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The Great In-Kind Contribution

As you can see from our feature article, today came news - coming just hours after the President's State of the Union address - that John Boehner and Congressional Republicans have been negotiating a massive in-kind political donation to the reelection campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It's a gambit so bold and ingenious in its flouting of diplomatic protocol, interstate relations and political norms that it almost makes you think President Obama shouldn't have accepted a former Republican political operative tied to the Romney campaign (Ron Dermer) as Israel's current Ambassador to the United States. But with all that, let's dig into the transaction itself.

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Campaign Coverage, Election 2015

In huge break for the embattled Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu has landed a major in-kind campaign contribution from John Boehner and the RNC, a speech to Congress, which is also an unprecedented departure from protocol in which the US President is at least informed of a foreign leader's visit. It's a big break in the lead up to Israel's March elections. Also notable, during his visit, Netanyahu will help House Republicans try to scuttle the President Obama's negotiations with Iran over the Iranian nuclear program.

The Islamic State of Paris

TPM Reader DW checks in (just barely) from the Islamic State of Paris ...

I was particularly amused - or maybe amazed? - by the claim of no-go zones in Paris when I saw the map of where they supposedly were. I stayed in one of those zones - in a perfectly nice apartment rented through airbnb this past October! It was a quite safe area, with a few obvious Muslims seen on the street, also a few ultra-orthodox Jews and a wide variety of ordinary French people. Certainly brought home how much of what one sees on Fox is just blatantly made-up! The only safety threat I experienced was the odd speeding motor scooter.

If You Can't Win, Change The Rules

We have another riveting installment in the rich, sordid recent history of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, where in the last few years one justice stood accused of choking another in her chambers in the presence of other justices and the chief justice was called "a total bitch" by one of her brethren. Now the GOP-controlled legislature is advancing a state constitutional amendment that would effectively oust that same chief justice, a liberal woman who has held the post for nearly 20 years, by changing the rules on how the chief justice is selected.

Your Urban Legend of the Day: 'No Go Zones'

At a moment when we see that the danger of jihadist violence is quite real it is even more important to remember, to find out how much of what we hear in the media and especially the Fox News-o-sphere is just made up nonsense - like the '19 paramilitary Muslim training facilities' in US. To that end, today our Catherine Thompson traces the urban legend of the Muslim 'no go zones' in European cities, districts the police supposedly refuse to enter because they're run by jihadists enforcing Sharia Law.