Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is scoring points for grace with her witty comeback during confirmation hearings to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's oddly non-sequitur question "Where were you last Christmas?"
To her credit, the solicitor general defused the situation by saying she was likely eating at a Chinese restaurant, to which Graham answered "Great answer."
She has also had to contend with questions that stress her Upper West Side origins and her admiration of an Israeli jurist.
Earlier today I came across a listing for an upcoming reading in Bryant Park with the poet Wayne Koestenbaum. (July 6, 7 p.m. Free.) He's a local New York treasure--a CUNY Graduate Center English professor--and not in the least peevish about his Jewishness. "Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films" is the title of one of his better known collections.
Koestenbaum's poems tend toward the ribald and profane, both wickedly funny and equally smart. You can find some of the poems in "Jewish Porn" online, and one in particular, "John Wayne's Perfume," got me thinking about our timeless fascination with lists. Among poets, it's something of an in-house game to make list-poems, and "John Wayne's Pefume" certainly plays it well. Koestenbaum structures this particular list poem around seven stanzas, each three lines deep. The length of the lines within each stanza diminish as the list unfolds, giving the poem a comfortable rhythm.
The Jewish political world is buzzing ...well, it's a pretty quiet buzz, more like a murmur ... about the New Yorker profile of former Arkansas governor, Fox news commentator and 2012 GOP presidential Wannabee Mike Huckabee.
Email is like a cat. I don't know if it has nine lives, but people still use this form of communication even though it's been pronounced dead many times in recent years.
The general consensus among experts in online communication is that social media is killing the medium of email. Just as companies and organizations are getting pretty good at making their email newsletters look professional, it seems that more people are rendering email as the means of communication from a bygone era (sorry ConstantContact.com!).
It will be much harder for cites to regulate the firearms that are turning some neighborhoods into free-fire zones in the wake of Monday's Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. the City of Chicago, according to several Jewish groups.
In a 5-4 decision, the Justices ruled that the right to keep and bear arms can't be restricted by state and local governments, at least not easily.
The case zeros in on the nation's toughest laws, starting with Chicago, but could also affect gun restrictions in New York.
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) has died at the age of 92 in a Washington-area hospital.
Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who became a fierce advocate for West Virginia, one of the Senate's most liberal members and a vehement opponent of the Iraq war, was not among the 95 best friends of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. Senate.
But that didn't stop him from winning the respect of colleagues in both parties who recognized his unmatched understanding of the legislative process and his ability to reach out to political adversaries.