ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [168] -- Zombie Attack!

[ Posted Friday, May 20th, 2011 – 16:46 PDT ]

Americans turn to their government for all sorts of advice, at times. Most especially during a crisis or natural disaster of epic proportions, citizens want solid information from experts in the government as to what they should and shouldn't do to keep their families safe. Forward-looking folks will even check out disaster-preparedness information before disaster actually strikes, in order to get their families through such an event, should worse come to worst. And now all Americans can breathe a huge sigh of relief because the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) just posted instructions so we can all adequately prepare for "Zombie Armageddon."

You just can't make this stuff up, people.

On a C.D.C. official blog, Ali S. Khan (Trekkies, you may insert your own "Wrath of Khan" joke here, if you must) wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how to prepare for a zombie attack. Or, as he refers to it in the helpful "A Brief History of Zombies" section, the result of your neighbors all contracting "Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome."

A word here about timing is necessary, I think. While the blog post is quite obviously meant as a semi-joke, wouldn't this have been more fun in, say, mid-October -- a few weeks before Hallowe'en? Instead of this week, with the "End of Days" prophesied for midafternoon this Saturday? I'm just saying....

Another possible sign of the End Times (at least for locals) was reported this week, as Rahm Emanuel was sworn in as mayor of Chicago. OK, sorry, that one was just pure snark.

There was plenty of earth-shattering news over in the Republican presidential nomination race, but we're going to save all of that for later in the column, so you'll just have to keep reading (this is a cheap ploy to retain your attention, I fully admit).

Moving on to the serious news, it seems that powerful men are pigs. But I have to refrain from commenting on either of the sex scandals this week in any major way. The International Monetary Fund head's encounter with a maid has nothing to do with his political power, and as far as I know the I.M.F. has never weighed in on the subject of sex in any way previously. Out here in California, former "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger's fathering of a love child with his maid also had nothing to do with his political positions as governor, so I feel it's up to the family to deal with this sad situation.

Some might accuse me of going easy on these guys, but I have a hard and fast rule for dealing with sex scandals caused by politicians -- hit them on their political hypocrisy, if it exists. If such hypocrisy does not exist, then it's not really germane to the discussion of politics. I try to hold to this standard, no matter whether the politician involved is Democratic, Republican, or French. If said politician has made lots of "family values" political hay over the course of their career, then they deserve getting publicly raked over the coals by political commentators such as myself. And especially if they've specifically made any "anti-gay" political hay -- and then are caught in a homosexual sex scandal -- then they are indeed valid targets for all the ridicule that can possibly be heaped upon them. If they haven't, then maybe they should resign, but there's no need for me to metaphorically twist the knife.

By this yardstick, Eliot Spitzer -- a Democrat -- was fair game (he made a name for himself busting prostitution rings, before being known as a prostitution ring's "Client Number Nine"). But Arnold Schwarzenegger -- a Republican -- is not. He never put himself forward as any sort of "family values" champion (he's lived in Hollywood a long time), and he was the most gay-friendly Republican governor this state (and possibly any state) has ever seen -- as evidenced by his refusal to defend Proposition 8 in court. So while Arnie may indeed be a pig in his personal life, he's not a politically-hypocritical pig.

Moving right along, it seems that the Republicans and Democrats have struck a deal to renew the PATRIOT ACT for another four years (sorry for the all-caps "shouting," but it's properly an acronym). The most amazing part of this is that it doesn't seem to even be news anymore, except in places like Glenn Greenwald's column. Both parties have apparently agreed to just shove this under the rug for a few more years, rather than have any sort of debate over the privacy issues. Where are all those intense constitutionalists when you need them, one wonders. Sigh.

Possibly (and possibly not) the biggest story of the week was President Obama's speech on the Middle East, but I'm still reviewing it and letting it percolate (I'm not an Israel/Palestine expert, I fully admit), so I'll be commenting upon it later, sorry about that.

For now, let's stick our arms out in front of us and shuffle slowly onwards to the awards and the talking points, much like the production credits of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with its cutout cartoon zombie (or other unidentified monster) lurching across the screen:

"Grrr! Arrrgh!"

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Which brings us to Newt Gingrich, of course.

Newt's political career can easily be painted as "the dead returning to life" -- and that was even true last week, before his presidential campaign kicked off (or kicked the bucket, take your choice). Newt has risen from the political graveyard more than once, so to all those who are currently writing him off as a non-starter, I'm not so sure Newt's presidential aspirations have been totally killed off this week. They could rise once again, that's all I'm saying (everyone was writing John McCain off, at this approximate point four years ago, for instance).

But, boy, did Newt live up to his reputation as "bomb-thrower" this week! But before we get to that aspect of the story, we first have to recognize the man who "bombed" Newt with some glitter a few days ago. Political activist Nick Espinosa threw a bunch of glitter on the Newtster at a book signing, while loudly proclaiming: "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!" For political theater that was both amusing and effective, Espinosa earns an Honorable Mention this week.

But the real Newt story of the week was what he said last Sunday on Meet The Press. Newt shocked and rocked the Republican world with his answer to a question about Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we know it (although Newt did not rock nor shock moderator David Gregory, who missed the impact of Newt's words entirely -- it was like you could almost hear the Whoosh! of the significance of Newt's answer flying far over Gregory's head... but I digress...). I wrote about the whole thing earlier this week in my own take on how the Republican Party has just made the Ryan budget their central acid test for the 2012 campaign.

Much to the glee of Democrats, I might add. Democrats, ever since Ryan introduced his bill, have been struggling to make it the key issue in the upcoming campaign. They hadn't gotten much traction in the media on doing so, until Newt called it radical "right-wing social engineering."

In fact, Democrats are so happy about the situation, the Senate Democratic election effort launched a webpage to personally thank Newt Gingrich.

Not to be outdone, the Democratic National Committee rolled out a new web ad with the Gingrich video clip. This, despite Newt's later Orwellian response to the Republican backlash: "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood." Um, OK, Newt. Sure thing.

The best headline of the week, however, comes from "The Plum Line" blog at the Washington Post site: "Schumer: You’re damn right we’ll use Gingrich’s criticism of Ryan against the GOP."

For once, it seems Democrats are not only on the same page, but are actually striking while the iron is hot. Amazing, isn't it? Saving Medicare was an issue that Democrats dearly wanted to be the main focus of the upcoming campaign season, and now Newt Gingrich -- and the Republicans who ripped into him -- have all but guaranteed that this will be so. But Democrats didn't just sit on their hands and watch it happen, they've actually entered the fray to stake out their own position. For such rare immediate response to a political fracas within the other party, Democrats should be congratulated and encouraged to do more of the same.

Which is why we're awarding the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Way to go! Let's get out in front of these things as they happen, rather than just sitting back and spectating!

[Congratulate Senator Charles Schumer on his Senate contact page, the Democratic National Committee on their official contact page, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on their official contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We have three Democratic senators who have earned themselves a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Begich of Alaska. All three voted against a bill this week which would have stripped the outrageously generous tax subsidies from the five biggest oil companies. The less said about this vote, the better.

But the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is none other than Barack Obama, who faced a deadline today which was totally ignored -- a deadline laid out in the War Powers Act of 1973. Today marks 60 days since we began bombing Libya. The White House is supposed to, before this deadline is met, gain the approval of Congress for keeping the American military engaged in a foreign country. President Obama chose to not even make such a request of Congress.

It's kind of an esoteric issue (Kent Greenfield at the Huffington Post has a good write-up of the details), since the War Powers Act has always been a bone of contention between the White House and Congress -- and has never been sufficiently tested in the courts. Presidents -- both Republicans and Democrats -- have long maintained that the Act is an unconstitutional encroachment upon the Executive Branch's authority. Congress has long maintained that it is the law of the land and must be followed.

This is a power struggle between the branches -- not between the political parties. But Democrats frequently howl when Republican presidents bend or outright ignore any provision within the War Powers Act. It would be the sheerest hypocrisy for these same Democrats to give President Obama a pass on such criticism, merely on the grounds that he is of their party.

Obama's avoiding a congressional fight over Libya is probably good politics for him. But it is also a power grab (or, at the very least, a recurring power struggle) by the White House and the Executive Branch. Which is why we're awarding him the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week for his non-action on the issue.

Honestly ask yourself: if George W. Bush did the same thing, what would you be saying now about it?

[Contact President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 168 (5/20/11)

Well, to paraphrase Richard Nixon, we simply don't have Donald Trump to kick around any more. Sigh.

Thankfully, we still have Newt Gingrich. And Newtie is quite likely to prove himself the "gift that keeps on giving" for Democrats, as the campaign rolls onward.

Here are this week's talking points for Democrats to use, whether during a Sunday morning political interview, or just around the watercooler at work. They're going to be a little Newt-heavy this week, I warn you in advance. But you've got to strike while the iron is hot, folks!

 

1
   Radical right-wing social engineering

This one doesn't just "write itself," it has in fact already been written by Newt Gingrich.

"Newt Gingrich committed what is known as a 'Washington gaffe' this week -- by inadvertently stating the truth. No wonder he's been trying to walk his words back ever since, as he's been attacked by the Republicans over stating what most Americans believe. The Paul Ryan budget's plans for privatizing and voucherizing Medicare were called by Newt last week, quote, right-wing social engineering, unquote, which he said was, quote, too big a jump. Newt also said he'd be, quote, against a conservative imposing radical change, unquote, as he came out against the Ryan Medicare plan. Republicans have since forced Newt into flip-flopping and desperately trying to take back his words, in the hopes that he hasn't scared away all the big donors for his presidential run. But you know what? Newt was right -- the Ryan plan is radical. It is right-wing. And it is too big a jump."

 

2
   Oh, so Newt was lying?

Any Democrat being interviewed next to a Republican should immediately expect the Republican to remind us all that Newt said: "Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood." So be prepared with a very simple comeback.

"Oh, so what you're saying is that Gingrich was just lying when he said that last week? This wasn't some sort of slip of the tongue, Newt very cogently laid out why he was against the Ryan plan. For him to flip-flop a few days later is hypocritical enough, but either way you slice it, Newt was either lying last Sunday or he is lying now about what he really feels about the Ryan plan. You simply can't have it both ways. So was he lying then, or is he lying now?"

 

3
   Kills Medicare as we know it

This is, quite possibly, the most potent phrase to use against the Ryan budget. So you should repeat it as often as you possibly can, since it is the absolute truth in a very short and memorable phrase -- the quintessential talking point, in other words.

"Last Sunday, Newt Gingrich admitted what most Americans have already figured out about Paul Ryan's budget -- it kills Medicare as we know it. That's why Newt called it 'radical' and 'right-wing social engineering.' When Gingrich was Speaker of the House, he learned the lesson of how much Americans love Medicare the hard way. Most Republicans around today apparently haven't yet learned this lesson. Democrats will fight this radical Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it, and Republicans are making it the centerpiece of their campaign. That's all the voters need to know, really."

 

4
   A six-figure Tiffany's bill?

So much for that "man of the people" sort of thing....

"It was reported this week that Newt Gingrich owes Tiffany's between a quarter-million and a half-million dollars. That's a lot of diamonds, Mister Gingrich. I'm not sure how you square that sort of elitism with claiming to be a 'man of the people.' I don't personally know many average Americans who owe six figures to an expensive jeweler, do you? It's going to be a hard thing for Newt to explain out on the campaign trail to Joe and Jane Voter, that's my guess anyways. So far, he's refused to answer any questions about it to the media, but I would bet the Republican primary voters have their own questions -- and Newt is going to have to answer them, sooner or later."

 

5
   Romney moneybomb

This sort of thing is terrifying all of the Republicans who don't back Romney, so why not remind everyone of the fact?

"I notice that in all the news about Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich this week, Mitt Romney quietly raised over ten million dollars in a one-day fundraising effort. Much as many Republicans would like to ignore him, Romney is proving that he truly is the frontrunner in the Republican race at this point."

 

6
   Ryan budget Senate vote -- what are you scared of?

This one hasn't come to a boil yet, but should do so next week, if Harry Reid follows through on his promise to hold a vote before the Memorial Day break. So Democrats might as well start taunting Republicans on it now, especially after the whole Newt Gingrich brouhaha.

"Unlike most of the Republican presidential candidates, the Republicans in the Senate will soon be able to cast a vote for the Ryan budget themselves. Since the party line now seems to be: "Support the Ryan budget -- or else!" it will be interesting to see how many Republican senators actually vote for it. Right now, they seem terrified of even holding this vote. My response is: What are you scared of, Republicans? Your party has all but declared that not supporting the Ryan budget is unacceptable behavior for Republicans, so you'd think they'd be eager to publicly show their support, wouldn't you? Instead, they are running scared, and trying to avoid having to vote on it."

 

7
   Get your own Obama birth certificate!

I saved the best one for last. Instead of letting this issue die a natural death, the Obama campaign team has decided to give it a second life. But instead of some sort of zombie-like existence, it has been revived as sheer political humor. Which, considering the issue, is probably the correct thing to do, at this point. [Note: for ethical and technical reasons, I refuse to link to candidate campaign sites in this column. You'll have to read the Salon story yourself, and follow the links there, if you'd like to place an order.]

"I noticed that the Obama campaign team is now offering mugs and T-shirts with the full Obama birth certificate printed on them. If you know any 'birthers' personally, you can now buy them their own mug or T-shirt which disproves their conspiracy theory. As an Obama campaign spokesperson put it: 'The only thing we can do is laugh at it, and make sure as many other people as possible are in on the joke.' I couldn't have put it better, myself."

 

-- Chris Weigant

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank
Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress

 

23 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [168] -- Zombie Attack!”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Possibly (and possibly not) the biggest story of the week was President Obama's speech on the Middle East, but I'm still reviewing it and letting it percolate (I'm not an Israel/Palestine expert, I fully admit), so I'll be commenting upon it later, sorry about that.

    I am eagerly awaiting THAT discussion!! :D

    Perhaps, instead of siding with the Palestinians, Obama should have asked the Palestinians why is it that it has been 15 years and the UN *STILL* can't agree on a definition of terrorism...

    Further, I will agree that every American who supports the Palestinians "right" of return has a valid point..

    ONLY...

    Only when those same Americans give up their homes, their property and all their possessions to American Indians....

    Anything less is complete, blatant and utter hypocrisy..

    Honestly ask yourself: if George W. Bush did the same thing, what would you be saying now about it?

    Exactly!!

    The Left would be screaming to high heaven and everyone here knows it! :D

    Libya is Obama's Iraq...

    "I noticed that the Obama campaign team is now offering mugs and T-shirts with the full Obama birth certificate printed on them. If you know any 'birthers' personally, you can now buy them their own mug or T-shirt which disproves their conspiracy theory. As an Obama campaign spokesperson put it: 'The only thing we can do is laugh at it, and make sure as many other people as possible are in on the joke.' I couldn't have put it better, myself."

    We're Americans. We love to gloat... It's who we are... :D

    Ni Ni :D

    Michale.....

  2. [2] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    1) Everyone should zombie-proof their home. No matter where I am in my house, I am never more than six feet from a weapon that can be used to destroy a zombie's brainpan. But I'm disappointed that the CDC has missed one of the primary reservoirs of zombie outbreaks: HEALTH CARE TOWN HALLS. (Rimshot)

    2) Newt is toast. How do I know this? Not a single Republican I've talked to in the last year has mentioned his name in a conversation about presidential favorites, and many have said they despise him.

    3) The War Powers Resolution of 1973 isn't the entire body of law applicable to the Libyan conflict. The problem is that our Constitution was written in a time before technology and communications made it possible to start a full-blown war on Saturday night at 3 AM; we've needed to update this since December 7, 1941 -- and still haven't. I'm also not convinced Congress makes better decisions than the president. Look at Bush, who had a Congressional authorization (but not an Arab League vote, much less a UN Security Council decision on Article 42).

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Libya is Obama's Iraq

    Whoever said that, and meant it, deserves the award for most asinine comment of the day, if not of the last few hours.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Somehow, I knew you'd like that Bush reference. But hey, fair's fair. Surprised you didn't also comment on the sex scandal thing either, as I gave a Republican some slack on that one.

    :-)

    As for the bragging, well, you may be right, but Democrats normally aren't that good at this sort of thing.

    Osborne -

    Best comment on the zombie thing I've heard is that the CDC forgot to add specifics about "go for the head, it's the only way to kill them!" Heh.

    Been meaning to say I've been enjoying your columns over on Osborne Ink this week, too, but been too busy to comment.

    :-)

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Whoever said that, and meant it, deserves the award for most asinine comment of the day, if not of the last few hours.

    Don't beat around the bush, Liz. Tell us how you really feel! :D

    But you are correct.. There ARE dissimilarities between Bush's Iraq and Obama's Libya..

    Bush would have NEVER snubbed Congress and ignore the War Powers Act like Obama has...

    And the Left (CW excepted, of course) and many on the Right, would have never let Bush get away with the arrogance and disdain that Obama has shown towards Congress.....

    “Since April 4 U.S. participation has consisted of: (1) non-kinetic support to the NATO-led operation, including intelligence, logistical support, and search and rescue assistance; (2) aircraft that have assisted in the suppression and destruction of air defenses in support of the no-fly zone; and (3) since April 23, precision strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles against a limited set of clearly defined targets in support of the NATO-led coalition's efforts.”
    -President Barack Obama on why he has ignored the War Powers Act

    Talk about tap-dancing! Jeeeezuus

    Here's the facts. US Forces are deployed in a combat TOP for sustained, specific and ongoing military operations.. That comes under the purview of the War Power Act..

    Further, the Obama Administration actually CITED the War Powers Act to justify the Libya Campaign at the start..

    NOW that the WPA is "inconvenient", the Obama Administration wants to ignore it.

    Some have cited the UN resolutions as why Obama can ignore the WPA.. However, that's a completely illogical and irrational response, not to mention COMPLETELY bogus..

    The UN Charter specifically states that all countries MUST approve actions based on UN Resolutions thru their respective legislative bodies.

    CW is dead on ballz accurate with the MDDOTW award.. However, I think the award should be expanded to ALL Democrats because of the blatant hypocrisy shown.

    This latest episode simply provides more proof that the so-called "anti-war" elements of the Left weren't really "anti-war", they were just "anti-Bush"...

    You can pooh-pooh away the Iraq/Libya connection, but the similarities are simply too numerous to ignore.. And the Dissimilarities simply put the Obama Administration in a worse light than the Bush Administration..

    CW,

    Surprised you didn't also comment on the sex scandal thing either, as I gave a Republican some slack on that one.

    No need.. You summed it up perfectly.. I completely agree... It's the hypocrisy...

    As for the bragging, well, you may be right, but Democrats normally aren't that good at this sort of thing.

    Oh they're good at it.. Obama has brought narcissism to new heights... Check on some of his speeches about Bin Laden and see how many times he says "I", "ME" and other references to himself... :D

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    For better or worse, I've developed a certain and hardened intolerance for the kind of utter nonsense that would lead anyone to say that "Libya is Obama's Iraq."

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, the solution to the Israel/Palestine situation is really easy...

    A 3-step process..

    If we survive the end of the world, I'll pass it on.. :D

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, I guess it's safe to say the world is NOT going to end.....

    I feel like DeadMeat in HOT SHOTS... :D

    Anyways, here's my 3 step solution...

    1. Palestinians stop the terrorism.

    2. Palestinians acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

    3. Egypt cedes all control of the Sinai and that becomes Palestine. Israel takes the lead in a massive terraforming project of the Sinai, assisted by Syria and Jordan and the United States.

    Now, think about it... The new Palestine would have THREE long coastlines that could be developed for ocean front tourism. Egypt and Palestine would administer the Suez Canal jointly and all funds from the operation of the Suez would be shared equally..

    Access to the Holy Sites of Jeruselum could be arranged, assuming that Palestinians obeyed the first two steps...

    I know, I know.. There is a butt-load of nationalistic reasons why this would never work.. Predominant of which, Egypt would not want to give up the Sinai nor share control of the Suez..

    But, ya got to admit.. It does have it's benefits... :D

    Anyways, that's my plan for peace in our time....

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Anyways, that's my plan for peace in our time....

    my proposal would be a israel-palestine confederacy. i would take incremental steps toward semi-unification:

    Step 1: the PA temporarily gives up gaza and its screwy non-contiguous land, and in exchange israel deports every single settler in the west bank. hamas leaders can either join in the peace process and accept israel's legitimacy, or go to jail.

    Step 2: a confederate palestinian state is declared in the west bank. any israeli arab who wishes to vote in the P.A. election may do so. Any settler who wishes to move back there must follow a building code that the P.A. sets.

    Step 3: the 1967 lines are declared to be the "symbolic" border between states. A schedule is set for gradually making the real borders more open, but only under the condition that there are no outbreaks of violence. both sides mutually set investigation procedures and VERY harsh punishments for anyone who plans or engages in a sectarian attack.

    Step 4: the goal is declared that after a set number of years of normal relations without armed conflict, members of either confederate state will be free to reside in (but not vote in or become a citizen of) the other.

    perhaps it's a bit idealistic, but that's the best solution i can come up with. thoughts?

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I think your plan puts too much on Israel.

    There are almost half a million Israelis in the West Bank.. Yea, I know.. How many millions of Palestinians were displaced..

    But the reality is, the Palestinians are a conquered people. Israel won the war. A war not of their choosing, I might add...

    The onus of responsibility SHOULD be on the war-makers.. In this case, Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Jordan..

    It's up to THEM to accommodate Israel, not the other way around.

    To put your plan in a different context, it would be as if we gave Florida back to the Seminoles (the tribe, not the football team.. :D) and forced relocated every Florida resident to other states..

    I don't WANT to move! :D

    Michale.....

  11. [11] 
    dsws wrote:

    The War Powers Resolution says (1) Congress shall not have the power to authorize military actions by general measures but only by authorizing specific actions, and (2) the Senate shall not have the power to ratify treaties committing the United States to any military actions. This is unconstitutional on its face. Only a constitutional amendment can destroy powers of Congress.

    The North Atlantic Treaty, its protocols, and the relevant statutes are valid. If Congress wanted to abrogate them, it could have. But it cannot (retroactively, in the case of the treaty itself) deny itself the power to enact them.

    The question is whether they authorize US participation in the NATO intervention in the Libyan civil war. No one making noise about the Resolution seems to be addressing it.

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    Honestly ask yourself: if George W. Bush did the same thing, what would you be saying now about it?

    If I recall correctly, when Bush started wars with Congressional authorization, I said that Congress shouldn't have authorized it. I don't think I decided that they hadn't. Of course, that was starting wars whereas this is intervention in a pre-existing war.

    There's too much deference to the executive branch on foreign policy. Some authorization should be revoked. But it should actually be revoked, not just denied. Congress should pass declarations of war when we go to war. Congress should specifically restrict what the US can do as part of NATO actions in the absence of a declaration of war. The UCMJ should routinely impose requirements that various specific things can be done only under a declaration of war. And so on. But Congress hasn't done any of those things.

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    you attributed my plan to david? most of israel wouldn't mind making the settlers move. the rest of the israeli population tends to view the settlers as crazies who are part of the problem. as far as i'm concerned, getting rid of hamas and the west bank settlements would kill two birds with one stone.

    other than jerusalem, the main sticking point in negotiations is the palestinian desire for freedom of movement versus the need to protect and maintain israel as a jewish state. at least in theory, confederacy could resolve that conflict. after years of peaceful relations, members of either confederate state would become free to reside in the other, but not vote or become a citizen.

    ~joshua

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale and joshua,

    You guys are talking as if your plans are basedu upon anything remotely resembling reality. I really hate to bust your bubbles but they are not.

    There are two options for Israel and the Palestinians:

    (1)) a two-state solution, the parameters of which are quite well known; time is quickly running out for this solution, however, if it's not too late already;

    (2) a one-state solution which, in time, will result in either an 'apartheid-type' Jewish state in which a minority population rules over a majority or a democratic Israel that ceases to be a Jewish state.

    The best option is, of course, the two-state solution. Unfortunately, neither side in this affair have, over the years, demonstrated that they are capable of providing the kind of leadership that would be required to make this happen.

    Will such leadership be shown now? Not until both sides understand that they have nothing to gain in the long run from sticking like glue to the status quo.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You guys are talking as if your plans are based upon anything remotely resembling reality. I really hate to bust your bubbles but they are not.

    liz,

    with all due respect, i'm under no illusions about my plan being feasible in real life. my bubble is not burst, we're just pie-in-the-sky tossing ideas around. at the moment, there probably is no plan of any kind that would be feasible. that's just the nature of the conflict.

    the end-game i proposed was a confederation, which is sort-of halfway between one state and two. in theory, i really don't think that's such a bad idea - a jewish state and an arab state, where peace leads to fluid borders and free residency. as to how one would eventually get there, who knows.

    ~joshua

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just walked in the door and have a ton of things to do..

    I just wanted to check in and apologize profusely for thinking that Joshua's post was from David.. I have no clue WHAT I was thinking... Sorry about that..

    I'll chime in on the responses once my head clears... :D

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can hardly wait, Michale ...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, let's see if we can address this..

    The problem with ya'alls plans (Liz and Joshua) is that it punishes Israel and Israel alone..

    It gives the Palestinians everything they want and Syria, Jordan and Egypt get off scot free....

    Why??

    What exactly is Israel guilty of that they would deserve such punishment??

    All Israel is guilty of is getting attacked by three nations and kicking their collective asses six ways from Sunday.

    That is ALL Israel is guilty of...

    To do what you suggest is akin to the British coming over to the US in 1870 and getting back their territory while US leaders grovel and apologize that the US kicked the Brit's arses 40 or 50 years ago..

    I really don't understand why some in the US are so hellbent to give Israel to the Palestinians...

    Especially considering our own history in the area of displacing native populations...

    Liz,

    Oh I know that my plan has less than a snowball's chance in hell of being implemented..

    But the biggest thing going for my plan is that it is fair..

    It punishes those that caused the problem.. As I said above, the war-makers..

    Regardless of the pie-in-the-sky plans here, one thing is clear.

    Before ANY negotiations are possible, before ANY settlements are closed or moved, before ANY thoughts of a Palestine state is entertained....

    The terrorism against Israel must stop...

    Asking Israel to do ANYTHING before that happens is just so unfair, it's mind-boggling...

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    if anyone cared about fairness, there would never have been wars or terrorism in the first place. but i think you're operating under a fallacy where the settlements are concerned. the majority of israelis are not settlers and really couldn't care less about the settlements. therefore removing them would not be much of a sacrifice, and ending the dominance of terrorist hamas in gaza would be well worth it.

    all most of israel wants is for the rocket attacks and suicide bombings to permanently end. as long as the palestinians have nothing to live for beyond israel's destruction, we will never see an end to the attacks. therefore, it is in everyone's best interests to have some sort of incentive for the arabs to create a society that is productive rather than destructive. you don't like the idea of holding out a the carrot of open borders once the violence has long ended? i have yet to hear any better ideas...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    if anyone cared about fairness, there would never have been wars or terrorism in the first place. but i think you're operating under a fallacy where the settlements are concerned. the majority of israelis are not settlers and really couldn't care less about the settlements. therefore removing them would not be much of a sacrifice, and ending the dominance of terrorist hamas in gaza would be well worth it.

    While the settlers may be viewed as crazy by mainstream Israelis, they are still head and shoulders above what mainstream Israelis think about Palestinian terrorists..

    As to ending the dominance of terrorism, it has been amply proven that Israel giving up land actually INCREASES terrorist attacks...

    you don't like the idea of holding out a the carrot of open borders once the violence has long ended? i have yet to hear any better ideas...

    Israel has always used the carrot first..

    Everything that the Palestinians are demanding now (except for Israel's suicide.. :/) had been offered to them in the past..

    But, as is their forte, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity...

    Palestinians have been offered every sort of financial, economic and nationalistic incentive imaginable to end the violence...

    But the ONLY thing that the majority of Palestinians want is something that they will never EVER get.

    The destruction of Israel...

    And now, with Hamas actually part of the Palestinian government again, the prospect for peace in the region has reached sub-zero possibilities.

    Michale....

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But the ONLY thing that the majority of Palestinians want is something that they will never EVER get.

    i'm not so sure that single-minded goal still holds a majority the way it did, or if so it's a slimmer majority than before. that being the case, the only rational way of permanently resolving the conflict is to win more people over. if the crazed "all-or-nothing" crowd become a minority among the palestinians like they are among the israelis, then they'll be more able to negotiate. there was substantial progress along those lines in the 1990's, so we know it's possible.

    this past decade things have taken a step back, with mainstream israelis disillusioned about the prospects for success. but it's still not beyond hope. for all the missed opportunities of the past, all it takes is once.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    i'm not so sure that single-minded goal still holds a majority the way it did, or if so it's a slimmer majority than before.

    Consider the reconciliation pact between Fatah and Hamas, I would say the opposite is true.

    MORE Palestinians are leaning towards Hamas than Fatah..

    It's becoming clear that the only "peace" that will work is an imposed "peace"...

    But that's not workable either..

    "Those who hate and fight must end it themselves. Or else it is never really ended."
    Commander Spock, STAR TREK, Day Of The Dove

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting take...

    "For now, the most important contribution President Obama can make to peace is not by predetermining borders but by signaling Palestinians they must choose between genocidal Hamas or America’s support for a future state.

    It's also time to tell the Palestinians this inconvenient truth: There can be no peace until they realize that the real “Naqba” or Catastrophe has been their own failure to reject Arab leaders who continue to offer the Palestinian people a future built on little else than hatred of their Jewish neighbors.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/05/23/arab-spring-facebook-obama-netanyahu-faceoff-whats-president/

    I doubt anyone here would disagree....

    Michale.....

Comments for this article are closed.
[Powered by WordPress]