Saturday, July 10, 2010

Quick Hits: Volume V

-America's strong bond with Israel, the lone western outpost in the Middle East, has been a staple of every Presidential administration (Republican and Democrat) since the very beginning in 1948.

Ahhh, but the Obama administration is like no other, and not in a good way. It's been no secret that the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not see eye-to-eye over Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In fact, when Netanyahu visited Washington a few months ago, he was not so subtly snubbed by the President. As a result, the Obama administration's approval ratings with Israelis are sinking like a stone.

In a recent interview with the Israeli Prime Minister, CBS news anchor Katie Couric practically pleaded with Netanyahu to vouch for Obama.

"To change public opinion in your country, should you be more strongly advocating on his behalf?"

Couric preceded that question by citing a recent poll of Israelis, which she seemed perplexed by: "Can you explain this to me, then? In a poll conducted a month ago – just a month ago – 71 percent of the Jews in Israel surveyed said they dislike President Obama; 47 percent expressed a strong dislike."

Earlier in the interview, Couric tried to gauge Netanyahu's feelings toward Obama: "Do you trust Barack Obama?...surely there have been disappointments with the Obama administration. Can you just be candid with me and tell me how the administration has disappointed you?" While Couric asked about Israeli "disappointments" with Obama, she never cited any specific Obama administration policies or actions as the cause of those disappointments.

Of course not. That would entail pointing out something which is not the fault of George W. Bush.

-I'll admit it. I watched the ESPN special program Thursday evening where NBA star LeBron James announced he would be signing a free agent contract with the Miami Heat. This means James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, his hometown team an the only franchise for which he has ever played. As a result, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was less than kind in his feelings regarding James' departure.

"He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."

Gilbert feels James quit on the Cavs during their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit to eliminate Cleveland.

"He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar."

I guess I have one question: Why in the world was Cleveland so hell bent on re-signing LeBron James if he "quit" on the franchise in a pivotal playoff series? It appeared LeBron was good enough to return to the Cavs during the free agency period which began July 1. But now that he's left, it's as if James wasn't worthy to don the uniform of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But I digress.

I have already contacted my friends Joy & Andrew, who are season ticket holders for the Timberwolves. I asked that they keep me in mind if indeed they are out of town during the Miami Heat's one visit to Target Center.


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