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Axelrod: Israeli settlement plan ‘an insult’

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The Obama administration isn’t backing down on criticisms of an Israeli plan to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem. Israel announced the plan just as Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country.

President Obama’s chief political adviser condemned the move Sunday. “This was an affront, it was an insult,” David Axelrod told NBC’s Tom Brokaw.

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“But most importantly, it undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region,” he said. “We just now have started proximity talks, shuttle diplomacy between the Palestinians and the Israelis. For this announcement to come at that time was very destructive.”

Fox News’ Bill Kristol responded to Axelrod by defending the Israelis. “No one doubts this is part of Israel. This little apartment building is going to be part of Israel. No different from Palestinians building apartment buildings in Ramallah. It’s ludicrous that it became a big issue,” said Kristol.

The story made international headlines Friday as the Middle East Quartet — the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations — condemned “Israel’s decision to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem.”

“The Quartet reaffirms that unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community,” it added in a statement.

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This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press and Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast March 14, 2010.



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2020 Election

A historian of Nazi Germany explains why the divided opposition to Trump should terrify you

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As we witnessed in the third Democratic primary debate last week, Democratic presidential candidates are struggling to distinguish themselves from their party rivals and competing for endorsements. Their horizontal vision in these disagreements diverts their gaze from the peril we face as Donald Trump dismantles the norms that have guided our political life since 1776.

Whatever their differences, Democratic candidates must agree to broad principles related to key issues, for example, immigration, health care, and the growing wealth gap. A general consensus would leave plenty of room for healthy debates about implementation, but failure to emphasize shared ideals in relationship to two or three major questions will blunt Democrats’ offensive against a candidate whose campaign is based on slander and fear.

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2020 Election

Trump’s longshot bid to win New Mexico has political leaders baffled: ‘He’s a batsh*t racist’

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Despite losing New Mexico by eight points in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Brad Pascale are making big plans to win the state in 2020 -- and that has political observers baffled.

With Trump appearing in New Mexico on Monday night, Politico reports the president has his work cut out for him in a state that saw the GOP lose the governorship and one House seat in 2018.

"The Land of Enchantment has voted for a Republican presidential candidate only once since 1992. With a considerable nonwhite voter population and all-Democratic congressional delegation, it’s not exactly fertile ground for a surprise GOP victory," the report notes before adding that Parscale feels they can make inroads this go-around.

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Commentary

Why won’t the Democrats talk openly about impeachment?

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The ABC/Univision Democratic debate last week ran a bit more smoothly than the previous two, even managing to squeeze in a decent discussion on climate change and Afghanistan policy. These events are always more theater than substance, particularly with so many people on the stage. But early debates in the primary season are where engaged partisan voters outside the early states get a chance to see the larger field of candidates and develop a sense of where the party's center of gravity is in the current election cycle.

This article was originally published at Salon

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