Friday, May 11, 2012

Romney's Youth - Yet Another Media Distraction

All this talk about the childhood or teenage pranks done by Mitt Romney are getting a little ridiculous. I'm not necessarily defending his actions but I was a kid during those times as well and know exactly what life was like during that era for kids and teenagers. To hold a youngster accountable for what was considered routine, and in most cases, acceptable societal prank behavior forty or more years ago, before these so-called enlightened days of Political Correctness, harbors on the absurd.

More importantly, for the mainstream media to put so much time into the effort is just another indicator of their willingness to try and keep the average American voter concentrated on the distractions instead of what really matters in this all important election. You know what I mean - things like the ECONOMY - the volatile Middle East - the absolute necessity for a National Energy Policy that makes the United States less dependent on foreign oil.

I'll help everyone out here. If you want distractions then think about this: At least Romney, as a kid, was a bonafide, legal, fully documented and substantiated, without any reasonable doubt American youth who was raised on American soil by parents who were full American citizens who just happened to believe in the unity of the Republic, the value of the Constitution and the validity of the free-market economic system. He was not raised by a fundamentalist radical Islamist or communist and socialist radical thinkers on foreign soil.

It's the RIGHTS Stupid!

After North Carolina voters shot down the rights of gays in their State to have legal same sex marriages by a 61% margin the internet and media were ablaze with condemnation and downright hatred for those who felt the traditional view of marriage should be the gold standard in their fair land. North Carolina now joins 30 other States to ban same sex marriage, including the very liberal left coast State of California. This issue of same sex marriage is not and should never become a federal issue. It is one in which each State in the Union is obligated to make a ruling based on the will of each legal voting resident of that particular State only as it pertains to certain legalities related to married couples.

My own particular view on the matter is based not on any religious or political conviction for or against the measure. However, I do hold strong views on what is meant by the rights of United States citizens.

My solution to the entire matter is quite simple and logical. We need to stop separating the rights issue. It's not gay rights, feminine rights, voters rights, black, white, native American or hispanic rights - it's simply human rights. Under the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights all peoples in the United States of America have the right and privilege to live their lives unmolested by government, religion or special interests. If we could simply treat each other as equals without prejudice then all these rights issues would no longer even be a headline.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Career Politician Voted Out of Senate by Constituents

Another career politician finally gets the boot. Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar has been voted out of his longtime Senate seat by voters in his State.

In the face of change and challenge to career members of both major U.S. parties Lugar becomes the latest casualty of voter frustration over the inactivity on Capital Hill. Lugar was defeated by Tea Party backed candidate Richard Mourdock, Indiana's State Treasurer. Mourdock was strongly supported by such conservative backers as the National Rifle Association and the Club of Growth. His non-stop campaign against Lugar's backing of Obama Supreme Court designees and lack of conviction in fighting back over the Democratic liberal immigration agenda known as the Dream Act led many conservatives and even independent voters go to the polls with the intention of allowing 80 year old Lugar to drift off into history; a fate many more career politicians may be seeing in their immediate futures if the trend continues.

I see this as a good sign of things to come, if it continues. I really don't care if these politicians are moderates, liberals, conservatives or libertarians, 36 years is just too damn many years to serve in government office. It certainly wasn't dreamed of by our founders or they would have put term limits in the Constitution on the House and Senate. They simply couldn't fathom anyone wanting to leave their businesses or law practices for that extended period of time because they were all capitalist at heart and felt that serving the country for one or two terms was all anyone of sane mind would endure, which speaks volumes of the sanity of career politicians.

Monday, May 7, 2012

No New Elections Needed In Israel

In a stunning turn of events in Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima opposition chairman MK Shaul Mofaz have come to a last minute agreement of unity thwarting efforts by Israel's Labor Party to get new elections that would try to unseat Netanyahu's coalition government.

Up until just yesterday Labor Party members were feeling very confident that they would have the necessary votes to unseat Netanyahu. However, what they were evidently unaware of was the private two weeks of negotiating going on between the Prime Minister and Mofaz.

This isn't the first time that opposition parties have underestimated the PM's ability to side-step efforts to bring him and his government down.

Mofaz's Kadima party stands to gain a lot from this new agreement. He will likely get appointed to Deputy Prime Minister and have control over Israel's Homeland Security known as the Homefront Defense Ministry or a position as a minister without portfolio. Netanyahu has also promised Mofaz his support in replacing the Tal Law. This 10-year old rule of law in Israel has allowed ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to avoid national military service in lieu of their orthodox rabbinic training.

What Netanyahu gets from this union will be Kadima's much needed votes on issues in the Knesset that are of supreme importance to Netanyahu. Kadima will vote with Likud until the close of its Knesset term which concludes November 2013.

Labor, Meretz and many other of the opposition parties are frustrated and angry, especially in light of the fact that only two weeks ago Mofaz said he would never sit down and negotiate a union between Kadima and Labor. Zahava Gal-On, Meretz chairwoman called it nothing more than a "dirty trick," while Labor Party Chairwoman MK Shelly Yechimovich used somewhat harsher words calling the new union nothing more than “an alliance of cowards.”

Netanyahu also received criticism from members of his own Likud Party. Some were wondering why they were throwing a life-jacket to an opposition party that was almost drowning and felt it would have served Likud's interest better to chance elections in September then to give Kadima CPR. Polls have been showing that Netanyahu would have likely won the election, yet those same polls showed that he may have had a difficult time amassing a coalition government as late as September, which is at the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days. Netanyahu likely saw this hand-out gesture to Kadima as a guarantee of remaining PM and having a unified coalition government today instead of chancing it 4 months from now.

One of the criticisms is the likelihood that under this new agreement Ehud Barak will probably remain on as Defense Minister causing further delays in bringing the West Band settlement issue to a close.

However, not all members of the Knesset shared the view of the opposition. Interior Minister and Shas Party chairman Eli Yishai welcomed the agreement as a step in the right direction especially at a time when Israel has the cloud of Iran's nuclear ambition over its head.

My take on all of this is good for the Prime Minister. Anything that helps to keep Netanyahu in power at this extremely crucial time in Israel's history is a plus. The PM is a realist that sees the world as it really is, knows the region better then anyone alive today, having been educated and lived extensively in the West knows the pulse and barometer of the American thermometer and has stood toe to toe and his ground with Vladimir Putin, Russia's recently reelected leader. I cannot think of anyone more qualified to be Israel's Prime Minister and it would be a travesty to have him removed simply because the Labor Party is looking for a power grab at this delicate time. Shelly Yacimovich, Labor Party leader, may be a capable politician, but she certainly isn't ready to take on what is required to fill that chair at this time.

With this Likud-Kadima coalition Israel has been given another 18 months of breathing room.