Friday, January 02, 2009

15 Seconds

Hamas is not playing games. Petition is here


Well you certainly won't see it

AFP reported The day before a powerful blast sent his headless body flying out of his Gaza home on Thursday, senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayan predicted that the Islamist movement would defeat Israel.
Well you certainly won't see it, unless Allah installs a TV set in Hell for you.
"God willing, Hamas will win,"
Why would God create the entire world, just so nut cases like you kill every civilian you can, regardless of what faith they follow?
Rayan said in a vitriol-laden speech that the movement's television broadcast just after he, his four wives and 10 of his children were killed in the Israeli blitz of the Gaza Strip on Thursday.


Israel Shakes Up the Information War

Pajamas Media reported Bypassing the mainstream media, Israel gets its message out through Twitter and YouTube.

Monday afternoon saw the Israeli consulate in New York hold a press conference on Twitter on their own “hashtag” stream for anyone to read and listen to. It’s called simply AskIsrael. What was more impressive is that they were taking questions for those “listening in.”....

At the same time the Israeli Defense Forces launched its own channel on YouTube to display their view of events on the ground.

And I understand they may be setting up their own YouTube-like server to counter the Jihadis who are using YouTube's feature to delete videos they find offensive.


Israel and Hamas

Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon most of the rest of the world -- Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, the U.N. leadership -- opposes and condemns the attack, all to no avail.
Is this surprising? The have both Jews and Muslims in their country. They know that the Jews will remain peaceful regardless of what they say, but if they take Israel's side they know that the muslims are apt to start a riot where people will be killed.
The parties with the superior military might (the U.S. and Israel) dismiss world opinion as essentially irrelevant. Even the pro-war rhetorical tactics are the same (just as those who opposed the Iraq War were demonized as being "pro-Saddam," those who oppose the Israeli attack on Gaza are now "pro-Hamas").
Should Israel just remain peaceful and allow rockets to be fired into their country, killing their citizens, without responding?
Substantively, there are certainly meaningful differences between the U.S. attack on Iraq and the Israeli attack on Gaza (most notably the fact that Hamas really does shoot rockets into Israel and has killed Israeli civilians
And doesn't Israel have a right to respond?
and Israel really is blockading and occupying Palestinian land,
They withdrew completely from Gaza, and gave the people there a chance to show how they could live peacefully with their neighbors, and then the rocket attacks started.
whereas Iraq did not attack and could not attack the U.S. as the U.S. was sanctioning them and controlling their airspace).
Although they could and did shoot at those planes, requested by the UN, controlling their airspace and preventing Saddam from killing more Kurds in the North or more Shia in the South.
But the underlying logic of both wars are far more similar than different: military attacks, invasions and occupations will end rather than exacerbate terrorism; the Muslim world only understands brute force;
What indication do you have that they understand anything else. Have you read the Koran?
the root causes of the disputes are irrelevant; diplomacy and the U.N. are largely worthless.
The UN definitely is worthless.
.... Even for those Americans who, for whatever their reasons, want endlessly to fixate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, who care deeply and passionately about whether the Israelis or the Palestinians control this or that West Bank hill or village and want to spend the rest of their days arguing about who did what to whom in 1948 and 1967,
Actually when the Palestinian Mandate was split into TransJordan, which became Jordan, and the land west of the Jordan, Israel should have gotten all of the land west of the Jordan. It would have given them enough land they could have had a cushion on all borders wide enough to separate their settlements from their neighbors.
what possible interests do Americans generally have in any of that,
Genesis 12:3 which says I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
sufficient to involve ourselves so directly and vigorously on one side, and thereby subject ourselves to the significant costs -- financial, reputational, diplomatic and security -- from doing so?


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Roland Burris

Rod Blagojevich nominated former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to fill Obama's Senate seat. Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago played the Race Card, saying "I would ask you to not hang or lynch the appointee as you try to castigate the appointer".

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he will refuse to seat Burris. Eugene Volokh doubts the court would allow the Senate not to seat Burris because of Powell v. McCormack, but Akhil Amar and Josh Chafetz in Slate believes the Senate easily has the power to block the governor's appointment of Roland Burris. Eugene Volokh and Ann Althouse respond to the Slate article.

Jack Balkin, Scott Lemieux, and Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog pontificate on the matter.

It should be interesting to watch. Reid risks offending the Congressional Black Caucus by refusing to seat Burris, but if he does, he risks tieing Blagokevich to the Senate, and with the many other Senators and Congressmen (like Dodd and Frank) with ethical clouds over them, he does not want to get close to Blago at all.

Laurence H. Tribe says the arguments saying the Senate must seat Burris miss the mark as well. The fact that he is indisputably "qualified" in the constitutional sense has no bearing on the authority of the Senate under Article I, Section 5 to serve as the sole "Judge of the Elections"--and, by extension, the temporary appointments--of would-be members.... The Senate's early December decision to exclude any Blagojevich appointee reflected nothing about the particular person he appointed cuts for, not against, leaving the matter to the judicially unreviewable judgment of the Senate itself. For the danger of invoking doubts about the process of election or appointment, as a pretext for excluding someone that a Senate majority finds objectionable, is minimized when the decision to exclude is made in advance of any individual's appointment, and thus under the classical philosopher's veil of ignorance about whose ox might be gored.

Baltimore Sun reported Should Roland Burris show up Tuesday for duty in the Senate, armed police officers stand ready to bar him from the floor. Jane Hamsher says Harry Reid's back is against the wall. He thinks that if he doesn't oppose Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, John Cornyn and the Republicans will make the Democrats wear Blago around their necks for the rest of their natural lives. And on that count, he's probably right. Athenae says I don't even know what to do when Harry Reid wakes up from his two-year nap and discovers that THIS is a bridge too far.

Plan B
Chicago Tribune reported Senate Democrats also have a follow-up plan: Refusing to seat Burris until the Senate Rules Committee completes an investigation into whether the appointment process was tainted by corruption. Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9 on federal charges that he tried to sell the Senate seat.

The plan is for the Senate committee investigation to extend longer than the Illinois impeachment process under way against Blagojevich, leaving open the possibility that a new governor would make a rival Senate appointment. The end game that Democratic leaders are considering is to then seat the new governor's choice. That could allow the Senate to accept the new appointee without going through the formal process of explicitly voting to reject Burris.... While the process slogs along, it's also possible that Burris could take on some limited trappings of office.

Past practice in the Senate has been to grant a senator whose credentials are disputed office space and payroll for a staff, as well as floor privileges—but not a Senate seat—until the situation is resolved. So Burris potentially could be allowed to enter the exclusive club, but not as a full member, without the ability to vote, speak or even literally sit at a senator's desk.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Senate leaders have not yet decided whether they would follow that tradition. Other officials said senators are reluctant to break with custom on such matters but that permitting Burris any of the perquisites of office also has potential political drawbacks. He could sue to sit.

Ann Althouse says So at at time when there isn't a single black person in the U.S. Senate, a black man arrives at the doorway and means to go forward to take what he believes is his rightful seat... [photo of George Wallace standong in the schoolhouse door to block integration of Alabama public schools ] Great imagery, Democrats!

This should be fun to watch. Either way it goes, the Dems look bad. Let's order extra popcorn and prepare to watch the show.

Steve Chapman says Burris is An empty suit for an empty seat. He has lost races for mayor of Chicago, U.S. senator, and governor (three times).

That should make him perfectly qualified for being a Senator. He has more qualifications than Caroline Kennedy, who wants Hillary's seat. He may have lost those elections, but at least he ran.
No one thinks more of Roland Burris than he does. Burris has already charted his esteemed career path on the walls of his future grave in Chicago's Oak Woods Cemetery.


A 2008 Round Up

Hat tip to Anchoress