Douglas Bloomfield's blog

6 Jews Among Richest Members of Congress

The Hill newspaper, which covers the comings and going on Capitol Hill, just came out with its list of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress. 

You might expect a Rockefeller to top the list since his name is synonymous with great wealth, but Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-VA) is only #4 at $83.8 million.  His actual wealth, much of which was inherited, is probably much greater but reporting requirements often conceal more than they reveal.

Attacking Syria

Here's the emmes on attacking Syria -- the American people think it's a bad idea.  In fact they like it even less than they like Congress, if you thought that was possible.  A new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed only 9 percent of respondents support American intervention; by comparison (and a different poll) Congress has a 15 percent approval rating, on a good day.

Could Nixon Be An Anti-Semite And A Friend Of Israel?

Reading excerpts of the transcripts of the final installment of the Nixon tapes I can't decide who is the more reprehensible character in one of those conversations.

Was it Nixon, who threatened to publicly attack the loyalty of American Jews for interfering in his agenda with the Soviets, or his obsequious national security advisor Henry Kissinger, a German-born Jew whose family fled Nazi persecution in 1938, who agreed?

Nixon was an equal-opportunity bigot; he hated blacks, Jews and probably everyone else.  Kissinger should have known better.

Take The Quiz

If Prime Minister Netanyahu is as serious about making peace as he says why did he announcing more settlement construction knowing how the Palestinians would react?  And If Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is serious about peace as he says, why does he keep threatening to file war crimes charges against Israel at the World Court?

Both leaders like to talk about peace but do they have an aversion to actually making peace?  Are they looking for common ground or for excuses to scuttle the entire exercise and blame the other?

The Arabs' Jewish Lobby

The most powerful pro-Arab lobby in Washington may be AIPAC – that's right, the vaunted pro-Israel lobby.  When the going gets tough on Capitol Hill, that's who gets called in to help.

Most recently it stepped in to block a move by some prominent senators to halt U.S. assistance to Egypt in response to the bloody crackdown on Islamist demonstrators protesting the army's overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi. 

It wasn't the first time AIPAC went to bat for an Arab country, even when it was technically in a state of war with Israel. 

Who Are The Real Job Creators?

When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently repeated in a Fox News interview a favorite Republican mantra that  “the government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does” he knew it wasn't true. 

For starters, he himself has a government-created job and it pays a nice $193,400 a year plus a very generous benefits package.  What's more tens of thousands of his fellow Virginians, including many of his constituents, also have government-created jobs.

Lamdan Honored For Exploring Jewish Roots

Amb. Neville Lamdan, who served Israel in top posts in Washington, at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and at the Vatican before leaving the diplomatic arena to explore Jewish roots, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Boston this week. 

Enemies Lists

It was 39 years ago today that our most paranoid of presidents resigned in disgrace, the victim of repeated self-inflicted wounds. One of his legacies is his enemies lists; he intended to create problems for his critics but it all backfired and presence on one of Richard Nixon's enemies lists became and remains a badge of honor.

The anniversary brought to mind an item by the Washington Post's conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin shortly after the death of New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg; her column looked a lot like a Nixonian honor. 

Congress Hits Road To Jerusalem

The greatly underworked and unproductive Congress just adjourned for a long, undeserved summer vacation. You know what that means:  it's time to hit the road.

At least 60 are heading for Israel this month on what they euphemistically refer to as "study missions."

First to the boarding gate will House Democrats led by Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), who will be making his umpteenth visit to the Holy Land.  This time he's taking 36 other House Democrats. 

Kerry Gives Talks 9 Months To Produce Peace

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators spent more time on planes flying to and from Washington this week than meeting with each other and American officials, but they accomplished enough to begin formal negotiations within the next two weeks.  Those talks will be "sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations," will take place in the Middle East and will aim for a comprehensive final status agreement within nine months, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

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