Deal Sweetener: State Department Won’t Rule Out $50 Billion ‘Signing Bonus’ For Iran

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 writes: The State Department on Monday would not rule out giving Iran up to $50 billion as a so-called “signing bonus” for agreeing to a nuclear deal later this year, according to comments made to journalists following reports that the Obama administration had formulated a plan to release tens of billions of frozen Iranian funds.

“This could be the largest cash infusion to a state sponsor of terrorism in modern history.”

— Jonathan Schanzer, a top terrorism-funding expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Experts have said this multi-billion dollar “signing bonus” option, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, could be the largest cash infusion to a terror-backing regime in recent memory.

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“They’re getting access to money throughout this period as well. Throughout the extension they’re now getting some sanctions relief, which will continue through June 30.”

— State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf

A cash release of $30 to $50 billion upon reaching a final nuclear agreement would come in addition to the more than $11 billion in unfrozen assets that Iran will already have received under an interim nuclear accord reached in 2013.

When asked to address these reports on Monday, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf attempted to dodge the issue and then accused reporters of getting “spun up” on the issue.

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Asked whether Iran could receive $50 billion “on day one after signing” or verbally agreeing to a nuclear deal, Harf told reporters that she would “look into it.”

When pressed to provide an answer about the Journal’s initial report, Harf declined “to go line by line in the story.”

Harf said sanctions relief to Iran will continue through June 30.

“They’re getting access to money throughout this period as well,” she said. “Throughout the extension they’re now getting some sanctions relief, which will continue through June 30.”

Jonathan Schanzer, a top terrorism-funding expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said such a cash release to Iran would enable the regime to continue backing various terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Read the rest of this entry »


THE SMIDGEN REPORT: IRS, April 15th, Obama: ‘Bitches Better Have My Money’

bitches

Arty Absatz – Twitter


[VIDEO] THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Surprised ‘Turns Out We Are Not Producing As Many Small Businesses As We Used To’

At The CornerJoel Gehrke writes:

Hillary Clinton admitted today that she was “surprised” to learn that the people who told her small businesses have struggled in recent years were actually correct.

“I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it. Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”

— Hillary Clinton, in New Hampshire

Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”PANTSUIT-REPORT

“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs.”

— Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul

The struggles of small businesses during President Obama’s administration are hardly a new subject on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney raised the issue throughout the 2012 presidential election.

”At every turn, Hillary Clinton has supported top-down Washington-driven policies that have stacked the deck against small businesses. Hillary Clinton can’t possibly be a champion for everyday Americans when she doesn’t understand their most basic economic concerns and was ‘surprised’ to learn that small businesses are struggling.”

— Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus

“Small businesses lack the confidence they need to expand and hire new workers, and the President’s looming tax hikes are threatening to destroy another 700,000 jobs,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in September of 2012, for instance. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s On: ‘Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich’

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Clinton Cash’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation

 reports: The book does not hit shelves until May 5, but already the Republican Rand Paul has called its findings “big news” that will “shock people” and make voters “question” the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer — a 186-page investigation of donations made to the 61rRc0geHgL._SL250_Clinton Foundation by foreign entities — is proving the most anticipated and feared book of a presidential cycle still in its infancy.

[Order Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” from Amazon.com]

The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.

“There is a robust market for books critical of the Clintons. The thinly sourced ‘Blood Feud,’ by Mr. Klein, at one point overtook Mrs. Clinton’s memoir ‘Hard Choices’ on the best-seller list.”

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.

“But whether Mr. Schweizer’s book can deliver the same sales is not clear. He writes mainly in the voice of a neutral journalist and meticulously documents his sources, including tax records and government documents, while leaving little doubt about his view of the Clintons.”

His examples include a free-trade agreement in Colombia that benefited a major foundation donor’s natural resource investments in the South American nation, development projects in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, and more than $1 million in payments to Mr. Clinton by a Canadian bank and major shareholder in the Keystone XL oil pipeline around the time the project was being debated in the State clinton-incDepartment.

[Check out Daniel Halper’s book “Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine” at Amazon.com]

In the long lead up to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announcement, aides proved adept in swatting down critical books as conservative propaganda, including Edward Klein’s “Blood Feud,” about tensions between the Clintons and the Obamas, and Daniel Halper’s “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine.

But “Clinton Cash” is potentially more unsettling, both because of its focused reporting and because major news organizations including The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author  to pursue the story lines found in the book. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘Hillary Clinton’s Chipotle Order’

Hillary Clinton & her campaign team strategize her Chipotle order.

Above Average Network 

via The Corner 


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Campaign Staff Recruited ‘Everyday’ Iowans for Staged Photos

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Coffee Shop Visit Staged from Beginning to End

David Martosko reports from Des Moines, Iowa: Hillary Clinton’s astroturf candidacy is in full swing in Iowa.PANTSUIT-REPORT

Her Tuesday morning visit to a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa was staged from beginning to end, according to Austin Bird, one of the men pictured sitting at the table with Mrs. Clinton.

Bird told Daily Mail Online that campaign staffer Troy Price called and asked him and two other young people to meet him Tuesday morning at a restaurant in Davenport, a nearby city.

Price then drove them to the coffee house to meet Clinton after vetting them for about a half-hour.

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  • Austin Bird sat for coffee on Tuesday morning in the town of LeClaire, Iowa, chatting with Hillary Clinton as photographers snapped pictures
  • News reports called him a ‘student’ and her campaign called it an unscripted event
  • But Clinton’s Iowa political director Troy Price drove Bird and two other people to the coffee house
  • Bird is a hospital government relations official who interned with Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign
  • The Iowa Democratic Party, which Price ran until a month ago, tasked him to be Joe Biden’s driver during an October Senate campaign trip in Davenport

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The three got the lion’s share of Mrs. Clinton’s time and participated in what breathless news reports described as a ’roundtable’– the first of many in her brief Iowa campaign swing.

Bird himself is a frequent participant in Iowa Democratic Party events. He interned with President Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign, and was tapped to chauffeur Vice President Joe Biden in October 2014 when he visited Davenport. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT| Reminder To Media: Helping Hillary Is Not Your Job

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John Hayward writes: The 2016 presidential race has only just begun, and we already have an unforgettable image for the history books: a pack of salivating reporters racing after Hillary Clinton’s taxpayer-funded “Mystery Machine” van, like a flock of pigeons chasing after scattered birdseed.  pantsuit-report

“This is going to be tough for you, Media, because everyone knows 80 to 90 percent of you vote Democrat. Heck, a lot of you are former operatives of Democrat political machines.”

Conservative humorist Iowahawk dubbed it “the stampede of the majestic North American Throne-Sniffers.” The Washington Free Beacon spliced in the theme music from the old Benny Hill comedy show to create the perfect viewing experience.

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There’s another image I would submit for the history books: Hillary’s campaign gearing up to use an old publicity still of then-SecState Clinton using a Blackberry.

[Read the full text here, at Breitbart]

Here’s the thing, Media – it’s your job to remind Americans that Hillary’s under a thick cloud of scandal, and may end up under indictment, for running the off-the-books email server she was plugged into with that BlackBerry. It’s your job to remind American voters, over and over again, that Clinton jeopardized national security and deliberately violated transparency laws by doing this, and when she got caught, she looked the 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368American people right in the eye and lied extravagantly and demonstrably about setting up her shadow server because she didn’t want to carry two portable electronic devices to check her mail.

“Here’s the thing, Media – it’s your job to remind Americans that Hillary’s under a thick cloud of scandal, and may end up under indictment, for running the off-the-books email server she was plugged into with that BlackBerry…”

That’s not a Republican “talking point” – it’s crucial to who Hillary Clinton is, and how she views herself in relation to the Little People. It says more about her arrogant view of the proletariat and disdain for accountability than a hundred speeches. She hasn’t “addressed” or “dealt with” the email scandal, and it’s not “old news.”  In fact, we’re just learning today that Clinton was directly asked if she was running a private mail server by Congress in 2012, and both she and her Department blew off the question.

” …She hasn’t ‘addressed’ or ‘dealt with’ the email scandal, and it’s not ‘old news.’…That’s not a Republican ‘talking point’ – it’s crucial to who Hillary Clinton is, and how she views herself in relation to the Little People.”

That’s not okay, no matter which party the Secretary of State belongs to, and which party is running either or both houses of Congress. And it’s highly relevant to the question of whether such an individual can be trusted with any important government job, let alone the presidency.

This is going to be tough for you, Media, because everyone knows 80 to 90 percent of you vote Democrat. Heck, a lot of you are former operatives of Democrat political machines, or you’re dreaming about getting a job in the next Democrat Administration. You love Barack Obama with romantic passion, and you know his “legacy” cannot be cemented – either as media myth, or policy fact – if he’s succeeded by a Republican. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Begging for Treats: Pack of Dogs Chase Hillary Clinton’s Van in Iowa


[VIDEO] OH YES SHE DID: Morning Joe’s Brzezinski Calls Marco Rubio ‘a Little Boy’


THE PANTSUIT REPORT UPDATE: Hillary Clinton Now Drinking Coffee in Iowa

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[VIDEO] THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Trustworthy?


Tuesday Morning News Dump

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Ben K – Ace of Spades HQ


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Hillary Clinton Surprises with Early Attack on CEO Pay

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WASHINGTON/NEW YORK/DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton, under pressure from the left wing of her Democratic Party to aggressively campaign against income inequality, voiced concern about the pantsuit-reporthefty paychecks of some corporate executives in an email to supporters.

“I definitely see the push from the left wing, which I think is great.”

— Jared Milrad, a Clinton supporter who appeared in a video launching her campaign

Striking a populist note, Clinton, who announced on Sunday she was running for president in 2016, said American families were still facing financial hardship at a time “when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes.”

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In a tightly scripted campaign launch in which there were few surprises, the comments were unexpected, at least by progressives, who saw them as an early sign she may shift away from the centrist economic policies pursued by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“So far we don’t know very much. I hope Clinton clarifies where she stands on these issues.”

—  Zephyr Teachout, a one-time New York gubernatorial candidate.

“I definitely see the push from the left wing, which I think is great,” said Jared Milrad, a Clinton supporter who appeared in a video launching her campaign for the presidency.

Milrad said he saw the populist rhetoric as a sign that Clinton “has been listening” to backers such as himself who want her to embrace some of the economic policies pushed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a hero of liberal Democrats. Warren favors tighter regulation of big banks and a bolstering of the social safety net.

The enthusiasm of some progressives was tempered by the fact that they have yet to see the details of Clinton’s policy proposals. Read the rest of this entry »


HILLARY: Experienced & Ready to Lead!

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[VIDEO] Exclusive Footage: In Historic Cuba Visit, President Obama Visits Modern Havana


Dr. K: ‘Hillary Clinton Cannot Escape Her Past’

Dr. Charles Krauthammer, on Special Report. 

“She can’t run on change because she’s been in this administration, she has been around for 30 years, that would be a fraud. She represents the past. In the 90s, it was a good past. In the last six years, it was not that good a past that she’ll be representing.”

The Corner

National Review


White House Tweets Photo of Obama and Rainbow in Curious Alignment


Happy National Siblings Day!

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Ouch! Obama’s Approval Rating Higher in Communist Country Than in America

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Cameron Joseph, NY Daily News, reports: President Obama is significantly more popular in Cuba these days than in the United States, according to a new poll conducted for Fusion and The Washington Post.

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About 80% of Cubans have a favorable opinion of Obama in the wake of recent moves toward normalizing relations between the formerly feuding countries, according to the poll.

Obama’s approval rating has been hovering around 45% in the most recent polling — about as popular as President Raul Castro is in Cuba.

 Fox Nation


Henninger: ‘The Obama Doctrine is a Hoax’

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Speak softly and claim to carry a big stick, which you have no intention of ever using

Daniel Henninger writes: Last weekend, with the ink on the Iran nuclear deal still being deciphered, the Obama Doctrine fell out of an interview between President Obama and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times.

“It is a mistake to suggest U.S. foreign policy is weak only because Barack Obama is running it. On the cusp of a presidential election, the more pertinent question is whether U.S. foreign policy is weak because a Democrat is running it.”

“You asked about an Obama doctrine,” Mr. Obama said. “The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”

“You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.”

— President Obama

In nine words, Mr. Obama explained what has been going on the past six years, culminating in what we now see is the nucleus of the Obama worldview, an accommodation with Iran.

“This statement, and indeed the Obama Doctrine, is a hoax. Set aside that ‘messes with Israel’ and ‘America will be there’ are phrases with no real operational meaning.”

The corollary of the Obama Doctrine, as the president explained, is that if engagement with a hostile power turns dangerous, everyone in the world knows that U.S. “military superiority” will emerge and prevail. In case of emergency, Uncle Sam will break glass.

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 “What we will be doing even as we enter into this deal is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there.”

— President Obama, bluffing.

Mr. Obama then offered an example of how this would work—U.S. support for Israel: “What we will be doing even as we enter into this deal is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there.”

“To understand the bluff, look closely at the Democrats’ Doctrine on paper or in practice, and you’ll notice that it’s always prospective. It promises to act at some point in the future if circumstances become so dire that they oblige the U.S. to ‘overwhelm’ the problem with superior power. Never has there been a bigger ‘if.’”

This statement, and indeed the Obama Doctrine, is a hoax.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

Set aside that “messes with Israel” and “America will be there” are phrases with no real operational meaning.

“Mr. Obama’s ‘doctrine’ is essentially that if something bad happens, he will send in the 82nd Airborne Division. But he won’t. No Democrat whose view of large-scale U.S. military power was formed by the Vietnam War or the Iraq War will do that.”

“America will be there” could mean that if someone set off a nuclear backpack bomb in Tel Aviv, where the Obama administration would be the next day is on New York’s east side, condemning the attack in a U.N. Security Council resolution. Read the rest of this entry »


The Iran Deal and Its Consequences

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Mixing shrewd diplomacy with defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has turned the negotiation on its head

Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz write: The announced framework for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program has the potential to generate a seminal national debate. Advocates exult over the nuclear constraints it would impose on Iran. Critics question the verifiability of these constraints and their longer-term impact on regional and world stability. The historic significance of the agreement and indeed its sustainability depend on whether these emotions, valid by themselves, can be reconciled.220px-Henry_Kissinger_Shankbone_Metropolitan_Opera_2009

“In a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. Devising theoretical models of inspection is one thing. Enforcing compliance, week after week, despite competing international crises and domestic distractions, is another.”

Debate regarding technical details of the deal has thus far inhibited the soul-searching necessary regarding its deeper implications. For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests—and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years.

[Read the full text here, at the Wall Street Journal]

Mixing shrewd diplomacy with open defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has gradually turned the negotiation on its head. Iran’s centrifuges have multiplied from about 100 at the beginning of the negotiation to almost 20,000 today. The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran. While Iran treated the mere fact of its willingness to negotiate as a concession, the West has felt compelled to break every deadlock with a new proposal. In the process, the Iranian program has reached a point officially described as being within two to three months of building a nuclear weapon. Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Inspections and Enforcement

The president deserves respect for the commitment with which he has pursued the objective of reducing nuclear peril, as does Secretary of State John Kerry for the persistence, patience and ingenuity with which he has striven to impose significant constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.

[Also see – Clouds of Grey Fuzz Hang Over Iran Deal]

Progress has been made on shrinking the size of Iran’s enriched stockpile, confining the enrichment of 220px-George_Pratt_Shultzuranium to one facility, and limiting aspects of the enrichment process. Still, the ultimate significance of the framework will depend on its verifiability and enforceability.

“Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints…”

Negotiating the final agreement will be extremely challenging. For one thing, no official text has yet been published. The so-called framework represents a unilateral American interpretation. Some of its clauses have been dismissed by the principal Iranian negotiator as “spin.” A joint EU-Iran statement differs in important respects, especially with regard to the lifting of sanctions and permitted research and development.

“…It only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard—amounting in many cases to a seal at the door of a depot or periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites. The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting.”

Comparable ambiguities apply to the one-year window for a presumed Iranian breakout. Emerging at a relatively late stage in the negotiation, this concept replaced the previous baseline—that Iran might be permitted a technical capacity compatible with a plausible civilian nuclear program. The new approach complicates verification and makes it more political because of the vagueness of the criteria.

“Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?”

Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints. Read the rest of this entry »


‘How Newsweek‘s Loaded Headline and Anemic Cover Art Alienates Readers’

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