Friday, July 06, 2007

Three pages worth of emails

Bear with me here. I'll likely have one post for politics and the other for UK-related information. Sound good?

You all might be in some luck. There won't be a novella worth posting since most of the articles emailed to me are now dead links since newspapers will only keep them online for so long! Hey, it makes my job easier although I feel a bit let down on the news I read.

Kind of old news now but Hoosier rocker John Mellencamp performed with the Boston Pops Spectacular for the 4th of July.

Prosecuters apparently questioned Brent Hall over leaked information.

Here's a nice editorial relating to why the Ten Commandments should not be displayed on public property owned by the state government. I consider myself a fairly religious person but the thing is, aside from the fact that it violates the first amendment, which version would one display because with all these different translations, no one will be happy. I won't lie. Unless it's the original Aramaic version in the Hebrew Bible, I would certainly not be happy about it.
This spring it is Kentucky legislators who don't understand the wrongness of their position and are once again trying to erect on the Statehouse lawn in Frankfort a monument to the Commandments they believe G-d gave to Moses.

Enquirer Kentucky politics specialist Pat Crowley sums it up nicely on his N.Ky. Politics blog: "Thou shalt not pander."

Let's be clear here - the problem is not the Commandments or the code of conduct they set forth. The world would be a far more civil place if everybody followed them. Some of them clearly apply to the rules of our civil society and have been encoded into states' laws - don't kill, don't steal, don't lie.

But others just as clearly advocate a religious doctrine - worship the G-d of Moses above all else, no graven images, don't take G-d's name in vain, keep the Sabbath holy.
Indiana Senator Evan Bayh filed legislation that would help American workers.

ABC News and USA Today are teaming up to provide news relating to the presidential election.

Months of hard work has paid off! Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure by DePaul University.
DePaul University denied tenure to Norman Finkelstein, a professor who raised hackles for saying that Jewish groups have exploited the Holocaust.

Norman Finkelstein "plays fast and loose" with the facts he cited in his scholarly work, Michael Kotzin, the executive vice president of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, told JTA on Sunday, thus making the decision necessary.

Kotzin said his group had been careful not to impinge on the Chicago university's right to make its choice, emphasizing that DePaul had an "absolutely internal basis for the decision based on their standards and principles."

In his letter to Finkelstein, DePaul's president, the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, cited a summary statement by the university's board on promotion of tenure that "expressed several concerns touching on his scholarship, specifically what they consider the intellectual character of his work and his persona as a public intellectual."

Among those who had vocally urged DePaul to reject tenure to Finkelstein were the pro-Israel group StandWithUs and, perhaps most visibly, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Good move by New York to divest pension funds from the Sudan region.

Jay Footlik, a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton, is running for Congress in Illinois' 10th district. I wish him the best of luck. I had the chance to see him speak at a Jews for Kerry event back in 2004. He's a great guy.

Shimon Peres was elected Israel's 9th President.
"I have been in the Knesset for 48 years and not for one moment have I lost faith or hope in Israel," Peres said in his acceptance speech. "What Israel has achieved in 60 years, no other country has been able to achieve. I hope I can represent our faith not because there are no problems but because we all want to overcome them."

Peres, 83, will assume the presidency, a largely ceremonial post, on July 15 for a seven-year term. The presidency will cap a six-decade career in which Peres has served in virtually every top civilian post in Israel. In 1993 he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.
Ehud Barak was elected leader of Israel's Labor Party.
Barak, 65, is widely expected to assume the defense portfolio from former Labor chief Amir Peretz. That would lend much-needed military polish to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government, which lost much of its support over the failures of last year's Lebanon war.

"I will dedicate all my energy and knowledge to bolstering the defense establishment and the armed forces, as well as restoring Israel's deterrence," Barak told supporters.
I have to hand it to the leader of the Conservative Party in Great Britain. Thank you for being a mensch!
David Cameron, responding to questions at the annual luncheon of the Conservative Friends of Israel, said the academic boycott was completely uncalled for and that attacks against Israel often slid into anti-Semitism, Ha'aretz reported.

"If by Zionist you mean that the Jews have the right to a homeland in Israel and the right to a country then I am a Zionist," the Tory leader said.
At a meeting with the Orthodox Union, U.S. Senators reiterated their support for Israel and called for action against Iran.
Also at the luncheon, held Wednesday in the Hart Senate Office Building, the senators stressed national security and reiterated their support of Israel.

“We must address the Iranian challenge to our security,”said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), adding that diplomacy without threat of military action is ineffective.

Presidential candidate Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) echoed Lieberman’s sentiment, calling for a divestiture campaign against Iran.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of an Orthodox synagogue in Baltimore, focused on a Senate energy bill.

“There is no better way to protect the interest of this country than to become energy independent,” he said.
How interesting.
It is known that pop diva Paula Abdul is Jewish, and recently it was revealed that Simon Cowell — the show’s brutally honest Brit — is of Jewish descent, too: His paternal grandparents, Joseph Cowell and Esther Malinsky, were married in 1915 at West Ham Synagogue, in East London, the Web site Jewtastic reports.
Apparently, NBC is going after Jon Stewart for Tonight and having second thoughts about Conan O'Brien hosting.

Joe Biden's camp lost a key staffer in the month of June.
But while the Biden camp picked up an endorsement, the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reports that it lost one of its tops fundraiser after a dispute over strategy. “Kory Mitchell, considered one of the party's best fundraisers and formerly the finance director of Evan Bayh's All America PAC, quit the campaign this week, according to three friends of his.”
What in the heck? Jerusalem IS the capital of Israel and the BBC is apologizing for calling it so?!? No wonder why they are SO BIASED!
The BBC apologized this week for referring to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and promised not to repeat "the mistake," following a complaint by four British organizations.

Arab Media Watch, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, Friends of Al-Aksa and the Institute of Islamic Political Thought sent a joint complaint to the BBC after a presenter on its Football Focus program on March 24 mentioned that Jerusalem was Israel's capital and "historic soul."

The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit posted a response on its Web site: "The reference was a passing one in a context where the focus was on sport, not politics. While recognizing the sensitivity of the issue of the status of Jerusalem, the ECU took the view that the program-makers had taken sufficient action by acknowledging the error and rectifying the Web site."

The Editorial Complaints Unit's ruling was: "Complaint resolved."

In a letter to the complaining NGOs, Fraser Steel, head of editorial complaints at the BBC, said: "We of course accept that the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and that the BBC should not describe it as such. I was therefore pleased to see that Katherine Tsang [BBC Information adviser], when she wrote to you in April, acknowledged the error and apologized for it. [Presenter] Steve Boulton and other senior managers in BBC Sport told us they very much regret the mistake and apologize for it."

"Senior managers will try to ensure, as you suggest, that the mistake is not repeated. Because it appears on the Web site, there will be a public acknowledgement of the error, and the action taken in consequence."

Steel added: "I'd like to add my apologies for this most regrettable, but I'm sure accidental, factual mistake. I appreciate that the status of Jerusalem is of particular concern to Palestinians, and it is important that it is not misrepresented. I am confident that lessons have already been learned, and they will be emphasized as a result of my decision."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in response: "Jerusalem is Israel's capital. It is the right of every sovereign state to determine which city will be its capital. If this is not accepted by everyone today, I am confident it will be in the future."
We are getting closer to seeing a Palestinian state now that Hamas has taken over Gaza.

Some changes were recently made with the Obama campaign.
Also, Dan Pfeiffer, formerly a senior adviser to Tom Daschle and Evan Bayh, has been brought back from the road to oversee the day-to-day communications planning.

Robert Gibbs, Obama's director of communications and one of his closest aides, will spend more time on the road with Obama to hone his message. Gibbs will work with campaign strategist David Axelrod on big-picture strategy and messaging.
You can view Congressman Ben Chandler's latest email here.

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