Douglas Bloomfield's blog

Rubio Makes Holy Land Pilgrimage

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) packed his water bottle and jetted off to the Promised Land this weekend where he plans to visit both banks of the River Jordan in his quest for the Holy Grail:  his party’s presidential nomination.

Such pilgrimages to the Holy Land have become required stops for politicians with serious White House ambitions. George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made pre-nomination trips along with crowds of rivals and also-rans who never even made it past their parties’ primaries.

Obama Needs To Talk Tachlis With Abbas

When Barack Obama goes to Ramallah next month he needs to probe whether the Palestinian president is looking for opportunities to make peace or excuses to avoid it by injecting new demands and racist invective.

Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday, March 20 and spends the whole day there before going to Ramallah the next morning to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  He is scheduled to return to Jerusalem by noon for more meetings and a major speech; he flies to Jordan Friday afternoon.

Sherman Bumped Again

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) may be popular among constituents in the San Fernando Valley but the same can't be said regarding his colleagues on Capitol Hill, especially on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and in the Democratic leadership.

Lieberman, To Get Job Back, Must Stay Out Of Jail

Avigdor Lieberman, who was forced to resign as foreign minister when he was indicted for fraud and corruption, wants his old job back, and he can have it if he stays out of the slammer, Israeli media are reporting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will hold the portfolio until his Yisrael Beiteinu partner is exonerated. 

Lieberman earlier told Israel's Channel 2, "This was a done deal before the elections."

Obama To Visit Israel Before Pesach

Barack Obama phoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tell him he plans to make his first trip to Israel as president this spring, the White House announced Tuesday morning. 

The trip reportedly will begin March 20, just before Pesach, which begins five days later, will be an "opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds" between the two countries, said White House press secretary Jay Carney. Details will be announced in coming weeks, he added.  The President is expected to visit Palestinian leaders in Ramallah as well.

Space Nuts

Finally, there's some good news out of Iran.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has volunteered to become the first Persian man in space following what his government claimed last week was the successful launch and recovery of a monkey.  

High Hopes, Low Expectations

President Shimon Peres is expected to ask Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend to form a new government in the wake of last month's Israeli elections.  That election won't bring peace with the Palestinians any closer -- it wasn't even an issue except for two small parties -- but it could keep peace from slipping even farther away.

Hagel Faces Flack, Affirms Strong Support For Israel

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel kicked off his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee to be the first enlisted man – a decorated, wounded Vietnam veteran – to lead the Department of Defense declaring his strong support for Israel and his willingness to use force to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. 

Sorry Barney, It's Mo

Former Congressman Barney Frank is the first person I can recall who publicly lobbied to be appointed for a temporary appointment to the U.S. Senate, and it didn't work.

Frank, who retired this month after 16 terms in the House, was one of the most outspoken, colorful, liberal and smartest people on Capitol Hill. He said he would have the advantage of being well versed on all the issues as well as the legislative process, and he wasn't interested in running for a full term.

Senate Confirms Kerry

Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) will finally get the job he has wanted for a very long time.  On Tuesday afternoon the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was confirmed overwhelmingly by the Senate to be the next secretary of state. He could be sworn in as early as Wednesday to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The vote was 93-3 and the only opposition came from Republican Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas.

Syndicate content