Monday, January 05, 2009

So Far, Not So Good in 2009

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:

" 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....


Tom Harper said...

The Israeli situation sure sucks. I'm aware that they're fighting for their right to exist (as they keep saying). But their idea of "self defense" is a little extreme.

And the U.S. keeps enabling them by pouring billions into their "defense" and vetoing every UN resolution that condemns Israel.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Right now, the news just makes me tired.

Suzi Riot said...

It is saddening and frustrating. And yes, as if the President-elect didn't have enough to do with preventing another Great Depression and getting us out of Iraq.

Christopher said...

Props Mauigirl for having the courage to post about Israel's assault on the people of Gaza.

You risk being called an anti-Semite if you dare to speak harshly of America's 51st state. The thought police are out in force.

It's no accident this disproportional assault happened when it did. It is in the gray period between the final weeks of Bush's term but before Obama is sworn in.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I was in Joe Biden's camp in expecting Obama to be tested before he takes office. I see it as a final act of vindictiveness from the Bush Administration. I agree that this latest conflict is more than an act of self-defense. It also says something that every country in the UN has condemned Israel for their response, except, of course, the US. I wonder what stance an Obama administration would have taken had he been tasked with condemning Israel or not. Bottom line, the killing of innocents has to stop.

Randal Graves said...

What christopher said. It really is okay to bag on someone when they're being a goddamn lunatic.

And for those of you who watch Press the Meat, let us know when David gets that macho with a Republican.

Anonymous said...

We of course were naive in expecting that suddenly things would be different. It's part of the reason I can't blog about much in the way of politics these days. I'm just too tired of the games and the lying and the cheating and the greed. It sickens me, and there is lots of blame to go around.

I have become increasingly against the Israeli war machine. I see the Palestinians as the true victims here. They did not ask for their land to be taken from them, and it is understandable that they want it back. All harkens back to 1946 and the very arbitrary decisions tht were made by Britain. It's a mess that has not stopped. While I support Israel, some accomodation must be made to peoples who have every legitimate right to claim their homeland too.

lisahgolden said...

I'm so sick of the Israeli/Palestinian mess that I can't think of anything useful to say.

However, I will say that I'm pissed about the double standard that Congress is displaying regarding Blago. They want to take him on as some sort of criminal, but they won't hold the Bushies accountable for their crimes.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Illinois law says the Secretary of State has to certify that appointment, and the SoS refuses to do so. By the letter of the law, Burris is not legit.

libhom said...

Thanks for supporting the survival of the Palestinians in Gaza.

I hope Ms. Clinton drops out. Having an undiplomatic war monger like Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is about as inappropriate as it gets.

JollyRoger: Illinois' Secretary of State has no legal basis to refuse to certify the appointment. The Senate is legally obligated to certify Burris, like it or not.