Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Obama so confident in sustaining veto on Iran, Harry Reid promises filibuster to prevent a vote.

One of the tried and true ways of knowing whether something is honest, real, true, and not a partisan piece of nonsense is how honest each side is in how they deal with it, who lies, who tells the truth, who exaggerates, who is willing to play it straight and who tries to play games or use the rules to prevent the will of people from working it's will.
Obama made that very complaint and quite legitimately when Republicans prevented any gun legislation from coming to a vote in the senate after Sandy Hook. Obama and Reid made the same legitmate  complaint about Republican use of the filibuster and senate rules to block Obama's judicial nominees and appointments and held up the appointment of the new Attorney General.
But now Obama is playing the same Republican game and both he and Reid are showing they are not as confident as they pretend in having enough Democrats to sustain a veto on what is an absurd Iran deal. And so Reid has very stupidly threatened a filibuster to keep the Iran deal from coming  to a vote if it turns out there will be enough Democratic votes to override Obama's veto. 
It proves again that ever since Obama's election,between Obama, Reid and Pelosi ,Democrats have had no leadership, are politically tone deaf , ignore what their own voters have wanted and because of their blind partisan sycophancy to Obama, betrayed their own voters and what was promised on things like healthcare reform which led Democrats over a cliff  in two elections at the hands of their own voters.  Reid is continuing on that path of Democratic defeat by making his filibuster threat if Obama can't get his veto sustained honestly.
That would not sit well with the majority of voters and even the threat has caused damage and the surest way to guarantee Democrats will lose even more seats in congress would be to filibuster and prevent a vote on something as important and controversial as the Iran deal if Obama can't get the votes to sustain his veto on what even supporters call a weak deal that leaves a lot to be desired ("flawed" is their word of choice).  
The words used to support the deal prove how bad it is. Virtually every supporter of the deal is making an admission the deal is based on chance not anything that is iron clad, a reality that gets re-enforced every time those who support the deal feel the need to lie about it like MoveOn and other groups or even Obama himself.
Harry Reid said of his preventing a vote if Obama's veto won't be sustained, " As far as procedurally stopping the bill from moving forward (to a vote)  I hope it can be done". 
Patty Murray, the latest Democrat to support the deal (there are still not enough to sustain a veto)  ironcially proved again how weak the deal it is. As has been the case with every other Democrat supporting the deal, not one voicing any actual enthusiasm or praise.
Murray said, " there are several elements I would like to be stronger ...but I am convinced this deal is the best chance we have at a strong diplomatic solution".
Notice the choice of words. Not that this deal achieves the diplomatic goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, not that it accomplishes what it was supposed to do, but that its " the best chance" of doing it,  an admission that Democrats  and everyone else are supposed to support it based on chance when a negotiation which lifts sanctions on Iran and gives them hundred of billions in sanctions relief in return for absolutely making it impossible for Iran to get a nuclear weapon should never be left to chance.
As usual there is not a shred of proof  offered by anyone that its the "best" anything when even supporters contradict themselves in their next sentence by saying it's "flawed" or " it could have been stronger". That isn't most people's definition of "best" and if the argument is no one could have gotten Iran to agree to anything stronger reality makes them look foolish since Iran at the very last minute insisted on the end to the arms embargo and the end of the ban on ICBM's. And Obama agreed ( or caved in depending on how Tea Party-ish you want to be). Just to get a deal. Which is what Obama said he'd never do.Which is also typical Obama. 
Proof is John Kerry's argument as to why the hostages held by Iran or reining in Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism around the world wasn't made part of the deal: 
"This was solely about Iran's nuclear program. We didn't want to muddy the waters by bringing in outside elements as part of the deal."
Fair enough. Except Iran's last minute insistence on ending the arms embargo and ban on their having ICBMs had nothing to do with their nuclear program either. Which shows how weak and fundamentally dishonest Obama's deal is and how disengenuous it's defense.
Which gets re-enforced  by it's supporters constant use of the word "chance" as in " the best chance to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon".
There should be nothing left to chance when it comes to  preventing Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Nothing. It has been said over and over by Obama himself and everyone else, that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is out of the question. And to concede that this absurd deal has only a "chance" of accomplishing it's goal is to re-enforce its absurdity. And make its supporters look foolish.
As Obama did again in a letter to NY Congressman Jerrold Nadler to get his vote when he promised " I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon including the use of miltary force". Wait a minute.  Isn't this supposed to be the "best" way to  prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon without military force? Or is this Obama for the millionth time saying whatever he has to say to get what he wants politically? 
Hasn't MoveOn, DFA and other Tea Party Left groups touting this deal been shouting from the rooftops that this is the only way to prevent a war with Iran? So it seems  Obama made fools out of them too in his letter to Nadler. As usual.
If voters ever think that Democrats in congress  are more interested in saving Obama's face than the lives that will be put at risk by allowing the arms embargo against Iran to end which even Obama admits will be used to arm terrorists around the world, and ending the ban on Iran having ICBMs whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead,  and clearing the way for Iran to get s nuclear weapon in 10 years then incumbent Democrats across the country are in very,very  big trouble.
No Democrat is ever going to lose an election voting against this absurd deal. But a lot can lose by voting for it.
And what Democrats need to keep in mind is not what Obama says, and not what Pelosi says and not what Harry Reid says, but to paraphrase what Colin Powell said about foreign policy,and that is for Democrats on the Iran deal, if you don't break it you own it. For better or for worse.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Memo to the Clinton campaign: Stop Defending and Start Attacking.

Back in April, before Clinton ever announced her candidacy I wrote a piece advising Clinton to keep the national news media at arms length, even ignore them, and for a lot of very good reasons. I wrote that the national media was not her friend never have been ( the why's are clear enough and the subject of another article) and will always be looking for something with which to attack her.

But just as important, the  other very good reason to keep the national news media at arms length is because of something they will never admit which is they have no real influence anymore on voters. Or on anything. Except for politicians who think they have influence when they don't.  Walter Cronkite is long gone. In fact there is no one sitting in an anchor chair at CNN  right now from 6 a.m. when New Day starts till Don Lemon signs off at 11 p.m.who could have gotten a job as Walter Cronkite's gopher at CBS News back in the 60's and 70's.

My advice to the Clinton campaign  was to concentrate on giving interviews to local news  outlets and not the national media also for a  lot of good reasons.  Not the least of which that local reporters were more likely to question Clinton about issues important to their part of the country and their viewers or readers  as opposed to, like Brianna Keilar, trying to impress their friends. Especially when their friends aren't worth impressing.

For a long time it seemed that Clinton was doing just that, not because I think she took my advice but because  it seemed that people high up in her campaign were thinking the same way I was.  Much to the obvious frustration of the national media who started complaining and chafing about a lack of access.

Clinton decided to end the embargo  and gave her first national interview to Brianna Keilar at CNN which was a mistake. Not only was Keilar  universally panned in terms of a lackluster interview journalistically but Keilar's interview was one cheap shot question after another using  bogus and suspect CNN polls about Clinton's honesty as the basis of the questions when it's been CNN themselves beating the drum (or the dead horse depending on your point of view) and raising questions about Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness, then conducting suspect polls  and using them to justify the questions. Then Keilar used  something Clinton said in the interview to take the  cheapest shot possible during an interview with Trey Gowdy, the  partisan Republican chair of the Benghazi committee hearings and clearly a political hack and hatchet man. 

During her interview Keilar had asked Clinton about her turning over emails as the result of a subpoena  from Gowdy's committee. Clinton said there had been no subpoena and that she had turned over the emails voluntarily not as the result of a subpoena.

That was true. But what was also true was that Gowdy did issue a subpoena, an unnecessary one since Clinton had turned over the emails prior to receiving the subpoena.   But it gave Keilar her opening with Gowdy to take another cheap shot trying to make herself look like a tough journalist.

When Gowdy brought up the fact that he had issued a subpoena Keilar seized on the opportunity to ask Gowdy, " Is Hillary Clinton a liar"?

 It was the kind of "look ma I'm a journalist" shallow, superficial question designed to make Keilar popular with her journalistic friends who sit at the same high school cafeteria table she does,  since Keilar knew Clinton hadn't lied but was trying to point out in an answer to Keilar's original question that she had turned over the emails without being required to do so by a subpoena. That is what Clinton meant when she said there hadn't been a subpoena and unless Keilar is really, really dumb or  trying to play dumb, she knew it. But still couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw some mud because like most at CNN they think they can get away with it without complaint from Clinton.

Then there was the bogus New York Times story which claimed Clinton was the subject of a criminal investigation which also turned out not to be true but for which the Clinton campaign couldn't even get an apology and which took the Times  two days  to correct.  The dishonest and rigged CNN polls about Clinton's honesty of which I have already written will be dealt with in more depth and more specifics another time. For now it's long past due for the Clinton campaign to stop defending itself and go  on the attack. 

The Clinton campaign can start by revoking the press credentials of Brianna Keilar and let her and CNN know there is a price to pay for dishonest cheap shot journalism. Revoking credentials doesn't mean Keilar cant attend events as any member of the audience. It means she cant go where the press goes and she cant ask questions. CNN can either assign someone else or be shut out.

As for the Times the Clinton campaign response to the New York Times false reporting of a "criminal investigation" , was also incredibly weak no matter how well intentioned, as evidenced by a letter written to the Times by Jennifer Palmeri, Clinton's communications director which the Times refused to publish.

The New York Times is responsible for the three biggest journalistic stink bombs in the last 50 years, the Wen Ho Lee investigation in which it claimed Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee had committed the worst case of espionage against the United States since the Rosenbergs, allegations that turned out to be completely false and resulted in a dressing down of the Times by the judge in the case,  Whitewater, the biggest non story and non-scandal scandal in the history of journalism and last but not least, the Times bogus, erroneous  Dick Cheney fed front page stories by Judith Miller on Sadaam's WMD which was instrumental in getting the U.S. into a war based on Bush Administration lies we never should have fought.

You would think someone at the Clinton campaign would know how to hit back at the Times and hit them where it hurts - their credibilty.  The Times report of Clinton being under criminal investigation over classified emails was wrong, journalistically incompetent, ineptly sourced, and the product of shoddy journalism and incompetent editorial oversight that violated most standards of journalism 

Palmeri's response was almost apologetic when it should have been apoplectic and by its weakness sent a signal to journalists that Clinton hunting season is open and they can get away with anything and there will be no price to pay.

Imagine what Republicans would have done had the Times printed a story about the leading Republican candidate for president being under criminal investigation only to find the report was not only false but also the product of  the worst kind of unprofessional shoddy journalism, shoddy sourcing  and shoddy editorial oversight at all levels from the reporters who wrote the story to the incompetent editors who approved it.

Republicans would have rightly torn the Times credibility and their standards already much diminished, to shreds, accused it of bias, attacked their professionalism, would have demanded a front page and heartfelt apology and then still would have kicked the Times and their credibility where it hurts until the Times begged forgiveness.

They would have shamed the Times into an apology and insisted on a Times internal investigation  into how such a thing could have happened and get  a promise to hold those responsible accountable.

Instead in her letter to Times editors protesting false reporting, Palmeri said how much she respects the Times and is looking forward to a "productive relationship" in the future.

Not exactly what Trump would have said either. He would have exploded. And we saw an example of that when the Daily Beast published a false story about a bogus rape accusation supposedly made by Ivana 25 years ago which she publicly debunked.

If the Clinton campaign went on the attack over the emails and attack not just Republicans but the news media for their  self serving and empty reporting the country would respect it and approve of her toughness which would also go to what people want in a president. Clinton has the truth and facts  on her side and the news media and Republicans don't yet the Clinton campaign is always on the defensive. 

Palmeri also showed up on CNN in an interview with Cry Wolf Blitzer who asked his usual collection of questions, smacking of the journalistic smarminess he and CNN have become known for, and peppered Palmeri with questions  devoid of any underlying fact.  Palmeri was immediately on the defensive and if you were a Clinton supporter you probably watched Palmeri's interview  and defense of Clinton with your hand over your face, peeking  between your fingers.

Palmeri  put all the blame on  Republicans for the email issue and they are certainly exploiting it, but its Blitzer, CNN, the false reporting of the Times and other media outlets who jump on the bandwagon and CNN's constant slanted polling that is the core of the problem.

The least Palmeri  could have said is, " what scandal? Why do you even call it a scandal? The NY Times publishing a false report about a criminal investigation that didn't exist against a presidential candidate is a scandal. Your rigged polls on Clinton's honesty and trustworthiness is a scandal. Accusations and insinuations that no one can back up with a single fact is a scandal. Hillary Clinton using a private email server that everyone knew about while she was Secretary of State and that no one ,including the Inspector General,the State Department or the White House objected to is not a scandal. Get a dictionary."

Palmeri  let Blitzer off the hook by being deferential and instead solely  blamed Republicans for the whole mess when they are simply scavenging. 

CNN as well as other news organizations especially cable but also those vying for internet readership are at their root, parasitic.  Not just in this case but in all cases. 

When it comes to Clinton and the whole email and honesty and trustworthiness issue it  is something they created. They didn't spread the fire or pour gasoline on the fire they set the fire. There was no spontaneous reaction by the public to the issue of Clinton's emails reflecting on her honesty or trustworthiness. CNN for one created that by conducting polls that introduced those ideas for the first time with slanted questions. Then CNN used them as the basis for interviews with guests then acted like they had nothing to do with it that questions about Clinton's honesty was some kind of visceral reaction by the public.

The Clinton campaign could take them apart over that too.

To prove the point,  CNN recently switched gears trying to salvage the issue since there is still no evidence Clinton did anything wrong and  did a segment with the banner,  " Are email optics hurting Clinton's campaign"?


Nothing related to facts or truth or whether there is actually any proof Clinton did anything wrong, professionally, ethically or legally or whether any of the  accusations or misrepresentations by the press have produced any evidence.  Now it's about  optics.  Optics that CNN and the news media helped create.

And no one from the Clinton campaign calls them out on that fact alone .  Donald Trump doesn't back down from anything and media criticism has had no affect on his poll numbers. Trump even went after Fox News over the Meagan Kelly business and it was Fox News that backed down. And Trump is doing better with women voters than men.

During the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, David Shuster at MSNBC called Hillary and Bill Clinton "pimps" and reduced Chelsea to a political whore because she was helping her mother by making phone calls to supporters to raise money. Shuster called it "pimping out their daughter". Imagine the hue and cry had he said the same about Obama. The Clinton campaign's response was weak and devoid of the outrage and attack on MSNBC that was called for.  Democratic strategists, so weak and ineffective they are becoming their own category of ethnic joke, did little or nothing to come to Clinton's defense or launch an attack.   Clinton wrote MSNBC a letter of protest and MSNBC suspended Shuster for two weeks.  Two weeks.  For calling a sitting U.S. senator and former First Lady and the leading Democratic candidate for president (which had a lot to do with what was behind Shuster's slur) and a former President of the U. S. pimps. Which made their daughter a whore. That was good for a two week suspension.

Clinton or somebody, should stand up to journalists and the criticism suurounding her use of her own email server and not the .gov system  by pointing out  these facts: 

The White House email system was hacked.
The State Department email system was hacked.
The Pentagon email system was hacked.
The Office of Personnel Management system was hacked and the private information of over 2o million government employees including those who applied for TOP SECRET security clearances was stolen.

Clinton's email system was not  hacked. 

This is what the news media and Republicans are calling a "scandal". 

Clinton's email system has been referred to as " a home brew" email system as if its run by a goat on a treadmill running after a piece of cheese. The other characterization which is used repeatedly by the AP, Times, CNN, Reuters and others to re-enforce and justify the news media's reporting is the term "unsecured".  

Clinton's email system which she shares with Bill is monitored by the Secret Service .

Maybe  the best way  for Clinton to answer the email critics is to make  this pledge :

"Given that the White House email system was hacked, the Pentagon was hacked, the State Department was hacked, the Office of Personnel Management was hacked and my email server has never been hacked,  I promise  that if I am elected president I will  use the same people who set up and monitor my email server to do the same for the government."

And then say if anyone has any more questions to send her an email.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Secret Iran Deal Allows Iran to Inspect Itself. Or, Why is This Man Smiling?

An Iran deal absurd to begin with and supported by only the most partisan of Obama sycophants or people who have chosen to believe the misrepresentations put out in support of the deal just got  a lot more absurd to the point of satire when the AP was able to obtain the secret agreement alluded to by John Kerry in his appearance before two congressional committees in his defense of the overall deal . This secret agreement labeled "separate arrangement II (indicating there is a part I)  a copy of which was obtained by the AP and which is part of the overall deal with Iran, unbelievably allows Iran to inspect itself for a site Iran wants off limits to IAEA inspectors.

According to the "separate arrangement II" document, Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it was accused of using once before to develop nuclear arms.

The specific site in question is the Parchin nuclear site which Iran had long  been suspected of using to develop nuclear weapons. Iran had also been accused of using the site to experiment with explosive triggers used to detonate nuclear weapons and was exposed in 2003 of having done so.

The White House immediately issued its own hollow defense of the arrangement by saying the overall deal is " the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated".

Which doesn't exactly inspire confidence since who can name the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated before this one? It wasn't Iraq. Not North Korea. Not anything the White House can name. Which reduces it to Obama doublespeak or Washingtonspeak and a non-defense defense. The statement is contradicted by the AP report.

From the Associated  Press:

" The agreement diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied, trying to develop nuclear weapons".

If that is the most robust inspection deal ever peacefully negotiated then it would be assumed that those that came before also allowed those subject to inspection to inspect themselves which is clearly not true as the AP and IQ's in 3 digits already figured out. 

The AP  also quotes from Olli Heinonen, a former IAEA Deputy Director General, referred to here previously, who said he could not think of any other similar concession ever made to another country. So the White House is right in one respect -- the inspection deal is unprecedented. But not in the way Obama has presented. Heinonen also destroyed  one of Fareed Zakaia's arguments in support of the deal when Zakaria quoted a former IAEA inspector who claimed the insufficient  inspection argument was a straw man. Heinonen, who says otherwise was much further up the chain of command at IAEA as an IAEA Deputy Director General.

But it also exposes more untruths, or to be blunt, more lies and misrepresentations by Obama who has, as the AP reports, "repeatedly denied claims of a secret deal favorable to Tehran".

Parchin is infamous in that Iran had refused to allow access by inspectors for years and is a site both the US and Israeli intelligence believe has been used to work on nuclear weapons and to develop high explosive triggers for a nuclear weapon. Iran has called the U.S. and Israel liars.

One of the major criticisms of the Iran deal even before this revelation was that the deal denying inspectors the right to inspect undeclared sites would make it difficult to impossible to reveal attempts at developing high explosive triggers since no uranium enrichment is involved.  In other words they could develop nuclear triggers in Rouhani's basement and the IAEA based on the deal, legitimately be refused access.

Parchin also happens to be the site where satellite imagery revealed Iran had used bulldozers and other equipment to sanitize the site ten years ago. Yet this is the site the secret deal allows Iran to inspect itself with it's own inspectors and equipment.(It should also be noted that ten years is when this deal expires which will then allow Iran unfettered ability to pursue uranium enrichment to weapons grade.)

According to the AP, the draft agreement they obtained shows the proposed signatory is Ali Hoseini Tash, Deputy Secretary for the Supreme National Security Council for Strategic Affairs. The AP states that this "reflects the significance Tehran attaches to the deal." It might also add that the appropriately named Hoseini negotiated an agreement in which the U.S. has been hosed.

The AP says Iranian diplomats in Vienna were "unavailable for comment". But Nancy Pelosi, who led Democrats over a cliff in the 2010 elections by going along with Obama's sellout to the health insurance lobby by dropping the public option was available.  She said she still supports the deal. Which should be enough to make Democrats shudder.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Destroying Fareed Zakaria's Arguments in Favor of the Iran Deal.

Fareed Zakaria has long been an almost blind supporter of president Obama from the beginning and as the above banner shows, was "impressed with the president's attention to the middle east" which could probably be best characterized as being closer to ADHD than actual attention since his relationship with Netanyahu is non-existent, he's been a failure in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from the start since neither side trusts him and the Saudis arent too happy with him either. Add to that Obama's massive policy mistakes and failures in Yemen, Syria and with Isis, and its probably wise to consider anything Zakaria says in favor of an Obama policy as suspect.

In addition, Zakaria recently hosted a CNN special called "Blindsided: How Isis took the world by surprise". Which isnt exactly true since its public knowledge that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Defense Secretaries Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel and Panetta again as CIA Director all implored Obama years ago to arm the moderate Syrian rebels to stop Isis in its tracks as it was being formed  in Syria. Obama famously replied  that Isis was "the junior varsity"  and didn't think they were worth paying attention to. So much for Obama's attention.

On Sunday,  on his CNN show, in an open appeal to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer who has said he opposes the Iran deal and will vote against it, Zakaria, a generally intelligent and thoughtful man even if curiously enamored with Obama, made one of the most illogical and easily refutable arguments in support of the Iran deal this side of MoveOn and the Tea Party Left and their bizarre emails ( the latest of which is their dishonest and juvenile "60DaystoStopaWar" which is so full of lies and absurd thinking it puts them on the same level as climate change deniers) And in Zakaria's appeal in asking Schumer to change his mind, something the Tea Party Left will seize on since Schumer is their biggest  target for having the audacity to think for himself  and oppose both the deal and their Tea Party style groupthink, Zakaria laid out his arguments supporting Obama's Iran deal and against the arguments made by Schumer.

If you knew nothing about the issues involved it would be possible to draw a conclusion simply based on the quality of the arguments on each side.  Because  the more the Iran deal is looked at and logic and common sense is applied it's clear  there is no quality of argument in support of the deal since every argument  and point can be refuted factually which is why the best Kerry and Obama and those who support the deal can offer is,"what's the alternative"? And Obama's schoolyard name calling of those who oppose the deal as being the same people who got us into the war in Iraq ( like Joe Biden and John Kerry who both voted for the Iraq war?) makes Obama and his arguments look even more stupid and more suspect.

Instead of arguments and facts in support of the deal those are the kinds of overheated misrepresentations of the truth and facts, speculative suppositions, unsupported positions and opinions unsupported by facts and of course, outright lying, that is offered as a defense, the biggest lie of all being the lie parroted and used by MoveOn, DFA and others on the Tea Party Left which is either it's this deal or WAR!

The war argument is not only blatantly false it's stupid, illogical and an intentional empty attempt at  fear mongering designed to appeal to people who cant or wont think, which is exactly how the Tea Party on the Right tries to make an argument. 

But once the illogical war argument is put aside, the deal itself  and the pros and cons can be seen with a lot more clarity in terms of reality and  the real choices that were possible once you get past the war  smoke screen.

First, in defense of the deal, and trying to refute Schumer, Zakaria said that the snap back provision which would come into play if Iran lies or is caught cheating is the most extensive and foolproof in the history of snapback provisions and sanctions. Except there is no history of snap back provisions  so saying it's the most extensive snapback provision in history of sanctions is saying nothing. There is no history. 

There also isn't any kind of long term substantial "history" regarding sanctions  though they have obviously been used, most effectively and  ironically, against Iran and most ineffectively against North Korea, and Putin in his annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine.  So to  defend one of the main safeguards of the deal based on a provision and argument which is completely untested and could fall apart as " the most extensive and wide reaching in history",  when it's a  history that doesn't really exist, invalidates that argument and relegates it to speculative opinion. On the other side of the ledger the consequences of Iran being caught cheating and having snap back provisions which could fail or that Iran could ignore having already received tens of billions in relief and which would result in Iran getting a nuclear bomb is a preposterous trade off. You don't have to live in a unicorn fantasy world to think there could be a better way to guarantee Iran's compliance so that snap backs wouldnt even be necessary.

Secondly, on the  part of the deal that lifts the weapons embargo against Iran which even Obama admits will surely be used to arm terrorists around the world, Zakaria says, " this is true, but...".

Their should be no "but's".  If it's true, and it is, giving Iran more weapons they will surely use to arm terrorists around the world is not just unacceptable, it's stupid and wasn't necessary. Iran insisted on the lifting of the arms embargo at the last minute, threatened to walk away without it and Obama caved in. Giving Iran those weapons is going to kill people, and people who are U.S. allies. In addition the Iranian demand that the deal also include an end to the ban on having ICBMs which Zakaria could not defend is Cuckoo's Nest negotiating. This deal is supposed to be about preventing Iran from having a nuclear weapon (which at best it does for 10 years) not giving Iran the means to deliver it, and the only purpose of having ICBM's is to deliver a nuclear warhead.

There was a third argument Zakaria made about inspections which also fell apart. He quoted a former weapons inspector as saying that finding fault with the 24 day delay for inspecting an undeclared site is a straw man. He says it would only matter if the IAEA caught Iran "red handed"  blatantly cheating and in his words, "then the game would be over anyway".(another former weapons inspector writing in Foreign Policy opposing the deal completely disagreed).

What he doesn't say is 1) Iran has proved they are adept at cheating and if they want to they will and 2)  the probability that they would be caught "red handed" without inspecting a suspicious site is virtually non-existent, and  3), if they were caught "red handed"  without an inspection there wouldn't be a need to inspect the site would there? The IAEA would already have the proof. Since the deal calls for the IAEA to already have proof in catching Iran "red handed" before they can even start the 24 day process to inspect an undeclared site its a Catch-22 because the IAEA "suspecting" a site isn't good enough to gain immediate access and if they had proof they wouldn't need to inspect the site. So the IAEA needs proof,  catching Iran "red handed"  before they can demand access to an undeclared site which then gives Iran 24 days to clean up the site and claim the "proof" never existed even though if the IAEA had proof there would be no need to inspect the site. Good luck snapping back sanctions on that one. Which makes the deal surrounding the inspections to use another literary analogy,  Alice in Wonderland. Or a unicorn fantasy world. It's not hard to understand why Iran readily agreed to those terms. And why Iran's top military chief supports the deal.

Zakaria's final argument was the most ludicrous of all, which is that without this deal Iran will continue its enrichment and get a nuclear weapons.  It's a ludicrous argument  because for years Iran has claimed they have no interest in a nuclear weapon and never have and were only enriching uranium to 2% for energy and medical isotopes and this whole sanction thing was just a big misunderstanding. Their complaint has been "you have us all wrong". Even though the only reason for their heavy water reactor was to enrich uranium to 20% which is weapons grade.

In defending the reason for accepting the deal Zakaria is admitting that Iran's leadership are and have been lying in the past and that they were in fact trying to enrich uranium to weapons levels all this time while lying to the rest of the world. We knew about their enrichment program  which was set back by Israeli and U.S. intelligence and counter espionage that created the Suxtnet worm which crippled Iran's reactors for a time (and without war).

 In admitting that Iran lies (they were also caught cheating in 2003 trying to develop triggers for a nuclear warhead) and cannot be trusted, Zakaria makes the case, not for this deal and not for war, Iran does not want war, they want the sanctions lifted, but for a much better more effective deal, a much stronger one that allows for real inspections, no ICBM's for Iran, no lifting of the arms embargo and a deal that will not let Iran enrich uranium to weapons grade in 10 years or ever. A deal that will actually accomplish what a deal to ensure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon is supposed to accomplish with an adversary that can't be trusted.

Obama has repeatedly said he hasnt heard anyone come up with anything better.  A lot of people havè including what was outlined above. Which makes him sound like a used car dealer trying to close a deal on a lemon. Which also exposes his negotiating skills. And, as we've seen before, his honesty. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Obama's latest ringing endorsement of the Iran deal: Iran's top military commander.

Obama may have lost number 3 Democrat in the senate Chuck Schumer who will vote against the Iran deal  along with a number of other Democrats but he picked up a big endorsement on Sunday in support of his deal, this one from Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan  Firouzabadi who told Iran's citizens and Iran's official news outlet that the deal  is just great for Iran and agrees with John Kerry that it couldn't be better.

(Just for context the above visual was Firouzabadi congratulating Syrian president Assad for "humiliating the United States".)

Firouszabadi didn't quite say that anyone who thinks Iran could have gotten a better deal  was living in a unicorn fantasy world, but sounding like an old 1950's rock ballad, said there were 16 reasons why the deal was great for Iran and Iran's military. And why wouldn't he?

Firouzabadi's endorsement blows one more ever changing and desperate Obama argument 

out of the water which Tea Party Left groups like MoveOn mimic like trained parrots, which is that those who oppose the deal in the U.S. are in common cause with Iran's hardliners. Based on facts and reality, there is more evidence that its those who endorse the deal in the U.S.who  have" common cause" to use Obama's term,  with the hardliners in Iran and those chanting "Death to America" since General Firouszabadi is one of those. And he is delighted with the deal.

It is clear from the facts that like it or not the proponents and supporters of the deal in the U.S. are more aligned with the Iranian military who are as hardline as it gets,  than those who oppose the deal.

 Obama's childish and dishonest attempt at casting those who oppose his deal as having"common cause" with the Iranian hardliners, like almost everything else Obama says, or has ever said, ends up being the opposite of what always proves true. Something Glen Greenwald  pointed out (and has been pointed out here constantly ever since Obama started running for president)  in Greenwald's recent piece on Obama's dishonesty and failures on Guantanamo and Democratic sycophants politically trying to cover it up.

Yet when it comes to Iran there is something on which everyone seems to agree.  Everyone with the possible exception of Tea Party Left groups like MoveOn and Daily Kos and ThinkProgress who by their own logic of calling opponents of the deal "pro Iran war", have been hoisted on their own petard as being pro-Iranian nuclear bomb and pro-terrorist. But the common cause everyone else in the U.S. shares from the most far right Republican to Bernie Sanders, is that Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Under any circumstances. Ever.

Everyone also agrees including those who oppose Obama's deal, that every diplomatic effort needs to be exhausted to prevent the possibility of Iran getting a nuclear weapon rather than having to resort to  war undermining the lies and false arguments coming from Tea Party Left groups that claim that those who oppose Obama's deal want war.

Obama's deal, far from exhausting every diplomatic effort to prevent Iran from having a bomb, is mostly Obama concessions that never should have been made in the first place and Obama himself has already conceded the deal will allow Iran to have a bomb in 10-15 years. Which would certainly lead to war.

But for now, unless Iran wanted war there would be no war.  Which is why the Iranian military chief is so pleased. And why MoveOn, ThinkProgress and DFA have become like Tea Party Left issuing, like the Tea Party on the right and their false propaganda, a torrent of blatant and even juvenile lies along with empty threats to prop up Obama.

Obama's deal gives Iran everything it wants and everything it needs to continue doing what it's been doing all along while giving Iran the capacity to have  a nuclear weapon in 10-15 years. They have given up virtually nothing except agreeing to inspections of previously declared sites. Iran is willing to wait those 10 years and will probably do secret research on triggers for a nuclear weapon which the IAEA couldn't discover (which happened in 2003) because there is no nuclear enrichment involved.

As for now Iran can't afford a war  and can't win one and therein is the lie, the ignorance and feeble scare tactics  coming from Tea Party Left groups who seem to have "common cause" with Iran's top military commander while influencing no one that matters despite their own self delusion to the contrary.

The only way Iran can ever threaten a war is if they had a nuclear bomb. That's because it takes two to make a war and Iran can't win a war. And will not now start one or engage in one with the U.S.  or Israel. And Firouzabadi knows that too. So it's not Obama's deal or war.   But by Obamas own admission his deal reduces the breakout time for Iran to get a nuclear bomb from three years at present to 3 months at the end of 10 years.

Obama said of his deal that Iran "is allowed to continue research and development into advanced centrifuges over the life of the deal and will be allowed to install those advanced models at Natanz after 10 years."  After 15 years all limits on the number and efficiency of those centrifuges expire  and that reduces the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear bomb to 3 months.

Obama's deal , which General Firouszabadi is so happy with, also ends the ban on Iran having ICBM's whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead. Add to that Iran's last minute demand and Obama's capitulation that the arms embargo be ended and its no wonder Firouszabadi is delighted. Which is why Obama's deal borders on the farcical and should be called Dr. Strangedeal: Or How Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Iran's Bomb.

The lies and propaganda and Obama sycophancy of MoveOn's leadership like Jo Comerford and Anna Galland aside, there would be no war, not now not in the near future, if this deal is rejected.  Which would give the U.S. plenty of time to negotiate a deal that does not, according to Obama, give them the ability to have a nuclear weapon and the ICBMs to deliver it in 10-15 years. Or the ability to give weapons to terrorists around the world which ending the arms embargo will enable, something even Obama concedes.

So there will be no war as a result of rejecting the deal. Because the bottom line is, Iran wants the sanctions lifted not war. And they have also claimed they were never trying to get  nuclear bomb in the first place. Which means that all Obama had to say,  diplomatically  of course,  to Iran is what anyone from Brooklyn would have said: "put up or shut up". 

Obama also added in a statement making those who claim its his deal or war look ridiculous, that in "15 years the United States will still  have the military capability to prevent Iran from breaking out to a bomb". Wasn't this supposed to prevent war?

If this deal goes through we will probably need that capability because the deal makes war or the threat of war more likely. Not now, but 10-15 years from now. When Iran could have that nuclear warhead and the ICBMs to deliver it, subjecting the world to, if nothing else the potential for nuclear blackmail. Or worse.

Colin Powell once said of foreign policy, if you break it you own it.  For Democrats in congress the reality of the Iran deal is going to be,  if you don't break it you own it. And that is something they need to think about. And something Major General Hassan Firouzabadi hopes never happens.

Friday, August 7, 2015

In Republican debate Carly Fiorina calls for the end of the Republican party as we know it.

Carly Fiorina, who many think made the best impression during the Republican presidential debates seems to have called for the end of the Republican party and its primary ideology.
She was talking about Donald Trump but she talked about Trump within the context of principle and it's principle that counts since it's one's principles that apply to any and all situations and cannot be used selectively.  Which is what makes it a principle and not an opinion. In fact  you cant even claim you have principles if the principle you express applies only to one person at one time or one situation but not another.
And  so of Donald Trump Fiorino said expressing what is supposedly one of her guiding principles :
" Anyone who claims to represent the Republican party should never in tone be judgmental, vitriolic or angry".
Say goodbye to the Tea Party if Fiorina has anything to say about it. Or at least her rejection of their rhetoric and behavior. The same with those NRA and anti-healthcare reform Republicans like those who applauded during a 2012 Republican presidential debate at the idea of a person with no health insurance just being allowed to die (admittedly Obamacare is a massive fraud, failure and disaster but the idea of real healthcare reform like the public option isn't).  
So based on this principle Fiorina seems to signal her support for either the end of the Republican party as we know it along with their guiding political ideology as currently comprised since its all about being judgemental, vitriolic and angry,  or at the very least 90% of the people in it.  Like Ted Cruz, Chris Cristie, Bobby Jindal, Sam Brownback the governor of Kansas, Scott  Walker, and most Tea Party House Republicans and their supporters all of whom are, if nothing else,  judgemental vitriolic and angry. Unless her primary guiding principles is not to have any guiding principles at all that apply outside of a Republican debate.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Obama lies again about Iraq to defend deal with Iran.

When you  lie repeatedly about a policy you have no policy and president Obama, who has provably lied more about his own policies than any president in history, even more than Bush or Nixon in terms of quantity,  is resorting to lying again to defend his nuclear deal with Iran. This time he's using lies about Iraq to do it. And hoping there are enough ignorant people out there to believe him. 
From the president who said " I never campaigned for the public option", "Isis is the junior varsity", called Yemen one of his great foreign policy success and said of his threat to use a punitive missile strike against Assad if he used chemical weapons, "everybody knows I don't bluff", the intellectually bankrupt argument Obama is  now trying to make is to lie about Iraq  and bring up the spectre of Iraq as a way to defend the nuclear deal with Iran in the hopes of intimidating enough Democrats to sustain a veto of a deal that will certainly be disapproved by congress.
The great irony is that Obama is doing exactly what George W. Bush did to drum up votes for the Iraq War Authorization - lie. And then hope he can fear monger enough to get away with it. 

If you have to lie it is virtually a tacit admission that the deal is  not what it should be or as represented. And that you failed. As evidenced by his recent claim that "99% of everybody supports this deal".
 It is almost comical and even sad to see that Obama is so used to lying and getting away with it in front of a news media too intimidated to point it  out, or Tea Party Left groups too ignorant or partisan to care, that he has to resort to that kind of easily provable lie which is an act of desperation. For the record a recent poll showed 52% of Americans want congress to kill the deal.
But his most recent lie which he intends on repeating, focuses on Iraq and his dishonest and desperate attempt to claim that anyone who opposes his deal is a war monger who will get us into an Iraq like war.  The choice is his deal or war.
To make that point he says the people who oppose the Iran  deal " are the same columnists and former administration officials who got us into the war in Iraq."
Unfortunately for him it's many of the Democrats who who got us into the war in Iraq who support his Iran deal and two  of them are the two most  prominent members of his administration and most ardent supporters of his Iran deal. 
Secretary of State, John Kerry and vice president Joe Biden  who ardently support the Iran deal were among those whose lousy judgement got us into the war in Iraq since both voted for it.  Which shows just how hollow  Obama's defense of his deal really is.  And should remind him once again of the Woody  Allen rule that when you tell the truth all the time you never have to remember anything.

It's nothing less than embarrassing to claim that those opposing his deal are those who got us into the war with Iraq when the two most prominent people in his administration and one of the deal's negotiators are among those people. 

In his most recent speech Obama claimed that opponents of his deal are "selling a fantasy". This is what clinical psychologists call projection, when an individual refuses to admit a personal flaw or issue and projects it onto other people. It is Obama who is living in a fantasy world if he thinks he can point to a single decision he's made on anything that  turned out well from healthcare reform to Yemen.  

Not to put too fine a point on it, Lyndon Johnson managed to get southern white racist senators to vote for the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and Obama couldn't get a single piece of gun safety legislation passed after 26 children and teachers were killed with an assault rifle at Sandyhook.  This  is who is claims opponents of his deal are selling a fantasy and that his deal was the best anyone could get. It might be the best deal he could get but that has more to do with his own inadequacies than what was really possible. 

It was a negotiation where Iran was calling all the shots, where it was Obama and Kerry who were always afraid it would be Iran who would walk away instead of the other way around and Iran  gave up virtually nothing (remember Iran all along claimed they were never trying to get a nuclear weapon) while getting everything they wanted including their demand for lifting the ban on having ICBMs  whose sole purpose is to deliver a nuclear warhead and an insistence on the end to the arms embargo to go with sanctions being lifted. 

Part of Obama's argument is that this deal avoids and prevents war when the facts and logic say just the opposite. The deal makes war more likely. Only it will be 10-15 years from now when Iran will, according to the deal, have the right to enrich uranium to levels needed to make a nuclear bomb. And since Obama buckled and agreed to Iran's last minute demand that the ban on their having ICBMs be lifted (which have only one purpose -- to deliver a nuclear warhead) and his concession to lift the arms embargo against Iran which will allow Iran to increase its arming of terrorists , it is a certainty that Obama's deal will  cost lives and take everyone closer to war, just not in the short term. But the short term is all Obama cared about. 
According to Obama, speaking again of fantasy, it is the " Republican and conservative columnists"  who were responsible for getting us into the Iraq war who now oppose his deal. Like who? The New York Times?  
It was The  New York Times who was the single most prominent news outlet responsible for getting us into the war in Iraq and supporting the Bush assertions about WMD.  It was the bogus front page stories in the Times based on information spoon fed to Times reporter Judith Miller by Dick Cheney and never vetted or corroborated or even questioned by Times editors, that had more impact on getting us into war in Iraq than any conservative or Republican columnist. The Times stories were even quoted by Dick Cheney as evidence that administration claims were being substantiated "independently" by the Times.
Obama's empty argument for an empty deal continues to fall apart because those questioning the Iran deal have not been columnists or former Bush officials.  They haven't even been solely Republicans.
Though you wouldn't know if by Obama's latest lie that Republicans opposing his deal are like the hardliners in Iran, a desperate and typically dishonest attempt by Obama to shore up Democratic support.

Democrats like Eliot Engel, Robert Menendez  and Ben Cardin and many more are openly questioning the deal. And House Democrats Steve Israel, Nita Lowery and Ted Deutsch have already  said they will vote against it. And the number 3 Democrat in the senate, Chuck Schumer has just announced he will vote against the deal. 
Finally, it needs to be pointed out that Obama badly distorts and misrepresents the truth about his own original position on Iraq , (what else is new?) the one he likes to boast about to use as evidence of his good judgement.  But his actual original position on going to war in Iraq was an example of just how truly bad his judgement can be and completely undermines all his arguments.
When Barrack Obama was in the Illinois state senate and thus didn't have a vote (nor did he have any intelligence briefings)  he did come out against going to war in Iraq. The problem is, and what Obama wants everyone to forget, and doesn't want mentioned, is that he was against going to war in Iraq for all the wrong reasons. And was the result not of good judgment but the worst judgement possible. 
Obama has tried to get a lot of  political mileage out of his claim that back in 2002 he came out against going to war in Iraq. And he has used it ever since as proof of his good judgement. It is actually proof of his lousy judgement, the same judgement we have seen in other domestic and foreign policy decisions from Isis as the "junior varsity", to his losing Crimea to Russia by telling the interim government not to resist, being bullied by Putin in Ukraine and his touted foreign policy success in Yemen which has degenerated into chaos and disaster.
There were many Democrats who voted against the Iraq War Resolution. And they deserve credit for having voted against it. And they voted against it for one very good reason --  they didn't believe or accept  Bush administration claims there was any absolute proof that Sadaam had WMD, the sole rationale used by Bush, Cheney and Rice to go to war and the only legitimate reason to invade Iraq. Remember Condoleeza Rice's statement that we had to invade Iraq "before the smoking gun turned into a mushroom cloud"? 
There were a lot of good reasons to doubt that Sadaam had WMD. Two reporters for Knight Ridder newspapers wrote excellent well sourced stories debunking the idea that Saddam had WMD which contradicted all the bogus Times front page stories. But it was the Times who had the influence. 
But there were  Democrats who weren't satisfied with  Bush adminstration claims, just as there are those in congress now including Democrats not satisfied with Obama's claims, who felt there wasn't  enough evidence that Sadaam had WMD to justify going to war. In the end it was those who weren't satisfied with Bush administration claims about WMD who had their judgement vindicated and were eventually proved right.  Obama was not one of them.
Obama actually accepted and believed the false Bush administration claims that Sadaam had WMD. And even then he was still against going to war in Iraq.  Had Sadaam actually had WMD Obama's judgement  would have  been a complete disaster for the world. 

The only basis that convinced the world to back the invasion of Iraq was the presentation and assertions that Sadaam had biological, chemical and nuclear WMD and the capacity to deliver it. Obama, in spite of his believing Saddam had those WMD was still opposed going to war in Iraq and stopping Sadaam from using them.  That is the judgement that forged the deal with Iran.
Far from Obama's stance on Iraq in 2002 proving he had good judgment, it was and is another clear indication of just how bad Obama's judgement can  be and what a disaster for the world it can be. As we have seen with Isis, Ukraine, Yemen and Syria, where Isis could have been stopped had Obama listened to advice and armed the moderate rebels.Syria is still in chaos and over 100,000  have been killed. And Assad continues to illegally drop chlorine barrel bombs on civilian populations. 
Iran could be worse since Obama's nuclear deal if implemented, will allow Iran to have ICBMs and also lift the arms embargo which Iran will use to arm terrorists, while giving Iran the resources to build a nuclear warhead in 10 to  15 years. And if that seems like a long way away, keep in mind any child born today will be in the 5th grade when Iran could have or be on the road to having a nuclear weapon. And thanks to Obama's concessions,  Iran will already have had the ICBM's to deliver it. Or use it to resort to nuclear blackmail. And then what? According to John Kerry's testimony, "well, we'll see what happens".  Most people do not want to  wait and see what happens. (Iran's top military chief just came out in ardent support of the deal.  So who has "common cause" with Iran's hardliners?) 
There is something else Obama wants to bury about Iraq and why his analogy makes the case against him not for him.  As president Obama rejected the advice of two Secretaries of Defense (who resigned) a Director of the CIA and a Secretary of State, not to mention many in congress with far more military and foreign policy experience, who advised Obama to leave a residual force of about 10,000 American troops in Iraq. Obama refused and there is unanimity that Obama's refusal to keep an American force in Iraq, both to train and to be a safety net for Iraq security forces is why Iraq is now in chaos and Isis has made the huge advances and gains in territory that it has.
Just as there were good reasons to have rejected the Bush argument for war in Iraq, there are even more good reasons to reject Obama's deal with Iran. And the responses by Democrats who support the deal,  like Jan Schakowsky of Illinois ( Obama's home state) who have blindly bought Obama's argument that its either his deal or war  shows a lack of knowledge of history and some of the same lousy partisan judgment as those who supported the war in Iraq. Sen. Barbara Boxer whose comment unintentionally revealed the truth about many Democrats who will vote to approve the deal, said "like the Iraq war its a vote of conscience. "
It is not. It has nothing to do with conscience but with facts and truth and common sense. The only matter of conscience is whether to cast a vote based on blind partisanship or facts. That is a matter of conscience.
Boxer revealed her own partisanship when she took great umbrage to two Republican senators referring to the Iran deal as the product of having been "bamboozled" by Iran .She called it insulting to Kerry and Obama's intelligence. But she had no problem with Kerry referring to anyone who thought there could ever be a better deal as someone "living in a unicorn fantasy world". That, according to Boxer was not an insult to anyone's intelligence.
Boxer also inadvertently helped make the case for rejecting the deal and against the arguments of those supporting it when she said in reference to Obama and Kerry have being "bamboozled" by Iran,  " the idea that the UK, France, and Russia and other countries were also bamboozled is preposterous".
Maybe someone should show Boxer newsreel footage of Neville Chamberlin getting off the plane waving the peace agreement Great Britain, France and other countries signed with Hitler in Munich when Chamberlin said the agreement represented " peace in our time" and avoided war. Not to mention the separate peace deal Stalin made with Hitler at the same time. Shortly before Hitler invaded Poland. And then Russia. That all those countries could be " bamboozled" was preposterous too, right Barbara?
It is Obama, Kerry and many Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and those Democrats who support the deal who are living in a fantasy world. A fantasy world about making comparisons between rejecting his deal and going to war in Iraq. A fantasy world in thinking this exercise in capitulation was the best deal anyone could get. And a fantasy world if Obama thinks his own past judgement on Iraq proved right when it was  actually proved wrong, not once but twice. 

The real comparison with Iraq is that voting for Obama's Iran deal will be the same as voting for war in Iraq since the analogy is in casting a vote for something without proof that its what we need to do to solve the problem or that it will solve the problem when, like Iraq, the opposite is true and will make things worse.

All indications are that Obama's deal will not prevent war but it could lead to war. Not now, but within the next decade. Which makes Tea Party Left Obama doormat groups like MoveOn,DFA and ThinkProgress look as ignorant and dishonest as any Tea Party right climate change denier .

And last but not least, the final analogy with Iraq that undermines Obama's  argument is that, like the Bush adminstration, Obama and members of his administration are resorting to lying through their teeth to get votes.
99% of everybody supports the deal.

Its this deal or war.

There is no alternative

Anyone who thinks there was a better deal is living in a fantasy world

The vote shouldn't even be close

 (indicating that anyone who thinks  that at the last minute giving in to Iran's demand to allow them to have ICBMs or lifting the arms embargo when his own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said neither should ever happen, or letting them enrich uranium to weapons levels in 10 years  is an idiot).

Voting against this deal is like voting for the Iraq war.

The same people who got us into the war in Iraq are the ones who oppose the deal.

Republicans who oppose the deal are like the hardliners in Iran ( without mentioning the manyDemocrats  opposed) 

When you have to lie you're desperate. When you're desperate it means your desperate to close a bad deal before anyone can see just how bad a deal it is. The deal should speak for itself.  If  it was so good people would see it and know it.  Obama and Kerry wouldn't be trying so hard to convince people like a couple of used car salesmen trying to close a deal on a lemon. 

What the deal speaks of on it's face is a preposterous capitulation to a dangerous enemy who is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world and who demanded at the last minute as part of the deal,  the right to have ICBM's which are only used to launch a nuclear warhead. And the Obama administration says the vote shouldn't even be close. If sanity prevails it wont be close. In voting against the deal.

And when Kerry was criticized for not making Iran's sponsorship of terrorism part of the deal along with a release of American held hostages, Kerry said they didn't insist on those things because the  deal was "only about Iran's nuclear capability" and he didn't want to muddy the waters with unrelated issues. Fair enough. But when  it came to Iran insisting  on outside unrelated  issues like an end to the ban on ICBMs and an end to the arms embargo, Obama and Kerry capitulated.   So making demands on outside unrelated issues for Iran was fine. But not for the U.S.
Anyone who thinks conscience has anything to do with the vote on the Iran deal is revealing themselves to be blind partisans, struggling with their conscience over whether to vote based on their partisanship or the facts and the truth. So whether or not this deal goes through, the deal  and its consequences is going to belong to the Democrats who vote for it. 

Obama's most corrosive lie is framing the deal as its his deal or  nothing or his deal or war and there are many non-thinkers who swallow it. Those clearly aren't the choices . This is Obama not wanting to admit that someone else could have negotiated a better deal. Which is exactly what's needed, someone else who can negotiate a better deal. Anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton would not have negotiated a stronger  deal and never would have accepted this deal as president is also living in a fantasy world. And her lukewarm public political support of the deal is no indication of real acceptance especially  when she knows rejecting it would have sent shockwaves through the congress and might have been seen as both self serving and interfering with the president's policies .

One further note on Obama's duplicity and hypocrisy. When he was first elected president Rep. John Conyers wanted to hold congressional hearings on how we got into the war in Iraq, about as useful a congressional investigation as could have been undertaken and not the partisan political witch hunt being conducted by Republicans with their 7th hearing on Benghazi. Obama's response to Conyers was " I do not think it useful to litigate how we got into that war". Now its all he wants to talk about. And lie about. For his own purposes.
On foreign policy Colin Powell once said, " if you break it you own it". For Democrats, on the deal with Iran, it's going to be "if you don't break it you own it."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Trump Hypocrisy Over Planned Parenthood.

It was less than two weeks ago that Donald Trump was full of outrage and justifiable anger at a phony story by the Daily Beast about fake rape allegations from 30 years ago surrounding Trump's divorce from wife Ivana.

The story was typical of cheap shot phony journalism by equally cheap journalists looking to create some buzz and Trump was irate that a news organization would try to make an issue out of  a story that was false.

But false stories are fine for Donald Trump if he thinks he can use it to pander to conservatives he wants to help his presidential ambitions.

Trump, whose nose was all bent out of shape over the false Daily Beast story about rape allegations, has had no qualms about trying to exploit the equally phony stories and manipulated video surrounding Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue. He's dishonestly exploiting the video and phony allegations in exactly the same way he complained  about the Daily Beast dishonestly exploiting the rape story. So  for Trump it's do as I say not as I do. 

Trump says he supports a government
shut down to defund Planned Parenthood based on the fake claim of Planned Parenthood illegally  selling fetal tissue.  Despite  the fact that Planned Parenthood said the story and allegations were completely false and  based on a dishonestly edited video designed to make one thing look like another. But Trump, turning Daily Beast-like issued his statements as if it were  all fact, announcing that if he were president he'd defund Planned Parenthood, which, by the way does not get one penny in federal funding for abortion and never has. So what they really want to shut down is breast cancer screenings, STD prevention and treatment, gynecological examinations for poor women who have no medical insurance and a host of other women's health issues,screenings and treatment that Planned Parenthood provides. That and that alone is what Republicans want to defund and shut down because that and that alone are the services the federal funding provides. 

For the record, fetal tissue has been legally used in scientific and medical research since the 1930's. And yes there are ethics and laws involved. First, in every case Planned Parenthood gets the written consent of the woman, which complies with ethics and laws.  And secondly, what is illegal is selling fetal tissue for profit, not the selling of it for medical and scientific research and that is what Planned Parenthood and many other outlets have done and what has been going on for decades. There is no profit involved. 

So for right wing politicians to seize on something that has been going on for decades and that everyone in the medical profession has known about for decades and suddenly try to make it a moral issue is just cheap political opportunism and grandstanding designed to appeal to the ignorant.  Just like Louisiana governor and pillar of selective morality Bobby Jindal who announced today he is cutting off state Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, something a federal judge will reverse as illegal as soon as it's challenged.

What the videos causing all the ruckus supposedly showed was  Planned Parenthood illegally arranging to sell the tissue for profit. They did not. And when that is proved, no doubt political exploiters will say that doesn't really matter, let's defund Planned Parenthood anyway even if they did nothing illegal and use it as fodder for the right wing crazies who think their ideas about everything is what people should be forced to follow.

Democrats must be salivating at Trump's big lead in the polls and his obvious hypocrisy and very selective and fluid set of principles and how what applies to him in terms of fairness and truth  doesn't apply to anyone else, in this case Planned Parenthood. 

Democrats must also be salivating at Trump's position on shutting down the government to defund Planned Parenthood since it might force every other GOP candidate wooing the lunatic right to adopt the same stance, something that would assure any GOP presidential candidate of being, well, trumped,  by any Democratic candidate. 

The only caveat is we are talking about Democrats who can boast the political wisdom and power of a daffodil, and who can claim the weakest most mealy mouthed ineffective collection of political strategists on the planet, so whether they will know how to use it to their advantage is still an open question. 

Meanwhile Planned Parenthood could and should put The Center for Medical Progress,a phony right wing group who financed and planned the phony undercover video, out of business with a major defamation lawsuit. Two judges in California have already blocked the group from releasing more illegal video and secret recordings they made at meetings they attended using false identities, and blocked them from releasing a list of Planned Parenthood executives, the purpose of which clearly is to instigate violence against them from the right wing crazies they hope to inspire, the same group Trump is now courting.

Any violation of the court order will see principals at the Center For Medical Progress go to jail. But a civil suit is what put the KKK out of business and forced them into bankruptcy resulting in all their property being seized. It effectively destroyed them forever as an organization just like income tax evasion sent Al Capone to prison.

Planned Parenthood should do the same with the Center For Medical Progress which will be a lesson to anyone else trying to use doctored videos to make a political point. A lesson already learned by James O'Keefe whose doctored and  dishonest undercover video at an Acorn office successfully resulted in Acorn being wrongly defunded by Republicans looking for an excuse to do it anyway.   But it also resulted in O'Keefe having to pay $160,000 to the Acorn worker shown in the video in an out of court defamation settlement, since the video was dishonestly edited to depict the worker breaking the law  by helping a pimp and prostitute ( played by O'Keefe and his girlfriend ) lie on an application when the Acorn worker was actually doing the opposite and calling the police.

We haven't heard from O'Keefe since.  Probably because if he tried to pull the same thing a second time the punitive damages would be astronomical, more than his backers would ever be willing to pay and more than O'Keefe could pay himself which seems to have effectively put him out of the scam business. Planned Parenthood should do the same with the Center For Medical Progress which should be renamed The Center For Political Malpractice.

As for Trump, his call to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood should be a goldmine for any Democrat with a minimum of political intelligence pointing out Trump's gross hypocrisy and double standards which, if he ever did get the Republican nomination, could finish him in a general election. Which has Republicans on track to lose in 2016  no matter who the Democratic candidate is, Clinton or Sanders.

Though admittedly a lot will depend on whether Democrats reject the incredibly incompetent, capitulating and dangerous deal with Iran. Which could backfire on them politically before the deal backfires on everyone else. But not before Trump's own hypocrisy backfires on , not only him, but every other Republican candidate running  for president.