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Wednesday morning political quarterbacks are like the Monday sports variety, only you hear from the former two days later. Similar to literary critics, the "I told you so" crowd usually stays above the fray and then comes down only to shoot the wounded. With such caveats in mind, we assess the Romney loss and the prospects of an Obama second term.
"If Israel is attacked" is a phrase heard often by mostly well-meaning politicians from both American parties when they are out on the campaign trail, or even while holding office, to express their intent to come to the aid of the Jewish state. But as anyone who both follows current events and has any semblance of logic knows, not only is the phrase trite, but it reveals a certain unfamiliarity with the Middle East today and is even dangerous as pertains to Iran.
We can now fairly assume that both Democrat and Republican analysts concluded that President Obama's weak performance in the first presidential debate could be attributed to the absence of a teleprompter. The president's reputation -- earned or unearned -- as a golden orator cannot be upheld without this prop. So, to level the playing field -- as he is fond of saying -- he was provided with a flesh and blood teleprompter in the shape of Candy Crowley for the second debate.
In October 1972, and twelve days before the presidential election, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made a surprise announcement of a peace agreement ending the war in Vietnam, thus giving birth to the term "October Surprise." In nearly every election cycle since, one party or the other has attempted to spring some last minute opposition research or policy announcement in the immediate weeks prior to an election. However the Democrats, with their near stranglehold on the mainstream media, have been overwhelmingly more successful in the use of this strategy. That is until this year.
A month before the presidential election, we know it will be close, and it will be a choice -- no mere referendum on the executive management skills of the current president. The electorate is choosing the balance between public and private sectors, between more and less government. But it is also choosing between the different ends to which government is directed, the different visions about what government is for, and in particular, the relationship politics has with suffering and sacrifice.
Only citizens of the United States can legally vote in federal elections. So Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson added a yes/no question on ballot applications that asks: "Are you a United States citizen?" But according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, this simple requirement is "an election day disaster in the making." So the ACLU did what it usually does, which is to sue.
No doubt, it's hard for people to give up their lifelong attachments and identity. But there are moments in history when a turning point arrives, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear recognize it. Many Jews have made political liberalism their religion and personal identity and the Democrat Party their unexamined home and comfort zone. But everything changed early September.
The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city's original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky's Zionist youth movement.
If a civic or political group, meeting publicly, is not willing to have its activities and statements recorded truthfully by critics, its purpose is suspect. There can be no good purpose for preventing third parties – i.e., the whole of society, whether friendly or critical – from seeing what is said and done at a public event sponsored by the Palestine Society.