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Friday Talking Points [356] -- GOP Debates, Round One

[ Posted Friday, August 7th, 2015 – 17:10 PDT ]

Well, that was entertaining, wasn't it? We refer, of course, to the grand spectacle of the first Republican presidential debates, held last night on Fox News. Since this is all anyone's talking about in the political world today, we are going to follow suit and devote most of this column (with the exception of the awards) to our reactions to seeing all the Republican candidates under one roof for the first time.

Of course, all 17 of them weren't actually on the same stage at the same time. The big event was limited to the top 10 in recent polls, which meant the others had to make do with a "kids' table debate" -- given to a cavernously empty auditorium, much earlier in the day. The consensus from the punditocracy is that Carly Fiorina won the earlier debate, but for the life of me I can't see why. She did her usual shtick, alternating smoothly from viciously snarky all the way to snarkily vicious. It's what she does, and what she's always done. Maybe some of the national pundits hadn't seen her before, that's the only explanation that springs to mind (full disclosure: I live in California, where we were subjected to "demon sheep" ads from Carly years ago).

What few commentators will openly admit is that pretty much all of these 17 candidates are pretty much all agreed on pretty much everything. With the possible exception of Rand Paul and John Kasich, there is so little difference between them that having a "debate" means nothing more than either agreeing with each other or trying to outdo each other in how much you agree. Seriously, here's a quick recap of both debates, summarizing what pretty much all of the candidates stood for:

  • War -- lots of wars, in lots of places. We're going to really stick it to ISIS, and wipe them out in three months. Then we might just jump into the war Ukraine's having with Russia. And Iran better watch out, because we'll be coming for them, too, real soon. China may have to wait a few months, but shouldn't rest easy or anything.
  • Abortion will be made as illegal as possible. Rape victim? No abortion for you. Incest victim? Too bad. Mother might die? Still no abortion possible. Dead pregnant women is just the price you pay for being "pro-life."
  • All taxes will be flat. Business taxes will shrink to non-existence. In fact, let's base our income tax system on the Bible, how's that?
  • We need a great big ol' wall on the southern border. Then, after it's built, we need to kick out all those 11 million "illegals." And we'll then dial back the number of legal immigrants allowed in, just for good measure.
  • Obamacare, of course, must be killed.
  • God is a Republican. Planned Parenthood is the Devil.

Have we missed anything? Pretty much every candidate agreed with pretty much all of that, all night long. With the exception of Kasich (who stunned the others by saying nice things about both poor people and gays getting married) and Paul (who isn't for all-war, all-the-time), it'd be hard to find a single statement disagreeing with much of any of that by any of the candidates.

Some candidates stood out, for various reasons, both in the debate and in all the pre-debate hype. Bobby Jindal sees absolutely no irony in complaining about Obama's supposed use of the I.R.S. against conservative groups, and then pivoting to promising to do just that against liberal groups. Rick Perry seems enamored of someone called "Ronald Raven." Maybe he's a linebacker for Baltimore, or something? Ted Cruz has a video out showing how to (no, really!) cook bacon on the barrel of a machine gun. Marco Rubio is apparently selling a shirt on his campaign website called the "Marco Polo" (OK, that's pretty funny, we have to admit). But the funniest joke of the night came in Ben Carson's closing statement -- about how he's the only one to remove half a brain.

The biggest knock-down fight of the night came as somewhat of a surprise, because The Donald was not even involved. Rand Paul came ready to rumble, and he got into it with Chris Christie over surveillance and the Fourth Amendment. Paul even unloaded the "you gave Obama a big hug" line on Christie. Now, Chris Christie is normally combative, but we certainly saw a feisty Rand Paul last night. Will it do him any good? That remains to be seen.

Of course, everyone was watching center stage last night, to see if Donald Trump would explode. He didn't, at least not much more than he normally does when he opens his mouth. He actually pretty much stuck to his promise not to punch (merely to counterpunch), and most of the others just seemed afraid to throw anything Trump's way. The only one who really took him on was Rand Paul, but not to much noticeable effect. His biggest sparring partner was actually Megyn Kelly, one of the Fox News moderators, on his past dismissive and insulting statements about women. Trump brushed it off (after making a Rosie O'Donnell joke), saying he didn't have time for political correctness. The crowd (mostly) loved it, and Trump later tweeted that Kelly was a "bimbo," just for good measure. Trump did get a bit testy when asked about his four bankruptcies, but he's always been a bit tender on that subject.

The most surprising thing Trump did last night was to speak up for the single-payer medical systems in Canada and Scotland. Trump, being rich, has actually travelled outside the country and seen with his own eyes the reality of single-payer. Most Republican voters haven't. If the other Republican candidates start running anti-Trump ads, I would bet the clip of Trump praising single-payer will feature prominently.

We're all going to have to wait a few days (middle of next week, roughly) to see how any of this will affect the poll numbers, of course. Debates don't normally have a huge impact, although this one just might (mostly because so many people watched it). Will Trump continue his dominance of the Republican field? Will a second-tier candidate move up in the ratings as a result of a stellar performance? Will one of the big names begin to fade? Nobody yet knows the answers to these questions, so we'll all just have to wait and see.

That's enough on the debate for now -- we'll get to more debate reactions in the talking points, once we get the awards (and the other news of the week) out of the way.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

There were a lot of impressive Democrats this week to choose from, which means we've got a lot of Honorable Mention awards to hand out before we get to the big award.

Barack Obama's administration just released their carbon rules, and they are a giant step in the right direction. His plan earned him immediate praise from Hillary Clinton, we should add.

In other good news from the administration, the new head of the Drug Enforcement Agency publicly admitted that "heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana," which doesn't sound very impressive until you realize this is the first time anyone at the D.E.A. has made such a commonsense statement. Dan Riffle, of the Marijuana Policy Project, had the best reaction: "In other news, the sky is blue."

Martin O'Malley is calling for an amendment to the Constitution to guarantee voting rights, which we think is a great idea. In fact, we'd like to see all the Democratic candidates jump on board this particular bandwagon.

Bernie Sanders leads all the Republican candidates in head-to-head polls. He leads Donald Trump by a whopping margin -- 59 to 38 percent. This means that even Democrats' second-place candidate is beating the entire Republican field -- that's a pretty positive thing to see.

Elizabeth Warren gave a great speech last week, ripping into the do-nothing nature of the Republican Congress. Each Congress is two years long. We're one-fourth of the way through this one. What have they done in that time? Given Obama fast-track trade authority -- that's really about it. Warren points this out in great detail. Warren also is to be credited for another Obama administration rule coming out of the S.E.C., that will force companies to publish the difference between their C.E.O.'s pay and an average employee's salary.

But this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week goes instead to Representative Sam Farr, who (together with Republican Dana Rohrabacher) is fighting hard for a law he passed last year, which makes it illegal for the Justice Department to spend any money on prosecuting medical marijuana operations in states which have allowed them. They zeroed the budget for such activities by any federal agency.

When they originally passed this law (as Tom Angell revealed this week), the Justice Department actively lobbied against it. By lying. They used scare tactics, saying if the law passed it would mean they couldn't enforce recreational marijuana use either. This was (and still is) just flat-out wrong, but that didn't stop them from trying it.

But back to the present. Farr and Rohrabacher just wrote a rather pointed letter to the Justice Department, which seeks an investigation into the Justice Department itself, for breaking their new law. Medical marijuana providers are still being prosecuted, in states where they are legal. The Justice Department is not supposed to be spending one thin dime on this, and yet they are. In other words, the Justice Department is prosecuting people for breaking federal law, and by doing so, the Justice Department itself is breaking federal law.

Which is why we say: "More power to Farr and Rohrabacher!" They should investigate this fully, and bring charges against any federal attorneys involved in such prosecutions. This law was passed for a reason -- medical marijuana providers needed relief from the prosecution (and persecution) of some federal attorneys. This has not fully happened yet. Either the Justice Department must stop breaking the law, or some heads should start rolling. No two ways about it. Which is why Sam Farr is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Representative Sam Farr on his House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We're not entirely sure who deserves this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, so we're just going to go to the top of the food chain and award it to President Barack Obama. Maybe John Kerry deserves it more, or maybe some lower staffer. But it's hard to imagine this happened without some degree of acceptance from higher-ups.

The United States keeps a list of countries that are notorious for human trafficking (the "Tracking In Persons" report). This is supposed to shame other countries into getting their act together on modern-day slavery. Just last month, however, some countries were suddenly upgraded on the list. Malaysia, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia all got moved up, while China didn't move down. There is no evidence or reason for any of these decisions. China should have moved down, on the evidence. Malaysia, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia should not have moved, because they haven't done anything to crack down on the problem.

The only reason for the move? Politics. In particular, the politics of our relations with the three upgraded nations. We just opened an embassy in Cuba for the first time since the dawn of the Cold War. So Cuba's upgrade was basically a present to them, to show how happy we are with them right now. Saudi Arabia is disgruntled about our nuclear deal with Iran, so the upgrade was a kind of a bribe to get them on board. Malaysia is the worst of the bunch, because it wasn't even a diplomatic favor, really, but an economic one. If Malaysia is on the worst-of-the-worst list, it means we can't make trade deals with them. Since they're supposed to be a part of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, they had to be moved up in order to qualify.

The people at the State Department whose job it is to monitor human trafficking objected to all of these moves. They were overruled. That is beyond disappointing, it is a disgrace. The Obama administration is looking the other way on human slavery, both for politics and to make a buck. That's a shameful legacy for America's first black president to leave behind.

Which is why we're awarding the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to President Obama. No matter whose fingerprints were on these decisions, the ultimate blame lies at the top. If Obama had told John Kerry "I don't want to use this list politically" then this never would have happened. He didn't. It did. Which is why Obama earns this week's MDDOTW award.

[Contact President Barack Obama via the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 356 (8/7/15)

OK, let's get back to debate reactions. Most of these are fairly generic, because (as we've already mentioned) most Republican candidates agree on most things. Therefore we've painted with a very broad brush this week. Oh, sure, it's fun to beat up on Donald Trump and all of that, but what the debate really showed was that while the other Republican candidates might cringe at how Trump phrases positions, they actually share the same basic positions as he does. They're just more polite at voicing them, that's all.

Democrats right now would do well to keep an eye on the general election. The beauty of the Republican debates -- as always -- is that it forces all the candidates so far out to the extremes that they can't recover after winning the primary. So by all means we should help this process along as much as possible.

Right now, Republicans are terrified of being out-flanked on the right. So exploit that by pointing out how extreme this game has already become.

 

1
   How many wars?

An obvious question.

"I'm sorry, but I lost count during the Republican debates -- how many wars will we start if a Republican wins the presidency? Six? Seven? With all the jingoism in the air, it was easy to lose track of how many countries were threatened with war in the course of the debate. You could almost hear the salivating when Mike Huckabee promised the American military would be unleashed to, quote, kill people and break things, unquote. In fact, I think we're going to need a bigger army, if we're going to fight all these wars at the same time. A much bigger army. And, of course, it goes without saying that any Republican candidate who loses the race for the nomination will be among the first folks in line down at the recruiting office, because they all want to see all these wars fought -- and somebody's going to have to fight them."

 

2
   The fatherhood rights of rapists

Democrats need to point out how extreme the Republican position on abortion has now become, in the harshest possible language.

"Republicans apparently all stand for protecting the fatherhood rights of rapists. If they get their way, abortions will not be available for rape victims. This means that rapists will be able to choose the mother of their baby by who they decide to rape. Because, to the Republican Party, the rights of the rapist are more important than the rights of the victim of a horrific crime."

 

3
   Your soul will be clean when you die

This also needs harshly pointing out.

"The Republican candidates also tried to outdo each other on outlawing abortion even when the mother's life is in danger. That's unbelievably extreme, but nobody seems to have noticed. If a medical problem happens and the only way to save a woman's life is to abort her baby, then according to the Republicans, she should just die. I guess that's what they mean when they say they're 'pro-life' -- that a woman's unnecessary death is the price of being morally pure, as they define it. That is inhumane. But that is now the default Republican position."

 

4
   A beautiful wall

This one, obviously, was spurred on by Trump.

"Once again, Republicans are in a tizzy trying to trump Donald Trump. We won't just build a great big wall, we'll build a wall so deep they can't tunnel under it. It'll be the biggest, most beautiful wall you've ever seen. It'll be a hundred feet high... no, five hundred feet high... no, a freakin' mile high! Yeah, that's the ticket! Maybe we can add a moat, too. And put alligators in it. Wait -- how about alligators armed with laser beams?!? Man alive, this is going to be the most awesome wall in human history!"

 

5
   Trust us, we'll think of something

This is just becoming laughable.

"For over five years now, Republicans have been trying to kill Obamacare. All the Republican candidates for president agree that repealing Obamacare would be one of the first things on their to-do list as president. They've had all this time, and they still haven't got a single clue what to replace it with, though. They've held the House of Representatives for years now, and they have yet to even move a single replacement bill out of committee, much less held a vote on it on the House floor. There is absolutely nothing stopping them from doing so. And yet they haven't. Their answer, for five whole years, has been the same -- it was the same answer the Republican candidates gave on stage last night. Trust us, they say, and right after we repeal every word of Obamacare, we'll be sure to think of something to replace it with."

 

6
   Even Fox too tough?

The real loser of last night's debate is a guy who, when you take the vowels out of his name, becomes: "RNC PR BS."

"I have to say that I'm not entirely sure who won last night's debate, but I do know who lost: Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee. They had a plan to avoid the fiasco that was the Republican debate cycle last time around. Their plan was to limit the number of debates, limit the number of people on stage, and only allow friendly right-wingers to be the moderators, so the candidates wouldn't be asked embarrassing questions. This was supposed to keep the crazy people out and showcase the serious Republican candidates. But the plan failed, as last night already proved. The crazy people were let in, the craziness was in fact at center stage, and now conservatives are even complaining that Fox News reporters were insufficiently deferential to the candidates. How in the world do they think any of these candidates are going to survive debating Hillary Clinton -- to say nothing of going toe-to-toe with Russia or Iran -- if even Fox News was too tough for a Republican debate?"

 

7
   If I only had half a brain....

And we're going to close the way the debate did -- with a funny moment.

"Ben Carson got the biggest laugh of the night, when he pointed out he was the only one to take out half a brain, adding 'although if you took me to Washington you would think someone beat me to it.' But from where I sat, I really don't think he had to travel all that far. Washington is a long way to go, when there are many standing right next to you on that stage who would have been great to use as examples of people with only half a brain."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

277 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [356] -- GOP Debates, Round One”

  1. [1] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Fiorina was said to have won the KTD'bait precisely because she did make reference to demon sheep. A low bar to be sure, but better than no bar at all.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Saudi Arabia is disgruntled about our nuclear deal with Iran, so the upgrade was a kind of a bribe to get them on board. Malaysia is the worst of the bunch, because it wasn't even a diplomatic favor, really, but an economic one. If Malaysia is on the worst-of-the-worst list, it means we can't make trade deals with them. Since they're supposed to be a part of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, they had to be moved up in order to qualify.

    Good news! It looks like you won't have to worry about bribing any more countries to get them on board for any major US foreign policy initiative for a very, very long time.

    Because the chances that the US will be able to make any major such moves will be close to nil, for the foreseeable future.

    Hope everyone is happy.

  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kasich is catching a lot of flak because: 1) he has ventured into the forbidden zone and 2) he acts nicer than most of the wolf pack. The second indictment is unfair, he has anger management problem. Trust me on this, I'm from Ohio, and I phone home regularly.

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    "Trump did get a bit testy when asked about his four bankruptcies, but he's always been a bit tender on that subject."

    Most guys are a bit tender about their testies. Trump should learn to retract 'em during a match, like a Sumo Wrestler. He should also wear the mawashi when he's competing. Other wise, he's got the weight, and his butting technique is effective.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The Obama administration is looking the other way on human slavery, both for politics and to make a buck.

    Well, that a nice way of putting it.

    Why not take into account how the benefits of the JCPOA and of the TPP would make it far easier for the US to push for reforms in all of these countries.

    Without these very critical agreements with Iran and with Asia-Pacific nations, the US will have substantially decreased leverage over human slavery and other critical issues.

    But, this points to a inherent problem in the way Americans tend to see these sorts of issues - they focus on one aspect only and fail to see how the overall position of the US can be used to make far more progress with these easily bribed countries than simply relying on a report detailing the abuses.

    It all reminds of the pertinent phrase, can't see the forest for the trees.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [2] -

    Go look at my comment (around #45 or so) on yesterday's program note. Obama's likely going to get his Iran deal, although Republicans will get some headlines before he does.

    TheStig -

    Kasich? Anger management? Do tell... us non-buckeyes would love to hear about it!

    [4] -

    Oooo! Sumo wrestling! Now that would certainly give Christie a fighting chance, wouldn't it?

    Heh.

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM -

    Here's the link:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/08/06/program-note-50/#comment-62389

    Obama smartly won this battle before it's even begun.

    :-)

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama smartly won this battle before it's even begun.

    Obama only won if he wins..

    If he loses, if Congress override's Obama's veto (which is looking more and more likely) Obama is going to look like a chump for giving Congress a say in the deal...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Senate only needs 12 more votes to override Obama's VETO..

    Obama needs 52 votes to make his VETO stand...

    Only 30 votes are on the fence..

    Do the math.... It simply does not work for Obama...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hope everyone is happy.

    "Ecstatic...."
    -Jafar, ALADDIN

    :D

    Without these very critical agreements with Iran and with Asia-Pacific nations, the US will have substantially decreased leverage over human slavery and other critical issues.

    If the US has to strengthen, enhance and finance a country like Iran (remember?? Executes gays?? Numero Uno sponsor of terrorism) in order to have more leverage in other countries??

    Even if it WERE true, it's simply too high of a price to pay..

    Remember how the Left was so hysterical about Iran/Contra???

    This is the same type of deal except we're talking Iran getting NUKES!

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "the new head of the Drug Enforcement Agency publicly admitted that "heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana" which doesn't sound very impressive"

    Agreed. I feel like he should have earned at least an honorable mention as MDDOTW for his reefer madness. Rosenberg also said that pot is "harmful and dangerous".

    Harmful and dangerous? Add "stupid" and you've got the DEA.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pot IS harmful and dangerous..

    Anyone who denies this is living in a la-la land of their own construct...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Hi Elizabeth.

    Why not take into account how the benefits of the JCPOA and of the TPP would make it far easier for the US to push for reforms in all of these countries.

    Spot on. Sans computer devices, telephones, tin cans on a string etc, it's very difficult to conduct meaningful face-to-face communication with someone if they're not in the same room. (Clumsy analogy I know but it's the best I can do today.)

    What's more it is the Democrats who are sticking it to their President and doing their best to sabotage the TPP and JCPOA.

    I would have given the MDDOTW Award to Chuck Schumer who has confirmed that he not only has decided he'll vote to reject the JCPOA but is determined to talk as many Democratic senators as he can into joining him. In other words, he is following the same plan he used to deliver a crushing defeat to his President in the form of a veto-proof Bill that stripped Obama of his power and gave it to Congress instead.

    The international community is also disgusted with the meddling from the US Congress. That kind of interference in the business of other countries by a domestic lawmaking body is understandably seen as arrogant and outrageous. Current agreements the US has will be open to being challenged and international trust in the US as a negotiator and partner will plummet.

    All of that however will pale in comparison to the threat of war with Iran.

    So well done to the Congressional Democrats. This is what they voted for in April. If the deal is crushed, it is entirely their fault because they could've prevented it but they chose personal power over peace and, having betrayed the country once with their power grab, can be expected to do the same again and reject the JCPOA if only to show the world that the US Congress has them all by the short and curlies.

    Michale is right. There are 11 who say they will vote for the JCPOA and Chuck Schumer who says he'll vote against it. That leaves 32 votes undecided and undeclared, 32 senators who are probably waiting around to see what Schumer will do and wondering how much money their NO vote will be worth. They are certainly waiting around for something because it's not that hard a decision.

    Support is also crumbling in the House as well. The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep Eliot Engel (NY), also came out against the deal Thursday night, immediately after Schumer's statement was released. This is going the way of Bill 1191 and we all know how that ended up.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale is right.

    I am speechless... :D

    All of that however will pale in comparison to the threat of war with Iran.

    Well, no.. Not really.. : D

    One could easily make the case (AND have the facts to back it up) that it will be the ratifying of the JCPOA that will actually be the impetus for war in the region..

    The JCPOA backs Israel and the entire region into a corner. It puts IRAN at the top of the food chain in the Middle East..

    And we know how Israel reacts when their very survival is threatened...

    And, if the US won't help, then Israel can turn to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and a whole plethora of ready and willing partners..

    So, the case for war is STRONGER with a ratified JCPOA...

    Again, it all comes down to one simple concept..

    Iran is the bad guy... Iran executes gay people. Iran is THE sponsor of terrorism..

    And we're giving Iran everything it wants..

    Money, time and, above all else... Legitimacy....

    On what planet in the universe is that the logical course of action??

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale is right.

    I just love seeing that! :D

    There are 11 who say they will vote for the JCPOA and Chuck Schumer who says he'll vote against it. That leaves 32 votes undecided and undeclared,

    And the NO JCPOA crowd only needs 12 of those fence-sitters to come to their side... If those leaning against the JCPOA actually follow thru, then there is simply no way Obama can enforce his VETO...

    And, as I said about, time works AGAINST Obama and Iran...

    Michale

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    And we know how Israel reacts when their very survival is threatened...

    And, if the US won't help, then Israel can turn to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and a whole plethora of ready and willing partners..

    Every President's dream of uniting the Middle East is coming true...

    Obama has united the vast majority of ME governments against himself and Iran...

    THAT will be Obama's legacy...

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    It also goes without saying that, if it was a GOP POTUS who came up with this plan, the Left would universally and hysterically oppose it..

    How do you we know this??

    Two words...

    Iran Contra

    This is all nothing but Party Loyalty...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "The consensus from the punditocracy is that Carly Fiorina won the earlier debate, but for the life of me I can't see why."

    Somebody had to win the Pity Debate. That's how horse races work.

    Now, if you're a typical corporate media pundit, you hate everything Clinton and want as much conflict as possible. Why wouldn't you pick the designated Hillary Troll and keep her zombie campaign up and staggering a little longer?

    I wonder if winning it actually means anything for her. Is she number 11 or does she get to replace one of the men in the Big Ten? Maybe the GOP should dump the black guy or one of the hispanics and dare Trump to call her a skinny pig or something and maybe she'll play her gender card again. That would be good TV.

  19. [19] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    8 Hillary has the best resume

    Rubio: I know my party has complained incessantly about a youthful minority president with no executive experience, but we can't have a resume competition. We need more of the same, but with more war.

  20. [20] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "If I'm the nominee, I will pledge that I will not run as an independent." - Trump

    I love the Faux News realityTV-style focus groups. The Trump groupies say that they hate being labelled "low info", but if anybody suggests to them that Trump is Hillary's stalking horse or he's for socialism or he's a chameleon or whatever, they stick their fingers in their ears and shout "I don't care! He hates Mexicans. That's the only info I need."

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    I know my party has complained incessantly about a youthful minority president with no executive experience, but we can't have a resume competition. We need more of the same, but with more war.

    Of course, Rubio never said that...

    But why quibble with measly FACTS when just making shit up is just so much more fun.... :^/

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale [10]

    Of course, I wasn't talking about Iran. Try to keep up.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    "If I'm the nominee, I will pledge that I will not run as an independent." - Trump

    Jeezus, do you ever have ANY facts???

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hello Mopshell,

    Thanks for that!

    I'm trying to figure out what make Schumer and other Democrats like him tick. Why on earth would they vote against a good deal that is so much better than the status quo.

    We all know that the JCPOA is not perfect deal. It is a flawed deal. Name an agreement of this type that isn't flawed. But, its opponents are doing two things - they are engaging in hyperbole over the flaws and ignoring all of the benefits.

    I can only conclude that the JCPOA opponents in Congress are wrapped so tight around the Israeli Prime Ministers little finger that they can't escape. And, THAT is fodder for a whole other column.

  25. [25] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Dear Alex Jones,

    "If I'm the nominee, I will pledge that I will not run as an independent." - Trump

    Jeezus, do you ever have ANY facts?"

    LOL! I doubt that video of Trump saying that at the Fox News Debate will qualify as factual to a low info conspiracy theory type like you, but here it is anyway:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/08/06/trump_i_will_not_pledge_to_endorse_republican_nominee.html

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hello McFLY!!

    I Will Not Pledge To Endorse Republican Nominee, Not Run As Independent

    That is from your OWN link!!

    Ya know, you slam me for lack of reading comprehension.. Maybe you should look in the mirror, sunshine. :D

    When I made such a bonehead mistake, I immediately issued a sincere apology..

    I doubt you have the maturity to do the same... :^/

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I'm trying to figure out what make Schumer and other Democrats like him tick. Why on earth would they vote against a good deal that is so much better than the status quo.

    Because they think it's NOT a good deal and have the facts to back it up...

    Can't ya'all acknowledge that they are as sincere as ya'all, that they simply disagree and that their position is as valid as ya'all think your's is??

    Or, are you with President Obama and assigning a nefarious agenda to anyone that doesn't agree??

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LOL! I'm just shocked that you didn't watch the video. Stick those fingers in your ears. Trump stills hates those illegals.

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump stills hates those illegals.

    As do I..

    Just like I hate drunk drivers, child molesters, rapists and terrorists...

    What's your point??

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris (from comment #46 in the Program Note piece)

    I think we both get that. You must really think that Michale and I are a couple of idiots!

    Of course, we know how this Iran vote was set up. We're just looking at it from the other side of the coin with myself, admittedly, looking at it from afar and mostly through headlines and expert uneasiness about the whole thing.

    In other words, I'm more concerned about the two-thirds of either house that is required to defeat the JCPOA. Now, I understand all about the firewall in the House but, I remain concerned. Not just about the worst case scenario but in the case that the US Congress - Republican and Democrat, House and Senate - will only just narrowly fail to override a presidential veto as this will also do damage to the ability of any US president to conduct a credible foreign policy, going forward.

    I do appreciate the fact, however, that you believe President Obama was smart in having the vote set up this way. Ahem.

    And, you don't have to tell me about Obama's deal-making ability. Consider how the snap back sanctions vote in the UN was set up ... of course, there were a few other important people involved in that, too.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can't ya'all acknowledge that they are as sincere as ya'all, that they simply disagree and that their position is as valid as ya'all think your's is??

    They are sincerely in Bibi's pocket. That is the problem.

    There position is not as valid as mine - not until they come up with a better plan of action. Which they have not.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can't ya'all acknowledge that they are as sincere as ya'all, that they simply disagree and that their position is as valid as ya'all think your's is??

    They are sincerely in Bibi's pocket. That is the problem.

    Their position is not as valid as mine - not until they come up with a better plan of action. Which they have not.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    will only just narrowly fail to override a presidential veto as this will also do damage to the ability of any US president to conduct a credible foreign policy, going forward.

    Obama doesn't need any help damaging his credibility..

    He has done a bang up job of that all on his own..

    Only a mo... a person without any credibility, would negotiate a deal that the majority of his countrymen oppose and that totally scroos over the staunchest American ally in the region...

    If so many different and varied ALLIES oppose this deal, doesn't it behoove one to step back and think, "Hmmmmmm Maybe I should take another look at this.."

    But Obama can't do that because the ONLY consideration is his legacy...

    It will be his legacy all right. And it might very well take the shape of a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv....

    Carter was really concerned about his legacy as well..

    And we all know how that legacy turned out for Carter...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    They are sincerely in Bibi's pocket. That is the problem.

    One could easily say that Obama is sincerely in the Ayatollah's pocket as he is leading the DEATH TO AMERICA, DEATH TO ISRAEL chants..

    It has just as much factual basis..

    Their position is not as valid as mine - not until they come up with a better plan of action. Which they have not.

    The fact that there may or may not be a better idea is completely irrelevant to the quality of the current deal..

    Even if Iran is completely and utterly faithful to the JCPOA, they can have nuclear weapons in 10-15 years, COMPLETELY with the blessings of the United States..

    No matter how you slice it, THAT right there makes the JCPOA a bad deal..

    I think we both get that. You must really think that Michale and I are a couple of idiots!

    I didn't take that away from CW's statement at all..

    CW just seems to think that Obama is going to win and that makes Obama's previous machinations prescient...

    But the numbers are completely against Obama.. Not only can the Senate meet the FILIBUSTER threshold, the math clearly shows that Congress will, more likely than not, be able to override Obama's VETO...

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I didn't take that away from CW's statement at all..

    I was kidding, of course. I don't really believe that Chris thinks we're idiots, his comment notwithstanding. Geesh.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    If so many different and varied ALLIES oppose this deal, doesn't it behoove one to step back and think, "Hmmmmmm Maybe I should take another look at this.."

    I did and have concluded that the opponents are wrong.

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One could easily say that Obama is sincerely in the Ayatollah's pocket as he is leading the DEATH TO AMERICA, DEATH TO ISRAEL chants..

    One could easily say that, I agree. Perhaps, Donald Trump has said or will say that, for example.

    ... It has just as much factual basis..

    Actually, it has no factual basis.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Speaking of Trump ...

    When are y'all gonna wake up and smell the coffee? Do any of you seriously believe that Trump wants to be POTUS!!??

    This is decidedly NOT what the Trump "campaign" is all about. The more his poll numbers go up, the more outrageous he gets. Why do you think that is, other than the fact that Trump is an ignoramus and a publicity seeker and oblivious to his surroundings.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    ... It has just as much factual basis..

    Actually, it has no factual basis.

    Oh, wait ... :)

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, forget it.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I just learned something new ... making two comments at the same time is prohibited. Heh.

    Sorry, but this is pushing all my buttons ...

  42. [42] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Do any of you seriously believe that Trump wants to be POTUS?"

    I do think that he wants to be president, but he lives in a bubble where he tells people to do something and they do it. I think he probably believes that that's what it's like to be president, but I don't think that he likes working hard enough to be anything more than a stand-up comic's impression of a candidate.

    On the other hand, I am not alarmed by Trump. The others are owned by people just like him. I'd rather have Trump than JEB!

  43. [43] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Megyn Queen of Trolls Trumps The Donald. She managed to engineer a politically correct dis-invitation to The RedState Gathering for Teflon Don. It's on!

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, it has no factual basis.

    Agreed.. Neither does the claim that all those who oppose the JCPOA are in Netanyahu's pocket..

    Hell, I haven't even SEEN Bibi in a couple decades!! :D

    Actually, it has no factual basis.

    Oh, wait ... :)

    hehehehehe Touche' :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't see what all the hullaballoo is about Trump from ya'all..

    Trump and Sanders are identical save for their respective ideologies..

    The only difference is Trump is successful at practically everything he does..

    Sanders is a washed up beatnik....

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    BTW LizM, I know that Donald has said that the JCPOA is a terrible deal because Persians are good negotiators and Americans are stupid, but I haven't heard him say that he'd renege. Even if he did, I'm sure he'd re-negotiate something terrific with the Leading State Sponsor Of Terrorism and it would only take him a day or maybe two so there wouldn't even be a crisis.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Any particular reason why ya'all don't apply all this critical analysis to the Democrat Party "primary"??

    Oh yea... That's right... :^/

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    dsws wrote:

    A majority of Congress (supermajority in the Senate) wants the Iran deal to pass. Otherwise they wouldn't have set things up so that it takes a veto override to stop it. However, a majority of Congress wants to vote against it, so that they can say they're hating the foreigners like Real Murricans.

    It will pass (meaning that the veto override will fail).

  49. [49] 
    dsws wrote:

    Do any of you seriously believe that Trump wants to be POTUS

    I don't know. My guess is that he would take the gig if it were handed to him, and then he would delegate almost all the actual work.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    It will pass (meaning that the veto override will fail).

    Despite all the facts to the contrary.. :D

    On the other hand, my track record has been abysmal of late, so....

    I don't know. My guess is that he would take the gig if it were handed to him, and then he would delegate almost all the actual work.

    If only Obama had the wisdom for that.. :D

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JFC,

    BTW LizM, I know that Donald has said that the JCPOA is a terrible deal because Persians are good negotiators and Americans are stupid, but I haven't heard him say that he'd renege. Even if he did, I'm sure he'd re-negotiate something terrific with the Leading State Sponsor Of Terrorism and it would only take him a day or maybe two so there wouldn't even be a crisis.

    That goes without saying.

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    However, a majority of Congress wants to vote against it, so that they can say they're hating the foreigners like Real Murricans.

    It's not about hating foreigners..

    It's about hating foreigners who brutally murder innocent people and execute people for being gay..

    Call me silly, but signing off on a deal with a country that does that is simply mind-boggling.

    The power of Obama's ego... Front and center...

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    It will pass (meaning that the veto override will fail).

    I suspect you're right about disapproval of the deal failing.

    But, I would feel a whole lot better - when it comes to the future general prospects for effective US foreign policy - if the vote against disapproval (hence, for the deal) is substantial and not just enough to override a presidential veto.

    In the case of a mostly partisan vote with more than a few Democrats voting in favour of disapproval, in other words, there will be negative repercussions, not least of which will be a significant diminishing of US credibility, in more ways than one.

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the case of a mostly partisan vote with more than a few Democrats voting in favour of disapproval, in other words, there will be negative repercussions, not least of which will be a significant diminishing of US credibility, in more ways than one.

    There is no evidence that US credibility will be anything but enhanced by the defeat of the JCPOA...

    Obama credibility??

    You betcha....

    I mean, honestly look at the facts.. Any country that enhances and strengthens Iran's status in the region??

    I mean, what are we?? Russia!?? CHINA!???

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as Trump goes, I feel for you people. I really do..

    Ya'all were so looking forward to a Trump-plosion that the expectation was palpable...

    Must be such a letdown to see Trump stronger than ever.. :D

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws [48] -

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Congress wanted a big vote, lots of headlines, and then the deal to pass.

    That's exactly what is going to happen.

    LizM -

    The firewall in the House seems pretty strong to me. 150 of them signed a letter of support, and to date I haven't heard one of them switch their position. 150 = deal goes through.

    Nobody will remember the voting shenanigans in the future -- they'll just remember Obama got his deal. For better or for worse, it'll be a part of Obama's legacy.

    -CW

  57. [57] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    You really want to talk human rights and allies?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/how-the-legal-punishments-handed-out-in-saudi-arabia-compare-to-those-of-isis-9994437.html

    Are you really sure you don't want to retract that argument? Or are you saying we should treat the Saudis like Iran?

    -CW

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are you really sure you don't want to retract that argument? Or are you saying we should treat the Saudis like Iran?

    And if we make a deal that allows Saudi to have nukes then you'll hear me bitch just as loudly..

    Probably even louder than the Left bitched when Reagan made a deal with Iran.. :D

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Saudi Arabia hasn't, in recent history, threatened time and time again to wipe Israel off the map...

    All I am saying is that ya'all are pushing a deal with a country that EXECUTES gay people..

    Doesn't that bother ya'all??

    Not even a little???

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Nobody will remember the voting shenanigans in the future -- they'll just remember Obama got his deal. For better or for worse, it'll be a part of Obama's legacy.

    I suppose you're right about that.

    But, by nobody, do you include major world powers who might in the future be negotiating with the US on an agreement or, indeed, an actual treaty?

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    In this issue, the interests of this country and Israel are identical...

    The Prime Minister of Israel, apparently, doesn't see it that way.

    The interests of this COUNTRY and Israel are identical..

    The interests of Obama and this country/Israel is wildly divergent..

    Obama is SOLELY concerned about his legacy. PERIOD..

    Israel and this country can go pound sand, as far as Obama is concerned..

    That's what the facts clearly show...

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    For better or for worse, it'll be a part of Obama's legacy.

    And that is the ONLY thing that matters to Obama..

    Nothing else explains why he is siding with Iran in threatening Israel...

    Michale

  63. [63] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The only difference is Trump is successful at practically everything he does.."

    Really??? Want to tell me again how many of Trump's businesses and properties have gone bankrupt? :-D

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Really??? Want to tell me again how many of Trump's businesses and properties have gone bankrupt? :-D

    I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
    -Michael Jordan

    :D

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry, JM.. But ya walked into that one.. :D

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nobody will remember the voting shenanigans in the future -- they'll just remember Obama got his deal.

    And just THINK of what will happen to the Democrat Party when Iran nukes Tel Aviv or Hamas detonates a dirty bomb in Israel..

    Mass desertion of the jewish people from the Democrat Party....

    That's what support of this deal will do....

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DWS - 48

    I second CW's nail on the head comment. I dunno about the exact proportions, of who favors what, but the oucome has been scripted - including who is alllowed to duck and cover. The apparent ferocity against Schumer may indicate he's not following the script. It may just be part of the play. We'll know if the Democratic leadership sanctions him him and/ or he bolts the party.

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, think about it..

    If those opposed to the JCPOA are wrong, then Iran has to jump thru a few extra hoops.. Boo hoo, cry me a river...

    If the PRO-JCPOA crowd is wrong, Israel is decimated/destroyed...

    Seems the choice is really REALLY clear....

    Obama's Ego vs the survival of a nation....

    Choice is clear to me... But I am not "Party Uber Alles", so.....

    Michale

  69. [69] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 66

    Dirty bombs are so inefficient it doesn't pay to build one. The high explosives used to disperse the radioactive payload are much, much more lethal than the radiation dispersed: so much so that nobody will notice the additional effects of the radiation. The only effective dirty bomb is a genuine fission or fission/ fusion bomb.

    You seem positively gleeful about the prospects of nuclear war swelling the ranks of Registered Republicans. Destroying the village to save it is back in fashion!

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dirty bombs are so inefficient it doesn't pay to build one.

    yea... And terrorists are ALL about efficiency, eh? :D

    You seem positively gleeful about the prospects of nuclear war swelling the ranks of Registered Republicans.

    A nuclear "war"???

    With IRAN!!?? Sheeya right... And then, we'll have ANOTHER war with The Duchy of Grand Fenwick.. :)

    No one said anything about a nuclear war..

    But anyone who denies that a mushroom cloud above Tel Aviv is a possibility of a nuclear armed Iran is a person who denies reality...

    As I said above...

    If those opposed to the JCPOA are wrong, then Iran has to jump thru a few extra hoops.. Boo hoo, cry me a river...

    If the PRO-JCPOA crowd is wrong, Israel is decimated/destroyed...

    To use your phraseology, the Left appears to be positively gleeful at the prospect of a destroyed/decimated Israel...

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just for the record, the JCPOA is about so much more than "Obama's legacy ... for better or worse" that it really need not be mentioned, certainly not as often as it is around here.

    It would be nice if an issue as critical as this could be discussed more on its merits and flaws than on what it means for Obama. This is a multinational effort and no one has entered into it with eyes wide shut.

    Additionally, the implementation of the JCPOA is merely one step along a continuum of efforts working toward reducing the world's nuclear arsenal and, I would submit, a big piece in the puzzle of creating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

    And, the ultimate success of the JCPOA will have as much to do with how the US and its international partners deal with Iran in the out years of this agreement and how the other challenges present in the Middle East are handled as it will with how this deal is implemented and enforced over the next 10 - 15 years.

    The US Congress, by the way, has a constructive role to play in all of this if its members are smart enough to realize it.

    In other words, I think we need to focus on the big picture here and not get caught up in the noise of how political legacies will be impacted by the JCPOA.

  72. [72] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just for the record, the JCPOA is about so much more than "Obama's legacy ...

    It's really not..

    Here's the ONLY relevant issue..

    The ONE country in the region that is going to be affected MOST by Iran as a nuclear power is Israel..

    And the concerns of Israel are being dismissed out of hand.

    THAT right there tells all anyone needs to know about whether this is all about Obama's legacy or not...

    And, frankly, I am surprised that I am the only one who sees this...

    Truly...

    Michale

  73. [73] 
    Michale wrote:

    Think about it..

    Schumer's ethics and integrity is **ONLY** questioned when he goes against Obama..

    That (ALSO) tells ya all you need to know about the issues here...

    Obama is god.. Any who oppose the great Obama is wrong...
    So say we all...

    This god-worship crap is REALLY wearing thin, I have to say....

    Michale

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    On another somewhat completely unrelated note..

    I haven't seen any NNL comments recently..

    Whatever you have done seems to be working.. :D

    Kudos...

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    Additionally, the implementation of the JCPOA is merely one step along a continuum of efforts working toward reducing the world's nuclear arsenal and, I would submit, a big piece in the puzzle of creating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

    And how is adding several new nuclear powers going to help in creating a "nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East"....

    Saudi is already in the process of purchasing nuclear technology and infrastructure on par with Iran.... Other countries in the Middle East are not far behind..

    ALL because of the JCPOA....

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    One major problem with your analysis of the JCPOA, and with that of most opponents of the deal, is how you completely ignore the benefits and focus exclusively on the flaws and then presume, without exception, that all the possible negative outcomes will come to pass.

    Another problem with opposing the deal outright without recognizing any benefit is the fact that you, and other opponents, fail to put forth a detailed alternative that could pass the smell test, so to speak. No opponent of the deal has taken the time and effort to do this.

    Proponents of the deal recognize both the benefits and the flaws and understand that the JCPOA is not the be all and end all when it comes to restricting Iran's nuclear program. We also understand that there are other avenues that must be explored that can deal with Iran's nefarious nuclear and non-nuclear behavior that go beyond the JCPOA and the nuclear issue.

    We also know that nothing in the JCPOA prohibits the US and its international partners from revisiting all of the options available to deal with Iranian non-compliance. In other words, we don't envision a need to rush to military options at this point in time but that this course of action may prove necessary down the road.

    The following is a link to analysis of the deal by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that is the most objective I have come across. It outlines all of the parts of the deal and comments on the pros and cons, leaving the judgement on whether or not the deal is a good one deserving support up to readers. I think you may like it.
    http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/08/06/parsing-iran-deal/iec5

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, good news for the Pro JCPOA people..

    The Iran military leader who leads his troops in DEATH TO AMERICAN!! and DEATH TO ISRAEL!!! has come out in favor of the JCPOA...

    Ya'all must be VERY proud to have such distinguished partners, eh??

    Why ya'all would want to stand up and be counted with a country that EXECUTES gay people and is the world's sponsor of terrorism is really beyond me....

    "You stood up to be counted with the enemy of everything the Grail stands for!! Who gives a DAMN what you think?!!!!"
    -Indiana Jones

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Michale wrote:

    One major problem with your analysis of the JCPOA, and with that of most opponents of the deal, is how you completely ignore the benefits and focus exclusively on the flaws and then presume, without exception, that all the possible negative outcomes will come to pass.

    I admit...

    I really can't see past the nuclear holocaust that Iran with nukes will likely release...

    Guilty as charged...

    There is simple one point that NO ONE can get past...

    That NO ONE can explain away...

    I made the point above, but I'll make it again..

    The ONE country in the region that is going to be affected MOST by Iran as a nuclear power is Israel..

    And the concerns of Israel are being dismissed out of hand.

    And, frankly, I am surprised that I am the only one who sees this...

    Truly...

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    What it all comes down to is this..

    One simple question....

    Does the Democrat Party want to go down in history as the Party that sided with Iran against Israel and the American people??

    If the Democrat Party is 100% perfectly and absolutely OK with that, then so be it...

    You reap what you sow....

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But, Michale, the concerns of Israel and others in the region are NOT being dismissed.

    By the way, in case you haven't noticed, there is a massive conventional arms build-up underway in the region because of those very concerns.

    I hope you take a look at the CEIP piece ...

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, Michale, the concerns of Israel and others in the region are NOT being dismissed.

    They are being dismissed...

    If they were being considered than Obama would NEVER even think about doing this deal...

    I hope you take a look at the CEIP piece ..

    I did...

    Iran will retain an enrichment program on a scale that heretofore has not been justified by the country’s practical needs.
    After the relevant ten-to-fifteen-year restrictions have ended, Iran may expand its enrichment activities without restrictions on technology, enrichment level, and locations. Iran also may deploy more powerful advanced centrifuges, including those developed under the strict limitations of the JCPOA.
    After ten years, Iran may enrich uranium with proliferation-sensitive laser technology.
    When the restrictions end, a deployment of enrichment capacity beyond Iran’s practical peaceful needs would escalate concern that Iran aims to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.

    Basically, this says that Iran will, after the JCPOA period (10-15 years) will be able to construct a nuclear arsenal with the blessings of the United States...

    That right there makes it a BAD deal...

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since Israel opposes the deal and since Israel has the most to lose by a Nuclear Armed Iran.....

    Israel's opposition carries the day....

    Barring agenda/ego-driven factors, no leader in their right mind would approve of this deal..

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, Michale, what course of action does Israel suggest that will be as promising as the first 10-15 years of JCPOA implementation?

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Michale, you haven't by chance taken any of those excerpts from the CEIP piece out of context, have you?

    Have you even read the parts that explain what the benefits are?

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea, I read the benefits...

    But those alleged and unsubstantiated benefits are FAR outweighed by the risks...

    Put another way...

    If one ingests a buttload of heroin, there is a possible benefit that they MIGHT reach Nirvana....

    But.....

    The downside (which is a LOT more likely) is they would be dead before they hit the floor...

    That's the mindset that I am viewing this from..

    Because of 2 simple factors..

    I don't trust Iran....

    I don't trust Obama....

    BOTH have proven, beyond ANY doubt, that they are completely and unequivocally NOT trustworthy and would sell their Aunt Mathilda to further their agenda....

    THAT is where I am coming from...

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Bad analogy, Michale ... very bad. :)

    I love how you say the benefits are unsubstantiated and yet the risks are an absolute certainty.

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm still waiting to hear all about a better alternative than the JCPOA, by the way ...

    And, I'm willing to wait until Hell freezes over, if need be. Oh, wait ... that was a great Eagles album ...

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Basically, this says that Iran will, after the JCPOA period (10-15 years) will be able to construct a nuclear arsenal with the blessings of the United States...That right there makes it a BAD deal...

    Basically, it says no such thing. But, I see where you're coming from.

    What you fail to do, however, is to take into account what the US and its international partners will do after 10-15 years - BEYOND the JCPOA - to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear arsenal if Iran behaves in a manner that would make such action necessary.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale and others sitting on the fence with regard to the JCPOA,

    Here is something of interest ...

    Twenty-nine US scientists have sent a letter to President Obama commending him and his team, along with their international partners, for negotiating an unprecedented nuclear agreement with Iran.

    In the letter, these 29 scientists outline in detail why they support the JCPOA.
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2235612/iranletteraug2015.pdf

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    I love how you say the benefits are unsubstantiated and yet the risks are an absolute certainty.

    I never made such claims..

    I simply state that, since we are talking about IRAN, the possible downside far FAR outweigh the unlikely benefits...

    Remember?? Executes gay people. Number 1 sponsor of terrorism??

    I'm still waiting to hear all about a better alternative than the JCPOA, by the way ..

    I have already given you that.. Several times.. Sanctions were working. Tightening the sanctions WOULD have lead to the dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. This is fact..

    And despite claims to the contrary, that WAS the goal..

    Dismantling Iran's nuclear infrastructure..

    The JCPOA *GUARANTEES* that Iran will get nuclear weapons..

    Obama stated UNEQUIVOCALLY that he would never allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

    He lied.. AGAIN...

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    I love how you say the benefits are unsubstantiated and yet the risks are an absolute certainty.

    I never made such claims..

    I simply state that, since we are talking about IRAN, the possible downside far FAR outweigh the unlikely benefits...

    Remember?? Executes gay people. Number 1 sponsor of terrorism??

    I'm still waiting to hear all about a better alternative than the JCPOA, by the way ..

    I have already given you that.. Several times.. Sanctions were working. Tightening the sanctions WOULD have lead to the dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. This is fact..

    And despite claims to the contrary, that WAS the goal..

    Dismantling Iran's nuclear infrastructure..

    The JCPOA *GUARANTEES* that Iran will get nuclear weapons..

    Obama stated UNEQUIVOCALLY that he would never allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

    He lied.. AGAIN...

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Basically, it says no such thing. But, I see where you're coming from.

    Your own link states unequivocally that is EXACTLY what it says...

    What you fail to do, however, is to take into account what the US and its international partners will do after 10-15 years - BEYOND the JCPOA - to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear arsenal if Iran behaves in a manner that would make such action necessary.

    And what exactly is that?

    What is the US going to do after the 10-15 year mark??

    Go to war??

    Because, according to you, that is the ONLY WAY to prevent Iran from creating a nuclear arsenal...

    What are our international "partners" going to do after the 10-15 year mark??

    Re-impose sanctions??

    But you are on record as stating that sanctions will not work...

    If sanctions will work in 10-15 years, why won't they work now??

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's talk reality here..

    The JCPOA is not some grand bargain, not some high and mighty achievement that the Pro crowd is making it out to be..

    ALL the JCPOA does is kick the can down the road a bit..

    That's it... That's ALL it does..

    Ooooo whatta legacy... :^/

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    Michale wrote:

    And back in Trump world...

    The GOP is declaring Trump dead... AGAIN....

    I mean, honestly... What did Trump say that was so bad??

    Michale

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I see, Michale, that you have ignored what the 29 US scientists have to say about this.

    You're not anti-Science like other Republicans, are you?

    And what exactly is that? What is the US going to do after the 10-15 year mark?? Go to war??

    I thought you said you read the agreement. You know that monitoring and verification and the NPT and the Additional Protocols don't end after the first 10 - 15 years, right?

    Plus, you don't think that the US and its international partners are going to be sitting around twiddling their thumbs during the first half of the agreement, do you? There are many avenues that can and must be taken to ensure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons that will extend well beyond the life of the JCPOA.

    And, the US congress, as I may have mentioned before, has a very important role to play here ... that is, unless they prefer to spend precious time twiddling their thumbs ...oh, wait ...

    War will only become an imminent option if Iran fails to meet all of its commitments despite all other efforts by the US and its international partners to compel good behavior.

    I have already debunked your alternative of applying more sanctions, on more than one occasion. Sanctions have NEVER WORKED to restrict Iran's nuclear program, number one ... and, number two, if the US were to walk away from the JCPOA at this late stage, after the P5+1 and a number of other countries have agreed to the provisions of this deal, some of which have vast economic interests with Iran, your precious sanctions regime is destined to unravel.

    So, you will have to come up with an alternative to the JCPOA that will be at least as effective in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons for the next 10 -15 years and more.

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    I see, Michale, that you have ignored what the 29 US scientists have to say about this.

    And I am sure I can find OTHER scientists who disagree with those 29 scientists..

    So??

    I have already debunked your alternative of applying more sanctions, on more than one occasion.

    No, you simply said they won't work.. That's not "debunking"...

    You still haven't addressed what's going to happen after the JCPOA is done??

    How will Iran be prevented from creating a nuclear arsenal.

    Only two ways to do it. War (covert or overt) or sanctions..

    The same two options that are available in the here and now..

    So, you will have to come up with an alternative to the JCPOA that will be at least as effective in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons for the next 10 -15 years and more.

    So, you agree that the JCPOA does absolutely nothing but kick the can down the road..

    We agree..

    Michale

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what happens if Iran violates the JCPOA??

    The sanctions snap back..

    But sanctions won't work..

    You see the hole that the Pro JCPOA group has dug for itself??

    They say that sanctions won't work, but then they say if Iran violates the agreement then the "useless" sanctions will snap back..

    The pro JCPOA group says that the agreement will prevent a war, but it's existence will guarantee a war sooner or later...

    The JCPOA threatens Iran with the VERY things that the Pro JCPOA groups says are useless in reigning in Iran..

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And I am sure I can find OTHER scientists who disagree with those 29 scientists..So??

    So, you are anti-science, then.

    Oh, and let me know when you find those 20 scientists who disagree. And, no offense but, you'll have to present their credentials/positions as well, like in my list.

  99. [99] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I said sanctions haven't worked. Just take Iran for one example!

  100. [100] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, you're gonna have to come up with a better solution than sanctions or war ... oh, wait ... the JCPOA!!!

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, you are anti-science, then.

    It's a political issue..

    "Science" has absolutely nothing to do with this..

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Science" has absolutely nothing to do with this..

    I take that back. There is an element of science to this..

    Psychology..

    For example, the psychology of a government that actually executes people for being part of the gay lifestyle...

    The psychology of a government that is the number 1 sponsor of terrorism in the world..

    Now, a government like that would be VERY unlikely of being trustworthy in other areas...

    Wouldn't you agree??

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You need to start focusing on the most important issue here. Which is what is the most effective and durable way of ensuring Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

    You're taking your eyes off the prize and that is not very productive.

    Science is at the very heart of the JCPOA and I'm not talking about psych 101!

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    You need to start focusing on the most important issue here. Which is what is the most effective and durable way of ensuring Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon.

    You mean, OTHER than bombing them back to the stone age?? :D

    You're taking your eyes off the prize and that is not very productive.

    Actually, Obama capitulated on the prize..

    "The Prize" is a nuclear free Iran...

    The JCPOA is actually an impediment to the prize...

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Let It Bleed (Megyn Kelly Blues)

    Well, we all need someone we can troll on
    And if you want it, you can troll on me
    Yeah, we all need someone we can troll on
    And if you want it, you can troll on me

    She said, my trolls, they will always be golden
    Baby, you can bet your billions right on me
    And there will always be a space at the next Fox debate
    If you need another beating in January

    I was dreaming of a politically incorrect engagement
    But she sunk my plan just like a fat pig feminazi
    Yeah she knifed me in my huge and classy moment
    She’s a jaded, faded, hormonal bimbo
    oh what unpleasant company

    We all need someone we can troll on
    Yeah and if you want it, you can troll on me
    Take my arm, take my leg
    Oh baby don't you take my cred

    Yeah, we all know the schedule that you bleed on
    But if you have to, well please don’t bleed on me

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in Bernie Sanders news...

    ONLY Black Lives Matter morons chased Sanders off the stage once again...

    Ya know, if Sanders wants to be POTUS, he is going to have to grow a pair and not be cowed by racist morons..... :^/

    I'm just sayin'...

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And just THINK of what will happen to the Democrat Party when Iran nukes Tel Aviv or Hamas detonates a dirty bomb in Israel.."

    Iran is not going to nuke Tel Aviv. If they did, Israel would nuke Tehran. The Iranians might be extremists, but they are not stupid.

    Also, if Hamas was going to get a dirty bomb, it would have had one by now. It was far more likely to get one from Russia, during the chaos of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when many attempts to steal nuclear material were made. Or from well connected groups with ties to the Taliban from both inside and outside the government in Pakistan. Don't forget that while supposedly being an ally of USA, Pakistan was harboring Osama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, and cooperating on nuclear weapon research with North Korea. It seems we have more to fear from our "friends" than our "enemies."

  108. [108] 
    dsws wrote:

    Twenty-nine US scientists have sent a letter to President Obama commending him and his team, along with their international partners, for negotiating an unprecedented nuclear agreement with Iran.

    If you're an expert at something, that doesn't make you an expert at something else. A scientist has to be reasonably intelligent and educated, in order to do the job. But beyond that, there's no reason to think a scientist would be any more reliable in evaluating a proposed treaty than any other educated, intelligent person.

    Of course, my guess is that the agreement in question is probably about as good as we were likely to get, and I think that virtually any agreement would be better than having Iran continue its nuclear program on its recent trajectory. I just don't think that a self-selected group of 29 scientists are a meaningful authority in support of that view.

  109. [109] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The ONE country in the region that is going to be affected MOST by Iran as a nuclear power is Israel.."

    Actually Saudi Arabia would be far more affected by a nuclear Iran than Israel. Iran and Israel have never fought each other. Iran and Israel have no territorial disputes. Israel already has a covert nuclear program they could quickly use to counter Iran. Iran's only dispute with Israel is a philosophical one over control of Moslem holy sites in Jerusalem.

    Saudi Arabia on the other hand, has no nuclear program to counter Iran. Is in direct conflict with Israel over control of Arab territory. Has actually fought a war with Israel in 1948. Has a deep rooted religious struggle with Iran for control of Islam. Views Shite Iran as heretics, which is something even worse than the non believing infidels of the West. Has a direct conflict with Iran over control of Arab territory, i.e. Iraq, etc. Has a large restive Shite population within its' borders concentrated in its' oil producing regions along the Gulf, which is open to Iranian subversion.

  110. [110] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "I have already given you that.. Several times.. Sanctions were working. Tightening the sanctions WOULD have lead to the dismantling of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. This is fact.."

    No, it is not fact, that is only supposition. Sanctions were to bring Iran to the negotiating table, which is exactly what happened. Also, unilateral American sanctions are never going to accomplish anything by themselves. Any option, sanctions or military, if it has only American or Israeli support only, is doomed to fail if Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany are all working to circumvent it in one way or another.

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Iran is not going to nuke Tel Aviv. If they did, Israel would nuke Tehran. The Iranians might be extremists, but they are not stupid.

    Hello?? Religious fanatics??

    "Stupid" doesn't even BEGIN to cover it...

    dsws,

    If you're an expert at something, that doesn't make you an expert at something else. A scientist has to be reasonably intelligent and educated, in order to do the job. But beyond that, there's no reason to think a scientist would be any more reliable in evaluating a proposed treaty than any other educated, intelligent person.

    Thank you....

    JM,

    Sanctions were to bring Iran to the negotiating table, which is exactly what happened.

    Not according to SecState Kerry.. Sanctions were designed to QUOTE dismantle the Iran nuclear infrastructure UNQUOTE...

    Any option, sanctions or military, if it has only American or Israeli support only, is doomed to fail if Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany are all working to circumvent it in one way or another.

    That is true WITH or WITHOUT the JCPOA...

    So, if you can't beat em, join em??

    THAT is your solution???

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    Michale wrote:

    Often asked, but never answered..

    How do ya'all reconcile your support of the gay community with the fact you are willing to jump into bed with a regime that EXECUTES people for being gay???

    I mean, I can only look at it from my perspective. It's as if I would jump into bed and make deals with Hamas or the KKK...

    I would feel so dirty, I likely couldn't live with it...

    Michale

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually Saudi Arabia would be far more affected by a nuclear Iran than Israel.

    I don't recall Iran stating unequivocally that they will wipe Saudi Arabia off the map and push all Saudis into the sea to drown..

    So...

    Irregardless, SA is as opposed to the JCPOA as Israel is...

    Should be a clue and a half that sworn enemies are brought together to oppose Obama's moronic boondoggle...

    Like I said.. Obama *IS* uniting the Middle East...

    AGAINST Obama/Iran...

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    The fact that Iran and Obama are inexorably linked should be enough of a clue that something is definitely frak'ed up...

    Obama... Who had to "evolve" on gay marriage..

    Iran.... A country that EXECUTES people for being gay...

    Two peas in a pod....

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Hello?? Religious fanatics??

    "Stupid" doesn't even BEGIN to cover it..."

    No one disputes that some Iranians are religious zealots. But that does not make them suicidal. Remember, all of the 9/11 attackers were Sunni Moslems, mostly from Saudi Arabia. As far as I know, all of the suicide bomber terrorists have also been Arab Sunni, not Shite Iranian. Hello!!!

    "That is true WITH or WITHOUT the JCPOA..."

    But with the JCPOA we have the support of the entire international community, which makes it more likely to work, and if it does fail, makes any alternative also more likely to have full international support, including subsequent military action. Something we would never have otherwise.

    "How do ya'all reconcile your support of the gay community with the fact you are willing to jump into bed with a regime that EXECUTES people for being gay???"

    The same way the USA has always jumped into bed with dictatorships over certain issues when it was to our advantage. We were allied with Stalin against Hitler weren't we? We are allies with Saudi Arabia, but they execute gays too don't they??? So does Pakistan! What's your point?

    "I don't recall Iran stating unequivocally that they will wipe Saudi Arabia off the map and push all Saudis into the sea to drown.."

    Doesn't matter. What is important is that Saudi Arabia is vulnerable and what the Saudis think of Iran, not what Iran thinks of Saudi Arabia. Saudi fears and perceptions, not Iranian statements, are the driving force.

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one disputes that some Iranians are religious zealots. But that does not make them suicidal.

    It does if their particular brand of religion requires the utmost destruction to bring about the End Of Days...

    Hmmmmmm Good movie. I might watch that tonight. :D

    But with the JCPOA we have the support of the entire international community, which makes it more likely to work, and if it does fail, makes any alternative also more likely to have full international support, including subsequent military action. Something we would never have otherwise.

    So... Global support for a REALLY bad deal is a GOOD thing?? :D

    The same way the USA has always jumped into bed with dictatorships over certain issues when it was to our advantage. We were allied with Stalin against Hitler weren't we? We are allies with Saudi Arabia, but they execute gays too don't they??? So does Pakistan! What's your point?

    The point is we're not giving the other groups a path way to a nuclear arsenal..

    But, OK.. I accept your premise.

    Ya'all are willing to support a regime that executes gay people as long as it fits into Obama's agenda.. That your support of the gay community is contingent and equivocal...

    OK, fine... As long as ya'all admit that is EXACTLY what you are doing, I have no problem with it..

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    What is important is that Saudi Arabia is vulnerable and what the Saudis think of Iran, not what Iran thinks of Saudi Arabia.

    Exactly...

    And because the US is allowing Iran to have nukes, NOW Saudi is pushing towards acquiring nuclear weapons..

    As is Turkey and Egypt...

    No one wants to address that, eh??

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    If you're an expert at something, that doesn't make you an expert at something else. A scientist has to be reasonably intelligent and educated, in order to do the job. But beyond that, there's no reason to think a scientist would be any more reliable in evaluating a proposed treaty than any other educated, intelligent person.

    You're gonna have to give me a freakin' break on that one, dsws ...

  119. [119] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    dsws,

    Let me put it this way ...

    Do you think that, in place of Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz, any educated and intelligent American could have negotiated a similarly complex JCPOA to restrict Iran's nuclear program with scientists trained in the nuclear field from Iran and the P5+1 nations?

    If your answer is yes, then don't bother responding.

  120. [120] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    I do believe that you have just helped me understand one reason why it is that so many Americans - in and out of Congress - do not support this deal.

    They think they understand all facets of the very complex JCPOA, being reasonably educated and intelligent people. But, they really have no idea.

    And, to make matters worse, they don't have the requisite critical thinking skills to even know who they should rely on to augment their limited knowledge about how the JCPOA will be implemented, monitored, verified and enforced.

    All of this anti-science talk ( and that's precisely what it is) makes me think that America may be headed towards an age of the anti-Enlightenment. I hope I'm wrong.

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    I just don't think that a self-selected group of 29 scientists are a meaningful authority in support of that view.

    Right. Well then, just whom do you consider a meaningful authority in support of the JCPOA?

  122. [122] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I mean, seriously, am I the only one who thinks this kind of thinking is whacked!?

    Does this also explain why Americans generally do not believe climate scientists when it comes to the ... well, the climate? Unbelievable!

  123. [123] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who do you trust?

  124. [124] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A bit of clarification. Twenty-nine senior NUCLEAR scientists.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.670232

  125. [125] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I though that went without saying. :)

    The anti-science critics around here should take a good look at all of their resumes.

  126. [126] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Just read CW's comment [46] in the program note and I am stunned.

    Allow me to point something out. Obama smartly got a deal from Congress months back. In this deal, Congress gets to have a vote disapproving of the Iran deal (note: not approving it). This is expected to pass, giving Republicans an opportunity to vote against Obama.

    I can't believe anyone thinks the President "smartly got a deal from Congress"!!! You actually believe, against all the evidence that he set this up! Apparently you think he considers the Iran deal so trivial that he would choose to gamble with it. When Obama threatened to veto Bill 1191, did you think he was lying?

    However, what happens next is key. Because of the deal Congress agreed to, Obama then vetoes the disapproval bill. It goes back to Congress, and if 1/3 of either house votes with Obama, then the Iran deal goes through.

    In the paragraph before this you claim Obama was smart to get a deal with Congress that would result in their passing a vote of disapproval. Then, in the next paragraph, you intimate that it isn't a foolproof deal by saying that whatever happens next is key. So in order to avoid this vote of approval or disapproval, would it not have been better for Obama if Bill 1191 had been lost or at least vetoed? Why on earth do you think it was better for Obama to risk losing the deal altogether? Because that's what you are saying he deliberately did and that, frankly, would have been enormously stupid if it were true.

    Then you said this:

    Got that? A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Instead of Obama having to get majority support, all he needs is 1/3 of either house.

    That's what all the pundits said about Bill 1191 - and they were all WRONG! It passed. Obama did not get the 1/3 of either House that he needed. He caved in an attempt to save face. It was a huge victory for the Republicans and it handed them the chance to take down the Iran deal which was the whole aim of 1191.

    Obama got no deal from Congress. He lost. The Executive was severely embarrassed by the President's party revolting against him in what was a power grab, nothing more, nothing less.

    The US Congress now has more power than any country or leader in the world. They have more power than the UN. They worked damned hard to get that power, to get the final say on this Bill. The Democrats ignored their President and their constituents (though few of them cared) because they really really wanted this ultimate power.

    Now you're saying they went through all that for nothing? Huh! I don't believe it. I think they will overturn this deal and that they intended to all along. Oh a few of them will change their minds and vote against disapproval but there will be enough to override a veto.

    If you don't think so then what is your explanation for so many undeclared Democratic votes? If they have a solid agreement with Obama that you claim, than what are they waiting for? Why do you think Rep. Eliot Engel, also from NY by the way and the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also came out against the deal Thursday night, immediately after Schumer's announcement? It's obvious what he was waiting for.

    Schumer was the one who whipped Dem votes for Bill 1191 and forced the President to submit. Schumer's using exactly the same playbook again.

  127. [127] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    [120] Elizabeth Miller wrote

    All of this anti-science talk (and that's precisely what it is) makes me think that America may be headed towards an age of the anti-Enlightenment. I hope I'm wrong.

    I totally agree with you. I think if the US elects a Republican President and Republican majorities in Congress, then an Age of Anti-Enlightenment will be ushered in sooner rather than later and it will be accompanied by the rise of a religious elite which will persecute all other religions and non religions. Canada and all other first world countries will be swamped with refugees which will be devastating. I'm old and considering myself fortunate to have a serious heart condition!

  128. [128] 
    dsws wrote:

    Well then, just whom do you consider a meaningful authority in support of the JCPOA?

    They would have to know something about the politics of Iran. They would have to know something about international diplomacy. They would have to know something about how surveillance and monitoring of industrial operations. They would have to know something about the institutions that will be doing the monitoring. They would have to know something about international law, and how to make sense of the legal gobbledygook in a treaty.

    Hooray for anyone who understands how the probability of absorbing a neutron is affected by the term associated with emission and reabsorption virtual beta particle and its antiparticle. It takes a lot of study and at least a moderate amount of aptitude to get to that point. But those thousands of hours spent studying math and physics are hours spent not studying all the subjects I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    I like science. I'm married to a scientist. I helped her to become a scientist in the first place, both by explaining differential equations and by agreeing that it was a good thing to do. But doing research in biology doesn't make her an expert on geology or astronomy, let alone on the politics of Iran.

  129. [129] 
    dsws wrote:

    I'm so anti-science that I have my seventh-grader watch video lectures about thermodynamics.

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Right. Well then, just whom do you consider a meaningful authority in support of the JCPOA?

    Well, most logically, the country(s) most affected by the JCPOA would be the best authority on the JCPOA..

    Michale

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me explain why what 29 Nuclear Scientists think of the JCPOA is completely irrelevant..

    Can those 29 scientists explain the will of the international community in re-imposing sanctions??

    Can those 29 scientists assess whether Iran will cheat or not??

    Can those 29 scientists explain how the international community will prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons after the restrictions of the JCPOA are lifted??

    The answer to all of these questions is a clear and unequivocal NO...

    The "science" of the JCPOA is not in dispute at all, so the words of those 29 scientists are completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand..

    To put it succinctly, it would be as if the entire membership of the BALLET TEACHERS OF AMERICA firmly and unequivocally were opposed to the JCPOA...

    One would have to wonder... SO???

    Michale

  132. [132] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you want to know who is the best authority on the JCPOA...

    The ones who have the most to lose by a nuclear-armed Iran....

    THOSE are the people who SHOULD be listened to...

    Michale

  133. [133] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Who do you trust?

    I can tell you who I *DON'T* trust..

    Obama... Iran...

    For hundreds, if not thousands, of very good FACTUAL reasons..

    Michale

  134. [134] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    They would have to know something about the politics of Iran. They would have to know something about international diplomacy. They would have to know something about how surveillance and monitoring of industrial operations. They would have to know something about the institutions that will be doing the monitoring. They would have to know something about international law, and how to make sense of the legal gobbledygook in a treaty.

    It appears that you are completely unaware of the relevant expertise of the five authors of the letter (with 24 signatories) to the president in support of the JCPOA. Which is not a treaty, by the way.

    It appears also that you know little about the former ambassadors - republican and democrat - who are vigorously supporting this deal and, I could go on but feel it is futile.

    I like science ... But doing research in biology doesn't make her an expert on geology or astronomy, let alone on the politics of Iran.

    You're kidding, right? Because, that's a pretty obtuse statement. I am talking about scientists who work in the field of nuclear physics and spend their time thinking about how to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Which is what the JCPOA is all about.

    Perhaps, you would see members of a group that publishes the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and is supportive of the JCPOA as a meaningful authority on arms control agreements and treaties. But, then again, perhaps not ...

    As for meaningful authorities on the "politics of Iran" ... well, I'd just love to hear who you believe might fit that bill! She says, sarcastically.

    You're really something else, dsws ... I wish you good luck in coming to an informed decision about whether or not the JCPOA deserves the support of Congress.

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    Jeezus, Liz...

    Don't bottle it all up inside..

    Tell us what you REALLY think... :D

    Michale

  136. [136] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're kidding, right? Because, that's a pretty obtuse statement. I am talking about scientists who work in the field of nuclear physics and spend their time thinking about how to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Which is what the JCPOA is all about.

    Agreed...

    The JCPOA is clearly about making sure that nuclear weapons are proliferated through-out the Middle East...

    Again, that point is not in contention... There is no "science" required because it's already been established as fact...

    Michale

  137. [137] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Tell us what you REALLY think... :D

    I'm trying to be restrained. :)

  138. [138] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    You know, even if Congress fails to disapprove of the JCPOA, I'll bet that won't be the last we hear about their continuing efforts to derail diplomacy.

    I just heard a panel discussion with Senator Chris Murphy and listened to his statement on the senate floor in support of the JCPOA. His thoughtfulness and eloquence are striking. The people of Connecticut are lucky to have such a representative.

  139. [139] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Let me explain why what 29 Nuclear Scientists think of the JCPOA is completely irrelevant..

    Your explanation gives no credence to the assertion that the views of these nuclear scientists and non-proliferation experts are "completely irrelevant".

    Now, if you had said that you would prefer to also know what others with experience in the areas you highlighted think about the JCPOA to augment your understanding of the agreement and help you decide whether or not it deserves your support, then you would have made a credible comment.

  140. [140] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The "science" of the JCPOA is not in dispute at all, so the words of those 29 scientists are completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand..

    So, you're saying that the scientists with expertise in nuclear physics and non-proliferation have no standing on the Iran nuclear deal and that the science dealt with in the JCPOA has only to do what makes Iran tick, so to speak. Heh.

  141. [141] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The "science" of the JCPOA is not in dispute at all, so the words of those 29 scientists are completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand..

    So, you're saying that the scientists with expertise in nuclear physics and non-proliferation have no standing on the Iran nuclear deal and that the science dealt with in the JCPOA has only to do with what makes Iran tick, so to speak. Heh.

    Are you sure that's the kind of argument you want to stand by? :)

  142. [142] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Mopshell,

    I thought you might find this piece in Foreign Policy interesting ...
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/09/upchuck-senator-schumers-disingenuous-iran-deal-argument/

  143. [143] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Addendum to my comment Re. Chris [46] in the Program Note column.

    I said,

    "In other words, I'm more concerned about the two-thirds of either house that is required to defeat the JCPOA."

    Just to be clear on the record about how this congressional vote was set up, I should have said that I'm more concerned about the two-thirds of both houses that is required to defeat the JCPOA.

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Now, if you had said that you would prefer to also know what others with experience in the areas you highlighted think about the JCPOA to augment your understanding of the agreement and help you decide whether or not it deserves your support, then you would have made a credible comment.

    It doesn't MATTER what their experience or qualifications are..

    The question of the JCPOA is a POLITICAL issue, not a scientific issue..

    The science of the JCPOA is not in question..

    The opinion of those scientists on the JCPOA is as relevant as the opinion of the Ballet Teachers Of America....

    So, you're saying that the scientists with expertise in nuclear physics and non-proliferation have no standing on the Iran nuclear deal and that the science dealt with in the JCPOA has only to do with what makes Iran tick, so to speak. Heh.

    That's exactly what I am saying...

    Because there is nothing about nuclear physics that is in dispute in the JCPOA...

    And the question of proliferation has already been answered..

    The JCPOA is already causing nuclear proliferation in the region..

    As the statements from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey attest to...

    Michale

  145. [145] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As the statements from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey attest to...

    You must distinguish between statements and actions. They don't always match up, you know. :)

  146. [146] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    To Elizabeth Miller,

    You were right - I found that article very interesting! I've bookmarked it for future reference. Excellent site too. Thank you.

    I can't offer as good an article but you may find this interesting: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/technical-experts-weigh-and-theyre-pretty-impressed-iran-deal

  147. [147] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're welcome!

    And, the article you cite demonstrates how the critical thinking process works - experts are skeptical about the possibility of negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran; and, if a deal is reached, skeptical that it can be effectively monitored and verified; and, then, the knowledgeable skeptics actually read the deal and discover, to their pleasant surprise, that the JCPOA accomplishes everything it set out to do!

  148. [148] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-93 "ALL the JCPOA does is kick the can down the road a bit.."

    Life is one big exercise in kicking the can down the road. You're bombing Hanoi in the '60s, but in 2015 Nike makes your running shoes there.

    "That's it... That's ALL it does.."

    So let's keep dancing. Blessed are the skilled can kickers, who give us an Earth to inherit.

  149. [149] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz - 142

    The FP article was interesting, including the speculation that Schumer, his public positioning notwithstanding, may be in on the deal to get JCPOA past Congress (see comment 48).

  150. [150] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    Well, I'm still trying to figure out what precisely it will take to override a presidential veto.

    So, I need your help ...

    To override the veto, I understand that both houses of Congress must vote to override. Now, in the senate, I understand that it will take 66 senators (or is it 67) to override. However, I'm not sure what is needed in the House ... it is also two-thirds of the members or just a simple majority?

  151. [151] 
    dsws wrote:

    It appears that you are completely unaware of the relevant expertise of the five authors of the letter

    Indeed, I was responding specifically to your comment, which presented them as authoritative simply as scientists. Had you presented them (as TheStig's link did) as an "arms control expert" and a "former director of Los Alamos", I would have had no objection. An expert on arms control is exactly the kind of person I consider an authority on arms control. The director of a comparable project also has relevant expertise: he has experience in stuff like arranging the logistics and maintaining confidentiality of the project, so he knows something about what it would take for them to do it secretly; at the level of director, he also has to deal with the politics of it.

    in the House ... it is also two-thirds of the members or just a simple majority?

    Two thirds in the House as well. http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#a1_sec7

  152. [152] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks.

  153. [153] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Getting off-off topic and returning to the debates, it's beginning to look to me like the GOP Establishment is actively looking to regurgitate The Trump from their body politic. Vomiting is messy, so you tend to put it off as long as you can, but sooner or later, you're running to the bathroom and burying your head in the porcelain bowl.

    The GOP is still in the desperate and ungainly "running to the bathroom" phase, but if events follow the analogy, they don't ever turn back! Greasy pork chops known as scientific polling probably didn't agree with them.

    Right, lets get it over with! Discard soiled items, do a quick wash up, comb the hair into place and set game face to "Party On!" Professionals will clean up any additional muck on the platform.

    Trump will soldier on to election day, he is having fun, has plenty of money to spend and is building his latest brand.

  154. [154] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, I guess I just made another dangerous assumption when I said scientists without qualifying them assuming that I wouldn't be highlighting a letter from a bunch of biologists when discussing a nuclear deal with Iran.

  155. [155] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trump will soldier on to election day, he is having fun, has plenty of money to spend and is building his latest brand.

    ...a brand, by the way, which has nothing to do with being POTUS. Because, that's the last thing he wants.

    Well said, TS.

  156. [156] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz, my comment wasn't directed at you, but it was directed at the press and public who have ignored the 29 resumes. That ignorance has been used to promote a "what do these egg heads know" meme. That meme is already in my E-mail inbox, shunted automatically to the dimwit file which I empty about once a week.

    When it comes to nuclear physics, nuclear engineering and their implications to arms control, the 29 know quite a lot. As opposed to say, the writers of Star Trek circa 1960's.

  157. [157] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  158. [158] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, TS, my comment was directed at dsws... the only one, I think, who thought I was talking about middle school science teachers ... :)

  159. [159] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz- 150

    Override requires 2/3 majority in both houses.

  160. [160] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Got it ... thanks!

  161. [161] 
    Michale wrote:

    You must distinguish between statements and actions. They don't always match up, you know. :)

    But in the here and now, we can only go by statements..

    Now, if your defense of the non-proliferation aspects of the JCPOA is, "Well, they won't REALLY do it" then OK...

    But that is just supposition...

    The fact is that the JCPOA has created the intent for nuclear proliferation...

    TS,

    So let's keep dancing. Blessed are the skilled can kickers, who give us an Earth to inherit.

    Fine.. As long as it's agreed that the JCPOA is not a solution, but rather just a delay...

    Michale

  162. [162] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless of all of that, it's a simple fact that, if a GOP POTUS had pushed this deal, ya'all would be against it...

    Ya'll would scream hysterically about making deals with Iran, a country that executes gay people and is the sponsor of terrorism...

    That's why I have to view everything ya'all say, every 'fact' ya'all give thru the prism of the knowledge that it's only because it's a DEM POTUS that ya'all support it..

    Michale

  163. [163] 
    Michale wrote:

    Fine.. As long as it's agreed that the JCPOA is not a solution, but rather just a delay...

    Just a delay that leads to the inevitable..

    A nuclear armed Iran..

    THAT is what the JCPOA guarantees...

    Michale

  164. [164] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's why I have to view everything ya'all say, every 'fact' ya'all give thru the prism of the knowledge that it's only because it's a DEM POTUS that ya'all support it..

    That's not why I support it. CW doesn't think we're a bunch of idiots but, you certainly do.

    I support this deal because it is a pretty good deal and will cut off the paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon for 10 - 15 years, at the very least. Beyond that time period, Iran will still be under restrictions as a member of the NPT and also as a result of its agreement with the Additional Protocol.

    Beyond that, this unprecedented deal to restrict a country's nuclear weapons program presents many opportunities to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, in general terms, going forward.

  165. [165] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Michale, a GOP president was working towards a deal like the JCPOA and had very similar parameters for such a deal.

  166. [166] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Michale!

    If it was a GOP president pushing this JCPOA, would you be for it?

  167. [167] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But in the here and now, we can only go by statements..

    Actually, that's not true. There are many ways to ascertain whether statements made are backed up by actions.

    And, there is a certain degree of parsing that must accompany some statements, especially when those statements are politically motivated and not always based on the facts or consistent with the reality of the situation.

    Plus, we have our own critical thinking skills that help us to separate bellicose rhetoric from practical needs and capabilities. We should try to use those skills more often, especially when trying to understand the complex tactics and strategies involved with the art of diplomacy as a means to resolve complicated issues without having to chart a course toward destructive conflict.

  168. [168] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In comment #164, I concluded by saying,

    Beyond that, this unprecedented deal to restrict a country's nuclear weapons program presents many opportunities to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, in general terms, going forward.

    I think it's important to use precise language when discussing this subject so, let me rephrase that ...

    Beyond that, this unprecedented deal to restrict a country's nuclear program to strictly peaceful purposes presents many opportunities to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, in general terms, going forward.

  169. [169] 
    Michale wrote:

    Beyond that time period, Iran will still be under restrictions as a member of the NPT and also as a result of its agreement with the Additional Protocol.

    Yea, and those restrictions have worked well to date, right??

    Of course, they haven't.. Because if they had, there wouldn't be a NEED for the JCPOA...

    So, basically, Iran has MORE free reign after the JCPOA expires because their economy will be in a LOT better shape...

    By the way, Michale, a GOP president was working towards a deal like the JCPOA and had very similar parameters for such a deal.

    Reagan made a deal with Iran.. You recall the hysterical outcry from the Left??

    I do...

    Cue calls of "Well, that was different!!!"

    It was ONLY different because it was a GOP POTUS....

    Oh, and we actually got SOMETHING out of that deal without having to give Iran nuclear weapons...

    If it was a GOP president pushing this JCPOA, would you be for it?

    This deal is a bad deal regardless of who pushes.. I am the only one here who doesn't care about the -x after a person's name....

    Michale

  170. [170] 
    Michale wrote:

    I support this deal because it is a pretty good deal and will cut off the paths to an Iranian nuclear weapon for 10 - 15 years, at the very least.

    Obama promised that any deal would "dismantle" Iran's nuclear infrastructure...

    PERIOD

    Any deal that leaves Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact is, BY DEFINITION, a bad deal...

    It's all about Obama's legacy.. Nothing more...

    Michale

  171. [171] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Reagan made a deal with Iran.. You recall the hysterical outcry from the Left??

    Of course, I was speaking of President George W. Bush.

  172. [172] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in other news...

    Protesters in Ferguson MO honored the anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting by looting more stores and shooting at cops and at each other...

    Yea... BLM morons have a valid message... :^/

    NOT.....

  173. [173] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, I was speaking of President George W. Bush.,

    And I was speaking of Reagan's Iran deal that drove the Left batshit hysterical..

    But, I'll bite...

    What Bush deal are you referring to??

    Michale

  174. [174] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, I thought you knew ...

    Well, this whole JCPOA business was hatched under the Bush II administration.

    Wonders never cease, eh? :)

  175. [175] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 161

    I don't accept the ultimate outcome of the delay is a nuke armed Iran. If the agreement holds up it could be extended and even elevated to treaty status. Iranian leadership could decide the power and prestige of an expanded economy is far greater than the power and prestige of some doomsday devices and a hobbled economy. I do not consider the favorable outcome outlandish or even unlikely. Leadership changes. That is a certainty as the Old Revolutionaries retire/die. Seems likely the new ones won't be as hard line, if for no other reason than they don't carry the old mental baggage and they like Western products at low prices.

    Even if Iran breaks the agreement, or lets the agreement time out in 15 yrs or so, the Iranian timetable to a demonstration device will be set back. Infrastructure will have to be rebuilt, in terms of physical assets and the trained staff needed to make the assets work again. Simply put school gets you ready to work, but you only become proficient on the job.

    The US, Europe and Israel are not prohibited from taking concrete steps to deal with the contingency of Iran going nuclear. Israel for example might want to develop a sea launched ballistic missile for their subs. It might want to build or acquire some nuclear boats that can stay hidden in deep ocean. That would probably require some "unconventional basing arrangements.....

    I could go on, but the point is that delay can be a good thing if time buys you better options. String enough delays together and you get a situation called peace.

    You consistently overestimate the risks of the deal (Israel dead p=1) and underestimate the probability of success at zero. You never specify an alternative other than the status quo or a vague notion of some sort of preemptive strike by somebody.

  176. [176] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz - 174

    That's nothing. The Wizard gave Dick Cheney a real heart! Dubya only got a paint set. Obama got a Peace Prize (that last one is for M).

  177. [177] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    This deal is a bad deal regardless of who pushes.. I am the only one here who doesn't care about the -x after a person's name....

    Okay, I can appreciate that that is your opinion.

    What I can't appreciate, and don't understand, is why you refuse to allow that the rest of us who support the JCPOA would support this deal regardless of who is pushing it, whether he be a Republican president, a Democrat president or an Independent president.

    In other words, those of us who believe this is a good deal, regardless of who pushes it, do not care about the -x after a person's name ...

    To be even clearer, if President George W. Bush had continued on the track his administration was at least nominally on, and he ended up with the JCPOA we now have or something very similar, then I, for one, would heartily support it as I support the deal we have now.

    Am I making any sense?

  178. [178] 
    dsws wrote:

    And, I guess I just made another dangerous assumption when I said scientists without qualifying them assuming that I wouldn't be highlighting a letter from a bunch of biologists when discussing a nuclear deal with Iran.

    People do that. They pick a position based on political affiliation, find a bunch of people who agree, sort out some who have something that sounds like a qualification, and publicize it. I expect you to get it right. (You'll note that there are some people I don't bother to pick nits with, because I don't expect them to be in the right ballpark to begin with.) But I've seen the trope enough for it to annoy me.

  179. [179] 
    dsws wrote:

    In other words, those of us who believe this is a good deal, regardless of who pushes it, do not care about the -x after a person's name

    I should admit that if a proposal is backed heavily by one major party and received tepidly by the other, I will be inclined to suspect that it furthers an agenda in line with the favoring party's views.

  180. [180] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    Duly noted. :)

    Thank-you and sorry for so quickly jumping to misguided conclusions.

  181. [181] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    I should admit that if a proposal is backed heavily by one major party and received tepidly by the other, I will be inclined to suspect that it furthers an agenda in line with the favoring party's views.

    Don't you think it's better to just use your own good judgement and that of people with relevant expertise, weigh the pros and cons of an issue (or nuclear agreement) and come to well-informed conclusions, understanding that it is possible that the agenda being pushed sometimes may represent the best course of action, all politics aside.

  182. [182] 
    Michale wrote:

    What I can't appreciate, and don't understand, is why you refuse to allow that the rest of us who support the JCPOA would support this deal regardless of who is pushing it, whether he be a Republican president, a Democrat president or an Independent president.

    Iran Contra....

    To be even clearer, if President George W. Bush had continued on the track his administration was at least nominally on, and he ended up with the JCPOA we now have or something very similar, then I, for one, would heartily support it as I support the deal we have now.

    Am I making any sense?

    Not really..

    I saw how the Left reacted on Abu Ghraib...

    To say that ANYONE here would have supported Bush on ANYTHING stretches credulity to the breaking point and far beyond...

    I should admit that if a proposal is backed heavily by one major party and received tepidly by the other, I will be inclined to suspect that it furthers an agenda in line with the favoring party's views.

    ding ding ding ding....

    We have a winner!!!

    And throw in a messianic demo-god like Obama into the mix and all logic goes out the window..

    :D

    Michale

  183. [183] 
    Michale wrote:

    You consistently overestimate the risks of the deal (Israel dead p=1) and underestimate the probability of success at zero. You never specify an alternative other than the status quo or a vague notion of some sort of preemptive strike by somebody.

    That's because I have been there and done that and live in the REAL world.. Not the hopey-changey world where everyone is EXCELLENT to each other.

    Iran is the NUMBER ONE sponsor of terrorism..

    Iran EXECUTES gay people SOLELY for their lifestyle..

    How ANYONE who thinks clearly and has more than two brain cells to rub together can think that this will actually be a good thing is beyond me...

    Ya'all can't support a deal with Republicans whatsoever and vilify them to hell and back..

    Yet ya'all can jump into bed with a country who executes gay people??

    The logic is clear...

    Party loyalty... Party Uber Alles...

    Michale

  184. [184] 
    Michale wrote:

    Don't you think it's better to just use your own good judgement and that of people with relevant expertise, weigh the pros and cons of an issue (or nuclear agreement) and come to well-informed conclusions, understanding that it is possible that the agenda being pushed sometimes may represent the best course of action, all politics aside.

    Very VERY few people CAN put "politics aside"..

    That is exactly my point..

    Michale

  185. [185] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news..

    A.I. Thee Wed
    Humans should be able to marry robots.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/08/humans_should_be_able_to_marry_robots.single.html

    I think a few someones owe someone else an apology around here.. :D

    Michale

  186. [186] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://youtu.be/gOCh5UEBkxg

    Yea, we can deal with Iran..

    They are the good guys..

    It's ISRAEL who are the bad guys...

    Michale

  187. [187] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look at the "logic" of ya'all's position..

    Ya'all claim that continuing sanctions would NOT have worked..

    Yet, you also claim that, if Iran cheats, those same (according to ya'all) "useless" sanctions will "snap back".

    So, which is it??

    Either sanctions will work or they won't...

    There also is no post-JCPOA plan to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power.. Just vague "Oh, we'll think of something"...

    Yea.. Like THAT is something strong enough to hang the security of an entire region of allies on.. :^/

    The JCPOA is a bad deal..

    It won't prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons..

    It WILL guarantee nuclear proliferation in the most volatile region on the planet.

    "These are the facts. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain 'Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale

  188. [188] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Yet ya'all can jump into bed with a country who executes gay people??"

    So are you now going to start advocating that we cut off all relations with both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on that basis also? Not to mention any number of African nations like Nigeria and Sudan also?

    "Iran is the NUMBER ONE sponsor of terrorism.."

    Last time I looked, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, plus the various Al Qaeda and ISIS inspired affiliates in Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, etc. were all Sunni groups inspired by Wahhabism.

    Saudi Arabia is the NUMBER ONE sponsor of terrorism through its extensive network of fundamentalist Islamic schools.

  189. [189] 
    Michale wrote:

    So are you now going to start advocating that we cut off all relations with both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on that basis also? Not to mention any number of African nations like Nigeria and Sudan also?

    Maybe... Maybe not..

    But I am SURE not going to jump into bed with them on a deal that will give them nuclear weapons..

    But we're not talking about me..

    We're talking about Left Wingers who CLAIM to support the gay community, yet actively support a deal with a country that executes gay people.

    I am asking ya'all to explain the hypocrisy..

    Not cast around a net for others...

    We can get to Saudi and Nigeria when we're finished with Iran...

    Saudi Arabia is the NUMBER ONE sponsor of terrorism through its extensive network of fundamentalist Islamic schools.

    That's a very tenuous connection..

    Iran's support is a lot more immediate and a lot more contemporary...

    Even Obama himself stated that the money Iran gets from the JCPOA will likely go to groups that kill Americans and other innocent people..

    Michale

  190. [190] 
    Michale wrote:

    We're talking about Left Wingers who CLAIM to support the gay community, yet actively support a deal with a country that executes gay people.

    In other words, Left Wingers who are saying, "The Ends (Obama's Legacy) Justifies The Means (Supporting A Nation That Executes Gay People)"

    Michale

  191. [191] 
    Michale wrote:

    So are you now going to start advocating that we cut off all relations with both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on that basis also?

    For the record, I am not advocating cutting off relations with Iran.... I just don't think we should facilitate their nuclear program with a large UBER LARGE infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars..

    If your messiah wants to do business with Iran and ya'all want to support him in that, so be it.

    I am just commenting on the blatant hypocrisy of how ya'all say on the one hand that you support the gay community yet on the other hand you want Iran as a partner...

    It makes absolutely NO SENSE, unless one takes into account Party Loyalty..

    At that point, it makes perfect sense..

    Michale

  192. [192] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I am SURE not going to jump into bed with them on a deal that will give them nuclear weapons..

    At least, I wasn't pre-JCPOA...

    Now that the US is allowing our enemy to develop nuclear weapons, it's only fair that we allow our allies to develop nuclear weapons as well...

    Fair is fair...

    Michale

  193. [193] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember..

    "We arm the hill people with the exact same kinds of weapons."</B.
    -Captain James T. Kirk, STAR TREK, A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR

  194. [194] 
    dsws wrote:

    Don't you think it's better to just use your own good judgement and that of people with relevant expertise, weigh the pros and cons of an issue (or nuclear agreement) and come to well-informed conclusions

    Ideally, yes of course. But there are more questions than one can devote that kind of effort to, and neutral experts can be hard to find. Everyone pushing an agenda has an incentive to pass their experts off as neutral, whether they really are or not. Practically, I think it often makes more sense to start with the positions of one's own political side, and examine them critically.

  195. [195] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    dsws,

    Ideally, yes of course. But there are more questions than one can devote that kind of effort to, and neutral experts can be hard to find.

    Well, I just entirely disagree with that assertion.

    Of course, if a person does not possess critical thinking skills and has not developed good judgement, then yes, it can be difficult to know who to trust.

    One must also be well aware of the pros and cons surrounding at least the top critical issues of the day and be equipped with the requisite ability to judge what the best course of action is on these issues.

    I guess I am lucky in that regard and I have a list of people - politicians, analysts, experts - who I go to on a very regular basis, on any number of issues, to get their take and develop my own.

    Generally speaking, I start with my own views, narrowly informed as some of them may be. And, then I do a lot of reading and listening - to the people I mentioned above and I will also seek out the views of those with opposing positions to see if any of that makes sense.

    None of this is easy, but it is hardly true to say that it is only an ideal situation when this kind of analysis can happen.

  196. [196] 
    Michale wrote:

    Practically, I think it often makes more sense to start with the positions of one's own political side, and examine them critically.

    "Exxceellllant"
    -Mr Burns..

    " Hey, Commander. Listen, we found some beryllium on a nearby planet. And we might be able to get there if we reconfigure the solar matrix in parallel for endothermic propulsion. What'd'ya think?"
    "Let's do that!"

    -Galaxy Quest

    :D

  197. [197] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "I am just commenting on the blatant hypocrisy of how ya'all say on the one hand that you support the gay community yet on the other hand you want Iran as a partner..."

    Not at all. The best way to change Iranian policy on gays is to have more open, unfettered contact with America, not less. Nothing will subvert Iranian theocracy faster than to have American culture infiltrate and be widely available to Iranian youth. :-D

    After all, didn't the same thing eventually happen across the Iron Curtain? The Soviet Union was doomed once McDonald's and Pepsi started appearing in Moscow.

  198. [198] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not at all. The best way to change Iranian policy on gays is to have more open, unfettered contact with America, not less. Nothing will subvert Iranian theocracy faster than to have American culture infiltrate and be widely available to Iranian youth. :-D

    Iranian youth tried that in 2009.. Obama hung them out to dry..

    You think they are going to fall for the same trick again!??

    "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me",?B>
    -Scotty, STARTREK, Friday's Child

    After all, didn't the same thing eventually happen across the Iron Curtain? The Soviet Union was doomed once McDonald's and Pepsi started appearing in Moscow.

    That's a load of crap...

    The Soviet Union was doomed because they could not keep their economy going after US military pressure..

    The SAME thing was happening in Iran until our Bozo POTUS threw the Iranian Mullahs a lifeline..

    Michale

  199. [199] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww carp!!!!

  200. [200] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wow.. 200 comments!! :D

    Haven't seen 200 around these parts in quite a while... :D

    Michale

  201. [201] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The Soviet Union was doomed because they could not keep their economy going after US military pressure.."

    Military pressure certainly played a role. But revolutions took place in those nations because people wanted full supermarkets, Western style consumerism, and entertainment other than "Boy riding a tractor rescues girl on collective farm" movie. Wanting to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" without fear of being arrested made a much bigger impact than whether America had 500 missiles or 600 missiles once they were exposed to that.

    Do you really think the Cuban government is going to survive under the tidal wave onslaught of American tourists, cruise ships, businessmen and rich American relatives that will descend on the island if the embargo is ever fully lifted???

    "Iranian youth tried that in 2009.. Obama hung them out to dry.."

    That was an attempt at a political revolution, without majority support, not the social revolution I am talking about which needs to come first.

    Look at China. They have bought American consumerism lock, stock and barrel. Going from; bicycles to cars, Mao jackets to Christian Dior, and even copying the American interstate highway system. Tiananmen Square was just too early. Another earthquake is coming and it will be permanent.

  202. [202] 
    Michale wrote:

    Military pressure certainly played a role. But revolutions took place in those nations because people wanted full supermarkets, Western style consumerism, and entertainment other than "Boy riding a tractor rescues girl on collective farm" movie. Wanting to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" without fear of being arrested made a much bigger impact than whether America had 500 missiles or 600 missiles once they were exposed to that.

    And look at Russia now.... Kinda kills yer theory.. :D

    Look at China. They have bought American consumerism lock, stock and barrel. Going from; bicycles to cars, Mao jackets to Christian Dior, and even copying the American interstate highway system. Tiananmen Square was just too early. Another earthquake is coming and it will be permanent.

    Many said that about Iran's Green revolution...

    Didn't happen..

    Keep in mind, the hundreds of billions we are giving Iran ain't going to the people...

    They are going for nuclear weapons... terrorism... ballistic missiles... Weapons of war..

    "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.."
    -Toby Keith

  203. [203] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, since it's been universally stated that sanctions don't/won't work, Iran is free to ignore the JCPOA because there is nothing to threaten them with for non-compliance...

  204. [204] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And look at Russia now.... Kinda kills yer theory.. :D"

    Not at all. Just the opposite. Russia is run by oligarchies now - a small group of monopolistic capitalist businessmen. Moscow department stores are full of Western goods.

    "Many said that about Iran's Green revolution...

    Didn't happen.."

    Hasn't happened YET. Doesn't mean it is not going to eventually. Iran has not really been penetrated yet by the full force of Western culture and technology.

    "Keep in mind, the hundreds of billions we are giving Iran ain't going to the people..."

    I am not talking exclusively about money. I am talking about access to the Western internet, and especially music, movies, and consumer goods flooding store shelves.

  205. [205] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Personally, I think sanctions on Iran were about to spectacularly fail to the point I'm surprised that Russia even joined the negotiations. That's the curse of abusing sanctions to solve problems. It creates annoying bedfellows. You can't have sanctions with Iran and Russia at the same time. They are too close geographically. Either Putin breaks Iran sanctions just to give the US and Europe the middle finger or whatever forces patrol the Caspian sea look the other way while a healthy black market flourishes.

  206. [206] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not at all. Just the opposite. Russia is run by oligarchies now - a small group of monopolistic capitalist businessmen. Moscow department stores are full of Western goods.

    And the people are just as locked down and lacking in freedom as they were under the USSR.. And now Putin is eyeing eastern europe...

    Hasn't happened YET. Doesn't mean it is not going to eventually. Iran has not really been penetrated yet by the full force of Western culture and technology.

    And how many people have to die before your "yet" actually happens, if it happens at all??

    Do you HONESTLY think that the Ayatollahs will be thrown out of power??

    I am not talking exclusively about money. I am talking about access to the Western internet, and especially music, movies, and consumer goods flooding store shelves.

    And, if that doesn't happen??

    We just gave Iran hundreds of billions and an approved nuclear weapons program in 10-15 years..

    Seriously.. How can ANYONE think this is a good deal??

    Iran is free to continue terrorism, continue to execute people, continue to hold Americans hostage..

    And no one says "BOO" because no one wants to upset Obama's legacy...

    Nice....

  207. [207] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, as I said, it's universally agreed by ya'all that sanctions won't/don't work...

    So, what's to stop Iran from cheating on the JCPOA??

    Not a damn thing..

    Michale

  208. [208] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting...

    The mass exodus into Iran to do business with the regime reminds some people of the great business rush when businesses rushed in to do business with the Third Reich...

    But, it's OK.. We can trust Iran...

    It's not as if Iran is the world's sponsor of terrorism and execute people for being gay...

    Oh... wait....

    Michale

  209. [209] 
    Michale wrote:

    Crane manufactures are rushing into IRAN to do business...

    http://sjfm.us/temp/iran.jpg

    Because it's a booming market.... :^/

    Michale

  210. [210] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 208

    Strictly speaking, you exodus out of a place, like Egypt and illegally immigrate into a place, like Sinai. Once over the border, you wander. You cross paths with a shepherd You ask directions. "Where the heck are we?" The word spreads of a new nation: the Hekahwee. That joke is 3000 yrs. old.

    Just trying to cheer up the NSA intern (Daryl) that has to screen these 200 + comments, mostly off topic.

  211. [211] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  212. [212] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just trying to cheer up the NSA intern (Daryl) that has to screen these 200 + comments, mostly off topic.

    That's what Fridays are for!! :D

    Michale

  213. [213] 
    Michale wrote:

    This one's for you ...

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2270925/read-an-open-letter-from-retired-generals-and.pdf

    Wouldn't be the first time the military was wrong.. :D Did you notice that those military people you quote made no mention of sanctions... That they stated that war was the only way to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons..

    I agree with their assessment...

    According to ya'all sanctions don't/won't work...

    Ergo, the ONLY way to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear arsenal is by overt/covert war...

    Since it is universally agreed that this is the case, what sense does it make to give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars to beef up it's conventional arms and terrorist armies??

    Those military members who wrote that are basically stating that it's perfectly acceptable to give hundreds of billions of dollars to an enemy that we will go to war against within the next decade..

    No military person with more than two brain cells to rub together would make such a claim..

    This is serving a political agenda.. It only has Obama's legacy in mind.

    Not the safety and security of this country..

    Michale

  214. [214] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, if you want to play dueling experts....

    “We’re witnessing a new great game, and Obama is so self-centered he keeps playing solitaire. Obama simply doesn’t understand that the world is full of dictators who seek to checkmate America. What he sees as compromise; they see as weakness to exploit.”
    -Michael Rubin, Expert On Rogue Regimes

    My experts can beat up your experts.. :D

    Let's face the facts..

    In this discussion, "expert" is a code-word for "saying what we want to hear"

    Am I wrong?? :D

    Michale

  215. [215] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Am I wrong?? :D

    "Absolutely, positively, unequivocally ... and, I mean that sincerely, I'm not trying to be facetious, here."

  216. [216] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Absolutely, positively, unequivocally ... and, I mean that sincerely, I'm not trying to be facetious, here."

    As with any POLITICAL question (which is all the JCPOA is) there are "experts" on both sides of the issue.. Each expert's opinion is as valid as any other expert's opinion..

    For me, the overriding factor is the security of the State Of Israel..

    Ya'all MAY be right..

    It's entirely possible that the JCPOA will be the greatest thing since frozen pizza. It may garner in a golden age of wealth and prosperity and will lead DIRECTLY to the forming of the United Federation Of Planets..

    I am just not willing to bet the very survival of Israel on that... Apparently, ya'all are...

    I am also constrained to point out that none of ya'all are willing to concede that the JCPOA could possibly be the worst thing that happens to this country since Jimmy Carter...

    Michale

  217. [217] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As with any POLITICAL question (which is all the JCPOA is) there are "experts" on both sides of the issue.. Each expert's opinion is as valid as any other expert's opinion..

    This is where you go off the rails, Michale.

    Critical thinking skills allow us to distinguish between the relative validity of various expert opinions.

    There is a right side and wrong side to this issue, as there is with most issues. Unfortunately, you are so far into the wrong side that you can't even admit that there is another side, much less that it is the right side.

  218. [218] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is a right side and wrong side to this issue, as there is with most issues.

    Yes, there is..

    But the problem that ya'all have, the problem that Obama shares, is that ya'all are assuming ignorance or nefarious motives for the ones who disagree with ya'all...

    A person CAN come to a logical and rational conclusion that differs from ya'all's and NOT be an evil war-monger...

    Ya'all are wrong about the JCPOA.. I know ya'all are wrong..

    But I would not ascribe evil intent to the way ya'all came to your conclusion..

    Ya'all are loyal to the President.. There is nothing evil in that...

    Matter of fact, it's honorable in a way...

    It's just misplaced... Not evil..

    Michale

  219. [219] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unfortunately, you are so far into the wrong side that you can't even admit that there is another side, much less that it is the right side.

    It's entirely possible that the JCPOA will be the greatest thing since frozen pizza. It may garner in a golden age of wealth and prosperity and will lead DIRECTLY to the forming of the United Federation Of Planets..

    I can readily and easily admit that ya'all may be right and I may be wrong....

    Can ya'all admit the same?? Can ya'all admit that I may be right about the JCPOA, that all the congress critters voting against the JCPOA may be right and that YA'ALL may be wrong?

    I doubt it.. :D

    Michale

  220. [220] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, you are wrong on your assessment of the JCPOA and you are wrong to be calling for Congress to disapprove of it.

  221. [221] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, you are wrong on your assessment of the JCPOA and you are wrong to be calling for Congress to disapprove of it.

    That's your opinion and I respect that..

    But it's ONLY one of many MANY opinions..

    Ask yourself one question...

    Why is Netanyahu so opposed to the JCPOA...

    If the JCPOA actually enhances the security of Israel as you claim, then Netanyahu would be a FOOL to oppose it.. Or he hates Israel and wants to see it destroyed..

    You can say many things about BiBi, but you CAN'T claim he is a fool and his devotion and patriotism for Israel is beyond reproach.. As evidenced by his clear and decisive victory in the last Israeli election...

    Given that, the ONLY possible conclusion is that Netanyahu honestly and truly believes that the JCPOA is a threat to Israel..

    And, given Israel proximity to Iran and the nature of the threat that a nuclear armed Iran poses to Israel, I will trust Bibi's assessment over the assessment of a bunch of administration clowns looking out for Obama's ego...

    Michale

  222. [222] 
    Michale wrote:
  223. [223] 
    Michale wrote:

    “This is one of the most important debates of our time, one with huge implications for our future and security and the stability of the world. Yet instead of attempting to persuade Americans on the merits, supporters of the deal are resorting to intimidation and demonization, while also grossly overstating their case.”
    -Michael Bloomberg

    As does this.....

    Michale

  224. [224] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Why is Netanyahu so opposed to the JCPOA...

    Because he has used the Iranian boogey man to get him in to power for the last three decades. Considering he has predicted Iran will get a nuke in anywhere from a few years to a single year many times over the last thirty years, his validity on the subject is a bit suspect...

  225. [225] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    You can say many things about BiBi, but you CAN'T claim he is a fool and his devotion and patriotism for Israel is beyond reproach.. As evidenced by his clear and decisive victory in the last Israeli election...

    No, he is a politician. And his "decisive" victory was the smallest coalition possible under the Israeli system...

  226. [226] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And, given Israel proximity to Iran and the nature of the threat that a nuclear armed Iran poses to Israel, I will trust Bibi's assessment over the assessment of a bunch of administration clowns looking out for Obama's ego...

    Ah, so you are more interested in Bibi's ego than an American's ego. Got it.

  227. [227] 
    Michale wrote:

    cause he has used the Iranian boogey man to get him in to power for the last three decades. Considering he has predicted Iran will get a nuke in anywhere from a few years to a single year many times over the last thirty years, his validity on the subject is a bit suspect...

    OK... OK.....

    So, since the Global Warming Fanatics have been predicting gloom and doom for more than a decade and NONE of it has come to pass then, by your own admission, the validity of the fanatics and scientists and administration is "a bit suspect"

    Is that the argument you want to make?? :D

    No, he is a politician. And his "decisive" victory was the smallest coalition possible under the Israeli system...

    His victory was decisive because EVERYONE thought he would lose and lose big..

    That's decisive...

    Ah, so you are more interested in Bibi's ego than an American's ego. Got it.

    I am not interested in ANYONE's ego.

    THAT'S my point...

    Obama is pushing this, SOLELY for his legacy...

    Netanyahu is fighting it for the survival of his country...

    That's the long and short of it..

    Michale

  228. [228] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, he is a politician.

    And Obama ain't????

    Michale

  229. [229] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    So, since the Global Warming Fanatics have been predicting gloom and doom for more than a decade and NONE of it has come to pass then, by your own admission, the validity of the fanatics and scientists and administration is "a bit suspect"

    And just how many times do I have to disprove this bullshit?

    That's decisive...

    No. Unexpected maybe, but not in any way decisive. You might want to check a dictionary on that one...

    I am not interested in ANYONE's ego.

    THAT'S my point...

    Oh, please. Love him or hate him, Netanyahu pulled some serious sleaze during his last election. If he had been from the American left we would have had pages and pages of embolden text from you crying the end of the world. It would have gone on for days, but because you support him, not a peep. I guess you are not as independent and you pretend to be...

    Netanyahu is fighting it for the survival of his country...

    No, he is fighting to stay in power.

  230. [230] 
    Michale wrote:

    And just how many times do I have to disprove this bullshit?

    Just once... :D

    Give me a Global Warming model/prediction that actually happened...

    No. Unexpected maybe, but not in any way decisive. You might want to check a dictionary on that one...

    Toe-MAY-toe, Poe-TAA-toe...

    It's decisive...

    No, he is fighting to stay in power.

    That's your opinion.. Apparently, it's not the opinion shared by the Israelis...

    Michale

  231. [231] 
    Michale wrote:

    Give me a Global Warming model/prediction that actually happened...

    Remember when the fanatics claimed that hurricanes would become more numerous??

    CONUS hasn't seen a major hurricane strike in almost a DECADE!!

    I could go on and on and on and on and on and on about the failed and totally WRONG predictions from the Human Caused Global Warming morons..

    You can't even come up with ONE accurate prediction.. One model that was accurate...

    So, by your OWN words, all the so-called "science" of the Human Caused Global Warming morons are "a bit suspect"...

    Michale

  232. [232] 
    Michale wrote:

    223 months without any Global Warming....

    Yea, the Human Caused Global Warming morons have got it going on!!

    NOT!!!!!!

  233. [233] 
    Michale wrote:

    So.....

    Maybe.... JUST maybe....

    Past performance is NOT indicative of future events...

    Eh??? Eh???

    Michale

  234. [234] 
    Michale wrote:

    The final analysis of the deal is this..

    A deal that empowers and strengthens a regime that wants to wipe Israel off the map, a regime that executes gay people, a regime that is the WORLD's sponsor of terrorism...

    On WHAT planet is THAT a "good deal"???

    Michale

  235. [235] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Why is Netanyahu so opposed to the JCPOA.

    Why was Netanyahu one of the biggest boosters of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq ... you know, the war that empowered Iran.

  236. [236] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why was Netanyahu one of the biggest boosters of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq ...

    Many Democrats were as much "boosters" as Netanyahu...

    A fact that ya'all conveniently forget when the subject comes up..

    you know, the war that empowered Iran.

    Fair enough..

    The JCPOA is as much of a bonehead stoopid and moronic mistake as the Iraq War...

    I can agree with that...

    Michale

  237. [237] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in other news...

    Indians say EPA trying to swindle them in mine spill
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/12/indians-say-epa-trying-swindle-them-mine-spill/

    Obama's EPA is trying to stick it to American Indians...

    Michale

  238. [238] 
    Michale wrote:

    Iran to Fire Missiles in War Drills
    Firing of missiles follows war games with Russia

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-to-fire-missiles-in-war-drills/

    What does Iran care??

    The US is funding a massive replenishment of Iranian offensive military hardware....

    They can shoot off whatever they want to now....

    Michale

  239. [239] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Just once... :D

    Give me a Global Warming model/prediction that actually happened...

    Ya...already have posted it numerous times.

    That's your opinion.. Apparently, it's not the opinion shared by the Israelis...

    You mean the 25% that voted for him?

    Remember when the fanatics claimed that hurricanes would become more numerous??

    I follow the science not the fanatics, sorry...

    CONUS hasn't seen a major hurricane strike in almost a DECADE!!

    Other than last week? Remember climate change is global and typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes are the same thing just in different parts of the world.

    I could go on and on and on and on and on and on about the failed and totally WRONG predictions from the Human Caused Global Warming morons..

    And you have ad nausium. But never back any of it up interestingly enough...

    So, by your OWN words, all the so-called "science" of the Human Caused Global Warming morons are "a bit suspect"...

    Willful ignorance? I said no such thing. And I provided examples of computer climate models that were pretty dam close to actual events. Numerous times.

    223 months without any Global Warming....

    Please back this up. Asking for the umteenth time...

  240. [240] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya...already have posted it numerous times.

    No, you haven't. You asked me to be specific about what constitutes an "accurate" prediction and I told you the question speaks for itself..

    But you never came up with a single model or prediction that was accurate..

    Remember when the fanatics claimed that hurricanes would become more numerous??

    I follow the science not the fanatics, sorry...

    Nice dodge...

    In this case, the fanatics and the scientists were one and the same..

    The "science" said that we were to have many more and more violent hurricanes due to Human Caused Global Warming..

    The "science" was wrong..

    I could go on and on and on about ALL the wrong predictions that your "science" has made...

    But you can't come up with a single accurate prediction or model..

    EVERYTHING your "science" has predicted about Human Caused Global Warming has been WRONG...

    And you have ad nausium. But never back any of it up interestingly enough...

    Actually I have backed EVERYTHING up.. And it's usually when you drop out of the debate...

    Willful ignorance? I said no such thing. And I provided examples of computer climate models that were pretty dam close to actual events. Numerous times.

    Not once...

    223 months without any Global Warming....

    Please back this up. Asking for the umteenth time...

    I'll play by your rules..

    What would you consider valid "backing up"??

    :D

    Michale

  241. [241] 
    Michale wrote:

    – The name ‘Global Warming’ was changed to ‘Climate Change’ when it became obvious the atmosphere had stopped warming. This suits the agenda greatly, as the name ‘Climate Change’ cannot be falsified. The ‘climate’ always changes. Hence, any metric can be used to prove their theory: hot, cold, wet, dry, drought, flood. Therefore as a ‘science’, the theory of “climate change” is a null-hypothesis. i.e pseudo-science.

    If you have to "market" your science, guess what??

    It ain't science..

    It's faith...

    :D

    Michale

  242. [242] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless of all that, you postulated that, because BiBi has been wrong to date about Iran, then he must be completely wrong about Iran..

    That surely applies to the Human Caused Global Warming religion as well..

    Either past performance is indicative of future events..

    Or it is not...

    Michale

  243. [243] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    No, you haven't. You asked me to be specific about what constitutes an "accurate" prediction and I told you the question speaks for itself..

    In other words you half assed it to remain in willful ignorance.

    But you never came up with a single model or prediction that was accurate..

    Is that possible? If you can't define what constitutes accurate, then nothing is.

    In this case, the fanatics and the scientists were one and the same..

    Bullshit. There is a huge difference between a scientific paper and the generally poor science reporting. Which are you referring to?

    But you can't come up with a single accurate prediction or model..

    I have but we have determined you half assed around it. The other point I brought up is many models underestimated the effects of climate change. What about those?

    Actually I have backed EVERYTHING up.. And it's usually when you drop out of the debate...

    Wew! the levels of bullshit from that statement is making it a bit stinky around here...

    I'll play by your rules..

    What would you consider valid "backing up"??

    Ocean and atmospheric temperature measurements from organizations that have the tools to do so would be a good start.

    If you have to "market" your science, guess what??

    It ain't science..

    It's faith...

    And if you have to dance around the science to remain willfully ignorant?

    Either past performance is indicative of future events..

    The earth is warming, just not as fast as some but not all of the computer models predicted. It may be a plateau but it's a plateau with a consistent incline. A huge difference between that and being just plain wrong...

    BiBi is a master politician. It's interesting that you criticize the left for that but not politicians that you agree with...

  244. [244] 
    Michale wrote:

    The earth is warming, just not as fast as some but not all of the computer models predicted.

    And yet, you can't find a SINGLE accurate computer model..

    There is a reason for that..

    Because *EVERY* model has been WRONG...

    It may be a plateau but it's a plateau with a consistent incline.

    So you keep saying..

    Yet, you haven't backed it up with a SINGLE piece of relevant data that is not political motivated..

    Funny how that is, eh? :D

    Michale

  245. [245] 
    Michale wrote:

    And yet, you can't find a SINGLE accurate computer model..

    There is a reason for that..

    And I can find HUNDREDS of models and predictions that have been flat out WRONG.....

    There is a reason for that as well...

    Michale

  246. [246] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And yet, you can't find a SINGLE accurate computer model..

    Is there some reason you keep repeating this lie?

    Yet, you haven't backed it up with a SINGLE piece of relevant data that is not political motivated..

    NASA and NOAA global temperature measurements are "political motivated"?

    I think I'll get off this False equivalence train and return to the original subject. If actual science is barred from the discussion it quickly become uninteresting...

  247. [247] 
    Michale wrote:

    What the hell...

    I'll be a mensch.

    I'll give you that, yes.. There MAY be a model or a prediction or two that has been accurate.. I'll give you that...

    Because it's clear that the VAST MAJORITY of predictions have been wrong.. Have failed..

    EPICLY FAILED...

    "Failed. Failed.. IMPRESSIVELY failed.."
    -Doctor, ARMAGEDDON

    So, even if you can find an accurate prediction or two out there, the simple fact is that the majority has been WRONG..

    I mean, strictly from a numbers POV, it's like:

    HUMAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING FANATICS: 2

    REAL SCIENCE REALITY: 23,265

    :D

  248. [248] 
    Michale wrote:

    NASA and NOAA global temperature measurements are "political motivated"?

    Duuuhhhh.....

    If actual science is barred from the discussion it quickly become uninteresting..</I.

    If you HAD actual science, then we could talk...

    But you don't.. You just have political spin...

    But hay, I get it..

    You want to get back to cheerleading the JCPOA and tell me how awesome it is that we're giving hundreds of billions of dollars to a regime that executes people who are of the gay lifestyle...

    By all means. Press on.. :D

    Michale

  249. [249] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Because it's clear that the VAST MAJORITY of predictions have been wrong.. Have failed..

    What does "wrong" mean? And please no "is is" meme. That's getting a little tired. Almost all of them show that there will be warming and that warming goes against natural cycles and the best explanation is a non-natural addition of CO2. When I say "best explanation" I mean if they add and compare all known factors individually to force the model, only the ones that added CO2 match the trends of the measured results of the actual climate. If you are looking for a perfect fraction of a degree prediction, that's not what the models are designed to do and if you read any of the studies to which the model was made for they will generally explicitly state such. That is why I ask for you to define what you mean by "accurate" and also why I find "the question speaks for itself.." answer so completely half assed...

  250. [250] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    If you HAD actual science, then we could talk...

    But you don't.. You just have political spin...

    But hay, I get it..

    Look in the mirror, dude. Look in the mirror...

  251. [251] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Wow...I return CONUS and was catching up of FTP (yes long delayed) and lo and behold I discover a new and exiting drinking game.

    Take a drink for everytime "executes gay people" is mentioned. .. The results are intoxicating. ...

    To touch on my "fanaticism" for a moment I will point out that the Pentagon believes global warming is a threat not only to global political stability but also to the "needs of the mission". Given that a rather prolific poster has repeatedly said "needs of the mission" are priority above all, I would ask how does he feel about the Pentagon calling for the issue to be addressed. ..

    If I have time to play I will participate but it is questionable; as tomorrow I have a MIA, JAX, MIA, next morning MIA, SFO....48 hours at home and back to the land of OPSEC... And no my project is not top secret but I did sign a contract. ..

  252. [252] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    What does "wrong" mean?

    Seriously!???

    This is why it's impossible to have an intelligent debate with you on this issue..

    Because there is no common frame of reference..

    You don't even know what "WRONG" means.. :^/

    GT,

    Take a drink for everytime "executes gay people" is mentioned. .. The results are intoxicating. ..

    If you don't think the lives of gay people are an issue, just say so..

    To touch on my "fanaticism" for a moment I will point out that the Pentagon believes global warming is a threat not only to global political stability but also to the "needs of the mission".

    Because that is what their commander in chief TOLD THEM to say...

    The Pentagon is just following orders...

    If I have time to play I will participate but it is questionable; as tomorrow I have a MIA, JAX, MIA, next morning MIA, SFO....48 hours at home and back to the land of OPSEC... And no my project is not top secret but I did sign a contract. ..

    Do you have your own private un-secured email mailserv?? :D

    Michale

  253. [253] 
    Michale wrote:

    What does "wrong" mean?

    "It just all depends on what the definition of 'is' is."

    Jeeze louise.....

    Michale

  254. [254] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, OK..

    I let sarcasm and my incredulousness get the best of me..

    What does "wrong" mean?

    It means "not right"...

    Michale

  255. [255] 
    Michale wrote:

    <I.Take a drink for everytime "executes gay people" is mentioned. .. The results are intoxicating. ..

    If you don't think the lives of gay people are an issue, just say so..

    I mean.. Back when we were discussing gay marriage, the COMFORT and FEELINGS of gay people were center stage and *THE* most important issue on the planet..

    Now, we're at a stage where it's Obama's Legacy vs the EXECUTION of gay people, NOW... All of the sudden, the lives gay people are nothing more than a drinking game..

    Iddn't it amazing how an issue can be so hysterically important to further an agenda can be reduced to not even a mention if it stands in the way of ANOTHER agenda??

    "Fascinating"
    -Spock

  256. [256] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words..

    Do #GayLivesMatter ???

    Apparently not when they are stacked up against Obama's ego... :^/

    Michale

  257. [257] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Take it easy, Michale, you're coming off as being dangerously obsessed.

  258. [258] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Michale ... did you just see the raising of the US flag at the US embassy in Havana!?

  259. [259] 
    Michale wrote:

    ake it easy, Michale, you're coming off as being dangerously obsessed.

    No.. Just frustrated at the blatant and un-addressed hypocrisy... I mean, if the execution of gay people in Iran doesn't factor into any consideration, at least state so...

    That way I can stop harping on the point...

    Hey, Michale ... did you just see the raising of the US flag at the US embassy in Havana!?

    Naw, we had a direct lightning strike on the Flea Market yesterday...

    So far, the casualty count is 5 wifi routers, 12 power packs and 3 surveillance cameras..

    And counting.. :(

    I barely have time to keep abreast of my favorite past-time..

    Ya'all!! :D

    Michale

  260. [260] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just frustrated at the blatant and un-addressed hypocrisy... I mean, if the execution of gay people in Iran doesn't factor into any consideration, at least state so...

    OK ... human rights violations by the Iranian regime are NOT a factor in the nuclear agreement with Iran. Period. Full stop.

    There are other ways to deal with Iran's nefarious non-nuclear behavior at home or in the region or in the world. Making these issues separate is NOT a form of hypocrisy.

  261. [261] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I barely have time to keep abreast of my favorite past-time..Ya'all!! :D

    Heh.

    Seriously, I hope everything at the shop is back to normal, so to speak, very soon!

    The raising of the flag was quite a moving ceremony - the three US Marines who removed the flag in 1961 and made a promise back then to return to raise it again were back there on this day to hand over the flag to active duty marines who did the honour today ...

  262. [262] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK ... human rights violations by the Iranian regime are NOT a factor in the nuclear agreement with Iran. Period. Full stop.

    Finally!!!

    Tacit agreement that the rights and welfare of gay people is taking a back seat to Obama's deal....

    Thank you...

    There are other ways to deal with Iran's nefarious non-nuclear behavior at home or in the region or in the world. Making these issues separate is NOT a form of hypocrisy.

    I disagree...

    Before the advent of the era of the JCPOA, these were VERY VERY important issues..

    Right up to the point that they stood in the way of Obama's legacy..

    Then those vitally important issues were in the way... Inconvenient...

    The raising of the flag was quite a moving ceremony - the three US Marines who removed the flag in 1961 and made a promise back then to return to raise it again were back there on this day to hand over the flag to active duty marines who did the honour today ...

    That is pretty moving, I must admit..

    Seriously, I hope everything at the shop is back to normal, so to speak, very soon!

    Me too.. Thanx... :D

    Michale

  263. [263] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Take it easy, Michale, you're coming off as being dangerously obsessed.

    Sniff* he's grown so much. Iran also executes beer drinkers but Michale chooses to fight for gays instead. He's becoming a serious lefty. So proud. :-D

  264. [264] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm afraid your assessment of the issues with Iran and how to deal with them is way off base, Michale.

  265. [265] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sniff* he's grown so much. Iran also executes beer drinkers but Michale chooses to fight for gays instead. He's becoming a serious lefty. So proud. :-D

    When it comes to saving lives, apparently Michale is more Pro-Gay than the rest of Weigantia.. :D

    I'm afraid your assessment of the issues with Iran and how to deal with them is way off base, Michale.

    Actually, considering that I am the only one here who DOESN'T think Iran can be a good partner, that makes ME the only one who DOES have the proper assessment..

    It's funny..

    Ya'll are more apt to make a deal with Iran than with Republicans....

    How did ya'all get so far out of whack with reality??? :D

    Michale

  266. [266] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Seriously!???

    This is why it's impossible to have an intelligent debate with you on this issue..

    As long as you ignore basic science that is quite true. You get all hysterical about what wrong means but still can't answer the question. How far off does a model have to be before it is "wrong"? How far off does it have to be before it "EPICLY FAILED..."? A fraction of a degree? A degree? Five degrees? Within the margin of error of the study? Which of course you read, right? "Wrong" is not necessarily bad in science. Models are made, studies are read and those involved figure out why some models were quite accurate and some far off the mark. Then they build a new set of models that are more accurate. Rinse and repeat. I think you will find, if you bothered to look at the real science rather than skeptic sites and the most hysterical science reporting available, the models have been slowing getting better and better with each generation. As I said above almost all the models show warming and can only be forced to mimic measured temperatures by adding extra CO2. That's important. That it follows the measured temperature many years after to absolute perfection, not so much. Or do you really demand that climate scientists predict El Ninos and economic recessions a decade in advance?

    As far as not trusting NASA/NOAA. What's more likely, all the countries with satellites and super computers plus all the science organizations that get access to use them are in a massive conspiracy or that you are taking a contrary position purely for sake of argument? Stick that in your Occam's razor and smoke it...

  267. [267] 
    Michale wrote:

    As long as you ignore basic science that is quite true.

    It's YOU who ignores the basic science..

    YOU only subscribe to the science that fits your agenda..

    I have already conceded ad nasuem that there is legitimate science that supports the Human Caused Global Warming theory..

    You have yet to concede that there is legitimate science that disputes the theory..

    So WHO ignores basic science??

    Michale

  268. [268] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    No.. Just frustrated at the blatant and un-addressed hypocrisy... I mean, if the execution of gay people in Iran doesn't factor into any consideration, at least state so...

    No one is going to touch this because the frequency of bring it up and the way you phrase it makes it pretty obvious you are trying to "stick it" to and get a rise out of us. Textbook example of blatant trolling. Find better bait, because this one is not working...

  269. [269] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    [267]

    Still can't answer the question?

  270. [270] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, I have readily admitted time and time again that you MAY be right..

    But you... NONE of you, can admit that ya'all MIGHT be wrong..

    So who is the narrow-minded ones who ignore basic science?? :D

    Michale

  271. [271] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one is going to touch this

    Apparently, you are wrong..

    AGAIN... :D

    Michale

  272. [272] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    So who is the narrow-minded ones who ignore basic science?? :D

    You.

  273. [273] 
    Michale wrote:

    So who is the narrow-minded ones who ignore basic science?? :D

    You.

    yea... That's yer claim..

    But the facts state otherwise.. :D

    Michale

  274. [274] 
    Michale wrote:

    As long as you can't admit you might be wrong...

    You will always lose.. :D

    Michale

  275. [275] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    yea... That's yer claim..

    But the facts state otherwise.. :D

    Might want to check your facts before throwing out accusations. I'm pretty sure I have said in a few of these climate change discussions that it was possible but highly unlikely that climate change is caused purely by non-human influenced factors...

  276. [276] 
    Michale wrote:

    Might want to check your facts before throwing out accusations. I'm pretty sure I have said in a few of these climate change discussions that it was possible but highly unlikely that climate change is caused purely by non-human influenced factors...

    Then we are in agreement..

    The science is not settled....

    That's all I need to hear. :D

    Michale

  277. [277] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I guess I only hear the complaints."
    "You don't hear anything."
    "That's not true."
    "You're right. It's not. He hears what he wants to hear."
    "So I'm right."

    -TWO AND A HALF MEN

    :D

    Michale

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