Hamas—No Mas?

As the Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear program grab the headlines, there is an interesting sidebar occurring in the Middle East.  It seems that the sanctions imposed
by the United States-led coalition have taken a toll on the financial support that Iran provides to some of its proxies, most notably Hamas.

Just as there are two sides to the major conflict in the region—Israel versus the Palestinians and two sides in the Palestinian camp—Hamas versus the Palestinian Authority, so there are two sides within Hamas itself—the external leadership versus the internal leadership. Continue reading

Conventional Wisdom

Last weekend we attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington, D.C.  Appearing were President Obama, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, various Senators and Representatives of both parties as well as the three major Republican presidential candidates (Santorum in person, Romney and Gingrich by satellite). Continue reading

Running on Empty

A recent post by Walter Russell Mead (http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/12/05/another-one-bites-the-dust/)  “Another One Bites The Dust” uses Herman Cain’s recent campaign suspension to bemoan the dearth of capable and viable candidates for the Republican nomination for President.  Why can’t we find anyone up to the task?  Mead’s short answer is that “our economy and our society have outrun our political ideas.”  He further posits that “The reason no such candidate has appeared is that our national discussion about life after blue remains thin.” Continue reading

An Ox on Both Your

I have petitioned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to officially add the ox to its list of endangered species.  With 12,484 lobbyists registered in Washington (according to the Center for Responsive Politics), there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of oxen being gored by new and proposed legislation, that there is fear that there may not be enough oxen for the new Congressional term. Continue reading

Impeachable You

Believe us, Rod, we feel your Paine. These are, indeed, times that try our souls. Barely have we, in the Land of Lincoln, had time to bask in the optimism of Obama before being brought back to more sober times over the babblings of Blagojevich. Even worse, the recent events surrounding Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have left many of us straining to hold on to that icon of the American justice system: that one is innocent until proven guilty. Continue reading

Four More Years?

I came across an article from Foreign Affairs (September/October 2004) by Pete Peterson, former Commerce Secretary under Nixon, and more lately, one of the principals of the Blackstone Group who recently cashed in by taking the financial giant public.

Peterson has long been vocal in his views that the United States was overspending and living beyond its means, both on a personal and national level, as well as other socio-economic issues. Looking back at the opinions in this 2004 article, I thought about what progress, if any, has been made in any of the areas mentioned. Continue reading