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An interview with a former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski speaking to the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recent escalation in tensions leading to the December 2008 Israeli-Hamas Conflict.

From Wikipedia is a definition of Retributive Justice

Retributive justice is a theory of justice that considers that proportionate punishment is a morally acceptable response to crime, with an eye to the satisfaction and psychological benefits it can bestow to the aggrieved party, its intimates and society.

Further reading on the Wikipedia definition of retribution, the following statement appears …

In ethics and law “Let the punishment fit the crime” is the principle that the severity of penalty for a misdeed or wrongdoing should be reasonable and proportional to the severity of the infraction. The concept is common to most cultures throughout the world. Its presence in the ancient Jewish culture is shown by its inclusion in the law of Moses, specifically in Deuteronomy 19:17-21, which includes the punishments of “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Many other documents reflect this value in the world’s cultures. However, the judgement of whether a punishment is appropriately severe can vary greatly between cultures and individuals.

599 Responses to “Retribution”

  1. 401
    jen says:

    Chris- much as we all love and admire Obama you need to settle down. He is not the Messiah, as he has himself said, and he is facing one goddawful mess which he has no hope of cleaning up – environmentally, economically ,and globally politically. And he will cop it when the shit keeps happening – it’s the nature of politics unfortunately.

  2. 402
    Chris B says:

    It’s the economic rollout, stupid!

    Barack Obama’s elaborate rollout of his economic recovery plan could provide an impressive early victory for his incoming administration.

    But it also carries risks.

    If he fails to deliver on his plan — both in scope and in speed — it could wreak havoc with an already precarious economy and roil global markets that have become relatively stable since he began outlining his program.

    If he fails to treat seriously his invitation to congressional Republicans to engage in the process, it could inject an atmosphere of mistrust and resentment that would haunt his future domestic policy ambitions.

    “I can’t think of another incoming president who faced something this tricky,” said Joe Lockhart, who was press secretary in the Clinton White House.

    For more of these death defying issues stay tuned to the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Starring the one and only moose that Sarah hasn’t got. Bullwinkle! Click here for more.

  3. 403
    HarryH says:

    396 Gaff

    I would suggest Feinstein is pissed off for more reasons than she wasn’t consulted. The fact that she wasn’t consulted, as the incoming head of the Intelligence Committee, is in itself telling. The fact that the outgoing head of the IC J.Rockefeller also wasn’t consulted ,and is pissed, is also telling.

    There is a power play going on here.

    If Obama is slapping down Feinstein and Rockefeller, then the world may become a slightly safer place. They are every bit as bad as neocons.

  4. 404
    Chris B says:

    Politico. More from the same story.
    It’s the economic rollout, stupid!

    Obama’s high-profile events are being buttressed by an aggressive grass-roots campaign conducted by nearly 20 progressive organizations under the umbrella name Campaign for Jobs and Economic Recovery.

    That group is holding rallies and other public events this week in the home states of Senate Republicans, including moderates such as Sens. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine.

    Politico Page 2 continued

  5. 405
    Chris B says:

    Swearing-in the 111th Congress. Video.
    Click here to view this. Cheney must be chocking on his Wheaties.

  6. 406
    Chris B says:

    I love the way Nancy Peloci gets all the grand children involved in the second video.

  7. 407
    Chris B says:

    The Hill.
    Liberals have a trillion reasons to accept tax cuts in stimulus .

    The most liberal members of Congress huddled together in early December, and decided they needed to push their fellow Democrats to be bold with the economic stimulus legislation being drafted.

    So the Congressional Progressive Caucus fired off a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging a stimulus of at least $1 trillion.

    Now they find themselves in the mainstream, as they see the stimulus climbing toward a figure few expected to reach.

    “We were figuring people would be talking about $300 billion to $400 billion,” said one participant. “Who knew we were going to be out-liberaled?”

    The sheer size of the stimulus goes a long way toward explaining why there has been little liberal opposition to President-elect Obama’s decision to adopt the conservative Republican mantra of tax-cutting as part of his signature “recovery” legislation.

    Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

  8. 408
    jen says:

    Is it just me , or has anyone else noticed that HuffPo has gone v. quiet on the Israeli /Palestinian conflict ?

  9. 409
    Chris B says:

    The Hill

    The total size of the package starts at $675 billion at the small end. But Obama told congressional leaders Monday that economists who have his ear are saying the package should be as large as $1.3 trillion.

    More of the same article as above.

  10. 410
    jen says:

    Actually – having a look at NY Times, Washington post and a few others – they’ve ALL gone quiet on Israel/Palestine.
    hmmm… could there be *ahem* influences at play here?

  11. 411
  12. 412
    jen says:

    Then again – perhaps I’m misjudging Israel.
    such decency is surely to be admired.
    3 whole hours every day to get ready to be obliterated…

  13. 413
    Enemy Combatant says:

    “Is it just me , or has anyone else noticed that HuffPo has gone v. quiet on the Israeli /Palestinian conflict ?”

    You’re definitely on to something there, jen.

    The major news outlets meekly accepted Israel’s banning of journalists from entering Gaza as an excuse for downplaying collateral civilian casualties, our president-elect, Barack Obama, has had little to say about an invasion that will much complicate his future Mideast peace efforts, and most commentators easily rationalize Israel’s many-more-eyes-for-an-eye killings.


  14. 414
    jen says:

    Thanks Ecky. Thought i was being paranoid, but clearly there is a silencer on this as Isareal’s behaviour gets harder to justify. It’s very disappointing though to see the so-called “non MSM ” bow down to pressure- from both the right and left it would seem – and try and downplay this. Bottom line- it’s wrong. No matter what harm has been done to Israeli’s in the past – this is a fucking disgrace.
    End of story.
    And I hope Obama shows some courage over this or it will be sorely disappointing.

  15. 415
    Catrina says:

    jen at 408

    Is it just me , or has anyone else noticed that HuffPo has gone v. quiet on the Israeli /Palestinian conflict ?

    Your not alone Jen.

  16. 416
    Catrina says:

    NYT: Israel Halts Attack Briefly to Allow Aid Into Gaza

    GAZA — Under international pressure to ease its 12-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Israel briefly suspended its fighting on Wednesday and agreed to do so for three hours each day to permit humanitarian relief goods to reach the beleaguered population. It was not immediately clear whether the militant Hamas movement, which governs Gaza, had also agreed to the plan, although senior Hamas officials were quoted as saying that it would not fire any rockets while Israel paused its bombing.

    I just love those moments in history where you can stand up in room, talk about a moment in time, and feel proud that you’ve shared something special. The lesson tonight is about humility – you can isolate them, starve them, bleed them and so long as you let them bury their dead you can go to sleep at night with a clear conscience knowing you did the right thing.

  17. 417
    Chris B says:

    The real worry about Israel is, that if Benjamin Netanyahu wins the election. He will be far worse than what the current lot are doing. At the moment he is leading the polls. According to this, what appears to be a right wing blog. The American Spectator

  18. 418
    Chris B says:

    Whoops. That’s what happens when you post late at night.

  19. 419
    Chris B says:

    ANALYSIS-Gaza offensive set to boost Israel’s Livni.

    JERUSALEM, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Israel’s bomb and missile offensive in Gaza may boost voter support for Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in her bid to defeat frontrunner Benjamin Netanyahu in the Feb. 10 election.

    An Israeli television poll showed 81 percent of Israelis backed the massive attacks on the coastal strip, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, in a bid to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets into southern Israel.

    Whether Livni can defeat the right-wing leader at the polls may depend on whether Israel achieves its objective without incurring heavy Israeli civilian or military casualties, analysts said.

    Both Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak are gambling with their political careers by launching this attack on Hamas, they said.

    “If they hadn’t taken action, they would have been finished politically,” though the outcome is uncertain, said Shmuel Sandler of Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

    Click here for more…

  20. 420
    Chris B says:

    The Hill.

    Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are wondering exactly what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meant by her pledge to “govern from the middle.”

    Pelosi (D-Calif.) made that promise immediately after the election that expanded her Democratic majority.
    To Republicans, it does not mean increased bipartisanship.

    GOPers spent their first day as representatives of the 111th Congress vilifying the Speaker — who was reelected and unanimously supported by her caucus — for changing the rules regarding how much power the minority has to hinder the legislative process on the floor.

    Click here to read more

    At least they will be able to get a lot more work done now. As long as they don’t become a rubber stamp.

  21. 421
    Catrina says:

    At least Kieth Olbermann understands the John Howard thing …

  22. 422
    Catrina says:

    Hamas Rejects Gaza Cease-Fire

    CBS/AP) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that Israel had accepted an Egyptian-French cease-fire plan for the Gaza Strip, but Hamas officials in Syria told CBS News that they could not agree to the plan because it does not guarantee open border crossings or an end to a crippling blockade.

  23. 423
    Catrina says:

    Time Magazine

    The incoming Obama Administration says it wants to shut down the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay. But even if Guantánamo closes, the controversial U.S. practice of jailing suspected al-Qaeda militants and other terrorists indefinitely won’t end, because such detentions continue on an even greater scale at the U.S. military base at Bagram, Afghanistan, 40 miles north of Kabul. Approximately 250 detainees are currently being held at Guantánamo; an estimated 670 are locked up under similar conditions at Bagram.

    Maybe we have reached a point in time where we need a legal division of the Red Cross.

  24. 424
    paddy says:


  25. 425
    Chris B says:

    Twelve days to go to Xmas! Well it will seem like all our Xmases will come at once. :lol:

  26. 426
    Chris B says:

    The Bush years — then and now.

    With President Bush set to leave the White House less than two weeks from now, here’s a “Then and Now” to show what the United States looked like when Bush was entering office and what it looks like now as he’s leaving. The “Then” is the best-available figure as Bush was taking office in 2001. The “Now” is the most recent figure.

    Click here for the misadventures of George Bush

  27. 427
    Chris B says:

    Obama to make case for ‘urgent action’ on economic recovery plan.

    President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday will call for “urgent action” on a plan to jumpstart the economy, his transition office said.

    In what his team is calling a major speech, Obama will make the case for quick action on his “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.”

    Obama says the plan will save or create more than 3 million jobs and invest in health care, energy and education, among other priorities.

    His team says the plan represents a “new approach” to the country’s challenges and focuses on responsibility, accountability and transparency.

    Obama’s speech, to be given at George Mason University, will begin at 11 a.m. ET.

    On Tuesday, Obama warned that members of Congress won’t be allowed to slip earmarks into the economic recovery package, which Congress will soon take up.

    Click here for more

  28. 428
    Enemy Combatant says:

    The Importance of the Humanitarian Pause:

    After a liesurely three hour lunch, surgical strikes resumed with widespread precision.
    These postprandial operations were an enormous success. Hundreds of Palestinian women and children were saved by the timely interventions before the hospitals in which they were recovering were smart-bombed to rubble.


  29. 429
    Chris B says:

    The Hill

    The president-elect named Nancy Killefer as the nation’s first chief performance officer.

    Obama said Killefer will be responsible for making sure tax dollars are not wasted as his administration spends funds to try and repair the faltering economy.

    The president-elect pledged that his administration will put a stop to the federal government’s excessive spending and wasteful ways.

    “Even in good times, Washington can’t afford to continue these bad practices,” he said. “In bad times, it’s absolutely imperative that Washington stop them and restore confidence that our government is on the side of taxpayers and everyday Americans.”

    More from the Hill

  30. 430
    Chris B says:

    421 Catrina. Part of that clip appeared on AM this morning. Maybe AM read our blog, to keep up to date with the latest in international politics. :twisted:

  31. 431
    Chris B says:

    Chief Performance Officer announcement.

    Click here

  32. 432
    David Gould says:

    Gaffhook at 371,

    Just because someone has suffered does not make them rational. As such, just because Cindy Sheehan’s son was killed in Iraq – thus causing her suffering – does not shelter her from criticism of her position. The calling for criminal charges to be laid against Bush, Cheney, Howard and Blair is irrational. Thus, the characterisation of those calling for them as ‘left wing loonies’, while certainly hyperbolic, is not out of place.

    I have no problem with publicly saying that Cindy Sheehan, and others who call for criminal charges, are left-wing loonies. If it is of any help, I have suffered in my life also – a friend of mine died in high school, my grandmother died a couple of years ago, and two of my cats have died over the years. I am unsure how relevant those things are to the discussion, however.

  33. 433
    David Gould says:

    Just out of interest, why does Hamas launching rockets daily into Israeli suburbs not stir up outrage on this blog?

  34. 434
    David Gould says:

    And I do not want to alienate anyone here, by the way. This is an incredibly emotive issue, obviously. We have hundreds of people dying and the question is: why can’t they all just stop killing one another? And the sad fact seems to be that they can’t stop and will never stop.

    Anyway, I am hoping that just because my sympathies tend to be a little more with Israeli goals and policies that I am not seen as the bad guy.

  35. 435
    Chris B says:

    432 David Gould Prior to George Bush she was a Republican.

  36. 436
    Chris B says:

    435 Republican voter.

  37. 437
    David Gould says:


    Formally being a Republican does not alter the fact that the view she currently holds is irrational. Indeed, if she was a Republican, that indicates that she might well be prone to holding irrational views. ;)

  38. 438
    Chris B says:

    David there are a lot of Republicans that have change sides because of the war. Why do they then become left wing loonies.

  39. 439
    Chris B says:

    In regard to the middle east, it’s the same old thing. Religion. Just look how long it took to sort out Ireland.

  40. 440
    David Gould says:

    Chris B at 438,

    The view that Bush, Cheney, Howard and Blair should be prosecuted for war crimes (or other abuses of power) is an irrational one and it generally stems from the left. Indeed, if someone has abandoned the right over this and moved to the left, that seems further evidence that this view is a left-wing one. Thus, we have that it is a left-wing view and that it is irrational. That is where it fits with ‘left-wing looney’.

  41. 441
    David Gould says:

    While religion is certainly a huge issue, it is in reality a clash of societies (in each of which religion plays a huge part, of course) over territory. And this is almost identical to the situation in Northern Ireland, as you say.

    However, I think that the Israeli situation will take longer than the 350 years that the Irish situation took to bring to some kind of resolution …

  42. 442
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    A mere 700,000 Seppos lost their jobs in December, and the forecast is for a deficit of over a trillion bucks.

    My god, it’s truly awful and there is no end in sight. Obama’s got a heck of a job to do!

  43. 443
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Shalom, shalom everyone, peace and goodwill to all!

    Gouldie at 441:
    “However, I think that the Israeli situation will take longer than the 350 years that the Irish situation took to bring to some kind of resolution …”

    David, following your most enlightened comments about Cindy Sheehan, no one would possibly regard you as anything but a deep global thinker going forward.

    “Israeli situation”?

    David, do Palestinians have a “situation” too as they and their forebears have been roaming the neighbourhood for a long, long time before 1948 when “Israel” first found itself capable of being involved in an “Israeli situation”?

    And that Jewish chippy’s son and local peacenik, Jesus Christ; word has it that coupla millenia back he spent a fair bit of time knockin’ around the same the same nooks and crannies, ‘cept young J.C. didn’t spend his days palling around with warmongering pollies in members bars. Young J.C. hung with fishermen, prostitutes and arty types considered by the ruling Roman classes of the time as “the scum of the earth”.

    Funnily enough, these days a lot of people in positions of power(and their factota) who claim to be Christians, also claim that Jesus was about accumulting megabucks and conspicuously consuming what those megabucks can purchase while simultaneously waging war on whoever has stuff you want.
    It has always been thus, they say.

    “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall gain MIC-garnered riches far beyond the lust of even the most avaricious.”

    ~from the sermon on the mounting of hegemony.
    Dem Fundy Politics:

    Wed Jan 7:


  44. 444
    David Gould says:

    Does the deficit require the US to pay interest to its creditors? I have always wondered how that worked, to be honest.

  45. 445
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Bonjour Monsieur Demanagements! How they hangin’, son?

  46. 446
    David Gould says:

    Obviously, the Palestinian’s have ‘a situation’, too – it is one big ‘situation’. But to argue that the Israelis are the bad guys is not sensible. They are not the good guys, but in this situation no-one is. Thus, to condemn Israel every time they attack but to shrug and ignore it every time Hamas does is a little odd.

    Further, to talk about 1948 as if the world will go back to the situation as it was prior to that is simply silly. We all understand how we got to where we are today. But past injustices are rarely of any help in creating justice today.

    One of Jesus’s pertinent comments was that he came not to bring peace but the sword. It seems that the sword will not be beaten into a plough for a while yet …

  47. 447
    David Gould says:

    I should qualify my comment about injustice/justice: injuustice is rarely of any help in creating justice today if the past injustice is not put secondary to today’s justice. Obviously, past injustices often help in creating today’s justice as we learn from them.

  48. 448
    David Gould says:

    How about I drop ‘leftwing loony’ from my posts and simply refer to the specific view as irrational? (And obviously it is irrational in my opinion). That way, I will – hopefully – no longer be causing offence.

  49. 449
    Spam Box says:

    Outing ‘Sharon Gould’: the hoaxer’s identity revealed

    It has been all over the internet since yesterday afternoon — the allegation, backed by some convincing evidentiary trails, that the “Sharon Gould” hoaxer is freelance journalist and activist Katherine Wilson. This morning I was released from my obligations of confidentiality. I can now report for the first time that the speculation has it right. Katherine Wilson is Sharon Gould.


  50. 450
    Jen says:

    John and George further endearing themselves to the general public :mrgreen:

  51. 451
    Chris B says:

    437 David Gould She’s not irrational. She is quite logical. Maybe its someone else’s is irrational. :twisted:

  52. 452
    Chris B says:

    These right wing loonies all have irrational views.

  53. 453
    paddy says:

    Jen Says
    John and George further endearing themselves to the general public

    J&G aren’t half as funny as Firstdogonthemoon today jen.


  54. 454
    David Gould says:

    Chris B,

    If we move to simply discussing the view as irrational or rational, as opposed to the person, that will make things easier and will hopefully have me being less offensive. ;)

  55. 455
    David Gould says:

    To further this discussion, it is my position that humans are at base rational but because of limited information or capacity or both are unable to make the most optimal rational decisions pretty much all of the time. Thus, we are not in the end rational or irrational; rather, we are subrational.

    The main thing that reduces our capacity, imo, is emotion. It is a little unfortunate that, while emotion necessarily sets our goals, it can be an impediment to acheiving them. We cannot avoid emotion, of course, and neither should we aim to, but we can try and recognise the impact that emotion is having on our capacity.

  56. 456
    Chris B says:

    OK. :twisted:

  57. 457
  58. 458
  59. 459
    Jen says:

    paddy@ 453… :lol: :lol:

  60. 460
    Jen says:

    David – this is purely based on irrational emotion but I HATE GWB – have from the first time I heard him open his mouth and was gobsamcked that such an obviously stupid man could be elected POTUS. – TWICE!!
    And the sycophantic morbidly stupid MSM, politicians and people the world over pandered to this moron. The greatest case of The`Empreror’s New Clothes’ ever known to man IMO. And I based my view on nothing other pure gut reaction ( and I was right :lol:). So rationality is sometimes limited in it’s application I’m afraid. :mrgreen:

  61. 461
    David Gould says:

    Emotion can certainly be correct. Our emotions would not exist in the form that they are were they not in some way useful from an evolutionary perspective. Fear is good in certain circumstances; anger likewise.

    However, if you had examined Bush’s policies from a rational perspective, you would have reached the same conclusion. Thus, there is no limitation in application that I can see.

    (I will point out here that all rational examinations must stem from an emotional basis – in other words, I can only examine something rationally in terms of my particular goals. If my goals included – for example – the destruction of the US economy, then Bush could well have been the rational choice for US President.)

  62. 462
    David Gould says:

    I do not hate GWB. He is simply a product of his culture. And I was not surprised in any way that he won two elections for president. But then I am a pessimist. ;)

  63. 463
    Chris B says:

    462 David Gould. No David I wouldn’t call you a pessimist. A member of the Liberal Party maybe. But not a pessimist.

  64. 464
    Chris B says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Obama eyes Wall Street super-regulator.

    It’s no secret Barack Obama plans to enact the biggest economic stimulus package in history next month.

    What’s less known is that he plans to quickly follow it with a sweeping re-regulation of the U.S. economy.

    One of the leading ideas would combine the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission into a super-regulator that would be like another Federal Reserve as a cornerstone of the U.S. financial system.

    This plan, still in draft forms, is likely to include tough new rules for stock trading, banks and the broader financial sector — as well as greater transparency for how government money is spent cleaning up the entire system, according to Democrats familiar with the plans.

    Obama told CNBC’s John Harwood on Wednesday that he plans “a substantial overhaul” with “better enforcement, better oversight, better disclosure, increased transparency.”

    For more of this story click here

  65. 465
    David Gould says:

    Chris B,

    I was a member of the Liberal Party at one point many years ago – for about two weeks. I had hoped to turn them more to the left. Alas, I failed.

    So I joined the Labor Party and tried to turn them more to the left. Alas, I failed.

    Now I try to turn around creationists and anti-homosexuals. It is much easier, amazingly …

  66. 466
    Chris B says:


    Last month, CNN announced that correspondent John King would take over the programming hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday mornings, beginning January 18. But when King spoke to Politico at the time about his “marathon” show, it still didn’t have a name.

    But according to a CNN source, there is one now: “State of the Union” with John King.

    In naming the show, CNN chose one that speaks to both Washington power and the country as a whole, said a source. During the 2008 race, King not only touched down throughout the nation, but also broke down the states nightly with his Magic Wall. (And yes, the Magic Wall will appear on “State of the Union”).

    For more of this story click here

  67. 467
    David Gould says:

    (religion debates are much less trouble than political ones …)

  68. 468
    Chris B says:

    465 David Gould :lol:

  69. 469
    Chris B says:

    Have you heard about the two Irish Homosexuals?
    Michael Fitz Patrick and Patrick Fitz Michael.

  70. 470
    Spam Box says:

    469 (groan) ;)

  71. 471
  72. 472
    megan says:

    The Israeli army has admitted privately to the UN that there was no firing from the Gaza school where 42 people died after being hit by Israeli mortars.

  73. 473
    megan says:

    Fatalities since Dec 27:
    Palestinians 688 ( 350approx civilians-160 children under 16.)
    Israelis 10 (3 civilians )

  74. 474
    jen says:

    DavidG @433-
    if we must regress to “an eye for an eye” (and surely we should have moved beyod this but obviously not) then decapitation for an eye is simply disproportinate. And that does not for a minute mean that I support the initial crime, but pink-misting children at school because of damage from rocket fire is … well obviously it is obscene.

  75. 475
    Gaffhook says:

    This must be one of the first bits of positive news which may hopefully be the benchmark for the future.
    A big slapdown for the Imbecile.

    The measure, which drew bipartisan support and passed by a veto-busting 333-93 margin, was among White House-opposed bills the House passed that would widen access to government information and protect government whistleblowers.

    “Today, Congress took an important step toward restoring openness and transparency in government,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman said.


  76. 476
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Gaffy, neocons are smelling real bad too. Been on the nostril since they spawned, really.
    Cursed with the blood of innocents, they now rub and fret; wring and wash like Lady MacBeth as they scramble to spin the indelible stains upon their ugly souls.

    Neoconservatism dies in Gaza

    The recent Israeli offensive has put the final nail in the coffin of the Bush administration’s Middle East fantasy.

    Jan. 8, 2009 | The Gaza War of 2009 is a final and eloquent testimony to the complete failure of the neoconservative movement in United States foreign policy.


  77. 477
    Chris B says:

    470 Spam Box I didn’t choose the number it was coincidence.

  78. 478
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Dan Froomkin (he must have helpers) weaves the machinations of Seppo City Central together as well as anyone. He could really give Huffy a run for her online money if he ever walked from WaPo.


  79. 479
  80. 480
  81. 481
    megan says:

    Cat @479,

  82. 482
    Chris B says:

    479 Catrina Rachel Meadow isn’t as cute as our Maxine McKew.

  83. 483
    Chris B says:

    Eleven more days of that moron to go. What destruction can he do in eleven days?

  84. 484
    Chris B says:

    Bond will not seek another term.

    Sen. Kit Bond, the senior Republican from Missouri who sits on powerful Senate committees, announced Thursday that he will not run for reelection in 2010, giving Democrats a shot to pick up a seat in a state that has emerged as a major battleground.

    The announcement is a blow to Senate Republicans who may now have at least four of their incumbents seeking retirement at the end of the session, a sign that 2010 could be another tough cycle for the weakened GOP minority.

    In addition to Bond, Sens. Mel Martinez of Florida and Sam Brownback of Kansas are retiring, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas may run for governor of her home state, creating another opening.

    Like rats deserting a sinking ship.

    Story continued here

    Electoral Vote map

  85. 485
    Enemy Combatant says:

    This week in Washington: a historical perspective

    “Aww, gee, George, you shouldn’t have.”

    “Hey, no sweat, Jahhhn. Had it imported all the way from Atlanta specially for the occasion”


  86. 486
    Chris B says:

    Obama wants digital TV delayed.

    Transition co-chair John Podesta asked House and Senate committee leaders Thursday to push back the February 17 digital television conversion deadline.

    In a letter sent to the chairman and ranking members on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Podesta said the transition team has found “major difficulties” in the funds authorized to smooth the transition that may cost consumers millions.

    Very smart move. Obama would get the full blame for this problem.
    People without T.V. would be a national disaster.

    Continued on Politico

  87. 487
    Chris B says:

    Obama wins! (Officially).

    Breaking news! Barack Obama and Joe Biden won the election, receiving 365 electoral votes.

    John McCain and Sarah Palin picked up 173 electoral big ones.


    Members of the House and Senate met Thursday to tally and record the 2008 Electoral College votes and make the people’s votes official. The pomp and circumstance surrounding the reading of electoral votes for each state is a quadrennial formality, although the 2001 version of this event had special flair thanks to that whole Bush v. Gore case.

    Vice President Dick Cheney presided over the joint session in the House chamber, where a packed house of Democrats applauded and laughed and Republicans — the ones who decided to show — pretended to look happy.

    There were so many empty seats on the Republican side, House officials invited pages to sit down and give the appearance of filled seats.

    continued here on Politico

  88. 488
    Chris B says:

    Hustler Magazine and Girls Gone Wild productions have asked the government to bail them out. They said they may as well join the queue as everyone else is doing it. (They bring in around $3 to $13 billion U.S. a year). Source ABC radio.

  89. 489
    Chris B says:

    Senate open to seating Franken.

    Neither Al Franken nor Roland Burris have been officially certified as senators, but Democratic leaders are still open to seating Franken while refusing to seat Burris until he has his paperwork in order.

    Republicans see inconsistency in this stance, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says the cases are totally different.

    “People have gotten the certificate thing messed up,” Reid said. “State of Illinois is an appointment. State of Minnesota is an election. Two different things.”

    Minnesota’s canvassing board this week announced that Franken was the winner in his bitterly contested race with Republican Norm Coleman, but state law prohibits granting an election certificate if legal challenges are pending. Coleman is suing over the election results that show Franken won by just 225 votes out of nearly three million cast.

    continued on Politico

  90. 490
    asanque says:

    This gets my blood boiling.


    I recommend a boycott of these companies.

  91. 491
    asanque says:


    Now Americans know how we’ve been feeling for the last 10 years until Howard lost his own seat and crushed his own party (I love saying that :)).

    Apparently, he has still learnt nothing.

  92. 492
    Katielou says:

    Howard is just such a small, small man.

  93. 493
    David Gould says:

    jen at 474,

    But I do not think that this is about an eye for an eye or anything like it. Whether you agree with them or not, Israel have specific military objectives in this particular conflict. These are: (1) to destroy the means by which Hamas are getting rockets and (2) to degrade the capability of Hamas to fire rockets at southern Israel.

    If this attack was about an eye for an eye, then it would have occurred in late November when Hamas broke the ceasefire. However, from that period Israel was attempting to get an extension to the ceasefire. (Sincerely or otherwise, who can tell?).

    It should be noted that Hezbollah has not fired a rocket at Israel since the war Israel fought there. There have been rockets fired from Lebanon since that war (the last was fired in July 2007, apart from the ones today) but both Hezbollah and Israel have confirmed that they were not fired by Hezbollah. This indicates that despite the idea that the Lebanon conflict was a defeat for Israel (and in some senses it was, as it exposed serious problems with Israeli capability) it at least achieved the goal of reducing the threat Hezbollah posed to Israel. (At the cost of many Lebanese lives, we should not forget).

    One of the reasons for this, of course, is Hezbollah’s realisation that while their rockets are a good terror weapon they are pretty much useless in a military engagement.

  94. 494
    megan says:

    Found this Interesting from the “Jewish Voice for Peace” :
    “I am outraged. I just read the text of a bill being voted on in the Senate today – a bill we cannot let pass.*
    The bill, introduced by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), puts all the blame for the current violence between Israel and Gaza entirely on Hamas. It offers unconditional support to Israel, tacitly endorsing the raining down of bombs on the heads of Gazan civilians, a tactic which has led to the deaths of over 700 Palestinians in just a few weeks. In fact, it endorses continued bloodshed of both Israelis and Palestinians.
    I am dumbstruck by how one-sided this bill is. The US should condemn Hamas. They are deliberately targeting civilians with Qassam rockets and 9 Israelis have died since Israel started bombing Gaza. But they should also hold Israel accountable. Accountable for denying Palestinians access to badly needed medicine, fuel and food through their year-long blockade of Gaza; accountable for endangering the lives of Israelis by repeatedly violating ceasefires and refusing to negotiate with Hamas, a group, which facts show, can maintain a ceasefire**; accountable for the destructive US-made weaponry they are using on dense population centers, which has now drawn rocket fire from southern Lebanon and threatens to enflame the rest of the Mideast; and accountable for Israel’s illegal 40-year occupation.
    But it does no such thing. Instead, it reads like a press release written by AIPAC, giving Israel carte blanche to do whatever it wants whenever it wants, without legal or moral restraint. It does not call for an immediate ceasefire, or an end to Gaza’s blockade, which is also an act of war.
    And after the Senate, its going to the House.

    Write your representative now and tell her or him that you expect the United States to take a balanced approach. Tell them that it is in the best interests of Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians for Israel to accept a ceasefire, end the blockade, and achieve peace through an end to Israel’s 40-year old occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
    Cecilie Surasky,
    Jewish Voice for Peace
    * Amnesty vs. AIPAC: Senate to Consider AIPAC Resolution Endorsing War in Gaza Huffington Post
    **Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End? Huffington Post

  95. 495
    David Gould says:


    It is not really surprising. It seems that in modern international affairs publicly criticising allies is impossible, unfortunately.

    One of the problems that I have, however, is seeing any other possible responses from Israel (assuming that stopping the rocket fire is the objective).

    The blockade of Gaza is certainly a big problem. But it should be remembered that this blockade was not only imposed by Israel, but by Egypt. Hamas is a destabilising force in Egypt, being a spin off of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas’s violent coup overthrowing the Palestinian presidental appointees in Gaza was not a wise move on their behalf, as it did not help engender trust in their ability to provide stability.

    Bizarrely enough, when Hamas were first elected, I was actually excited. I thought that with the repudiation of the corrupt institutions developed under Yassar Arafat there was a chance to move forward. All that was required was for Hamas to renounce their former intention to destroy Israel, concentrate on internal nation building and start to build ties with the outside world. Foolish me, hey? :(

    I watched the Live Aid concert on DVD last night. U2 played ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’. How long, indeed.

  96. 496
    David Gould says:

    (Obviously, there would also have been the need for Israel and the rest of the world to respond to overtures by Hamas. But the vital first step had to be the recognition of Israel’s right to exist.)

  97. 497
    Chris B says:

    490 asanque I will no longer spend my million dollar advertising budget with those companies.

  98. 498
    Katielou says:

    Jimmy Carter on the Gaza conflict – “An Unnecessary War”.

  99. 499
    David Gould says:

    Bit of an odd article, that one. While I applaud his optimism, I am unclear from whence it stems.

  100. 500
    Gaffhook says:

    Yes she is.


    Time will tell. He still has a week to escalate Gaza in to I ran.