The tectonic plates of power underneath the nation’s capital are radically shifting in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections. Everyone in Washington — from the White House to industry associations to public interest groups and more — is still assessing the fate of the issues they care about in light of the new lay of the land, and the Jewish community is no exception. The good news is, for many of the issues that we care about, the shift from one-party rule to divided government offers opportunities, albeit with challenges, too.
One predictable but unsettling result of the blogging revolution is the revival of the kind of agitprop writing that I thought went out of style with the demise of Khrushchev and Mao and Radio Moscow.
I write one and I read dozens of blogs every day, but I have to tell you: there's a certain kind of commentary – whether it be a blog or a talk show diatribe - I immediately dismiss as propagandistic drivel, and it usually has to do with language.
Let me give you some examples of words meant to incite, inflame and evade real discussion and debate.
The East Bank of the East River is where I’ve lived for the past twenty years, in a territory known as Brooklyn, which began as Native American land and was then settled by the Dutch. George Washington and his troops beat a hasty retreat from the British in the park where I run. It is now among the most sought after places to live in New York City.
I was trying to figure out exactly why Jon Stewart's “Restore Sanity / Keep Fear Alive” rally in Washington on Saturday made me so uneasy, and then the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart neatly put his finger on it.
On one hand, the good spirits and humor of the rally – look at sideshows to get a good chuckle – were a welcome balm after months of vicious attack ads and years of talk-show venom, most of it coming from an increasingly extreme right.
OAKLAND, Calif. (JTA) -- Ed Rosenthal has been working to legalize marijuana in California since he moved to the state in 1972.
Vindication may finally be at hand for the Bronx-born former yippie.
On Nov. 2, California voters will consider Proposition 19, a ballot initiative to legalize the cultivation and possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, and empower local governments to regulate and tax its sale.
Today brought the news that Jess Hordes is retiring after more than two decades of service as ADL's Washington director.
I've always felt a special affinity for Jess; he took up his position about the time I started writing a Washington column for Jewish newspapers, and he was more than helpful to a rookie trying to make sense of the convoluted world of Jewish politics.
Just in case you need more evidence of the paralysis gripping Capitol Hill, consider yesterday's successful effort by Senate Republicans to block debate on legislation repealing the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy on gay soldiers.
And the threatened filibuster wasn't even on a vote on the bill itself; instead, GOP lawmakers effectively prevented it from even being discussed.
I'm not sure there's anything more demoralizing than watching Congress and the Obama administration sputter away about an economy that seems to heading south once again.
The past few week's newspapers have overflowed with economic news, ranging from bad to really terrible; economic pundits like the New York Times' Paul Krugman tell a terrible story of economic ineptitude at every level and speak ominously about much worse to come.