Hat Tip: BB
Watching the Obama administration trot out Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on the Sunday shows and in testimony to Congress following the consummation of what I believe will be a nuclear weapon-ensuring deal for not only the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad in Iran, but their Sunni counterparts, it should have been clear to all what a charade it was.
Moniz — an MIT physicist turned Obama administration shill — was there to provide the imprimatur of unimpeachable Science™ to the transparently deceptive deal. And who can fight with science, especially of the kind that is already settled?
In this light, I am reminded of a quote from an expert in financial markets and economic history, Jim Grant, he of the legendary Wall Street newsletter Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.
During an address delivered on June 2, 2015 to the Manhattan Institute in connection with his winning of the Hayek Prize, Grant stated:
In the 1960s, John Cowperthwaite, British governor of Hong Kong, refused to allow the collection of economic statistics lest the bureaucrats misappropriate that information in the service of governmental macroeconomic manipulation (the very word “statistics” derives from “the state”).
Such an act would be heresy today in a world in which the state, governing according to scientific principles, is the church for our progressive elites.
Cowperthwaite knew that politicians would conflate science and public policy to justify their agendas and grow their power.
For it is science that legitimates the Iran deal.
It is science that legitimates the disruption of human activity, and with it trillions of dollars in wealth through global climate regulation.
Indeed, it is science that legitimates any number of government intrusions into our daily lives.
Science ought to be celebrated. But politicians can manipulate it towards destructive ends.
Winston Churchill saw this early on when he expressed fears about the power of mass weaponry. Of course it is not the weapons that are the problem in and of themselves, but the prospect of evil people obtaining them and using them towards genocidal ends that ought to keep us awake at night.
Today America is aiding, abetting and enabling just these types of people.
In fact, as an aside, Ernest Moniz, again our Secretary of Energy, when asked about government findings on another mass weapon, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) during Congressional testimony — the use of which Iran has endorsed and for which we have yet to harden our grid — effectively pleaded ignorance.
Ernest Moniz is a fitting living embodiment of the fusion of science and state.
Perhaps to the casual observer President Obama appears cool and in control – confident of his positions and the success of his “diplomacy.” But it doesn’t take an advanced degree in psychology to figure out that he’s worried – really, really worried – about what’s going to happen at the end of the day, when Congress votes on the Iran deal, and votes again after he vetoes the Congressional rejection of the accord.
He has never been one who was, shall we say, scrupulous in presenting matters with factual accuracy. But now he has moved so far from the truth that I hope even his supporters are saying, “Wait a minute, that’s not how it is.” Just possibly, in his attempt to paint a rosy picture he is overplaying his hand – distorting reality in a way that works against him.
On Tuesday evening, he met with some 22 leaders of American Jewish organizations, in order to make his case. In the course of his presentation, he said that if Congress rejected the Iran deal, the US might be forced to attack Iran militarily. But Iran would not respond military against the US, which has superior power. Instead: “That means more support for terrorism, more Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv.”
There are a good number of things wrong with this scenario – in addition to the implied threat to Israel. The first is that it is an attempt to advance Obama’s position that it’s either acceptance of this deal with Iran or war, there are no other alternatives. But this is absolutely not the case – which fact Prime Minister Netanyahu continually points out:
The alternative is not between this deal and war – it’s between this deal and another deal or another way of handling Iran. What should be done if the deal is rejected, is that the US should not only keep current sanctions in place, it should increase them – tightening the economic screws. It is hoped that this would bring Iran back to the table in time, as the Iranians are desperate for sanctions relief. (Remember, sanctions brought Iran to the table in the first place.) But if they do not return, they will have been rendered less able to advance their aggressive intentions – actually less able to advance their aggression than they would be with the deal.
For him to talk about the US attacking Iran is a joke. For Obama has made it absolutely clear that he has no intention of attacking Iran. How cheap scaremongering talk is.
As to “more terrorism” and “more rockets from Hezbollah falling on Tel Aviv” as Iran’s way of responding indirectly to an attack by the US, this is also ludicrous. I’d be laughing hard if this situation were not so serious. Consider:
The accord was supposed to be about controlling Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. Obama rejected any suggestion that sanctions relief be tied to Iran reigning in its support for terrorist groups and its aggressive hegemony in the region. That’s not what this deal is about, he responded. Thus, Iran was essentially told, don’t worry about the terrorism – we don’t care.
This, you will note, is how Obama has Israel’s back.
And then, it was agreed that there would be tremendous sanctions relief up front once the deal was in place, so that some millions if not billions – of the roughly $150 billion it is estimated Iran is likely to see – might be directed to groups such as Hezbollah. This is not going to result in “more terrorism”??
Add to this the inclusion in the deal of a lifting, over time, of sanctions on conventional weapons for Iran. It would enable Iran to acquire such goodies as ballistic missiles. (THIS element, which is not about nuclear issues, Obama felt it was OK to put in the agreement.)
It is Obama’s deal that would render the Middle East a more dangerous region than it already is.
It is the opinion of Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that the deal would have the effect of emboldening Iran with regard to striking Israel.
Two nights ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered a webcast message that was designed to summarize his opposition to the deal for Americans.
Last night, in a direct counter, Obama gave a talk at American University. Let’s try for key points:
He said: “In July, we reached a comprehensive of plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon.” (emphasis added)
But here is what the NYTimes (normally an Obama supporter) had to say on this issue recently:
“American officials said the core of the agreement… lies in the restrictions on the amount of nuclear fuel that Iran can keep for the next 15 years. The current stockpile of low enriched uranium will be reduced by 98 percent, most likely by shipping much of it to Russia.
“That limit, combined with a two-thirds reduction in the number of its centrifuges, would extend to a year the amount of time it would take Iran to make enough material for a single bomb should it abandon the accord and race for a weapon — what officials call ‘breakout time’…
“But American officials also acknowledged that after the first decade, the breakout time would begin to shrink. It was unclear how rapidly, because Iran’s longer-term plans to expand its enrichment capability will be kept confidential.
“The concern that Iran’s breakout time could shrink sharply in the waning years of the restrictions has already been a contentious issue in Congress. Mr. Obama contributed to that in an interview with National Public Radio in April, when he said that in ‘year 13, 14, 15’ of the agreement, the breakout time might shrink ‘almost down to zero, as Iran is expected to develop and use advanced centrifuges then.” (Emphasis added)
Obama also said:
“First, there’re those who say the inspections are not strong enough, because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.
“Well, here’s the truth. Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites.
“If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours notice.
“And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.”
How simple and fool-proof he makes it sound. While in point of fact that business about 24 days is huge. Actually, on top of everything else, Iran will sit on the committee that makes a final decision about whether inspectors will be provided access to a disputed site.
Please consider the following (emphasis added):
“The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers.
“For senior lawmakers in both parties, the evidence calls into question Iran’s intention to fully account for the possible military dimensions of its current and past nuclear development. The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have a side agreement meant to resolve past suspicions about the Parchin site, and lawmakers’ concerns about it has already become a flashpoint because they do not have access to its text.”
And this (emphasis added):
“President Obama says his nuclear deal with Iran depends on verification, not trust. But what if Iran has a very different interpretation of what verification entails than does Mr. Obama?
“Take Ali Akar Velayati, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who appeared on Al-Jazeera on July 31 and was asked about U.N. inspections of Iran’s military sites. Here’s how he replied, according to the Memri translation service:
“’Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden. The entry of any foreigner, including IAEA inspectors or any other inspector, to the sensitive military sites of the Islamic Republic is forbidden, no matter what.’
“Interviewer: ‘That’s final?’
“Mr. Velayati: ‘Yes, final.’”
And finally, the latest from Omri Ceren of The Israel Project (emphasis in the original):
“Administration spokespeople spent the last several years assuring lawmakers and the public that uncertainties related to Iran’s past military-related nuclear work – the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program – would have to be resolved in any deal.
“’Access’ in the context of Iran PMDs is divided into access to information/documents, sites, and people. The WSJ revealed on July 26 that the administration had given up on forcing to provide the necessary information/documents detailing their past weaponization work. The AP revealed two days later that instead of the IAEA getting access to sites like Parchin, where they conducted experiments relevant to warhead detonations, the Iranians would be allowed to take their own samples and hand them over [h], which Congressional lawmakers believe will now be established as a precedent.
“And last night the WSJ confirmed that inspectors aren’t getting access to the people they want either. IAEA director-general Amano is now hoping that maybe the Iranians will give the agency access to other people who might be able to clarify their concerns some other way…
“That completes the trifecta: no access to information/documents, no access to sites, and no access to people.”
So, the president lies and he misrepresents and he twists facts. What else is new?
The final issue I will address here is the matter of Iran cheating – something that is a given in light of Iran’s history.
Michael Makovsky, writing recently in The Weekly Standard, said (emphasis added):
“…integral to Obama’s argument is his claim that this deal ‘provides the best possible defense against Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon in secret. . . . If Iran cheats, the world will know,’ and ‘If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.’ But the promised inspections regime will not be intrusive enough to detect Iranian cheating or to thwart any breakout attempts in time…
“Iran has a long and proud history of cheating on its international nuclear agreements. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who once monitored Iran’s nuclear program, observed in 2013: ‘If there is no undeclared installation today . . . it will be the first time in 20 years that Iran doesn’t have one.’ Indeed, Iran’s main enrichment facility at Natanz was a covert facility that was only discovered in 2002, by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian opposition group…
“’While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran,’ wrote Iran’s nuclear negotiator and now president Hassan Rouhani, ‘we were installing equipment in parts of the [uranium conversion] facility at Isfahan. . . . In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.’ In 2009, the world learned of yet another clandestine enrichment plant, under a mountain at Fordow, that Iran was trying to construct.”
I reported recently that polls indicate that the more information members of the electorate have about the deal, the higher the percentage against it. And this, of course, is true as well inside Congress. The fact that questions are being asked in Congress is an excellent sign, for those asking the questions are not likely to be pleased with the answers.
We are receiving news of additional Democratic members of Congress who have come out against the deal, and of increasing pressure on Senator Schumer to announce his opposition.
It is extremely good news that the influential American Jewish Committee has come out against the agreement and urges Members of Congress to do the same. This is especially the case as AJC was at the Obama briefing I referred to above, and obviously not convinced by it. Apparently, this information was released as Obama was speaking at American University.
Please see the statement by Executive Director David Harris (emphasis added):
“…until recently, we were told by P5+1 negotiators: ‘The alternative to a bad deal is no deal.’ What happened to that formulation, and why did it suddenly change?
“We understand that opposing this deal raises important questions about the future that no one can answer today with certainty…But we know with greater certainty that this deal raises still more ominous questions about the future.
But it is not enough yet, my friends. What happens still depends on each of you.
Obama is making phone calls to supporters and asking them to got the word out to Congress. He has hardly given up and Pelosi is putting out statements indicating that they believe they will achieve the numbers they need.
There is a reasonable chance of defeating this horror. Let this inspire you to step up the pressure.
Each of you needs to continue to contact your members of Congress and voice your strong opposition to the deal, while letting your elected representatives on the Hill know that the way they vote on this will affect how you vote the next time around.
And please, call on others to do the same.
Continue your letters to the editor, your talk-backs on the Internet, your statements on FB and websites, your sharing on lists. Stay cool and reasoned, rely on facts.
Have you noticed that the passive voice — as in “Mistakes were made,” or “The YouTube video caused the attack,” — has become ubiquitous in American political discourse?
Leave aside instances in which its usage reflects an unwillingness or inability for individuals to take responsibility for failure. There is another set of circumstances in which it is used to pernicious effect.
Exhibit A comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, in an article written about the declining popularity of Warren Wilhelm, aka New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Now I will not hold the use of the passive voice in the Times’ headline “New Poll Shows Mayor de Blasio’s Support Has Eroded” against The Grey Lady, but I do take issue with her usage in explaining just why it is that de Blasio’s poll numbers have declined so precipitously.
The Times writes:
Mr. de Blasio has encountered a series of difficulties in recent months, including the tussle with Mr. Cuomo, also a Democrat, over a disappointing legislative session in Albany, and distressing headlines about a rising murder rate — even as city officials have noted that overall crime continues to fall.
The mayor was also recently the subject of negative ads from the car-hailing company Uber, which opposed a proposed cap on its growth that the mayor had promoted. (The city has, for now, backed away from the proposal.)
Administration officials were quick to connect the increase in disapproving voters — a four-point uptick since May — to the Uber campaign, noting that the mayor’s numbers also suffered for a time last year during a public dispute with advocates of charter schools.
You see, for the progressive Times, Mayor de Blasio is a hapless victim. He has “encountered difficulties” through no fault of his own.
Were it not for those damn “distressing headlines about a rising murder rate,” or “negative ads from the car-hailing company Uber” or “a public dispute with advocates of charter schools,” de Blasio would be held in the same esteem as Hizzoner Koch.
What the Times fails to note is that headlines about the murder rate — and “the bad old days” returning to New York more generally — are not being written in a vacuum. Mayor de Blasio has opposed his predecessors’ law enforcement policies (and attacked their enforcers), policies that coincided with plummeting crime rates and an infinitely more pleasant and livable city. Had Mayor de Blasio maintained the law enforcement status quo to the same effect of rising murder rates and savage attacks, cop killings and squeegee men, then perhaps the Times would be justified in making de Blasio a victim of sorts. In light of his own words and actions, we cannot.
As for Uber, the company’s highly effective anti-de Blasio ads came in direct response to a policy the mayor pushed that would have impaired Uber’s ability to grow. Again, these ads did not occur in a vacuum. And what made them particularly bruising was that they illustrated the hypocrisy inherent in a “progressive,” “inequality”-busting mayor siding with entrenched interests against an upstart competitor providing opportunity for thousands of New Yorkers and convenience for hundreds of thousands if not millions more.
On those “charter school disputes,” again disputes are not the proximate cause of de Blasio’s waining political support. In fact, the public loves a spat when a politician is perceived to be looking out for them. Rather, de Blasio’s opposition to school choice in favor of public schools and the politically powerful public teachers’ union — and apparent unwillingness to expend political capital in support of charter schools in the rare instance when he does champion one — reflects a controversial position. Rightly, many in progressive New York are able to set aside their ideology when it means a better education for their children. The “dispute” is not the issue for Mayor de Blasio. The issue is the issue for Mayor de Blasio.
Bill de Blasio has not “encountered difficulties.” He has created them through his own policies. He is not a victim of chance. He is merely paying a political price for the disastrous outcomes of his own progressive agenda.
The real victims are New Yorkers who must live with him. Next time they ought to choose their mayor more wisely.
Featured Image: YouTube screengrab/Uber.
Yes, once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!
Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all particularly slimy and despicable, but the votes are in and we have our winner… the envelope please…
City Councilman and illegal migrant enabler, Jhonny Pineda!
Puma By Design: My WOTW nomination this week goes to Jhonny Pineda, City Councilman of Huntington Park, (southeast Los Angeles), California.
Pineda just announced the appointment of two illegal immigrants to serve as commissioners on the city’s advisory boards.
Francisco Medina was appointed as Commissioner of the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain will laud over the parks and recreation commission.
This action reeks of pay to play. Medina interned for fellow council member, Gil Cedillo and Zatarain has only been in the country eight years and yes, both are in the country illegally.
What part of ILLEGAL does this newly elected obviously corrupt council member not get and who cares if the City’s legal counsel said that the appointments are legal, illegal is just that. ILLEGAL!
Pineda’s actions is a kick in the gut of every American and legal immigrant.
One of the things Barack Obama and his willing helpers are doing that is going to reverberate long after he packs up his golf clubs and leaves is to change the very meaning of what it means to be an American. For instance, he recently changed the Oath of Citizenship to eliminate the provisions about defending America.
This only makes sense, of course, if you’re dealing primarily with economic migrants whom have no real loyalty to the United States, or Muslim immigrants whose first loyalty is to the Ummah. And by coincidence, that’s primarily whom Barack Obama and Jeh Johnson are flooding the country with. It’s particularly disgusting and insulting when you reflect that American Hispanics are the majority of Medal of Honor winners.
In California, I would almost say there’s little if any benefit from citizenship any more, Illegal aliens vote with impunity, employers are generally not stopped in any way from employing them, they have driver’s licenses, can apply and collect social welfare benefits freely, and most of the major cities in California are sanctuary cities that will not cooperate in deportations, even if they have criminal records. The logical next step is to have them hold public office and help run the state. Why not?
Jhonny Pineda is simply the first of many Weasels to use this trend to their advantage… because we are allowing it to happen. As such, he richly deserves his Golden Weasel. Tiene frijoles y arroz con esto? No problemo Amigo. We aim to please.
Well, there it is.
Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.