Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Frank Lautenberg, Last Of An Era

The last U.S. senator of the Greatest Generation and the oldest member of the U.S. Congress died earlier today after a long illness.  Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) was 89.

He was something of an anomaly in the Senate, a wealthy and highly successful businessman who was an outspoken pro-government liberal.

In Parting Shot, Bachmann Raps Obama On Israel

 

In a video announcing her plans to leave Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann cited her criticisms of the Obama administration’s Israel policies as among her accomplishments.

“I pointed out this administration’s despicable treatment toward our great friend and ally Israel, and at the same time giving little more than lip service to the ever increasing and dangerous nuclear threat of Iran,” Bachmann said in a video posted Wednesday on her election website.

J Street Using Adelson To Raise Money

J Street and Sheldon Adelson are polar opposites when it comes to Middle East peace, and the leftist pro-Israel lobby group would like to ride that difference to the bank.

The casino mogul spent tens of millions of his own dollars last year in a failed effort to defeat Barack Obama and other Democrats who want to see the United States do more to help Israel and the Palestinians make peace.  

Adelson makes no secret of his hostility toward Palestinians, and J Street wants to turn the right wing billionaire's words on him to help it raise money.

Convicted Felon Leads ‘Extortionist’ Party

The restrictive and disproportionate influence of Israel's ultra-religious establishment on the government and a broad swath of daily life of ordinary Israelis is a leading reason why American Jews no longer feel the strong connection to Israel they once did.  Also contributing to the drift is the corruption in the nation's largest religious political and the open disdain many of the haredim have for Diaspora Jews who don't share their extremist beliefs.

Ira Forman Named Envoy To Combat Anti-Semitism

Secretary of State John Kerry today named veteran Jewish political operative Ira N. Forman to be the administration's Special Envoy and head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.

He brings to the job nearly 40 years of experience working at the intersection of the Jewish community and the political world, winning bipartisan respect. He served as the Jewish Outreach Director for President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.

Repealing Obamacare: Obama 37, Republicans 0

House Republicans made their 37th attempt to repeal Obamacare last Thursday and for the 37th straight time failed.  Actually it passed the Republican-controlled House but it is DOA at the Democrat-controlled Senate, and everyone knew that.  So why try?  

Republicans make no secret that it's easier to keep up these meaningless votes that risk passing legislation that President Obama might claim as an achievement, even if they get to share the credit.

GOP Tries To Repeal Obamacare 37th Time…And Counting

House Republicans intend to make their 2,917th futile attempt to repeal Obamacare this week. Why try again when they know it will ultimately fail like all the other attempts?  Speaker John Boehner has a unique excuse: he said the new members of the 113th Congress haven't had a chance to vote on it yet. 

UN As In UN-believable

Iran named to chair UN Conference on Disarmament. 

Israelis Want Peace Talks But Are Pessimistic

At the White House this afternoon, President Barack Obama updated British Prime Minister David Cameron on Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the peace table.

By a bit better than 2:1 margin, Israelis would like to see that happen, but only one in three think those talks would produce peace, and in fact most doubt they'll even get started.

Why Obama's Popularity Is Rising In Israel

Remember when President Obama's approval rating among Israelis was in the single digits?  That was August 2009 when it bottomed at 4%. A lot has changed since then, and a Pew Research Center survey released this week showed Obama "enjoys the confidence of 61% of Israelis." Among Israeli Jews, 64% rate Obama favorably vs. 48% of Arabs.

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