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North Idaho freeway becomes site of billboard battle over aid to Israel

An 8-mile section of I-90 in North Idaho has become the unlikely scene for a billboard battle over U.S. aid to Israel, now that a billboard in Coeur d’Alene criticizing U.S. military aid to Israel has prompted a second billboard to go up Tuesday in Post Falls celebrating the alliance. Spokesman-Review reporter Scott Maben reports that foreign policy feels out of place on the stretch of freeway, where advertisements normally highlight pickup trucks, lottery jackpots and tribal casinos.

The first billboard, which suggests the money would be better spent at home, also is upsetting to some in the area’s Jewish community, in part because it went up right before the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. You can read Maben's full story here at spokesman.com. Two groups that helped fund the differing billboards are engaged in similar billboard battles across the country.

Marc: The Water’s Edge

Marc Johnson of The Johnson report sez Republican Mitt Romney would have been wise to heed the advice of Arthur Vandenberg, a Republican U.S. senator from Michigan who helped Harry Truman pass the Marshall Plan and believed "Politics stop at the water's edge." More from Marc: "Romney has spent most of today cleaning up after a statement he issued too quickly and without all the facts as the awful events in Libya were spinning out of control late yesterday.  His midnight statement condemning the Obama Administration is being widely regarded as an amazing piece of amateur hour time for someone who hopes to be Commander-in-Chief. Ronald Reagan’s gifted speechwriter Peggy Noonan said Romney wasn’t doing himself any favors with his hair trigger attack." More here.

Question: Is a bipartisan approach to foreign policy in this day when the extremes of both parties push away from consensus and compromise?

Where Have All Serious Repubs Gone?

Of all the potential contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, Romney, who was a moderate governor of the state that once was the bastion of what the legendary Washington journalist and snob Joseph Alsop referred to as the “WASP ascendancy,” might seem like the most logical candidate to restore the traditions of pragmatic Republican internationalism after the neoconservative domination of the past decade. Instead, he has offered a potent reminder that anyone serious about seeking the nomination of today’s Republican Party has to establish his or her right-wing bona fides on foreign policy by acting as though Russia — not to mention the State Department and the CIA — remains an enemy of the United States/Jacob Heilbrunn, Foreign Policy. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Will the push to the right destroy the National Republican Party? Or energize it?

Victory in Afghanistan?

Good morning, Netizens…

I have read rather extensively about life in Afghanistan from a remarkable number of scholarly authors, and in each new book I have read, I have heard how culturally isolated the entire country lives. If you take the modern-day convenience such as television, and compare the number of televisions per citizen, you will realize that once you leave the major cities, televisions, and thus from them, news reports are at best, word-of-mouth. Thus you will see how the people live.

Thus, David Horsey’s cartoon this morning is closer to reality than perhaps we might think.

Then you add the rugged terrain, the number of times Western Civilization has broken promises to the Afghanis and the number of countries who have attempted to defeat them in war unsuccessfully, and then add their dismal employment numbers, you have a country that truly is living in midieval times.

What is truly frightening, however, is through their neighbor Pakistan, they may gain access to atomic weaponry. Stone-age cultures should never have access to such things. Of course, since I cannot speak for the US State Department, and thus speaking from my own opinion, your results may differ.

Dave

The Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Good morning, Netizens…

What is the light at the end of the tunnel in Afghanistan?

Some say it is the elimination of the Taliban. Several nations have made valiant attempts at rescuing Afghanistan from itself and failed. Although President Obama inherited the war in Afghanistan, is there a clear pathway leading us to closure there?

Have we started a war with no logical end, or is Afghanistan the modern-day version of Vietnam?

Dave