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Submitted by Robert Naiman on 16 May 2015 - 7:33pm
[This piece originally appeared at Huffington Post.]
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 16 April 2015 - 11:35am
[In what follows, I have redacted email addresses, phone numbers, and the names of people who were copied in the exchange but did not participate in it. These are replaced by “X.” When the identity of a participant in the exchange was identified by their email address, the name follows the redacted email address in brackets. -RN]
The key problematic statement in Grayson’s email claiming that critics of his position on the Iran talks are “concocting a conflict that doesn’t exist” is this [my emphasis]:
"As I said, I think that the final agreement should include a complete end to Iran’s nuclear program and its ICBM program, and an end to Iran supplying missiles to terrorist groups."
The reasons this statement from Grayson is so problematic are: 1) no reasonable informed person thinks that "a complete end to Iran’s nuclear program" is a remotely realistic goal for diplomacy, so Grayson's statement is setting up an impossible "unicorns and ponies" standard for a "good deal" (which Grayson, as an informed person, surely knows); 2) the other issues are outside the scope of the talks, and attempts by opponents of the framework deal to add these issues to the talks or argue that these issues are standards by which the comprehensive deal should be judged are a key point of dispute between supporters and opponents of the framework deal. Indeed, language in the original Corker Congressional review bill which the Administration and Senator Cardin successfully removed using the Administration’s veto threat concerns exactly this issue. As the New York Times reported [my emphasis]:
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 20 March 2015 - 11:20am
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 17 March 2015 - 11:26am
Congressional Republicans who are trying to blow up U.S.-European diplomacy with Iran would desperately like Americans to believe that they have some alternative besides war to the administration's multilateral efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement with Iran.
Submitted by Megan Iorio on 2 March 2015 - 12:04pm
Latest Update: March 3 12:30 AM
If your rep is undeclared or on the fence, give them a call at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:
I urge Rep./Sen. ___________ to join 60 other Democrats in skipping Netanyahu's March 3 speech. Please stand with Democrats who support President Obama's Iran diplomacy, not with Republicans who want to tear President Obama down.
Find out where your reps stand below.
Skipping (61—Includes 1 Republican)
Bass, Karen (CA-37) — “My support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship has been consistent during my entire time in elected office, and that support will only continue in the years to come. Support for Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue, and I want it to remain so,” she said. "Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner mishandled inviting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech is now marred with controversy. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been provided with other options to talk with members of Congress, but he has turned them down to do the public speech. It is truly sad that Speaker Boehner and Prime Minister Netanyahu have chosen to play partisan and divisive politics.”
Blumenauer, Earl (OR-03): Wrote a Jan. 29 column in The Huffington Post explaining his decision, saying the Constitution “vests the responsibility for foreign affairs in the president.”
Brown, Corrine (FL-05)
Butterfield, G.K. (NC-01): The head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) focused on Boehner undermining Obama in a statement and emphasized he's not urging a boycott.
Capps, Lois (CA-24)
Carson, Andre (IN-07)
Castro, Joaquin (TX-20)
Clark, Katherine (MA-05): http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/massachusetts_democra...
Clay, William Lacy (MO-01)
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 20 February 2015 - 11:19am
A recent CNN poll found that four out of five Democratic voters oppose the Israeli Prime Minister's planned March 3 tirade to Congress against diplomacy. Thursday morning, twenty-three House Democrats did something about it.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 11 February 2015 - 6:25pm
When the 1% were plotting to overthrow the Roman republic, the great democratic orator Cicero gave a series of speeches in the Roman Senate, exposing the conspiracy. These speeches came to be known as the "Catilinarians" or the "Catiline Orations," after the principal target of the speeches, Lucius Sergius Catilina. For two thousand years, these speeches have been pored over by students of Latin and rhetoric as a canonical example of Roman oratory.
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 1 January 2015 - 1:07pm
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 18 December 2014 - 5:49pm
A left-right coalition, supported by the president and public opinion, could successfully push Congress to end the Cuba embargo.
Can Republicans nostalgic for the Cold War block President Obama from taking executive actions to improve US diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba? Could a Republican-led Congress vote to end the US embargo? Some Republican leaders were quick to denounce President Obama's announcement that the United States was restoring ties with Cuba. But how many divisions do these Cold War dead-enders control?
On whether Republicans can follow through on threats to block the president, Associated Press is skeptical:
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 9 December 2014 - 12:37pm
At long last, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote this week on an authorization for the use of force for the war against ISIS that started in early August. There is little doubt that a majority of the committee supports the use of force against ISIS. What will be revealed this week is what limits the committee will support in authorizing the use of force.