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Posted: Mon, 01/12/2015 - 20:16 | Political Insider

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.

Posted: Sat, 01/10/2015 - 07:55 | Political Insider

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. 

Posted: Fri, 01/09/2015 - 10:34 | Political Insider

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.

Posted: Fri, 01/09/2015 - 00:25 | Well Versed

In the many communal conversations about shifting Jewish identities and trends -– swelling ultra-Orthodoxy, burgeoning indie-groups, religious escapees, religious returnees, denominational switching and more –- one of the missing narratives is of those who leave religion but then come back in another way. It’s a version of Jewish identity that requires years or decades to truly understand and appreciate, and may apply to thousands of Jews, though we wouldn’t know because such a trajectory does not (yet) have a name. It’s a story about those who leave their religious lives because of abuse or tyranny or a need for freedom and independence, yet still cling to aspects of the heritage that they never really intended to leave behind. It is a story of longing and pain that holds up a mirror to the complexity of Jewish life

Posted: Thu, 01/08/2015 - 12:09 | Political Insider

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.

Posted: Thu, 01/08/2015 - 01:21 | Well Versed

Although Karl Marx is frequently recalled today, both to his credit and discredit, as the founder of Communism, his youngest daughter Eleanor has mostly been forgotten. But in her time, Eleanor was a figure of world renown, respected both as the primary editor and expounder of her father’s works, and in her own right as a social activist, leader of the burgeoning trade unions, a pioneering feminist, and translator and proponent of such defining works of the 19th century as Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” and Ibsen’s entire oeuvre. Her story is finally given the attention it deserves in Rachel Holmes’ exhaustive biography, “Eleanor Marx:  A Life” (Bloomsbury Publishing).