Over the previous two days, Secretary of State John Kerry made a flurry of calls to 13 foreign ministers and leaders to express his concern that a resolution would only deepen the conflict, officials said."
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
These are the Men and Women who are there when we are most at risk. These are the Men and Women that I admired and looked up to growing up on the Lower East Side. Thanks to the firefighters at Engine 5 on 14th street, I spent hours looking out our 4th floor window as you went about saving lives.
And Special Thanks to my beautiful sister Colette who is a Fire Captain in Miami-Dade Fire & Rescue.
The UN Security Council vote Tuesday fell just shy of the
nine needed for approval. The resolution targeted Israeli
occupation of Palestinian territories as well as a peace deal
based on pre-1967 borders.
nine needed for approval. The resolution targeted Israeli
occupation of Palestinian territories as well as a peace deal
based on pre-1967 borders.
By Sara Miller Llana
Palestinians faced a setback Tuesday night when the UN Security Councilrejected their motion to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and establish a Palestinian state by 2017. But in many ways momentum is still on their side.
Palestinians have scored important political support as they've moved to internationalize their fight for statehood away from US-brokered peace talks, especially in Europe.
The UN resolution, put forward by Jordan, sought a timeline for withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and to return to borders prior to the 1967 war. It included a peace deal within a year based on these moves.
The resolution narrowly missed the nine needed “yes” votes on the 15-member council yesterday. Eight countries voted "yes," including Franceand Luxembourg, while Australia and the United States, which called the resolution "deeply imbalanced," voted "no." There were five abstentions, including from Britain.
Palestinian officials are meeting today to plan their next steps, including possibly setting a date to apply to join the International Criminal Court, Palestinian officials told the Associated Press. Such a move could pave the way to war crimes prosecutions against Israel, the Financial Times reported.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized those who voted against their resolution. “Although the majority of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, once again, certain countries continue to ensure impunity to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not voting in favor of the resolution,” he said. “We call upon the international community to assume its responsibility.”
Palestinian officials have increasingly relied on international pressure to press their case, and they've had some success. In 2012 they were accepted by the UN as a non-member observer state, thanks in part to support from European countries.
Sweden moved this fall to officially recognize a Palestinian state. That was followed by a flurry of legislative action, from France to the UK to Spain, which have all started leaning towards recognition. On Dec. 17, a European Union court reversed the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, while just hours later, the EU parliament voted to support “in principle therecognition of Palestinian statehood,” The Christian Science Monitor reported.
The moves have brought stinging criticism from Israel, as well as many Jewish organizations, particularly in Europe, where protests this summer brought back worrying signs of anti-Semitism. But they reflect “a growing frustration with Israel,” the Monitor also reported last month.
While the US would have vetoed the measure even if it had won the nine needed votes, the US moved early to ensure it was rejected, as reported by the Washington Post:
"We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because … peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table," US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said.
Today the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, issued a statement saying that “the EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution."
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said “We must hold the Obama administration accountable and set the table for dramatic change in the next presidency” as the 2014 election cycle wound down. (Associated Press)
By Cheryl K. Chumley
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
Let's join together as a nation to insure that the generations to come have the same
desire to leave our descendants the wealth of our dreams, and the means to make them come to pass.
Walter E. Williams
Back in the day, when hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their quarry. They would walk on the opposite side of the horse until they were close enough to place a good shot on whatever they were hunting. A stalking horse not only concealed them but also, if their target was an armed man and they were discovered, would take the first shot. That's what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America -- stalking horses.
Let's look at some of the ways white liberals use black people. One of the more obvious ways is for liberals to equate any kind of injustices suffered by homosexuals and women to the black struggle for civil rights. But it is just plain nonsense to suggest any kind of equivalency between the problems of homosexuals and women and the centuries of slavery followed by Jim Crow, lynching, systematic racial discrimination and the blood, sweat and tears of the black civil rights movement.
The largest and most powerful labor union in the country is the National Education Association, with well over 3 million members. Teachers benefit enormously from their education monopoly. It yields higher pay and lower accountability. It's a different story for a large percentage of black people who receive fraudulent education. The NEA's white liberals -- aided by black teachers, politicians and so-called black leaders -- cooperate to ensure that black parents who want their children to have a better education have few viable choices.
Whenever there has been a serious push for school choice, educational vouchers, tuition tax credits or even charter schools, the NEA has fought against it. One of the more callous examples of that disregard for black education was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's cutback on funding for charter schools where black youngsters were succeeding in getting a better education. That was de Blasio's way of paying back New York's teachers union for the political support it gave him in his quest for the mayor's office.
White liberals in the media and academia, along with many blacks, have been major supporters of the recent marches protesting police conduct. A man from Mars, knowing nothing about homicide facts, would conclude that the major problem black Americans have with murder and brutality results from the behavior of racist policemen. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are about 200 police arrest-related deaths of blacks each year (between 300 and 400 for whites). That number pales in comparison with the roughly 7,000 annual murders of blacks, 94 percent of which are committed by blacks. The number of blacks being murdered by other blacks is of little concern to liberals. Their agenda is to use arrest-related deaths of blacks to undermine established authority.
Liberals often have demeaning attitudes toward blacks. When Secretary of State John Kerry was a U.S. senator, in a statement about so many blacks being in prison, he said, "That's unacceptable, but it's not their fault." Would Kerry also say that white prison inmates are also faultless? Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin told us: "It has yet to be shown that the absence of a father was directly responsible for any of the supposed deficiencies of broken homes. ... (The problem) is not the lack of male presence but the lack of male income." The liberal vision is that fathers and husbands can be replaced by a welfare check.
Liberals desperately need blacks. If the Democratic Party lost just 30 percent of the black vote, it would mean the end of the liberal agenda. That means blacks must be kept in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system. When black Americans finally realize how much liberals have used them, I'm betting they will be the nation's most conservative people. Who else has been harmed as much by liberalism's vision and agenda?
There's no candy coating the truth: Obamacare has had a very terrible, horrible, crappy, none-too-happy year. What it really means is that the victims of Obamacare -- taxpayers, health care consumers, health care providers, employers and employees -- have had a hellish, nightmarish 2014.
Let's start with premiums. President Candy Land promised that he'd "lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year." But premiums for people in the individual market for health insurance have spiked over the last year. In fact, Forbes health policy journalist Avik Roy and the Manhattan Institute analyzed 3,137 counties and found that individual market premiums rose an average of 49 percent.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services itself admitted this month that average premiums will rise at least five percent for the lowest-cost plans offered by federal Obamacare health care exchanges. Democrats' reaction? Obamacare rate shock doesn't matter ... because government is redistributing the burden and taxpayers are footing the bill! HHS crowed this week that nearly 90 percent of exchange enrollees received public subsidies in order to pay their premiums.
"Affordable" doesn't mean what White House truth-warpers says it means -- just like everything else they've spewed about the doomed federal takeover of health policy in America.
As the White House tries to hype year-end enrollment numbers and hide Obamacare-imposed cancellations, just remember that the administration got caught this fall cooking the books by including 380,000 dental plan subscribers that have never been counted before. Innocent oopsie? The "erroneous" inflation just happened to push the Obamacare enrollment figures over the president's 7 million goal, while fudging the attrition of more than 1 million enrolled in Obamacare medical insurance plans.
A "mistake was made," HHS 'fessed up after GOP investigators discovered the Common Core math antics. Lying liars. Caught red-handed.
So, how about: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?" Well, not if he or she isn't practicing anymore. After scoffing at conservative warnings for years that socialized medicine-light would create doctor shortages, Obamacare cheerleaders can no longer whitewash the grim reality. The Physicians Foundation found that 81 percent of doctors believe they are "either overextended or at full capacity." Another 44 percent said they "planned to cut back on the number of patients they see, retire, work part-time or close their practice to new patients."
Analysts on all sides of the debate agree that massive cuts in Medicaid payments to primary care doctors, which take effect on Jan. 1, will reduce patient access. Meanwhile, a Commonwealth Fund survey found that 26 percent of American adults waited six days or more to see a doctor -- with only Canada and Norway performing worse. A separate physicians' staffing company's poll, reported by the left-wing New York Times, found that patients "waited an average of 29 days nationally to see a dermatologist [,] 66 days to have a physical in Boston and 32 days for a heart evaluation by a cardiologist in Washington."
Translation: If you like your doctor, it doesn't mean you'll get to see your doctor. Tick, tick, tick.
How about Obama's pledge to lower costs? A Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this year that implementation will cost taxpayers $2 trillion over the next decade. That's just the direct costs. Obamacare's job-killing regulations continue to discourage businesses from expanding and force more bosses to slash hours to avoid the employer mandate.
Based on estimates by Harvard and University of Chicago economists, health care policy analyst John Goodman concludes that the "indirect cost to the economy ... equals more than $8,000 per household per year -- or four times the size of the direct budget outlays."
This includes the tax on innovation. As I've reported over the last four years, Obamacare's reviled medical-device tax has forced companies to cut back on research and development, in addition to catalyzing layoffs of at least 33,000 workers over the past year. A recent study by the New York Federal Reserve found that half of the state's medical device manufacturers were bracing for "considerably" higher health care costs as a result of Obamacare rules. These include "higher deductibles, increased copays, higher out-of-pocket maximums and an increased employee contribution to the premium."
Who's "stupid" now? The fallout from intrepid Philadelphia investment adviser and citizen researcher Rich Weinstein's exposure of Obamacare architect/deceiver Jonathan Gruber has only just begun. Far worse than Gruber's insult of American voters, Weinstein notes, is the annual $250 billion tax grab at the heart of Gruber and Company's scheme. Obamacare's so-called "Cadillac tax" on expensive health plans was purposely "mislabeled," Gruber said in video uncovered by Weinstein, in order to pass a tax that will eventually hit all employer plans.
Separately, insurers have been lobbying for a total taxpayer bailout of an estimated $1 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, beleaguered Obamacare non-profit "co-ops" that were supposed to lower costs have sucked up $2 billion in loans to date and hundreds of millions more in emergency solvency funding this year.
The worst is yet to come. Before the midterms, panicked and politically driven Obama bureaucrats delayed premium payment deadlines, high-risk insurance pool cancellations and onerous "meaningful use" mandates on health providers grappling with Obamacare's disastrous top-down electronic medical records rules. Those chickens will come home to roost in 2015.
One silver lining: A total of 16 Senators who voted for the federal health care takeover either failed to win re-election or declined to run for re-election.
Good riddance to them and farewell to Obamacare's annus horribilis.