Monday, January 05, 2009

Random Thoughts

So the two biggest issues during my hiatus-- based on cable news coverage, anyway-- seem to be the whole Blagojevich fiasco and, of course, the ongoing war in Gaza. I offer brief thoughts on both.

The situation in Gaza appears to be getting worse... Israeli ground troops have now joined the air strikes in attacks, Hamas isn't exactly backing down, and world leaders' calls for a ceasefire are falling on deaf ears all-around. It's a mess. And it's, sadly, par for the course. What can be said about this latest outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian conflict that hasn't been said already? The Palestinians won't stop the violence until the Israelis make key concessions (giving back land, etc). But the Israelis won't make concessions until the Palestinian violence stops. But the Palestians... you get the picture. And then things escalate as they have until there's almost no one to root for... except, of course, for all the civilians dying senselessly.

And none of this matters because the public debate on this issue is beyond skewed. Like I said, it's a mess. I really hope that Obama is up to the task.

Next up, the Senate. It looks like Al Franken will be the junior Senator from Minnesota, and-- despite conservative protests-- Harry Reid insists he be seated as such, as is his right. Reid, of course, wants to stop Roland Burris from becoming Illinois' junior Senator, because of the Blagojevich taint. My thoughts? Franken should be seated. As should Burris. There is nothing wrong (thus far) with Mr. Burris (ummm, I may be taking that back) on paper. Yes, Blagojevich is a criminal who a) is likely to be in jail in the near future, and b) showed some real chutzpah in going through with this appointment. But the appointment itself remains legal, though Reid may have options. They forgave Joe Lieberman-- who's worked overtime in recent years to undermine the agenda of the Democratic party-- but they'll waste energy on this fight? Let the man spend 2 years in the Senate, and use him for every vote you can count, and then primary him out in favor of a better candidate in 2010. Pick battles better.

Oh, and in Colorado, former Denver public schools superintendent Michael Bennet is off to the Senate too. But there's no controversy there. How boring!!


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