JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

February 28, 2014 

JAC Around Town
aroundtownJAC met with several elected officials, candidates and leaders around the country.

JAC hosted an event with Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) in Boca Raton. (l-r: Barbara Koch, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Merle Styer, Art Seiden)

Great group came out to hear Rep. Loretta Sanchez in Boca Raton, FL.  
Why It Matters:
The Affordable Care Act

Deadline to enroll is
March 31st 

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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.

Call the Senate 
and urge passage of the  
Military Justice Improvement Act.

Tell them to END the epidemic of sexual assault and coverup in the military.  

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Upcoming JAC Events

Palm Beach Reception
with Rep. Patrick Murphy
March 9th
Palm Beach, FL
Click here to Register

Membership Meeting

May 5th
Detroit Area
Watch your inbox!

Talking Points HP with
Rep. Tammy Duckworth
March 17, 2014
Highland Park, IL
Watch your inbox for details!

4th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
Spring 2014
Chicago, IL
Details to follow

Want to host an event in your area?  Contact the JAC office.  

People You Should Know 

This week we profile Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), who is facing a contentious race in Arizona. Her opponent was one of the key supporters of the anti-gay legislation that was just vetoed by Governor Brewer.
(Read more here)

A strong proponent of women's rights, education, and improving the lives of those in her community, JAC strongly supports Ann Kirkpatrick's reelection.

We are also watching closely the race of Senator Mark Udall, who is running for reelection in Colorado. A strong proponent of JAC's issues, he faces stiff competition from Tea Party-favorite Ken Buck, a climate-change denier, believes in more religion in government, and is staunchly anti-abortion. JAC strongly supports Senator Udall for reelection.
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On Our Radar

Federal Legislation we are watching:

* Sexual Assault in the Military  
* Federal 20-week abortion ban
* Voting Rights Act
* Unemployment Benefits
* Paycheck Fairness
* Immigration Reform 
* Farm Bill - food aid (SNAP)
* HR 1565 - Public Safety &  
   2nd Amendment Rights Act


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 Open Mic
for comments, opinions, essays, and more from JAC members.


Have something you want to say, submit it to Open Mic today!

This week's issue highlights these key developments here and in the Middle East:
This week's EZ Read brings you these stories and some that may have slipped past your news feed.
Israel & The Middle East 
Shrugging Off Past Setbacks, Obama Plans Personal Role in Middle East Peace Bid
President Obama, after avoiding a hands-on role in Middle East peacemaking since the setbacks of his first term, plans to plunge back into the effort, his advisers said this week, starting with an urgent appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

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

Gaza left out of Mideast peace talks

[A]s Secretary of State John F. Kerry prepares to publicly present outlines of a proposed peace deal, the isolated and besieged Palestinian territory called the Gaza Strip is the rarely mentioned elephant in the bargaining room - a huge obstacle to a permanent settlement of the decades-old conflict.

Consul: Israel stronger than perils

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

For a nation living under constant threat from many directions, Israel sure is upbeat. It is "an island of stability in an ocean of instability," Roey Gilad, Israel's consul general to the Midwest, said Tuesday at the downtown History Center.

Read Full Article

bdsBoycotting Israel: Fiction and Reality

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

The boycotters issue messages on the internet, and one is left to wonder if they are aware of the fact that so many features and appliances in their computers were invented and developed in Israel? Moreover, are they aware of the fact that the technology enabling them to use their cell phones, with which they call newspapers informing about the boycott of Israel, was also invented there? 

Read Full Article

The Truth Behind the Palestinian Water Libels

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/09/4031477/islamic-cleric-in-gaza-rejects.htmlstorylink=cpy
Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. 
Reproductive Rights
The Seven Most Common Lies About Abortion
Chances are, you know someone who has had an abortion. Statistically, it's a near-certainty: In the U.S., one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. But despite how incredibly common abortion is, it remains mired in stigma and misinformation. Much of what we may think we know about this subject is actually outright lies told by abortion opponents to dissuade women out of seeking safe and legal abortion care.

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

justiceAgreement Reached on Debate for Military Sexual Assault Measure
Just two days after suffering a setback for her Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 1752), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced on Wednesday that a unanimous consent agreement had been reached that would allow the measure to be debated on the Senate floor.

Read Full Article 

Abortion-Rights Backers on Offense After 3-Year Drubbing

Abortion-rights supporters are playing a new position: offense. The volume of state-level, pro-abortion-rights legislation outstrips that of any year since the early 1990s, when states sought to codify access to the procedure, said Elizabeth Nash, states issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based reproductive health researcher.

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

By the time you know you're pregnant...

For all the talk about Republican policymakers moving past divisive culture-war fights, especially in an election year, there can be no doubt that GOP officials still have abortion rights on their minds.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/03/20/4133089/kansas-abortion-bill-is-cruel.html#storylink=cpy
Separation of Religion & State
libertySo-Called Religious Liberty Bills Pervert our First Amendment

If you have been observing the debate regarding the so-called "religious liberty" bills popping up in state after state - Kansas, Arizona, Georgia, and elsewhere, you will be aware that these bills have nothing to do with religious liberty and everything to do with oppression of minorities.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/12/217982/judge-notre-dame-attorneys-spar.html#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter#storylink=cpy 

Poll points to confusion over discrimination laws

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/12/217982/judge-notre-dame-attorneys-spar.html#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter#storylink=cpy   
"Three-quarters (75%) of Americans incorrectly believe it is currently illegal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender." This matters, of course, because three-quarters of the country is wrong.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/12/217982/judge-notre-dame-attorneys-spar.html#emlnl=Afternoon_Newsletter#storylink=cpy 
Read Full Article
Political Byte
Democrats Push IRS To Limit Dark Money's Political Power With Strict New Rules

A group of 13 Democratic senators sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday urging the agency to adopt stringent new limits on the level of political spending allowed for social welfare nonprofits.


womenIt's (Still) Only Women Pols Who Get Judged on Their Family Life

t's felt like an awfully retro week in American politics. In Texas, gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis hashed out 20-year-old details of her former marriage in a lengthy New York Times Magazine profile, while in Washington, wannabe presidential candidate Rand Paul diligently stirred a pot of about the same vintage, with comments about the 1990s marital troubles of his imagined future rival, Hillary Clinton..

Read Full Article  


In Kentucky Senate race, Bill Clinton plays a starring role

During Bill Clinton's first-inaugural festivities, a 14-year-old girl from Kentucky presented the new president with an honorary bouquet of red roses at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. Two decades later, that girl, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is a candidate to become Kentucky's first female senator. And Clinton - an uncle figure whom Grimes counts as a friend, mentor and adviser - is playing a starring role in her campaign and will appear at a sold-out Grimes fundraiser Tuesday.

Beyond the Core
Having a Gun in the House Doesn't Make a Woman Safer
Christy Salters Martin is a professional boxer and the owner of a concealed carry permit. But when she attempted to leave her husband, she was shot with her own gun. Today, she cautions other women against making the same mistake. "Just putting a weapon in the woman's hand is not going to reduce the number of fatalities or gunshot victims that we have. Too many times, their male counterpart or spouse will be able to overpower them and take that gun away."
Read Full Article

When May I Shoot a Student?  
In light of the bill permitting guns on our state's college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?
Read Full Article

The Brown Grad Student Who Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island

Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state's history.

Read Full Article

votingOhio Election Laws Eliminate Opportunities for Voters

Just a few weeks ago the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, made up of Republicans and Democrats, released their recommendations based on testimony from election officials, experts and voters from around the country. Ohio Governor John Kasich and members of the Ohio legislature must not have read the report. If they had, they wouldn't have passed and signed two election bills last week that reduce access to voting.

Read Full Article

UCLA student council rejects divestment resolution 

The UCLA student council rejected a resolution calling for divestment from five American companies that are accused of abusing Palestinian human rights.
Read Full Article

beginHow Menachem Begin Made Peace With Israel's Greatest Enemy: Egypt

Four years after the Yom Kippur War, when Menachem Begin was elected prime minister of Israel, he made it clear that he was willing to negotiate with Egypt.

The Taj Mahal of the Middle East 

Kibbutz Neot Semadar is best known for its array of organic  products grown and prepared on the kibbutz and as "that place with the weird, colorful tower sticking up in the sky in the middle of nowhere."

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.