Netanyahu has gone too far in several ways.

Peter Baker writes in the NYT: “Israeli officials defied American opposition on Friday to announce 450 new settlement units in the West Bank and privately whispered to their media that Mr. Obama had given Iran 80 percent of what it wants.” There are many articulate comments highly critical of Netanyahu in the Comments following the article. I agree with the most recommended ones, Netanyahu has insulted our president and the presidency. Democrats should boycott the joint session of congress to meet him that bypassed diplomatic protocals and the president. The US should have stopped supporting Israel with billions/year of support, when they restarted building illegal settlements on occupied Arab lands, which make the prospect for peace approach impossible. Netanyahu does not treat us like a friend or ally. It is not too late to require that the settlement building stop, maybe even that some are destroyed, or handed over to the Palestinians.

The diplomatic break touched off by Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to negotiate an address to Congress without first telling President Obama reflects their fundamentally…|By PETER BAKER

Good news from the NYT on Climate Change Politics

Good news from the NYT: “In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change.”

An overwhelming majority, including nearly half of Republicans, back government steps to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The Times and others.|By MARJORIE CONNELLY

Suffering in Syria and Iraq

Not only is this horrible news, but we helped cause this mess, and have some responsibility to help clean it up. It is good, therefore, that President Obama is helping in fight against ISIS.

I have visited camps before, but this time the pain left me speechless.|By Angelina Jolie

The presence and fear of handguns is epidemic.

Thank you Charles Blow for a thoughtful article.
A Yale campus police officer pulls his gun and points it at a Yale student, because the student looks like a tall black male. There are two sad issues.

1. The officer behaved very badly.
2. The presence and fear of handguns is epidemic.
Our Police are afraid of us, because we allow so many guns in our society. The NRA and it’s friends should take some of the blame for this dangerous racial profiling. But the problem is bigger than racial profiling. One commentator identifies herself as plump, short, 50 year old white woman, who had officers draw their guns on her.

What if my son had panicked and the officer had fired? Had I come close to losing him?|By Charles M. Blow

Inclusive Capitalism ideas appear in Obama’s State of the Union speech.

“Not only would Obama raise capital gains tax rates from 23.8 to 28 percent for couples making more than $500,000 in taxable income, but he would eliminate a provision in tax law that allows the very rich to avoid taxation on much of the wealth passed on to their children and he would end a current exemption from taxation on the increase in the value of stocks, bonds and other assets when passed on through inheritance.”

In his State of the Union address, President Obama demonstrated the influence of the Democratic Party’s turn toward a more ‘inclusive capitalism.’|By Thomas B. Edsall

Should there be a carbon offset market for trees?

“The pace of deforestation is so great today that it accounts for an estimated 12 to 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions annually.”

Tropical forests could be protected by selling their carbon reserves as offsets to greenhouse gas emitters.|By Don Melnick, Mary Pearl and James Warfield
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  • David Lindsay There are many critical comments to the rosy idea above after the column in the NYT. For example:
    Michael Goldstein
    Oakland, CA 9 hours ago
    I have to believe that most people behind this initiative are well intentioned. However, it is both a manifestation, and a dangerous promotion, of the illusion that barely restrained corporate capitalism and sustainability are somehow compatible. If we and other species are to survive, the rain forests must be protected — period. And if we and other species are to survive, most of the remaining fossil material we think of as fuel must stay in the ground — period. It is not either/or. The idea that coal and oil companies and the industries that rely on energy from the burning of their products can continue to pollute as long as they also pay something for saving some of the rain forests is so plausible to the uninformed, and yet so daft, that for people who have studied the situation to promote it amounts to criminal negligence. Please rethink this and come back from the Dark Side.