TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: We found the Friends of Hamas

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) The real friends of Hamas — We found friends of Hamas — and their views are troubling. Meet Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, two of the Iranian regime’s biggest apologists in the U.S. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein opines:

“If you think you and your wife have been unfairly tainted as the leading academic apologists for the Iranian regime in the United States, you probably don’t want to close an event for your new book by recounting a fond memory from one of your multiple encounters with the leader of an Iranian-funded Palestinian terror group. ‘I remember the very first time we met Khaled Mashal, the head of Hamas,’ Flynt Leverett said at the end of an event for he and his wife’s new book, ‘Going to Tehran,’ at the Center for the National Interest in Washington Thursday. ‘And he said to us that he and his colleagues pray everyday that they can see facts as they are. And I always thought that is the ultimate realists’ prayer: God give me the strength to see facts as they are.’ … The two like to call themselves realists, but their rhetoric suggest they are less realists and more advocates for the Iranian regime.”

No, these aren’t the Friends of Hamas, just friends of Hamas. Or at least acquaintances. And they don’t have much to do with Chuck Hagel, though TheDC Morning wouldn’t be shocked if he is a regular readers of theirs. In any case, read the full story.
2.) The tea party-leftist alliance? — Are tea partiers and progressives teaming up to beat Mitch McConnell? TheDC’s Patrick Howley reports:

“Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is becoming increasingly concerned about his 2014 re-election chances in Kentucky, according to a progressive super PAC that says it is partnering with unnamed tea party groups to paint McConnell as a corrupt insider and knock him out of his longtime Senate seat in a Republican primary. A recent McConnell campaign fundraising email accused liberals of ‘attempting to infiltrate conservative’ groups in Kentucky. Another McConnell campaign email accused the liberal organization of supporting a ‘phony tea party’ in an attempt to beat the senior senator. Though MoveOn disputed the McConnell campaign’s charges, the progressive super PAC Progress Kentucky is openly waging the kind of attack that McConnell seems worried about.”

3.) Let me get this right, you’re giving money back?  — A Washington senator living well within his budget? TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he will send a $600,000 check to the U.S. Treasury, returning the part of his operating budget as a senator that was not spent. Paul made the announcement at press conference in Kentucky on Wednesday. According to a press release from Paul’s office, the sum is over 20 percent of the total operating budget. Last year, he returned $500,000 worth of unspent funds to the Treasury.”

Politicians just don’t often do this. Well played, senator.

4.) Not a happy birthday for Zimbabwe — Perhaps it is a happy birthday for their long time tormentor. TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports:

“In a video blog post headlined ‘Happy Birthday, President Mugabe,’ CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour took time to commemorate the 89th birthday of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the internationally reviled dictator who has led the once-prosperous country into near-total economic and humanitarian ruin. Despite the persistent allegations of horrifying human-rights abuses and crippling financial issues still plaguing Zimbabwe, Amanpour’s tribute to Mugabe’s 33 years of power was mostly positive.”

A happy day for Zimbabwe will be when its looter is no longer in charge. Let the day be soon. Anyway, what was CNN thinking?

5.) Tweet of Yesterday — Ezra Klein:That explains the last few years RT @realDonaldTrump: My Twitter has been seriously hacked— and we are looking for the perpetrators.

6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Kim Jong Il’s Feats Lauded by Foreign Media”

VIDEO: British MP storms out of Oxford University debate, saying “I don’t debate with Israelis”

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Jamie Weinstein