The defeat of AIPAC's ill-advised push for new sanctions on Iran in the midst of successful negotiations is nothing short of historic. The powerful and hawkish pro-Israeli lobby's defeats are rare and seldom public. But in the last year, it has suffered three major public setbacks, of which the sanctions defeat is the most important one.
Many legislators are attempting to force the Obama administration's hand on additional sanctions out of a mistaken belief that increasing economic pressure now will strengthen the U.S. negotiating position. It is more likely that this move would provoke Iranian leaders to ratchet up their nuclear enrichment program, which the Iranian parliament has threatened to do in response to increased sanctions.
Academy Award nominations were released Thursday, and it was clear that Oscar voters were really into retro movies about bad guys, swindlers and financial fiascoes -- with American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street both scoring big. Meanwhile, on the other coast, today's bad guys, swindlers and fiascoes were a lot less entertaining. On Wall Street, modern wolves continue to wreak havoc with impunity: according to a new study, in recent years, the government hasn't held individuals accountable in two-thirds of the cases in which it's charged companies with crimes. And in D.C., a bipartisan group of senators continued its attempt to scuttle talks with Iran by imposing more sanctions -- a move the Obama administration said would amount to a "march to war." America's Unnecessary Middle East War franchise is not one that needs a remake, and this scenario should quickly be put into turnaround. If not, All Is Lost may become more than the title of a snubbed film.