FOREIGN AFFAIRS/NEW CABINET: Realist Middle East; Israel-Palestine ‘Peace;’ Hagel; Linkage; Mali; the French
Sleepy Chuck Hagel Has Some Bigger Questions to Answer “Linkage” is loosely defined as the lack of an Israel-Palestine Peace Treaty as the cause of Middle East ‘instability.’ Hagel wrote in his 2008 book, America, Our Next Chapter, that the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict “cannot be looked at in isolation. Like a stone dropped into a placid lake, its ripples extend out farther and farther. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon feel the effects most noticeably. Farther still, Afghanistan and Pakistan; anything that impacts their political stability also affects the two emerging economic superpowers, India and China.” Events have clearly and unequivocally proven this completely false. The simple reason, recognizable a long, long time ago, is that the Arab/Muslim nations of the region hate Israel and want it wiped off the earth. Peace through annihilation? Apparently. What if Hagel still believes that claptrap?
The French are winning handily in Mali Enough with the facile Vietnam and Afghanistan analogies (No Dien Bien Phu.) They’re Pros, today, and the AQIM aren’t. The French know Mali and the Malians speak French. Both are significant.
How the US Can Help Avert a Failed State in Syria A plea by the Syrian Support Group that may be the answer.
NEW CABINET/NATIONAL DEFENSE: Hagel; Schumer; Benghazigate; Panetta
Hagel humiliates Schumer Roger Simon’s classic line: “I have never seen a nomination hearing so humiliating. (I see why people like Hagel though. He’s kind of an affable dope. But a secretary of Defense? Better for bartender at the golf club.”)
Panetta expected to testify on Libya after senator threatens to hold up nomination Graham threatens to hold up Hagel confirmation. Possible breakthrough on Benghazi or do we add Panetta to the list of liers?
TAXES: Minnesota; Snowbird Tax
Minnesota channels CA Incentivizing the well-to-do to leave the state, permanently. The proposed tax would hit any MN resident, who spends at least 60 days a year in the state. I think the Governor may run into legal problems on this one.
OBAMA AND NOTHING BUT: The Caine Mutiny; Insanity
His Queeg Moment “In Herman Wouk’s classic World War II novel, The Caine Mutiny, there is a moment when a group of the ship’s officers are getting away from the increasingly eccentric Captain Queeq by relaxing ashore. Suddenly the malcontent Lieutenant Keefer asks the others: “Does it occur to you that Captain Queeg may be insane?” Think of his second Inauguration Speech, that “in an emergency, he is incapable of grappling with reality?” Interesting and probably apt analogy, but, IMHO, too charitable. In other word, it’s NOT just ‘in an emergency’ that he’s incapable. Arrogance and blame are the only available channels on his rhetoric selector, aka his teleprompter.
ELECTIONS/IMMIGRATION: History of black vote; Immigration Reform; Civil Rights Act; Latino vote.
LABOR/IMMIGRATION: Union opposition; Guest Worker provision
Immigration’s Poison Pill: Big Labor A potential pool of new members, which the unions dearly want, vs. a Guest Worker program in which all would be ineligible for union membership. Poor dears.
SPORTS: NFL; Football; Obama; Winter X Games
Unnecessary Presidential Roughness “Last week’s Winter X Games killed more people than 90-plus years of National Football League play.” Obama butts his ignorant nose into way too many subjects where he doesn’t belong. “The president’s blindside hit on football, like most blindside hits, lacks proportionality. Last season, football hits killed four players. Smoking tobacco, the habit that the commander in chief indulged for decades, killed more than 400,000 Americans last year, according to the government Obama presides over.” That doesn’t count brain damage from his years in the Choom Gang.