Thursday, February 29, 2024

Michigan Democratic Protest Votes Aren’t as Big a Threat to Biden as They Look

Finally, there’s Trump, who instituted a ban on travelers from several majority-Muslim countries as one of his first significant acts as president in 2017. If the “uncommitted” vote manages to sufficiently harm Biden in November to return Trump to the White House, he is all but certain to pursue policies harmful to both Arab Americans in the United States and Palestinians fighting for statehood and survival. He has, for example, already promised to deport immigrants who voice support for Hamas at pro-Palestinian protests.

“Unless you actually want Trump back in the White House, your inability to support the only viable alternative to him doesn’t make any rational sense,” the progressive activist Joanne Carducci, who is better known as @JoJoFromJerz on X, where she has nearly a million followers, wrote for The Daily Beast.

In other words, we hear you, Dearborn. We see the suffering in Gaza. But electing Trump again is not the answer to your pain.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Dems Bet a Vote Against Biden in Michigan Now Will Move Him on Israel and Save Him Later

If the activists are wrong—which veteran Michigan pollster Bernie Porn fears they may be—“the Listen to Michigan effort could well help to give the election to Trump.”

“It is possible that Biden may have already lost the election,” Porn said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

If Listen to Michigan organizers aren’t careful, he said, “they could be playing a very dangerous game that could hand the election over to Trump, mostly because of Biden’s age, which will make life for civilians in Gaza even more difficult, which is hard to believe but indeed possible.”

In short, it’s a risky electoral gambit. (The February EPIC-MRA poll found that 53 percent of Michigan voters support a ceasefire.)

Whose Blood Is Redder

These different approaches in explaining mai chazit yield an interesting nafka mina: Would yeihareig ve-al ya'avor apply to a sin performed passively?  One of the Ba'alei Tosafot (Rivam) adopts an opinion (cited in several Tosafot in shas - Ketubot 3b and Sanhedrin 74b) that if a woman remains completely passive, she has no obligation to surrender her life to avoid giluy arayot.  As the very source of yeihareig ve-al ya'avor stems from the logic of mai chazit in the case of retzicha, passive involvement is not included in this principle.  I cannot ACTIVELY murder since his blood might be redder.  But by similar logic, if I am completely passive (for example, I allow myself to be thrown onto another person whereby he will be crushed), I cannot refuse, since my blood might indeed be redder than his.  The paralysis which results from the inability to evaluate forces me to withdraw from any active decision.  If the murder will be executed without my active contribution, the logic of mai chazit disappears and yeihareig ve-al ya'avor no longer applies.

‘Uncommitted’ Voters Must Accept Trump Is Much, Much Worse Than Biden

I have a question for the roughly 100,000 “uncommitted” voters in Michigan—do you want Donald Trump back in the White House?

Kiddush Hashem

The Rishonim's discussion of this halakha gives rise to two possible approaches to the halakha's conceptual basis.  One approach claims that the particular severity of the three cardinal sins does not allow for their cancellation, even by the specter of death. Whereas, generally, the Torah's laws give way to the overriding concern of pikuach nefesh, these three sins are so principal that they obtain even under these extenuating circumstances and cannot be overridden by pikuach nefesh. Alternatively, we might view these aveirot as fundamentally similar to ordinary aveirot, in that extenuating conditions of pikuach nefesh override the aveira proper. However, a separate injunction to sanctify Hashem's name requires the surrender of life even at the cost of death. A person yields his life not because he must avoid the particular aveira - that issur has already been cancelled by the extenuating conditions – but rather to perform the mitzva of glorifying Hashem's name by publicizing our love for Him and our willingness to prioritize that love over our own lives.

Kiddush Hashem: The obligation to sanctify God’s Name

The reasons those three mitzvos are the ones for which we must die are as follows: (1) Murder – logically, why is my life more important than another person’s? (That goes both ways. If lost in the desert with a canteen, I can’t sacrifice myself by giving it away to another person because who says his life is more important than mine?) (2) Adultery/incest – the Torah compares the rape of a betrothed maiden to murder (Deut. 22:26), from which we derive that illicit relations are equally prohibited, even under coercion. (3) Idolatry – if we’re talking about the choice of desecrating vs. sanctifying God’s Name, what could be more of an issue than whether or not to bow down to a hunk of stone?

The reason for this mitzvah is that we are only here because of God. He should be the end-all and be-all of our lives. We should work hard to reflect well upon him and be willing to turn in those lives when necessary, such as if under compulsion to violate one of the cardinal sins.

On Being a Kiddush Hashem

The Rambam, based on the Talmud, says the mitzvah of kiddush Hashem is fulfilled when a person is placed in a situation where they have to give up their life for the sake of God. We know there is the sacrosanct Torah principle of pikuach nefesh, which means in order to save a life virtually all of the commandments are set aside. But there are exceptions. If one of the three “cardinal” sins – idolatry, murder and sexual immorality – is involved, then a person must give up their life rather than transgress them. And, actually, during a period in which the Jewish people and the Jewish way of life is under systemised attack, it is a great mitzvah to give one’s life for the cause, even under other circumstances. In fact, this is the ultimate expression of kiddush Hashem; a brave declaration of total dedication, love and trust, a visceral demonstration that there is nothing more important than living in accordance with God’s values and with our ultimate purpose in life.

Why is ribis prohibited

 Alschech (Devarim 23:20) Don’t charge interest  - The reason for the prohibition of the ribis, the Sages said that a trangressor of this prohibition is a disbeliever in the G-d of Israel and the redemption from Egypt because ribis shows a disbelief in Divine providence, and indicates he thinks that success and profit  are natural, or according to mazel.

Biden Wins Michigan Democratic Primary, With ‘Uncommitted’ in Second Place

Democratic voters in heavily Arab-American suburbs of Detroit and elsewhere chose “uncommitted” on the ballot in protest of Biden’s foreign policy. With 50% of the ballots in, Biden has 375,280 votes, 80.8%, compared with 62,238 for uncommitted, 13.4%, according to the Associated Press, which called the race for Biden as the polls closed. In 2016, Trump won Michigan’s electoral votes by just shy of 11,000 votes more than Hillary Clinton. Biden won the state in 2020 by some 154,000 votes.

Michigan is home to the largest percentage of Arab-Americans in the U.S., many concentrated in Dearborn, represented in Congress by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the lone Palestinian-American member of Congress. She and the city’s Arab-American mayor have backed the “uncommitted” protest.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Bitachon is far past events

 Igros Moshe (YD 4:37:19) Even though a person has an obligation to have bitachon in G d and not worry about what will be tomorrow, that applies to his attitude concerning what has already happened. In such a case he shouldn’t lose his trust in G d since everything is from Him and He provides for everyone - He will surely send appropriate sustenance to the person and his family. In fact, however, a person must obtain a livelihood, food and all his needs as well as those of his wife and family not just for a single day but also for a long time by agriculture or business…

Chazon Ish (Ha-emuna Ve-ha-bittachon, beginning of chapter 2). . . an old error has become rooted in the hearts of many concerning the concept of trust. Trust . . . has come to mean that a person is obligated to believe that whenever he is presented with two possible outcomes, one good and one not, then certainly it will turn out for the good. And if he has doubts and fears the worst, that constitutes a lack of trust. This view of trust is incorrect, for as long as the future outcome has not been clarified through prophecy, that outcome has not been decided, for who can truly know God’s judgments and providence? Rather, trust means realizing that there are no coincidences in the world, and that whatever happens under the sun is a function of God’s decree.

Monday, February 26, 2024

‘Yissachar – Zevulan’ Arrangements

A “Yissachar – Zevulun” relationship is an actual partnership between a person who studies Torah and someone who financially supports him in this endeavor. In other words, the “Zevulun”, who spends his day involved in business, gives “Yissachar”, who studies Torah, half of the profits that he receives from all business activities that he is involved in from the time that they made this agreement, even if this will amount to a large sum of money. In return, “Zevulun” receives half of the reward that “Yissachar” deserves for his Torah study. In heaven it is considered just as if “Zevulun” himself had studied this Torah. 

How is this related to Bitachon?

Is Astology prohibited?

 Maharal (Shabbos 156a): Pesachim (113b) says it is prohibited to consult with an astrologer because of the verse be tamim with your G d. 

Maharal (Shabbos 156a): The prohibition of consulting with an astrologer is going to ask one but there is nothing wrong with studying astrology. Someone who knows astrology should utilize this knowledge to protect himself since G d made them to have influence. Thus the only prohibition is asking them not utilizing this information. 

Pesachim (113b) How do we know that you must not consult astrologers? Because it is said: Thou shalt be whole-hearted with the lord thy God.

Shulchan Aruch (YY 179) We do not make inquiries to astrological seers, nor to the fates. [Comment of Rema: Because it is said, "You must be wholehearted with the LORD your God." (Deuteronomy 18:13) (B"Y citing Tosafot (???) and citing Sifrei) And certainly it is prohibited to make inquiries to magicians, diviners, and sorcerers. (Piskei Mahara"i 96)]

Netziv (Devarim 18:14): According to our explanation of Temimos as feeling completely secure and not worrying, why does the Torah recommend that one should be temimos and not go to astrologers but yet should consult instead the prophets about the future? The answer is that in general a person’s conduct in this world should be with simple trust in G-d  and not to investigate the future - …. Nevertheless at a time of war when it is not clear what to do and it is a life threatening situations one must search to know what to do. … However it is obvious that at a time when there is no prophet it is necessary to use divination techniques….However not everything that an individual wants to know can he receive answers from a prophet. We see even for Moshe Rabbeinu (Moed Koton 16) that he only learned of the negative comments of Dasan and Aviram because of the messenger but not from his powers of prophecy. So surely this limitation on knowledge is true of other prophets. … .In contrast there is no such limitation for magic and divination which is the result of hidden natural processes and when someone uses them to know that which he needs he is merely using these natural processes which were produced by G-d .

Or HaChaim (Devarim 18:14): Jews were given prophets so that they would not be in an inferior to non Jews in terms of knowing the future. Perhaps that was Shaul’s understanding when he made inquiries of a diviner (Shmuel I 28:7) because G-d  did not prohibit using diviners except when there are prophets. However when there are no prophets and there is a need to know diviners can be consulted.

GOP Senator Slams Republicans For Conspiring To Trash Border Deal

Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday” asked Lankford why he would want to let Biden take a victory lap in an election year, and she repeated GOP claims that the proposed measures would still let in many immigrants.

Lankford, the GOP’s lead negotiator, said the bill is focused on preventing all illegal crossings with no amnesty, Mediaite reported.

He chastised his fellow Republicans in Congress for potentially sabotaging action on a central concern for the GOP and its voters, and hinted at the hypocrisy of it.

“It’s definitely not going to let a bunch of people in,” Lankford said. “It’s focused on actually turning people around on it. It is interesting ― Republicans four months ago would not give funding for Ukraine, for Israel and for our southern border because we demanded changes in policy. So we actually locked arms together and said, ‘We’re not going to give you money for this. We want a change in law.’ And now it’s interesting, a few months later, when we’re finally getting to the end, they’re like, ‘Oh, just kidding. I actually don’t want a change in law because it’s a presidential election year.’”

Republicans Who Screamed About A Crisis On The Border Now Oppose A Plan To Fix It

“It is interesting. Republicans four months ago... locked arms together and said, ‘We’re not going to give you money for this. We want a change in law,’” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), the GOP’s lead negotiator on a deal pairing immigration changes with assistance to Ukraine and other allies, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“A few months later, when we’re finally getting to the end, they’re like, ‘Oh, just kidding. I actually don’t want a change in law because it’s a presidential election year,’” he added.

Trump admits he ruined border deal to hurt Democrats

Fixing the border crisis is bad for Trump and good for Biden. That's the problem.

Democrats and Republicans working together to fix something is heresy to Trump.

Border crisis hypocrisy and what’s missing from the immigration debate

 Former President Donald Trump warned Republican members of Congress not to give President Joe Biden a political win by passing the bill they had painstakingly negotiated. Trump prefers to campaign against the broken U.S. immigration system. So Republicans agreed to keep it broken for him.

US Supreme Court to hear landmark social media cases

If enforced, the state laws would lead to “absurd results” because they would give scammers, trolls and hateful extremists an excuse to overwhelm websites with censorship allegations, wrote the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a consumer advocacy group.

Cohen marrying Giyores


Russians See Republicans as 'Tools,' Former CIA Director Warns

Brennan added that Russian officials view GOP Congress members as "tools" in their information operations.

"I think that my colleagues are concerned that the Russians see the Republican lawmakers as tools. They are so willing to accept anything, and Russians use information operations very effectively. And I have no doubt at all that they are going to continue to use it in this presidential election.

"And the fact that Comer and Jordan and others willingly accept these things, and they don't care whether it's true or not as long as it's salacious, as long as it's something they can use. This is something that the Russian's recognize is ready for their exploitation," he said.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

How to ensure a perfect psak~

 Some people think halacha is determined by applying the Torah to facts. The problem is the results sometimes go against what you want 

Others always get the results they want by simply making up facts - in other words they provide false information

This reflects a fundamental question - Is halacha determined by what a posek says or what the Torah says?

Actually this post was about people who lie to poskim in order to get the answer they want claiming that once they get a psak that determines the truth.

Is Shoplifting Really Surging?

Videos of extreme but rare crimes can go viral today. On social media, people post videos of looting flash mobs or thieves ramming cars into stores. “There are millions of property crimes a year,” said Jeff Asher of the research firm AH Datalytics. As a result, people can always find outlandish anecdotes, even if crime is down.

Conservative media has promoted these videos as evidence of disorder in liberal cities and under President Biden.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

2024 Contest

I guess I am just getting tired of hearing the same nonsense. 

Biden is senile but he is the evil puppet master behind Trump indictments

America was a better place to live when Trump was president

Cities are being destroyed by a crime wave caused by Biden's open border principles

Black protesters are burning down a vast number of white businesses. 

Progressive district attorneys elected by the evil Nazi Soros are freeing murderers and that is why the streets are not safe!

Their leniency with criminals is why hundreds of business have been forced to close as the result of unchecked shoplifting

The Republicans are the only competent politicians and Russia and Hamas would have not attacked if Trump were president

Finally Biden's incompetence is why America is going through a recession. 


The only problem with these Republican taking points that are mindlessly repeated by frum Jews is that there is actually no evidence they are true 

They are typically defended with the comment that everybody knows these things to be self evidently true or my son or cousin living in the US said they are true and that is why everybody is leaving New York for Lakewood or Florida,.

I would like to throw out a public challenge - for someone to actually to present convincing supportive data for these claims. If they can provide convincing data I am willing to vote Republican in November

Trump: ‘Black People Like Me’ Because I ‘Got Indicted’

Just a few days after comparing himself to a Russian dissident who was poisoned, jailed, and likely killed by the Kremlin, Donald Trump took his delusions of grandeur to a new level on Friday night by suggesting he has special insight into the lives of Black Americans because he, too, has “been discriminated against.”

He went on to claim that “a lot of people” told him “that’s why the Black people like me, ’cause they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against. And they actually viewed me as, I’m being discriminated against, it’s been pretty amazing. But possibly, I don’t know, maybe there’s something there.”

Biden impeachment effort on the brink of collapse

“I happen to know there are like 20 Republicans who are not in favor of a Biden impeachment. Mainly because it smells bad what he did, it looks bad, but when you ask them what crime is committed — they can’t tell you,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), a vulnerable purple-district incumbent who’d raised doubts about impeaching Mayorkas but eventually backed that effort.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Torah saves


Missionary Alert!


Survivors, families of those killed at Nova festival on Oct.7 file suit against AP

A number of survivors of the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel and families of victims of the unprecedented terror assault have filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press, accusing the news agency of being complicit in the Palestinian terror group’s killing spree over four months ago by working with freelance photojournalists they believe were embedded with the thousands of terrorists who overran southern communities.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The seedy underbelly of the life coaching industry

Angela Lauria, 50, discovered life coaching when she was struggling with postnatal depression and had been recently fired from her job. Initially interested in a coaching programme focusing primarily on weight loss, Lauria signed up for a $2,000 (£1,595) retreat. "In the first year alone, I spent $14,000 working with my life coach, and in the years that followed I probably spent $100,000," she says. She also spent thousands of dollars on additional courses and mentorships with other life coaches that her primary coach recommended. "I got sucked into it."

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Studying Torah while working

 Tanna Devei Eliyahu Zuta (2) Even though the entire world belongs to G-d, He only took from it the Jews. This is to make known that all those who are involved in studying Torah despite suffering and especially those who study despite having a job, will receive benefits in This World while the main reward is reserved for the Next World

Torah and Astrology

 Devarim Rabbah (08:06) What is the meaning of, IT IS NOT IN HEAVEN? Samuel said: The Torah is not to be found amongst astrologers whose work is to gaze at the heavens. People said to Samuel: ' Lo, you are an astrologer, and yet you are also great in the Torah.’ Whereupon he replied: ' I only engage in astrology when I am free-from studying the Torah. When is that? When I am in the bath.

Greek Wisdom - learning?

 Yerushalmi (Peah 01:01) They asked Rebbi Joshua: May a person teach Greek to his son? He said to them, he may teach him at an hour that is neither day nor night as it is written (Jos. 1:8): “You shall meditate about it day and night.” If it is so, a man would be forbidden to teach a profession to his son since it is written: “You shall meditate about it day and night.” But Rebbi Ismael stated (Deut. 30:19): “Choose life!” That refers to a profession. Rebbi Abba, son of Rebbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, Rebbi Ḥiyya in the name of Rebbi Joḥanan: Because of informants. Rebbi Abbahu in the name of Rebbi Joḥanan: A person may teach Greek to his daughter since it is an ornament for her. Simeon bar Abba heard that and said: Because he wants to teach his daughters, he attaches it to Rebbi Joḥanan. It should come over me if I ever heard it from Rebbi Joḥanan.

Former FBI Informant Accused of Lying About Bidens Claimed Russian Intelligence Contacts

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) publicly released a copy of the record and, without naming Smirnov, described the claims as “very significant allegations from a trusted F.B.I. informant implicating then-Vice President Biden in a criminal bribery scheme.” 

But, in the court filing Tuesday, prosecutors cast Smirnov as an incessant liar who couldn’t be trusted even to provide accurate information about his own finances while he faces criminal charges. 

FBI informant who lied about the Bidens’ ties to Ukrainian energy company had high-level Russian contacts: DOJ

In court filings, prosecutors said Alexander Smirnov admitted during an interview before his arrest last week that "officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story" about the president’s son, Hunter Biden. They said Smirnov's contacts with Russian officials were recent and extensive, and said Smirnov had planned to meet with one official during an upcoming overseas trip.

Ex-FBI Informant Charged With Lying About Bidens Tied to Russian Intel: DOJ 

Tuesday's DOJ filing claims that Smirnov has had "contact with officials affiliated with Russian intelligence" that "are extensive and extremely recent," while he purportedly had planned to take part in additional meetings before being arrested.

During a recent meeting with the "high ranking" Russian intelligence official, read the filing, Smirnov also met with "the individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts," who revealed at least one detail of a plan to interfere in this year's election.

According to the filing, Smirnov told the FBI handler that Russian intelligence was intercepting phone calls "placed by prominent U.S. persons" that could be used as "kompromat," or damaging information, ahead of the November election.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Moshe was a Shepherd

Shemos (03:01) Now Moses, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, drove the flock into the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

 Rabbeinu Bachya (Shemos 03:01) And Moshe was a shepherd. Moshe chose this profession as was the custom of the early tzadikim as we see with Abel the son of Adam as well as our fore  Fathers and their children. The reason being to be far removed from settled areas which provide opportunities for sin and also to have solitude to achieve prophesy.

Cohen marrying Giores?

 Rav Shlomo Miller

Rav Reuven Feinstein

Trump Ranks Dead Last (Again) in Poll of Presidential Greatness

“It takes a lot to be known as the absolute worst in your profession in the history of your country,” Biden spokesman Kevin Munoz noted in additional comments. “But Donald Trump managed to do it, and it’s pretty clear why. Donald Trump spent his four years in office working for one thing only: himself.”

In historians' Presidents Day survey, Biden vs. Trump is not a close call 

"While partisanship and ideology don't tend to make a major difference overall, there are a few distinctions worth noting," said political scientists Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston and Justin S. Vaughn of Coastal Carolina University, who first published their greatness survey in 2015.

Experts responding to the survey who self-identified as conservatives rated Biden No. 30, while liberals put him 13th and moderates ranked him 20th. All three of those same groups ranked Trump, whose presidency was marked by his flouting of historical norms, in the bottom five.

Fox News is real sad that Trump is ranked worst president ever

As NPR noted about the presidential survey, it is hard to call out partisanism here:

Experts responding to the survey who self-identified as conservatives rated Biden No. 30, while liberals put him 13th and moderates ranked him 20th. All three of those same groups ranked Trump, whose presidency was marked by his flouting of historical norms, in the bottom five.

The good news is that by most accounts Trump’s first lady, Melania, is also the worst. That’s romantic, right?

The Moral Blindness of Putin’s Apologists on the Right

But, need I say this? Mr. Biden isn’t Vladimir Putin. Mr. Biden doesn’t invade neighbors on a false pretext, killing indiscriminately. He doesn’t make people who have fallen into disfavor fall from the windows of tall buildings. He doesn’t throw a foreign journalist in jail for reporting the truth about what is going on in his country. He doesn’t arrange the murder of his domestic political opponents on the soil of other countries. And he doesn’t imprison, torture and preside over the “death by sudden death” of his principal domestic critic.

If you can’t see the difference then I say, respectfully, that you have lost—or discarded—your capacity for moral reasoning. And that is an even bigger problem.

Monday, February 19, 2024

John Bolton: ‘If Trump is elected, there will be celebrations in the Kremlin’

“Biden, he’s more experienced, more predictable, he’s a politician of the old formation,” Putin said during an interview with Russian state media last week. “But we will work with any U.S. leader whom the American people trust.”

Bolton called the comments a “clear disinformation effort,” by the Russian leader, “to give Trump the opportunity — which he is foolish enough to take — to say, well, I thought that was actually a compliment to me,” Bolton told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki.

A real talmid chachom needs to be cruel and insensitive to his family?

A possible explanation of the parameters of insensitivy is presented in later post Alter Rebbe admonished his son for insensitivity

Eiruvin(21b-22a): His locks are curled (Shir HaShirm 5:11). Mar Ukva says that teaches us that we are to make many interpretations on every point of the letters of the Torah. black as a raven – With whom do you find this ability? It is with he who gets up early (shachar – shacharis – Rashi) and remains late (aruv – aravis – Rashi) to study Torah. Rabbah said you only find this ability in a person who blackens his face like a raven (from hunger and deprivation). Rava said this ability is only found in someone who makes himself cruel in relation to his children and wife – as a raven. [And therefore G‑d provides insects which go into their mouths - Rashi] Someone such as Rav Adda bar Masnah who once when leaving to study Torah in the beis medrash was stopped by his wife. She asked him how she would be able to feed his children? He responded by saying, Are there no more edible herbs that can be found for free in the marsh?
update added
Kli Yakar (Devarim 33:9):Who said to his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; nor did he acknowledge his brothers, nor knew his own children; for they have observed your word, and kept your covenant. That is because our Sages (Megila 17a) said that whoever is involved in Torah study is exempt from honoring his parents. The proof of this is Yaakov who was not punished for the 14 years that he remained with Shem and Ever and did not fulfill the mitzva of honoring his father and mother. This is what the verse is saying that “He says to his father and mother that he hasn’t seen him” because he is not required to look after them and surely he doesn’t not have to pay attention to what his brother is doing.Furthermore the verse says He doesn’t know his own children.This is stated in Eiruvin (22a). “What is the meaning of the verse (Shir HaShirim 5:11), “black as a crow.” Rava says it is referring to talmid chachim because of the necessity for him to be cruel to his children as a crow in order to be proficient in his studies. An example is Rav Adda who when he was leaving to study in the beis hamedrash his wife asked him where his children would get food. He responded that there were herbs in the marsh that they could eat.” This that it says in this verse that “he doesn’t know his own children” it also means that his children act as if they don’t know their father. That is because they also are studying Torah and thus don’t know him.

Maharal (Tiferes Yisroel #63):  Eiruvin (21b),” (Shir HaShirim 5:11) curled locks black as a crow. Mar Ukva says it teaches that every aspect of Torah should be interpreted to produce many halachic understandings. Rabba says it indicates that Torah mastery depends on deprivation of food which is indicated by the face darkening like a raven. Rava says it means Torah mastery is depends on being cruel to one’s family and wife as a crow.” The underlying concept of expressed in this gemora that the great amount of halachic knowledge which is indicated by curls – they in fact are refined abstract understandings (hasagos hanivdalim) that are separate from this world and are far from the man who is materialistic. That is why the gemora uses the language “with whom do you find these halachos” The first answer is one who devotes his mornings and evenings to understand them. In other words Torah mastery is found in someone who turns his back on the material issues of this world and instead devotes all this time to study these matters. That is because it is impossible that he be a talmid chachom if he is immersed in the material issues of the world. Rabbah provides a higher level in that a real talmid chachom needs to darken himself. That means not only his thoughts are turned from materialism but that he minimizes his physical connection with the materialism of eating and other comforts. In this manner he is fit to acquire these concepts which are separated from a person. The third level described by Rava is to be so separated from this material world that he is cruel to his children. This is a higher level of separation then depriving oneself of material enjoyment such as food. The significance of this is clear that one who is not merciful to his own children has overcome his material nature to a higher degree than one denies himself food. Thus he is more able to acquire these non-physical concepts which are alien to the man immersed in physicality.

Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein (Chashukei Chemed Bava Basra 73b): Question: A father-in-law sees that his son-in-law is a great masmid - however he doesn’t bring any income into the home and his children are going hungry. He is very disturbed by the suffering of his daughter and his grandchildren. He wants to intervene and to request that his son-in-law go to work and provide properly for his family. What can be said to the father-in-law to dissuade him from intervening? Answer: It says in Bava Basra (73b) Rabbah b. Bar Hana further stated: I saw that frog the size of the Fort of Hagronia. (What is the size of the Fort of Hagronia? Sixty houses.) There came a snake and swallowed the frog. Then came a raven and swallowed the snake, and perched on a tree. Imagine how strong the tree was. R. Papa b. Samuel said: Had I not been there I would not have believed it.” The Gra explains the significance of the frog according the medrash. Why were the Egyptians afflicted with frogs? Because they prevented the Jews from studying Torah like the frog that didn’t stop day and night. That is the meaning of “that frog” – meaning a great Torah scholar. “The size of Fort of Hagronia which was the size of 60 houses” – alludes to the fact that the scholar reads and learns with his throat (garon) – 60 tractates which he has mastered. “Then a snake came” – that is referring to the yetzer harah which is called snake which stays close to the talmid chachom to prevent him from studying Torah because of the lack of food. Then the crow comes and swallows the snake. This is explained in Eiruvin (22a) regarding the verse “black as a crow” – that one who make himself a cruel as crow regarding his children. That is because the yetzer harah tries to seduce the person to stop learning because of the lack of food. However the one who makes himself as cruel as a crow and continues learning Torah day and night – then G‑d Himself provides them with food. That is the significance of the crow sitting on the tree – that G‑d Himself supports the talmid chachom like in a Yissachar Zevulen relationship. “Thus imagine powerful that tree is” – meaning how great is the power of those who support people who study Torah from the fact that Yaakov and Moshe preceded the Berachos of Zevulen to Yissachar. And a certain talmid chachom related that immediately after the war the Brisker Rav met the Mastrikover Rebbe. Both of them had lost many family members. The Brisk Rav said, Our Sages tell us that the verse, “Man when he dies in the tent” teaches us that Torah is only mastered by someone who is willing to kill himself for it. One can also interpret these words to mean that a man is obligated to kill his emotions in order to learn Torah. 

Orchos Tzadikim (Gate of Cruelty): Up to this point we have been describing how how bad cruelty is. However there are situations that in fact require a person to act cruelly against the wicked... Furthermore our Sages (Eiruvin 22a) say that Torah scholarship is found in a person who is cruel to his family as a crow and it cites as an example the case of Rav Ada bar Masna who was asked by his wife as he was leaving to learning in the beis medrash how his children were to be fed. He responded they can eat the herbs growning in the marsh. It is obvious that a person who shows too much kindness to his child will focus on making money and he will not be so concerned on whether the money is obtained legally or not. That is because love distorts one’s thinking. In addition because of the effort that he has to exert day and night to produce a livelihood and ample supplies he ends up being idle from Torah study. That is because he makes his work the main thing and consequently his priorities become confused. 

Vayikra Rabbah (19:01)  Seeing that the words of the Torah require to be attended to early at dawn and late in the evening, whence will one's livelihood come, even as it is said, ’ Who shall provide for the raven his food,’ when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of food? This implies: If a man does not show himself as cruel towards himself, his children and his household as a raven to its young, he does not succeed in acquiring Torah. 

Avos 1:14 If I am not for myself who will be?

 Ruach Chaim (Avos 1:14) He used to say If I am not for myself who will be for me?  You should know that the yetzer harah blinds the eyes of a person by saying constantly to him “How can you be involved in Torah study since it is required to earn a living for the sake of your wife and children especially at the present time when the burden of earning a living is extremely heavy, While that in truth is the blinding advice of the evil inclination. In reality our Sages tell us that before the baby is formed it has already been decreed whether he will be rich or poor and this is typically for his entire life. Furthermore on each individual year it is decreed from Rosh Hashanna what wealth he will receive. Therefore all his efforts will not get for him more than has been decreed and in fact he will get his portion with minimal effort. In contrast his accomplishment in Torah is proportional to his effort. Thus the Mishna is saying regarding Torah If I am not for myself who will be for me? That is because It all depends on me. In contrast the Mishna continues that regarding this world if I rely totally on myself than what am I 

Donald Trump Places Last in New 'Presidential Greatness' Rankings

At the bottom of the rankings, Trump received the lowest rating with a 10.92 average, behind James Buchanan at No. 44 with 16.71, Andrew Johnson at No. 43 with 21.56, Franklin Pierce at No. 42 with 24.6, William Henry Harrison at No. 41 with 26.01 and Warren Harding at No. 40 with 27.76, according to the Presidential Greatness Project.

The survey also ranked Trump as the "most polarizing" U.S. President.

Why did Noach build Ark?

 Rabbeinu Bachya (Bereishis 6:15) You may be inclined to ask that seeing G-d was able to save all these people and animals by working a miracle, why did He bother to command Noach to spend 120 years of his life to build the Ark altogether? Surely, G-d had a number of other alternatives once He had decided to invoke miracles! For instance, He could have enabled the people and animals who were meant to survive to walk on water, or some other miracle not involving 120 years of Noach’s time. The answer to such questions is that the Torah always instructs man to do all in his power to achieve his objective by natural means. If, for reasons beyond his control, man cannot complete his task, G-d will supply the amount of miracle needed to bring man’s deserving endeavor to a successful conclusion. If you will examine other miracles reported in the Torah you will always find that though G-d intervened in the most miraculous manner, there were always elements in what happened which were based on the laws of nature being made full use of. 

Presidential experts rank Biden 14th among presidents in survey, Trump comes in last

In a recent survey conducted by a panel of experts specializing in the American presidency, President Biden was ranked 14th-best president, while his likely 2024 presidential opponent former President Donald Trump found himself at the bottom of the list.

The 2024 Presidential Greatness Project Expert Survey which was conducted from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, included current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, which is the foremost organization of social science experts in presidential politics.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

The GOP’s 2024 Campaign Message Is Falling Apart

Ever since Joe Biden took the White House, Republicans have seemed to know exactly how they were going to toss him out.

The plan was simple: Hammer Biden on two of his greatest weaknesses—the economy, and immigration.

By the time the 2024 general election rolls around, the GOP will have spent years showing voters how inflation was out of control, how the economy was better under Donald Trump, and how America was safer with Trump and the GOP’s more restrictive border policies. That was how Republicans would take back the White House, seize the Senate, and pad their light majority in the House.

Less than nine months out from Election Day, however, Republicans are now confronting the reality that none of those messages may work—because none of them may be true.

Nikki Haley Finally Hits Trump Right in the Putin

Responding to Navalny’s death, Haley tweeted: “Putin did this. The same Putin who Donald Trump praises and defends. The same Trump who said: ‘In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that.’”

She followed that statement with another message: “Putin murdered his political opponent and Trump hasn’t said a word after he said he would encourage Putin to invade our allies”—a reference to Trump’s recent comments inviting Russia to attack NATO allies who haven’t paid up.

Trump launches sneaker line a day after judge’s order to pay nearly $355 million

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday launched a sneaker line, a day after he and his companies were ordered by a judge to pay nearly $355 million in his New York civil fraud trial.

The former president unveiled “Trump Sneakers” at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia. He placed a pair of gold sneakers, which a new website has listed for $399 and named the “NEVER SURRENDER HIGH-TOP SNEAKER,” on the podium as he spoke.

“This is something I’ve been talking about for 12 years, 13 years, and I think it’s going to be a big success,” said Trump, who is marching closer toward the 2024 Republican nomination and a potential rematch with President Joe Biden.

Imam recites Quran at Belgian parliament, calling for killing, kidnapping of Jews

An Imam at the Belgian parliament last week began reciting a verse from the Quran that explicitly calls on Muslims to kill and take Jews captive.

The Quran excerpt is verse 33:26 from the Al-Ahzab Surah (chapter). It translates to, “ And He brought down those from the People of the Book who supported the enemy alliance from their own strongholds, and cast horror into their hearts. You ‘believers’ killed some, and took others captive.”

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Child abuse scandal rattles Orban’s image as defender of ‘family values’

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has for years told his country its children are under attack from deviant sexualities and pedophilia. Now, his government is embroiled in a scandal after it emerged that its president had pardoned a man convicted of covering up sexual abuse at a children’s home.

President Katalin Novak, Orban’s loyal but largely impotent ally, resigned last Saturday amid public furor over her decision in April 2023 to pardon the deputy director of a children’s home who had helped to cover up the abuse of underaged boys. She said she made a “mistake” in “believing that the convict did not exploit the vulnerability of children whom he had overseen.”

Takeaways from the $355 million civil fraud ruling against Donald Trump

Judge Arthur Engoron hit Donald Trump with his biggest punishment to date on Friday, in a ruling that fined the former president $355 million for fraudulently inflating the values of his properties.

Combined with the $83 million judgment issued against Trump for defaming E. Jean Carroll, that means Trump has been fined roughly $438 million over the past four weeks.

Torah is not Inherited

 Nedarim (81a) Be on guard against scabs; take good care to study in company and be heedful not to neglect the children of the poor, for from them Torah goeth forth, as it is written, The water shall flow out of his buckets meaning, from the poor amongst them goeth forth Torah. And why is it not usual for scholars to give birth to sons who are scholars? — Said R. Joseph, That it might not be maintained, The Torah is their legacy. R. Shisha, the son of R. Idi, said: That they should not be arrogant towards the community. Mar Zutra said: Because they act high-handedly against the community. R. Ashi said: Because they call people asses. Rabina said: Because they do not first utter a blessing over the Torah. For Rab Judah said in Rab's name: What is meant by, Who is the wise man, that he may understand this. . . for what is the land destroyed etc.? Now, this question was put to the Sages, Prophets, and Ministering Angels, but they could not answer it, until the Almighty Himself did so, as it is written, And the Lord said, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein: but is not ‘have not obeyed my voice’ identical with, ‘neither walked therein’? — Rab Judah said in Rab's name: It means that they did not first recite a benediction over the Torah.

Rule Exception or Precedent

Sanhedrin (74a) If one pursuer was pursuing another pursuer in order to save him, i.e., if he was trying to save the person being pursued by killing the pursuer, and while doing so he broke vessels belonging either to the pursuer or to the one being pursued, or to anyone else, he is exempt from paying for them. The Gemara comments: This is not by strict law, as if one who saves himself at another’s expense is liable to pay for the damage, certainly one who saves another at the expense of a third party should bear similar liability.

This is also mentioned in bava Kamma without  mention of Takkana

Bava Kamma (117b) And with regard to a pursuer who was chasing after another pursuer in order to save the latter’s intended victim, and he broke vessels during the chase, whether they belonged to the pursued individual, i.e., the individual attempting murder, or to anyone else, he is exempt from payment. The Gemara notes: And this is not the halakha by Torah law, but if you do not say so, you will not have any person that saves another from a pursuer.

Shulchan Aruch (M 380) doesnt say there is a takkanah

ואחד שרדף אחר הרודף להציל את הנרדף ושבר כלים בין של רודף בין של כל אדם פטור כדי שלא יבואו מלימנע מלהציל את הנרדף:

While the gemora and Shulchan Aruch simply note that we ignore the halacha in this case the Rambam asserts there is a Rabbinic decree to ignore the Torah rule in this case. None of the comentaries mention this assertion of the Rambam

Rambam (Chovel Umazick 8:14) (When a person pursues a rodef to save the person he is pursuing, and in so doing breaks utensils - whether those belonging to the rodef or those belonging to another person - he is not liable. This does not follow the letter of the law, but is a Rabbinic ordinance, enacted so that a person will not refrain from trying to save his colleague, or will hesitate and proceed carefully while he chases after the rodef.

רודף אחר רודף להצילו ושיבר את הכלים בין של רודף בין של נרדף בין של כל אדם פטור ולא מן הדין שאם אי אתה אומר כן נמצא אין לך כל אדם שמציל את חבירו מיד הרודף:

Friday, February 16, 2024

Renowned Lizard Fossil Exposed as Forgery

New analysis has found, however, that the fossil is actually black paint on a carved piece of stone surrounding a few fossilized bones, according to a paper in the journal Palaeontology.

"The peculiar preservation of Tridentinosaurus had puzzled experts for decades. Now, it all makes sense. What it was described as carbonized skin, is just paint," paper co-author Evelyn Kustatscher, a paleontologist at the Museum of Nature South Tyrol, said in a statement.

Rav Dovid Cohen


Egypt Builds Walled Enclosure on Border as Israeli Offensive Looms

Egyptian authorities, fearful that an Israeli military push further into southern Gaza will set off a flood of refugees, are building an 8-square-mile walled enclosure in the Sinai Desert near the border, according to Egyptian officials and security analysts.

For weeks, Egypt has sought to bolster security along the frontier to keep Palestinians out, deploying soldiers and armored vehicles and reinforcing fences. The massive new compound is part of contingency plans if large numbers of Gazans do manage to get in.

More than 100,000 people could be accommodated in the camp, Egyptian officials said. It is surrounded by concrete walls and far from any Egyptian settlements. Large numbers of tents, as yet unassembled, have been delivered to the site, these people said.

Joe Biden's Accuser Indicted for Lying in Blow to GOP Impeachment Effort

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden on Thursday were handed a huge legal win by the announcement of charges against an FBI informant who was central to a Republican inquiry to impeach Biden.

Special counsel David Weiss, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who was appointed to lead the investigation into Hunter Biden by Attorney General Merrick Garland, announced charges against 43-year-old Alexander Smirnov on Thursday for allegedly making false statements and manufacturing false records concerning Biden's business dealings in Ukraine.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Putin Says He Prefers Biden to Trump Because He’s ‘Predictable’

Russian President Vladimir Putin prefers his current U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, to the chaos of former President Donald Trump—at least that’s what he said Wednesday during an interview with Russian state media. “Biden, he’s more experienced, more predictable, he’s a politician of the old formation,” Putin said when asked who he would prefer. “But we will work with any U.S. leader whom the American people trust.” He was also asked to comment on recent criticism leveled at Biden’s “poor memory” and whether the 81-year-old is too old to carry out a second term, saying that he did not see any evidence of declining cognition during the pair’s meeting in 2021. “They talked about him being incapacitated [at that time], but I saw nothing of the kind.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Teammates put peanuts in allergic student’s locker. School district says it wasn’t bullying

More than a month later, Mannon stood before the Lake Travis school board in November. She was livid. The kids responsible were disciplined, but she expected it to be to a different level. They were benched from some football games. She was told the district’s athletic director and head football coach were determining the discipline. 

The district said it worked with other law enforcement agencies and consulted the assistant district attorney’s office, but ultimately, the school district’s police department decided criminal charges were not warranted. 



What is meant by the statement in the Gemara (Yerushalmi Kiddushin 12:4) that a person is going to have to give an accounting in the Next World for everything that he saw in this world and didn’t utilize for pleasure?

Cohen marrying giyores


The Warped Electoral Logic Behind Trump’s Antisemitism 

In October, when Trump complained about ungrateful Jews, there was little or no pushback from Republicans.

After Ye tweeted that he was “going death con3 on JEWISH people,” the former president invited him to dinner. He came with a notorious neo-Nazi.

And, once again, Trump offered no apology. He doesn’t think he has to, because his base doesn’t mind. These are his people. And he needs them.

Trump says loss caused by her refusal to respect him

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Pilip over her loss, referring to her as a "very foolish woman" in a post on his Truth Social platform around 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday. In the social media post, the MAGA leader decried the loss and said the Republican candidate would have won had she treated MAGA with respect.

"Republicans just don't learn, but maybe she was still a Democrat? I have an almost 99% Endorsement Success Rate in Primaries, and a very good number in the General Elections, as well, but just watched this very foolish woman, Mazi Melesa Pilip, running in a race where she didn't endorse me and tried to 'straddle the fence,' when she would have easily WON if she understood anything about MODERN DAY politics in America," Trump said in the Truth Social post. "MAGA, WHICH IS MOST OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, STAYED HOME - AND IT ALWAYS WILL, UNLESS IT IS TREATED WITH THE RESPECT THAT IT DESERVES. I STAYED OUT OF THE RACE, 'I WANT TO BE LOVED!' GIVE US A REAL CANDIDATE IN THE DISTRICT FOR NOVEMBER. SUOZZI, I KNOW HIM WELL, CAN BE EASILY BEATEN!"

Democrat Tom Suozzi wins New York special election, will replace George Santos

Democrat Tom Suozzi on Tuesday won a special election in New York for the US House seat that was left vacant when Republican George Santos was expelled from Congress, The Associated Press reported.

Suozzi defeated Republican candidate Mazi Pilip, an American Israeli woman who was born in Ethiopia and who was brought to Israel in 1991 during Israel’s “Operation Solomon”.

With the win, he retakes a seat he held for three terms before giving it up to run, unsuccessfully, for governor.

The victory narrows the slim Republican majority in the House and gives Democrats a much-needed win in New York City’s Long Island suburbs.

Raskin razzes Stefanik for ‘evasive and embarrassing answers’ on antisemitism

Raskin posed to Stefanik “five easy questions for you to address with ‘moral clarity’ on presidential tolerance for — and embrace of — antisemitism … Please avoid the waffling evasion you rightfully denounced!”

Raskin listed four examples of moments when Trump engaged in activity that some have labeled antisemitic and asked whether Stefanik would support a candidate engaged in such behavior. A fifth question asked whether she was prepared to denounce the antisemitic “Great Replacement Theory” linked to several mass shootings.

In response to an MSNBC interview in which Raskin made a similar point, Stefanik wrote on X, “Thanks for asking @jamie_raskin, the answer is simple: President Trump was the best friend Jewish people have had in the White House in modern times,” Stefanik wrote Monday afternoon on X.

Raskin asks how Stefanik can question anyone about antisemitism when she supports Trump

“Where does Elise Stefanik get off lecturing anybody about antisemitism, when she’s the hugest supporter of Donald Trump, who traffics in antisemitism all the time?” Raskin asked during an interview with MSNBC’s Ali Velshi.

“She didn’t utter a peep of protest when he had Kanye West and Nick Fuentes over for dinner,” Raskin said. “Nick Fuentes, who doubts whether Oct. 7 even took place because he thinks it was some kind of suspicious propaganda move by the Israelis.

“The Republican Party is filled with people who are entangled with antisemitism like that,” Raskin added, “and yet somehow she gets on our high horse and lectures a Jewish college president from MIT.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

‘She scares me’: Stefanik’s emergence as Trump’s cheerleader sparks criticism

In her early House years, Stefanik was widely deemed a moderate, but she has pivoted hard right to help Trump since his loss in 2020 when she joined 146 other House members who opposed certifying the election results.

Poverty is desirable

 Rabbeinu Bachya (Kad HaKemach Wealth 1:3) Because of the great harm that comes with wealth and for the many terrible troubles that arise from it, the sages praised the reverse which  is poverty, as they taught in Chagiga that Eliyahu said G-d did not find a solution for Israel, to be saved from sin, but poverty, The custom of the wealthy is that everyone who accumulates a little of it will long for more, and another who accumulates a lot of it will lust for multiples and will never be satisfied because he will never be satisfied

Chagigah (9b) Elijah said to Bar He-He, and others say, to R. Eleazar: What is the meaning of the verse: Behold I have refined thee but not as silver; I have tried thee in the furnace of affliction? It teaches that G-d went through all the good qualities in order to give them to Israel, and He found only poverty

Eruvin (41b) Three matters cause a person to act against his own will and the will of his Maker, and they are: Gentiles, and an evil spirit, and the depths of extreme poverty. What is the practical halakhic difference that emerges from this statement? It is significant as it teaches one to request mercy for people who suffer from those…

Avoda Zara (5a) Four kinds of persons may be regarded as dead, they are: the poor, the blind, the leprous, and the childless.

Nedarim (64b) Four are accounted as dead: A poor man, a leper, a blind person, and one who is childless

Mishlei (30:07-09)  Two things have I asked of you; do not deny them before I die; 8. Remove far from me falsehood and lies; do not give me poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me;9. Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my G-d.

A ‘whale’ of a tale: Trump continues to distort cognitive test he took

“I think it was 35, 30 questions,” the former president said in Portsmouth, N.H., of the test, which he said involved a few animal identification queries. “They always show you the first one, like a giraffe, a tiger, or this, or that — a whale. ‘Which one is the whale?’ Okay. And that goes on for three or four [questions] and then it gets harder and harder and harder.”

The only problem: The creator of the test in question, called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA, said it has never included the specific combination of animals described by Trump in any of its versions over the years.

CNN Doctor Trolls Trump Over 'Dementia' Boast With 1 Simple Sentence

“If you think a dementia screening test is very difficult, you may have early dementia,” Reiner, who is director of cardiac catheterization laboratories at George Washington University, wrote on X:

The test was created to help doctors detect the warning signs of the cognitive impairments that can lead to dementia.

“It is supposed to be easy for someone who has no cognitive impairment,” Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, who developed the test, told MarketWatch in 2020.

Yet Trump has constantly claimed otherwise.

Stop Talking About Biden's Mental Acuity. Start Talking About Trump's Signs of Dementia

The most telling evidence of Trump's growing dementia is found in his paranoid thirst for revenge, on which he is now centering his entire campaign. On November 11, he pledged to a crowd of supporters in Claremont, New Hampshire, that, "We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, that lie and steal and cheat on elections and will do anything possible—they'll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American dream."

No, thanks, Mr. President: Special election candidates shun Biden and Trump

The strategic decision by the two candidates in the nail-biter race underscores the dissatisfaction Americans have with the elderly men likely to capture the two major party nominations this year. Both have high negatives and intractable problems for swing voters like those going to the polls on Tuesday: Biden would be 86 when his term ends and has been pilloried by the right and far left for his handling of the southern border crisis. Trump, meanwhile, continues to deny he lost the election in 2020 and is facing 91 felony charges.

Obama Didn’t Give Iran ‘150 Billion in Cash’

As a candidate during the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump criticized the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons’ program — formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — that had been adopted the year before. He suggested that the U.S. had returned $150 billion to Iran as part of the deal.

That’s not true. We’ve written about this issue before. PolitiFact and the Washington Post have, too.

But Trump has repeated the claim as recently as December, when he tweeted: “The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?”

Trump’s bogus claim now has been repeated in a meme that references the president’s declaration of a national emergency to redirect federal funds for a proposed wall on the southern border.

The meme, which has been shared 149,000 times on Facebook, mentions the recent lawsuit brought against the Trump administration by 16 states to block the national emergency. The meme says: “So, when Obama bypassed the Congress while giving Iran 150 billion in cash, how many States had sued him?”

Biden Had His Worst Week, Then Trump Made Him Look Competent

Again, “normal” people don’t like this deranged stuff that plays so well to the Trump base. It also shows how even on someone else’s big day, Trump has to be the center of attention. To paraphrase Alice Roosevelt, Trump has to be the pop diva at every concert and the star of every Super Bowl.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Biden takes a political hit but brings Americans home

Criticism from the likes of Trump and Pence is politicized in the context of their presidential campaigns – and ignores their own deals to free Americans. In 2019, Trump engineered a prisoner swap with Iran to free Xiyue Wang, a US citizen accused of spying. Trump also personally welcomed three Americans home from North Korea in 2018 after a deal which looked like a quid pro quo for a later summit with tyrant Kim Jong Un that turned into little more than a giant photo-op. Yet Trump’s deals, like Biden’s, also reunited Americans with their long-suffering families.

Trump Is Telling Us He’s an Enemy of the American People

In other words, as outrageous as Trump’s comments were this past weekend, what is most shocking about them is that they have not and will result in his immediate rejection by the members of his party. And, therefore, the goal in November must not be just to defeat Trump, but to decisively defeat—and thereby begin to destroy—the entire MAGA GOP movement.

Biden’s balancing act with Iran aims for deterrence, not a wider war

President Joe Biden’s decision to strike 85 targets in Iraq and Syria on Friday in response to the death of three American soldiers last weekend amounted to a middle ground: short of a direct strike inside Iran, which would almost certainly spark a wider war, but still more expansive than any action the US has taken so far against the groups it accuses of destabilizing the region.

Elise Stefanik generates VP speculation as she campaigns with Trump

Stefanik, the No. 4 House Republican, symbolizes the shift of GOP officials in the Trump era. Once a Trump critic — a view for which she was celebrated among Republicans who had opposed his 2016 presidential bid — Stefanik has risen within the party over the years and fully embraced Trump. But her drop-in trip to New Hampshire, as well as visits from Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), has prompted speculation beyond the state’s primary: Whom would Trump pick as his vice president if he becomes the nominee?

Democrats move to avert embarrassing defeat in New York race for Santos’s seat

Long Island, where the district is located, has more commonly been electing Republicans in recent years. Nassau County, which makes up most of the district, has leaned Democratic at the presidential level but is led by a Republican county executive, and a majority of the members of the county legislature are Republican. 

The congressional district comfortably voted for former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in the state’s 2022 gubernatorial race. 

Pilip’s campaign has centered its attacks on Suozzi around immigration, an apparent effort to tie him to Biden, whose policies on the issue have been rated poorly. Voters in the district say immigration is one of their most important issues. 

‘Enough to make Reagan ill': Trump’s NATO remarks under fire

“NATO has been a success story for the last 75 years. But what bothers me about this is, don’t take the side of a thug, who kills his opponents. don’t take the side of someone who has gone in and invaded a country and half a million people have died or been wounded because of Putin,” Haley said Sunday during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“Now, we do want NATO allies to pull their weight. But there are ways you can do that without sitting there and telling Russia, have your way with these countries. That’s not what we want,” she added.

Israeli teacher helped Hamas aim rockets at sensitive site, arrested

A teacher from northern Israel was arrested after providing Hamas with the location of a defense industry plant in the north to help Hamas fire rockets toward the plant, the Shin Bet and police said on Sunday.

The suspect was identified as Rami Habibullah, a resident of Ein Mahil, a town near Nazareth. The Shin Bet and police found that, in light of the conflict in Gaza, Habibullah decided to contact Hamas operatives abroad and offer to help promote terrorist activities in Israel.

Habibullah provided a Hamas operative with a photo of a defense industry plant near his home and the exact location of the plant, intending to have Hamas fire rockets toward the site. He also collected funds for the terrorist group and provided information on several sensitive locations.

Al Jazeera journalist is also a Hamas commander, IDF says

A Palestinian journalist working for Al Jazeera appears to also be a commander in Hamas’s military wing, according to images and documents recovered by the IDF in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war against the terror Palestinian terror group.

“In the morning, he’s a journalist on the Al Jazeera channel, and in the evening, a terrorist in Hamas!” wrote Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman, in a Sunday post to social media platform X.

IDF spokesman reveals details of dramatic hostage rescue

 IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari on Monday morning gave a statement on the Sunday night rescue of two hostages, Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70), during an IDF operation in Rafah.

In his statement, Hagari said, "This was a complex rescue operation carried out under fire in the heart of Rafah, and based on quality intelligence. The ISA's operational unit, the police, Southern Command, Shayetet 13, and Brigade 7 of the Armored Corps carried out this professional and precise action. This is an operation which we prepared for over the course of some time - the necessary preparations were made and we waited for conditions which would allow it to be carried out."

At 1:49a.m. the special forces broke into the building in Rafah. The hostages were on the second floor. From the moment we began the operation, the soldiers embraced Louis and Fernando and began a difficult gunfight. Aerial support allowed the force to cut contact and hit the Hamas terrorists. The soldiers pulled the hostages out of the apartment, and they were rescued under fire until they reached the safe area. It was a very stressful and very moving night."