Yikes. "Western powers should work on the assumption that Iran could have a nuclear weapon by next year and an Israeli intelligence assessment of 2015 could be over-optimistic, British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said on Monday. Meir Dagan, outgoing director of Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, said this month that Israel believed Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear bomb before 2015. But Fox, answering questions in parliament, said Dagan was 'wrong to insinuate that we should always look at the more optimistic end of the spectrum' of estimates of Iran's nuclear capability."
Ouch. The RNC's fiscal situation looks like the federal government's. "To date, the committee has approximately $23 million in debt: $15 million in loans, and $8 million owed to vendors."
Unreal. Bashar al Assad says "it's time for reform" in Syria. So when are the elections and why aren't the political prisoners freed?
Wow. For a guy who is "too nice" to be president, Tim Pawlenty showed some steel in the spine turning down an investment deal for his state with an Indian company, Essar. "[I]t was Pawlenty who delivered the message to Essar that because of terrorist activity associated with Iran, it would not be permissible for the Indian company to do business in both countries. And within four days of Pawlenty's notice, Essar capitulated by way of a letter stating the company would abandon those interests in Iran, giving the Minnesotan a critical foreign policy line for his resume in the race for the White House."
Whoa. The headline reads, "Rubio's Strategy: No Spotlight, Yet." But then follows a highly complimentary story that, um, puts him in the spotlight. But, kidding aside, this is very smart: "Rubio has turned down 'hundreds' of national media interview requests (including one for this article) since he was elected in November and instead has engaged only local press, according to sources close to the Florida Republican. . . .The strategy has become familiar for new Senators who come to the chamber as high-profile freshmen. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) used it after he won his protracted battle against former Sen. Norm Coleman (R), as did first-lady-turned-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Both Franken and Clinton instead involved themselves deeply in their committee work and learning the ways of the Senate rather than immediately jumping back on the national stage."
Good grief. "Senate Democrats tapped an airport lobbyist to help them make their case for the passage of a long-stalled aviation bill to reporters on a conference call Monday." Really, why not just cut out the middle men and let the lobbyists vote on the bill?
Oh, puleez. Just what the Republican primary electorate is looking for -- a moderate Republican who worked for Obama. "The White House says U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a Republican, has advised officials that he intends to leave the post during the first part of this year. Huntsman is considered a potential GOP presidential candidate."
Sigh. From the "Did we need a study?" file: "The latest nutrition guidelines released Monday by the federal government reiterate much of the advice from previous years: eat less salt and saturated fats, eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains. But there is a startling difference. This time, the government suggests that Americans also just eat less." Cutting edge stuff.
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