Iranian negotiators in Lausanne, Switzerland have pulled what observers are calling a "bait-and-switch" by reneging on an earlier agreement to export their country's existing stockpile of highly enriched uranium. The New York Times calls the shift a "surprise" move on a "critical element" of the nuclear deal, but adds that "the Obama administration is expected to argue that it would not constitute a serious risk" to the deal if the stockpile is inspected by international monitors.
The news agency Agence France-Presse reports from Lausanne, Switzerland that Iran and the P5+1 powers (the five UN Security Council permanent members, plus Germany) have reached "provisional agreement" on the terms of nuclear deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that an emerging nuclear deal with Iran was "even worse" than Israel had feared, warning of a new Iranian "axis" that was "dangerous for all of humanity and which much be stopped."
The Iranian regime apparently believes it can extract additional concessions from world powers as the deadline for a March 31 deal approaches, according to a report by Bloomberg News from Lausanne, Switzerland. Iran wants UN sanctions to be lifted up front--not kept in place for several years while international monitors measure Iranian compliance, as the U.S. and other powers (Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany) have said was a non-negotiable provision.
Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a generous Republican donor and staunch supporter of Israel, has reportedly become "incensed" at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush over comments that a Bush foreign policy adviser made about Israel.
"An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents." Thus did Alexander Hamilton warn the American people, in Federalist No. 75, against allowing the president to make treaties alone.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to face harsh criticism, at home and abroad, for remarks he made on Election Day warning that Arabs were being bused to the polls and voting in large numbers, threatening the future of the right-wing government. Netanyahu has since apologized to the Arab community. From a purely political perspective, however, the only thing that matters is that he won. That raises the question: what if Republicans had done the same in 2008 and 2012?
Travel schedules of Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggest that the parties may gather for a "signing" ceremony on Sunday, March 29 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The news that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to be tried for desertion casts the 2014 prisoner swap in a new light. President Barack Obama traded five senior Taliban leaders, who had been imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, for Bergdahl--and did so without giving Congress 30 days' advance notice. In doing so, the Obama administration broke the law, according to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. That violation was not just a crime, but also, in context, a high crime.
Majorities of the 1,706 adults surveyed favor President Obama, like Obamacare, support amnesty, favor high taxes, and say government should redistribute wealth. Yet a 54% of Californians--and 44% of Democrats--say that the Keystone XL pipeline should be built, contrary to Obama's veto.
Iran is refusing to commit to a written nuclear deal ahead of the March 31 deadline that American officials had touted for a general framework to be signed, the New York Times reports.
Former Florida governor and putative presidential candidate Jeb Bush distanced himself from newly-appointed foreign policy adviser James A. Baker III on the matter of U.S. policy towards Israel, according to a report in Politico Tuesday.
Tweet your latest selfie from a #BlackLivesMatter protest. Go to Starbucks and order a "tall blonde, black" and engage your barista in a serious conversation about race. Once you're feeling suitably guilty--or adequately entitled--head over to your local movie theater, and go see Get Hard, the new comedy out Mar. 27 featuring Will Farrell and Kevin Hart--preferably after midnight, when the audience will be (ahem) more inclined to talk back to the screen. And laugh the P.C. police away.
Jerry Brown is "starting to look good to Democrats," according to MarketWatch, citing the fourth-term California governor as a potential presidential alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016. "The 76-year-old governor of California wowed the politicos with his appearance on NBC’s 'Meet the Press' on Sunday. He was passionate, sharp and didn’t speak in code."
Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a foreign policy adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening at the Washington gala dinner for J Street, a Soros-funded left-wing group that is devoted to disrupting the close U.S.-Israel alliance. Baker said that Netanyahu had been too forceful in his opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran, and that he had shown insufficient commitment to peace with the Palestinians.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonoough earned raucous cheers from the left-wing activists gathered at J Street's fifth annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday when he attacked Israel's occupation of the West Bank. "An occupation that has lasted almost 50 years must end," he said. J Street was founded to disrupt the close U.S.-Israel alliance and to serve as an alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the powerful pro-Israel group.
Some Democrats are desperately searching for an alternative to Hillary Clinton, who still leads the polls but has drawn little enthusiasm from the media and the party's "progressive activists." Dennis Lennox, an opinion columnist for the Central Michigan Morning Sun, says that California Gov. Jerry Brown is the party's ultimate fallback option--except for the fact that he is "bald, old (76), and white." Lennox notes that the Republican candidates are younger and more diverse.
367 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent President Barack Obama a letter expressing concern about the ongoing negotiations with Iran towards a nuclear deal that would keep its nuclear infrastructure in place, as the regime continues to hide information about its nuclear program from international inspectors. Unlike a recent letter sent by 47 Senators to the Iranian leadership, this letter is bipartisan, and more diplomatic--but no less opposed to a "bad deal."
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) took Tea Party stalwart Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to task for his criticism of liberal Jews: "I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president. They’re knee-jerk supporters of the president’s policy." The context was the decision of several dozen Democrats, including some Jews, to boycott the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress.
NBC News' Chuck Todd surely knew what he was doing on Sunday morning's edition of Meet the Press, when he invited California Gov. Jerry Brown to respond to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's recent comments on climate change. Todd has long been enthusiastic about the prospects of a Brown run at the presidency in 2016. And Cruz, the scourge of the Beltway establishment, would be a great ideological foil for a contest more interesting than a Bush-vs.-Clinton dynastic rematch.
Famed defense attorney and retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz ripped President Barack Obama in an address to a conference of pro-Israel activists in Los Angeles on Saturday evening. Dershowitz, who backed Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, expressed strong disappointment with President Obama's recent treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the weak negotiating posture of the Obama administration in talks with Iran.
California Governor Jerry Brown blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday for his recent comments on climate change, calling the Tea Party favority "unfit to run for office." Cruz had challenged late night host Seth Myers' assertion that 2014 had been the "hottest year on record," arguing that the data on temperature told a different story. Meet the Press host Chuck Todd played the clip for Brown, who responded by calling Cruz "unfit to run for office."
California Gov. Jerry Brown has not (yet) entered the race for President of the United States in 2016, but he laid out a three-point presidential agenda in an appearance on NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday morning. Brown, who told host Chuck Todd that he would run if he were ten years younger (he is 76), said that the presidential candidates for 2016 must balance the federal budget; confront climate change, and fund science and education as part of a "positive" agenda.
The emergence of the Freedom Caucus among House Republicans comes as something of a pleasant shock. The organization, headed by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), will act as a kind of friendly conservative opposition within the overall GOP caucus to hold members and leadership accountable to the mandate they received from voters--and to prevent the repeat of past negotiating collapses.
The Obama administration is using Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remark on the campaign trail about the impossibility of a Palestinian state as an excuse to increase diplomatic pressure on Israel for deep concessions at the UN. Though Netanyahu has made efforts to smooth over the dispute, the White House is refusing to forgive him, suggesting that it is pursuing a plan for retribution, regardless. The result will be to deny Israel strategic depth as it faces new threats.
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