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Friday Talking Points [388] -- Crisp Bee Urine, And Other Fun Anagrams

[ Posted Friday, April 22nd, 2016 – 16:58 PDT ]

You have to have at least a little bit of pity these days for the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. He seems like one of those guys in a horror flick who keeps trying to convince everyone that the monster isn't real, and that everything can be explained by rational means... right up until the monster unexpectedly (for maximum shock value) rips his head clean off, in graphic 3D. The guy who has persevered in keeping his little group of teenyboppers together and somewhat sane ("If we can just get out to the barn and fire up that Model T/snowmobile/hot air balloon/mine cart/tractor... we can make it out of here to safety!"), who eventually sacrifices himself (in some horrific way) so that the rest of the group of worthless highschoolers can have a chance at survival. You know the guy, right?

Well, Reince is now apparently teetering on the edge of losing it himself. Last week, on one of the Sunday morning shows, Reince vowed that he wasn't anywhere near "pouring Baileys in my cereal," which (as Stephen Colbert pointed out last night) seems awfully specific for something that he's swearing he hasn't even contemplated.

Colbert also helpfully pointed out that "Reince Priebus" is an anagram for "crisp bee urine," which we have to say tops our own favorite alphabetical fun with his name (which we do try to mention whenever his name pops up). Who would have thought that anything could be funnier than the fact that, without vowels, his name becomes: "RNC PR BS" -- which could indeed also be a very foreshortened version of his job description. But there it is. Once you've heard a phrase like "crisp bee urine," it's kind of hard to forget it.

Crisp bee urine aside (which has to join the list of "phrases we never thought we'd type in a million billion years"), Reince certainly does deserve a wee bit of pity these days. He faces two rather grim outcomes for his party's presidential contest: either Donald Trump drags the entire Republican Party down in the November elections, or Ted Cruz drags the entire Republican Party down in the November elections. As Lindsey Graham notably put it a few weeks earlier: "Whether it's death by being shot or poisoning, does it really matter?" This charming metaphor was advanced this week by none other than GOP House member Peter King, who explained what he'd do if Ted Cruz won his party's nomination: "I think I'll take cyanide." And this is what prominent Republicans are saying about their two presidential frontrunners!

The chances of Cruz winning the nomination (and King having to take a lethal poison rather than vote for him in November) got a lot smaller this week, as New York Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump. His victory was (of course) huge. Trump proved once again that his supporters will forgive pretty much anything he says, after he spoke -- in New York, mind you -- of the "tragedy of 7/11." Make your own Slurpee joke, we suppose. By winning the Empire State so handily, Trump is now a lot closer to the goal of 1,237 delegates (although we noted earlier this week that the GOP "magic number" for Trump might be a bit lower than that). The "Stop Trump" or "Never Trump" crowd is now looking at Indiana as its final battleground, since Trump seems poised to have a very good night on the Atlantic seaboard next Tuesday, too.

Trump's victory speech was gushed over by the entire political punditry, because (they all breathlessly noted) Trump didn't call anyone names, and actually referred to "Senator Cruz" (rather than "Lyin' Ted"). "It's Donald Trump 2.0!" the press corps announced (whilst swooning onto their fainting couches). We don't believe this nonsense for a second. Sure, you can teach Trump to speak from prepared remarks (and even use a TelePrompTer); but put him up on a debate stage next to Hillary Clinton and the most likely outcome is a manly resurgence of Trump 1.0, complete with name-calling and misogyny and all the rest of his core persona. He won't be able to help himself -- that's our guess, in any case.

Ted Cruz, not to be outdone on Tuesday, gave what certainly sounded like a "victory" speech, after getting absolutely crushed in New York. After winning not a single delegate and less than 15 percent of the vote, Cruz was out there assuming the mantle of Ronald Reagan -- and even throwing in J.F.K. for good measure. If he ever gets elected president, they'll have to reinforce the foundation of the White House, to assure that bearing the weight of Cruz's massive, massive ego won't do permanent damage to the building.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton also had a good night in New York, but we'll address that further in the awards section. Team Clinton has to be very careful right about now, though, in all their calls for Bernie Sanders to somehow start treating Hillary nicer on the campaign trail -- because while not everyone currently remembers the bitter end of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, if the cries for Bernie to tone it down continue, the pundits are indeed going to dig up some quotes from Hillary, circa exactly eight years ago. As we've mentioned previously, the one thing Hillary Clinton can never do during the primary season is to call for Bernie Sanders to drop out. After all, he's merely following in her footsteps.

What with all the presidential campaign news as a distraction, Paul Ryan is not in the news nearly as much as he should be. Now, "Paul Ryan" doesn't have nearly enough letters to make funny anagrams, but if you begin with his full name (Paul Davis Ryan), you get a few gems, such as "airy vandal pus," "aid puny larvas," and our favorite by far, "privy sauna lad." We have no idea why that last one seems so fitting, but from now on whenever we see Ryan in the news, we will likely immediately think: "What is the privy sauna lad up to these days?" While we bring up Ryan here in the introduction solely so we can use phrases like "airy vandal pus," we'll have a much more complete rundown of why he's (so far) been just as miserable a failure as John Boehner at getting anything done in the House of Representatives, which will appear later in the talking points section.

To be scrupulously fair to Ryan and Priebus, we ran our own name through the anagram-maker. A few downright oddities popped up ("chewing is art," "hi swinger cat," and "cashew in grit"), as well as one that was completely odious ("hewing racist"), and one we sincerely hope nobody has ever thought after reading these columns ("writing aches"). So make of that what you will, in the interests of fair play.

In non-anagram news, the United Nations is having a historic meeting on drug policy, which was almost completely ignored by the American media. Building up to this meeting, last week we noted the formation of the group "Doctors For Cannabis Regulation," with former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders as a founder, and this week a rather extraordinary letter was released. The Washington Post had the story:

The global war on drugs has proven "disastrous" and "humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century's." So say more than 1,000 world leaders, including 27 members of the House of Representatives and six U.S. senators, in a letter to the United Nations ahead of a major international drug summit happening this week.

The letters signatories also include 24 current and former law enforcement officials, 37 members of the clergy, more than 230 health and medical professionals, and a colorful slate of celebrities, athletes and business leaders, including DJ Khaled, Michael Douglas, Tom Brady and Warren Buffett. The two Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have also signed on to the letter.

"The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights," the letter states. "Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values."

You'd think that sort of thing would be a little more newsworthy (especially with Bernie and Hillary signing on to it), but it fell into the black hole of the rest of the non-coverage of the drug summit from America's broadcast news. Pretty much par for the course, really. Oh, which reminds us, we ran down all the presidential candidates' positions on marijuana policy earlier this week, to coincide with 4/20. Take a look, as there are some surprises there.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Hillary Clinton didn't have as huge a night in New York as Donald Trump, but it was big enough to easily win her the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Hillary outperformed her polling, and beat Bernie Sanders by an impressive 16 points on Tuesday. While Sanders took pretty much all the rural counties, Clinton's strength in the urban areas easily put her on top.

Of course, winning your home state is almost expected in primary politics. If she hadn't won, it would have been very troublesome for the Clinton campaign (Bernie won Vermont by a whopping 72 points, 86-14, for comparison). But even though Bernie had built up a lot of momentum heading into New York, he failed not only to win the state but also to even make the margin close. The Sanders campaign was all ready to argue that it was "almost a tie" if Bernie had gotten within single digits, but they couldn't even make this argument when the votes were counted.

Now, as we said before, Bernie certainly has the right to take his campaign all the way to the end. But after New York, the dream of him somehow emerging with more delegates than Hillary will remain precisely that: a dream. Clinton didn't secure the nomination by winning New York, but she is now clearly the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. In fact, she could lose every single state from this point on and still win the nomination by only picking up a small percentage of the remaining delegates (the Democrats don't have any "winner takes all" states).

That is what her New York win did for her, and that's pretty impressive. Bernie Sanders fell from "longshot" to "no realistic chance" this week. This has saddened many of Bernie's supporters, but it was always the most likely outcome. Bernie Sanders is still going to have a huge influence on the Democratic Party platform and on Hillary Clinton's campaign promises. That's not going to go away. Neither is Bernie.

But by winning New York by such a comfortable margin, Hillary Clinton has now almost wrapped up the Democratic nomination. Next week, she's going to move even closer to that goal, as she's polling well among almost all the states that will vote next Tuesday. She won't get over the "magic number" of delegates for a while, but at this point it is almost a foregone conclusion. For achieving this status in her home state this week, Hillary Clinton is easily our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[We have a blanket policy of not providing links to campaign sites, and Hillary Clinton is technically a private citizen at this point, so you'll have to look up her contact information yourself, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

No prominent Democrat seriously annoyed us this week, so there will be no Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award handed out.

We suppose a case could be made to give it to Bernie Sanders, because his New York loss certainly disappointed millions, but this would seem too much like kicking him when he's down, so we refuse to pile on. Bernie himself didn't do anything disappointing, even if the vote count was, to Bernie supporters.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 388 (4/22/16)

And now, as promised, we're going to pile on Paul Ryan, because he certainly does deserve it. We went into detail on this subject yesterday, so if you'd like to see a less-snarky version, you can check that out.

But since it is Friday, we are fully opening the snark spigot. The first five talking points this week all are meant to highlight the fact that Paul Ryan is getting precious little done in the House of Representatives. In fact, the only time he's been in the news media's spotlight of late was when he formally made an announcement turning down a possible desperation move at the Republican convention to nominate him.

Because most of the media has been giving Ryan's failures such a free pass, we thought it was time for some Democrats to start pointing it out -- because the failures are piling up, and it doesn't seem likely that Ryan will be breaking the legislative logjam any time soon. So point it out!

And then at the end of the talking points, we've got two rather amusing statements from the non-Trump Republican candidates, just because.

 

1
   Ryan not living up to his billing

Paul Ryan's chances of success were always more than a bit dubious, but as time goes on he's proving incapable of making good on any of the things he promised he'd achieve as speaker. Now's a dandy time to shine a spotlight on these failures, in fact.

"Paul Ryan was supposed to be the savior of the Republican Party -- remember that? He was supposed to be the only person with the superhuman skills required to get the House Republicans to agree on anything (other than 'Obamacare bad!' of course). When he took over the speaker's gavel from the ousted John Boehner, he was going to turn things around and get the Tea Partiers on board with a broad new Republican agenda that would be such a shining monument to conservatism that all Republican office-seekers this election would be able to proudly run on a concrete and positive agenda. This agenda was supposed to be so wildly better than the Democrats' ideas that it would serve as a ready-made campaign platform for all Republicans running for office. Oh, and in the midst of all this, the House was going to return to 'regular order' and pass their budget bills on time. So far, not only has none of this happened, it now appears that none of it is likely to happen at any time before the election. Paul Ryan is going to be just as much of a failure as John Boehner, because (as an unnamed Republican admitted to Politico), House Republicans are, and I quote, 'unwhippable and unleadable.' This same Republican also admitted: 'Ryan is as talented as you can be: There's nobody better. But even he can't do anything. Who could?' When even Republicans are admitting things like this, the chance that the House will get anything at all done this year is roughly zero."

 

2
   Where's your budget, Paul?

So much for regular order....

"Hey, Paul, where's your budget? You were going to usher in a new era of Republicans being fiscally responsible enough to get budgets passed on time, remember? Well, the deadline for the budget framework bill was last week, and you just missed it. You couldn't get the Tea Partiers to agree -- the same exact problem John Boehner repeatedly had. You refused to work across the aisle and bring Democrats on board to pass a budget bill, so you utterly failed to prove to America that Republicans could actually govern in an adult fashion. Now there's talk of -- perhaps -- Republicans passing the budget bill in May. Well, Paul, I'm not exactly holding my breath, if you know what I mean."

 

3
   Party of politically treacherous ideas?

The whole Washington Post article which provided these quotes and facts is worth reading, to see how low Ryan is now trying to set the bar for his agenda.

"Paul Ryan has been promising for months now that he can prove that the Republican Party is the true 'party of ideas.' He quite accurately noted that while Democrats have a solid agenda for the future of America, Republicans had sunk to nothing more than sheer obstructionism -- the party of 'no.' They were notably against everything President Obama and the Democrats wanted to do, but Republicans didn't seem to be for much of anything anymore. Ryan was going to change all of that, and present to the world the positive Republican agenda for the future. He was going to pass this agenda in a number of bills, to prove the power of all these Republican ideas. Then, because the ideas would be so self-evidently better than the Democratic agenda, Republicans everywhere could use them to run for office on. But now Ryan's dialing expectations back significantly -- not only will none of these agenda items actually be voted on by the House before the election (because to do so would mean explaining them and their consequences in great detail to the American people), but most of them won't even be drafted into bills. The reason? Because to provide all the details would make the agenda 'politically treacherous.' That's a pretty stunning admission of the harm such a Republican agenda would cause -- rather than proudly running on a detailed agenda which passed the House, they are now planning to not provide details because to do so would jeopardize their chances for re-election. So much for being a 'party of ideas,' eh? They're pretty much admitting that the only ideas the Republican Party has are bad ones, in fact."

 

4
   Whoops! Forgot one...

One rather large issue is conspicuous by its absence from Ryan's wonderful GOP agenda. So point it out!

"Paul Ryan's initial list of what was to be on the grand Republican agenda contained six items: health care, taxes, national security, regulatory reform, poverty and reasserting Congress's constitutional authority. Well, we've been waiting for about six years for Republicans to come up with their plan to replace Obamacare, and not a single bill has ever even made it to the House floor for a vote. Over 50 'repeal Obamacare' votes (and counting), but zero 'replace Obamacare' votes so far. So I'd be surprised to see them even manage to complete the first item on Ryan's list, personally. But what struck me most of all about that agenda list is one rather enormous omission. I guess Ryan believes that immigration policy doesn't need any changes whatsoever, because he's not even going to attempt putting that on the Republican agenda. You know what this omission will mean (even assuming they do get the other six items together at some point)? It will mean that the only strong Republican voice on what to do about immigration policy will either be Ted Cruz or (more likely) Donald Trump. So all those down-ballot Republicans won't have any answer at all about how their immigration policy differs from their party's presidential nominee. That seems pretty short-sighted to me."

 

5
   Crisis mode no better

Maybe Paul Ryan is utterly failing to do regular business in the House, but surely he'd be effective if there were a true crisis staring him in the face, right? Well, no.

"While pointing out Paul Ryan's utter failure to meet deadlines or make good on any of his vaunted Republican agenda is amusing, for the most part, the next deadline they're about to miss is not going to be funny at all. Puerto Rico is in the midst of a financial crisis, and bills are coming due at the end of this month. The House was expected to pass some sort of legislation dealing with the crisis before this deadline, but due once again to the Tea Partiers (who are going to call any such attempt a "bailout") so far it's looking like this deadline will tragically be missed. House Republicans are, pretty obviously, incapable of governing, even in the midst of a crisis. They are incapable of doing the bare minimum their job requires. They aren't even going to attempt passing any contentious bills before the election, and they're going to blow deadline after deadline in the mean time. We certainly hope the voters take note of this massive incompetence. You can change which Republican wields the speaker's gavel, but unless and until the American people change the actual makeup of the House, little if anything is going to get done."

 

6
   GOP doesn't like ideas

John Kasich had a shining moment of honesty this week, which just serves to reinforce the rest of these talking points.

"You think I'm being harsh on Paul Ryan? Well, let's take a look at what one of the Republican presidential candidates has to say about the Republicans being the 'party of ideas.' Here is John Kasich, from a recent interview with the Washington Post, on that very subject:"

If you don't have ideas, you got nothing, and frankly my Republican Party doesn't like ideas. They want to be negative against things. We had [Ronald] Reagan, okay? Saint Ron. We had [Jack] Kemp, he was an idea guy. I'd say Paul Ryan is driven mostly by ideas. He likes ideas. But you talk about most of 'em, the party is knee-jerk 'against.' Maybe that's how they were created.

 

7
   Lying down on the job?

And finally, the most bizarre quote of the week, hands down. Or back down. Or something.

"Can someone please explain to me exactly what Ted Cruz meant in his non-victory victory speech this week, after he massively lost New York state? He went with a very odd (and rather disturbing) metaphor for America, stating: 'America has always been best when she is lying down with her back on the mat and the crowd has given the final count. It is time for us to get up, shake it off and be who we were destined to be.' Um, OK. America is best when she's lying down with her back on the mat? Really? Somehow I don't think many Americans would choose such a metaphor to describe American strengths, but then again most Americans didn't just get shellacked by Donald Trump in yet another state, I suppose."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

130 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [388] -- Crisp Bee Urine, And Other Fun Anagrams”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    He faces two rather grim outcomes for his party's presidential contest: either Donald Trump drags the entire Republican Party down in the November elections, or Ted Cruz drags the entire Republican Party down in the November elections.

    Golden words...

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Today's anecdote: 60-ish white woman, visiting from Las Vegas (grew up here in Ohio). What does she think of the election season to date?

    "Well, in my opinion, on the Republican side its been a complete fiasco with everybody just putting each other down. Its been totally atrocious. I've been a Democrat all my life. I love what they have to say -- what WE have to say, about women's health, gay rights -- anybody's rights -- people have the right to be who they are. I feel strongly about that.

    I think its become a totally abhorrent political scene, worse than its ever been, as we know it, in our lifetime. And so…I'm a firm Hillary supporter and I hope she wins."

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Crisp bee urine aside (which has to join the list of "phrases we never thought we'd type in a million billion years"),

    "Under NO circumstances are you to use this ship to go back in time.... Never in my life would I have thought I would ever give such an order."
    -General George Hammond, STARGATE SG-1

    :D

    Sure, you can teach Trump to speak from prepared remarks (and even use a TelePrompTer);

    Do you REALLY want to make Teleprompter jokes?? :D

    To be scrupulously fair to Ryan and Priebus, we ran our own name through the anagram-maker. A few downright oddities popped up ("chewing is art," "hi swinger cat," and "cashew in grit"), as well as one that was completely odious ("hewing racist"), and one we sincerely hope nobody has ever thought after reading these columns ("writing aches"). So make of that what you will, in the interests of fair play.

    And once again, you show everyone why I stick around... :D

    It's funny, because immediately prior to reading that part, I was thinking that I should run Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders thru the Anagram Machine and see what we come up with.. :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    No prominent Democrat seriously annoyed us this week, so there will be no Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award handed out.

    Shirley, you jest??

    Outrage as Obama says Britain would be at the 'back of the queue' after Brexit
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/663665/Barack-Obama-Britain-back-queue-Brexit

    I seem to recall the hysterical outrage when an Israeli leader came to the US and weighed in on a US decision..

    "How DARE he interfere!!!" I believe was the relevant sentiment..

    For doing the EXACT same thing, let the outrage against Obama commence...

    {{chhirrrrrrpppppppp}} {{chiiiiiirrrrrrppppp}}}

    Oh, my apologies.. I guess that must be "different"...

    :^/

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    DecayedOldBritishLiberal wrote:

    "For doing the EXACT same thing, let the outrage against Obama commence..."

    No, Michale, the two cases really are different. Netanyahu (sorry, NetanYAHOO) is a nasty toxic demagogue, and Obama is a decent, sane, mature human being, and ... wait for it, wait for it ... a STATESMAN.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, Michale, the two cases really are different. Netanyahu (sorry, NetanYAHOO) is a nasty toxic demagogue, and Obama is a decent, sane, mature human being, and ... wait for it, wait for it ... a STATESMAN.

    Of course they are "different"....

    Obama has a '-D' after his name and Netanyahu supports the people with a '-R' after their name because THOSE people are better friends of Israel..

    But, the reality is there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between the two actions.

    They BOTH are the leader of a country interfering with political decisions of another country..

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    DOBL,

    and Obama is a decent, sane, mature human being,

    How many thousands of innocent civilians has Obama butchered with his Drone Program????

    {{{chhiiirrrrrppppppp}}} {{chhirrrrrrrrrrppppppppppp}}

    Yea.. That's what I thought.. :D

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    How many thousands of innocent civilians has Obama butchered with his Drone Program????

    For the record, I am using the exact terminology as the Left Wingery used during the Bush Administration..

    I am SURE ya'all would agree that the description of the Drone Program under Bush would CERTAINLY apply to the EXPANDED Drone Program under Obama...

    Riiiggghhhtttttt??? :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    My apologies... I am sure talking about Obama's massive Drone Program has to be depressing for ya'all...

    Let's talk about Obama's massive expansion of Bush's warrentless domestic surveillance programs....

    Hmmmmmmmmm.... I am cornfused....

    Obama's a DEMOCRAT... Right???

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I have to say that I enjoyed the new Teleprompter-PC Trump charade, but I'm concerned that the Trumpthugs won't like it. All along, they've said that what they like about the Orange Thing is that he tells it like it is and he blurts what they are "thinking". Now that he's in favor of men in dresses going into public ladies rooms full of un-escorted little girls if that makes them feel comfortable, is he still saying what his fans are "thinking"? I'm just not sure this is a wise move on his part. This cross-dressing super predator problem is yuge - bigger than the Ebola or Benghazi!™ or an invasion of little Hispanic children!

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Trump is scheduled to toss a word salad here in town for a big NRA-Klan rally. I missed his last thugfest because I had a dental appointment and I'd like to go to this one, but I don't want to be around when the shooting starts. Then again, maybe the NRA will be sensible and ban guns at Freedom Hall for their hootenanny.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    And you accuse *ME* of being "ridiculous"??? :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I can think of many disappointing Democrats for this week.
    According to the Huffpost election results there were 1,054,083 Democrats that voted for Clinton in the New York primaries. They had a chance to vote to make their party a party with a nominee that would get many citizens like me to vote for their candidate in the general election and chose to maintain the status quo. (Jill Stein thanks you!)
    And what about the Democratic Party in New York not doing anything about the closed primary system and the voter purges?

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    There is an old joke that perfectly describes the status quo of our political system.
    Back in the days of old a rookie sailor asked the captain when they would be getting to a port. He said they had been at sea for months and he needed a woman.
    The Captain said it would be another month or so before they would reach a port, but offered the sailor an alternative. He took the sailor to the bowels of boat to a dark room with a barrel in the corner that had a hole in it.
    After the sailor was done he thanked the Captain and said he felt relieved. The Captain said the sailor could use the barrel anytime except Friday nights between 8 and 11 PM.
    When the sailor asked why not between 8 and 11 Pm on Fridays the Captain said "Because that's your turn in the barrel."
    When the Republicans are having their turn at the barrel, the Democrats say to us that if we give them a turn when the Republican turn is over they will supply some vaseline to ease the sting a bit. At first it seems to work.
    Then when we ask for a little more vaseline the Democrats say sorry we had to put down the vaseline to steady the barrel. The next thing you know the Republicans are standing next to the barrel saying "If you give us another turn when the Democrats turn is over, we have a way that you can get your own vaseline."
    It's time to climb out of the barrel and throw the barrel as well as the Democrats and Republicans off the boat.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can think of many disappointing Democrats for this week.
    According to the Huffpost election results there were 1,054,083 Democrats that voted for Clinton in the New York primaries. They had a chance to vote to make their party a party with a nominee that would get many citizens like me to vote for their candidate in the general election and chose to maintain the status quo. (Jill Stein thanks you!)
    And what about the Democratic Party in New York not doing anything about the closed primary system and the voter purges?

    ssssshhhhhhhhhh!!! Taking the Democrat Party to task!??

    How could you!!??? :D

    When the sailor asked why not between 8 and 11 Pm on Fridays the Captain said "Because that's your turn in the barrel."

    hehehehehehehe

    Reminds me of the French Foreign Legion joke..

    *****OFF COLOR JOKE AHEAD****

    A new recruit to the French Foreign Legion was assigned to a lonely desert outpost literally out in the middle of nowhere... The young buck asked the wise old sergeant what they do if the... ahem.. manly urges become too irresistible?? The wise old sergeant gave the recruit a knowing look and pointed to the stalls that housed the camels...

    The recruit sputtered indignantly, "That's gross!! I will NEVER be that desperate!!!"

    Time wore on.. One week.. Two weeks.. Three weeks. The young recruit couldn't stand it any more. With a primal scream, he ran into the camel stalls and proceeded to ..ahem.. take care of business..

    When the recruit was done and walked out of the stalls, the sergeant slapped the kid upside the head and said, "You idiot!!! We use the camels to ride into the nearest town!!!"

    :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Oops. Was I supposed to give a warning about the off color joke?
    Could I just give a blanket warning now that if you see my name and there is reference to joke that it will be off color because those are the only jokes I know?

  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "I seem to recall the hysterical outrage when an Israeli leader came to the US and weighed in on a US decision..
    "How DARE he interfere!!!" I believe was the relevant sentiment..
    For doing the EXACT same thing, let the outrage against Obama commence..."

    Actually there are a LOT of important differences that you fail to mention.

    1.) Netanyahu was addressing the Congress, and was invited by the head of the political opposition, not the current head of state, over the objection of the President, thereby involving Netanyhau in a domestic political matter, entirely separate from the issue of Iran itself.

    2.) Obama was invited by the current British Prime Minister, the leader of the government in power, was NOT addressing a session of the British Parliament, and Obama was commenting in response to questions being asked of him during an official public news conference.

    3.) If the USA was holding a national referendum on whether to stay in or leave a mutli-national international organization, like say, NATO, for example, I would fully expect for other members of the international community to make public comments about what they thought of such a decision. What would be quite different, and would be domestic interference, would be if they commented on HOW or even WHY, the USA had the right or method to conduct such a decision in the first place.

  18. [18] 
    dsws wrote:
  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oops. Was I supposed to give a warning about the off color joke?

    Nope.. But I am usually on thin ice around here, so I hedge my bets. :D

    heh

    Could I just give a blanket warning now that if you see my name and there is reference to joke that it will be off color because those are the only jokes I know?

    hehehehe Like I said from day one. Kindred spirits. :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Semantics...

    Obama is interfering in a British matter...

    Netanyahu interfered in a US matter...

    There is no difference..

    I take that back... There IS one important difference..

    Israel is very negatively affected by the Iran deal..

    The US has no stake in Britain leaving or staying in the EU...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Alan Dershowitz: Obama meddles in Brexit but shuns Netanyahu when he speaks up about Iran
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/04/22/alan-dershowitz-obamas-hypocrisy-on-brexit.html?intcmp=hphz05

    It's funny how Obama is ALWAYS right about everything.. :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The US has no stake in Britain leaving or staying in the EU...

    Really?

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's funny how Obama is ALWAYS right about everything.. :D

    Try not to let that bother you so much.

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    Re: Paul Ryan & Ideas

    There are three problems with expecting sensible ideas from Ryan:

    1. His ideas are based on the Laffer curve which is so completely discredited that the CBO basely need to wake up to point out the yawning hole in future revenues

    2. His ideas benefit the 1% and Trump has woken up the previously confused to the fact that they are getting ripped off

    3. His ideas are extreme in general terms, but deemed wishy-washy by the ultra-extremists in his congressional party on board

    And this is from the best 'ideas' man the Republicans have at the moment.

    Sad.

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    When I got around to streaming the Colbert monolog I was pleased to see he was pouring the Baileys into a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms cereal! It made the. Joke a wee bit better. No play intended with the crisp bee urine anagram

    I must confess that pouring the dregs of holiday eggnog onto breakfast cereal the morning next is a family tradition. OK, it's my tradition that amuses/appalls most of my family. Those that have not tried it. Nutmeg, whisky and cream really bring out the best in Grape Nuts or Cheerios! Also makes a great creamer for my coffee, which I normally drink black. Hair of the dog to you!

  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    The major difference between Obama and Netanyahoo is that Obama gets things right, and Bibi can't tie his own shoelaces.

    Bibi also was participating in an obviously partisan pantomime attempt to humiliate Obama. Fortunately no-drama Obama isn't going to let a pipsqueak like Bibi get to him.

    This will be looked back on in 25 years time as sadly as when the racists tried to humiliate and taunt Jackie Robinson.

  27. [27] 
    neilm wrote:
  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    2. His ideas benefit the 1% and Trump has woken up the previously confused to the fact that they are getting ripped off

    You don't seem to mind the FACT that Obama and the Democrats have made the 1% more and more comfy and Middle Class Americans more and more miserable..

    You only seem to mind it when REPUBLICANS do it.

    Why is that???

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    The major difference between Obama and Netanyahoo is that Obama gets things right, and Bibi can't tie his own shoelaces.

    Yer kidding, right??

    Netanyahu handles a San Bernardino DAILY and a 9/11 every year....

    Hussein Obama would shit his pants and fold like a crappy poker hand if he had to be the kind of leader that Netanyahu is...

    Bibi also was participating in an obviously partisan pantomime attempt to humiliate Obama.

    Netanyahu took sides on an issue..

    Hussein Obama is doing the exact same thing..

    The ONLY difference is based on nothing more than ya'all's partisan ideology...

    This will be looked back on in 25 years time as sadly as when the racists tried to humiliate and taunt Jackie Robinson.

    And WHO were the racists that were trying to humiliate and taunt Jackie Robinson???

    They were Democrats...

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny how Obama is ALWAYS right about everything.. :D

    Try not to let that bother you so much.

    Rank hypocrisy ALWAYS bothers me.. Much... :D

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush could do no right..

    Obama can do no wrong..

    They hilarious thing is... They are doing the EXACT same things....

    Bush had to do the right thing while fighting terrorists *AND* Democrats...

    Apparently, there wasn't much difference between the two at the time...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    The US has no stake in Britain leaving or staying in the EU...

    Really?

    Yes, really...

    The US and the UK had a great relationship before the EU (and Hussein Obama) and the US and the UK will have a great relationship after the EU (and Hussein Obama) goes the way of the dodo...

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bush had to do the right thing

    And how do we KNOW that Bush was doing the right things??

    Because Hussein Obama did the same things and even expanded them... :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The US and the UK had a great relationship before the EU (and Hussein Obama) and the US and the UK will have a great relationship after the EU (and Hussein Obama) goes the way of the dodo..."

    But it's not JUST about the relationship between the UK and the USA is it???

    What about the effect of Britain's influence in Europe and in the world? What about the impact on the EU of Britain leaving? What about the fact that if Britain leaves the EU, Scotland may hold another referendum and leave the UK in order to stay in the EU with Ireland? What effect would that have on the remaining rump of the UK, like the loss of the USA's nuclear submarine base in Scotland? I could go on, but I think maybe do you get the idea???

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    What about the effect of Britain's influence in Europe and in the world? What about the impact on the EU of Britain leaving? What about the fact that if Britain leaves the EU, Scotland may hold another referendum and leave the UK in order to stay in the EU with Ireland? What effect would that have on the remaining rump of the UK, like the loss of the USA's nuclear submarine base in Scotland? I could go on, but I think maybe do you get the idea???

    Talk about moving the goal posts!! :D

    Let's stick to the UK leaving the EU....

    All of the fear-mongering of what would happen if the UK left the EU is just that..

    Fear mongering..

    The world will continue to spin on it's axis.. The US and the UK will still enjoy a special relationship...

    There are many benefits to the UK leaving the EU, not the least of which is the benefit of self-determination...

    Personally, I don't have an opinion either way..

    But I do know two things..

    1- Obama interfering in the UK decision is abso-tively and posi-loutly no different than than Netanyahu interfering in the US decision over the Iran debacle... Netanyahu has MORE of a stake in "interfering" than Obama has...

    and

    B- If the UK leaves or stays, we will all still wake up in the morning, put on our pants one leg at a time (for those that wear pants :D ), go to work, go home and absolutely nothing in our daily lives will change...

    The issue of this discussion is NOT whether a Brexit is a good thing or a bad thing.. Ya'all say it would be a bad thing. Of course ya'all would think that because OBAMA thinks that...

    The issue of this discussion is whether or not there any any similarities between Obama's interference and Netanyahu's interference..

    And, other than the points I outlined, there is absolutely and positively no difference whatsoever...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Personally, I don't have an opinion either way..

    But I WILL say that the EU's total cluster-frak of handling the refugee crisis is sure a good reason to part ways with the EU....

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course ya'all would think that because OBAMA thinks that...

    Why do you spend so much time on people who can't think for themselves. There must be something better to do.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why do you spend so much time on people who can't think for themselves. There must be something better to do.

    Oh ya'all CAN think for yerselves.... That's what makes all of this so frustrating!! :D

    As far as why I stay??

    Hope springs eternal... :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Talk about moving the goal posts!! :D"

    Not really, I was just trying to get you to concede that the USA does in fact have a stake in whether the UK stays in or leaves the European Union after all, given all the possible ramifications of either choice, of either leaving or staying.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why should we take advice from a president who has surrendered the world to chaos?

    I wonder who in Downing Street briefed Barack Obama’s team on the wording of his friendly warning to the British. Somebody obviously pointed out that the population of this country retained a quaint obsession with the Second World War, and would therefore treat any reference to the glorious dead as irreproachable. So the President invoked the European graves of those American servicemen who died to protect – well, what exactly?

    I thought it was the democratic values and reverence for national independence that Britain shared with the US. Did Mr Obama have any sense at all that what he was now urging the British electorate to accept was precisely the surrender of those sacred principles of democratically accountable government and self-determination for which the combined American and British forces had made their ultimate sacrifice?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/23/why-should-we-take-advice-from-a-president-who-has-surrendered-t/

    For a smart guy, Obama can be pretty stoopid....

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Besides Liz, who here supports the Republicans' Trade Deals???

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    You don't seem to mind the FACT that Obama and the Democrats have made the 1% more and more comfy and Middle Class Americans more and more miserable..

    You only seem to mind it when REPUBLICANS do it.

    Why is that???

    You mean like raising the minimum wage, etc.? If you think Obama has been trying to win over the 1% then you are delusional.

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    You mean like raising the minimum wage, etc.? If you think Obama has been trying to win over the 1% then you are delusional.

    Nope.. I just deal in facts..

    And the FACT is that the 1% have gotten richer and more comfortable under Obama and the Democrats and the middle class has been screwed over time and time again..

    This is well documented and completely indisputable...

    But I am sure you will dispute it.

    Ideological slavery and all that.. :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    Netanyahu handles a San Bernardino DAILY and a 9/11 every year....

    Why doesn't he try to stop them then? He encourages more attacks with his West Bank settlement policy. He knows that more attacks make Israeli's more hawkish and thus will vote for the authoritarian party. You can't be so naive to think that he isn't playing the venal policy - "they are going to attack us anyway, we may as well get something from it (i.e. their land), so screw them."

    Another point where your argument falls down is that the gun carnage in our country is worse than the violence in Israel - take just yesterday for example, but it is early this Sunday, we could have another 8 executed and frankly nobody cares any longer - it is barely news. But somebody is stabbed in Jerusalem and it is headline news.

    Can you imagine if the Palestinians had second amendment rights - the right wing would be closing them down immediately - oh wait, they already did.

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    This is well documented and completely indisputable...

    Really? It is indisputable that Democrats have put policies in place that help the 1%. Please enlighten me.

  46. [46] 
    neilm wrote:

    Besides Liz, who here supports the Republicans' Trade Deals???

    Me. And they aren't the 'Republicans' trade deals - TPP and TTIP were negotiated by Obama's officials and they are a good thing for this country - they will increase overall wealth while creating winners and losers - what we need to do is help the losers (who are not Trump type 'losers', just good people in the wrong job at the wrong time) to find another job or retire early with dignity.

    If the deal is written with Americans in mind instead of just corporations they can be a big win for us, both economically and strategically (China wants TPP to fail so they can put their own brand of China-centric trade deal).

    It is like Obamacare, if you take the key provisions and ask if people think they are good for America the majority agree (I'll find a link to the poll I read on this a couple of months ago), however if you Bernie or Donald soundbite it you can make it 'stupid'.

    BTW, on international trade Bernie sounds like a middle-schooler to me. Sorry those feeling 'the Bern', but he seems to have no idea about globalization - it doesn't happen because of trade deals, trade deals are good for America because they attempt to level the playing field that was tipping against American workers by globalization forces. Take NAFTA, remember the 'great sucking sound' - well who does The Donald blame for job losses - not Mexico, they're the rapists who come here to take our jobs, in case you haven't been following his uniquely wrong logic, instead he blames the Chinese - perhaps if we had the equivalent of NAFTA with the Chinese, Donald would be railing on about the Vietnamese, Indians, etc. instead.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    He encourages more attacks with his West Bank settlement policy.

    Yea.. It's ALL Netanyahu's fault..

    The scumbag terrorists are completely blameless..

    You can't be so naive to think that he isn't playing the venal policy - "they are going to attack us anyway, we may as well get something from it (i.e. their land),

    That land is Israel's.. It was won in a war that Israel didn't start, but did finish...

    The Palestinians are a conquered people. Too bad, so sad, that's life...

    The land in question is no more Palestinian land than your land is Native American land..

    When you give all your land and possessions back to Native Americans then and ONLY then, will you have a moral foundation to complain about how Israel handles the Palestinian/land issue...

    I am also constrained to point out that Palestinians, by their continued use and support of terrorism, have absolutely NO moral, legal or ethical foundation whatsoever...

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    neilm wrote:

    And WHO were the racists that were trying to humiliate and taunt Jackie Robinson???

    They were Democrats...

    Who are now Republicans. Try to keep up with the arc of history Michale. Harriet Tubman was a Republican, but it seems that the screams of horror about her are all coming from the Republican side of the country.

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really? It is indisputable that Democrats have put policies in place that help the 1%. Please enlighten me.

    http://www.progressivestoday.com/under-obamanomics-the-rich-get-richer-while-the-poor-get-poorer/

    Ask and ye shall receive.. :D

    Me. And they aren't the 'Republicans' trade deals - TPP and TTIP were negotiated by Obama's

    Of course... :D

    and they are a good thing for this country

    So, Republicans are supporting things that are "good" for this country and Democrats are opposing them..

    That about sum it up?? :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who are now Republicans.

    Really!!

    Prove it..

    Give me the name of a Democrat who taunted Jackie Robinson and is now a Republican.. :D

    Face the facts, Neil.. The Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK and racism...

    But you prove point for me.. It's the victors who write the history.. You bring up the racism of the past all the time but neglect to mention that THAT racism was perpetrated by Democrats.

    Revisionist history..

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    That land is Israel's.. It was won in a war that Israel didn't start, but did finish...

    The Palestinians are a conquered people. Too bad, so sad, that's life...

    The land in question is no more Palestinian land than your land is Native American land..

    Having said that, there is a very simple solution to the entire Israel/Palestinian situation..

    All it takes is the political will to allow bygones to be bygones... The Palestinians could live in peace side by side with Israel if they would just be content to live in peace side by side with Israel...

    But the Palestinians want to deny Israel it's existence.. And that's why they're morally, ethically and legally in the wrong...

    Michale

  52. [52] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "That land is Israel's.. It was won in a war that Israel didn't start, but did finish...
    The Palestinians are a conquered people. Too bad, so sad, that's life...
    The land in question is no more Palestinian land than your land is Native American land.. I am also constrained to point out that Palestinians, by their continued use and support of terrorism, have absolutely NO moral, legal or ethical foundation whatsoever..."

    I have to defend Michale here again, imagine that! He actually does have a point. Though not the exact one he is making.

    The Palestinians could have had an independent state over 15 years ago, when, I believe it was Ehud Barak was Prime Minister of Israel and Yassier Arafat was still alive and head of the Palestinians.

    They had actually come to an agreement where the Palestinians were going to receive slightly over 90 percent of the occupied land of the West Bank, as well as a large portion of East Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital, and a corridor link to the Gaza Strip. But the one thing the Palestinians would not give up and the Israelis would not agree to, was the right of return for a substantial number of Palestinians to Israel itself. Why agree to a two state solution, if both states wind up being majority Palestinian by population?

    If not for that one point, and the return of the Palestinians to the intifada and terrorism, they could have ended the occupation a long time ago. You either accept reality and get the best deal you can, or not.

  53. [53] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html

    No matter who you want to blame, we are eviscerating our middle class in this country.

    I remember watching E.T. as a teenager before I came to America and one of the stunning scenes for me was when some kids younger than me ordered delivery pizza without their (single) mum knowing. You'd have been skelped alive if you'd pulled that stunt in the U.K. - and the pizza would have been sent back. Also, the size of the houses people lived in when I came to visit relatives over here always amazed me - and the size of the cars.

    America's relative distance in wealth between the 1970's and today has shrunk dramatically.

  54. [54] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Give me the name of a Democrat who taunted Jackie Robinson and is now a Republican.. :D
    Face the facts, Neil.. The Democrat Party was the Party of the KKK and racism..."

    Michale, really??? You can't see that the two parties have switched ideologies in modern times from what they were historically generations ago???

  55. [55] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://www.progressivestoday.com/under-obamanomics-the-rich-get-richer-while-the-poor-get-poorer/

    No, I didn't receive Michale. Try to understand the question, what policies has Obama put in place that have specifically targeted the 1% at the expense of the middle class.

    Peter Ferrara - of the Heartland Institute - is a well know policy clown and fervent anti-Obama mouthpiece for the far right wing.

    See if you can find some real economists who can point to policies that Obama has championed that help the 1% but hurt the middle class.

    Waiting (and I will be for a long time).

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    No matter who you want to blame, we are eviscerating our middle class in this country.

    Do you agree that Obama and the Democrats have some responsibility in this???

    No, I didn't receive Michale. Try to understand the question, what policies has Obama put in place that have specifically targeted the 1% at the expense of the middle class.

    Obama was in charge.. That makes him responsible..

    Just like when Bush was in charge, ya'all blamed him for EVERYTHING.....

    It works both ways...

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have to defend Michale here again, imagine that! He actually does have a point.

    I'm swooning. :D

    If not for that one point, and the return of the Palestinians to the intifada and terrorism, they could have ended the occupation a long time ago. You either accept reality and get the best deal you can, or not.

    That is a corollary to my point.. The Palestinians are their own worst enemies and never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity...

    They simply do not DESERVE their own state, but my idea would give them one. A BIG one.. A NICE one...

    But they are too married to terrorism to realize the reality...

    Michale, really??? You can't see that the two parties have switched ideologies in modern times from what they were historically generations ago???

    But that doesn't change the reality of the history.. Ya'all would like to forget and/or gloss over that when black people were lynched, it was a DEMOCRAT holding the rope..

    You cannot legitimately point fingers at any Party without acknowledging the sins of your own Party...

    THAT's my point....

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    See if you can find some real economists who can point to policies that Obama has championed that help the 1% but hurt the middle class.

    http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21631129-it-001-who-are-really-getting-ahead-america-forget-1

    I can do this all day... :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    You cannot legitimately point fingers at any Party without acknowledging the sins of your own Party...

    THAT's my point....

    I have no Party.. :D

    That's what gives me the advantage.. :D

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    neilm wrote:

    Obama was in charge.. That makes him responsible..

    No, it doesn't. He wasn't responsible for Iraq, yet he had to clean it up.

    You're failing so you're trying to change the subject - what policies did Obama champion that favored the 1% at the expense of the middle class - c'mon, he's been President for over 7 years and you claim it is a fact - there must be some policy you can point to. (Or if not, do you have the integrity to admit you are wrong?)

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    They simply do not DESERVE their own state, but my idea would give them one. A BIG one.. A NICE one...

    "and what's your big idea, Michale???"

    I am glad someone asked that.. :D

    http://sjfm.us/temp/MichalesBigIdea

    Egypt gives up all control to The Sinai which becomes New Palestine...

    Syria (this idea was formed pre-civil war) and Jordan pay to create pre-fab cities and re-locate all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to the new homeland..

    The United States or NATO provides security for the fledgling state....

    Egypt signs a share agreement with New Palestine for the Suez Canal...

    This idea has the advantage of making those countries who are most responsible for the situation, then ones most responsible for fixing the situation...

    With the right investments, New Palestine could become a tourist mecca with seaside communities all along the Med and the Red Sea...

    It could work.. All it would take is the will, cooperation and a little luck...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    neilm wrote:

    http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21631129-it-001-who-are-really-getting-ahead-america-forget-1

    I can do this all day... :D

    Yes, you can avoid the question all day. But it just makes you look like you can't answer the question and won't admit you are wrong.

    The question is: What policies did Obama champion that favored the 1% at the expense of the middle class?

    You are answering: Did the 1% improve relative to the middle class in the last 7 years? - I already know the answer to that one.

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    Egypt gives up all control to The Sinai which becomes New Palestine...

    Is this the same Egypt that earlier this month announced that Messi donating his football boots to an Egyptian charity auction was the biggest single insult in the 7,000 years of their civilization?

    And you want them to hand the U.S. the Sinai Peninsula?

    That is so outlandish it is funny. Why don't you go to Tarhir Square with some pamphlets to that effect. Wear your Trump hat for protection so they know you are mentally imbalanced and only beat you up and imprison you instead of killing you on the spot. (Note: Please don't - I'd miss you round here.)

  64. [64] 
    neilm wrote:

    Michale:

    If economics could solve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian war (let's face it, that is what it is), it would have been solved long ago.

    They are sitting on the World's biggest tourist attraction. They could make London, Paris, Las Vegas and New York combined look like Cleveland, OH in December in comparison - who wouldn't want to visit - I'd love to go if I could take my family safely. They'd all be rich, but there is this small problem of religion and tradition - both sides think their religion entitles them to the same ground and both throw up historical 'facts' that they interpret as proof that it is their land.

    Israel has the better army at the moment, and are doing a good job suppressing the Palestinians, however I have no doubt that if the situations were reversed both parties would be conducting the same war in the same way.

    I'm no fan of the leaders of either sides, both are exploiting the situation to gain power for themselves and have little interest in solving the problems, but they reflect the will of the people at the moment.

    Thomas Friedman wrote a book comparing flashpoints around the world a long time ago. He predicted that the depth of hatred between the protestants and catholics in Northern Ireland (which has been inflamed for hundreds of years) would outlast the Balkans, Palestine, etc.

    He was wrong I'm glad to say - and if the catholics and protestants in Northern Ireland can sit down at the same table, anybody can.

    There is hope for Israel and Palestine, but it needs a much better class of leader that we currently have on both sides.

  65. [65] 
    neilm wrote:
  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    And you want them to hand the U.S. the Sinai Peninsula?

    Nope.. I want them to have the Palestinians the Sinai Peninsula...

    Egypt was part of the 3 countries that caused the problem. They should be part of the solution to the problem..

    I am not saying the solution would work in the here and now. To much hatred on all sides.....

    But it does have the advantage of being logical and rational...

    Israel has the better army at the moment, and are doing a good job suppressing the Palestinians, however I have no doubt that if the situations were reversed both parties would be conducting the same war in the same way.

    I disagree.. Islam is where christianity was two thousand years ago...

    Christianity is civilized.. Islam is not..

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    To date, however, most of this analysis has focused on the Trump campaign. But Trump’s supporters are markedly different in who they dislike, not in how they would treat the rights of people they dislike.

    Couldn't have said it better myself, though gods know I have certainly tried.. :D

    Thanx Neil... :D

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    Israel is the George Zimmerman of the Middle East..

    The ONLY thing Israel is guilty of is self-defense...

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm no fan of the leaders of either sides, both are exploiting the situation to gain power for themselves and have little interest in solving the problems, but they reflect the will of the people at the moment.

    I can agree with this..

    The will of the Israeli people is geared towards the safety and survival of their family and friends..

    The will of the Palestinian people is geared towards terrorism and the annihilation of Israel and her people...

    The government of Israel herds their citizens into shelters at the signal of an attack..

    The government of the Palestinians herd their citizens towards the site of the attack...

    http://www.jpost.com/HttpHandlers/ShowImage.ashx?id=214969&h=530&w=758

    That tells one all they need to know about the conflict in the region and which government is morally, legally and ethically in the right.....

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    The nearly unequivocal story is that Trump supporters are no different from others, including Clinton and Sanders supporters
    -Neil's Link

    Now, where have I heard this before??? hmmmmmmmmm

    :D

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/23/hillary-clinton-britain-should-stay-in-eu

    It's hard to tell where Hillary's nose ends and Obama's ass begins... :^/

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Man arrested, charged with threatening to bomb Trump rally
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/04/24/man-arrested-charged-with-threatening-to-bomb-trump-rally.html?intcmp=hplnws

    Well, I am sure glad that it's only TRUMP supporters who are violent!!

    "Dood looks like a lady..."
    -Aerosmith

    :D

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Israel is the George Zimmerman of the Middle East..

    george zimmerman has had his cultural and religious home in central florida for five thousand years, and trayvon martin has been shooting rockets at him? do tell!

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    george zimmerman has had his cultural and religious home in central florida for five thousand years, and trayvon martin has been shooting rockets at him? do tell!

    Quit being so literal..

    I was referring to the concept of self-defense...

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    I was referring to the concept of self-defense...

    Insofar as ignorant mor....er... people castigate Israel for defending itself in the same manner that ignorant mor....er... people castigated George Zimmerman for defending himself..

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    neilm wrote:

    Israel is the George Zimmerman of the Middle East..
    The ONLY thing Israel is guilty of is self-defense...

    Zimmerman is a spoiled brat whose need to play cop resulted in a kid dying and so he ran to the gun nuts & racists for cover because they were going to buy his story.

    Israel is a pretend Western Democracy in a part of the world that hasn't figured out how to involve people in the governing process yet. Obviously Israel isn't at the adult table either.

    I'd have a lot more sympathy for Israel is they cut the settlements free and stopped stealing more land.

  77. [77] 
    neilm wrote:

    The will of the Israeli people is geared towards the safety and survival of their family and friends..

    The will of the Palestinian people is geared towards terrorism and the annihilation of Israel and her people...

    How many times a year do you visit Israel and the Western Bank.

    Thought so.

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can do this all day... :D

    Captain America!

  79. [79] 
    neilm wrote:

    The ONLY thing Israel is guilty of is self-defense...

    You really think that Israel has committed no crimes? You really think this is a case of "goodies" and "baddies"?

    This is a level of naiveté only a really closed mind could believe.

    Read something you don't want to - it is good for you:

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIGazaConflict/Pages/ReportCoIGaza.aspx#report

    This report resulted in a vote to hold Israel accountable for war crimes, but the U.S. vetoed it (and was the sole vote against).

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Neil,

    Do you think the US should not have vetoed that vote?

  81. [81] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    I'm a bit late to the party (been on the road a few days).

    Great pair of articles, Thu and Fri. However, you sound "surprised." Not really, but as if this were new.

    It's funny (OK, not like haha funny) but Romney was going to make a bunch of cuts to shrink gov't, but we were going to have to wait until after the election to find out what cuts he would make. Not sure why he thought we would trust him if he didn't come out and state them ahead of time so that we could vote if we agreed with him.

    I know he caught flak in Mass when he proposed cuts to their Dept of Ed and I know he claims he was taken out of context and I know that in politics, if you're explaining, you're losing. But still, put the ideas on the table and let us vote (tell us your ingredient list and let us make purchasing decisions, so to speak).

    It doesn't end there, of course. As Krugman has been pointing out for years, Ryan's "budgets" have always claimed they would make specific cuts to the poors and balance by closing unspecified loopholes. Never did tell us which loopholes he was going to close, though.

    This is par for the course for the GOP. They know their ideas are unpopular when one gets into the weeds with specifics (rather than grand sounding platitudes) and very attackable. It's not even that we're in this populist/hate election year. It's been like this for many, many years.

    Last bit of evidence. Debt increased tremendously under W and GOP Congress. Deficit, not so much. All of their spending increases managed to find their way off budget. Just like the most recent use of the Overseas Contingency Fund to hide their military spending increases from the deficit.

    Dishonest and BS!

  82. [82] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    You're right, CW. Excellent WaPo article on Ryan.

    Oddly, tere's something similar to what I just wrote.

    >>>
    But while these proposals will give restive Republicans something to run on, they will also give Democrats something to run against — a lesson Ryan knows well after seeing his entitlement slashing budget proposals show up in years of Democratic attack ads.
    >>> (how do you all get your quotes in Italics on this blog?)

    Perhaps if Ryan was willing to anger his wealthy donors as much as he did his left-leaning constituents and opponents, he might have told us what loopholes he was going to close in order to make his budget "math" work (and, yes, with Ryan budgets, "math" requires scare quotes).

  83. [83] 
    Paula wrote:

    Speak2: to get italics you need to enclose text between I-tags. Follow the Commenting Tips link below the Leave a Reply header, look for Chris's HTML tips.

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Israel is a pretend Western Democracy in a part of the world that hasn't figured out how to involve people in the governing process yet. Obviously Israel isn't at the adult table either.

    israel is a very real parliamentary democracy in a part of the world that sees democracy as nothing more than a catch-phrase for western imperialism. palestinian arabs who stayed in israel, instead of leaving and trying to destroy it, became israeli citizens and have all the same rights as jewish citizens of israel.

    israel has demonstrated many times that it is willing to negotiate and cede land in return for not being attacked, as happened with egypt in 1979 - but whenever israel gives up territory to the PA, as it did unilaterally in gaza in 2005, it is attacked more, not less.

    if someone has been trying for seventy years to kill you and drive you into the ocean, the onus is on them to change that goal before they can be considered a realistic negotiating partner, not on you to treat them as if they had decided to behave more reasonably. my brother in law LIVES in the west bank, and he's not some fundamentalist loon, he's just living and working like anybody else.

    until and unless there is a partner willing to stop trying to erase israel from existence, there's no point in israel negotiating away the land it feels entitled to based on pre-1948 treaties. if the PA feels differently, it can come to the table and negotiate with words, not guns. as long as they continue to make their point with knives, guns and bombs instead of by good-faith negotiation, their point of view and their territorial claims will not have a legitimate basis upon which to be seriously considered.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @neil,

    all this said, it is still the goal of many israelis to get out of the west bank and gaza, but they've learned the hard way that to continue to exist, they need to negotiate from a position of strength.

    from the jewish virtual library:

    Israelis themselves are their own harshest critics. If you want to read criticism of Israeli behavior, you do not need to seek out anti-Israel sources, you can pick up any Israeli newspaper

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths3/MFdelegitimization.html

  86. [86] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    [T]o get italics you need to enclose text between I-tags. Follow the Commenting Tips link below the Leave a Reply header, look for Chris's HTML tips.

    Thanks, Paula [83]. Didn't realize we were playing with basic html. Thanks.

  87. [87] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    That was supposed to stop. I'll work on it.

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Zimmerman is a spoiled brat whose need to play cop resulted in a kid dying and so he ran to the gun nuts & racists for cover because they were going to buy his story.

    Actually, nothing you said is factual...

    By why let facts ruin a good ignorant rant, eh? :D

    I'd have a lot more sympathy for Israel is they cut the settlements free and stopped stealing more land.

    It's THEIR land!???

    How can they "steal" their own land???

    Israel is no more "stealing" land than you and I and every other American is "stealing" land from Native Americans..

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can do this all day... :D

    Captain America!

    Yer right!!! :D It was completely subconscious!! I should have Movie Quote'ized it.. :D

    Are you as excited as I am about the upcoming CIVIL WAR movie??

    It looks like MARVEL is going to do a tie in with AGENTS OF SHIELD like they did with the CA Winter Soldier movie... :D

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny (OK, not like haha funny) but Romney was going to make a bunch of cuts to shrink gov't, but we were going to have to wait until after the election to find out what cuts he would make. Not sure why he thought we would trust him if he didn't come out and state them ahead of time so that we could vote if we agreed with him.

    Probably for the same reason we trusted Pelosi when she made HER moron comment of the same nature...

    :D

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    israel has demonstrated many times that it is willing to negotiate and cede land in return for not being attacked, as happened with egypt in 1979 - but whenever israel gives up territory to the PA, as it did unilaterally in gaza in 2005, it is attacked more, not less.

    Exactly!!

    until and unless there is a partner willing to stop trying to erase israel from existence, there's no point in israel negotiating away the land it feels entitled to based on pre-1948 treaties. if the PA feels differently, it can come to the table and negotiate with words, not guns. as long as they continue to make their point with knives, guns and bombs instead of by good-faith negotiation, their point of view and their territorial claims will not have a legitimate basis upon which to be seriously considered.

    I just got chills!

    Well said, JL... VERY well said...

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Speak,

    That was supposed to stop. I'll work on it.

    hehehehe It's kinda a pain...

    What it should look like is this:

    {I}This is where your italicized text goes.{/I}

    Now replace the brackats { } with the greater than/less than symbols and you should be good to go...

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Neil,

    How many times a year do you visit Israel and the Western Bank.

    Although not recently, I spent a lot of time in Israel working and training with the IDF...

    My experience in the region may be dated but, from all reports, it's still the same over there..

    You really think that Israel has committed no crimes? You really think this is a case of "goodies" and "baddies"?

    As long as the PA resorts to terrorism, that is EXACTLY what the case is..

    Good guys = Israel

    Bad guys = PA

    This report resulted in a vote to hold Israel accountable for war crimes, but the U.S. vetoed it (and was the sole vote against).

    And what "war crimes" were those, exactly???

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    This report resulted in a vote to hold Israel accountable for war crimes, but the U.S. vetoed it (and was the sole vote against).

    And why don't you mention any of the BLATANT, CONSTANT and ON-GOING war crimes of the PA???

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    neilm wrote:

    And why don't you mention any of the BLATANT, CONSTANT and ON-GOING war crimes of the PA???

    OK. The war crimes committed by the PA and Hamas are, in my reading, more frequent and more horrendous than those committed by Israel. The people responsible should be in front of the court in The Hague standing next to any other accused war criminals to answer for their crimes.

  96. [96] 
    neilm wrote:

    And what "war crimes" were those, exactly???

    The allegations are in the document I sent you, and other U.N. documents that investigated the actions.

    Can you see things that you don't want to? Do you think that the PA and Hamas are the only ones who should have to answer the allegations of crimes against them?

  97. [97] 
    neilm wrote:

    all this said, it is still the goal of many israelis to get out of the west bank and gaza, but they've learned the hard way that to continue to exist, they need to negotiate from a position of strength.

    This is like something I read in Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

  98. [98] 
    neilm wrote:

    Although not recently, I spent a lot of time in Israel working and training with the IDF...

    How much time did you spend working with the PA or Hamas?

    Have you ever read "From Beirut to Jerusalem" by Thomas Friedman?

  99. [99] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And why don't you mention any of the BLATANT, CONSTANT and ON-GOING war crimes of the PA???"

    Once again, I find myself agreeing with Michale here.

    If I remember correctly, the main official reasoning that the USA gives for vetoing UN resolutions like this, is that that are totally and completely one sided, and blame only Israel, while never acknowledging any Arab or Palestinian actions and responsibility, like launching rockets at completely civilian targets instead of military ones.

    If they were really fair and balanced and equally condemned the actions of both sides, the USA could then support that kind of resolution.

  100. [100] 
    neilm wrote:

    If I remember correctly, the main official reasoning that the USA gives for vetoing UN resolutions like this, is that that are totally and completely one sided, and blame only Israel, while never acknowledging any Arab or Palestinian actions and responsibility, like launching rockets at completely civilian targets instead of military ones.

    What exactly are you implying about the rest of the World? Are you implying that France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, etc. etc. are systemically anti-Israeli? That they and dozens of other countries are in a large conspiracy to blame only Israel?

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK. The war crimes committed by the PA and Hamas are, in my reading, more frequent and more horrendous than those committed by Israel.

    Well, yer half right.. :D

    Can you see things that you don't want to? Do you think that the PA and Hamas are the only ones who should have to answer the allegations of crimes against them?

    The problem is two fold..

    1> There are no "allegations" against the PA and Hamas. It's bona fide, documented FACT...

    and

    B> The allegations against Israel are politically/ideologically motivated and have no basis in fact...

    Let me give you an example of B...

    The IDF drops leaflets on an area, advising the population to evacuate as the area will come under military attack... PA government officials herd civilians into those areas and then scream "WAR CRIMES!!!" when Israel follows thru with it's promised attack...

    The only war crime is on the part of the PA for using civilians as human shields..

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    What exactly are you implying about the rest of the World? Are you implying that France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, etc. etc. are systemically anti-Israeli? That they and dozens of other countries are in a large conspiracy to blame only Israel?

    That IS what the facts indicate....

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Once again, I find myself agreeing with Michale here.

    This is becoming a habit.. :D

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    How much time did you spend working with the PA or Hamas?

    Does blowing them up and shooting them count?? :D

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    neilm wrote:

    This is a classic case of only seeing one side of an issue. If you think there are no legitimate claims by Palestinians and that the IDF never do wrong, then you are too closed minded to discuss this with.

    I think the implied accusation of a very grand conspiracy against Israel that includes all other major Western Democracies, and that only the U.S. can see what is really happening is bizarre.

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If they were really fair and balanced and equally condemned the actions of both sides, the USA could then support that kind of resolution.

    The US is still committed, to one degree or another, to the MEPP and probably will be until the two-state solution is dead and buried.

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Are you as excited as I am about the upcoming CIVIL WAR movie??

    Indeed I am. :)

  108. [108] 
    neilm wrote:

    BTW, over here in the People's Republic of Micro-Aggresions I have a few pro Palestinian friends who are as closed minded as you are on the other side.

    I ignore their constant vilification of Israel just as I ignore blindly pro Israeli friends. This is an ugly mess and Israel is doing its best to be humane, for more so than the Palestinian leadership, however the settlement issue and the heavy handedness during punishment operations (e.g. like the recent war in Gaza) should be pointed out to be counter productive and also, in many cases, illegal.

    The PA and Hamas are no innocents either and are more to blame for the plight of their people, but there are extremists on both sides and we need to stand up to them and point out their failings. This is better than standing on one side and blindly blaming the other while equally blindly ignoring any extremism on 'your' side. This applies to both sides.

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is a classic case of only seeing one side of an issue. If you think there are no legitimate claims by Palestinians and that the IDF never do wrong, then you are too closed minded to discuss this with.

    Not at all..

    I completely and unequivocally agree that the PA has completely legitimate grievances against Israel...

    But those legitimate grievances are rendered NULL and VOID by the PAs continued use of terrorism to further their agenda...

    Ever read Clancy's SUM OF ALL FEARS???

    "Get me the President! The Palestinians just figured out how to destroy Israel!!"
    -National Security Adviser Jack Ryan, SUM OF ALL FEARS

    Michale

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are you as excited as I am about the upcoming CIVIL WAR movie??

    Indeed I am. :)

    Once it became obvious that AGENTS OF SHIELD was going to tie into CIVIL WAR, I told my wife last night that we're going to HAVE to see CIVIL WAR on it's premiere night.. :D

    Michale

  111. [111] 
    neilm wrote:

    But those legitimate grievances are rendered NULL and VOID by the PAs continued use of terrorism to further their agenda...

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

    Look at Syria, Bashir and Putin represent the 'Syria Opposition Forces' as terrorists, we regard them as fighting tyranny.

    The 'terrorist' label often says more about the people who use it than the people labeled.

  112. [112] 
    neilm wrote:

    BTW Michale, I'm still waiting for the list of policies that Obama championed that favored the 1% over the middle class.

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

    Nope...

    A terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist...

    The two are as far apart as night and day....

    Look at Syria, Bashir and Putin represent the 'Syria Opposition Forces' as terrorists, we regard them as fighting tyranny.

    THEY may define them as terrorists... But that doesn't make it so...

    The 'terrorist' label often says more about the people who use it than the people labeled.

    Only when it's used in the political context and not the reality context...

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    BTW Michale, I'm still waiting for the list of policies that Obama championed that favored the 1% over the middle class.

    I listed THE ECONOMIST article that shows how the 1% (the .001% actually) have gotten better under Obama...

    Now you may dispute that those aren't Obama's "policies"... But the fact is, under Obama the rich have got richer and the middle class has gotten scroooed...

    And, since Bush is to blame for EVERYTHING that happened under his administration, Obama gets the blame as well...

    You can't have it both ways...

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    Michale wrote:

    The 'terrorist' label often says more about the people who use it than the people labeled.

    Only when it's used in the political context and not the reality context...

    As it was when Democrats called Republicans "terrorists"..

    What does that say about Democrats??? :D

    Michale

  116. [116] 
    John M wrote:

    Neilm wrote:

    "What exactly are you implying about the rest of the World? Are you implying that France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, etc. etc. are systemically anti-Israeli? That they and dozens of other countries are in a large conspiracy to blame only Israel?"

    Yes, and no. A great deal of the rest of the world is very much anti-Israel, and votes in a anti-Israel pro Palestinian knee jerk sort of way, and also votes partly as a block of solidarity, just for the sake of ideological solidarity, regardless of the actual merits of the question at hand. This is true of a lot of the African / Asian block, where the ruling leadership elites have in large part not had to answer to anyone in their own nations in any sort of democratic way. Look at UNESCO in the 1970's for example, and the UN resolution equating Zionism with Racism, before it was finally repealed.

    And while other Western nations like Germany or Britain aren't anti-semitic as official policy, they can also take positions that don't rock the boat, so to speak, regarding relations with their Third World Commonwealth partners, in the case of Britain for example, knowing that the USA is going to veto such a resolution anyway and take all the heat for it, thus making themselves look good. How many Western nations, other than the USA, as a matter of routine, abstain on a vote, rather than vote yes, or no, for instance?

  117. [117] 
    John M wrote:

    Neilm wrote:

    "That they and dozens of other countries are in a large conspiracy to blame only Israel?"

    Think of Libya under Gadaffi, Uganda under Idi Amin, the Soviet Union under communism, etc. They were in fact all part of a huge block of over 100 Asian, African, and East European nations that were virulently ant-semitic as matter of official policy. Subscribing to a leftist, socialist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist ideology, made worse by the fact that they were almost all totalitarian regimes themselves, regarding official resolutions at the United Nations, they routinely voted against Israel, no matter what. So the USA got into the habit of defending Israel, because it had to. This has only recently started to change, with the fall of communism and the spread of democracy to more places in Africa, and Eastern Europe, etc.

  118. [118] 
    John M wrote:

    Neilm wrote:

    "What exactly are you implying about the rest of the World? Are you implying that France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, etc. etc. are systemically anti-Israeli? That they and dozens of other countries are in a large conspiracy to blame only Israel?"

    Any U.N. resolutions that do try to take an even handed approach and place blame on both sides, usually can't get enough votes in order to pass in the first place. This frequently happens when members of the Arab League, for instance, object to such a resolution as a block. The anti-Palestinian wording gets completely dropped, and only the anti-Israel wording remains. Western nations like France and Britain end up agreeing to that kind of "compromise" just to get some kind of resolution passed, and the USA ends up standing its ground and vetoing the whole thing.

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The special relationship between the US and Israel is unshakable. The US will never allow the kind of votes the UN assembles against Israel to pass.

    And, nor should the US allow such votes to pass.

    This is complicated and Israel is not without its share of blame for where we sit today vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  120. [120] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is complicated and Israel is not without its share of blame for where we sit today vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    While I understand what you are saying and, intellectually, I agree to a certain extent..

    The reality is that any "blame" that can be apportioned to Israel is completely and unequivocally negated by the PA's use and support of terrorism...

    Michale

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The reality is that any "blame" that can be apportioned to Israel is completely and unequivocally negated by the PA's use and support of terrorism...

    Well, reality is a matter of perspective.

    I think trying to apportion appropriate blame is a losing proposition all around and a primary reason why the Middle East Peace Process has become so intractable.

    Somehow, if peace with security is ever to be realized between Israelis and Palestinians, then we and they have to get beyond the blame game and understand the reality on both sides of this great divide.

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:

    As long as it's terrorism, it will be simply impossible to get "beyond the blame game"...

    To put it in another context...

    Imagine someone is in a corporate setting, trying to negotiate something and a guy that is part of the negotiations is a proven and convicted child molester...

    Now imagine an interested third party were to say something like, "These negotiations would go a lot smoother if they could just get past the fact that the guy is a child molester.."

    Kinda non sequitur, wouldn't you agree???

    Somethings just CAN'T be "gotten past"...

    Terrorism is one of those things...

    Michale

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The affairs of government cannot be run as a corporate entity. I always hate when comparisons of running the two are made as such analogies carry no weight for me.

    I don't believe that it is impossible to get past the blame game, just not in the interests of enough of the players. Perhaps, those interests will never line up. I hope that is not the case.

    As for terrorism, as bad as it is for Israel in the neighbourhood and as many factors as there are lined up against the continuing existence of Israel, none of those things is as bad as the scenario in which Israel does not achieve some sort of accommodation with the Palestinians.

    Terrorism should not be a door-closer in the process to find a solution to this conflict and, indeed, a solution to this conflict is the only viable pathway toward ending the terrorism.

    There was talk among a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians of "Two States, One Homeland" which may have some promise buried deep within it.

  124. [124] 
    Michale wrote:

    Terrorism should not be a door-closer in the process to find a solution to this conflict and, indeed, a solution to this conflict is the only viable pathway toward ending the terrorism.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on that..

    The mind-set required to employ terrorism is at such a depth of depravity that no logical or rational solution is possible..

    Any group or individual that employs terrorism proves beyond ANY doubt that they are not looking for solutions and, as such, any searching for solutions is a waste of time and effort..

    Put it in another, more simpler way..

    You don't negotiate with an animal that is trying to rip your throat out..

    You put the animal down in the most efficient and succinct manner possible...

    There was talk among a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians of "Two States, One Homeland" which may have some promise buried deep within it.

    There can be no promise, no negotiation, no agreement as long as one side resorts to terrorism...

    I can't make it any simpler than that...

    Michale

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Your problem, Michale, is that you always make it too simple. By your analyses, solutions to serious and complicated problems would never be solved.

    I can't make it any simpler than that. Ahem.

  126. [126] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There can be no promise, no negotiation, no agreement as long as one side resorts to terrorism...

    Many Israelis, within and without officialdom, disagree with that assertion. I really do wish the world was uncomplicated and prone to simplistic solutions. Sadly, that is not the world in which we live.

    Israel must demonstrate a certain strength and supremacy over the terrorists by taking some first steps that will help make progress possible.

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your problem, Michale, is that you always make it too simple. By your analyses, solutions to serious and complicated problems would never be solved.

    Actually, my problem is that sometimes I make things more complicated then they have to be..

    The other night, my wife and I were going to bed.. Our light was on in the bedroom and all the other lights were off in the rest of the house.. I noticed for the first time (We have lived in the house for almost 12 years) that, when the bedroom light is on, the light shines thru a vent and lights up ANOTHER vent in the living room. I thought that kinda strange and pointed it out to my wife.. She said, "It's probably a reflection from somewhere else."

    Wanting to test that theory, I was jumping up and down trying to get my hands to cover the vent from the bedroom, seeing if such interference in the light path would reflect on the vent in the living room.

    My wife watched me do this for a min or so, then calmly went into the bedroom and turned off the light.. The reflection on the vent in the living room disappeared.. I just stood there with a dumbfounded look on my face, while my wife started laughing her ass off.. :D

    True story...

    Anyways.....

    By your analyses, solutions to serious and complicated problems would never be solved.

    Of course the problem can be solved.. All the PA has to do is stop using and supporting terrorism...

    Israel must demonstrate a certain strength and supremacy over the terrorists by taking some first steps that will help make progress possible.

    Palestinians want what the Israelis will never EVER give...

    That's the part you don't get...

    Nothing but national suicide by Israel will ever satisfy the Palestinians...

    Since that is the only stipulation that will please the Palestinians, the onus is on the PA to change their ways..

    Not Israel..

    Michale

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nothing but national suicide by Israel will ever satisfy the Palestinians...

    Now, of course, your response will be that not ALL Palestinians feel that way..

    And I would agree with you on that..

    But here's the thing.. Until THOSE people are in power, Israel has absolutely NO ONE to negotiate ANY compromise with...

    The Palestinian people elected a terrorist group as their government..

    NO ONE will negotiate with a terrorist group...

    So, as I said above, the onus for change is on the Palestinians..

    All Israel can do is keep defending itself until such time as the Palestinians come to their senses and elect a REAL government that has the interests of the Palestinian people as their first priority..

    Michale

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    And consider this...

    Postulate a scenario where a giant spaceship comes to earth and scoops up each and every Israeli and takes them to another planet where they can live free and not be under the gun of terrorism on a daily basis..

    Israel is no more.. It doesn't exist..

    Do you think the remnants of the region will, all of the sudden become a quiet peaceful people???

    Of course not.. They will start fighting amongst themselves... Islam is a religion of war, suffering and conquest... If they have no external enemy to fight, they will fight amongst themselves.. Shia vs Shiite, etc etc...

    The problem is not Israel...

    The problem is that Islam is where Christianity was two thousand years ago...

    So, there will never be peace in ANY region that has an Islam component until such time as Islam grows up...

    Michale

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Put it this way, Liz...

    Let's say you are in negotiation with another party to end years and years of fighting and bloodshed..

    let's further postulate that, before every negotiation session the representative from the other side beats the living crap out of you...

    You two then proceed to the negotiations...

    How long do you think it will be before you say enough is enough!

    "Look bub!!! We're not going to talk about ANYTHING until you stop beating the shit out of me!!!"

    That's where Israel and the PA is at right now...

    NOTHING can negotiated until such time as the PA stops the terrorism...

    Michale

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