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Don't ask, don't tell, don't do anything at all in the Senate

Just in case you need more evidence of the paralysis gripping Capitol Hill, consider yesterday's successful effort by Senate Republicans to block debate on legislation repealing the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy on gay soldiers.

And the threatened filibuster wasn't even on a vote on the bill itself; instead, GOP lawmakers effectively prevented it from even being discussed.

Kate Gosselin's Post Divorce Bod: Skinny and Suffering?

If you’re in the States, like I am now, you have to be dead not to notice all the headlines about Kate Gosselin’s new body.

What abs of steel! What perky breasts! More importantly: Did she or didn’t she have botox?

If you’re scratching your head right about now, which can only mean that you’re a little bit dead, then allow me: Kate Gosselin is the former co-star of the reality show, Jon & Kate plus 8, about her eight children - sextuplets and twins.

Lulav Ltd.

As holidays go, Sukkot has its fair share of rituals. In addition to building the huts and eating in them, the prayer for dew, the ushpizin and of course the blessing of the four species, I’ve added one of my own.

My (Almost) Interview With Abbas

It’s not that unusual for a planned interview to fall through at the last minute.

The three things different about the one that got away from me this week, though, was that it was with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, I didn’t initiate it, and the contact came from a Jewish organization.

The idea was for Abbas, who was coming to New York this week for the UN General Assembly, to improve his image in the American Jewish community, according to Zvika Krieger, senior vice president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Mideast Peace, in Washington.

Pollard for a settlement moratorium? Don't count on it.

I was intrigued by this week's Internet buzz about reports talks are underway about a possible trade: convicted spy Jonathan Pollard for a three month extension of Israel's West Bank settlement moratorium. Mostly, I was intrigued because people actually believe this silliness.

The New york Times, citing an Israel reported on Monday that the idea was one of many floated by officials in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office, but some Internet news and blog sites immediately began churning out copy suggesting the “deal” was under serious consideration.

For The Sin Of Not Fasting

In going through my litany of shortcomings each Yom Kippur, it’s generally hard to avoid a biggie: my failure to fast.

Now, before you dash off a comment about how, after intermarriage, I’m the single greatest threat to Jewish continuity, let it be known that I do not completely neglect the rites of Judaism’s holiest day. I do go to synagogue all day and, while I am not a hard-core “not one morsel of food or even a drop of water for 25 hours” type, I’m also not one of those people who spends Yom Kippur gorging on bacon and lobster while I sneer condescendingly at the primitive folks who are so stupid and superstitious as to believe in God.

Does Franzen's "Freedom" Suck?

I do not know about you, but I've been riveted by the debates surrounding Jonathan Franzen's latest novel, "Freedom".  In the new issue of The Atlantic, B.R. Myers strikes a devasting blow against a book that has been otherwise roundly praised.

When Technology & Shabbat Collide, Give the Benefit of the Doubt

This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.

Still more bad news for Sen. Russ Feingold

The bad news keeps coming for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), the most liberal member of the Jewish delegation in the Senate.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, GOP challenger and political neophyte Ron Johnson now enjoys a seven point lead over the two-term incumbent less than two months from the November election.

Worrying About Another Kind Of 'Climate Control'

There is a great deal of talk about climate control these days, based on the deep concern that the earth’s atmosphere is heating up, with dire consequences predicted for future generations.

I share those worries, but have some more immediate ones as well. I’m thinking of the cultural environment, not just the natural environment.

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