Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu has scheduled a visit to the United States on March 3rd, two weeks before the Israeli elections. Its highlight would be a speech at a joint session of the new Republican Congress, reportedly urging harder sanctions on Iran, at a time when the White House is negotiating an easing of sanctions in return for more rigorous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.
Netanyahu has made arrangements with Congress Majority leader Boehner. He has not bothered to notify the White House before scheduling his visit. As a previous diary has discussed, it is one thing to have a disagreement with a branch of a foreign government. It is quite another to tell the president of your closest ally that you consider him irrelevant. There is no precedent for such an action, and the White House is not amused.
Apropos of the "cliff" negotiations. When someone makes you an unacceptable offer, do you cower? Or do you push back?
I just had to get these off my chest. You just have to read them, because they are TRUE:
Good news and bad news. The good news is national, and you've heard it if you're not deaf. In the congressional elections things have been surprisingly tight across the country. Three particularly galling results from California:
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall made history by becoming the first black Supreme Court judge, and a very liberal one at that.
24 years later, in 1991, Clarence Thomas, an arch-conservative black man (of meager qualifications and questionable ethics), found his way to the Supreme Court.
In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro made history by becoming the first woman chosen as a VP candidate of a major party, on the Democratic party ticket.
24 years later, in 2008, Sarah Palin, an arch-conservative woman (of meager qualifications and questionable ethics) was picked for the Republican VP ticket.
Pretty original, huh?
In 2011, 24 years after Barney Frank came out as gay, some Republican congressman (of meager qualifications and questionable ethics?) will doubtlessly do the same.
I've been hearing all kinds of narratives here. People here are the Obama cult. People here are thoughtful and intellectual. People here think both leading candidates would be great presidents. People here won't vote for anyone but Edwards. People here...
Enough. I need a poll to satisfy my curiosity.