Friday, March 22, 2019

2020 Democrats Shunning AIPAC

2020 Democrats Shunning AIPAC
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 22, 2019

It seems these days that the Democrat hopefuls for president in 2020 are taking their marching orders from beyond the far left, in the likes of and Code Pink, and shame on them for doing so, as they are squandering an important opportunity.

Both of these fringe leftist operations have petitioned, demanded, and cajoled, to great effect, 16 Democrats to shun the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference being held in Washington, DC Sunday through Tuesday, March 24-26. AIPAC has been in the news quite a bit lately, thanks to the false accusations leveled by US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). 

AIPAC - the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - is a 501(c)(4) bi-partisan advocacy organization founded in 1951 promoting strong relations between the United States and Israel. ( Don’t confuse the PAC in AIPAC with a PAC - political action committee, which far too many people do. AIPAC, of which I am a proud member, does not endorse or contribute to political candidates. Some of my most conservative friends are members of AIPAC, as are some of my most liberal friends. AIPAC truly exemplifies what bipartisanship is all about and perhaps Congress could take a few lessons there.

The following Democrats are slated to speak at the AIPAC conference: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), US Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), and US Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). While I do not endorse their politics, I applaud them for planning to speak at AIPAC, and for understanding the importance of such an organization - that of furthering a strong and fruitful relationship between the United States and the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.

On the other hand, the ever growing list of Democrat candidates seeking their party’s nomination, matches the list of those choosing to eschew the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference. The who’s who of cowards includes:

US Senator Cory Booker - New Jersey
Former South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Former San Antonio, TX Mayor Julian Castro
Former US Representative John Delaney - Maryland
US Representative Tulsi Gabbard - Hawaii
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand - New York
US Senator Kamala Harris - California
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Washington Governor Jay Inslee
US Senator Amy Klobuchar - Minnesota
Former US Representative Robert Francis O’ Rourke - Texas
US Senator Bernie Sanders - Vermont - a Socialist masquerading as a Democrat
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz - a Democrat masquerading as an Independent
US Senator Elizabeth Warren - Massachusetts
Author Marianne Williamson
Former Tech Executive Andrew Yang

With whom are these recalcitrant Democrats attempting to curry favor? Anti-Israelis? Anti-Semites? Anti-Zionists? The candidates certainly want the financial contributions and votes of the Jewish people. And for decades the Democrat Party and its candidates have taken and still take the votes of the Jewish people for granted. 

What do the these Democrats fear? Do they fear the loss of support from far left organizations such as and Code Pink simply for speaking before a mainstream, politically agnostic organization such as AIPAC? Or is it because AIPAC is a Jewish-themed organization? Or is it because President Donald Trump supports Israel, and has been one of its greatest allies since its founding in 1948?

After all, in addition to moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem after decades and numerous administrations promised, then balked at the notion, President Trump just this week acknowledged and supports Israel’s legitimate claim to the Golan Heights, saying “this is about sovereignty and security.”

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” tweeted Trump.

The Golan Heights, at Israel’s northern border, was captured during the Six-Day War in June 1967 - a war initiated by Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, culminating in victory by Israel. Israel officially annexed the Golan in 1981.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his joy in Trump’s support on the Golan. “Trump has made history. He did it again - first Jerusalem,” and then he pulled out of the Iran deal, said Netanyahu. 

Yet, none of this should be relevant, as AIPAC is bi-partisan, and the Democrat candidates should speak at AIPAC because they support the strengthening relations between the United States and Israel. Apparently their hatred of Trump, trumps the alliance between the two countries that will long outlive this administration. Shame on the Democrat candidates for their pettiness. 

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Happy 40th Birthday C-SPAN

Happy 40th Birthday C-SPAN
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 18, 2019

On March 19, 1979 3.5 million subscribers, probably unbeknownst to them, ushered the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network, more familiarly known as C-SPAN, into their homes. And while he did not invent the internet, contrary to his own egotistical belief, Al Gore (D-TN) then a US Congressman, was the first voice people heard as he spoke from the floor of the House of Representatives.

Thus the era of political television began with a whimper, not a bang. Today, 40 years later, C-SPAN is ubiquitous with political junkies, as, to borrow from another network, “must see TV.” On September 14, 1982, C-SPAN expanded its programming to 24 hours a day, and two years later, C-SPAN covered the presidential nominating conventions wire wire for the first time, a tradition they continue to this day. Today, roughly 100 million homes receive “gavel to gavel coverage” of both the House and the Senate - C-SPAN2 became the home of Senate coverage on June 2, 1986.

For those interested in civic affairs, any speech given, any legislation debated and voted upon can be viewed in its unvarnished entirety. C-SPAN and its offspring, including C-SPAN Radio, WCSP-FM, also found on satellite radio, began broadcasting October 9, 1997, and C-SPAN3, which began airing January 22, 2001, offer more than the sessions of Congress.

America and the Courts, Landmark Cases, State of the State Addresses given by the governors, numerous debates for governor, Senate and Congress, American History TV, Book TV, Book Notes, C-SPAN Classroom, The Road to the White House - following candidates on their campaign trails, are some of the many programs C-SPAN et al airs. Various sessions of parliament from Australia, Britain, and Canada are also televised by C-SPAN. 

A personal favorite is Washington Journal, first aired January 4, 1995, running 7-10 AM Eastern time. This program reviews headlines of various newspapers, but its highlights are the calls it takes from viewers - including the four or five times I have gotten through.

C-SPAN even occasionally finds itself mentioned in pop culture, which probably amuses founder, CEO, and host of Q & A, Brian Lamb, who seems to have wanted to go through his amazing C-SPAN career anonymously. Washington Journal is hosted by people who do not introduce themselves at the top of the program the way show hosts do on the news networks. Lamb was a longtime host of the program, and I recall an interview on another network about how he preferred the attention go to the guests and callers.

One caller of note, on February 25, 1983, President Ronald Reagan spoke with a group of students he had met with earlier in the White House. This did not seem to be planned in advance, and both the host, Lamb, and the students appeared surprised by the call.

Lamb, 77, was born in Lafayette, IN and is an alumnus of Purdue University, as well as a Navy veteran. Additionally, C-SPAN maintains its archives at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette under the leadership of professor Robert X. Browning, teaching at Purdue since 1981.

C-SPAN operates sans outside paid advertising, and with no federal money. “And there never will be,” said Lamb. C-SPAN was “created by cable, where history unfolds daily,” and is “your unfiltered view of government.”

In addition to Washington Journal, I continue to enjoy many C-SPAN programs including the sessions of Congress and Senate, Road to the White House, Landmark Cases, as well as the wall to wall convention coverage especially in the days of diminished coverage by the traditional networks and even the cable news stations. C-SPAN is a vital source of information presented in a non-partisan manner.

Happy 40th birthday, C-SPAN. Here’s to 40 more!

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Omar and Her Merry Band of Anti-Semites

Omar and Her Merry Band of Anti-Semites
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 6-7, 2019

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, is adapted from an Italian proverb, “he that deceives me once it’s his fault; but if twice, it’s my fault.” How many weak-kneed, faux apologies will US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) offer before people in her party, before her apologists finally come to the obvious realization that she is a flat out anti-Semite?

Omar has been a sitting member of Congress just over 60 days and has offered three apologies, no doubt on a breakneck pace to set some sort of record for shamefulness. This is not the first time Omar’s anti-Semitism has been my focal point. 

It’s one thing to be legitimately critical of Israel due to a political leader or policy one finds objectionable. However, when historical anti-Semitic canards are bandied about like confetti, there is no place for that person - of any background, within the halls of Congress. Calling out Omar has absolutely nothing to do with her background as a Muslim, as she believes, seeking, sympathy.

Omar’s latest bout of anti-Semitism has accused those who support Israel of having dual loyalties. This is offensive not just to Jewish people, but to the large numbers of Evangelical Christians who unabashedly support Israel. See the aforementioned essay for Omar’s other anti-Semitic tropes, some pre-dating her election to Congress. She must be the pride of her district in Minnesota.

US Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) expressed his disgust with Omar’s language, calling it “unacceptable and deeply offensive to question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the Israel-US relationship.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said that the “portrayal of American Jews having divided loyalty is a vile anti-Semitic slur.”

But which is worse, that Omar the anti-Semite is in Congress or that the Democrat leadership rescinded plans to offer a resolution on the House floor on Wednesday, March 6 condemning anti-Semitism. A resolution that was to include the following language: 

“Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That, the House of Representatives - (1) acknowledges the dangerous consequences of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes; and (2) rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

Yet, those words, and those of Engel are meaningless without any force of action to support them. Engel refused to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, of which he is the chairman, claiming only the leadership can make such a move. Yet, Engel later said “removal [of Omar] would exacerbate the situation,” and that he is not looking to punish anyone. As of 7 PM Wednesday Omar was not removed from that committee, nor had the resolution been presented to the House.

“Why would you have her on a committee that important, that sensitive to our foreign policy, if she has those kind of anti-Semitic beliefs, unless you’re willing to tolerate it; and it shouldn’t be tolerated. She ought to be removed immediately from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” said US Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

In fact, the Democrats said they would probably not mention Omar by name in a potential resolution out of concern for her safety. Further, the Democrats are being pressured internally to include additional language condemning Islamophobia, as well as hateful words and deeds against other minority and/or protected groups. Doing such, would diminish the original intent of the resolution - condemning anti-Semitism and Ilhan Omar. Standing with Omar, are fellow freshman members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) among others in and out of Congress, such as Linda Sarsour, a Muslim activist refusing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.

US Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) offered that there is more than just Omar’s anti-Semitism as a reason to condemn her. Omar has called for leniency of ISIS fighters as well as supports the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction), and should be named in the resolution, said Zeldin on a Fox News appearance. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib also support the BDS Movement. Additionally, Omar has called for the defunding of the Department of Homeland Security, which smacks of treason - my words, NOT Zeldin’s.

US Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) Tweeted, “Anti-Semitism has no place in this Congress or this country. Rep. Omar should be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard in office.”

President Donald Trump also Tweeted a condemnation of the Democrats for their inaction. “It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against anti-Semitism in their conference. Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!”

Omar has the right of free speech, but words have consequences, and others have the same free speech to condemn her for her words. Such consequences should not only cost Omar her spot on the vaunted Foreign Affairs Committee, but will hopefully find Omar facing both a primary opponent in 2020, and if emerging victorious, a strong GOP opponent that will appropriately represent the people of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.

Updating this fluid story on Thursday, March 7, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her weekly press conference to defend Omar speaking with ignorance. “I don’t think she [Omar] understood the full weight of the words… I feel confident her words were not based on an anti-Semitic attitude.” 

“I don’t believe Rep. Omar didn’t know what she was saying… these were pointed, bigoted, anti-Semitic comments,” said Zeldin from the House floor about Omar, questioning the Democrats as to why she was not mentioned in the resolution.

“Of course her comments were anti-Semitic. Of course she understood her words,” said US Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT).

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, 2020 presidential hopefuls senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also pledged their support of Omar.

Pelosi added that Omar would not be singled out by name in a resolution that would be so inclusive of all hatred, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-black, and anti-white supremacist verbiage as to make it virtually meaningless. Pelosi also found time to condemn Trump from the House floor expecting better from him as president.

Engel, speaking from the House floor said that while he will vote for the resolution, he is very disappointed there is not a separate resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

US Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) emphatically called for “strong condemnation of anti-Semitism” and the “dual-loyalty trope - I take personally, as the son of a World War II veteran.”

US Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), who served 20 years in the US Navy, spoke from the House floor as a Jewish veteran, presented an impassioned litany of her service accomplishments asking if she has to prove her loyalty to her country, the United States.

None of this should have been necessary had the Democrats censured Omar in the first place, punished her by removing her from the Foreign Affairs Committee the way the GOP pulled US Rep. Steve King (R-IA) from his committee assignments for his comments regarding white nationalism. One anti-Semitic member of Congress, Ilhan Omar, has repeatedly made anti-Semitic statements followed by disingenuous apologies until the most recent remark, sans apology. 

The resolution presented in Congress could have been issued on one page, not seven, and could have had the full throated support of all members except Omar. Here is the text of H. Res. 183, which completely lacks the strength it was intended to have: 

“Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”

Instead, the version that passed overwhelmingly 407-23, was so watered down it was like a drink during Prohibition. It became so insignificant, Omar voted in favor, as did the entire Democrat caucus, while 23 GOP members voted against, including Zeldin, who is Jewish, because of the weakness of the language.

“If you’re against everything, you’re against nothing,” said historian Victor Davis Hanson, also condemning the Democrat’s lack of intestinal fortitude. 

Omar and OAC, who both appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine along with Pelosi and US Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), are being labeled the new faces of the Democrat Party. Omar, AOC, and Tlaib are more than the faces of the Democrat Party. They represent a dangerous turn that is beginning to antagonize some of the senior membership of their party. On another issue AOC declared “I’m the boss!” Perhaps this is why senior “leadership” of the Democrats balked at presenting the resolution of outright condemnation of anti-Semitism straight up, and that the triumvirate of Omar, AOC, and Tlaib have co-opted the Democrat Party for their own sinister machinations. The so-called Democrat leadership demonstrated that by standing for absolutely nothing, they will fall for anything, including but not limited to the toleration and acceptance of anti-Semitism.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Goose Stepping Toward the White House

Goose Stepping Toward the White House
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 4, 2019

As if late term abortion on demand through crowning and dilation is not unconscionable enough - and signed into law in New York - called a “moral victory” by Governor Andrew Cuomo, 44 members of the United States Senate will not protect human life, having voted for abandonment and death of the living. 

While issues of life and death should not be political, they most certainly have become so. A wide line has been drawn separating those who support life and the living from those who, with the callousness and savage cruelty of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, have, on the record, declared their inhumanity toward their fellow man.

The “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” (S.311) was introduced on January 31 by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE). Its purpose was “to prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.”

“I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether we’re OK with infanticide,” said Sasse prior to the vote.

Failure to comply shall immediately be reported to the appropriate State or Federal law enforcement agency or both. Violators would be fined or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both. This piece of legislation is not about the legality of abortion, but about protecting babies born and living and breathing freely outside the womb.

In a partisan vote on February 25, with 60 votes needed for cloture on the motion to proceed, the Senate voted 53-44, thus preventing S.311 from reaching fruition. Cloture is “the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter and thereby overcome a filibuster,” according to Senate definition. 

With little exception, the vote was cast along party lines. Of the 53 yea votes, 50 came from Republicans and three Democrats “bravely” crossed party lines. Bob Casey (PA), Doug Jones (AL), and Joe Manchin (WV) did the right thing; made the moral decision; no bravery required in voting on the side of life and the living. Three Republicans did not vote, including Lisa Murkowski (AK). Both Kevin Cramer (ND) and Tim Scott (SC), while unable to vote, were among the 43 co-sponsors - all Republicans.

All of the 44 nay votes came from Democrats, including 2020 presidential hopefuls Cory Booker (NJ), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Elizabeth Warren (MA). 

Let’s be as clear as humanly possible, as this pertains to human beings. Seven sitting members of the United States Senate who have either announced, or will likely announce, candidacies for the presidency, voted against a bill that has at its crux, language requiring appropriate medical treatment to keep babies alive. Voting against this legislation would allow for babies born and living outside the womb to die. Voting against this bill supports the murder of living, breathing children.

Strong condemnations appeared in the Catholic News Service and The Jewish Press. “There should be no bill easier for the Senate to pass than one that makes clear that killing newborn babies is wrong and should not be tolerated,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City.

Rejection of the Sasse bill is the rejection of G-d’s law as found in the Torah, prohibiting murder, wrote Rabbi Raphael Fuchs, of Lakewood, NJ, in his Jewish Press column “Murder Is Now Legal in America.”

How was the vote on S.311 not 97-0? How could anyone, regardless of political party, regardless of political aspirations, support a measure that would let children simply die? The abortion on demand through full term crowd is so dangerous, holding so much clout within the liberal-progressive ranks that anything even having the hint of interfering with their precious abortions must be defeated. Life has been devalued that it is no longer a pro-choice stance, but a pro-abortion and even a pro-murder stance.

Where will the notion of the disposable life end? Should any of the liberal-progressive Democrats win their party’s nomination, and Heaven forbid the White House in 2020, will there be a push to put an expiration date on the lives of the aged and infirm? What about the mentally or physically handicapped? It will be cost effective to a people whose philosophy of life by government-fiat seems to take pages from both Margaret Sanger and the Nazis she supported.

Silly me, I thought murder was both against the law in the United States and against G-d’s Commandments. Apparently not to the liberal-progressive Democrats goose-stepping toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.