Congress

Hate crimes bill: could 2009 be the year?

Monday, April 27th, 2009 You have to give this to major Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League: they’re persistent.  A bunch of them have been lobbying for a major new hate crimes bill for more than a decade, and even though it has passed numerous votes in both Houses of Congress the measure never quite makes it into law.

Minnesota voters to Coleman: Give it up, Norm

Monday, April 27th, 2009 Periodically during his six-month battle to win a Minnesota Senate race a recount showed he lost by 312 votes, former Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, has suggested voters should just do the whole thing over again.

Election 2008: Jews part of dramatic political realignment

Sunday, April 26th, 2009 University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, possibly the most quoted political scientist on Planet Earth and maybe beyond,  has published a new book on the 2008 election, which he sees as one of a rare species:  transformational elections that change the landscape of American politics for years to come.

Bashing J Street

Monday, March 30th, 2009 James Besser in Washington What is about J Street, the pro-peace process lobby and political action committee, that has the leaders of major Jewish groups in such a snit? I’ve had calls from three of them in the past two weeks, complaining about the new kid on the pro-Israel block; even some liberal Jewish leaders are joining the anti-J Street chorus.

J Street Poll shows strong support for Obama, weak support for Lieberman and complex views about Iran and Gaza.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009 James Besser in Washington A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, contained good news for President Barack Obama, worrisome signs for incoming Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu and some predictably bad news for Jewish organizations facing an unprecedented economic crisis.

Jewish Groups united on budget proposal — well, almost

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Jewish groups are pretty much united on wanting more government spending for critical health and social service programs as part of the federal budget for the next fiscal year. But as Congress began chewing on next year’s budget proposal,  a letter signed by more than 100 local and national organizations, organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), was conspicuous in the lack of any Orthodox support.

Pro-Israel PAC goes to bat for Coleman in war of attrition with Franken

Monday, March 16th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It’s already the longest and most boring senate election in recent history, unless you love legal minutia, and it’s not over yet; a three-judge panel in Minnesota is deliberating whether challenger Al Franken, who got a few more votes, or Norm Coleman, who says those votes are tainted, will be sworn in sometime before the end of the 111th Congress.

Our Selective Outrage

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

It’s safe to say that Bernie Madoff is the most hated man in America today. He deserves every bit of the scorn heaped upon him by the public, and not an ounce of sympathy. 

 

But I’m wondering how many people reading this know the name Terry J. Sedlacek? What about Michael McLenden or Mazeltov Borukhova?

 

Obama stem cell order unites Jewish groups

Monday, March 9th, 2009 James Besser in Washington Update: The Insider apparently wasn’t inside enough; also present at the White House stem cell signing was Rabbi Steve Gutow, executive director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) The Jewish community from right to left was represented at  Monday’s White House ceremony marking President Barack Obama’s executive order rescinding his predecessors strict limits on stem cell research.

Sen. Cardin, Senior Jewish Lawmaker, Meets Syria’s Assad, Sees Few Signs of Change

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington With Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in limbo because of the political division between Gaza and the West Bank, many analysts are touting the potential for breakthroughs on the Syria-Israel track. A senior member of the Jewish delegation in Congress, fresh from a trip to the region that included a meeting with Syrian president Bashar Assad, says maybe – but don’t count on it.
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