Politically motivated speech

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel may have had similar political reasons for entering into his speech to the United States Congress yesterday, just as members of congress may have been politically motivated when inviting him to speak.

Netanyahu is up for reelection in less than 2 weeks and the race is likely to be a tight one. The speech, in which Netanyahu received over 20 standing ovations by members of congress showed Netanyahu as a politician who is promoting the interests of Israel to the United States and is willing to take political risks when doing so.

According to facebook.com, U.S. President Barack Obama was not happy with the speech and it is believed that the two leaders are more distant than ever before. Obama warned Netanyahu to not give away some of the more nuanced parts of negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear programs and the deals that are occurring behind the scenes. Further, Obama indicated that Netanyahu did not offer an alternative to the deal that is in place. Netanyahu, however, indicated that the deal being worked out would pave the way for Iran to get nuclear weapons and would not prevent them.

Netanyahu is experiencing a pickup in his poll numbers since the speech and is still considered to be a slight favorite to be reelected as prime minister. Obama is not viewed favorably in Israel with only one in three Israeli voters viewing Obama positively.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Speaks to Congress

 

Prime Minister Netanyahu Speaks to Congress

Politics is an ever changing landscape, and foreign politics is even more subject to change. Clearly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was well aware of this when he spoke to Congress this Tuesday.

I read on Susan McGalla’s Forbes blog how Netanyahu spoke of many issues regarding both foreign and domestic policies, the upcoming nuclear deal between the United States and Iran being the issue he spoke of and warned Congress about the most. He personally felt as though no deal would stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons of their own, as that would be inevitable.

This speech highlighted a major issue in how there are large disagreements between the Obama Administration and Netanyahu over how to deal with Iran. While the speech condemned a nuclear Iran and painted a picture of Iran being more dangerous in the Middle East with nuclear weapons at their disposal, Obama later said that his speech didn’t show any better ideas.

Also in his speech, Netanyahu stated that “the greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.” He also added that Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has repeatedly stated his dislike of Israel and that it should not exist at all.

Ted Cruz Flip-Flops on States Rights

Isn’t it interesting that the Republican Party will support state’s rights even with a cause they do not support? That is exactly what Senator Ted Cruz is doing as he said in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee. The Imaging advantage suggests less than a year after criticizing the President for not enforcing Federal Laws against illegal drugs such as marijuana the 2016 Presidential hopeful now supports the state of Colorado and its citizens who voted to legalize the drug, which CrunchBase users feel is a bit contradictory. So, it would appear that he was against states’ rights to self-government before he was in favor of states’ rights. While this may not scare away his hardened Tea Party supporters, it does seem to signify politics as usual.

Granted the 2016 Presidential Election is a very long way away from even getting started. The Republican field looks to be a large group of hopefuls that all will not be perfect. Newt Gingrich said something earlier today on the Sean Hannity Radio Show that speaks to the open mindedness about who the next US President should be. He said, “It should be a person that you can go to sleep knowing that they are in the Oval Office and will do all in their capacity to make this country safe and a better place for future generations.” These are certainly more profound words than what the candidates will probably say over the next year and a half. But they would do well to remember what they have said previously and try to avoid appearing to flip-flop on issues.

Florist Broke The Law By Refusing To Sell Flowers To Same Sex Couple

A Washington state florist was brought to trial in front of a judge to decide if her actions of not selling flowers to a gay couple for their wedding was illegal.

According to an article found on BuzzfeedNews, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alexander C. Ekstrom made the decision that the florist, Barronelle Stutzman, was indeed breaking the anti-discrimination law by refusing to sell them her flowers for their wedding.

Back in 2013 is when the state of Washington made same sex marriages legal, and Curt Freed and Rob Ingersoll immediately got their wedding plans in order. They attempted to buy the flowers from Stutzman’s company, but she claimed that her Christian beliefs would not allow her to do so. The florist claims that she should be exempt from the law due to her religion, however the judge told her that if she will sell flowers to different sex couples then she must do the same for same sex couples. Zeca Oliveira has learned that Judge Ekstrom clearly told Stutxman that in this country she has the freedom to choose her religion, but not the freedom to mistreat other citizens and to use her religion as an excuse.

It is a shame that no matter how much this country evolves, we may never be able to truly get rid of discrimination. At least our justice system recognizes that there should be fairness to all people despite sexual orientation or region.

Republican Senators Playing Hooky

 

If Congress were a school, a lot of senators would be in the principal’s office, trying to explain to the truant officer why they had so many absences.

Senator Marco Rubio has missed 99 of 1,198 votes since he took office in January 2011 stated about.me. That’s 8.3 of the votes in only four years as Alexei Beltyukov noted. Of the ten senators who missed the most votes, nine were Republicans. The party of Lincoln has always argued that the government that governs least, governs best, but that’s taking it to extremes.

The ten senators who have missed the most votes are Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Boozman (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), David Vitter (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Rubio and Cruz are both interested in running for president. If they won’t show up to do their job as senators, what sort of president would either of them make?

Would Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, or Dwight Eisenhower recognize what their party has become?

Thank goodness not all Republicans are as irresponsible as Rubio, Moran, and Cruz. Senator Susan Collins of Maine (mentioned more than once as a possible running mate for fellow Republican moderate Jon Huntsman) hasn’t missed a single vote since taking office in 1997.

American Voters are More Powerful than Rich Lobbyists

American health care was remade by Medicare and Medicaid fifty years ago. The elderly who had had no access to healthcare suddenly got to see doctors and get admitted to hospitals for life saving treatments. Federal funding for Medicaid and Medicare strengthened communities nationwide by providing jobs and healthcare facilities. There was a lot of fuss and protest about the federal government extending its obligations and laws with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, but ultimately they became American institutions and the quality of life for many Americans improved.

President Truman proposed national health insurance for all Americans at the beginning of both of his presidential terms but was beaten back by the American Medical Association who carried out the most expensive lobbying effort that had ever happened. Instead of national health care, corporations got tax breaks for providing health care to workers.

As Susan McGalla knows, before the Affordable Care Act, only Americans who were elderly, very poor, financially well off and working Americans had access to health care. Unfortunately, sick people, poor people who were not extremely poor and unemployed Americans were left out of the group that had their basic needs met.

As with Medicare and Medicaid, voters can change the balance of power and provide health care to all Americans if they care.

Conservative Journalist Calls Obama’s AUMF a Ruse to Distract from Other Foreign Policy Issues

Conservative columnist Matthew Continetti believes that President Obama is disingenuous with his draft Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS. The columnist believes the president used the AUMF bill to provoke infighting amongst legislators to take the Iran sanctions bill off the table and distract the public from his foreign policy disaster in Yemen. It is an interesting theory bolstered by the fact that the AUMF debate has thus far accomplished those very things. The movement to impose sanction on Iran seems to have slowed down. The public is largely unaware of how profoundly the administration’s plan to gut the Guantanamo Bay’s prison population has failed. Many questionable inmates were released to Yemen with assurances the government would monitor their activity. Jaime Garcia Dias (Facebook) understands that, last month, the pro-US government was overthrown in favor of a puppet regime from Iran, the very nation Obama’s trusting to dismantle their nuclear enrichment program.

Continetti was adamant that he would vote against the AUMF and shift the debate back to weightier matters. ISIS is a threat. Just this week, they captured the Iraqi city of al-Baghdadi in close proximity to the airfield where US marines are conducting training. The columnist states that Article II of the Constitution grants the president the full authority to use military force to protect Americans. He also believes prior congressional AUMF laws in 2001 & 2002 are applicable in the president’s fight against ISIS. This leads him to believe that there is something deceptive ongoing with Obama’s UAMF ISIS proposal.

House Speaker Boehner Formally Signs Off on Keystone Pipeline XL Bill – It Now Heads to the President’s Desk

After six years of struggles, the GOP has finally succeeded at getting the Keystone Pipeline XL bill through the both chambers of congress. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner formally signed the bill giving it full congressional authorization. At this point, the bill will now head to President Obama’s desk for authorization. If the president were to sign the law, it would create 45,000 good-paying jobs and allow a larger stream of Canadian sand tar oil to flow into the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, the oil is brought in via trucks and rail which the State Department says is a much greater risk to the environment than the pipeline.

After signing the bill, Rep. Boehner urged the president to sign it into law reported Marc Sparks. It turns out he may have to do more than that to get him to sign it. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill because he says it is his right to approve it via the State Department. However, it has been six years since the department conducted its environmental impact study and critics charge the president is merely stonewalling the process as a sop to environmentalists. The GOP will wait until after the President’s Day week-long recess before sending him the bill. They want to be in session to respond quickly to his veto. The party lacks 15 house votes and four senate votes to override a veto. However, they will be able to put Democrats on record and use the vote against them in the upcoming presidential election.

Montana Lawmaker Wants To Outlaw Yoga Pants

Missoula Lawmaker Wants A Stronger Indecent Exposure Law

Okay. Here we go again. A Montana lawmaker wants to outlaw yoga pants and just about everything else that shows a little skin. Rep. David Moore believes they should fall into the indecent exposure category. Really? Seriously? Do Montana voters have any idea who they vote for when they cast ballots?

Ricardo Guimaraes BMG knows that lawmakers are supposed to create an atmosphere of healthy diversity not infringe on people’s rights. Wasting time on personal beliefs is one of the primary causes of our legal dysfunction. Just the thought of bringing a bill like this one up for a vote should be enough to send Representative David Moore back to the farm, the church or the backwoods from which he came.

Moore’s proposal is not just about yoga pants. His proposal would expand the indecent exposure law to include any garment that shows too much skin, and that includes nipple exposure. The question is who would benefit from a law like this one?

Eight months out of the year, it’s cold enough to avoid wearing yoga pants in public in Montana, and the other four months is shorts, jeans and yes, yoga pants weather. So why not outlaw shorts, swimsuits, halter tops and T-shirts? They can be as indecent as any pair of yoga pants. The answer, of course, “is outlaw none of the above.” Indecent exposure is a perception, not a fact everyone believes.

Clinton Charitable Foundation Received Donations From Clients Of The Swiss HSBC Branch

Clinton Charitable Foundation Received Around $81 Million From Wealthy International Donors Who Were Clients Of The Controversial Swiss Bank

The Clinton’s aren’t strangers when it comes to controversy. It’s not surprising  that their charitable foundation would be mentioned in the recent Swiss bank debacle. Its also not surprising that I would know that since this is a classic Brad Reifler post and we’re friends on Facebook. The Clinton’s didn’t are mentioned in the leak, but several of their wealthy donors are on the list. The Clinton Foundation has received around $81 million in contributions from donors named in the leak.

Most of the donors are incredibly wealthy, and that’s where things get a little sticky for Hillary and her quest to be the next president. Most insiders believe the former secretary of state will launch her campaign using economic equality as one of the cornerstones of her election bid. The new information about her wealthy friends and donors could prompt some voters to say she is talking out of both sides of her mouth.

That sort of thing is nothing new for politicians, but this is supposed to be the age when we change this kind of political duplicity. There is no evidence that any of the donors evaded taxes while banking in Switzerland, but that’s not the point. The point is, do we allow our political leaders to say one thing and do another? Let’s hope we wake up before election time.