Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: November 2, 2017

Why Gary Cohn's Fed dream died | JINSA Scene | Philip Levine enters Florida governor's race | Inside Noah Kraft's Doppler Labs

JI Staff
Trump's communication director Hope Hicks and Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn speak at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017
Trump's communication director Hope Hicks and Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn speak at the White House in Washington, U.S. September 11, 2017Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
JI Staff

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INSIDE THE ADMIN: "Inside the rise and fall of Gary Cohn's Fed dreams" by Ben White and Nancy Cook: "The former Goldman Sachs president... was a front-runner for the Fed job until August, when he publicly broke with the president over his handling of fatal neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville... Another White House official said reports of a rift between Trump and Cohn were always overblown — and the Cohn-Trump cold war is now mostly over anyway... The pair are back talking regularly...The president is now telling people he couldn’t put Cohn at the Fed because he needs him to help Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin push a tax cut bill through Congress..."

"Cohn is telling people he never really wanted the Fed job anyway... Cohn has no immediate plans to pack up and leave the administration next year, no matter what happens with taxes, people close to him say... One person close to the process said... if the NEC director really wanted the Fed job that badly he would have kept his mouth shut about Charlottesville." [Politico]

JARED INSIDER -- "Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment” by Gabriel Sherman: “Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller’s appointment, according to a source briefed on the call. When Roger Stone recently told Trump that Kushner was giving him bad political advice, Trump agreed... “Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” [Sam] Nunberg said. “I’m only saying publicly what everyone says behind the scenes at Fox News, in conservative media, and the Senate and Congress.”” [VanityFair]

"The Rise of George Papadopoulos, a Trump Adviser Who May Kill Trump’s Presidency" by Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: "According to one acquaintance, Papadopoulos was very pro-Israel and would complain about the Obama administration’s policies toward the Middle Eastern country—sometimes saying he couldn't believe what President Obama and his team were doing." [DailyBeast]

REPORT -- Kushner behind PA-Hamas Reconciliation: "Senior PA officials have told Israel TV that the United States – not Egypt – is responsible for the reconciliation initiative between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza...The officials said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas knows that Kushner is behind the initiative, and was asked by Trump to advance the reconciliation process with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi." [JewishPress; Kan]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, held its 35th annual awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis in DC. The evening honored Sander Gerber, CEO of Hudson Bay Capital Management, with the Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson Distinguished Service Award for his efforts lobbying for the Taylor Force Act. The Taylor Force Act would cut off U.S. aid that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to families of terrorists. Gerber was introduced by Stuart Force, the father of West Point grad Taylor Force for whom the legislation is named. Gerber recounted that when he first discovered the P.A. payments and asked other Jewish leaders about it, he was told “everyone knows and no one cares.” Gerber was not assured and recalled, “well I didn’t know and I did care.”

Rabbi Levi Shemtov delivered the invocation and the evening's other honorees included Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

SPOTTED: Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Ted Deutch, former Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. Ed Royce, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Rep. Dan Donovan, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Jim Banks, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Brian Mast, Rep. Mike Gallagher, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rep. Ron Estes, Rep John Katko, Rep. Lou Bartletta, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, Tevi Troy, Tom Rose, Howard Friedman, Barry Jackson, Nathan Diament, Yehuda Neuberger, Josh Landes, Meir Raskas, Noah Pollak, Arie Lipnick, Mike Makovsky, Robbie Force, Tracy Gerber, Nechama Shemtov, Ali Rogin, Josh Rogin, Dovid Efune, Azerbaijan Amb. Elin Suleymanov, Dan Schneider, Matt Schlapp, Joel Mowbray, Michael Leffell, Harris Vederman, IDF’s Mickey Edelstein, Josh Block, Alex Siegel, Ike Fisher, Howard Bromberg.

COMING SOON? Walker invites Israeli leader Netanyahu to visit Wisconsin: "[Gov. Scott] Walker told reporters Wednesday that he extended the invitation to Netanyahu during his trade mission this week to Israel... Walker says Netanyahu could benefit from visiting Chicago and Milwaukee along the shores of Lake Michigan. Walker says he hopes the trip could come within the next year or so." [AP]

US - ISRAEL RELATIONS: "Reversing course, U.S. votes against U.N. resolution condemning Cuba embargo" by Tracy Wilkinson: "The Trump administration on Wednesday voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. Only Israel voted with the United States against the resolution." [LATimes]

HEADLINES: "Putin is a better leader than Trump in the Middle East, according to Israelis" by Cristina Maza: "Around 52 percent of [Israelis] said Putin's Russia has more influence in the Middle East than Trump's America... “Trump has reserved a special place for Putin in the Middle East. The US isn’t ready to challenge Mr. Putin in Syria. It’s not willing to be really tough on Iran in Iraq and Syria, which is detrimental to [Israel’s] interests,” Aaron David Miller told Newsweek. “There is a perception that the Trump administration is risk averse and not risk ready.”" [Newsweek]

PUTIN IN TEHRAN: "Russia and Iran Boost Energy Ties, Discuss Syrian Cooperation" by Aresu Eqbali: "Putin’s visit to the Iranian capital, his first since 2015, comes at a time of intensifying efforts to end the Syrian conflict, now in its seventh year. He met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say in matters of state. Khamenei suggested Russia and Iran could combat the sanctions and isolate the U.S. by replacing the U.S. dollar with their own currencies in their transactions, according to his official website." [WSJ]

"Boris Johnson to travel to US in bid to save Iran nuclear deal" by Patrick Wintour: "While describing the deal as an “amazing triumph of diplomacy,” the [British] foreign secretary acknowledged that it had not led to wider changes in Iranian policies in the Middle East... He went out of his way not to criticise Trump’s handling of issue, saying it was significant that he had only refused to recertify the agreement... “It was very clever piece of work. He kept the core of the [Iran nuclear deal] intact,” he said. “The fundamental trade-off on good behaviour on nuclear weapons and economic activity remains there, basically.”" [Guardian]

TOP TALKER: "Far Right Supports Israel in Ploy to Win Respectability, Europe's Top Rabbi Warns" by Josh Lowe: "Speaking to Newsweek during a visit to London for Shabbat U.K., Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, urged his co-religionists to fight intolerance against all faiths. Rising intolerance, he said, could only spell harm for Europe’s Jewish communities. Goldschmidt, who is the also chief rabbi of Moscow, said America's withdrawal from world affairs, and the country’s reluctance under Donald Trump to promote liberal values around the world, has created a “vacuum” in Europe that is breeding disunity... Far-right parties like Austria’s Freedom Party... make much of pro-Israel rhetoric, which their supporters use as a sign that they have shed any past associations with anti-Semitic fascism." [Newsweek]

TERROR IN NYC: "Truck attack suspect is charged with terrorism offenses" by Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz: "Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio... In Ohio, Saipov was an argumentative young man whose career was falling apart and who was “not happy with his life,” said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a fellow truck driver from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan... He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including Israel and Palestine." [AP]

ON THE HILL -- What lessons should be drawn from the New York attack? -- by Aaron Magid: Following the largest terror attack in New York City since September 11, 2001, Jewish Insider's Aaron Magid asked members of Congress what lessons they think should be learned from the tragic event?

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): "The lesson is that we need to change the visa lottery system and enforce laws that we have. Sadly, there has been a perception that the war on terrorism is over. No, it’s ongoing. Even the term 'lone wolf' is misleading. You have that many lone wolves, it means there’s a war... We have to be ever vigilant in protecting the American people. It needs to be eliminated."

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO): "There needs to be some more vetting. I’m not in agreement with the change in the lottery system. I mean, what do you do? None of the countries that the ban is on, this young man was not from any of those countries. He was from Uzbekistan. Maybe we need to look at the former Soviet Union countries and start limiting their travel into the U.S. if that is where the Boston Marathon bombers were from, or that geographic area, maybe we need to do a better job of vetting there."

Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA): "I don’t think immigration is going to solve that problem right now. I think you do have to recognize that this will be the wave of the future. We are going to have to spend more time in chat rooms. If somebody is advertising that they are going into this, I don’t like the idea of someone looking over your shoulder and 'Big Brother' but it’s almost at the point you have to be more intrusive than you were in the past in terms of all these networks that are breeding these types of individuals."

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA): "The real terrorist threat is the threat folks that are being self-radicalized here domestically. We’re not doing nearly enough to address that and counter that propaganda -- to work with communities to identify folks that may be getting self-radicalized. That truly is a very difficult challenge."

2018 WATCH: "With deep pockets and a nose for the spotlight, Miami Beach mayor enters governor's race" by Marc Caputo: "Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine officially announced his bid for governor on Wednesday, bringing his personal fortune and knack for making headlines to a Democratic race where the three top candidates have struggled to gain traction and money... “There’s this new invention called the internet and social media,” he said... "That’s what we’re going to do: go direct to the people.”" [Politico]

"A Post-Obama Democratic Party in Search of Itself" by Robert Draper: “There are two types of Democrats,” David Krone, Harry Reid’s former chief of staff, told me... “There are killers, and there are whiners. Unfortunately, we have too many of the latter and not enough of the former.” Krone considers piety an obstacle to progressive policies. “Democrats are not that pure,” he told me, with a biting smile. “All those guys have a transactional component to them.” ... In the Democratic Killers Hall of Fame, Krone places [Rahm] Emanuel and [Nancy] Pelosi. But lately, Krone observed, the party seemed to be tilting toward the whiners... The 2018 cycle, Krone argued, was no time for squeamishness. Again he cited the example of his former boss Reid, who, like many Democrats in 2010, was a heavy underdog going into his final Senate race." [NYTimes]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Nasdaq to Launch a Program Supporting Israeli Growth Companies [Calcalist] Israeli Company Develops World’s First Home Robot [TabletMag] Check Point crashes on disappointing guidance [Globes] Brooklyn Rezoning Could Benefit Kushner [WNYC] Roman Abramovich Is Adjusting His Plans on the Upper East Side [Observer]

SPOTLIGHT: "Inside the Downfall of Doppler Labs" by David Pierce: "On October 23, Doppler Labs founder Noah Kraft got a Facebook notification. One of those "On This Day" pop-ups, resurfacing a post from exactly two years ago, when Kraft had appeared on CNBC to make the case for his company. "We want to put a computer, speaker, and mic in everyone's ear," Kraft said during the interview. "We have very lofty visions of the future, everything from real-time translation to personal assistants." The memory stung. Because on October 23, Kraft was nine days away from shutting down Doppler Labs for good." [Wired; BusinessInsider]

PROFILE: "The Man Who Might Become the Next Face of College Sports" by Matt Foley: "Adam Zucker is yelling at you, television viewer. You may not know that his voice is booming off the walls of a 4,300-square-foot CBS Sports studio in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, but he is definitely yelling. Or, as they say in the biz, “conveying passion.” In addition to serving as lead anchor and host for shows like Inside College Football and Inside College Basketball, Zucker, 40, took over as the full-time host of CBS Sports’ pregame, halftime and postgame show in 2014. Now the face of the network’s college sports coverage, Zucker is tasked with communicating the network’s message to fans." [Ozy]

"Here I Am, Haim: On the road in America with three Jewish sisters who rock" by Sean Cooper: "It’s dark and the crowd roars. Bright white lights flash and the sisters appear in order of age, the youngest Haim, Alana, 25, stage left, Danielle, 28, in the center, Este, the eldest at 31 to the right. They’re a strong presence, their voices booming in sweet harmony... Before the sisters, there was Mordechai Haim, their father, who grew up on Jerusalem Boulevard in Jaffa." [TabletMag]

"With a farewell on the horizon, Zubin Mehta's concert with the Israel Philharmonic is a triumph" by Richard Ginell: "Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are touring North America again — which ordinarily wouldn’t be considered a milestone. But this time it might be, because Mehta has decided to step down as the orchestra’s music director for life in October 2019 — 50 years after he became its music advisor and 42 years after he became its first official music director." [LATimes]

HEARD THE OTHER NIGHT: "Seinfeld Stars in American Friends of Magen David Adom Gala, Adelson Honored" by Ryan Torok: "Jerry Seinfeld opened the evening with only a few minutes of material — joking about how Gentiles attend events for the alcohol; Jews for the rolls — but he promised he would return at the end of the night. When he returned after 10 p.m., the funnyman captured both the mood of the fundraiser and the comic sensibility he is famous for. “It’s been a beautiful night of generosity ” he said. “Now, let’s get back to complaining.” The gala raised pledges of more than $18 million, a record for any single AFMDA event anywhere in the country... Humanitarian of the Year Honorees Sheldon and Miriam Adelson pledged $12 million to the organization, and Maurice Kanbar, creator of SKYY Vodka, pledged $5 million." [JewishJournal]

TRAVEL: "After nine-year hiatus, non-stop flights from Miami to Israel are back with El Al" by Chabeli Herrera: "Beginning Wednesday, the airline is offering three weekly roundtrip flights on 279-seat Boeing 777-200 aircrafts for the nearly 12-hour flight to Tel Aviv. El Al is the second to bring nonstop flights from the Middle East to Miami in recent years... Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he’s been convinced Miami needed an Israel flight since a trip he took to the country in 2011." [MiamiHerald]

MAZEL TOV to Norm Brownstein on receiving the 2017 Robert E. Loup Hineni Award from the Denver JCC last night: "What makes it even more meaningful is that one of the great leaders of the JCC, Bob Loup prior to his death, hand-picked Norm as the first recipient of the Robert E. Loup Hineni Award for his unparalleled contributions to our country and the Denver community." [JCCDenver]

BIRTHWEEK: Managing Director in the DC-office of AIPAC since 2014, he was previously AIPAC's Western States director based in Los Angeles (2002-2014), Elliot Brandt turns 49...

BIRTHDAYS: Former NASA astronaut who made five flights in the space shuttle and is currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, he was NASA's first Jewish astronaut, Jeffrey A. Hoffman turns 73... Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the largest money-management firm in the world, Laurence Douglas "Larry" Fink turns 65... Director of Internet and media at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Alan D. Abbey turns 63... Head of School at Weizmann Day School in Los Angeles, Lisa Feldman turns 59... Financial planner at Grant Arthur & Associates Wealth Services, he is the author of a book on the complicity of Lithuania in the Holocaust, Grant Arthur Gochin turns 54... Marc Solomon turns 53... Director of Federal Government Affairs at Microsoft, John Sampson turns 51... Actor, director, and producer, best known for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom "Friends" (1994-2004), David Schwimmer turns 51... Professor of economics at MIT, Amy Finkelstein turns 44... Denver-based radio host and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, David Sirota turns 42... Washington Post Outlook editor, Adam B. Kushner turns 37 (h/t Playbook)... Marc Rosen turns 36... DNC's Director of Jewish Engagement, Aaron Weinberg turns 27... Mordechai Bar-or...

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