Reprinted from Wallwritings
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On Thursday of last week, President Barack Obama spoke to a group of Democratic senators in a private meeting during a Baltimore hotel political retreat.
He asked the senators not to support a bill, drafted by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (above, left) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), which would add further sanctions on Iran during this time of delicate nuclear negotiations between the U.S., its allies and Iran.
One unnamed senator in the room told the New York Times that Obama said that "as a former senator himself, he understood how outside forces -- like special interests and donors -- can influence senators to act."
The president urged the lawmakers to "take the long view rather than make a move for short-term political gain." Seated in front of the podium, Senator Menendez stood up to say he took "personal offense" at the president's remark.
The New Jersey Democrat told the president that he (Menendez) had worked for more than 20 years to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions and had always been focused on the long-term implications.
What "special interests and donors" did the President have in mind that caused Senator Menendez to take "personal offense"?
The unnamed source did not say. Neither did the New York Times. CNN, which credited the Times as its source for the reference to "special interests and donors" also refrained from identifying the "special interests" that brought Senator Menendez out of his chair.
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As Dana Carvey's Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, might have said in one of her church chats:
"Which donors could he possibly mean? Let's see now, Senator Menendez, President Obama, Israel and Iran. Is there a naughty connection here? Is Satan lurking about? Now, isn't that special."
President Obama talks about negotiating with Iran and reminds a group of senators that from personal experience, he understands "donors have influence" a remark to which Senator Menendez took "personal offense."
It is a strong possibility that the Church Lady was onto something, and President Obama was speaking of Israel's influence on the U.S. Congress. Israel is well known as the world's major power demanding that the U.S. force Iran out of nuclear power development.
Still, as Phillip Weiss perceptively noted in his posting on the closed door Baltimore meeting, the New York Times could not bring itself to mention Israel in the story.
Deeply engrained in the Times' collective psyche, is the mandate to avoid like the plague any implication that Israelis (never say "the Jews") control the U.S. Congress.
Members of Congress know that Israel is the fourth largest nuclear arms power in the world. Every member of Congress also knows to never, ever, acknowledge that Israel has a nuclear arsenal, with between 200 and 800 nuclear war heads, tucked away in its Dimona desert location.