Score another win for the gay marriage side. “Maine Senator Susan Collins publicly came out in support of marriage equality yesterday, making her the fourth sitting Republican senator to show support for gay marriage.”
If the goal is to make Russia the most important country in the region, the Obama administration is doing a bang-up job. “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stressed the importance of air strikes in his country’s fight against Sunni militants, saying he’s turning to Russia after American help has been too slow to arrive.” The Obama foreign policy in a nutshell, huh?
It would certainly be an upset if the GOP got Minnesota. “Welcome to the new sleeper race of 2014. Investment banker Mike McFadden, who won the state party endorsement in May to effectively clear the GOP field, has the personal wealth to at least partially self-fund a campaign — a necessity for a contest otherwise off the radars of most national donors. Even as they remain resolutely confident of Al Franken’s chances, Democrats are quietly conceding that this is a race that could end up closer than most people expect. This is, after all, a lawmaker who won his first race by fewer than 1,000 votes.”
Unless there is a severe penalty hanging over their heads, the Iranians are not going to budge and Obama will give away the store. “Everything the Iranians are saying and doing in these negotiations indicate that Tehran has not fundamentally changed its strategic calculus and does not intend to roll back its nuclear weapons program. It is possible that the administration recognizes this and will not allow itself to be deluded into a bad deal. But the fact that it has already caved on several fronts – ceding enrichment and agreeing to a sunset provision for a ‘final’ deal – suggests that it is unlikely to hold the line left to its own devices. Congress, therefore, needs to raise its profile now.”
Given the White House paralysis, the House must take the lead on foreign policy. “The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 4411) was authored by Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Brad Schneider (D-IL), along with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). A key provision of the bill would force international financial institutions to choose between doing business with Hezbollah or the United States. The measure would sanction foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate the activities of Hezbollah, including through the provision of significant financial services.”
Israelis are wise to call foul. “Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday summoned home his ambassador to the U.S. for emergency consultations, spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and prepared to dispatch a delegation of top officials in a bid to thwart what he reportedly fears is a dangerous deal being prepared by US-led negotiators over Iran’s rogue nuclear program.”
His fan base is evaporating. “The history-making coalition that delivered the presidency to Barack Obama in 2008 and reelected him in 2012 has a distinct attitude toward the 2014 election: Meh. A new poll from Democratic pollster Democracy Corps finds that just 68 percent of African Americans, Latinos, young people and unmarried women who voted in 2012 and are ‘likely’ to vote in 2014 — the four key parts of Obama’s coalition — say they are ‘almost certain’ to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.”