Easy To Have Respect For Egypt’s President, Mohamed Morsi

Of all the countries that experienced the Arab Spring, none has produced more interest or fascination than what took place in Egypt.  The land charms the reader of history, and demands to be understood.

Watching former President Mubarak fall from power was a joy, seeing recent elections produce the first democratically elected leader lifted the hopes of those all over the world who also want to have the right to express themselves at the polls.

I have watched and read much about Mohamed Morsi, the new Egyptian President.  I must say, while not agreeing with everything he has stated or believes, I have respect for this leader.

In Sunday’s New York Times comes the most revealing interview yet concerning the start of a new alignment of interests that Morsi will be forging with the United States.  Gone are the days of Egypt being servile to the whims and needs of the United Sates.  Money is not going to buy off the people who have been freed of an autocratic leader.

That is how it should be.

Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.

With passion, and a desire to see history move forward Morsi laid open in the interview the needs of Palestinians.

If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.

Arabs and Americans have “a shared objective, each to live free in their own land, according to their customs and values, in a fair and democratic fashion,” he said, adding that he hoped for “a harmonious, peaceful coexistence.”       

But he also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.       

“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.

There is a need to recalibrate our relations with the Middle East.  The fact that American money was used to buy autocratic leaders over the decades has not allowed for the best interests of the people who live there to be realized.  If there is contempt for the United States in the way we conducted our foreign policy card we can only look in the mirror to see who should be blamed.

No matter if one views Morsi as good or bad, there is no way to escape the fact he has to be respected for standing up on behalf of a nation that for too long was taken advantage of for our strategic needs.

While America has legitimate reasons to be engaged in the Middle East, and there are countless reasons our foreign aid dollars are meaningful and required, it is also a fact that our interests are not the primary ones.

The people who live in the Middle East come first.

And Egypt’s President, Mohamed Morsi, is reminding us of that fact.

Yes, he deserves our respect.

It is easy to see why there continues to be utter fascination with this historic land.

Trivia: Harry Truman’s Erectile Dysfunction

From President Kennedy’s White House tapes, that the general public will now be able to hear, comes this tidbit.

I can hear–as I type this post–my Mom asking (as she often did when I read some odd yet interesting article from history, and then shared it) “do we really need to know that”?  She was not talking about me personally sharing what I had just read or heard, but had a larger view that historians came to learn too much about “everything”.  She just thought some things should remain private about our leaders.

Even as a young person I was curious to know more–as much as the historians could uncover and analyze.

These Kennedy tapes are going to be fascinating to hear.  Many of them have been used for years by scholars and historians.  Now the general public will have their turn.

The tapes reveal that Kennedy talked several times with his predecessors about pressing issues of the day, including with Dwight D. Eisenhower about the Cuban missile crisis. But one conversation with Harry S. Truman veered in a surprisingly personal direction as they wrapped up a call in July 1963.       

“Well, you sound in good shape,” Kennedy said.       

“All right,” Truman replied. “The only trouble with me is that, the main difficulty I have, is keeping the wife satisfied.” Both men laughed.       

“Well, that’s all right,” Kennedy said.       

“Well, you know how that is,” Truman went on. “She’s very much afraid I’m going to hurt myself. Even though I’m not. She’s a tough bird.”       

Mr. Widmer, the historian, said he believed that Truman was talking about erectile dysfunction. “I wanted the book to have human moments,” he said.

Best Line From Sunday Newspapers Concerns Mitt Romney

This last line from columnist Steve Chapman, regarding the 47% fiasco this week from the Mitt Romney campaign is pitch-perfect.  After making point after point why the comment was fundamentally flawed–and Chapman is mostly conservative–comes this line.

The video offers an embarrassing show of ignorance from a candidate who sells himself as a hardheaded problem-solver. No one will be shocked to discover that Romney, like the Grinch, has a heart that is “two sizes too small.” But who would have guessed it’s bigger than his brain?

Elvis Presley Makes Sunday Morning News Program As GOP Talking Point

The King lives on.

Even as a talking point for Republicans.

GREGORY:  So what– what are the pillars of a second term for President Obama?

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  Well– well, first of all, there is no pillar of a second term.  He is, you know, I used the– the example in 2008 he was Elvis 1957.  2012, he’s looking more like Elvis in ‘77.  I mean he’s singing the old hits.

Bay Buchanan Has A Meltdown On Meet The Press

The performance by Bay Buchanan was not pretty this morning on Meet The Press.

I applaud loyal staff and advisors for political candidates.  They have to be front and center at the damnedest of times.  I understand that.

But there comes a line that should not be crossed when ones inability to see why a campaign is diving off a cliff is all the result of someone other than candidate.  Such was the case this morning when Buchanan took off after Joe Scarborough, and he punched back.

I think the Mitt Romney campaign should rein in Bay Buchanan as she is not serving his interests on national television.

MS. BUCHANAN:  And, you know, this– this is– this is just like four to one, I should be able to be allowed to speak, you know, for each one of these gentleman– these people here.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  Wait, wait, wait, wait…

MS. BUCHANAN:  …but let me– let me make something real clear here.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  …you don’t– you don’t– you don’t like a Margaret Thatcher fan or a Ronald Reagan fan?

MS. BUCHANAN:  Yeah.  Let– let me make– please, let me make a point here.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  Well, don’t– don’t put me as a four to one because I’m not.  I’m a small government conservative.

MS. BUCHANAN:  But, you know, Joe, on this set, you’re here today one of the four.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  I’m also with the Wall Street Journal editorial page.  I’m also with– with every conservative.

MS. BUCHANAN:  All right.  All right.  We know– we know that you…

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  I’m with Rush.

MS. BUCHANAN:  Yep.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  I’m with– you name the conservative…

MS. BUCHANAN:  Yes.  All right.

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  …they have my concern, Bay.  So please don’t characterize me as being one of these four.

MS. BUCHANAN:  Yes.  Okay.  Let me…

GREGORY:  Go ahead, Bay.

MS. BUCHANAN:  Let me– let me make a point.

MS. MYERS:  We’re not that bad.

MR. BROOKS:  What’s wrong with us?

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  I love them all, but I’m not one of them.

MS. BUCHANAN:  First of all– first of all, you know, to characterize the personal life of Mitt Romney as Dee Dee has is– is to show that she does not know the man, she does not know what he has done because this is a man…

MS. MYERS:  I should know what he’s done.

MS. BUCHANAN:  …this is a man who has spent a life in serving others.  That is the basis of what he believes, and he has given.

MS. MYERS:  I’m not questioning that, Bay.  That’s not my point.

MS. BUCHANAN:  …number two– no– yes, it’s exactly what you– number two– number two, we have a– we have– we are in perilous times in this country.  We are looking at financial ruin.  We are looking at dependency.  We’re a nation of people dependent on their government.  And what– that is what Barack Obama give us, and he promises more of that in four more years.  This election will decide if we take that path or with Mitt Romney.  If we take a path where we actually allow people, those who are troubled now, those who can’t make ends meet, those who are relying on food stamps to pay for their…

GREGORY:  Wait a minute.  They– these are– these are– excuse me, these– you can defend Governor Romney, that’s fine.  But they– this is– this is just– these are political talking points more than being responsive to some of the reality…

MS. BUCHANAN:  No.

GREGORY:  …the political reality.  We can show it on the screen.  The unfavorable ratings of Mitt Romney.  You’re a political professional.  You understand how campaigns operate.  If he– if people don’t know it, who bears the blame for that?  Look at his high unfavorable ratings at fifty percent, the highest of any candidate running in recent memory.  This is an image problem that his philosophical statements in this speech in May to fundraisers only exacerbates.

MS. BUCHANAN:  It’s because of the way it has been falsely interpreted, deliberately so, and I might add…

GREGORY:  By Da– by David Brooks, by– by Joe Scarborough– by Joe Scarborough, by the way?

(Cross talk)

MS. BUCHANAN:  But– but– the key is– the key is…

GREGORY:  Right.

(Cross talk)

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  No, no, I’m sorry.  I’ve got to cut this off.  David Brooks…

MS. BUCHANAN:  …the key here is which side are you on?  You are taking this country…

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  … Joe Scarborough, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, I can go on and on…

GREGORY:  Taking on…

MS. BUCHANAN:  Rush Limbaugh…

(Cross talk)

MR. SCARBOROUGH:  If you want to– if you– if you want to blame the media for Mitt Romney’s inept campaign– Peggy Noonan said it best; this is a nightmare of a campaign.  And the most troubling thing is it’s not the– a lot of Republicans don’t think he can win.  We do believe he– he can win.  But when he says he has no need to turn this campaign around, after a disastrous week where you see Ohio slipping away, Wisconsin slipping away, Iowa slipping away, Michigan slipping away, that is a political concern, not an ideological concern.  That is a political concern.

Giant Panda Cub Dies At National Zoo

The this past week there was much joy at the National Zoo over the birth of a giant panda cub.

Today there is sadness as the cub died.

The zoo said keepers heard “distressed vocalizations” from the female giant panda, Mei Xiang, at about 9:17 a.m. Sunday, and realized “this is not right, this is not good,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson.

The staff realized they had stopped hearing the cub’s healthy squealing, and managed to retrieve the cub from the den with a set of cushioned grabbers. Zoo veterinarians tried CPR on the cub, but the the animal could not be revived.

The cub was born almost exactly a week ago, at 10:46 p.m. last Sunday, to jubilation across the city.

It was the first giant panda cub born at the zoo since 2005.