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Friday, September 20, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof 

Iran President Rouhani Pens Op-Ed in Washington Post - Three months ago, my platform of “prudence and hope” gained a broad, popular mandate. Iranians embraced my approach to domestic and international affairs because they saw it as long overdue. I’m committed to fulfilling my promises to my people, including my pledge to engage in constructive interaction with the world.
The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities.  

The international community faces many challenges in this new world — terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime and cultural encroachment — all within a framework that has emphasized hard power and the use of brute force. The Washington Post has more here.


Diplomatic Options Open Up With Iran and Syria - Only two weeks after Washington and the nation were debating a unilateral military strike on Syria that was also intended as a forceful warning to Iran about its nuclear program, President Obama finds himself at the opening stages of two unexpected diplomatic initiatives with America’s biggest adversaries in the Middle East, each fraught with opportunity and danger. 

Without much warning, diplomacy is suddenly alive again after a decade of debilitating war in the region. After years of increasing tension with Iran, there is talk of finding a way for it to maintain a face-saving capacity to produce a very limited amount of nuclear fuel while allaying fears in the United States and Israel that it could race for a bomb.  The NY Times has more here.     


The Latest on Government Shutdown and Debt Limit Deadlines - The stock market may be posting record gains, but Washington could be mere days away from a government shutdown – and a few weeks out from a catastrophic default on the national debt.
But the reality of this looming fiscal crisis has many Americans wondering how we ever got ourselves into this mess. And, more importantly, what Congress can do over the coming days to avoid it.

We take a look at some of the questions that lawmakers dealing with – and the possible answers.

What do Congress and the president need to do to meet these deadlines?
First, Congress must pass a spending bill, called a continuing resolution or “CR,” which would continue spending after Sept. 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year. has more here.


Obama to Tour Ford Plant in Missouri Today - President Barack Obama on Friday will travel to Missouri where he will tour a Ford plant, the White House said.
Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo., along with touring the facility and meeting with employees. The White House said Obama "will continue to highlight the progress we have made since the beginning of the financial crisis five years ago."

He is expected to deliver remarks at 12:50 p.m. CT. has more here.


EPA To Tackle Coal Fired Emissions - The Obama administration is about to take a major step forward on climate change — a crucial piece of a long-term strategy to join other countries in tackling the Earth’s environmental woes, but one sure to fuel a furious GOP counterattack in 2014.
The proposed rule, expected Friday from the Environmental Protection Agency, won’t cut any carbon immediately and won’t come anywhere near the sweeping mandate of the cap-and-trade plan that died in the Senate three years ago. But it will force the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas pollution from yet-to-be-built power plants, requiring costly carbon-cutting technology for those that burn coal.

The White House-vetted proposal is also the legal precursor to a far more ambitious draft regulation due next year that would seek cuts to climate-changing emissions at existing power plants. has more here.


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