Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Must Reading: Aaron David Miller on 'The False Religion of Mideast Peace'

I've always regarded Aaron David Miller as one of the smartest, most thoughtful U.S. peace processors. Since he left the State Department a few years back, he's been one of my favorite analysts for the simple reason that his take on the Middle East doesn't flow from hardened ideology but from long experience and a willingness to constantly reevaluate old assumptions.

Call most Middle East analysts about the crisis du jour, and you know in advance what they're going to say; calling Miller often produces interesting journalistic surprises.

A possible 'Obama Plan' and J Street's dilemma

I had several calls in the past few days expressing emotions ranging from anxiety to rage because of the Obama administration's rumored Middle East peace plan. And that made me wonder about how the other side – and J Street, in particular – will respond to the inevitable firestorm from mainstream pro-Israel groups when and if a plan is unveiled.

Second Amendment mishigas

 I post this pretty much without comment, except to say that the group “Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership” is reportedly supporting the protest.

Okay, one comment: “Totalitarian socialism?” And these guys are armed?

Another Jewish Supreme Court possibility - and rising talk about a "Protestant-free" court

So another Jewish name has surfaced in the raging speculation over President Obama's choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens: Martha Minow, dean of the Harvard Law School and one of the President's former professors (See this story in today's Boston Gl

More on the AJC poll, Obama's approval ratings, Iran and Jerusalem

On Friday I blogged about the new American Jewish Committee survey of Jewish public opinion - conducted and released earlier than usual because of the rising U.S.-Israel friction and interest in how that would affect political attitudes.

My initial conclusion, which I'm mostly sticking to: Jewish opinion remained pretty stable despite the headlines. Support for President Obama has dropped, but Jews still support him more than the general public.

Is immigration reform the answer to the Social Security and Medicare problems?

Proponents of immigration reform are still hoping this will be the year Congress will act, even though there's growing evidence that lawmakers and maybe the Obama administration are getting cold feet as critical midterm elections approach and anti-immigration forces ratchet up their efforts.

New AJC Survey: No Big Swings in American Jewish Public Opinion

I haven't had a chance to fully digest the American Jewish Committee's 2010 survey of American Jewish public opinion, released today without any warning to unsuspecting Jewish newspaper editors. We've posted a JTA story on the release here.

But one number jumped out at me. When asked about President Barack Obama's handling of U.S.-Israel relations, 55 percent approved, 37 percent disapproved.

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