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Rep. Hank Johnson: It's Not Just About Bibi Dissing Our Black President

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.


One of Cicero's rhetorical techniques that made a big impression on my high school Latin class was "praeteritio," "I will pass over." The orator mentions "in passing" some really damning thing done by the accused. "Quod ego praetermitto," "which [crime] I will pass over." By such "passing over" of the crime, the speaker calls attention to the crime.

I had the opportunity to interact at some length with Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson not so long ago. I'm going to hazard a guess that at some point in his life, Rep. Hank Johnson had the opportunity to study Cicero.

Bibi 3/3 Congress speech: won't attend/called for speech to be cancelled/postponed

Update #2: It's not 100% obvious how vigorously The Hill is now updating its tally. According to Poliitico, Hank Johnson and Donna Edwards are not going to attend. So, I'll start adding things here that appear in press that aren't yet reflected in The Hill's tally.

Hank Johnson
Donna Edwards

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/benjamin-netanyahu-congressional-black-caucus-115103.html

Update#1: The Hill is maintaining a tally, so I've stopped updating this one.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/232160-whip-list-dems-skipping-netanyahu-speech

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Have publicly said that they won’t go to Bibi’s proposed March 3 speech to Congress if it is not postponed/cancelled:

Call your Rep TODAY: Skip Bibi’s speech

We have a historic opportunity right now to help change the game in Washington on U.S. policy towards Israel.

Controversy is spreading around Speaker Boehner’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3, where Netanyahu is expected to trash Obama’s Iran diplomacy and try to persuade Congress to pass new sanctions. J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren have called for Netanyahu’s talk to be postponed. Netanyahu’s political opposition in Israel is also denouncing his plan to speak to Congress only weeks before the Israeli election.

Now, Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen, and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.

Call your Rep NOW at 1-202-224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

I urge you to sign the Ellison letter calling on Speaker Boehner to postpone the Israeli Prime Minister’s address to Congress until after Congress has concluded its consideration of new Iran sanctions.

UPDATE: The Ellison letter is now closed. The sample script now calls to skip the speech:

I urge Rep. ___________ to join Steve Cohen, Jan Schakowsky, and 30 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.

Report your call below.

Just Foreign Policy Welcomes CPC Call to Postpone Iran Sanctions Legislation

Just Foreign Policy welcomes the call of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee to postpone enacting new sanctions legislation against Iran.

As the CPC notes, enacting new sanctions on Iran now would undermine U.S. diplomats, derail U.S.-Iran talks and put the U.S. on a path towards war.

It’s become more obvious than ever in recent days that Republican efforts in Congress to undermine diplomacy cannot succeed without significant Democratic support. We particularly urge Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, and Elliot Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to heed the CPC call. 

Just Foreign Policy Welcomes CPC Call to Postpone Iran Sanctions Legislation

Just Foreign Policy welcomes the call of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee to postpone enacting new sanctions legislation against Iran.

As the CPC notes, enacting new sanctions on Iran now would undermine U.S. diplomats, derail U.S.-Iran talks and put the U.S. on a path towards war.

It’s become more obvious than ever in recent days that Republican efforts in Congress to undermine diplomacy cannot succeed without significant Democratic support. We particularly urge Senator Sherrod Brown, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, and Elliot Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to heed the CPC call. 

Call Ben Cardin NOW against new Iran sanctions!

Earlier today, a Just Foreign Policy activist delivered a petition to Sen. Ben Cardin's office in Baltimore calling on him to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill.

A petition calling for Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court was also delivered.

Even if you have already called before, support the petition delivery by calling Ben Cardin’s Baltimore office NOW at (410) 962-4436 and saying

I support the petition being delivered to your office today calling on Sen. Cardin to support diplomacy with Iran by opposing any new sanctions legislation, including the Kirk-Menendez bill. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, new sanctions legislation "will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails."

I also support the petition calling on Sen. Cardin to oppose any effort to punish the Palestinians for using international law to protect their human rights by joining the International Criminal Court. That means he should not support any effort to cut aid to the Palestinians, including Sen. Rand Paul's bill (S.34) and the proposed Gillibrand-Rubio letter.

When you’re done, please report your call here:

http://goo.gl/forms/AsYSoi3w4m

Thanks for all you do to protect diplomacy,

Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

Contribute to Just Foreign Policy—Make a $15 tax-deductible donation today!
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New Iran sanctions imminent—Immediate action needed!

Sen. Robert Menendez announced that he plans to introduce new Iran sanctions legislation before the State of the Union next Tuesday.

The Obama administration is adamant that any new sanctions—even those with a trigger to become active upon a break in the talks—would violate the Joint Action Plan that has limited Iran’s nuclear program, inviting Iran to also violate the agreement and “blow up” the talks, as National Security Advisor Susan Rice has said.

The State Department announced that the President will veto any new Iran sanctions bill, but Menendez is looking to recruit a veto-proof 67 vote majority to circumvent the President. Menendez will try to recruit your Senators—which is why they need to hear from you!

Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say

I urge Sen. _______ to OPPOSE any new Iran sanctions legislation. The Obama administration has made clear that any new sanctions bill—even if it includes a trigger—would violate the Joint Action Plan, which has successfully limited Iran’s nuclear program. Doing so would invite Iran to also violate the plan and, as Susan Rice has put it, “blow up” the talks and any hope of resolving this issue diplomatically.

When you’re done, report your call below.

Call your Senator TODAY: Don’t Punish Palestinians for Joining ICC

Last Wednesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that Palestine would become a member of the International Criminal Court on April 1. That same day, Sen. Rand Paul introduced legislation to cut off US aid to the Palestinian Authority— about $400 million a year—if the Palestinians don’t withdraw their application to join the ICC. And on Friday, Sens. Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez, and Mark Kirk released a statement saying that the Palestinian decision to join the ICC was “deplorable, counterproductive, and will be met with a strong response by the United States Congress.”

In less than a week, Just Foreign Policy has collected nearly 15,000 signatures on a petition calling for Sen. Paul to withdraw his bill. But your Senators are also getting pressure to join Sen. Paul and others in trying to bully the Palestinians to withdraw their ICC application—which is why they need to hear from you NOW.

Call your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and say

Sen. ____ should not support Rand Paul's S. 34—or any other bill, resolution, letter, or statement—that tries to bully the Palestinians into withdrawing their application to the ICC by cutting US funding to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians shouldn't be punished for trying to use international law to protect their human rights. The UN has accepted Palestine's application to the ICC, and the US should respect this decision.

When you’re done with your call, report it below.

In 2015, Let’s Not Punish the Palestinians for Joining the ICC

A proposed New Year's Resolution: in 2015, let's not punish the Palestinians for joining the International Criminal Court. No doubt some Members of Congress - presumably, the ones who aren't busy resigning for felony tax evasion or defending themselves for schmoozing with white supremacists - will try to gin up an outrage festival and demand sanctions on the Palestinians for exercising their rights.

What we accomplished in Burlington

With Republicans taking over the Senate in the new year already threatening to impose new sanctions on Iran—which would almost certainly sabotage the ongoing diplomacy—it's more important than ever for pro-diplomacy Senators to speak out in support of the extension in the talks.

That’s why, since the extension was announced on November 24, Just Foreign Policy has been urging Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to make their support known.

Earlier today, I—along with Vermont physician David Hobbs and JFP volunteer Anke Voss—met with Philip Fiermonte, Sen. Sanders' State Director, at the Senator’s Burlington office. We delivered petitions with over 150 Vermont signatures and informed Fiermonte that more than 250 Vermonters have sent letters to the Senator over the last few weeks urging him to make a public statement.

Help us continue to defend diplomacy in the new year by making a $15 (or more!) tax-deductible donation today!

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

During the meeting, Dr. Hobbs—who came 20 miles to attend—urged Sen. Sanders to speak up for peace, noting the terrible consequences that recent wars have had on the peoples of the Middle East.

Fiermonte acknowledged our concerns and read from a message which Sen. Sanders' Washington staff had sent ahead of the meeting, saying that Sen. Sanders supports continued diplomatic engagement with Iran, supports the extension of the interim agreement with Iran, and opposes new sanctions now that would undermine the talks—exactly what we were asking him to say. Fiermonte promised to send a letter to me after the holidays, which will help us in our fight to defend diplomacy.