Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beavis And Butthead In Kabul, Palestinians Need Reconciliation, Boehner Polls

Dana Milbank
Doyle McManus
Mark McKinnon
"The lesson there is that I had to set aside an ideology... I felt like the captain of a sinking ship,... this was one ugly way to end a presidency." - George W Bush
"‘Decision Points’ by George W. Bush has dropped, and it's like 'War & Peace' without the peace. Here's the very first page: 'In the last year of my presidency I began to seriously consider writing my memoirs.' Right away he’s got you hooked. Did he write them or didn’t he? You won’t know until you read the book. Maybe the rest of the pages are blank. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that we can’t believe something is there just because Bush says it is." – Stephen Colbert
"A company in China is selling a President Obama blow-up sex doll. Don't get too excited. It turns out most of its positions are very unpopular." - Jimmy Fallon

I never planned on reading George W Bush's memoirs, but after reading excerpts from it online, and watching interviews with him, I have changed my mind, and become 186th on the waiting list at the library. But I have revised my opinion of him, and wouldn't mind sitting down and having a beer or cup of coffee with the man. But, if I had to choose, I'd still pick Laura Bush over George as the more fun one to have a conversation with, and I'm still glad that Barack Obama is president right now instead of George.

One area that the GOP ought to consider getting rid of the expenses, is the Congressional junket, where your representatives hitch a free ride and go for an investigative holiday, where they often stick their big butts in other people's business and flout their importance to minor US executives. Case in point: the NY Times reporting on Kirsten Gillibrand, Lindsey Graham,Joe Lieberman, and John McCain on a trip to Kabul where they hope to meet with Hamid Karzai. "Four United States senators visited Kabul on Wednesday, the first such visit since the midterm elections returned a Republican majority to the House of Representatives." This really sounds as if it was planned at a local bar over a few drinks. Beware the hijinks that Joe and John can concoct whenever they get together; they're the Beavis and Butthead of the Senate:

"After briefings with American diplomats and military officials, the delegation held a news conference to announce plans to meet with President Hamid Karzai and to deliver a dual message: that the United States remained committed to Afghanistan and that improvement on fighting corruption was critical." Hamid Karzai has no intention of meeting with these guys, so they are using a press conference to force the situation. In case this doesn't work, they want everyone to know what they were going to tell him, you know, how important using the phrase 'fighting corruption' is to a US Senator:

“In an increasingly partisan time in Washington, there remains on certain critical matters of foreign policy a bipartisan consensus, and this is one of them,” said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut independent. “Support of success for the new Afghanistan.”

Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and former presidential candidate, said the members of the delegation planned to forcefully raise the issue of corruption with Mr. Karzai. “We will bring up a couple of recent events that are very disturbing,” Mr. McCain said. He did not elaborate." Karzai is having trouble enough, covering up the voter fraud from the last election as well as the corruption charges leveled at his aide. Good thing for him his aide also was a stooge for the CIA, which is like a Get Out Of Jail Free card:

“Every time there is a corruption case,” Mr. Lieberman said, “it makes it harder for us in Congress in a budget-difficult environment to sustain the support we need here. That’s why it’s in our interest and President Karzai’s interest to fight corruption.” No, what Joe is really saying here is, look at how important we are back home. If Hamid wishes to keep his custom made hat and capes financed by the US, then he'd better see us, and suck our toes... too bad this isn't Israel, then I'd be treated like a King...

We'll skip the horrors of bomb blasts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the frustrations of the Iraqiya party walking out on another vote to form a government in Iraq, and settle in and talk about common, everyday human-right's abuses in Palestine. We have a long list of Israeli abuses, but even more sinister are the sins committed by both Hamas and Fatah political parties against their fellow Palestinians. It is something that both parties are going to have to confront and reconcile if they plan to move forward and represent if the peace process does actually move forward: "Hardly a month passes without Palestinian and international human rights organisations complaining of abuses being committed by one or both sides of the feud. Hamas can justifiably accuse the PA of suppressing its members in the West Bank to appease Israeli security demands, while Fatah can rightly accuse Hamas of repressing its members in Gaza. But neither security concerns, nor claims to represent the Palestinian resistance can justify human rights violations.

Hamas, just like the PA, has arrested people for engaging in resistance against Israel, although it argues that its case is different because it has no security agreements with Israel. But suppression is suppression regardless of who carries it out and it is clear that Hamas is trying to send a message to Israel that it, not Fatah, controls security.

All but a few Palestinian writers and bloggers have failed to hold both parties accountable for these abuses, focusing instead on exposing one while ignoring the other. But an activist or writer should be able to fully support Hamas or Fatah, depending on their own political standing, while remaining committed to human rights and holding a mirror to their own party.

Both parties are participating in a process of self-destruction as long as they continue to ignore the human rights of the people they are competing to represent." This just proves that any peaceful process is a long, arduous task, made more difficult when the people who are your leaders got there through guns and fighting instead of representation. Maybe the people of Palestine need a new set of leaders who are more accustomed to creating businesses and educating children than the ones they have now. Not that it would make Israel any more honest, but that they would have more legitimacy in the eyes of the world...

Barack Obama's recent poll ratings are between 43% and 45% favorable. Here are the recent poll ratings for his GOP Top Guns:

John Boehner

Date            Pollster                     Favorable           Unfavorable           Spread
11/08/10     AP/GfK                     35.0%                 27.0%                      8.0
11/07/10     USA Today/Gallup   34.0%                 26.0%                      8.0
10/30/10     CNN                         25.0%                 26.0%                     -1.0
10/26/10     Bloomberg                37.0%                 37.0%                      0.0
10/26/10     CBS/NYT                  7.0%                 14.0%                     -7.0
10/21/10     Rasmussen               32.0%                 40.0%                     -8.0
10/20/10     GWU                       18.0%                 15.0%                      3.0
10/18/10     AP/GfK                   34.0%                 32.0%                      2.0
10/17/10     Gallup                      27.0%                 31.0%                    -4.0
10/10/10     Bloomberg               29.0%                 32.0%                    -3.0
10/05/10     CBS                          8.0%                 15.0%                     -7.0

Mitch McConnell

Date           Pollster                Favorable           Unfavorable             Spread
11/08/10    AP/GfK                34.0%                  25.0%                       9.0
10/21/10    Rasmussen           33.0%                  35.0%                      -2.0
10/18/10    AP/GfK                33.0%                  33.0%                       0.0

ps: the table looked really good and the rows were all straight in draft mode. The editor in blogger has a lot of bugs in it, and they take way too long to get them fixed...

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