Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

Is GOP Walking Into Immigration Trap?

Michelle Bachmann is one of those Republican firebrands who will keep Hispanics voting in the Democratic column for a long time.

Will Iran Deal Be DOA On Capitol Hill?

The old saying that goes: Those who know don’t say. Those who say don’t know.

It is a fitting response to all the public speculation about what will come out of the Iranian nuclear negotiations that are supposed to be completed by November 24.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as gone into overdrive in messages to leaders trying to hammer out a deal with Tehran: the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, German and the European Union.

How Did The Find Out: Israel Behind 9/11

We've been hearing it for more than 13 years, and the story is still making the rounds.  The latest comes from an American-educated Saudi professor, Dr. Sami S. Habib.  In an interview with Saudi Arabia's Iqraa TV last month he said Israel was not only responsible for 9/11 but also for " all the crises of the Arab and Muslim world." 

"It's all part of a Zionist plot "to divide the already divided Arab world," he revealed, according to translations of the interview by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Herding Cats

After Trent Lott left the Senate to get rich as a K Street lobbyist he wrote a book about his days as Senate Majority Leader. The Mississippi Republican aptly named his memoir "Herding Cats."

As Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) looks ahead to leading Senate Republicans in January he may feel Lott understated the challenge.  He not only inherits the likes of Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, but there's a colorful new crop in his herd that will give him headaches as well.

Fatah-Hamas Marriage On The Rocks

The dysfunctional marriage of Fatah and Hamas is in danger of exploding, literally.

A series of coordinated bomb attacks Friday on the homes and cars of at least 10 Fatah officials in Hamas controlled Gaza sparked new tensions between the rival factions.

US-Israel In Crisis? Not Yet. Stay Tuned

A Wall Street Journal interviewer this week declared "the US-Israel relationship has hit new lows in the Obama era." 

If she had bothered reading this blog or my Washington Watch column, or had she even done a little bit research she'd have known better.

Worst Ever? Not Quite

There's much talk about how relations between the United States and Israel, especially between the two leaders, are worse than ever. 

Not quite.  For all the personal animus between Barack Obama and Bibi Netanyahu, and there certainly is a lot of it, they are at least still speaking to each other, which is more than could be said of George H.W.Bush and Yitzhak Shamir.  President Bush felt the prime minister had lied to him and refused to take his phone calls for quite a while.

Learning To Play Well With Others

When Bibi Netanyahu was in grade school, his teachers probably did not check the box on his report card where it said, "plays well with others."  He has a long history of clashes with political colleagues and others.  Two of his stronger critics and rivals inside his own Cabinet and are former senior aides who broke with him.

So it comes as no surprise that he also has a long history of difficulty in getting along with foreign leaders – French, German and British but most notably Americans.

A Long, Empty Campaign Ending -- Finally

Another long national nightmare -- the 2014 campaigns -- is almost over.  And it demonstrates once again, as H.L. Mencken said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."  One of the most amazing things about the record amount of spending in this campaign year is how little was devoted to substantive discussion of issues. 

No Billionaire Left Behind

By day he is warning fellow Democrats that if Republicans win control of both chambers in November they'll put the interests of billionaires ahead of the middle class, and by night he has been fundraising among the super-wealthy who pay tens of thousands of dollars a plate to dine with him.

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