Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Hopes, Threats And Bluffs

Since the latest iteration of Israeli-Palestinian peace began, several Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed, and on each side politicians quickly declared the deaths as proof that the other side isn't really interested in making peace.

Really?  Or are they just looking for excuses to scuttle the talks?

GOP To Poor: Let Them Eat Cake

If there ever was such a breed as compassionate conservative it appears to be extinct.  If you needed any evidence just look at what the House of Representatives did this week.

By a narrow 217-210 it voted to eviscerate the food stamp program by cutting nearly $40 billion from this valuable food assistance program for the needy. The Congressional Budget Office estimated 3.8 million Americans will lose their benefits as a result.

Boehner, Napoleon And Einstein

Boehner, Napoleon And Einstein

Kerry To Meet Bibi On Syria, Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry is flying to Jerusalem Sunday to personally brief Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his meetings in Geneva this week with his Russian counterpart about removing Syria's chemical weapons.

You can expect him to reassure the Israeli leader of President Obama’s continued commitment to making sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.  Many Israelis see Obama’s confrontation with Syria as an indicator of American resolve to stand up to Iran on the nuclear issue.

Syria Crisis Serves The Cau$e

After some low key lobbying to urge Congress to support military action against Syria – on the theory that punishing Bashar Assad for using poison gas was critical to American credibility in convincing Iran not to build nukes – AIPAC went very high profile, reportedly at White House urging.

The Times, Are They A Changin'?

It’s much too early to tell, but there was some encouraging news out of Tehran this week in the form of a Tweet from Iran’s new president wishing Jews, and particularly the 25,000 living in his country, wishes for “a blessed Rosh Hashanah.” 

Here’s what he said:

Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani

As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR

Spy Vs. Spy

One of the more startling reveltions by Edward Snowden was that Israel is lumped with countries like China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Pakistan as a “priority target” for U.S. “surveillance and offensive” counerintelligence operations.

It’s not as though Israel hasn’t spied on the United States as well, but when the two allies aren’t targeting each other, they find a lot more time to work together, most notably targeting and sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program, with the successful (while it lasted) Stuxnet computer worm.

Israel's Pioneering Drones Led Way For US

The U.S. Navy recently made a big publicity splash when it boasted that the operation of a stealth drone on an aircraft carrier in Chesapeake Bay was a historic first. It was about 30 years late.  The Navy's first carrier operations of a drone were on the USS Guam off the coast of Israel in 1984, and the drones were Israeli-built.

The Navy said the landing of the experimental X-47B, which looks like a miniature B-2 stealth bomber, on the USS George H.W. Bush last May was "the first ever launch of an unmanned aircraft from an aircraft carrier"

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.

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