This Week’s Menu:
Netanyahu Now Writing U.S. Policy On Iran
Surprise! Hillary Says Time To Elect A Woman
Death Penalty On Legislative Center Stage
Almost Untold Story Of The Masters Tournament

Obama Yields To GOP Pressure:
U.S. Iran Policy Now Made In Tel Aviv

As I see it, the latest development in the controversy over how best to curb a threat that Iran will use nuclear weapons against Israel makes it clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in charge of American policy on the issue.

Under threat of a Republican-dominated Congressional revolt, Obama agreed that any proposed settlement of the Iranian nuclear weapons threat, in effect, of being in the hands of the Israeli prime minister and his allies in the Republican-dominated Congress.

Factors affecting Obama’s surrender include:

Netanyahu’s active lobbying of the Republican-controlled United States Congress (an opportunity enhanced by the almost credible invitation by House Speaker John Boehner invitation to Netanyahu to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

American Jewish Community Gets Involved

An important factor is the influence of the American Jewish community which, as The New York Times recently reported, has already started giving substantial campaign contributions to candidates for election or re-election in the 2016 voting.

A serious shortcoming in media reporting of the Obama surrender is the fact that there was, in one account I read, not a word of mention of the fact that negotiations for a nuclear-weapons settlement with Iran are not being conducted by the United States alone.  There are representatives of five other countries involved.

Another serious shortcoming is the fact that as far as I have discerned—and I have tried to follow the controversy closely—there is simply no specific alternative, set forth by Netanyahu or anyone else, to how a more effective assurance of Iran’s non-violent use of its nuclear capability.

Obama’s Unpopularity Is A Factor

Obama’s unpopularity with the Republican-controlled Congress to the contrary notwithstanding, I think it is a sad day for this nation when a leader of a foreign country can, in effect, dictate American foreign policy.

* * *

Hillary Starts In Iowa, Warming
Up For New Hampshire Vote

Turning to political news closer to home, Hillary Clinton’s expected announcement that she indeed will be a candidate for the Presidency.

Also, as anticipated, Hillary’s campaign theme will be something like this:  “Isn’t it time for Americans to elect a woman president?”

The same strategy worked successfully for Barack Obama who was, as I see it, clearly elected because the majority of American voters were convinced that it was “time to elect a black president.”

Elect A Woman If She Is Best Candidate

Time to elect a woman president?  Certainly if she is the best candidate available.  And so far there is certainly no Republican consensus on a better candidate.

In that connection, he is far from a consensus pick as a GOP candidate, but I think former Florida Governor Jeb Bush should be considered on his own merits, not on the fact that his brother, George W. Bush, is generally conceded to have been an ineffective president, to put it kindly.

The importance of the Iowa caucuses is, of course, linked to the fact that they are closely followed by New Hampshire’s election of delegates to the two-parties.  So it has become important that presidential hopefuls use a good showing in the Iowa caucuses to provide momentum for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation election of delegates to the Democratic and Republican conventions which nominate the party’s candidate for president.

* * *

Chambers Faces Possible 33-Vote Hurdle
In Latest Effort To Repeal Death Penalty

State Senator Ernie Chambers got what to me was a surprising 30 votes to advance from the first round of legislative debate his perennial bill to wipe the death penalty from Nebraska’s statute books.

Thirty votes would be sufficient to override a threatened veto from Governor Pete Ricketts, but there is, as I see it, a real possibility that the bill won’t get the 25 votes necessary to become law.  (That would be a one-vote margin in the 49-member legislature.)

First, there is no assurance that all of the 30 legislators who voted to advance the bill will vote for it on final reading.  But suppose a 30-vote support can be maintained and a gubernatorial veto overridden, there remains a real question of whether the bill will come to “final reading” and passage with veto-proof 30-vote support.

Protracted Debate Would Endanger Bill

The bill faces a battery of proposed amendments, each of which could delay legislative consideration for four hours.

And it will take 33 votes to end the filibuster.  Stay tuned.

* * *

Little-Told Chapter Of The Story Of The Masters:
Performance By Spieth Didn’t Go Four Rounds

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting but barely mentioned chapters in the story of the recent Masters Golf Tournament.

The news media kept repeating what a remarkable four-round result had been achieved by that remarkable young golfer, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth.

And the attractive young man’s first 36-hole performance was indeed remarkable.  It put him in a tie with Tiger Woods for the lowest total score ever recorded in the Masters tournament.

But given little or no attention is the fact that Jordan Spieth record achievement was not a 72-hole achievement.  He shot two remarkable rounds Thursday and Friday but two mediocre rounds—a 70 Friday and a 70 Sunday.

Bogey On 72nd Hole Cost Spieth A Record

Again, a remarkable performance, but unfortunately ending with a bogey 5 on the 72nd hole.  A par there would have enabled him to break Tiger Woods’ record of 18 strokes under par.

An indication of the remarkable two rounds shot by Spieth:

In 13 of the past 15 years, the second place total shot this year by Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson—14 under—would have won the Masters.

Tiger Didn’t Help His Image

As I see it, Tiger did absolutely nothing to improve his battered image.  He shot 5 under, 13 strokes behind Spieth, he tossed aside his driver with which he had hooked several times, uttered an obscenity which was picked up on television (for which he later apologized) and told an unlikely story that he had dislocated his left thumb but put it back into place.

A television announcer said it was more likely that Tiger had strained his thumb—a condition which he could address with a little massage.

All in all a pretty sorry performance by Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods.

* * *

Let’s Finish With UNO Mavs’ Upbeat Performance

Easy to find an upbeat way to end this week’s column:

The “Frozen Four” appearance of the University of Omaha hockey team.

Prospects for a return visit soon are not right, but this year’s UNO Mavericks’ performance may help improve not only the Mavericks’ image but establish new goals for the UNO hockey team.

Appropriate ending for an upbeat column, I think.

Well done, Mavericks.  Now build on that performance.

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