Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tuesday Tuesday...

Another long day at work means blogging in the evenings. Should be like this for just a few more weeks.

Buzz is building towards a Michael Bloomberg presidential campaign.
• He is a two-term mayor in a tough-to-govern Democratic city who won re-election by 20 percentage points, a near record for a Republican.

• He has built a reputation as a political independent, a social moderate and fiscal conservative. This past election, he donated money to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who unseated a Republican incumbent for Senate in Missouri.

• He has money, money and more money. He spent more than $70 million of his own money in his first mayoral campaign, then he dropped $85 million into his re-election effort and doesn't have to worry about getting an early start to hit the political donor circuit.
Congressional veterans are already being asked to run in 2008 despite their age.

Comedy writers are not such big fans of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller will be in Northern KY with running mate Irv Maze for the first meetup of the Miller-Maze ticket.
The pair will be at the Lookout Farms Community Clubhouse, off Dixie Highway, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday for a meet-and-greet. Miller, a Lexington native, is a two-term state treasurer. Maze, a two-term county attorney, is also a former Jefferson County commissioner. The event is open to the public.
Miller and Maze will be in Louisville the next day.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is already planning his campaign tour in the early primary states.

Point and Counterpoint on Carter's book per StandwithUs.com.

This is interesting. It's more in-depth here. Here's an excerpt and take it for what it's worth:
Sources close to Bayh, who explored and then opted against a bid for the White House, does not like the pace in the Senate and the hours that keep him from coming home to dinner with wife Susan and their twin sons. As governor, the same sources said, Bayh was more in control of his schedule and preferred being an executive to being a legislator.

Should Bayh run for the governorship, he would be an instant favorite over Republican incumbent Mitch Daniels, who served as head of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush. In recent months, Gov. Daniels has seen his popularity diminish over his handling of state spending issues.

If Bayh wins his old job back, the same sources have already guessed whom he would name to fill the remaining two years of his Senate term: Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Bayh’s close friend and former top aide.
This is Rabbi Dennis Sasso's sermon from this past Kol Nidre.
In 1974, an important book titled The New Anti-Semitism (by Arnold Forster and Benjamin R. Epstein) addressed the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Western society.

It explained that after the Holocaust, the Western world felt embarrassed by its anti-Semitic legacy. The birth of the State of Israel, through edict of the United Nations, helped to assuage the guilty conscience of the world. But as the State of Israel prospered and defeated various Arab aggressions, and as American Jews attained greater economic security, social acceptance and political influence, Jews began to lose their “victim” status. Following the Six-Day War, the Palestinians emerged as the new victims and Israel’s image as a beleaguered state began to fade.

There always remained a hard-core radical political right that spewed its venom against the Jews (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society), but in the midsixties the radical left emerged at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Jews, who had been actively involved in the civil rights movement and other liberal causes, felt betrayed as the radical left began to take an Anti-Semitic turn.

A new generation, largely ignorant of the Holocaust, moved now by the emerging social issues of poverty, racial inequality, the Vietnam War (issues which equally engaged Jews), were unconcerned and often hostile to Israel and Jewish interests.[...]

Regrettably, many Christians have forgotten Reverend Martin Luther King’s admonition, “And what is anti-Zionism? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friends, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism…Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews – make no mistake about it.” King’s words are again relevant as we hear the hateful notes of a prejudice that holds Israel and the Jews to a different standard than other nations and thinks nothing of proposing the dissolution of an internationally sanctioned Jewish State.

What is there to do? I suggest a three-pronged approach:

1. To Affirm
2. To Educate
3. To Sensitize and be Sensitive

We need to affirm publicly and proudly the importance of Israel in Judaism and in our history as a people.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the Israeli Literature Nobel Prize Laureate, expressed the centrality of Israel in our collective consciousness when upon being asked in Stockholm where he was from, responded, “I am from Jerusalem, but because Titus destroyed the Temple (in the year 70 C.E.), I was born in Poland.”

We need to visit and support Israel financially and morally through our generosity and our engagement in the life of the synagogue and the community. (The current Federation Israel Emergency Campaign affords us an opportunity to express our support.)

We need to educate ourselves concerning issues affecting Israel and the Middle East.

We need to cultivate positive relations with governmental and community leaders, and with Christian and Muslim groups, sharing our passion and hopes for an Israel living at peace with her neighbors.

We need to explain the indissoluble bonds between Judaism and Zionism, and the inextricable links between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

We need to sensitize Jews and non-Jews concerning the threats that Israel faces and the promise that Israel holds for her people and the world.

We need also to be sensitive and responsive to the anguish and unfulfilled dreams of Palestinian children and families who suffer because of this unresolved conflict and the intransigence and violence of leaders who hate Israel more than they love their own people. There should be enough justice and compassion to go around for both peoples to live and prosper as neighbors in peace.

We must be open to fair criticism of Israel’s policies even as we would be of American policies. Israelis, living in an open and democratic society, are their own government’s most outspoken critics. But we should never countenance the notion that Israel was born in sin, that its existence is negotiable. That would not only be a betrayal of our ancestral dream, but of international law.
Here's the past year in review in the commonwealth.

Surprising as it may be, this article shows Democratic state party chairman Jerry Lundergan in a positive light.
From the tasty gingerbread house at Limestone Center to the sternwheeler paddling along the wall near Caproni's On The River, someone has made sure Maysville shines with the best of them for the season.

That someone is Maysville native and entrepreneur Jerry Lundergan.

"It is just another way to make Maysville a special place to live," said Lundergan.

Memories of watching July 4 fireworks from the old drive-in in Aberdeen or his family taking an adventure to see the menagerie of animals at Duke's Farm kept Lundergan wondering what he could do to make memories for families in a similar way.[...]

With the help of a company in Pine Mountain, Ga., Lundergan has added a winter wonderland of lights and sights to the decorations already provided by the city of Maysville, businesses and its residents.

"When we see something we think would make a nice display we send a photograph to the company and they create the lights and relays for the electronics," he said. "They also have to be made so they can be disassembled for storage."

Just how much each scene costs to produce is not the something Lundergan wants to reveal.

"Let's just say, they are very expensive," he laughed. "But it's fun."

He is not finished with adorning Maysville for the holidays.

"Each year we are planning to add more and more displays," said Lundergan. " I enjoy doing it as long as people enjoy them."

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