Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Netanyahu invited to White House next week

Wire services are reporting and Washington sources are confirming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to the White House for another round of meetings next week.

The invitation was due to be presented to the Prime Minister by Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who is in Israel for his son's bar mitzvah, on Wednesday.

George Mitchell, in rare public appearance, expresses optimism about Israeli-Palestinian talks

U.S. special Middle East Envoy George Mitchell generally shuns the limelight, but this week he was in Washington and keeping a pretty high profile.

On Monday the lead U.S. official in Israeli-Palestinian “proximity talks” offered a mildly upbeat assessment of the indirect peace talks at an event sponsored by the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital (JPDS-NC) at the 6th & I Historic Synagogue.

It's back: the Israel-South Africa connection and allegations of an offer to sell nuclear weapons

This week's headlines alleging that Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1975, reported in a new book and a report in The Guardian, come at a particularly bad time for the Jewish state.

Washington Post: Democrats scaling back faith-based political outreach

Remember the 2008 election, when then-Sen. Barack Obama talked a lot about his religious faith and the Democratic Party seemed determined to show voters it could do religion as well as the Republicans?

The BP oil spill, President Obama, Jewish environmentalists - and mixed-up voters

Isn't the disaster that's still unfolding down in the Gulf of Mexico an almost perfect illustration of what's wrong with American politics?

Everybody's complaining about the lax federal response – including those factions that want to cut government until it's small enough to drown it in the bathtub, to use one of their popular expressions.

What's with those Texans and their "Christian nation" educators?

Those Texas Christians, whose influence over the nation's textbooks is enormous because of their activism and the state's buying power, sure don't want any lousy ACLU or ADL pushing them around.

Thanks to the Texas Freedom Network, a group that dares advocate for church-state separation in the wild-west state of Texas, we have the video, below, of the opening prayer at a State Board of Education Meeting called to discuss what school children will learn about church-state separation.

Some evangelicals now tone their talk about America as a “Christian nation,” or even couch their arguments in terms of “Judeo-Christian values.”

Not board member Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican. She makes it clear: America is a Christian nation, and its laws and government should be based on the Christian Bible.

Newt Gingrich, President Obama and the latest on the Nazi allusion front

I'm beginning to think all the major Jewish “defense agencies” like the ADL and both AJCs need full-time departments just to respond to shameless politicians using inappropriate Holocaust and Nazi analogies.

The latest: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, although he's purportedly an historian, doesn't have the historical sense to distinguish between policies he doesn't like and the vilest, most dangerous political system in history.

Primary roundup: Sen. Arlen Specter loses; will Rand Paul's civil rights stance turn off Jewish voters?

It's going to be real interesting to see how conservative Jewish voters react to the remarkable ascendance of Rand Paul, who won the Kentucky senatorial primary last week.

Unlike his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), Rand is a supporter of Israel and sometimes sounds like he's reading from AIPAC talking points.

But he shares the libertarian hostility to most government programs and the Federal Reserve system, and he managed to stir up huge controversy this week with this comments about civil rights. While he says he doesn't favor repeal of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, he doesn't support federal civil rights legislation, and he doesn't support laws that ban discrimination by private businesses, such as restaurants.

The Blumenthal Follies

It's starting to look as if Connecticut may not have two Jewish U.S. senators after all, thanks to yet another politician who believed voters are dolts and journalists are lazy.

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