The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, August 31, 2015


There an old saying among criminal defense attorneys—When your client is guilty, change the subject! Over the years, this simple strategy has been shown to work as juries lose sight of the real issues and are lead astray by misdirection.

It doesn't take an astute observer to recognize that the Democratic party (many of whose members are lawyers) have adopted the criminal defense attorney's strategy for 2016. They own the domestic and foreign policies of the past seven years. In effect, those policies are their client, and their 'client' is guilty of ineffectiveness at best and downright failure in the main. A Democratic administration has been riddled with scandal, major initiatives have not delivered on then mendacious promises that were offered for them, the economy is only now beginning to recover, the labor rate is the lowest in modern history, a Democrat president has used executive actions in violation of the spirit of the constitution if not the law itself, foreign policy is a mess (think: Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea) and the Iran "deal" will pass because too many dems are puppy dogs.

Soooo ... change the subject. That's what Bernie and Hillary are trying to do by emphasizing "income inequality" as the scourge that they will eradicate. No matter that the middle class has suffered most under this president or that the "equality" gap has widened dramatically over this democrat administration, Bernie and Hillary (and Joe Biden, if he enters the race) have the chutzpa to suggest that it's not their fault but rather that of the evil, "terrorist" GOP.

Because the democrat playbook has no good solution for improving the economy (higher taxes and increased government spending have not worked for the past seven years and will not work for the next 9), their only 'answer' is redistribution—take from the "rich" and redistribute to the "poor."

James Piereson comments:
The intellectual case for redistribution has been outlined in impressive detail in recent years by a phalanx of progressive economists, including Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz, and Paul Krugman, who have called for redistributive tax-and-spending policies to address the challenge of growing inequalities in income and wealth. Nobel Laureate Robert Solow, of the Manhattan Institute of Technology, put the matter bluntly last year in a debate with Harvard’s Gregory Mankiw, saying that he is in favor of dealing with inequality by “taking a dollar from a random rich person and giving it to a random poor person.”

Public-opinion polls over the years have consistently shown that voters overwhelmingly reject programs of redistribution in favor of policies designed to promote overall economic growth and job creation. More recent polls suggest that while voters are increasingly concerned about inequality and question the high salaries paid to executives and bankers, they nevertheless reject redistributive remedies such as higher taxes on the wealthy. While voters are worried about inequality, they are far more skeptical of the capacity of governments to do anything about it without making matters worse for everyone.

As is often the case, there is more wisdom in the public’s outlook than in the campaign speeches of Democratic presidential candidates and in the books and opinion columns of progressive economists. Leaving aside the morality of redistribution, the progressive case is based upon a significant fallacy. It assumes that the U.S. government is actually capable of redistributing income from the wealthy to the poor. For reasons of policy, tradition, and institutional design, this is not the case. Whatever one may think of inequality, redistributive fiscal policies are unlikely to do much to reduce it, a point that the voters seem instinctively to understand.
The American electorate made a egregious mistakes in judgement in 2008 and 2012, but in a way, those mistakes have taught most of us hard lessons. The US government is NOT "capable of redistributing income from the wealthy to the poor." The reason is that the elites siphon off substantial percentages of any moneys taken from those who earn income from the private sector, redistributing it not to the middle class or the poor, but to those crony capitalists who support them in their reelection bids. The Democrat elites (and to a lesser extent, the Republican's as well) need a increasing flow of tax money to solidify their power and their position.

The infuriating thing about the Dem's position is that they blatantly claim that they're the party of the poor and the middle class, yet every shred of economic date indicates that they have done virtually nothing for the poor and the middle class over the past seven years—except encouraging a feeling of victimhood and increasing dependency on bankrupt government programs.

The center piece of the Democrat strategy for 2016 will be class warfare in the guise of the "income inequality" meme. Just remember that there are other far more pressing issues that face this country. But then again, When your client is guilty, change the subject!


One of the key tenets of the income inequality crowd is an emphasis on federally mandated minimum wage rates that are out of line with the economic realities of running a business. In addition, we see  unequivocal support of unionization, even when that increases the costs of private sector businesses to the extent that profitability comes into question. Walter Russell Mead comments:
President Obama and the progressives in his Administration believe that by fighting this trend—and the NLRB ruling is intended to do exactly that—that by forcing corporations back into the old patriarchal model of a politically-defined and regulated patron-client/employer-employee relationship, they are fighting for the economic interests of poor people and the lower middle class most directly, but also indirectly and to a lesser extent for the rights of all workers. Union activists believe the same thing, passionately and sincerely.

What they don’t see is that the genie can’t be stuffed back in the bottle. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put blue Humpty Dumpty together again. Take the fast food industry, for example, an industry that virtually every economic and social policy of the contemporary progressive movement is trying to maim. From the $15-an-hour minimum wage in the industry demanded by New York to the fight against fast food on nutritional grounds by the Broccoli Police and the Nutrition Nannies, to this new NLRB ruling mandating that the employees of franchises be considered for certain regulatory purposes employees of the parent companies, the progressive movement is trying to do to McDonalds and related companies what Bill deBlasio and the taxi lobby want to do to Uber [in New York City].

The net effect of these changes will be to narrow the choices of food that poor people have, to raise the price of the food they have to buy, and to accelerate the automation of the restaurant industry, further reducing the already limited number of jobs open to people with few skills. Progressives will look on the consequences of this disaster and conclude that with urban unemployment higher and the cost of living for the poor rising, we obviously need more food stamps and rent subsidies—and so we must impose heavier taxes on the companies and industries that are still profitable in order to pay for these necessary benefits.
So ... those who visit fast food restaurants will pay more; those who work in fast food restaurants will be replaced by automation, and progressives will preen because they have struck a blow for the poor and the middle class. Only one problem—those who visit and work in fast food restaurants generally come from the poor and middle class, and they're the one who will be whipsawed by the "caring" policies of Democrats.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fed Up

The phenomenon of Donald Trump—his rise to the top of the polls and his persistence despite outrageous politically incorrect comments is fascinating and troubling all at once. Why hasn't his campaign sputtered? Why is the media obsessed by the man? I've addressed some of this in earlier posts, but S.E. Cupp may be on to something when he writes:
I have a different explanation for ascendant Trumpism. It isn't the result of conservatism but of liberalism. Thanks to unrelenting demands by the left for increasingly preposterous levels of political correctness over the past decade, people are simply fed up. Trump survives -- nay, thrives! -- because he is seen as the antidote, bravely and unimpeachably standing athwart political correctness.

The new era of liberal political correctness -- in which colleges designate "free speech zones," words like "American" and "mother" are considered discriminatory, and children are suspended from school for firing make-believe weapons -- has reached critical mass. If not for the loony sensitivities foisted upon us by the left, someone like Trump would be immediately dismissed as unprofessional and unserious, an incoherent blurter. Instead, he's the equally extreme response to extreme correctness -- if everything is offensive in Liberalville, then nothing will be offensive in Trumpland.

It's all absurd, of course. Trump says things that are unequivocally offensive, and regularly. But conservatives (and even comedians) have reached their limit on political correctness. And so Trump supporters will justify nearly everything he says, no matter how bizarre or unbecoming.

Remember, too, liberals taught us a valuable lesson about political correctness that many conservatives haven't forgotten: It's only offensive if you don't like the person saying it. When conservatives tried to accept the liberal rules of political correctness, pointing out Vice President Joe Biden's too-numerous-to-count slurs and gaffes, there was a collective shrug from the left.

So, if the rules are demonstrably stupid, and they only exist for the right, why play by them?

This is how Trump supporters came to be. They have taken the governor off the racecar.

It's a shame because, as lamentable as political correctness is, voters can do better than Trump. Political ignorance isn't the same as being politically incorrect. Calling journalists names isn't the same as being politically incorrect. These aren't acts of courage; they're acts of kindergarteners.

But in a world in which nearly everything could be considered a microaggression, a macroaggressor like Trump is inevitable.

So, thanks, political correctness.
I am not a Trump supporter, believing the man to be unqualified to be President of the United States. But like tens of millions of Americans, I am thoroughly fed up with political correctness—a dictatorship of acceptable words and deeds defined by the Left and used as a bludgeon again anyone who might disagree with their world view. That's why Trump sometime elicits a smile and a nod, and why his legion of followers continues to grow.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Shake Your Head

Peggy Noonan has written a fascinating piece discussing the Trump phenomenon. She argues, like many pundits, that the surprising support for Trump is a reflection of the general dissatisfaction with the elites—meaning big government leaders from both parties, their media lackeys, and the big corporate interests (including Wall Street and other crony capitalists) that benefit from big government largess. She writes:
On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”

Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”

Support for Mr. Trump is not, he said, limited to the GOP base: “The molecules are in motion.” I asked what he meant. He said bars of support are not solid, things are in motion as molecules are “before combustion, or before a branch breaks.”
Interestingly, socialist Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders says the same thing, and consequently, he is seeing support that is also outsized. Something is going on here.

But neither Sanders nor Trump can solve this problem. Sanders is an extreme left-wing ideologue, and would, unquestionably, make matters worse by championing big intrusive government (B.I.G.) programs that would be the center of everything. Trump is an extreme egotist who has few workable policies and even less ability to navigate the political minefield that is Washington.

To use a harsh metaphor from the enormously popular Netflix series, Washington is the House of Cards and many of its elites (both inside and outside government) are Frank Underwood wannabes. At some level the little people (all the rest of us) recognize that and have begun to push back.

But be careful who you support as you push back. A commenter on Noonan's piece, "Rapheal Avital," used another entertainment metaphor based on the hit Showtime drama, Spartacus. He wrote:
Here's my arrogant effort at voter education: For those of you who watched the Spartacus series - Trump is in the pulvinus, the royal box, with the Magistrate, the Legatus, and the rest of the royalty. He's paying for the games, and for the loaves of bread being tossed at you folks sitting in the stands. That's why you love him. The royalty tolerate him because he's going to great expense to keep your minds on the games and the bread, to distract you from what's really going on. After all your cheering, fist-waving and braying, he'll get exactly what he wants from the royalty, because in the process of serving himself he will have helped defeat the royalty's opposition.

That is really all that's going on here. Back to the games. Enjoy them while you still can.
At the end of the day, I fear that Donald Trump could lead to a win for the party of big government and consequently, the strengthening of power, money, and influence among the elites that big government cultivates. The irony is, a win for B.I.G. interests is exactly what Bernie Sanders wants, but says he doesn't want. All you can do is shake your head.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


The liberal media (meaning the vast majority of all main stream media) is obsessed with Donald Trump. For example, CCN spent late night air time on Tuesday carrying the entirety of a rambling, run-of-the-mill Trump speech as it were the State of the Union.

In addition to Trump himself, the MSM is in love with Trumpkins, the merry band of obsessed followers who are true believers in everything Trump. They interview Trumpkins, hoping for a malaprop or some other outrageous statement. They characterize Trumpkins as "right-wing" supporters (partially accurate but not entirely correct).*

Why is this? After all, there's a long way to go until the first primaries, and generally, the MSM works overtime NOT to give GOP candidates any platform at all.

But Trump is different because, well, he's Trump. He's combative, un-PC, often incoherent, sometimes outrageous, sometimes anti-woman, anti-Latin, anti-Washington, anti- ... everything that isn't Donald Trump.

And because he suggests outrageous things, the media tries to conflate his positions (if you can call them positions) and his ideas with the legitimate and sometimes detailed positions and idea of other GOP candidates. He's a weapon they can use to tarnish the GOP brand and at the same time avoid discussing the Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

John Kass summarized this nicely when he writes:
It's much easier to do a Trump-said-something-crazy story than question Hillary Clinton for compromising national security by using a private email server.

And it's less risky to mock Trumpians for their nativist ways rather than question the racism inherent in the angry all-lives-don't-really-matter crowd.

Daring to question Planned Parenthood or Hillary Clinton's lies or racial hashtag dog whistles can lead to frosty looks in the newsroom. And who wants frost at the end of summer?

I'm no fan of Donald Trump, leading in the polls for the GOP presidential nomination. He's a betrayer, though his fans don't know it yet. And he can't be elected president with his high negatives with women voters ...

He's also a pretend conservative Republican (actually more of a Democrat) who promises, in Big Government fashion, to wield the federal hammer and impose his Trumpian will upon the republic.

But his basic populist appeal is this:

He knows American politicians are corrupt because he's bought dozens of his own and says so.

And he vows to kick the High Priests of Political Correctness — meaning journalists — in the private areas until they cry.

So it's no wonder that self-censoring journalists (including the handmaiden scribes of the establishment GOP) have animosity toward this wild and wealthy populist with the bad hair.

This animosity is often expressed by mocking the people who flock to hear him, since ridicule is our one stable currency.

Trump is always good for a crazy sound bite, and he just started another vulgar Twitter war with Megyn Kelly, the warrior priestess of Fox News.

And rather than shy away and hide from social media shaming, his Trumpians throng to his populist rage as they did by filling that football stadium in Alabama.
It's fascinating. With a smile and a wink, the MSM implies that Trumpkins (my word for Kass' Trumpians) simply don't get how ridiculous their support is. The MSM seems to forget 2008 when glassy-eyed Obamakins exhibited exactly the same characteristics but, of course, were not treated in the same way. In one way, at least, candidates Trump (today) and Obama (2008, 2012) had rabid followers who couldn't see past their rhetoric and understand that in the end, both men are empty.

* Interestingly, the MSM rarely comments and almost never covers the sometimes outrageous positions taken by socialist Democratic candidate (and poll leader in some states), Bernie Sanders, carefully choosing silence over the possibility that the Center might find his ideas on taxes, government control and size, healthcare, and even "income inequality" less than acceptable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Anchor Babies

The Democrats are being transformed into a Leftist party, far from the proud liberal tradition that defined the party over the last half century. One of the key tenets of Leftists is to control any speech that might shed light on the poverty of their ideas, the weakness of their proposed policies, and the dishonesty of their accusations against those who disagree with them. Nothing exemplifies this more than the bogus debate about "anchor babies"—now arbitrarily defined as an "offensive" term.

The left's strategy is brilliant. Don't address the underlying issue, the rampant problems associated with illegal immigration, and the need to develop meaningful, bipartisan methods of managing the problem. Rather, the left and the Dems work very, very hard to put GOP candidates on the defensive, defending themselves from ridiculous accusations of racism and xenophobia because they use the term. Well done!

Jonathan Tobin comments on this:
As the New York Times reports today, both Trump and GOP presidential rival Jeb Bush have come under attack from Democrats for using the term “anchor babies.” The term refers to the children of illegal immigrants who are born in this country and thus have a constitutional right to citizenship. Immigrant rights group consider the term offensive. They also are outraged about the use of the term “illegals” which they also see as a term of abuse.

Trump’s incendiary statements about Mexico and his leading the Republican Party down the rabbit hole of debate about the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship has been counter-productive. But the moment at which these terms become the focus of discussion is the point at which a serious debate descends into the realm of politically correct nonsense.

As the Times notes, the American Heritage Dictionary included the term “anchor baby” in their 2011 edition but was subsequently forced by protests to term label it as an offensive term. This is foolishness.

The law has always been interpreted as granting the right to citizenship of any child born on American soil even if their parents are foreigners. I think it would be wrong to change that now. Americans have always been a nation of immigrants and birthright citizenship is part of that tradition.

But it would be absurd to pretend that infants born to illegal immigrants don’t play a role in their parents’ efforts to stay in the country. Moreover the term is clearly neutral in its language and devoid of anything that even implies a racial or ethnic slur. It merely refers to the fact that those born under such circumstances serve as an anchor that gives their relatives an edge in escaping the consequences of coming here illegally.

Even more ridiculous is the effort to transform “illegal” into a hate word.
But "ridiculous" seems to work rather well when it puts reasonable people on the defensive. And when media allies allow the left's accusations to be used without critical analysis, all the better.

I don't like Donald Trump. He would make a poor president. But the GOP can learn one thing from him. When confronted with political correctness, including accusations of using "offensive" language defined solely by the Left, don't get defensive. Fight back by calling out the accuser. Insist on using the "offensive" term, repeated and without apology. Define what it means, why it's appropriately descriptive and not offensive. Also, describe the meta-tactics of the Left, so that unsophisticated voters understand why the accusations are being made and the cynical politics that underlie them.

And ask—who made the Left the final arbiter on what's offensive and what's not? Fight back—hard.


This comment on political correctness by Brendan O'Neill is worthy of note:
Some apologists for PC describe it as simply ‘being nice’: ‘institutionalised politeness’. There’s nothing remotely nice about PC. It is the friendly slave-owner; it suppresses open, honest discussion; it obfuscates the divisions and tensions in modern society through stymying the expression of certain ideas; it is the ornate lid on a society which, however civil we make our speech, remains fractured, sometimes tense, packed with clashing interests that will never be resolved by niceness.
There is, of course, language that is offensive—and it should be condemned. But language (specific words and phrases) becomes offensive by consensus over relatively long periods of time. It cannot and should not be defined in real-time by self-appointed Leftist arbiters of what is offensive and what is not. The PC crowd uses accusations of offensiveness as a bludgeon to stifle debate and coerce good people to stay quiet. That is far more offensive than any single word or phrase.


The trained hamsters of the main stream media figuratively smiled and told us all the good news—this year's deficit is only 426 billion dollars. Only!

For those progressives who are mathematically impaired, that's 426,000 million dollars. But possibly 426,000 is a number that's difficult to grasp. Consider things this way: That amount of money could be used to provide a $1,000,000 dollar stipend to to used by 8,520 schools in each of our 50 states (some states don't even have 8,520 schools) to improve teacher salaries or rebuild crumbling classrooms, or buy computers, or ... 

Instead, it's pissed away of a litany of wasteful spending, unnecessary entitlements, crony capitalism, unnecessary federal agencies, medicare fraud, ... the list is so long that my fingers would get tired from the keyboarding. The Democrats tell us that all of this wasteful spending is an "investment" but never seem capable of provide a quantitative ROI on the "investment." That might be because there isn't one. The GOP isn't immune to wasteful spending either. Although the party does try to resist, it caves when the Democrats demagogue the issue (e.g., grandma getting pushed off a cliff) and spending continues.

So, we sell the debt to China and other foreign entities and/or print money (think: quantitative easing) and then have to spend even more taxpayer dollars to pay the interest on this debt. It's a deadly cycle that will lead to national bankruptcy.

In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)issue a report, discussed by The Washington Times:
The economy is sluggish but growing and inflation remains low, painting a decidedly mixed picture for the federal government, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, saying the fiscal situation is improving this year but will snap back by 2018 to swelling deficits and unsustainable debt.
"Swelling deficits and unsustainable debt" are the key words in the paragraph. And here I thought that the Dems were all about sustainability.

Monday, August 24, 2015

200 Words

The New York Times makes a laudable attempt to describe the Iran nuclear "deal" in 200 words. But because the NYT is always gentle when it reports on the Obama administration (trained hamsters, anyone?) they leave a few salient details out. Let's take a look.  From the Times:
Can Iran keep enriching uranium?
Yes. It can produce a small stock of uranium enriched at low levels — not suitable for a bomb without further processing. This limit lasts 15 years.
Unless, of course, Iran cheats (more on that in a bit). In addition, once 10 years have passed, Iran can begin producing enriched Uranium, and at 15 years, it is unrestrained in its production and can produce multiple nuclear weapons immediately.
Can Iran still make a bomb?
If it abides by the deal, no, for at least a decade. It would not have enough material, or centrifuges running, to make a bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium in less than a year.
That's a very big IF. Iran has been caught cheating repeated and consistently over many decades. Once a cheat, always a cheat. And Iran is a cheat. The verification regime is extremely weak and worse, any violation in the first 15 months will be buried because the deal must have the appearance of working until Obama leaves the presidency. As a consequence, the assumption that Iran will not cheat is naive at best and delusional in the main.
Will inspectors have access to military facilities?
Inspectors can ask to visit sites of suspected nuclear activity. But the provision is short of “anywhere, anytime,” because the inspectors first need to present evidence.
That's a lot like the police "asking" to enter a criminal's house (full of stolen goods) without a search warrant. How do you think the criminal will respond? Basically, every request for verification will be debated, obfuscated, and delayed. There is NO verification regime in this "deal" that is meaningful—none.
When will sanctions lift?
Major oil and financial sanctions could lift this year if Iran complies with the principal requirements in the deal.
What the NYT doesn't tell us is that as the sanctions lift, Iran will have access to billions of dollars that will enable them to buy missiles and conventional armaments, and support its various terror proxies around the work. We are, in effect, funding Iran's push toward an Islamist Middle East with Iran as the hegemon.
How can the U.S. be sure Iran won't cheat?
It can’t. Iran agreed to provide inspectors more access to its nuclear program and allow investigation of suspicious sites, but there are no guarantees.
"It can't." The NYT admits that it can't!! And yet, all of the above claims are predicated on the assumption that Iran won't cheat. OMG!!!
How long will the deal last?
The deal limits Iran’s enrichment for 15 years. Caps on research and development loosen in about 10 years, but some restrictions will remain for up to 25 years.
Barack Obama and his team of 2s seem incapable of understanding that Islamists are fighting a long war. Iran will cheat and will have a nuclear weapons sooner, rather than later. But even if this president's naive assumptions hold (and they will not hold) very, very bad actors will acquire nuclear weapons. As a consequence, the dark clouds of major war will begin to gather on the day that the democrats allow this president to sustain a veto of a bipartisan congressional NO vote. This deal is a travesty—many Dems know it, but don't have the courage to stop it.


As I've noted in this and other posts, it's highly likely that that puppy dog dems will vote to block an override of Obama's veto of a NO vote on his deal with Iran. Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen comment:

For all the abuse he’s taking, [Senator Chuck] Schumer [who announced he opposes the deal] may actually be protecting the Democratic Party from the real political danger inherent in Obama’s actions. The contempt that the president and John Kerry showed by taking this agreement to the UN before submitting it to Congress and the American people was reckless. They are not only thumbing their noses at the American people and Congress, but they are showing contempt for the primacy of our system of checks and balances and they could be setting up the Democratic party for years of attacks of “you caused this!” every time Iran behaves in a threatening manner.

Should Obama veto a bill blocking the Iran deal and defy the will of Congress, he would once again find himself on the wrong side of public opinion: 61 percent of voters would want a veto overridden. If a veto is sustained solely by Democrats two-thirds of respondents, including a plurality of Democrats say they would blame the Democratic party if Iran got a nuclear weapon or used the money from sanction relief to support terrorist attacks on Israel.
If the deal goes through, the Democrats will own it. Every violation, every threatening move, every terrorist action funded with Iran's sanctions money, every one of the continuing capitulations that Obama and his Team of 2s enact to hold the deal together will owned by the Dems. And further down the road, as the clouds of regional war gather, the darkness that ensues is a result of decisions that are theirs and their alone.

Progressives are often characterized by decisions that may have good intentions, but lousy, often destructive results. This is one of those times—on steriods.

UPDATE (8/25/15):

In recent history, four countries have undergone nuclear disarmament regimes: Libya, South Africa, Sweden and the Ukraine. In every case, those countries submitted to actual "anytime, anywhere" inspections; they destroyed their nuclear materials and their nuclear materials manufacturing capability; they transferred control of existing materials to civilian authorities (IAEA); they moved nuclear personnel to other jobs outside weapons construction.

And the Obama Iran deal? None of those things are required, and therefore, none will be enforced.

The Democrats should reconsider their puppy dog status and stop this travesty. If, in what can only be viewed as profile in cowardice, they do not, the Democrats own the downstream results—and the results will NOT be good.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Joke

I have a deal that that I'm sure Barack Obama and John Kerry, along with a number of congressional Democrats (a.k.a. "puppy dog dems"), would certainly think to be more effective than the current approach to IRS auditing of suspected tax cheats—allow those who are suspected of underpaying their taxes to audit themselves. What could go wrong?

After all, the president of the United States, along with some of his Democrat supporters, is doing just that with Iran, except instead of looking for dollars, he's allowing Iran to self-audit their development of nuclear weapons. And of course, Iran would never, ever cheat. Would it?

But no worries, if we don't like the results of Irans's nuclear self-audit, we can always write a letter meekly asking permission to visit. Unfortunately, Iran gets to decide (after lengthy delays that would allow evidence to be hidden) whether to grant permission of not.

This self-auditing revelation is the latest in a long line of leaks that would lead any rational person to conclude that the Iran deal is a very bad deal indeed. But apparently, the puppy dog dems are willing to accept the bad deal hiding behind the canard that "it's the deal, or it's war."

David French comments:
It’s increasingly clear that the key terms of the Iran deal — the terms that deal in any way with verifying Iranian nuclear activity, past and present — are a joke. As the text of a side agreement released released by the AP yesterday confirms, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will actually rely on Iran to inspect itself at the crucial Parchin nuclear site, providing “mutually agreed” upon photos, videos, and environmental samples to IAEA monitors. And the deal’s broader monitoring regime eschews “anytime, anywhere” inspections in favor of a process that provides Iran written notice of requested access to suspicious sites, followed by a weeks-long dispute-resolution process that still won’t guarantee such access is granted.

Put plainly, under the terms of the deal, Iran makes promises that it does not have to keep. In exchange, it receives sanctions relief, access to international arms markets, and the ability to build ballistic missiles. This isn’t a nuclear agreement, it’s an economic treaty — an economic treaty almost perfectly designed to advance President Obama’s very particular worldview.
It appears that there is no set of facts that would cause the puppy dog dems to do the right thing and oppose a deal that is bad for everyone except Iran and Barack Obama. Obama's many catastrophic failures in the Middle East seem to have no influence on the puppy dog dems assessment of his current decision-making capabilities. The fact the Arab and Israeli allies in the region are publicly opposed has no influence. The specter of a nuclear arms race in the world's most unstable region has no impact. The virulent threats by Iran's leaders falls on deaf ears. Like little puppies, some Dems are willing to follow the pack leader off a cliff.

It appears that there are enough Dems in the president's pocket to enable him to avoid an override of his veto of a bipartisan 'NO' vote on the Iran "deal"—a "NO" vote that will be passed by an overwhelming majority of Congress—likely 60+ percent of our elected representatives.

That's because Obama is the smartest guy in the room—just ask him and his puppy dog Dem followers who are—there's no nice word to use—cowards who prefer party loyalty to concern for the best interests of the United States. The puppy dog Dems are setting the stage for war—not today or tomorrow, but in the foreseeable future. They should be ashamed, but that emotion is never part of the Left's playbook.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Punch Back

Over the past few years, the political correctness crowd has begun an Orwellian parse of our language. They have defined forbidden speech—words and phrases that are simply unacceptable (in their view)—and if uttered, brand the speaker as a racist, a misogynist, a climate "denier," a troglodyte. But recently, a new form of parsing has begun to emerge. The political correctness crowd now defines "offensive language" in real time—that is, any phrase that troubles them, that is not nuanced enough for their taste, that is direct or ideologically impure—is deemed immediately "offensive."

The latest but by no means only example is the phrase "anchor baby," referring to a fairly common practice of both rich and poor foreign visitors and/or illegal immigrants, who come to the United States when a woman is 8+ months pregnant, then have the child at a US hospital, and by virtue of the 14th Amendment, have that child defined as a US citizen.

Let me be clear—there is nothing wrong with the 14th Amendment. However, the cynical use of our laws to create an American citizen who later can be used to "anchor" the immigration of his or her parents and extended family is wrong. Legislation can and should be passed to eliminate this loophole.

But back to forbidden language. Yesterday, GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, was challenged on the use of the term "anchor baby" which was arbitrarily defined as offensive by the reporter asking the question. Fortunately, Bush showed some spine, and rather than being defensive, fought back, noting that the phrase is descriptive, it is not offensive, and that those who create anchor babies are gaming our laws.

Over the coming presidential campaign, the trained hamsters of the media, charter members of the political correctness crowd, will play the "offensiveness" card repeatedly, and I suspect, only against those whose ideology they disagree with (i.e., the GOP). They'll deem any language that might shed light on the realities of our current circumstances as "offensive" in an attempt to put the speaker on the defensive. For example, suggesting that family structures in the inner city are in need of repair might be deemed racist or suggesting that government spending should be reduced might be deemed elitist. Those charges will be thrown into the face of a GOP candidate with the clear intent of putting them on the defensive.

Readers of this column know that I am no fan of Donald Trump. He is an egotistical blowhard who focuses on broad demagogic themes, not workable policy  But The Donald has taught the GOP field an important lesson in dealing with political correctness attacks. When the political correctness card is played—and it will be played—don't be defensive, fight back. Note the inherent idiocy of the PC attack and deconstruct the attack to show its weakness. Don't be afraid to offend a few, if that offense will enlighten many.

A losing strategy is playing the game with rules that are dictated by your opponent. Even worse, a losing strategy is playing the game with rules that are constantly changed by your opponent. To paraphrase Glen Reynolds, when the political correctness crowd punches, punch back twice as hard.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


As emailgate has blown-up in Hillary Clinton's face over the past few weeks, the trained hamsters in the main stream media have tried—they've actually have tried—to ask her a few substantive questions about the growing scandal. In some ways, the hamsters continue to pull their punches, if only because they are so unused to attacking a Democrat candidate for president. But they are, in their own way, trying.

Hillary has done what Hillary always does—stonewall, characterizing the entire affair as a "distraction," suggested (dishonestly) that other cabinet secretaries had private emails (problem is, not one had a private server), and whining about her victimhood.

As it becomes apparent that many, many secret and top secret emails passed through Clinton's unprotected personal server, the media is focusing on those emails.  But the real story, I suspect, lies not in the secret emails, but in the ones that Hillary had professionally deleted (wiped, and not with a cloth) from her personal server. There is every reason to believe that those deleted emails contain much, much more than messages about yoga, her grandchild and Chelsea's wedding (as Hillary claims), but rather damning evidence of questionable dealings connected to the now infamous Clinton Foundation, influence pedaling at the highest levels of government, and political maneuvering and gross dishonesty regarding the Benghazi attack and it's aftermath. The later, I suspect, might provide a trail of bread crumbs running all the way back to the oval office.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there an even more troubling aspect to all of this. Virtually every security expert that I have seen interviewed or who has written about the subject states that there is a 99+ percent probability that Hillary's server was hacked by foreign powers (e.g., China, Russia, Iran). That means that unfriendly powers have every one of Hillary's emails and therefore know every one of Hillary's secrets. Should she gain the nomination and win the presidency, that leaves her open to a sophisticated form of blackmail when she is in office—and that puts our country in danger.

Hillary Clinton has damaged herself beyond repair. Faux outrage, lies, and her shrinking band of true believers won't help her. She might still get the Democrat nomination. She might even win the presidency. But the country has already lost—no matter what.

In a wonderfully written, acerbic comment on the subject, Heather Wilhelm writes:
In recent days, after all, it was discovered that in addition to using a shady private email account while acting as secretary of state, then hosting that account on an insecure “homebrew” server in her Chappaqua basement, and then sending sensitive information on the digital equivalent of a wayward Chinese homing pigeon, Hillary Clinton also chose a shady “mom and pop” IT shop in Denver to manage her private email system in 2013. That shop’s servers, employees report, were housed in an ultra-secure bathroom closet, presumably right next to the plunger, the Swiffer WetJet, and a handful of listless, half-dead spiders.

Seriously, who does this, especially someone as high-level as Hillary Clinton? It’s almost like she had something to hide, you know? You can’t make this stuff up, but when it’s revealed to the public, you can certainly dissemble. The FBI seized Clinton’s server last week, with sources telling NBC they were “optimistic” some data would be retrieved, despite an apparent attempt—or more—to wipe the server clean.

Let’s face it: “Email-gate” is byzantine, bizarre, and confusing. It’s clear that Hillary’s ultimate hope is that people will inevitably get so bored or fatigued they either a) no longer care, b) simply give up, or c) reluctantly trudge to the moonshine and Slip ’N Slide out back. Hey, why not? It’s not a terrible strategy. After all, with the Clintons, isn’t that what happens every time?

Asked if her server had been wiped—and trust me, despite her apparent inability to work a fax machine, America’s diligent, self-made rogue email queen knows exactly what this means—the former secretary of state offered an exaggerated shrug: “Like with a cloth or something?” Yes, Hillary, like with a cloth. Lord knows we need to get all those bathroom closet spiders out! (Where are those nuclear codes again?)

Hillary’s email issues may come and go; they may also, if some glorious shift in the space/time continuum occurs, unseat her from power. But her server also serves as a powerful metaphor for our sprawling, increasingly absurdist, and largely unaccountable federal government. It’s a government that often makes things way more complicated than they need to be. It’s also a government that inspires, at least for the average, outside-the-Beltway American, a dominant, growing sense of utter futility, paired with a quiet, “you can’t be serious” disbelief.
It's Wilhelm's last point that may be the most important. The federal government gets bigger and bigger under Democrat governance, but at the same time it gets more corrupt, more incompetent, and more intrusive. At the end of the day, that may be the biggest problem of all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Taking Sides

The Obama administration claims that in word, policy and deed, it is the best of friends with Israel. During the tenure of that administration I have outlined many words, policies and deeds that clearly refute that contention. In fact, any objective examination of Barack Obama's anti-Israel words, policies or deeds—e.g., the subtly anti-Semitic demonization of those individuals and groups who oppose his Iran "deal"—indicate that he and his advisors are clearly not friends of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. In fact, wags have indicated that Obama seems considerably more predisposed to give Iran's current Islamist dictator, Ayatolla Kameni, the benefit of the doubt than he is to give similar leeway to Israel's Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu.

The incredible irony is that the majority of Jewish voters still support Obama, even as they swallow hard when they watch him take the side of Israel's enemies.

What? He doesn't take sides, you say?

Here's a little tidbit that I doubt you'll see on CNN, MSNBC, the NYT or any of the other trained media hamsters that act to protect this president:

In 2001 and 2004, seven Palestinian terrorist attacks injured hundreds in Israel and killed 33 people, including the murder of members of 11 American families. The families sued in U.S courts.

Andrew Malcolm reports:
The jury's judgment against the Palestinian groups came in a case, Sokolow v. PLO, before Manhattan U.S. District Judge George Daniels in February and could involve penalties of more than $650 million, triple the amount of damages awarded by the jury under U.S. law, plus interest ...

For defendants [the palestinians] to appeal the immense judgment, the judge can require them to post a bond of a substantial portion of the damages in case they lose again. Judge Daniels had said he was likely to order that as “some meaningful demonstration that the defendant is ready and willing to pay the judgment.”
Then something interesting (maybe troubling is a better word) happened. Andrew Malcolm reports further:
In an unusual legal move, the Obama administration has taken the legal side of the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization in a federal court case that American terrorism victims' families had already won.

Lawyers for the Justice and State Departments are arguing that the PA and PLO should not have to post a bond showing they can pay the massive damages during their appeal in U.S. federal court.
I suppose there may be legal subtleties that Obama's lawyers will hide behind, but it is interesting that the Obama administration takes the side of known terrorists against American victims of terror. Of course, I understand that the palestinians are "oppressed," and are the darlings of the hard-Left. After all, if it wasn't for the fact that Israel refuses to commit national suicide as Obama suggests, everything in the Middle East would be just hunky dory. That fantasy dominates Obama's thinking and that of his supporters, but even so, it's hard to understand why the Obama administration would insert itself into this case.

Or is it?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Brian Beutler suggests that anyone opposed to the Iran Nuclear "Deal" (but particularly many of the GOP candidates who uniformly oppose the deal) "wants war."  Beutler creates a simpleton's matrix of his perceived view of the relevant choices. I suspect he thinks this matrix makes him look objective and clever, when in reality, it makes him look like a struggling third grader who has been assigned a writing assignment that he doesn't understand. Here's the matrix:

In comic understatement. Beutler writes, "This matrix is slightly oversimplified, but only slightly."

Ya think?

With the smug arrogance and of someone who perceives himself to be one of the smartest kids in the room, Beutler suggests that anyone who opposes Obama's appeasement of Iran is somehow a warmonger. He further suggests that the combination of harsh sanctions and no nuclear weapons is an impossibility ("not happening"), when exactly the opposite is true. By the way, how does he know this?

Like his favorite president, Beutler also presents us with a false choice. Either you're in favor of sanctions and Iran's development of nuclear weapons, or if you're more evolved and nuanced, like Beutler, you rely on appeasement and capitulation to lead to "no sanctions and no weapons." The idiocy of this construction is breathtaking. But then again, the Left thrives on fantasy constructions that sometimes border on the idiotic.

Beutler conveniently forgets that the "deal" that Obama has constructed provides no real mechanism for verification, hopes that Iran will not conduct a clandestine program to develop weapons despite clear historical evidence that it will, suggests that sanctions can be reintroduced later (a lie), conveniently forgets that $150 billion in sanctions relief will be used for nefarious purposes to further roil the most unstable region of the world and further Iran's hegemonic designs, and will lead to a nuclear arms race among nations that really should not have nuclear weapons.

But no matter, the smartest kids in the room all have to stick together, and since Obama thinks he's one of those kids, it would seem reasonable that his friends on the Left would follow his every move no matter how ill-conceived.

There are many good reasons that Democrats (and they're the only players that matter right now) should reject this "deal," but it might be best to "oversimplify" (as Beutler does): If people with the mental acuity of a Brian Beutler are for this "deal," that alone is sufficient reason to be against it.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


As we watch the main stream media follow Donald Trump's every gesture and word and his poll numbers continue to rise, it's important to remember that Donald Trump is ... well ... Donald Trump. Boastful, rude, egotistical ... and empty. Sure, he expresses a few worthwhile themes (e.g., gross government incompetence) that are both true and worth mentioning). But themes alone are not enough for effective leadership. Don't believe me? Look at the failed presidency of Barack Obama and just how magnificently hope and change (very broad themes, both) crashed and burned.

Like yours truly, Rich Lowry is no fan of Donald Trump. He nails it when he writes:
The loudmouth mogul [Trump] may be very good at saying words, but coherence and consistency sometimes elude him. Especially when he gets beyond his comfort zone of extolling his own phenomenal awesomeness and calling America’s leaders stupid and the leaders of China and Mexico — the new axis of evil — smart and cunning.

After that, it gets foggy.

Consider his signature issue of immigration, where the incendiary words and stalwart tone evidently are a smoke screen for a poorly conceived amnesty scheme.

In a CNN interview, Trump outlined an amnesty via temporary deportation: “I would get people out, and I would have an expedited way of getting them back into the country so they can be legal.” How would the federal government, which can’t run the immigration system we already have, manage mass relocations of millions of people presumably to their countries of origin, only to be vetted and returned to the United States forthwith? “It’s feasible if you know how to manage. Politicians don’t know how to manage.” Oh.
"... get people out"—How, exactly? "I would have an expedited way ..." Specifically, how would that be accomplished? “It’s feasible if you know how to manage ..." This statement from a "manager" who presided over the bankruptcies of four businesses he created. "Politicians don’t know how to manage." There it is, a theme that almost everyone would agree with.

Like I said, Trump is good at themes, but actual, workable policy and plans that recognize the realities of bipartisan politics—empty.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mind Numbing

The movie Mad Max presents a predictable post-apocalyptic story line—crazy and brutal gangs rape and pillage, murdering innocents and terrorizing the populace. Interestingly, the Mad Max gangs are not driven by any specific ideology and certainly are not proponents of any known religion. They kill and rape, terrorize and pillage because ... they can.

Now let's take a look at ISIS, an Islamist State the presents a pre-apocalytpic story line that is becoming more than a little predictable. Like the gangs of Mad Max, ISIS rapes and pillages, murdering innocents and terrorizing the populace. But unlike Mad Max, ISIS is driven solely by religious ideology—Islamist ideology to be precise. They kill and rape, terrorize and pillage because ... they argue ... the Koran and their interpretation of it interpretations say that they can.

The New York Times (certainly not what one might characterize as an Islamophobic publication) reports:
QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God,” she said in an interview alongside her family in a refugee camp here, to which she escaped after 11 months of captivity.

The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.
It's interesting that American feminists express outrage when a male speaker suggests that women might be somewhat weaker in mathematics than men. The speaker is condemned and is sometimes forced to retract his argument or worse, resign from his position of leadership. But when 12 year old girls (not to mention grown women) are brutally raped in instance after instance—all in the name of Islam—those same feminists are notably silent. The problem I think, is that blame falls on an entity that they are unable to blame. After all, it appears that progressives (and many, but not all, American feminists are progressives) fear the potential accusation of Islamophobia more than they fear brutality on such an extreme scale that it is difficult to watch.

As an example of this phenomenon, let's consider CNN's progressive heart-throb, Chris Quomo. When confronted with the NYT's reporting on ISIS's rape culture, he rightly condemns the barbarity, but them as an afterthought (or maybe it was just panic that he condemned something tied to Islam), Quomo directed the following statement at Dr. Qanta Ahmed, an author of a book on women's rights under Islam:
"This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages and their faith makes them that way. And it feeds an impression of what Islam is.
I think its fair to state that burning non-Muslims alive, slitting their throats, drowning them in cages, making them kneel on live explosives and then detonating those weapons, decimating entire Christian and Yahzisi communities, and raping little girls leaves a rather bad impression on any civilized human being. Thinking (justifiably) that these ISIS barbarians are animals does a disservice to animals, and PETA would be rightly outraged.

But making any attempt—as Chris Quomo does—to worry about the "impression" that ISIS might leave on Islam is a level of moral preening (or maybe a better phrase is "moral vacuity") that is literally mind numbing.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Silver Lining

Caroline Glick is one of the world's most respected journalists when it come to Middle East reporting. She exhibits a comprehensive understanding of the region, but rather than pontificating on it (a la Tom Friedman), she digs and digs, fact-finding until she builds an irrefutable case to support her reporting. She presents hard information that other Western reporters are either unwilling or unable to gather. She is a staunch defender of Israel.

Over the past month, Barack Obama has implied that Israel is the only Middle Eastern county (check that, the only country on the planet) that is against the Iran nuclear "deal." John Kerry, a pre-eminent member of Obama's Team of 2s, parrots that implication as well. In a previous post, I noted that the manner in which Obama and Kerry made their statements borders on anti-Semitic. As the very least, it's a "dog whistle" (a term the Left seems to love) for anti-Semites worldwide.

Today, Caroline Glick provides hard facts that indicate that Both Obama and Kerry are lying when they contend that no other Middle Eastern countries oppose the deal:
Although President Barack Obama harangued Israel in his speech at American University last Wednesday, claiming that the Israeli government is the only government that has publicly opposed his nuclear deal with the Iranians, Monday US congressmen now shuttling between Egypt and Israel told Israeli reporters that Egypt opposes the nuclear deal.

As for the Gulf states, according to the US media, last week they told visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry that they support the nuclear deal ...

But the fact is that the only foreign minister who expressed such support was Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah. To be sure, Attiyah was charged to speak for all of his counterparts because Qatar holds the GCC’s rotating chairmanship. But given that Qatar has staked out a pro-Iranian foreign policy in stark contrast to its neighbors and GCC partners, Attiyah’s statement is impossible to take seriously without the corroboration of his colleagues ...

In Attiyah’s words, Kerry promised that the deal would place Iran’s nuclear sites under continuous inspections. “Consequently,” he explained, “the GCC countries have welcomed on this basis what has been displayed and what has been talked about by His Excellency Mr. Kerry.”

The problem of course is that Kerry wasn’t telling the truth. And the Arabs knew he was lying. The deal does not submit Iran’s nuclear sites to a rigorous inspection regime. And the GCC, including Qatar, opposes it. [emphasis mine]

In his briefing with Israeli reporters, the high-level US official rejected the importance of the détente between Israel and its Arab neighbors because he claimed the Arabs have not changed their position regarding their view of a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

But this is also nonsense. To be sure, the official position of the Saudis and the UAE is still the so-called Arab peace initiative from 2002 which stipulates that the Arabs will only normalize relations with Israel after it has ceded Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan and allowed millions of foreign-born Arabs to freely immigrate to the shrunken Jewish state. In other words, their official position is that they will only have normal relations with Israel after Israel destroys itself.

But their official position is no longer their actual position. Their actual position is to view Israel as a strategic ally.

The senior official told the Israeli reporters that in order to show that “their primary security concern is Iran,” then as far as the Arabs are concerned, “resolving some of the other issues in the region, including the Palestinian issue should be in their interest. We would like to see them more invested in moving the process forward.”

In the real world, there is no peace process. And the Palestinian factions are fighting over who gets to have better relations with Iran. Monday we learned that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas wishes to visit Iran in the coming months in the hopes of getting the money that until recently was enjoyed by his Hamas rivals.
Sadly, it looks like Congressional Democrats will cave on the Iran deal, will act like a phalanx of Stepford wives and support this president by not overturning this historically bad deal with a notoriously bad actor, Iran.

History will judge them for this cowardice—for putting party ahead of the best interests of their country, or at the very least, for accepting lies as truth and naive claims as irrefutable.

There may, however, be an unintended (by Obama, at least) silver lining. As Glick reports, many Arab states and Israel oppose this deal and have moved closer together in that opposition. All will not be sweetness and light, but Egypt, the Saudis, the majority of the GCC oppose Obama's capitulation to Iran, and if that leads to a form of detente with Israel as they all work to oppose Iran, so much the better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Barack Obama's Team of 2s never ceases to amaze. They make patently outrageous claims with little concern for reality or truth. The latest is exemplified by a prima facie example of the Peter Principle, John Kerry. YahooNews reports:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal with Iran and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, a loss of confidence in U.S. leadership could threaten the dollar's position as the world's reserve currency, the top U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday.

"If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, 'You're going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,' that is a recipe, very quickly ... for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a Reuters Newsmaker event.
The U.S dollar may very well be removed as the world's reserve currency, but it will have NOTHING to do with our rejection (one can only hope) of the Iran "deal." Rather, it might have something to do with Barack Obama's profligate spending and the resultant precipitous growth in the national debt, the printing by the federal reserve of tens of billions in "quantitative easing" currency to buy back our ever expanding debt, and our growing inability to service our debt were interest rates to rise. Not to mention perceived weakness of our country and its leadership by major international players, lead by China.

If anything, rejection of the "deal" would be the first time in almost seven years that the United States of America showed any spine at all. In fact, rejection of the deal might very well improve our standing around the world by showing that although the current administration is perfectly willing to appease a very bad actor in Iran, our Congress is not. It might actually demonstrate that adults have regained control from the petulant children that have run things (very, very badly) since 2008.

Roll On

Those of us who oppose Big Intrusive Government (B.I.G.) are very concerned about the growth, scope, and arrogance that Federal (and to a much lesser extent) State governments. Over the past six years, government intrusiveness—in the form of thousands of costly regulations, unjustified tax increases, and unnecessary and often counter-productive government programs and mandates have caused the economy to stagnate, citizens to suffer, and worse, have accomplished little that is good for the country.

Nothing exemplifies this more starkly that the Colorado mine spill, precipitated by incompetent action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You haven't heard about the mine spill? That's probably because the trained hamsters in the media, friends of B.I.G. all, have spent relatively little time on it.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Last week an EPA hazmat team hoped to inspect an abandoned Gold Rush-era mine near Durango, Colorado, and the backhoe digging out the collapsed cave entrance breached a retaining wall. The blowout spilled the contaminated sludge that had accumulated for nearly a century in the mine’s tunnels into a creek that is a tributary of the Animas River, flowing at a rate of 740 gallons a minute.

The plume of lead, arsenic, mercury, copper, cadmium and other heavy metals turned the water a memorable shade of yellow-orange chrome. The sludge is so acidic that it stings upon touch. Colorado, New Mexico and the Navajo Indian reservation have declared states of emergency as the contamination empties into Lake Powell in Utah and the San Juan River in New Mexico.

The ecological ramifications are uncertain, though the San Juan is designated as “critical habitat” for the Colorado Pike Minnow and Razorback Sucker fish. The regional economy that depends on recreational tourism like rafting, kayaking and fly fishing has been damaged. Drinking water is potable only because utilities closed their intake gates, but pollution in the water table has deprived farmers and rural residents of a source for wells, livestock and crop irrigation.

For 24 hours the EPA failed to warn state and local officials, who learned about the fiasco when they saw their river become yellow curry. The EPA’s initial estimate of the leakage was exposed by the U.S. Geologic Service as three times below the real rate. The agency hasn’t explained the cause of the accident.

Yet the demands for reparations and the media outrage are notably muted. President Obama hasn’t budged from his vacation golf rounds. Imagine how the EPA and the green lobby would be reacting if this spill had been committed by a private company. BP could have used this political forbearance after it failed to cork a busted oil well a mile below the sea after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
In what has to be one of the more amusing interviews I've watched in a while, the Democrat Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, an Obama loyalist (and B.I.G. advocate), shrugged his shoulders about the EPA mess and said (paraphrasing), "We're all human, mistakes do happen." Can you imagine an Obama loyalist making the same statement about BP or GE or Dow? Maybe that's because major corporations are expected to be competent and B.I.G. is not. Or, maybe it's because Dems view major corporations as environmental criminals who (gasp!) try to make a profit and stay in business for the hundreds of thousands of employees who, by the way, pay billions in taxes.

Of course, this disaster was totally avoidable. The EPA, like most B.I.G agencies spends significant sums (my guess, 30% - 40% of budget) on make-work projects and unnecessary bureaucracy. This project was make-work—unnecessary and costly, with no tangible benefit. The EPA screwed up, and now the taxpayers will have to pay for their mistake. There will be zero accountability, no one will be fired, and B.I.G. will roll on.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Drip, Drip, Drip

I've noticed something interesting about the media's ubiquitous phone interviews with Donald Trump. (He appears for alive interview only occasionally.) Rather than pressing Trump to provide details on how he intends to "make America great again", or how he will "create" jobs" or how he will solve the immigration crisis, or how he will "defeat" ISIS or how he will balance the budget or how he will achieve any of the over-the-top claims he makes daily (he is, after all, the greatest -- ever), they allow him to ramble incoherently, hoping he will say something controversial, outrageous, or denigrating to one or more of his GOP opponents.

The trained hamsters allow Trump to do this, I think, because there's a drip, drip, drip effect to the Trump candidacy (if you can call it a candidacy). The more he appears in interviews, the more people begin to associate his incoherent, insulting and often mean-spirited rambling with serious GOP candidates. This tarnishes the entire GOP brand and thereby achieves what the media hamsters always try to do—provide a clear media advantage for a weak and really quite extreme Democratic field. It's working.

Even if the GOP rejected Trump outright, the media would continue to provide him with a forum—because in an odd way, he is doing their bidding. He's reinforcing the canard that the GOP field is a bunch of rich white guys (no matter that the GOP field is far more diverse that the Dem field) who don't give a damn about the average voter.

Fortunately, this is happening well over a year from the election, and hopefully, the field will narrow and the Trump idiocy will diminish or disappear. Then again, maybe not. I have this bad feeling that a small segment of the conservative electorate has lost their minds in exactly the same way that a larger segment of the progressive electorate did in 2008 and 2012. It appears that no rational argument, at least for now, will dissuade them for supporting a completely unqualified, empty suit who plays to emotion, not common sense. Drip, drip, drip.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Jewish voters supported Barack Obama overwhelmingly in 2008. They did this because most believed fervently in progressive politics. They chose to disregard Obama's sketchy background, his complete lack of executive experience, and his questionable associations with a collection of unsavory characters. Instead, they romanticized the then-Democratic candidate, imputing superhuman powers of persuasion and intellect to a very mediocre man. In 2012, Jewish voters were somewhat less enthusiastic about Barack Obama, but still voted for his re-election by a significant majority.

Those of us who were somewhat less enthusiastic in 2008 and 2012 warned that there were signs that Barack Obama, like most on the hard-left, was less than enthusiastic about the State of Israel. Worse, we were concerned that he was using Jews for their financial support and votes, but had little real affinity for them.

Now, it seems, the 'chickens are coming home to roost' (to quote one of Obama's mentors from pre-2008).

In writing about the overheated position taken by the Obama administration against anyone who opposes the Iran "deal," the editors of left-leaning Tablet Magazine write the following commentary:
As heated as the arguments between us can get, we can all agree that all of these positions [pro and con on the Iran deal], and their many variants, are entirely within the bounds of legitimate political debate—and that none of them are evidence of anyone’s intent either to rush America to war or to obliterate the State of Israel.

What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.

This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
With less than two years left in his presidency, Obama's mask has fallen away. Over his years in office, we have seen quick glimpses of his anti-Israel and even more subtle anti-Jewish bias, but now ... subtlety is gone. Now we see a vicious, hard-left politician, perfectly willing to demonize his foes in ways that are shocking, even to veteran political observers.

Obama and his Team of 2s are who they are. It's up to the Democratic party to control this president, to stop his less-than-subtle attempt to reintroduce ugly, anti-Jewish canards from a position of leadership and influence. If the Dems refuse to do so, and I suspect they will refuse to do anything, they will demonstrate a level of cowardice and blind conformity that is antithetical to everything they purport to stand for.

The truly despicable nature of Obama's attempt to mine a deep vein of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment among the left, and deftly attempt to broaden that sentiment across the general electorate is further discussed by James Taranto:
Last month the Washington Post reported that “Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States between 1981 and 2005, has written a damning column in which he compares the Iran nuclear deal to the failed nuclear deal with North Korea—and concludes it will have even worse consequences”:

Writing for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph, Badar suggests that President Obama is knowingly making a bad deal, while President Bill Clinton had made a deal with North Korea with the best intentions and the best information he had. The new deal will “wreak havoc” in the Middle East, which is already destabilized due to Iranian actions, ...

Bandar says Obama is smart enough to understand this but that he is ideologically willing to accept collateral damage because he believes he is right.

Was Bandar motivated by a concern for Israel or a desire to get his hands on Aipac’s money? Again, the question answers itself. Riyadh and Jerusalem are anything but friends; they just happen to have a confluence of interests when it comes to the Iran deal.

That America and Israel are friends does not preclude the possibility that Obama is wrong—that his deal puts both countries’ interests in jeopardy.
In a way, it's almost amusing. Obama has been wrong about virtually everything he has done in the Middle East. His foreign policy in that region has led to chaos, violence, failed states, and the disintegration of those titular Arab/Muslim allies who support us. Yet he has the magnificent hubris  to believe that he is unequivocally right in this instance. Why should anyone believe he is, after a consistent history of bad decisions, bad outcomes and bad intent? Even worse, he uses subtle anti-Semitic tropes to cast aspersions on those who rightly question his judgement, his intent and his likelihood of success. Obama has now removed his mask, and the man behind it is edging ever closer to true sociopathic behavior.

UPDATE (8/11/15):

Barack Obama is quick to demonize and denunciate critics of the Iran "deal." He continues to do that today. The problem he doesn't seem to recognize is that there are an awful lot of critics. Even those who support the "deal" do so with many reservations, lots of caveats, and a shrug that implies that this "deal" is "better than nothing." In reality, Obama's "deal" is much worse than nothing.

Bret Stevens (no friend of this president) notes:
Much has now been written on the merits and demerits of the Iran deal. Not enough has been said about the bald certitude of its principal sponsor, or the naked condescending disdain with which he treats his opponents. Mr. Obama has the swagger of a man who never seems to have encountered a contrary point of view he respected, or come to grips with the limits of his own intelligence, or figured out that facile arguments tend to be weak ones, if for no other reason than that the world is a complicated place, information is never complete and truth is rarely more than partial.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” says Mike Tyson, who knows whereof he speaks. Mr. Obama talks about his Iran deal the way Howard Cosell talked about a fight.

One might have thought that, by now, the president and his advisers would be chastened by experience. Al Qaeda is “on a path to defeat” (2012). Bashar Assad’s “days are numbered” (2011). “If you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance. Period, end of story” (2009). Russia and the U.S. “are not simply resetting our relationship but also broadening it” (2010). Yemen is an example of a counterterrorist strategy “we have successfully pursued . . . for years” (2014).

And so on—a record of prediction as striking for the boldness of its initial claims as it is for the consistency of its failures. Doesn’t Mr. Obama get this? Haven’t his advisers figured out that they have a credibility issue?

Apparently not.
But why not? That's the pivotal question. What kind of man (and administration) doesn't learn from his (their) many, many mistakes and "the consistency of its failures"? What kind of man resorts to ad hominem attacks, not to mention dog whistle slurs that border on blatant anti-Semitism, to protect a weak position? I know the answer to that question, and I suspect some democrats do as well. The difference is that those Dems are too afraid to admit what the evidence clearly indicates.

UPDATE (8/15/15):

As polls continue to show that a strong majority of the country is against his Iran "deal," Obama and his Team of 2s have doubled down on the vilification of those (including Dems) who oppose the deal. Doug Ross comments:
Obama and his cronies have pursued an extraordinary campaign of vilification against Republicans and Democrats who dared to question the deal that will allow Iran to upgrade its nuclear program and obtain ICBM missiles, that will fund its terrorist activities around the world and even lift sanctions on terrorists like Anis Naccache, who engaged in nuclear proliferation, over European protests.

The apocalyptic rhetoric out of the White House is meant to shut down the debate. Threats of war and accusations of treason are not the language of an administration that is confident in its own arguments.

Democrats and Republicans have been accused of treason, of warmongering and of making common cause with Iranian leaders who chant “Death to America” by this administration and its allies. These accusations are hysterical, unhinged and contradict themselves. If you take them literally, Obama and his allies are accusing critics of both wanting war with America’s enemies and collaborating with them.

Elected officials who don’t want money going to terrorists are traitors. Anyone who doesn’t want to escalate the conflict in the region by enabling Iran’s arms buildup is a warmonger. And those who think that Obama’s deal with a regime that chants “Death to America” is flawed are aligned with the enemy.

There’s so much abuse coming out of the White House that its officials can’t even coordinate a coherent smear campaign that makes any kind of sense. Senator Schumer is being tarred as a chickenhawk traitor who voted for the Iraq War and secretly works for Israel, but Senator Webb is a Vietnam veteran who was wounded in the war and whose son served in Iraq, but who opposed the Iraq War.

Is he also a chickenhawk traitor or is Obama Inc. going to assemble a different smear for every dissenting Democrat? If so it had better get started because the majority of the country opposes it.

Only 52 percent of Democrats support the deal. Are all the rest traitors too? Is the Democratic Party going to have purge most of its own treasonous base and only retain those fully loyal to Obama?

It is not treason to disagree with Obama. It is not treason for the Senate to assert its rightful powers under the Constitution. It is certainly not treason for the Senate to stand with the majority of Americans who oppose an agreement that will allow a terrorist state to control a deadly nuclear program.

America is not a monarchy. Dissent is not treason. It can be the highest form of patriotism. And if being pro-Israel is treason, then how are we to describe Biden and Kerry’s ties to the Iran Lobby?
Many, many Americans will be watching Congressional Dems on this issue. It's time for the Democratic party to push back against a very bad deal crafted by a president who, demonstrably, has made so many bad decisions in the Middle East, and who is now making the granddaddy of them all.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Reality TV

I'm not sure how to react to the ascension of Donald Trump, the current (and I believe, short-lived) poll-leader among 17 GOP candidates for the presidential nomination. On the one-hand Trump is a empty suit, a blowhard on steroids, who pontificates about the broad challenges that face this  country, but offers no substantive recommendations on how to address those challenges, other than "The Art of the Deal." On the other hand, if you can believe the talking heads, Trump has hit a nerve among some who are justifiably angry with the incompetence, corruption, and weakness that has been evident in Washington over the past 6 years.

Conservative writer,  Kevin Williamson, ravages Donald Trump when he writes about a recent Trump campaign event in Las Vegas:
Oh, you’re goddamned right this is Vegas, baby! because the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino is the only truly appropriate venue for a show like the one we have right here [Trump's appearance]. For your consideration: the carefully coiffed golden mane, the vast inherited fortune, the splendid real-estate portfolio, the family name on buildings from Manhattan to the Strip, the reality-television superstardom, the room-temperature-on-a-brisk-November-day IQ. The only thing distinguishing that great spackled misshapen lump of unredeemed American id known as Donald Trump from his spiritual soul mate, that slender lightning rod of unredeemed American id known as Paris Hilton, is — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — a sex tape. The gross thing is, you can kind of imagine a Trump sex tape: the gilt pineapples on the four-poster bed, the scarlet silk-jacquard sheets, the glowing “T” in the background, the self-assured promises that this will be the classiest sex tape the world has ever seen — that it’s yuuuuuuuge! — the cracked raving 69-year-old Babbitt analogue barking inchoate instructions off camera . . . no, no more, that way madness lies.

The awful, horrifying, despair-and-cringe-inducing real-talk truth that is causing the more mobile and proactive among us to start downloading those teach–yourself–Swiss German apps onto our iPhones and to read up on the finer points of immigration law is that the Donald Trump presidential campaign is the Donald Trump sex tape, an act of theater performing precisely the same functions as Paris Hilton’s amateur porn-o-vision escapade: exhibitionism, theatrical self-aggrandizement, titillation, etc., all of it composing a documentation of transient potency to be shored up against the inevitable passing of that potency. Trump is a post-erotic pornographer, and his daft followers are engaged in the political version of masturbation: sterile, fruitless self-indulgence.
Later in the piece, William acerbicly addresses Trump's legion of supporters:
Spend any time around the Trumpkins — the intellectually and morally stunted Oompa Loompas who have rallied to the candidacy of this grotesque charlatan — and you will hear purportedly heterosexual men working up freestyle paeans to Trump’s alleged virility — those “pussies in Washington” aren’t ready for “a real man like Trump,” as one put it — and cataloguing his praises in exuberant gonadal terms, with special attention paid to calculating the heaviness of the Trumpian scrotum relative to the equipment being packed by, e.g., Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.
This truly is reality television, and the media loves it. Even the Democrat's trained media hamsters can't resist The Donald.

Steve Hayward talks further about the Trumpkins:
The true Trump apologists are way too far in now. They've invested too much to bail on him. So his defenders will become increasingly desperate to convince people that this is all part of the establishment's failure to understand their anger and the media's failure to appreciate Trump’s appeal.

That’s backwards. It's not that the media have failed to give Trump enough credit; we’ve given his supporters too much. We assumed that at some point they'd embarrassed to be associated with him: If not his slander of Mexican immigrants, then perhaps his mockery of POWs; if not his kindergarten Twitter insults, then perhaps his sad and compulsive boasting; if not his incomprehensible answers to substantive questions at the debate, then maybe, finally, his juvenile and misogynistic put-down of the female moderator

Those who still remain Trump supporters seem to be beyond shame. It doesn’t matter that they’re angry about the incompetence in Washington. Turning to Trump to solve the problems in Washington is like turning to an ape to fix a broken refrigerator. It’s embarrassing, but rather than embarrassment, the Trump followers will feel more anger and their pose will shift from self-righteousness to victimhood. And many of them will dig in further.
It's well past time for the Trump clown show to get the hook. Sadly, that won't happy in the short term, and we'll all be assaulted with more Trump reality TV.

Saturday, August 08, 2015


She stands no chance. She has no political experience. She’s vulnerable because of her experience in the private sector (fired as a CEO at H-P). Her national name recognition numbers are very low. She hasn’t raised enough money. She might be a good VP choice, but president, nah.

Those are just a few of the comments that one hears when Carly Fiorina is discussed. And yet, Carly Fiorina is worth mentioning as one of a number of serious, thoughtful, and qualified GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination.

I think it's time for a woman to lead this country, but that woman MUST NOT be a venal, corrupt, poll-driven, unethical, dishonest member of the political class who has accomplished little of substance in over 30 years of politics.

It’s time for a woman leader who can string together a series of extemporaneous paragraphs that all have substance, who doesn’t dodge hard questions, who has had distinct leadership and organizational experience, who is a critical thinker. Carly Fiorina is that person.

If you have the time, I’d recommend, CARLY FIORINA UNCENSORED, a long, but very worthwhile video:

After watching, even if you disagree with her on some issues, it's hard not to be impressed by this woman.

Nowhere is it written that a candidate must be a voter’s ideological clone, but he or she must project a level of thoughtful leadership on important issues that will bring this country back from the damage visited upon it after eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.

It is highly unlikely that Carly Fiorina will make the final cut and rise into, say, the top three contenders for the GOP nomination. But it would be a very good thing if she did.

Friday, August 07, 2015


The Atlantic is a left-leaning publication that  defends the often preposterous words and actions of the Obama administration. Over the past few months, The Atlantic has worked very hard to justify the unjustifiable—Obama's "deal" with Iran.

More than a few writers (including yours truly) have suggested that Iran (and more broadly, Islamists across the Middle East) in 2015 and Nazi Germany in 1938 have frightening similarities.

In the Atlantic, Peter Beinart writes an insipid peace in which he argues that noooo, Nazi Germany and the current leadership of Iran are not in any way similar, do not advocate the same things, and offer no existential threat to Israel. He does this, I suspect, because many Jews are left-leaning and read The Atlantic, but many of those same Jews are beginning to feel increasingly uneasy about Obama's deal with Iran and what it might mean for Israel and the United States.* They need a reason (an excuse?) to stick with Obama, and Beinart's piece just might give it to them.

To form, Beinart begins by quoting two 'right wingers'—Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, along with Israeli prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, who are all unabashedly pro-Israel.
In asserting that Iran seeks to murder all Jews, politicians like Huckabee, Cruz, and Netanyahu focus overwhelmingly on the [Iranian] regime’s words. “When people who are in a government position continue to say they’re going to kill you,” said Huckabee, “I think somebody ought to wake up and take that seriously.” “If history teaches one lesson,” added Cruz, “it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”
Laughably for a leftist, Beinhart immediately suggests that the Ayatollah's words don't matter. Mind you, now, Leftists think words matter a lot in everything political, social, and cultural, except when Islamists utter them. In fact, when Bibi Netanyahu said (in words) that many Arabs were going to the polls during his election, the Left fell all over themselves mindlessly accusing him of "racism." The left spun like tops when Huckabee (correctly, IMO) conjured images of the Holocaust ("ovens" to be precise) in referring to the consequences of Obama's deal with the Mullahs.

But Back to Beinart's apologia. He suggests that Jews remain in Iran and have not been killed by the Ayatollah, even though Iran's leader says he will wipe Israel off the map. That, Beinart argues, tells us that Iran is not genocidal. To make this ridiculous argument seem thoughtful, he writes:
Within months of ascending to power, Hitler banned Jews from serving as civil servants or lawyers and began expelling them from government schools and universities. Within five years, he oversaw the orgy of anti-Jewish violence that was Kristallnacht. Within nine years, the Wannsee Conference began implementing the Final Solution.

Compare that to Iran. The Iranian regime has been in power for 36 years. It governs a Jewish population of between 10,000 and 25,000. Life for Iranian Jews is not easy. They cannot express any sympathy for Israel. Indeed, they must go out of their way to reject Zionism lest they confirm regime suspicions about their loyalty. And those suspicions sometimes descend into outright persecution, as happened in 1999 in the city of Shiraz, when 13 Jews were imprisoned for several years on charges of spying for Israel.
Really? The fact that 17,500 (I'll use an average, although I suspect the 10,000 is probably closer to accurate) Jews remain in Islamist Iran means that the Iranians have no ill-intent toward Jews in general or Israel in particular? That number, by the way, is down form approximately 80,000 Jews before the Ayatollah Komeni took over in the late 1970s. In fact, there are 8 times more Iranian Jews in Israel today then there are in Iran!

And of course, he trots out this well-worn leftist canard:
One potential answer is that Iran’s regime is not genocidally anti-Semitic, only genocidally anti-Zionist. It will spare its own Jews, provided they eschew Zionism, while killing the Jews of Israel because they will not.
Zionism argues that the Jews, who have been persecuted for thousands of years, deserve a tiny sliver of land in an immense region of the world. Iran and the Left argue that Jews do not deserve that land, stole it in fact, although history refutes that outrageous accusation. The Left and all Islamists (are we seeing a pattern here?) use the "palestinians, or "oppression" or "colonialism" as an pathetic excuse to be anti-Zionist. Here's the unpleasant bottom line: anti-zonist = anti-Semitic. Try all the nuance you'd like, Mr. Beinart, that's the reality of it.

Beinart continues:
But even toward Israel, Iran’s behavior, while hostile and violent, has been nowhere near genocidal. To be sure, Iran supports both Hezbollah and Hamas, organizations that commit terrorism against the Jewish state (and in the case of Hezbollah’s despicable attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, terrorism against Jews outside Israel too). Supporting these groups furthers Iran’s regional influence, since it allows Tehran to pose as the champion of a Palestinian cause that most Arabs support. It also strengthens Iranian deterrence, since Hezbollah and Hamas, which are situated on Israel’s borders, could retaliate if Israel attacked Iran.

But while Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, it has not done everything in its power to help them kill Israelis. Not even close. To the contrary, the regime’s apparent fear of Israeli retaliation generally has led it to exhibit the very restraint that Huckabee, Cruz, and Netanyahu insist it would not show once it has the bomb.
So let me see if I've got this straight. Iran supports and positions terrorist groups on Israel's borders. Obama's deal provides billions to Iran. Iran will use that money to further support and strengthen those terrorist groups. The same groups, by the way, that vow to wipe Israel off the map.

But somehow, Beinart suggests that this is an example of "restraint" on the part of Iran. Beinhart is either too stupid or too delusional to recognize that Islamists are fighting a long war against Israel, degrading the country through terror attacks and an occasional mini-war while encouraging Western Leftists (a.k.a. useful idiots) to blame Israel for defending its own people.

Iran's leadership shows no restraint, but they do show patience. That patience will be eroded when (not if) Iran acquires nuclear weapons. Obama is making that easy for them. Be patient—get a nuke. Or ... be sneaky, get a nuke faster.

This is a watershed moment for Congressional Democrats, and Beinart knows it. There's real weakness in support for Obama's deal, and Beinard knows it. So he trots out pseudo-intellectual (and very tenuous) arguments that he hopes will shore up pro-Obama support for the "deal.".

Problem is—his arguments are nonsense—Iran's intent in words and actions is clear. First, Israel and then the West. Iran's patience will win out when it's is faced with appeasement and weakness. And that's exactly the "deal" that Barack Obama has created.

* As an example of this unease among Dems, consider famed legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat and a liberal, who writes:
With regard to the deal with Iran, the stakes are so high, and the deal so central to the continuing security of the free world, that it should — as a matter of democratic governance — require more than a presidential agreement and one third plus one of both houses of Congress. This is especially true where there is no clear consensus in favor of the deal among the American people. Though we do not govern by polls, it seems fairly clear that a majority of Americans now oppose the deal.

Let us never forget that America is a democracy where the people ultimately rule, and if the majority of Americans continue to oppose the deal, it will ultimately be rejected, if not by this administration, than by the next. An agreement, as distinguished from a treaty does not have the force of law. It can simply be abrogated by any future president.
Barack Obama has chosen to disregard the clear fact that we have a constitution with co-equal branches of government. History will judge him harshly as a consequence, whether his "deal" is approved or not.

* And this news from The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Schumer, the most influential Jewish voice in Congress, said Thursday night that he would oppose President Obama’s deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed,” Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a lengthy statement. “This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”