State of the Union Address. 

Alan Gross, who was freed as part of a deal restoring relations between Cuba and the United States, will get hearty applause from Members of Congress, including those who think Obama made a bad deal with the Castros.

Balanced Budget Blather

President Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the top 0.1 percent -- that's 1 percent of the top 1 percent -- to give tax breaks to the middle class was quickly denounced by Republicans as "counterproductive."

He'll unveil his plan public in Tuesday's State of the Union Address but the opposition wasted no time in letting him know it is a non-starter.

Hyman Rickover Sails Again

The US Navy announced last week that it plans to name a new attack submarine for Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy.  Tablet Magazine reported that would be the first American warship named for a Jew.

Something to kvell about if it were true, but it isn't.  Yes, SSN 795 will be named for Rickover, but beyond that this story is wrong on all counts, according to Norman Polmar, Rickover's biographer and a naval historian.

Marvelous Mitch's Miracles

That Mitch McConnell is a real miracle worker.  He's been Senate Majority Leader only four days and he's already taking credit for the economic recovery that he tried to block during the previous six years with his record number of filibusters and obstructionist tactics in the Senate. 

Political Journeys Up The River

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell had his sights set on the White House but instead he's headed for the Big House.  The former government was sentenced to two years in federal prison this week following his conviction on corruption, fraud and bribery charges.  His attempts to blame his wife didn't wash, nor did his plea that his talents would be wasted in prison.

Meanwhile, in Israel police have recommended filing charges of fraud, bribery, breach of trust and money laundering against former defense minister and Labor Knesset member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.

Lawyers, Lobbyists Battle In Diplomatic Intifada

The next stage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the diplomatic intifada.  Both sides are mobilizing their lawyers and lobbyists to do battle on several fronts, but primarily in The Hague and in Washington, D.C.

Since neither side has shown much interest in sitting down at the peace table for serious negotiations, they've opted for the battle of the briefcases.

Most Diverse Congress? It's Relative

The 114th Congress that convened this week is being called the most diverse in history.  That is a bit misleading. Relative to prior sessions, yes, but far from reflecting the nation as a whole.

I am reminded of the dog food company that advertised its product as "half horse meat and half rabbit meat."  When sued for false advertising it came out that the company's definition of half and half meant one horse to one rabbit.

'Dumbest Congressman' Running For Speaker

The man who has been called "America's dumbest congressman" and "a singularly useless and unaccomplished nutjob" just announced he is running against John Boehner for Speaker of the House this week.

For those of you who might be missing the antics of Michele Bachmann in the new Congress that convenes this week, your problem has been solved by Rep Louis Gohmert. 

Road To White House Goes Thru Israel

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is in Israel this week, and you know what that means:  he's thinking of running for president. 

He's billing the trip as an "economic development" mission and hosting an Invest in Indiana breakfast and meeting with the American ambassador for a briefing on the Israeli economy.  The Indiana Economic Development Foundation is footing most of the bill but, as with so many governors before him, it's more than a search for investors. It is a required campaign stop on the road to the White House. 

Bibi's American Advisors

Benjamin Netanyahu's political rivals are hoping his American campaign advisor will do as well for him as he did for his last high profile candidate, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia).  House majority leader Cantor, the highest ranking Jew in Congressional history, was on track to be Speaker before going down to spectacular defeat in June at the hands of a long shot Tea Party challenger.

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