Activism

There are a variety of non-profit organizations that are immersed in issues aligned with JUDJ’s mission. Representatives of most of the following organizations have been amongst the speakers in our “Community Conversations” series and the “America at a Crossroads” virtual series. We encourage you to connect with and support these organizations, many of which have volunteer opportunities and other ways to take action.

CENTER FOR COMMON GROUND’S RECLAIM OUR VOTE CAMPAIGN

Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters — especially voters of color. Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. Our volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. It is a nonpartisan campaign of the nonprofit 501(c)3 Center for Common Ground.


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


POSTCARDS TO VOTERS

Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.


ROCK THE VOTE

In 1990, music executives founded Rock the Vote in response to the censorship of hip-hop and rap artists. Our first partnership, with MTV, promoted the message that “Censorship is Un-American” and activated millions of young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests. For thirty years, we have continuously adapted to the changing landscapes of media, technology and culture to breakthrough and empower each new generation.


VOTE.ORG

Vote.org uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy.


WHEN WE ALL VOTE

When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

ACLU

For nearly one hundred years, ACLU lawyers have been at the center of one history-making court case after another, participating in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization. With attorneys nationwide, we handle thousands of cases each year on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated.


Bet Tzedek

Bet Tzedek attorneys and advocates help people of all communities and generations secure life’s necessities. Wherever people are in crisis, Bet Tzedek’s core services and rapid response programs provide stability and hope.


Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights

CHIRLA is a California leader with the national impact made of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change to achieve a world with freedom of mobility, full human rights, and true participatory democracy. CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants.


HIAS

HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.


Public Counsel

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation. We work with major law firms and corporations to change people’s futures. A staff of 71 attorneys and 50 support staff – including five social workers – along with over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals assists over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations every year.

ANTI DEFAMATION LEAGUE

ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education, and is a leading organization in training law enforcement. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.


BEND THE ARC 

Bend the Arc is a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews all across the country. For years, we’ve worked to build a more just society. Now we’re rising up in solidarity with everyone threatened by the Trump agenda to fight for the soul of our nation.


EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.


INTEGRITY FIRST FOR AMERICA

Integrity First for America (IFA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to holding those accountable who threaten longstanding principles of our democracy—including our country’s commitment to civil rights and equal justice.


NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

ACLU

For nearly one hundred years, ACLU lawyers have been at the center of one history-making court case after another, participating in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization. With attorneys nationwide, we handle thousands of cases each year on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated.


REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS 

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides pro bono legal representation, amicus curiae support, and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists.

JUDJ Newsletter

JUDJ regularly sends supporters newsletters highlighting upcoming events and a round up of important articles and news coverage related to our efforts and issue areas.

September 30, 2020

Dear friends:


Hearing from Carl Bernstein the night after the first presidential debate was especially illuminating.  Despite the serious threats to our democracy which Bernstein spoke about at length,he was nevertheless able to give us hope for our American democracy.  If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch tomorrow fromthis link

Next Week
Next week we will be talking about how the changing Supreme Court and overall, a government in transition, might impact abortion rights, the ACA, and other issues related to health care for Americans.  Our guests will be the very dynamic national President of Planned Parenthood Alexis McGill Johnson and the great now-retired Congressman Henry Waxman. 

Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and former Congressman Henry Waxman, the giant of health policy whoretired from Congress after 4 decades of service in which his core expertise and issue was health care will explore the impact of the Trump administration on health care policy and will look to the future and what must be done to ensure proper access to health care for all Americans. Abortion rights, the fate of Roe V. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and all other health care related questions are on the agenda for next week’s conversation.  Register here.

Post Debate Column of the Day

Last night’s debate is the topic in this scathing column by Thomas Friedman in today’s NY Times . Friedman indicted President Trump for his divisive positions and posturing, but mainly for his undermining of the country’s confidence in our election processes.  “I can’t say this any more clearly” writes Friedman, “Our democracy is in terrible danger — more danger than it has been since the Civil War, more danger than after Pearl Harbor, more danger than during the Cuban missile crisis and more danger than during Watergate.”  Friedman also pointed his pen at the Republicans who cannot be counted upon “to uphold the common good”.  Rather, writes Friedman, “They have fallen in line lock step behind a man who is the most dishonest, dangerous, meanspirited, divisive and corrupt person to ever occupy the Oval Office. And they know it. Four more years of Trump’s divide and rule will destroy our institutions and rip the country apart.” Friedman concludes that the only hope for America “is to elect Biden and split the G.O.P. between the Trumpists and whatever is left of the moderate Republicans, and then hope that a big center-left and small center-right can agree on enough things to propel the country forward, heal the divide and act together for the common good.”
 

PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/


IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER…we have a favor to ask of you    
Please follow us @USAconvo and retweet our tweets!!

September 29, 2020

Dear friends:

The ZOOM link for tomorrow’s program with Carl Bernstein and Warren Olney is here
 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84402832059
THE ONLY WAY TO ATTEND THIS PROGRAM IS BY CLICKING ON THE ZOOM LINK


TOMORROW’S PROGRAM
Tomorrow at 5 pm Los Angeles time, we welcome legendary, two time Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein in conversation with Warren Olney. Few journalists have achieved the fame and legendary status of Carl Bernstein, who is said to have set the standard for modern investigative reporting. Bernstein received his first Pulitzer Prize in 1973 when, together with Bob Woodward, he was credited with taking down the Nixon administration through revelations of Nixon’s direct connection to the Watergate scandal. The work of Woodward and Bernstein was called “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time“ by legendary journalist and former NYTimes national editor, Gene Roberts. Bernstein has authored or co-authored seven best-selling books, the most recent of which was the definitive biography of Hillary Clinton. Hope you will join us. 
Register here 

1. The opening line of this op ed in today’s Los Angeles Times poses a question many of us have been asking: “How is it that working-class whites and a significant number of Latinos could support Donald Trump, a self-aggrandizing billionaire with nothing in common with them and little understanding of their lives?”  In this op-ed, Alfonso Gonzales Toribio, political theorist, ethnic studies professor and director of the Latin American Studies Program at UC Riverside, looks at other times in history where leaders have created a “bloc” from disparate groups.  He writes: “Although the base of the Trumpian bloc is overwhelmingly white and male, 26% of Latinos support Trump over Biden. Many conservative Latinos identify with macho political posturing, pro-2nd Amendment rhetoric, simple law-and-order solutions to complex problems, demonization of the left and disdain for the Black Lives Matter movement. This bloc, under the ‘Make America Great Again’ banner, requires its supporters — particularly subordinate groups — to accept a degree of cognitive dissonance in submitting to the emotional appeal to a mythical moment of American greatness. For many of the white working class, that moment is before the rise of the civil rights movement, Latino immigration and multiculturalism, the idea that diverse people should have representation and rights in pluralist society.”   Historically, according to Toribio, the way these “blocs” are created is by fascist-leaning leaders, willing to use any means to demonize each group’s enemies, declare emergencies and criminalize legitimate protest in the ostensible name of a higher purpose–national unity. The result, he claims, is the creation of a unified,seamless front comprised of various groups with opposing interests, all of whom are disgruntled and ripe to be moved by such tactics.

2. If you are a poll-watcher, then you will want to read this Washington Post article reporting on the most recent ABC-Washington Post poll of Pennsylvania voters.  Pennsylvania is the most populous battleground state, with 20 electoral votes at stake.  The poll showed that Biden is leading amongst Pennsylvania voters with strong support coming from Philadelphia and environs, the college educated and from suburban voters.  If you want to actually look at the poll itself, including the numeric results, you can do so at this link

3. In this op-ed from yesterday’s Washington Post, Eugene Robinson analyzes the state of various Senate races and writes about the likely loss of GOP control of the Senate.  He connects this loss not only to Trump’s failing campaign, but also to the manner in which the GOP will likely rush through the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice thereby all but putting the final nail in the coffin of the Affordable Care Act.  .  

IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER…we have a favor to ask of you    
Please follow us @USAconvo and retweet our tweets!!


Alexander Vindman:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). 

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 23, 2020

Dear friends:

 

We just completed a fascinating hour with the great Nicholas Kristof in conversation with the equally great Madeleine Brand.  There is a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty that is is hard to find the ray of hope at times.  The conversation was realistic, compelling, disturbing, but with some elements of hope.  Kristof suggests that we take the long view to stay focused on the fact that there has been progress over time, even if we are in a dark place right now.  He also feels that because of this dark place we are in, change might be imminent.  If you weren’t able to be with the several thousand of us who listened tonight, you can watch the program tomorrow at this link.  

KRISTOF BOOK:
If you would like to purchase a signed copy of Nicholas Kristof’s most recent book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope,  which he co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, you can order from Bronx River Books at this link .   Inquiries can be directed to  info@bronxriverbooks.com .  The book has been described  as “A deft and uniquely credible exploration of rural America, and of other left-behind pockets of our country. One of the most important books…on the state of our disunion.”  (all orders from our program will be filled with signed copies)

NEXT WEEK:
Next week we will welcome legendary, two time Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein in conversation with Warren Olney. Few journalists have achieved the fame and legendary status of Carl Bernstein, who is said to have set the standard for modern investigative reporting. Bernstein received his first Pulitzer Prize in 1973 when, together with Bob Woodward, he was credited with taking down the Nixon administration through revelations of Nixon’s direct connection to the Watergate scandal. The work of Woodward and Bernstein was called “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time“ by legendary journalist and former NYTimes national editor, Gene Roberts. Bernstein has authored or co-authored seven best-selling books, the most recent of which was the definitive biography of Hillary Clinton. Hope you will join us. 
Register here 

 In today’s The Atlantic, journalist Barton Gellman gives a grim analysis of the outcome or quasi-outcome of this year’s presidential election.  While of course there have been many articles written about what happens if Trump rejects the outcome, Gellman does not believe that that is the worst case scenario. He writes: “The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that un­certainty to hold on to power.  Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states.” 


IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER…we have a favor to ask of you    
Please follow us @USAconvo and retweet our tweets!!


Alexander Vindman:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). 

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 22, 2020

Dear friends:

Here is the easy-to-use zoom link for tomorrow’s program at 5 pm PDT: 
 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84963227204 
YOU CAN ONLY GET INTO THE PROGRAM BY USING THIS ZOOM LINK!


At the current time, most of us can use a “Ray of Hope in a Grim Time” !  That is the topic of tomorrow’s program with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof who will be in conversation with KCRW’s Madeleine Brand.  Hope you will join us!  Use the ZOOM link provided above.


1.  This article by John Cassidy in today’s New Yorker, analyzes the impact of the current battle over replacing Justice Ginsburg on the presidential election. In essence, Cassidy concludes that he does not believe it will make much of an impact.  Because it seems clear that “most voters have made up their minds about this President a long time ago, the untimely death of Ginsburg seems unlikely to prove decisive. But what a delicious outcome it would be if Trump’s effort to exploit it ended up coming back to bite him.”

2. In this column from yesterday’s Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin writes about Biden’s speech delivered Sunday in which he spoke about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the GOP’s rush to fill the vacancy on the Court.   Rubin writes: “Biden managed [in this speech] to appeal both to the left and the exhausted middle of the electorate. He framed the issue as one of fairness and of the ACA’s survival. And he made clear that responsibility for further destruction of our system rests with Republicans, who can choose to pull back. In many ways, it was the most intricate and multilayered speech of his career. It certainly was the most presidential.”

3.  If you would like to purchase a signed copy of Nicholas Kristof’s most recent book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope,  which he co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, you can order from Bronx River Books at this link .   Inquiries can be directed to  info@bronxriverbooks.com .  The book has been described  as “A deft and uniquely credible exploration of rural America, and of other left-behind pockets of our country. One of the most important books…on the state of our disunion.”  (all orders from our program will be filled with signed copies)

4.  IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER…we have a favor to ask of you    
Please follow us @USAconvo and retweet our tweets!!
We are excited about the conversations we have on tap, including Nick Kristof and Madeleine Brand on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 5 :00 p.m. We’ll see you @USAconvo!”


5Alexander Vindman:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). 

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
6. You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 21, 2020

Dear friends:


We share our sadness at the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the eve of  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Longtime NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg tweeted about the special significance of the timing of Justice Ginsburg’s death: “A Jewish teaching says those who die just before the Jewish new year are the ones God has held back until the last moment because they were needed most & were the most righteous.”  Similarly, literary critic and author Ruth Franklin tweeted, “According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness”. 
 

1. As we will welcome Nicholas Kristof this Wednesday night, we wanted to share this article from this weekend’s NY TImes in which he writes about the increase in the spreading of wild, unfounded conspiracy theories.  The subject of this column is the wildfires in Oregon, Kristof’s home state.  Despite the fact that the FBI has confirmed that there is no evidence that the fires were started by arsonists, unfounded conspiracy theories about antifa arsonists having started the fires abound, leading some vigilante groups to set up armed roadblocks to capture these mythical arsonists. Kristof concludes: “All this rumor mongering leaves me feeling that the social fabric is unraveling, as if the shared understanding of reality that is the basis for any society is eroding.”  Register for the Nicholas Kristof program here. 


2. In this column, Max Boot suggests that the passing of Justice Ginsburg may well have exacerbated the democracy crisis America is facing. He writes about how the Supreme Court has historically been the reliable last line of defense in safeguarding the Constitution; while of late, the court has become more politically charged, the neutrality has remained “intact largely because some Republican appointees such as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. have put principle above politics.” But, if McConnell tries to force a GInsburg replacement just before or right after an election that Trump loses, the problem of a politicized court grows significantly. Boot writes: “Already two of the five conservative justices were nominated by a president who lost the popular vote.  And George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote when he was elected to his first term, went on to nominate two more in his second. Imagine if a sixth conservative is nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and confirmed by Republican senators who represent 15 million fewer Americans than their Democratic colleagues. Imagine further that this new justice is the deciding vote on abortion rights, the Affordable Care Act — and even the outcome of the presidential election. The result would be a political crisis that will shake our institutions to their foundations and make our current predicament seem paradisal by comparison.”
 

3.  IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER…we have a favor to ask of you    
Please follow us @USAconvo
We will be posting alerts, updates and highlights from our conversations with our amazing roster of guests; we would like you to share those posts with your own followers.   And as we enter the final weeks of the presidential campaign, we’ll also be showcasing what those experts are talking about now, so you can stay on top of political developments from the people most in the know.  We are excited about the conversations we have on tap, including Nick Kristof and Madeleine Brand on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 5 :00 p.m. We’ll see you @USAconvo!”

 

4. FUN VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Help Get Out the Vote
Earlier we sent this opportunity to you and are including yet again in case you missed it: There are many opportunities to work on a non-partisan basis to register voters and to get out the vote.  You can go the ACTION page on our website to see a variety of organizations focused on that goal.  Here is a fun opportunity we wanted to share with you hosted by Vote Forward, who will be joined by members of the Hamilton cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda. Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. Our goal is to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy. The hour hour-long  event featuring performances from the Hamilton songbook, trivia, and lively discussion!

When: The kickoff event is on Monday (9/21) at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT
RSVP using this link: https://www.mobilize.us/votefwd/event/319667/?utm_source=lmm-referral 

5Alexander Vindman:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). 
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
6. You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 18, 2020

Dear friends:


Before we shut down for 48 hours in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we take this moment to once again wish Happy New Year to those who observe the holiday, and to share a few bits of the latest news.

First, we have a favor to ask of those of you who are on twitter:-   
Please follow us @USAconvo
We will be posting alerts, updates and highlights from our conversations with our amazing roster of guests; we would like you to share those posts with your own followers.   And as we enter the final weeks of the presidential campaign, we’ll also be showcasing what those experts are talking about now, so you can stay on top of political developments from the people most in the know.  We are excited about the conversations we have on tap, including Nick Kristof and Madeleine Brand on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 5 :00 p.m. We’ll see you @USAconvo!”



1.  From yesterday’s NY TImes, you might find this interactive, state-by-state election calendar, including deadlines for mail-in balloting and other technical details, very useful and interesting.

2.  In this NY Times opinion piece, Dan Coates, former director of national intelligence writes about what is at stake in this presidential election; his conclusion is that the undermining of confidence in our election processes is destructive to the foundation and existence of American democracy. “The most urgent task American leaders face” writes Coates “is to ensure that the election’s results are accepted as legitimate. Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture. We should see the challenge clearly in advance and take immediate action to respond.”  He proposes a solution in the form of a very high level bi-partisan Commission, the members of which would serve under oath to monitor election processes, as well as monitor efforts to undermine our elections.


3. Here is the Presidential Debate calendar; all debates start at 6 pm Los Angeles time

 
Sept. 29First Presidential Debate
President Trump and Mr. Biden will face off for the first time.
Oct. 7Vice-Presidential Debate
Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, will face off.
Oct. 15Second Presidential Debate
Oct. 22Third Presidential Debate

 

4. This coming week we welcome two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof.  Kristof is described by fellow journalist Jeffrey Toobin, as “the moral conscience of our generation of journalists”.  The topic will cover the challenges of working-class rural America and the often-failed government policies which have created the disunity existing in America today. He will share not only the nature of the divide, but also will share his hopes for the change and healing needed to re-unify the country. Register here 


5. Volunteer Opportunity to Help Get Out the Vote:
Earlier we sent this opportunity to you and are including yet again in case you missed it: T
here are many opportunities to work on a non-partisan basis to register voters and to get out the vote.  You can go the ACTION page on our website to see a variety of organizations focused on that goal.  Here is a fun opportunity we wanted to share with you hosted by Vote Forward, who will be joined by members of the Hamilton cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda. Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. Our goal is to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy. The hour hour-long  event featuring performances from the Hamilton songbook, trivia, and lively discussion!

When: The kickoff event is on Monday (9/21) at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT
RSVP using this link: https://www.mobilize.us/votefwd/event/319667/?utm_source=lmm-referral 
 
Alexander Vindman:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). Vindman is a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel who was the Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council (NSC) until he was reassigned on February 7, 2020. Vindman came to national attention in October 2019 when he testified before the United States Congress regarding the Trump–Ukraine scandal. 
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 16, 2020

Dear friends:

 
Voter suppression and mail in balloting was the topic tonight with Secretary of State Alex Padilla in conversation with Zev Yaroslavsky.  It was an excellent and informative hour which imparted a great deal of information about election processes and mail in balloting.  If you attended, you learned a lot!! If you missed it, you will find it most illuminating and you can watch it tomorrow via this link.


1. Next week we welcome two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof.  Kristof is described by fellow journalist Jeffrey Toobin, as “the moral conscience of our generation of journalists”.  The topic will cover the challenges of working-class rural America and the often-failed government policies which have created the disunity existing in America today. He will share not only the nature of the divide, but also will share his hopes for the change and healing needed to re-unify the country.Register here 

2.  In this Washington Post opinion column published today, Greg Sargent writes about Trump’s town hall appearance on ABC’s News Forum last night.  While Trump described the town hall as an ambush, and Laura Ingraham went so far as to suggest it was an ambush orchestrated by the Democratic National Committee, according to Sargent, it was a demonstration of the challenges Trump faces when he is asked about the accomplishments of his presidency by non-adoring (i.e. Fox News) journalists or by members of the arm’s length/ general public. 

3.  The first line in this just-published column, Dana MIlbank of the Washington Post writes, “Denial is a river that runs through Donald Trump.”  The article, entitled, “Trump has Taken up Residence in the State of Denial”, Milbank elaborates on the vast numbers of facts denied by Trump and questions, as did Bob Woodward recently during an interview with Anderson Cooper, whether Trump knows the difference between fact and fiction. 


4. For an up-to-the-minute election update, here is today’s take by Geoffrey Skelley of FiveThirtyEight of how both Trump and Biden are doing according to the most up to date polling information.

5. Volunteer Opportunity to Help Get Out the Vote:
Earlier today we sent this opportunity to you and are including again in case you missed it:
And, speaking of voter suppression, there are many opportunities to work on a non-partisan basis to register voters and to get out the vote.  You can go to our website to see a variety of organizations focused on that goal.  Here is a fun opportunity we wanted to share with you hosted by one such organization, Vote Forward who will be joined by members of the Hamilton cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda. Vote Forward is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. Our goal is to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy. The hour hour-long  event featuring performances from the Hamilton songbook, trivia, and lively discussion!

When: The kickoff event is on Monday (9/21) at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT
RSVP using this link: https://www.mobilize.us/votefwd/event/319667/?utm_source=lmm-referral 
 
NEW EVENT ADDED: We are very excited to announce a special event we have added to our America at a Crossroads series:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). Vindman is a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel who was the Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council (NSC) until he was reassigned on February 7, 2020. Vindman came to national attention in October 2019 when he testified before the United States Congress regarding the Trump–Ukraine scandal. 
 
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 15, 2020

Dear friends:

Here is the easy-to-use zoom link for tomorrow’s program at 5 pm PDT: 
YOU CAN ONLY GET INTO THE PROGRAM BY USING THIS ZOOM LINK!


We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 5 pm (PDT) as we welcome California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla in conversation on the topic of voter suppression with former LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Register here

 
NEW EVENT ADDED: We are very excited to announce a special event we have added to our America at a Crossroads series:  Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman (ret’d) will be joining us in conversation with Washington Post columnist Max Boot on Thursday, October 22 at 5 pm (PDT). Vindman is a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel who was the Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council (NSC) until he was reassigned on February 7, 2020. Vindman came to national attention in October 2019 when he testified before the United States Congress regarding the Trump–Ukraine scandal. 
 
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in conversation with Max Boot
A Military Man in the Era of Trump: Paying the Price to Honor Your Oath 
T
hursday October 22 @ 5 pm (LA time)
register here 
 
You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Be sure to sign up for our special 2 hour program on  the Sunday before the election:  Decision Day 2020 , Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.
 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 9, 2020

We look forward to our conversation with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Zev Yaroslavsky this Wednesday at 5 pm (PDT) for an in depth analysis of the critical issues of voter suppression, voter safety and voting by mail.  Once you register, you will receive the ZOOM link via email several times prior to the event! Register here  

1. As we prepare for this Wednesday’s program,  we are once again circulating this article published last week in FiveThirtyEight which reviews the 5 major ways in which it is being made more difficult for people to vote  as well as steps being taken to try to undermine the electoral process in connection with the 2020 presidential election.
 
2.  During the Bush-Gore legal battle in Florida in 2000, the Democrats’ strategy, spearheaded by its candidate, Gore,  was to do battle in the courts, and to accept the Supreme Court ruling even if they felt the ruling was wrong.  The Republicans dominated the public square with large rallies during that 2000 protracted election.  In this article published in The Atlantic, Ron Brownstein, looks at what the likely response will be to a scenario in which Trump challenges a BIden victory. He also questions whether all parties will agree to accept judicial determinations.  Brownstein writes, “The prospect of massive protests on both sides is only one of many ways the contest between the parties could extend beyond Election Day in an unprecedented manner—perhaps up until Inauguration Day, on January 20. If the November 3 voting produces anything less than a blowout lead for either side—and perhaps even if it produces a blowout lead for Joe Biden—the post-election period is likely to test how far both GOP leaders and rank-and-file Republican voters will go in tolerating efforts from Trump to subvert the rules of small-d democracy.”  In the article, Brownstein describes a  a new study  from Vanderbilt University’s Larry Bartels in which Bartels found that “antidemocratic and authoritarian ideas have secured a substantial foothold within the GOP’s electoral coalition… [J]ust over half of Republican voters (including both self-identified Republicans and independents who lean toward the party) strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that ‘the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.’ Just under half agreed that ‘strong leaders sometimes have to bend the rules in order to get things done.’ About two in five agreed that ‘a time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands.’ ”  What is clear is that it is likely that we are in for some even more difficult times ahead.

3. Next week we will hear from NY Times journalist, the renowned Nicholas Kristof.  In this article from this weekend’s NY Times, Kristoff writes about the President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and analyzes how many fewer deaths we would have suffered had the pandemic been handled differently from the start.  With only 4% of the world’s population, the US has suffered 22% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths. How did this happen? Kristoff concludes that it is Trump’s absence of leadership, the way he politicized the pandemic response, and the marginalization of science that explain how the wealthiest country in the world could have suffered such disproportionate losses.

4.  Earlier this month this study analyzing the American Jewish electorate was published by the Ruderman Family Foundation. The study looks at Jewish voting patterns, Jewish voter turnout, and Jewish political giving.  It also reviews the history of Jewish liberalism in American, and examines the increase in anti-Semitism over the last few years. Finally, the study deals extensively with ongoing debate about President Obama’s and President Donald policies toward America, the Jews, and Israel, and how those issues impact the way American Jews vote.

You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.

September 9, 2020

Having just completed the hour program with Ron Brownstein and Warren Olney, we strongly recommend that you watch it via our website tomorrow if you were unable to be with us tonight. 

Be sure to register for next week’s program.  Our California Secretary of State Alex Padilla made California the first state to respond to COVID-19 by mailing every registered voter a ballot, and inspired other states to follow.  Zev Yaroslavsky is a legendary politician from Los Angeles County, California. For four decades Zev served the people of Los Angeles first as a LA City Council member and then as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Register here.

1. For those who have not yet read David Lehrer’s column about Trump and the American Jewish community, here is the link!.

2. Today has been quite a day for news.  One of the jaw-dropping stories today was that  Brian Murphy, who until recently was in charge of intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), revealed that he was instructed by DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to stand down on reporting about Russian threats because the information is “unflattering to Trump who has long derided the Kremlin’s interference as a ‘hoax’ that was concocted by his opponents to delegitimize his victory in 2016”  In other cases such as in the arena of white supremacists, Murphy says he was told by DHS officials to modify intelligence reports “to bring them in line with President Trump’s public comments”.

3.  As we prepare for next week’s program with Alex Padilla and Zev Yaroslavsky on the issue of voter suppression, this article published today in FiveThirtyEight reviews the 5 major ways in which Republicans are making it more difficult for people to vote and are trying to undermine the electoral process in connection with the 2020 presidential election.

You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  Register here.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.

 
 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 8, 2020

Dear Friends:

Here is the easy-to-use zoom link for tomorrow’s program at 5 pm PDT: 
 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89818141576
YOU CAN ONLY GET INTO THE PROGRAM BY USING THIS ZOOM LINK!



Here is an article written by Ron Brownstein published in this week’s The Atlantic entitled: “The Huge Snag in Trump’s Reelection Pitch: The president’s own volatility complicates his effort to convince Americans that he can stabilize their lives”.  The question which Brownstein poses is whether this President who is associated with the prevailing chaos in so much of American life today (Covid19, racial resentments, civil unrest, unemployment and uncertainty in the economy) can convince the American public that he can be the President to restore order.

Also related to tomorrow’s program, consider reading this CNN column by Ron Brownstein in which he analyzes the various GOP endorsements which Biden has garnered and the impact they are likely to have on the election.  He also compares the crossover endorsements in the Biden-Trump campaign to those in previous elections. He also considers the question of what happens to those GOP defectors when and if Biden is elected. The question is not only whether those GOP Biden supporters will have an impact on policies of a Biden presidency, but also what is the impact of those defectors on the future of the Republican party.   

Ron Brownstein is a journalist, historian, and highly respected political observer who has won awards for his ability to effectively communicate even the most complex political issues and analysis. He is known for his clarity, precision and depth. He is the political director of Atlantic Media Company, the editorial director of National Journal, and a senior political and election analyst for CNN. His articles and columns appear regularly in The Atlantic, the LA Times and the National Journal. Warren Olney is a veteran of America at a Crossroads series and an award winning radio host and journalist.  Hope you will join us! Register here


UPCOMING PROGRAMS: You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.

 RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: Y
ou can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

September 6, 2020

Dear Friends:

We hope our California constituents are surviving this Labor Day Weekend heatwave…yet another reason to stay at home!  We can all look forward to next year when hopefully we can enjoy the more traditional Labor Day picnics and barbecues surrounded by family and friends!

This coming Wednesday’s program with Ron Brownstein and Warren Olney is sure to be  stimulating.  Be sure to sign up; you will receive the ZOOM link several times via email on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Register here

1.  DANGERS POSED BY QANAN
 Our own David Lehrer, founder and CEO of Community Advocates Inc., and member of the JUDJ leadership team, wrote this column about the dangers of Trump’s embrace of QAnan and conspiracy theories. In the column, which was published in this week’s Forward,  Lehrer describes the grave threat which Trump poses to our pluralistic democracy, and challenges Jews who continue to support Trump. He writes
: “That Trump’s enablers in the GOP tolerate his bizarre behavior is depressing enough, but that Jews who ought to have at least a glancing familiarity with the historical record of the past century and the evil that can result from unfounded conspiracy theories directed by a leader at a segment of his population, is downright perverse….For that cohort in the Jewish community (or any minority community in America) that still supports Trump, this should be a wake-up call. This is not a dispute about funding Social Security benefits or whether to cut taxes or save the Arctic tundra; this is a debate about fundamental values of truth and facts that speak to how minority groups and dissenting views are treated in our country.”

2. WHAT IF TRUMP LOSES BUT WON’T LEAVE OFFICE
Each week, the most frequently posed question to our speakers relates to what happens if Biden prevails but Trump does not accept the Biden victory.  The Transition Integrity Project  is a bi-partisan organization of more than 100 journalists, scholars, pollsters, campaign leaders, government officials, and academics formed in 2019 out of concern about potential disruptions to the 2020 US presidential election and transition by the RNC. The founder, Rosa Brooks, a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University, wrote this column which was published in this weekend’s Washington Post in which she reviews the “war games” scenarios which were conducted by the Transition Integrity Project.  They looked at 4 different November election scenarios and played each one out to view likely outcomes, and, with but one exception, each of the exercises reached catastrophe.   She writes that the “war game” is not predictive, but rather, it is intended to be instructive.  Her concluding paragraph is particularly moving as she quotes the jurist Learned Hand who, in 1944 famously said, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it . . . while it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”   Brooks concludes: “This is as true now as it was then: When people unite to demand democracy and the rule of law, even repressive regimes can be stopped in their tracks. Mass mobilization is no guarantee that our democracy will survive — but if things go as badly as our exercises suggest they might, a sustained, nonviolent protest movement may be America’s best and final hope.”

3. LATEST CAMPAIGN MESSAGING
In this weekend’s Washington Post  political column Dan Balz analyzes the current status of the presidential race.  He writes about Trump’s efforts to fashion a winning law & order message, and, what additional messages Trump might deploy if the law & order message fails to give him the boost he will likely need to prevail in November.  “If Trump’s law and order message doesn’t work as planned, his chances will likely rest on whether perceptions of the pandemic — and his erratic leadership in fighting it — change and change rather rapidly, and also whether perceptions of Trump as an economic manager will somehow override attitudes about the virus. His other avenue is to dominate Biden in the presidential debates, especially the first one on Sept. 29.” Stay tuned!


4. BROWNSTEIN  
In case you missed it in the last email, here is some background about Ron Brownstein as well as a recent column published by CNN about Biden’s GOP endorsements.  
Ron Brownsteinis a journalist, historian, and highly respected political observer who has won awards for his ability to effectively communicate even the most complex political issues and analysis. He is known for his clarity, precision and depth. He is the political director of Atlantic Media Company, the editorial director of National Journal, and a senior political and election analyst for CNN. His articles and columns appear regularly in The Atlantic, the LA Times and the National Journal. Warren Olney is a veteran of America at a Crossroads series and an award winning radio host and journalist.  Hope you will join us! Register here

And, in preparation for next week’s program, consider reading this CNN column by Ron Brownstein in which he analyzes the various GOP endorsements which Biden has garnered and the impact they are likely to have on the election.  He also compares the crossover endorsements in the Biden-Trump campaign to those in previous elections. He also considers the question of what happens to those GOP defectors when and if Biden is elected. The question is not only whether those GOP Biden supporters will have an impact on policies of a Biden presidency, but also what is the impact of those defectors on the future of the Republican party.  


5.  UPCOMING PROGRAMS: You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.

6.  RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: Y
ou can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

Donations to help offset our costs can be made here: JUDJ website .  You can also donate here through Community Advocates.  Funds donated to either organization are shared to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.
(JUDJ ( EIN 82-0742397) is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Center for Justice  (EIN: 81-4397882) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation.)

September 2, 2020

Dear Friends: 

We just completed an outstanding hour with Jeffrey Toobin in conversation with Henry Weinstein.  If you missed it, the recording will be available tomorrow morning at this link

Be sure to register for next week’s program with Ron Brownstein and Warren Olney.  The topic is: Transformation and Restoration–the Struggle Between America’s Past and Future.

Ron Brownstein is a journalist, historian, and highly respected political observer who has won awards for his ability to effectively communicate even the most complex political issues and analysis. He is known for his clarity, precision and depth. He is the political director of Atlantic Media Company, the editorial director of National Journal, and a senior political and election analyst for CNN. His articles and columns appear regularly in The Atlantic, the LA Times and the National Journal. Warren Olney is a veteran of America at a Crossroads series and an award winning radio host and journalist.  Hope you will join us! Register here


And, in preparation for next week’s program, consider reading this CNN column by Ron Brownstein in which he analyzes the various GOP endorsements which Biden has garnered and the impact they are likely to have on the election.  He also compares the crossover endorsements in the Biden-Trump campaign to those in previous elections. He also considers the question of what happens to those GOP defectors when and if Biden is elected. The question is not only whether those GOP Biden supporters will have an impact on policies of a Biden presidency, but also what is the impact of those defectors on the future of the Republican party.  

You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below.  Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT.  Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin.  See the bottom flyer below for more details.

Y
ou can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

Donations to help offset our costs can be made here: JUDJ website .  You can also donate here through Community Advocates.  Funds donated to either organization are shared to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.
(JUDJ ( EIN 82-0742397) is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Center for Justice  (EIN: 81-4397882) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation.)

September 1, 2020

Dear Friends: 


We look forward to tomorrow night’s program with Jeffrey Toobin and Henry Weinstein. 
Here is the easy-to-use link (can’t be used until Wednesday just before 5 pm PDT):


FOMENTING VIOLENCE: Below are three separate columns all of which assert that Trump has crossed a dangerous line from political tactical scare mongering to actually fomenting unrest and violence from within the walls of the White House.

1.  It might be obscene to focus on how the violence on the streets impacts the vote, but, according to Michael Gerson’s opinion column in yesterday’s Washington Post, that is the reality we are living in. Gerson expresses the opinion that the core political question is whether a candidate is calming the violence or inflaming it to gain an advantage. If the answer is the latter, then he feels that candidate has committed “a crime against democracy, a sin against self-government.”  Gerson notes that Biden has criticzed the hard left even as he calls out police misconduct.  But, Trump, on the other hand has embraced any group willing to support him. ” It doesn’t matter if you are a white nationalist, a neo-Confederate, an anti-immigrant zealot or a QAnon true believer; support for Trump is redemption in Trump’s own eyes. In the process, Trump is normalizing beliefs and behaviors that are favorable to the growth of violence.”

2. And, in support of Gerson’s final point consider, Aaron Blake’s piece in today’s Washington Post on Trump’s stunning defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, a Trump supporter charged with two murders in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Trump defended RIttenhouse suggesting that he used his AK-47 to kill in self-defense.   In Portland, an anti-fascist is under investigation for the killing of a right wing demonstrator after a Trump rally.  Rather than condemning all violence, be it from the far right or the far left, Trump chose a different path.  He sided with the Trump supporters who were provoking the Portland demonstrators by shooting paint-balls and pepper spray.  In these two examples, we see a lack of capacity or willingness of Trump’s part to quell the violence. “It’s evident to whom Trump gives the benefit of the doubt, from Charlottesville through today. And in the course of a couple of minutes Monday night, that benefit of the doubt applied to a supporter who has been charged with a crime….Trump was given his own chance to acknowledge and condemn violence perpetrated by his supporters, and he notably took a hard pass — failing to even offer the broad type of denunciation that Biden has stated.”

 
3. In this column in today’s New Yorker, John Cassidy asserts that President Trump has crossed the line from using scare tactics as a means to gain political advantage, to actually fomenting violence and purposely creating discord.  While Cassidy notes that Biden has pushed back against Trump’s inciting tactics, he feels that there is too little push-back coming from other quarters: ” If the country’s leaders don’t push back against Trump’s incitements now, the violence could take on a momentum of its own, raising the possibility of an authoritarian reaction. That is what has happened in other failed democracies. ‘The only way you can avoid violence, and perhaps a constitutional crisis, is if the political leadership moves to de-escalate things and demobilize their bases,’ [Harvard political scientist and author on the subject of dictatorships] Levitsky said. Trump is doing precisely the opposite of that.”
 
THIS WEEK: TOOBIN & WEINSTEIN
Be sure to register for this week’s program which features Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker and CNN, in conversation with legal journalist and law professor, Henry Weinstein.  The conversation will cover issues raised in Toobin’s recently released book, True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump.  In the book,Toobin reveals the results of his in depth investigation to determine the truth about Donald Trump’s complicity in several crimes, crimes which lead to successful prosecutions of Trump associates, but not of Trump himself. Register here.


In preparation for tomorrow’s program, you might want to read this review of Toobin’s book by Ron Elving, NPR Senior Editor and Correspondent, Washington Desk.  In the book, Toobin writes about the failings of the Mueller Report and of the impeachment trial, uncovering details not previously revealed to the general public.  Elving writes, “Toobin has gathered such a weight of evidence and such a chorus of witnesses that his summation is more damning than the sum of its parts. By integrating the Russian interference story with all the twists and turns of Trump’s defensive moves and the segue to the Ukraine arms-for-favors deal, Toobin presents a persuasive summation to the jury of his readers.”

You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below. And, 
you can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

Donations to help offset our costs can be made here: JUDJ website .  You can also donate here through Community Advocates.  Funds donated to either organization are shared to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.
(JUDJ ( EIN 82-0742397) is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Center for Justice  (EIN: 81-4397882) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation.)