President Obama's deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has been using doublespeak to sell the nuclear deal to the American people. In April of this year, Rhodes claimed that the nuclear deal would include "anywhere, anytime" access to Iranian nuclear sites. Last night, the top Obama adviser said, "We never sought in this negotiation the capacity for so-called anytime, anywhere" inspections.
Here's video:Read more
A group of nearly 50 Republican senators have written a letter to Iran to explain how the U.S. Constitution works. The letter is "An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran."Read more
Today we learned that it has been impossible to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Even a short "framework" agreement or one-pager was beyond reach. And this, despite the extension of the talks from the original deadline last spring.Read more
Some American and Iranian diplomats have been spending so much time together lately that they're beginning to crack jokes with one another.Read more
Besides centrifuges, uranium enrichment, and sanctions, this month the State Department turned to sets, digs, and spikes in diplomatic efforts with Iran. Samuel Werberg, a press and public diplomacy officer in the U.S.Read more
Throughout his time as president, Barack Obama has often been the subject of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for not engaging enough with Congress, Republicans in particular, to solve problems and work through legislative issues.Read more
A day after complaining that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations are "getting boring," Nancy Pelosi was spotted yesterday afternoon skipping town.
She was comfortably situated in first class on United Airlines flight 1460, which was scheduled to leave Dulles Airport at 2:53 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco 5:57 p.m. A list on United's website of those who were on the upgrade standby list reveals that PEL, N. (presumably, Nancy Pelosi) was upgraded to seat 4F, a window seat in first class.Read more
New York Times reporter Helene Cooper explained on Meet the Press that the White House is now "cockier":Read more
As the United States and other members of the P5+1 commence negotiations with Iran, it is worth recalling the classic analysis of Iran’s negotiating style sent in from the U.S. embassy in Tehran on August 13, 1979. The author of the cable, political counselor Victor Tomseth, and the man who authorized it, charge d’affaires Bruce Laingen, became hostages when the embassy was seized on November 4, 1979.Read more
For House speaker John Boehner, Tea Party Republicans weren’t the problem as he sought support for a package of spending cuts attached to an increase in the debt limit. The biggest impediment to a House majority was Republicans fearful a primary opponent would use a vote to boost the debt limit against them.Read more
The debt ceiling deal will pass the Senate early this afternoon. No suspense there. But the vote will be worth watching for another reason: Three Republican Senate sources tell TWS that senators who vote against the deal will be ineligible to serve on the so-called “supercommittee” for deficit reduction that the legislation creates.Read more
One of the least covered aspects of the debt limit negotiations has been defense spending. Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats have indicated that the White House would like to include significant defense cuts as part of an eventual deal, even beyond the $400 billion in cuts to security spending over the next twelve years that the president announced in April.Read more
The debt ceiling fight has now reached a point typical of many dramas of this kind, when participants and commentators alike start to lose sight of the forest for the trees. That's inevitable. Trees are what Congress and pundits do for a living, and in any case which trees are left standing just where is not unimportant. So lots of underpaid congressional staffers will be spending long nights working on tree-trimming, tree-maintenance and even tree-beautification, and lots of underpaid journalists will be covering their efforts.Read more
There are many reasons to be skeptical that any likely budget deal would be worth supporting. And it’s long past time for Republicans to be planning strategically, and laying the groundwork legislatively and politically, for an outcome of no deal (or possibly a mini-deal that doesn’t sacrifice conservative principles).Read more
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