Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Republican Jewish Coalition Newsletter

I am a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and wanted to give you a preview of their great newsletter that I received in the e-mail today.  You don't have to be Jewish to join or to get their newsletter.  :)
RJC Enews logo
News and Commentary from the RJC                                          January 20, 2011
In This Issue
Obama At Half-Time: Two Years in the Middle East
House Republicans Take First Step Toward Repealing, Replacing Obamacare
Texas Legislature Reconvenes With Jewish Speaker in the House
Senator Lieberman to Retire
Despite Leaders' Vows of 'Civility,' Democrat Congressman Likens Obamacare Critics to Nazis
RJC Winter Leadership Meeting - Register now!

(Click the date for event details.)

Austin Chapter
2/3/2011 Congressman Lamar Smith

Atlanta Chapter

2/2/2011 Mideast update with Cons. Gen. Opher Aviran and Jonathan Schanzer

Chicago Chapter
1/27/2011 Education Revolution Tour with Dick Morris and Michael Medved

1/30/2011 Event with Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Cleveland Chapter
1/23/2011 Discussion with Cuyahoga Co. GOP Chairman Robert Frost

1/24/2011 Education Revolution Tour with Hugh Hewitt and Juan Williams

2/13/2011 How to Reset American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

DC Area Chapter
2/9/2011 Brown Bag Lunch with Eric Golub

Knoxville Chapter
1/20/2011 Event with Col. Richard Briggs

Los Angeles Chapter
2/8/2011 Premiere Screening of 'Iranium'

New England Chapter
2/8/2011 Premiere Screening of 'Iranium'

New York Region
1/27/2011 RJC National Women's Committee event with Rep. Nan Hayworth

South New Jersey Chapter
2/8/2011 RJC/NWC Reception with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Orlando Chapter
1/26/2011 Education Revolution: Restoring America's Exceptionalism Tour

Greater Tampa Bay Chapter
Education Revolution: Restoring America's Exceptionalism Tour

Ventura County Chapter
1/26/2011 A Discussion on Home-Grown Terrorism Featuring Joel Mowbray




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Elliott Abrams

Obama at Half-Time: Two  Years in the Middle East

Marking the two-year mark on Barack Obama's tenure as President, Elliott Abrams delivers a harsh assessment , but one that is not easy to dispute:

The question for the next two years is whether the president will remain wedded to policies that cannot achieve his stated goals. Unless shaken out of the current rut by events-terrible ones like Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, or even worse a terrorist attack in the United States, or positive ones like more revolts against Arab dictatorships-the best bet is that there will be no significant change in policy despite the lack of achievements. None of the personnel changes thus far announced involves anyone with a new and different perspective on the Middle East.  No doubt there is some rethinking going on at the White House, but there is no sign that the President believes things have gone wrong.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton completed a Middle East trip that had its ups and downs.

Most Americans probably cheered when she pushed back hard on an Al-Jazeera reporter who suggested the US ought to force Israel to accept its dictates regarding peace negotiations. Clinton noted that
when the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon they got Hizbullah and 40,000 rockets and when they pulled out of Gaza they got Hamas and 20,000 rockets.

But Barry Rubin notes that Secetary Clinton badly misjudged the effect of her words in remarks in which she drew an analogy between terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and the apparently deranged and solitary Tucson shooter.
You don't deprecate yourself and flatter macho societies. They attribute your behavior not to winsome modesty but to cowardice and to fear that they are more powerful...

The relatively moderate Arab regimes--especially in the Gulf--don't want a modest, deferential, self-critical, apologetic America. They want an America that they think will defend them from Iran, Syria, and the revolutionary Islamists. What's needed is Mr. Tough Guy, not Mr. Nice Guy.

House GOP Leaders
Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
House Republicans Take First Step Toward Repealing, Replacing Obamacare 

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Represenatives voted to repeal the health-care statute colloquially known as "Obamacare."  The repeal measure passed by a wider margin than the legislation that established Obamacare (245-189 vs. 219-212).

In remarks delivered during the debate, House Majority Whip Eric Cantor explained the difference between the two parties' approaches on health care policy:

Mr. Speaker, let's make something clear: both parties care deeply about health care. Likewise, Republicans have rejected the status quo. We simply disagree with our counterparts on the other side of the aisle that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way to go about effecting the reforms Americans want.

The construct of this law is fundamentally unworkable. Instead of preserving the doctor-patient relationship, this legislation we seek to repeal, is rooted in having federal bureaucrats come between patients and their doctors, limiting choices.

If you go back to the health care debate last Congress, the President, then-Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid often spoke of two goals: One, we should strive to lower costs. Two, if Americans liked the health insurance coverage they had, they should be able to keep it.

Mr. Speaker, we believe in the aftermath of the bill's passage these goals have not and cannot be met. Therefore, doesn't it stand to reason that we must repeal this law and begin an honest debate about a better way forward?
Cantor and others also skewered the Democrats' claim that repealing Obamacare will increase the federal deficit.

Among those debunking the Democrats' fuzzy math is the former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Holtz-Eakin (writing with Joseph Antos and James C. Capretta):

The history of federal entitlements is one of inexorable growth. Once erected, more and more people get added to the programs. The ACA will be no different. Spending will soar, and the tax hikes and spending "offsets" that were cobbled together to get the bill passed will either wither away or vanish altogether.

Speaker Joe Straus
Texas Legislature Reconvenes With Jewish Speaker in the House

Late last week, Joe Straus, a Jewish Republican representing the San Antonio-based 121st District
was elected Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives by his peers at the commencement of the 81st Regular Legislative Session.
Addressing his colleagues and all Texans, Straus stressed the state's GOP's record of success but acknowledged big challenges ahead for the state's all-Republican elected leadership:
The makeup of the Texas House will be dramatically different than that of the 81st legislature. The House, which had 76 Republicans and 74 Democrats at Session's close in 2009, will gavel in with 101 Republicans.

I'm proud of the gains we have made in this year's election cycle. The strong Republican majority will allow us to continue to govern with the conservative principles that have made Texas one of the strongest, most prosperous states in the nation.

We know we will be faced with a number of challenging tasks, none more critical than our state budget. However, I have already taken steps to address the significant budget shortfall and ensure the state of Texas lives within its means.

Straus also addressed the ugly religious intolerance that had marred the race.  In the approving words of his hometown newspaper, the
House Speaker Joe Straus struck the perfect tone in his remarks after his re-election to the House's top job.

"Division, threats of retribution, attacks on people's religion and distortions of people's records have no place in this House," Straus said, garnering the biggest applause of the day from his colleagues.

Straus, lifelong Republican from San Antonio, emerged victorious from a series of attacks by outside interest groups seeking to block his re-election. The campaign against him included appalling attacks on his religion.

The Texas Tribune provides a useful compendium of basic facts about Speaker Straus.

Senator Joe Lieberman
Senator Lieberman to Retire

After Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) announced yesterday that his current Senate term would be his last, Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks responded by lauding the Senator's accomplishments and expressing gratitude for friendship across the political aisle.

Senator Lieberman is a true mensch and a great American.  He showed that it's possible to have a successful political career while doing what you feel is right - even when what's right is not what's in your political best interests.  Time and again, Senator Lieberman put principle over politics.  He was a role model and a shining example of all that's good and decent about public service."  

He's been called the last of the Scoop Jackson Democrats, but he is one of a kind and irreplaceable.  We'll dearly miss his friendship  - and the leadership he showed through more than two decades in the Senate.

Rep. Steve Cohen
Despite Leaders' Vows of 'Civility,' Democrat Congressman Likens Obamacare Critics to Nazis

Speaking on the floor of the House Tuesday night, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) compared Obamacare opponents to the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.  He also likened Republican arguments to the infamous 'blood libel.'

Responding yesterday, RJC's Matt Brooks said,

This is a very disturbing development.  After leaders of both parties called upon their rank-and-file members to choose their words with more prudence and sensitivity in the aftermath of the horrible events in Tucson, Congressman Cohen's outrageous use of Holocaust rhetoric should offend us all.  Even the National Jewish Democratic Council frets that Cohen has 'reintroduced the Holocaust into the health care debate' after Jewish community leaders and others worked so hard to push it to the margins.

Unfortunately, Congressman Cohen is not a first-time offender when it comes to debasing our discourse.  He previously described the atmosphere at a demonstration in Tennessee as 'the verge of Kristallnacht.' 

In the spirit of recent bipartisan comments, Democratic leaders in the House need to prevail upon this habitually uncivil back-bencher to tone it down.
RJC News

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Jonathan said...


I didn't know I could register for their newsletter! I shall now register... I enjoyed their articles very much. I just hope we can repeal Obamacare, as I just cannot see how we taxpayers can fund abortion and now they want us to fund same sex operations as well under this bill.

Big Mike said...

Thanks Jonathan!