Archive for May 21st, 2011

21
May
11

ireland

Night everyone, relieved you all survived the Rapture 😉

21
May
11

‘jeopardizing israel’s relationship with u.s.’

Jerusalem, July 2008

Jerusalem Post: Opposition leader Tzipi Livni slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday for “harming the relationship” between Israel and the US.

“Netanyahu spoke about consensus,” Livni said, “and if there is a consensus in Israel, it’s that the relationship with the US is essential to Israel, and a prime minister that harms the relationship with the US over something unsubstantial is harming Israel’s security and deterrence.” Livni added that such a prime minister should resign. “I am saying this loud and clear.”

“Israel’s deterrence and legitimacy in the world is directly connected to our relationship with the greatest power in the world, the US,” Livni said.

She explained that Obama’s speech on Thursday “is not reason enough” to challenge the US, and said that Netanyahu’s statements were political and meant to maintain the coalition.

“An American president that supports the two-state vision is representing Israeli interests and is not anti-Israel,” Livni said. The only way to stop the Palestinians from unilaterally declaring statehood, Livni explained, is to have the US “convince states that plan to support the decision not to do so, but to support negotiations.”

****

President Obama will deliver his AIPAC address at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Sunday, at 10:35 a.m

21
May
11

the rapture seems to be delayed

😆

21
May
11

‘a titanic struggle between fear and hope’

Andrew Sullivan: …I saw nothing that new in the president’s speech on Israel-Palestine – just a minimal request directed to both sides based on a settlement everyone knows is the only equitable one, and that has been the cornerstone of US policy for a very long time. But the rank hysteria that immediately sprang from Jerusalem and quickly enveloped the far-right-wing-media-industrial-complex, revealed far more plainly than before that the gulf between Israel and the rest of the world is simply vast.

It appears that the maximum Netanyahu would allow in any two state solution are some kind of autonomous bantustans in the West Bank, surrounded by Israeli military and security forces and buffered at the Jordan border with IDF troops … If this is Israel’s bottom line, there will be no peace, and there should be no peace, because of the rank injustice of this non-solution.

….Netanyahu is no longer on the Israeli fringe … there is very solid and wide support in Israel for such a maximalist position, and in America, this is what most of the American Jewish Establishment has fatefully backed.

What strikes me is the visceral and emotional power behind the AIPAC line, displayed in Netanyahu’s contemptuous, disgraceful, desperate public dressing down of the American president in the White House.

Just observe the tone of Netanyahu’s voice, and the Cheney-like determination to impose his will on the world, regardless of anyone else, and certainly without the slightest concern for his ally’s wider foreign policy and security needs … Has Netanyahu ever asked, one wonders, what he could actually do to help Obama, president of Israel’s oldest, and strongest ally in an era of enormous social and political change?

…Netanyahu’s current position means that the US is supposed to sacrifice its broader goals of reconciliation with an emergent democratic Arab world ..he wants the US to clasp itself to Israel’s total distrust of every Arab state and population in an era where it is vital for the US to do exactly the opposite.

And it is absurd not to notice Obama’s even-handedness. It’s clear he won’t legitimize Hamas until Hamas legitimizes itself by acknowledging Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and dropping its virulent, violent anti-Semitism … Like any US president, he is committed to Israel’s security and is, indeed, vital to it. But all he asks is a good faith attempt by the Israelis to acknowledge that their future state has to be based on the 1967 lines with landswaps. Indefensible? Says who?….

And no one seems to appreciate Obama’s political courage in all this. Obama seems to understand that an equitable two-state solution is a key crucible for the change he is seeking with respect to the Muslim world … With each month in office, he has pursued this, through humiliation after humiliation from the Israelis, who are openly trying to lobby the press, media, political parties and Congress to isolate this president and destroy his vision for peace and the historic and generational potential his presidency still promises. To achieve this, he has to face down the apocalyptic Christianist right, the entire FNC-RNC media machine, a sizable chunk of his party’s financial base, and the US Congress. And yet on he pushes – civilly, rationally, patiently.

This really is a titanic struggle between fear and hope…..

Full magnificent article here

Thank you LoriahR

21
May
11

iprez

President Obama carries his iPad as he departs the White House for an afternoon of golf, May 21

21
May
11

barack meets the beeb

BBC: The chance to interview the president of the United States does not come around often, and the BBC’s Andrew Marr fights the nerves as he hacks back his long list of questions again, and again, for his 18 minutes with Barack Obama.

…Was I nervous? I have interviewed prime ministers, foreign leaders, royalty and rock stars. Damn right I was nervous. You don’t get an interview like this very often.

…At last he arrived. We’d been warned he was tired, but he arrived with a broad beaming smile. As we sat down, I told him I’d be starting with Osama Bin Laden before we got to the big issue of the week, the Middle East. “Andrew, you can start with whatever you want,” President Obama replied: “You’ve got 18 minutes.”

…What was he like to interview? Very focused, very clever. Once or twice he saw where I might be heading, and expertly headed me off at the pass. Once I got a steely look and a “that’s enough of that” kind of answer. He grinned at a couple of the questions, and was as nuanced, careful and balanced as his reputation suggested.

But he wasn’t bland. Two or three times he gave me much crunchier, newsier answers than I was expecting……

More here

21
May
11

‘they’re the evil thing’

More at Politicususa

21
May
11

a west point first

NPR: First lady Michelle Obama urged more than 1,000 cadets Friday night on the brink of graduating to keep in mind the families of the soldiers they will lead.

Obama addressed the white-clad cadets and their families gathered in the U.S. Military Academy’s castle-like mess hall for a graduation-eve banquet. It marked her first visit to the storied academy and dovetails with her recent work on behalf of military families … she is the only first lady to address cadets at their graduation banquet….

More here

21
May
11

‘the delusional mob’

Jacob Weisberg (Slate): At a press conference last week, someone asked Chris Christie for his views on evolution vs. creationism. “That’s none of your business,” the New Jersey governor barked in response.

This minor incident, which barely rated as news for a few political blogs, offers a glimpse of Christie’s personality, which seems increasingly grumpy and snappish. But it says even more about the current state of the national Republican Party, where magical thinking trumps rationality, and even to acknowledge basic realities about the world we live in runs the risk of damaging one’s political future.

Christie is not part of the natural constituency for Darwin-denial. He’s an intelligent man, a lawyer, a fiscal rather than a social conservative. But Christie is also someone who might want to run for president someday, or be selected as someone’s running mate. For those purposes, he must constantly ask himself the question: Am I about to say something to which a white, evangelical, socially conservative, gun-owning, Obama-despising, pro-Tea Party, GOP primary voter in rural South Carolina might object? By this standard, simple acceptance of the theory of evolution becomes a risky stance. To lie or to duck? Christie chose the option of ducking while signaling his annoyance at being put in this ridiculous predicament.

….Even after the release of Obama’s birth certificate, nearly one-quarter of Republicans still refuse to believe that the president was born in the United States. Conspiracy thinking is flourishing on the right like no time since the McCarthy era. The GOP rank and file is in desperate need of a cold shower, a slap in the face, a wake-up call. But instead of telling the base to get a grip on reality, the party’s leaders are chasing after the delusional mob. To get to the front of the line in 2012, Republican candidates must pretend to believe a lot of nonsense than isn’t so. Or do they actually believe it?

Full brilliant article here – thank you Suzanne

21
May
11

ireland live

Two Irish television channels will have live online coverage of the President and First Lady’s visit on Monday, RTE and TV3

Sometimes their live online stuff isn’t available for viewing outside Ireland, but that’s usually for major sports events – hopefully everyone willl be able to watch on Monday.

The President and First Lady are due to arrive in Dublin around 9:30 AM Irish time, which is 4:30 AM US Eastern time

****

Irish Times: Plans are coming together for Monday afternoon’s big concert in honour of Barack Obama on College Green in Dublin. An early-evening start was originally envisaged, but the concert has been brought forward to mid-afternoon, and it is expected that the grand finale will take place at around 6pm.

President Obama is unlikely to attend the whole of the two-hour show, but he will join his hosts from the Government for the entertainment as soon as he gets back from the revels in Moneygall.

While the final line-up has yet to be finalised speculation is growing that Bono, U2 or both may make a surprise appearance. Bono is an admirer of Obama, saying in a recent Hot Press interview: “There is nothing fake about this man.”

The band are currently on tour in North America, but their dates leave a window of opportunity: they play Denver tonight, then Salt Lake City on Tuesday. With the help of God and a private jet, anything is possible. 😆

Meanwhile, we hear that Sharon Shannon, Mundy, The Coronas and Imelda May will be among those taking the stage.

A number of leading Irish actors will give readings, among them Brendan Gleeson and Gabriel Byrne. Top sporting figures, such as Pádraig Harrington, Robbie Keane and Brian O’Driscoll, will also take part.

More here




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