Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was freed by Afghan insurgents last May after five years in captivity was charged Wednesday with having deserted his remote base before his capture in 2009. He was exchanged for five Taliban prisoners being held at Guantanamo. This swap unleashed a torrent of criticism at the time. How would you predict the outcome of his trial and the political implication that might follow?
The Middle East continues to deteriorate and get more complex by the day. This week U.S. air strikes began in support of Iraq/ Iran Revolutionary Guard attempt to take back the Iraq city of Tikrit; at the same time, Saudi Arabia began bombing the rebels in Yemen who are supported by Iran and also started to mobilize the Sunni nations of the Middle East—Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait- against the regional aggressions of Iran. All these countries are allies of the U.S. Can the Administration support Iran in Iraq, fight against its influence in Yemen and still negotiate an acceptable nuclear agreement with Iran?
President Obama continues to criticize Netanyahu’s remarks on Palestinian state as does the Administration’s reaction to the WSJ article that contends Israel was leaking secret information on the nuclear negotiations to Congress. Maybe the problem would not have surfaced if the President had been briefing Congress on the talks. Comments?
What is the Administration’s position on what is needed for an agreement on a two state solution to the Israel/ Palestinian peace agreement? What is it that the Palestinians will bring to the table?Iranian leaders are lining up public support in Iran for a nuclear deal. However, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamini, still uses inflammatory language in referring to the United States. He is also demanding an immediate end to the six power sanctions. Are we close to a deal?
The GOP has been in control of the Congress since January and the country has been waiting for evidence that it can govern. Before the Easter recess will we see a successful vote in the House and Senate on the 2016 budget, the confirmation of the new Attorney General, the passage of the debt ceiling extension, the Doc-fix, the passage of the Human Sex Trafficking Act, for example? What do you think are the obstacles for the GOP Congress? Is it the division in the party or the Dems in the Senate?How important will foreign affairs be in the 2016 election? Will we, as a government, continue to move toward a more isolationist view towards world affairs?
How important to the general public are environmental issues? Why are the supporters of these issues so extreme that they are willing to deny the use of fossil fuels entirely so that the planet might be saved in future centuries? Isn’t this unrealistic and elitist to be so extreme? Would it not be more prudent to depend on future technologies to solve the threats to our environment?
The Supreme Court just heard arguments on a Texas case involving the state’s vanity license plates that are purchased at an additional rate by auto owners. The issue is one free speech and involves a dispute over a proposed Confederate battle flag plate. Texas refused to issue the plate and was sued by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Who is right?Also, the Supreme Court just refused to hear a case challenging a Wisconsin 2011 law requiring voter identification. This is a victory for Gov, Walker who signed the legislature into law. Will this affect his chances in 2016?
Did Starbucks go too far in their social activism to ask its employees to get evolved with such a contentious issue as race relations? The announcement caused immediate reaction and now the company has back off its demand of the employees. What do you think about this type of activism by American business?Monica Lewinsky is making news again with a recent article in Vanity Affairs and a speech last week. She is finding a way to make a comeback by taking up the cause of cyberbullying. Monica has imminent knowledge of being bullied in news stories, political, and entertainment media. She has gotten very favorable reviews of these appearances and apologizes from the likes of Bill Mahr and David Letterman. What do you think of cybertrolls who spout these insults or the internet? Is this a free speech issue or just one more illustration of our coursing language and manners?
Speaking of changing opinions and forgiveness, Pete Rose, one of the greatest modern baseball players was barred from baseball for life by Commissioner Kenesaw Landis for gambling. He has petitioned the league to be reinstated. The ban seems cruel and outdated in the current area for steroids and commercial gambling. Isn’t it time we forgave Pete Rose?
News tid-bits you might have missed.
Police found no evidence to support gang rape against a student at Un. of Virginia reported in an article in Rolling Stone magazine.
More college men are fighting allegations of sexual assault. One student was found not guilty of charges of assault in acting out scenes from the movie, 50 Shades of a Gray.
Senator Durbin played the race card by saying that the Republicans by holding up confirmation of Loretta Lynch were making her ”sit in the back of the bus”. This was even too much for Attorney General Holder.
The Chicago Public Schools has a budget deficit of $1.1billion and might not be able to open classes this fall.
The Illinois legislature and the new Governor have compromised on a budget deficit. We all hope this will signal a new period of cooperation in state governing.