"The truth is that like many liberal American Jews -- and most American Jews are still liberal -- I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide -- and that?s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world."
-- Paul Krugman in a Tuesday NYT blogpost,
"The Crisis of Zionism"
Howie and I are both in the position of being American Jews who are horrified by what comes out of the mouths of most of the official mouthpieces of American Jewry, especially with regard to Israel, providing unstinting, unquestioning support for every psychotically, fascistically delusional perfidy perpetrated by the country's increasingly scummy right-wing governments.
I've been enormously relieved and cheered by the advent and endurance of J Street, providing a voice of sanity in opposition to the demons of American Jewry. It's preposterous to have to defend my belief in the founding ideals of the Israeli state, but the mad-dog cretins of the "Israel Can Do No Wrong" lobby are as loud and vicious as they are satanically determined to see Israel destroyed by their insanity. Let me just say, though, that my parents were ardent Zionists going back to the years before I was born and before the creation of the state of Israel, when they were already housing visiting Palestinian Zionist activists drumming up support in the U.S.
My mother was a lifelong pillar of Hadassah. Even she was stunned -- shaken to her roots, in fact -- by the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his wife (both of whom she knew) by a Jew, inspired by the murderous ravings of satanic ultra-Orthodox rabbis. Of course the Labor Zionists who were the dominant force in the creation of Israel are long gone, their place taken by pathetically wishy-woshy Laborites and a savage Right at the beck and call of ultra-Orthodox partisans who not only played no role in the creating and saving of Israel but actively opposed it, and still don't serve in the Israeli military, the gutless sociopathic garbage.
Of course I don't dare say these things within the hearing of the craven minions of the Israeli Likud-and-worse fascist. Apparently Paul Krugman is inclined to bite his tongue as well. Yesterday J Street president Jeremy Ben Ami sent the organization's mailing list a copy of this open letter he sent to Paul Krugman, accompanied by this explanatory note:
This morning I sent the following letter to Mr. Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist in response to his short commentary this week. As we recommit ourselves on this Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, to advocating for a secure and peaceful Israel, we hope you will find this especially timely and encourage you to read and forward to friends and family.
An Open Letter to Paul Krugman
Dear Mr. Krugman,
On Tuesday around 3.30pm, my inbox began filling up with subject headings such as, ?Did you see this from Krugman???? and, ?From my favorite economist? on Beinart?!? Your three short paragraphs, which began as a heads-up that you intend to write something at some point about Peter Beinart and his new book, The Crisis of Zionism, created quite a stir.
What was so striking to so many was not, of course, what you actually said about Peter (although I agree with you that he is a ?brave man who deserves better?), but what you said about what you wouldn?t say. What struck a chord was that despite your belief that current Israel?s policies are leading it down a suicidal path, you choose to stay silent on the topic ? not because you don?t care, but because of the attacks and accusations of anti-semitism and the like that would follow.
Israel not being your bailiwick, why would you, like Peter, walk into the ?buzzsaw,? you tell us.
Mr. Krugman, I understand this sentiment. As the President of J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby, I am followed closely by my own personal buzzsaw. I know that the cost of speaking up about Israel can be so dear that many hundreds of thousands of Jews choose instead to stay silent or disengage from Israel entirely.
But as you rightly point out, Israel?s present path affects not only Israel, but all Americans and Jews everywhere.
Which is why I would like to invite you to reconsider your decision. I invite you to not let a vocal minority silence your voice. You are a Nobel prize-winning economist and leading American thinker whose contribution to the marketplace of ideas on so many issues is such an asset to this country?s democracy. I invite you not to let their smears cause you to sit this one out.
Don?t get me wrong, I?m not asking you to drop your day job and take up the cause. I?m not even asking you to devote extensive column inches to this topic. All I?m asking is that you not silence yourself because someone else has decided that if you do, you?ll have to pay a price.
I like to think that the three short paragraphs that you wrote on Tuesday were a hint of more to come and not a vow of silence. So, on behalf of the many Jewish Americans to whom you can give voice, I invite you to say more.
Because only when everyone ? especially those who already have a megaphone ? stands up, will the smears and attacks lose their power. Only then will brave men like Peter Beinart receive the fair treatment you so clearly think they deserve.
Click here to tweet, facebook, and share this with your friends and make sure Paul Krugman sees this open letter!
April 24, 2012, 2:54 PM
The Crisis of Zionism
Something I?ve been meaning to do ? and still don?t have the time to do properly ? is say something about Peter Beinart?s brave book The Crisis of Zionism.
The truth is that like many liberal American Jews -- and most American Jews are still liberal -- I basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going. It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide -- and that?s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.
But it?s only right to say something on behalf of Beinart, who has predictably run into that buzzsaw. As I said, a brave man, and he deserves better.
Seriously, people: we could all save a ton of money, time and effort if we just work off the assumption that all repug ideas are so bad, the smart response is to do the exact opposite.
"A Miami federal judge has declared that Gov. Rick Scott's order requiring drug testing for state workers is unconstitutional." This was a victory for a state workers' union, the ACLU and the 4th Amendment and follows on the heels of another federal judge's rejection of mandatory drug testing of FL welfare applicants. Maybe it's time to drug test the people who keep making up these unConstitutional laws.
Forget unconstitutional; it's plain stupid. From Think Progress:
Drug testing welfare recipients doesn't save any money. Studying results of the drug testing policy's implementation in Florida, the New York Times found that "[b]ecause the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test."
I am very fond of The Moody Blues, although regular readers know that I am at heart a fan of The Who. This short (probably two or three installments) was suggested to me by my dear friend Steve. He and go back to the eighth grade, and we[...]
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Don?t get it twisted, the legalization battle is not about subculture. It is about Big Pharma?s market protection and providing a labor pool for the Prison-Industrial-Complex.[...]
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Mexico sends "diplomatic note of protest" to U.S. government over its decision announced late Friday not to prosecute a Border Patrol agent for the 2010 shooting death of a Mexican teenager. [...]
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A mashup of the two speeches this week that Obama and Romney gave this week to college campus audiences. Watch.[...]
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Click here to view this media
You know the Romney campaign is worried about whether they're going to be able to break out the Etch A Sketch successfully and erase everything Mitt Romney was saying about immigration policy during the Republican primary when they're bringing out the likes of Bay Buchanan to scream to the hills that Romney's not a flip flopper.
Buchanan appeared on Wednesday evening's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN to tout the current campaign talking point that Mitt Romney really does not believe that Arizona's SB 1070 should be a model for the country. She and the campaign are claiming that what Romney was really talking about during the Republican debate last February, was E-Verify..
Never mind that Russell Pearce said this-- Man Behind Arizona Immigration Law: Romney ?Absolutely? Called SB-1070 A National ?Model?:
Mitt Romney had the most conservative immigration policy of any Republican presidential candidate during most of the primary, but now that?s he trying to appeal to Hispanic voters as he pivots to general election, the presumed GOP nominee has been shifting back towards the center. Yesterday, he opened to door to a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act ? a law he vowed to veto during the primary ? and earlier, he said that he never called for making Arizona?s harsh immigration law a ?model? for the nation.
But that?s not how one of the key people behind that law, former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, sees it. The former Republican lawmaker, who was ousted in a recall election, was the key force behind turning SB-1070, authored by Romney adviser Kris Kobach, into law. He told reporters today that he ?absolutely? believed Mitt Romney had endorsed the law as a model for the country. [...]
Previously, Pearce has said that Romney?s ?immigration policy is identical to mine.?
Romney has tried to distance himself from Kobach, who also helped author the controversial immigration crackdowns in Alabama, South Carolina, and other states. But Kobach quickly contradicted him, saying he regularly advises senior members of Romney?s staff.
Here's what Mitt Romney actually said during that debate on CNN in February:
KING: Governor Romney, the border security is part of the equation, what to do about whether it's 8 million or 11 million illegal immigrants in the country now is another part of the equation. And Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who's with us tonight from Maricopa County -- he's in the audience -- he told me -- he told me this week here in Mesa -- these are his words -- "it's called political garbage, if you will, to not arrest illegals already in this country."
You've talked to the governor about self-deportation, if businesses do their job, asking for the right documents, the people will leave. What about arresting? Should there be aggressive, seek them out, find them and arrest them as the Sheriff Arpaio advocates?
ROMNEY: You know, I think you see a model in Arizona. They passed a law here that says -- that says that people who come here and try and find work, that the employer is required to look them up on e- verify. This e-verify system allows employers in Arizona to know who's here legally and who's not here legally.
And as a result of e-verify being put in place, the number of people in Arizona that are here illegally has dropped by some 14 percent, where the national average has only gone down 7 percent. So going back to the question that was asked, the right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn't doing.
And I will drop those lawsuits on day one. I'll also complete the fence. I'll make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence. And I will make sure we have an E-Verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers, and to check E- Verify. And if an employer hires someone that has not gone through E- Verify, they're going to get sanctioned just like they do for not paying their taxes.
You do that, and just as Arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. It's time we finally did it.
If Romney doesn't support the Arizona law, why did he say he wanted the law suit against it dropped? And why did he think it was a good idea to take on an extremist like Kris Kobach for an adviser? Buchanan's remarks on CNN below the fold.
COOPER: A lot to talk about tonight with Democratic strategist, Paul Begala, who's advising the -- the leading pro-Obama super PAC. Excuse me. Also Republican strategist and senior Romney adviser, Bay Buchanan, and author of "Bay and Her Boys."
Paul Begala, where does Romney stand, do you think?
BEGALA: Well, he has now for several years been on this very strong anti-immigrant position, which has helped him in the primaries, but it's hurt him desperately with Latino voters. And I think this whole strategy is old school. Nixon used to say this, run to the right in the primaries and then run to the middle in the general election. But that -- you know, that was over 40 years. And that dog don't hunt anymore.
We have the miracle of videotape. I think this is causing him grievous damage. And I don't think he's going to be able to undo it. I think Latino voters --
COOPER: So you think he's clearly trying to pivot?
BEGALA: I think -- I think he is what my Spanish speaking friends would call (speaking in foreign language), a liar. He was -- he's lying now just to try to get the Hispanic votes. And I think voters see through that.
COOPER: Bay, where does -- A, what Paul said and also where does he stand on SB 1070?
BUCHANAN: He supports it. He's made it very clear, he supports Arizona's right to pass laws and try to enforce them when -- when the federal government is refusing to do so. So he supports that.
COOPER: But he talks about the E-Verify -- the E-Verify law, not SB 1070.
BUCHANAN: No, no, no. If you -- he supports this law. It's what the states are going to do. He believes the states have a right to do this. And he supports their designing whatever they think is necessary to protect their own citizens. He said that the law for E- Verify is a model. He likes that. He thinks all states should take a look at that and see.
COOPER: But we specifically asks --
BUCHANAN: And implement that. That the E-Verify as a model. He didn't say he doesn't support these others.
Let me make a point --
COOPER: Right. But we specifically --
COOPER: We specifically asked his campaign about SB 1070 and they gave this answer which you just gave about he supports the rights of states to make the laws.
COOPER: But that's not saying you support SB 1070. He then talks about E-Verify.
BUCHANAN: He -- but he does support this. In other words, he supports this. And if it's what the state feels is right for them, and Arizona obviously does, they passed it overwhelmingly, then he supports that. He has no problems with that. But the other thing is, he didn't say it should be a model for all states. He said the E- Verify should be a model.
But let me tell you, Paul said he's anti-immigrant. He -- Governor Romney is not anti-immigrant. He's opposed to illegal immigration. He believes the federal government has an obligation to enforce the laws of this land and secure our borders, something Barack Obama has failed to do year after year after year. And that's why the states have to take the action they do.
COOPER: So, Bay, did you say that he does believe SB 1070 should be a national model or he doesn't?
BUCHANAN: No, he never said SB 1070 should be a national model. He said E-Verify should be. But that does not suggest he doesn't support this. He thinks that North Carolina's bill is a little bit different. He supports the right for North Carolina to design what's best for North Carolina. Utah, other states, Georgia, Alabama, there's other states doing the same thing, making a little different.
He doesn't believe that this particular bill should be a model for all of the states. He thinks those states should decide for themselves. But he does think that the E-Verify law in Arizona is exceptional and would be an excellent model for other states.
BEGALA: We can go check the record, Bay. But I distinctly remember Governor Romney saying the Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, is a model for the nation. He didn't say that E-Verify was a model.
BEGALA: He said SB -- well, so -- we'll look that up. We know this.
BUCHANAN: You just saw it. You just saw it. We just saw the clip.
BEGALA: That's what he say today. I know. That's what he say today now that he's lying. But when he was campaigning earlier, he said, he attacked Rick Perry on immigration.
BUCHANAN: You check that and be careful when you -- be careful when you call someone a liar. That's a little serious.
BEGALA: It is very serious. And I mean it.
BUCHANAN: You check it, if you were wrong, and you -- he's owed an apology from you, Paul Begala.
BEGALA: No, no.
BUCHANAN: If you're wrong.
BEGALA: Bay, first, he attacked John McCain on immigration in '08 from the right. He attacked Rick Perry, a very conservative guy, for signing a dream act for the state of Texas.
BEGALA: He even attacked Newt Gingrich for wanting some sort of legal status less than citizenship.
BEGALA: He attacked Rick Santorum for confirming Sonya Sotomayor to --
COOPER: We haven't been able to find him saying this should be a national model.
BEGALA: I'll check. OK.
BUCHANAN: He's made no change to his position. He continues to be opposed to any amnesty. He continues to believe that enforcing the law is essential when you're the -- part of the federal government, that that is only fair. And he believes that E-Verify is an excellent program that should be used by all businesses in this country. He has not changed his position one bit.
Someone should ask the Republicans if Galileo was right in his battle against the Catholic church. (Though, to be fair, the answer is nuanced - though I seriously doubt they'll get that.)Speaking of Galileo, and the stars, this vid is cool:
Another day, another wild round of ping-ponging numbers from our ever-changing daily tracking polls for the presidential showdown. If you buy stock in the House of Ras (I know ... I know), then Barack Obama has had a sudden and marked surge of support, propelling him back into the lead for the first time in their tracker in well over a week. But if you buy stock in the venerable crew at Gallup, then Barack Obama has a solid lead, and has had it for several days now (of course, they had their whiplash moment last week).
I'd normally chalk all this up to the typical bit of float, but six points in three days is a pretty dramatic float.
Here are those numbers on this Friday lite edition of the Wrap:
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (50-43)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-46)
FLORIDA (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (46-45)
AR-01--D (Talk Business/Hendrix College): Scott Ellington 15, Clark Hall 10, Gary Latanich 4A thought or two, as always, is after the jump.
AR-04--R (Talk Business/Hendrix College): Tom Cotton 39, Beth Anne Rankin 39, John Cowart 4
FL-SEN (Rasmussen): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 47, Connie Mack (R) 36; Nelson 44, George LeMieux (R) 30; Nelson 48, Mike McCallister (R) 29
Remember this ad?
A federal records analysis shows Pete Hoekstra scored little cash from a Super Bowl ad that was deemed racially offensive and cost him more than $200,000 to air.Please bear in mind that in addition to helpfully demonstrating he was a racist, Hoekstra's ad was also devoted to praising his good fiscal sense. So much for that.
The MIRS newsletter reported that Hoekstra, a Holland Republican seeking to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow, took in only $22,912 in the days following the commercial airing.