Day: September 17, 2011

33rd Anniversary Of Camp David Accords Between Egypt And Israel: Greatest Accomplishment Of Jimmy Carter Now In Danger Of Being Lost!

Today marks the 33rd Anniversary of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, brought about by intense negotiations between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, presided over by President Jimmy Carter.

Over ten days at Camp David, President Carter accomplished what is seen as his greatest deed in office in foreign affairs: a peace treaty between two nations who had been in a state of war for 30 years; recognition of the state of Israel by the first Arab nation to do so; and movement toward return of territory gained by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

This was a greater accomplishment than just what has been listed, as realize that President Sadat had warred against Israel less than five years earlier in the Yom Kippur War of October, 1973!

The result was more than thirty years of good relations and peace through difficult times for Israel with its other Arab neighbors and the Palestinians, three years under Sadat until he was tragically assassinated for that treaty on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War in October, 1981; and then for almost thirty years under his successor, Hosni Mubarak, until his overthrow from power earlier this year as part of the Arab Spring revolts against established authority in Arab nations in the Middle East.

Just a week ago, an attack by Egyptians against the Israeli embassy in Cairo led to a call from President Barack Obama to the Egyptian authorities demanding protection of the embassy and safe passage for Israeli diplomats, this done after an appeal from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the fact of gradual deterioration of Egyptian-Israeli relations is very troubling, and one can wonder IF the Camp David Accords will survive to its 34th anniversary!

An Innocuous Bill Opposed By Republicans To Honor Civil Service Workers Killed In Line Of Duty: Is There No Limit To Their Lack Of Sanity And Decency?

An innocuous bill proposed in the House of Representatives, and thought to have no problem to be approved, has been shot down by the Republican majority.

This bill would have called for an American flag to be presented at the funerals of American civil service employees killed in the line of duty, much like what is done for people who have died as soldiers in our military.

The civilians killed would not get the other honors that soldiers have at their funerals, just a flag to honor their service to the nation.

One might ask what is meant by civilian workers killed in the line of duty. This includes the following: those killed in a terrorist attack; work related accident or illness; natural disaster; or criminal attack occurring during service at their work.

Nearly 3,000 federal workers have died on their job for the above reasons in the past 20 years, and this bill would have honored their sacrifice.

But the American Legion opposed the bill, and a large number of Republicans have joined them, making a bill that was no big deal, suddenly a big deal and to be opposed, as if only military people, not civilians, have sacrificed for their country!

What can one say, what can one express, other than disgust and rolling eyes! There is no limit to the lack of sanity and decency in the present day Republican Party!

Today Is Constitution Day: How About Truly Understanding The Constitution, Instead Of Politicizing It For Right Wing Propaganda?

Today is Constitution Day, the day in 1787 when 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia agreed to sign the Constitution that they had fought over in four months of debate, and with the element of compromise predominating!

Ever since, the Founding Fathers and what they did has been interpreted in many different ways, and it has become the passion of the Tea Party Republicans and conservatives to distort the meaning of the Constitution and the intentions of the Founding Fathers!

The Constitution has been viewed by these right wingers as promoting a limited national government, advocating states rights, and promoting combination of church and state.

They fail to understand that the Constitutional Convention was a reaction to the states rights, limited national government of the Articles of Confederation, which led to anarchy, chaos, and economic emergency, and proved the need for a strong central government.

They fail to understand that Section 8 of Article 1 on Congress allowed for the “elastic clause”, that Congress shall have the power to enact legislation to “make all laws which are necessary and proper” and to “provide for the common defense and the general welfare”. The Founding Fathers understood that no one could accurately predict the future, and the national government had to have authority to expand the meaning of the Constitution in order to survive and be viable in the long term future of the nation!

The Founding Fathers also clearly understood that while religious freedom should be protected, that there was a need to prevent a theocracy, a control of government by religious viewpoints, and they would be shocked at the attempts of religious fundamentalists to force their moral and spiritual views on American politics and society!

This is the truth and the reality of the Constitution and its meaning for America 224 years after the Founding Fathers, NOT conservatives but rather liberals of their time period, used their joint wisdom and intelligence to create the greatest constitutional document ever created by mankind to govern a free people!

The Congress And Job Creation Failure: How The Republicans Will Suffer More Than President Obama!

Right now, there is panic in the Democratic Party over the job statistics, with 9.1 percent unemployment, with many thinking President Obama cannot be reelected in 2012.

The fact is, that despite this hysteria, it is in the hands of the Republicans in Congress as to whether Obama will be reelected, due to the fact that they control the majority in the House of Representatives, and with their 47 Senators, are able to filibuster any action desired by the Democrats in the Senate!

If no jobs program is enacted to help bring about the creation of employment, it will reflect on them more than President Obama, who will be able to use the same “do nothing Congress” argument on them that Harry Truman utilized in 1948, leading to his upset victory and the return of the Democrats to control in both houses of Congress.

The Democrats tend to panic whenever times are tough, so President Truman had much liberal opposition in 1947-1948, but he came through, with foreign policy helping him to look like the strong, stable leader that he was!

President Jimmy Carter had much liberal opposition in 1979-1980, including challenges within the party from Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown, weakening him, and foreign policy crises of Afghanistan and Iran undermined his ability to recover from economic difficulties that arose at the same time.

President Bill Clinton had liberal opposition in 1995-1996, but won a battle over the budget with the Republican majority in Congress, faced no opponent in the primaries, and while unable to throw the GOP out of control of the Congress, won reelection handily and weakened the Republican majority.

With Obama having no opposition within the party for the nomination, demonstrating a strong successful policy against terrorism, and having an extreme right wing GOP in the House of Representatives determined to do nothing to create jobs, the need for panic and hysteria is overdrawn!

As long as Obama fights the good fight for his program, even if nothing is done over the next 14 months, the Republicans will hand the election to him, particularly if Rick Perry is their nominee!

The ability of the Republicans to self destruct is immeasurable, and with a public opinion rating of 12 percent for Congress (under the control effectively of the GOP), and with Obama’s personal popularity being a plus and his overall rating being 43 percent, the future is not as gloomy as many might think!

The Republican Culture: Death, Hate, Selfishness, Lack Of Compassion!

The Republican Party, in its mad dash to the far Right with Texas Governor Rick Perry in the lead, is demonstrating its ugly side, arguably the most despicable agenda since the creation of the party in the Civil War era!

Always a major backer of corporations and the rich upper class, the party always maintained some sanity, and while not promoting the social safety net as a principle, we saw members of the party in different northern states and in Congress who worked in unison with Democrats to support the Progressive Era reforms, the New Deal, and the Great Society, and reforms under Richard Nixon.

The one time the party went this far to the Right, they suffered a massive defeat under Barry Goldwater a half century ago. When Ronald Reagan became President on much of the Goldwater agenda, he managed to work across the party lines and take away the rough edges of the right wing, mouthing support but not pursing much of their agenda.

But now with the advent of the Tea Party loonies, the party is adopting a new culture, that should sicken any civilized, decent American citizen!

Unfortunately, as witnessed at the recent Republican debates in California and Florida, there are many Americans who fail to act and believe in a dignified manner of behavior!

Now death, in the form of capital punishment endorsement and advocacy of letting people without health insurance die, has been endorsed enthusiastically by right wing Republican whackos!

Now, hate of illegal immigrants and their children, and wishes to deny them basic education, health care and ability to work and contribute to American society, is endorsed wholeheartedly!

Now, selfishness, including desire to destroy labor organizing, and lack of respect and appreciation of the contributions of public workers, including police officers, firefighters, prison guards, teachers, nurses, librarians, social workers and others is endorsed!

Lack of compassion for the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, and for minority groups in America is hailed as a virtue!

One day, when this sickness in the psyche of the Republican Party is finally expunged, we will look back on this period with shock and regret, and wonder why a major political party would allow itself to engage in such insane behavior!

The great Republican heroes of the past–Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan–would be shocked and embarrassed by what the party has allowed itself to become!

But even the lesser Republican Presidents–William Howard Taft, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush–would, and in the case of the two Bushes, are very disturbed at what their party has become. This is the reason why Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney are seen as mainstream by the Bush family, and why they are clearly against the horrible message of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann!

Even the great heroes of the conservative Republican movement in the past–Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater–were not as ugly as these Tea Party Republicans are today!

Hopefully, this poison in the political debate going on, will be soundly defeated in 2012, by sane, intelligent people, who realize what the Tea Party control of the GOP has done is to make America far worse off than it was just nine months ago when they took power in the House of Representatives and declared war on basic values of decency!