"Ain't No Sunshine"
Goodbye, January. You were a symbolically gloomy month for many in our Nation but Detroiters had the gloomiest reality of only 2 days of Sunshine causing our brains to produce less serotonin which has the potential for
Seasonal Affective Disorder
. Add that to the jittery groundhog who saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of Winter. Hopefully the Sun will shine on all of us very soon, but the political climate seems doomed for much longer. We can all use some
Sunshine and Whiskey. Hope this song
by Frankie Ballard brightens your day:
We thought (hoped) his campaign pledges were just Peacock Ruffling but our new reality is a Sabre Rattling impulsive world leader...OUR world leader who wants his team to
"Go Nuclear" to get his new highly conservative (with a stellar resume) Supreme Court nominee,
Neil Gorsuch, confirmed. Interestingly enough and out of respect, Neil's first phone call was to the other very qualified nominee,
Merrick Garland. Sorry, no transcripts known of that conversation. Unfortunately, this nominee is a clone of Scalia tilting SCOTUS back to the conservative side. Will the Dems fight this tooth and nail like the reverse happened. But Dems don't have control so not sure how much ammunition they have. A continuing story...
We know how Dems, Liberals, Progressives and Centrists feel. They're marching in the streets. But where are all the Never-Trump Republican legislators who expressed great concern before Nov. 8th? Why are they sitting silent when this is when they're loud voices are needed most? Is there buyers remorse for Trump voters? Do they actually think his first two weeks of action are positive for our country. The only ones who can rightsize this "iceberg ahead" are the voices on the right. Fox News is where Trump Supporters get their info. We are at the mercy of Rupert Murdoch to shed some truth onto our nation but please avoid using alternative facts.
"What doesn't Kill You, Makes You Stronger"
There are major differences between Political Advisers and Policy Advisers but Trump with his dangerous decisions have blurred the line by unprecedentedly including the extremist views of Steve Bannon at the table of the National Security Council meetings and downgrading the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These behind the scenes actions and their "Never Wrong" attitude should be very troubling to our Democratic Union. For example, the White House statement commemorating last week's International Holocaust Memorial Day was void of any reference to Jewish victims. Almost every Jewish organization criticized the omission from ZOA to J Street. Did the White House acknowledge the mistake? No, they doubled down and pleaded "inclusivity". From an expert's point of view,
Deborah Lipstadt, this just fosters anti-semitic Holocaust denial. Deborah states her points clearly in this article and refers to the White House statement as softcore Holocaust denial:
And certainly denying the Holocaust feeds anti-semitism as for the 3rd time in the last several weeks, 17 more JCCs were targeted with bomb threats. Reports have indicated that anti-semitic hate crimes have become more brazen and frequent.
Almost all national and international Jewish organizations objected to Trump's draconian executive order (EO) which bans (yes it is a ban) entrance into the US of refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. I'm sure he will add more countries to this list in the future. We are a country of immigrants. Our melting pot is the strength to our nation. A "yuge" number of tech companies were built by immigrants or their children.
Tesla, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Apple to name just a few. Studies have found that immigrants are twice as likely to start companies than those born in America. Plus, there is NO proof that this ban will keep us safer. If you haven't noticed, the
Doomsday Clock was just moved 30 seconds closer to Midnight. So, is Prayer and more Religion the answer. Trump attended the annual Prayer Breakfast this week and added a very concerning action item to his bucket list. He plans to eliminate the
Johnson Amendment which currently prevents non-profits, like Churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Let's bring the Church into the back pocket of the Government and essentially destroy the needed separation of Church and State.
"Oops, I Did It Again"
Someone who didn't object to Trump's other EO to build the Mexican Wall was none other than (keep your nose out of other nation's business), Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who tweeted this...
"President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea." There's a BIG difference between our Mexican Wall and the anti-terrorist barrier needed to separate Israelis from those who want to blow them up. It was obvious that Bibi was kowtowing to Trump in hopes of a BFF status. How appropriate that their first meeting will be Feb. 15 (day after valentine's day). But late last night, the Trump administration put the brakes on Bibi's attempt to build new settlement homes which I'm sure was a "yuge" disappointment for Netanyahu. Of course, a strong US/Israel relationship is great as long as it benefits a future Two-State Peace Agreement.
Check out the gold everywhere in this room. What type of person decorates their home that way? Just, asking...
"Jerusalem of Gold"
Bibi also agrees with Trump's idea that the American Embassy should be moved to Jerusalem. This is an extremely complicated issue that many presidents have grappled with. Yes, Jerusalem is the capital and soul of Israel and Western Jerusalem is undisputedly Israeli territory. Yet, some parts of the city are also sacred to Christians and Muslims. The first Jewish Temple in biblical era was built on the hilltop of Jerusalem (making it one of the oldest cities in the world) and ever since, Jews have prayed there (when allowed). When foreign rulers dominated Jerusalem, Jews were prevented from entering our holy sites (ancient Temple walls, forefather burial sites...). In 1967 Jews took control of the city and has since allowed all religions access to their respective sites. Now, back to the embassy. After serving as the American Ambassador to Israel for the last 5 years, it seems
Dan Shapiro would know the best timing and implementation of how to move the embassy. Here is his thoughtful analysis.
Current Embassy in Tel Aviv
"A House is Not a Home"
If your neighbors home burnt down, would you give them the keys to your house. After the Victoria (Texas) Islamic Center was destroyed by fire, the Jewish community welcomed the Muslim community to worship in their synagogue. It is as natural as breathing for us to help others in need.
"Take Me Home, Country Roads"
Another kind of Jewish home (away from home) is sprouting up at festivals all over the country. They were at Sundance, SXSW, Coachella...It's called Shabbat Tent, open to all as they provide water, shade, bathrooms, Challa, Kabbalat Shabbat, Havdallah and much more. They were listed in this year's Slingshot guide of new Jewish innovations. Check them out at your next festival visit:
Our Jewish Tent:
Tall,Wide and Inclusive.
"Run Baby Run"
Good luck to the team you're rooting for during this weekend's Super Bowl. We aren't much of a Football family but heard the ads might be worth watching as they take on a political slant this year, like this Budweiser commercial.