There’s A Mr. Karma Here To See You, Sir

Good to be back among the living after last week’s Klingon Death Flu, and I’m in an even better mood this morning upon seeing that Benjamin Netanyahu has a whole mess of roosting chickens riding boomerangs to deal with back home.

For all the vitriol in the U.S. surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech last week to Congress, it was nothing compared with what the Israeli prime minister faced upon his homecoming. Israeli politics are generally more vicious than their American parallel, and Netanyahu returned to face what is almost a perfect storm raging around his re-election campaign.

It began with comments by Meir Dagan, a former director of Mossad, who said that the prime minister’s conduct of the conflict with the Palestinians would lead Israel to being either a binational or an apartheid state. Dagan has long been critical of Netanyahu, but former Mossad chiefs have virtual demigod status in Israel, so his accusation (which he repeated in front of an estimated 80,000 peopleat an anti-Netanyahu rally Saturday in Tel Aviv, where he also said that Netanyahu has brought Israel to its worst crisis since its creation) clearly stung.

The Likud itself brought on the second phase of the storm with an undeniably stupid and offensive TV ad that showed people in a self-help group, all there due to Netanyahu’s policies. There was the mobile-phone company executive who can no longer charge customers through the nose, the port worker who can no longer get away with working only three hours a week, and a Hamas terrorist complaining about Netanyahu’s war on terrorism. In a country with deep socialist roots, the nasty portrayal of lazy workers was edgy enough. But depicting a Hamas terrorist in the same group as laborers went way too far. Israelis woke up Monday morning to a YNet headline noting that a Likud candidate, the head of Israel’s Airport Authority, said publicly that his workers are telling him they will not vote Likud because of the ad in which Netanyahu compared them to the enemy. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, long known as a straight shooter, said Netanyahu didn’t know about the content of the ad. Given that the prime minister was filmed reciting lines clearly meant for the ad, though, people found even Yaalon hard to believe this time.

The third blow was a leaked document allegedly indicating that the prime minister had agreed in principle to return to the 1967 lines in a deal with the Palestinians, something he has said publicly he would never do. Avi Issacharoff, one of Israel’s leading political commentators, wondered whether the leak originated with U.S. President Barack Obama and was payback for the speech to Congress — an indication of how damaging he thought it might prove. On Sunday night, apparently seeking to prove that Netanyahu has not softened, the Likud announced that the prime minister no longer supports the two-state solution. Hours later, Netanyahu denied he ever said that. The Likud is desperate, struggling to keep the ship afloat in a storm that keeps growing stronger.

I’m just so totally torn up to hear that Netanyahu may get stuck with a unity government riding herd on him and his Likud pals, even more torn up to hear how terrible political campaign advisers aren’t just an American affectation.  Not doing anything crazy like counting the guy out, but it’s good to see he may not exactly win in a landslide either.

We’ll see how this shakes out, but the notion that the guy might not win is now starting to pick up steam.






124 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Always nice to see another Sheldon Adelson anointee in deep doo-doo.

  2. 2
    Bobby B. says:

    Bibi could invite Republican legislators to form a coalition government to be based in Washington. If that isn’t being done right now.

  3. 3
    Betty Cracker says:

    Looks like the BiBieber fan club in the Senate may have stepped on their own dicks too: The NY Daily News front-paged the GOP Senators who signed that petulant letter to Iran under the headline “TRAITORS” in eleventy-hundred-point font. The NY Daily Fucking News!

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: The Daily News is known for the subtlety of their headlines.

    And can you fish my previous out of moderation? Don’t know why it ended up there.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t see a post from you in moderation, I’m afraid. Looks like WP ate it. Sorry!

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks anyway.

    What I was trying to say was that I like to see phrases like “undeniably stupid and offensive” in the press. I know it was an opinion piece, but still. As the fat man said, “here’s to plain speaking and clear understanding.”

  7. 7
    Eric U. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: that would be great, but then it would become too repetitious wrt the republicans.

  8. 8
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Glenn Beck’s expressing his outrage at the Daily News now. How dare they call any Republican a traitor! (Even though Republicans were very busy — with Beck’s full approval — calling Democrats traitors when they didn’t fall in line behind Bush in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion.)

    These guys are beyond insane at this point.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I agree. Such adjectives are often appropriate when discussing political ads.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: They’re so librul lately. Wonder what’s gotten into them.

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    And when you’ve lost the New York Daily News . . . .

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    @debbie: There’s Rick Perry calling Ben Bernanke a traitor because of Federal Reserve monetary policy. Treason is a pretty low bar these days.

  13. 13
    Sherparick says:

    It is ironic that Netanyahu’s ploy was to create among Israelis tremendous anxiety about Iran and about Obama (not the real Obama, but the Obama of the Right-wing/Adelson/Likud imagination), and to portray himself as the heroic figure who could smite and destroy these alleged threats and thereby secure reelection. Apparently, he and Ron Dermer were to clever by half in their plans so to speak to kill two birds with one stone.

    One problem of living in the Faux News, Breitbart World, Newsmax, and right wing talk radio bubble is that you really think all you have to do is please the base. .

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....054540.php

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    Wouldn’t we all be safer with Bibi out of world politics?

    Not following Israeli politics. If he loses, is the next government likely to be more rational?

  15. 15
    beltane says:

    I think people are confusing the NY Daily News with the NY Post, Rupert Murdoch’s rag. Both are tabloids but only one is a fascist tabloid.

  16. 16
    geg6 says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    @beltane: Not me. I knew a NY News reporter once. He proudly claimed to work for ‘the tabloid of record.’

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @beltane: Isn’t the NYDN also notably wingnutty, although not a Murdoch property? If not, I apologize for suggesting otherwise.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    If Netanyahu had been more subtle, he could have come away with everything he wanted. Thankfully, he and Ron Derner don’t do subtle all too well.

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @beltane: Both, however, are reliably on the AIPAC/Likud side of things.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    @beltane

    So old can remember back to when the Post was the flaming liberal paper in the NYC market.

  22. 22
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s by no means a liberal paper, but they often endorse Democrats. It has more of a populist than a truly ideological bent like the Post.

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @NotMax: My mother used to read the Post regularly back then. When Rupert Murdoch took over the transformation into RW propaganda mouthpiece was immediate.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Historically, the Daily News was geared to the blue collar crowd.

    Was Archie Bunker’s newspaper of choice.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes, they are. Just as it’s telling that not a single Democrat signed the letter, not even Menendez, it’s telling that the NY Daily News accused the signatories of treason.

  26. 26
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Isn’t the NYDN also notably wingnutty, although not a Murdoch property?

    No, it’s not “wingnutty.” It’s owned by Mort Zuckerman, who generally supports Obama (for example).

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    Mort Zuckernman must be signaling that Netanyahu doesn’t speak for him.

  28. 28
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: Here’s an example of Mort’s “general” support, then.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Grandstanding Conservative Politician Turns Out to Have Tin Ear Domestically

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    @beltane

    Same thing with the local paper here. Family owned and operated for generations. When it was sold to a right wing fundamentalist publishing group* from W. Virginia in 2000, cancelled my subscription ASAP.

    *Ogden Newspapers, based in Wheeling and serendipitously run by the Nutting family.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    When you’ve lost Joe Scarborough…

  32. 32
    OmerosPeanut says:

    Thing is, the unity governments Israeli politics of the last 15 years create are of Likud and those that are much further to the right than them, either by being rabidly (Jewish) Nationalist or Ultra-Orthodox. Is that really the check & balance you want to see? Or do you have evidence of the long dead Israeli left finally resurrecting itself?

  33. 33
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yes, thanks, I was aware of the various positions he took re the stimulus program. To me, his partial criticism thereof does not negate his general support for Obama or the Democratic Party generally.

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    The NY Post recently had Obama blindfolded to the threat of ISIS, so this Daily News headline is pretty subtle, actually

  35. 35
    debbie says:

    @beltane:

    Doubt it. He’s been very critical of Obama recently, especially over Israel. I’d bet Zuckerman supports the letter, despite the editorial.

  36. 36
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    The more I think about the Rs’ letter, the more angry I get. Along with the invitation to Netanyahu, it’s qualitatively different from their usual obstruction because it’s an active undermining of the nation’s policy. And this isn’t the House fringe. Forty-seven senators signed it, including McConnell.

    I’m glad to see others reacting too because at first there didn’t seem to be much in the MSM. It’s apparently taking a while for this to sink in, probably because it’s so incomprehensible.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    MJ Rosenberg is on a roll, reminiscing on his AIPAC days: http://mjrosenberg.net/2015/03.....ror-story/

  38. 38
    Bobby B. says:

    @beltane: It has more of a populist than a truly ideological bent like the Post.
    Emphasis on “bent”.

  39. 39
    Cervantes says:

    @debbie:

    In my view, Zuckerman has long been too pro-Israel.

    When people ask why the Democrats don’t stand up more for justice in the Middle East, Zuckerman’s support for the party is part of the answer.

  40. 40
    J R in WV says:

    Mr. Karma… what a wonderful headline!

    Thanks…

  41. 41

    The Daily News isn’t quite the Post, but it definitely has its moments.

    Avi Issacharoff, one of Israel’s leading political commentators, wondered whether the leak originated with U.S. President Barack Obama and was payback for the speech to Congress

    Smiling at the thought? Yes I am.

  42. 42
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: Do you think anything will change as a result of this? American liberals are bound to ask the question: If this is how Israel treats its best friend and benefactor, how do you think they treat the stateless people living under occupation?

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NotMax: That was my impression — the paper of record for Archie Bunker!

  44. 44
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: I read that it endorsed both McCain and Romney.

  45. 45
    Botsplainer says:

    @Sherparick:

    One problem of living in the Faux News, Breitbart World, Newsmax, and right wing talk radio bubble is that you really think all you have to do is please the base.

    You know you know it’s all about the base, about the base…

  46. 46
    beltane says:

    #47Traitors is now trending on Twitter. Well played, Republicans.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    Always hard to correlate size of crowd with real importence, but I took a certain pleasure in noting the head count in the photo from Tel Aviv.

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @Cervantes:

    Zuckerman has long been too pro-Israel.

    I agree. I sometimes watch The McLaughlin Report, and every time Israel comes up, he’s been as vitriolic as Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham combined.

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @scav:

    That is very heartening to see.

  50. 50
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    #47Traitors is now trending on Twitter.

    If that means what I take it to mean, color me delighted.

    @beltane:

    Do you think anything will change as a result of this? American liberals are bound to ask the question: If this is how Israel treats its best friend and benefactor, how do you think they treat the stateless people living under occupation?

    Sorry, I can’t address any of the above except to say that I’m not sure what either “this” is.

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    I’ll believe he’s in trouble when I see him lose.

  52. 52
    beltane says:

    @Cervantes: “This”=”Like shit”

  53. 53
    beltane says:

    @Paul in KY: I agree. We saw this the last time around. The huge protests in Tel Aviv, the credible threat from a centrist challenger. Nothing changed

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @Belafon:

    I read that it endorsed both McCain and Romney.

    Where did you read that?

    The paper endorsed Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.

  55. 55

    Most people use the word without understanding it. Karma usually has a negative connotation, it is used as if it were a ghost of the Christmas past in the Christmas carol. Karma just means action, we cannot escape the the consequences of our actions, both good and bad.
    Karma itself a value neutral word.

  56. 56
    Belafon says:

    @Cervantes: Thanks.

  57. 57
    Belafon says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    we cannot escape the the consequences of our actions

    That’s how most people use it.

  58. 58
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    Yes, I got that sense, but I thought you were referring to a specific episode.

    If you’re asking generally with reference to Recent Events whether people are going to wake up, smell the coffee, and demand justice for Palestinians, well, one can hope, I suppose.

  59. 59

    @Belafon: Mr. Karma, in the caption hear sounds like some super hero who is going to give Bibi his comeuppance.

    ETA: Karma, or your actions can be good or bad or neither. They are not just the bad things you do.

  60. 60
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cervantes: The paper endorsed Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012.

    That must be part of the “general support” of Obama and Democrats that you were referring to. Hey, one out of two is general enough, right?

  61. 61

    BTW, NYT is out with a new version of, if Obama just talked to them and be their buddy (like Bush was) they would like him better. This time, “they” are foreign leaders. MSM really did love Bush and the crappy nicknames he gave them, didn’t they?

  62. 62
    Patrick says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    What the NYT conveniently forgets is that Bush was despised by most foreign leaders. Angela Merkel anybody? Does the NYT not know that the rest of world looked very much forward to Obama taking over?

    And it’s funny that the NYT is nostalgic about the Bush era. This would be the same era when a certain Judith Miller worked for the NYT. The one who took dictation from Mr Evil.

  63. 63
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    I read this blog and the news linked to get an idea of what’s going on, and then in the evening I turn on the network news.

    The weird thing is, if I relied only on the network news, I’d believe the letter was a bipartisan effort from both parties. Because one of the anchors mentioned the letter very quickly (without naming names) and then immediately said that both Republicans AND Democrats were VERY unhappy with Obama negotiating with Iran.

    So someone half listening (or even paying complete attention) would come away with the impression that it’s Obama vs. everyone else.

  64. 64
    Cervantes says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    What I said there was not about the newspaper. It was about Zuckerman himself, the balance of whose political contributions, for example, you can take a look at for yourself. He’s a billionaire — not a Marxist but still more on the side of the Democrats.

    If, on the other hand, you’re suggesting that, say, the newspaper’s successive endorsements of Obama and Romney render it “wingnutty” or some such, then so be it.

  65. 65
    Tom Q says:

    A little NY tabloid history, for those neither old nor Eastern enough to be aware:

    In the 60s/70s, the Daily News was the screeching right-wing paper (Archie Bunker did reference it on at least one episode) and the Post was what my grandfather called a “Commie paper”.

    In the mid-70s, Murdoch bought the Post, and instantly converted it to Fox News in Print.

    The News never switched allegiances as completely as the Post, but it became, as someone noted above, the respectable tabloid. Zuckerman was more or less centrist, and the paper did endorse Obama in ’08, but switched to Romney in ’12, and has been generally hostile to Obama esp. on foreign policy in recent times.

    So, no, this News headline isn’t a road to Damascus conversion, but it’s significant in illustrating the swing-vote take on this GOP stunt. And I don’t think it’s what those 47 Senators expected.

  66. 66

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I think most people realize that karma can be either good or bad depending on whether your actions are good or bad. But I also think most people assume there’s some kind of judgment by a supernatural entity that leads to the good or bad karma result (that’s probably our Old Man With A Beard In The Sky bias talking) rather than it being a natural outcome of the accumulation of one’s actions.

  67. 67
    JGabriel says:

    Bloomberg View via Zandar:

    Israeli politics are generally more vicious than their American parallel …

    I think that are has become a used to be at this point. I’m not suggesting that Israeli politics have moderated or become less vicious, but that US politics been getting exponentially more vicious each year since 1980.

    I mean, seriously, we’ve got an opposition party in Congress who have no qualms about: a) inviting foreign leaders to speak at the Congressional dais in criticism of the President of the United States of America, and b) undermining foreign policy by writing public letters to foreign leaders telling them that any agreements they make with the current POTUS will be rescinded once that cold day in hell comes when Republicans take the presidency again.

    I’m not sure it’s even possible to get more vicious than that without resorting to violence.

  68. 68
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @JGabriel: I’m not sure it’s even possible to get more vicious than that without resorting to violence. Will that be next? I’m not joking here, I wonder if that’s the next logical step.

  69. 69
    mainmata says:

    @Betty Cracker: No, NYDN is actually mildly leftist or at least mainstream Democratic and pro-unions. Jimmy Bresslin is one of its most famous reporters. You’re thinking of the Ruppert’s worthless NY Post

  70. 70

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): I agree with everything you said but would like to add
    in Sanskrit, Karma == Action
    Karta== Doer of the action

    ETA: Karma is not a synonym for bad luck, which it is sometimes used as.

  71. 71
    Elie says:

    Mr. Obama has made powerful enemies in the media. They dump on him pretty much every chance they get. He probably is not Mr. Sunshine with every person… Bill Clinton was very outgoing and so was Bush. So what? What is the implication for that piece. Interesting that they interviewed a former Obama State Dept person for comments… not too poisonous but clearly not a “friend” of the administration’s efforts?

    It is hard to think of a more intensely controversial tenure in office than Obama has had….Wow

  72. 72
    JustRuss says:

    …workers are telling him they will not vote Likud because of the ad in which Netanyahu compared them to the enemy

    Funny how Scotty Walker did basically the same thing a couple weeks ago. Conservatives really do seem to believe that unions are evil incarnate. Of course, they seem to believe anything they don’t like is evil incarnate, I guess that makes it easier to justify anything they do, since they’re always fighting Evil.

  73. 73
    Kropadope says:

    When’s the Israeli election? I can hardly wait.

    ETA: OMG, only a week away. Go Nothingyahoo. Go, far, far, away. Like farther than Israel.

    Maybe when he gets chucked out he can form his own state named “Perpetual War” and invite his BFFs in Hamas and the Republican party.

  74. 74
    Elie says:

    @JGabriel:

    I wonder about that myself… is violence the next step? Unfortunately, they are also destroying a fair amount of the spirit of our constitutional system which will not necessarily spring back after Obama leaves office. I think I am more cynical that we can ever get back to the sense of balance and trust we once had about government — and that is explicitly their goal and the goal of their corporate masters, who want to place themselves into a growing formal plutocracy.

  75. 75
    TopClimber says:

    This is not quite on topic, but the following excerpt from an article about partitioning Iraq suggests an ironic twist in the love affair between the GOP and Churchill the lesser:

    The Kurds in the north, who make up roughly twenty percent of the population, want out. They never wished to be part of Iraq in the first place. To this day, they still call the bathroom the “Winston Churchill,” in sarcastic homage to the former British prime minister who shackled them to Baghdad.

    I am a not good with BJ’s hypertext rules, so you have to cut and paste to read the rest,

    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.....-partition

    I do see a bit of Winny, Defender of the Empire, in Bibi’s desire to turn the West Bank into a Palestinian bantuland. (That’s where the comparison ends). No doubt the unlucky inhabitants would bestow upon him household honorifics of the same sort.

    Ah, but how to use this in the great interwebs debate? I must adjourn to my perch in the Bibi-room, the better to ponder.

  76. 76
    the idler says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Karma just means action, we cannot escape the the consequences of our actions, both good and bad.

    Karma is a chameleon…
    Culture Club – Karma Chameleon – YouTube

  77. 77
    RaflW says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    The more I think about the Rs’ letter, the more angry I get. Along with the invitation to Netanyahu, it’s qualitatively different from their usual obstruction because it’s an active undermining of the nation’s policy. And this isn’t the House fringe. Forty-seven senators signed it, including McConnell.

    I remember not that long ago when Republicans would intone that politics ends at the water’s edge. As in, we may fight like nutbags over domestic policy, but we don’t screw over foreign policy because both parties understand foreign threats and a unified front.

    That went out the window with the Kenyan Mooooslem I guess.

  78. 78
    Kropadope says:

    @RaflW: Undermining policy is nothing new for them. What do you think the shutdowns are about? As far as the water’s edge, that only applies to Republican foreign policy. even if Obama does precisely what they were suggesting a week prior, he’s doing it wrong. That is, he’s doing it as a Democrat.

  79. 79
    RaflW says:

    @Elie:

    I think I am more cynical that we can ever get back to the sense of balance and trust we once had about government — and that is explicitly their goal

    Ding. ding. ding!

    For the last 40 years the Republican project has been to sow deep distrust in/dissatisfaction with government. In this way they can, eventually, dismantle much of it. Republicans are shockingly incompetent at the elected level in managing day-to-day, but they are incredibly disciplined about being on-message and on their long-term agenda.

    Of course, being sucky at governing is really just part and parcel of the long term strategy, come to think of it. Plus, also, too, if you hate government, why run to be part of it??

  80. 80
    Patrick says:

    @RaflW:

    I remember not that long ago when Republicans would intone that politics ends at the water’s edge. As in, we may fight like nutbags over domestic policy, but we don’t screw over foreign policy because both parties understand foreign threats and a unified front. That went out the window with the Kenyan Mooooslem I guess.

    Well, the GOP is setting precedent after precedent. They can’t complain down the road when the Dems are pulling the same crap on them.

  81. 81

    @RaflW: But a majority of the voters in the last midterms voted for this, that’s what gives me a pause.

  82. 82
    Elie says:

    @RaflW:

    You run to be part of it so you can know best how to destroy it. They want the populace running for the exits away from government. Significantly, this will effect the liberals the most, as we saw in the last election. We don’t seem to stand and fight for our wins and view of things. We stay home becoming ever more unreachable to run for local office and present good candidates who can take the rough and tumble like the republicans do. We desperately need the transcendant message about the importance and complete relevance of government. THAT is what the Republicans are trying to hard to destroy and why they fight so hard against and hate Obama so… any perceived success he has they do not want converted into a success for government…THAT is their war.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Oh this is way too rich:

    But depicting a Hamas terrorist in the same group as laborers went way too far. Israelis woke up Monday morning to a YNet headline noting that a Likud candidate, the head of Israel’s Airport Authority, said publicly that his workers are telling him they will not vote Likud because of the ad in which Netanyahu compared them to the enemy. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, long known as a straight shooter, said Netanyahu didn’t know about the content of the ad. Given that the prime minister was filmed reciting lines clearly meant for the ad, though, people found even Yaalon hard to believe this time.

    What’s the problem, it came right out of the Koch-Republican playbook and it played so well when Scott Walker said it at CPAC.

    rofl

  85. 85
    Elie says:

    @Patrick:

    Well, the GOP is setting precedent after precedent. They can’t complain down the road when the Dems are pulling the same crap on them.

    The problem with that is that it just helps them further their aims, to destroy trust in government. If the Democrats do it also, we get closer to the day of Putin style government — and we are closer already than I like…

  86. 86
    Patrick says:

    @Elie:

    Sorry I lost you. How does the US turn into a Putin style government if the Dem Congress invites the leader of France to talk about the stupidity of attacking Iran?

  87. 87
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Elie: Oh, BS. Obama didn’t make enemies, they hate him for no reason. Sure, he’s no Bill Clinton … but when a consummate politician like Clinton attracted so much hate despite his retail political skills, you know there’s something else at work. Some people–even some people on the left, those of a whiter shade of pale–have lost their frigging minds since Obama was elected. He’s courted media figures, invited them to the WH for chit-chats, etc. In many ways he’s treated them with more respect than Bush did (unless you were Fox) and Obama’s given Fox more respect that it deserved either because he wanted to have access to speak to that audience. The only thing Obama may have done to rile to press was go after leakers and still I can’t think of an incident as dramatic as what happened to journalists during Bush II.

    So, no. I think it’s something else.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    The overreach in the GOP effort to destroy the general public’s faith in government is that they will destroy the faith in government foreign policy – war and aggression. This will be a good thing. of course if the domestic landscape is a Mad max hellscape, it may not be a bargain worth the improvement.

  89. 89
    Elie says:

    @Patrick:

    Take a look at the block quote in my response.

    Where I was going had to do that if Democrats follow on their precedent to disparage parts of the system, we also become involved in doing things to further diminish the role and reputation of good governance.

    The Putin style reference is the extreme version of the worst possible outcome if our structured governance is replaced with unstructured corruption and plutocracy ala Putin style.

    I don’t think that I made any comment about inviting the French PM to speak — that would be a great idea.

  90. 90
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @mainmata: NYDN can be a mixed bag from the ownership on down but I do agree that it is broadly positive on unions and union workers.

    The comments, OTOH…

    Actually what is interesting about the comments is that there is a hard core of progressives of color who do battle with the right wing trolls in the comments on a daily basis. NYDN made attempts to clean up comments but they failed. The RWers are pretty dumb, some of them will freely admit they don’t live in NYC and sometimes when NYDN reposts a story because they are SEOing away, the RWers start crying that the paper baleeted their brilliant comments when the comments and the original page are still there. I ended up switching to RS because they swiftly nuke the racists and with prejudice which makes for a better comment reading experience.

  91. 91
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tom Q: It’s also Jewish ownership. I encounter few American Jews comfortable with Netanyahu speaking for them at this point, especially if he’s going to do stuff like that.

  92. 92
    Elie says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Oh I am sure that there is some racism, but I don’t think that explains all of it. I think that the larger frame is anti-government or suspicion about the effectiveness of government — which is what Obama represents. THEY don’t like or want strong, effective government. Tearing down the person who represents that is just logical. He is not corrupt, so they can’t find that (and believe me, we know they look). They have to block and disparage him other ways…

  93. 93
    Patrick says:

    @Elie:

    I don’t think that I made any comment about inviting the French PM to speak — that would be a great idea.

    And that’s what I meant by my original comment regarding the GOP setting precedents. If FoxNews complains about Dems inviting foreign leaders or sending letters to foreign leaders, the GOP can’t complain. The Dems might as well take advantage of the “both sides do it”, since the US media is too lazy to do anything about it.

  94. 94
    Elie says:

    @Patrick:

    Ok- got it

  95. 95
    Elie says:

    The one thing that helps us is that they (The Republican plutocrats), are becoming more and more obvious as they are also increasingly showing their incompetence and stupidity. Their lack of subtlety and the just plain stupidity of what they try just makes Obama’s horrible load a little easier. He is truly blessed in having such enemies. Poor Bibi (NOT). Someone should have told him that Republican advice and Sheldon Adelstein (the Vegas gambling tycoon), would get him fucked up in the real world. I am hoping that the Israelis are too smart by half and will “reward” him accordingly…

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Patrick:

    the GOP can’t complain.

    They can. They will. The media will forget the 47 traitors ever happened.

  97. 97
    Patrick says:

    @catclub:

    Then we have to remind them…

  98. 98
    Kropadope says:

    @Patrick: It’s hard to get someone to recognize a fact that their paycheck requires them to ignore.

  99. 99
    KXB says:

    Zuckerman is very Likud when it comes to Israel, and has criticized Obama extensively when it comes to US-Israel relations. But, Zuckerman does not want to see Israel become the tobacco companies or NRA – an interest group associated with just one party. Israel benefits from being having bi-partisan support. But, it is becoming harder to hide the fact that the most vocal “pro-Israel” members of Congress are Republicans, while most Jewish Congress members are Democrats. Jews still send 2/3 of their votes to Democrats. But the money game is different. For every David Geffen giving to Dems, you can have an Adelson giving to Republicans.

  100. 100
    Another Holocene Human says:

    That #47traitors timeline is very interesting.

    The projection by the tcot ninnies this afternoon was pathetic. Most liberal activity on the hashtag was late evening last night or first thing in the morning EDT, but a keyboard commando accused liberals of being unemployed and living with mom and posting during work hours right when the Twitchybots started divebombing the tag. Um… you do know how to read a Twitter timeline, right?

  101. 101
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Elie: Well that makes sense. You opened by saying that Obama had done something to piss off the media so badly. I don’t think Obama did a damn thing except show up a Democrat and Black.

  102. 102

    @mainmata: Did Jimmy Breslin return to the Daily News? I remember him with Newsday in the 90s. Now that was a much better newspaper.

  103. 103
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Substantial swaths of US culture (outside of prosperity gospel circles and predecessors) are uncomfortable with claiming good things happening as a reward for virtue. It’s gauche. But we do love a crows-coming-home-to-roost story.

  104. 104
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    If you’re asking generally with reference to Recent Events whether people are going to wake up, smell the coffee, and demand justice for Palestinians, well, one can hope, I suppose.

    Yeah. I can see this being the beginning of a process wherein the Democrats slowly start to pull away from their knee-jerk pro-Israel worldview, but even if it is, it’ll take decades for that process to lead to real changes – decades during which bad things will continue to happen. Especially in re “justice for Palestinians,” I think by the time America’s woken up and smelled the coffee, the destruction of the West Bank will be pretty much complete, with only a few reservations left surrounded by de facto Israeli territory. Maybe there’s some hope for the rump state in Gaza.

  105. 105
    Cervantes says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    In re “substantial swaths of US culture [being] uncomfortable with claiming good things happening as a reward for virtue,” see:

    He sees you when you’re sleeping
    He knows when you’re awake
    He knows if you’ve been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake!

    It says “for goodness sake” but we all know the real agenda.

  106. 106
    Chris says:

    @TopClimber:

    The Kurds in the north, who make up roughly twenty percent of the population, want out. They never wished to be part of Iraq in the first place. To this day, they still call the bathroom the “Winston Churchill,” in sarcastic homage to the former British prime minister who shackled them to Baghdad.

    That is outstanding.

    “Brother, you have surrounded your given name with a foul stench! From this day forth, all the toilets in the kingdom will be known as… Johns!”

  107. 107
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    “Water closet” = “WC” = “Winston Churchill.”

  108. 108

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: A Karma yogi does not do good things in anticipation of a reward, but for the joy of doing it. There is no guarantee that good works will always pay off. They sometimes do and sometimes don’t.

  109. 109
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: And that has what to do with why Americans refer to karma as a largely negative concept?

    Or are you just letting off some “ur doin it rong” steam?

  110. 110

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Substantial swaths of US culture (outside of prosperity gospel circles and predecessors) are uncomfortable with claiming good things happening as a reward for virtue. It’s gauche. But we do love a crows-coming-home-to-roost story.

    I was responding to your comment, basically agreeing with it. That claiming that good things happen as a reward for virtue, is gauche, even in the Geeta or the Upanishads which expound in detail on the doctrine of karma yoga.

  111. 111
    Ben Cisco says:

    Klingon Death Flu

    Clearly a death metal band.

  112. 112
    burnspbesq says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Not following Israeli politics. If he loses, is the next government likely to be more rational?

    That’s a very open question. There are some real nutbags on the right in Israeli politics.

  113. 113
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    There is no guarantee that good works will always pay off. They sometimes do and sometimes don’t.

    My general understanding of Hinduism is if good deeds to not pay off in this lifetime they will pay off in the next, whether it is the next birth or you attain Heaven in the afterlife.

    Conversely, the suffering you endure in this lifetime is to “burn off” the bad karma from previous lifetimes, so your next birth will be better and move you closer to Heaven, when you leave the cycle of reincarnation.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    @NotMax:

    So old can remember back to when the Post was the flaming liberal paper in the NYC market.

    We must be about the same age. My first paper route was for an independent distributor in the Jersey suburbs. At that time there were six major daily papers in NY: Times, News, Post (an afternoon paper–remember them?), Herald Tribune, Journal-American, and World-Telegram & Sun. The WT&S was the flaming conservative paper (owned by Hearst), and the Trib was the “responsible” conservative paper.

    I also had to deliver the Star-Ledger and the Paterson Morning Call. In those days, the Bergen Record was an afternoon paper.

  115. 115

    @gene108: Hinduism has many interpretations, not that I am an expert but there are rational schools of thought which do not believe in either the concept of heaven or rebirth.
    About karma yoga, Gandhari curses Krishna that he will die alone like an animal because he did nothing to prevent the carnage of the Kurukshetra war. That’s what happens, Krishna is killed by a hunter, who mistakes him for a dear and the Yadavas perish fighting each other, just like the Kauravas did. So even Krishna, is not immune from the consequences of his actions.

  116. 116

    @schrodinger’s cat: deer not dear. Stupid autocorrect.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @burnspbesq

    Had forgotten that the Post was an afternoon paper; you are correct and thanks for the reminder.

    At parents’ house when I was attempting to grow up, they got the Times and the Post.

    But on Sundays someone would go to the nearest store and buy all the other NY papers, just for the funnies. May be faulty memory, but recall that the Journal-American had the best of all the Sunday comics sections.

    Once spent several rainy afternoons at the library randomly looking through microfilm archives of the really, really, really leftist NY afternoon paper, PM, which stopped publishing in ’48. Trivia: PM carried no advertising. I. F. Stone was the paper’s Washington correspondent.

  118. 118
    patrick II says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    Maybe some neck rubs would be in order.

  119. 119
    glory b says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m late to the party (stupid job!!) but the really bad part is that about 1.5 million (if I remember correctly) more dems voted than republicans last election. Maybe there’s hope in that, or maybe we’re screwed by gerrymandering…

  120. 120
    burnspbesq says:

    @NotMax:

    May be faulty memory, but recall that the Journal-American had the best of all the Sunday comics sections.

    IIRC, the J-A had Pogo and Lil’ Abner, which was a formidable one-two punch.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: there’s no guarantee. He actually lost last time. Tzipi Livni’s slate of candidates won a larger plurality. Bibi came along and cobbled together a coalition that made it impossible for Livni to do so. This had, to my knowledge, not been previously done in Israel before – preventing the winning party slate from at least trying to form a coalition for governing prior to the electoral law deadline. In order for the Herzog/Livni slate to prevent this they’ll need to win a sizable plurality, if not an outright majority (that’s unlikely). And they had better learned from the last time to have potential coalition partners lined up before the election! Did I mention that Likud’s message guy is Frank Luntz? Or that the GOP/conservative elections specialists, advisors, and operatives work the Israeli elections between elections here?

    Where I do know that the scam that Bibj pulled was previously tried, and successfully, was in Iraq in 2010 by Maliki. He declared three members of Allawi’s slate that had been elected as terrorism suspects and issued arrest warrants. This lowered Allawi’s plurality so that Maliki’s slate had more votes. I know two of the three elected members of parliament that Maliki falsely accused. As far as I know all three went into the wind and are still at large.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Regarding Bibi’s one state solution walk back, this is NOT breaking news. He made similar statements last year. In fact many of the leaders of the well right of center Israeli parties have come out over the past couple of years in favor of a unitary state. The proposals range from over a long, slow period of vetting to determine the good Palestinians from the bad, a form of citizenship is granted that will still ensure favorable numbers for the Israelis so they can’t be outvoted to removing all Palestinians from the West Bank, at least, if not Gaza too and the formal annexation of those areas minus the Palestinians. What no one wants to talk about is that the idea of a two state solution is all but dead for the Israeli right. They also don’t want to address their demographic problem: more young Israelis have reclaimed the European citizenship of their grandparents or great grandparents, left Israel on these passports, and aren’t coming back. Living with leaders that constantly ramp up the level of fear and sense of being besieged in conjunction with the other stresses of living in an unsettled region has begun to take a demographic toll. This is why Bibi is always begging for immigrants. The biggest irony: reclamation of German citizenship accounts for the single largest number of these Israelis who have made a reverse exodus.

  123. 123
    Cervantes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What’s your take on Bennett?

    Among other good things, he says he wants to cut the military budget and reduce (if not end) US aid. On the other hand, his stance on settlers and settlements is deplorable.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Cervantes,

    My take is that the minute there’s a security issue, he’d come asking for help. The real problem here is three fold: 1) with the degradation of the capabilities, resources, and political viability of the Israeli left and center-left since Rabin’s assassination, there has not been a successful counterweight to the Israeli right. This leads to 2) the Israeli right’s successes have allowed them to define most of the issues, determine the policies, and establish what passes for strategies – whether economic, social, defense, or foreign affairs. Part of this is a result of 3) the symbiotic/parasitic relationship between the religious and the political on the Israeli right. Especially as you get closer away from the center. The sad truth may be that Netanyahu is the least problematic of Israeli right of center politicians.

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