Click the link below to listen to the podcast of this week’s show!
I am a fervent supporter of Israel, yet I bitterly oppose Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in front of Congress. This disgraceful talk is the result of political collusion between House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Netanyahu to humiliate President Obama, sabotage nuclear talks with Iran, and help the Israeli leader win reelection.
Netanyahu and his Rapture-seeking supporters in Congress claim that they are pro-Israel. Yet it is perplexing to see how this unauthorized congressional address helps Israel, when it has profoundly frayed relations between the two allied nations. The Iranian Ayatollahs themselves could not have invented a better scenario to undermine the once-strong U.S. and Israeli bond.
Netanyahu should go home and give peace a chance. Secretary of State John Kerry is working on a deal to scuttle Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We should try smart diplomacy and exhaust every option before we blindly rush into another costly and bloody war. Netanyahu’s urging of the U.S. to prematurely spill blood and treasure is reckless. If Israel succeeds in pressuring our nation into war, this will surely embolden every conspiracy-loving anti-Semite to come out of the woodwork and blame the Jews. Netanyahu should mind his own damn business and keep his face out of our domestic politics. If the Israeli leader wants to bomb Iran before peace talks are exhausted – he should do it himself.
Israel’s great strength is that it has bipartisan support. Netanyahu has squandered this advantage by snubbing President Obama and turning Israel into a satellite of the Republican National Committee. Lest he forget that 70% of American Jews voted for Obama and find the politics of the modern GOP repugnant. I applaud Democrats, such as Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for skipping Netanyahu’s petulant and partisan screed.
Israelis should vote Netanyahu out of office. His absence of vision, deployment of fear, lack of commitment to the peace process, undermining US and Israeli relations, and destructive pandering to Israel’s extreme right makes him unfit to continue leading.
What is the rationale for another Netanyahu term? Unless voters are happy with the precarious status quo, where an increasingly delusional, ultra-religious nation happily dances to patriotic songs while plummeting into the abyss, otherwise known as the future.
The curious part of the “Cult of Netanyahu” is that his supporters pretend to be the ultimate patriots who are protecting Israel. Meanwhile, under this “tough” leader, peace talks with the Palestinians have floundered and provocative settlements have expanded in the West Bank. I have yet to hear one lucid explanation on how these arrogant and oppressive settlements have helped Israel. They have done nothing but marginalize peace-seeking Israelis and Palestinians, created worldwide outrage at Israel, which has helped fuel a rise in global anti-Semitism and isolate Israel.
I could understand enduring such backlash if it was necessary for the security of Israel. For example, I favor Israel keeping the Golan Heights for strategic military advantage. I’m fine with the blockade on Gaza because instead of importing goods to better the lives of civilians, Hamas has used the sea to smuggle in arms and materials to build terror tunnels. Until the people of Gaza understand that a non-violent peace movement is the answer, instead of indiscriminately lobbing missiles at innocent Israeli families, they will be in a prison of their own making.
But the combustible settlements in the West Bank are in a different category. They are completely superfluous and do nothing to enhance Israel’s security. They are a sop to hardcore Israeli fundamentalist settlers that dream of a Greater Israel with borders from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. These settlements are also a bribe to America’s evangelical Christians, some of who believe that the Jews must control all of Israel for Jesus to return. The substitution of rational, clear-eyed domestic and foreign policy with kowtowing to religious extremists is what truly threatens Israel’s security.
I’m an American supporter of the Jewish State, but I refuse to drink Netanyahu’s tainted Kool-Aid. I’m not going to buy into his irrational, war-mongering, fear-based apocalyptic warnings – so he can appease the fantasies of paranoid religious zealots.
Israel needs forward thinking leaders that will genuinely pursue peace because it is in the long-term interest of Israel’s national security. Does an Israeli minority really want to be lording over a Palestinian majority in 10 or 20 years? How’s that going to play on the world stage?
If durable peace could be achieved with Israel’s archenemies, Egypt and Jordan, it could also happen with the Palestinians. In the meantime, as a United States citizen I’m appalled by Netanyahu’s brazen speech. The George W. Bush of Israeli politics should be criticized and ultimately snubbed. Then he should go home and lose his election. That would be the most pro-Israel gift imaginable.Read More »
Jeb Bush made a lucrative visit to Chicago last week. His PAC, “Right to Rise,” pulled in a record smashing $4.2 million dollars in just two events.
His first event was at the Chicago Club, where tickets were $1,000 a pop. Then there was dinner at the Lake Forest estate of investor Reeve Waud. To attend this shindig, you had to either give Jeb $25,000 or plan to raise this much. The host of both events was another moneyman – Mauneer Satter. The Sun Times’ Michael Sneed ran with the headline, “Jeb Hits the Jackpot.”
The Chicago Club event made national news when Jeb tried to differentiate himself from his father and brother by claiming that he was his “own man” and that he disagreed with his brother on some aspects of the Iraq war.
Who is Jeb Bush kidding? The Washington Post reported that 19 of the 21 people on his early list of advisers includes those who worked in the administrations of his father or brother. Clearly, he is not his own man. Jeb Bush is a clone posing as a new face. In reality, he is actually Bush 3.0. If you are sick of Bushes in the White House, you will run away from Jeb. The idea that this rotten apple has fallen far from the tree is preposterous.
The one Republican presidential hopeful who seems to be damaged by Bush’s fundraising is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Many wealthy supporters, including the billionaire New York Jets owner, Woody Johnson, have opted for Bush.
Christie was already on thin ice before Bush’s tidal wave of cash from Chicago. The New Jersey governor was excoriated in a New York Times article for his stunningly lavish lifestyle. This included riding to Israel on the private plane of casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson. While on this junket, Christie took a side trip to Jordan where he partied at the King’s palace with U2 singer Bono and stayed in a luxurious Kempinski hotel room that had cost about $30,000 a night.
Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:
While many high-profile Republican politicians resist insinuating themselves into celebrity circles, Mr. Christie seeks them out — Howard Stern in the Hamptons; Donald J. Trump at Jean-Georges in Manhattan, where the menu begins at $128 per person. He danced onstage with Jamie Foxx at a celebrity benefit at the Hamptons in August before a crowd that included Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.
State taxpayers paid for Mr. Christie, his wife and two aides to travel to the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, as New Jersey prepared to host the 2014 game. Airfare for four passengers came to $8,146; Mr. Christie’s hotel for three nights cost $3,371.
When we heard that Chris Christie was living “high on the hog” we thought it was the buffet table. We had no idea that it was a fancy A-list lifestyle, while many Americans are scraping and clawing to lift themselves and their families out of the long recession.
Then Christie went to London to show that could handle foreign policy on the world stage. His trip was undercut by his vacillating and vexing comments on vaccination – where he was clearly trying to appeal to the knuckle-draggers in his party.
And let’s not forget his recent temper tantrum when he bullied a man asking him a question at a press conference by telling him to “sit down and shut up.” (Of course, there is also Bridge Gate.)
But the most recent article that came out in the New York Times was devastating. It began:
“Christie does not return phone calls. He does not ask for support. He arrives late for meetings. And he acts as if he has all the time in the world…the complaints have piled up for weeks, dismaying many longtime supporters of Gov. Chris Christie and sending others into the arms of his rivals for the presidential nomination.”
Ouch! The Times article went onto say:
• In Iowa and New Hampshire Christie’s negative ratings in some opinion polls are higher than his favorable ones.
• Friends say Christie is both understaffed and too controlling. (And these are his friends. Imagine what his enemies are saying)
• Some supporters critical of the governor’s campaign blame what they call “the Christie Bubble,” a tight-knit circle of advisors that have known him for years.
• He has been slower than Jeb Bush to lockdown support within the Republican Party’s pool of big-name bundlers….which is a classic rookie mistake.
• Friends also say (those lovely political friends, once again) that Christie is convinced that his raw talent and charisma can overcome political obstacles in his way.
Here’s what I think. Chris Christie is demoralized by the entry of Jeb Bush into the fray. He thinks that major donors are afraid to offend the powerful Bush family and back other candidates.
Christie doesn’t think he can beat the Bush machine. So, he’s going to kick back to see if the Bush candidacy implodes. He’s going to wait and see if grass roots Tea Baggers who despise Bush on immigration and education will undermine his nascent campaign.
If they do smother the Bush campaign in the cradle, this opens the door for Christie to come in and play hero. He can swoop in and save the party from a Ted Cruz or Rick Perry type at the last minute. (Just as may donors begged him to save the party from Mitt Romney in 2012) The idea is that he is the one candidate that grass roots conservatives and the Wall Street crowd can compromise on.
Of course, this scenario depends on Wisconsin governor Scott Walker being a paper tiger. If Bush tanks and Walker turns out to be the next Rick Perry or Fred Thompson, the GOP may beg Christie to enter the race.
So, Chris Christie may be the first victim of the Bush finical juggernaut we saw in Chicago this week. But, if he is a flash in the pan, Christie may enter the kitchen.Read More »
Rudy Giuliani entered McCarthyist territory with his grotesque personal attack on President Barack Obama’s patriotism. Speaking to a hardcore Republican crowd, New York City’s former mayor said:
“I know this is a horrible thing to say. But I do not believe that the president loves America.”
Giuliani is 100% right, what he said was horrible, yet he said it anyway, which makes Giuliani a horrible human being. By uttering such defamatory words he instantly went from America’s Mayor to America’s Mooncalf.
While Giuliani’s insults may have thrilled the Republican base, they turned out to be baseless. The New York Times listed several occasions where the President smooched with America. For example, in a key Obama stump speech the president repeatedly said that the United States is:
“the greatest democratic, economic, and military force for freedom and human dignity the world has ever known….I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.”
The list of examples goes on and on, but facts mean nothing to FOX News knuckleheads.
Apparently, Giuliani also thinks he is the sole owner of 911, and he continues to shamelessly exploit this tragedy. In his warped view, he is the only person on earth who was impacted on that awful day. It’s only a matter of time before he gets a trademark for 911 – so he can sue you if you decide to talk about the incident without his prior approval.
Giuliani (or is it Fooliani?) has tumbled down from the mountain and now resides in depths of the sewer with Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ted Nugent, those other fallen right wing nitwits who have surrendered all credibility.
I was living in Washington, DC on September 11. I worked only a few blocks from the White House. When terrorists hit the second World Trade Center building, it was bedlam in DC. The Pentagon had also been hit, right across the Potomac River.
I remember walking on Connecticut Avenue to my DuPont Circle home. There was a storefront that sold televisions. People from all political persuasions gathered around in a state of panic. The fear, anger, and grief, was a shared national experience that had little to do with that blowhard, Rudy Giuliani.
What I’m going to say now may be controversial. Out of genuine concern for his mental health, I wonder if Giuliani may have been psychologically damaged by the 911 experience? Was the stress simply too much and he cracked? Did he get too close to Ground Zero’s toxic fumes? Because, let’s be honest, ever since his encounter with 911 he’s been a little “off.” A trip to Bellevue for a head exam is probably a healthy option.
Interestingly, Wisconsin governor and presidential hopeful Scott Walker was on-hand for Giuliani’s remarks. He steadfastly refused to condemn Giuliani, lest he offend Iowa’s Crackpot Caucus. This was a mistake that will cost him dearly with moderates if he’s lucky enough to win the GOP nomination.
While most Republicans either stayed silent or deflected the question, King Tea Bagger, Glenn Beck, actually backed Giuliani.
“I don’t think he [Obama] loves America, I think he likes America…”
You have to read between the lines. The Republican Party has been tearing down the Middle Class and running roughshod over the poor. They disguise the damage they have done by wrapping their actions in the flag. Conservatives consistently attack those who legitimately critique this country as unpatriotic, because once Americans start analyzing what’s happened since the election of Ronald Reagan – they are going to turn on the GOP.
The Republicans are not a Party, but a Ponzi Scheme that represents a number of failed ideas held together by the glue of prejudice and Wall Street. They hate campaign finance reform because they need oodles of cash to fund their Big Lie. This is why they have conflated “Free Speech” with “Fee Speech,” where the highest bidder has the most access and impact on our political system.
Giuliani was not the only conservative to hit Obama below the belt. Conservative provocateur and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza criticized Obama for using a long selfie-stick to take a photograph. The sexually dysfunctional D’Souza apparently thought the stick looked like a big penis. He tweeted a photo of Obama with a message in all caps:
“YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE GHETTO… Watch this vulgar man show his stuff, while America cowers in embarrassment “
D’Souza used “boy” and “ghetto” in the same tweet. No, the Republican opposition to the president has nothing to do with race, they insist. Notice how these so-called patriotic America-lovers have no qualms about degrading the office of the President of the United States.
Yeah, they really love America. Their actions speak so much louder than their words.Read More »