Humiliating their leader again, House Republicans rejected Speaker John Boehner's last minute, desperate attempt to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for three weeks
In a few days, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mount the podium of the U.S. Congress to speak before a joint session of the House and Senate. He will use the occasion to blast Iran and issue dire warnings about the current US-led negotiations designed to limit Iran's nuclear program.
For decades, US supporters of Israel and Israeli politicians and diplomats have worked in concert to preserve bipartisan support for Israel. Netanyahu and Boehner's cynical play for their own short-term political gains, has driven a stake through the heart of that strategy.
Reading the headlines over the past three days, you would be forgiven for thinking that the half-century old strategic relationship between the United States and Israel was collapsing under its own weight.
AFV and I agree with former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge -- the debate over immigration should not be held on the backs of DHS employees, and Congress should not be playing political games with national security. The employees of DHS deserve better, Americans deserve better.
Although I never voted for him while living in Israel, I, along with a majority of voting Israelis, have always counted on Netanyahu to do what it takes to protect the security of Israeli citizens and by extension all Jews.
Republicans promised things would get better if they were put in charge of Congress. Yet, due to a lack of leadership and seemingly irresolvable differences among their members, they are holding up funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is set to run out this Friday.
It is amusing for Democrats to watch the "Ted Cruz wing" of the GOP try to defend their big DHS bill, just as it will be amusing to watch them howl later this week when it gets split in two. All a Democrat will have to do to really rub it in will be to say, "But you've been saying all along that immigration reform can only be done one tiny step at a time!"
Give us a majority, and we'll show you what the GOP can do. That was the basic sales premise of the midterm elections. Controlling both chambers of Congress, Republicans would show Americans that their party is a governing party.
The GOP wasted no time in creating yet another self-induced government shutdown showdown. Not even two full months into their control of Congress, and they are pushing a critical federal department towards shutting down, all in an effort to make a political point.
Netanyahu carries a sense of superiority, self-importance, and an overbearing assumption that only he is correct. That attitude feeds the latest spat between Bibi and the White House which has become a classic example of domestic and foreign policies intertwined in an unhealthy imbroglio.
A federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of President Obama's new immigration policy, which has thrown a curve ball into the Republican congressional strategy of having a big political battle over immigration next week.
Only on the issue of the climate is the claim of ignorance considered a free pass to do nothing. For an incumbent lawmaker, "I'm not a scientist" should be seen for what it is: a contemptible evasion of responsibility.
The emerging dynamic between John Boehner and Mitch McConnell is one to watch, because it is heading for a showdown in the next few weeks. Sooner or later, one of them is going to have to cave in to the hard, cold reality that Republicans just do not have the votes to impose their will on a Democratic president.
Instead of staying laser-focused on the very real, very complex and very dangerous consequences of the outcome of the negotiations with Iran, the public discourse is now being hijacked by politics.
Barack Obama is the second Honorable Mention recipient this week, for his impressive public opinion polling on job approval in January. He had his best month (measured by month-to-month improvement) of his entire second term, and the fourth-best month he's ever had as president.