McDonald’s and Visa’s Attempt To Embelish The Minimum Wage

McDonald’s and Visa have created a website which tries to show employees how to get by on on the minimum wage. According to Think Progress:

The site includes a sample “budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees that offers a laughably inaccurate view of what it’s like to budget on a minimum wage job. Not only does the budget leave a spot open for “second job,” it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees’ costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing.

McDonald’s sample “budget” follows the jump along with a video on how McDonald’s pays their low-wage employees with high-fee Visa cards instead of actual cash.

NJDC Calls Stanford to Reject Endorsement From Anti-Israel Ron Paul‏

— by David Streeter

During his time in the House, former Representative Ron Paul was a leading opponent of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Now he’s formed a think tank with anti-Semites and 9/11 truthers, according to a report published yesterday. Given this, it is unacceptable for Mark Sanford to accept his endorsement. After years in public service Sanford should know better and reject the endorsement — but it seems that desperation is trumping common sense after each self-inflicted wound in Sanford’s campaign. Republicans who seek and flaunt Paul’s endorsement cannot reasonably claim to be a friend of Israel or the American Jewish community. Period.

Obama and Israel: a Medal-Worthy Record

— by Marc R. Stanley — Originally Published on JNS.org

Later this month, President Barack Obama will take his first presidential trip to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Obama’s trip “will give me and the people of Israel the opportunity to express our appreciation for what he has done for Israel.” To show Israel’s gratitude for Obama’s support, Israeli President Shimon Peres announced that he would present Obama with Israel’s Medal of Distinction during a special ceremony in Israel.

Since taking office in 2009, Obama has made supporting Israel one of his highest priorities. From championing sanctions against Iran to providing Israel with expedited supplemental assistance for the Iron Dome, Obama has been Israel’s most important ally. Peres said when he announced the award that Obama “is a true friend of the State of Israel, and has been since the beginning of his public life” and that he has “has stood with Israel in times of crisis.”

More after the jump.
Obama has ensured that Israel’s annual aid of $3 billon remains untouched in this time of tighter budgets, and has allocated more than $11.4 billion in foreign aid over the past four years. That aid has allowed Israel to equip itself with the best and most advanced weapons available and restored the Jewish State’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) — which lapsed during President George W. Bush’s Administration.

Obama’s vocal support for Israel — as well as $275 million in funding for the Iron Dome — was crucial during November’s operation Pillar of Defense. The supplemental funding ensured that the Iron Dome system was able to protect Israeli citizens from Hamas‘ rocket attacks by intercepting 85 percent of the rockets fired towards populated areas. Iron Dome has been lauded by Israeli leaders for saving countless lives and was celebrated during this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference.  

In addition to the Iron Dome system, Obama secured additional funding for the Arrow and David’s Sling missile systems. A total of $650 million has been allotted for these systems — double what the Bush Administration provided for Israeli missile defense. Together these systems will create a multi-layered missile defense shield capable of protecting Israel from short, medium, and long-range missiles.

By taking a number of steps to restore Israel’s QME, Obama has helped strengthen and secure the U.S.-Israel relationship. From signing the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Act, to selling Israel bunker busting bombs, Obama has been deeply committed to expanding America’s strategic partnership with the State of Israel, as well as promoting a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Not only has Obama given military assistance to Israel, he has also taken a strong stance on the international stage in defense of Israel. He is the only American president to have a 100 percent pro-Israel voting record at the United Nations, and his speeches before the UN General Assembly have been explicitly devoted to advancing joint U.S. and Israeli interests. When it comes to preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, he has been the global leader. The bills and executive orders he signed, coupled with the international sanctions movement he has spearheaded, have caused a 50 percent decline in Iran’s currency and a 40 percent decline in Iran’s oil exports and sales.

For these reasons, Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said, “History will surely record [Obama’s] immeasurable contribution to the strength of Israel, and the maintenance of the truly special relationship between our peoples.”

It has been abundantly clear throughout the Obama Administration that our president is a true friend to Israel. As Israel’s prime minister and president prepare to welcome, commend, and celebrate Obama, the American Jewish community should be echoing their sentiments and thanking the president for all of his work to support the Jewish state.

Marc R. Stanley is the chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

The Outpost: Jake Tapper on Colbert and at TBHBE


Jake Tapper. Photo by Richard Chaitt.

CNN anchor and chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper talked about his new book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor at Temple Beth Hillel Beth El. At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Compound Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place.

In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans. A runaway bestseller, it makes a savage war real, and American courage manifest.

Tapper exposed the origins of this tragic and confounding story. He explored the history of the camp and detailed the stories of the heroic and doomed soldiers. After his presentation he took questions from the audience and signed copies of his book. He was introduced by his father Temple Beth Hillel Beth El member and founding member of Philadelphia Jewish Voice Dr. Ted Tapper.

It was announced December 20, 2012 that Jake Tapper will join CNN and anchor a new weekday program and serve as the network’s chief Washington correspondent

Video of Jake Tapper on the Colbert Report follows the jump.

Annotated Lowlights of Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch

What Paul said, my tags for the bottom of the screen in blue.

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States. It's nice to see he mentioned Joe Biden in the first line.

I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready. If every kid was like Paul, they'd get college paid for by Social Security, the reins of a government-subsidized construction firm, and a wife with a giant inheritance.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power. WOW! I didn't know he considered multiple choice Mittens to be an "opponent" – and he forgot to add"tax returns".

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory. That factory closed in 2008. Before the election. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. Um, not really. The Democrats didn't get everything we wanted as we believed in bipartisanship and worked with the GOP. We didn't get half of what we wanted. And as for "one-time expenditures" – we spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan – the large Republican messes. It's the gift we keep on paying for. 

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care. Lie #3, but hey, Paul and his family have been getting government paid health care since the day he was elected. Why is it okay for him, but not other people?

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country. Unlike Paul, I read all 2,700 pages and I can say conclusively that these things DO have a place in a free country. And well, they are enacted in every other industrialized nations (and some that aren't) around the globe.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare. It may well come as news to the millions who will vote for Mittens and Eddie Munster, but not to the Supreme Court, nor the millions who vote for Barack Obama, who will win the election.

The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it. That's right, Romney-Ryan is going to stop Medicare. Wait? Did I read that wrong? NO. They want to dismantle the donut-hole fill the ACA put in place (the donut hole Paul voted for), they want to increase the cost to current seniors, and give everyone else a voucher that will go as far towards Medicare premiums as a free Big Mac voucher goes to buying a steak at Ruths Chris.

A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours. Lie #4.

Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Yes they do. And they're going to rob the little left for the poor and middle class and give it to themselves, the rich white guys.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America. Thank you teabag idiots, the only people stupid enough to vote against raising the debt ceiling.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt. Lies number 5, 6 and 7. Just not objectively true in any regard.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. Really, name two. Like voting to repeal the ACA 33 times, and not even bringing a single jobs bill to the floor? Like shutting down the FAA by temporarily defunding them? Like cutting Pell grants? Hey Paul, you've sponsored exactly 2 bills that were enacted in all your 13 years Congress. One of them renamed the Janesville post office, and the other modified the taxes on arrows used in archery equipment. 

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” Please Paul, be part of the solution. Lose both elections, go home, and never be heard from again.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Amazing she didn't want to work for the multimillion dollar construction company the rest of the family owns and operates. You know, the one that got big and rich using Federal funds.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years. They've never published the actual plan beyond the platitude. And 12 million jobs would dwarf anything the world has ever seen. But I'm game: prove it Paul, or this is lie #8.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government. And that is it: they do choose to limit government. Federal spending at 20% of GDP is only possible if government ceases to exist in most forms. I'll publish the numbers this weekend.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. Jack Kemp lost.

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded. Lies #9, 10 and 11.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. Insert list here of pedophile priests, gay evangelical ministers caught on camera, churches closed due to embezzlement and court settlements and the whole Warren Jeffs group.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Except, of course, pregnant women who'd die under your belief system because the life of a never-viable ectopic pregnancy is more important to you than the mom. 

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done. I'm taking this to heart, Paul. I'm going to give it everything I have to make sure that you guys lose in November. I'm going to see that through. I'm going to get it done, with the help of all the other people in America who believe in America: all its people, all its promise.

Etch A Sketch Comment Not Etched Into Minds Of The Electorate

Although it has been almost a week since the Romney campaign compared voters to an “Etch A Sketch”, but the general public is not following politics as closely as devoted Philadelphia Jewish Voice readers. According to the latest Pew Research Center Poll, 55% of voters were unaware of Romney campaign’s Etch A Sketch Gaffe. However, the gaffe has not escaped the attention of satirist Stephen Colbert.

Satirical Videos Make Important Points About PACs and Bags


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put out a video urging Americans to rise up against Stephen Colbert to pass a law to get unlimited, secret donations out of politics. In a first step to reform the money in politics, House Democrats are reintroducing the DISCLOSE Act to get unlimited, secret donations out of politics.

Beautifully filmed, with a powerful narration by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, but what it’s about is not so pretty. This “mockumentary” video, hammers home the stark reality of California’s plastic bag pollution situation.