Bruce Levine's picture

    IRAN NEGOTIATIONS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF A WRITTEN FRAMEWORK

    The deadline for the framework agreement in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran is this coming Tuesday, March 31st.  That is when the parties are supposed to have a political agreement setting forth the parameters for negotiations on "technical" issues in the final phase of negotiations (scheduled to be completed in the early part of this coming summer).  

    Wattree's picture

    Israel Has Become A Serious Problem That We Need To Address

    Here are the facts. The United States CREATED some of the most severe problems currently going on in the Middle East by interfering in that part of the world and expecting the people in the region to just sit back and casually accept the U.S.' racist view of reality. For example, the way that the State of Israel was created in 1948 set into motion a policy of Manifest Destiny 2, and then it was shoved down the throats of the indigenous people in the region.
    .
    As badly as the German people treated the Jews, why didn't they just break off a piece of Germany and give it to the Jewish people? I'll tell you why, because Germany is a White nation, so they felt that it was easier to simply go and TAKE a piece of land from "THOSE" non-White Arabs, and get the Jews out of our hair. As a direct result, we've had our hands full, and that rash decision has taken over our lives. We've paid out billions of dollars, made ourselves one of the most hated nations in the world among the Arab people, and young Americans have been senselessly dying in the region, and having their lives destroyed every since. 
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    You can't just TAKE land from someone else and then tell them that God wanted you to have it. That pretext is not only blatantly ridiculous on its face, but insulting. Everybody knows what the facts are, and everyone knows how unjust it was, but no one wants to say it out loud because we've been indulging in a conspiracy of silence.  But we've got to address this issue, even though, at this point, we can't turn the clock back and get a do-over.  What's done is done. That was the mistake of another generation, and at this point there are two generations of Israelis who were born in Israel so they have every right to call it home. But it's past time to start having an honest discussion on this issue and thinking about ways to compensate the Arabs for the hit that they took. That would undoubtedly go a long way toward healing longstanding wounds. Trying to ignore injustice only allows it to fester and foster deep-seated hatred.  We're seeing that scenario playing out right here in the United Stats among our own people.

    Richard Day's picture

    DOES THIS MEAN I AM SOON TO BE NO LONGER?

    Methuselah Stained glass.jpg

    I’M GETTING OLD

    I graduated from High School in 1968.

    A decade later, I somehow found out that I had graduated High School in 1968.

    My first tome from Herodotus,  that I ever found was entitled:

    AN HISTORY

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    A Lesser Conversation About Suicide

    I read a statistic that deeply affected me: There are almost 40,000 suicides every year in America. I find myself questioning what role, if any, our society plays in helping someone make the choice to end life? 

    The suicide rate has tripled for the 15 to 24 age group. This gives me pause. These are the kids I mentor, tutor and lift weights with: I have friends who have children in this increasingly troubled demographic.

    barefooted's picture

    Sign 'Em Up

    Let's just agree for the sake of reality that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016. Other names have been teased, of course, and a sparse few have expressed a vague interest in running against her - Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders come to mind. But they know better than anyone else that their chances are nonexistent. Sherrod Brown isn't interested, neither is the only person who would conceivably stand a chance: base favorite Elizabeth Warren.

    trkingmomoe's picture

    Emily's List's 30th Anniversary Part 3 - Hillary Clinton's Speech

    Hillary Clinton was the key note speaker at this event.  The audience was warm to her and responded to parts of her speech enthusiastically. It was not a campaign speech and neither did she mention the emails from the time that she was Secretary of State. The speech followed up on the theme of the conference and the tone was directed to the audience that was there.  She honored the women who have blazed a trail for other women to enter politics. The issues she talked about was family issues, economical issues and labor issues. The speech was gracious and thoughtful.  

    synchronicity's picture

    It Is Time For A Revolution Of Massive Participation

    Last year I started putting together this new non-profit called Vote On Purpose.  The truth is it is called Vote On Purpose because it was one of the few names involving voting that I could think of that I could actually buy a domain name for (have you ever tried this?).  And after I started inviting people to be on the board of directors, they found the name fitting so it stuck.

    Wattree's picture

    Taking Apart Cornel West's Boilerplate Mantra That President Obama Is A Baby Killer

    Much like Ben Carson and Tavis Smiley,  Cornel West doesn't seem to recognize that he's destroyed his public image by allowing his self-serving agenda to take precedence over his common sense. Also like the two gentleman previously mentioned, he's dropped like a rock from a stellar personality that the Black community pointed to with pride, to a public embarrassment that many Black people wish would simply go away. 
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    One of the reasons that's the case with all three of these gentlemen are their public pronouncements that tend to negate the very intellectual excellence in which the Black community took such pride. In the case of West, he's mortally wounded his legacy in the Black community with his reckless, unscholarly, and unsubstantiated rants about President Obama. He also tends to be inconsistent. For example, while responding to a criticism lodged against him by comedian, Steve Harvey, he said, "When you are trying to talk about issues that affect the people, name calling gets in the way. Name-calling is nothing but another weapon of mass distraction."  Then later, he goes on to call President Obama - the first Black president of the United States - "a drone president, and a baby killer."  So in his own words, he's become "a weapon of mass distraction" - and one of the GOP's most effective weapons, a valuable tool for  undermining the interests of the very people that he claims to love so dearly.

    Bruce Levine's picture

    Just What Did Bibi Netanyahu Say About Two States?

    I had expressed my opinion in a comment thread relating to the Israeli election that the prime ministers's alleged disavowal of the two-state solution was incorrect.  I subsequently came across this editorial in today's New York Daily News supporting what I also believed and had perceived to be a lonely argument.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    HillarEmail2

    I'm struggling with various somewhat contradictory reactions to Hillary Clinton's spoken announcement last Tuesday and the nine-page document she released subsequently that explains her use of private email address when she was Secretary of State.  On balance though, my sense is that Clinton has provided a re

    Bruce Levine's picture

    Iran Negotiations and a Path Forward

    I have written and commented quite a bit about my reservations about the Iran negotiations, and I just want to shift gears here and offer what I hope are taken as good faith observations and recommendations for moving forward.  I address what I believe are the three principal issues that must be resolved: (1) whether any deal negotiated is a good deal; (2) what the president should show in order to establish whether the deal is good; and (3) the role of the Congress.   Obviously, framing the issues, while helpful in my view, does not mask the complexity of that which is found beneath each of them.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Nationalism: Kanye West and American Exceptionalism

    'I am God's vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.' Kanye West

    I'm better than you! I can lift more weight, run faster and jump higher than all (or most) of you. I'm young, healthy and fairly intelligent. I also sound like a jerk talking like this. None of the claims I've made (whether true or not) add to my intrinsic value; yet, if I substitute my physical abilities with fame, money or political power (in many circles) I would be seen as a “better” person. In many ways Kanye West is the most logical conclusion of our materialist culture; a culture shot through with hubris and bravado. The conservative mythos of American exceptionalism is epitomized in the actions of Kanye West.

    Bruce Levine's picture

    The Iran Negotiations -- Non-Binding Except When They Are?

    The debate over the appropriate role for Congress in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran continues as the month-end deadline for a so-called "framework agreement" approaches.  A bipartisan group of senate co-sponsors led by Senator Corker  announced that on or shortly after March 24th they intend to begin deliberations over a bill (S. 615), which would require that any agreement t reached be submitted for review by the Senate, and which would also provide for a Senate vote on whether to approve the agreement.  The president has threatened to veto that bill and continues to insist that the advice and consent of the Congress is not required because any agreement that is negotiated will be "non-binding".  Last night, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough warned Senator Corker not to proceed with the vote, and claimed that such a vote would unduly interfere with the ongoing negotiations.  Corker has indicated that the bill will likely come to Senate floor in mid-April at the earliest. [Note this paragraph was edited to correct my erroneous description of the procedural aspects of S. 615. My apologies.]

    The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Talks Alert

    I subscribe to the mailing list of  The Arms Control Association and received this today. t answers or or gives their opinion on several pertinent questions regarding the proposed agreement on nuclear development by Iran. I cannot find a direct link so I am posting it here in full. 

    A Critical Week in Lausanne

    Nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are entering the final days before the end-of-March target date for reaching a framework agreement.

    Wattree's picture

    The Republican Party's Treasonous and Un-American History

    Republican politicians and their cronies have a long history of pettiness, greed,  poor judgment, and a tendency to continually drag America down a rat hole to satisfy their selfish lust for wealth and power.  Thus, America needs to wake up and see these people for who they are, because 2016 is going to be a pivotal election. If the Republicans win they know that the demographics are against them, so they'll never relinquish power again - regardless to WHAT they have to do.  Think about the ramifications of that. And if you're a White social conservative who takes comfort in those ramifications, don't, because the rich, fiscal conservatives, don't care any more about poor and middle class White people than they do Muslims, minorities, or gays. You're only being used to keep the working class divided, because the GOP's agenda is so toxic to the American people that their very viability is completely dependent upon maintaining hatred, animosity, and strife among the poor and middle class.  So if they win, looking into your dumb faces is going to be the only thing gratifying about it

    Richard Day's picture

    RUSH JUST GOT TO ME, AGAIN!

    LIMBAUGH AGAIN

    I wish to play this rant provided by my friends at Mediamatters.

    Rush recalls Black Rage and its causes.

    I used to do this all the time, go after Rush, but it has been years? I just kind of gave up.

    I figured that if you give Rush airtime, no matter how silly his arguments seem, you are just giving aid to the enemy.

    It has been some time but listen to this racial rant as I attempt to disprove his suppositions or suspicions or superstitions.

    trkingmomoe's picture

    Emily's List 30th Anniversary-Part 2 Gabby Gifford's Rising Star Award

    Last year, Emily's List started the Rising Star Award to honor Gabby Gifford.  This year it was presented to Ayanna Pressley as the second winner of this award.  Retired Astronaut Mark Kelly, Gabby's husband with her presents the award. This was a chance to see how well she is doing since she left the House for me.  I love her smile.  What courage she has. 

    Senator Cotton soils the nest.

    It would be going too far to call Cotton a traitor, or even a saboteur because both those terms imply a subversive action which has disastrous real world impact---it doesn't take much imagination to conjure up real acts of monstrosity. But Cotton's open letter to Iran, signed by most of the Republican senators, does classify him as an impetuous, ambitious, running-off-at-both-ends backbencher who has just soiled the national nest.

    Venezuela a US Security Threat? Who knew?

    Extending the Axis of Evil to a 4th Dimension, President Obama declared Venezuela a security threat because it has nuclear weapons  threatens our borders  hacks our computers  beheads American captives  spies on European leaders  occupied a peninsula assassinated opposition leaders is mean to protesters. Observers are unsure whether this meant to slow government moves towards socialism, or to get Maduro to supply troops to fight ISIS, something the other members of the evil club are doing.

    Snark, Opinions, One-Liners, Links, and maybe Something Creative

    There is not any single subject contemplated at this blog. It is intended to be on-going as a place where I will mostly put links and short observations or questions. Any subject may come up including movies and music, as well as my own poetry and short fiction. It is mainly intended as a place for short comments which I see as having relevance to ongoing events but am too lazy to expand upon unless they gain some traction. I may refer here to ongoing conversations  at Dag when what they bring to mind is too far off topic or might be otherwise disruptive.

    trkingmomoe's picture

    Emily's List 30th Anniversary-Part 1 The Women Behind It

    In the recent years, C-Pac Convention has been covered by the media as if it was a the only important political support group in this country.  We get to watch in the news every goofy nutty idea that comes out of the guest speakers mouths.  There is even a run down published and covered about the proper dress code for the attendees. OK enough said about that.

    It leaves many of us wondering why liberals don't put on these kinds of news worthy events with great political speakers.  Well they do.  

    This year just a week after C-Pac's annual blow out,  Emily's List celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a gala event showcasing successful Democratic women in politics.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    HilarEmail

    That the cover-up is worse than the crime is a Washington truism I've never fully believed. In 2013, Republicans chastised former IRS director Lois Lerner for subjecting groups with the words "tea party" in their name to additional scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status. Subsequently, conservatives alleged Lerner was covering up her "crime" because emails that could have shed light on the IRS practice had been deleted.

    Supreme Court Elephants and bitches.

    The elephants in the room were quite visible in this week's Supreme Court hearings on the latest Republican attempt to destroy the signature legislation of America's first black President.

    Justice Thomas---often incorrectly called a "sphinx" due to the absence of any oral questions from him since 2006---is, not by any stretch of the imagination, not an elephant. But for Thomas, apparently, asking questions is a bitch.

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