Shabbat shalom everyone! The forecast in the Boston area calls for a beautiful fall weekend, so get out and enjoy the crisp fall air while you still can!
My shout out this week is to Liz Truss, the UK Prime Minister who set a new world record for having the shortest time serving as PM in the country’s long history. She came, she crashed the Pound, she did not conquer!
Gotta love the British humour though. In the midst of political and economic disaster, the country became fixated, as did a lot of the world, on wether Truss would outlast a head of lettuce! Seven days ago the Daily Star set up a webcam on a head of iceberg lettuce to see if it would have a longer shelf-life than the prime minister. To add to Truss’s humiliating resignation, the lettuce won!
In acknowledging its victory, the head was quoted, “After an unbeleafable campaign I am thrilled to have been crowned victorious in these chard times. However we must romaine cautious. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”… Love those Brits!
Joking aside, the follies perpetrated by the Tory clown show are symbolic of the crazy populism catching on around the globe, and have direct parallels to the whacko GOP here in our own country. It is pretty clear that if you untether your policies from reality (think Brexit, eg), the consequences could be disastrous, as the Brits just found out when the markets reacted with a dose of reality to the crazy unfunded tax cut plans proposed by Truss. So I was really happy to see Uncle Joe on the news this week taking credit for his economic policies. Here is a great summary from Heather Cox Richardson:
Biden emphasized today that the Democrats’ investment in the nation has not increased the federal deficit. Indeed, the opposite is true: today the administration announced that the deficit this year fell by $1.4 trillion. This was the largest-ever decline in the federal deficit. Last year’s drop was $350 billion.
The deficit climbed every year of the Trump presidency, including in the years before the pandemic. Trump and the Republicans added $400 billion to the deficit, primarily because of their $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and for corporations.
According to Politifact, Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan have exploded deficits, while Democrats have brought deficits down. Reagan sent the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion. George H.W. Bush took it to $300 billion. Bill Clinton—with help from Bush’s willingness to raise taxes—got the deficit to zero. George W. Bush took it back up to $1.2 trillion with unfunded wars. Barack Obama cut that back to $600 billion. And Trump’s tax cuts sent it skyrocketing again, even before pandemic spending sent it higher still.
The only one having a worse week than Liz would be our very own orange turd-like vegetable and now disgraced former President. It’s been 5 years since the a-hole arrived in the oval, and even though it seemed that much of that time he and his troop of bandits and misfits would elude any accountability for their criminal actions, it now seems as though the law is finally catching up with the crooks:
- Trump’s former senior advisor Steve Bannon has been sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay a $6,500 fine for defying a subpoena from the January 6 committee. The slime ball is getting off easy.
- The classified documents recovered by the FBI in the August 8 probe of Mar-a-Lago reportedly included highly sensitive intelligence regarding Iran and China. Ouch. Just toss those papers over there in the corner next to my golf clubs.
- The House January 6 Committee formally issued its subpoena to Trump today, demanding testimony from the former president whom they say “personally orchestrated” a multifaceted effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. About friggin time. “Hey, hey DOJ, how many Trump’s did you indict today?”
- California federal judge David O. Carter has determined Trump and his lawyers pushed claims of voter fraud he knew to be false in federal court and to the public in order to delay counting of state electoral votes past January 6, 2021.
On a lighter note, with the holidays coming up, I am recommending this delightful and topical gift, “Doomlings – A delightful card game for the end of the world”. If you are one of those people that can find a dark cloud in every silver lining, this game could be for you! Great for dinner parties, family, or if you just need a break from prepping your underground bunker!
Time for some Jew news? Of course it is! My mailbox is full of requests for more, so here you go:
- 🖼️ Downtown Phoenix is getting a Holocaust museum. The 17,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in late 2025 and include artwork by Robert Sutz, who has created more than 145 sculptural busts called “life masks” and pastel portraits of survivors, liberators, and righteous gentiles. (Hyperallergic)
- New video leaks of Trump disparaging Jewish Americans, repeating antisemitic tropes: A documentary filmmaker who interviewed the former preisdent last year released a clip that shows Trump asking whether the filmmaker was a “good Jewish character,” describing Persians as “very good salesmen” and complaining that Israeli Jews favored him more than Jews in the United States. Trump also talked about commuting the sentence of “the rabbi” from Iowa, referring to Sholom Rubashkin, who ran a kosher meat packing plant and was not in fact a rabbi. The video comes on the heels of Trump’s recent social media post warning American Jews to “get their act together… before it is too late!” Read the story ➤
- Right-wing Jewish group defends Trump’s latest tirade against American Jews – Morton Klein, the longtime president of the Zionist Organization of America, strongly defended former President Donald Trump’s recent warning to American Jews to “get their act together” or else face repercussions. Klein supported Trump’s assertion, made in a social media post earlier this week, as he responded to a backlash over his group’s plans to honor the former president. “I agree with him,” Klein said in an interview on Thursday. “We, Jews, are not supporting the people who are best for Jews in Israel. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, described the statement as “an unveiled threat” and the White House deemed it “antisemitic.” Read the story
- 🇺🇦 Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz said they would continue Israel’s policy of not selling weapons to Ukraine if they become prime minister after the Nov. 1 election. Meanwhile, Natan Sharansky, the famous Soviet refusenik-turned-Israeli politician, chided Israel for being “the last country in the free world which is still afraid to irritate Putin.” (Times of Israel, Haaretz)
- 😲 Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is a nitwit – Gabbard, who quit the Democratic Party last week, said President Joe Biden and Adolf Hitler “shared a mindset.” The comment came while Gabbard was campaigning for New Hampshire’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, a 2020 election denier. (The Daily Beast)
- Should there be a national park honoring the Jewish businessman who built Black schools in the South? Julius Rosenwald is most famous for helping to transform Sears into a retail giant — and becoming fantastically rich in the process. But Rosenwald, the son of German-Jewish immigrants, may have made a more lasting impact on the American landscape through the network of 5,000 schools he created in rural Black communities during Jim Crow. Now, a coalition is lobbying for the creation of a national park to recognize the schools, which produced alumni like Maya Angelou and the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Read the story ➤
- 🖊️ Local girl finally makes good – A Massachusetts bridge has been renamed for Cora Wilburn, believed to be the first female American Jewish novelist. The bridge is in Duxbury, where Wilburn lived in her adulthood; the name change comes after a 2021 antisemitism scandal in the town in which a high school football team was revealed to be using “Auschwitz” and “rabbi” as on-field calls. (JTA
That’s all folks! And remember, make good decisions out there, and let’s be careful!