Douglas Bloomfield's blog

When Losing Can Also Be Winning

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Connecticut) has been doing a farewell tour of media interviews and gave a Senate speech looking back on his Senate career and legislative accomplishments.  But his greatest achievement was not on the Senate floor but in an election he lost.

Mikulski To Helm Panel Critical To Jewish Community Priorities

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the senior woman in the U.S. Congress, has been named to replace the senior male senator as chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.  The Maryland Democrat, who Politico has called the "sawed-off shotgun from Baltimore," is a longtime  prominent supporter of the Jewish community's domestic legislative agenda and a strong backer of the US-Israel relationship.

She succeeds the late Daniel K. Inouye, who died last week at 88. 

New Gun Restrictions May Be DOA

Tragedies like the one in Newtown's Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School a week ago today are the fault of Hollywood, the media and violent video games, not the country's virulent gun culture, and the solution is to put more guns in the schools, insisted the head of the National Rifle Association.

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's CEO, defiantly declared making schools "gun free zones" is an invitation to more slaughters like the ones we've seen so often, and he called for posting armed guards in every school in the country.

Aloha, Chaver

Israel lost one of its best friends and the U.S. Senate lost a true legend Monday with the passing of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. A genuine hero in war and peace, he was one of the last of the Greatest Generation, a generation that saw the Jewish state come into existence and fight for its survival, and he played an important role in advancing U.S.-Israeli friendship for more than half a century.

Can Newtown Really Change Anything?

Brooklyn Congressman Jerry Nadler (D) said the Newtown school shooting once again reminds us of the need to discuss gun control and gun violence. That's a no brainer. Sadly, it won't happen. Soon the public mourning and calls for tightening laws regarding gun access will be overshadowed by the looming fiscal cliff or the next story to monopolize the one-crisis-at-a-time media and prove we are a nation with a short memory and shorter attention span.

A Victory For Loud Diplomacy

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger opposed the Jackson-Vanik law linking trade concessions for the Soviet Union with easing restrictions on emigration.  The best way to help free Soviet Jewry was to rely on his "silent diplomacy," he insisted

It's Not How Much You Spend But How Well

There's an old principle in warfare, "get there first with the most." It's also a good principle in politics, and was on full display during the battle for the Jewish vote in this year's presidential campaign. 

Why Was Danny Ayalon Fired?

Danny Ayalon, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington, was a surprise choice for deputy foreign minister in the new Netanyahu government in 2009 and a bigger surprise when he was suddenly dumped this month by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Abbas Changes His Mind Again

President Mahmoud Abbas had said that once the U.N. voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to non-member state status, he would be ready for unconditional peace talks with Israel. "I've said a thousand times that we want to resume negotiations and we are ready to do it," Abbas told reporters in New York last month. "We are not setting any condition."

 It appears he has changed his mind.

The Death Of Egyptian Democracy

If Egypt ever really did have democracy it was born and died with the election of Mohamed Morsi in June.  The election was free and fair according to international observers, but that appears to have been both the beginning and end of the experiment. Protesters who took to the streets to demand the ouster of Hosni Mubarak are back and demanding his Islamist successor go as well. They're saying Morsi is Mubarak with a beard.

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