Well, here we are in a brand new year. At first I was feeling good about 2009. The stock market actually went up on Friday! Obama is to be inaugurated on the 20th. Life was good.
But now Israel is in an all-out war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip with no end in sight, and Bill Richardson has decided not to pursue the nomination for Secretary of Commerce due to some possibly shady dealings for which he is being investigated.
(What is it with these people? Can't any of them just be on the up-and-up? And don't get me started on John Edwards! Lucky neither of them won the Democratic nomination!)
And there are even some issues with Hillary being tied in with some developer who later gave money to Bill's foundation. (Of course we knew THAT would happen).
According to the NY Times,
"An upstate New York developer donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project."
I'm sure this will come up during her confirmation hearings...
And in the meantime, the Blago mess continues - Burris is insisting that he is a legitimate appointee and Senator Harry Reid appeared on "Meet the Press" and asserted the Senate has the authority to block the appointment.
Personally, I think Reid hasn't actually got a leg to stand on since the Supreme Court determined Adam Clayton Powell had to be seated back in 1969, but hey, it's worth a shot.
David Gregory pressed Reid pretty hard, pointing out that Blagojevich hadn't even been indicted yet:
"MR. GREGORY: But he is still legally the governor. He's doing business. He's been accused but not convicted of anything, and not even formally accused. And there's, there's nothing suggesting that the appointment was at all illegal."
Reid's response did not address this issue at all - he avoided it completely by pointing out that Illinois Congressman Danny Davis was offered the job and declined, which did not answer the question of whether the appointment of Burris was legal or not. I guess the controversy will continue.
Back to Israel - I'm beginning to think Joe Biden was right - that Obama is now going to be "tested" with an international crisis just as he predicted. In fact, the crisis has already begun before Obama even takes office. Just what he needed.
As for my own opinion about the situation in Israel...I am a supporter of Israel. I'm half Jewish and my mother (the non-Jewish parent) is a dedicated Zionist.
However, I feel they have gone too far in terms of civilian casualties and I am very distressed by what is happening in Gaza. According to the Associated Press:
"...no militant casualties were seen Monday by an Associated Press reporter at Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest. Instead, the hospital was overwhelmed with civilians. Bodies were two to a morgue drawer, and the wounded were being treated in hallways because beds were full.
Gaza health officials reported more than 550 Palestinian dead and about 2,500 wounded since Israel began the campaign 10 days ago, including 200 civilians. U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told reporters in New York on Monday that U.N. officials believe at least 500 people have been killed in the fighting and that as many as 25 percent are civilians.
At least 20 Palestinian children were killed during the day, said Dr. Moaiya Hassanain, a health official. Most confirmed deaths have been civilians....
Five Israelis have been killed during the offensive, including a soldier in the ground operation."
550 Palestinians vs. 5 Israelis. Something is wrong here. Yes, Israel has a right to defend itself. But this seems to be going too far.
I hope when Obama takes office he will work hard to broker peace there. As if he didn't have enough to do already.
Well, this has been a rather disjointed and depressing post but I am feeling a bit out of sorts so far this year, and we have 360 days to go. I hope I'll have something more positive to talk about in my next post!
Happy New Year! I hope....