Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Torture, the CIA and a mostly silent Jewish community

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 Most major Jewish groups have steadfastly avoided taking a position on issues involving the treatment of U.S. foreign detainees. Not so the Reform movement; this week the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism hailed Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to appoint a federal prosecutor to look into cases of possible violations of the law by CIA interrogators who used coercive techniques.

Huckabee: the settlers’ best friend (and maybe the Armageddonists, too)

Monday, August 24th, 2009 Isn’t it nice that former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee and his fellow evangelical Christians are “so much more supportive of Israel than the American Jewish community.” That’s what Huckabee, a 2012 Republican presidential frontrunner, told the Christian Broadcasting Network after a trip to Israel that focused mostly on Jewish settlements and East Jerusalem, places most national politicians in this country try to avoid. Well, no, Huck, I think you got it wrong again.

The Jewish Week political insider is taking a break

Friday, August 14th, 2009 The Political Insider is going off the grid for a week.  We’ll catch up with you after August 23.

What “most read/most e-mailed” boxes reveal

Friday, August 14th, 2009 Those “most read/most emailed” boxes that have become fixtures on most newspaper Web sites can be pretty scary for reporters and editors. More often than not,  the stories we consider the most important don’t make the cut, while journalistic fluff – the latest adventures of J.Lo, or silly little stories about fads and fashion – fill out the top rungs of the ratings, along with stories about practical economics.

Reform Jews also cranking up health care reform action

Friday, August 14th, 2009 Since I’ve been talking a lot about health care reform in the last few days, here’s another item: the Reform movement has launched its own site to serve as a resource for Jewish activists who want to see some kind of universal health plan passed this year, out-of-control town meetings notwithstanding.

RJC, NJDC weigh in on health reform. But where are the Jews?

Thursday, August 13th, 2009 So what do you suppose the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group’s that’s partisan with a capital “P,” thinks about the Democrats’ health insurance reform plans and the administration’s strong support? C’mon, take a wild guess. Stumped?  They’re against it, just about as much as the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) is for it. This is what the RJC had to say in an action alert today today:

Parsing Obama’s words — all 670,000 of them

Thursday, August 13th, 2009 You don’t need to be political guru Larry Sabato to know that President Obama is trying to keep his focus on a handful of key domestic issues and away from an unpopular war in Iraq and the deepening conflict in Afghanistan, both inheritances from the last administration. Today’s Politico has a fascinating study looking at exactly what the president has said since his inauguration, word by word — all half-million plus of them

Santorum testing Iowa waters for 2012 bid; Jewish Dems happy

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 Today the Politico is reporting that  former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has “dipped  toes in 2012 Iowa waters.” Here’s an easy prediction: a lot of Jewish Republicans will be happy with the possible return to big-time electoral politics of the former lawmaker, who is hawkishly pro-Israel and who worked closely with some pro-Israel groups during his years in the Senate.

More on Joshua Fattal story: Debka gets it wrong, too

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 Here’s an update on an earlier item on the three Americans arrested and detained by Iran and the way the inaccurate story that one of them was a yeshiva student and Jewish Week writer spread across the Internet. One of the Web sites that spread the story was DEBKAfile.com, which fashions itself a source of in-depth intelligence and security information, with a focus on the Middle East.

Jewish Democrats create “Rabbis for Health Insurance Reform”; will the Orthodox sign on?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 You can’t say the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) isn’t doing its part for their party’s embattled  health care reform legislation  – or, as the Obama administration has rebranded it, health insurance reform.
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