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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

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Leading Israeli Religious Zionist Rabbi: A Woman's Place Is In The Home

A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women's place, and "not the domain of social activity," thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.

Rabbi Zvi Tau, president of Har Hamor Yeshiva and a leader of the more extreme orthodox trend among the national-Zionist public, wrote the treatise for internal use. The leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would "harm the quality of life of the nation."

Austria-born Tau was for many years a student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and one of the heads of the Merkaz Harav, religious-Zionism's most prestigious yeshiva. In 1997 he turned his back on the yeshiva and created the Har Hamor yeshiva, but is still considered one of the leading rabbis of the movement and a notable supporter of the concept of nationalism, which considers the state of Israel holy and opposes refusal to follow orders in the IDF.

Tau publicly supported former President Moshe Katzav, who was imprisoned for rape, and called on him, at the time, to refuse to resign.



Western Complicity Exposed -- Europe And US Richly Reward Israel For Pariah Status

By Jonathan Cook

Israel has barely put a foot right with the international community since its attack on Gaza more than three years ago provoked global revulsion.

The right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has serially defied and insulted foreign leaders, including US President Barack Obama; given the settlers virtual free rein; blocked peace talks with the Palestinians; intimidated and marginalised human rights groups, UN agencies and even the Israeli courts; and fuelled a popular wave of Jewish ethnic and religious chauvinism against the country's Palestinian minority, foreign workers and asylum seekers.

No wonder, then, that in poll after poll Israel ranks as one of the countries with the most negative influence on international affairs.

And yet, the lower Israel sinks in public estimation, the more generous western leaders are in handing out aid and special favours to their wayward ally. The past few days have been particularly shameless.



Key Pro-Israel Obama Ally Dennis Ross Splits

As Republican donors are financing multimillion-dollar campaigns to bring Jewish voters over to Mitt Romney, one of President Obama’s most important liaisons to the pro-Israel community has opted to sit out the 2012 election cycle.

Dennis Ross, a longtime diplomat and a key architect of the Oslo peace process under President Clinton—a man who worked for the Obama campaign during the 2008 Democratic primaries despite his previous loyalty to the Clintons—won’t be campaigning for Obama this time, Ross confirmed to The Daily Beast.

“I am the Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,” Ross said in an email on Friday. “The Washington Institute is a non-profit organization and I cannot do political work from here. When I acted for the campaign in 2008, I had to take a leave of absence to do so. Having only recently returned to the Institute, I cannot now again take a leave of absence.”

After his success stumping for Obama in the 2008 campaign, Ross went on to become a key Middle East policymaker, first at the State Department and later at the White House.



Israel To End Draft Exemptions For Ultra-Orthodox

ERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's defense minister instructed the military on Tuesday to start drafting ultra-Orthodox Jewish men like other Israelis - but it could take a while to implement.

Ehud Barak appeared to be buying time on this politically explosive order by giving defense officials a month to craft a plan to put it into practice.

Some ultra-Orthodox activists vowed immediately after the decision that members of their community would go to jail rather than cut short their religious studies to serve, while others sounded skeptical that Barak would enforce the law. Defense officials say privately that the military is not prepared to immediately absorb tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox men.

Barak's decree fills a legal vacuum on the status of the draft. The existing law exempting tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox men from serving was due to expire at midnight. Israel's Supreme Court had overturned that legislation in February, but it remained in effect as the government struggled to come up with a new formula on an issue that has generated tremendous resentment among Israel's secular majority and modern Orthodox who do serve the compulsory three years.



Iran’s Ahmadinejad Mocks Romney For ‘Kissing The Foot’ Of Israel During Visit

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 4:49 AM

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling a visit to Israel by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney as “kissing the foot” of the Jewish state to boost his bid for the White House.

Ahmadinejad did not specifically name Romney, but his comments were an unmistakable jab at the Republican contender’s stop this week in Israel. Romney strongly backed Israel’s drive to stop Iran from possibly seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the claims.



States Cut Medicaid Drug Benefits To Save Money

By Phil Galewitz

Illinois Medicaid recipients have been limited to four prescription drugs as the state becomes the latest to cap how many medicines it will cover in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

Doctors fear the state's cost-cutting move could backfire on patients, who have to get state permission to go beyond the limit.

"We understand the state is trying to get its Medicaid budget under control," says Dr. William Werner, president of the Illinois State Medical Society. "But our concern is it not be a hardship for patients and a hassle for doctors in the execution."

Sixteen states impose a monthly limit on the number of drugs Medicaid recipients can receive and seven states have either enacted such caps or tightened them in the past two years, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KHN is a program of the foundation). The limits vary across the country. Mississippi has a limit of two brand-name drugs. In Arkansas adults are limited to up six drugs a month.



NBC Exec: Twitter Told Us How To Get Journalist Suspended

Twitter alerted NBC to a post containing an executive’s email address, prompting NBC to file a complaint that lead to the suspension of a reporter’s Twitter account, according to The Telegraph.

“Our social media dept was actually alerted to it by Twitter,” NBC Sports vice-president of communications Christopher McCloskey via email said of the tweet by Guy Adams, the Los Angeles correspondent for The Independent. “Then we filled out the form and submitted it.”

On Monday, Deadspin.com reported that an NBC spokesperson had told Sports Illustrated that it was the network who made the first move against Adams, whose account was suspended after he posted NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel’s company email in an effort to get his followers to submit their complaints about NBC’s coverage of the London Games. Adams had heavily criticized the network for airing events on time-delay.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the two companies have teamed up during the Games, exchanging tweet promotions for on-air mentions during the competitions.



Business Activity in U.S. Unexpectedly Grows at Faster Pace

Source: Bloomberg

-- Business activity in the U.S. unexpectedly grew at a faster pace in July as the economy weathered a slowdown in hiring and household spending.

A barometer from the Institute for Supply Management- Chicago Inc. increased to 53.7, the highest since April from 52.9 in June. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected the purchasing managers’ gauge would decline to 52.5.

The need to rebuild auto inventories may be giving a boost to manufacturing, which had been a key driver of the economic recovery. The Federal Reserve is meeting this week to determine if more stimulus is needed as Europe’s fiscal crisis and the threat of more than $600 billion in U.S. spending cuts and tax increases at year’s end curbed demand.

Manufacturing is showing “modest improvement,’’ Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, said before today’s report. “It’s not great but it’s also not that bad.’’

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-31/chicago-ism-business-barometer-rose-to-53-7-in-july-from-52-9.html

A lot unexpectedly's out of Bloomberg this morning.

At least they are positive "unexpectedly's"...

U.S. Consumer Confidence Index Unexpectedly Rose in July

Source: Bloomberg

Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly rose for the first time in five months as Americans became more upbeat about job prospects later this year.

The Conference Board’s index increased to 65.9 this month from 62.7 in June, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. Economists projected a reading of 61.5, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The report showed a gain in the share of consumers anticipating better labor and economic conditions in six months.

A pickup in the housing market and decreases in fuel prices are helping sustain consumer sentiment. At the same time, faster job gains are needed to spur consumer spending, which grew in the second quarter at the slowest pace in a year.

“Consumers are definitely getting some benefit from lower gasoline prices and that is freeing up some income,” Gus Faucher, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Philadelphia, said before the report. “Confidence is OK, it’s not great. We need better job growth.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-31/u-s-consumer-confidence-index-unexpectedly-rose-correct-.html

Michigan's Recovery Outpaces Rest Of U.S.

Michigan fell the hardest during the recession, but it's bouncing back better than the rest of the country.

While economic uncertainty in Europe is creating a cloud over the U.S. economy, and the state's unemployment rate has ticked up two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.6 percent in the past two months, existing home sales and retail sales in Michigan are doing better than elsewhere in the country.

"We've been telling our clients since late 2011 that Michigan is turning the corner faster economically than any other state in the country," said Patrick Anderson, founder and CEO of the East Lansing-based consulting firm Anderson Economic Group.

Home sales are up 10 percent through June in the Great Lakes State compared with the nation's 5 percent growth rate, according to the National Association of Realtors. And the state's retail sales surged in April and May, while the national figure fell 0.2 percent.


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