Any Republican that votes for cloture is voting to implement and fund Obamacare. Be sure that your Rep votes NO on cloture. Tell them a yes vote for cloture is another pink slip for their job. We have to boot the RINOs. God Bless America! -PBN
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|Obama: The Enemy of Israel|
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama heads into his second term weighed down by an American government snarled in partisan gridlock, but also by an unproductive relationship with the leader of Israel, the bedrock U.S. ally in the tumultuous Middle East.
And the puzzle that is the U.S.-Israeli relationship under Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is only growing more complex.
“It’s troubled. It’s the greatest dysfunction between leaders that I’ve seen in my 40 years in watching and participating,” said Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center who served under six secretaries of state in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was deeply involved in negotiations involving Israel, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinians.
“I don’t think we are headed for a showdown,” he said, “but the relationship will continue to be dysfunctional.”
Even so, the United States routinely backs Israel when much of the world is deeply critical of the Jewish state. For example the U.S. was among the few nations opposing the Palestinians’ successful bid for upgraded status at the United Nations and did not criticize Israel’s bombardment of Gaza late last year in retaliation for rocket attacks from the tiny Palestinian enclave.
Still, an array of issues muddies the alliance.
Netanyahu likely will win re-election on Jan. 22, two days after Obama is sworn in for a second term. Netanyahu is a hardliner on making peace with the Palestinians, a goal that Obama said was foremost on his foreign policy agenda at the beginning of his first term. Beyond that, Netanyahu has been pressing Washington to adopt policy specifics that would trigger a military strike if Iran does not pull back on its nuclear program — widely believed to be aimed at building an atomic bomb. Iran claims its program is for generating electricity.
A further complication is Obama’s nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
Known as a maverick when he represented Nebraska in the Senate, Hagel is viewed by many in Washington and Israel as insufficiently supportive of the Jewish state. He has castigated what he called the “Jewish lobby” in the U.S., prompting some to label him anti-Semitic. While he voted for billions in aid for Israel, he has also called for engagement with its Hamas and Hezbollah enemies.
What’s more, he opposed unilateral American sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, which the Netanyahu government believes is an existential threat to Israel.
Netanyahu’s office refused comment on Hagel when contacted by The Associated Press in Jerusalem. But Reuven Rivlin, parliament speaker and member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, told AP that Israelis are worried because of Hagel’s “statements in the past, and his stance toward Israel.”
But Ori Nir, a spokesman for Americans for Peace Now, a Jewish group that pushes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, said fears of Hagel are wrongheaded.
“Talk of anti-Semitism is unjust and over-the-top,” Nir said.
Republican lawmakers’ opposition to Hagel is the latest in the partisan battles that have snarled the U.S. government.
Disputes over the budget almost led to major tax increases for middle class taxpayers, which neither party wanted. Other fights are pending over spending cuts and the government’s borrowing authority — both with potentially dire consequences for the economy. The newly elected Congress, with a Republican-led House of Representatives and a Democratic-led Senate, is similar to the previous one, which passed fewer laws than any Congress since the end of World War II.
While most of the partisan disputes have been on domestic issues, Republicans have continually accused Obama of not doing enough to support Netanyahu’s government.
The bad blood between Obama and Netanyahu began early.
In their first public appearance together at the White House in 2009, Netanyahu pointedly rebuffed Obama’s call for Israel to stop building Jewish housing on land the Palestinians want in a future state. Obama dropped the issue after it became obvious that it was a waste of political capital at home and that Netanyahu would not budge. Netanyahu’s government has continued to announce plans for new settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.
During the presidential campaign, Netanyahu hosted Obama opponent Mitt Romney in Israel as if he were already a world leader. Netanyahu denied backing either candidate, but his words and actions clearly showed favoritism for Romney.
On Iran, Netanyahu called at the United Nations in September for the United States to draw a “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program, beyond which Iran would face military action. Obama continues to insist there is time for diplomacy, but has said he would not countenance a nuclear-armed Iran.
“The more Netanyahu believes Obama is serious about preventing Iran from getting a bomb, the better they will manage their relations,” said David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “If not, the issue of an Israeli first strike on Iran becomes more likely.”
Miller, of the Woodrow Wilson Center, said Obama will be too consumed with battling Congress on the budget, gun control legislation and other issues to spend much time on disagreements with Netanyahu.
“Is he going to go after Israel-Palestinian peace talks or war with Iran given all his domestic challenges?” Miller asked. “He will go to extreme lengths to avoid war with Iran.”
He said the two leaders are moving further apart on the Palestinian issue, but have found some consensus on Iran. “For the next six to eight months, I don’t think the president is going to push on those issues.”
But Nir, of Peace Now, says time is running out for a peace deal with the Palestinians and Israel could face another armed uprising like the one that bloodied the region in 2000.
“There’s more and more an atmosphere among Palestinians that there is no political horizon,” he said, “a feeling that diplomacy doesn’t work.”
Associated Press writer Amy Teibel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
Full article here.
Public sector unions appear to be determined to convince us all how useless and dangerous they have become. -PBN
You know how it is in politics, right? You win some, you lose some. If a vote doesn’t go your way, you’re disappointed, but you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. You don’t cling to your anger like grim death because that’s pointless and only prolongs your bitterness.
Ha ha! Just kidding. Right-to-work may now be a settled issue in Michigan, but just because the unions lost and that’s that doesn’t mean that will be that. It must be understood: Cross the unions and you will pay a steep price, and you will never stop paying. Hence the chant: “No union, no peace.”By DAN CALABRESE – “No union, no peace.”
The only problem is that not a single Republican lawmaker took the bait and walked past the hissy-fitters, save for this one guy who didn’t look like anyone. He was only Dick Posthumus, the former Republican Senate Majority Leader, 2002 Republican nominee for governor and current top-level advisor to Gov. Rick Snyder. The union thugs didn’t recognize him. They also gathered at the wrong entrance to the Capitol Building, apparently not realizing that most lawmakers enter the back door because it’s adjacent to their parking lot. Ah well. Too bad because look at what they missed:
Before the noon start of today’s ceremonial session, members of We are Michigan, who organized the demonstration, plan to deliver fresh cookies to lawmakers who opposed right-to-work and “broken cookies for broken promises” to those who opposed it.
Demonstrators chanted, “No union, no peace,” and carried signs with message such as “RTW, Wrong for Michigan,” and placards with photos of Republican lawmakers with the word “Shame” stamped across their faces.
Broken cookies? What kind? Were they still fresh? Hey, they break in your mouth anyway.
I do like the whole “shame” thing. It’s almost as if the unions see themselves like that kid on the playground who gets picked on by a bigger kid, and then the playground monitor comes up and whoops the bully saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself! Look how much bigger you are than him!”
I really think, deep down, that’s how they see themselves. They really don’t think they can make it in life but for the benevolent advocacy of their unions, aided by pro-union legislation, and any action that tilts the playing field even slightly in favor of someone other than them is cause for shame because these salt-of-the-earth working people are helpless without these legal guarantees. It’s the same thinking that justifies their use of violence and just general hissy fits in response to anyone who opposes their agenda.
“What do you expect us to do? Function in the free market? You know we haven’t got it in us to succeed at that.”
They won’t admit that’s what they think of themselves. They bluster about how union-made products are so superior and everything else is cheap crap, etc. But they know it’s not true. Many of them would be fired in a minute if their union didn’t protect them, and that’s what they really fear when the union is weakened by right-to-work laws.
Rep. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican backed by tea-party groups, made history Monday when he was appointed to fill the seat of departing Sen. Jim DeMint.
Mr. Scott, who will be the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction, instantly became the GOP’s highest-profile African-American, as the party isn’t represented by any other black members of Congress or any black governors.
South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said she chose Mr. Scott because he was a successful small-business man and fiscal conservative with the same philosophy as Mr. DeMint.
Ms. Haley said it was important to her as an Indian-American to say that she chose Mr. Scott for his merits, adding that he “earned this seat for the person that he is.”
Mr. Scott said he would seek to uphold Mr. DeMint’s record, and shares his hard-line approach on negotiations on the fiscal cliff, looming year-end spending cuts and tax increases. Mr. Scott said raising taxes on the nation’s wealthiest people would damage business owners and cause jobs to be lost.
A House committee has launched an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency’s own internal watchdog — something that Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.
The science committee has asked Ms. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA.
The committee has also asked the White House’s lawyer and EPA’s inspector general to look into the matter and report back by the end of this month, saying that the secret email accounts could have been used to keep key information from official watchdogs as well as the public.
People Don’t Have A Taste For Crazy!
Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday struggled to draw 1,000 people at two campaign events in Colorado, one of the most important swing states this election.
Republicans in Colorado have said they have not seen this much enthusiasm for the top of a Republican ticket in a decade, which is a contrast from Democrats, who are seeing a diminished level of enthusiasm from 2008.
Mitt Romney’s White House bid comes down to business experience – i.e. he has it, the president doesn’t.
To that end, the Romney campaign trotted out a roster of well-known business leaders Thursday who are backing the Republican presidential nominee. Supporters include Charles Schwab, Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers and Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot. The newest name on the list belongs to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
In full-page ads and a new website featuring the 93-year-old Graham’s signature and photo, he urges voters to back candidates who oppose abortion and support traditional marriage. Although his “vote biblical values” campaign does not mention candidates by name, it comes shortly after Graham met with Mitt Romney and told the Republican nominee he would “do all I can to help you.”
This represents a major shift for Graham, who has known every president since Harry Truman and normally refrains from backing candidates, although he did raise questions in 1960 about whether John F. Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism might mean loyalty to the Vatican.
Close Graham followers say his son and heir apparent, the Rev. Franklin Graham, has influenced him in his latest moves. “I think that Franklin has an influence in there,” Billy Graham biographer William Martin said. “But I can’t say … that he is leading his father to do something that he’s not willing to do.”
NC…On Monday, several voters complained that their electronic ballot machine cast the wrong vote. All the complaints were made by people who voted at the Bur-Mil Park polling location.
One of the voters, Sher Coromalis, says she cast her ballot for Governor Mitt Romney, but every time she entered her vote the machine defaulted to President Obama.
“I was so upset that this could happen,” said Coromalis.
DENVER – There are 300 more suspected noncitizens on Colorado’s voter rolls, Secretary of State Gessler announced Tuesday in the latest chapter of a contentious national debate over what Republicans say is vulnerability in the voting system.
The latest figures are from the 3,903 people who received letters from Gessler’s office questioning their citizenship in August. During a first round of checks, Gessler said 141 others were found to be possible noncitizens based on a federal immigration database.
Of the 441 identified as suspected noncitizens, 232 are unaffiliated, 163 are Democrats, and 37 are Republican.
Tuesday night, a camera caught first lady Michelle Obama clapping after moderator Candy Crowley told Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney that President Obama called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” soon after the attack on the U.S. consulate.
Nearly all of the audible applause came from those sitting away from the actual debate, but when FOX News’ camera shot moved to a bird’s-eye view it became apparent that the only applause from the participating debate audience came from first lady Michelle Obama. Mitt Romney’s wife Ann was also sitting with the debate participants.
So much for rules, it seems obama and his wife doesn’t understand the conscept.
Paul Ryan slammed Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy this week on FOX News Sunday.
The Republican VP nominee told Chris Wallace the “ugly fruits” of a foreign policy of weakness is unraveling before our eyes on our TV screens.
“The Obama foreign policy is unraveling literally before our eyes on our TV screens. And so what Mitt Romney is going to do is lay out a very different vision for foreign policy. One, that is a policy of strength that I would articulate or claim the president’s policy is one of weakness. We’re seeing the ugly fruits of the Obama foreign policy unravel around the world on our TV screens.”
It looks like Obama’s policy of leading from behind was a complete failure.
The Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday assured congressional lawmakers that agents would play no role in enforcing the controversial requirement that Americans buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
“IRS revenue agents will not be involved. There will not be audits,” IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller told a subcommittee of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The law, passed in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court, will charge individuals a fee, or tax, if they fail to buy insurance starting in 2014.
Opponents of the healthcare measure have focused on that requirement, with some Republicans saying they worry the IRS, the agency responsible for tax collection and tax law enforcement, will harass people who fail to buy insurance.
“In most cases, taxpayers will file their tax returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and-or making a payment, and there will be no need for further interactions with the IRS,” Miller said.