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Showing posts from February, 2008

More Obama stuff

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Daniel Larison, one of the most productive paleo-conservative writers around has been devoting a lot attention to Obama on his blog. And he drew my attention to John Hagee's endorsement of John McCain. "When he is not glorying in the bombardment of countries with large Christian (and non-Protestant) populations, [Hagee] pushes quite venomous anti-Catholicism," Larison points out, and he provides a link to Glenn Greenwald's Some hateful, radical ministers -- white evangelicals -- are acceptable who raises an interesting question: Why is Louis Farrakhan deemed by our political establishment to be so radioactive as to not be fit for good company -- black candidates are required to repudiate his support even when they haven't sought it and denounce his views even when they've never advocated anything close to those views -- but John Hagee is a perfectly acceptable figure whom mainstream GOP politicians are free to court without any consequences or media objectio…

The One-State Solution?

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I personally don't support the idea, as I pointed in Two People, Two States But as a UPI reportindicates, it's starting to get late for that: Census figures show that Palestinians are likely to become a majority in Israel and the occupied territories in five years, a report said Wednesday.

On the Israeli side, the figures give new urgency to the peace process, The Washington Times reported. On the Palestinian side, some intellectuals have begun to talk of a "one-state solution," a Muslim-majority bi-religious state that would merge Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

"If Israel wants to call it Israel from Jordan to the Mediterranean, I accept it. So we'll be equal to them," said Saeb Erekat, a chief negotiator on the Palestinian side. "And with the majority, I will change the name of the Knesset to Parliament and the name of Israel to Palestine. It's a democracy."

What Israelis call "the demographic problem" has been a factor since t…

Will there be a happy ending for Democrats?

Business Times - 29 Feb 2008


Will there be a happy ending for Democrats?

Whoever wins the party's nomination won't have it easy against the McCainiacs in Nov

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

ONCE upon a time in the Pundit-Land of Washington, there lived the Presumptive Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party, Queen Hillary Clinton.

The former First Lady, who gained much of her political experience while serving as an unofficial confidante of the president, Bill Clinton, was expected to preside over the Clinton Restoration, while facing only some weak opposition from marginal Democratic rivals and then rolling over the Republican opponent.

In fact, for a few months last year, the Presidential Race of 2002 was perceived by many Washington insiders as nothing more than the preparation for the crowning of Hillary, and the ushering in of the Clinton II Era, as they started to speculate not about who would be the next president but about who would be serving in the top po…

Profile in Courage

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(meeting with Seniors for Hillary)

Last night during her televised debate with Obama, Hillary contrasted her "denouncement" of the Independent Party in NY with Obama's "rejection" of endorsement by Louis Farrakhan. TPM Cafe throws a light on that Great Moment in History -- The Clinton-Buchanan Clash of 2000 with this old report from the NYT:
The two candidates for United States Senate sought the endorsement of the fractious Independence Party here today, but Hillary Rodham Clinton used her speech to attack the group for what she said was the ''anti-Semitism, extremism, prejudice and intolerance of a few shrill voices on both the right and the left.''

Mrs. Clinton added that she welcomed the endorsement of the party, but said emphatically that she would not accept it if the party supported Patrick J. Buchanan for president. ''I cannot and will not as the price for any endorsement embrace or excuse those who use hateful rhetoric that separat…

Louis-Farrakhaning Obama Part II

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(with his "pro-Israeli" cousin "Dick")

Last month I predicted that Hillary and Company would end-up trying to "Louis-Farrakhaning" Obama, especially by raising doubts about his commitment to Israel. And...fastforward to the new issue of Newsweek where "Good for the Jews"points out that "Hillary Clinton's surrogates are questioning Obama's commitment to U.S.-Israel relations." I guess that some things are inevitable.
And this:
Business Times - 26 Feb 2008


Change US foreign policy dramatically? No, They Can't

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

I HAVE been receiving a lot of emails from friends from around the world who may have been following the US presidential primaries races with more intensity than some of my colleagues in Washington. Most of the inquiries were about how each presidential candidate would act as US president towards the inquirer's own country and/ or geographical region. It might surprise my email co…

EU Expansion to Israel and Palestine?

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See my latest on the topic on The Atlantic Community.

In love with their man

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I've never figured out why journalists in Washington like John McCain so much. A piece in the New Yorker may provide part of the answer:
It is bracing to drop in on the McCain campaign after covering the overly managed productions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Democratic candidates rarely speak to the travelling press. McCain not only packs his bus with reporters (whom he often greets with an affectionate “Hello, jerks!”) but talks until the room is filled with the awkward silence of journalists with no more questions. The Obama campaign, like the Bush White House, prides itself on message discipline and tracks down leakers with a frightening intensity. McCain and his aides openly discuss strategy, whether it’s Brooke Buchanan, McCain’s travelling press secretary, prepping him for a press conference (“ABC might ask about that”) or McCain discussing his targeting strategy for Tampa (“I thought we did a robo-call to tell people about Schwarzkopf”—referring to the endorseme…

Barack "Kim" Obama: A Soviet mole?

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The "news" comes via Via Jim Henley. Follow all the links to Obama's Communist Mentor:
In his biography of Barack Obama, David Mendell writes about Obama's life as a "secret smoker" and how he "went to great lengths to conceal the habit." But what about Obama's secret political life? It turns out that Obama's childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was a communist.

In his books, Obama admits attending "socialist conferences" and coming into contact with Marxist literature. But he ridicules the charge of being a "hard-core academic Marxist," which was made by his colorful and outspoken 2004 U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Alan Keyes.

However, through Frank Marshall Davis, Obama had an admitted relationship with someone who was publicly identified as a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). The record shows that Obama was in Hawaii from 1971-1979, where, at some point in time, he developed a close relationship, almost l…

Obama Painting the White House in Black...

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...in a caricature that appeared in the Israeli daily, Ma'ariv, (get it? The Black House...) reflecting the growing "concerns" over whether his candidacy "is good for the Jews." Link to caricature here.

Obama and the Middle East

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Philip Weiss and Justin Raimondo have posted interesting stuff on the topic. I think that among members of the "organized" American-Jewish community there is a lot of concern about him, much more than has been exprssed publicly. It's not that he is regarded as a "Moslem." He is just someone whom they cannot take for granted and who could turn out to be another Carter (he'll to be make peace and be a "honest broker") or --God forbid! -- could become a "Jesse-Jackson Lite." (There has been a lot of tensions between Jews and blacks over Israel and other issues). But I don't think that AIPAC and by extension, the Israeli government want to be depicted as the force that has tried to sabotage chance of the first African-American figure in getting into the White House, especially since he is backed also by so many Democrats, including young voters. Hence the opposition to him among "Jewish leaders" tends to be low-key (reflected p…

Salad Bowl Politics

Business Times - 15 Feb 2008

Salad Bowl politics in the US

Hispanics are the new ingredient and they could decide who occupies the Oval Office come November

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

POLITICAL scientists who have followed the growing ethnic tensions in Kenya, in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election there, have described this development as a setback to the process of political development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Indeed, the dominant view among Western experts is that there is a close correlation between the ability of voters to disregard ethnic, religious and tribal identities when they elect their leaders and the progress towards political modernisation.

Hence, the tendency of your average academic to deride the 'Balkanisation' or 'Lebanonisation' of electoral politics, the kind that even a developed country like Belgium has been experiencing recently, and to celebrate the model of the Melting Pot that had traditionally been associated with A…

Are Sovereign Wealth Funds good for the Jews...?

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Interesting perspective by Philip Weiss.

McCain's real record on Iraq

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Posted by VoteVets.org PAC, a nonpartisan organization (via amb. Freeman).

Some demographic irony

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Conservative like Pat Buchanan have been warning that America is becoming "Mexamerica" as a result of the huge inflow of Hispanic immigrants into the U.S. Indeed, one could make an argument that opposition to illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America is one of the few issues over which the majority of Republican conservatives agree on -- while the support for open immigration is usually associated with the liberal and libertarian agendas. So it's kind of ironic (I think) that in the race between the two leading presidential contenders in the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, the more liberal and progressive candidate, who is also backed by the majority of African-Americans, might not win the nomination because his rival, Hillary Clinton, has been able to mobilize the support of Hispanics who have played a critical role in the primary in California and could determine the outcome in Texas primary. It's also an irony, that John McCain, the candidate who disagr…

The meaning of McCain...

...and why I'm worried

1. Republican in the White House in 2009: Why?
The election will be determined by white, middle-class baby-boomers (WMCBB’s) and not by Hispanics, blacks, young voters. The economy is not looking good but the Fed will continue to lower interest rates, providing more credit for home owners, credit-card holders, etc. until November. Meanwhile the rebates from Uncle Sam will compensate Harry & Louise for the rising energy prices. So class-warfare by the Democrats will probably not work with the WMCBB’s. Instead, against the backdrop of Iraq, China/Arabs buying U.S. companies, and sense of U.S. decline they’ll feel nostalgic for the good-old days of the 1950’s, early 1960’s when they grew up and America was so, so powerful and prosperous. McCain will emerge as a cross between Truman, Eisenhower and JFK, the kind of Alpha Male that has led America to National Greatness. Hillary will be portrayed as the, well, a weak, little Girlie while Obama=Osama. Will you tr…

more on Iran (and Syria and Israel and the U.S.)

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Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in a new piece in the New Yorker,A Strike in the Dark: What did Israel bomb in Syria? covers two issues that I've been writing about:U.S-Israe-Syria relationship and U.S.-Israel-Iran relationship. He speculates that last year's mysterious Israeli attack on a Syria installation was an Israeli rehearsal for a strike against Israel which, he implies, will probably receive a "yellow light" from the Bush Administration: There is evidence that the preĆ«mptive raid on Syria was also meant as a warning about—and a model for—a preĆ«mptive attack on Iran. When I visited Israel this winter, Iran was the overriding concern among political and defense officials I spoke to—not Syria. There was palpable anger toward Washington, in the wake of a National Intelligence Estimate that concluded, on behalf of the American intelligence community, that Iran is not now constructing a nuclear weapon. Many in Israel view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as an e…

Public Choice Theory

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I'm not sure whether anyone paid attention to this part of a New York Times story on the tensions between John McCain and the Republican conservatives:

Meanwhile, conservatives are growing increasingly “resigned” to the idea of a McCain nomination, said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, adding that among Washington activists, many of whom, like him, double as lobbyists, self-interest may also be a factor.

“There are people who don’t like the idea of a being off a campaign or being on the bad list if the guy gets into the White House,” Mr. Keene said. “This is a town in which 90 percent of the people balance their access and income on the one hand versus their principles on the other.”
It's actually refreshing to hear a prominent "activist" admit that he and his colleagues "double as lobbyists" and that they make their decisions on whether to support this or that candidate reflect quite frequently their "self-interest" which i…

Joining Dr. Paul's foreign policy team

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See here.

I could be related to Marie Antoinette...

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...and so could you.

This post is not about the primaries, the recession or Iraq, but about my recent discovery that I'm related to the great royal families of Europe (and, yes, so are you). I decided to take part in The Genographic Project (via National Geographic). The deal is: I contribute the DNA of either my Mom or my Dad (they send you a kit and you take a cheek brush sample, just like on CSI). They study your genetic markers in a laboratory and provide you information about your "deep ancestry," starting 60,000 ago when "we" left Africa where Mitochondrial Eve,the Mother of us All was born. I decided to first study my maternal lineage (mitochondrial DNA) and this week I got the results (online). So on my mother's side I belong to the Haplogroup H (mtDNA), subclade 16519. To make a very long story short: My grand-grand-grand....mother, that established my H branch on the Tree was probably born around 20,000 years ago somewhere in the valleys of the Do…

Economic stuff

Business Times - 06 Feb 2008


Americans preoccupied with fears of recession

Financial institutions in Wall Street remain very apprehensive about the many 'unknowns'

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

INVESTORS in Wall Street were biting their nails early last week as they waited for US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues to decide whether to slash short-term interest rates for the second time in eight days. But with much of the focus of official Washington centering on heated Democratic and Republicans races for the presidential nomination, not many officials and lawmakers were paying much attention to the deliberations that were taking place among the US central bank's policymakers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Indeed, when the Fed announced late on Wednesday that it was lowering its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, the news didn't receive as much play on the 24/7 television news programmes as did the decision by former New York m…

A pre-election attack on Iran remains a possibility

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See my article on the Nieman Watchdog.

The chutzpah of the "Isramericanli Likudnecons"

Much of the discussion in the MSM and online has focused on the role of the so-called Israel Lobby and the American neocons have played in influencing U.S. elite and public opinion to back their interventionist policy in the Middle East, including the support for Israel. But a recent post by Jim Lobe on Wall Street Journal Votes for Netanyahu should draw our attention to the way that Israeli-American-Likudnik-Necons (or for short: Isramericanli Likudnecons) – American neocons who relocated to Israel but seem to be spending more time publishing and commenting in the U.S. -- like historian Michael Oren are trying to exploit the influence of their political allies in the U.S. to affect political and electoral outcomes inside Israel. Many years ago, I published an article in Foreign Policy magazine America And Israel: Reforming Israel-Before It's Too Late in which I argued, among other things, that the President Bush I’s pressure on Israel to end its settlement policy could help weake…