Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

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.

Joshua Fattal and the perils of Internet journalism

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 I’m a huge fan of the Internet – in fact, it’s a large part of my job.  Obviously,  I’m a blogger, and regard blogging as an essential ingredient in the newspaper of tomorrow. But I’m also alarmed at how easily distortions and mistakes, reported as “news” by bloggers and disseminated to vast, worldwide audiences that uncritically accept their outpourings,  become indelible parts of the news background.

Huckabee heading to Israel - and embracing settlers (again)

Monday, August 10th, 2009 One sure sign a politician is laying the groundwork for a future presidential bid is a sudden yearning for Israel travel.  So it must be for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,  who will be visiting Israel next week.

Jewish groups react to Limbaugh - but ignore the bigger problem

Sunday, August 9th, 2009 Isn’t there something off key in the reaction of a growing number of Jewish leaders to talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s latest outrage?  Limbaugh, who has built a stellar career out of carefully orchestrated rage, apparently crossed a line when he likened Democratic health care reform advocates to Nazis and said President Obama has “a health care logo that’s right out of Adolf Hitler’s playbook.” Say what?  Do people actually believe this stuff?
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