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My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

by: Publisher

Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 23:34:35 PM EDT

Editor's Note: This "Republican Haggadah" first appeared in the Huffington Post in 2012. However, except for the references to the 2012 Presidential election the humor is timeless. Enjoy!

— by Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today's sect is known as "Jewish Republicans," few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they've got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

More after the jump.

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If Only Anne Frank Had Been Packing A Luger

by: Publisher

Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 16:23:23 PM EDT

Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher (R-OH) campaign video offensively blames Holocaust on gun control.


— by David A. Harris

Using the memories of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to make a political point is never appropriate, under any circumstances. For Ohio Republican House candidate Samuel Wurzelbacher to imply that these innocent lives were taken because of gun control laws is simply beyond the pale. Wurzelbacher — who is just the latest in a long line of Republicans who seem to think it is acceptable to use the Holocaust for political gain-must apologize and remove this offensive video immediately."

With this video, Wurzelbacher joins the ranks of other Republicans such as presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Scott (R-FL), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Representatives Allen West (R-FL), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Trent Franks (R-AZ), WV Senate candidate John Raese and FL House candidate Adam Hasner who have shamefully abused the Holocaust to make political points.

Hunter Walker of the New York Observer reported today:

Samuel 'Joe The Plumber' Wurzelbacher, the 2008 campaign microcelebrity and Ohio congressional candidate, has an interesting theory about the Holocaust. Yesterday, Mr. Wurzelbacher released a campaign web video in which he blamed the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide on gun control laws.

'In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917 one-point-five million Armenians, unable to defend themselves were exterminated,' Mr. Wurzelbacher says in the clip. 'In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.'

Mr. Wurzelbacher's video features footage of him on a shooting rage blasting fruits and vegetables with a shotgun. As the clip draws to a close, Mr. Wurzelbacher, gun in hand, proclaims, 'I love America.'

The description of the video describes gun ownership as 'our last line of defense' from tyranny and poses a rather existential question about Mr. Wurzelbacher's produce shooting hobby.

'If you hunt or just like shooting guns, the 2nd Amendment will always be a good thing. History also tells us it's our last line of defense in the face of an out-of-control government,' the description says. 'And killing fruits and vegetables is... what?'

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And They're Off: First Ads of the General Election

by: Publisher

Wed May 02, 2012 at 22:16:58 PM EDT

Forward

Swiss Bank Account: It's just what you'd expect from a guy who had a Swiss bank account.

Today, Newt Gingrich officially suspended his campaign leaving the field clear for the two presumptive nominees Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to focus all of their attention on each other, and that they did!

The Obama camp preempted any potential Gingrich endorsement with a biting web video entitled "Newt Gingrich: Frankly, not Mitt Romney's Biggest Supporter" (see below). Yesterday, they release a video celebrating the anniversary Osama bin Laden's death. Now they have a video celebrating the fact that GM is still alive.

The Obama campaign responded to a salvo from the Romney campaign with their first TV commercial of the season. The ad entitled "Swiss Bank Account" is being shown in Virginia, Ohio and Iowa. The campaign also released an infographic to go along with that highlighting Mitt Romney's assets secreted around the globe.

Mitt Romney has invested his money around the world, from the Cayman Islands to Ireland to Australia. We don't know if he's using these accounts to avoid paying his fair share in taxes, but we do know that in 2010, Romney's tax rate was a startlingly low 13.9%. This means Romney pays a lower tax rate than many teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other middle-class Americans-even a lower rate than most other millionaires.

Infographic and web video follow the jump.
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John Raise (R-WV) Smoking Restrictions Like Holocaust

by: Publisher

Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:01:11 AM EDT

Last week West Virginia Republican Senate Candidate John Raese made an insensitive comparison between the Holocaust and smoking restrictions:
I don't want government telling me what I can do and what I can't do because I'm an American. But in Monongalia County you can't smoke a cigarette, you can't smoke a cigar, you can't do anything. And I oppose that because I believe in everybody's individual freedoms and everybody's individual rights to do what they want to do and I'm a conservative and that's the way that goes.

But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County.  Ok?

Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody's lapel, remember that? Same thing.


Yesterday — which was Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 19, 2012 — Raise doubled down defending his obscene remarks:
No, this is not a standard line, nor a misstatement. It is a loss of freedom. As Ronald Reagan once said, there is no such thing as partial freedom, there is only freedom.

NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris commented:
Comparing smoking restrictions to the Holocaust is never acceptable on any day of the year. But for West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese to apparently defend those comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day takes the insensitivity and callousness of his remarks to the next level. Raese-who is just the latest Republican to use this type of inappropriate rhetoric-must apologize immediately and quit defending his offensive remarks.
 
With this remark, Raese joins the ranks of other Republicans such as who have shamefully abused the Holocaust to make political points.
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Breaking News: Santorum Wins Big In Louisiana

by: Publisher

Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 00:21:23 AM EDT

Rick Santorum wins with 49.1% of the Louisiana vote winning every parish save one. Mitt Romney comes a distant second with 26.6% of the vote. Newt Gingrich scores a disappointing 15.9% of the vote, and fails to collect any delegates. Newt vows to continue his campaign despite running out of Southern states that look as favorable as Louisiana perhaps ought to have been for him. Finally, Ron Paul brings up the rear with 6.1%.
 
Color Key  
Romney: Orange.
Santorum: Green.
Gingrich: Purple.
Paul: Gold.
Rick Perry: Blue.
No Votes: Black.
No vote yet: Grey.
States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP AS HI PR IL
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND KS AL MS LA
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI

Next Contests  
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT
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Another Off-Shore Victory For The Off-Shore Banker

by: Publisher

Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 21:15:53 PM EDT

Missouri
This Saturday, Republicans voted again in Missouri's caucus. The Republicans already had a primary there on February 7 and Santorum won every county across the state. Most Caucuses feature two events. A Presidential preference vote where people select the candidate of their choice, and a second vote in which each voters select one of their neighbors to represent them at the County level. The first vote is the vote which everyone talks about on TV, but it is the second vote that actually counts. Everything boils down to delegates. The networks guess the delegate counts will be similar to the Presidential preference vote, but that is unclear. It depends on whose supporters actually stay to the end of the meeting  for that final vote, and it depends on how the county convention goes one or two months later.

Missouri is unique in that the Presidential preference vote did not occur yesterday on caucus night but occurred rather last month. Romney belittled Santorum's victory at that time saying that no delegates were at stake, but the contest yesterday was impossible for the major networks to clearly report on, so they basically ignored it.

Missouri allows each county to set its own rules. The resulting confusion led to turmoil at several sites. In St. Charles County, the caucus was cancelled and a Ron Paul supporter was arrested amid disputes over the rules. See video above.

The moral is that estimating delegate counts is premature before the dust settles and the county and district conventions play out.

Puerto Rico
Today, Romney scored an impressive victory in Puerto Rico hitting the 50% threshold necessary to lock up all 20 delegates for himself. (Puerto Rico and some states have a rule whereby you win all of the delegates if you get a majority of the votes. If no one gets a majority of the vote, then the delegates are divided proportionately among those who get at least 15%. Thus it is a big deal if you hit 50%.)

Santorum had announced that he favored statehood for Puerto Rico only if it made English its sole official language. However, 95% of Puerto-Ricans speak Spanish at home, so this was not a popular stand for Rick Santorum to take. See our Q&A for more information on the voting in the various US Territories.

Debates
A debate was originally scheduled for tomorrow evening. However, Romney withdrew and the debate was cancelled. No more debates are currently on the primary calendar.

Illinois
Oddsmakers at inTrade give Romney a 92% chance of winning this Tuesday in the Illinois primary. This would probably be his first victory in the continental United States since Super Tuesday.

The Romney campaign had been challenging Santorum signature petitions in several Illinois counties. BuzzFeed reported that the Romney campaign dropped these challenges. It was not immediately clear why they called off their lawyers, but now Politico reports that Santorum had countered that Romney's signature petitions were all notarized in Boston while Illinois law requires that they be notarized in Illinois. Continuing the legal battles may have invalidated Romney's candidacy throughout Illinois, so the two campaigns called a legal truce.

Louisiana
Then this Saturday is the Louisiana primary. InTrade gives Santorum a 79% chances of winning there.
 Other Key Dates
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key  
Romney: Orange.
Santorum: Green.
Gingrich: Purple.
Paul: Gold.
Rick Perry: Blue.
No votes: Black.
Yet to vote: Grey.


States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP AS HI PR
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND KS AL MS
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI

Next Contests  
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT
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Deep South Votes: Santorum Wins, Gingrich Places, Romney Shows

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 14:22:16 PM EDT

Today, Republicans voted in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa.

  • Santorum won the Alabama primary with 34.5%, Gingrich came second with 29.3%, just ahead of Romney with 29.0%, and Paul scored 5.0%.
  • Santorum won the Mississippi primary with 32.9%, Gingrich 31.3%, Romney 30.3%, and Paul 4.4%.
  • Romney won the Hawaii caucus with 45.4%. Santorum came with 25.3%. Paul was third with 18.3% winning the largest island while Romney won the smaller islands.
  • No vote totals are available from the US Territory of American Samoa, but Romney is projected to win all 9 delegates.
    Update: Only 70 Republicans participating in the caucus since "it's rare in American Samoa for anyone to officially register as a Republican or Democrat because local elected officials don't run on party lines." This means that 13% of caucus goers in American Samoa will be eligible to vote at the Republican National Convention!
Speculation is increasing that Newt Gingrich may drop out of the race. He will probably suspend his campaign and keep his pledged delegates in order to give himself an important role at the Republican National Convention.
  • This Saturday, Republicans will vote again in Missouri's caucus. The Republicans already had a primary there on February 7 and Santorum won every county across the state. No delegates were awarded in the primary, but Santorum hopes to repeat his success in the Missouri caucus.
  • On Sunday, Puerto Rico will be the final US Territory to vote.
  • This is quickly followed by the Illinois primary on Tuesday. Oddsmakers at inTrade give Romney a 71% to 75% chance of winning in Illinois. This would probably be his first victory in the continental United States since Super Tuesday.
  • Then the following Saturday is the Louisiana primary. InTrade gives Santorum a 72% to 85% chances of winning there.
     Other Key Dates
    • Cancelled PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
    • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
    • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
    • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
    • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
    • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
    • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
    • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

    Color Key  
    Romney: Orange
    Santorum: Green
    Gingrich: Purple
    Paul: Gold
    Rick Perry: Blue
    Not voted: Grey
    States Won
    Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP AS HI
    Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO-primary TN OK ND KS AL MS
    Newt Gingrich: SC GA
    Ron Paul: VI

    Next Contests  
    Mar 17: MO-caucus
    Mar 18: PR
    Mar 20: IL
    Mar 24: LA
    Apr  3: MD DC WI  
    Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
    May  8: IN NC WV
    May 15: NE OR
    May 22: AR KY
    May 29: TX
    Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
    Jun 26: UT
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For Sleeper Candidate The End May Be Near After All

by: Publisher

Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 17:52:00 PM EST


According to the odds makers at inTrade, Speaker Newt Gingrich is more likely than not to be the next Republican candidate to drop out.

It seems not too long ago that Gingrich was viewed (at least by himself) as the inevitable nominee:

Jake Tapper interview of Newt Gingrich, Dec. 1, 2011
Tapper: You are going to be the nominee?
Gingrich: I'm going to be the nominee. It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.
What caused this change of fortunes? Why does it look now like Newt Gingrich may suspend his campaign.
  • Georgia: Before Super Tuesday, Newt Gingrich said winning his home state of Georgia would be critical to continuing his campaign as a serious candidate. On Tuesday, he bettered his opponents, but failed to secure a majority. According to Eric Ostermeier, Gingrich's anemic result (47% of the vote) "ties John McCain for the second lowest home state tally for a major GOP presidential candidate since 1972, besting only Pat Robertson." As our readers will recall, neither McCain nor Robertson went on to be elected President.
  • Kansas: Unlike Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Gingrich cannot call Kansas his home. Kansas will be voting this Saturday (along with 3 US Territories) and Gingrich had hoped to contest this state and planned an extensive campaign schedule accordingly. However, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported yesterday that Gingrich has cancelled all of his appearances in that state. He no longer had a realistic chance of prevailing in Kansas and decided to bet all the marbles on Alabama and Mississippi who vote this coming Tuesday March 12. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Gingrich's abrupt switch of travel plans reflected the grim political map that he faces in the weeks ahead."
  • video platform video management video solutions video player
    Alabama and Mississippi: The Gingrich campaign told the Wall Street Journal that they must win Alabama and Mississippi in order to remain viable. However, it is not clear that Gingrich can win Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday even if he concentrates all of his efforts on these two states. Rick Santorum's Super PAC is hotly contesting these two states. According to Alabama State University's new poll, Rick Santorum has a substantial lead with 23% of the vote, Mitt Romney is second with 19%, and Newt Gingrich is a distant third with 14%. According to the odds makers at inTrade, Gingrich has only a 15% chance of winning Alabama and a 23% chance of winning Mississippi.
  • AIPAC and Super Tuesday: The Alabama State University poll was taken before Super Tuesday, so it might be understating Santorum's margin of victory. Gingrich's results on Super Tuesday were less than inspiring, and his appearance that day at the AIPAC meeting was best described as confused. He fell asleep while waiting for his satellite feed to be connected, and seemed unaware that he was expected to have prepared remarks (just like the earlier remarks by Santorum and Romney).
  • Key: Gingrich purple, Santorum green, Romney orange, Paul yellow, Perry blueThe South: Even if Gingrich's bet pays off and somehow he wins in Alabama or Mississippi by concentrating on those states, he has really defined himself as a regional candidate and there aren't that many states left to vote in that area, so the road forward is unclear.
  • Delegate Count: Key to the nomination are the delegates to the Republican National Convention. Newt Gingrich trails far behind Mitt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. He will probably get a few more delegates in the South but not enough to get a majority of the delegates. His only hope at the convention would be if no one candidate had a majority of the delegates, allowing Gingrich to play the role of a king-maker or a spoiler. However, by continuing in the race, Gingrich splits the anti-Romney vote in winner-take-all states like New Jersey. This increases the chances that Romney will be able to reach the critical threshold of 1,144 delegates making Gingrich's delegates meaningless. Nate Silver's mathematical analysis indicates that Santorum could gain 11 times more than Romney without Gingrich in the race.

I expect that Gingrich will stay in the race until Tuesday's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi (or perhaps the March 24 primary in Louisiana) and end his campaign on the high note. Officially, his campaign would be "suspended" so his delegates to date would still be bound to him and give him an important role in case of a brokered Republican National Convention.
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Super Tuesday Results

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 20:05:28 PM EST

( - promoted by Publisher)

  • Romney crushes the opposition in his home state of Massachusetts with 72% of the vote.
  • Romney wins in nearby Vermont with 40% of the vote.
  • In Virginia, only Romney and Paul were on the ballot. Romney wins 60% to 40%.
  • Romney won big with 62% of the vote in Idaho thanks in part to its large Mormon population.
  • Romney also wins in the Alaska caucus. In Wasilla, Palin refused to say who she voted for, but said she would be available in case of a brokered convention.
  • CNN is now calling Ohio . Romney squeaks by Santorum 453,927 to 441,908.
  • Rick Santorum shows a solid hold of the center of the country with wins in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  • Gingrich wins his home state of Georgia.
  • Over the next week, there will be elections in four states and four territories. Santorum is favored in the Kansas Caucus this Saturday. On Tuesday, Gingrich has a good chance to win the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. Intrade favors Romney to win the Hawaii Caucus. I have not yet seen any polling for  the caucuses in US territories: Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas Islands.
 Other Key Dates
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key
Rick Santorum: Dark green
Mitt Romney: Orange
Newt Gingrich: Purple
Ron Paul: Gold
Rick Perry: Dark blue
Not yet voted: Grey
States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Next Contests
Mar 10: KS VI GU MP
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT
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You Snooze You Lose: Gingrich Caught Napping At AIPAC Conference

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 16:45:56 PM EST


To the right is the official video from CSPAN of Speaker Newt Gingrich's remarks at AIPAC 2012.

Taegan Goddard gives the backstory which helps us understand this disconnected speech.  

Just before he was set to talk live via satellite to the AIPAC conference, Newt Gingrich was caught on video nodding off.

He woke up just as they went live and said, "I understand you have a panel. I look forward to any questions."

After 12 seconds of silence he was told there was no panel and began an improvised speech.


Obviously candidates have an exhausting schedule on Super Tuesday, but they should have handlers who prepare them properly to speak to a conference with 14,000 participants.

The satellite feed showing Gingrich napping can be found after the jump.

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The Final Day At AIPAC

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59:15 PM EST


Today is the final day of the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. Defense Sec. Leon Panetta and three of the four top GOP candidates addressed the conference's 13,000 supporters. Presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (right) appeared in person while Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared via satellite.

Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American's Ambassador to the United Nations made remarks to the group and addressed the current state of the Israel and Iran.

On Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres and US President Barack Obama addressed the conference hall. Obama said his policy toward Iran is not one of containment but of preventing the nation from developing a nuclear weapon.  He also defended his policies toward Israel and stated the U.S. commitment to preserve Israel's security.

In a side conversation, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met Monday morning to discuss the status of the U.S.-Israel alliance.  The president reiterated that the U.S. did not want the possibility of nuclear weapons "falling into terrorist's hands" and said there is a still a window that allows some negotiation. Pres. Obama also said he continues to reserve all options in dealing with Iran.

Other speakers included:

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AIPAC Conference Day 2: Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Lieberman

by: Publisher

Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:24:25 AM EST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senator Joe Lieberman deliver remarks to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee at the second day of its annual conference at the Washington Convention Center.

Live video is available via CSPAN:

Tomorrow's speakers include Presidential Candidates Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice will provide links and embedded video as they become available.

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Romney wins Wyoming caucus. Washington votes this Shabbos.

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 21:03:02 PM EST

  • TPM: "Last night, after weeks of voting, the Wyoming caucuses drew to a close. Mitt Romney won them with 39% of the vote to Rick Santorum's 33%. Ron Paul won 20% and Newt Gingrich 8%. In terms of delegate allocation, CNN estimates that Romney will likely take 10, Santorum 9, Paul 6 and Gingrich 1."
    See Wyoming Capital Journal for the details the next steps of delegate selection.
    Over 10% of Wyomans are Mormon. Only Idaho and Utah have higher percentages. Mormons have historically favored Mitt Romney who is a Mormon elder. (See map after the jump.)
  • Republican's in the State of Washington will hold their caucus this coming Shabbat. The oddmakers give Romney a slight advantage over Santorum.
  • Next week is "Super Tuesday" with Primaries or Caucuses in 10 states.
    • Only Romney & Paul are on the ballot in Virginia and Massachusetts, so Romney is favored to win there as well as Vermont since it is so near Massachusetts and Idaho which is 27% Mormon, second only to Utah's 72%. (See map after the jump.)
    • Paul's best chances are in Alaska and North Dakota's caucuses.
    • Gingrich will likely pick up his home state of Georgia.
    • Santorum is strongest in the Midwest: Ohio, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
    The latest odds according to Intrade follow the jump.
 Other Key Dates
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • 1st Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • 2nd Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • 3rd Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3
Color Key
Santorum: Dark green
Romney: Orange
Gingrich: Purple
Paul: Gold
Perry: Dark blue
Not yet voted: Grey  


States Won
Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY
Santorum: IA CO MN MO
Gingrich: SC  

 
Next Contests
Mar  3: WA
Mar  6: Super Tuesday  AK GA ID MA ND OH OK TN VT VA
Mar 10: KS VI GU
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX confirmed
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD Jun 26: UT
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Obama Dings Romney For His Opposition To Auto Bailout

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 17:45:55 PM EST


Remarks by President Obama to UAW Conference, Washington, DC, February 28, 2012

President Barack Obama: It is always an honor to spend time with folks who represent the working men and women of America.  (Applause.)  It's unions like yours that fought for jobs and opportunity for generations of American workers.  It's unions like yours that helped build the arsenal of democracy that defeated fascism and won World War II.  It's unions like yours that forged the American middle class -- that great engine of prosperity, the greatest that the world has ever known.

Transcript continues after the jump.

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Romney Compaign: Why Poll When You Have Internet Gamblers?

by: Publisher

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 19:00:00 PM EST

Percentage chance of winning the Feb. 28, 2012 Michigan Republican primary according to gamblers at Intrade.
According Gary Wolfram at the Romney Campaign, the internet gambling site Intrade can give you a better feeling for the Michigan primary than polls of actual Michigan Republican voters. Since "InTrade's value as a prediction engine vs. scientific polling is debatable", let's look at both.

Romney was initially the heavy favorite to carry his "home state" of Michigan, but now betters at Intrade are not so sure. They now consider the state to be a toss-up.

Meanwhile, Nate Silver has studied the polling data for Michigan and gives Santorum at 76% chance of winning. Over the last two weeks, all polls have shown Senator Santorum to be in the lead.

Either way Romney has his work cut out for him in Michigan.

PollDateSample SizeSen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA)
MitchellFeb. 1445534%25%11%5%
Inside Michigan PoliticsFeb. 13-1480043%33%8%11%
RasmussenFeb. 1375035%32%13%11%
Glengariff GroupFeb. 11-1350034%30%9%12%
American Research GroupFeb. 11-1260033%27%12%21%
PPPFeb. 10-1240439%24%12%11%
MIRSFeb. 263815%31%15%16%
RasmussenFeb. 175017%38%14%23%

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CNN Cancels Super Tuesday Debate

by: Publisher

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 17:17:10 PM EST

CNN's press release:
Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate. However, next week, CNN and the Arizona Republican Party will host all four leading contenders for the GOP nomination. That debate will be held in Mesa, Arizona on February 22 and will be moderated by CNN's John King.

Meanwhile redistricting lawsuits will require the Texas caucus/primary to be rescheduled.

Primary results and the updated debate and primary schedule follow below the jump.

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Jon Stewart: The GOP War On Contraception

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM EST

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The Big Money Behind Romney And His Super-PAC

by: Publisher

Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 20:21:30 PM EST


Time Magazine has analyzed the Federal Election Commission filings for January to determine who has been contributing to the Super PAC's which have been dominating the Republican primaries:
The group supporting Mitt Romney, who swept Florida's primary on Tuesday, identified bankers, investors and prominent businessmen who together contributed more than $30 million last year. The group's three most generous donors gave $1 million each, or 400 times the amount they could legally give directly to Romney. All were hedge fund managers. The pro-Romney group Restore Our Future spent much of the money it raised on ads supporting the former Massachusetts governor or fiercely attacking his rivals... To be sure, the Romney-leaning super PAC isn't alone in its high-dollar contributions to support candidates. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave $10 million this month to the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future super PAC, making the couple by far the key backers to a group that had only raised $2 million through the end of December
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Florida Jews Say "Feh" To Republican Primary Candidates

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM EST

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times' 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012....

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight's Republican primary identified as Jewish. That's down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney's handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state's primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or 'other Christian.' 4% said 'something else.'

The Jewish Journal's Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that
'If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.'
The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish - that's not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

... I don't know how Tuesday's results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren't moved by the candidates, they aren't moved by the party, and they aren't moved by Obama's policies - not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.

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Mitt Romney and Ron Paul "Concerned" Over Nevada Kosher Caucus

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 17:23:34 PM EST

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational CampusWe recently broke the news about a special caucus being organized in Las Vegas, Nevada after sundown so that observant Jews could participate in Nevada's Republican Caucus.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, approximately 500 voters — most of whom are Jewish — are expected to attend the event, which will be held at a Jewish day school.

While there had been mixed reporting previously surrounding the campaign's reactions, the San Francisco Chronicle most recently reported that "officials in the campaigns of both former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul are privately expressing concern about the decision" to hold the Saturday night caucus that will enfranchise a large number of observant Jewish Republicans.

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Florida Jews Say "Feh" To Republican Primary Candidates

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 13:17:41 PM EST

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times' 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012....

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight's Republican primary identified as Jewish. That's down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney's handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state's primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or 'other Christian.' 4% said 'something else.'

The Jewish Journal's Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that
'If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.'
The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish - that's not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

... I don't know how Tuesday's results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren't moved by the candidates, they aren't moved by the party, and they aren't moved by Obama's policies - not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.

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Mah Nishtana: Observant Jews Can Now Vote In Nevada

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 00:00:00 AM EST

Why is the caucus at the Adelson Educational Campus different from all of the other caucus?

In all of Nevada's other caucuses, results must be reported by 1pm, but in this caucus, voting will be held in the evening.


This caucus's special hours will allow Sabbath-observant Jews to help select the Repubican Presidential Candidate.
Among the county's voters is casino and resort mogul Sheldon Adelson, who with his wife recently donated $10 million to a super PAC formed to help GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.

The caucus will be held at the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus, an Adelson-funded private [Jewish day] school in Las Vegas, according to Politico.

More than half the state's Republican voters live in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.

Some 500 Republican voters are expected to attend the additional caucus. An absentee balloting system is in place for Nevada caucuses, according to Politico.

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Romney Vetoed Kosher Food Funding for Jewish Nursing Homes

by: Publisher

Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:38:06 AM EST

— by David Streeter

The New York Post reported that Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) vetoed a bill that would have provided Jewish nursing homes in Massachusetts funding for kosher food. According to the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council, that funding would have respected Jewish seniors' "special dignity."

Mitt Romney is getting heat for a 2003 veto he cast as governor of Massachusetts to reject $600,000 in additional funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to get kosher meals.

At the time, Romney said he nixed the funding of about $5 per day because it "unnecessarily" would lead to an "increased rate for nursing facilities" — even as kosher nursing homes were complaining that state-funding-formula changes could force them to close their kitchens.

"I was outraged," Jeffrey Goldshine, the retired CEO of a company that operated a kosher facility in Massachusetts, told The Post yesterday. "For the elderly Jewish residents of a nursing home that have always been kosher — they should be entitled to continue."

The Massachusetts Legislature approved an amendment to restore the $600,000 to finance the kosher meals allowing a "most vulnerable segment of our population" to "enjoy a special dignity," according to the Jewish Community Council.


More after the jump.
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Deja Vu: Massachusetts Governors Mitt Romney & John Kerry

by: Publisher

Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:25:46 AM EST


Gingrich's ad "The French Connection" points out linguistic and policy similarities between Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Now that Romney has given us a glimpse of his taxes we see yet another similarity, "both ended up paying Buffett-rule-esque rates... despite incomes that put both of them squarely in the top percent of earners." This financial advantage is easily seen on the airwaves in Florida where Romney is outspending Gingrich by 5 to 1.

According to AP, if you "add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you're in Romney territory."

Romney is currently trailing in the polls. However, speculation is flying that Rick Santorum might suspend his campaign to attend to his daughter Bella's pneumonia, or drop out entirely if as expected he performs poorly in Florida tomorrow. Having been endorsed by former candidate Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich said, "I think that the election will be substantially closer than the two polls that came out this morning. When you add the two conservatives together we clearly beat Romney. I think Romney's got a very real challenge trying to get a majority at the convention."

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The Deja Vu Primary

by: Publisher

Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 07:23:55 AM EST

Slate's David Weigel draws some interesting parallels between this Republican primary and the last one:
"I'm thinking of a Republican primary. It starts with a candidate (John McCain/Mitt Romney) who ran once before, came in second place, and won over the party's elite class without winning over its base. Other candidates, understandably unwilling to accept this, line up: An under-funded social conservative (Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum), an elder statesman who's walked to the altar three times (Rudy Giuliani/Newt Gingrich), a libertarian who wants to bring back the gold standard (Ron Paul/Ron Paul). The conservative base is displeased. In the year before the primary, it pines for a perfect candidate. At the end of summer, on (September 5/August 13), it gets him: (Fred Thompson/Rick Perry). The dream candidate immediately rises to the top of national polls, but collapses after lazy, distaff debate performances... The Republican base looks at the wreckage and shudders. It can never allow this to happen ever again."

However despite the parallels Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is now singing a different tune about Mitt Romney's leadership at Bain Capital:
"These attacks on, quote, Bain Capital is really kind of anathema to everything that we believe in."
— McCain on CBS News, January 12, 2012, about attacks on Mitt Romney's track record in business.

"As head of his investment company he presided over the acquisition of companies that laid off thousands of workers."
— McCain in the New York Times, January 28, 2008, taking a different view.
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King of Bain - Full-length Video on Romney Job Cremator

by: Publisher

Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 22:19:48 PM EST

The pro-Gingrich super PAC "Winning The Future" began airing TV and radio ads today including the video on the right attacking Mitt Romney for his career in the private equity world.

Video by the Gingrich camp comparing Gov. Romney (R-MA) and Sen. Kerry (D-MA) follows the jump.

(Spoiler alert: Ils parlent francais tous les deux.)

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Newt Gingrich Presents The Best of Mitt Romney

by: Publisher

Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 09:39:20 AM EST


  1. "I'm also unemployed" June 16, 2011
  2. "Corporations are people, my friend" August 11, 2011
  3. "I'm running for office for Pete's sake, we can't have illegals" October 18, 2011
  4. "I'll tell you what, ten-thousand bucks? $10,000 bet?" December 10, 2011
  5. "I like being able to fire people" January 9, 2012
  6. "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip" January 8, 2012
  7. "It's for the great middle class - the 80 to 90 percent of us in this country" September 21, 2011
  8. "I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will." April 5, 2007
  9. "Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom." October 17, 2011
  10. "Who let the dogs out? Who, who" January 21, 2008
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Mitt Romney Feels The Heat in New Hampshire Debate Marathon

by: Publisher

Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 09:33:48 AM EST


If you missed last night's ABC debate, here is a round up courtesy of TPM."


And here is today's NBC debate in 100 seconds.


Last night the Republicans faced off for a 2-hour debate on ABC, and this morning is round 2 as they debate on NBC. Mitt Romney, the putative winner in Iowa and the projected winner of New Hampshire, is feeling the heat as he is being attacked from all side as the Suffolk University tracking poll shows  his support dropping for the fourth day in a row.
"Taking two positions on every issue, one on the left and one of the right, doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you a charlatan."
— David Axelrod, in a conference call with reporters.

According to the Huffington Post, Romney's first event in New Hampshire after the Iowa Caucus "offered a rude awakening":

Three of the first four questioners were openly hostile to Romney, although one of them was an Occupy Manchester activist. And even the endorsement and appearance of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) failed to arouse much of a reaction from the Granite Staters in attendance... the tone of the event was a sharp break from the joyful mood that had accompanied the former Massachusetts governor onto a charter plane from Iowa earlier that morning, along with a swarm of press befitting a presidential frontrunner.

Romney's Fast Shuffle on Tax Figures

FactCheck: In the post-debate analysis, the Annenberg Public Policy Center found Romney mangled facts in Manchester.

Romney, talking about taxes, said federal, state and local government consume 37% of the economy today compared with only 27% when John F. Kennedy was president. In fact, taxes now consume only 27.4% of GDP.

The Urban-Brooking Tax Policy Center has analyzed Mitt Romney's tax plan. They "found that the plan constitutes a major tax cut for wealthy Americans. But compared to today's rates, Romney proposes effective tax increases for people making less than $40,000."

Meanwhile as April 15 approaches, Romney continues to refuse to make his tax returns public as is traditional for Presidential Candidates. Brian Beutler exposes Romney's motivation for doing so:

One tax expert told TPM of "fairly sophisticated tax strategies" that would be "not available to ordinary tax payers." A technique that puts you in a position that's "like having an unlimited 401k account" sounds very attractive. But maybe not if you're running for office, for Pete's sake.

When Romney jokes that he's been unemployed for years, he's obscuring the fact that he's still collecting millions of dollars of investment income, which is taxed at a much lower rate than it would be if he, like most taxpayers, took home a regular paycheck. He's also obscuring the fact a great deal of that same income is only vaguely connected to his own underlying investments, and yet benefits from a key loophole in the tax code that allows him and other wealthy finance veterans to more than halve their effective tax rate.



Romney's Dubious Jobs Claim, Again

"Mitt Romney, I think, is more of a job cremator than a job creator."
— DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

FactCheck continued its analysis of Romney's job creation claims:

Romney repeated the claim that he created over 100,000 jobs through his work at the private equity firm Bain Capital. That's an unproven and questionable claim, as we wrote earlier this week.

Romney said that 100,000 jobs was a "net-net" figure that included jobs gained and lost at more than 100 businesses in which Bain invested. When moderator George Stephanopoulos questioned that, saying analysts had said Romney hadn't subtracted jobs lost, Romney responded, "no, it's not accurate." He said he was "a good enough numbers guy to make sure I got both sides of that." But this week, the Romney campaign sent us as support for the claim a thin list of jobs gained at just three companies: Staples, The Sports Authority and Domino's. No other companies were included in the list, and no jobs lost were mentioned, either. We have asked the campaign again for the detailed count that Romney said exists.


A former employee of Mitt Romney

Trailer for documentary by pro-Gingrich PAC

Romney: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

As for the three companies the campaign has cited, it's true that they have added more than 100,000 jobs since Bain invested in them. But does Romney deserve credit for all of those jobs? He admitted at the debate tonight that the total includes jobs up until the present day, long after Bain's initial involvement, and that other firms had invested in them as well. As we reported earlier, The Sports Authority was started with help from Bain, William Blair Venture Partners, Phillips-Smith and Marquette Venture Partners. William Blair and Bessemer Venture Partners invested in Staples. And both companies, of course, had founders and CEOs spearheading their launches.

Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom: Romney's claimed 100,000 job figure was undercut by his own campaign as his spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler that these were gross job creations, and not net numbers which would have to include the people Romney laid off:

Fehrnstrom says the 100,000 figure stems from the growth in jobs from three companies that Romney helped to start or grow while at Bain Capital:
  • Staples (a gain of 89,000 jobs),
  • The Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), and
  • Domino's (7,900 jobs).

This tally obviously does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain. (Indeed, Romney made his comments in response to a former employee of American Pad & Paper Co. who says he lost his job after Bain Capital took it private.)


Contradictions about ads produced by pro-Romney PAC after the jump.
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Ed Koch Likes Romney & Gingrich, But He Will Vote For Obama

by: Publisher

Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 19:20:19 PM EST


— by Alan Oirich

In an exclusive interview on Shalom TV, one of the nation's leading Democrats has some kind words for two of the candidates vying for the Republican party's presidential nomination, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

When asked by Shalom TV President Mark S. Golub who among the current Republican candidates would be best for America and for Israel, the former New York City Mayor groups the two front runners together, saying:

I believe that both Romney and Gingrich--one of which will be the Republican candidate--are both able. I'm not voting for either of them; I am voting for Obama; but they're both able; they are fine Americans (I mean, they have a philosophy which is not mine); but they will do what they think is in the best interest of America--and they are also both very supportive of Israel.

Mr. Koch also described how after the Turner victory, the President reached out to him. In a private meeting in New York City, after the President gave what Mr. Koch calls a "magnificent" pro-Israel speech at the United Nations, Mr. Obama told the former Mayor that he didn't understand why the Jewish community is upset with him given how very supportive of Israel he is. Mr. Koch explained to the President that he would not have been so upset with Mr. Obama if, when the President had placed demands on Israel, he had also made demands of Hamas. Koch reports the President's responding, "Didn't I?"

After the half hour meeting, Mr. Koch was convinced that Mr. Obama believes he is a friend of Israel and now supports Mr. Obama's re-election campaign because of the President's strong stand in opposition to Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and because the President has been praised by Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, for being one of the most supportive of all U.S. presidents when it comes to supplying military aid.

Full interview follows the jump.

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Governments Big and Small

by: DocJess

Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 06:36:58 AM EST

Reprinted from Democratic Convention Watch.

The 2012 elections in the US are about three things that our elections usually are not about:

  1. How much hatred does the wacko right have for President Obama and how much of that hatred is strict, unadorned racism?
  2. Does the electorate want a country of the people, by the people and for the people, or a corporate state akin to an old time company town?
  3. Does the country want a union of 50 states, or does it want a bunch of independent states which share little more than geography?

Read those questions again. Think about how different they are from the "normal" issues of major elections. More often elections are about issues that affect the nation, not about what the nation should be. Think about them through the prism of what the EU is currently experiencing, and ask yourself what defines a country? What defines a union of countries?

Throw in the the mix the issues raised and answered by Marbury v Madison in 1803.

Ready?

More after the jump.

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