Today's Blogs

Confusion in Israel

On a day of mixed news from Israel, bloggers are debating what direction Palestinian-Israeli relations will go. They’re also wondering about the implications of Hillary Clinton hiring a blogger and why Rush Limbaugh just can’t seem to get prescription drugs the normal way.

Confusion in Israel: In a day of maddening contradictions, militant Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah agreed to “implicitly” recognize Israel (though Hamas sees it differently), while Israel began gearing up for a military operation to rescue an abducted soldier. Bloggers, ever the pessimistic bunch, are questioning whether there was any hope that progress could emerge.

On Rubber Hose, liberal blogger Upyernoz thinks that the recognition of Israel is a non-starter because Mahmoud Abbas basically forced Hamas to sign the document. Intelligence expert retired Col. W. Patrick Lang is also skeptical, suggesting on Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006 that readers “Watch for some sort of tricky language which will seek to ‘stroke’ the Americans and the Israelis into the somnolence of self deception.” Meryl Yourish, a conservative Virginian who blogs about Jewish issues, agrees, saying, “This document has nothing to do with recognizing Israel, calls for nothing peaceful, and will not lead to peace between anyone but Fatah and Hamas, and that only until the factions decide they’re done with the document and start shooting again.”

Some bloggers, not surprisingly, are unhappy with the media coverage. On prominent conservative blog Little Green Footballs, Charles Johnson accuses the mainstream media of burying the truth. Cuanas’ Pastorius is particularly upset about the use of the word implicitly. “Why would the news media lie like this? Is it because they want peace so badly that they are willing to lie to themselves?” he questions. Group blog Running Scared’s One True Tami laments the “complete disconnect of the news coming from the leaders from the news coming from the people themselves.”

But on Black Iris, Naseem Tarawnah, a Jordanian man, is looking at it all from a different perspective. “The question now is whether Israel will recognize Palestine … or Palestinians for that matter,” he wonders.

Read more about Hamas “recognizing” Israel. In Slate in January, Scott MacMillan addressed the idea of “civilizing” Hamas.

Hillary plugs in: Possible presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton has hiredSalon blogger Peter Daou to help her speak to the Internet masses. Daou also worked on Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Bloggers, few of whom sport “Vote for Hillary” bumper stickers, are wondering whether the move will help her win over the cyber crowd.

In a goodbye post on Daou Report, Clinton’s newest cheerleader trumpets the “endless possibilities for Clinton-netroots collaborations” and declares himself “thrilled about Senator Clinton’s interest in building this bridge with the online community.” On The Fix, a Washington Post blog, Chris Cillizza declares the move “a major coup” for Clinton and expects more candidates to follow her lead.

On 2008 Political Perspective, Justin Ready, the legislative director for J.B. Jennings in the Maryland House of Delegates, sees Daou’s hiring as a sign that Clinton “is going to actually have to court her liberal base.” But Riehl World View’s conservative Dan Riehl, a marketing and sales director, hopes that this move could split the liberal blogosphere in half by diverting readers from the scandal-plagued Daily Kos.

And law professor Ann Althouse is amused by the circular nature of the blogging game: “Nowadays, you have to hire a blogger to fend off the bloggers. This blogging game is playing out nicely.”

Read more about Hillary Clinton’s new hire. In January, Slate’s Jack Shafer warned about the dangers of blog overkill.

Little blue ills: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was detained at an airport for being in possession of Viagra without a prescription, just two months after he negotiated a deal with Florida prosecutors about his abuse of prescription painkillers.

On The Republic of T, liberal Terrance notes that Limbaugh was on his way home from the Dominican Republic and asks, “What was Rush doing with a Viagra prescription in a country that one christian aid organization described as having the highest number of people working in the world working in the sex trade, including children?” On the lefty AMERCICAblog, John in DC agrees that something fishy is afoot.

Taking advantage of the comic opportunities, progressive site Tennessee Guerrilla Women’s egaglia chuckles, “Who knew, karma had such a mean feminist streak?” and Hoosierplew makes the joke we were all thinking.

In a show of bipartisan spirit, Atrios isn’t passing judgment and says that it could all be above board, in which case, “Grabbing people in airports ‘cause they have a bottle of Viagra is pretty silly, assuming that’s all it was about.” Whatever the case may be, at least Limbaugh himself is joking about it, and The Media Crunch has the audio clips to prove it.

Read more about Limbaugh’s Viagra.