Political satirist Steven Colbert gets to "better know" Rep. Matt Cartwright (D PA-17). They discuss marriage equality, crayons, immigration and the powerful Bike Caucus. Cartwright represents Easton, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania).
Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham-Clinton released this message in support of the Human Rights Campaign's Americans for Marriage Equality series. Does this six-minute video set the tone for her expected 2016 Presidential campaign? It certainly feels that way.
— by Marc R. Stanley — Originally Published on JNS.org
Later this month, President Barack Obama will take his first presidential trip to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Obama's trip "will give me and the people of Israel the opportunity to express our appreciation for what he has done for Israel." To show Israel's gratitude for Obama's support, Israeli President Shimon Peres announced that he would present Obama with Israel's Medal of Distinction during a special ceremony in Israel.
Since taking office in 2009, Obama has made supporting Israel one of his highest priorities. From championing sanctions against Iran to providing Israel with expedited supplemental assistance for the Iron Dome, Obama has been Israel's most important ally. Peres said when he announced the award that Obama "is a true friend of the State of Israel, and has been since the beginning of his public life" and that he has "has stood with Israel in times of crisis."
The National Rifle Association's current President Wayne LaPierre once supported universal background checks. This stands to reason: Stopping criminals from buying guns in stores but allowing them to do so at shows is like locking your front door but leaving your sidedoor wide open. Wayne LaPierre no longer reflects the will of the majority of the NRA's membership — law-abiding gun-owners interested in self-protection of hunting. He now represents the interests of Gun manufacturers who would suffer if they were not able to sell this guns to criminals.
If the killing of 20 innocent children were not enough, today the gun lobby has another victim on their hands Hadiya Pendleton. Hadiya was a talented teen who performed days ago as a majorette at the events around the Presidential inauguration has been shot dead less than a mile from Obama's home in Chicago. She had just taken a final exam at her high school and was taking shelter from the rain in a playground when a gunman starting shooting. See coverage by CNN on the right.
Just one day after a group of Senators released a landmark bipartisan plan, President Obama announced his intention to work with Congress on comprehensive immigration overhaul. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs welcomed both proposals and expressed a desire to work with the President and Congress to ensure passage of a comprehensive bill that will offer hope, security, and opportunity to millions of immigrants.
"This is welcome and exciting news for all Americans," said JCPA Chair Larry Gold.
President Barack Obama met this morning with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and a dozen of his fellow police chiefs and sheriffs:
Police Chief Daniel Oates, Aurora, CO (scene of 2012 movie theatre shooting) seated two to Obama's right,
Police Chief Michael Kehoe, Newtown, CT (scene of 2012 Elementary School shooting) seated next to Biden,
Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County, MD (scene of many of the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks),
Police Chief Robert Villaseñor, Tucson, AZ (scene of 2011 attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords),
Police Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City, UT (scene of the 2007 Trolley Square shooting),
Police Chief Janeé Harteau, Minneapolis, MN (scene of the 2012 Accent Signage Systems shooting),
Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, Las Vegas, NV (scene of the 2010 Federal Courthouse shooting),
Police Chief John Edwards, Oak Creek, WI (scene of the 2012 Sikh Temple shooting),
Sheriff Richard Stanek, Hennepin County, MN (scene of the 2003 Court Tower shooting),
Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago, IL,
Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald from Story County, IA, and
Sheriff Larry Amerson from Calhoun County, AL
They discussed gun violence prevention in the White House's Roosevelt Room, along with Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Biden's chief of staff Bruce Reed.
Obama spoke for roughly three minutes about the importance of hearing from law enforcement leaders on the issue of gun violence and what communities across the country need from the federal government in order to curb the number of mass shootings throughout the the country.
Mr. Obama thanked the police chiefs and sheriffs for coming to the White House today and recalled the executive actions he took earlier this month, as well as his legislative goals, and called on Congress to work with the administration to pass them.
CNN anchor and chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper talked about his new book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor at Temple Beth Hillel Beth El. At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Compound Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place.
In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans. A runaway bestseller, it makes a savage war real, and American courage manifest.
Tapper exposed the origins of this tragic and confounding story. He explored the history of the camp and detailed the stories of the heroic and doomed soldiers. After his presentation he took questions from the audience and signed copies of his book. He was introduced by his father Temple Beth Hillel Beth El member and founding member of Philadelphia Jewish Voice Dr. Ted Tapper.
It was announced December 20, 2012 that Jake Tapper will join CNN and anchor a new weekday program and serve as the network's chief Washington correspondent
Video of Jake Tapper on the Colbert Report follows the jump.
The Republicans will play the same partisan games they played with their manufactured fiscal cliff crisis (that they did build). Raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money; it simply allows the government to pay money it already owes. How can anyone be against that? Not raising the debt ceiling would be terrible for the economy. But the Republicans will threaten not to raise the debt ceiling, putting all of us at risk, to get the spending cuts that are at the heart of the Tea Party agenda. Walter Dellinger came up with a great analogy:
I don't see why either political party or either branch of government should gain any leverage by threatening economic harm to the United States of America whose financial management is the mutual responsibility of each of them.
The whole thing reminds me of the great moment in "Blazing Saddles" when Sheriff Bart takes himself hostage by pointing a gun at his own head. The simple townsfolk of Rock Ridge were dumb enough to fall for it. Are we?
— by the staff of the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors presented an evening devoted to exploring the historical roots of the Israeli right, from Vladimir Jabotinsky to Menachem Begin to Benjamin Netanyahu, and a discussion of its current relevance to what is happening in Israel today. Rick Richman, the editor of Jewish Current Issues, was one of the presenters. Steven M. Goldberg, the National Vice Chairman of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), spoke as well. Professor Louis Gordon, whose work has appeared in the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, the Jerusalem Report, and numerous other publications, shared additional insights.
As a single young man in 1977, I once found myself in a science museum where I viewed a just released short film that — there's really no other way to put it — expanded my consciousness. It apparently did the same for many others and remains to this day, despite powerful advances in special effects, an impressive work.
After releasing an outstanding Chanukah video last year, the Pella Singers are back with another one of their professionally produced mashup music videos. This time they're pulling out all the stops and incorporating computer graphics (cgi) and animation effects and trapeze artists, too.
They are true artists in the art of a cappella, using their mouths and their voices to simulate the sounds of musical instruments.
In this video they also link their music to the StandWithUs campaign to support Israel around the world.
In honor of International Human Rights Day, Hiddush released this short film to protest of gender segregation and discrimination against women in Israel. Israeli artists, Ben Ari, Hani Nahmias, Hila Feldman, Dalia Shimko, Einat Shroff, and Yossi, who volunteered for the film, are asking the public to send letters of protest to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to act swiftly to combat gender discrimination on all fronts by ending state-funded gender segregated public transportation (in which women sit in the back of the bus) and by passing legislation that will levy heavy fines to deter those who intentionally discriminate against women in any way.
Examples of gender discrimination in Israel follow the jump.
Clinton-era Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lays out the what, why and how of the Fiscal "Cliff", the showdown in Congress that Republicans created to demand painful cuts in vital domestic programs in exchange for raising taxes on the top 2%.
Technion students Eyal Cohen and Tomer Wassermann from the Mechanical Engineering faculty and Matan Orian and Dvir Dukhan of Industrial Engineering and Management take on the challenge to build a Rube Goldberg machine that lights the Chanukah menorah.
Behind the scenes video of the making of the film follows the jump.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated President Barack Obama on his victory last night. During his remarks with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, the Prime Minister noted that the security relationship between the United States and Israel remains "rock solid" and that he looks forward to his continued cooperation with the President. Netanyahu also released a statement in which he said that "strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever."
The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of Tuesday's presidential election into sharp relief.
The floods and fires that swept through our city left a path of destruction that will require years of recovery and rebuilding work. And in the short term, our subway system remains partially shut down, and many city residents and businesses still have no power. In just 14 months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods — something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable.
Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week's devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.
Here in New York, our comprehensive sustainability plan — PlaNYC — has helped allow us to cut our carbon footprint by 16 percent in just five years, which is the equivalent of eliminating the carbon footprint of a city twice the size of Seattle. Through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group — a partnership among many of the world's largest cities — local governments are taking action where national governments are not.
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