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Friday Talking Points [354] -- Following The Trump Whirlwind

[ Posted Friday, July 24th, 2015 – 16:57 PDT ]

Welcome back, everyone. This column went on hiatus last week, so we could attend Netroots Nation. So we've got two whole weeks to cover today, just to warn everyone in advance.

Two weeks ago, we kind of went out on a limb (the polling evidence was not all that clear when we wrote it) and subtitled our previous column: "Donald Trump, Frontrunner." Since that time, such a statement has gone from being a wild prediction to becoming an equally-wild reality. The first Republican presidential debate is happening in less than two weeks, and Donald Trump is not only guaranteed one of the ten slots, he will quite likely be at the center of the stage, since his poll numbers currently dwarf all the other GOP contenders.

Our reaction to this new reality is much the same as many Democrats: "Couldn't have happened to a nicer political party."

Snark aside, though, it is amusing as all get out to watch the Republicans try to cope with the whirlwind that is Donald Trump. He says outrageous things on a daily basis, so it's hard to even keep up with them. In the last two weeks alone, Trump dissed John McCain for being captured, and said McCain's not a war hero in Trump's own mind. His campaign tweeted out a photo with Nazi soldiers superimposed over the American flag. He read out Lindsey Graham's cell phone number to a rally. And that's only a quick rundown -- there were other moments of outrageousness emanating from the Trumpster's mouth as well. Oh, and Huffington Post announced that Trump news will now be found on their "Entertainment" pages.

All other Republicans are caught in a vortex of scrambling to react to whatever Trump just said. The entire Republican presidential campaign is now officially in shambles, as Trump sucks every molecule of oxygen out of the room.

But all the other candidates have a serious problem that will only become more apparent on a debate stage: they all mostly agree with Trump when it comes to actual policy. Trump may be using outrageous language, but he is not pushing radical or outrageous ideas within the Republican Party. Don't believe me? Here's a thought experiment to prove it.

Let's say Donald Trump wins the presidential election, just for the sake of argument. President Trump, on his first day in office, announces a plan he'll introduce to Congress to build a wall across the Mexican border and (somehow) force Mexico to pay for it. How many Republicans in Congress would vote for it? How many would speak out against it? The answers to those questions would respectively be: "all of them," and "none of them." Can you honestly see any Republicans in Congress risking the wrath of their own voters (who would have just elected President Trump, remember) by opposing Trump's plan?

This is the core problem for Republicans. Trump isn't some bomb-throwing radical who just happens to use the "Republican" label -- the way Lyndon LaRouche does over on the Democratic side, for example. Nope, he's not swimming against the tide within his chosen party -- he is (to stretch this metaphor a bit) instead not only swimming with the Republican current, in fact the only thing that differentiates him from the others in the pack is that he's hopped on a metaphorical Jet-Ski and is moving much faster -- but in the same direction -- as the rest of them.

Which is why the entire spectacle is so amusing for Democrats to watch, of course. Republican candidates can call Trump out (several of them have begun to do so in a serious way, most prominent so far being Rick Perry, of all people) or toady up to him (which several others have also done, most prominent being Ted Cruz), but it is actually pretty hard for them to point to any disagreement in the realm of policy that they have with Trump's platform (such as it is).

Two weeks ago, I came up with some snarky talking points to scare Republicans with. Three of them in particular bear repeating, because not everyone has realized their validity yet:

  • Trump is now the face of the Republican Party.
  • This is only the beginning -- Trump is going to be around for the entire primary season, at the very least.
  • Trump may actually mount a third-party bid.

As we opened with, couldn't have happened to a nicer political party. Or, to put it another way: karma's a bitch, ain't it?

Let's see, what is going on in the rest of the presidential field? John Ellis "Jeb!" Bush is trying to make some news, by telling a Koch brothers audience that he'd "phase out" Medicare for younger folks. He expressed support for the Paul Ryan "voucher" plan at the same time. While this was mostly lost among the Trumpisms flying to and fro, look for this to become a much bigger issue later in the campaign. Republicans have been trying to sell themselves as the "saviors" of Medicare (as hilarious as that truly is), so it'll be interesting to see how the rest of the field reacts. Look for this quote to be used in an attack ad, at some point.

Ted Cruz is playing a game called: "Toady up to Trump, in order to pick up his supporters when he eventually crashes and burns." Cruz announced he wouldn't be reacting to Trumpisms, because he hates to see "Republican-on-Republican violence," but then just today he took to the Senate floor to flat-out call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar. So much for Reagan's "11th Commandment," eh?

Cruz also voiced his opinion that Captain James Tiberius Kirk (points to Cruz for knowing his full name!) was a better U.S.S. Enterprise captain than Jean-Luc Picard. Here's the story:

Ana Marie Cox noted that Cruz is a well-known fan of Star Trek, and asked him whether he preferred the original series' Captain Kirk, played by William Shatner, or Jean-Luc Picard of The Next Generation, played by Patrick Stewart. "Absolutely James Tiberius Kirk," he replied.

He then proceeded to "do a little psychoanalysis," saying that "[i]f you look at Star Trek: The Next Generation, it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk's rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind."

Cruz added that Kirk was "working class" and a "passionate fighter for justice," whereas Picard was an "aristocrat" and "cerebral philosopher," which is why -- to his mind -- "it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat."

William Shatner was not amused, and tweeted in response: "Star Trek wasn't political. I'm not political; I can't even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly." Good point -- Shatner's a Canadian. You'd figure Cruz would know that, being a native-born Canadian himself.

What else? Two new Republicans officially announced their presidential campaigns, surprising exactly no one: Scott Walker and John Kasich. One more (Jim Gilmore) still waits in the wings, so it's looking like whoever bet on "17" in the guess-the-size-of-the-GOP-field contest is likely to take the prize money.

Rick Perry got some good news this week -- he'll only be facing one felony charge during the election season! This will certainly be amusing to watch when the case truly gets underway, that's for sure.

Over on the Democratic side of things, Bernie Sanders had another whopping big rally (11,000 people) in Phoenix, which I attended and then posted some photos of, for those who are interested. Hillary Clinton began unveiling her economic agenda, first with an "overview" speech which was a bit short on details. She is now following up with much more specific speeches on particular agenda items, so eventually we'll be able to see exactly what she would do as president for the economy.

John Kerry and Barack Obama announced a historic deal with Iran, which will now be debated in Congress. However, due to the way Obama struck an earlier deal with Congress, they will only be able to overturn the Iranian deal by a two-thirds vote. Most pundits, at this point, say Obama will indeed be able to clear that bar and see the deal go into effect.

In other "Obama foreign policy legacy" news, Cuba and the United States opened embassies in each other's capitals. Congress may actually be ready to lift the travel ban on American citizens visiting Cuba, meaning soon the Cold War can be officially said to be over. Contrary to all predictions by Cuban-American activists, the sky has not yet fallen. It'll be interesting to see how Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz adapt to this fast-changing situation.

President Obama made some news on the issues of marijuana and criminal justice reform, but we're saving that for the awards. In other marijuana news, a California Native American tribe tried to legalize weed on its own, but got raided anyway. A Senate committee just passed a bill which would let Washington D.C. create a legal marketplace for recreational marijuana, and remove the insane law Congress passed which forbids them to do so. The House is where this nonsense originated, however, so we'll see what chance this bill has of actually passing when it gets there. And Steph Sherer over at the Huffington Post has a very optimistic list of 10 reasons why the federal government is about to end the War On Weed, which is an excellent read.

News items about shootings just never seem to end. Just today a man in Louisiana shot up a movie theater, while a court in Colorado considers the sentence for the guy who shot up a movie theater there. Dylann Roof, the domestic terrorist who attacked a black church in South Carolina, will be tried on federal hate-crimes charges, but not as an actual terrorist. This is pretty disgraceful, as both Salon and the Huffington Post pointed out.

And, finally, from what can only be called the "What could possibly go wrong?" file, the following headline, highlighting the reaction of some to the recent shooting deaths of military recruiters. The headline really says it all: "Civilian 'Guard' Fires Gun While 'Protecting' Military Recruiting Center In Ohio."

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Barack Obama deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for taking both symbolic and concrete action against the worst insanities of the War On Drugs. He became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, for starters. He spoke with six non-violent drug offenders while there. For the first time ever, Obama said something which I've been waiting for ever since Bill Clinton admitted he smoked pot. Obama essentially admitted to the prisoners that he could easily have been in their shoes: "These are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different from mistakes I made. The difference is they did not have the support structure, the second chances, the resources that would allow them to survive these mistakes."

This is a wee bit disingenuous, because it skips over a big part of the difference between their life stories: the prisoners got caught. That's a big difference between Obama and them, and one he forgot to mention. I have long maintained that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama needed to be bluntly asked: "If you had been arrested for drug use back when you were using them, how would your life now be different?" Or, perhaps: "...do you think you would have been elected president?"

Still, it was a big step for Obama to take. Admitting "there but for the grace of luck go I" is a giant leap forward in the discussion of the destructive nature not of drugs but of the War On Drugs. I've been waiting a long time for such a statement, so I really shouldn't quibble over the language used.

Obama also made news by commuting the sentences of 46 non-violent drug users as well. Obama has been using the tool of commutation (rather than outright pardons) more than most modern presidents, and mostly doing so for non-violent drug offenders. Even so, there are thousands left who should also be eligible for commutation, so we've still got quite a ways to go.

However, while Obama's movement on dismantling the War On Drugs was impressive, there was an even bigger event from the past two weeks which overshadows the president's actions. John Kerry announced that he had finally struck a deal with Iran over their nuclear programs.

This is a monumental event, no matter what you think of the deal itself. Getting Iran to the table and hammering out a deal between them, us, and the other nations involved has to be seen as a huge diplomatic achievement. While opening relations with Cuba was important, this deal dwarfs even that historic diplomacy.

Kerry personally invested himself in striking this deal, and threw himself into the negotiations in an impressive way. This is a country we hadn't even talked to in almost four decades. The sanctions regime that Obama put together got them to the table, where George W. Bush had utterly failed to even slow down their race to ramp up their nuclear programs.

Is it a good deal or a bad deal? I have no real idea. It could improve America's relations across the Middle East (by balancing Saudi Arabia) or it could turn out to fan the flames even more. It could prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear bomb, by the soft diplomacy of showing them the benefits of being part of the family of nations once again, or it could backfire the same way the deal with North Korea did. It is truly impossible to tell at this point which way it is going to go, and anyone who tells you differently is making all kinds of assumptions which may or may not prove to be justified.

Either way, the Iran deal will be a large part of Barack Obama's legacy. He will either be awarded the credit (if all goes well) or assigned the blame (if it doesn't). His name will be on this deal, for better or for worse. It'll likely take a few decades to even know which way historians will see the deal.

For now, the fact that a deal was struck after long and intense negotiations which failed to meet multiple deadlines has to be seen as an enormous achievement by John Kerry. Normally, high-level deals like this are hammered out by underlings and wonks, and then the big cheese steps in at the last minute to sign the document and take all the credit for the negotiations. That was decidedly not the case here. Kerry personally invested himself in the process, and kept at it until he got a deal.

Which makes him, easily, the winner of this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Secretary of State John Kerry on the State Department's contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We've got an update on a previous winner of the MDDOTW award, before we get to this week's.

Former New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver lost a legal bid to toss out the corruption charges he faces. We only bring this up, really, to highlight some good news from New York's capital: the Albany Museum of Political Corruption has now obtained an official charter, and will soon be raising money to make the museum a reality. We've been big fans of the idea ever since we heard about it, and we'll be sure to keep everyone informed of future developments!

Moving right along, we have the bizarre story of a state delegate from Maryland getting charges of her own this week. Here's the story, as it appeared in the Washington Post:

A 39-year-old state lawmaker from Bethesda was arrested in late June and charged with indecent exposure and trespassing after a dispute at the home of her ex-husband, according to court records.

A charging document said Del. Ariana B. Kelly (D-Mongtomery [sic]) was dropping off her children at her ex-husband's house, in the 5300 block of Alta Vista Road in Bethesda, when she became upset that his fiancee was inside the residence. Kelly and Barak Sanford were divorced in November, according to court records.

Sanford told police that Kelly started ringing the doorbell and banging on the door and that he asked her to leave.

According to the charging document, Sanford played a cellphone video for police that showed Kelly ringing the doorbell "numerous times," exposing her breasts in the direction of Sanford's cellphone camera and then "with one breast in each hand [shaking] them up and down."

Um... OK. We're not even going to write a punchline for that, because it's hard to top that last sentence, really. Kelly was apparently thinking of running for the House of Representatives (for the seat Chris Van Hollen is vacating), but this may cause her to rethink such a campaign. I mean, if that video ever gets leaked, just imagine the attack ads against her!

[Contact Maryland Delegate Ariana B. Kelly on her official contact page, to let her know what you think of her actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 354 (7/24/15)

Kind of a grab-bag this week, with talking points all over the map. We tried (really we did!) to keep Trump out of it (since we had devoted so many talking points to Trump last time around), but in the end he proved irresistible. Our apologies in advance (heh).

 

1
   More than Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes combined

I mentioned this previously, but saved the stats for the talking points.

"President Obama just commuted 46 sentences in one day. This is the most sentences commuted in a single day since the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, the 89 sentence commutations Obama has now signed is greater than the number commuted by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush -- combined. Unlike the past two presidents who admitted to youthful drug use, President Obama is actually doing something to dial back the worst excesses of the futile and destructive War On Drugs. Obama also just became the first president to visit a federal prison, where he admitted he might have ended up if things had been different for him. That is a refreshing moment of honesty we didn't see from either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, both of whom kept ramping up the War On Drugs while in office. Obama will go down in history for many things, but beginning the end of the War On Drugs is an important item on that list."

 

2
   Uninsured rate keeps dropping

Another story the media ignored, which should be highlighted by Democrats.

"The figures from the last quarter are in, and the percentage of Americans without medical insurance continues to fall. From a highpoint of 18.0 percent right before Obamacare got started, the rate now stands at 11.4 percent. To put this another way, over one-third of the Americans without insurance now have it thanks to Obamacare. Obviously, this leaves a long way to go, but so far the trend has been clear, showing precisely what Obamacare was designed to do."

 

3
   GOP's numbers not looking so hot

Hoo boy. Trump certainly is having an effect, isn't he?

"New numbers are out from Pew Research, and they paint an awfully dismal picture for Republicans. The Republican Party now is seen favorably by only 32 percent of the public. A whopping 60 percent of the public sees them unfavorably. Compare those numbers to the Democrats, who have 48 percent favorable to 47 percent unfavorable. The bad news doesn't stop there for Republicans, though. Even among self-identified Republicans, the party's favorable rating has gone down from 86 percent to only 68 percent. Those are some pretty sobering numbers, heading into a presidential election season. Hmm... I wonder what could be driving those numbers down? It's as if one person is singlehandedly tanking the image of the Republican Party. I wonder who that person could possibly be...."

 

4
   Unclear on the concept

Hoo boy. If anyone was paying attention to him, this would be really big news....

"I saw an amusing headline about Jeb Bush's campaign the other day. Allow me to read it in full: 'Jeb Bush Speech Denouncing Lobbyists Was Organized By Corporate Lobbying Group.' Wow. I mean, just... wow. Talk about unclear on the concept!"

 

5
   Phasers on kill!

OK, I had to go with that subtitle due to all the talk about Star Trek, I freely admit.

"But that wasn't the only notable news from the Bush campaign this week. Because Jeb came right out and admitted what most Republicans won't -- that they're going to try to kill off Medicare. He was speaking to a Koch brothers event, so perhaps he thought nobody would notice, but Jeb plainly stated that he wanted to 'phase out' Medicare for younger Americans. Personally, I'd like to hear from all the other Republican candidates what they think about phasing out Medicare. My guess is that they're all for such a scheme, but don't want to come right out and admit it."

 

6
   The Trump Party

OK, this one just snuck in here to torture Republicans. Just because.

"I would strongly urge Donald Trump to consider a third-party bid, especially since the national Republican Party is not exactly giving him a whole lot of support. They're disrespecting you, Donald! You're not going to take that lying down, are you? I'm sure millions of people (cough, cough... Democrats... cough) would cheer you on if you formed your own Trump Party and made an independent bid for the White House. Think about it -- a Trump Party would be huge. It'd be classy. It'd be beautiful! And it'd be the best political party America ever saw. How can you deny the people a party with your own name on it? Please mount a third-party bid, Donald! We're begging you!"

 

7
   Texas apparently OK

Since last week, when it started, Texans seem to still be OK. Who could have predicted it?

"Down in Texas, the United States military is in the midst of a training exercise named Jade Helm 15. Warnings that a 'takeover' of Texas was imminent appear to have been unfounded, as I haven't noticed any news of sporadic fighting on the road to Austin or anything. The governor previously said he'd be keeping an eye on the U.S. military, just in case they had to fight off the forces of tyranny erupting from secret tunnels under Wal-Marts. So far, this seems not to have happened anywhere. I wonder why the military would have run an exercise with Texas labeled an insurgent state in the first place, what with all the rational, non-paranoid behavior it is currently exhibiting."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

207 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [354] -- Following The Trump Whirlwind”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Canadians are amusing. We are not amused.

    :-)

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Is it a good deal or a bad deal? I have no real idea.

    Really!? Have you read any of it yet?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Either way, the Iran deal will be a large part of Barack Obama's legacy. He will either be awarded the credit (if all goes well) or assigned the blame (if it doesn't). His name will be on this deal, for better or for worse. It'll likely take a few decades to even know which way historians will see the deal.

    Wishy washy!

    So, you don't care one way or the other then if Congress manages to skuttle this deal because we can't really know if it's a good deal or a bad deal?

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The North Korea deal is not a good predictor for what will happen with the Iran deal. Because, lessons were learned from that situation and they are not the same.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Secretary Kerry, this weeks recipient of the MIDOTW award ... I couldn't agree more, just for vastly different reasons: the deal, largely shepherded by the Secretary of State is indeed a win for diplomacy and, it is a good deal, to boot!

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie" - Terd Cruz

    We already knew that observable facts and evidence were unimportant to him, but . . .

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If we can't tell whether the Iran nuclear deal is a good one or not, on its merits or lack thereof, because we need a lot of time to assess its effectiveness, then how about judging this great diplomatic achievement by analyzing the context within which Iran was brought to the negotiating table and what certain powerful opponents to ANY deal see as the other alternatives for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.

    While this deal is most decidedly not a panacea, it is a good deal, anyway you slice it.

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Huffington Post announced that Trump news will now be found on their "Entertainment" pages."

    What does that even mean? It has no practical effect other than to insult his ego. He's still on the front page. They're just trolling Donald.

  9. [9] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    For some reason, the price of gasoline has dropped noticeably this week.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Which is yet another reason the Iran nuclear deal is a good one! :)

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Trump is now the face of the Republican Party."

    His recent decision to cover up his "hair" with that hat is baffling. He should pay somebody else to wear the hat.

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Did anybody see Trump's press conference in Laredo? He offered Jesus the Laredo city manager a job. He said "I'm going to steal him to run something for me. He's fantastic.". Then Jesus said that The Great Wall wasn't necessary. Very awkward. I have to think that it wasn't one of Donald's better negotiations, but I'm still confident that he could negotiate a press conference deal with those Persians, who are just terrific people by the way.

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Persian people are terrific. Their leaders ... not so much.

    Sound familiar?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, wait ...

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I catch on, eventually ...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll get to the specifics later, but I have one snark to get off my chest...

    I guess it's easier to laugh and ridicule the opposing Party's candidates rather than face the fact that the Dem candidate for POTUS is going down in flames, eh? :D

    I mean, honestly... Two different Obama appointed IGs are recommending that a CRIMINAL probe be launched against Hillary Clinton..

    To quote the Grand Poobah himself...

    "Couldn't happen to a nicer Party"

    Trump may be a clown.. But at least no one is proposing he be under a CRIMINAL probe... :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would nominate President Obama for the MIDOTW aware..

    U.S. Preparing to Release Convicted Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard, Officials Say
    Some administration officials hope freeing spy may smooth relations with Israel after Iran nuclear deal

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-preparing-to-release-convicted-israeli-spy-jonathan-pollard-officials-say-1437766957

    Obama's reasoning sucks and it's the most blatant example of political pandering I have ever seen in a POTUS...

    But it's still the right thing to do...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    William Shatner was not amused, and tweeted in response: "Star Trek wasn't political. I'm not political; I can't even vote in the US. So to put a geocentric label on interstellar characters is silly." Good point -- Shatner's a Canadian. You'd figure Cruz would know that, being a native-born Canadian himself.

    Cruz didn't say ANYTHING about "William Shatner"...

    Cruz was talking about Captain James Tiberius Kirk, who WAS born in the USA... Captain Picard, incidentally was born in La Barre, France.

    Which says something right there. :D

    And Kirk WAS actually separated into two Captains..

    With disastrous results..

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Rick Perry got some good news this week -- he'll only be facing one felony charge during the election season! This will certainly be amusing to watch when the case truly gets underway, that's for sure.

    Not NEARLY as amusing as the felony charges that Hillary Clinton is going to face... :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    And the REALLY funny thing about Hillary being criminally investigated is that NO ONE on the Left can make the claim that it's politically motivated!!

    Howz THAT fer irony!! :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is it a good deal or a bad deal? I have no real idea. It could improve America's relations across the Middle East (by balancing Saudi Arabia) or it could turn out to fan the flames even more. It could prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear bomb, by the soft diplomacy of showing them the benefits of being part of the family of nations once again, or it could backfire the same way the deal with North Korea did. It is truly impossible to tell at this point which way it is going to go, and anyone who tells you differently is making all kinds of assumptions which may or may not prove to be justified.

    One thing that leadership tells us is to look at the issue from all possible angles and then make a decision giving due credence (IE computing the odds) to best case and worst case scenarios..

    Best Case Scenario For The Middle East...

    Iran gives up terrorism and joins the world community and the 21st century.
    ODDS: .02%

    Worst Case Scenario For The Middle East

    Best Worst Case Scenario
    Legitimizing Iran as a Nuclear Threshold Country sparks a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region on the planet.
    ODDS: 98%

    Worst Worst Case Scenario
    Iran cheats on the JCPOA and, with the infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars, reduces the break-out time for a nuclear weapon to mere weeks.
    ODDS: 60%

    Worst Of The Worst Worst Case Scenario
    Iran cheats on the JCPOA and, with the infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars actually becomes a Nuclear Armed state and tests their new toy on Tel Aviv.
    ODDS: 30%

    Now, I dunno about ya'all but, considering the odds, it's pretty easy to see where the best course of action is...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Cruz was talking about Captain James Tiberius Kirk, who WAS born in the USA... Captain Picard, incidentally was born in La Barre, France.

    Bonus Quatloos if you can tell me what state Kirk was born in without googling.. :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is it a good deal or a bad deal?

    Considering that the deal is being made with a country who EXECUTES people for being gay...???

    How can "good" be in the same sentence??

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, finally, from what can only be called the "What could possibly go wrong?" file, the following headline, highlighting the reaction of some to the recent shooting deaths of military recruiters. The headline really says it all: "Civilian 'Guard' Fires Gun While 'Protecting' Military Recruiting Center In Ohio."

    The Pentagon asked that concerned armed citizens not stand guard at military recruiting offices, saying it can handle security on its own after a shooting rampage.

    Yea... Despite ALL evidence to the contrary.. :^/

    Accidental discharges happen all the time.. Sometimes it's an ID.10-T, sometimes it's not..

    I think the fact that our soldiers, sailors, airman and marines CAN'T be armed is moronic..

    About as moronic as "Gun Free Zones"....

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Canadians are amusing. We are not amused.

    I would be inclined to give Canada a break..

    But then there's Beiber...

    heh

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would be inclined to give Canada a break..

    But then there's Beiber...

    "If I heard that god-awful Celene Dion song one more time, I was going to have to smite myself.."
    "Who is... Celene Dion??"
    "Some destitute lounge singer in Quebec and can we keep it that way, please!"

    -SUPERNATURAL, The French Mistake

    :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, Michale, if you had been paying any attention to this over the last many years and if you had any sort of historical perspective, whatsoever, then you would know that THE worst case scenario begins with Congress successfully voting to override a presidential veto on this matter.

    Outcomes: no JCPOA, no sanctions, no inspections, nuclear proliferation and another war in the Middle East to make all wars in the Middle East pale in comparison, just to name a few.
    ODDS: 100%, no debate about this, end of discussion.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Your assertions about the Iran nuclear deal are overwhelmingly wrong.
    Odds: 99.99% (That's just me, being kind)

    My assertions about the Iran nuclear deal are sound and essentially correct.
    Odds: 100%

    You should do us both a favour and listen to the testimony and questioning by Kerry et al. at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing the other day. It's four hours + so, take it in parts but, always take it eee-eee-zee ... :)

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, Michale, if you had been paying any attention to this over the last many years and if you had any sort of historical perspective, whatsoever, then you would know that THE worst case scenario begins with Congress successfully voting to override a presidential veto on this matter.

    Now that Obama has bypassed Congress and gone to the UN, you might be right...

    On the other hand, putting Obama on notice that it's CONGRESS that speaks for the US and not the UN is a good thing..

    By Obama going to the UN, he might have actually SUNK his chances of Congress approving this deal.. He pissed off MANY Democrats by this bonehead move..

    CW called it dead on when he postulated that Iran will go the way of North Korea and be a nuclear power within a couple years...

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Now that Obama has bypassed Congress and gone to the UN, you might be right...

    That's hilarious!

    Who do you think negotiated this deal and who is responsible for overseeing most of its implementation?

    Hint: It's not the US Congress.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    He pissed off MANY Democrats by this bonehead move..

    Only the, well, boneheaded ones. Heh.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    It all comes back to one simple fact..

    Iran is an evil regime.. It's all but guaranteed that they will cheat on the deal..

    And there will be nothing that the US will be able to do about it..

    Ya'all have said it yourself. All the countries involved won't re-impose sanctions once the floodgates are opened..

    Now that the JCPOA is in effect, the *ONLY* way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is military action..

    Obama's deal didn't prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon..

    Obama's deal made Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon inevitable..

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only the, well, boneheaded ones. Heh.

    And going to the UN before Congress had it's say is about as bonehead as they come. :D

    Who do you think negotiated this deal and who is responsible for overseeing most of its implementation?

    Hint: It's not the US Congress.

    So, the safety and security of Israel is in the hands of the UN??

    Israel might as well pack it in right now....

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Who do you think negotiated this deal and who is responsible for overseeing most of its implementation?

    Hint: It's not the US Congress.

    I am thinking it's the organization that made 9 BILLION dollars off the Iraq Sanctions program..

    Yea, THEY can be trusted.. :^/

    Trusting the UN is only *SLIGHTLY* better than trusting Iran....

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:
  36. [36] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Bonus Quatloos if you can tell me what state Kirk was born in without googling.. :D"

    The answer is: Iowa (From Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home.)

    But I can't tell you the actual town unless I Google it.

  37. [37] 
    John M wrote:

    Iowa was also shown as Kirk's home in the first rebooted Star Trek movie with Chris Pine.

    Just an extra bit of trivia. :-)

  38. [38] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A very lively FTP this week. Somebody was energized at Netroots Nation! Or was it the Sander's rally? Or the Trumpathon that just keeps Trumping on.

    "Trump is now the face of the Republican Party." Odd phrasing. Other parts of the anatomy seem a better fit to me.

    "Trump is going to be around for the entire primary season, at the very least." It IS going to be Huge-uh!

    "Trump may actually mount a third-party bid." I predict he will make the bid. He's just having too much fun, and he can self finance enough junkets to keep the free air time coming. Nobody ever went broke underestimating......

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iran vows to bar international inspectors from military sites
    Adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei claims directive will be enforced regardless of world powers’ interpretations of nuke deal

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-says-inspectors-to-be-barred-from-military-sites/

    And so it begins...

    Congress would be fools to approve this deal...

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    The answer is: Iowa (From Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home.)

    But I can't tell you the actual town unless I Google it.

    "Don't tell me, let me guess. You're from outer space."
    "No, I'm from Iowa.. I only work in outer space"

    STAR TREK IV-THE VOYAGE HOME

    :D

    Good one, JM...

    Iowa was also shown as Kirk's home in the first rebooted Star Trek movie with Chris Pine.

    Grrrrr, don't get me started on Star Trek 90210.... :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    A very lively FTP this week. Somebody was energized at Netroots Nation! Or was it the Sander's rally? Or the Trumpathon that just keeps Trumping on.

    "Pay no attention to the Dem POTUS Candidate in Handcuffs behind the curtain!!! Just focus on the GOP"

    :D

    I guess the left is FINALLY getting this "transparent" down pat now.. heh

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Now that the JCPOA is in effect, the *ONLY* way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon is military action..

    That's an interesting assertion. So, how would your assessment change, or would it, if there were no JCPOA?

    And, on a related note, how do you believe US national interests align with those of Israel? Are they perfectly in-sync? Or, do you think they diverge and, if so, how so?

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's an interesting assertion. So, how would your assessment change, or would it, if there were no JCPOA?

    I have already made that clear..

    Sanctions WERE working...

    Ramping up of the sanctions would have been a LOT more effective than giving Iran everything it wants and getting nothing but MAYBE a little breathing room in return..

    And, on a related note, how do you believe US national interests align with those of Israel? Are they perfectly in-sync? Or, do you think they diverge and, if so, how so?

    I think our interests are a LOT more aligned with Israel than they are with Iran...

    But to answer your question, yes.. I think the interests of the US (and Jordan etc etc etc) align pretty closely...

    Obama HAS united the majority of the Middle East, including Israel..

    But he has aligned them AGAINST the US...

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz, put it in this context...

    Do you think that Obama would be so anxious to deal with Republicans if Republicans had tweeted pics of an Obama suicide??

    Had advocated for the execution of gay people??

    Of course not..

    Obama would state unequivocally that they simply CANNOT deal with a regime that would do and say such horrendous things..

    And yet, Obama is jumping, body and soul, into bed with Iran at the expense of EVERY ally in the region.. Against the expressed desires of every ally in the region...

    Where is the logic??

    The Obama knows what's best for each and every country in the region, moreso than all the leaders of all those countries??

    Ya'all slam and attack Bush incessantly to this very day for doing THAT EXACT THING!

    Again, I have to ask..

    Where is the logic??

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sanctions WERE working...

    Yes, they were and they did. But, I don't think you fully understand what that means.

    First, you have only the strenuous efforts of the Obama administration to thank for the effectiveness of sanctions. The essentially 'go-it-alone' approach by the Bush administration, without any regard for the rest of the civilized world was most decidedly NOT effective. Obama, on the other hand, put together a truly international sanctions regime against Iran that constituted the most muscular set of sanctions ever slapped on a country in the history of the world.

    President Obama was successful in bringing the international community together on this, including the likes of Russia and China, because the whole idea behind sanctions was to - wait for it - bring Iran to the negotiating table.

    So, yes, the sanctions worked to do what they were put together to do. Sanctions were NEVER meant as a way to bring Iran to its knees and force it to give up its nuclear programme. I think this is the main point that you fail to grasp.

    Ramping up of the sanctions would have been a LOT more effective than giving Iran everything it wants and getting nothing but MAYBE a little breathing room in return..

    This assertion betrays more misunderstanding of the sanctions regime and of what's in the JCPOA and about how the international community views this agreement with Iran.

    The fact of the matter is that all of the world leaders who are responsible for having brought Iran to the table through the imposition of a muscular sanctions regime fully support the JCPOA. So, you can deride Obama all you want but you cannot ignore the fact that if the US walks away from this deal now then it will be isolated from the rest of the international community and the sanctions regime will melt away with NOTHING from Iran, in return. Worse still, Iran will be completely free to continue its nuclear programme without any restrictions.

    Israel may believe that this is in their best interest but it is decidedly NOT in the US national interest - not by a long shot.

    Finally, you will not be doing yourself any favours by repeating with a straight face that the international community got "nothing" as part of the JCPOA. Continuing to argue this blatant falsehood only betrays a very deep ignorance of the nuclear agreement with Iran and I will not waste any more of my time debating the details of the JCPOA in that environment.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Michale, an overwhelming majority of leaders in the region support the JCPOA and that includes Saudi Arabia's grudging if not enthusiastic support.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Michale, an overwhelming majority of leaders in the region support the JCPOA - including Saudi Arabia's grudging, if not enthusiastic, support.

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    just like everything else about obama and his administration, the hype surrounding this deal is far greater than the likely impact in either direction, better or worse. my suspicion is that the net impact will be an iran slightly more likely to develop a nuclear weapon and slightly less likely to use it. but even that is just an armchair conjecture.

    read up on the range of opinions in israeli intelligence; no, the danger has not been removed, but there's plenty of silver lining here and plenty of time to respond decisively if it goes poorly.

    JL

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    read up on the range of opinions in israeli intelligence; no, the danger has not been removed, but there's plenty of silver lining here and plenty of time to respond decisively if it goes poorly.

    Well said.

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Thanks Liz :)

    on a different issue, i strongly disagree with Ted Cruz's assertion about Picard and Riker being "halves" of James Kirk. I believe they were intended as alternative progressions on his character, not pieces of it. I think Riker was written to represent Kirk's younger character if his ego and ambition had been harnessed by someone he respected, and Picard was written as what would have happened if Kirk had become a more cautious and reflective captain with age, rather than acting the part of a mature "admiral" but secretly missing the action.

    If you re-watch "Tapestry," (s6, ep.15 - and one of my favorite TNG episodes) Young Picard is on course to becoming just like Kirk, but his development takes a different turn when he gets stabbed in the heart and begins a character shift that Kirk starts only after Spock dies. As Q painfully demonstrates, Picard's relative caution and reflectiveness would have gotten him nowhere if he hadn't first been more kirk-like, but he faced his own mortality sooner.

    Kirk: Captain of the Enterprise, huh?
    Picard: That's right.
    Kirk: Close to retirement?
    Picard: I'm not planning on it.

    (~Generations)

    JL

  51. [51] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M- 21

    It's not clear if your assigned probabilities are joint, conditional or marginal.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'll get to the follow-up on the JCPOA and especially the Trek reference later today...

    But I just have to point out again regarding the CRIMINAL probe that has been requested by TWO DIFFERENT Obama Administration IGs...

    Will this be the final straw that breaks Hillary's back???

    Each and every excuse that Clintonistas have issued to date are totally demolished by the facts of this latest scandal...

    I know, I know.. Ya'all would rather talk about Trump's fantasy Waterloo that never happened...

    But the facts and reality are leaving the Left's 'druthers in a cloud of criminal and malfeasant dust..

    Hillary is toast.. Couldn't happen to a more deserving person...

    The only thing up in the air is will Obama cover for her or throw her under the very VERY crowded bus....

    Irregardless of what he does, the damage has already been done...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not clear if your assigned probabilities are joint, conditional or marginal.

    Yes... :D

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Based on the leak of the criminal probe of Hillary Clinton by a "very Senior Administration Official ( {{cough}} Valerie Jarrett {cough} {cough} ) I am betting that, very soon, Joe Biden will throw his hat into the Dem Candidate ring...

    You heard it here first... :D

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, yes, the sanctions worked to do what they were put together to do. Sanctions were NEVER meant as a way to bring Iran to its knees and force it to give up its nuclear programme. I think this is the main point that you fail to grasp.

    Sorry, but that is simply not accurate..

    As late as 2013, the Obama Administration was saying that the goal was to "DISMANTLE" Iran's nuclear infrastructure...

    I can get you the actual quotes if you doubt.. :D

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Star Trek wasn't political.

    I love me some Star Trek - both Kirk and Picard.

    I think what Shatner means by "Star Trek wasn't political" is that he, William Shatner, would like people from all political persuasions to watch Star Trek.

    In other words, he doesn't want to offend anyone.

    Star Trek was, is, and always has been political. It always tackled the top issues of the day.

    -David

  57. [57] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. Did you get to see the BLM protest at Netroots, CW? Any thoughts?

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    I love me some Star Trek - both Kirk and Picard.

    Picard would negotiate an Obama deal with Iran...

    Kirk would just beam the entire Iranian Nuclear Infrastructure into space (INCLUDING the scientists) and not re-materialize it.. :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-53

    Good, we agree it's not clear if your stated probabilities are marginal, joint, or conditional. :)

    Since your written narrative nests different outcomes into an incomplete matrix of scenarios, it's important to specify whether the fractions you cite are marginal (stand alone) joint (probability of event A AND event B both randomly occurring) or conditional (probability of A randomly occurring GIVEN that B has actually occurred) if poor suffering Weignanites are to have any hope of understanding what the hell your fractions actually mean. ("Goddamn your drunk tests are hard," - S. Martin, Man With Two Brains)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unseSFWjuqs

  60. [60] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "But I just have to point out again regarding the CRIMINAL probe that has been requested by TWO DIFFERENT Obama Administration IGs..."

    HOWEVER: (According to the Huffingtonpost.)

    "Comments by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Select Committee on Benghazi, who said on Friday that the IG had personally told him he did not request a criminal probe. A Justice Department official said in a statement Friday morning that “the Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral.”

    ALSO

    "The Times issued a correction on the story on Friday, saying that the article "using information from senior government officials, misstated the nature of the referral to the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email account while she was secretary of state. The referral addressed the potential compromise of classified information in connection with that personal email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton."

    So is it a criminal probe, or is it not? Is it just a possible breach of security probe?

    JUST ASKING.....

  61. [61] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Grrrrr, don't get me started on Star Trek 90210.... :D"

    You didn't like it? I think it was great, except for the fact that they destroyed Vulcan!!! Spock also would never have been able to see the destruction of Vulcan from the surface of Delta Vega like they portrayed it. The two planets were in totally different solar systems light years apart. They did however do a wonderful job of showing Kirk sleeping around with every conceivable kind of female in a very comedic way.

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    I am going to address the Clinton issue tomorrow, once our AC is fixed... It's 102 in our house and, for someone whose comfort zone is 55 degrees, it's murder..

    But I will say that my feeling on Star Trek 90210 is identical to yours..

    I don't mind that they had to reboot Star Trek.. But did they have to kill 6 billion Vulcans to do it!???

    And you are dead on right about the Geography blooper...

    40 Iridani System (where Vulcan is located) is close to the SOL system...

    Delta Vega is close to the BARRIER of this frakin' galaxy!!!

    Think Milky Way galaxy and Pegasus galaxy....

    The idea that Alternate Reality Delta Vega could actually SEE Vulcan is utterly re-donkulus!!!

    They did however do a wonderful job of showing Kirk sleeping around with every conceivable kind of female in a very comedic way.

    Eddie Murphy notwithstanding, that Orion babe was HOT!!!! :D

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Having said all of the afore.. I loved STAR TREK 90210 and subsequent sequel.. :D

    It's confirmation and absolution that my Jr High & High School Trek-Fandom was dead on ballz accurate.. :D

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can get you the actual quotes if you doubt.. :D

    Please do.

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    p.s. Did you get to see the BLM protest at Netroots, CW? Any thoughts?

    Obviously, not ... or, at least, none that he would like to share with us. :(

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    Since your written narrative nests different outcomes into an incomplete matrix of scenarios, it's important to specify whether the fractions you cite are marginal (stand alone) joint (probability of event A AND event B both randomly occurring) or conditional (probability of A randomly occurring GIVEN that B has actually occurred)

    "Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed"
    -Austin Powers

    :D

    if poor suffering Weignanites are to have any hope of understanding what the hell your fractions actually mean.

    I am flattered that ya care. :D heh

    Seriously, I laid out a few possible scenarios predicated on very generic factors and assumptions and condensed it all down.....

    "If you dumb this down any more, I'm gonna punch you!"
    -Lt Col John Shepard, STARGATE: ATLANTIS

    :D

    .... into comfortable sound bites...

    If you want the back story for each scenario and the factors and assumptions utilized, I would probably be game...

    Once our AC is fixed... :^/

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can get you the actual quotes if you doubt.. :D

    Please do.

    “I don’t think any of us thought we were just imposing these sanctions for the sake of imposing them. We did because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program. That was the whole point of the regime.
    -John Kerry, House Foreign Affairs Committee testimony, 2013
    http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/12/218578.htm

    The entire idea behind the sanctions was to make Iran give up it's pursuit of nuclear weapons..

    Obama capitulated on that, SURRENDERED on that, changed his goal to something easily obtainable and then called it a "win" when he achieved that worthless goal..

    The entire point was to STOP Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

    This "deal" not only LEGITIMIZES Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, it facilitates it as well..

    Now that we have this "deal", the *ONLY* way to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons (the STATED goal) is by overt or covert war... Otherwise, Iran WILL become a nuclear power.. It is inevitable...

    If Obama wasn't so concerned about his legacy, if he had put as much effort into strengthening the sanctions as he devoted to this giveaway, the STATED goal of dismantling Iran's nuclear infrastructure would not only have been POSSIBLE, it would have been PROBABLE...

    With the strengthening of the sanctions, it is likely that Iran would have gone the way of Libya insofar as the nuclear programs were concerned..

    By the way, Michale, an overwhelming majority of leaders in the region support the JCPOA - including Saudi Arabia's grudging, if not enthusiastic, support.

    You'll have to come up with quotes to support that.. Because ALL the major players in the ME have come down on the side of Israel and Saudi Arabia

    Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Jordan, etc etc etc..

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Comments by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Select Committee on Benghazi, who said on Friday that the IG had personally told him he did not request a criminal probe. A Justice Department official said in a statement Friday morning that “the Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral.”

    There are several IGs investigating Hillary.. That right there should tell you something.

    Which IG did Cummings talk to??

    "The Times issued a correction on the story on Friday, saying that the article "using information from senior government officials, misstated the nature of the referral to the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email account while she was secretary of state. The referral addressed the potential compromise of classified information in connection with that personal email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton."

    Yea, the Times changed the story at the request of the Clinton Campaign...

    Is all this kind of crap EXACTLY what ya'all hate in Republicans??

    So is it a criminal probe, or is it not? Is it just a possible breach of security probe?

    I'll go the initial reporting of the facts untainted by Clinton campaign machinations...

    But the facts are clear. It is undeniable that Hillary transmitted and received classified intel on her private server.

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless of whether it was criminal or just security-stoopid, the fact it, it was done...

    Such moronic actions by Clinton should disqualify here from the Presidency..

    And do you know how I know that I am right??

    Because if Hillary had a '-R' after her name, ya'all would be saying the EXACT same thing.. :D

    Michale

  70. [70] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 21

    "Iran cheats on the JCPOA and, with the infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars actually becomes a Nuclear Armed state and tests their new toy on Tel Aviv.
    ODDS: 30%"

    What odds do you give that Israel responds in kind or more than in kind, to Iran's using Tel Aviv as a test range?

    I give odds of 100% minus some small percentage (dud factor) to account for technical unknowns that tend to reveal themselves on first use of a weapon in combat.

    Given the dud factor, I believe Israel would likely respond with a ballistic missile first, followed by nuclear armed F-15I(s) if the first option fails, followed by sub launched nuclear armed cruise missile(s) if the second option fails.

    In short, my odds that Israel makes at least one successful nuclear counterstrike are high, say 90% or more.

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    In short, my odds that Israel makes at least one successful nuclear counterstrike are high, say 90% or more.

    Agreed... Of course, Iran would try to muddy the responsibility waters and let Hamas or Hezbollah or even ISIS take the fall...

    But I doubt Israel would CARE about that, even if it were true..

    And Israel's expected response, for any normal sane leader THAT would make a first strike inconceivable...

    Yet, we are not dealing with sane responsible leadership..

    Need I remind you that we're dealing with religious fanatics who EXECUTE people for being gay...

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And do you know how I know that I am right??

    Because if Hillary had a '-R' after her name, ya'all would be saying the EXACT same thing.. :D

    Faulty and circular logic. You know how I know this is really not a big deal? If Hillary had a 'R' after her name you would not have even mentioned it...

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Faulty and circular logic.

    Exactly how is it "faulty"?? Ya'all would be slamming a GOP'er over this.. There's a plethora of evidence to support such a claim..

    College Hazing at Abu-Ghraib, for example...

    You know how I know this is really not a big deal? If Hillary had a 'R' after her name you would not have even mentioned it...

    Maybe.. Maybe not...

    But I can promise you one thing. If ya'all *HAD* mentioned it about a GOP'er I would have been in complete and total agreement...

    This is undeniable...

    Although 10,000 quatloos says ya will try and deny it. :D

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    "No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air."
    -Azrael, DOGMA

    :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    But I can promise you one thing. If ya'all *HAD* mentioned it about a GOP'er I would have been in complete and total agreement...

    I believe JEB!'s little dalliance with his private email server and the fact that he has held back 275,000 emails was mentioned.....

    I seem to recall that it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT.....was received in response.

  76. [76] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 71

    Again with your insanity clause. Executing gay people is an example of bigotry, unbridled power and just being ill mannered, but it doesn't equate to insanity. Being a mafia don doesn't equate with insanity either, high risk, high reward, low empathy, that's all you need to know. The same basic risk/reward perception that drives movie producers to riches with pretend violence.

    Religious fanaticism doesn't imply insanity either. Oliver Cromwell was a Christian fanatic who also happened to be a brilliant military leader and politician not above genocidal behavior towards Scots and Irish.

    The Iranian leadership was sane enough to win a revolution, sane enough repel an Iraqi Invasion and sane enough to hold onto power and keep a second world economy and military functioning in the post revolution/invasion era. All this suggests to me they're smart enough, and gosh darn it, sane enough. to understand how nuclear deterrence works.

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    It seems you have supplied only part of what Kerry said in that testimony so here is the full quote, in context with the pertinent parts highlighted:

    John Kerry; December 2013, testimony in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: "And this is something that I think you ought to take great pride in. I was here as chairman when we put his in place. I voted for these sanctions, like we all did in the United States Senate. I think we were 100 to nothing as a matter of fact. And we put them in place for a purpose. The purpose was to get to this negotiation. The purpose was to see whether or not diplomacy and avoidance of war could actually deliver the same thing or better than you might be able to get through confrontation.

    "So now we have committed – along with our P5+1 partners – to not impose any new nuclear-related sanctions for the period of the six months. I’m sure there are questions about this. I know I’ve seen, and there are some in Congress who’ve suggested they ought to do it. I’m happy to answer them. I will tell you that in my 29 years, just about shy of the full 29 I’ve served in the Senate, I was always a leading proponent of the sanctions against Iran. I’m proud of what we did here. But it was undeniable that the pressure we put on Iran through these sanctions is exactly what has brought Iran to the table today, and I think Congress deserves an enormous amount of credit for that.

    "But I don’t think that any of us thought we were just imposing these sanctions for the sake of imposing them. We did it because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program. That was the whole point of the regime.
    Now, has Iran changed its nuclear calculus? I honestly don’t think we can say for sure yet. And we certainly don’t just take words at face value. Believe me, this is not about trust. And given the history – and Mr. Chairman, you mentioned the question of deception – given the history, we are all rightly skeptical about whether or not people are ready to make the hard choices necessary to live up to this. But we now have the best chance we’ve ever had to rigorously test this proposition without losing anything. At least twice in this agreement, it is mentioned that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and that is specific as to the final agreement. In addition, where it does talk about the potential of enrichment in the future, it says “mutually agreed upon” at least four times – three or four times in that paragraph. It has to be agreed. We don’t agree, it doesn’t happen

    "I don’t want to give the Iranians a public excuse to flout the agreement. It could lead our international partners to think that we’re not an honest broker and that we didn’t mean it when we said that sanctions were not an end in and of themselves, but a tool to pressure the Iranians into a diplomatic solution. Well, we’re in that. And six months will fly by so fast, my friends, that before you know it we’re either going to know which end of this we’re at or not."

    It's important to understand what was meant by "help Iran dismantle its nuclear program". Obviously, Secretary Kerry did not mean an absolute end to enrichment or the complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

    It's always problematic when quotes are taken out of context and used to prove a point at the expense of losing the whole meaning.

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    I believe JEB!'s little dalliance with his private email server and the fact that he has held back 275,000 emails was mentioned.....

    And when it was mentioned I agreed that it was a bone head thing to do...

    But you can't really compare the actions of a state gov with the actions of a Sec State..

    A point YA'ALL would bring up if the Sec State was a GOP'er and the state gov was a Dem...

    :D

    Ya'all see the trap you have created for yourselves??

    Because you have jumped on GOP'ers for every little nitpick (Bush lied!!) and hysterically defended DEMs for the same nitpick'ed transgression (If you like your health plan...).....

    All I have to do is point this out and I can explain practically every DEM transgression as a REAL transgression if were committed by a GOP'er...

    It's what happens when one puts Party loyalty before ANY other consideration..

    Many of you have stated unequivocally what a bad candidate Hillary is.. Many of you have stated what a "creep" Bill Clinton is..

    Yet, those same people will vote them back into the White House.. Because Party loyalty demands it...

    If we had Sister Theresa or Pope Francis running as the GOP candidate and Lucifer himself running as the Dem Candidate, ya'all would vote Lucifer...

    Because Party loyalty demands it..

    That's why, with regards to corruption or malfeasance, it's nearly impossible for ya'all to win a debate with me.. Because all I have to do is point out that, if the Party affiliations were reversed, ya'all's reaction would be the diametric opposite...

    Don't blame me. This is the bed ya'all have made.. :D

    Michale

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww crap!!!!

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's important to understand what was meant by "help Iran dismantle its nuclear program". Obviously, Secretary Kerry did not mean an absolute end to enrichment or the complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

    I can only take what Kerry said...

    Unlike you, I can't get into his mind to divine what he really meant..

    I can only go by what his words say..

    And he stated quite clearly that the goal of the sanctions was to "dismantle" Iran's nuclear program..

    When you take those stated words and add in Obama's oft stated words that he will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons, the meaning is clear..

    Obama said that he will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons..

    This deal will GUARANTEE that Iran will possess nuclear weapons..

    That is the long and short of it..

    Michale

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    Again with your insanity clause. Executing gay people is an example of bigotry, unbridled power and just being ill mannered, but it doesn't equate to insanity.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point..

    What would you say about a Democrat leadership who executes people because they are Republicans??

    Would you say they are ill-mannered power hungry bigots??

    Or would you say that they are nucking futz!??

    Religious fanaticism doesn't imply insanity either. Oliver Cromwell was a Christian fanatic who also happened to be a brilliant military leader and politician not above genocidal behavior towards Scots and Irish.

    Ahhh, but was Cromwell's oft-stated goal to incite a religious conflagration to bring about the End Of Days??

    You seem to equate fanaticism with insanity.. Patton was a fanatic.. Doesn't mean he was insane...

    All this suggests to me they're smart enough, and gosh darn it, sane enough. to understand how nuclear deterrence works.

    And you're willing to bet the survival of Israel on that???

    Worse, you expect that Israel bet's their own survival on that..

    Tell me.. Would you have the same opinion if you and your family lived in Tel Aviv??

    I think not..

    You see, it's the same thing I said to Goode Tickle above. Ya'all's entire outlook is skewed by Party Loyalty.. Obama likes this deal so ya'all like this deal..

    If this deal had been proposed by Bush or another GOP POTUS, ya'all would be making the EXACT same arguments that I am making..

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    What would you say about a Democrat leadership who executes people because they are Republicans??

    Would you say they are ill-mannered power hungry bigots??

    Or would you say that they are nucking futz!??

    Or would you say, "Please sir. Can we have some more.."

    :D heh

    Executing a person over their beliefs is a pretty good indication that sanity is not in the grasp of the executioners..

    I may be wrong. You may be right...

    Someone who executes a person for their beliefs or lifestyle may actually have all their marbles...

    "You have no.... maaah-bles!!"
    -Tanaka, MAJOR LEAGUE II

    ... But I would not be willing to bet the survival of a country or maybe even an entire region on that....

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's why, with regards to corruption or malfeasance, it's nearly impossible for ya'all to win a debate with me.. Because all I have to do is point out that, if the Party affiliations were reversed, ya'all's reaction would be the diametric opposite...

    Don't blame me. This is the bed ya'all have made.. :D

    And it all started because the Left went ape-shit hysterical over an incident that barely rose to the level of college hazing.. ALL because the POTUS was a GOP'er...

    If we had had a Dem POTUS at the time, ya'all would have held that Dem POTUS blameless..

    This is what the facts and reality clearly indicate...

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    GT,

    I seem to recall that it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT.....was received in response.

    That's because it WAS totally different...

    Every example of a GOP'er using private email that the Left brought up to excuse and cover for Hillary lacked one main ingredient..

    Exclusivity..

    Powell, Bush, etc etc all used a private email IN ADDITION to their main government email..

    Hillary used her own private email server EXCLUSIVELY...

    And why??

    Because she didn't want to leave a paper trail for Congress to look at... This, from the mouth of one of her most trusted advisers..

    So, it's clear that every example ya'all brought forth is not at all the same as what Hillary did..

    Having said that, I do recall at the time that I said it WAS a bonehead thing to do...

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    Having said that,

    Dare I say..... Irregardless....

    heh :D

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    I believe they were intended as alternative progressions on his character, not pieces of it. I think Riker was written to represent Kirk's younger character if his ego and ambition had been harnessed by someone he respected, and Picard was written as what would have happened if Kirk had become a more cautious and reflective captain with age, rather than acting the part of a mature "admiral" but secretly missing the action.

    Kirk has always gotten a bum rap by today's Lefties.. The Trek powers that be did their best to denigrate Star Trek:TOS

    Jadzia: He's so handsome. Those eyes.
    Sisko: Kirk had quite the reputation as a ladies man.
    Jadzia: Not him. Spock.

    DEEP SPACE NINE: Trials And Tribble-lations

    Beavis and Butthead (AKA Berman & Braga) + Moore did their utmost to try and bury TOS.. Even to the point of removing "STAR TREK" from ENTERPRISE in Season 2...

    Moore, at least, redeemed himself when he gave us BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA

    If you re-watch "Tapestry," (s6, ep.15 - and one of my favorite TNG episodes)

    Any 'Q' episode is always an awesome episode.. With the *possible* exception of the DS9 episode, anytime Q is on board, it's always a rousing good time...

    ST:Voyager's 'Q' episodes are especially entertaining... deLancie and Mulgrew are very close friends in real life so their on-screen relationship is awesome.. :D The episode with deLancie's real life son as Q's son was probably the best Q episode....

    Kirk: Captain of the Enterprise, huh?
    Picard: That's right.
    Kirk: Close to retirement?
    Picard: I'm not planning on it.
    (~Generations)

    {sniffle} {sniffle} I'm so proud.. :D heh

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news....

    Camille Paglia: How Bill Clinton is like Bill Cosby
    In exclusive Salon interview, the cultural critic finds parallels between Cosby and Clinton, takes down modern p.c.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/07/28/camille_paglia_how_bill_clinton_is_like_bill_cosby/

    I may not like Paglia's politics, but I respect the HELL out of how she articulates them...

    Anyone who can so totally decimate the PC concept we suffer today is all right in my book..

    Regardless of their actual politics..

    It's the same respect as I have for Glenn Greenwald.. He's wrong on practically every point, but I would never doubt his integrity...

    Michale

  88. [88] 
    Michale wrote:

    News items about shootings just never seem to end. Just today a man in Louisiana shot up a movie theater, while a court in Colorado considers the sentence for the guy who shot up a movie theater there. Dylann Roof, the domestic terrorist who attacked a black church in South Carolina, will be tried on federal hate-crimes charges, but not as an actual terrorist.

    It's rather funny (in a sad pathetic sort of way) when you look at it..

    A scumbag shoots up a military recruitment center and the Right wants to arm America's soldiers..

    A scumbag shoots up a church and the Left wants to ban a historical Battle Flag from 100 years ago..

    That pretty much encapsulates PERFECTLY which Party deals with reality and which Party doesn't... :^/

    Michale

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    Q: Do you believe that Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism?

    Secretary Kerry: Yes.

    Q: And, that they will use the conventional weapons made available by the Iran nuclear treaty to kill Americans or Israelis?

    Secretary Kerry: Well, they may, they may.

    So... Obama is willing to give Iran the money and the leeway and the possible result of that is Iran will kill Americans and/or Israelis...

    Hmmmmmmmm

    Yea.. I can't see anything wrong with that...

    {/sarcasm}

    Michale

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Michale ...

    ... are you saying that it is your preference to have Congress kill this deal by way of an override of a presidential veto?

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    ... are you saying that it is your preference to have Congress kill this deal by way of an override of a presidential veto?

    I would have preferred that Obama not have made such a bad boneheaded deal in the first place..

    I mean, honestly. Explain the logic of dropping the conventional arms embargo??

    But, yes.. If the only way to stop this bad deal is for Congress to kill it, then that's what has to be done...

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Well, the conventional arms embargo was put in place by the United Nations as part of the effort to sanction Iran for its nefarious nuclear program. In fact, it wasn't even going to be put in place if not for the work of Susan Rice, then UN Ambassador, at the eleventh hour during those negotiations in the security council.

    Russia, China and Iran wanted the embargo lifted immediately as part of the JCPOA. The US, France, Britain and Germany disagreed. Then a compromise was reached where the embargo would stay in place for 5 years. And, remember, there are other laws in place that prevent Iran from importing or exporting conventional weapons. Congress should be working with the Obama administration to ensure that these measures are enforced.

    I disagree with you that this is a bad deal. I have read quite a bit of it and it is even stronger than the interim agreement. But, you say it's a bad deal and should be rejected by Congress. Fair enough. However, I think you are obligated now to outline the consequences to US national security and to Israel of such a course of action.

    What should the Obama administration and Congress do if there is no deal and Iran's nuclear ambitions are under none of the JCPOA restrictions there is no new inspection regime, no adherence by Iran to the Additional Protocols under the NPT, AND sanctions now in place inevitably subside and eventually collapse? Why would Iran even stay within the parameters of the NPT after the rejection of this deal by the US?

    These are the kinds of questions you must address as you argue for an option that is better than that presented by the JCPOA.

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, the conventional arms embargo was put in place by the United Nations as part of the effort to sanction Iran for its nefarious nuclear program.

    Actually, the conventional arms embargo was in place due to Iran's sponsorship of terrorism, namely Hamas and Hezbollah..

    It had NOTHING to do with the nuclear program.. There was absolutely NO logical or rational reason to include it in the deal..

    But Iran said "JUMP" and Obama said "HOW HIGH??"

    These are the kinds of questions you must address as you argue for an option that is better than that presented by the JCPOA.

    I don't have those answers.. It would be impossible for me to address the consequences because the consequences are not knowable.. Unfortunately, due to Obama's complete and utter ineptitude, the consequences of Congress killing the deal will be grave indeed...

    BUT...

    Given Iran's history and given the fanaticism of it's government and the milquetoast way Obama deals with Iran, it's easy to see where this deal will lead if Congress approves it..

    A Nuclear Armed Iran...

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't have those answers.. It would be impossible for me to address the consequences because the consequences are not knowable..

    They are very knowable, Michale ... you just don't want to admit that because it makes it easy for you to say the deal should be rejected.

    If you are so sure what will happen if the deal is accepted then, you have to be courageous enough to tell me what will happen if the deal is rejected. You cannot have it both ways.

    In the absence of the JCPOA, Iran can become a nuclear-armed state much, much quicker than with the deal. Why are you so against buying some time and testing Iran's ability to live up to its commitments in this agreement.

    There can only be one reason why, Michale. You want war with Iran ... NOW!

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    There can only be one reason why, Michale. You want war with Iran ... NOW!

    I could easily say the same.

    There can be only one reason why you want the JCPOA to stand..

    Because you WANT Iran to have nuclear weapons..

    :D

    It works both ways..

    I only have to point to the changing statements of Obama to prove that the deal is a bad one.

    When Obama began the deal making process, the goal was to eliminate Iran's nuclear infrastructure... Obama thought he could make this happen just by his lofty rhetoric..

    Once Obama came down to earth and allowed Iran to humiliate him and give him the finger, Obama set his goals much MUCH lower..

    Kicking the can down the road for a future POTUS...

    That's why I know that this is a bad deal..

    Because it legitimizes ALL of Iran's perverse and disgusting actions... It allows Iran to convincingly claim that it is now part of the civilized International Community and has the US Stamp Of Approval on the claim..

    Iran can continue to execute gays and can continue to foster terrorism all over the world and, when confronted, "Hay!! We're the good guys!! Obama has said so!!"

    For all these reasons and so many more, this is a BAD deal..

    Just as ya'all would say it was a BAD deal if a GOP POTUS had negotiated it...

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, you can say any ridiculous thing you want, Michale. I don't understand why you would want to keep on saying ridiculous things, though.

    The original goal was to dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons infrastructure. The JCPOA goes quite a long way toward this goal.

    You said,
    Because it legitimizes ALL of Iran's perverse and disgusting actions... It allows Iran to convincingly claim that it is now part of the civilized International Community and has the US Stamp Of Approval on the claim..

    False. And, worse for you, utter nonsense and wholly non-serious. You will have to starting arguing a lot better than that. This is a serious discussion site, after all. Ahem.

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    The original goal was to dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons infrastructure. The JCPOA goes quite a long way toward this goal.

    It goes NOWHERE towards that goal!! It goes in the OPPOSITE direction of that goal...

    Even if the JCPOA is followed TO THE LETTER by Iran, they will be free to become a nuclear power in a decade...

    ALL the JCPOA does is LEGITIMIZE Iran's quest for nuclear weapons..

    False.

    Prove it... You can't...

    I know for a FACT that this is EXACTLY what the Iranian leadership is thinking..

    They have an international deal negotiated on the world stage..

    They are now a PLAYER in the region instead of a pariah...

    Obama has LEGITIMIZED Iran and ALL of it's actions..

    This is fact...

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Even if the JCPOA is followed TO THE LETTER by Iran, they will be free to become a nuclear power in a decade...

    That's completely false AND a ridiculous statement.You give hyperbole whole new meaning, Michale, and, in so doing, you weaken your own spurious arguments. It would be funny if this wasn't such a serious topic.

    On the other hand, if the JCPOA is rejected, there is nothing to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power within a few months or more.

    Guess which option is better!

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just answer one question..

    Iran is THE world's sponsor of terrorsm.

    Iran EXECUTES gay people because they choose a different lifestyle...

    How can you even CONTEMPLATE that a government like that could be trustworthy??

    That's like saying we can trust Adam Lanza to run a day care center...

    Or saying we can trust Ted Bundy to run a girls college dorm....

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How can you even CONTEMPLATE that a government like that could be trustworthy??

    You are making this way too easy for me, Michale.

    I don't trust Iran. Period. Full stop. Because, I don't want to and I don't have to. There is no part of the JCPOA that is based on trust. NOTHING. NADA. ZIPPO. NEGATIVE BUPKISS.

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK...

    So we are agreed.

    Iran CANNOT be trusted to fulfill their end of the deal..

    They WILL cheat and move closer to producing nuclear weapons..

    We are agreed on that, no??

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's completely false AND a ridiculous statement.

    It's a dead on ballz accurate statement..

    The meat of the JCPOA ends after 10 years..

    After that, Iran is free to pursue nuclear weapons to their hearts content..

  103. [103] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just because Iran cannot be trusted to implement this deal isn't a reason to scrap the deal.

    It is a reason why there is an unprecedented inspections and verification regime than can work to ensure Iran does honour its obligations. And, if Iran does not, then it will be held in material breach of the JCPOA and it will return to muscular sanctions regime. And, we don't even need Russia and China to agree to that.

    So, no, I do not believe the Iran will move closer to producing nuclear weapons under this deal without serious consequences that will stop them in their tracks. Without the deal, Iran can do what it wants and there is little that the international community can do about that, short of all out war with Iran.

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The meat of the JCPOA ends after 10 years..After that, Iran is free to pursue nuclear weapons to their hearts content..

    You can keep repeating that until your heart is content but, it doesn't make it so.

    And, besides, without the deal, Iran can start pursuing that ambition on the day the deal is rejected.

    So, here is the question I keep waiting for you to answer:

    How is no deal with Iran better than the JCPOA?

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, if Iran does not, then it will be held in material breach of the JCPOA and it will return to muscular sanctions regime. And, we don't even need Russia and China to agree to that.

    The "snap back" sanctions are a joke..

    You (and many others) are on record as stating that we cannot continue the sanctions (the status quo) because our sanction partners are ready to bail on those sanctions..

    If we can't trust our sanction partners to stick with already agreed upon sanctions, how can ANYONE possibly think those partners would be willing to "snap" the sanctions back when Iran breaches them??

    How are we to believe that our partners will re-institute the sanctions after they have been dropped??

    Answer.. We can't..

    There are two facts that are self-evident to anyone not enslaved by ideological loyalty...

    Fact 1. Iran WILL cheat.

    Fact 2. There will be absolutely NO REPERCUSSIONS for Iran when they do cheat.

    We'll just have wait and see if Congress can kill the deal or not..

    Damn Obama for putting the US in such a lose-lose situation..

    But hay.... Everyone knows that Obama cares for Obama first and foremost...

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's too hot here to continue this discussion, Michale.

    But, in the coolness of the night, I shall return ...

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, besides, without the deal, Iran can start pursuing that ambition on the day the deal is rejected.

    They can try...

    And, if Obama allows that, it will simply prove everything negative that has been said about him...

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    Without the deal, Iran can do what it wants and there is little that the international community can do about that, short of all out war with Iran.

    Yer just dying for a war with Iran, eh?? :D

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...

    Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran..

    But sanctions would not have gotten Obama his legacy....

    So, the sanctions had to go...

    And here we are...

    NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Great job, Obama...

    Michale

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's too hot here to continue this discussion, Michale.

    Why thank you.. :D That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.. heh :D

    Michale

  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm going for a swim ...

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don’t demonize Fox News. At what point will liberals wake up to realize the stranglehold that they had on the media for so long? They controlled the major newspapers and weekly newsmagazines and T.V. networks. It’s no coincidence that all of the great liberal forums have been slowly fading. They once had such incredible power. Since the rise of the Web, the nightly network newscasts have become peripheral, and the New York Times and the Washington Post have been slowly fading and are struggling to survive.

    Historically, talk radio arose via Rush Limbaugh in the early 1990s precisely because of this stranglehold by liberal discourse. For heaven’s sake, I was a Democrat who had just voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 primary, but I had to fight like mad in the early 1990s to get my views heard. The resistance of liberals in the media to new ideas was enormous. Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells. They think that their views are the only rational ones, and everyone else is not only evil but financed by the Koch brothers. It’s so simplistic!

    Now let me give you a recent example of the persisting insularity of liberal thought in the media. When the first secret Planned Parenthood video was released in mid-July, anyone who looks only at liberal media was kept totally in the dark about it, even after the second video was released. But the videos were being run nonstop all over conservative talk shows on radio and television. It was a huge and disturbing story, but there was total silence in the liberal media. That kind of censorship was shockingly unprofessional. The liberal major media were trying to bury the story by ignoring it. Now I am a former member of Planned Parenthood and a strong supporter of unconstrained reproductive rights. But I was horrified and disgusted by those videos and immediately felt there were serious breaches of medical ethics in the conduct of Planned Parenthood officials. But here’s my point: it is everyone’s obligation, whatever your political views, to look at both liberal and conservative news sources every single day. You need a full range of viewpoints to understand what is going on in the world.
    http://www.salon.com/2015/07/29/camille_paglia_takes_on_jon_stewart_trump_sanders_liberals_think_of_themselves_as_very_open_minded_but_that%E2%80%99s_simply_not_true/

    You GO girl!!! :D

    Couldn't have said it better myself... :D

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm going for a swim ...

    That was nice ... I feel re-energized. Which is very bad for you, Michale. :)

    A word about the media before we resume our discussion, if I may ...

    There are only two kinds of media ... the kind that informs and the kind that wastes my time.

    Moving on ...

  113. [113] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran..NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You just have to review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was able to bring the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that was unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy and fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue, with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if this scenario plays out.

    You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

  114. [114] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran.. ... NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You just have to review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was able to bring the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that was unprecedented in its scope and severity.This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue, with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if this scenario plays out. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

  115. [115] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    test

  116. [116] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran.. ... NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You just have to review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was able to bring the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that was unprecedented in its scope and severity.This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy and fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue, with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if this scenario plays out. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    There are only two kinds of media ... the kind that informs and the kind that wastes my time.

    When you see any of the former, please let me know.. :D

    Sorry, but I have to bail now.. It's time for MY swim...

    Plus the grandkids are here... So I am pretty much done for the night..

    I'll catch ya early in the AM.. :D But I have Gampy duty all day so it's gonna be sporadic :D

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran..NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..
    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict their nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that was unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out in further detail for you, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and many others, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects this deal. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    test test

  120. [120] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran...NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. And, Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and on many other critical issues, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects the JCPOA. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

    My questions for you: Why would you wish to reject a deal before we find out if it can be fully implemented, verified, monitored and enforced and BEFORE we resort to any military option?

    And, is the US military prepared to go it alone in starting a war with Iran and will the American people support yet another long war in the Middle East?

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran..NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    ... continued

  122. [122] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...continued

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have made a good wager that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and on many other critical issues, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects the JCPOA. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

    My questions for you: Why would you wish to reject a deal before we find out if it can be fully implemented, verified, monitored and enforced BEFORE we resort to any military option? And, is the US military prepared to go it alone in starting a war with Iran and will the American people support yet another long war in the Middle East?

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... continued ...

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review recent history to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky.

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could have placed a good bet that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear program significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and on many other critical issues, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects the JCPOA. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

    My questions for you: Why would you wish to reject a deal before we find out if it can be fully implemented, verified, monitored and enforced BEFORE we resort to any military option? And, is the US military prepared to go it alone in starting a war with Iran and will the American people support yet another long war in the Middle East?

  124. [124] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... continued ...

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review the recent history of Iran's nuclear program to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, by the way, in action. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    Now, if Iran had refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the p5+1, then you could have made a good wager that the sanctions would have been kept in place. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet full capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear programme significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US rejects a deal that the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all fully support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and on other critical issues, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects the JCPOA. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

    My questions for you: Why would you wish to reject a deal before we find out if it can be fully implemented, verified, monitored and enforced BEFORE we resort to any military option? And, is the US military prepared to go it alone in a war with Iran and will the American people support yet another long war in the Middle East?

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... continued (because I can be stubborn as a dog with a bone, sometimes)

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review our recent history with Iran to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because those sanctions are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    ... continued ...

  126. [126] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... continued (because, I can be stubborn as a dog with a bone, sometimes)

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program. You need only review our recent history with Iran to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme is because they are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime unprecedented in its scope and severity.This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    ... continued ...

  127. [127] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sanctions have been PROVEN to work...Continuing the sanctions was the ONLY logical response to Iran.. ... NOW, thanks to Obama's deal, the *ONLY* way to stop Iran *IS* with War... Overt or covert, but war is the ONLY option now..

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not work to stop Iran's illicit nuclear programme. You need only review our recent history with Iran to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear program is because those sanctions are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that is unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will lay out in greater detail for you, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    Now, if Iran refused to agree to the deal it was being offered by the P5+1, then you could make a good wager that the sanctions would have been left in place, if not further strengthened. Iran would remain isolated, stuck with a crippled economy, yet fully capable of realizing many of its nuclear ambitions. Because, we have already seen that even under the strongest sanctions regime ever imposed on a country in the history of the world, Iran was able to move its nuclear programme significantly forward.

    On the other hand, if the US Congress rejects a deal that the rest of the P5+1 countries worked so long and hard to achieve and that they all whole-heartedly support, then it will be the US, not Iran, that finds itself isolated from the international community on this issue - and on many other critical issues, for that matter - with all of the catastrophic consequences that would surely follow such a foolhardy move.

    Only a fantasist would argue that sanctions could remain in place or be strengthened if the US rejects the JCPOA. You see, Michale, your sanctions arguments lack context and, therefore, are devoid of any meaningful substance.

    My questions for you: Why would you wish to reject a deal before we find out if it can be fully implemented, verified, monitored and enforced BEFORE we resort to any military option? And, is the US military prepared to go it alone in starting a war with Iran and will the American people support yet another long and costly war in the Middle East, especially without having exhausted all of the diplomatic otpions?

  128. [128] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... continued ...

    Sanctions alone, in perpetuity, could not stop Iran's illicit nuclear programme. You need only review our recent history with Iran on this issue to know that.

    The only reason sanctions have worked to bring Iran to the negotiating table to restrict their nuclear programme is because those sanctions are comprehensive and multilateral. The Obama administration was successful in bringing the entire UN Security Council and European Union on board with a sanctions regime that was unprecedented in its scope and severity. This was the Obama Doctrine, in action, by the way. Which I will present for you in further detail, someday. If you're lucky. :)

    ... continued

  129. [129] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, just tried to comment again on the sanctions aspect of the JCPOA and was blocked.

    Of course, this comment has come through, without a hitch ... ??

  130. [130] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks for the memories ...

  131. [131] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JCPOA, sanctions

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    We'll always have tomorrow, Liz :D

    Michale

  133. [133] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very nice. :)

  134. [134] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like the other leaders of the P5+1 are saying that Congress killing the Iran deal might be a GOOD thing..

    The top French negotiator is saying that, if Congress votes this deal down, they can go back to the negotiating table and get a BETTER deal..

    So much for all the gloom and doom from Obama and Kerry, eh??

    They are, once again, lying thru their teeth to push their political agenda...

    Before, I was ambivalent about Congress killing this deal.

    Now, I am enthusiastically supporting Congress killing this deal..

    Michale

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    The top French negotiator is saying that, if Congress votes this deal down, they can go back to the negotiating table and get a BETTER deal..

    My mistake..

    It was the French equivalent of our National Security Adviser who made the comments..

    My bust...

  136. [136] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If true, and I doubt it is, then the French equivalent to your National Security advisor is a fantasist.

  137. [137] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There will be severe consequences for the United States and Israel if the JCPOA is rejected by the US Congress. Which go way beyond being unable to prevent Iran from having becoming a nuclear-armed state. WAY BEYOND!

    The frustrating part about it is that the absolute foolishness over this deal with Iran will have been so unnecessary. EVERYTHING the opponents are decrying will happen in 10 years, 15 years, 25, years will begin the day that this deal is rejected. How can they be that obtuse?

    They are so worried they won't be able to slap on sanctions if Iran engages in non-nuclear nefarious activity. Yeah, well, sanctions have been soooooooooooo successful at curbing Iran's behavior, haven't they? I mean, really!. Wake up and smell the coffee, people! Sanctions haven't done anything to curb Iran's behavior - on their nuclear program or on anything else!

    They are worried about the "secret side deal" - GIVE ME A BREAK! - that the IAEA negotiates with Iran over how the Additional Protocol will be implemented. They want to drag the head of the IAEA before their committee - for what? So they can grill him and lecture him on why the United States of America is the best entity to deal with this situation? Oh, please. Think invasion of Iraq and non-existent WMD that the IAEA said in March of 2003 it could find no evidence of before the US rushed into a war it couldn't or wouldn't properly execute and resource to rid Iraq of WMD!!!!

    So, guess what? The US Congress is going to have to grow some brain cells and figure out just what needs to be done to curb Iran's behavior when it comes to their sponsorship of terrorism and their actions against civil human rights. Because, sanctions aren't worth the trouble if you don't want to negotiate or accept a deal like the JCPOA.

    The US Congress has a role to play in implementing the JCPOA and in ensuring Iran actually does change its behavior but, killing this nuclear deal with Iran has US priorities and interests, not to mention those of Israel, completely ass-backwards.

    Congress should and could start engaging in enlightened behavior and help to ensure that this deal lives up to its great potential. It could start by ensuring that the IAEA has all of the resources it needs to carry out its duties as outlined in this JCPOA. Of course, that would take a lot of hard work and really doesn't lend itself to self-righteous finger wagging asinine lines of questioning and grandstanding.

    When did the US Congress become so dangerously self-destructive?

  138. [138] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, while we are on the subject of despicable behavior, Senator Cruz owes Secretary of State John Kerry a sincere apology for his utterly contemptible line of pseudo-inquiry the other day during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the JCPOA.

    Cruz proved, in less than five minutes, that he is completely unfit to be a US senator, let alone POTUS. Unbelievable!

    See http://www.c-span.org if you're interested.

  139. [139] 
    Michale wrote:

    If true, and I doubt it is, then the French equivalent to your National Security advisor is a fantasist.

    It IS true and it's likely to give Democrats the cover they need to override Obama's veto....

    See http://www.c-span.org if you're interested.

    I don't do links.. hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

    J/K....

    But seriously, if anyone is owed an apology, it's the American people who are owed an apology by Kerry..

    AND the Israeli people...

    We will know sooner rather than later that this is a bad deal..

    I just hope the proof doesn't come in the form of a dirty bomb armed Hamas or a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or Haifa..

    Michale

  140. [140] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/30/the-iran-nuke-documents-obama-doesn-t-want-you-to-see.html

    You see, Liz...

    It's a bad deal if Obama is hiding the docs from the American people...

    Michale

  141. [141] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It sounds like the member of Congress are free to visit these document sites and take a look at any document they would like to see.

    However, the safeguards confidential agreement that the IAEA negotiates with individual countries - in this case, Iran - are kept confidential and the US Congress has no role in reviewing those documents.

    Any careful reading of the JCPOA, Michale, will lead to the conclusion that it is a deal that deserves the active and full support of the US Congress.

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    Any careful reading of the JCPOA, Michale, will lead to the conclusion that it is a deal that deserves the active and full support of the US Congress.

    IF Congress supports Iran obtaining Nuclear Weapons, then yes..

    It's a GREAT deal that deserves the active and full support of the US Congress...

    Because that is exactly what this deal will deal. Encourage, facilitate and guarantee that Iran becomes a nuclear power..

    If it's such a good deal, why did Obama have to bribe Israel with the Pollard release? :D

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    Michale wrote:

    All I have to do is harken back to Obama's own words..

    "I will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power."

    And Kerry's words..

    "The sanctions were put in place to dismantle Iran's nuclear infrastructure."

    With THAT goal in mind...

    The stated and obvious goal that the whole world strove for...

    With THAT goal, the JCPOA is a dismal failure.

    This is undeniable...

    Michale

  144. [144] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    If you wish your arguments to be taken seriously, then you really must stop quoting people out of context. Your absolute penchant for doing so only betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of some very critical issues of the day and how they are being addressed.

    The goal of the Iran negotiations has always been to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. The JCPOA, if fully implemented, goes quite a long way toward achieving that goal by putting in place verifiable restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme and infrastructure for the duration of the agreement and beyond.

    It will be the US Congress, if it fails to support this agreement, that will be responsible for allowing Iran to continue its nuclear programme without any effective restrictions or restraints.

    One final word on sanctions, if I may ...

    Sanctions have succeeded in bringing Iran to the negotiating table to restrict its nuclear programme to solely peaceful purposes.

    Sanctions have most decidedly NOT worked to curb Iran's nuclear programme or to change its behavior with respect to support for terrorism, violation of human rights and destabilizing activities in the Middle East.

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's break it down..

    Do you agree that Iran acquiring Nuclear Weapons would be a very VERY bad thing for the region, for Israel and for the United States??

    Michale

  146. [146] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes.

  147. [147] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK Good..

    And would you also agree that, regardless of the rights of sovereign nations, etc etc that, due to Iran's sponsor of terrorism and their repeated statements regarding Israel, that Iran does not have the "right" to develop nuclear weapons??

    That Iran forfeited that right based on their actions and statements..

    Michale

  148. [148] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's a fair statement.

  149. [149] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK...

    I'll let ya know where I am going with this once I figure it out myself.. :D heh

    Michale

  150. [150] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought you might. :)

  151. [151] 
    Michale wrote:

    So.. To sum up...

    We both agree that Iran has no "right" to nuclear weapons.

    We both agree it is IMPERATIVE that Iran be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons..

    We further agree that Iran cannot be trusted..

    We also agree that Iran will, in all likelihood, cheat on the deal they have made...

    Would this be an accurate assessment of the common ground we share??

    Michale

  152. [152] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll give you that last point but, I'm just a bit more optimistic in my thinking about whether Iran will cheat and be in material breach of the agreement - not because I trust them, you understand but, because the deal sets out a fairly rigorous monitoring and verification regime that goes well beyond what any other country has ever been subject to.

    I'm sensing some uncommon ground approaching but, do carry on!

  153. [153] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sensing some uncommon ground approaching but, do carry on!

    Nothing earth shattering or unexpected..

    We simply disagree on the best way to implement the agreed upon facts...

    Snap-back on the sanctions simply will not work for the exact same reasons you state continuing sanctions won't work...

    If we couldn't convince our international partners to CONTINUE the sanctions that WERE working, then we will be unable to convince our international partners to re-impose sanctions that had already been lifted...

    Therefore, as I see, there won't be any consequences for Iran cheating..

    And once Iran realizes that sanctions won't be re-imposed, they will ramp up their nuclear progress even further than it was before the deal..

    Because Iran will have hundreds of billions of fresh new dollars that they can use to further their terrorism and their nuclear program...

    If we want to stop Iran's nuclear program, we have to change their behavior..

    Simply kicking the can down the road for a future POTUS to handle doesn't accomplish anything..

    Michale

  154. [154] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If we couldn't convince our international partners to CONTINUE the sanctions that WERE working, then we will be unable to convince our international partners to re-impose sanctions that had already been lifted...

    We weren't trying to convince the rest of the P5+1 to continue sanctions ... the idea was to negotiate a deal to restrict Iran's nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief.
    That's called a compromise and a very good one at
    that.

    If Iran fails to meet its obligations under the JCPOA, then sanctions won't really do the trick anyway. As for Iran's continuing nefarious non-nuclear activity, we have to come up with better ways than sanctions to deter that, I think.

    So, for me, there is altogether too much focus being put on sanctions.

    If this deal was the equivalent of simply kicking the can down the road, you would have a valid point. But, it does so much more than that. Especially in the case where the dreaded military options must be taken in the sense that this deal ensures that we will know so much more about Iran's nuclear program and increases the chances that some of our international partners will be with the US if military action is required.

  155. [155] 
    Michale wrote:

    We weren't trying to convince the rest of the P5+1 to continue sanctions ...

    One of the arguments in favor of the deal and against continuing sanctions is that other countries were not willing to continue the sanctions..

    If Iran fails to meet its obligations under the JCPOA, then sanctions won't really do the trick anyway.

    Then the only option left is bombing Iran back to the Stone Age...

    Especially in the case where the dreaded military options must be taken in the sense that this deal ensures that we will know so much more about Iran's nuclear program and increases the chances that some of our international partners will be with the US if military action is required.

    Just take the leash off of Israel and arm them appropriately..

    Problem solved.. :D

    Michale

  156. [156] 
    Michale wrote:

    Question..

    If Hillary never transmitted or received any classified material on her home-brew mailserv...

    Why are the majority of her emails that are being released heavily redacted???

    Michale

  157. [157] 
    Michale wrote:

    Woops.. That was supposed to be for the current FTP commentary..

    DOH!!!

  158. [158] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    One of the arguments in favor of the deal and against continuing sanctions is that other countries were not willing to continue the sanctions..

    No, that's not right.

    Part of the deal is sanctions relief. Without sanctions relief, there would be no deal. Of course, without the very muscular international sanctions, there would have been no incentive for Iran to come to the negotiating table and satisfy the demands of the international community with respect to restricting Iran's nuclear program.

    And, of course, if the US unilaterally rejects this deal, a deal that is fully endorsed by the rest of the P5+1 and most of the rest of the civilized world, you can imagine why sanctions won't be reinstated in the absence of American endorsement of the JCPOA.

    To reiterate, if the US rejects this deal at this stage, then the US will lose more than the ability to use sanctions on Iran or on any other deserving country, for any reason, for a very long time. Because, it will take a very, very long time for the US to regain the credibility and trustworthiness that it will certainly lose in the wake of such a ... what's your word? ... ah, yeah, boneheaded move as rejecting the JCPOA.

  159. [159] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, of course, if the US unilaterally rejects this deal, a deal that is fully endorsed by the rest of the P5+1 and most of the rest of the civilized world, you can imagine why sanctions won't be reinstated in the absence of American endorsement of the JCPOA.

    Let's be accurate here...

    The deal is not "fully endorsed" by most of the rest of the world let alone the rest of the P5+1...

    The ONLY governments that are as supportive of the deal as Obama is governments like Syria, Russia and China..

    Hardly the shining enlightened beacon of support that you make it out to be..

    Every ally in the region is opposed to this deal..

    Jordan
    Saudi Arabia
    Qatar
    UAE
    Israel
    Bahrain

    Are all opposed to this deal because it empowers Iran and gives them hundreds of billions of fresh new dollars..

    To put it into context, it would be as if the US Government gave the American Nazi Party a couple hundred billion dollars and elevated then to "respected Party" status...

    No way, no how could ANY good come of that...

    It's the same thing...

    Michale

  160. [160] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's just a guess on my part, Michale but, I think the Israeli's would be loathe to go it alone with any sort of military action against Iran. I'd bet a boatload of quatloos that Israel would do nothing militarily against Iran without the lead of the US.

    I also don't think that the implementation of the JCPOA would limit the ability of the US to take effective military action, if needed, against Iran. In fact, I think the opposite is true. With the agreement, Iran's nuclear program will be more restricted than without the deal and intel about the program will be much enhanced. Which will render Iran far less immune from the impacts of military action against its nuclear infrastructure.

    This is one reason why I thought you would be in favour of the JCPOA.

    This is not my conclusion only. It is the judgment of the individual who arguably knows the most about using military force to prevent states from acquiring nuclear weapons. As a young pilot in the Israeli Air Force, Amos Yadlin was one of the pilots who dropped the bombs that destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. As Israel’s head of military intelligence, he designed the attack that destroyed Syria’s nuclear plant and developed capabilities and plans for attacking Iran’s nuclear program. Assessing the parameters of the framework agreement Iran and world powers struck in April, Yadlin wrote, “[M]ilitary action against the Iranian nuclear program in 2025 would in all probability not be much more complicated or difficult than in 2015… [T]he Iranian program will be reduced compared to what it is today, intelligence about it will be better, and it will be less immune than it is at present.”

  161. [161] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The last part of my comment was meant to be a quote from a piece I read, so here it is again, properly attributed ...

    "This is not my conclusion only. It is the judgment of the individual who arguably knows the most about using military force to prevent states from acquiring nuclear weapons. As a young pilot in the Israeli Air Force, Amos Yadlin was one of the pilots who dropped the bombs that destroyed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981. As Israel’s head of military intelligence, he designed the attack that destroyed Syria’s nuclear plant and developed capabilities and plans for attacking Iran’s nuclear program. Assessing the parameters of the framework agreement Iran and world powers struck in April, Yadlin wrote, “[M]ilitary action against the Iranian nuclear program in 2025 would in all probability not be much more complicated or difficult than in 2015… [T]he Iranian program will be reduced compared to what it is today, intelligence about it will be better, and it will be less immune than it is at present.”
    http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2015/07/why-best-arguments-against-iran-deal-are-all-wrong/117322/

  162. [162] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, just remember...

    Peace at any cost is not true peace...

    It's slavery....

    Michale

  163. [163] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, I know you support this deal because it gives you the very best possible of both worlds.

    It basically buys time and lots of support for what may very well be inevitable military action to stop Iran's nefarious nuclear and non-nuclear behavior.

    And, just remember...Peace at any cost is not true peace...It's slavery....

    That is good to remember but, it doesn't apply to what we are discussing ...

  164. [164] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's just a guess on my part, Michale but, I think the Israeli's would be loathe to go it alone with any sort of military action against Iran. I'd bet a boatload of quatloos that Israel would do nothing militarily against Iran without the lead of the US.

    I disagree..

    If Israel could be properly equipped and be assured that the US would not actively oppose a military strike, you can bet that Israel wouldn't hesitate...

    This is as close to fact as is possible to be without being an actual fact...

    [M]ilitary action against the Iranian nuclear program in 2025 would in all probability not be much more complicated or difficult than in 2015… [T]he Iranian program will be reduced compared to what it is today, intelligence about it will be better, and it will be less immune than it is at present.”

    With all due respect to Yadlin, he assumes that Iran's Air Defense capability in 2025 will be the same as it is in 2015..

    Considering the upgrades in Russian AD technology that is on it's way to Iran, this is an inaccurate and fatal assumption...

    Give Iran a year or two with Russia as it's Military/Air Defense partner and Iran is going to be a LOT harder nut to crack...

    Anyone who thinks that 2025 Iran will be as easy to attack as 2015 Iran is a political flunky with an agenda...

    Michale

  165. [165] 
    Michale wrote:

    That is good to remember but, it doesn't apply to what we are discussing ...

    It's a perfect fit to what we are discussing..

    Because, as been more than adequately proven throughout history...

    APPEASEMENT NEVER WORKS...

    And the JCPOA is Appeasement On Steroids...

    Michale

  166. [166] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And the JCPOA is Appeasement On Steroids...

    Careful, you are in serious jeopardy of going off the rails, so to speak ... :)

    Which is a clear sign that the arguments you are using against the JCPOA are not working to persuade anyone.

  167. [167] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://nypost.com/2015/08/01/iran-publishes-book-on-how-to-outwit-us-and-destroy-israel/

    This is the regime we just gave hundreds of billions of dollars to...

    I mean, honestly..... I find no logic...

    Michale

  168. [168] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    This is the regime we just gave hundreds of billions of dollars to...

    Inaccurate, misleading and false statements, like the one above, only succeed in decreasing your credibility and I know you don't want that, Michale.

    So, have you run out of arguments to use against the JCPOA?

    Why don't we just be patient - say, for about 6-9 months - and see how the deal gets implemented. Of course, I'm assuming that Congress won't make a mess of things, again ...

  169. [169] 
    Michale wrote:

    Inaccurate, misleading and false statements, like the one above, only succeed in decreasing your credibility and I know you don't want that, Michale.

    OK, how much do YOU think Iran is going to get from this??

    Why don't we just be patient - say, for about 6-9 months - and see how the deal gets implemented. Of course, I'm assuming that Congress won't make a mess of things, again ...

    Hell, we don't have to wait that long.. We'll know by Nov how bad this deal is going to be....

    Considering the arms race that is ALREADY beginning in the Middle East, Nov is actually a best-case scenario.. :D

    Michale

  170. [170] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    OK, how much do YOU think Iran is going to get from this??

    Well, apparently there is about 150 billion dollars on the line with less that half of that in cash.

    And, if Congress proves just how obtuse its members are by killing the deal, then we have less than 60 days before the deal begins to fall apart and we see what real negative consequences look like.

  171. [171] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, if Congress proves just how obtuse its members are by killing the deal, then we have less than 60 days before the deal begins to fall apart and we see what real negative consequences look like.

    Or, we have 60 days until a REAL deal with REAL consequences and a REAL dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure..

    It all depends on how ya look at it. :D

    Iran is a scumbag country.. They don't deserve ANY of the consideration Obama is giving them..

    That's the long and short of it..

    Michale

  172. [172] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Or, we have 60 days until a REAL deal with REAL consequences and a REAL dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure..

    Let me know when you're back in the real world. Have fun while you're gone, tho ... :)

  173. [173] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me know when you're back in the real world. Have fun while you're gone, tho ... :)

    You want real world??

    It looks like Schumer is going to oppose the JCPOA..

    If Schumer opposes the deal, there is your veto-proof majority..

    It's rather ironic..

    The opponents of the deal are opposing it because of the harm it will cause to Israel and the region..

    The proponents of the deal are supporting it because it will be Obama's foreign policy legacy..

    That says a lot right there.. :D

    Michale

  174. [174] 
    Michale wrote:

    And keep in mind that Schumer was the guy who shat all over Obama and Obama's TrainWreckCare in the aftermath of the Great Demcorat Nuclear Shellacking Of 2014...

    Schumer owes no loyalty to Obama..

    To paraphrase Theo in DIE HARD...

    "OOOHHH AND THE {JCPOA} IS TOAST!!!"

    :D

    Michale

  175. [175] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that America's prestige is not on the line if Congress kills the JCPOA...

    *OBAMA'S* prestige is on the line...

    When Congress kills the deal, it will show the world that our president is incompetent and only has his OWN interests in mind.

    Not the interests of the world, the region, America's allies or his own country..

    It's all about Obama's legacy... That's where it starts. That's where it ends..

    Michale

  176. [176] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I am also constrained to point out that America's prestige is not on the line if Congress kills the JCPOA...*OBAMA'S* prestige is on the line...When Congress kills the deal, it will show the world that our president is incompetent and only has his OWN interests in mind.

    How do I break it to you, gently? Obama didn't negotiate this deal, the world did. And, by world I mean Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the United Nations and European Union.

    You believe the world is incompetent and only has its own interests in mind.

    You have an extremely warped perspective ... just like most Republicans and quite a few Democrats.

    I think Congress is opposed to this deal because they are collectively wrapped around Netanyahu's finger and are so scared of the Israeli lobby that they will act against the best interests of Israel and, more importantly, against the best interests of their own country! That's insane!

    You still haven't explained how this deal makes all of us less safe than we would all be without the deal. And, don't recite any fantasy world outcomes that would be better than this deal because we must stick with what is possible.

    You must understand that we live in the world we have, not the world we wish we had. In other words, there isn't going to be a better deal than the JCPOA. There is the JCPOA or nothing. Only a very foolish individual, incapable of critical thinking, would choose the latter.

  177. [177] 
    Michale wrote:

    How do I break it to you, gently? Obama didn't negotiate this deal, the world did. And, by world I mean Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the United Nations and European Union.

    Saying that Obama didn't negotiate the deal is like saying Tom Brady had nothing to do with the Patriot's Super Bowl win...

    Yea, a lot of people were involved in the JCPOA..

    But it's Obama's deal, pure and simple..

    You believe the world is incompetent and only has its own interests in mind.

    No.. Just Obama..

    I think Congress is opposed to this deal because they are collectively wrapped around Netanyahu's finger and are so scared of the Israeli lobby that they will act against the best interests of Israel and, more importantly, against the best interests of their own country!

    Or, this deal is REALLY a bad deal and Congress is looking out for the interests of their constituents..

    Opposition to this deal is running 3 to 1... The American people are against this deal..

    You still haven't explained how this deal makes all of us less safe than we would all be without the deal.

    Actually, I have. Several times.

    It legitimizes everything Iran has done, does and will do..

    It gives the CIVILIZED stamp of approval on EVERY action Iran takes...

    Iran funds Hamas???

    "Well, the world is OK with that because if the world was opposed, it would have been part of the JCPOA."

    In other words, SILENCE GIVES ASSENT

    Obama and Kerry were silent on Iran's sponsor of terrorism insofar as the JCPOA was concerned..

    Ergo, Iran has tacit approval...

    In other words, there isn't going to be a better deal than the JCPOA. There is the JCPOA or nothing. Only a very foolish individual, incapable of critical thinking, would choose the latter.

    Or an individual who doesn't want to see Iran have nuclear weapons..

    That would be me...

    Like I said, it's a moot point. If Schumer goes against the JCPOA, then it's dead...

    Michale

  178. [178] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We're done here, Michale.

    I have only so much time to devote to non-serious discussion.

  179. [179] 
    Michale wrote:

    We're done here, Michale.

    Oh, we were done a long time ago..

    Both our minds are made up and neither will be convinced by anything..

    The only thing left to do is wait and see who was right. :D

    Michale

  180. [180] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, Michale, if Congress kills the deal, we'll never know who was right. Well, I'll know who was right ... :)

  181. [181] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, Michale, if Congress kills the deal, we'll never know who was right. Well, I'll know who was right ... :)

    Unless, of course, Congress killing the deal leads to a BETTER deal or regime change in Iran.

    Then we'll know that I was right. :D

    Michale

  182. [182] 
    Michale wrote:

    You just have to ask yourself one question, Liz..

    Did IAEA Inspections prevent war in Iraq??

    Or did the inspections (or lack thereof) LEAD to war in Iraq??

    So it was with Iraq, so it will be in Iran...

    This deal practically guarantees war in Iran..

    Michale

  183. [183] 
    Michale wrote:

    Further, Iran can quit the deal anytime by simply complaining that other countries are not honoring their part of the deal.

    Mind you, Iran doesn't have to PROVE that other countries are not honoring the deal.

    Iran just has to CLAIM that other countries are not honoring the deal and that frees Iran up from any obligations..

    So, basically, Iran can wait a few months to get all the money from frozen assets and then... viola'...

    "Oh sorry, the US is being mean and being mean is not honoring the deal, so we quit..."

    Now, honestly.. what kind of deal allows that??

    A deal solely and completely favoring Iran...

    Michale

  184. [184] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How does killing the deal lead to a better deal?

  185. [185] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because, as the French NSA Minister said, if the P5+1 goes back to Iran and says, "Sorry, this isn't going to fly... You want to try again or just forget the whole thing and sanctions remain in place??"

    Obama and Kerry have stated that, if it's a bad deal, the US will walk away..

    Congress is set to declare that it's a bad deal..

    Obama and Kerry should keep their word and walk away...

    Michale

  186. [186] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Further, Iran can quit the deal anytime by simply complaining that other countries are not honoring their part of the deal. Mind you, Iran doesn't have to PROVE that other countries are not honoring the deal. Iran just has to CLAIM that other countries are not honoring the deal and that frees Iran up from any obligations..

    In reality, if Iran were to act in a manner you suggest here, it would be in material breach of the JCPOA and all the consequences, therein, would follow. This would include triggering the dispute resolution process ending with a vote at the UN Security Council to continue lifting sanctions where any one of the five permanent members would be able to veto the continued lifting of sanctions and all previous UN resolutions would be reinstated as they were before the JCPOA.

  187. [187] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Because, as the French NSA Minister said, if the P5+1 goes back to Iran and says, "Sorry, this isn't going to fly... You want to try again or just forget the whole thing and sanctions remain in place??"

    If the US Congress rejects this deal by overriding a presidential veto, then not one of the US partners in the P5+1 will go to Iran and say, "Let's re-negotiate a better deal!"

    Get real, Michale!

    Frankly, I don't know what will happen with respect to the implementation of the JCPOA in these circumstances. But, I do know that whatever happens, the US will be standing all alone in dealing with Iran.

  188. [188] 
    Michale wrote:

    In reality, if Iran were to act in a manner you suggest here, it would be in material breach of the JCPOA and all the consequences, therein, would follow. This would include triggering the dispute resolution process ending with a vote at the UN Security Council to continue lifting sanctions where any one of the five permanent members would be able to veto the continued lifting of sanctions and all previous UN resolutions would be reinstated as they were before the JCPOA.

    I am referring to what happens AFTER the dispute resolution has run it's course..

    Section 36 clearly states that, if the complainant (Iran) is not satisfied with the ruling of the dispute council(s) then the complainant can forgo all compliance with the JCPOA..

    After Iran has received the 150 BILLION dollars, do you think that Iran is going to CARE if sanctions are re-imposed or not??

    To put it simply, Iran can bide it's time, wait until they have all their frozen assets and then decide NOT to abide by the JCPOA

    And there is not a damn thing anyone on the planet can do about it...

    It's a BAD deal.. Obama and Kerry should walk away as they claimed they would do...

    Michale

  189. [189] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    To put it simply, Iran can bide it's time, wait until they have all their frozen assets and then decide NOT to abide by the JCPOA. And there is not a damn thing anyone on the planet can do about it...

    You talk as though these frozen assets of Iran's are a limitless bounty. They are not.

    And, if Iran acts in the manner you say, then most of the international community will be able to act in concert to stop Iran in its tracks with all of the options available to do that.

  190. [190] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Micahle, let me try that comment again ...

    To put it simply, Iran can bide it's time, wait until they have all their frozen assets and then decide NOT to abide by the JCPOA. And there is not a damn thing anyone on the planet can do about it...

    You talk as though these frozen assets of Iran's are a limitless bounty. They are not.

    And, if Iran acts in the manner you say, then most of the international community will be able to act in concert to stop Iran in its tracks with all of the options available to do that.

  191. [191] 
    Michale wrote:

    You talk as though these frozen assets of Iran's are a limitless bounty. They are not.

    150 BILLION may not be limitless.. But it's a buttload.. Think of how much terrorism that could buy. Think of the thousands of deaths of innocents that would buy...

  192. [192] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, as far as cold hard cash is concerned, it's really less than half that amount, Michale. The rest is tied up in things that render it unavailable for any sort of nefarious activity by Iran.

    Oh, by the way, have you heard the latest!? The Gulf Cooperation Council - Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait - have come out in full support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the best way toward stability and security in the region.

    Support for the JCPOA in the US Congress is also looking stronger with the announcement by Rep. Chris Van Hollen giving a powerful endorsement of the Iran deal. He's a strong supporter of Israel and so this could be a real game changer in how Congress votes on this next month.

    His press release: “I have concluded that this agreement advances the national security interests of the United States and all of our allies, including our partner Israel… Indeed, I firmly believe that, should Congress block this agreement, we would undermine that goal, inadvertently weaken and isolate America, and strengthen Iran.”

  193. [193] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I haven't seen any Gulf Council announcement for support of the deal..

    But I HAVE read where many of the undecided DEMOCRATS are coming down on the opposition side...

    As Democrats go to the opposition side, Obama loses his VETO ability..

    It's going to be close... I expect Congress to approve the deal, but it's close enough that I might be pleasantly surprised..

    Put another way.. It's 6 weeks before Congress has to vote on it...

    The more time passes, the more that is found wanting..

    As of today, Iran is ALREADY accusing the US of being in material breach of the deal...

    Michale

  194. [194] 
    Michale wrote:

    As of today, Iran is ALREADY accusing the US of being in material breach of the deal...

    Ironically enough, Iran is right. The Obama administration IS already violating the deal...

    Michale

  195. [195] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, I haven't seen any Gulf Council announcement for support of the deal..

    I think I may know why ... :)

    On a more serious note, you don't understand how rejection of the JCPOA will be flush with negative consequences for America, Republicans, Democrats and for the duration of the Obama administration.

    I'm sorry, Michale, but no real American would wish for such an outcome.

  196. [196] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a more serious note, you don't understand how rejection of the JCPOA will be flush with negative consequences for America, Republicans, Democrats and for the duration of the Obama administration.

    Flushing (I like that term :D) the JCPOA will only have negative consequences for Obama..

    It will be a very big positive for the country, the region and the world..

    Michale

  197. [197] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Flushing the JCPOA ... will be a very big positive for the country, the region and the world..

    How so?

  198. [198] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because it will put Iran on notice that ALL of their actions, not just the nuclear issue, will have very bad consequences...

    Michale

  199. [199] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another key Democrat has stated he will vote against the JCPOA...

    Rep. Steve Israel opposes Iran deal
    http://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/steve-israel-long-island-congressman-comes-out-against-iran-deal-1.10707764?firstfree=yes

    Obama is losing support fast...

  200. [200] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me know when Chuck Schumer announces he will vote NO ... that's when I may have to start worrying for real ...

  201. [201] 
    Michale wrote:

    Word is, Schumer is leaning that way....

    But you can bet that, when he does announce, I'll let ya know! :D

    Michale

  202. [202] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Schumer does go to the NO side, it still might not be the end of the JCPOA..

    It will just depend on how actively Schumer opposes it. He might vote no, but if he doesn't actively campaign against it, it still might fly...

  203. [203] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I hope so, Michale.

    I will admit that, after reading a lot of the JCPOA and raising an eyebrow here and there, and after have listened to more than my fair share of Republican-led congressional hearings on the subject, this deal is far from the ideal arrangement to prevent Iran from being a nuclear-armed state if that is the course it ultimately chooses to take.

    Having said that, though, I do still see this deal as being a very good one and I find it odd that most of the JCPOA opponents refuse to even admit the benefits of the deal. And, there are many benefits which, I believe, far outweigh the risks.

    In the final analysis, the JCPOA, is a very good test for Iran. And, if Iran passes this test, and if the US and international community properly enforce this deal and act to put in place a strategy and polices that will increase the general security and stability of the Middle East region, then the JCPOA could conceivably lead to a far better and more durable outcome than any military option ever could.

    My hope today is that Congress doesn't deprive us of this test but, rather allow some time to see if Iran is serious about any of this. Because, at the very least, this deal is more than good enough to do just that.

    And, if Iran behaves in a manner inconsistent with the JCPOA - not to mention nefarious non-nuclear behavior inconsistent with the norms of the community of nations - then the international community will be more solidly together if stronger action against Iran needs to be taken.

  204. [204] 
    Michale wrote:

    I agree that the JCPOA would be a good test..

    I would just be happier... almost ACCEPTING of the deal if it was guaranteed that Iran wouldn't get one red cent until they demonstrated their good will..

    But even Obama admitted that the money Iran will be getting will likely go towards killing more innocent people...

    Michale

  205. [205] 
    Michale wrote:
  206. [206] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I would just be happier... almost ACCEPTING of the deal if it was guaranteed that Iran wouldn't get one red cent until they demonstrated their good will..

    There won't be any sanctions relief until Implementation Day when Iran has fulfilled all its major nuclear commitments.

    And, as far as good will is concerned and for what good will is worth, Iran has - for two years now - lived up to its end of the bargain contained within the interim agreement of 2013 or the Joint Plan of Action. That should count for something ... if only to give a reason for NOT killing this deal before implementation has a chance to proceed.

  207. [207] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Schumer says no.

    Time to get nervous.

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