Halli Casser-Jayne is the co-host of The Halli and MoJoe Show on BlogTalkRadio dot com and the author of A Year in My Pajamas with President Obama, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows, which takes a provocative, fun, thoughtful look at Election 2008 through the creative eyes of an author with a sassy and distinctive voice. There are many President Obama books, but none quite like this one! Look for her forthcoming novel, Scout Finch's Diary scheduled for an October 2011 release.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sticking it to President Obama with the announcement that Israeli would be expanding the Gilo settlement in Jerusalem (See: below), it should be pointed out that he was also sending a very important message to the Palestinians.

Netanyahu has said all along that he wants to negotiate with the Palestinians. He wants to sit down for talks without pre-conditions. Of course, we all know that President Obama and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have insisted on a complete halt of expansion of Israeli settlements in order to appease the Palestinians and Arab putting the oil-pressure on the U.S., as a pre-condition to talks.

But Netanyahu didn't give Obama what he wanted. He gave a lot, but it wasn't enough for Abbas or Obama.

So, Bibi announced that Israel would be expanding settlements in Gilo, located in East Jerusalem. This sent the American President into apoplexy. The infuriated Abbas now wants to declare a Palestinian State without the Israeli's agreement.

While you can be sure that Jewish haters in the UN might sanction such a move, most won't as it would completely eradicate the notion that the world body garners any significance.

The U.S., despite its "dismay" at Netanyahu's announcement, immediately said it would not.

So here's the bottom line: Bibi's message to Abbas is that the more the Palestinian's delay sitting down with Israel for talks, the less there will be to talk about. You can just hear Netanyahu saying: We will grow and your dream will shrink.

Are you listening Abbas? Obama?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proved to the world Jewish community that President Barack Obama is no friend of Israel's. And the media seems to have missed what may be the most outrageous behavior of Obama's since becoming the President of the United States.

When Israel announced that it would move forward with the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem, it knew full-well what Obama's reaction would be. The president went apoplectic.

Netanyahu's announcement on Gilo was Bibi's version of giving President Obama the finger. It was also Netanyahu's way of sending the signal that he thinks that POTUS is weak and can easily be trifled with.

But, more importantly, Netanyahu was showing the world Jewish community exactly where Obama stands in terms of his support of Israel.

True, the United States has never formally accepted Jerusalem as Israel's capitol, or formally accepted the unification of the city that was made possible by the Six-Day War. As much as the U.S. routinely protested settlement-building in the West Bank, it never made an issue about expanding neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

There stood a tacit agreement between Israel and its U.S. ally that Jerusalem was off the table as a bargaining chip between Israel and the Palestinians. And that’s where Obama parts company with his predecessors.

Which is why Netanyahu did what he did after his disastrous meeting with Obama last week in which POTUS apparently told the Prime Minister of Israel that he would no longer stand with Israel on ANY issue, including Jerusalem. The U.S. was now fully-backing the Palestinians...unless (my guess, of course) Netanyahu completely stopped the expansion of all settlements in the West Bank.

Netanyahu refused to budge and the Gilo announcement was the result of the outrageous pressure Obama has consistently placed on Israel while making ZERO demands on the Palestinians since becoming president.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the issue of expansion in the West Bank or in Jerusalem, one should be concerned over Obama's bullying of a long-time ally. Obama is not a mediator in this fight; he has taken the side of Israel's enemies: The Arabs (for oil), The Palestinians (to assuage al Qaeda), and in a de facto way, The Iranians (out of fear), by giving them the gift of time.

A couple of weeks ago, NY Times writer Tom Freidman suggested that everyone should stop trying to mediate an end to the conflict between the Israeli's and Palestinians. His reason: the two parties weren't ready for a solution. I don't think this is true of the Israeli's. They have bent over backwards to make concessions to no avail.

One thing is certain, there can be no solution with the wrong mediator leading the negotiations, and that is absolutely, what we have here.

It is for this reason that if I were Netanyahu I would refuse to further conversations with Obama at the helm. But since, of course, this is unrealistic, Netanyahu instead gave the president of the United States the finger in his announcement that Israel would begin the expansion of Gilo.

After all, what could POTUS do? Have his press secretary come down on Israel? And that's exactly what Robert Gibbs did do.

But now Jews worldwide know exactly where President Obama stands. And it is not with Israel.

UPDATE: Iran says no to sending uranium abroad.

Halli Casser-Jayne is the author of A YEAR IN MY PAJAMAS WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, The Politics of Strange Bedfellows. You can read more of her opinions @ http://www.thecjpoliticalreport.com
c. 2009 Reprints with permission.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Prettier than a political figure ought to be, Sarah Palin all but took off her glasses in an interesting but hardly seminal interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Oddly, it was as much Winfrey's interview as Palin's. And Winfrey seemed as taken with Gov. Palin as Palin’s conservative followers are.

But don’t kid yourselves; just as Sarah Palin was on Oprah Winfrey’s stage trying to rehabilitate her image with the American public, Winfrey was there to do the same. In fact, she started off her interview asking Palin if she had  felt snubbed by Winfrey during the elections and qualifying why Oprah had not interviewed Palin or Hillary Clinton during those contentious days.

Winfrey, of course, had not only endorsed then candidate Barack Obama for the post of president, but had actively campaigned for him. Winfrey stated her reason for not interviewing the other candidates  saying that since she had gone public with her Obama endorsement, she didn’t feel she should interview the other candidates.

Winfrey, did, however, turn her celebrated talk show into a platform for Barack Obama. But her ratings following the election took a decided hit. Many women didn’t cotton to Winfrey forcing her political views on them and some were upset that Winfrey hadn't backed either of the women candidates.

So Winfrey and Palin chatted away on today’s show, both seeking to rehabilitate themselves with their respective audiences, tackling an array of subjects from the aforementioned Oprah snub to whether Palin felt qualified for the job of vice-president – she never questioned her ability to do the job – to her teenage daughter’s pregnancy – Palin admits she wasn’t happy about the pregnancy as if any mother would be – to the now infamous Katie Couric interview that brought down Palin in the public’s eyes – Palin thought Couric was out to get her – to her learning that the child she was carrying was a Downe Syndrome child.

It was here Winfrey failed her audience. Palin was honest in saying what a trauma it had been to learn that she was carrying a special needs child. She admitted to experiencing a moment when she understood why a woman in that position would consider taking “the easy way out.” Winfrey didn’t press Palin, rabidly anti-abortion, any further.

Too bad, as the subject of abortion is very much on American’s minds these days with the Stupak Amendment to the health care bill, the most radical anti-abortion legislation in decades.

And didn’t the viewers want at least a taste of Palin’s intellect? In the spirit of the softball interview that it was – Winfrey suddenly the champion of women political candidates after the election that had two women running for the top political tickets without the talk show host’s endorsement – didn’t throw the curve.

Instead, Mary Hart Winfrey turned the conversation to Palin’s hunk of a husband, Todd. And then moved on to the must-ask question considering all the publicity he’s been getting, to the father of her grandchild, Levi Johnston, about to bare it all in Playgirl.

Although at first she said she wouldn’t talk about Johnston, who has been on a rampage against all things Palin since he and Bristol broke-up, she apparently couldn’t help herself and took Oprah’s bait, calling Johnston, first, “Ricky Hollywood,” and then “an aspiring Porn” star. I can just imagine Trip watching that footage in his teen years. Oy!

Of course, there was the proverbial footage of Palin being ‘just a mom,’ shuttling her daughter Piper trick-or-treating followed by footage of Palin working-out, then Palin making caramel apples with her kids. Yes, Sarah, we get it. You are not a bad mommy even though your teenage daughter was sexually active in high school and bore a child out-of-wedlock. By the way, the Palin’s two youngest daughters were in the audience – as props? – as the cameras recorded the adorable girls for all the world to see.

On the subject of losing the election, Palin admitted to disappointment, particularly since the McCain campaign wouldn’t give her a voice following McCain’s concession speech. Of course, who wouldn’t be disappointed? She said she so wanted to voice her hope that at the end of the day all American’s would come together in a bi-partisan love-fest, fat chance in these times, thanks, to Palin and the rest of our current cast of politicians.

Winfrey asked why Palin had quit her job as Alaska Governor. Palin suggested that it was impossible for her to do her job as she had prior to being named McCain’s running-mate, what with "Obama’s opposition researchers" up in Alaska looking for everything they could get on Palin. Of course, there are many governors who have lost national elections in America’s history and successfully fulfilled their obligation to their states.

Palin quoted her dad to help make her case for resigning from the governorship: “She’s not retreating, she’s reloading,” she quoted her father as having said.

And then, the question that everyone was waiting for, which, of course, Palin, would never answer honestly. “Have you given any thought to running for president in 2012?”
Blessed with a gorgeous smile, Sarah used it to her best advantage, but for those glasses, we missed the twinkle in her eye.

“You don’t need a title to make a difference,” the future Oprah? said.

Palin has yet to prove she's ready for political prime-time.