August 11 , 2017
JAC II Detroit had a great event this week to discuss gerrymandering and the importance of fair redistricting. Dr Kevin Deegan-Krause - Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University demonstrates the impact of gerrymandering on MI-14th district. 
Week In Review Commentary
JAC's 2017 Summer Interns Sydney Box & Sarah Rosen

Intern Impressions

Sydney Box, JAC 2017 Summer Intern

Elections matter. I've always heard this phrase, but never truly understood the importance of it until I interned with JAC. This summer JAC campaigned for two House special elections, one in Georgia and one in Montana. While spending hours making phone calls into those states encouraging people to vote, I realized for the first time the scope of elections.

Two seemingly small races, hundreds of miles away, had the power to impact the rest of the country. Each of those Representatives were voting on bills that could grant me rights, or now it seems more frequently, take them away.

JAC is a vital voice of reason, inspiring people to fight for their rights and reminding people that we can influence elections. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this powerful group of women whose effects are felt nationwide. My summer experience will continue to inspire me long after I return to college this fall.

Sarah Rosen, JAC 2017 Summer Intern

Throughout my time at JAC, I have gotten to dive deeper into the political world in ways that I hope have made a difference, and I have learned one of the most important lessons one can ever learn. It doesn't matter the size of the action you take, it all makes a difference.

The current political climate is more stressful than anything most of us have seen before. We all want to do something but the feeling of powerlessness can be overwhelming. The truth is, the power is in our hands. We can all do something, whether it is making a donation, attending a JAC event, and most importantly, voting.

We have the responsibility to make our voices heard and make sure that those who are not representative of what America really needs are not elected again in 2018 and 2020. We have to persist and JAC has taught me that and so much more.

What can you do? STAY INFORMED. Read and share JAC's information; continue to support JAC candidates to ensure that there is always a strong representation of the issues important to us all.

Know anyone interested in interning at JAC? We are looking for fall and winter high school or college interns. Please contact the JAC office: or 847.433.5999.
Take Action
They may be on recess, but don't let them rest.

Congress is on recess until September 8th.

What you can do:
  • Attend a town hall near you
  • Take a friend to the local offices
  • Attend a rally
  • Keep speaking out on the issues important to us all
Be sure to send photos of you at events and in Congressional offices to JAC to feature in our EZ Read.  

Former Top CIA Official Blasts Trump Over Iran Deal Exit Attempts

David Cohen, the former CIA deputy director, said President Donald Trump's tasking a team whose goal is to justify a pullout from the Iran deal posed a "grave danger" to the U.S. ability to face international threats. "The president's reported demand for intelligence to support his policy preference to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal risks politicizing intelligence analysis, with potentially grave consequences not only for national security decision-making but also for our ability to address a wide range of international threats," Cohen, who left the CIA no. 2 position in January, said in a recent Op-Ed.    
Israel Makes Plans for Underground Wall to Block ISIS Tunnels From Egypt's Sinai

Israel is planning the construction of a large underground wall on its southern border to prevent infiltration by members of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The military already had plans to build a technologically advanced barrier that prevented the use of tunnels by Palestinian militant group Hamas into its territory from the Gaza Strip. But it is now considering extending the wall to its southern border with the Sinai Peninsula, where ISIS has an affiliate that is waging an insurgency against Egyptian security forces and has fired rockets into Israeli territory.
Israel Moves to Shut Down Local Operations of Al Jazeera

Israel plans to revoke the media credentials of Al Jazeera TV journalists, close its Jerusalem bureau and pull the Qatar-based station's broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said on Sunday. The move follows the closure of Al Jazeera bureaus in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as part of an ongoing diplomatic and economic boycott against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, who accuse the state of supporting terrorism.
Continued Reading

US T-shirt Company Sells Swastika Design As 'Symbol of Love and Peace'

The US-based clothing website Teespring is selling T-shirts and sweatshirts branded with swastikas, aiming to make them a "symbol of love and peace".  The designs, created by KA Designs and sold on the site, all display large swastikas in the front. One shows the Nazi-associated symbol in rainbow colors with the word "Peace", another one with the word "Zen", one reading "Love" and a third design, in black, shows a spiral of swastikas.      
Democratic Socialists of America Vote to Endorse BDS on Shabbat   

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voted to endorse a BDS motion at their biannual convention in Chicago on Saturday. The vote, which took place during Shabbat, when many Jews would not be in attendance, passed in a landslide, with a 90% approval. Following the motion's passing, the crowd enthusiastically chanted ''from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,'' a refrain popular among pro-Palestinian activists. The chant suggests a future Palestinian state that would knock Israel off the map entirely.  
Continued Reading

Trump's Latest Judicial Picks Continue To Be Terrible for Abortion Rights

The conservative right is on a mission to immediately pack the federal courts with as many anti-choice judges as they can. Although Trump has faltered in fully implementing some of his biggest campaign promises, he has been very good at packing the federal courts with officials that, should they all get confirmed, would change federal law for decades. Perhaps irreversibly. The latest confirmation happened late last month, when the U.S. Senate confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Kevin Newsom, a 44-year-old attorney from Alabama who in 2000, wrote a law review article equating the rationale of Roe v. Wade to Dred Scott v. Sandford, the infamous 1857 decision upholding slavery.    
Why Is It Easier in Texas to Buy a Gun than Get an

To get an abortion in Texas, some women have to drive a few hours and hundreds of miles to one of the legal providers in Texas. They might walk past protesters through a protected entrance featuring bullet-proof glass.  Abortion providers are required to give women a government booklet that includes false information about the link between abortion and breast cancer. Women must undergo a transvaginal ultrasound. Also, they have to wait 24 hours to undergo an abortion.  There are many reasons why women may want or need an abortion. All are legal. Yet, there is an incredible amount of scrutiny and regulation over this essential women's health service as opposed to other health care.   
Trump Keeps Losing in His Quest to Kill the Birth Control Benefit

President Trump boasted in May that the lawsuits challenging the birth control benefit accommodation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were over because the challengers had "won."  The basis of Trump's claim? His religious imposition executive order, which he suggested had the force of statutory law and could relieve those groups of their obligations to comply with the ACA. Last week, a federal appeals court reminded Trump he doesn't actually have the power to unilaterally change the birth control benefit, no matter how many promises he makes. 
Why Trump and Evangelical Christians Are Peas in a Pod

Donald Trump is a man of many notable qualities. He is ignorant and a brute. He has bragged about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them by their genitals. He is a serial womanizer and has been divorced several times. He has also admitted to finding his own daughter sexually attractive. He is a serial liar who adores autocrats and dictators. Why would anyone support such a leader? More specifically, why would any supposed "Christian" support Donald Trump, who appears to represent the antithesis of Christian virtues in so many ways?    
Pastor Says God Gives Trump 'Authority to Take Out Kim Jong Un'

Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, said in a statement that "God has given Trump the authority to take out Kim Jong-Un." The statement from the popular evangelical preacher who heads First Baptist Dallas comes on the heels of Trump's comments about continued nuclear threats from North Korea. Jeffress has long been a supporter of the president, and has been previously outspoken on political issues. Jeffress was among a group of pastors who laid hands on the president in the Oval Office. He also supported Trump's tweets last month announcing plans to ban transgender people from serving in the military. 
Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report

The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.  The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited.
Right-Wing Militias Are Now Actively Supporting Some State and Local Pro-Trump Politicians
Energized by President Donald Trump's coarsely confrontational nationalism, the armed right-wing fringe is doing more than stepping out of the shadows in 2017. Detachments of armed men in fatigues have become fixtures at liberal protests, forming the vanguard of what's become known in some quarters as the "counter-resistance."  
Trump Administration Closing Civil Rights Cases at an Increased Rate
New marching orders from Betsy DeVos' civil rights chief have the Education Department churning through civil rights complaints. The department has closed more than 1,500 complaints of discrimination at the nation's schools - including dismissing more than 900 outright - in the two months since Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson took steps she said were aimed at reducing a massive backlog.   
Continued Reading

Don't Let the White House's Dysfunction Distract You From the Bad Things Trump Is Doing

While the media and much of the public have been consumed with the spectacle of dysfunction and failure in the Trump White House -- The Mooch, the Russia investigation, and the demise of the Republican Party's plans to repeal the Affordable Car Act -- the administration has quietly succeeded in doing some real damage that has received little attention. But in dozens of less-noticed ways, his administration is advancing its extreme agenda that exacerbates political and economic inequality.    
Democrats Remain Pro-Israel
The Democratic Party is the natural home of American Jewry, and recent events illustrate why American Jews won't be leaving home anytime soon. Both parties have anti-Israel and anti-Semitic fringes, but the Republican Party has mainstreamed bigotry and intolerance to a level not seen before in our lifetimes.
After Six Months of Accomplishing Nothing, Can Congress Pivot?

The Senate adjourned for its August break on last week, closing an unproductive half-year that underscored a fundamental truth about U.S. politics: The country cannot be governed from the fringes. If much is to get done - and there is much to do - compromise must occur. Republican leaders face a choice: They can continue trying to force right-wing policy on an unwilling country, or they can work with Democrats to solve problems both parties acknowledge.  
Read Full Article
Study Says Trump Moves Trigger Health Premium Jumps for 2018

Actions by the Trump administration are triggering double-digit premium increases on individual health insurance policies purchased by many people, according to a nonpartisan study. The analysis released by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that mixed signals from President Donald Trump have created uncertainty "far outside the norm" and led insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case.     
Read Full Article
Continued Reading

18 Best Colleges For Jewish Life

What do you need for Jewish life to thrive on campus?  Well, start with having lots of Jewish students. Add thriving Hillel and Chabad, Jewish fraternities, sororities and extracurricular clubs. The community should be free of anti-Semitism, and should have lots of synagogue options. And of course, what kind of Jewish community could exist without kosher food?  There are many, many schools that provide a positive Jewish experience for students. But here are the 18 schools that scored the best:
What Trump's White House Shake-Ups Mean for 'Saturday Night Live'

Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci are out. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, John Kelly and-perhaps-Stephen Miller are in. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to be hanging on by a thread. And somehow Donald Trump is still President of the United States.  The White House has "had more people go in and out for quickies than a Las Vegas brothel," as CNN commentator Ana Navarro put it recently. So, of course, the most important question this country faces is... what does it all mean for Saturday Night Live?
Continued Reading

The Last Word
"Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans ..  and demonstrate that human activities ... are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change."

A recent federal report on climate change

Meet Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Thursday, October 12
Chicago, IL
Watch for details

A Special Evening with
Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee
JAC will present the Shirley Byron Award to Rep. Schiff
for outstanding leadership
Tuesday, October 17
Chicago, IL
Watch for details
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
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