March 23, 2018
From l to r: Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Terese Casey, with JAC members Betsy Sheerr, Richard Sheerr who hosted a fundraiser for Senator Casey. Sen. Casey is a strong supporter of
universal background checks, a ban on military-style weapons and a prohibition of those on the terror watchlist from purchasing firearms. 
The students are saying enough is enough when it comes to gun violence. They have awakened a new sense of urgency and motivation in all of us to finally take the necessary legislative means to stop the killing.  

Tomorrow they will lead us throughout the country in the March for Our Lives. (Click here for an event near you.)

Ending gun violence should not be a complicated problem. But many in Congress are funded by the NRA. Candidates with political courage who are trying to change the NRA's grip on Congress are often defeated by the NRA.

It is not just Congress that is standing in the way of our families safety. It is our courts.  

President Trump has nominated 29 judges to the circuit courts, who all serve lifetime appointments. These judges are mostly young, white males who favor the NRA, the anti-choice movement, and extreme legal views. Their rulings on a vast majority of issues will impact our lives long after Trump vacates the Oval Office.

Trump told the NRA, "You came through for me, I am going to come through for you." He will do this by appointing more judges like Howard Nielson, who is considered the NRA's favorite lawyer. He has made a career out of regularly representing the NRA and fighting against common-sense gun safety measures. Nielson stands ready to be confirmed by the Senate.

As Congress becomes more and more dysfunctional, and more and more power accrues to the executive branch, it's the judges who increasingly decide policy. It wasn't Congress that blocked Trump's travel bans. It was judges in states like Hawaii and Maryland.

According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), "circuit courts serve as the de facto Supreme Court to the vast majority of individuals who bring cases. They are the last word."

Judicial nominees matter. We can stop them by calling our Senators and urging them to vote NO on these extreme appointees.  

Let's not just march for our lives. Let's vote for our lives in November. Then we can restore balance to our nation's courts and country.  

source: Axios, Time
Take Action
It's Time for Background Checks
on ALL Gun Sales
 Call Your Senators
Tell your Senators to:
 Co-sponsor S.2009
The Bipartisan Thompson-King Expanded Background Check Bill
Covers gun sales through internet, classified ads and gun shows
Strengthens the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
Congress Passes Taylor Force Act as Part of $1.3 Trillion Budget Bill
Congress gave final approval Friday to a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that included as a rider the Taylor Force Act, which would cut some aid to Palestinians until they end stipends for terror convicts and families of slain attackers. 
Palestinians Plan Mass Gaza March Ahead of U.S. Embassy Move
As the transfer of the U.S. embassy approaches, Palestinians are planning to march to the fence that encloses the Gaza Strip to dramatize their plight.  Israeli authorities are bracing for escalation beginning March 30, when Hamas will begin building tent camps along Gaza's border with Israel. Six weeks later Palestinians plan a mass march toward the border, defying warnings from Israeli officials -- who doubt the march will remain peaceful -- to stay 100 meters from the fence.
The Israeli Military Has Acknowledged Striking a Suspected Syrian Nuclear Reactor in 2007 

The Israeli military confirmed it carried out the airstrike in Syria that destroyed what was believed to be a nuclear reactor. Fighter jets carried out the top-secret airstrikes destroying a site that had been in development for years. No comment why Israel went public, but it could be related to the upcoming memoir of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who ordered the strike or it could be a warning to Iran.  
Continued Reading

Why Is the White House Ignoring Anti-Semitism Surge, but Adopting the Language of Anti-Semites?
Being 'pro-Israel' is no excuse for bigotry and intolerance. But that's the free pass too many Jews are giving racist far-right movements throughout Europe and the U.S.
Jerusalem Antisemitism Conference: Technology Has Created a Tsunami of Hate Speech
Abraham Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League sees the rise of antisemitism directly connected to the viral nature of cyberspace. "Part of the rise is that more attention is being focused on it than ever before. So a swastika ... becomes global."  He asserts antisemitism is beginning to infect mainstream politics.
Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren't American Jews Speaking Up?
If not quite a crisis, it feels like something to head off, especially when the rise of anti-Semitism is combined with hate crimes against Muslims, blacks, Hispanics and immigrants. Yet American Jewish leaders have been remarkably quiet. Jews need to assert a voice in the public arena, to reshape our quiescent institutions and mold them in our image.
Spending Bill Includes Family Planning Funds, but Trump Officials Continue to Undermine Program 
Congress maintained funding for a key family planning program. But the President's abstinence-only Title X chief, Valerie Huber, will decide what to do with the funds. Top Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have negotiated a $1.3 trillion "omnibus" spending bill without including proposed attacks on reproductive health care. But the Trump administration could very well continue trying to undermine birth control access for millions of people with low incomes.
Supreme Court's First Abortion Case of the Trump Era Has Arrived
Any Woman Can is part of a nationwide network of over 3,000 "crisis pregnancy centers" established by evangelical Christians to dissuade women from having abortions. They masquerade as women's health clinics, advertising free STD testing & pregnancy services, dressing staffers in scrubs and setting themselves up near hospitals, but have no licensed medical professionals on staff. These centers are the subject of the U.S. Supreme Court's first abortion-related case under Trump. 
Trump Helped Inspire a Wave of Strict New Abortion Laws

Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and that Roe v. Wade would be overturned "automatically." As many have pointed out, the Supreme Court doesn't actually work that way. But Trump's presidency may be shaping abortion law around the country anyway. Perhaps emboldened by his judicial appointments, legislators are introducing new abortion bans that directly challenge the tenets of Roe. 
Continued Reading

The Last Temptation 

One of the extraordinary things about current politics is the loyal adherence of religious conservatives to Trump. According to Jerry Falwell Jr., evangelicals have "found their dream president." 
With White Evangelicals, Trump Weathers Stormy Daniels Saga

News of the alleged affair hasn't significantly dented Trump's standing with white evangelical Christian voters, who form a significant portion of his base.
A Gun Debate Compromise: Let Cities and Rural Areas Pass Different Laws

There is reason to believe that after Parkland mass shooting there will be marginal steps toward gun regulations; perhaps limitations on high capacity magazines, a ban on "bump stocks" and restrictions on sales to minors. Hopes were high in the wake of Sandy Hook, yet Congress basically did nothing. How can supporters of reasonable gun regulation avoid similar disappointment this time around? 
The Gun Background Check System Is Overburdened and Understaffed

The system is suffering from a critical staffing shortage, increasing the risk that people prohibited from buying weapons will slip through the cracks. The strain is affecting the quality of investigators' work - twice as many background checks land in the NICS "delay" queue as they did a decade ago.
Trump's Appointed Judges Are a Less Diverse Group than Obama's

Just 10% of the judges President Donald Trump has appointed to the federal bench since taking office are racial or ethnic minorities - a decline from the administration of Barack Obama, whose judicial appointees were a record 36% nonwhite, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Judicial Center. 
Continued Reading

'March for Our Lives' Could Define Politics for New Generation
If the march delivers on its promise, it could jolt a political process whose calcification is the impetus for the demonstrations. It could invigorate a group of first-time voters who are demanding their voices be heard, in time for the midterm elections.

Winners and Losers From the $1.3T Omnibus
Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus that would fund the government through September and provide the biggest federal spending increase in years.  The bill is loaded with provisions given its likely standing as the last legislative train leaving the station before the midterms, and members have been scrambling to compete for a slice of the funding pie.
What Happens If Mueller Is Fired?
As speculation that Trump would seek Mueller's dismissal intensified, the motive behind the President's attacks remain unknown. It could be to discredit its work in the American mind. Or pressure related to a subpoena of Trump Organization documents.  Or Trump hears the clock ticking. 
Donald Trump Has Never Been More Dangerous than He Is Now
The case for optimism about Trump's tenure has always gone something like: If he doesn't get us all killed, the demagogue might just rejuvenate the Democratic base and leave U.S. politics in a better place than it had been in circa 2016.  However, many of the downside risks of his election - a mass-casualty war, irreparable diplomatic blunder, or constitutional crisis - have become more plausible. 
Continued Reading

Shopping for Passover: The Worst Scavenger Hunt Ever 

Most of the year I'm a pretty normal American woman. I look normal. I dress in a fairly normal manner. I walk in grocery stores and have a vaguely normal shopping list. Yes, there are certain Jewish holidays here and there where I'm maybe shopping for 20 pound bags of potatoes in the winter, apples and honey, round challahs and smoked fish in the fall, or poppy filling in March. All a little odd. But then there's Passover.  
The Last Word
"This trip (to Washington, D.C.) is showing the politicians the true meaning of democracy. They are not there to serve groups; they are there to serve people.
It's time for us to take control and be heard."

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Demitri Hoth
Continue the Conversation on Gun Violence
Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22) 
Tuesday, March 27
6:30 pm
Encino, CA
RSVP Here 
 JACII Meeting
Chicago, IL 
Wednesday, April 11
5:30 pm 
Details to follow 
Join the inaugural meeting of Chicago's JACII Group for those 35 and younger.
Contact the JAC office for more information.
The 17th Annual 
Women's Power Lunch
  with Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Come sit at the JAC table!
Monday, April 23 
Chicago, IL 
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.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributed to JACPAC. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.