"[N]one of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier"...
December 15, 2008 - Must Swear In Obama Right Now “We can’t afford to waste an hour, much less a day or a week or a month. And this business of being a lame duck President and saying, you know, ‘Adios. I’m going to the ranch. I’m just not going to do very much during this period.’ We can’t afford it....We’re in possibly, possibly the biggest crisis we’ve been in since December 7, 1941, and maybe since the time of the Civil War. So, we can’t afford to have this interregnum.” — Ex-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 5.
Instead, she is poised to retrace Barack Obama’s far narrower path to the presidency: a campaign focused more on mobilizing supporters in the Great Lakes states and in parts of the West and South than on persuading undecided voters. Mrs. Clinton’s aides say it is the only way to win in an era of heightened polarization, when a declining pool of voters is truly up for grabs. Her liberal policy positions, they say, will fire up Democrats, a less difficult task than trying to win over independents in more hostile territory — even though a broader strategy could help lift the party with her.There's a phrase in those two paragraphs, "era of heightened polarization," that's worth reflecting on. I know how all right thinking people lament the growing partisanship in politics, but there's a pretty clear cause and effect implicit here, though the Times won't admit it: Obama in his quest for reelection, pursuing a narrow strategy, has increased the polarization in politics. Clinton plans to follow suit. I question if this is a wise strategy for Clinton to pursue. I'm not alone.
Since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton's parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts last year. In each case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either "no" or no response. They determined that the cost of saying "yes," or even of making a counteroffer that required concessions, was too high. Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anticolonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal, and negotiations -- which are by definition about mutual concessions -- will inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision. But going to the United Nations does no such thing. It puts pressure on Israel and requires nothing of the Palestinians. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn't, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?Abbas, as Ross noted, torpedoed the American-sponsored peace process last year (just as former Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni recently recounted) only to see political pressure brought to bear on Israel. Ross ends by asking, "But isn't it time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security? Isn't it time to ask the Palestinians to respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own?"
Issue: Whether a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, on request, to record the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem as born in "Israel" on a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and on a United States passport is unconstitutional on the ground that the statute "impermissibly infringes on the President's exercise of the recognition power reposing exclusively in him."Prof. Eugene Kontorovich points out that legally the issue is not the same as the political issue of recognition of Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem. Most observers of the oral argument believe it it will be a 5-4 split, most likely in favor of the Executive Branch. But oral arguments are not necessarily accurate predictors of ultimate outcome, so who knows. Regardless of the legal technicalities, the media and public perception is that this is a political issue regarding Jerusalem, particularly in light of hostile and threatening statements made by the Obama administration over Israeli exercise of sovereignty over "East Jerusalem" (the part of Jerusalem illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949-1967). Via Mirabelle from Israelly Cool:
Some of Obama’s biggest recent grievances in that relationship [between Obama and Netanyahu] seem to have been over Jews living in various neighborhoods in Jerusalem. In the past few weeks, Obama or his spokespeople have expressed their displeasure with Jews moving into homes they legally purchased in Silwan, planned construction of mixed Jewish and Arab housing in Givat Hamatos, or Monday’s announcement of homes in Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo. Rather than go on a lengthy rant about my complete and utter disappointment at my own President, I though we’d just take a trip in the Wayback Machine, to 2008 . . .In 2008, Obama pledged that Israel could keep its undivided Capital of Jerusalem, if it likes it. That was then. This is now:
Gazette opinion: Obama earned the low ratings Sometimes, you have to admit you're wrong. And, we were wrong. We said that things couldn't get much worse after the sub par presidency of George W. Bush. But, President Barack Obama's administration has us yearning for the good ol' days when we were at least winning battles in Iraq. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal polls show that Americans are giving Obama lower marks than in 2006 when Iraq was going poorly for Bush and a tepid response to Hurricane Katrina sunk Bush's ratings. It's not that popularity polling should be the final or even best measure of a president. There is that old saw that points out there's a difference between doing what is right and what is popular. For us, though, it's the number of bungled or blown policies in the Obama administration which lead us to believe Obama has earned every bit of an abysmal approval rating.John Nolte of Breitbart summarizes the rest of the piece:
The White House systematically delayed enacting a series of rules on the environment, worker safety and health care to prevent them from becoming points of contention before the 2012 election, according to documents and interviews with current and former administration officials.
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