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Friday, April 18, 2014

Republicans Are Winning The 2014 Battle For Territory

Mid-term elections are all about the control of territory.  The more districts one party can put real pressure on, the more the other party has to spread out its money and spend where it didn't intend. Right now it looks as if the GOP is winning the territory war for both the House and the Senate.

Politico is reporting Friday that pressure on incumbents who normally would not need as much support is forcing the DCCC, concentrating their money on incumbents and leave out some party newcomers who may have had a chance to make their races competitive if they had support. 
House Democrats, battered by Koch brothers ads and facing a grim outlook for the midterms, are providing the clearest indication yet of how they plan to respond: By shoring up imperiled incumbents and only the most promising challengers, but most likely leaving some of the party’s upstart hopefuls to fend for themselves.

The aim of the strategy, detailed in nearly two dozen interviews with party officials and strategists, is a tacit acknowledgement of the ominous political environment Democrats are up against this year. The goal is to stop Republicans from padding their 17-seat edge and keep the party within striking distance of the majority in 2016, a presidential election year that could well be more favorable to Democrats.
The money shift away from attacks on GOP incumbents will allow the NRCC to become even more aggressive in attacking the Democratic Party incumbents.

A similar process is happening in the Senate races.  The GOP needs to win at least six seats to wrest control from the Democrats. But the GOP is becoming competitive in more states every week.  Why they won't necessarily win all those competitive seats, they are forcing the Democrats to spread out their money and spend to support incumbents that a few weeks ago they didn't expect to need aggressive support.

Last month the Cook Political Report moved four Democratic Party-held states in our direction. New Hampshire went from Likely D to Lean D, and North Carolina, Alaska, and Louisiana are now considered Toss Ups (joining Arkansas and Michigan in that column). This brings the total number of seats held by Democrats that are rated as Toss Up, Lean R, or Likely R to eight.  But the pressure goes beyond those eight

Seats which are open because of a Democrat retirement:

South Dakota (,Cook – Likely R): Former Governor Mike Rounds has consistently polled at over 50% in this race. Most recently he garnered 51% in February 2014 (Rasmussen), and before that he got 52% in September ’13 (Harper) and 52% in March ’13 (PPP). South Dakota is missing from the list of states in which the DSCC claimed they will spend $60million dollars to win .

West Virginia ( Cook – Lean R): Supposed Democratic rising-star Natalie Tennant has failed to make any headway against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito in this race. Capito has consistently led in the polls from both the left (PPP, +14%) and the right (Rasmussen, +14%). Capito has a four-to-one cash advantage ($4.2m-to-$1m) that nicely compliments her double-digit polling advantage.

( Cook – Lean R): Congressman Steve Daines continues to hold the reins in this race against Montana’s newest (appointed) Democratic Senator, John Walsh. Democrats had thought they scored a major coup with their “Big Sky Buyoff” (appointing Walsh to the open Senate seat on Baucus’ ambassadorial appointment), but it does not seem to have paid off.  Before this whole backroom deal came together, Daines was scoring 52% against Walsh (PPP), after he scores 51% (Rasmussen) - that’s a whole lot of effort from DEMs for no movement in the race.

Michigan (Cook – Toss Up): Michigan has long been rated a toss-up by Charlie Cook (since December ’13 to be exact). The Republican, Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land has held consistent leads over Democratic Congressman Gary Peters in five out of the seven public polls conducted in 2014 (conducted since race earned Toss Up rating). And, Land has outraised Peters in every quarter since joining the race. This quarter, Land brought in $1.5million.

This may be why the DSCC felt the need to send their Director of Campaigns from the DC office out to Michigan to take over the campaign. Or it may be this devastating ad from AFP highlighting ObamaCare’s real world impact on Michigan families. Either way, Michigan is looking up for the GOP, which was very unexpected.

Iowa (Cook – Lean D): If you haven’t yet had the chance, take a moment to watch this video of Rep. Bruce Braley express his true feelings about Iowa farmers and his perception of their inferiority to trial lawyers. For context, approximately 90% the entire land area in Iowa is farmland. There are more than 90,000 farms in the state that employ nearly 350,000 Iowans according to Iowa State University.Polling in the race has consistently shown a majority of voters disapproving of the job Obama is doing as President. And, while Braley is far better known in the state than any of the GOP challengers (for now), he captures a maximum of 38% of the vote… it’s almost as if voters are looking for an alternative.  This too is a race that is much more competitive than anticipated.

Incumbent Democrats:

(Cook – Toss Up): Senator Pryor has long been considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle, and both Democrats and Republicans have taken to the air to try to influence this race early. There has been nearly $6million of TV advertising so far from eighteen different outside groups on both sides of the aisle. And, Pryor’s campaign has gambled a lot of their resources early, putting up nearly twice the amount of TV ($1.25million) as Cotton’s campaign ($650k). Through all of this, Cotton has either led by outside the margin of error, or been in a statistical tie with Pryor. Cotton is probably the most qualified GOP candidate battling an incumbent.

Louisiana (Cook – Toss Up): Cook Political recently moved Louisiana from Lean D to Toss Up, citing poor polling which portray Landrieu’s position as being similar to Pryor “who has been in the Toss Up column for months.” Landrieu and Obamacare are very unpopular in Louisiana.

The polling on Landrieu has shown her stuck between 39% and 45%, suggesting that this race will go to a December runoff. And, in head-to-head polling with Congressman Bill Cassidy, she does not fare so well, trailing the Congressman and Doctor by four according to the most recent numbers.

North Carolina (Cook – Toss Up): Same story, different state. Cook Political also moved North Carolina from Lean D to Toss Up.  When even the liberal PPP, based in North Carolina, finds their own incumbent Senator Kay Hagen trailing Republican candidates on the ballot it is time for Democrats to start worrying.  Doubly worrying for DEMs is the Thom Tillis fundraising potential for this race. Tillis nearly doubled his fundraising output this quarter, bringing in $1.3million in Q1. Senator Hagan will certainly be well-funded thanks to the help of her liberal friends around the country ($2.8million), but it is unlikely to be enough since she is already working from a ballot deficit.

Alaska (Cook – Toss Up):  Alaska also moves into the Toss Up column. At the end of the quarter, Rasmussen found that Begich trailed one GOP challenger and tied the second, Obama is inverted on his job approval by double digits, and six-in-ten have an unfavorable view of ObamaCare.  Remember Begich barely beat Republican Ted Stevens six years ago.  Stevens would have won if he hadn't been accused of a scandal of which he was later cleared. RepublicanDan Sullivan is no flash in the pan. Sullivan brought in an impressive $1.3million for the quarter, closing the filing period with nearly $2million cash on hand.  This total eclipsed incumbent Senator Begich’s haul ($1million). Begich has $2.8million cash on hand, and will likely use every cent to deceive Alaska voters about his record, but he can’t hide from his near-universal support for Obama and his policies (not too popular in Alaska).

Other States Facing GOP Pressure:

Colorado: The entrance of Rep. Cory Gardner into the race immediately throws Colorado into contention. Senator Udall’s numbers have been weak for a long time now (Quinnipiac: 45% or less on all ballots, 42% re-elect, 59% disapprove of Obama’s job performance), and Gardner is a strong candidate poised to capitalize on this opportunity.  Since Gardner’s entry into the race, three polls from across the political spectrum (Rasmussen, Harper, PPP) have shown this race as a tie.

New Hampshire:  Although there is still a primary to get through Scott Brown's entrance into the race has made it a GOP possibility. Like Colorado above the Democrats will have to spend money where they didn't anticipate. According to one poll, Brown has a lead in the race which is outside the margin of error (49% Brown – 44% Shaheen). In a state where President Obama has only one-third of voters approving of his job performance while 57% disapprove, that has to be a concern for DEMs.

Former GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie’s decision to challenge Senator Mark Warner has moved this race from a "no way" to a "maybe.". Upon jumping into the race, Ed raised over $300k in the first week, and prompted the UVA Center for Politics to downgrade their prediction of Warner’s chances.  Polling does currently give Democratic Senator Warner a lead, but more importantly, this is the type of environment that could leave him high and dry as Virginians get to know Gillespie. A majority of Virginia’s voters disapprove of Obama and disapprove of ObamaCare. Moreover, Warner is unable to break the 50% mark on the ballot.

Oregon:  Another state where the GOP selection hasn't been chosen.  Harper Polling took a recent look at Oregon, and found Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley to be incredibly vulnerable, far more so than most suspected. Merkley is well below 50% on the ballot, his favorables are only at 39%, and a majority disapproves of the job Obama has been doing as President.

Minnesota: Incumbent Al Franken is waiting for the GOP primary to pick his opponent but recent polls have shown that President Obama’s approval rating in this state is in the mid-thirties, yet Al Franken, has voted with him 100% of the time. Perhaps that is a reason why polling has shown that Franken is indeed vulnerable.  Here too is a race where the Democrats may need to spend more than planned and may even lose.

It's all about the territory.  Republican strength and the weakness of the incumbent Democrats and President Obama is forcing the Democrats to spend their money against incumbents who they thought would win in a cake walk. In both the 2014 House and Senate races, it seems that the GOP are on offense, and the Democrats are trying to defend what they have.

Newsbusted: Now That Tax Day Is Over, IRS Will Go Back To Attacking Tea Party

Leading up to April 15th Americans across the country were busily filling out their forms and sending in their money.  And in IRS offices across the nation, agents were answering questions and collecting money. Now that tax day has passed and things are slowing down, what does the IRS do?  According to Newsbusted Anchor Jodie Miller (see video below) we learn that the IRS is now shifting staff responsibility back to screwing Tea Party related 501(c)(3) groups.

Other news items covered in the latest installment of Newsbusted the weekly  faux news feature from (embedded below) include; Jane Pauly goes to CBS; the death of Mickey Rooney, Morning Joe and Hillary Clinton;  and much, much, more.

Please make sure you watch the video below because something bad always happens to the people who don't. Last week John Kerry forgot to press play and not his Ukraine deal lasted lest than a day. So if you don't want your hard work to fall apart in less than 24 hours, yo better press play.

Oh and if you cannot see the video player below please click here

Ukraine Deal Falling Apart Already?

 Well that didn't last very long, just a few hours  after the U.S., European Union, Russia, and Ukraine agreed preliminary de-escalation deal in Geneva, Switzerland, it's it looks as if it is about to collapse.

The pro-Russian rebels who have been occupying buildings in 10 eastern Ukrainian cities were supposed to leave as part of the deal but they are refusing to leave those buildings, saying they won't do so until the interim government in Ukraine resigns. Denis Pushilin, a spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk People's Republic, told reporters Friday the agreement is "reasonable" — as long as it also applies to the government in Kiev.  In other words, they want the Ukrainian government to abandon any buildings it uses. That is not going to happen.
One of the key tenets in the de-escalation deal is the provision that "all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners" — and there's a fundamental disagreement among the parties in Ukraine over what's illegal and who's legitimate.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But during a press conference on Thursday, President Barack Obama said he was not optimistic about Russia holding up its end of the bargain, and he hinted that more sanctions could be on their way.

"My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days," Obama said. "But I don’t think given past performance that we can count on that, and we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine."

The deal also calls for all illegal groups to disarm, all illegally occupied streets and squares to be vacated, and for amnesty to all protesters who have surrendered their weapons. But according to the AP, none of the government buildings have been vacated, and there are no reports of any of the pro-Russian separatists disarming.
Perhaps Kerry should grab that reset button, because it looks as if Putin has out-maneuvered the U.S. again.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Egyptian Magazine: 'The Jews Can Rejoice In Their Holidays Only If They Eat Matza Laced With The Blood Of Non-Jews'

In article written here last week, Why The Overland Park Anti-Semitic Attack Happened Yesterday: Passover is The Time For Anti-Jewish Violence we wrote about the connection between Passover and Antisemitism, thanks to MEMRI we have another example.

On the occasion of Passover, Egyptian journalist Firnas Hafzi wrote in an article titled "The Jewish Bloodsuckers On Passover" that Jews kill non-Jews during this holiday in order to use their blood in preparing matzas. Quoting researchers who describe this alleged Jewish custom, she listed many alleged cases, including the 1840 Damascus blood libel. She added that as part of their efforts to disassociate themselves from these murders, the Jews wrote stories and made films about vampires, or else blamed their crimes on deranged individuals. The murders that the Jews are known to have committed as part of their Passover rituals, she said, are "a drop in the ocean compared to the Jewish crimes that no one knows about" and thousands of children and adults who have vanished around the world were likely victims of these Jewish rituals.

The following are excerpts from Hafzi's article:
"In another stage of the Passover celebrations, [the Jews] combined the preparation of matzas and the offering up of sacrifices with their enmity towards non-Jews, especially Christians, and mixed the blood of one of their victims into the matza [dough. This was done] especially on Passover, Purim and circumcision rituals. They also used blood in acts of sorcery and witchcraft, as stated in Isaiah 57:4-5: 'Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit, you who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?'
"The most well-known incident which demonstrates how the Jews managed to shed the blood of many innocent people occurred on February 6, 1840, when a Catholic monk named Toma, an Italian living in Damascus, disappeared along with his servant. The Catholic monks said that the Jews had slaughtered him according to their rituals. The unusual appearance of his body, which was found dismembered, indicated that his blood had been drained. After [Damascus] Governor Sharif Pasha searched the Jewish neighborhood and captured seven of them, the neighborhood barber confessed to slaughtering the monk, and admitted that the whole affair had been [carried out] according to what is written in the Talmud about the need to bake matzas with Christian or Muslim blood. He also confessed to killing the servant. The citizens, outraged, attacked the Jewish neighborhood and burned and destroyed synagogues in Damascus, Beirut and Izmir.

"The ancient historian Josephus [Flavius] also mentioned that [the Jews] drank the blood of their victims and mixed it into the matza dough, and also ate some of [the victims'] flesh.

"The German Dr. Eric Bischoff likewise noted that one of the commandments of the Jewish [religion] is to kill strangers, who are like beasts. This killing, [he wrote,] has to be done in the lawful method. Those who do not ascribe themselves to the Jewish religious law must be offered up as sacrifices to the High God. Richard Francis Burton, who examined the Talmud and its attitude towards non-Jews in his 1898 book The Jew, The Gypsy and El Islam, admitted on page 81: 'The Talmud declares that there are two kinds of blood pleasing to the Lord, viz: (1) that of the Paschal holocaust; (2) that of circumcision.'"
"The draining of the victims' blood is done in [several ways. One method is] by means of a barrel lined with needles. This is a barrel the size of the victim's body, with sharp needles that stick into all his limbs when he is placed in it, so that his blood slowly trickles down from every part of his body. This entails excruciating torment, which gives pleasure to the Jews who become drunk with joy at the sight of the blood dripping from the victim's [body] to the bottom of the barrel and into a container placed there to collect it. [Another method] is to slaughter the victim like a sheep and collecting his blood in a vessel, or else slashing the victim's veins in numerous places so that the blood flows from the wounds into the vessels. Then the blood is handed to a rabbi who prepares a matza laced with human blood in order to please the Jewish god, Jehovah, who thirsts for blood. The Jews can rejoice in their holidays only if they eat matza laced with the blood of non-Jews.
She give plenty more disgusting examples before she ends with "the cover-up"
As part of the efforts to deny [the Jewish crimes], Jewish Americans wrote stories about vampires in the 1970s, in order to disassociate themselves from the accusation of sucking human blood and deceive [the mechanisms of] justice. During that period they spent millions on Dracula films, in order to deceive world public opinion. They claimed that those who slaughter children and adults and suck their blood are lunatics and that all this has nothing to do with them and their religious rituals. On February 14, 1964, the [Egyptian] magazine Al-Musawwar published a story about vampires in Colombia after many [Colombian] children had been slaughtered to shed their blood. Neither the magazine nor the investigators in Colombia dreamed that the vampires might be Jews, rather than [people who] sell blood to hospitals."
What makes this Libel particularly disgusting is that the Torah expressly forbids the ingestion of blood. For example Leviticus 17:10-14:
And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that eateth any manner of blood, I will set My face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel: No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, that taketh in hunting any beast or fowl that may be eaten, he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For as to the life of all flesh, the blood thereof is all one with the life thereof; therefore I said unto the children of Israel: Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof; whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
Anti-Semitic hatred isn't unique to Egypt or even in the Muslim world. It is rampant throughout Europe, it is alive in the United States, you see it on television, you see it in the BDS movement and you even see it in Jewish circles such as J-Street. And most of the Antisemitism is accepted by governments across the world, sadly even in the United States.

Jews in Russian Leaning Ukraine Told To Register or Be Deported

A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, calling for all Jews over 16 years old to register as Jews .  The leaflet demanded the city's Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.
Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people - 10 percent of Ukraine's population - and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the country's heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.

The leaflet, signed by Chairman of Donetsk's temporary government Denis Pushilin, was distrbiuted to Jews near the Donetsk synagogue and later in other areas of the city where pro-Russians activists have declared Donetsk as an independent "people's republic", defying an ultimatum from Kiev to surrender.
Not exactly the way these Jews want to celebrate Passover.
"Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality," the flyer began, "due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta," a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, "and oppose the pro-Slavic People's Republic of Donetsk, (the interim government) has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic's territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register."

The leaflet detailed what type of documents the Jewish citizens would need to supply: "ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles."

If the message was not made clear enough, the leaflet further stipulated the consequences that would come to those who failed to abide by the new demands: "Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property."

To add insult to injury, the leaflet demanded the Jews pay a registration fee of $50.
In ten days Jews observe Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as a day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period.

The Ukrainian leaflets are an indication of how little the world has changed in the past seventy years, actually how little the world has changed in the past two thousand years.
Emanuelle Shechter, from Israel, received a copy of the leaflet via Whatsapp from his friends in Donetsk. "They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions."
In a response to a request by a Ukrainian Jewish website, Pushilin, the interim government's regional chairman, confirmed that the flyers were distributed by his organization, but denied any connection to the leaflet's content.
Because this hate is coming from the Ukraine the world will protests, when the anti-Jewish hate comes from the Muslim world, in the form of incitement, laws, and terror there is nothing but silence.

Near the end of the Seder, Jews open the door to the outside the purpose of which most people say is to symbolically invite the Prophet Elijah to join the meal. But others believe the reason has more to do with the prayer which comes next:
"Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon kingdoms that did not call upon Thy name. For they have consumed Jacob, and laid waste his habitation. Pour out Thy rage upon them, and let Thy fury overtake them. Pursue them in anger and destroy them, from under the heavens of the LORD."
It is unique in Jewish Prayer we don't usually pray for bad things to happen. But Passover is the celebration of our freedom as a people. Perhaps the reason to open the door and make that prayer is a show to the haters like the slime in the Ukraine that we will not stand for your hatred.  The Shoah and the acceptance of Muslim hatred teach the Jews that we cannot trust anyone but ourselves to protect ourselves.

UPDATE: Jake Tapper Reports that the leaflets were real