Political Insider

A look behind the scenes in the political world

How Much US Aid Does Israel Need?

Does Israel really need $3.4 billion in U.S. aid grants this year when it has one of the strongest economies in that part of the world? That is the question raised in a report by NBC News's longtime Israel-based correspondent Martin Fletcher.

The Israeli Finance Ministry is predicting Israel's economy will expand by 3.5% this year and next.  By contrast, economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal predicted 2.4 percent growth for the United States.

An Unholy Alliance

What do Iran, Syria, North Korea, half the U.S. Senate and the National Rifle Association have in common?

That unholy quintet is adamantly opposed to any restrictions on selling arms to anyone anywhere in the world – be they terrorist organizations, tyrannical regimes or organized crime -- who wants them: no principles, no qualms, no regrets.  

Guns And Blather

When it comes to protecting constituents over protecting the NRA and the gun industry, at least 14 senators – all Republicans -- have lined up with the gun lobby to block any legislation that might make it tougher for the wrong people to stock up on AK-47s, Bushmasters and megaclips of ammo.  Despite polls consistently showing overwhelming majorities of Americans – including Republicans and gun owners – want effective background checks and other measures, their loyalty lies elsewhere.

Richard Milhous McConnell

When caught in a meeting with campaign ads plotting ways to smear a potential opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reacted with typical Nixonian double-speak by claiming to be the victim of a liberal plot. 

On Second Thought

President Obama had to apologize this week to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for calling her the best looking attorney general in the country.  Some folks thought he was being sexist, but could it have been that Eric Holder was offended and sulking in his office at the Justice Department?

GOP At War With Itself

Republicans are struggling to get away from a reputation that one of their own, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, pinned on them:  "the stupid party."  Having lost more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in the last election, they have dropped their opposition to comprehensive immigration reform in the Congress, but the party remains divided between those who insist the focus on immigration should be greater border security and those who seek a way to integrate the millions who are already here and help the find a path to citizenship. 

Look Who's Off And Running For 2016

One of my all time favorite political cartoons showed a forest of snow-laden maple trees with taps and buckets for collecting the run off and each bearing a poster saying, "Yorty for President" for the presidential campaign then-Mayor of Los Angeles Sam Yorty.  The caption read, "The sap is running in New Hampshire."

Daily Show Zings Morsi

When dictators start jailing their critics -- the latest are Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas -- they destroy any claim to believing in freedom and democracy.

All But One Jewish Lawmakers Back Same-Sex Marriage

Jewish backing for same sex marriage is nearly unanimous among Jewish members of Congress.  All 12 senators and 21 of 22 represenatives are supporters.  The lone holdout is the only Jewish Republican in the 113th Congress, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia.

After Obama's Trip, What's Next?

Barack Obama's trip to Israel was a great success and should boost his influence and support there.  So what comes next?  Does he plan to capitalize on that by trying to restart peace negotiations, and do Israeli and Palestinian leaders share that desire or do they just prefer to talk about talking instead of talking about peace?

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