Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,280
Number of posts: 12,280
American Jews are expected by the Israeli government and by its American lobbying arms, such as AIPAC, to unequivocally support Israel against its very real enemies, but also against any criticism whether from abroad or within the American Jewish community. The prevailing mode is “Israel can do no wrong,” and AIPAC demands American Jews march in lockstep. But Israeli policies of the moment can and do betray values held by a large swath of American Jewry, including their independence of mind and the right to dissent, whether as Americans or as Jews.
This sure sounds like the attitude of some DU'rs.
Now comes a “bipartisan” group of U.S. senators determined to join Israel in isolation. They are motivated by little else than electoral fears and campaign contributions. They have offered legislation imposing new, more severe sanctions on Iran at a most inopportune time, and a pledge of American diplomatic and military support if the Israelis attack Iran. Talk about blank checks. Israeli lobby groups such as AIPAC actively support the measure, meaning so does the Israeli government. It seemed inconceivable that anything could surpass Netanyahu’s audacity and obtuseness. Maybe Congress dysfunctional is better than it is functional.
One of my senators, Sen. Blumenthal, is on this so called “bipartisan” group of U.S. senators and it pisses me off that he would put American lives at risk by blindly supporting Netanyahu's self-serving opposition to talks with Iran. The whole purpose of the existing sanctions was to get Iran to the talking table and now that Iran is arriving, these puppets of Israel's neo-con wing seek to derail the talks. War is peace to Israel's neo-con wing and they don't care how many Americans suffer for their lust for war.
Thankfully, there is some push back against this totalitarian mindset that "Israel can do no wrong".
Beyond the international flap, American Jews ought to be concerned about how controversial Israeli positions and statements are causing significant cleavages within our own Jewish community. An undeservedly little-known website, MuzzleWatch, which is devoted to tracking the stifling of open debate about American-Israeli foreign policy, is most instructive.
MuzzleWatch reported an incident at Harvard in November, when the university’s Hillel student organization barred Avraham Burg, the former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, from giving a speech in its building. The governing body, not the students, complained that the talk was co-sponsored by the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee, as well as several Jewish pro-peace groups. (Burg instead spoke at a dorm.) A Harvard student appropriately responded that this was “an attack on free speech in its most naked form.” “I’m not sure what they were afraid of—people with all kinds of political views had a very constructive conversation with Mr. Burg,” she added. Are we to believe that nearly 8 million Israeli Jews think alike?
Israel's neo-con wing will do everything they can to stop their true motives and a more humane view of Palestinians from reaching the American public. But they are on a losing side. A growing push back to their totalitarian mindset is on the rise here. Israel can't fool the Europeans any more and it won't be long before the American public sees a more balance view of the I/P issue and the Middle East overall.
Posted by Larkspur | Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:07 PM (1 replies)
from Joan McCarter, Daily Kos
Senate Democrats united in raising debt ceiling
Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-IL), second-in-command in Senate leadership, says that Senate Democrats are united in passing a clean debt ceiling hike this week.
Remarkable things happen when Democrats are united. Like making it easier for six Republicans who aren't complete nihilists (or completely full of shit like Sen. John Cornyn) to stop the nonsense and raise the debt ceiling.
And a bonus -- we don't have to listen to Sanctimonious Joe moan on about the need for bipartisanship and watching him work hard to stab Democrats in the front and back. Hell, even Faux News hasn't drag him in from oblivion to chastise Democrats for behaving like Democrats.
Now we need to keep working on getting more Progressive Dems elected to help put in practice FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights.
Posted by Larkspur | Tue Oct 8, 2013, 12:07 PM (9 replies)
Obama claimed he could not prosecute them because their crimes were committed in the past.
Snowden's crime was committed in the past, so Obama should just leave him and all whistle blowers alone.
Posted by Larkspur | Mon Jun 24, 2013, 10:04 AM (8 replies)
So much for Obama's 3 dimensional chess strategy...
President Obama's budget puts House Democrats in bind
Democrats have used a clear and potent attack against Republicans in recent elections: Don’t vote for them because they’ll cut your Social Security and Medicare.
But using that playbook next year, as Democrats had planned, just got a lot more complicated.
President Barack Obama blurred the lines this month when he embraced entitlement cuts of his own as part of his budget plan. And Democrats now fear their leader’s tack to the center could blunt one of their sharpest weapons in the battle for the House of Representatives next year.
The concern is that Republicans will have a ready retort — your own president proposed entitlement cuts — and force Democrats on the defensive. The issue is critical to senior voters, who turn out in disproportionately large numbers in midterm elections.
“I think it does make it more difficult for Democrats in the next election,” said Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, who occupies a swing district in Minnesota. “I would think that Republicans will say this cycle that if you want your Medicare and Social Security cut, that’s what Obama wants to do. … And I imagine that’s what Republicans will campaign on.”
I fear his legacy will be tied to his quest for the Grand Bargain, the elusive holy grail for centrist politicians, and further blur the lines between Repubs and Democrats in the eyes of low info voters.
If House Democratic members want to be very sure to end up on the right side of the Big 3 in 2014, they should all sign the Grayson-Takano letter as the first step to rallying the Democratic base for the upcoming midterm election.
Posted by Larkspur | Wed May 1, 2013, 10:20 AM (7 replies)
An Irish Win And A Wake Of Sorts http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-jacobs-column-0313-20130312,0,4040163.column by Jeff Jacobs
UConn's final possession may have been the worst in a big moment in the history of the program. Skylar Diggins stole the ball. Notre Dame stole UConn's heart. Again. Again. Again.
Yet it wasn't until the Notre Dame women gathered in a chorus line following their dramatic Big East tournament triumph and began dancing the jig to their band's playing of "Rakes of Mallow," that the thought crossed my mind.
This really was an Irish wake, or at least the basketball equivalent of it.
On a day when Notre Dame officially announced it was leaving for the ACC in July, on a night when the Big East brought down its curtain both on the women's tournament and the tournament run at the XL Center, the Huskies died one more excruciating basketball death at the hands of the Irish.
These are the headlines.
if anybody walks away from the past few years saying anyone other Skylar Diggins is the greatest opponent in UConn history, well, they're faking it. They're relying on the argument of pure greatness of a Candace Parker or a Holdsclaw or a Griner. Nobody has dug down deeper when it matters most against UConn than Diggins.
One thing before we get into the last play, maybe the worst play in UConn women's history when it mattered. One thing before we bemoan how UConn had a lead at the end of the Final Four game in Denver and lost in overtime. One thing before we bemoan how the Huskies had a lead at Gampel Pavilion at the end in January and lost by one, and had a lead in South Bend at the end last week and lost in triple overtime. And this is the thing.
As much as been said about her terrific leadership, clutch offensive play and sometimes wayward shot, Diggins is a tremendous defender. "A lot of players can't guard the dribble," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "She is able to pick up players in the backcourt and force turnovers. But her defense is excellent because she has so much pride. She does not want you to score on her."
What was Kelly Faris thinking last night with 18.4 secs left? Her bad pass to Stewart was luckily saved by the freshman. It was a 1 handed catch like you see in the NFL. Then after Faris gets the ball again she drives towards the baseline and Achonwa cut it off. Instead of turning around, Faris makes an awkward pass to KML, who was heavily guarded by Jewel Lloyd and which caused her to be off balance after catching the pass. The KML made a bad pass that was easily intercepted by Diggins. You could see the domino effect of a bad play in real time during that period. Faris acted as if she thought there was 8 secs instead of 18.4 secs left in the game. Why didn't they try to pass the ball around the perimeter for a better shot? There was plenty of time for that. Worse, even if they missed the shot, they were guaranteed an overtime?
My other comment on the game last night --where was Bria Hartley? She seems to fade in tough game situations and her play this year is a disappointment for UCONN. She needs to score the 3's when the other team shuts down KML. Though I have to congrat ND for doing a great defensive job on KML. She killed them in the first half last week and ND was determined not to let her repeat that scoring blitz.
Overall, last night's game was another thriller and another growing spurt for women's basketball. ND is my alma mater and she will always be first in my heart, but as one who witnessed Title IX come in when I was in 7th grade, I respect UCONN and how Geno proved that women can play high caliber basketball that was interestingt to watch. UCONN is now where Tenn was when UCONN was an up-and-coming basketball power. Defeating UCONN is now proof that a team/program is a national contender.
I remember when ND first joined the Big East and I would see how the ND Women's team at first was psyched out before the game against UCONN started. UCONN dominated the Irish til 2001 when Ruth Riley & Co. defeated them first at ND and then in the Final Four. Even after that UCONN regained their dominance until Diggins became a sophomore and her tough minded attitude helped her teammates learn to psych out UCONN and defeat the Huskies.
Because I like the UCONN Huskies and can never root against my alma mater, my approach to their matchup is "you have to earn the win". Notre Dame finally figured out how to do that against the Huskies. Congrats to the Irish for a great season and one that was not expect by much of the women's basketball world.
Posted by Larkspur | Wed Mar 13, 2013, 11:08 AM (6 replies)
I watched Krugman's debate with Joe Scarborough on Monday night's Charlie Rose show and my first impression was that Scarborough's job was to do his best to smear and discredit Krugman and his support of more stimulus spending as opposed to deficit reduction.
Now on Huff Post, I read Jeffrey Sachs op ed, Professor Krugman and Crude Keynesianism
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/professor-krugman-and-cru_b_2845773.html ,which continues the crude attacks on Krugman.
Krugman is a prominent opponent of Peter Peterson's group, "Fix the Debt", which wants to shovel Social Security money into Wall Street so they can rob the elderly and disabled. They seem to be attacking Krugman because he has a lot of credibility with liberals and progressives who are doing a good job fighting them and winning the PR battle so far.
What do you think?
Posted by Larkspur | Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:32 PM (5 replies)
Notre Dame undefeated in Big East, claims conference title
It was a titanic battle last night between 2 of women's college BB elite teams.
My alma mater, Notre Dame prevailed in the end, but there were times that I thought UCONN would pull it out. But Diggins & Co. seem to have UCONN's number right now. We'll see if they can finally win the BE Tourney over UCONN this year.
More stories on this great game:
South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women's basketball: Another notch in Diggins' belt http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/notredame/sbt-notre-dame-womens-basketball-another-notch-in-diggins-belt-20130304,0,862560.column
South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women's basketball: Third OT's the charm http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/notredame/sbt-notre-dame-womens-basketball-irish-top-huskies-in-three-overtimes-20130304,0,4292849.story
Hartford Courant: UConn Doesn't Have What It Takes In Big Games http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-jacobs-column-0305-20130304,0,4629989.column
Hartford Courant: Irish Have Huskies' Number Again, 96-87 (3 OT) http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-uconn-notre-dame-women-0305-20130304,0,458547.story
Hartford Courant: Box Score -- UConn Women At Notre Dame http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-box-score-uconn-women-at-notre-dame-20130304,0,1784155.htmlstory
Posted by Larkspur | Tue Mar 5, 2013, 02:42 PM (0 replies)
Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Wins Second Home Depot Coach of the Year Award
Following a 12-0 regular season and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has been named the 2012 Home Depot Coach of the Year, according to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune.
Kelly previously won the award with Cincinnati in 2009, when the Bearcats went 12-0 in the Big East and played Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Kelly wasn't on the sidelines for the bowl game because he had just taken the head-coaching position at Notre Dame.
Of course, there will be no job switching for Kelly this time around. He is preparing the Fighting Irish for a showdown against No. 2 Alabama on Jan. 7 in one of the most anticipated BCS games ever.
The turnaround that Kelly has led at Notre Dame is remarkable, especially considering where the program was before he got there. His job as a recruiter, talent evaluator and leader has brought stability to a program that has been searching for answers since the end of the Lou Holtz era.
From unranked to undefeated!! Go Irish!!
Posted by Larkspur | Wed Dec 5, 2012, 03:34 PM (0 replies)
Israeli Vets on Israeli Treatment of Gaza & Palestinians“It’s Mostly Punishment” (Breaking the Silence)
“There is no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” President Barack Obama said at a press conference last week. He drew on this general observation in order to justify Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel’s most recent military campaign in the Gaza Strip. In describing the situation this way, he assumes, like many others, that Gaza is a political entity external and independent of Israel. This is not so. It is true that Israel officially disengaged from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, withdrawing its ground troops and evacuating the Israeli settlements there. But despite the absence of a permanent ground presence, Israel has maintained a crushing control over Gaza from that moment until today.
The testimonies of Israeli army veterans expose the truth of that “disengagement.” Before Operation Pillar of Defense, after all, Israel launched Operations Summer Rains and Autumn Clouds in 2006, and Hot Winter and Cast Lead in 2008 — all involving ground invasions. In one testimony, a veteran speaks of “a battalion operation” in Gaza that lasted for five months, where the soldiers were ordered to shoot “to draw out terrorists” so they “could kill a few.”
Israeli naval blockades stop Gazans from fishing, a main source of food in the Strip. Air blockades prevent freedom of movement. Israel does not allow building materials into the area, forbids exports to the West Bank and Israel, and (other than emergency humanitarian cases) prohibits movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It controls the Palestinian economy by periodically withholding import taxes. Its restrictions have impeded the expansion and upgrading of the Strip’s woeful sewage infrastructure, which could render life in Gaza untenable within a decade. The blocking of seawater desalination has turned the water supply into a health hazard. Israel has repeatedly demolished small power plants in Gaza, ensuring that the Strip would have to continue to rely on the Israeli electricity supply. Daily power shortages have been the norm for several years now. Israel’s presence is felt everywhere, militarily and otherwise.
By relying on factual misconceptions, political leaders, deliberately or not, conceal information that is critical to our understanding of events. Among the people best qualified to correct those misconceptions are the individuals who have been charged with executing a state’s policies — in this case, Israeli soldiers themselves, an authoritative source of information about their government’s actions. I am a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and I know that our first-hand experiences refute the assumption, accepted by many, including President Obama, that Gaza is an independent political entity that exists wholly outside Israel. If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we were stationed there? If Gaza is outside Israel, how come we control it? Oded Na’aman
The subsequent stories by these IDF vets paints an unheroic view of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and confirms my view that Israel views the Palestinians the way the 19th century US Government viewed Native American -- as vermin instead of as humans. If that makes me anti-Semitic, I call all the Israel-is-always-right mob racists and Israel and apartheid nation.
These stories also prove that Gandhi was right, that Israel could not maintain itself as a democracy and a Jewish state. That combination would lead to Israel becoming an oppressor.
Posted by Larkspur | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:48 PM (2 replies)
Te'o's decision proves divine
Notre Dame star returns, leads Irish to 12-0 season, BCS title game, has chance to win Heisman
...Notre Dame was in the national title game, and this splendid night was all he came back for and more. Te'o left the field in buoyant, giant gallops, at a loss for any words that didn't emerge as screams.
"If there's anything I can say, the heavenly Father answers prayers in ways you don't know," Te'o said.
"And you may not see it at the time. At the time, it may seem like the odds of something happening are crazy. I've been an example that if you pray and actually listen and have faith, he will provide a way for you to do it. I'm grateful I was smart enough to listen."
Te'o came back for this, to lead Notre Dame one more time, and his team followed to 12 wins and no losses and a No. 1 ranking and a BCS title game berth on Jan. 7. What he could not have considered as even a possibility was the Heisman Trophy decision that arrives on Dec. 8 and, possibly, renders him a legend.
Weeks ago, as the Notre Dame community rallied around him after the death of his grandmother and girlfriend, he said he knew he made the right decision to return. He didn't know how right he was.
"Notre Dame should be at the top," Te'o said. "I'm just grateful to be part of that whole process."
Posted by Larkspur | Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:44 AM (0 replies)