OBAMA AGENDA: Unintended consequence of Netanyahu’s speech
The New York Times on the GOP's Netanyahu invite: "The decision by the Israeli prime minister to accept an unusual invitation from House Republicans to address a joint meeting of Congress has had the unintended effect of helping the president rally Democrats as his administration negotiates a delicate nuclear deal with Iran." MORE: “The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.”
Are Dermer’s days numbered? More New York Times: Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer “said while it was unlikely the Obama administration would take the extraordinary step of declaring Mr. Dermer ‘persona non grata’ — the official method for a foreign diplomat to be ousted from a country — it could request that Mr. Dermer by reprimanded or removed. ‘He has soiled his pad; who’s he going to work with?’ Mr. Kurtzer said.”
The big picture on income inequality, from the Wall Street Journal: "The emergence of a two-tiered U.S. economy, with wealthy households advancing while middle- and lower-income Americans struggle, is reshaping markets for everything from housing to clothing to groceries to beer."
From the AP: “Obama's budget proposal to Congress will "fully reverse" the so-called sequestration cuts on the domestic side, while boosting national security programs by an equal amount, the White House said, as Obama prepared to meet with House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia. The budget will be "fully paid for with cuts to inefficient spending programs and closing tax loopholes," but taxpayers will have to wait until the budget is formally released Monday to find out exactly how.”
Republicans are split about Obama's proposals on military spending, reports the Wall Street Journal.
CONGRESS: Senate returns to Keystone
The Senate will give advancing the Keystone XL pipeline measure another try today after a vote earlier this week failed.
The one major place Loretta Lynch broke with the president during her confirmation hearing Wednesday: pot.
The Washington Post looks at whether Democrats can retake the House anytime soon.
OFF TO THE RACES: The Jeb-vs-Mitt fight over 32 neighborhoods in America
Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney aren't fighting over just a few states or even counties. When it comes to donors, they're fighting over 32 *neighborhoods* in America. Dante Chinni reports.
Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc will appear next to Ann and Mitt Romney Friday at a New York City luncheon for the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, reports the New York Times.
The New Hampshire GOP is planning a "leadership summit" for presidential candidates April 17-18.
CLINTON: Here's POLITICO with a look at Clinton's 2016 timing: "Hillary Clinton, expecting no major challenge for the Democratic nomination, is strongly considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July, three months later than originally planned, top Democrats tell POLITICO. The delay from the original April target will give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, without the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign."
HUCKABEE: A feud with Glenn Beck may be hurting him with the FOX News crowd, reports the Washington Examiner. And there's this quote from the former gov, sure to attract some attention: "“A lot of people make fun of how beautiful the women are at Fox, and yes: Compare them to any network, and ours are easier on the eyes than anybody else’s,” Huckabee said, mostly dodging the question. “However, they’re not there just because they’re attractive.”
PALIN: Conservatives are over her, writes the Washington Post. (Folks, that’s more than six years after her VP nomination and 5 ½ years after she resigned from being Alaska governor.)
PERRY: Rick Perry says he's "moving right along" with his 2016 plans despite a judge's refusal to dismiss his indictment. He cited a "May/June timetable" for an announcement.
ROMNEY: Asked what he might do differently for a 2016 run, Mitt Romney last night said: "That’s another question I won’t answer."
And he stepped up his attacks on possible rival Hillary Clinton.
WALKER: As Walker starts his run, will be he able to turn his obvious assets into a strong presidential run? Or is he the next Tim Pawlenty? Perry Bacon Jr. asks Pawlenty himself.
He’s proposing a $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin system, and the rhetoric over the plan is getting heated.
And around the country...
Roll Call writes: "The 2016 cycle could feature the fewest open Senate seats in at least a decade."
OHIO: Thinking about a ’16 Senate run? Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan says he’s “changed his thinking” on abortion. “There are many factors involved when a woman decides to end a pregnancy, and over the past 14 years in political office, I have gained a deeper understanding of the complexities and emotions that accompany the difficult decisions that women and families make when confronted with these situations.”
*** Thursday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Health care attorney Nick about the measles outbreak, former CIA agent Kevin Strouse about the latest on ISIS, and the new NFL Domestic Violence PSA with Domestic abuse survivor and author: Leslie Morgan Steiner.
*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Ambassador Nicholas Burns, MSNBC Terror Analyst Evan Kohmann, NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Tom Costello, Ron Mott, Luke Russert and Erica Hill and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus.