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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

This is no news to Saudi watchers or people who keep up on the region. But I wanted to note one fact about the passing today of Saudi King Abdullah. Abdullah was 90 years old, a pretty old guy, though until quite recently fairly vital for his age. But since 1953, every Saudi monarch has been the son of the founder of the Saudi state, ibn Saud, a man who was born in 1876. To put that more crisply, every Saudi head of state who has governed this pivotal, brittle and profoundly influential petro-state during the years of its ascendency since 1953 has been the son of a man born only a decade after the US Civil War. Had transportation been more advanced and he was born a decade earlier, he could have hung out with Abraham Lincoln.

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This introductory clause to this AP piece is enough to make it perhaps the best article ever ... "Outlining his possible rationale for a third presidential bid, Mitt Romney said Wednesday ..."

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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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.

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