Monday, December 16, 2013

John Kerry's Wrongheaded Priority 
 Jeff Jacoby / Townhall Columnist
 
The annual "Death to America" rallies across Iran last month were the largest ever. The outpouring of hate against the United States wasn't cancelled, or even toned down, by the new Iranian president, the purportedly "moderate, reasonable" Hassan Rouhani. Far from it. "Iran's propaganda machine had been working for weeks ahead of the ceremonies to mobilize maximum public participation," reported the BBC Persian service on November 4. The resulting demonstrations were "unprecedented in their scale and scope."

This is the regime that Barack Obama has been so ardent to engage, and that John Kerry was secretly wooing as far back as 2011.

Less than three weeks after Tehran was whipping anti-US hostility to a record high, Kerry concluded an interim nuclear deal in Geneva that was so favorable to the Islamic Republic that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, delightedly claimed victory. As well he might, since the Great Satan and its negotiating partners had, for all intents and purposes, conceded Iran's longstanding diplomatic objective: international recognition of its right to enrich uranium. Kerry denied it, but thetext of the deal stipulates — not once, but twice — that a final arrangement with Iran will "involve a mutually defined enrichment program."

Not to worry, Kerry assured the deal's critics: He and his fellow negotiators are "resolute" about not letting Iran acquire nuclear weapons. What's more, he added, "Foreign Minister Zarif emphasized that they don't intend to do this, and the Supreme Leader has indicated there is a fatwa which forbids them to do this."

Sound familiar? It wasn't so long ago that Kerry was similarly encouraged by Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad's supposed commitment to reform. When, even more recently, Assad brazenly defied the Obama administration's "red line" by using chemical weapons, Kerry was certainly "resolute" about the need for a forceful response. "Nothing today is more serious," he passionately declared. But the forceful response never came. The administration backed down, weapons inspectors were dispatched instead, and Assad was transformed from an international war criminal to just another unsavory negotiating partner.

With that Syrian fiasco so vivid and fresh, it's not surprising that the nuclear deal with Iran has drawn such strong — and bipartisan — skepticism. Obama and Kerry keep insisting that they aren't naïve. If the next six months show that the Iranians aren't serious about abandoning the quest for nuclear weapons, they say, the sanctions relaxed by the Geneva agreement will be reimposed. "We can crank that dial back up," Obama told an interviewer. "We don't have to trust them."

So why on earth is the administration urging Congress not to pass tough new conditional sanctionsthat would take effect if Iran cheats on the interim deal, or if it refuses afterward to negotiate a permanent deal shutting down its nuclear weapons program for good? Surely the best way to put teeth in the president's threat — surely the best way to keep the pressure on Tehran — is to have those new sanctions ready and waiting.

But that assumes that the administration's priority is to ensure that Iran never gets the bomb. It isn't — not if actions speak louder than words.

Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Kerry urged Congress to hold off on any new sanctions until the six-month Geneva agreement has run its course. "I don't want to give the Iranians a public excuse to flout the agreement," Kerry told the committee. Brandishing the threat of new sanctions might make our "partners" think "that we're not an honest broker and that we didn't mean it when we said that sanctions were not an end in and of themselves, but a tool to pressure the Iranians into a diplomatic solution."

But the goal of sanctions wasn't simply diplomacy. It was to squeeze Iran into abandoning its quest for nuclear weapons, and complying with six UN Security Council resolutions requiring it to end all uranium enrichment. There is no reason to believe Iran has any intention of doing so. There is every reason to believe it aims to keep doing what it has been doing all along: moving forward, by any means necessary, toward a goal it has never backed away from. The mullahs rely on the gullibility of self-satisfied naifs like Obama and Kerry, who take pride in their willingness to negotiate with even the most hateful regimes — and for whom diplomacy always seems to matter more than getting the right diplomatic results.

Maybe the Obama administration thought nothing could be worse than a web site that didn't work. But that's not necessarily true -- just ask those forced into ObamaCare exchanges in Washington state.

Some report that their bank accounts are being wrongly debited -- some having money deducted from their accounts twice, others being billed before the date they had selected, creating significant cash flow problems, especially before Christmas.

Officials say the problem is being investigated.

Glitches, grinches -- it's all the same for the unfortunates stuck in the system.
Lebanese army fires at Israeli soldiers 
From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


Lebanesesoldier.jpg

The next round of the jihad against Israel could start at any time. "Report: Lebanese army fires at Israeli soldiers," from the Associated Press, December 15:
BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese army force opened fire Sunday along the volatile border with Israel, Israeli officials and Lebanon's National News Agency said. 
The Israeli military said that shots were fired at a civilian vehicle traveling along the border, adding that the sniper was a member of the Lebanese military.
Arab satellite TV channels Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya reported that an Israeli soldier was killed in the shooting, but there was no immediate confirmation of casualties from either side.
Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for UN forces in southern Lebanon, said the UN was informed of a "serious incident along the blue line around Ras Naqoura." He said UNIFIL is in contact with both the Lebanese and Israeli armies, and that they are cooperating.
"The incident happened on the Israeli side of the blue line," he said, referring to a U.N. drawn line demarcating the border between the two enemy states.
Tenenti declined to provide details on what transpired, saying UNIFIL was still trying to determine exactly what happened....
It was not clear why the Lebanese soldiers opened fire. The army has opened fire in the past after they said Israeli soldiers tried to infiltrate the border area....
“Nelson Mandela is a leader who Barack Obama should try to emulate. He could start 
by spending 27 years in prison.”
 -- Don Imus

Conservatives Choking On Boehner’s Phony Deficit Reduction

by / Personal Liberty Digest


Conservatives Choking On Boehner’s Phony Deficit Reduction
UPI
Only a true sociopath can lie to your face when he knows you know he is lying, and then chastise you for not believing the lie.

Such is the case with House Weeper John Boehner. Such is the case with Representative Paul Ryan. Such is the case with most, if not all, politicians.

When the big Weeper stood before cameras lauding the budget deal House Republicans had reached with Senate Democrats, Boehner claimed that the deal creates a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. “It’s doing what the American people expect us to do,” which is to “stick to our principles but find common ground,” Boehner said in a pre-vote speech. He even said it with a straight face.

What the deal does is add back $63 billion in spending that had been cut by the so-called sequester deal President Barack Obama and the House had agreed to in 2011. It increases so-called discretionary Federal spending to $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, an increase above the $967 billion 2011 budget plan. It also raises $12 billion in fees on air travelers to pay for aviation security. These increased taxes, by the way, were called “savings” by the elected class. Note that total Federal spending in 2014 is expected to be about $3.21 trillion, even with the so-called “cuts” outlined in the agreement.

In an essay titled “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell wrote, “Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Such is the case in Washington, D.C., where ever-increasing Federal spending is called cuts, taxes are called savings, lies are called the truth and progressives and statists call themselves conservatives.

The Weeper took to the microphones after the vote and proclaimed: “I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal government. And, uh, this budget agreement takes giant steps in that direction… All the things that we’ve done over the three years I’ve been speaker have not violated any conservative principal. Not once.” And again, he kept a straight face.

Conservatives can only wish his lie were true.

Boehner became speaker in January 2011. His “fight for smaller, less costly, more accountable Federal Government” since then has resulted in the official U.S. “debt” as measured by the Treasury Department rising from $14.1 trillion to $17.2 trillion.

After the deal, Boehner crowed that among the deal’s good points was deficit reduction. That might indeed be considered a positive were it true that scraping $20 billion to $23 billion out of a $3.21 trillion and-sure-to-annually-increase budget over 10 years was meaningful reduction — especially considering that the Federal Reserve pumps $85 billion a month in new spending into the economy through quantitative easing to infinity.

Winners in the budget deal included the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex, which get back much of the money they lost in the sequester deal, and the growing bureaucracy of the Federal leviathan. Remember: As the government steals your money, it hires more people to staff the bloated bureaucracies and sit around thinking of more ways to steal more of your money.

Losers are the American people, who see government growing ever larger and recognize there is no one in Washington, D.C., with the stomach to make significant cuts.

Despite what Boehner wants you to believe, the Federal government’s problem is not the deficit. It’s spending, and the deal in no way addresses that. The government took in a record $2.77 trillion in tax revenue in the just completed fiscal year. For perspective, that’s $200 billion more than the previous record in 2007. That year, the government took in $2.57 trillion and spent $2.73 trillion. If the government were cut back to 2007 levels, it would be operating well in the black. I don’t recall there being complaints of too little government in 2007… or 2006 or 2005.

When several Tea Party-aligned groups pointed out that the deal grows government rather shrinks it, as Boehner claimed, he lashed out, calling them “ridiculous.” But pointing out that a deal that increases Federal spending, raises taxes and puts off meaninglessly insignificant “deficit reduction” to later years is far from “ridiculous.” What Boehner has done is used an accounting gimmick common among the political class.

The deal also breaks the “Read the Bill” promise made the Boehner and GOP in 2010 that said that all bills would be available for reading online for 72 hours before they are voted on. The bill was posted at 11:25 p.m. on Tuesday, five hours after an agreement was announced. The bill was passed out of the House on Thursday. The House then adjourned and Boehner and his minions scurried out of town.

Now the bill moves to the Senate where Republicans, still peeved with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s move toward mob rule, plan to launch procedural efforts to kill it. For some of them the unhappiness is not that the deal cuts too little government spending — it’s in where the cuts come from. Whether they will unite to stand in the breech remains to be seen.

Tea Party-aligned groups are unhappy with the agreement. That makes Republican Senators set to face the electorate in 2014 just a little antsy. But a large group of House Republicans — and Boehner in particular — seem to not care.
Op-ed: 
ObamaCare...the gift that keeps on giving 
By: Diane Sori

ObamaCare...we cannot allow the media to sweep this nightmare under the rug like they do with so many other things for this is one nightmare that needs to remain in the public's consciousness.  Ignoring it will allow Obama and his minions to continue to perpetrate the LIE about how wonderful it will all be when ObamaCare is fully implemented...and the sheeple and uninformed will lap it up like a dog laps up water on a hot day.  But the simple truth is that it will only get worse because the government has NO business dictating the healthcare of its citizenry...period.  

So with that let's cut to the chase and lay out the bottom line truth for all to see...ObamaCare was designed to fail so that Barack HUSSEIN Obama could then get what he's always wanted...a single-payer form of healthcare that goes beyond mere socialized medicine.  In other words nationalized medicine....as in Medicaid for everyone...with the government calling all the shots...and with the government getting the money to sustain it all through more taxes.

As in stick it to 'We the People' yet again.

Under a single-payer system 'death panels' would take on a life of their own as they became the new norm...you are older...you get sick...you die. It is that simple. And never mind if you have something that can be cured...your age makes you a liability that puts a drain on the funding so it's bye-bye.  And rest assured that age cut-off will NOT be 75 or 80 but could possibly be as young as 55...scary, huh.

Ever since ObamaCare officially reared its ugly head with the roll out of its non-working website on October 1st, more people are now uninsured than ever before...with almost six million Americans who were happy with their healthcare coverage having now lost those policies as they've been cancelled from said policies simply because Obama said they were NO good.  Think about that for a minute...a 'community organizer' from Chicago who has absolutely NO medical knowledge whatsoever has now decided what constitutes good medical care and coverage and what does NOT.

And remember, with Obama and his minions everything they do is all about securing future Democratic voters and totally tying Americans to the hand that feeds them...or in this case to the hand that treats them when they get sick. Wanting to create generations tied to the government teat is the whole concept behind ObamaCare and don't for a minute think it's anything else...because it's NOT.

Simple fact, the very foundation upon which ObamaCare was concocted is shaky at best for while it's true that tens of millions of  Americans were indeed without health insurance before ObamaCare that did NOT stop anyone...including those here ILLEGALLY...from walking into any emergency room in this country when needed, for in America NO matter your financial ability to pay you CANNOT be turned away from emergency room treatment. 

And one has to laugh at the ludicrousness of it all as last week Kathleen Sebelius...the very person who had the responsibility for implementing ObamaCare and getting it right....bloviatied before Congress that to date 365,00 people have signed up for ObamaCare through either the state or federal exchanges...a number she claims makes ObamaCare a undeniable success.  But what she did NOT say was that there were states that saw almost as many people lose their insurance because of ObamaCare as sign up for ObamaCare.  In other words a breaking even at best...a probable decline in the numbers covered at worst.

And while we know that Congress tends to over-inflate numbers a bit (that puts it mildly), according to the Congressional Budget Office Report (CBO) issued in the weeks before ObamaCare was officially launched, there were about 53 million uninsured persons in the United States, including uninsured ILLEGAL aliens (but let's be honest here...who gives a damn about the ILLEGALS as in the very word ILLEGAL means breaking the law). The CBO report also projected that in 2022...a mere eight years from now...30 million people...most of whom will NOT be elderly...will still be uninsured, and that includes eight percent of legal US citizens or residents.  This means that 22 percent of those uninsured will most likely be ILLEGALS with that number growing, because as of now they keep coming and coming as our borders are still NOT secure you know.

And we have Obama to thank for that one too. 

So again...let them go to the emergency room...whoops...how could I forget that if they keep doing that it means that once again 'We the People' will be footing the bill for those here ILLEGALLY... deep disgusted sigh for I know that there are NO true winners with ObamaCare nor was it designed to create any winners amongst real Americans, for like I said before ObamaCare was created to assure government control of health care and for that reason alone. 

And now think about this so NOT happy thought...come January 1st there will be fewer Americans with health insurance than there will be on December 31st...and that is the harsh reality of the ramifications of Obamacare.  And if a sizable number of the millions who had their insurance cancelled simply refuse to re-enroll...which many are indeed doing or should I say NOT doing...you can safely assume that many of those refusing will be the young and healthy...the oh so needed demographic that ObamaCare needs to remain financially viable if NOT outright operational.

And then what happens when the insurance pools become filled only with the sick and elderly which would likely be the case...what happens is premiums would hit the roof even more than they already have on the plans offered on the exchanges today...with some plans seeing premiums doubling or even tripling in some cases.

The solution to the 'supposed' healthcare crisis of 'supposedly' many being uninsured would have really been quite simple if Obama had truly wanted to help those uninsured...all he had to do was set-up an 'exchange' where those uninsured people alone could purchase...YES purchase NOT get a free ride via Medicaid...truly affordable insurance with the coverage needed.  There was NO need for Barack HUSSEIN Obama to screw up what was already successfully in place for the majority just to accommodate the few.

So what was the point of ObamaCare when there was NO medical necessity, urgency, or crisis to justify ObamaCare whatsoever, because as I mentioned before NO one is turned away from an emergency room, and the vast majority of those already insured were happy with the plans they already had.  When all the bravado and bloviations spewed out by the Obama loyalists is stripped away what remains is that ObamaCare is all about control.  It's all about yet another Obama power grab...about having all encompassing control over every aspect of our personal lives.  And medical care is about as personal as anything can get.  With it's power grab and control ObamaCare sounds a lot like islam doesn't it...where a political system (and islam is NOTHING but a political system mind you) wraps its tentacles around the individual until it...especially in the case of ObamaCare's 'death panels'...literally squeezes the life out of you.  But hey, with a muslim in the White House ObamaCare fits that islamic ideology perfectly.

So once again it's 'We the People' getting screwed by both Barack HUSSEIN Obama and by each and every member of Congress who passed this abomination of a bill before they bothered to read it.

All I can say is hurry up November 2014.