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Archive for August 2nd, 2011

Police Suspect Bundy in ’61 Murder

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Police Suspect Bundy in ’61 Murder
Serial killer Ted Bundy has long been suspected in the abduction of 8-year-old Ann Marie Burr, who disappeared from her Tacoma, Wash., home in 1961. Officials in Florida are working to have Bundy’s DNA profile uploaded into the FBI’s national database by mid-August, where it could be compared to evidence never analyzed in the Burr case. “It’s a question that needs to be answered from a historical standpoint as well as an investigative standpoint,” said detective Gene Miller, who leads the Tacoma Police Department’s cold case unit.



Until the next nightmare

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:45 am by HL

Until the next nightmare
The fun is just starting.

Well our fair tribunes of the people have voted to make our economic purgatory last as long as possible. Uh, huzzah?

But let not the moment pass without the mini-mandibles of Mitch McConnell adding warnings of fun-times to come.

I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.

I cannot believe the man makes statements without an asterisk to hold up while talking.

We all know if there’s a President Romney, Mitch McConnell will vote to raise away to facilitate whatever tax cuts Romney pushes to coincide with his glorious bombings and occupation of the balance of the middle east. All hail the hypnotoad!

Of course, if Barack Obama’s reelected, well through his “magical” negotiating prowess he managed to protect his family from the Republicans this time. At the very least I’d suggest Bo get his affairs in order within the next couple years.


Late, Late Night FDL: Fortunate Son
CCR–Fortunate Son and Bruce Hornsby–The Way It Is

CCR–Fortunate Son

I certainly ain’t no Senator’s son, but, that’s just the way it is…

Bruce Hornsby–The Way It Is

Today will surely live on in infamy…!

Truly… A big Mahalo to our critters…! (H/T tambershall)

What’s on your mind tonite…?


A Retreat, Not a Rout

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:44 am by HL

A Retreat, Not a Rout
It’s supremely galling. It’s unbalanced, unfair and mostly unwise. For President Obama and the Democratic Party, it’s a comprehensive defeat. But it’s not the end of the world.

By Eugene Robinson

It’s supremely galling. It’s unbalanced, unfair and mostly unwise. For President Obama and the Democratic Party, it’s a comprehensive defeat. But it’s not the end of the world.


Related Entries



HuffPost TV: WATCH: Arianna Discusses The Debt Ceiling Deal With Piers Morgan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:43 am by HL

HuffPost TV: WATCH: Arianna Discusses The Debt Ceiling Deal With Piers Morgan
Arianna appeared Monday on CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ to discuss the recent deal to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. “Here we have a major crisis…

WATCH: Debt Ceiling Comes At Cost To Some, Including The Unemployed
The White House and top congressional lawmakers struck a deal to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts, but not everyone’s happy. The agreement…

Analysis: Tea Party proves clout, but at what cost?
By John Whitesides WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tea Party conservatives scored their biggest political triumph with a debt-ceiling deal that cuts federal spending, but their hardline…

Raymond J. Learsy: Japanese Willingly Ration Watts While We Continue to Pump Tankerful of Profits Into Big Oil
Certainly you have read the headlines, among them “Big Oil Companies Post Huge Profits…” (Huffington Post 07.29.11.) “The sputtering economy, high unemployment taking huge toll…


Netanyahu Apparently Embracing “The Destruction Of Israel”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Netanyahu Apparently Embracing “The Destruction Of Israel”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly open to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines that President Obama laid out in May in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that called for a peace agreement based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon swaps. However, when Obama made the proposal, the conservative media decried it as “potential suicide” and “the destruction of Israel.”

Netanyahu Supports Peace Talks Based On Obama Proposal To AIPAC

Jerusalem Post: Netanyahu And U.S. Working To Return To Negotiations With Palestinians Based On Obama’s AIPAC Proposal ForA Return To The 1967 Lines, With Mutual Agreed Swaps.” From an August 1 Jerusalem Post article:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel and the US were working on a document saying the parameters for returning to negotiations with the Palestinians would be based on the speech US President Barack Obama gave at AIPAC in May, and spelling out in greater detail what Obama meant by saying that an agreement should be based on a return to the 1967 lines, with mutual agreed swaps.

Netanyahu told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that “we are interacting with the US to put together a document [for an agreement with the Palestinians] using language from Obama’s second speech [the AIPAC speech].”

This speech explained in greater detail what Obama had said three days earlier at the State Department. That speech raised Netanyahu’s ire because it called for an agreement based on the pre-1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps.

To the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, however, Obama explained more fully what he had in mind.

What he meant, Obama had said, was that the parties themselves “will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.

It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.

“The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.”

[…]

Israel was “working to ensure a US veto in the UN Security Council, but that will not prevent a majority in the General Assembly,” Netanyahu said.

“Unilateral steps [by the Palestinians] will distance peace, not bring it closer,” he said.

Israel was working with the Quartet to draw up parameters for talks with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said. The coordination with Washington was better than expected, and Israel would not pay an outrageous price to start the talks.

This coordination was manifest in the basic agreement that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state, that Hamas cannot be a partner in the negotiations and that the final borders will be different from the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967, he said.

“The Israeli goal is direct negotiations with the Palestinians, without preconditions,” he said. “There have been attempts to find a way to start talks, but it does not seem to have great chances. [Jerusalem Post, 8/1/11]

In AIPAC Speech And Previous Speech, Obama Called For Negotiations Based On ’67 Lines With Agreed Swaps

May 19: Obama Calls For “A Viable Palestine, A Secure Israel” “Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps.” From Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East and North Africa:

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. 

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I’m aware that these steps alone will not resolve the conflict, because two wrenching and emotional issues will remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. [Remarks by Obama on the Middle East and North Africa, 5/19/11]

May 22: Obama Repeats That “The Borders Of Israel And Palestine Should Be Based On The 1967 Lines With Mutually Agreed Swaps” At AIPAC. From Obama’s remarks at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2011:

There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations.  Since questions have been raised, let me repeat what I actually said on Thursday — not what I was reported to have said. 

I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.  The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps — (applause) — so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. 
 
As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat.  (Applause.)  Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism, to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security.  (Applause.)  And a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign and non-militarized state.  (Applause.)  And the duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.  (Applause.) Now, that is what I said.  And it was my reference to the 1967 lines — with mutually agreed swaps — that received the lion’s share of the attention, including just now.  And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.

By definition, it means that the parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians — will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.  (Applause.)  That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means.  It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.  It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.  (Applause.)  It allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground, and the needs of both sides.  The ultimate goal is two states for two people:  Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people — (applause) — and the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people — each state in joined self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.  (Applause.)

If there is a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance.  What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately.  I’ve done so because we can’t afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades to achieve peace.  (Applause.)  The world is moving too fast.  The world is moving too fast.  The extraordinary challenges facing Israel will only grow.  Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve. [Remarks by the President at the AIPAC Policy Conference, 5/22/11]

When Obama Made His Proposal, Conservative Media Decried It As “Potential Genocide,” “The Destruction Of Israel”

Limbaugh: Obama Urged Israel To “Destroy Itself” And “Submit Its People To Potential Genocide.” On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said of Obama’s speech: “What kind of president urges a country to destroy itself and submit its people to potential genocide?” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show5/19/11, via Media Matters]

CNN’s Dana Loesch: Obama “Sided With Terrorists.” During her KFTK radio show, CNN contributor Dana Loesch claimed that in his Middle East speech Obama “sided with terrorists” and “people who believe that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist.” [KFTK, The Dana Show, 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Beck: Obama’s Policy On Israel Ends With “The Destruction Of Israel” And “The Western Way Of Life.” Discussing Obama’s speech, Beck said:

BECK: Let me tell you how this ends. It ends with the destruction of Israel. It ends with the end of the Western way of life. It is the keystone of the West. You do this, it inflames the Middle East, and I got news for you — Bill Kristol make fun of me all you want — a caliphate is established. [Fox News, Glenn Beck5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Geller: Obama’s Middle East Policy Is “Obama’s Final Solution.” In a May 19 post to her Atlas Shrugs blog on President Obama’s Middle East speech, Pamela Geller wrote that Obama was dooming Israel to “Auschwitz borders” and “Obama’s final solution.” From Atlas Shrugs:

The “Made in the USA” President proved today, yet again, how carefully he listened and committed to the  Islamic Jew-hatred taught to him in his quranic classes while growing up Muslim in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. His call to return to the ’67 borders, a return to Auschwitz borders, is a call to jihad. It will incite and inflame the Muslim street.

Obama’s foreign policy mimics that of the suicide bomber.

The idea that Israel must take the gas pipe, be reduced to tiny size by this tiny man, while the Muslims have given nothing, negotiated nothing, but instead, waged war and consolidated power between Fatah and Hamas (whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel), is Obama’s final solution.

I pray Netanyahu tells him to kish meir en tuchas. [Atlas Shrugs, 5/19/11]

Krauthammer Claims Obama Is “Tearing Up Bush-Era Agreements.” During the May 19 edition of Special Report, Fox News’ Bret Baier hosted conservative writer and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer to discuss Obama’s speech on the Middle East. During the segment, Krauthammer falsely claimed that Obama is “tearing up Bush-era agreements” and “mak[ing] the biggest concession of the entire Arab-Israeli negotiations in 50 years.” [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: Obama Has Thrown Israel Under “A Bus Full Of Suicide Bombers.” During the May 19 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that Obama has thrown Israel under “a bus full of suicide bombers.” He added, “I wonder if the members of the Nobel Committee over in Oslo are scratching their heads tonight wondering why one of their Peace Prize recipients is abandoning a key democratic ally.” [Fox News, Sean Hannity5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: If Israel’s Security “Is An Important Factor In Your Life, You Have No Business Supporting Barack Obama.” From the May 19 edition of Fox News’ On the Record:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (host): Now let me ask a collateral issue that is of less importance than the security of any nation or of our allies or anything but the collateral issue, and that’s the political impact here in the United States. You know, we have an enormous population here in this country, especially in Florida where you are — who are — who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Israel. What does this do to him politically?

DICK MORRIS (Fox News contributor): Well, it’s a question of the values of each pro-Israeli voter, whether they’re Jewish or not. If the maintenance of the security of the state of Israel is an important factor in your life, you have no business supporting Barack Obama. It’s that simple. Until now, Obama has pressured Israel on settlements, pressured them into negotiations. And those have all been within the range, kind of the pro-Palestinian range, but within the range of acceptable past U.S. policy. But now, he has literally embraced the language of the Palestinians. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Morris: Obama Is Asking Israel “To Commit Suicide.” Later on the same program, Morris claimed that Obama is “literally” asking Israel “to commit suicide.” [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: “Some Say” Obama “Virtually Spat In The Face Of The State Of Israel.” From the May 20 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:

HANNITY: And less than 24 hours after some say that President Barack Obama virtually spat in the face of the state of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of America’s closest ally in the Middle East arrived at the White House. Now tensions ran high as the two leaders came face to face for the first time since the president shocked the world yesterday by calling on Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Gateway Pundit: Obama “Proposed Giving Half Of Jerusalem … To Hamas-Fatah Terrorist Alliance.” From Jim Hoft’s May 19 blog post:

Let’s be clear.

Obama today proposed giving half of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount, Old Jerusalem, The holiest Christian Church in the world, The Church of the Holy Sepulchreto Hamas-Fatah terrorist alliance. [Gateway Pundit, 5/19/11]

Ace of Spades: Obama Is “‘Endorsing The Terrorists’ Key Demand.” From a May 19 post on the Ace of Spades blog:

Obama pretty much announced that he wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders — thus endorsing the terrorists’ key demand without requiring any substantive concessions on their part. [Ace of Spades, 5/19/11]

Conservative Media Continued To Decry Obama’s “Anti-Israel” Policies After His AIPAC Speech

Hoft: “Obama Doubles Down: Pushes 1967 Border Plan At AIPAC 2011.” In a May 22 post on Gateway Pundit, blogger Jim Hoft wrote: “Far left President Barack Obama spoke today at AIPAC 2011. He doubled down on his plan to push 1967 borders on Israel essentially turning over the Holy Land to the Hamas-Fatah terror alliance.” [Gateway Pundit, 5/22/11]

Ross: “Obama Double[d] Down” At AIPAC. In a May 22 post on his blog titled, “Obama doubles down: Israel needs to adopt 1967 borders, split itself into two pieces and accept a contiguous Palestinian state,” conservative blogger Doug Ross wrote: “Speaking at AIPAC this morning, President Barack Obama reiterated his call for a ‘sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state’ using ‘1967 borders with mutually-agreed upon swaps’.” Beneath a map of Israel, the Gaza strip, and the West Bank, Ross continued: “This current map illustrates the idiocy of such a plan. To join Gaza with the West Bank would require splitting Israel into two pieces. That ain’t gonna happen. So President Obama just doubled-down on an absolutely nonsensical proposal.” [Doug Ross, 5/22/11]

Rubin: Obama “Doubled Down, Making This Upcoming Presidential Election A Time For Choosing For Friends Of Israel.” In a May 22 post, conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin claimed: “President Obama took nothing back from his foreign policy speech on Thursday and blamed the press for any controversy. He doubled down, making this upcoming presidential election a time for choosing for friends of Israel.” [Washington Post5/22/11]

Geller: “Obama Managed To Double Down And Backpedal At The Same Time.” In a May 22 post on Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller claimed: “In a rare, useless skill set mastered by our clumsy President, Obama managed to double down and backpedal at the same time. He tried to softshoe the ’67 borders remark by focusing instead on the caveat of mutually agreed-upon swaps. He admonished us for taking him the wrong way. I kid you not.” [Atlas Shrugs, 5/22/11]

Beck: Obama Wants To “Destabilize Israel Even More.” On his radio show, Beck “contend[ed]” that Obama’s border proposal will “destabilize Israel even more.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program5/23/11, via Media Matters]

WSJ‘s Stephens: AIPAC Speech Shows Obama To Be An “Anti-Israel President.” In his May 24 column, the Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens wrote that President Obama is an “Anti-Israel [p]resident” and that “[t]he contempt was again on display Sunday, when Mr. Obama spoke to the Aipac policy conference in Washington.” Stephens further wrote, “What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term.” From Stephens’ column, headlined, “An Anti-Israel President”:

When this president wants to make a show of his exquisite diplomatic sensitivity — burgers with Medvedev, bows to Abdullah, New Year’s greetings to the mullahs — he knows how. And when he wants to show his contempt, he knows how, too.

The contempt was again on display Sunday, when Mr. Obama spoke to the Aipac policy conference in Washington. The speech was stocked with the perennial bromides about U.S.-Israeli friendship, which brought an anxious crowd to its feet a few times. As for the rest, it was a thin tissue of falsehoods, rhetorical legerdemain, telling omissions and self-contradictions. Let’s count the ways.

[…]

And then there was that line that “we will hold the Palestinians accountable for their actions and their rhetoric.” Applause! But can Mr. Obama offer a single example of having done that as president, except perhaps at the level of a State Department press release?

What, then, would a pro-Israel president do? He would tell Palestinians that there is no right of return. He would make the reform of the Arab mindset toward Israel the centerpiece of his peace efforts. He would outline hard and specific consequences should Hamas join the government.

Such a vision could lay the groundwork for peace. What Mr. Obama offered is a formula for war, one that he will pursue in a second term. Assuming, of course, that he gets one. [Wall Street Journal, 5/24/11]

Conservative Media Also Suggested At The Time That Netanyahu “Refuse[d]” To Go Along With Obama’s Proposal

Carlson: Netanyahu “Insisting” Israel Can’t Return To 1967 Borders “As President Obama Has Proposed.” On the May 25 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson stated: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu getting more than 20 standing ovations during his address to Congress. More than President Obama at the State of the Union. Netanyahu insisting there is no way that Israel can return to 1967 borders as President Obama had proposed.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends5/25/11, via Media Matters]

Hoft: “Netanyahu Rejected Obama’s Dangerous Plan.” In a May 24 post on Gateway Pundit, conservative blogger Jim Hoft wrote: “Last week Barack Obama pushed Israel to hand over half of Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, The Temple Mount, Old Jerusalem, and the tomb of Jesus Christ to the Hamas-Fatah terrorist alliance. Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s dangerous plan. Congress gave him a standing ovation.” [Gateway Pundit, 5/24/11, emphasis in original]

Beck: Netanyahu “Had To Say” 1967 Borders Are Indefensible Because Obama “Played Into The Hands Of Radicals.” From the May 24 edition of Fox News’ Glenn Beck:

BECK: But tonight Benjamin Netanyahu — he addressed a joint session of Congress to make crystal clear where he stands. Listen.

NETANYAHU : Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967.

[Standing Ovation] 

BECK: Now, because he said that — no, I take that back. Because the President of the United States knowingly or unknowingly has played to the hands of radicals in the Middle East and here in America, he had to say that. And now the world is on a collision course. The world is very clear where Benjamin Netanyahu stands. I have told you where I stand. I stand with Israel. We know where the president stands. Soon, soon, if you don’t know yet, soon you’re gonna be– You’re gonna need to be crystal clear on where you stand. [Fox News, Glenn Beck5/24/11, via Media Matters]

Bolton: Obama’s Position Has Been “Radical,” So “It’s Little Wonder Why Benjamin Netanyahu Rejected It.” On the May 25 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now, Fox News contributor John Bolton claimed that “the idea that the ’67 lines have any political significance is simply wrong … [s]o the president’s position has been very radical during his entire tenure in office, and little wonder, therefore, I think that Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected it as he did.” [Fox News, Happening Now5/24/11, via Media Matters]

Kilmeade: Israel “Refuses” To Go Along With Obama’s Border Plan, “Netanyahu Said As Much On Capitol Hill.” From the June 1 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): President Obama wants Israel to return to its borders from 1967 with some land swaps. Israel, by the way, refuses, and Benjamin Netanyahu said as much on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, they have made nice, have the two leaders, and ultimately wonder — most of us would wonder, will it ultimately hurt our relationship from country to country? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/1/11, via Media Matters]

In Fact, Obama’s Proposal Was In Line With Comments By Bush, Olmert, And The U.S. House Of Representatives

In 2008, Then-Israeli Prime Minister Edud Olmert Stated That Israelis Must “Return To The Core Of The Territory That Is The State of Israel Prior To 1967.” On the anniversary of the death of Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an Orthodox Jew opposing the Oslo Accords, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated: “We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then.” From Haaretz:

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took advantage of yesterday’s special Knesset marking the 13th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin to call for territorial withdrawals in all disputed areas and to denounce violence on the part of Jewish settlers.

“We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then,” he said.

[…]

Olmert also said that, “Every government will need to tell the truth, which unfortunately will require us to tear out many parts of the homeland in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.” Addressing the settlers, he said: “You, too, will have do carry out a moral reckoning and reach a decision.” [Haaretz11/11/08]

George W. Bush: “Any Peace Agreement … Will Require Mutually Agreed Adjustments To The Armistice Lines Of 1949 To Reflect Current Realities.” From a 2008 statement by Bush while visiting Jerusalem.

Achieving an agreement will require painful political concessions by both sides. While territory is an issue for both parties to decide, I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous. I believe we need to look to the establishment of a Palestinian state and new international mechanisms, including compensation, to resolve the refugee issue. [Statement by President Bush, 1/10/08]

  • “1949 Armistice Line” Is Another Way Of Referring To Pre-1967 Borders. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs refers to the pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine as the “1949-1967 Armistice Lines.” [Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed 5/19/11]

In 2005, Bush Stated: “Any Final Status Agreement Must Be Reached Between The Two Parties, And Changes To The 1949 Armistice Lines Must Be Mutually Agreed To.” From Bush’s statement during a May 26, 2005, press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas:

Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice Lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity on the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today; it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations.

The imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, parts of the West Bank, presents an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a return to the roadmap. All parties have a responsibility to make this hopeful moment in the region a new and peaceful beginning. That is why I assigned General Kip Ward, who is with us today, to support your efforts, Mr. President, to reform the Palestinian security services and to coordinate the efforts of the international community to make that crucial task a success. The United States also strongly supports the mission of the Quartet’s special envoy, Jim Wolfensohn, to make sure that the Gaza disengagement brings Palestinians a better life. [Press Conference with Presidents Bush and Abbas, 5/26/05]

In 2004, U.S. House Approved A Return To Borders That Reflect “Mutually Agreed Changes” To “The Armistice Lines Of 1949.” House Concurrent Resolution 460, sponsored by then-Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) and approved by the U.S. House in 2004, stated:

Whereas the United States is hopeful that a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be achieved;

Whereas the United States is strongly committed to the security of Israel and its well-being as a Jewish state;

Whereas Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has proposed an initiative intended to enhance the security of Israel and further the cause of peace in the Middle East;

Whereas President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Sharon have subsequently engaged in a dialogue with respect to this initiative;

Whereas President Bush, as part of that dialogue, expressed the support of the United States for Prime Minister Sharon’s initiative in a letter dated April 14, 2004;

Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities. [H. Con. Res. 460, 6/23/04]

Wallace: 1967 Borders Have “Kind Of Always Been The Unofficial Idea For the Basis For An Agreement.” During the May 20 edition of Fox & FriendsFox News Sunday host Chris Wallace acknowledged that the 1967 borders have “always been the unofficial idea of the basis for an agreement” between Israel and Palestine. [Fox News, Fox & Friends5/20/11, via Media Matters]

NBC’s Gregory Notes That Previous Presidents Have Framed Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Around 1967 Borders. During the May 20 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, NBC’s David Gregory stated: “I think we have to put some things in context here. It is not unusual for an American president in the past decade or more to frame a peace process around the ’67 borders.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe5/20/11, via Media Matters]

Jeffrey Goldberg: “1967 Borders…Has Been The Basic Idea For At Least 12 Years”. Jeffery Goldberg wrote of the speech under the headline, “Nothing New in the Idea That ’67 Borders Should Guide Peace Talks.” Goldberg added: “This has been the basic idea for at least 12 years. This is what Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat were talking about at Camp David, and later, at Taba. This is what George W. Bush was talking about with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. So what’s the huge deal here? Is there any non-delusional Israeli who doesn’t think that the 1967 border won’t serve as the rough outline of the new Palestinian state?” [The Atlantic, 5/19/11]


News Of The World Also Accused Of Computer Hacking, Mass E-Mail Deletion

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:41 am by HL

News Of The World Also Accused Of Computer Hacking, Mass E-Mail Deletion
Scotland Yard announced Saturday that it will set up a new task force to investigate allegations that News Of The World reporters took part in computer hacking as well as phone hacking.

U.S. Chamber To Rank Politicians On Whether They Vote To Keep Contractor Donations Secret
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to members of the House telling them that voting for federal contractors to be transparent about their political spending will negatively impact their legislative scorecard.

Reid Not Surprised By Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Vote Fail Given Their Recent Performance
TPM caught up with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just after he closed down business in the Senate for the night because House Republicans weren’t able to get enough votes to pass House Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling proposal.



Debt Ceiling Lessons Learned

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:38 am by HL

Debt Ceiling Lessons Learned
With the debt ceiling deal through the House and likely to pass quickly in the Senate today, Chris Cillizza notes some lessons learned from the negotiations over the past few months.

Most surprising: “Nancy Pelosi=relevant: Talk that Pelosi was largely irrelevant in the debt ceiling fight misses the mark in one significant way. She was able to keep her Democratic caucus entirely unified against House SpeakerJohn Boehner’s compromise bill on the debt ceiling, forcing him to first postpone a vote and then cobble together a majority by adding conservative candy that made the bill even less palatable as a middle ground. Then Pelosi made another power play, this one with the White House as she refused to say on Sunday whether or not she could deliver the necessary Democratic votes for the compromise. Message(s) sent.”

Most worrisome: “This is the beginning, not the end: What the debt ceiling fight amounted to was the first major skirmish of the 2012 election. It’s now obvious just how differently the two parties see the way forward when it comes to healing the economy. That’s a good thing for voters since the choice in 2012 will be crystal clear.”

Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Capitol Hill
C-SPAN has the video of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) returning to the House of Representatives yesterday to a standing ovation from her colleagues.


A White House Reverie at 5 Minutes to Midnight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:37 am by HL

A White House Reverie at 5 Minutes to Midnight
Obama tells Boehner and McConnell: “Your party set out three decades ago to deepen our deficit problems [see the post just below], and brought us the economic near-meltdown of 2008. And now that you’ve forced the crisis into the political…

And You Thought All the Recent Crazy Has Been Focused on the Debt Ceiling
As a foreign policy complement to the main insanity over the debt ceiling (see David Brooks’ analysis), we have a flurry of ideological and self-indulgent Republican amendments last week to the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s authorization bill (see Josh Rogin’s…



Business Association Cancels Event With Congressman Allen West After Protest From LGBT Group

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Business Association Cancels Event With Congressman Allen West After Protest From LGBT Group
After LGBT activists threatened a boycott of member business, the Wilton Manors Business Association is canceling an appearance by Rep. Allen West (R-FL), reports the Sun Sentinel. West has made headlines when he attacked the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, claiming that gay soldiers will “break down the military.” The boycott threat […]

After LGBT activists threatened a boycott of member business, the Wilton Manors Business Association is canceling an appearance by Rep. Allen West (R-FL), reports the Sun Sentinel. West has made headlines when he attacked the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, claiming that gay soldiers will “break down the military.” The boycott threat was organized by Michael Rajner, legislative director of the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Caucus, who said last week that gay activists would boycott businesses if the business association didn’t rescind the invite to West.

As Obama Lifts Meaningless ?Cloud Of Uncertainty,? Durbin Fights The Storms Of Climate Change
Last night, President Obama claimed his debt ceiling deal as lifting the “cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.” While he expresses concern for the political weather, the actual weather — poisoned by carbon pollution — is growing more devastating. The drastic cuts in federal investment that are requirements of the debt deal will […]

Last night, President Obama claimed his debt ceiling deal as lifting the “cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.” While he expresses concern for the political weather, the actual weather — poisoned by carbon pollution — is growing more devastating. The drastic cuts in federal investment that are requirements of the debt deal will leave the nation in deadly peril from our superheated climate, just as full mobilization is needed.

Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) brought attention to the deadly scourge of severe weather fueled by climate change, and the federal government’s troubling lack of readiness. In an appropriations subcommittee hearing attended only by himself — Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) appeared only to give an opening statement, but left without asking witnesses questions — Durbin interviewed top climate scientist Donald Wuebles, NOAA deputy administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and representatives from the Small Business Administration and the private re-insurance industry. Durbin discussed the extraordinary damage to the nation from climate disasters in the first seven months of 2011, before asking whether the federal government is actually ready:

We’ve seen droughts in Texas, wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico, flooding in Tennessee, and according to Sen. Moran, both in his state, drought and flooding. Today, there are excessive heat warnings in twenty communities throughout Kansas, Sen. Moran’s home state, and flood warnings along the Missouri River. In 2011, almost $28 billion in damages have already been caused by catastrophic events, and the hurricane season is just starting. The economic impact of severe weather events is only projected to grow in future years as the frequency and intensity of weather events continues to grow.

The weather is getting worse and more violent. Catastrophic, in fact. The federal government needs to do more to be ready to protect federal assets and provide disaster assistance on an increasing frequency. Are we ready?

Watch it:

“I’m not sure the federal government is thinking ahead when it comes to our preparedness for disasters,” Durbin continued, with extreme understatement. Dr. Wuebles explained that because oceans can store vast amounts of heat, the changes in climate we are now seeing are the result of the pollution added twenty years ago — which means that failure to act now will doom future generations to an unimaginably deadly world.

We’ve stopped talking about this on Capitol Hill,” Durbin concluded. “We’ve decided that the debate over global warming is too contentious. I think it’s a big mistake.”


What the debt-ceiling battle means for 2012

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 2nd, 2011 4:35 am by HL

What the debt-ceiling battle means for 2012

To much of America, it may appear that the battle to lift the debt ceiling simply proved that Washington is broken. But as messy and ugly as it was, it also has been a clarifying moment — one that could define the terms of engagement of the 2012 election and shape the battle as one of two vastly different governing philosophies.

Whoever the Republican presidential nominee turns out to be, it now looks likely that President Obama’s battle for reelection will be fought around big issues. Chief among them: the size and role of government, and the values that will set priorities for a diminished pool of resources in austere times.

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For some political junkies, donating repeatedly is way to get fix

They memorize their credit card numbers and press the “donate” button — sometimes several times a day — with an urge and a passion akin to an addict’s.

This growing and seldom-noticed class of political donors — confirmed in recent campaign disclosure reports from presidential candidates — includes thousands of working-class Americans who give in small amounts repeatedly, in some cases compulsively. They defy the common image that the most committed supporters are deep-pocketed high rollers who write checks for $2,500, the maximum, or the bundlers who get rewarded with access and ambassadorships.

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President Barack Obama’s 50th birthday: A time for reflection . . . and fundraising

As President Obama wraps up debt-ceiling negotiations, he has another big event on the horizon this week. This Thursday, Aug. 4, the president turns 50. Washington Post reporters and bloggers are covering the landmark occassion in a variety of ways.

Make a wish

Join the conversation by participating in a caption contest illustrated by the Post’s Tom Toles. You have until 5 p.m. on Aug. 3 to weigh in on Obama’s birthday wish.

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Boehner to meet with members to allay concerns over defense cuts in debt deal

The inclusion of potential defense cuts in the debt deal negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders has emerged as a sticking point for some key House Republicans as leaders are working to round up support ahead of a vote on the measure Monday evening.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to meet with members of the House Armed Services Committee Monday afternoon to discuss their concerns about the debt deal, which includes a “trigger” mechanism that would force cuts of as much as $600 billion to the Pentagon budget if a bipartisan committee does not come to agreement on a further deficit-reduction plan by the fall. (The Post’s Jason Ukman has an in-depth analysis of what the debt deal might mean for the Pentagon.)

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The moderate middle wins the day

For weeks, the debt-ceiling debate has been defined by a clash of the extremes; tea party conservatives seeking to dramatically reshape government and committed liberals afraid that doing so would squeeze the poor and the working class.

But, in the end, it was largely a coalition of lawmakers in the middle — 174 Republicans, 95 Democrats — that pushed through a deal that is expected to avert a government default and allow the nation’s legal borrowing limit to rise through 2012.

With many of the conservatives who helped define the terms of the debate unwilling to vote for the deal that resulted, the bill’s fate instead was left to lawmakers such as Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), who belongs to a caucus of 25 conservative House Democrats known as the Blue Dogs.

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