Wednesday, Jun 28th

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The American President - Actor, Chauffeur, Salesman, Puppet

Ronald ReaganThirty Years of War and Peace and Best Actor Awards for Our American Presidents

Unlike Barack Obama, the previous presidential actor, GW Bush never betrayed his core audience. Instead he simply betrayed the country as a whole for eight long years. An aggressive chauffeur, he seemed to want to drive the country, I mean car, off the road. Happily for his handlers he had a man named Cheney as designated driver, while the "war president" as he liked to be called, posed by the limousine (or aircraft carrier) for photo opportunities. However the important driving was left to DC. Chiefly a puppet, rather than actor or salesman, president Bush was handed the country after the fraudulent 2000 elections. Asleep at the wheel, GWB had that slightly deranged look of a sociopathic hit-and-run driver on the morning of 9-11, aware the limo had swerved and struck a million innocent bystanders (and counting) and so awaited his owners to vouch for him during the following eight years. I wrote more about GWB in my column (Google) A Tale of Two AWOLS.


Abortion, Birth Control, Common Sense And Reality

Human beings perform 46 million abortions annually around the planet. Year in and year out! That's 46 million women requesting and accepting an abortion of their fetus. According to the World Health Organization, 96 percent of those abortions represent a secondary form of birth control. That means they did not have access to birth control on the front end. It means they either couldn't feed a child, shelter it or provide for it-or they already had birthed too many children they couldn't feed or care for.


Bullying the Palestinians

Bulllying the PalestiniansIt appears that US dealings with the Palestinians have entered a new phase: Bullying.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama telephoned Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to urge him to block a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements. Obama pressed very hard during the 50 minute call, so hard that Abbas felt constrained to agree to take Obama’s request to the PLO executive committee (which, not surprisingly, agreed that Abbas should not accede to Obama’s request).

But what a request it is!


Jerusalem Post: Is Israeli democracy being hijacked?

Right wing Israelis foment death of democracy Sixty-three years after its founding, Israel is a young democracy still struggling for survival in a sea of autocracy. It also faces an unprecedented assault on its legitimacy. Yet instead of uniting to face the myriad threats from without, we find ourselves divided over equally serious threats from within.

Over the past several months, the Knesset has been inundated with a series of bills that threaten to rend the delicate fabric of our multicultural society and undermine the democratic character of our state. In parallel, some parts of the rabbinical establishment are attempting to assert a monopoly over the state’s Jewish values.


Politics and Nonsense on Egypt

James ZogbyWhen U.S. politicians are forced to discuss critical Middle East matters, more often than not, their remarks either display an ignorance of facts, are shaped more by political needs than reality, or are just plain dumb. Commentary about the popular revolt in Egypt provides a case in point.

There was no doubt that the events in Cairo were momentous and, therefore, deserving of response. In the case of most U.S. political leaders, however, struggling to come up with the right TV sound bite didn't require actually knowing anything about Egypt.


Goldstone's Legacy for Israel

Richard GoldstoneA sprawling crime scene. That is what Gaza felt like when I visited in the summer of 2009, six months after the Israeli attack. Evidence of criminality was everywhere—the homes and schools that lay in rubble, the walls burned pitch black by white phosphorus, the children’s bodies still unhealed for lack of medical care. But where were the police? Who was documenting these crimes, interviewing the witnesses, protecting the evidence from tampering?

For months it seemed that there would be no investigation. Many Gazans I met on that trip appeared as traumatized by the absence of an international investigation as by the attacks. They explained that even in the darkest days of the Israeli onslaught, they had comforted themselves with the belief that, this time, Israel had gone too far.


The Best Healthcare News You Didn't Hear This Week

Visitation rights in US hospitals changedHow is it that one of the most incredibly important and far-reaching new health policies of the twenty-first century went into effect this past week, and you probably haven't heard of it?

I'm referring to the new guidelines that protect the rights of all patients at more than 6,000 hospitals participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to put anyone they choose on their visitation list. Despite the fact that this policy has implications for everyone in the United States, it's been underreported overall and misreported by straight mainstream media as a same-sex partners story.


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