Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blair For Palestine, Blair For Europe

MSNBC Brian Williams Reports: The Tony Blair Interview: Pt 1
MSNBC Brian Williams Reports: The Tony Blair Interview. Pt2
MSNBC Brian Williams Reports: The Tony Blair Interview. Pt3
MSNBC Brian Williams Reports: The Tony Blair Interview. Pt4

Tony Blair must be a liked person. He has two grand offers. I am sure book publishers are also salivating over him. A whole bunch of people can't wait for the guy to vacate office so he can go on to do bigger and better things.

If he could give the world a state by the name of Palestine, he would qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize hands down. It is p for Palestine and p for peace. The lack of the Palestinian state is the festering wound in the Middle East. There can be no peace without it. Muslims far and away have fervent feelings on the topic, and for good reason.

People must think he is George Washington. He is also being asked to become the first real president of Europe. He could even have his own Foreign Minister.

He took some bold steps in Africa. He is a progressive who has set forth a vision - The Third Way - and many policy details that can be emulated across the world by those who inhabit the same segment of the political spectrum.

He has managed to label himself the "first world leader with his own YouTube channel."

Tony Blair publicly cried when it was time for Bill Clinton to leave office. Obviously Blair did not see Clinton's tens of millions in the offing. Now the two have a grand opportunity to team up all over again. This time perhaps will be better. Perhaps we don't have to wait until we elect a Democrat before we can put Clinton back to work on Palestine. Between them, they could do it if they could work on it without distractions. Clinton knows how to make time even though he keeps knee deep with his wonderful work for his foundation. I am a huge fan of the Clinton and Gates foundations. These are not exactly the white guys who colonized India. These guys are nice.

Globalization, the internet, and a raging global NGO sector make it look all so seamless. You don't have to wait to make a difference. Anyone anywhere can make a difference towards any good cause. Holding public office is not exactly a prerequisite. Leaving office might make the person freer of the day to day responsibilities, less worried about polls if at all. And so if the task at hand might be grand enough, a grand difference can be made.

And when they are no longer president and prime minister, the Arab street might be much less suspicious of these two white males if they were to embark on the all important task of helping give birth to a Palestinian state.

I can't wait. It feels like the 90s are coming back all over again.

I also find the idea of unifying Europe intellectually fascinating. I think something similar in South Asia is the real solution to the Kashmir crisis there. That is also the roadmap for Africa. Stop the ethnic wars, instead work towards economic integration across countries and regions. The ethnic wars in Africa are heartbreaking.

Perhaps Blair and Clinton will share the prize once we have the state.

In The News

Analysis: Will Merkel, Sarkozy reform EU? United Press International an alternative voting system based on the square root of each country's population ..... London has made it clear there are lines it is unwilling to cross, mainly handing over national powers to Brussels in the areas of foreign policy, defense, human rights and taxes. .... if outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair gets the job of EU president ....... more decisions being taken by majority, rather than unanimous voting, a move that observers hope will make the EU a more effective player in world politics ..... trim the size of the inefficient European Commission and introduce a president and a foreign minister. ...... what was at stake in Brussels "is nothing less than pulling Europe out of immobility," a deadlock that started with the French and Dutch rejections of the original draft of the proposed constitution in 2005 referenda
US Is Urging Blair to Be Lead Mideast Envoy New York Times the most visible attempt at laying the groundwork for a Palestinian state since President Clinton wrangled ..... accepts, he would work on behalf of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia to help the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, build the institutions and apparatus necessary for a viable state. .......

Bush condemns Obama’s effort on immigration MSNBC the amendment, which makes a new program to stop businesses from hiring illegal workers less burdensome ..... sponsored by Grassley, R-Iowa, Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Obama, D-Ill ..... The proposal by Grassley, Baucus and Obama addresses the worker verification program, which is despised by both labor and business groups. Businesses fear it would wreak havoc with their ability to hire workers and impose exorbitant costs. Labor organizations worry it could result in discrimination against workers. ....... a paper released Wednesday by the White House's Council of Economic Advisers made the case that immigration has had mostly a positive economic impact on the United States. ...... For the most part, immigrant workers find employment that tends to complement — not replace — the jobs held by workers born in the United States ...... native-born U.S. workers' wages have been boosted as immigrant workers have helped to expand the nation's overall economic pie and thus its wealth by billions of dollars a year ..... Immigrant-heavy service unions, on the other hand, are supporting the bill, which would swell their ranks.
Grassley/Baucus/Obama Amendment Puts Immigration Bill Back On ... National Association of Home Builders (press release) “By ensuring that the responsibility for verifying a worker’s immigration status is placed where it really belongs – with the employer who hires and pays them – the Grassley/Baucus/Obama amendment offers a sensible solution to the enforcement issue” ...... It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the home building industry’s entire workforce is foreign-born, making the immigrant population essential to meeting housing demand and sustaining economic growth in this country.
Democratic Campaigns Play Phone Tag Washington Post
Indian-Americans Dump Obama, Rally Behind Hillary [] RTT News Dave Kumar, co-founder of South Asians for Obama ..... "They understand how seriously the Indian-American community has taken that memo," he said. .... adding that he is not immune to wanting to play rough at times. ..... "There are times where I find myself slipping into the sort of caustic, tit-for-tat politics I think is typical. And the environment pushes you in that direction oftentimes."
Obama calls memo 'cheap,' 'screw-up' Politico
Bill Clinton Takes Bigger Campaign Role
Forbes he doesn't expect to do much more in the way of public campaigning for her this year. ..... his charitable foundation would launch a new $200 million anti-poverty initiative in Latin America. ..... The video has been viewed over a million times in 48 hours ..... Web videos "give a sense of unvarnished, mass participation in politics which in a big country is hard to do." ..... Mindful of his charisma and tendency to hog the attention .... He has increased his fundraising for the campaign since the last quarter, headlining intimate dinners and larger gatherings across the country. .... even as she leads in national polls and most other state surveys. ...... He credited New Hampshire with his political salvation in 1992, finishing a close second there after a bruising primary where he fought allegations of draft-dodging and philandering. ..... progressive types might wonder, 'Is this going to be Bill Clinton's third term?'"
Sikh Fundraiser Criticizes Obama Forbes, NY Rajwant Singh, national chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said he welcomed "Senator Obama's regret of his campaign's misconstrued remarks." But he called on Obama to apologize directly to the Indian community. ...... Obama gave an interview Monday to India Abroad, a newspaper for Indian expatriates, in which he conceded that the concerns of Indian-Americans over his campaign memo "are entirely justified." ....... "My support among Indian-Americans, South Asians and Asian Americans generally has been very strong and that's the culture within which I was raised, as having grown up in Hawaii and Asia myself," he told the newspaper.
Obama too fast to retreat from 'Punjab' jab Chicago Tribune, United States has drawn fire from the political right and left ...... Critics called it "nativist" and "a racist, xenophobic hit" .... dissemination of "hurtful stereotypes." ...... she has an overly friendly, mutually beneficial relationship to moneyed members of the Indian-American community ...... being in bed with the forces of globalism

Obama Tops TBA Straw Poll Barack showed the strength of his grassroots support today, topping the straw poll taken by attendees of the Take Back America conference. .... Thousands of progressives from across the country came to DC this week for TBA to learn from key figures in the progressive movement as well as hear from several Democratic presidential candidates.
Eight for '08: Step 3- Reach Out
Round-up of Posts on Barack's Speeches Today how hope is the reason he is standing here before us, meaning the hope that the civil rights activists had that they could indeed prevail against racism. .... the combo of personal story, progressive policy proposals, and message of transformation.
Thoughtful Obama says he's ready to lead in his meeting with the Register, he displayed no celebrity-candidate swagger. He shook the hand of every person in the room, before and after the meeting, and made a point to introduce himself (as if he needed to do so) and shake the hands of other staffers in the hallway. He casually made small talk, mentioning that his young daughters had made him what they called a "fabulous buffet" for Father's Day. "I couldn't identify everything," he said, laughing. "But I ate every bit of it. I cleaned my plate." ...... he shunned rhetorical firepower for thoughtful responses, often pausing to choose his words carefully. ...... his opposition to the Iraq war, dating to before the invasion. "A lot of it has to do with the fact that I lived overseas for a number of years ..... instances in the Middle East where guest workers outnumber citizens and are "terribly abused."

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