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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   701. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4669043)
Gaza is an example of that kind of unilateral disengagement, and it ain't working out great either.


Neighbors should trade, travel and communicate with each other, if only for economic reasons. Of course I can see why a wall is an attractive option, I just don't think it really solves the problem, just alleviates some symptoms.
   702. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4669047)
Neighbors should trade, travel and communicate with each other, if only for economic reasons. Of course I can see why a wall is an attractive option, I just don't think it really solves the problem, just alleviates some symptoms.

That doesn't really work if your neighbors shoot rockets at you, and send suicide bombers to blow up buses.
   703. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4669050)
CPAC Straw Poll Results:

31 KY Senator Rand Paul
11 TX Senator Ted Cruz
9 Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
8 NJ Governor Chris Christie
7 Former PA Senator Rick Santorum
7 WI Governor Scott Walker
6 FL Senator Marco Rubio
3 TX Governor Rick Perry
3 WI Congressman Paul Ryan
2 Former AR Governor Mike Huckabee
2 LA Governor Bobby Jindal
2 Former AK Governor Sarah Palin
2 Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice
1 Former IN Governor Mitch Daniels
1 OH Governor John Kasich
1 IN Governor Mike Pence
1 OH Senator Rob Portman
1 SD Senator John Thune
1 Business Executive Donald Trump
1 Former FL Congressman Allen West
* NH Senator Kelly Ayotte
* KS Governor Sam Brownback
* SC Governor Nikki Haley
* NM Governor Susana Martinez
* SC Senator Tim Scott

Paul won last year too. Romney won in 2012. Rand's dad Ron won in 2010 and 2011.

Impressed with Walker's showing, I think he's a dark horse for the nomination.
   704. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4669051)
CPAC Straw Poll Results:


CPAC attendees tend to skew college Republican/college Libertarian. They get major discounts and, of course, have the time and energy to attend poli-cons.
   705. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4669053)
Gaza is an example of that kind of unilateral disengagement, and it ain't working out great either.

Neighbors should trade, travel and communicate with each other, if only for economic reasons. Of course I can see why a wall is an attractive option, I just don't think it really solves the problem, just alleviates some symptoms.



Trouble is that Israel actually needs a functioning Palestinian Government, even if it's one that periodically gives Israel #### (kind of like how the Norks periodically give #### to the South- but whenever something gets lobbed over from the Nork side you know the Nork government is behind it, with the West Bank and Gaza not so much, you know that Abbas government can't control all that crap even if it wanted to, and with Gaza it seems that Hamas has a tighter grip on things but who really knows).

Also if Israel disengages it may take awhile but they can shift a narrative that's been shifting against them (not here but in Europe)- Israel "occupies" the West Bank, the Israeli military move around the West bank at will, they can't even claim (as we do in Afghanistan, that the Government there has asked them to be there, hell that;s even though the "government" there is a powerless joke dependent upon Israel for revenue...)- If Israel is no longer an "occupier" but still get rockets lobbed against it the narrative can change- Europe used to be pro-Israel before 1967, the tide didn't really change until the 1st intifada. (sure Europe tends to anti-semitism, they also tend towards being anti-Arab as well, hell Nixon was pretty clearly an anti-Semitic bigot, but he was very pro-Israel any way. Bigotry doesn't work it self out in rational ways)

Why should Israel care what Europe and others think? Because it's a small country in a hostile neighborhood and it has to be part of the West to survive. By being part of the west, Israel is a first world country integrated into the first world's economy and with access to 1st world weaponry and the ability to maintain and use said weaponry. From Israel's POV, god forbid should public sentiment in the US change, because the way things stand now that would leave them essentially adrift.
   706. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4669054)
Alex Sink (D) is up in absentee voting so far for CD 13 in Florida.

That's not quite what the article linked in #694 says. No absentee votes have been tabulated. People are speculating based on who has requested absentee ballots, and the article notes:
About 41.8 percent of absentee and early in-person ballots have been cast by Republicans and 39.3 percent by Democrats, as of election data posted last night.

That's apparently a bit better than Democrats have done of late, but still a slight edge to the GOP. This is a district that Obama carried in 2008 & 2012; a district that Sink carried in her 2010 losing gubernatorial race; and a district in which the GOP is running a first-time candidate, Dave Jolly, who expended much of his money getting through a contested primary. Sink has been able to spend about four times as much as Jolly on TV, too, so it seems like she should be the favorite. On the other hand, Jolly has the overall political climate and Obama's unpopularity going for him. It's probably going to be close.
   707. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4669057)
That doesn't really work if your neighbors shoot rockets at you, and send suicide bombers to blow up buses.


What doesn't work?

Because I clearly said what should be and that I can see why a wall is attractive, so I am not sure what you are responding to.
   708. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4669058)
It's probably going to be close.


Special elections are always WAY overblown. No matter who wins you will hear it means such and so, and it will not mean 1/10 what people claim. I get why people do it, but I don't think the winner presages much (and BTW I think Sink is a mild favorite, so I am raining on my own hypothetical parade).
   709. BrianBrianson Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4669060)
What doesn't work?


Context is pretty clear - you can't be communicative and trade with someone who's only interest is mailing you bombs. Without a government in Palestine that actually cracks down on launching rockets into Israel, disengagement is "tough".
   710. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4669061)
A key impediment to peace is the intellectually backward thinking of a majority of the Palestinian people, as reflected in the Pew Center study on religion and society a year or two ago. Eighty-nine percent of the people in the territories favored the institution of sharia law. Of this 89%, two-thirds agreed with the proposition that defection from Islam warrants the death penalty. So you have 60% or so of the people with an utterly primitive -- and very violent -- view of pluralism, religion, and society.

It's going to be very hard for a liberal democracy to live in peace next to that. The road to peace begins with enlightement in Palestinian schools, public discourse, and in the Palestinian people. If that would have happened a generation or two ago, we'd have peace already.
   711. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4669066)
Special elections are always WAY overblown.

Not always. For example, Scott Brown's 2010 special election victory for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat was quite an upset and an indication of things to come.
   712. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4669069)
you can't be communicative and trade with someone who's only interest is mailing you bombs


But I was not suggesting the only course was doing that, simply the ideal course in general was to do that.

Neighbors should trade, travel and communicate with each other, if only for economic reasons. Of course I can see why a wall is an attractive option, I just don't think it really solves the problem, just alleviates some symptoms.


I think the first sentence is uncontroversial, since economically it absolutely is better if you are dealing with your neighbors. In the second sentence I acknowledge that a wall is attractive, but doesn't solve the underlying problem - which is true I think.

Because the real solution is figure out a way to convince your neighbor to stop wanting to mail bombs to you. And that is why I think the current Israeli strategy is bad, even though it might be OK tactically. Because nothing they are doing (to my knowledge) is heading down the path of making their neighbors want to stop the bomb mailing. As I said a wall is treating symptoms and not the cause.
   713. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4669071)
For example, Scott Brown's 2010 special election victory for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat was quite an upset and an indication of things to come.


That he'd lose his seat two years later?
   714. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4669072)
Not always. For example, Scott Brown's 2010 special election victory for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat was quite an upset and an indication of things to come.


Disagree, completely. The reason Brown won and the reason 2010 was really good for the GOP was not the same, unless you think the 2010 GOP success was because all the democratic candidates were terrible.

EDIT: Terrible as candidates, not as people or by voting record.
   715. BrianBrianson Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4669077)
And that is why I think the current Israeli strategy is bad


Whether or not it's bad (and it's certainly not great), that's not meaningful without evaluating the available options. Is there a good option? If not (and there may not be), then bad options may be the best options one can take.
   716. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4669080)
Is there a good option?


Israel and discussions of it are very volatile. I think it makes sense to establish a bit before jumping to solutions. Otherwise it turns into endless sniping and emotional appeals.

I think overall they are in the position where their best tactical options are bad strategic options, and vice versa. So when I talk about compromise and sacrifice, well to get a long term (strategic) solution, they are likely going to have to make some decisions which are bad tactically.

What that means is accepting danger and death short term, for much less danger and death long term. And that is a really hard choice to demand from someone. So while you suggest it is perhaps "not meaningful" to stay at a high level without details, I am not willing to back seat drive to the point of telling them which bad tactical decisions, which risks, they MUST take.

I only know that it is going to take some hard decisions and taking on some risk to reach a long term solution. Maybe they will never take those steps and the problems will fester on in perpetuity. I hope not, but it is possible.

I would also note that pretty much the exact same logic applies to the Palestinians, though they have less power and fewer options. And since the topic was more "what can Israel" do, rather than the flip side, I focused there.
   717. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4669086)
Because nothing they are doing (to my knowledge) is heading down the path of making their neighbors want to stop the bomb mailing.


At this point in time, what will do that?

1: All the Israelis leave and emigrate to Europe/US... I could be wrong but I don't think that'd be acceptable to the Israelis.
2: All Jewish Israelis convert to Islam (that would actually make the non-Palestinian Jihadis content enough to leave and bother someone else, this has an advanatge in that such jihadis actually think somethng like this is remotely possible, but of course non-Palestinian Jihadis are merely a small fraction of those violently opposed to the current status quo.

or

3: If Israel makes "nice," treats the Palestinians as equal humans, allows them free travel to come and go, grants them building/business permits as freely as they do those for Jews, etc.

Trouble is that every time travel restrictions etc are eased up, someone whose goal is not co-existence but eradication takes advantage and blows someone or something up. Which then directly leads to a clamp down. (There's a weird symbiotic relationship between the militants on both sides- they need eachother)

Also there have been lulls when the PA has managed to clamp down on militant activity- Israel has done a poor job of taking advantage of such lulls- for instance when there's a lull perhaps they should ease up on Palestinian internal travel- make it easier to get from one point in the West Bank to another, pretty much now Israeli doctrine is all stick and no carrot.
   718. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4669104)
The reason Brown won and the reason 2010 was really good for the GOP was not the same, unless you think the 2010 GOP success was because all the democratic candidates were terrible.

Brown made ObamaCare the issue of the special election race, and it, along with the economy, was also the main issue in the 2010 general election.
   719. zenbitz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4669109)
That doesn't really work if your neighbors shoot rockets at you, and send suicide bombers to blow up buses.


Gee, what would make them want to do that?

The West Bank belonged to Jordan, but they lost it in a war they started. By all historical precedent, Israel had every right to take the West Bank.


Oh yeah, historical precedent. Historically, there are lots of long bloody wars and insurgencies and terrorist attacks. Hmmmm....

Isreal is in a bad spot (I mean, not literally, although I have suggested the Jewish State be moved to Florida...). They won the war(s). They have occupied a people that doesn't really want them there. They just want to be left alone, and they can't really finish the job Unconditional Surrender style.

My feeling is that if the US/UK (I think the rest of the EU is done with them) did not support them, they would figure out a third way - a way in which the extremists on both sides are marginalized. I do not think that it's likely that a nuclear armed Israel is under serious existential threat from enemies without.
   720. zenbitz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4669111)
The wall didn't even keep the Zombies out.
   721. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4669112)
Because the real solution is figure out a way to convince your neighbor to stop wanting to mail bombs to you. And that is why I think the current Israeli strategy is bad, even though it might be OK tactically. Because nothing they are doing (to my knowledge) is heading down the path of making their neighbors want to stop the bomb mailing. As I said a wall is treating symptoms and not the cause.

This assumes that your neighbor can ever be convinced. I'm not optimistic that this will ever be resolved without a major portion of the world facilitating something like forcible relocation of either the Israelis or the Palestinians. This is a religious conflict, and fundamentalists have a notoriously poor track record of compromise.

I think there is a clear good guy and bad guy in this conflict, though, and it's shameful that the world holds Israel to such an unreasonable standard. No nation in Israel's position, facing a population hostile to the very existence of the state itself, has behaved more reasonably or more humanely. Certainly, no Western nation lives in a house so free of glass as to throw stones.
   722. zonk Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4669116)

That's apparently a bit better than Democrats have done of late, but still a slight edge to the GOP. This is a district that Obama carried in 2008 & 2012; a district that Sink carried in her 2010 losing gubernatorial race; and a district in which the GOP is running a first-time candidate, Dave Jolly, who expended much of his money getting through a contested primary. Sink has been able to spend about four times as much as Jolly on TV, too, so it seems like she should be the favorite. On the other hand, Jolly has the overall political climate and Obama's unpopularity going for him. It's probably going to be close.


It's an R+1 seat held by a Republican that yes - Obama won (albeit by less than a point). I'm quite comfortable sticking with the yardstick I laid out in the February thread:

1) Sink wins by 5 or more -- Dem hopes really ought to be up for surviving a tough 2014 map... and the GOP ought have some serious concerns

2) Sink wins by 1-to-5 --- Good news for the Dems, they don't need perfect candidates or perfect campaigns, just solid, workmanlike efforts. Setting aside the awful Senate turf, a 'wave' looks highly unlikely.

3) Either wins by less than a point -- we know nothing new... it's a divided country and neither party really has a tail wind.

4) Jolly wins by 1-to-5 -- Obvious inverse of #2... It's a pure toss-up district, and the GOP does better off-cycle than Presidential years.. Standard not good news for the Democrats and the GOP probably just needs to avoid shooting themselves in the foot between now and November to make good gains.

5) Jolly wins by 5+ --- The Dems are really screwed.
   723. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4669130)
This is a religious conflict, and fundamentalists have a notoriously poor track record of compromise.

Yep. See 710.

Conflicts don't become this intractable over mundane things like border disputes, or even displacement of people. Don't get this wrong -- displacement of people isn't good, but it's nowhere near a big enough deal to explain this conflict. Population movements and displacements and exchanges were routine in Europe forever.
   724. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4669135)
The West Bank belonged to Jordan,


Jordan's possession of the West Bank was never internationally recognized.

They just want to be left alone, and they can't really finish the job Unconditional Surrender style.


If this were true, things would be a lot simpler. But there is a substantial Israeli minority that sees the West Bank as part of the divinely-granted greater Zion.
   725. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4669144)
Neck and neck Colorado Senate race. Udall leads 42-41, well within the margin of error and considerably below the 50% level considered "safe" for incumbents. Most observers had put the seat in the Democratic column before Gardner got in the race.
   726. Gaelan Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4669147)
This assumes that your neighbor can ever be convinced. I'm not optimistic that this will ever be resolved without a major portion of the world facilitating something like forcible relocation of either the Israelis or the Palestinians. This is a religious conflict, and fundamentalists have a notoriously poor track record of compromise.


This is nonsense. There is no such thing as a religious conflict. In order to make this claim you would have to argue that religion is the independent variable that is causing the conflict. This is plainly not the case.

Moreover, it assumes that the actors on both sides are homogeneous, which is also plainly false. That some actors act politically for religious reasons does not explain how or why those actors gain power in the first place.

To treat religion as some kind of prime mover of conflict is to presuppose that religion, however defined, is the immutable basis of human action. But we know this isn't true. Not only is belief not immutable but not all believers act in the same way.

   727. Ron J2 Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4669149)
#721 Well Northern Ireland suggests that it's possible to move forward in what for quite some time seemed an intractable situation.

Several key factors are simply not in place though. It was necessary for both sides to swallow some things that they had deemed "unacceptable" and even more important they had to deal in (more or less -- there were some painful stumbles) good faith.

It is fair to note that there really isn't anybody who can meaningfully negotiate for the Palestinians and until that happens there is no point in Israel doing anything more than choosing least bad short term options.
   728. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4669150)
In order to make this claim you would have to argue that religion is the independent variable that is causing the conflict. This is plainly not the case.

See 710.

Which isn't merely religion; it's part religion, part failure to subscribe to the principles of the Enlightenment. The two are intertwined, but not precisely the same.
   729. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4669156)
Which isn't merely religion; it's part religion, part failure to subscribe to the principles of the Enlightenment.


They're essentially the same.
   730. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4669163)
The settlements are poor policy, but they're at most a marginal impediment to peace. The true impediments to peace are far deeper and more fundamental.


I'm curious on this throwaway comment by SBB. Do other, non-SBB (read: not nutty) people believe this as well?

It has been my opinion that settlements represent a serious barrier to peace. Beyond making the technicalities of any eventual deal harder (land swaps based on 1967 blah blah blah), they also create the perception (I believe more than a perception) that Israel is not interested in negotiating in good faith.

The continued settlement policy is the biggest reason why I believe Israel has further isolated itself internationally and risks alienating US interests as well.
   731. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4669168)
The continued settlement policy is the biggest reason why I believe Israel has further isolated itself internationally and risks alienating US interests as well.

Palestinian opposition to Israel long pre-dates the settlements. They are at best a tactical argument for the Palestinians & their supporters, who simply do not appear to have any real interest in a peace settlement that isn't a way station towards the elimination of Israel. Apply that "good faith" test to the Palestinians and see what it gets you.
   732. Monty Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4669169)
their supporters, who simply do not appear to have any real interest in a peace settlement that isn't a way station towards the elimination of Israel.


You appear to be assuming the worst here.
   733. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4669171)
Palestinian opposition to Israel long pre-dates the settlements. They are at best a tactical argument for the Palestinians & their supporters, who simply do not appear to have any real interest in a peace settlement that isn't a way station towards the elimination of Israel. Apply that "good faith" test to the Palestinians and see what it gets you.


The problem with that statement is that there is no official Palentinian state. Some Palestinians have no interest in a peace settlement. The majority probably do. The PLO has, at various times, shown a willingness to negotiate in good faith. Other groups have not.

By contrast, Israel has a government. Since Rabin's death, there has been very little willingness to negotiate in good faith. The settlement policy is a good example of this.
   734. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4669172)
This is nonsense. There is no such thing as a religious conflict.

You must be speaking a different sort of English than I am, where something must be entirely X in order to be characterized as X. As if we cannot say John is wearing a yellow shirt if he wears anything else but a yellow shirt.

There most certainly are religious conflicts. The debate over gay marriage in this country is a religious conflict.

In order to make this claim you would have to argue that religion is the independent variable that is causing the conflict. This is plainly not the case.

Or merely AN independent variable. If these were all Jews or all Arabs in conflict, there might well still be an issue, but it would be fundamentally different. Israel exists as a Jewish state, and the Israelis are committed to Jewish control of that territory. The Palestinians, as fundamentalism Moslems, reject the legitimacy of Judiasm in general and specifically the right of Jews to possess this particular state (and the city of Jerusalem).

Moreover, it assumes that the actors on both sides are homogeneous, which is also plainly false. That some actors act politically for religious reasons does not explain how or why those actors gain power in the first place.

I need make no such assumption. There's enough of a religious motivation and religious solidarity to drive a significant aspect of this region's instability.

To treat religion as some kind of prime mover of conflict is to presuppose that religion, however defined, is the immutable basis of human action. But we know this isn't true. Not only is belief not immutable but not all believers act in the same way.

Not all religion, but fundamentalist religion, which is present here in ample amounts.

If you believe, as a significant percentage of Israelis (and non-Israeli Jews) do, that there's is a divine right to possession of this land, promised by God to Moses, that is an uncompromisable belief. I know Israelis who argue that Israeli military successes prove that God is watching out for the people of Israel and will not allow them to fall.

If you believe, as a significant percentage of Palestinians do, in the moral legitimacy of imposing Islamic law on the rest of the world, that is an uncompromisable belief.

When a fundamental Christian says "I would believe that 2 + 2 = 5 if the Bible said it were true," that is an uncompromisable belief.

It is possible that this conflict can be resolved without the death or forcible removal of one side, but it would require a fundamental shift in priorities in a large number of people that would represent a fundamental change of belief. In other words, they would be practicing an entirely different religion.

That some people already are moderate enough in their belief to reach compromise is irrelevant so long as enough people are immoderate to maintain power. I do not see change coming in this region because there are just too many people entrenched in fundamentalist positions. That's what I mean (and what pretty much everyone means) when calling this a religious conflict.
   735. Lassus Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4669174)
Kim Jung Un wins 100% of the vote!

Democracy like no all others!
   736. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4669175)
I have been away for the past 36 hours so I have no idea yet what glorious things Sam has been saying about the Zionist entity, but here's an update from a town north of Crimea. If true...
Ukrainians in the Kherson province just north of Crimea say Russian operatives have moved into the territory, an incursion which, if true, could show Vladimir Putin has more than just the Black Sea peninsula in his sights.

Residents of the village of Chonhar, in the Kherson region of Ukraine, say Russian troops showed up last week in armored personnel carriers, prompting the dispatch of Ukrainian troops and a standoff. The suspected Russian troops pulled back and established a checkpoint on a major road leading north from the Crimean capital of Simferopol.
   737. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4669176)
Kim Jung Un wins 100% of the vote!

Democracy like no all others!


I have to say, this result caught me by surprise a bit. I was looking for polls from TYC that would have predicted this leading up to the election. I guess Obamacare really hurt the challenger in North Korea.
   738. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4669177)
Kim Jung Un wins 100% of the vote!

What, no votes for the uncle?
   739. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4669178)
The settlements are poor policy, but they're at most a marginal impediment to peace. The true impediments to peace are far deeper and more fundamental.


I'm curious on this throwaway comment by SBB. Do other, non-SBB (read: not nutty) people believe this as well?

I think that the settlements are most definitely an obstruction, along with the frankly racist actions of many of the settlers. But then so are the constant acts of war and terror that Israel has lived through for over 65 years. Those also haven't exactly helped the fabled "peace process" along.

That said, I also think that we're always going to return to Square 1A and Square 1B. You can play chicken and egg and put them in whichever order you wish, but it doesn't really matter.

Square 1A: The Arabs have never really accepted the idea of a Jewish state within their midst.

Square 1B: The state of Israel was imposed upon the Arabs by outside powers, against their clear will.

Zionism is IMO a most thoroughly understandable reaction to the often traumatic persecutions that the Jews had suffered through throughout their history. Being a stateless people is not anyone's cup of tea.

But if you've been yourself displaced in the name of Justice, and you had little or nothing to do with the proximate cause for the displacement, then I can also see an understandable reaction to that displacement. To use a crude analogy, a displaced Arab might feel a bit of kinship with Abigail Fisher.

And if these two perspectives were easy to reconcile, I'm pretty sure it would have been accomplished long ago. Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews. Obviously there would have been many problems with that solution, but it certainly would've represented a higher form of poetic justice.

And as for the once and forever current situation, I'll let you geniuses figure it out, and retire the Nobel Peace Prize permanently in your name if and when one of you manage to do so.

And then to the Graduate School course: Should the DH be made universal?
   740. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4669181)
And as for the once and forever current situation, I'll let you geniuses figure it out, and retire the Nobel Peace Prize permanently in your name when one of you do so.


I'd advocate something like UN control/approval of school curricula and media licenses. I'll leave the details to others, but that's the principle. Children shouldn't be doomed to be born into this conflict.
   741. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4669183)
Square 1B: The state of Israel was imposed upon the Arabs by outside powers, against their clear will.

By "outside powers", you mean the United Nations?

Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews.

That seems a bit much for even "outside powers" to accomplish, but since the Palestinian & other Arabs backed Hitler so strongly (and still occasionally say nice things about him), perhaps they are a proxy of sorts.
   742. zonk Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4669185)
On the other side of the Senate coin --

Presumptive Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is tied with GOP frontrunner Paul Broun for GA-SEN, and leads all others in the GOP field...
   743. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4669187)
Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews.

Thanks, Andy, but they weren't called the Twelve Tribes of Bavaria and we don't say at Passover, "Next year in Brandenburg."
   744. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4669191)
Thanks, Andy, but they weren't called the Twelve Tribes of Bavaria and we don't say at Passover, "Next year in Brandenburg."


You have to admit, the food (and especially drink) would be better if so. I've never had the pleasure, but I imagine that Manischewitz is what goat piss tastes like.
   745. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4669192)
The continued settlement policy is the biggest reason why I believe Israel has further isolated itself internationally and risks alienating US interests as well.

I agree with this, but "abandon the West Bank entirely" does not seem like a tenable solution.

I expect that this is a combination of Israeli sentiment regarding the divine right to the land of the West Bank, Israeli desire for a barrier to protect the Green Line territory, and legitimate fear that abandoning those settlers (many of whom are non-violent) will essentially be signing their death warrant.
   746. zenbitz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4669193)
#721 Well Northern Ireland suggests that it's possible to move forward in what for quite some time seemed an intractable situation.


Wasn't Northern Ireland, like the west bank, spoils of war? Or it doesn't count because the English were the aggressors?

I'm sure I've said this on BBTF before but my thesis advisor (brooklyn jew who fought illegally in the 1973 war when he was a grad student) said that the best way to handle the situation is to put all the fanatics on both sides (settlers & suicide bombers) into the west bank with plenty of guns and ammo and let them shoot it out.
   747. SteveF Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4669195)
I imagine that Manischewitz is what goat piss tastes like.

Only if the goat had uncontrolled diabetes.
   748. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4669197)
The continued settlement policy is the biggest reason why I believe Israel has further isolated itself internationally and risks alienating US interests as well.

That's funny because Abbas didn't consider this to be the case until George Mitchell made it an issue in 2009. At that point, how could the Palestinian leader be seen as less demanding than than the Obama administration?
   749. Srul Itza Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4669199)
And if these two perspectives were easy to reconcile, I'm pretty sure it would have been accomplished long ago. Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews. Obviously there would have been many problems with that solution, but it certainly would've represented a higher form of poetic justice.


Just another Goy who refuses to accept the tie between the Israel and the Children of Israel.

If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.

By "outside powers", you mean the United Nations?


The United Nations may have taken a vote, but it was a vote without meaning, since the Arab nations immediately attacked Israel. The Nation State of Israel was imposed on the Arabs by the Jews fighting back and winning, and continuing to fight and win. These galls the Goyim no end, perhaps even more than it does the Arabs.

In 1949, the Arabs could have had a reasonable deal. They rejected it.

From 1949 to 1967, the Palestinians could have had a State set up in the West Bank and Gaza, and dealt with Israel from that position. Jordan and Egypt declined to make it so, even though nothing was stopping them.

So now they can all accept whatever new offer the Jews choose to make, or they can prevail militarily. If the Jews of Israel fail to make a reasonable offer that the Arabs can accept, and if they fail to maintain military supremacy, then they will eventually lose.

As for BDS, screw 'em. If they don't want to invest or buy from us, we don't need to sell to them.
   750. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4669207)
Sink has been able to spend about four times as much as Jolly on TV, too, so it seems like she should be the favorite.


Only about $3 million of the $12+ million spent on this race has been by the candidates themselves. National groups have been pouring tons of money into this race and making Sink's personal fundraising advantage pretty irrelevant.
   751. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4669210)
Some local coverage of the FL-13 special election:
As of Sunday, more than 122,000 votes had been cast in the special election for Congressional District 13 in Pinellas County. The Republican advantage in votes cast to date has grown to more 4,623 votes. Presumably, a lot of ballots come in today and tomorrow.

We had been arguing that the Republican lead in mail-in votes cast was below where Republican nominee David Jolly needed it to be, but there's no question after the past five days he heads into election day with the momentum and with some wind at his back (Just as Obama had in 2012 when early voting was much stronger than in this election).

Rest of the column suggests close race.
   752. Lassus Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4669215)
If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.

I understand this, but extremity is always a poor path.
   753. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4669216)
I'm curious on this throwaway comment by SBB. Do other, non-SBB (read: not nutty) people believe this as well?

It has been my opinion that settlements represent a serious barrier to peace.


That's my perception as well, this dispute obviously began long before the settlements, but I think it could have been more or less resolve dby now had the Israelis not let religiously motivated settlers create "facts on the ground" starting in the 1970s.

OTOH the disputes over how Lebanon was created and governed have not entirely been resolved and the dispute over Kashmir remains and that has not been resolved either, and those issues began at the same time as the Israeli/Palestinian one.

OTOH East Timor was resolved when the occupier (Indonesia) finally gave up it's attempts to supplant/swamp the pre-existing residents and left.
   754. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4669218)
Sink has been able to spend about four times as much as Jolly on TV, too, so it seems like she should be the favorite.

Only about $3 million of the $12+ million spent on this race has been by the candidates themselves. National groups have been pouring tons of money into this race and making Sink's personal fundraising advantage pretty irrelevant.

My understanding is that ads by the candidates' official campaign qualify for the lowest rates, while those by others do not, so it is certainly advantageous to be able to use your own campaign funds rather then rely on "outside groups". Also, everything I've read indicates that even when the outside groups are factored in, the Democrats are spending more. Not that that guarantees anything, and, from afar, the GOP and its supporters seem to have spent enough to get their message across even if outspent.
   755. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4669219)
and legitimate fear that abandoning those settlers (many of whom are non-violent)


Those are generally the ones inside where the wall is- those outside, those basically living in Jewish Islands surrounded in an Arab sea, well they are usually there for religious reasons, and their goal is not co-existence- at least not on anything resembling equal rights for all.
   756. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4669220)
nm
   757. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4669224)
Not that that guarantees anything, and, from afar, the GOP and its supporters seem to have spent enough to get their message across even if outspent.


Pretty much, yeah. We've been ridiculously saturated by ads here, I'm just glad I don't watch TV.
   758. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4669226)
If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.

I don't blame Israel for having skepticism about the rest of the world providing protection against those that seek its destruction. There's quite a storied history of world powers behaving with at best indifference and at worst active participation in Jewish extermination.

It has been only about 50 years since the Catholic Church changed its official position from "the Jews are cursed Christ-slayers" to "the ancient Jews wanted Christ to be killed, but we shouldn't hold modern Jews accountable for the behavior of their ancient ancestors."

It's not like the Holocaust was some isolated incident. It's been trendy to expel and murder people for the sin of being Jewish for almost as long as there have been Jewish people.

The real question is whether there should be a Jewish state in the first place. Should we assign any territory at all to a people who have been systematically persecuted for the overwhelming majority of the past two thousand years throughout most of the Western world? I've made no secret of my atheism and general belief that religion is a poisonous, dangerous belief, but until we live in a world where that's a majority position, I think it's reasonable to reserve a section of the planet smaller than Connecticut for the Jews.
   759. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4669231)
Those are generally the ones inside where the wall is- those outside, those basically living in Jewish Islands surrounded in an Arab sea, well they are usually there for religious reasons, and their goal is not co-existence- at least not on anything resembling equal rights for all.

I think that Israel's ultimate plan is to establish a permanent border on the barrier, perhaps with some land swaps to compensate for the portions of the West Bank that it encroaches on, perhaps not. At that point, those settlers outside the wall are either going to have to retreat inside or they'll be left without protection. This would be the "taking the moral high ground" that people are demanding (especially if Israel gives some land back).

I remain unconvinced that those anti-Semites in Europe and the American left will reduce their criticism of, or that the Arab world will stop seeking the destruction of, the Jewish state.
   760. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4669233)
Wasn't Northern Ireland, like the west bank, spoils of war?

yes.

Or it doesn't count because the English were the aggressors?


No, it doesn't count because Northern Irish all got to vote in the same elections (repeatedly) and a majority voted to remain in the UK when given the chance.

The basic differences between the Scottish Presbyterians (basically the ancestors to today's Northern Irish Protestants) and today's Israeli West Bank Settlers are these

1: The Scots* were in Northern Ireland for Centuries
2: The Israeli Settlers have been in the West Bank for 1-2 generations**
3: Northern Irish Protestants, the ancestors of those Scots have a clear majority
4: Israeli Settlers remain a small minority in the West Bank
5: Northern Irish Catholics are equal under the law and they get to vote
6: Palestinian Arabs are not equal under the "law" and the only vote they are permitted is for the PA which is a powerless joke.
7: And this is the biggie: UK took home rule away from Northern Ireland and said you can't get it back until you treat eachother equally- that took some 30 years, an analog would be if Israeli clamped down on both Settlers and Palestinians, showed no favoritism to either, and said, "grow up and stop it." The UK clampdown wasn't perfect, the big problem especially early on was the occasional show of favoritism towards he Protestants- that would spike resistance meaning that a resolution really had to wait until Thatcher was out of Office. (And of curse before the clamp down they had allowed the Ulster Protestants free reign for decades
8: In the West Bank the Israelis occasionally clamp down on the more violent settlers, but as a general rule show overwhelming favoritism towards the settlers- plus while the UK was targeted by Catholic terrorists no one could even pretend that such terrorism was an existential threat to the UK.

10: It took CENTURIES for the UK's occupation of Ireland to reach a point where today, the entire Island is seemingly at peace.

*BTW in polls most Protestants in Northern Ireland still do not see themselves as Irish, they see themselves as "British" - the CCatholics see themselves as "Irish"
** Yes historically the Jews (including Samaritans) owned the West Bank, but not all Jews left the ancient homeland, many if not most remained, even after Rome sacked the Temple- but most who stayed did not remain Jewish, they converted to Christianity/Islam, a significant % of West Bank Palestinians can still trace their ancestry back to the Samaritans.
   761. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4669234)
And if these two perspectives were easy to reconcile, I'm pretty sure it would have been accomplished long ago. Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews. Obviously there would have been many problems with that solution, but it certainly would've represented a higher form of poetic justice.

Just another Goy who refuses to accept the tie between the Israel and the Children of Israel.


See the sentence above that begins with "Obviously".

If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.

That may be one reason I said I wasn't offering any advice on the subject, which leaves you a free path to that Nobel Peace Prize.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews.

Thanks, Andy, but they weren't called the Twelve Tribes of Bavaria and we don't say at Passover, "Next year in Brandenburg."


I was talking about poetic justice, not Biblical guidance. I might add that my Norwegian uncle met his own grizzly finish in a death camp after being betrayed by the Quislings, so I've never felt particularly solicitous of the feelings of the Hitler generation of Germans.

----------------------------------------------------------------

You have to admit, the food (and especially drink) would be better if so. I've never had the pleasure, but I imagine that Manischewitz is what goat piss tastes like.

Maybe so, but if you can believe their Old School commercials, Mogen David is "as modern as a peace demonstration".

Of course I used to hear those Old School commercials in about 1967, so maybe never mind.
   762. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4669235)
I don't blame Israel for having skepticism about the rest of the world providing protection against those that seek its destruction. There's quite a storied history of world powers behaving with at best indifference and at worst active participation in Jewish extermination.

It has been only about 50 years since the Catholic Church changed its official position from "the Jews are cursed Christ-slayers" to "the ancient Jews wanted Christ to be killed, but we shouldn't hold modern Jews accountable for the behavior of their ancient ancestors."

It's not like the Holocaust was some isolated incident. It's been trendy to expel and murder people for the sin of being Jewish for almost as long as there have been Jewish people.

The real question is whether there should be a Jewish state in the first place. Should we assign any territory at all to a people who have been systematically persecuted for the overwhelming majority of the past two thousand years throughout most of the Western world? I've made no secret of my atheism and general belief that religion is a poisonous, dangerous belief, but until we live in a world where that's a majority position, I think it's reasonable to reserve a section of the planet smaller than Connecticut for the Jews.


This.
   763. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 10, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4669237)
If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.


1: "standing" has nothing to do with it
2: If you believe advise is disingenuous and is coming from someone who secretly wishes to destroy you, by all means reject it; but
3: Just because bad things happened to a group doesn't mean that EVERYONE is out to get you.

Plus yo know there are literally hundreds of ethnicities and religions you are throwing under the "Goyim" label and the majority have and had nothing to do with the persecution of YOUR people.

Yes people stood and did nothing when millions of Jews were murdered, they also did nothing when a million Tutsis were murdered 18 years ago, or Stalin starved a couple million Ukrainians to death, or the Turks murdered a million Armenian or several million of my people were starved to death, because as a general rule people suck, and if you disqualify someone from speaking because his ancestors did something bad, or did nothing when someone else did something bad, well then no one has any "right" to give advise to any one else ever.
   764. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4669245)
It has been only about 50 years since the Catholic Church changed its official position from "the Jews are cursed Christ-slayers" to "the ancient Jews wanted Christ to be killed, but we shouldn't hold modern Jews accountable for the behavior of their ancient ancestors."


Neither of these have ever been Church dogma--especially the latter statement. Here's the relevant passage from Vatican 2:
True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ. The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.


There's a clear differentiation there.
The first part is more murky. Obviously, there were anti-semitic popes, and Catholics who used anti-semitism. The official position of the Church was laid out in Sicut Judaeis in or around 1120 AD after the massacre of several thousand Jews during the first crusade:

"[The Jews] ought to suffer no prejudice. We, out of the meekness of Christian piety, and in keeping in the footprints or Our predecessors of happy memory, the Roman Pontiffs Calixtus, Eugene, Alexander, Clement, admit their petition, and We grant them the buckler of Our protection.
For We make the law that no Christian compel them, unwilling or refusing, by violence to come to baptism. But, if any one of them should spontaneously, and for the sake of the faith, fly to the Christians, once his choice has become evident, let him be made a Christian without any calumny. Indeed, he is not considered to possess the true faith of Christianity who is not recognized to have come to Christian baptism, not spontaneously, but unwillingly.
Too, no Christian ought to presume...to injure their persons, or with violence to take their property, or to change the good customs which they have had until now in whatever region they inhabit.
Besides, in the celebration of their own festivities, no one ought disturb them in any way, with clubs or stones, nor ought any one try to require from them or to extort from them services they do not owe, except for those they have been accustomed from times past to perform.
...We decree... that no one ought to dare mutilate or diminish a Jewish cemetery, nor, in order to get money, to exhume bodies once they have been buried.
If anyone, however, shall attempt, the tenor of this decree once known, to go against it...let him be punished by the vengeance of excommunication, unless he correct his presumption by making equivalent satisfaction."


You can lay blame for what was preached from the pulpit and practiced by the congregation, but not the Church's official position.
   765. CrosbyBird Posted: March 10, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4669250)
You can lay blame for what was preached from the pulpit and practiced by the congregation, but not the Church's official position.

Fair enough.
   766. Morty Causa Posted: March 10, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4669252)
You can lay blame for what was preached from the pulpit and practiced by the congregation, but not the Church's official position.

Pretty much the way it goes with any institution--there's the de jure and there's the de facto. There's a folk practice when it comes to any organization or agency. And it can diverge from the official rules and regs. The difference between the two varies in some greater or lesser degree. The good thing about an official position is that a accountability can be argued publicly.
   767. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4669254)
Obviously, there were anti-semitic popes, and Catholics who used anti-semitism. The official position of the Church was laid out in Sicut Judaeis in or around 1120 AD


Ah, so presumably Pope Pius was offering this unofficial position of the Church in 1569:

"The Jewish people fell from the heights because of their faithlessness and condemned their Redeemer to a shameful death. Their godlessness has assumed such forms that, for the salvation of our own people, it becomes necessary to prevent their disease. Besides usury, through which Jews everywhere have sucked dry the property of impoverished Christians, they are accomplices of thieves and robbers; and the most damaging aspect of the matter is that they allure the unsuspecting through magical incantations, superstition, and witchcraft to the Synagogue of Satan and boast of being able to predict the future. We have carefully investigated how this revolting sect abuses the name of Christ and how harmful they are to those whose life is threatened by their deceit. On account of these and other serious matters, and because of the gravity of their crimes which increase day to day more and more, We order that, within 90 days, all Jews in our entire earthly realm of justice -- in all towns, districts, and places -- must depart these regions."
   768. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4669257)
Ah, so presumably Pope Pius was offering this unofficial position of the Church in 1569 . . .

Posting quotes without a link? Granted the Internet wasn't around in 1569, but still.
   769. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4669261)
Posting quotes without a link?


Mea culpa

[dagnabbit]

Follow the link, do a search for "Hebraeorum Gens," and read page 119. Google Books has outsmarted me.

I could probably find another link but I'm stubborn.
   770. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4669274)
Ah, so presumably Pope Pius was offering this unofficial position of the Church in 1569:


Correct. A papal bull does not equate to doctrine.

The decree in question was referring specifically to the papal states.

Edit: And it was Pius IV, btw, not Pius I, who died in or about 154 AD.
   771. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4669277)
You hear that Jews? You don't have to leave!
   772. tshipman Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4669280)
You hear that Jews? You don't have to leave!


Indeed, they did not have to leave. In 1569, the Church expelled Jews from the Papal States. They were not expelled from every Christian nation. There was no threat of excommunication if they were not.

I'm not condoning Pius IV's decree. It was a horrible mistake. His words, however, were not the official position of the Church.
   773. zenbitz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4669294)
If there is one policy that Israel should follow, it is to reject any advice coming from the Goyim. They have no standing to say ANYTHING to the Jews about ANYTHING.


So I am good then? Or do you want me to fax you a copy of the last telegram from Krakow from my Grandmothers family in September 1939.
   774. RollingWave Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4669295)
It be hard for the Palestinians to go anywhere if they are poor as dirt though, poor folks that has a lot less to lose are more readily willing to do crazy stuff. it's a lose lose situation for the Palestinian at this point.

Speaking of which, it seems rather likely that the Malaysian plane that gone missing is blow up by terrorist, it's rather unlikely that a relatively new plane on international flight of a major airliner just fall apart without any notice. unless they got shot by a missile or... blown up from within.

   775. GregD Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4669299)
Speaking of which, it seems rather likely that the Malaysian plane that gone missing is blow up by terrorist, it's rather unlikely that a relatively new plane on international flight of a major airliner just fall apart without any notice. unless they got shot by a missile or... blown up from within.
Wouldn't terrorists be claiming responsibility?
   776. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:27 PM (#4669302)
Re: Florida, Sink vs. Jolly--
The Republicans are money-bombing a single swing district with "this is your chance to vote against Obamacare" ads. That's supposed to be the single issue that will flip the Senate. With just one dot on the radar to worry about, they could really use a definitive result tomorrow, the predictive acumen of Chris Matthews notwithstanding.
   777. GregD Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4669307)
Special elections are overrated for their predictive value.

That said, I would not be surprised if the Dems take a loss tomorrow. Whether they do or not pull it out tomorrow, I expect them to take a number of losses in November.
   778. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4669314)
The Republicans are money-bombing a single swing district with "this is your chance to vote against Obamacare" ads. That's supposed to be the single issue that will flip the Senate. With just one dot on the radar to worry about, they could really use a definitive result tomorrow, the predictive acumen of Chris Matthews notwithstanding.

I think they're money-bombing that district because it's the only game in town right now, and because it's an opportunity for consultant types to line their pockets. I doubt the outcome will change either side's M.O. for November.
   779. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4669316)
The Republicans are money-bombing a single swing district . . .

They are being outspent by the Dems, FWIW.
   780. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4669321)
The "secret campaign" slush fund scandal from the District of Columbia's 2010 Mayor election hasn't really been a national story, but perhaps that could change:
Despite Hillary Rodham Clinton’s promise that she had scrubbed illegal cash contributions from her 2008 presidential campaign, prosecutors revealed Monday that the mastermind of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s “shadow campaign” also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House.

Jeffrey E. Thompson’s scheme included diverting more than $608,000 in illicit funds to a New York marketing executive, Troy White, who organized “street teams” to raise Mrs. Clinton’s visibility in urban areas during her Democratic primary battle against Barack Obama. Mr. White pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.

I'll be curious as to what type of sentence a serial campaign finance law violator like Thompson will get. Wonder if he has anything to trade for a lighter sentence?
   781. GregD Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4669323)
I'll be curious as to what type of sentence a serial campaign finance law violator like Thompson will get. Wonder if he has anything to trade for a lighter sentence?
As with the conviction of Scott Walker's aide, I doubt any lasting damage will be done. People expect politicians' friends to be in trouble, and they generally don't get excited about scandals they can't understand. The danger for Christie lies in the fact that people can understand it. If he did worse things involving money transfers, he'd probably be totally out of danger.

Ed to ad: I doubt any lasting damage will be done "to Hillary." Gray is possibly a different story.
   782. JE (Jason) Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4669324)
I'm not sure if this story got mentioned already:
Facing legal action, the State Department on Friday responded to a request for documents about the qualifications of President Obama's ambassadorial nominees.

The American Foreign Service Association, the labor union for career diplomats, has been dissatisfied with the backgrounds of several recent administration picks for ambassadorships and on Thursday threatened to file suit against State for withholding information about their qualifications. ...

President Obama's recent ambassadorial nominees — in particular for Norway, Argentina and Hungary — have come under fire for flubbing basic facts about the countries they were picked to serve.

Modern presidents have regularly tapped well-heeled campaign donors and political allies for plum ambassador assignments, but the long debate over whether presidents should reward big donors flared up again this year.

Recent Obama nominees admitted they had never visited the countries they will serve in before being nominated.

Presidents generally follow a “70-30” rule when making the nominations, choosing career foreign service officers for the majority of posts and leaving the rest for big donors and others who helped on the campaign.

Henri J. Barkey, a State Department official during the Clinton administration and an early supporter of Obama in 2008, last month penned a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post saying that the “administration's appointments suggest that the president isn't being honest when he says that diplomacy is important to him.”

Barkey, who is now a professor of international relations at Lehigh University, told the Examiner Friday that “all administrations appoint lousy bundlers” but he thought the case of the nominees for Norway and Hungary was particularly unnerving. He said the picks had not bothered to do their homework and don't deserve to be confirmed.
   783. Monty Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:40 PM (#4669326)
Modern presidents have regularly tapped well-heeled campaign donors and political allies for plum ambassador assignments


What is the word "modern" doing in that sentence?
   784. GregD Posted: March 10, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4669329)
The same complaint that was brought against G H W Bush? Break out the smelling salts! I'm sure they can't measure up to used car dealer Robert Nesen
   785. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4669331)
I'll be curious as to what type of sentence a serial campaign finance law violator like Thompson will get. Wonder if he has anything to trade for a lighter sentence?

A story I read earlier said the deal calls for a 6-month sentence. What a joke.
   786. Lassus Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4669332)
Speaking of which, it seems rather likely that the Malaysian plane that gone missing is blow up by terrorist, it's rather unlikely that a relatively new plane on international flight of a major airliner just fall apart without any notice. unless they got shot by a missile or... blown up from within.

There was an Air France flight from Brazil that fell apart five years ago which, granted, had a lot more info coming from it, but that also wasn't exactly figured out in the first 72 hours either.
   787. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4669335)
i liked James Fallow's Atlantic post that almost everything that comes out in the first day or two after a foreign policy crisis or a downed airliner turns out to be nonsense. Only with a few days do people figure out what's actually going on.
   788. Shibal Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4669337)
The same complaint that was brought against G H W Bush? Break out the smelling salts! I'm sure they can't measure up to used car dealer Robert Nesen


Nesen was dead long before Bush the Elder became president.
   789. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4669338)
Nesen lived to 2005. He was one of Reagan's illustrious ambassadorial appointees
   790. RollingWave Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:27 AM (#4669345)
Nesen lived to 2005. He was one of Reagan's illustrious ambassadorial appointees
To be fair, it was the Ambassador to Australia, and Nesen's background is a lot more solid than your average used car salesmen.
   791. RollingWave Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:55 AM (#4669347)
There was an Air France flight from Brazil that fell apart five years ago which, granted, had a lot more info coming from it, but that also wasn't exactly figured out in the first 72 hours either.

True, but that flight had emergency automatic signals sent out before it fell apart. This one, as far as we know so far, had nothing.
   792. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:08 AM (#4669348)
There was an Air France flight from Brazil that fell apart five years ago which, granted, had a lot more info coming from it, but that also wasn't exactly figured out in the first 72 hours either.
flight 447. and it wasn't 72 hours; it took 2 years for the investigation to locate and recover the black boxes. and 3 years for the final report to be released.



   793. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:09 AM (#4669353)
The Republicans are money-bombing a single swing district . . .

They are being outspent by the Dems, FWIW.


By a small margin, because the Sink campaign has more than a 4:1 edge. But more advocacy/PAC money has been spent on the Republican side than for the Democrat. And the Republicans have a small advantage in voter registration. I didn't mean to imply that the GOP and its friends were diabolically buying the election; they've spotted a good opportunity to airlift their cash following the disappointments of 2012.

Quoting the Washington Post from Sunday, "One reason this race is such a bellwether for November is that both candidates are seen as having critical flaws and lack charisma on the stump, minimizing the personality difference and making it more of a referendum on their messages and the issues aired in the campaign." Both candidates have been pushing the Obamacare issue in their own ways. (Essentially, "kill this monstrosity dead" vs. "don't let the awful rollout fool you.") Yeah, special elections often turn out to be overanalyzed anomalies, but this one has more takeaway potential than most. Not so much on what rhetoric will be used in other races-- that won't change-- and not so much on how the result will be flogged to work the refs afterwards-- it will be-- but as a first test of that rhetoric's effectiveness, all else being more or less equal.
   794. RollingWave Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:35 AM (#4669355)
flight 447. and it wasn't 72 hours; it took 2 years for the investigation to locate and recover the black boxes. and 3 years for the final report to be released.


Yes, but again, in that flight, 48 hours later the French authority already reported that the automated warning message they received from the plane before it crash, and it was later revealed that the plane was still in one piece when it impacted the water.

This time , there wasn't even such a message (as far as we are aware) which would lead you to believe that the plane disintegrated instantly mid air... which usually only can be attributed to bombs from the inside or out. There was a similar case in a China air flight a decade ago (disintegrated mid air due to metal fatigue), however other planes picked up radiocon beacon almost immediately.


   795. BrianBrianson Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:46 AM (#4669356)
Too bad we couldn't have shipped the Germans off to Mars and given Germany to the Jews.


A lot of German land was opened up after the war, and resettled by Poles, Russians, Czechs, etc. The barrier wasn't the inability to deport Germans somewhere.
   796. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4669381)
Ah, so presumably Pope Pius was offering this unofficial position of the Church in 1569:

Correct. A papal bull does not equate to doctrine.


Sicut Judaeis, cited above as proof the Jew had nothing to fear from certain institutions, was a papal bull. Let's look at a few!

Etsi non displiceat by Innocent III in 1205, addressed to the king of France, is a list of accusations against the Jews: usury, blasphemy, arrogance, employing Christian slaves, and even murder.


Ooooh edgy!

In generali concilio by Honorius III in 1218, addressed to the archbishop of Toledo, demanded the enforcement of the decision of the Fourth *Lateran Council that Jews wear clothing to distinguish them from Christians; also that Jews be made to pay the tithe to local churches. Both items were frequently repeated by later popes.


Ah yes, the distinguishing clothing.

Si vera sunt also by Gregory IX, in 1239, addressed to the kings and prelates of France and Spain, ordered the seizure and examination of the Talmud and all other Jewish books suspected of blasphemies against Jesus and Christianity. The burning of such Jewish books was ordered several times from the 13th to the 16th centuries.


But it was only France and Spain!

Geez, there's like a zillion of these things. They're basically, what, fatwas in Latin?
   797. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4669400)

788.Shibal.
Nesen was dead long before Bush the Elder became president.

789. GregD
Nesen lived to 2005. He was one of Reagan's illustrious ambassadorial appointees


One of these guys is either clueless or a liar (presumably the former, since the actual facts are so easily checked out).

Hint: It's not GregD.
   798. Shibal Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4669408)
To be fair, it was the Ambassador to Australia, and Nesen's background is a lot more solid than your average used car salesmen.


Yep, four years as a pilot in the Navy during WW2, aeronautical engineer degree, 20 years in the Naval Reserve before retiring as a Lt. Commander, Assistant Secretary to the Navy under Nixon, member of the state Board of Education in California, and so on. He was a helluva lot more than just a used car salesman.
   799. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4669410)
But, crucially, did he have a "Certificate of Demonstrated Competence," the alleged issue raised here?

I grant it would have been fairer if I had name-dropped Mark Austad to illustrate Republicans' longstanding commitment to expertise in ambassadors.

It is absurd that we send these idiots around the world as ambassadors. But anyone bringing it up to score points on a particular administration or political party is behaving even more absurdly, since this is one of those nasty little bipartisan agreements--you get to reward your drunkards and johns, and then we get to reward ours.
   800. Shibal Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4669412)
One of these guys is either clueless or a liar (presumably the former, since the actual facts are so easily checked out).

Hint: It's not GregD.


WTF are you talking about? The only one lying or clueless is you.

Greg first says Nesen was a Bush 1 appointee, gets corrected by me, then cleans up his mistake.

Which is fine. Greg was likely going by memory and didn't check the facts. No big deal.

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