Open Thread: Happy New Year’s Eve!

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oakley the amazing weimaraner and steve.jpg
Greetings all. It’s quite early in the morning here in Carson City, Nevada — and am now off to Reno Airport, then to New York City where I’ll be saluting the new year with friends.
Consider this an open thread.
All best and more later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

30 comments on “Open Thread: Happy New Year’s Eve!

  1. Beidademum says:

    North Korea ready to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S.

    Today, due to the continued U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK, because of the endless confrontation and voltage rise on the Korean peninsula, the region has become the most dangerous hot spot in the world where one spark could start a nuclear war ”

    According to the North Korean government, North Korea has the right to pre-emptive nuclear attack on the United States. “North Korea is a country with a full nuclear capability. The U.S. imperialists do not have a monopoly on the right to pre-emptive strike, “- said in a commentary organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the newspaper” Rodong Sinmun “.

    more info you can find here [url=http://google.com]Click to more info[/url]

    Reply

  2. Acai Auctions says:

    Pretty uneventful New Years here as we just spent a couple hours with a few friends.

    Reply

  3. söve says:

    Pell was from that class of “gentlemen” who have “understandings.” Pell’s ancestors included numerous politicians and he came from great wealth. But he personified the best of noblesse oblige in domestic affairs, and on foreign matters he rejected the “gentleman’s understandings” that left genocides unmentioned because the victims weren’t ‘our kind of people

    Reply

  4. Kathleen says:

    Senator Claiborne Pell…now there was an honorable man….thank you all for reminding me of his meaningful contributions to the greater good…everyone remembers the Pell Grants, but his other work is less known and took courage, originality and honor….I knew his daughter, Dallas Pell…we met in Sardinia one summer on vacation and pal-ed around and went to Corsica for lunch one day….

    Reply

  5. rich says:

    Claiborne Pell also “honored his father’s memory by being one of the most dogged advocates for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was passed by the United Nations in 1948 but which the U.S. Senate didn’t ratify until 1988.”
    Why? Call it revulsion at the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that allowed British and American social elites–including Roosevelt–to pretend the Nazi’s weren’t perpetrating atrocities and overlook the anti-Semitism that allowed us to look the other way. Roosevelt even de-funded the war crimes office:
    “Pell’s father, Herbert C. Pell, had served during World War II as U.S. representative to the War Crimes Commission, which the Allies established in 1943 to investigate allegations of Nazi atrocities. The elder Pell had hardly been able to get senior officials in the Roosevelt administration to return his calls. In late 1944 he was informed that the war crimes office would close for budgetary reasons. The Roosevelt team rejected Pell’s offer to pay his secretary and the office rent out of his own pocket, reversing the decision only when Pell publicized the office’s closing. When the younger Pell spoke publicly on behalf of the genocide convention decades later, he recalled those years in which he watched his father come to terms with the outside world’s disregard for Nazi brutality:
    ‘I remember the shock and horror that my father suffered—he was a gentle man—at becoming aware of the horror and heinousness of what was going on…I am convinced…that there was an unwitting gentleman’s understanding to ignore the Jewish problem in Germany, and that we and the British would not intervene in any particular way…We wrung our hands and did nothing.’
    Pell was from that class of “gentlemen” who have “understandings.” Pell’s ancestors included numerous politicians and he came from great wealth. But he personified the best of noblesse oblige in domestic affairs, and on foreign matters he rejected the “gentleman’s understandings” that left genocides unmentioned because the victims weren’t ‘our kind of people.'” (via DHinMI at dailykos)
    There’s every reason to confront the anti-Semitism of the past–and any resurgence in the present. Because Pell identified a ‘gentleman’s agreement’that looked the other while 6 million Jews were killed.
    Now, however, we’ve got a different ‘gentleman’s agreement,’ and a different ethnic nation is “not our kind of people.” So we look the other way, and pretend it’s not a crime, because of who is doing the killing, and who it’s being done to.

    Reply

  6. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    Bush administration will soon pass away, but my poetic choice for Obama Administration and 111th Congress is:
    “A PSALM OF LIFE”
    By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
    Tell me not in mournful numbers,
    “Life is but an empty dream!”
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.
    Life is real! Life is earnest!
    And the grave is not its goal;
    “Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
    Was not spoken of the soul.
    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
    Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
    Find us further than to-day.
    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.
    In the world’s broad field of battle,
    In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
    Be a hero in the strife!
    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act — act in the living Present!
    Heart within, and God o’erhead!
    Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;
    Footprints, that perhaps another,
    Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
    Seeing, shall take heart again.
    Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labour and to wait,
    _______________________________

    Reply

  7. WigWag says:

    Linda, supposedly Pell was a very smart and fine gentleman. I believe he had Jack Reed’s seat before Reed was elected. According to his Wiki entry, Pell was a “blue blood” who did some wonderful things like sponsor the legislation that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I know that Steve Clemons is interested in Admiralty issues and apparently Pell introduced (and got passed in the Senate) the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty.
    We have lost some wonderful people this year. Paul Newman who was a celebrity with a wonderful heart and soul died. The incredible singer, Odetta, passed away in December at the age of 77. Her song that goes, “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. And if you can’t walk, crawl. Any way you make it, baby, you keep on moving on…” is like nothing I’ve ever heard. It is worth a listen on You Tube. It will bring tears to your eyes.
    Studs Terkel, died in October at the age of 96. He was an author, historian, actor, and broadcaster and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1985. Studs (who I had the opportunity to meet once) is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago. Anyone who hasn’t read his book “Working” should get it out of the library; it’s great.
    We also recently lost the great Irish intellectual Connor Cruise O’Brien. O’Brien was both a brilliant author and a politician. Intellectually, O’Brien was incredibly eclectic. He wrote literary essays about William Butler Yeats and political essays on subjects as diverse as terrorism and Irish history. He also wrote a really interesting biography of Edmund Burke. O’Brien died two weeks ago at the age of 91.
    The death of these great people can’t but help remind those of us who are older of our own mortality. As I contemplate mortality, I am always reminded of this poem that I learned in High School many decades ago.
    ONCE in Persia ruled a king
    Who upon his signet ring
    ’Graved a motto true and wise,
    Which, when held before his eyes,
    Gave him counsel at a glance
    Fit for any change or chance.
    Solemn words, and these were they:
    “Even this shall pass away.”
    Trains of camel through the sand
    Brought him gems from Samarkand;
    Fleets of galleys through the seas
    Brought him pearls to rival these.
    Yet he counted little gain
    Treasures of the mine or main.
    “Wealth may come, but not to stay;
    Even this shall pass away.”
    ’Mid the revels of his court,
    In the zenith of his sport,
    When the palms of all his guests,
    Burned with clapping at his jests,
    He, amid his figs and wine,
    Cried: “Oh, precious friends of mine,
    Pleasure comes, but not to stay —
    Even this shall pass away.”
    Lady, fairest ever seen,
    Was the bride he crowned his queen.
    Pillowed on his marriage bed
    Softly to his soul he said:
    “Though no bridegroom ever pressed
    Fairer bosom to his breast,
    Mortal flesh must come to clay —
    Even this shall pass away.”
    Fighting in a furious field,
    Once a javelin pierced his shield,
    Soldiers with a loud lament
    Bore him bleeding to his tent.
    Groaning, from his wounded side,
    “Pain is hard to bear,” he cried.
    “But, with patience, day by day,
    Even this shall pass away.”
    Towering in the public square,
    Twenty cubits in the air,
    Rose his status grand in stone;
    And the king, disguised, unknown,
    Gazing on his sculptured name,
    Asked himself: “And what is fame?
    Fame is but a slow decay —
    Even this shall pass away.”
    Struck with palsy, sere and old,
    Standing at the gates of gold,
    Spake him this, in dying breath:
    “Life is done, and what is death?”
    Then, in answer to the king,
    Fell a sunbeam on the ring,
    Answering, with its heavenly ray:
    “Even this shall pass away.”
    ALL THINGS SHALL PASS AWAY.
    BY THEODORE TILTON

    Reply

  8. Linda says:

    Pell probably is best known for his advocay for and passing legislation to create federal scholarships for higher education, i.e., the Pell Grants.

    Reply

  9. WigWag says:

    Claiborne Pell, one of the leading foreign policy experts in the US Senate (he was a former Senator from Rhode Island)died yesterday at the age of 90.

    Reply

  10. Kathleen says:

    Happy, happy, everything…all, but it is hard to think happy thoughts when you contemplate the poor people who live in war zones….I’m counting my blessings as we speak and being grateful for them, especially sharing the dialigue with The Washington Note crew….which has been a real treat.
    U’ve been giving my eyes a rest…after 8 years of my citizens’ watch reading and writing, 24/7, I have to go to an optometrist…but i do tune in here and there.
    I was fantaatic to see the post on J Street…I hope we can keep their approach in the for front…here’s a petition from J street…please read it and consider supporting it…
    December 30, 2008
    Dear Kathleen Grasso,
    You’ve likely heard about the recent surge of violence in the Middle East. In light of the conflict, we thought you might be interested in this message from our friends at J Street. They’re calling for strong American leadership to bring about an immediate ceasefire, and have already collected nearly 15,000 petition signatures. Click here to sign their petition.
    http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=508&tag=clw
    Sincerely,
    John Isaacs and Guy Stevens
    _____________________
    Dear Friend,
    This past weekend, Israeli Defense Forces struck the Gaza Strip, leaving hundreds dead and wounded – pushing the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict further down a path of never-ending violence.
    I felt immediate pressure from friends and family to pick a side. Did I think that Israel’s actions were fully justified or disproportionate? Did Hamas bring this on itself by firing rockets and provoking Israel or are the strikes an act of aggression against a people trapped in misery and poverty? Couldn’t I see who’s right and who’s wrong?
    At this moment of extreme crisis, J Street wants to demonstrate that, among those who care about Israel and its security, there is a constituency for sanity and moderation – that many of us recognize there are elements of truth on both sides of this gaping divide and know that closing it requires strong American engagement and leadership.
    Click here to sign our petition demanding an immediate and strong U.S.-led diplomatic effort to reinstate a meaningful ceasefire ending the violence, including the rockets aimed at Israel, and lifting the blockade of Gaza. We’ve collected nearly 15,000 petitions so far and will use them in conversations with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team and with Members of Congress.http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=508&tag=clw
    Israel has a special place in my heart. I lived there last year while my wife was studying to be a rabbi. But I recognize that neither side has a monopoly on right or wrong. While there is nothing “right” in raining rockets on Israeli families or dispatching suicide bombers, there is nothing “right” in punishing a million and a half already-suffering Gazans for the actions of the extremists among them.
    And there is nothing to be gained from debating which injustice is greater or came first. What’s needed now is immediate action to stop the violence before it spirals out of control.
    The United States, the Quartet, and the world community must not wait – as they did in the Israel-Lebanon crisis of 2006 – for weeks to pass and hundreds or thousands more to die before intervening. There needs to be an urgent end to the new hostilities that brings a complete end to military operations, including an end to the rocket fire out of Gaza, and that allows food, fuel and other civilian necessities into Gaza.
    The need for diplomatic engagement goes beyond a short-term ceasefire. Eight years of the Bush Administration’s neglect and ineffective diplomacy have led us directly to a moment when the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hang in the balance and with them the prospects for Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish, democratic state.
    Following a renegotiated ceasefire, we urge the incoming Obama administration to lead an early and serious effort to achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts.
    This is a fundamental American interest. We too stand to suffer as the situation spirals, rage in the region is directed at the United States, and our regional allies are further undermined. Our goals must be a Middle East that moves beyond bloody conflicts, an Israel that is secure and accepted in the region, and an America secured by reducing extremism and enhancing stability. None of these goals are achieved by further escalation.
    Even in the heat of battle, as friends and supporters of Israel, we need to remember that only diplomacy and negotiations can end the rockets and terror and bring Israel long-term security and peace. American politicians are already hearing from those who see only one side. Help us give voice to the large number of Americans who recognizes that justice will only be served when the rights and grievances of both sides are recognized and a peaceful two-state solution to this long-running conflict is put in place.
    Click here to sign our open letter to show your support for immediate and strong U.S. intervention to renegotiate a ceasefire in Gaza.
    We know that many policy makers agree with us privately, but hesitate to express their views publicly because they hear only from the partisan extremes. This is our moment to show that there is real political support for shedding a narrow us-versus-them approach to the Middle East.
    The situation in Gaza could not be more urgent. Who knows how many more lives will be lost before this round of violence is over? When it ends, will we look back and say if only we had spoken out sooner, more lives could have been saved, more damage avoided?
    As far back as I can remember, those who see the world in black and white have overwhelmed those of us who see the shades of gray. I hope that you’ll help us to change that dynamic by forwarding this message to everyone you know – after you’ve signed our open letter.
    Thank you so much for joining our efforts at this difficult time. Together, we can achieve an end to this round of violence and a resumption of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
    Sincerely,
    Isaac Luria
    Online Director
    Carry on, folks…I went back to just “Kathleen”.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    Happy, happy, everything…all, but it is hard to think happy thoughts when you contemplate the poor people who live in war zones….I’m counting my blessings as we speak and being grateful for them, especially sharing the dialigue with The Washington Note crew….which has been a real treat.
    U’ve been giving my eyes a rest…after 8 years of my citizens’ watch reading and writing, 24/7, I have to go to an optometrist…but i do tune in here and there.
    I was fantaatic to see the post on J Street…I hope we can keep their approach in the for front…here’s a petition from J street…please read it and consider supporting it…
    December 30, 2008
    Dear Kathleen Grasso,
    You’ve likely heard about the recent surge of violence in the Middle East. In light of the conflict, we thought you might be interested in this message from our friends at J Street. They’re calling for strong American leadership to bring about an immediate ceasefire, and have already collected nearly 15,000 petition signatures. Click here to sign their petition.
    http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=508&tag=clw
    Sincerely,
    John Isaacs and Guy Stevens
    _____________________
    Dear Friend,
    This past weekend, Israeli Defense Forces struck the Gaza Strip, leaving hundreds dead and wounded – pushing the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict further down a path of never-ending violence.
    I felt immediate pressure from friends and family to pick a side. Did I think that Israel’s actions were fully justified or disproportionate? Did Hamas bring this on itself by firing rockets and provoking Israel or are the strikes an act of aggression against a people trapped in misery and poverty? Couldn’t I see who’s right and who’s wrong?
    At this moment of extreme crisis, J Street wants to demonstrate that, among those who care about Israel and its security, there is a constituency for sanity and moderation – that many of us recognize there are elements of truth on both sides of this gaping divide and know that closing it requires strong American engagement and leadership.
    Click here to sign our petition demanding an immediate and strong U.S.-led diplomatic effort to reinstate a meaningful ceasefire ending the violence, including the rockets aimed at Israel, and lifting the blockade of Gaza. We’ve collected nearly 15,000 petitions so far and will use them in conversations with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team and with Members of Congress.http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/2747/t/3251/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=508&tag=clw
    Israel has a special place in my heart. I lived there last year while my wife was studying to be a rabbi. But I recognize that neither side has a monopoly on right or wrong. While there is nothing “right” in raining rockets on Israeli families or dispatching suicide bombers, there is nothing “right” in punishing a million and a half already-suffering Gazans for the actions of the extremists among them.
    And there is nothing to be gained from debating which injustice is greater or came first. What’s needed now is immediate action to stop the violence before it spirals out of control.
    The United States, the Quartet, and the world community must not wait – as they did in the Israel-Lebanon crisis of 2006 – for weeks to pass and hundreds or thousands more to die before intervening. There needs to be an urgent end to the new hostilities that brings a complete end to military operations, including an end to the rocket fire out of Gaza, and that allows food, fuel and other civilian necessities into Gaza.
    The need for diplomatic engagement goes beyond a short-term ceasefire. Eight years of the Bush Administration’s neglect and ineffective diplomacy have led us directly to a moment when the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hang in the balance and with them the prospects for Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish, democratic state.
    Following a renegotiated ceasefire, we urge the incoming Obama administration to lead an early and serious effort to achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts.
    This is a fundamental American interest. We too stand to suffer as the situation spirals, rage in the region is directed at the United States, and our regional allies are further undermined. Our goals must be a Middle East that moves beyond bloody conflicts, an Israel that is secure and accepted in the region, and an America secured by reducing extremism and enhancing stability. None of these goals are achieved by further escalation.
    Even in the heat of battle, as friends and supporters of Israel, we need to remember that only diplomacy and negotiations can end the rockets and terror and bring Israel long-term security and peace. American politicians are already hearing from those who see only one side. Help us give voice to the large number of Americans who recognizes that justice will only be served when the rights and grievances of both sides are recognized and a peaceful two-state solution to this long-running conflict is put in place.
    Click here to sign our open letter to show your support for immediate and strong U.S. intervention to renegotiate a ceasefire in Gaza.
    We know that many policy makers agree with us privately, but hesitate to express their views publicly because they hear only from the partisan extremes. This is our moment to show that there is real political support for shedding a narrow us-versus-them approach to the Middle East.
    The situation in Gaza could not be more urgent. Who knows how many more lives will be lost before this round of violence is over? When it ends, will we look back and say if only we had spoken out sooner, more lives could have been saved, more damage avoided?
    As far back as I can remember, those who see the world in black and white have overwhelmed those of us who see the shades of gray. I hope that you’ll help us to change that dynamic by forwarding this message to everyone you know – after you’ve signed our open letter.
    Thank you so much for joining our efforts at this difficult time. Together, we can achieve an end to this round of violence and a resumption of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
    Sincerely,
    Isaac Luria
    Online Director
    Make sure you receive livableworld.org email updates. Add advocacy@clw.org to your approved senders list.
    And one more goody from The Pen on a Special Prosecutor for War Crimes commited by Dopey and Darth…. VOTE FOR THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR QUESTION NOW ON THE OBAMA SITE
    We all understand the historical urgency and imperative of holding Bush and Cheney accountable for their grave crimes against our own country and all of humanity.
    And we haven’t got alot of time to move on the particular action in this alert so please go to the Obama change site TODAY (voting closes 12/31 at midnight), where there is already a question calling for a special prosecutor, and
    1. Sign in at http://change.gov/openforquestions
    2. Search for “Fitzgerald”
    3. This will display several similar questions, so look carefully for “Bob Fertik” (who started the question)
    4. Look right for the checkbox, mouseover it so it goes from white to dark, then click to cast your vote
    And let’s all vote for the SAME question (don’t start another new one) and demonstrate to our new incoming administration that letting the crimes of the past slide without retribution is NOT an option.
    THEN GET YOUR NEW CONVICT DICK & W CAP TO DEMONSTRATE WITH
    As we in the White House accountability movement look forward, whether it’s impeachment, federal prosecution, or state by state prosecutions as a last resort, the key work is “convict”. And that is why we are introducing a new cap to wear to continue to carry the ball with that says “CONVICT DICK & W” in red, white and blue. If you want to be one of the first to get one of these new caps please submit the page below.
    New Convict Dick & W Cap: http://www.usalone.com/convict_cap.php
    We are not setting a price for these. You can have one for a contribution of any amount. We just want to put as many out there as possible. And we will have much more news for you soon about planned actions to pressure prosecutors at all levels to step up to the plate and do their duty.
    We are in this thing for the long haul, folks. The criminal dictators of the future can only be constrained by pursuing prosecution NOW of the criminal dictators of the present and past. In some cases it has taken many years of work by dedicated activists to bring criminal former heads of state to justice.
    We the people will never forget the crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration. How can we? Their willful disasters will cripple our economy, our military, every aspect of our government and our own personal lives for many years to come. But if we just continue to speak out, someday soon enough there WILL be prosecutors at some level who will have the integrity, backbone and determination to do what Congress to their eternal shame did not.
    Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.
    If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at http://www.usalone.com/in.htm
    Or if you want to cease receiving our messages, just use the function at http://www.usalone.com/out.htm
    Carry on, folks…i went back to just Kathleen

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    Happy New Year to all Washington Note readers and most of all, to our host.

    Reply

  13. Paul Norheim says:

    Good questions.
    “Will you recognize that Palestinians’ right to live in peace and
    security has equal urgency as Israelis’ rights?”
    If Obama turns out to be just like the current US politicians, I`m
    sure he`ll answer: Yes.
    Meaning: No.
    If I had the job of turning his “yes” into a “no” in front of the
    journalists, I would perform the usual circus trick and say:
    “Yes. But this requires that Hamas stops firing rockets into
    Israeli towns.”
    Meaning: “No, we will not recognize that Palestinians’ right to
    live in peace and security has equal urgency as Israelis’ rights.
    To us, the urgency of Israel`s rights are much more important
    than the urgency of the Palestinians`rights.”
    We`ll see.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is a sampling of the questions being submitted under the heading of “foreign policy” at Barack Obama’s website. As you read these, be aware that I AM NOT spending alot of time sorting questions. The questions are running at least twenty to one AGAINST Israel, from all areas of the United States. Heres the link. See for yourself. Of course, public sentiment means nothing if it is ignored by Obama, as I am confident it will be.
    http://change.gov/page/content/openforquestions_20081217_private_url
    “Would the new Obama Administration be impartial to deal with the Middle East Crisis, esp., the brutal treatment, oppression and aggression of Israel government toward the Palestianian people in Gaza ?” VT, Bay Area, CA
    “Does Mr. Obama intend to pressure Israel to disband their settlements in the Palestinian Terrotories as a prelude to peaceful coexistence? And will he de restrict the use of U.S. funds and weaponry for non-defensive military actions?” vjeb, Pylesville,MD
    “Will you stop giving Israel lump sum grants that do not have to be accounted for, and that we must immediately pay interest on, and instead give them aid as other countries receive it, along with accountability requirements?”
    Julie, Skokie, IL
    “Israel has massacred several hundred Palestinian civilians over the past 2 days and the US has blamed Hamas? Are you going to allow Israel to commit war crimes and violate international law with relative impunity without any sanctions?” Will, Ann Arbor
    “It is way past time for the United States to recognize Palestine as a state. Israel treats the Palestinian people the same way the US treated the Native Americans in the late 19th Century. Both of us need to repent. Will you recognize Palestine?” David, Greensboro, NC
    “What plan does President-Elect Obama have to create a lasting, just peace between Israel and the Palestinians?” Roni, Columbia, MD
    “What will you do to help end the illegal and immoral occupation of Palestine, to end the oppression of the Palestinian people by the genocidal government of Israel?” Nora
    “Do we as a country have to provide support for Israel regardless of monstrous acts of aggression? Of course they have a right to security, so do Palestinians. Security will never be recognized under current conditions.”
    John H., Fletcher, Oh.
    “Mr. President,During your adn\ministration, will we be truly neutral seekers of a fair and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” Omar B, Spring, TX
    “Obama silent over Israel’s brutalizing of Gaza : ‘there is only one President’. Will he denounce such attacks as President and press on for a Palestinian State w/Jerusalem without the fear of the media attempting to thwart his bid for a second term?” ocean
    “Will we finally start to treat Israel with the firmness that we treat its neighbors? Given the $90billion+ that the U.S. subsidizes Israel each year, I would think we could just say “Cut it out”” Tom, Tucson AZ
    “Today Barack Obama parroted this administration’s stance in the Middle East. This is not acceptible. We will never cease being a target of terrorism until we stop blindly funding Israel’s military aggression.” Beverly, Natick, MA
    “What’s the Obama administration’s plan from a settlement between Israel & Palestine that is seen by all the world as just?” Synoia, Fountain Valley, CA
    “I am curious to know why it is that we make war on Iraq for breaking U.N. resolutions, but turn a blind eye when Israel does. When will Israel be held accountable for wreaking death and destruction, and why does the U. S. fund it?” Mom o’ Moose, Richardson, TX
    “Will President Elect Obama be a fair and justice leader with the palestinian people or will follow Bush policy.Yes Israel need to defend themself but what the palestinian? who is been defending them from the Israel terror?going on since 1947.” flora, o’fallon missouri
    “The Palestinians in Gaza are being scorched alive by the naked aggression of zionist regime in Israel. How much blood the ‘Change’ team is going to allow to be shed before it can make the Israel stop the killing?” Imtiaz, St Paul, MN
    “Would this not be a good time for the future First Lady to offer her heartfelt support and prayers for the mothers and children of both Israel and Palestine?” ObamaDoug, Glenwood Springs, CO
    “Will you end U.S. blank check support for Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza? Will you recognize that Palestinians’ right to live in peace and security has equal urgency as Israelis’ rights?”
    F G, Tarrytown
    “When will the US acknowledge the reality of Israeli apartheid and take a righteous stand against the brutal occupation of the Palestinian people? Have you forgotten your former empathy for Palestinian suffering?” Jesse, Providence, RI
    “The Palestinian refugee problem has remained unresolved for 60 years, pointing to the failed policies of past administrations and the Israeli government. How does Obama plan to deal with this problem considering the escalating hostilities?” joanne529, Holmes, NY
    ……………
    It continues, on and on, question after question decrying Israel’s actions, and demanding to know what Obama plans to do about it. I bet the posturing fraud regrets putting the website up, because people are asking questions that Obama would rather not answer.

    Reply

  15. Theresa says:

    Happy New Year to you, your spouse, Annie, Oakley and Buddy. All the best!
    And thanks for all of the ideas and information I wouldn’t have known about other than your great blog.

    Reply

  16. David says:

    Great picture. Happy New Year to the entire TWN Nation from down on the edge of the Green Swamp, heart of the Floridan Aquifer, and may both we and it be treated to happier times as the Obama presidency unfolds.

    Reply

  17. liz says:

    A major puppy fan here says Happy New Year to you et al….. Let’s hope it’s better than the last one! Cheers~

    Reply

  18. Lori says:

    I adore your dogs. The picture posted above (laying on your lap spread eagle) is adorable. My dogs to the same thing.
    Happy New Year to Annie and Oaklie. And, of course, you too, Steve!

    Reply

  19. Einstein says:

    happy new year

    Reply

  20. questions says:

    Happy New Year to one and all.

    Reply

  21. Cee says:

    I’m glad to see this year end.
    I wish for a better year for all. I also plan to make it a point go to see Steve the next time he’s in my city.
    POA,
    Iran Jews stage pro-Palestinian rally near UN offices in Tehran
    By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent
    Members of Iran’s small Jewish community staged a demonstration outside of the United Nations’ office in Tehran, to protest the Israel Defense Forces’ operation in the Gaza Strip.

    Reply

  22. DonS says:

    Happy New Year to all. And thanks to all who wish for a better world and work for it. And to Steve, again, for the forum. I wonder, Steve, if you are ultimately glad you made the decision several years ago to keep the comments section? I know what I think.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Happy new year, Steve.
    And once again, thank you for giving Dr. Barghouthi a soap box. If the coming year at TWN enjoys this kind of even-handedness from you, than your blog may work wonders far beyond the delight of nipping at Bolton’s hamstrings.
    I would love to see you reach out to the members of Israel’s Jewish community that are on board for humane treatment of the Palestinians. A guest post from someone representing “PeaceNow”, or a similiar organization, would be a fantastic contribution to the content here.

    Reply

  24. Lurker says:

    Steve, your travel schedule is so exciting. I love hearing where you are going. Thanks for a fantastic year! Happy New Year TWN readers!

    Reply

  25. joy antony says:

    Wish you happy new year 2009.

    Reply

  26. henry says:

    Enough with the dogs, already: We want to see your husband! I bet he’s hot. I particularly want to see the wedding photos. I think that we should start a “wedding quilt” (remember the AIDS quilt?). If people could see photos of our weddings, and all the the joy, love, happiness, humanity in them, then I think that it would change a lot of hearts. HENRY.

    Reply

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