Jeff Mason of Reuters: "Iran must commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but the odds are still against sealing a final agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama told Reuters on Monday. Interviewed at the White House, Obama moved to dial back tensions over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress on Tuesday opposing the Iran deal, saying it was a distraction that would not be 'permanently destructive' to U.S. Israeli ties":
... Here's the full transcript of the interview. ...
... Dana Milbank: "In the brawl between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran nuclear negotiations, AIPAC has joined congressional Republicans in siding wholeheartedly with the Israeli hard-liner.... They gave a boisterous standing ovation to his invocation of a 'moral obligation' to give his views on the Iran negotiations, declaring an end to 'the days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us.' Added Netanyahu: 'Today we have a voice. And tomorrow . . . I plan to use that voice.'” ...
... Ted Nesi of WPRI Providence, R.I.: "U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse won’t be among those in attendance when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes his controversial address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday." ...
... Here's the Hill's latest list of which Members of Congress will & won't be attending Netanyahu's speech.
Paul Lewis of the Guardian: "In the Senate, Democrats blocked an attempt by Republicans to force negotiations between both sides of the legislature over a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The failed vote immediately put pressure on the Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner...." ...
... Mike Lillis & Rebecca Shabad of the Hill: "House Democrats expect Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a 'clean' Homeland Security funding bill to the floor this week, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Monday."
Julie Davis of the New York Times: "called for prompt action to change police practices across the country after the deaths of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island at the hands of white officers exposed frustrations about law enforcement in minority communities. Mr. Obama, unveiling the recommendations of a White House task force created in the wake of the killings, said local law enforcement agencies should consider requiring independent criminal investigations and independent prosecutors in cases where the use of force by police officers results in injury or death."on Monday
Sarah Ferris of the Hill: "President Obama said his administration is not preparing a backup plan in case the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare because he believes there is no 'plausible legal basis' for such a ruling. In his first public remarks on the high-stakes case, Obama stuck with his health secretary’s previous remarks that the administration is not concerned about how to protect the subsidies at the heart of his healthcare law. 'If they rule against us, we'll have to take a look at what our options are. But I’m not going to anticipate that. I'm not going to anticipate bad law,' Obama said in an interview with Reuters."
Attorney General Eric Holder in a USA Today op-ed: "Over the next several months, the Supreme Court will decide whether state restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.... This week, the Justice Department will file a brief setting forth our position that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the fundamental constitutional guarantee of 'equal protection of the laws.' It is clear that the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination."
AP: "The Supreme Court has turned away an appeal from same-sex marriage opponents in California who want to keep the identities of their campaign donors secret.... The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them in part because the names have been publicly available for five years."
Jim Inhofe, National Embarassment. Washington Post Editors: "SEN. JIM Inhofe (R-Okla.) chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee — and he seems determined to make that fact a national embarrassment. Mr. Inhofe delivered a Senate floor speech about the 'hysteria on global warming' last week with two conspicuous props. One was a blown-up photo of his family standing in front of an igloo labeled 'AL GORE’S NEW HOME.'" Then he threw a snowball at the presiding officer.... Neither science nor evidence trouble Mr. Inhofe’s benighted complacency.... The Republican Party should be mortified by the face of their environmental leadership."
Annals of "Journalism," Ctd. Brendan James of TPM: "Fox News issued a clarification on Friday on behalf of its star host Bill O'Reilly, saying that he said he'd "seen" bombings in Northern Ireland because police showed him photos of them. The Washington Post spotted a passage in O'Reilly's 2013 book, 'Keep It Pithy,' in which he described seeing lethal bombings in Northern Ireland.... A Fox spokesperson told the Washington Post that O’Reilly did not witness any bombings or injuries in Northern Ireland but was simply shown photos by police officers. The Northern Ireland clarification marks the second time this has happened: On Wednesday, O'Reilly told Mediaite that when he repeatedly said he had seen nuns 'get shot' in El Salvador, he was referring to 'images' he had seen." ...
... CW: Apparently "pithy" means leaving out long words like "photographs." ...
... David Corn & Daniel Schulman of Mother Jones: "Mother Jones has obtained the CBS News report [Bill] O'Reilly filed at the end of the Falklands war. It makes no reference to the dramatic and warlike action — soldiers "gunning down" Argentine civilians with 'real bullets'— O'Reilly has claimed he witnessed." With video.
The Shadow of Her Dress. Stephanie Farr of the Philadelphia Daily News: Portrait artist Nelson Shanks on an official portrait he made of President Clinton:
If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things. It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him. And so the Clintons hate the portrait. They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They're putting a lot of pressure on them. [Reached by phone Thursday, a spokeswoman from the National Portrait Gallery denied that.]
David Graham of the Atlantic elaborates.
Michael Schmidt of the New York Times: "exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record. Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.... Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach." ...
... Philip Bump of the Washington Post: "Examining the registry information for 'clintonemail.com' reveals that the domain was first created on January 13, 2009 -- one week before President Obama was sworn into office, and the same day that Clinton's confirmation hearings began before the Senate."
How to Look Tough AND Smart. OR Sneering & Pointing Fingers While Bespeckled. Jane Timm of NBC News: "Following a weekend full of conservative attacks on Hillary Clinton at the Conservative Political Action Conference, former Texas Governor Rick Perry added to the list, questioning the former secretary of state’s 'loyalty' in an interview that aired Sunday. Responding to news that the Clinton foundation had not notified the State Department when it previously accepted a donation from a foreign nation, Perry argued that Clinton was disloyal." ...
... Steve Benen: “'Where’s your loyalty?' is an exceedingly difficult question for Rick Perry, of all people, to ask. ... Perry flirted openly with the idea of state secession a few years ago, which makes it a little awkward, to put it mildly, when the governor decides to question others’ patriotism or loyalty to the United States." Thanks to Akhilleus for the links on Perry.
Marc Fisher of the Washington Post: "Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat who is the longest-serving woman in congressional history, announced Monday that she will leave the Senate next year at the end of her fifth term. Mikulski, 78 and in good health, departs the way she came in — with a sharp tongue, an unabashed liberalism, and a reputation for straight talk. She won all ten of her elections to the House and then the Senate with support from more than 60 percent of voters."
Beyond the Beltway
Richael Oppel of the New York Times: "Moving to stem fresh anger over how Cleveland has handled the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Mayor Frank G. Jackson apologized on Monday for language that the city’s lawyers used in court filings to assert that the boy’s death was his own fault.... The newest controversy was spurred by a filing made in federal court late last week by lawyers for the city in response to a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Tamir’s family. The city’s lawyers argued in the filing that the boy died because of his own actions and not because of police department errors."
Emma Margolin of NBC News: " Yet another same-sex marriage ban has fallen – this time, in Nebraska. On Monday, U.S District Judge Joseph Bataillon – a President Bill Clinton appointee – struck down the Cornhusker State’s voter-approved amendment prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying.... The decision also comes just days after Nebraska’s child welfare officials agreed to stop enforcing the state’s policy blocking same-sex couples from becoming foster parents." ...
Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post: "Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell on Monday fired the opening salvo in a bid to get his public corruption conviction thrown out, arguing in a filing that the case against him was 'built on a boundless definition of bribery' and that the judge made legal errors throughout the process that warrant a new trial."
Kate Brumback of the AP: "Georgia postponed its first execution of a woman in 70 years late Monday because of concerns about the drug to be used in the lethal injection. The pentobarbital was sent to an independent lab to check its potency and the test came back at an acceptable level, but during subsequent checks it appeared cloudy, Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan said. Corrections officials called the pharmacist and decided to postpone the execution 'out of an abundance of caution,' she said. No new date was given."
Marissa Payne of the Washington Post: "In response to two male athletes on its volleyball team coming out in an article published on OutSports.com last year, [Erskine College of South Carolina], which is aligned with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian tradition, released a strongly worded denouncement of homosexuality on campus that many read to be a behavioral ban."
Way Beyond the Beltway
Besides providing updates on the assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, the BBC provides a list of the violent deaths of opponents of Vladimir Putin since 2003. You'd have to pretty credulous to believe these were "accidental" or "coincidental" or some such. Via Steve Benen.