Congress to take up Iran nuke deal disapproval resolution
Paul Alster writes: Even as President Obama was securing the Senate support necessary to assure passage of the nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran’s top defense officials were scoffing at U.S. claims the pact will restrict the Islamic Republic’s military ambitions.
The president has been twisting arms and Secretary of State John Kerry reassuring lawmakers that the deal between Iran and the P5 +1 – members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – will ensure international inspections and bar Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons. This week, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., became the 34th member of the Senate to back the controversial and unpopular deal, meaning that if it is defeated in a vote as expected, Obama will have enough support to sustain his certain veto. But Iran’s military brass has answered the U.S. nose-counting by thumbing their nose at America.
“Iran does not plan to issue permission for the [International Atomic Energy Agency] to inspect every site,” Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan told Al Mayadeen News Wednesday. “U.S. officials make boastful remarks and imagine that they can impose anything on the Iranian nation because they lack a proper knowledge of the Iranian nation.”
“U.S. officials make boastful remarks and imagine that they can impose anything on the Iranian nation because they lack a proper knowledge of the Iranian nation.”
– Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan
Iran’s official FARS news agency added that “Dehqan had earlier underlined that Tehran would not allow any foreigner to discover Iran’s defensive and missile capabilities by inspecting the country’s military sites.”
On the same day, a top Iranian general told troops preparing for a massive military drill involving up to 250,000 men that “the U.S. and the Zionists should know that the Islamic Revolution will continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and liberates Palestine.”
The bluster from Iran is in sharp contrast to the message Obama and Kerry conveyed to lawmakers to line up support for the deal, which lifts international sanctions and frees up $150 billion in Iranian funds frozen when the Islamic Republic took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days beginning in 1979. Over the following three decades, Iran has, according to U.S. officials, been the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism while constantly calling for war with Israel and America. In return, Iran agreed to allow international inspectors to monitor its facilities and ensure that it did not build nuclear weapons. But troubling conditions have emerged, including that Iran will not allow Americans to take part in the inspections and will conduct its own monitoring of the key Parchin military site and turn over findings to international inspectors. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Brenden Dougherty writes: “Mitt wants to run. He never stopped wanting to run,” an anonymous senior adviser of Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign recently told New York magazine. Other members of Romneyworld have denied the former governor is interested in another campaign. But at this stage in the 2016 race, Mitt Romney should start preparing to get back in the arena.
Romney should be ready to enter the field to save his party from an awful reckoning between its leadership and its base, a reckoning that has been brought on by Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump has proven that the “strongest GOP primary field in 30 years” is no such thing, creating an opening for the winner of the last primary. If Romney should win the primary, it would be an incredible political comeback. It would also be a gift to his party, forcing on the GOP the reality of a new and stable settlement between its factions.
Romney, if he can secure the nomination, has a much better shot in 2016 than he did in 2012. He would be running against Obama’s third term, with the torch passed to a much less talented and more scandal-plagued Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary’s Campaign Has Already Begun to Derail
Hillary Clinton’s second race for the presidency is only about a quarter through, but she already seems to be causing general fatigue.
Victor Davis Hanson writes:
…Clinton’s serial meltdowns may bring Vice President Joe Biden into the race. The only other serious Democratic alternative to Clinton at the moment is 73-year-old socialist Bernie Sanders. He is not registered in the party whose nomination he seeks.
“Most of what happened on her watch as secretary of state is better forgotten: the destruction of a self-reliant Iraq, the rise of the Islamic State, chaos in Libya, failed reset with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, disaster in Benghazi, the alienation of Israel and moderate Arab nations, and Iran’s ascendant.”
Clinton’s derailment has given breathing space to Republicans. Otherwise, they would be panicking that erratic showman Donald Trump has hijacked their party and might lead it to a meltdown in 2016.
“Hillary’s latest troubles reflect a quarter-century of Clinton habits that transcend time and space.”
— Victor Davis Hanson
Both parties face crises — though there are more viable Republican alternatives to Trump than there are strong Democratic choices, at least for now. And whereas the upbeat Trump would probably agree with — or even welcome — charges that he is an egomaniac, Clinton would hardly accept the equally common impression that she cannot tell the truth.
Both Bill and Hillary seem to have always believed they should be exempt from the law. Both seem needlessly tawdry in their avarice. Their cover-ups often prove even more damaging than their indiscretions. Read the rest of this entry »
Breathtaking: Richard Fowler Repeats Cuckoo Bananas Lefty Smear that Mass Murderer Jared Loughner was a Tea Partier.
…By the standards of Democratic demagoguery after Gabby Giffords was shot, the left owns every drop of blood spilled by cop-killers since BLM got going. Remember, the argument at the time wasn’t that Jared Loughner had read or heard some particular bit of right-wing invective that had inspired him to shoot Giffords.
“Why were so many on the left so quick to tie a few comments made by alleged tea party members to the entire tea party?!”
The argument was that the sheer accumulation of lefty-bashing by the right, from talk radio to Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map to signs carried at tea-party rallies, had somehow created an “atmosphere” of rage that Loughner had tapped into as permission to murder a member of Congress.
“Even here, with Kelly demanding accountability from the left for its double standard on incendiary rhetoric, the lie that the tea party somehow bears responsibility for Giffords’s near-murder slides easily into the conversation.”
It’s the same argument the left uses when it tries to shift blame for JFK’s assassination from fellow traveler Lee Harvey Oswald to the anti-Kennedy Birchers in Dallas. Rage towards the left and its agenda is the true criminal offense. Pinning it to an actual crime, regardless of who committed it, to make accomplices of all conservatives is a formality.
That’s why, to answer Kelly’s question, the “atmosphere” of rage towards cops promoted by BLM can’t similarly be said to have influenced the degenerates who have been murdering officers: Rules of civility that are designed to criminalize opposition to liberalism can’t be applied to a left-wing movement, no matter how overtly violent their rhetoric (“pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon”) gets.
“It’s the same argument the left uses when it tries to shift blame for JFK’s assassination from fellow traveler Lee Harvey Oswald to the anti-Kennedy Birchers in Dallas.”
In fact, incredible as it may seem, at about two-thirds of the way in here the guy debating Katie Pavlich (and Kelly) actually repeats the lefty smear that Loughner was a tea partier. Pavlich tries to call him on it but he doesn’t miss a beat. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Barone writes: Are Millennials sour on this year’s Democratic presidential candidates? Evidence from the recent nationwide Quinnipiac poll conducted August 20-25 suggests the answer is yes, at least compared to how they responded to Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 and 2012. Quinnipiac paired three Republican candidates — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump — against three Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders.
Among millennials, voters 18-29, the three Democrats led each of the three Republicans by between eight-21 points. Obama carried millennials by 34 points in 2008 and 23 points in 2012.
The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain‘s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012. The following table shows the results of the 2008 and 2012 exit polls among Millennials and the Quinnipiac results for each of the pairings.
“The really relevant result, however, is that none of the Democrats, not even the universally known Hillary Clinton, come close to matching Obama’s percentage of the millennial vote, while the Republicans, all lesser known at this point, are within the margin of error of John McCain’s percentage in 2008 and come fairly close to Mitt Romney’s somewhat higher millennial percentage in 2012.”
Thus Clinton averages 51 percent against the three Republicans, Biden averages 49 percent and the presumably much less well known Sanders is not significantly far behind, averaging 48 percent. This indicates basic Democratic strength significantly below Obama’s 2012 level of 60 percent and far behind his 2008 figure of 66 percent. Read the rest of this entry »
In an Effort to Appear Relevant, Obama Administration Finally Sort of Developing Sanctions Against China Over CybertheftsPosted: August 30, 2015
A decision on whether to act could come soon, close to a major state visit by President Xi Jinping.
The Obama administration is developing a package of unprecedented economic sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals who have benefited from their government’s cybertheft of valuable U.S. trade secrets.
The U.S. government has not yet decided whether to issue these sanctions, but a final call is expected soon — perhaps even within the next two weeks, according to several administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
“The indictments were a strong move. This is going to be an even stronger move. It’s really going to put China in the position of having to choose whether they want to be this pariah nation — this kleptocracy — or whether they want to be one of the leading nations in the world.”
— Rob Knake, a former White House cyber official and currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Issuing sanctions would represent a significant expansion in the administration’s public response to the rising wave of cyber-economic espionage initiated by Chinese hackers, who officials say have stolen everything from nuclear power plant designs to search engine source code to confidential negotiating positions of energy companies.
Any action would also come at a particularly sensitive moment between the world’s two biggest economies. President Xi Jinping of China is due to arrive next month in Washington for his first state visit — complete with a 21-gun salute on the South Lawn of the White House and an elaborate State Dinner. There is already tension over a host of other issues, including maritime skirmishes in the South China Sea and China’s efforts to devalue its currency in the face of its recent stock market plunge. At the same time, the two countries have deep trade ties and the administration has sometimes been wary of seeming too tough on China.
But the possibility of sanctions so close to Xi’s visit indicates how frustrated U.S. officials have become over the persistent cyber plundering.
The sanctions would mark the first use of an order signed by President Obama in April establishing the authority to freeze financial and property assets of, and bar commercial transactions with, individuals and entities overseas who engage in destructive attacks or commercial espionage in cyberspace.
“China is not the only country that hacks computer networks for trade secrets to aid its economy, but it is by far the most active, officials say. Just last month, the FBI said that economic espionage cases surged 53 percent in the past year, and that China accounted for most of that.”
The White House declined to comment on specific sanctions, but a senior administration official, speaking generally, said: “As the president said when signing the executive order enabling the use of economic sanctions against malicious cyber actors, the administration is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to confront such actors. Read the rest of this entry »
The presidential candidates for the 1992 election debated each other in the the second of three scheduled presidential debates. The participants were President George Bush, Governor Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot.
They answered questions from the audience that regarded their campaigns and their policy preferences, which mostly focused on economic issues. The audience consisted of 209 undecided voters from the Richmond, VA area.
The Iran agreement faces strong Republican — and some Democratic opposition — in Congress.
MINNEAPOLIS — Dan Balz and Philip Rucker report: Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz prevented consideration of a resolution at the party’s summer meeting here that praised President Obama and offered backing for the nuclear agreement with Iran, according to knowledgeable Democrats.
“A party spokeswoman and said procedural issues prevented the proposed resolution from being considered. She did not directly address Wasserman Schultz’s role in the decision-making. Other Democrats said that it was congresswoman’s direct opposition that blocked its consideration.”
The resolution was drafted with the intention of putting the national committee on record in support of the agreement as Congress prepares to take up the issue when members return from their August recess.
As a fallback, James Zogby, the co-chair of the Resolutions Committee, led a move to prepare a letter of support for the president and the Iran agreement that eventually gained signatures from a sizable majority of the members of the national committee. Zogby said Saturday that, in the end, this produced a satisfactory outcome.
“We wanted to show support for the president,” he said. “We found that the best way to show support was a letter that members would sign on to, and the overwhelming majority of DNC members signed onto the letter. This is the President Obama we elected in 2008 who said, ‘I choose diplomacy over conflict,’ and he did it.”
A party spokeswoman and said procedural issues prevented the proposed resolution from being considered. She did not directly address Wasserman Schultz’s role in the decision-making. Other Democrats said that it was congresswoman’s direct opposition that blocked its consideration. Read the rest of this entry »
Did Hillary Clinton know emails on server were classified?
Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne report: An FBI “A-team” is leading the “extremely serious” investigation into Hillary Clinton’s server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,” an intelligence source told Fox News.
“It is not clear how the FBI team’s findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for.”
A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign’s standard defense and that of Clinton is that she “never sent nor received any email that was marked classified” at the time.
It is not clear how the FBI team’s findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for — as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy.
“Somebody in the government, with a clearance and need to know, then delivered the information to someone not entitled to receive it, or otherwise moved it from where it was supposed to be lawfully held.”
— Attorney Edward MacMahon Jr.
The FBI offered no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
A leading national security attorney, who recently defended former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in a leak investigation, told Fox News that violating the Espionage Act provision in question is a felony and pointed to a particular sub-section. Read the rest of this entry »
Blake Seitz reports: A group of nearly 200 retired U.S. generals and flag officers sent a letter to Congressional leadership on Tuesday urging them to reject the Iran nuclear deal.
The letter says that the deal creates a decade-long path to nuclear weapons for Iran, while rewarding the Islamic Republic with cash it can use to rebuild its military and fund terrorism in the short-term.
“The agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” it says. “To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal….(read more)
Shootings are rare in China, which largely outlaws private gun ownership. But knifings have occurred there with some frequency in recent years, including an assault at a school in central China in December 2012 that injured 22 children and one adult.
Bethany Allen Ebrahimian writes: On the morning of August 26, a reporter and a cameraman for a local Virginia television station were fatally shot during a live television interview. The alleged gunman, now dead, apparently shot himself before being apprehended by police.
“The tragedy occurred shortly after 6:45 in the morning, Eastern Standard Time, or around 6:45 p.m., Beijing time. That’s significant, because despite the evening hour, media outlets across China were quick to provide front-page coverage of the breaking story.”
— Weibo user
The shooting quickly made national news in the United States, and outlets across the country have provided regular updates. The tragedy occurred shortly after 6:45 in the morning, Eastern Standard Time, or around 6:45 p.m., Beijing time. That’s significant, because despite the evening hour, media outlets across China were quick to provide front-page coverage of the breaking story.
State new agency Xinhua featured the shooting among its online list of top ten news items. By 10:30 p.m. in Beijing. Chinese news website NetEase had created a separate live-update webpage for the shootings. By 11 p.m. in Beijing, the state-run, often fervently nationalist Global Times had made a related photo its website’s cover photo, accompanied by a report with details of the shootings.
“The United States is a major preoccupation within China, often as a geopolitical rival held up as a kind of foil. It’s a focus for many everyday Chinese, as an object of scorn, an object of desire…or both.”
The United States is a major preoccupation within China, often as a geopolitical rival held up as a kind of foil. It’s a focus for many everyday Chinese, as an object of scorn, an object of desire — even Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his daughter to Harvard to study — or both. Within China, the high rate of gun violence in the United States is widely known and often seen as a flaw in the U.S. political system, a criticism repeated after the Virginia shooting.
Though Chinese media reports on the Virgina incident were strictly factual, the accompanying social media commentary quickly became a domestic political battleground. Around 9:20 p.m., Beijing time, Chinese web giant Sina began live-blogging about the shooting on its official news account on microblogging platform Weibo, with one post garnering more than 570 comments. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] White House: Obama’s Joe Biden for Vice President Decision Better Than Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State DecisionPosted: August 24, 2015
WH: Obama’s Biden VP Decision Better Than Clinton Sec. State Decision (August 24, 2015)
UPDATE: Here’s Hillary Clinton’s lawyer in a private meeting, responding unfavorably to having seen the press conference.
Border Patrol Retaliates Against James O’Keefe after Osama bin Laden Exposé; O’Keefe Fights Back and Releases Recording of Unconstitutional Detentions. Hidden Recording Device Reveals Border Patrol Grilling a Detained O’Keefe on Numerous Inappropriate Topics Including Trade Secrets, Financial Issues and Presidential Politics, Specifically Donald Trump…
More – NRO has this item