Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: John Kasich espouses wisdom of Torah | At 78, George Zweig starting a hedge fund | Omri Casspi & NBA friends fly Air Adelson to Israel

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DRIVING THE DAY: Sec. John Kerry in New York City — At 8:30am, Kerry participates in a discussion on Iran, moderated by Richard Haas at the Council on Foreign Relations. [CFR• At 10am,Kerry meets with leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. At 11:30am, Kerry meets with leaders of the American Jewish Committee.

ON THE HILL: “Senators Voice Skepticism on Iran Nuclear Deal” by Jay Solomon and Felicia Schwartz: “Criticism of senior officials, particularly Secretary of State John Kerry, himself a former senator, was often personal during more than four hours that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee met. “What I think you’ve actually done in these negotiations is codify a perfectly aligned pathway for Iran to get a nuclear weapon just by abiding by this agreement,” Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), chairman of the committee, told Mr. Kerry. “I believe you’ve been fleeced.”” [WSJ] • Watch the hearing [CSPAN]

NYTimes Headline Creates Buzz: “Republicans Have Minds Made Up as Debate Begins on Iran Nuclear Deal” [NYTimes]

Key Moment: “If Israel conducts a cyber attack against the Iranian nuclear program are we obligated to help them defend themselves against an Israel cyber attack?” Rubio asked Kerry. Kerry didn’t exactly say no. He was, however, confident that Israel wouldn’t attempt a cyber attack on Iran without US help. “I don’t see any way possible that we would be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there and we just have to wait until we get until that point,” Kerry said, cryptically — “that point” referring to a future time at which Israel believes it’s necessary to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. It seems that at that juncture, the US would have to determine whose side to take.” [Yahoo] • “Kerry on NBC: Israeli action against Iran would be ‘huge mistake'” [Reuters]

TOP TWEET: @JacksonDiehl — “Most interesting news of Iran hearing: IAEA will have to rely on Iran to take samples at Parchin and other sites for its PMD investigation” [Twitter] • Close to 300 retweets.

Protest Du Jour: “Code Pink protesters disrupt Ted Cruz at rally” by Eliza Collins: “A heated rally against President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran created a bizarre spectacle in front of the White House on Thursday: Sen. Ted Cruz and Code Pink protesters speaking from the same podium.” [Politico] • “White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked about the demonstration and said he was aware Cruz had planned “to hold a pro-war rally” outside the White House.” [AP]

“Israeli ambassador to Dems: Don’t fret about killing Iran deal” by Jake Sherman: “Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer’s message to House Democrats is simple: don’t worry about voting against the Iran deal, because no matter what, the U.S. will not allow the Islamic Republic to obtain a nuclear weapon.” [Politico]

“Congress Will Vote No on the Nuclear Deal — But What Will ‘No’ Mean?” by John Hudson: “In the next 60 days, Congress is virtually certain to voice its displeasure with the agreement in a high-profile vote. What’s less certain is what lawmakers will be voting on to convey their dissatisfaction: a resolution of disapproval or a resolution of approval. The difference between the two carries significant political consequences for Democrats and Republicans, and the potential fate of the deal itself.”[ForeignPolicy]

TOP TALKER: “New poll: U.S. Jews support Iran deal, despite misgivings” by Steven M. Cohen: “By a wide margin, American Jews support the recently concluded agreement with Iran to restrict its nuclear program, and a clear majority of Jews wants Congress to approve the deal… The true and deeper divide in American Jewry is not about the Iran deal per se. This issue is merely the latest place to witness the ongoing and maybe growing divide between the liberal and conservative wings of American Jewry.” [JewishJournalPoll] • So in other words… this poll seems to be in line with the standard presidential election polls every four year that have Dems winning the Jewish vote, on average, 75-25. Liberals will see it as a confirmation and Conservatives will argue that many of these voters don’t vote with foreign policy issues as a priority.

Jonathan Schanzer: “President Obama came to power because of lousy U.S. intelligence that led the country to war in Iraq. Why does he think U.S. intelligence will now keep Iran from getting the bomb?” [DailyBeast]

Peter Beinart: “In most discussions of the nuclear deal, the word “Iraq” never comes up. That’s insane.” [TheAtlantic]

EUROPEAN THINKING: “Iran, Europe finalize $2 billion of projects” [PressTVReuters]

Meanwhile… “After labeling, EU think-tank proposes banking steps on Israel” by Luke Baker: “The EU agreed this week to push ahead with introduction of labels that specifically identify Israeli goods made in settlements in the occupied West Bank, a policy that has angered Israel; but now an influential European think-tank is proposing going much further, including the targeting of Israeli banks.” [Reuters]

2016 WATCH: “Hillary Clinton: Two-state solution is ‘best outcome’ for Israelis, Palestinians: Hillary Clinton faced an onslaught of questions about Israel from people describing the Jewish state’s policies as “apartheid” on the campaign trail Thursday. At her first stop in Columbia, S.C., a woman asked Clinton to comment on the United States’ “$6 billion to fund Israeli apartheid,” stating that we “spend too much money” on a country that does not have “shared values” with America. Clinton chose not to answer the woman’s question, but also not to rebuke it… An audience member asked Clinton if she believed a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine was possible. Clinton responded with a resounding “yes.” [WashExaminerReuters]

Lee Smith: “Hillary Clinton Makes the Most Important Decision of Her Presidency: She can save the Iran deal or she can sink it. Her choice may determine the fate of two administrations—Obama’s, and her own.” [TabletMag]

“Major GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson just got some of his money back from Marco Rubio” by Hunter Walker: “The campaign’s July filing with the Federal Election Commission shows Adelson, his wife Miriam, and their daughter, Shelley, all received refunds of $US2,600 contributions they made before Rubio launched his White House bid. Rubio has been dubbed the “clear front-runner” in the Adelson sweepstakes, but this refund indicates he doesn’t have the megadonor’s support sewn up just yet.” [BusinessInsider]

Dan Senor: “I Think Trump Is Helping Jeb and Rubio” [Bloomberg]

“Jeb Bush Has Lucrative Day in Chris Christie’s Backyard” by Maggie Haberman: “Jeb Bush went to New Jersey on Thursday and raised more than $500,000 at two events… One event was hosted by Mr. Bush’s national finance chairman, Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets (a team based in New Jersey); State Senator Joe Kyrillos; and Larry Bathgate, a lawyer. The second event was hosted by, among others, Cliff Sobel, who served as ambassador to both Brazil and the Netherlands under President George W. Bush.” [FirstDraft]

Chris Christie out with a new ad attacking President Obama on the Iran deal [YouTube]

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker criticizes Iran nuclear deal: “Iran is not a place that we should be doing business with,” he said, drawing a standing ovation during a 25-minute speech that stuck to familiar themes of a lightly regulated economy and muscular foreign policy.” [AP]

“John Kasich espouses wisdom of Torah” by Debra Kamin: Political columnist Matt Bai recently got an old-fashioned Jewish guilt trip for skipping synagogue, and not from his rabbi or his Jewish mother, but from an evangelical Christian politician angling for the White House.” [JTA]

Matt Bai writes: “It didn’t really surprise me when, within two minutes of sliding into our booth at the Frisch’s Big Boy diner in Columbus last Friday, he started pressing me to revisit Judaism. “Do you go to synagogue?” Ohio’s governor asked me, while his press aide was off on an ill-advised break to get water for the boss. “Do you read the Torah? Maybe you should. Do you realize how much wisdom there is there for life?” Feeling oddly shamed, I mumbled something about being busy. “I just find that it kind of tells us the best way to live our lives, and we get to learn from the mistakes of others and the strengths of others,” Kasich went on. “So I don’t know why we wouldn’t be reading that. What’s more important than that book? So you don’t read it. So maybe you’ll think about it.” [Yahoo]

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SPOTLIGHT: “This Wall Street Veteran Is Whipping Google Into Shape” by Brian Womack and Michael J. Moore: “Ruth Porat, who joined Google as chief financial officer in May after five years as Morgan Stanley’s CFO, on July 16 unveiled second-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ estimates. Impressed investors sent the shares to a record the next day, adding $65 billion to the company’s market value.” [Businessweek]

“At 78, Scientist Is Starting a Hedge Fund” by Juliet Chung: “Launching a new hedge fund is the latest of multiple reinventions for George Zweig, born in Moscow to Jewish parents who emigrated to the U.S. shortly before World War II. He grew up in Detroit and earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology… It is Mr. Zweig’s first foray into the hedge-fund world since leaving the famously secretive and profitable quantitative hedge-fund firm Renaissance Technologies LLC in 2010.” [WSJ]

“U.S.-Israeli analytics firm Leadspace raises $18 million” by Tova Cohen: “U.S.-Israeli start-up Leadspace, which develops predictive analytics technology, has raised $18 million in new funding led by Battery Ventures, the company said on Thursday. Leadspace, with offices in San Francisco and Israel, is led by Doug Bewsher, the former chief marketing officer of Salesforce.” [Reuters]

New Series: “Jonathan Triest and Brett deMarrais work at Ludlow Ventures. They carpool to work every day & started recording their in-car conversations amongst themselves & other entrepreneurs/VC’s. Upcoming episodes feature calls with: Clark Valberg, Eric Ries, Mark Suster, Jason Calacanis, & more.” [Carpool.vc]

AIR ADELSON: When Omri Casspi brought a delegation of seven NBA players to Israel yesterday, he flew them over on a Boeing 747. This wasn’t just any aircraft but rather Sheldon and Miriam Adelson’s private jet. [Video]

HOLLYWOOD: “James Franco Is Getting a Bar Mitzvah Courtesy of Seth Rogen” by Shalini Dore: “He may not know the Torah, but James Franco is getting a bar mitzvah, courtesy of Seth Rogen and wife Lauren Miller Rogen at Hilarity for Charity’s Variety show Oct. 17 at the Hollywood Palladium. “Ever since I’ve known James, he’s been talking about wanting a bar mitzvah,” Seth Rogen said in a statement.” [Variety]

WSJ FRONT PAGE: “‘Modest’ Bathing Suits Make a Splash” by Lucette Lagnado:“…HydroChic, one of several online purveyors of modest swimwear that have sprung up in recent years in a competitive cottage industry. Like several others in the business, HydroChic, based in New Rochelle, N.Y., was started by Orthodox Jewish women looking for suitable beachwear in a community where women follow strict dress codes.” [WSJ]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: Eli Ben Haim is a former banker who decided to seek fulfillment in chasing his passion. He and his family, all descendants of a long line of Hungarian coopers, have created a top tier winery in Israel which produces both wonderful wines and experiences. Ben Haim’s signature wine is his Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Aged for up to 30 months in new French oak, this wine is not for the faint of heart. It is a hearty, fruit forward wine with a great combination of blackberry and structured tannins blended together in almost perfect harmony. When you have a chance to spend 90 minutes in their winery do so at lunch time when, and if you are lucky, they will feed you homemade cheese and olives. You will get a great history lesson on the art of barrel making and also a taste of their many other varietals and vintages.

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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