Three relatively small notes in a short blog entry to begin the New Year....
I find a great deal to like about Roland Burris, the former Attorney General of Illinois, who has been appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Blagojevich to fill the United States Senate Seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
In an effort to redeem himself, Blagojevich made an excellent pick. And, not coincidentally, put the U.S. Senate is a very awkward position.
I am hopeful that the Senate will find a compromise that will allow Burris to be seated. Senator Harry Reid is sending some hopeful signals.
I have been 100% supportive of Barack Obama's choices for his staff and Cabinet. He has shown great judgement and is building a solid team.
But I am in no way disappointed to see New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson withdraw his name from consideration for Commerce Secretary.
My issue is NOT the current Grand Jury investigation into Richardson's awarding of contracts to his financial supporters. That might well end Richardson's career, but it's not my issue.
I lost all respect for Bill Richardson's intelligence and judgement when he proposed a six month withdrawal timetable from Iraq during the fall election campaign. I realized this was just one-upsmanship in campaigning as Richardson gasped for air in his long-shot candidacy. But the proposal was just plain dumb. And, I believe the man actually is "just plain dumb." Obama is much better off without him.
We are about to see death on a massive scale in Gaza as Israel launches a ground offensive. This is a tragic moment in a long and tragic conflict.
But one of the worst moments came earlier today when the bodies of a slain Hamas leader's small children were paraded through the streets of Gaza in an effort to enrage the entire Palestinian population into becoming human sacrifices facing the incoming Israeli army.
The death of these ten children, as well as Nizar Rayan's four wives, was unnecessary and completely avoidable. Rayan ignored repeated warnings to send his children and wives to safety. In effect, Rayan planned the death of his family.
So the children were used for propaganda purposes. The Daily Mail Online reports, "In grisly scenes, mourners held up the bloodied bodies of the children to the cameras in a clear attempt to blacken Israel's name and highlight its brutality. Graphic images showed the young children's uncovered faces as the victims were carried by thousands of angry Hamas supporters during the funeral procession."
We in the west simply cannot understand this level of hatred. We work to protect our families and to shelter our children, not send them to slaughter for political and public relations gains.
The Internet is littered with these pictures. You will not find them here.