Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An early Bibi update: Did Obama’s endorsement kill another candidate?

(My new Babalu blog post)

So far so good for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu!   I understand that his victory is not official but it looks good.
"The votes are still being counted in Israel, but it appears
that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has defied
the odds, pundits and polls to stage a historic last-minute
Exit polls which are sometimes inaccurate, show Netanyahu’s
party, Likud, with a slight lead over the leftist Zionist coalition
led by Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog. Actual vote counting,
with 67% tallied, show Likud leading its major party opponent
by about 4.8%, but it is unknown where the uncounted 33% are
from, and the totals might be much closer when all votes are
counted. Mr. Herzog’s party was, based on final pre-election
polls, expected to gain four more seats than Likud.
No political party has ever won a majority of the 120 seats in
the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. In order to control the
government and name the prime minster, a party leader must
form a coalition from the numerous small parties represented
in the Knesset.
Netanyahu, with a dramatic last-minute promise not to allow a
Palestinian state while he was prime minister, apparently was
able to draw votes from other conservative and nationalist
parties. Mr. Herzog, at the last-minute, said the leader of the
party with which his party formed a pre-election coalition
would not serve as prime minister in rotation if they won.
Some analysts said this hurt, rather than helped, Mr. Herzog’s
prospects to form the next Israeli government.
Wednesday morning the final results will be in, and both Mr.
Netanyahu and Mr. Herzog will attempt to assemble a majority
of 61 or more members of parliament. The actual naming of
the prime minister is by the elected president of Israel after
rceiving the official result on Thursday. The person he chooses
then has 30 days to form a government. If he or she cannot, the leader
of the party which came in second then has the opportunity to
form a government. If no one can do so, the Israeli president would
then call a new election."
Again, it's not final but Bibi looks very good.
Of course, the real question is this:  What role did the speech before Congress have in this result today?   Or what about President Obama's overt effort to interfere with the Israeli election?
My guess is that the speech had a bigger impact in the US than Israel.  At the same time, I do believe that President Obama's role to derail the Prime Minister backfired.
First, President Obama is extremely unpopular in Israel.  I would venture to say that he is the least popular US president since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948.
Second, most Israelis have their eyes open about the threat from Iran.   They understand the threat better than any of us.   They live with it everyday.
Third, this election was supposed to be about domestic issues but President Obama made it a referendum on the Prime Minister's criticism of the Iran nuclear deal.
In the end, President Obama's move backfired.  It looks very likely that he will have Benjamin Netanyahu around for a while.
Moral of the story:  President Obama's endorsements are not worth much these days, unless you are running in a heavily Democrat district with no competitive contest.
Just ask  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel!    President Obama is strongly supporting the incumbent mayor but the polls are neck and neck.   The mayor is in a tight fight with an under funded Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a local politician who may pull off a huge upset in a couple of weeks.
As we posted before, President Obama misplayed the Prime Minister's speech.   He should have welcomed him to he US and listen to his concerns about the deal.   Bibi's trip to the US was a wonderful opportunity for Mr Obama to make his case about the deal and to persuade a strong ally that he had their back.
Instead, he was disrespectful and probably turned off any Israelis to bring about today's result.

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Race relations getting worse?

(My new American Thinker post)

On election night 2008, I was disappointed that Senator McCain lost the election.  I was concerned about Senator Obama's lack of executive experience and some of his foreign policy views.   

Nevertheless, I moved on with the expectation that our first black president could actually have an impact in turning around the state of affairs in black America.  

I had hope that things would change!   

What a disappointment President Obama has been on that, too.

Over the weekend, lt. governor of Missouri Kinder shook up things a bit with these comments:
Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s News HQ,” Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R-MO) said Attorney General Eric Holder “on many occasions” seemed to “be inciting the mob.”
Kinder  said, “He is sounding the right notes today, this afternoon. I just wish he had been more judicious and measured in his comments since the August 9. Because Mr. Holder came in and seemed on many occasions to be inciting the mob. He seemed to be putting his weight on the one side of the scales of  justice and not backing up law enforcement. And if he is now, you know, backing up law enforcement mode, then I will be among those cheering him. And I hope that’s the way he is from now on.”
When asked if he had spoken to Mr. Holder directly, Kinder said, “No, no, no, he doesn’t bend to speak with people like me. He comes into town and meets with one side. He met with the family of Michael Brown, and that’s fine that he met with them. But, he did not meet with the family of officer Darren Wilson or with his brother and sister officers to say I’m backing you up.”
It's easy to understand where Mr. Kinder is coming from.  All you have to do is look at how the Obama administration has talked about race.

I agree with Linda Chavez that Mr. Holder has put "salt in the wounds":
Another shooting has taken place in Ferguson, Mo. — and this time, two police officers were the victims.
The violence should not come as a surprise, given the ugly tone set by the nation’s top law-enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder.
The most divisive attorney general since Richard Nixon’s John Mitchell, Holder has fanned the flames of racial grievance for much of his tenure.
I've felt for some time that the Obama administration is in massive distraction mode when it comes to talking about race in the U.S.

Sadly, things have not really improved for black Americans under our first black president.  To be fair, some of these problems have no federal government solution. 

Nevertheless, President Obama's policies have not helped.

In fact, we are in Obama year 7, and the president seems more passionate about "DREAMers" or "same-sex marriage" than the state of black America.

Look at the unemployment rate:
In February, the unemployment rate for African-Americans was 10.4 percent, while the comparable rates for whites, Hispanics and Asians were 4.7 percent, 6.6 percent and 4.0 percent, in that order, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. The national unemployment rate was 5.5 percent last month.
Look at the lousy public schools that black parents are sending their kids to.  Why?  Because of the corrupt relationship between the teachers' unions and the Democratic Party.

How bad are the public schools in Chicago?  Mr. Obama's daughters don't go to those schools, even before, when he was a relatively unknown Illinois politician.

Where can you find evidence that black America is improving?   Look at black-on-black crime, the least talked about social problem in the U.S.

This is why the Obama administration is vocal about voting rights and the war on black young men.  They need to fan the fires of racism because they can't address the problems in black America.  

They have no solutions except to play the race card!

Very sad state of affairs in year 7 of our first black president!

P.S. You can hear my show with Bob Parks, a black conservative, here or follow me on Twitter.

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The latest on the US-Cuba talks with Jorge Ponce

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