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1.) Hillary’s distancing begins — Hillary Clinton is “obviously” running for president. TheDC’s Patrick Howley reports:
“Hillary Clinton said she ‘obviously’ had disagreements with President Obama when she served as Secretary of State, leaving the door open to criticize Obama’s first-term foreign policy in a possible presidential campaign. Clinton, who left the State Department at the conclusion of Obama’s first term, used the term ‘obviously’ twice in reference to disagreements with Obama. ‘I feel comfortable raising issues with him. I had a very positive set of interactions, even when I disagreed, which obviously occurred, because obviously I have my own opinions, my own views,’ Clinton said in an interview with New York magazine Sunday.”
So what did Hillary disagree with Obama over? Well, that depends on what is going right and what is going wrong in 2016. But it’s probably a safe bet to say that she will likely say she disagreed with Obama on just about everything regarding his Middle East policy given the president’s mind-blowing success in the region.
2.) Fool me twice … — Seeing President Obama’s steely resolve in handling the situation in Syria, Iran seems ready to come to the negotiation table. TheDC’s Reza Kahlili reports:
“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has gone on a charm offensive lately with multiple interviews with American media promising collaboration, but a recent video shows he takes pride in deceiving the West. ‘Gone is the age of blood feuds,’ Rouhani stated in an op-ed in the Washington Post. ‘World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities,’ he wrote in the Post Friday.” …Despite the recent charm offensive in the American media, a recently revealed video of an interview prior to the June Iranian election shows him bragging how he, in his role as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, deceived the West during negotiations on Iran’s illicit nuclear program even as Iran expanded its nuclear power. At the same time, Rouhani managed to relieve pressure by the West, especially in convincing the Europeans to avert possible military aggression by the Bush administration.”
Though reason dictates that one should take Iran’s overtures with great skepticism given the Islamic Republic’s history, the media and many in the foreign policy establishment seem to be enthusiastically embracing Iran’s charm offensive. In other news, Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons capability.
3.) Constitutional amendment craze — It seems like everybody these days wants to amend the Constitution. TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:
“Arguing federal workers should not get special treatment, Rand Paul says he does not want taxpayers subsidizing the personal health-care plans of any federal employee — including Chief Justice John Roberts — anymore. With some in Congress arguing lawmakers and their staff should not get subsidies to cover their health insurance as President Obama’s health care law goes into effect, the Republican senator from Kentucky told The Daily Caller on Sunday that he’s going to start pushing a constitutional amendment that goes even further. Paul’s proposal — outlawing any special exemptions for government employees — would mean all federal workers would have to purchase health insurance on the new Obamacare exchanges instead of getting taxpayer-funded subsidies. Some critics say those subsidies amount to special treatment. The Obamacare health insurance exchange opens Oct 1.”
4.) To defund or not to defund — One prominent conservative says the prospects of defunding Obamacare aren’t particularly good (hint: We just talked about him).TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:
“Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul says he doubts Republicans will succeed in their effort to defund Obamacare with a continuing resolution. The House passed a CR Friday morning that funds the government at sequester levels through Dec. 15 while defunding the unpopular health care law. The bill now heads over to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared that any bill that defunds Obamacare is ‘dead.’ Paul supports defunding Obamacare, but said that the GOP’s most recent effort was unlikely to be successful. ‘I don’t think the president will sign any legislation to defund Obamacare, and neither will the Senate pass any legislation to defund Obamacare,’ Paul told National Review. ‘The president’s idea of politics is, he’s won this, and he’s not revisiting it,’ he added. Paul said Republicans lacked unity and leverage on the defunding issue.”
6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Symposium on ‘Ode to the Motherland Held'”