Guns Are For People Who Underestimate the Power of Words

Since she was gunned down at a Safeway in Tucson on Saturday, there’s been a lot to say about Representative Gabrielle Giffords:

She’s the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, Arizona’s only female congressional delegate and the first Jewish person ever elected in the state.
She’s fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
She supports immigration reform but wants to protects the human rights protected.
She supports the military but opposes the war in Iraq.
She’s one of the only moderate, reasonable people left in Congress.
She’s a nice Jewish lady who is proud of her heritage. (“Jewish women, by and large, know how to get things done,” she told JTA in 2006.

What can I say about the Gabby Giffords and Saturday’s horrific event?

That I pray for her speedy and full recovery. Shouting out a Debbie Friedman “Misheberach,” to Ms. G. and the others who were wounded.)

That my heart and prayers are with the parents of Christina-Taylor Green, the gifted nine year-old with a provocative birthday and a passion for politics, who lost their beautiful daughter to senseless violence.

And with the parents and fiancée of Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords’ beloved aide.

And with the family of Judge John Roll. And the loved ones of the victims of those whose names have not been released.

I can also say that while Jared Lee Loughner is a likely an untreated schizophrenic cookoopie whose psychotic violence may or may not have been influenced by vitriolic propaganda of right wing media windbags or motivated by anti-Semitism, his frightening actions are an indicator that something is very, very wrong with our gun laws.

As my friend Dr. Cathy Skidmore-Hess asked, “How does a young man who is too mentally ill to attend college get a semiautomatic?” Why else does a person buy a machine gun OTHER than to have the capability to kill many people at once?

Josh Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, points out the sick logic of the NRA’s Second Amendment “remedies” in his column today:

If our leaders—of all political persuasions—once again fail to find their voices and speak out in no uncertain terms against insurrectionist ideology and the weak gun laws that routinely arm America’s deranged and disgruntled, then Tucson will mark the beginning, and not the end, of America’s flirtation with anarchy.

Read the rest here.

Surely, there are reasonable people on both sides of the gun control issue who are willing to make it harder for would-be murderers to walk into a sporting goods store and buy a weapon. Otherwise, we can all look forward to wearing Teflon vests to the grocery store.

Good Thing I Don’t Live In Texas…

kinky…’cause then I’d feel really guilty that my vote wasn’t counted yesterday. I’ve followed Kinky‘s campaign for guv’nor since I was a wee blogger in shortpants, and it’s done broke my heart to see the man finish dead last.

Though he had visible and colorful support from the Texas fringe, his opponents still managed to rally votes and funds from the mainstream. “We had no money,” said Kinky today. “And we had nothing but musicians, beauticians and amateurs in our campaign.”

Still, his supporters are proud and grateful that he stood up to the big ol’ morons of the Texas political machine and are already hollering for another run in 2010. Read his heartfelt concession blog post and its extremely entertaining comment section here.

Across the rest of the U.S., however, yesterday’s election was definitely good for the Jews. Even Joe Lieberman, reviled by many a’ liberal Jew, left both his Democrat and Republican opponents in the dust. And though some predicted a Democratic flip might mean shaky ground for AIPAC, it’s steady as she goes for U.S.-Israel relations.

On the indirectly Jewish front, praise the good voters of Arizona for sending shmuckalicious Republican Senator J.D. Hayworth packing. Congratulations Senator Harry Mitchell! (A rousing “Good work!” to all the little people who hosted parties, carried signs and donated funds, especially Bubbe and Zayde Yenta!)

As far as Georgia goes, it doesn’t appear that my vote was missed — fat cat Sonny Perdue was easily reelected as governor and both Republican senators went back to Washington. One article called the Peach State a “rare bright spot for the GOP,” which is not encouraging as I observe horrible public schools, rampant urban crime and egregious environmental negligence. You can bet I’ll be ready and waiting with my voter registration card next time.

J.D. Hayworth Is A Better Jew Than Who?

With November 6 coming up fast, there are plenty of local races where the good guys are standing up to the corrupt schmuckos, and here’s a little story that hasn’t even hit the papers yet.

But before go there, let’s dance a two-step hora at the fabulous news that the Jewish cowboy is running deep in the hearts of Texans: Kinky Friedman is second in the polls in the race for governor. Ride ‘em, Kinkster!

jdhayworthBut here’s the story you’ll hear first on Yo, Yenta: The race for Arizona’s Fifth congressional district has gotten hotter than bacon fat on a Mercedes in the Scottsdale sun as Republican incumbent JD Hayworth, all-around corporate stooge and “generally known as one of the most conservative members of Congress” continues to reveal his troglodyte DNA when standing next to his Democratic challenger, Harry Mitchell, a former teacher and the mayor of my hometown of Tempe for 20 years.

Hayworth made the Jewish blogs earlier in the year with his revelation that he’s a big fan of Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic vision of “Americanization.” He’s the 2nd largest recipient of Abramoff-related contributions according to Congresspedia and figures prominently on both Most Corrupt and Dumbest congressmen watchdog lists.

You can imagine that up against kind, straight-up Harry, the guy looks like a ham in a Hugo Boss suit. Which is probably why he sent a stand-in to speak for him at this week’s debate at Scottsdale’s Temple Beth Israel.

As told by witnesses (namely my parents, who have worked on Harry’s campaign since its humble beginnings and have been part of the movement that has helped this excellent Democrat raise more money than his lobby-lined-pocketed opponent), Hayworth’s representative Jonathon Trott relied on the ol’ “Democrats don’t support Israel” strategy from the Republican playbook. When that didn’t fly with the audience, Trott sputtered into the crowd, “JD Hayworth is a better Jew than you!”

Oh, no he di’int.

Oh, but he did. And if that doesn’t cause every single Jew in Scottsdale to change party affiliations no matter what the motherf*cking property tax code says, than y’all ought to be turned out into the Arizona desert with no cell phones or Evian for 40 years.

Following is an eyewitness account and the e-mail circulating about the incident: Continue reading

Sen. Allen’s Jew In The Closet

george allenThe Virginia incumbent proves there’s worse things than calling someone “macaca” on the campaign trail: Acting like someone sh*t on your shoe when a reporter asks if you’re mother is Jewish. Watch the video to see Allen freak out.

Today, Allen claims to now “embrace” his mother’s Jewish ancestry that he only recently learned about from “a magazine article” (presumably this one by The Forward’s E.J. Kessler.)

Notice he’s been placed in the “Jews in Politics” category; should we expect to see you in shul Friday night, Georgie?

Jews In Da House (and Senate)

ben cardinThis is Ben Cardin, who won the Democratic primary for Maryland’s U.S. Senate seat. No, he’s not too sexy and bears more than a passing resemblance to Dick Cheney, but this guy’s head, heart and soul are in the right place.

There are plenty more Jewish politicians you’ve never heard of on tickets across the country, and though none may ever be quite as well known the embarrassingly independent Joe Lieberman and Texas’ Jewboy gubernatorial candidate, JTA’s full run-down of the MOT factor in Tuesday’s primary results is impressive.

Happy 4th of July!

In the spirit of today’s national celebration of independence, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I want to share this cool Rosh Hashana greeting card from the early 1900′s. It pretty much sums up how Jews for the last 200+ years have benefited from the religious freedom that this country has protected for its citizens and immigrants alike. From the wikipedia, here is the caption that accompanied this image:

Under the Imperial Russian coat of arms, traditionally dressed Russian Jews, packs in hand, line Europe’s shore as they gaze across the ocean. Waiting for them under an American eagle holding a banner with the legend “Shelter me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalms 17:8), are their Americanized relatives, whose outstretched arms simultaneously beckon and welcome them to their new home.

This “religious freedom” trend caught on and now we are welcomed in just about every free nation on this great green marble we call Earth. Lets celebrate our freedom and our unity today!

Today’s Yo, Yenta! Links…

For your reading pleasure:

I’m off to write to Subway headquarters about opening up a kosher Subway near my casa!

Deep in the Heart of Texas…

kinky…the Jews, liberals, outlaws and rebels are shooting beer can pyramids and dancing the hora, ’cause there’s gonna be a Jewish cowboy on the ballot come November!

Kinky Friedman went above and beyond the required 45,540 signatures needed to be an official candidate on the Texas gubenatorial ballot, turning in a whopping 169,574 written endorsements supporting his independent bid last week.

‘Course one of his three opponents, State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, also running as an independent, turned in 223,000 signatures.

Commented the famously sharp-tongued Kinky: “Of course she’s got more signatures. She’s got all ex-husbands there.” (Apparently Strayhorn changes her last name with each husband; her Wikipedia entry counts at least three. Another strange fact: She’s the mother of Bush’s former press secretary Scott McClellan.)

All those autographs still need to be verified, but now it’s all over but the votin’!

Your Dad Is So Jealous

bo derekYou may have heard that Bush’s new chief of staff, Josh Bolten is Jewish. (Dubya, who apparently gives nicknames to all his staffers, has dubbed him “Yosh.”)

Bolten posted a mezuzah on his White House office doorpost and is a confirmed bachelor and biker, leading some to speculate that he’s gay.

But he’s often seen with 80′s pin-up uber-shiksa Bo Derek, still a perfect 10 at almost 50.

Longtime environmental activist Bo (seen here with the cornrows that launched many thousands of mid-life crises) was recently named a special envoy to the secretary of state to help raise awareness about illegal wildlife trafficking (which surely has more to do with her commitment to the cause than her “friendship” with Bolten.)

Just thought all you single Jewish guys in your 50′s and 60′s still dreaming about taking Bo for a ride in your red Ferrari would like to know you still have a (very very slim) chance.

The Best Kinky Friedman Interview. Ever.

ajlMason Lerner’s cover story for Atlanta Jewish Life contains some gorgeous quotable gems for us Kinkophiles:

The walls are decorated with pictures of Jesus and Ghandi. Books and papers are splayed about his desk and shelves. There’s a plaque from the Jewish Defense League hanging over his desk with his name engraved on it.

‘What did you get that for?’ I ask.

‘I don’t know,’ Kinky replies. ‘You’d have to ask them.’

AND:

Kinky is not only the sole Jewish cowboy you’ll ever meet. He’s probably the only Jew you’ll ever meet that will tell you he has Jesus in his heart. “What I say is that I’m a Judeo-Christian,” he admits. “I have Jesus and Moses in my heart. They were both good Jewish boys who got in trouble with the government.”

Read the whole chinchilla; the Yenta tol’ you Kinky was serious ’bout grabbing the guv’ners seat.