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Liberal Lens

David Sirota, a member of the Denver Jewish community, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author.

From Hillary to Andrew: subterfuge

In theory, the changeover from paper to email should make government more transparent. The cost of archiving documents should be lower, because data can be housed on relatively small hard drives rather than in spacious warehouses. Likewise, the time expense of retrieving that data should be reduced, because it can be obtained through a few keystrokes rather than a tedious search of file cabinets.

Consequently, open records requests should be far easier to fulfill, because electronic correspondence and memos are keyword searchable. Yet two New York politicos are showing that the era of Big Data does not necessarily mean the public gets a better view of its government.

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Private equity’s private math

To the casual observer, the investment returns recently announced by the California pension system might seem like cause for celebration. The state’s investments in firms that buy private companies generated a 20% return in 2014. California’s $30 billion worth of private equity investments did not come cheap, incurring almost $440 million worth of annual management fees paid to financial firms. But the double-digit gains helped the system generate some of the best overall pension returns in...
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Border security not a cure-all

WITH THE opening of the new Congress, Republican lawmakers have been promising a renewed focus on border security as a supposed cure-all for America’s broken immigration system. Left unaddressed, though, is a simple question: How does border security address the status of millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the US? The answer is that it probably won’t, according to a person who knows a thing or two about immigration: Felipe Calderon.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 February 2015 09:29 )

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Rahm Emanuel two-faced on city pensions

On its face, Chicago’s municipal pension system is an integral part of the Chicago city government. The system is included in the city’s budget, it is directly funded by the city, and its various boards of trustees include city officials and mayoral appointees. Yet when it comes to enforcing the city’s anti-corruption laws in advance of the Chicago’s closely watched 2015 municipal election, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is suddenly arguing that the pension funds are not part of ...
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States redistribute the wealth

IN 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was lambasted for supposedly endorsing policies of wealth redistribution. The right feared that under an Obama presidency, Washington would use federal power to take money from some Americans and give it to others. Yet, only a few years later, the most explicit examples of such redistribution are happening in the states, and often at the urging of Republicans. The most illustrative example began in 2012, when Kansas’ Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a ...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Senators call for full funding for joint U.S.-Israel defense systems

Marcy Oster The programs include the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system as well as the David’s Sling and Arrow weapons systems. ... [Link]

Virginia State Bar cancels Jerusalem seminar, cites ‘discriminatory’ border policies

Marcy Oster The president of the state agency said the trip was canceled due to concerns that “many of its members” would not be let in to Israel. ... [Link]

ZAKA rescue team heading to Germanwings crash site

Marcy Oster The eight volunteers from the rescue organization will assist in the search and recovery mission, including working to find the remains of Eyal Baum, an Israeli citizen. ... [Link]

These 5 new Haggadahs are keepers

Gabrielle Birkner Every year, a sea of a new Haggadahs vies for our attention, money and a seat at our seder table. JTA sorts through this year’s crop. ... [Link]

Haggadah collection includes pop-up books, world’s tiniest seder guide

Gabrielle Birkner The University of Michigan was recently given a massive and eclectic collection of Passover Haggadahs. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: At Passover time, remember those struggling with infertility

Gabrielle Birkner Every Passover we read the section of Exodus that reminds us to keep in mind the convert, the orphan and the widow. To this group, add those longing for a child, blogger Amy Klein writes. ... [Link]

Report: Many Jewish leaders sought leniency for Met Council’s Rapfogel

Marcy Oster The Rapfogel backers included 19 rabbis, several politicians, and some of the most prominent Jewish leaders in New York City and the country, according to the investigative report on the City & State ... [Link]

Netanyahu to visiting senators: Proposed deal ‘paves way’ for Iranian bomb

Marcy Oster Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said the U.S. delegation in Israel shared the Israeli prime minister’s concerns about the potential agreement. ... [Link]

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