Douglas Bloomfield's blog

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.

Jim DeMint Quits Senate

Few of his fellow Republicans in the Senate are shedding tears over the sudden resignation of Jim DeMint of South Carolina to head a conservative think tank. They put much of the blame on him for keeping them in the minority.

Lowey Wins Top Appropriations Post

Rep. Nita Lowey was picked to become the first woman and the first Jewish member of either party to hold the top post on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.  The Democratic Steering Committee voted 36-10 on Tuesday to make her the party's ranking member in the 113th Congress on the panel that must approve all federal spending legislation.  She defeated Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. 

Lowey In Line For Top House Post

Veteran New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey, one of Israel's strongest supporters on Capitol Hill, is in line to become the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, which must annually approve more than $3.8 trillion  -- with a T -- in annual federal spending. With the intense focus of the incoming 113th Congress on federal spending, the Appropriations committee and its leaders will play a critical role.

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

It may be a matter of trying to kill two birds with one stone or just settling a very old score for some of the more hardline conservatives, but several Republican senators have introduced legislation to slash funding to both the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority if, as expected, the world body upgrades Palestinian membership.

The Palestinians are to go before the General Assembly on Thursday with their request for recognition as a nonmember state.

Mitt Who?

Barack Obama may be the only one in Washington who wants to see Mitt Romney these days. The President has invited him to lunch at the White House Thursday "to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward."

Don't look for Romney to get much hospitality from his party up on Capitol Hill, just a private meeting with former running mate Paul Ryan.

Good Riddance

The man who may well be the nastiest member of Congress begrudgingly conceded defeat this week, giving people who believe in civility and good government something to be thankful for on this holiday.

In his single term in the House, Rep. Alan West earned a reputation as one of the most divisive figures on Capitol Hill, and that's going a long way in this highly polarized environment. 

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