May 10, 2019
WEEK IN REVIEW
Since Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, there have been serious discussions about the sustainability of his presidency. Nevertheless, America takes comfort in knowing it has the safety and protections of our Constitution behind us.

This week we have seen our democracy and constitution stretched dangerously thin and our faith in our system of checks and balances tested.

The Constitution is set up to ensure that  power is shared between the president, Congress and the courts. Serious constitutional crises occur when our institutions are rendered ineffective, which is usually about politics more than process. These rare instances have less to do with how the institutions were designed than with how legitimate they are perceived to be.

We are witnessing different parts or branches of government at loggerheads over political idealogy. If Trump continues to strain democratic norms and push political boundaries, Congress, the courts, or even members of his own administration -- hopefully -- need to push back.

Constitutional scholar John Finn describes what's happening as "Constitutional rot." Faith in the key commitments of the Constitution are gradually eroding, even when the legal structures remain in place. He said Constitutional rot occurs when "decision-makers abide by the empty text of the Constitution without fidelity to its underlying principles." It can also take place when the public either doesn't realize or doesn't care.

These are serious times. We must stay informed and be active participants in our democracy.

Franklin Roosevelt said that " government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."

We have the power and get the final say with our vote. Let's make sure we use it. Support JAC candidates. Get involved. Make a difference.


Sources: 538.com, The Atlantic

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Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.

JAC AROUND TOWN
Over 50 JAC members attended Rep. Jan Schakowsky's (D-IL) Ultimate Women's Power Lunch with special guest Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in Chicago.



JAC members with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthis (D-IL) at the Schakowsky Power Lunch.
JAC members met with Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) in Chicago.
With Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
ISRAEL
Why Do Israel and Gaza Keep Fighting? Because It's in Their Leaders' Interests.        
More than two dozen people were killed and homes and businesses destroyed in the weekend's fighting between Israel and Gaza, but on Monday leaders on both sides declared themselves satisfied with the outcome.The cycle of violence-ceasefire-repeat that keeps verging on all-out war may look like pointless destruction to the outside world. But analysts say it is amply serving the interests of the two main antagonists.  
Continued Reading

Pelosi: Israel One of the Greatest Accomplishments of the 20th Century

Google Doodle Celebrates Israel's Independence Day

ANTI-SEMITISM & BDS
12 Rabbis Meet with New York Times About Its Anti-Semitic Cartoon and Its Israel Coverage
 
A dozen rabbis from across the major denominations met with the publisher and editorial page editor of The New York Times regarding the anti-Semitic cartoon it published and its general coverage of Israel. The meeting lasted an hour and a half and was organized through the New York Board of Rabbis, an interdenominational group. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the group's executive vice president, said A.G. Sulzberger and James Bennet, the publisher and editorial page editor, "owned the problem" of the cartoon being anti-Semitic.  
Continued Reading

Facebook Says It Will Allow Holocaust Denial
CHOICE
Women Who Have an Abortion in Georgia Could Soon Be Sentenced to Life in Prison

On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the most extreme abortion ban nationwide. The measure is a "fetal heartbeat bill," known as HB 481, that would outlaw abortion after six weeks, which is when a heartbeat is sometimes detected in an embryo, but before many women even know that they're pregnant. The bill doesn't just curtail women's reproductive freedom (no minor offense); it criminalizes the procedure itself, which means women who get an abortion could face life in prison and even the death penalty.
Continued Reading


SEPARATION
House Democrats Seek to Block Trump's Faith-Based Protections for Health Workers
  
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday voted to block a new Trump administration rule allowing health workers to refuse services that violate their religious beliefs. The measure by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) would prevent spending to implement the new rule, which Trump announced last week during a speech before faith leaders. The broad new rule allows health-care providers, insurers and employers to refuse to provide or pay for services that violate their religious or moral beliefs, such as abortion or assisted suicide.
Continued Reading


BEYOND THE CORE
The White House Revoked My Press Pass. It's Not Just Me - It's Curtailing Access for All Journalists.

For the past 21 years, I have had the high privilege of holding a White House press pass, a magical ticket that gives the bearer a front-row seat to history. But no more. The White House eliminated most briefings and severely restricted access to official events. And this week came the coup de grace: After covering four presidents, I received an email informing me that Trump's press office had revoked my White House credential.  I'm not the only one. I was part of a mass purge of "hard pass" holders after the White House implemented a new standard that designated as unqualified almost the entire White House press corps. 
Continued Reading




POLITICAL BYTE
The Rarely Used Congressional Power That Could Force William Barr's Hand              
 
Impeachment is Congress's most famous, yet rarely exercised, power over wayward presidents and other federal officers. But as Trump-administration officials continue to defy House subpoenas related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Democrats in control of the chamber could turn to an even blunter weapon in their arsenal: arrest.  Courts have recognized that the House and Senate each have the authority to enforce their orders by imprisoning those who violate them-literally. 
FYI
9 Rare Photos from Israel's War of Independence
 
Thursday marked Israel's Independence Day, which commemorates the country's official Declaration of Independence in 1948. The country celebrated with rallies, fireworks displays, flyovers by the Israeli Air Force and family barbecues. It was a hard-fought independence - the day after the declaration, a coalition of Arab armies attacked and started what Israel calls its War of Independence. Israel emerged victorious, but not until after nearly 10 months of fighting, and thousands of casualties.
JAC II
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
LAST WORD
"I was holding a baseball bat, because I was going to go down fighting."
 
Nate Holley, a sixth grader, at the Denver school where a gunman opened fire this week.  
    
    
JAC 2019 Power of Women Luncheon 
   
with key note speaker
Sarah Hurwitz
and special guest
Dr. Jill Biden 
Monday, June 3
Lincolnwood, IL
 
 
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Tuesday, May 28
Senator Dick Durbin
12:00 noon
Chicago, IL
Call the JAC office for details
 
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Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 
847.433.5999 or info@jacpac.org
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 contributes over $200 in a calendar year. 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.