Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Specter’s bombshell

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 You can’t blame Jewish Democrats for being jubilant; not only has Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection to their side of the aisle dealt a major blow to Republican efforts to slow down President Obama’s legislative agenda, but it represented another symbolic swipe at a Republican PR effort that continues to insist the party is making big inroads with Jewish voters.

Reform leader, former Holocaust Museum official arrested in Darfur protest

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 When it comes to Darfur demonstrations, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is a recidivist. On Monday Saperstein was arrested in a protest at the Sudanese embassy just down the street from RAC headquarters, along with several members of Congress and a former official of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Update: Sabato on Obama’s Jewish vote

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 A recent Political Insider item on University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato’s new book, “The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House,” produced a flurry of email. Why, readers asked, does Sabato put the Jewish vote for Obama at 83 percent while earlier newspaper accounts had it at 78 percent?

Hate crimes bill: could 2009 be the year?

Monday, April 27th, 2009 You have to give this to major Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League: they’re persistent.  A bunch of them have been lobbying for a major new hate crimes bill for more than a decade, and even though it has passed numerous votes in both Houses of Congress the measure never quite makes it into law.

Minnesota voters to Coleman: Give it up, Norm

Monday, April 27th, 2009 Periodically during his six-month battle to win a Minnesota Senate race a recount showed he lost by 312 votes, former Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, has suggested voters should just do the whole thing over again.

Election 2008: Jews part of dramatic political realignment

Sunday, April 26th, 2009 University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, possibly the most quoted political scientist on Planet Earth and maybe beyond,  has published a new book on the 2008 election, which he sees as one of a rare species:  transformational elections that change the landscape of American politics for years to come.

Jewish silence in the face of torture

Friday, April 24th, 2009 I know I’m sounding like a broken record on this, but where is the Jewish outrage  over the sanctioned use of torture — “harsh interrogation techniques” is the favored term in the media – by U.S. intelligence and military forces in the war on terror?

Jewish groups mostly AWOL in defending Napolitano

Friday, April 24th, 2009 James Besser in Washington I’m sort of wondering why so many Jewish groups have been AWOL as the Obama administration defends itself from furious attacks from conservatives upset because the Department of Homeland Security is worried about far-right extremism, along with extremism from other segments.

Will Bibi “Iran first” policy trigger clash with Obama administration?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 James Besser in Washington Pro-Israel leaders were working hard this week to spin the story that there’s no real likelihood of a clash between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is still formulating his new government’s approach to peace process issues.

Are the feds getting ready to drop the case against two former AIPACers?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 James Besser in Washington In a week that also saw startling allegations about a prominent Jewish congresswoman who may have offered to intervene to help the defendants, federal prosecutors are considering dropping the cases of two former AIPAC officials facing trial in a controversial Espionage Act case,  according to a Washington Post report.
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