Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

What Is McCain’s Real Egypt Agenda?

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) wants to halt all U.S. economic and military aid to Egypt until that country adopts a new constitution and holds “free and fair elections” for a new president, which could take many months or even years.

Is he serious or just being his usual contrarian self, opposing whatever President Obama is doing, regardless of merit?

Egyptian Democracy: Retreating Or Advancing?

As Egypt’s revolution lurches on, this week’s military takeover could wind up doing more to reverse the trend toward Islamization and set that country on the course of democracy than the continued rule of its first democratically elected president, the deposed Mohamed Morsi.

Boehner’s Dilemma: Make History Or Be History

Congressional Republicans sometimes resemble a circular firing squad.  That's on display these days as libertarians, tea partiers, religious conservatives, pro-business fiscal conservatives, old-guard GOP’ers, some lonely moderates, assorted wingnuts and a perplexed leadership try to deal with immigration reform.

Playing the Blame Game

To no one's surprise -- except possibly his own – John Kerry couldn’t get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to sit down with one another this week.  He and Jordanian King Abdullah II had worked hard to get them to meet in Amman.

Egypt: Great Expectations Bring Great Disappointment

A year after his resounding victory in Egypt’s first democratic election, President Mohamed Morsi has fled the Presidential Palace and gone into hiding out of fear that the protesters in Tahrir Square want his head.  Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are holding demonstrations around the country this weekend, and once again the epicenter is Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the starting point of the revolution that drove out longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Is Bibi Turning Dovish?

If the Palestinians can't make peace with each other, how can they make peace with Israel?  Fatah said it supports the two-state approach while Hamas opposes any Jewish state.

Will Obama & GOP Play Good-Cop-Bad-Cop With Iran?

While the United States and its allies test the newly elected Iranian president for any change in that country’s nuclear ambitions, the Obama administration has rejected Tehran’s calls for easing sanctions as a down payment for negotiations.

The administration is hanging tough on that one and can count on more than full backing from the Congress.  Friction may come, however, if Obama decides to delay implementation of new sanctions to test the government of Hassan Rowhani, who takes office in early August.

Egyptian Tourism Tzoris

UPDATE --  The Islamist radical President Morsi appointed governor of tourism-center Luxor, Adel el-Khayat, resigned in the wake of intense public criticism that he was unfit for the job. The ultra-conservative el-Khayat is a member of a terrorist group that murdered 58 tourists at the 3,400-year-old Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor in 1997.  With a touch or irony that clearly went right past him, el-Khayat  said he resigned  to prevent "bloodshed."  

Sometimes the worst wounds are self-inflicted. 

Could Bank Of Israel Governor Come To The Fed?

While many of the world's economies were tanking during the great recession that began during the Bush administration, Israel's seemed to be one of the strongest and grew when others were shrinking.

Much of the credit for that performance has been given to Stanley Fisher, the retiring Bank of Israel governor. He is being mentioned now as a possible success to his former MIT doctoral student Ben Bernanke, when his term as chairman of the Federal Reserve ends early next year.

Game Changer: Too Little, Too Late?

A day after Bill Clinton said staying out of Syria is a mistake and called for greater American intervention, the White House announced President Barack Obama has concluded that Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons, including sarin nerve gas, against his own people and it is time to begin arming the rebels.

But after more than a year of hesitation while his State Department, Pentagon and CIA have urged a more robust involvement, Obama’s decision could be too little too late.

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