(Click the date for event details.)
SAVE THE DATE!
10/13/2009 RJC National Women’s Committee "Day on Capitol Hill"
9/16/2009 Energy and Environment Mythbusting with Drew Thornley
9/13/2009 Members-only brunch with Sen. Johnny Isakson
9/23/2009 Event with GOP State Chairman Tina J. Benkiser
9/14/2009 Evening with Joel Pollak: Don’t Tell Me Words Don’t Matter
9/13/2009 September Discussion Group
9/14/2009 Members-only event with David Maymon, candidate for FL House
Knoxville, TN Chapter
9/10/2009 Health care reform forum
Las Vegas Chapter
9/15/2009 Myths and Facts on Energy and the Environment with Drew Thornley
Los Angeles Chapter
9/13/2009 Myths and Facts on Energy and the Environment with Drew Thornley
9/16/2009 National Women’s Committee luncheon in Santa Monica
10/7/2009 Discussion with Richard Brookhiser
9/14/2009 Chapter organizational meeting
9/15/2008 Event with MN GOP Chair Tony Sutton
New York Region
9/23/2009 National Women’s Committee dinner in CT
9/24/2009 Protest Ahmadinejad at UN
North Texas Chapter
9/11/2009 Luncheon with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
Northern California Chapter
9/14/2009 Dinner and conversation with Drew Thornley
Northern Nevada Chapter
9/22/2009 Event with State Assemblyman Ty Cobb
9/22/2009 RJC National Women’s Committee luncheon
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Speaking of Health Care
President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress about health care Wednesday night:
READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Tevi Troy offers an alternative version of the President’s speech last night:
We have tried over the last few months to have the majority party in Congress craft a series of bills to address these challenges. Unfortunately, the bills produced under this approach would not solve the main problems we are facing.
I recognize that the bills produced so far cost a trillion dollars, and fail to provide universal coverage. I recognize that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has consistently found that the bills crafted by the majority party do not do what I have asked, and do not achieve what I promised the American people that we would accomplish.
For this reason, I propose that tonight we begin from scratch.
John Hinderaker examines several points in the President’s speech and responds to them. He questions the political effectiveness of the speech:
"Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed."
I’m not sure whether Obama and his handlers understand how this sort of talk grates on those of us who are not liberal Democrats (a large majority of the country). Debating public policy issues is not "bickering." Disagreeing with a proposal to radically change one of the largest sectors of our economy is not a "game." This kind of gratuitous insult–something we never heard from President Bush, for example–is one of the reasons why many consider Obama to be mean-spirited.
Tim Burns, commenting at Powerline, had this to say about Rep. Joe Wilson calling out "You lie!" during the speech:
Joe Wilson’s accusation of lying has already been roundly condemned, as it should be. The presumption of honorableness, and hence of the possibility of honest disagreement, is crucial to the practice of free speech and democratic debate… It’s good to see that Wilson has already sought to apologize.
Trouble is, President Obama has not. And his speech must be condemned on the same grounds as Wilson’s outburst. Before Wilson’s outburst, Obama–delivering prepared remarks–had already accused his opponents of lying–not by name, to be sure, but as "prominent politicians." And in doing so, he explicitly attributed malicious motives to them: "Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple."
Democrats booed President Bush during the 2005 State of the Union address.
Health Care Pros and Cons
In case you missed them, here are some notable new resources on the health care debate:
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a new white paper on health care reform – complete with solid, market-based reform proposals that will work.
Keith Hennessey on "Incorrect conventional wisdom about health care reform"
Mark Tapscott writes that "Congress has already exempted itself from Public Option"
Obama takes unprecedented role at UN
Anne Bayefsky raises a troubling new issue: President Obama’s upcoming role at the United Nations:
Looking for a quick and easy boost in the polls, President Obama has decided to go to the one place where merit bears no relationship to adulation: the United Nations. On September 24, the president will take the unprecedented step of presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council.
No American president has ever attempted to acquire the image of King of the Universe by officiating at a meeting of the UN’s highest body…
Unfortunately, however, the move represents one of the most dangerous diplomatic ploys this country has ever seen.
Bayefsky points out that the President set the agenda for the session:
"nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly, and not on any specific countries."
…The linguistic formula, which Obama’s confrere Qaddafi will undoubtedly exploit, shamelessly panders to Arab and Muslim states. It is a familiar recipe for stonewalling efforts to prevent Iran or other Muslim and Arab states from acquiring nuclear weapons until Israel is disarmed or Israel’s (unofficial) nuclear capacity is exposed and neutralized. It is also a frequent tool of those whose real goal is to stymie America’s defenses.
Second, Obama’s agenda preference indicates that he is dead-set against chairing a session on the non-proliferation issues already on the council’s plate – those that name Iran and North Korea.
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Buyers’ remorse begins
Alan Dershowitzand Joel Pollak (a popular speaker at RJC chapter events) discussed the Jewish community’s views of President Obama after his first few months in office:
Much of the Jewish community feels "voters’ remorse" as a result of President Barack Obama’s lack of action in support of Israel as well as White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s perceived anti-Israel platform, panelists at Harvard University Hillel told more than 100 students and faculty members Tuesday.
Those liberal Jews
Norman Podhoretz offers his insights into the phenomenon of Jewish liberals:
The upshot is that in virtually every instance of a clash between Jewish law and contemporary liberalism, it is the liberal creed that prevails for most American Jews. Which is to say that for them, liberalism has become more than a political outlook. It has for all practical purposes superseded Judaism and become a religion in its own right.
Also looking at Jewish support for Democrats in recent years, Ron Lipsman asks "Are American Jews the Most Foolish Voters in the United States?"
I maintain that the massive, ongoing, enthusiastic and predictable Jewish vote for liberal Democrats is an example of one of the most foolish voting records by any ethnic group in the history of the American republic. The black vote along the same lines is self-destructive and foolish, but there are some bona fide explanations-especially in the last election. On the other hand, as I will show in this article, the sustained allegiance by American Jews to the Left is not only self-destructive and foolish, it is also short-sighted, naïve, ineffective, harmful and ultimately inexcusable.
Iran-Venezuela axis is a growing diplomatic, military worry
Robert M. Morgethau examines the emerging axis of Iran and Venezuela:
The diplomatic ties between Iran and Venezuela go back almost 50 years and until recently amounted to little more than the routine exchange of diplomats. With the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, the relationship dramatically changed.
Today Mr. Ahmadinejad and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have created a cozy financial, political and military partnership rooted in a shared anti-American animus. Now is the time to develop policies in this country to ensure this partnership produces no poisonous fruit.
Hugo Chavezaccuses Israel of genocide and defends Iran nuclear development, while on his rogue state tour:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in remarks broadcast Saturday that Iran will "not back down" in its quest for peaceful nuclear energy, French news agency AFP reported.
Chavez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main ally in Latin America, arrived in Iran Friday after visiting Syria, Libya and Algeria.
…"The state of Israel has become a murderous lackey at the service of imperialism," Chavez said. "It’s a genocidal government. I condemn that Zionist government that persecutes the heroic Palestinian people."
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What Carter missed in the Middle East
Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abramstakes on former President Carter in the pages of the Washington Post:
In an op-ed on Sunday ["The Elders’ View of the Middle East"], former president Jimmy Carter, speaking on behalf of a self-appointed group of "Elders," described a rapacious Israel facing long-suffering, blameless Palestinians, who are contemplating a "nonviolent civil rights struggle" in which "their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela."
As with most of Carter’s recent statements about Israel and the Palestinians, instead of facts we get vignettes from recent Carter travels…
In NJ, RJC’er Barry Funt has a plan
The Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary ran a piece featuring RJC leader Barry Funt, who is running for NJ State Assembly.
All eyes in New Jersey have focused on November’s governor’s race, where Republican upstart Chris Christie looks likely to unseat Democrat Jon Corzine. But a new wrinkle is developing that could also upend many old bulls in the state legislature and help to change a culture of unaccountability that has led to a spate of corruption scandals.
Democrats dominate both the state House and Senate with wide-enough majorities to feel secure that no matter what happens, they will still pull the legislative strings next year. In the House, the margin is 48 Democrats to 32 Republicans, with nearly all districts gerrymandered to protect the incumbent.
But the ensconced Democrats may not have counted on an unprecedented wave of some 25 Republican challengers — none of whom have held state office before — turning out to run against the Old Bulls. The newbies are doing the kind of grassroots work too often neglected by the state GOP — engaging voters, building up networks of volunteers, canvassing even heavily Democratic neighborhoods. Most of all, the GOP challengers are teaming up. By the end of the month, they plan to unveil on the steps of the state capitol a new "Contract With New Jersey."
The plan calls for cutting state mandates that drive up the cost of health insurance as an alternative to ObamaCare, cutting property taxes, instituting school choice and cracking down on crime. None of the items in the 10-point plan is poll-tested or focus-grouped, but they should play well in the Jersey suburbs, where property taxes are among the highest in the nation, where crime is becoming an issue, and where parents and taxpayers are fed up with intransigence and corruption in Trenton.
A leader of this rump caucus within the state GOP is Barry Funt, a commercial real estate investor who’s running for state assembly in a district that includes parts of heavily Democratic Newark. We sat down with Mr. Funt twice and walked away each time with the same impression. First, he’s the kind of candidate dangerous for an incumbent: intensely interested and engaged in politics, and too inexperienced to be discouraged by the odds stacked against him.
Secondly, like many voters who’ve been turning up for town halls and tea parties across the Garden State, he’s fed up with his state’s political class. Mr. Funt has even floated his own plan to help homeowners while putting pressure on union-controlled Trenton to cut spending — by slashing property taxes and simultaneously shifting a share of the state government’s income tax revenues to the localities.
Reportedly, though, neither his tax plan nor the Contract with New Jersey have gotten a warm welcome from his own party’s gubernatorial candidate or New Jersey GOP Chairman Jay Webber. The latter, according to the Web site PolitickerNJ.com, waved off the Contract with New Jersey as too "Republican" to be useful to Mr. Christie’s campaign. Certain GOP county organizations also have instructed their candidates not to participate.
All this has Newark Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine worrying that Mr. Christie is resting on his lead and missing an opportunity to finish off Mr. Corzine by recalling the governor’s own unkept promise four years ago to reform property taxes. His advice to Team Christie: Call Barry Funt.
Congressmen protest anti-Semitic article in Swedish newspaper
RJC friend Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) was among the signers of a congressional letter to the prime minister of Sweden, protesting the article published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet which accused Israel Defense Forces soldiers of killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.
"Given the far-reaching implications for this article, which raises the unfortunate specter of similar blood libels and spurious charges that have been directed at Jews throughout the centuries, it is critical that your government unequivocally repudiate and reject the heinous allegations expressed in this article," wrote Congressmen Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), members on the Subcommittee on Europe, in a letter to the Swedish prime minister.
Cliff May examines where we are now in the long war against militant Islam:
If this struggle is too much for the present generation, we will deserve what comes in its place. Americans used to say that freedom is not free, that it must be earned by generation after generation. That sounds hokey to 21st-century ears, I know. That doesn’t make it less true.
Our enemies believe history and God are on their side. They are eager to fight for victory – which they define as bringing death, destruction, and humiliation to you and your children. They say this plainly in their speeches and sermons. They are not seriously attempting to delude anyone. Rather, they are counting on us to delude ourselves. Eight years after 9/11, with many on the left and the right arguing for retreat, and a president who doesn’t appear to know his own mind, can anyone say with confidence that they are wrong?
Army Major Thane J. Thompson was in the reserves, working for Morgan Stanley on the 61st floor of WTC Tower II, at the time of the 9/11 attacks. His recollections of the day can be found on the New Majority web site, here.
Please take a few moments tomorrow,
on September 11, to:
- Remember those who were killed in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania on that day and the other victims of Islamic terrorism in Israel and around the world;
- Thank a member of our armed forces for their service in protecting our country and our families;
- Learn more about militant Islam, its goals, and its methods by watching two important movies on the subject, Obsession and The Third Jihad.