Quite a bit happening in the last few days, from Mark Kirk to Dan Seals to Barack vs. Hillary, and everyone here is eager to talk about it. So, let's get to it.
MARK KIRK AGAINST CARTER MEETING WITH HAMAS (UPDATED): Mark Kirk was one of the first people to come out against former President Jimmy Carter's plan to meet with Hamas. On April 10th, Congressman Kirk delivered some stirring remarks on the House floor. Read them here. Kirk stated, in part, “The Washington Post reports that President Carter will visit Syria next week to meet with a Hamas assassin, Khaled Meshal. The State Department lists Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization, and it is responsible for the murder of at least 26 American citizens. *** President Carter, the voices from the grave beseech you – do not meet with the man that ordered the murder of these American citizens. I urge members to sign our letter asking former President Carter not to meet with the killer of American citizens.”
Most of us know that the U.S. labeled Hamas a terrorist organization in 1997, and Mark Kirk has been staunchly opposed to anything that helps Hamas, right down to sources of funding that have U.S. origins.
Heck, even Barack Obama wouldn't meet with Hamas, although Obama doesn't have the guts to criticize Carter... a move sure to cost Obama some Jewish support. Where's Dan Seals on this? Does anyone know/care? Seals has stated in the past that the United States “must isolate Hamas and make it clear to them that they will be international pariahs until they change their stated goals and activities.” Has he shown more guts than Obama and condemned Carter's visit like Mark Kirk? If not, he's clearly not willing to stand up for his convictions, even as set forth in his so-called policy statements.
Monday Update: Carter has begun his Middle East tour, and started off in Israel where he got about as cool a reception in Israel as you can get without someone actually giving you the diplomatic finger. Meanwhile, it's clear that Iran's influence in Iraq is still strong, and people are drawing parallels to the U.S.'s experience in Lebanon, where the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq noted that the ultimate lesson of the Lebanon parallel is that how the U.S. leaves is as important as how it got in. Finally, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer declares that we have already failed to contain Iran's nuclear program, and the only resort is to declare a policy that any attack on Israel will result in the unequivocal annihilation of Iran. Swell. Who was that out there again that wants to solve everything by "talking" to Iran and its nutbag president?
OBAMA: REVEALED (AGAIN) AS AN ELITIST SNOB (UPDATED): Lots of people are upset about this. In case you haven't heard, Obama was quoted at a private fundraiser as stating that "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Obama reveals, once again, that he (like his wife Michelle) believe that only the liberal elite are qualified to lead this country, and if everyone is smart, they will entrust their lives to Obama and the government, and let them take care of you.
Now Obama is having to do a lot of backpeddling to save his political skin. Hillary's people are jumping on this. Read 12 reasons "bitter" is bad for Barack here. Hmm, maybe it's time for another speech, Barack. Isn't this becoming kind of a habit?
Monday Update: Hillary and Barack just can't play nicely together. They are both turning up the heat, ahead of the next primary in Pennsylvania. Some also are saying that former Veep Al Gore and Carter will team up to try to talk Hillary into dropping out of the race; from what I've seen of Hillary, they may as well save their breath (good for her). Meanwhile, voters are (slowly) starting to think about exactly what an Obama presidency would really mean, once the shiny new paint of Obama's personal charm wears off. Most don't like it. In still other news, Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright just can't stop himself from revealing his true stripes, as he told mourners at a funeral for a Chicago judge the other day that America’s mistreatment of blacks is the result of the founding fathers, who “planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic.”
DAN SEALS ON "AT ISSUE": Dan Seals was interviewed by WBBM's Craig Dellimore this week on the award-winning "At Issue" radio show. You can still catch it at 9:30 p.m. tonight.
Among other comments, Seals is opposed to legislation (which Kirk supported), to build a fence along the Mexican border to stem the flow of illegal immigration. "You build a 20-foot wall, and you'll see sales for 21-foot ladders go up, so people will come right over," Seals said.
Wow, that almost sounded like a good line. Trite, I'd say, but it kinda made a good sound bite. So, where did I hear that before? Turns out, that line has been used for almost as long as the fence debate has been going on. Similar lines have been used since at least 2005, including people like the Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano (although she talked about a 51-foot ladder). Not sure if Seals thinks he made it up himself or just doesn't care if he's recycling things other people were saying years ago when Dan Seals was still trying to make it in the private sector and had no aspirations for Congress.
For fun, you can also check out a famous political cartoon done by John Trever of the Albuquerque Journal that shows a 21-foot ladder shop going up on the Mexican side of the border from the 20-foot fence. I'd put up the cartoon itself, but it's copyrighted, so take a look on the Journal's archives on Sunday, September 24, 2006. Who knew Seals was a subscriber???
Dan, have you ever had an original idea? This is the change you're going to provide in Washington? Ho, hum. Is the election over yet so we can get back to our lives, and Mark Kirk can get back to business in D.C. and leave Dan Seals behind him as only a somewhat amusing memory?