JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

October 11, 2013   

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On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* Government
* Debt Limit Increase
* Syrian Chemical
* Voting Rights Act
* Federal 20-week 
   abortion ban
* Employment
 Act (ENDA)
* Sexual Assault in
   the Military
* Farm Bill - food
   aid (SNAP)
* HR 1565 - Public
   Safety & 2nd
   Rights Act

is Enough!
It's time to get the government back to work.

Call today and tell your Representative to vote on a clean budget. 
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Call today. 
(202) 224-3121 
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See JAC's Action Alerts here.

Why It Matters: 
The Affordable Care Act

National registration in state health care exchanges has begun. You can register here.

Under the new coverage rules, more emphasis is placed on wellness and preventive care. Pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant will have access to more information and services regarding pregnancy.

This matters because millions of Americans - men, women, and children -  will have access to affordable health care, regardless of pre-existing conditions


Remember to check out our blog to keep up with current issues and opinion and to sort fact from fiction on the Internet.  Be sure to read Presidential Ponderings, thoughts and observations from JACPAC President Janna Berk.


Check out the all-new Open Mic
for comments, opinions, essays, and more from JAC members.  


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submit it to Open Mic today!

Mazel Tov!

We want to wish a hearty Mazel Tov to JAC's Executive Director, Marcia Balonick on the wedding of her daughter! Our best wishes and love to the whole family.

This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
  • Increased focus on the peace process leads to more staff for Martin Indyk.
  • In a sea of bad news on reproductive rights, California is a beacon of hope.   
  • A Kansas group is suing to remove science from the classroom, claiming it is a religion. 
  • The fight over Obamacare is evolving as data becomes available.   
  • It is time to stop guns violence against women. 
  • The new Supreme Court docket is full of critical issues - choice, voter ID, campaign contributions and more.   
  • Israel scores 2 more Nobel Prizes
  • and so much more! 
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
peaceIndyk staffs up to intensify Israeli Palestinian peace push
US Middle East peace envoy Martin Indyk is expanding his team as the U.S. prepares to intensify its role facilitating Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. "We've agreed that those talks should now be intensified and American involvement should be increased to facilitate these discussions....Our common objective is a final status agreement, not an interim agreement."   


Reported Suspension of U.S. Aid to Egypt a Short-Term Measure  
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
The reported plan to suspend part of U.S. military aid to Egypt reflects exactly what President Barack Obama announced in his speech at the UN General Assembly two weeks ago-continued aid to support counterterrorism and border security efforts, but withholding "prestige" items, like tanks and F-16s.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/11/4287441/israel-hasnt-given-up-on-persuading.html#storylink=cpy
Read Full Article

Israel Expresses Dismay at Cutback of U.S. Aid to Egypt

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Officials and experts in Israel responded on Wednesday with a mixture of disappointment and alarm to the news that the United States planned to reduce its military aid to Egypt in response to this summer's brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and the continuing violence it has spawned.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article

Prosor: Appointing Iran to UN disarmament c'tee like making drug lord CEO of pharmaceutical company

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor on Monday condemned the selection of Iran to the senior seat on the United Nation General Assembly's Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article

Hassan Rouhani and the Spiritual Leader: A New Style of Negotiations

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy

Within just a few short weeks, using a sophisticated, complex, low cost move, Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, succeeded in changing the rules of the Iranian nuclear game.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article

Most U.S. Jews believe two-state solution is possible, but many doubt leaders' efforts are sincere  

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
This Sunday, Oct. 6, marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Yom Kippur War. On Oct. 6, 1973, a coalition of Arab forces led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. After nearly three weeks of conflict, a ceasefire was imposed with Israel holding its borders.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Read Full Article
Reproductive Rights
Nebraska Court Rules Teen Too Immature for an Abortion, Fine to Raise a Kid  
The Nebraska Supreme Court denied a 16-year-old foster child's request for an abortion on Friday because she was "not sufficiently mature" to make the decision herself. So instead, this immature young woman who does not want a baby will become a mother. Everyone wins.  

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
With New Abortion Restrictions, Ohio Walks a Narrow Legal Line   
Angela H., married with two children, became pregnant accidentally and, after medical complications during her last pregnancy and severe postpartum depression, said neither she nor her family was ready for another child.Under a law that took effect in Ohio this month, the Cleveland abortion clinic she visited had to offer her a chance not only to view an ultrasound of the fetus but also to watch its beating heart, which she said she resented.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Read Full Article

caabortionCalifornia Expands Availability of Abortions
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday expanded access to abortion in California, signing a bill to allow nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants to perform a common type of the procedure, an aspiration abortion, during the first trimester.    
Read Full Article

By Withholding the Medicaid Expansion, Republicans Will Keep the Unintended Pregnancy Rate High
With the Affordable Care Act, the United States has a good chance of drastically lowering its unintended pregnancy rates. Unfortunately, political posturing from Republicans is stalling the implementation of a key part of the law necessary to achieve that result.    
Air Force Drops Discharge Of Sexual Assault Victim - After Story Breaks
The Air Force has dropped its recommendation to discharge a servicewoman who claimed that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by three of her superiors -- two days after the Air Force Times first reported on the alleged retaliation.    
Separation of Religion & State
Kansas Group Tries To Remove Evolution From Schools By Claiming Science Is A Religion

A Kansas-based group that "promotes the religious rights of parents, children, and taxpayers" is chellenging the state's science standards because they include the teaching of evolution, which the group claims is a religion and therefore should be excluded from science class.

Political Byte

Government Shutdown Was Planned For Months By Ed Meese, Koch Bros

The plan to hold funding of the government hostage was plan months in the making, planned by former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese and the billionaire Koch Brothers, the New York Times reports.

Read Full Article

The House GOP's Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown

Late on the night of Sept. 30, with the federal government just hours away from shutting down, House Republicans quietly made a small change to the House rules that blocked a potential avenue for ending the shutdown.
Read Full Article

Gerrymandering Didn't Cause the Shutdown 

What if we told you that the gerrymandering of congressional districts has nothing to do with political polarization in Washington? Gerrymandering didn't have anything to do with the shutdown, or the battles over the debt ceiling, or Obamacare. In fact, the accepted view that politically based redistricting led to our state of intransigence isn't just incorrect; it's silly..
Read Full Article

changeEverything About Obamacare Politics Is About to Change 

As data on the health law replaces speculation about its effects, Republicans' national Obamacare attack strategy threatens to come apart at its seams.
Gun Violence Prevention

What Do We Know About Gun Violence? 

The research is intentionally underfunded, but some patterns are clear.     
Read Full Article

gunviolenceTime to block gun violence against women

If October is like every other month, 46 women in the United States will be murdered with a gun by an intimate partner.    
Read Full Article
Supreme Court

courtdocketHot-button issues on Supreme Court docket 

The Supreme Court is opening a new term that could see major decisions on prayer, campaign donations and contraception coverage under ObamaCare.     
Read Full Article

The Supreme Court Could Overturn Abortion Clinic Buffer Laws

The Supreme Court's new session begins today, and the court is hearing not one but two cases involving attempts by anti-choicers to legislate and harass legal abortion out of existence. In both cases, there's reason to worry that the conservative-leaning court is going to allow further restrictions on abortion access. 
Read Full Article


Everything you need to know about McCutcheon vs FEC 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the case of Shaun McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. When the court issues its ruling, it could mark the most consequential campaign finance decision the since its landmark 2010 "Citizens United" ruling that eliminated the ban on corporate spending in elections.     
Read Full Article

nobelTiny Israel a Nobel heavyweight, especially in chemistry 

Israel has long punched far above its demographic weight when it comes to the Nobel Prize. The latest Nobel laureates, Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt, announced Wednesday, mark Israel's fifth and sixth winners of the chemistry prize in under a decade.

Pew survey of U.S. Jews: soaring intermarriage, assimilation rates

There are a lot more Jews in America than you may have thought - an estimated 6.8 million, according to a new study. But a growing proportion of them are unlikely to raise their children Jewish or connect with Jewish institutions.
Read Full Article

Religious Politics at a Crossroads in Israel

On October 7th, a towering figure in Israeli religious life, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, died at age 93. His death leaves the political party he patronized, Shas, at an unprecedented moment of crisis. Moreover, the death of Rabbi Ovadiah (as he was commonly known) comes at a time in which religious politics in Israel is at a crossroads. .

Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.


If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Janna Berk, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director 

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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a national network committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state.  JACPAC supported US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect.  In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.