Low Popahirum, March 2, 2015

NATIONAL

“Benjamin Netanyahu of course speaks first for Israel, but he speaks also for you and for me, for decency and humaneness, and for vigilance and strength against truly evil adversaries. Congress, by inviting him, is wise. Obama, by opposing him, is horribly wrong. And the civilized world, if it ignores him, will be well-nigh suicidal.” – Quin Hillyer/National Review

“Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday tried to calm tensions with Israel before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s congressional address, yet insisted the Obama administration’s diplomatic record with Iran entitles the U.S. to ‘the benefit of the doubt‘ as negotiators work toward a long-term nuclear deal. On a mission to warn of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, the prime minister arrived in Washington for the speech the White House didn’t want him to give.” – AP

“The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran. Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.” – Arutz Sheva

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress this week. We should listen closely as he raises legitimate concerns about Iran — giving him and his country the respect worthy of a close ally. Instead, President Obama and some Democrats have chosen to use this visit as a political football. This is exactly what Americans dislike about Washington.” – Scott Walker/National Review

“US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday warned Israel’s prime minister against revealing details at his upcoming speech to US Congress of an Iran nuclear deal that world powers are in the process of negotiating.” – Newsmax

“It is almost unbelievable how badly Congressional Republicans have botched their opposition to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. The House, under John Boehner’s direction, did the right thing: it passed a bill that fully funded DHS, but barred spending to implement the amnesty that has now been declared illegal by a federal court. The action then moved to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House measure to the floor for a vote. Four times, the Democrats filibustered the DHS funding bill.” – Power Line

“At the same time, Walker could be headed for trouble with the establishment, Washington-based wing of his party. Look for GOP insiders to begin whispering, and then saying out loud, that Walker needs to raise his game if he is going to play on the national stage. On the one hand, they’ll have a point — Walker needs to come up with clear, crisply-expressed positions on a variety of national and international issues. On the other hand, Walker’s way-outside-the-Beltway method of expressing himself might resonate with voters in primary and caucus states more than Washington thinks.” – Byron York/Washington Examiner

“Jeb Bush is said by some and treated by many as the front-runner, the one to beat. I don’t see it. In fact I think he’s making a poor impression.” – Peggy Noonan/WSJ

“Let the 2016 Senate sweepstakes begin, although this one may have more impact on the presidential race. Barbara Mikulski, the Maryland Democrat serving her sixth term in the Senate, announced earlier today that she will not run for re-election in 2016. The former Appropriations chair’s retirement will force Democrats to defend an extra open seat — or will it provide an opportunity to clear the field for a coronation?” – Hot Air

Centrist Democrats are gathering their forces to fight back against the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of their party, fearing a sharp turn to the left could prove disastrous in the 2016 elections. For months, moderate Democrats have kept silent, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) barbed attacks against Wall Street, income inequality and the “rigged economy” thrilled the base and stirred desire for a more populist approach.” – The Hill

LOUISIANA

“Among Louisiana’s candidates for governor, Republican Jay Dardenne is alone in his support for the divisive Common Core education standards, a position that could help define his campaign.” – NOLA.com

“When opponents of a Louisiana levee board’s lawsuit against energy-related companies wanted to kill the ill-advised legal action last year, they were right to be frustrated by a hideously expensive, so-called ‘poison pill’ in the board’s contract with its lawyers. But if the poison pill was bad, there’s a separate, perfidious provision that’s even worse. Both the levee board — the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East — and the law firm of Jones, Swanson, Huddell and Garrison should be ashamed of how the poison pill and perfidious provision together could cause coronaries for taxpayers.” – Quin Hillyer/Baton Rouge Advocate

“Sulphur native and McNeese State University graduate Chris Carr never thought his career would lead him to be the political director of the Republican National Committee. Carr, 46, was recently appointed to the position for the 2016 election cycle.” – Lake Charles American Press

“Years of deep cuts to state funding for Louisiana’s colleges and universities — and the threat of even further reductions in the near future — have some leaders looking at drastic measures that could change the face of Louisiana higher education. One idea that has recently been floated: Why not encourage some of the state’s public schools to go private?” – Baton Rouge Advocate

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed spending plan that was unveiled Friday ‘certainly looks better’ than expected, with higher education not experiencing as deep of a cut, said Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley. But Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said there is plenty of work left to do as this year’s legislative session approaches.” – Lake Charles American Press

“The West Monroe Police Department has been selected statewide to receive an award for the most DWI arrests per department and most per officer, according to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.” – Monroe News Star

“When we settled here, the land under us was like a sponge that contained a lot of water,” said David Waggonner, a landscape architect and co-author of the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, which aims to change the city’s relationship with water. “And what happens to a sponge when you dry it out? It shrinks. That’s what we’ve been doing by fighting water instead of trying to live with it. We’ve been hurting ourselves.” – Baton Rouge Advocate

“Construction on a Terrebonne Parish project that would divert treated wastewater into the wetlands is hung up in the federal permitting process, officials said. Final project plans, environmental permits, specifications and $2 million for estimated construction costs are in place, officials said. But final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers is needed before the project can go out for bid.” – Houma Courier

“It was not a good showing for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in a straw poll that measured support for potential Republican presidential candidates among 3,000 attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Jindal, who says he’ll decide in the next few months whether to run for president, finished 12th with 0.9 percent of the ballots.” – NOLA.com

“‘So ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for all of us to wake up. If you’re college students out there, LSU students, and Southern University students, you students need to shut down class like we did in ’71 and ’72. Forget the class, you’re not going to have a college if you don’t stand up and fight for it,’ said Carnell Washington, the president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers.” – WVLA

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