Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shame on the Democrats

The following Democrats have announced that they will not attend next week's speech in Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the House: Earl Blumenauer, Oregon; G.K. Butterfield, N.C.; Andre Carson, Ind.; James Clyburn, S.C.; Steve Cohen, Tenn.; Peter DeFazio, Oregon; Diana DeGette, Colo.; Donna Edwards, Md.; Keith Ellison, Minn.; Raul Grijalva, Ariz., Luis Gutierrez, Ill.; Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.; Eddie Bernice Johnson, Tex.; Barbara Lee, Cal.; John Lewis, Ga.; Betty McCollum, Minn.; Jim McDermott, Wash.; Gregory Meeks, N.Y.; Beto O'Rourke, Tex.; Chellie Pingree Maine; Charles Rangel, N.Y.; Cedric Richmond, La.; Jan Schakowsky, Ill.; Bennie Thompson, Miss.; John Yarmuth, Ky.; and Danny Davis, Ill.

That is a total of 26 House members to date who have said they will not attend. Included in the group is the head of the Congressional Black Caucus, Butterfield. Also in the group is Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. (I doubt many rank and file Dems are even aware of that group or its ties to far left and socialist groups.)

And of the Jewish members not attending, Steve Cohen had this to say: "After deliberation, I have decided I cannot in good conscience attend the Prime Minister's speech." If the interests of the United States conflicted with the interests of Israel, I could understand such a comment. After all, Cohen is a United States Representative, not an official of Israel. But here, the interests of the US and Israel are the same; the only conflict is with a President determined to endanger this country, Israel and the world by allowing Iran nuclear capability.

In addition to the 26 Representatives, 4 Senators have announced they will not attend: Tim Kaine, Va.; Patrick Leahy, Vt.; Bernie Sanders, Vt.; and Brian Schatz, Hw. A total to date of 30 Democrats who refuse to hear the Israeli Prime Minister speak. These people, and undoubtedly many other liberal Democrats in Congress, prefer to side with Obama rather than concern themselves with the terms of the deal Obama is about to enter into with Iran. I hope my fellow Jews who remain loyal to the Democrat party are proud.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice was rather blunt in expressing the Obama Administration's feelings about the Netanyahu speech. She stated that the Israeli Prime Minister's visit "injected a degree of partisanship which is not only unfortunate, I think it's destructive of the fabric of the relationship."

"Destructive of the fabric of the relationship." Obama will meet with the terrorist leaders of Iran, the dictatorial Castro brothers of Cuba, but boy, if you disagree with him - watch out! Adding insult to injury, Obama is giving Cuba and Iran what they want, while he tells Israel to commit suicide by establishing another terrorist state on its borders. There is nothing left that I can say to my fellow Jews who will remain Democrats, other than - I don't want to get on that train with you.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in reference to the war between Ukraine and Russia, recently said this: "Russia is engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I've seen since the very height of the Cold War. And they have been persisting in their misrepresentations - lies- whatever you want to call them about their activities there to my face, to the face of others on many different occasions."

And I thought he might have been referring to the Iranians.

Letter to the Editor

In a letter to the editor in the 2/13/15 edition of a local newspaper (The Ventura County Star), a writer who identified herself as a Jew expressed her "disgust" in Benjamin Netanyahu's "total disregard for proper etiquette" by accepting Speaker Boehner's invitation to speak to a joint session of Congress. The writer revealed her true colors when she added that Netanyahu's behavior in accepting the invitation was "unfortunately typical of him and his party." Another liberal Jew who puts her party ahead of the survival of Israel.

I then wrote a reply to her letter, which the Star published on 2/19/15. My reply follows; however, I have replaced the writer's name with an "X."

Letter to the Editor:

As a fellow Jew, it was with great disappointment that I read Ms. X's letter expressing her "disgust" for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's alleged disregard for proper etiquette. Does Ms. X believe the White House spin that the Netanyahu speech is about a breach of protocol? President Obama has never cared about protocol.

His first speech was in 2009 from Cairo to the Muslim world. There he was in Egypt, a guest of then President Hosni Mubarek, and Obama invited members of the outlawed terrorist group, the Muslim Botherhood, to come hear him speak. It was such a breach of protocol and slap in the face to Mubarek, that Mubarek was furious and refused to attend the speech. Were you equally "disgusted" by President Obama's actions? I could give more examples if space permitted.

The underlying issue remains that the deal proposed by President Obama will allow Iran to maintain nuclear capability. If Iran chooses to do so, they could violate the terms of the deal and obtain nuclear weapons within a matter of months. Iranian leaders regularly threaten to wipe Israel off the map. While such weapons would be a threat to the U.S., they would constitute an existential threat to the State of Israel. So, I would also ask Ms. X, is she also "disgusted" by the idea of the Ayatollahs possessing nukes?

Netanyahu is acting in the finest tradition of Rabbi Hillel, who famously said: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me...and if not now, when?"

Jews are increasingly under attack around the world. Yesterday in Copenhagen we saw yet another example. I would hope that the words of another famous quote still have meaning to you: "Never Again!"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Does Obama Love America?

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has taken some heat for his comment saying "I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the President loves America."

Not surprisingly, we had the feigned reactions of shock from the democrats. Josh Earnest, W.H. spokesperson, said he felt "sorry" for Rudy, having tarnished his legacy with such a comment. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, said "We can disagree on issues, but when GOPers stay silent while one of their own questions the President's patriotism, we have a real problem." These comments are pure political nonsense; much like the feigned shock over Netanyahu accepting Boehner's invitation to speak to Congress.

Giuliani's comments were those of a private citizen. He holds no elected office. But Joe Biden, as Vice President, told a black audience that "He (Romney) is going to put y'all back in chains." And Harry Reid, as Senate Majority leader, said from the Senate floor: "So the word is out that he (Romney) has not paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes, because he has not." So the democrats could accuse a presidential candidate of supporting slavery (a horrific practice) and income tax evasion (a crime) - and just where was the outcry by other democrats when their highest office holders said such things? Please...

Now that we have dispensed with the political nonsense, the underlying issue remains - does Obama love America? We could look at his own words and background to gain some insight on this issue. As a candidate in 2008 he said that he wanted to bring "fundamental change" to this country. Five days before the election he said he would "fundamentally transform" America. So, one could reasonably ask why the need for "fundamental" change/transformation of something that you love, as opposed to "improvement." One might ask why his wife said in 2008 that "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country..."

One might question why he stayed at a church where the Reverend said not G-d bless America but "G-d damn America." Or why Obama said people in small towns "get bitter" and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment."

However, there is a far larger issue of Obama not respecting our underlying system of limited government, with the supremacy of the individual based upon certain G-d given rights, and with a system of checks and balances in order to prevent any particular branch of government from becoming too powerful. But Obama says when Congress will not write legislation he will, as he recently did with his immigration policy. Only he does not have the power to write legislation, only Congress does.

Our country was also founded on the notion of "free enterprise." Capitalism. But Obama does not believe in that either. He does not believe in individual opportunity and success. In fact, he has constantly criticized those who have succeeded - the millionaires and billionaires. He told us that "if you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

As for the Constitution's Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, Obama sees it as defective. Obama in 2001 said that the Constitution "says what the States can't do to you...what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government must do on your behalf." So much for the concept of "rugged individualism." So much for John Kennedy's idea of "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Obama wanted the Constitution to provide for new "economic rights" and complained about the "essential constraints" on doing so by the language in the Constitution. Obama also complained about the Courts being bound by tradition and precedent, interfering with their ability "to bring about significant redistributional change."

So the real question might not be whether or not Obama loves America. The real question is what vision of America might Obama love? Certainly not the one created by our Founders. Which brings us to an even larger issue - how many Americans have the left and Obama persuaded to share their vision of America? We have numerous members of Congress currently who do not believe in the Founders' America. Rather, they share Obama's vision of a different, fundamentally transformed America. As I have said before, many in the democrat party remain completely unaware of how far left Obama and others have taken their party from the days of John Kennedy. These same individuals will continue to vote democrat, often unaware of what policies they are voting for, but believing all the demagogic lies about republicans.

A footnote. I have often addressed the topic of the political divide in this country. For newer readers of the blog who are interested in this topic you might want to take a look at these earlier posts: 8/2/12, "Why I Am No Longer a Democrat;" 8/30/12, "Why the Democrats Hate Republicans, But Feel So Good About Themselves;" 1/18/14, "Republicans Vote Their Values, Democrats Are Driven by Issues;" and 2/23/14, "We Are Going to Fundamentally Change America."