Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Protesting Puppets: Why Supporters of PBS Marched on Washington

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Written By Jessica Nichols

The first presidential debate sparked a lot of controversy, the least of which did not fall on America’s sweetheart, Big Bird. Romney’s comments about cutting funding for the Public Broadcasting Service, though conceding, “I like PBS, I love Big Bird,” inspired the protest held November 3, aptly named “Million Muppet March.”

The “Million Muppet March” brought together more puppets than probably had ever been in once place, standing for one purpose before.

Protesters marched Saturday, November 3, in support of PBS after Romney makes comments about cutting federal funding to the program

If Romney likes PBS and Big Bird, then why would he attempt to cut funding for the household name and channel? Romney had this to say, “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS… I’m not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Romney has been under fire about the comment ever since. Trending on social networking cites, memes, thousands of tweets, and an extensive media debate over whether cuts to PBS would begin to make a dent in federal deficit later, organizers created the “Million Muppet March.” Supporters of public broadcasting were outraged to hear Romney’s comments, and critic Bill Maher from “Real Time With Bill Maher” pointed out the PBS subsidy’s small proportion of the federal budget: a mere $445 million of $3.8 trillion.

The spirited march on Washington was started by animation executive, Michael Bellavia, and Chris Mecham, a university student, in response to Romney’s comments. Bellavia said, “I figured, why just make it a virtual show of support? Why not take this opportunity because it seemed like there was already a growing interest in it and actually make it an active, participatory event.”

The “Million Muppet March” saw protesters toting anywhere from fun-sized sock puppets to full-sized creations of our favorite neighborhood friends from Sesame Street: Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Animal, and more.

Sesame Street, which has been airing for 43 years, is a very popular educational program, so there was no problem for organizers of the march to find people willing to come out and show their support for this longtime American institution. Organizers of the march say that at least 600 people signed up to participate in the actual march at the capital, with thousands more showing their support virtually through Facebook, Twitter, and even their own marches across the nation.

As the election draws nearer, supporters hope that their efforts raised enough awareness about the importance of federal subsidies to the Public Broadcasting System, for public television and public radio.

The Continuing War on Women’s Health

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

 

President Obama speaking

President Obama speaks to a group about Health Care on Wednesday

Written by: Katie Garren

 

Recently, President Obama made a statement on the subject of birth control that became a hotly contested issue. Recently, there seems to be an increased focus placed on the matter of women’s health.  This matter always seems to come up during an election year. This year has been no different, with a slew of Republican hopefuls bringing up the subjects of birth control and abortion.

In Obama’s policy, he stated that health insurance plans would be required to provide free birth control to all female employees, including plans for Catholic hospitals, universities and charities.  The President’s administration saw this as a matter of equality for women.  Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said upon the policy’s announcement, “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”  This policy was intended to provide even preventative medicine for both men and women.  The contraceptive requirement was accompanied by requirements for blood-pressure screening and childhood immunizations.

The speech quickly became a talking point, both for people who approve and those who do not approve of its requirements.  Religious leaders were not at all open to the concept of providing contraceptives to women.  Catholic bishops were outraged, saying that this requirement “continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions.” They later vowed to fight the legislation through the other two branches of government.  Many leading Republicans also saw an opportunity to attack the President’s speech and interpret it as anti-religious. “This attack … on religious freedom in our country cannot stand and will not stand,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a speech on the floor of the chamber.  Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich added to the increasing ire having said, “If he (Obama) is re-elected he will wage war on the Catholic Church the day after (he is elected). We don’t trust him.”

On Friday, Obama changed his position. In a calculated measure, Obama sought to quell the controversy created by his policy.  In this revision, he states that religious organizations would not be required to provide free contraceptives to female employees.  “Religious liberty will be protected, and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women,” Obama told reporters.

Worst Company EVER: Biotech Giant Monsanto is Under Attack, Obama and the FDA are Under the Gun

Written by buzz. Posted in Organic

 

CREDO Action - Dump Michael Taylor

Via CREDO Action website

By Allison Hibbs

Monsanto, the multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation long reviled by organic farmers, environmentalists and conscientious foodies worldwide, has drawn more than the usual amount of rancor in recent months. While assailants are hoping the media blitzkrieg will prove as damaging to the company as they claim that its bioengineering and genetic modification practices are to the planet, that hope may prove optimistic in light of its cozy relationship with the United States federal government. Efforts to diminish that relationship have led to the recent circulation of more than one petition calling for the dismissal of FDA Food Safety Czar, Michael Taylor, a former top Monsanto executive.

One reason for the recent outrage is a perceived “crusade” by the FDA against small raw milk dairy farmers, many of whom are Amish, even as they overlook repeated violations by larger, industrial producers. CREDO, a publication of Working Assets, began a campaign in late January to educate and motivate consumers to sign a pledge beseeching President Obama to expel Taylor from the administration.

"While factory farm operators are getting away with serious food safety violations, raw milk dairy farmers and distributors across the country have been subjected to armed raids and hauled away in handcuffs."

CREDO Action

CREDO believes that the FDA’s efforts would be better spent enforcing food safety regulations at the largest industrial producers, where it claims that “antibiotic resistance has run amuck,” rather than focusing so much of the administration’s efforts on sting operations to arrest small dairy farmers.

"Incredibly, Michael Taylor and FDA inspectors have not arrested or fined the Iowa agribusinessman -- Jack DeCoster -- who was wholly responsible for the more than 500 million eggs that were recalled in 2010 salmonella-tainted egg recall. 3Though this industrial agribusinessman endangered the health of millions, Michael Taylor thinks Amish farmers producing fresh milk are more deserving targets of his FDA enforcement raids with guns drawn."

CREDO Action

 

The petition had garnered 151,160 signatures as of SuperBowl Sunday, 75 percent of its 200,000 goal.

SignOn.org Petition: Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto

Another petition circulating on Twitter and Facebook had reached a total of 220,000 signatures by game time, far surpassing its original goal of 75,000. Written and circulated by Frederick Ravid, this petition includes a longer letter to the president, expressing opposition to the his administration’s appointment of Taylor three years ago.

“Taylor is the same person who as a high-ranking official at the FDA in the 1990s promoted allowing genetically modified organisms into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks,” reads the letter. “This is a travesty.” Pointing out that Taylor was in charge of policy regarding the widely-opposed bovine growth hormone and that he fought against the requirement for disclosures on milk from cows that had been treated with the hormone, Ravid goes on to decry Monsanto as a company directly threatening the health and well-being of US citizens.

Reinforcing these concerns are WikiLeaks documents that surfaced last year implicating the Bush administration in questionable tactics used against countries in Europe to impel them to purchase Monsanto GMO products that they were resisting. Other documents imply that the US government considered putting pressure on the Pope to come out in favor of GMO foods. If any such actions were taken, they have proven largely unsuccessful and Monsanto has been repeatedly thwarted in France, Germany and the UK.

 

Additionally, lawsuits have been brought against the biotech giant by India and Canada for biopiracy and biocontamination, respectively; and a group of 270,000 American organic farmers are also suing the company for biocontamination. Ironically, the move is intended to protect these farmers against possible patent-infringement lawsuits brought by Monsanto over GMO seeds that have migrated to – and compromised – their lands.

For all of these reasons (and more), Monsanto has been voted Worst Company of 2011 by Natural Society, and the public seems increasingly to agree. As the acrimony grows, it is beginning to look like the corporation’s PR department has some serious damage control to do if it hopes to retain any influence over government activity.  It is, after all, an election year and Obama may not have the luxury of ignoring so many voters crying “Why, O, why?”

We the Tweeple: Twitter and the 2012 Presidential Election

Written by buzz. Posted in Social Media

Written by: Allison Hibbs

“I really think 2012 is going to be the Twitter election.”

That’s what Dick Costolo, CEO of the social media giant, told attendees at a tech conference in California in late January; although the same words might have been uttered by any avid Twitter user who has followed political conversations on the website during the onslaught of GOP debates or the recent State of the Union address leading up to the 2012 Presidential election. Commentary, discussion, fact-checking and ideological rants have flooded the site during these events, involving participants in an interactive political conversation reminiscent of a no-holds-barred town hall brawl.

In fact, among twitterers, trending conversations have often proven to be far more popular than the actual events themselves, a sentiment repeated often during the debates in particular – and with more than a hint of irony.

Twitter appreciation from tweeps during GOP debate on 1/26/12.

Tweets range from inane to insightful, from snarky insults to eloquently phrased questions or impassioned pleas. Anyone looking to get in on the action simply has to add the right hash-tagged phrase to his or her comment to be included in the thread. Keeping up with comments in the heat of the moment becomes nearly impossible, but one has only to go back to the thread when they have time and they can read up on what was said, follow links to related news stories, check the integrity of comments made by those on stage during the event or simply laugh at the more humorous tweets.

During the CNN Debate hosted by John King, opening comments made by Newt Gingrich blasting King for opening with a question about his personal life were widely ridiculed and reposted by active tweeters. While the audience seemed to appreciate his indignation, the twitterverse was not as kind.

1/19/12 CNN debate/ Begala tweet re: Gingrich

It is fairly common knowledge – at least among those familiar with the social medium – that the use of the Twitter platform was an advantage to the Obama camp during the 2008 election cycle: he received far more mentions than his opponent and a disproportionate number of Twitter users identified themselves as democrats. (This doesn’t take into account the number of tweets regarding Republican vice-presidential hopeful, Sarah Palin, who received a large amount of mentions – most of which were unfavorable.) But Twitter has gained significant numbers over the last four years and Republican politicians have increasingly taken to using the platform for their own messaging and organizational purposes. GOP presidential hopefuls employ staff members to follow the tweets during their appearances to find out which topics they are concerned with and which personality attributes or answers they prefer. There is, unquestionably, much to be learned from immediate feedback and they intend to take it to heart.

From the look of it, however, they’ve got a lot of catching up to do if they want to turn the advantage in their favor. During the President’s State of the Union address on Jan. 24, tweets were significantly less scathing and more topically relevant than those posted during the debates. Twitter users still seem to skew further to the left of the aisle than the general public.

Tweets re: GOP debate vs. SOTU

Nevertheless, Twitter has – if nothing else – had the effect of combating political apathy and has brought the public political debate to a whole new level. Those who are chagrined when barred from political discussion in social forums have now found an outlet through which they can share ideas, facts, emotions and hopes – in the hopes of staying informed, sharing information and influencing election outcomes, presidential or otherwise. A new era in politics has indeed arrived.

Welcome to Election 2012, the Year of Twitter.

The Whipping Boy: Obama Takes Previous President’s Scrutiny In Stride

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Written by: Alexis Poole

Recently, President Obama appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and responded to scrutiny by Newt Gingrich, calling him “the most effective [food stamp] president.” Rather than debase himself to name-calling and slander, Obama chose to focus on the issues at hand, saying that he’s leaving it up to Americans to decide “who reflects the sort of core values that helped create this country–the values of hard work, responsibility, but also looking out for one another–and who is tapping into some of our worst instincts.”

With such diplomatic answers, Sawyer leans and implies, “Watching the debates?”

Obama shook his head saying, “You know, I don’t watch the debates, I gotta say. Now I read the reports, and what I get a sense of is that whoever wins the Republican primaries is going to be a standard bearer for the vision of the country that I don’t think reflects who we are.”

By not watching the debate, Obama focuses on the facts that have culminated to our country’s current state, rather than view sensationalized debates that have been watered down to slanderous disrespect and a riddling off of certain keywords and phrases used to illicit a positive response from would-be constituents. Hopefully, his charts and graphs are better than what we’ve been subjected to.

Chart of many mistakes

Given the mistakes, could you trust this author's credibility?

Separating the Jelly Beans Fact From Fiction

As we move from reading our news in papers onto reading primarily on the Internet, we must take into consideration the time lost in heavy research and who stands to gain from our inability or sheer lack of inclination to fact check all we come across through fast channels like Twitter and Facebook. Election time always brings out the emotional side in us all, tugging at purse strings and heart strings like a puppeteer. However, as American citizens, it is our duty to choose a worthy candidate through means of logic. And that’s where this chart falls flat, at the peril of MrConservative.com.

Since when does 8.5 percent minus 7.8 percent equal a difference of 9 percent?

When graphs like this one are presented, it’s our duty to use all the skills that our educated selves can conjure up and look at everything from an OBJECTIVE perspective. It also helps if we can add and subtract, unlike the odd math in row 2: Unemployment Rate.

First of all, subtracting percentages is simple enough. In the case of row 2, where the difference between 8.5 and 7.8 is somehow bigger than either initial number, the chart creator’s credibility comes into play. One could suggest that the percentages in row 2 should have been number of people in the millions, where a difference between them could very well be 9%–but since Mr. Conservative can’t edit his own work, his credibility is shot, as should anyone’s trust in him.

Secondly, in order for a chart to be accurate, it must compare separate and equal entities. If the chart presented the responses of a number of people who favored one jellybean flavor over another, we should all be able to agree that no matter how many different flavors presented, we’d still be talking about jellybeans.

According to the above chart, the ‘Inauguration Day’ column stands for, and could have been more accurately titled, ‘Pre-Obama’. Two presidential terms’ worth of George Bush, Jr equals the figures in the first column, whereas the middle column ‘Today’ combines the figures of both Bush terms and Obama’s singular term. To be completely fair, a graph would have to compare presidents’ contributions singularly and side-by-side; For example…We would ONLY have 14 million people on SNAP benefits (food stamps) if it wasn’t for Bush’s initial “contribution” of 32 million. While the numbers have indeed risen in almost every category, Obama’s “contributions” to these issues are far less than what he was presented with when he took office. Our deficit would only be $4.6 trillion if it wasn’t for Bush’s “contribution” of $10.6 trillion.

Instead of focusing on the differences however, we should be wondering how we incurred a deficit (of any size) to begin with. We all pay our taxes every year, we all get taxes taken out of our checks, some more than others. What is any elected official doing with our tax dollars? We need to be objective and prioritize our expectations. We know we elect human beings for president. Can we expect one human being (a president) or one group of human beings (an Administration) to clean up two terms’ worth of declining numbers AND make every American prosperous and happy? AND IN ONE TERM, no less?! We know the presidents we elect are human. We hope whoever holds the next term is HUMANE as well. Compared to Bush Jr. and the wildcard Mitt Romney, Obama might be the most humane of all…that is, unless we turn a little more attention to Ron Paul.

Rise Above Famous Street Artist Shepard Fairey Doin Dallas

Written by buzz. Posted in Arts

By: Allison Hibbs

For the first time in 10 years, Shepard Fairey is in Dallas! Invited by the non-profit art forum, Dallas Contemporary, as part of their Citywide Street Project, he is leaving his signature mark on buildings around the city. A graphic artist and old-school skateboarder, Fairey is probably best known in the mainstream for his 2008 poster depicting a stylized version of then-presidential candidate, Barack Obama, along with the single word: Hope.

Among those familiar with the street art movement, however, Fairey – with his Andre the Giant logo featuring the word ‘Obey’ – has long been iconic of the pioneering work that he and others have done to legitimize the subculture as an accepted, if often politically subversive and irreverent, art form. Along with Basquiat in the 80s and later artists such as world-famous anonymous prankster, Bansky, street artists like Fairey have elevated graffiti into a meaningful form of expression, rebellion and catharsis in the United States, across Europe and in Australia.

Movies such as “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” a documentary made by the elusive Banksy and featuring work by Fairey, chronicle the progression, techniques and motivations behind this growing movement. (Although many consider the film to be another one of Bansky’s pranks, Fairey and the film’s central character, Thierry Guetta, deny all such accusations.)  Put simply, the goal of these artists is two-fold: to make use of and beautify unused, often unsightly, urban spaces, and to make people stop and think as they go about the usual business of their days. Many dedicated street artists work uncompromisingly (and often under the cover of night) to realize these goals. Of course, they also seem to have a good deal of fun in the process.

In the wake of chaos caused by Wall Street in 2007, Banksy pieces started showing up around New York City depicting his iconic rat (an anagram for ‘art’), which showed the artist’s obvious distain for the moral bankruptcy of those who were the architects of the financial disaster.

Obama poster notwithstanding, much of Fairey’s work tends to be less overtly political – necessitating individual thought and introspection – although several are obvious admonishments against war and global warming. Lately, he has even come out in support of the nationwide movement known as Occupy with an image of Guy Fawkes that plays off of his ’08 Hope poster. What, according to Fairey, began as a fun project to entertain college friends has evolved into an art form aimed at shaking people out of their passive acceptance of societal norms.

Working with the local street art collective, Sour Grapes, Fairey had completed four murals as of Feb. 3 in two locations in West Dallas. Dallas Contemporary has indicated that he will do at least eight more before he leaves, at least one of which is to be located in the area known as Deep Ellum. Three of the murals are located at 331 and 340 Singleton Blvd., near I-30 and I-35E in West Dallas. Another adorns the side of Dallas Contemporary, at 161 Glass Street, where Fairey has also been invited to guest DJ at a sold-out  “neon-inspired dance party” on the night of Saturday, Feb. 4. If these murals have a theme, he told the Dallas Observer, “It’s peace and harmony.” The woman in two of the murals, he says, is his wife.

A bus tour been organized for Saturday, Feb. 11, which is to include stops at the murals and a studio visit with Sour Grapes, as well as visits to exhibits at Dallas Contemporary featuring Rob Pruitt, David Jablonowski and Failure. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online.

Obama Unveils America that is Built to Last in State of the Union

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Obama at State of the Union Address 2012

Obama speaking at 2012 State of the Union Address

Written by: Nick Mingay

WASHINGTON – President Obama gave his State of the Union Address in Washington Tuesday in which he promised to pass legislation to help America continue its recovery, even in an election year.

At a time when the nation is enamured with the Republican Caucuses, a Newt and a Mitt, Obama had his shot to make a pitch to the American electorate and jump start his campaign for reelection. He began by focusing on the troops coming home and the end of Osama Bin Laden, his two biggest accomplishments since becoming President.

Throughout the speech, Obama emphasized the need to work together within Washington. He recognized the frustration Americans had over routine task such as the debt ceiling increase. Obama made it clear he was willing to play ball with either side of the aisle if it helped the country.

“As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum,” Obama said.

Obama also pinpointed the tax code as a major issue in 2012. His major attack was on those companies who outsource jobs to other countries. Obama said he would have those companies take a tax deduction to subsidies others bringing jobs back to American soil.

“From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax,” Obama said. “And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here in America.”

Later in the speech, Obama spoke on growing small businesses by expanded the tax relief to them. He also proposed getting rid of regulations that hinder entrepreneurs from starting their own business. These factors would allow small businesses to gain a foothold in the market and create more competition amongst established companies.

Obama also touched on how Americas reliance on foreign oil. The Keystone XL Pipeline was an obvious setback for this, but Obama laid out other avenues that could help domestic energy production.

He mentioned using hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking,  to collect natural gas as one way to help alleviate America’s crutch on foreign oil. There has been some debate about the detriment hydrofracking has on communities close to the operation because some companies have used diesel fuel in the process. Obama wanted to stop this from expanded into a bigger issue by stating that he will require those involved in hydrofracking to disclose the materials in the solution they use.

Obama finished his speech by noting again that the world will no longer have to worry about Bin Laden terrorizing a nation or about American troops in Iraq in 2012. This was the jumping off point for his reelection campaign. We can only wait to see if Obama’s charisma and political platform will carry him to another presidential election.

Chris Hedges’s Lawsuit Against Obama and Panetta

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

The brave journalist fighting against the hindrance of American rights

Written by: Jill Heagerty

Chris Hedges, a well-established and accomplished journalist, is suing President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta over the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. His questioning over the legality comes from the section of the bill that allows the military the right to indefinitely detain without trial U.S. citizens suspected to be terrorists or associated with any terrorist activities.

2012’s NDAA is a major blow to the Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantees every citizen the right to due process. Terrorism is terrifying, but so is the American government stripping away the country’s core beliefs in democracy and liberty.

According to Hedges’s blog, he believes the purpose of this bill is to “thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state.” It is not hard to be considered as a terroristic suspect in our country, acts such as hoarding more than seven days of food, paying cash for a hotel, and trying to conceal a private text message in a public place are suspicious to the government. Mostly everyone I know is suspected of terrorist activity with that in mind. Hedges suspects that the Occupy movement will be added to this list for its treacherous behavior to question the motive behind corporations and the government, which is not a far off thought as Biden has already compared the actions of tea partiers to that of terrorists.

The government is afraid of anyone who questions its motives, so laws that hinder our rights are being put in place to keep us complacent and afraid. The NDAA of 2012 does not explicitly state what it considers necessary to hold citizens indefinitely. Could it include anyone speaking freely against public actions? Will the right of freedom of speech be considered treason if the speech is anti-government? Could freedom of the press go out the window with free speech?

Hedges’s lawsuit is the right step to protecting our rights. America invades foreign countries under the pretense of promoting peace and democracy, yet democracy is not even being promoted at home anymore. The country is on the road to a dictator form of government if this continues. Already we have seen police brutality with Occupy protestors, demoting the right to assembly. Now the right to a trial no matter what is extinguished, and it would not be shocking to see other Amendments be taken away with the guise of protecting ourselves from terrorists. If Hedges and other fighters for liberty fail, America could be the country writers such as George Orwell and Aldous Huxley only dreamed of years ago.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Could Spell Bad Things for Both Democrats and Republicans

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

The fight against oil continues in the Gulf of Mexico

The rapidly-expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has put pressure on the White House to pacify the public by proving Obama has reconsidered off-shore drilling, and that he will not proceed with developing the industry until the accident is fully reviewed. But, the pressure is more bipartisan than American government itself, as both the Democrats and Republicans try not to get themselves dirty, dealing with the oily mess.

Democrats and environments present the spill as enough evidence for Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla) to suggest that the slightest notion of expanding off-shore drilling will be shot dead once it arrives on

Bipartisan suffering brings them together

Capitol Hill. And, surprisingly enough, the quick-to-critique Republicans haven’t said a word – even though the White House took nine days before taking action. It seems that their presidential motto “drill baby drill” has scared them into silence, and finally persuaded them to shut up.

Several Republicans still expressed support for domestic drilling on Friday, alongside the president himself, who admitted that his position did not change regarding offshore drilling as a substitute for offshore supplies. And with people quoting him for stating that “Oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills,” he might have to be just as worried as his friends across the aisle.

Ladies and Gentleman of American government, stop pointing at each other and get something done. For once in your lives save something – accomplish something: perform on behalf of the greater good, and not for mere political perpetuation.

U.S. Continues to Support Israeli Security, Even Though They Want To Build in East Jerusalem

Written by buzz. Posted in Politics

Ehud Barak is happy to still have the U.S. at is back

Today, Obama reassured that U.S. support for Israeli security will continue regardless of the rising tension regarding a Jewish settlement being constructed in East Jerusalem. Robert Gibbs, one of the president’s spokesman, said that Obama expressed his determination to establish peace in the Middle East to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, while they attended a meeting at the White House with U.S. National Security Adviser, James Jones.

James Jones feels remorse for his tasteless joke

Such comments have been long awaited since Israel’s municipal officials claimed that the government had essentially frozen any settlement construction that would be carried out in the discordant East Jerusalem. Though U.S. officials had no prompt comments on this issue, settlement building had been a major issue in Washington last month, when Israel announced an enormous housing development plan for East Jerusalem, during one of Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visits.

P.J. Crowley, State Department spokesman refused to discuss what Israel was reporting to the U.S. in regards to Jewish construction. He explained how both sides are being asked to rebuild trust and facilitate enough momentum to really gain some ground for peace talks. Perhaps the trust was shaken by a recent joke about a “Jewish merchant,” made by James Jones, which managed to stir up some critical distraction after many expressed explicit offense to the off-the-cuff comedic blurb. Fortunately, for the sake of inflating a touchy subject, Jones’ speech was not a presidential event, meaning that there was no stenographer present to record the U.S. Security Adviser with a not-so-kosher foot in his mouth.

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