Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrating Passover - Freedom From Obama

Celebrating Passover – Freedom From Obama
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 29, 2010

Spring has sprung, and so too will Pesach, beginning Monday night – celebrating freedom for the Jewish people the world over.

The irony that should slap the Jewish community in the face with force of a Barack Obama snub of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is that Obama does not respect Israel enough to approve of her enjoying the freedoms we here in the United States enjoy, or those for which he is pushing on totalitarian regimes.

United States-Israel relations seem to be at an all time low – a chill not this icy since the last time John and Elizabeth Edwards were in a room together.

Pesach celebrates freedom, renewal, renaissance and independence – commemorating the hundreds of years the Jewish people wore the chains of slavery in Egypt. It is an independent Israel doing what it has every right to do – build homes for its citizens on its own land. Bibi Netanyahu was 100 percent correct when he said, “Jerusalem is not a settlement – it’s our capital.”

Who does Obama think he is telling Israel not to build there, or anywhere else for that matter. Has anyone heard Netanyahu suggest that no new homes be built in Northeast DC? “They’re building bedrooms in Jerusalem and bombs in Iran,” said former Arkansas Governor and current Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee in condemning Obama’s treatment of Netanyahu and applauding the Israeli Prime Minister for building in East Jerusalem. And who does Obama think he is making demands of Netanyahu on the Sabbath – and the Sabbath prior to Pesach no less. Could Obama be more disrespectful?

Obama’s animus toward Israel is beyond disappointing – it’s a shonda – but it’s not the least bit surprising knowing who he has associated with for more than 20 years – Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Michael Pfleger, Bill Ayers and a cast of numerous other admitted socialists and anti-Semites.

In Obama we have a so-called leader bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia, shaking hands and slapping backs with Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez, yet nary a photo-op with Netanyahu during his visit last week. This is not in keeping with The Godfather philosophy of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” when he is pushing away the closest, most reliable friend this nation has in one of the most volatile regions of the world.

Obama’s dismissive and disrespectful behavior toward Netanyahu and Israel is deplorable and should send a strong wake-up call to the American people as a whole and the Jewish liberals so hell-bent on supporting this so-called leader that he is no friend of the Jewish people. Sure, Obama surrounds himself with Jews – especially the likes of Senior Advisor David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Rahm’s doctor brother Ezekiel Emanuel. One can only imagine the “pride” the Emanuel’s father who served in the Israeli military must feel.

American Jews had better heed the message and take action. Sadly, the majority of Jewish liberals are secularists and statists at best, and so deeply mired in the agenda of reshaping this country in the socialist images of the ‘60s radicals they worship more than G-d Himself, that they are simply too far gone. (Not even Richard M. Nixon with his virulent anti-Semitism had this horrendous a relationship with Israel. Even Dick Nixon understood the importance of the friendly relations shared with Golda Meir and Israel.

This is not the Democratic Party of our parents or grandparents – although FDR was no help to the Jewish community during the Holocaust. Gone are the Harry Trumans, the JFKs, the Henry “Scoop” Jacksons and the Daniel Patrick Moynihans of the Democratic Party. It has been co-opted by radical leftists who admit to idolizing the likes of Che,  Mao, Chavez and their ilk.

This is not a game being played here, and Israel’s survival is at stake. While Israel and Netanyahu are being chided by Obama and Hillary Clinton for domestic activities, Obama has yet to approve sanctions upon Iran, thus making it more and more likely that Israel in 2010 will need to behave toward Iran as it did toward Iraq in 1981.

As for conditions for Israel and the “Palestinians” to break bread (or matzoh for the next eight days), any deal involving the surrender of even one inch of land is no deal at all. The “Palestinians” should never be rewarded for their evil, murderous ways. They won’t even agree to say the words that Israel has a right to exist. They have not put the place name Israel on their maps and continue teaching vile hatred of Jews and Israel in schools perpetuating their legacy of death, destruction and mayhem.

The notion of returning to the pre-1967 War borders is patently absurd. Should the United States return to its pre-Mexican-American War borders of 1845? Does the notion of Manifest Destiny only apply to the United States As the late great Rabbi Meir Kahane said about winning and losing in war – when you win, you win – you don’t give back land; when you lose, you lose.

Israel is the only true safe haven for the Jewish people. All other lands, including the United States are but a part of the Diaspora. This administration has been deafening in its words against Israel, and while I love my country – the United States of America, I despise this administration, what it represents, its goals, and its vision for America’s and even the world’s future.

May we all have a happy and meaningful Pesach.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

The Palin Paradox

The Palin Paradox
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 29, 2010

Sarah Palin is an opportunist. But then again, so were we as Republicans in 2008.

She brought the vim and vigor the pallid ticket lacked with the Bob Dole-esque candidacy of Arizona Senator John McCain – it was his turn – true in 1996, more or less so in 2008. As Republicans we reveled in Palin’s energy, good looks, real straight talk and ability to raise money and the pulse of the party rank and file wherever she campaigned. Palin drew crowds who arrived hours in advance just to ensure being in her presence.

Palin is still a crowd magnet – whether at her book signings or campaigning for other candidates. And herein lies the rub – for nearly a year and a half since she and McCain succumbed in 2008, Palin has been paradoxical in her behavior – much akin to Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde.

On the one hand Palin resigned as Alaska governor with about 18 months remaining in her term for what she called undue attention on her family distracting from her ability to devote full time and attention to her duties – so she claimed. Perhaps that was true, but before the door of the governor’s mansion hits Palin in the tuchus, she has embarked upon a book tour and myriad speaking engagements.

I have absolutely no issue with that – this is still the United States of America and we are still a capitalist society – more or less – for the time being, anyway. I don’t begrudge anyone the ability to earn as much money as possible – that’s a basic economic principle of supply and demand. As long as there is a demand for Palin, she will oblige her fans and supporters.

But Palin is being disingenuous. Palin should not say she can’t fulfill her gubernatorial obligations because of unwanted attention, or unwanted scrutiny. Being in the public eye is akin to living in a giant fishbowl – and this is a fishbowl Palin is willingly diving into, hosting a future television show. With that, Palin has lost political credibility that ought to seal her fate as a potential presidential candidate.

Quite frankly, I believe Palin had already done that with her resignation as governor. After all, one does not seek higher office not having served out the term from a prior electoral stint. Couple that with the fact that Palin is a veritable political neophyte – serving as Mayor of Wasilla and less than one term as her state’s governor – Palin could very well enter the 2012 GOP presidential race as a front runner.

She is not presidential timber – she is, however, a great party ambassador and should take to the road for as many GOP candidates as possible – she is a passionate patriot, always proud to be an American – she is a great cheerleader, and not just because of her good looks. (Make no mistake – my thought process is not rooted in sexism as I worked hard on Christine Todd Whitman’s two gubernatorial races in New Jersey, one of Ellen Sauerbrey’s races for governor of Maryland and myriad other women candidates worthy of the offices they sought.)

Palin genuinely cares about the future of this country and expresses that point well, but that does not mean she ought to be the next president. To those who would suggest that Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama – they would be correct, but look at the disgraceful manner in which he comported himself during his short tenure in the White House as a so-called leader – with arrogance and ignoring the will of we the people. This is the same mean-spirited arrogance by which the so-called main stream media and rank and file liberals have treated Palin.

Then there’s the Palin who is clearly a face of the TEA Party movement. Yet, on Friday, March 26 Palin was in Arizona with her old pal Senator John McCain stumping for him at a reelection rally. Yes, this appearance is demonstrative of Palin’s loyalty to the man who made her a national figure, but contrary to her conservative principles and credentials. In reality, Palin should be campaigning for McCain’s primary opponent, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth – the GOP race’s real conservative.

So, with Palin, I must paraphrase Ronald Reagan – there she goes again. The picture of paradox.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hypocrite in Chief

Hypocrite in Chief
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 22, 2010

During his self-congratulatory speech following passage of the government conquest of one-sixth of the American economy via a deplorable health-care bill, Barack Obama contradicted himself saying, “change came not from the top down, but from the bottom up.”

Obama then went on to note how many telephone calls he personally made to cajole members of his own Democratic Party to drag them aboard the USS Healthcare or Titanic II. Even Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera, certainly no conservative, said this bill passed due to “arm twisting by the President.”

Obama also admitted that this was “not an easy vote” to cast, and that such a yea vote “took courage.” If the legislation is so great why did its supporters need courage to support it? If the bill is so strong why were bribes necessary to enlist support of members who initially were against it? If this brand of health-care reform has been touted so highly, why were the American people kept in the dark regarding its contents and why did Obama fail to keep his promise that the process would be transparently shown on C-SPAN for all to see and hear?

The next day, during a “victory lap” at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA Obama said “this is the patient’s bill of rights on steroids.” Hmm. Now steroids are not typically a good thing; so is this an admission in reality? Later, adding insult to injury upon hearing the opponents announced their determination to repeal this deplorable legislation, Obama arrogantly said “go for it.”

Mr. Obama, that is exactly what we the people intend to do come January 2011, upon a GOP electoral takeover of the House and possible the Senate.

As a related aside, those protesters over the weekend who may have shouted racial and anti-gay epithets as certain members left the Capitol Building did nothing to help their cause. They should be ashamed of themselves. I’m not happy with the outcome either, but I will express my animus here and on Election Day, November 2nd.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

[This column appeared in the Alexandria Times.]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Post Game Behavior No Laugh Riot

Post Game Behavior No Laugh Riot
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 7, 2010

As a member of the Alumni Association and Terrapin Club I enjoyed watching the men’s basketball team knock off Duke last Wednesday night as much as anyone else. I cheered when the lead grew in the first half and moaned when it waned prior to halftime.

I did my best Gary Williams impersonation when Duke took the lead and my stomach did its best impression of a roller coaster as the lead vacillated until the good guys finally vanquished their opponent. Then, I cheered again. I even enjoyed an adult beverage during the game as well.

But what I didn’t do, because I’m a clear thinking adult, is take to the streets like a jackass and behave like a hooligan, setting fire to trees and trash cans, attempting to flip over motor vehicles and get into fisticuffs with law enforcement. The basketball team won a hard-fought ballgame. They were not sent to war. Keep the revelry off Route 1. There are plenty of places on the beautiful, spacious College Park campus where celebrants can congregate.

Let me put this as gently as I know how, for the benefit of the hundreds of University of Maryland students who deserve more than my castigation for their disgraceful behavior. What the hell were you thinking? What’s wrong with you people? You not only embarrassed yourselves and the university, but your parents who will, no doubt, have to shell out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for property damage or bail.

There is no excuse for this juvenile behavior. You are supposed to be adults demanding all kinds of freedoms and rights. Grow up and earn them. Nobody is telling you not to have fun and enjoy yourselves before, during and even after the ballgame. There’s a fine line between good, clean fun and felonious behavior, and many of you pole vaulted over it Wednesday night.

This is the same kind of nonsense that occurred during the 2001 and 2002 basketball seasons when Maryland made its first Final Four and won its first national championship, respectively. It was stupid, irresponsible behavior then, as it remains today.

The guilty should be booked and charged via the criminal justice system and expelled from the university. A message must be sent that this behavior will not be tolerated.

The least you, as a student body, can do is act like you know what it means to be winners. In a couple of e-mail exchanges with my friend Aziz Abdur-Ra’oof, who graduated the year before I did, we commiserated how embarrassing it is to see Maryland on the national news for something this asinine. We also discussed how we as a student body didn’t behave like this in the ‘80s when we were on campus, and we won some big games.

Ziz was one of the Terrapin football greats in the ‘80s and part of the team that trailed at Miami 31-0 at halftime, only to stage the greatest comeback in D-1 college football, winning 42-40. Yet, calm was the order of the day.

It was nearly as embarrassing to see University of Virginia students referring to the riot in mocking signs they brought to the game against the Terps Saturday in Charlottesville.

The University of Maryland should make national news for winning championships, for having incoming freshman classes with higher and higher SAT scores, for having top schools of business and journalism and for graduating more and more of its students in four years. So, grow up and cut the crap.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA. A graduate of the University of Maryland in 1988, he is a member of the Alumni Association and the Terrapin Club.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Washington Hospital Needs its Head Examined

Washington Hospital Needs its Head Examined
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 1, 2010

Shame on Washington Hospital Center for its unconscionable and thoughtless behavior firing 11 nurses and five support staff simply for not being able to traverse the treacherous roads and arrive to work during the historic February blizzards. This after an admission by hospital spokesman So Young Pak that WHC-provided transportation could not retrieve employees.

“Pak said the hospital provided transportation for employees during the storm, but union representatives said it was not available at all times. …the vehicles could not reach every street. …some nurses have photos that show their streets were impassable.” (“11 nurses fired after snowstorm absences,” Feb. 28)

Many streets and some neighborhoods could not be plowed for even the heartiest to access. There were injuries and deaths on the roads. What good would that have been for WHC had their employees been among them?

The storms had been predicted for days. The short-sighted hospital should have made lodging arrangements for their essential personnel to ensure their presence at work. Short of that, send the EMTs to transport the employees.

These are always reasonable solutions. Reasonable institutions should not behave in an unreasonable manor regarding employees making a reasonable effort to be able to do their essential work. Get these folks back on the clock – with back pay.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.