Monday, November 25, 2013

Reactions to the Iranian nuclear deal that President Obama hailed as an “important first step toward a comprehensive solution” have been mixed, to say the least. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has perhaps been most outspoken against the deal, calling it a “historic mistake” and saying that by “lifting the pressure, this “first step” might be the last step." Shortly after the deal was announced last night he also reminded America:

And today, his account has been ‘Tweet blasting’ excerpts from his statement on the deal, which according to an official from Netanyahu’s office, “gives Iran exactly what it wanted—a significant reduction of sanctions while preserving the most significant part of its nuclear program.”

But Netanyahu is not the only one to criticize the deal—there’s also bipartisan concern in Congress:

Rep. Ed Royce:
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the [House Foreign Affairs Committee], said that the economic sanctions against Iran were clearly working and should be intensified until Iran agreed to give up its nuclear program. 
“Until they do that, they’re still on the road to having the capability for undetectable nuclear weapons break out,” Royce said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“And that’s the bottom line: We just feel more pressure needs to be brought on Iran, rather than to make this deal and take the pressure off.”
Rep. Eliot Engel:
Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), the committee’s top Democrat, said Congress needed to do what it could to make the deal work. But Engel was also clearly disappointed that the deal didn’t explicitly bar Iran from enriching uranium, and said that sanctions would still have to be on the table. 
“I don’t think you make them bargain in good faith by going squishy,” Engel said.
Rep. Mike Rogers:
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the new Iran nuclear agreement “rewarded very bad and dangerous behavior.” 
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said that the agreement, which gives limited relief from sanctions against Iran, softened the one policy that was pressuring Tehran.
“We may have just encouraged more violence in the future than we have stopped,” Rogers said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Sen. Bob Corker:
“My greatest concerns are seeing follow-through,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told “Fox News Sunday.” “This administration is very big on announcements and less so on following through. [Iran] is spiking the ball in the end zone.” 
He also repeatedly said he didn’t want the interim deal to “become the norm.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md:
Corker was joined on the show by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., also a member of the chamber’s foreign relations committee. 
“We are very concerned as to whether Iran will live up to these agreements,” Cardin said. “Congress needs to be prepared.”
Both suggested that Capitol Hill is prepared to reinstate sanctions that have been lifted in the deal and impose new ones.
Sen. Marco Rubio:
“By allowing the Iranian regime to retain a sizable nuclear infrastructure, this agreement makes a nuclear Iran more likely. There is now an even more urgent need for Congress to increase sanctions until Iran completely abandons its enrichment and reprocessing capabilities.” 
"This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands. Iran will likely use this agreement - and any that follows that does not require any real concessions - to obtain a nuclear weapons capability.”
The nuclear deal, as Foreign Policy notes, “represents the biggest gamble of President Barack Obama's presidency, and the success or failure of that bet will have serious repercussions for the administration's standing on Capitol Hill, Washington's relationships with Israel and other Middle Eastern allies, and the national security of the United States itself.”

Lost in Thursday’s “nuclear” attack on the Senate, the Banking Committee approved the nomination of Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. Even without the filibuster changes, her nomination was all but guaranteed. Once confirmed she will almost surely continue the Fed’s current reckless policies.

The Banking Committee approved Yellen 14 to 8, with only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), voting against her and she is likely to be voted on by the full Senate by the middle of December.

Unlike Supreme Court nominees, who generally receive days of questioning by the Senate, the Banking Committee checked its box on “advise and consent” in just over two hours. Despite that low bar, the full floor debate is likely to be even more devoid of substance.

Yet the risks to our economy demand such a debate. Prior to her service as the Fed’s Vice Chair, Janet Yellen led the San Francisco Fed from 2005 to 2010. The San Francisco district includes, in addition to California, both Nevada and Arizona. Its fair to say Yellen’s backyard was ground zero for the housing bubble, and it appears she was completely blind to it.

Looking at Yellen’s statements, and the San Francisco Beige Book reports, one is hard pressed to see any concern coming from Yellen. In fact we repeatedly see mortgage credit being described as “good” in the San Francisco reports.

At worst, she shared the widely held view that the bubble was actually a positive, because it had the appearance of creating wealth (like today’s stock market), while also appearing to do something about the labor market. This is the real danger: That rather than see the housing bubble as a “bug” to be fixed, she viewed it as a positive feature of the Fed’s monetary efforts.

Discussions about monetary policy often focus on whether current Fed policy is expansionary or contractionary. Lost in this debate is that it can be both. While the Fed has injected considerable liquidity into the banking system, it has also paid banks, via interest on reserves, not to lend. It would be nice if the Fed could at least decide upon what exactly it is trying to achieve. Unfortunately, such confusion is likely to continue under Yellen.

With the bank rescues of 2008 and the Dodd-Frank Act expansion of Fed powers, the Fed continues to be the most important U.S. bank regulator. While it was encouraging to hear Yellen recognize the importance of dealing with too-big-to-fail, it was discouraging for her to omit the Fed’s role in having created it.

As long as we continue to have a bank regulatory regime of unfettered discretion, who occupies the regulatory chairs matters. Unfortunately, Yellen appears wed to former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s approach to bank regulation: rescue first and ask questions later. Congress and the public will have to keep her feet to fire to avoid future bank rescues.

No one denies Yellen’s academic qualifications, but those are ultimately irrelevant. Arthur Burns was widely recognized as the Ben Bernanke of his day, and his tenure as Fed Chair was a disaster because, as admitted by Burns himself, the Fed lacked the will to make hard choices. It took Paul Volcker to make those hard choices, but it is important to remember that those choices were not popular ones. Ultimately Janet Yellen will have to decide whether she’s going to be Arthur Burns or Paul Volcker.

Iran's moderate president: "I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


Couldn't be clearer. "Iran’s top officials hail nuclear deal as beginning of new era," by Jason Rezaian for the Washington Post, November 24:
TEHRAN — Iran’s top officials on Sunday welcomed the initial agreement struck with world powers over its nuclear activities, hailing the deal as the beginning of a new era for the Islamic republic, both in its relations with other countries and for its sanctions-ravaged economy. 
“Trust is, of course, a two-way street, and we must also find this trust in others. The first step in creating that trust has been taken,” Iran’s new president, the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani, said in a statement broadcast live on television Sunday morning.
Addressing concerns over the language in the agreement between the six world powers and Iran regarding Tehran’s ability to continue work on its nuclear program, Rouhani said, “Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before.”
Rouhani, who was joined on the broadcast by the families of several Iranian nuclear scientists who were assassinated in recent years, also reiterated what Iran claims is the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
“Let me say once more, the Iranian nation does not want nuclear weapons,” Rouhani said, referring to the accusations that Iran is attempting to build a bomb as “one of those funny jokes of history.”
And everyone is laughing.
A key point for Tehran throughout the negotiations with the group of world powers has been a clear path to reductions in the sanctions that have wrought havoc on Iran’s economy in recent years. 
One of the achievements of Sunday’s agreement, according to Rouhani, is that “the sanctions will be broken. The cracks in the sanctions began last night, and in the future those gaps will be grow.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has long doubted the sincerity of Western leaders, expressed guarded approval of the agreement.
Responding to a letter from Rouhani, Khamenei thanked the efforts of Iran’s negotiating team, led by foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but asked the members to continue their vigilance in dealing with old enemies.
“God willing, standing against the arrogant powers is and will be the main criteria on the path forward for those in charge of this issue,” Khamenei wrote.
While the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive to the announcement of the initial agreement in Tehran, some conservative lawmakers are giving signs that they may try to short-circuit any deal.
“Our minister of foreign affairs says something, the U.S. secretary of state says something else, our television and 8 a.m. news are all saying things that are contradictory. We want to help the government, but the Geneva agreement must be ratified by the parliament,” Hamid Rasaei, a cleric and hard-line parliament member, told fellow lawmakers on Sunday....

White House Changes 2014 Obamacare Enrollment So Voters Won’t Have Disaster In Mind During Senate Elections

by   / Personal Liberty Digest

White House Changes 2014 Obamacare Enrollment So Voters Won’t Have Disaster In Mind During Senate Elections
After months of damning news about the failed Obamacare rollout and a decision to eviscerate the power of the minority Party in the Senate, Democrats — especially those in Red States — up for re-election in 2014 are sweating. That could be why the Barack Obama White House confirmed last week that it would delay Obamacare’s second-year enrollment period — which is certain to highlight more flaws with the healthcare overhaul — until after the 2014 elections.

“Now that Senate Democrats have made this decision, it’s absolutely critical that we keep control of the Senate after the 2014 election,” Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told POLITICO last week. “What happened today reinforced the stakes that are at play.”

Many Democrats fear that the Nov. 4 election will become a vehicle for voters to take out their frustrations over Obamacare. The original 2014 sign-up period was scheduled from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, which would have left failures and sticker shock fresh on voters’ minds as they headed to the polls. Signups will now take place from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15, 2015.

“This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

“The Obama administration ought to answer for this shift,” he said. “The administration is welcome to prove me wrong by committing to put out 2015 plan year premium rates by November 1, 2014.”

If voters reject Democrats in 2014, lawmakers on the left side of the aisle could come to regret last week’s vote to limit the power of the Senate’s minority Party sooner than expected. Currently, Democrats hold 55 Senate seats to the GOP’s 45 seats — and Republicans are eyeing Democratic held seats in at least six States. If Republicans can muster a net gain of six seats, they will regain Senate control.
“This first step could very well be the last step” 
By: Diane Sori

Words said by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and how right he is.

“We have reached agreement,” EU spokesman Michael Mann said in a Twitter post early Saturday night before Barack HUSSEIN Obama got on national television, and in a throwback to the (supposed) bin-Laden take down tried to make what he believes is a good deal all about him.

But it’s NOT a good deal for the US or Israel but it is all about him.

This deal is strictly about Obama’s legacy and a so-wanted diversion from the ObamaCare fiasco, the Senate Constitution-trampling ‘nuclear option’ fiasco, and the newest information just brought to light about Benghazi…the news that witnesses have come forward saying NO one at the consulate fired a shot as their guns had NO bullets.

And least we forget it's all about Barack HUSSEIN Obama's animosity towards both the Jewish state in general and against Benjamin Netanyahu in specific.

And with his always leading from behind and negotiating from a position of weakness, Obama just gave Iran everything they wanted including a $4.2+billion…YES BILLION of our taxpayer dollars…relief from the sanctions currently in place in addition to agreeing that NO new sanctions will be placed on them during the six months this agreement is in effect.

But most serious of all, going against both ten years of US policy and against an international community that has demanded time and again that Iran stop all uranium enrichment…the US and that very same international community has now formally consented to allow Iran to continue its enrichment of uranium with Barack HUSSEIN Obama publicly stating that, “Iran has the right to access nuclear energy.”

The very nation that sits atop vast oil deposits that does NOT need nuclear energy for any purposes whatsoever because of those oil deposits now has Obama yet again bowing down to his islamic brethren. And with Kerry’s signing on the dotted line the world, and especially the Middle East, has just become an even more volatile place as islamic jihadists have taken a step closer to getting a nuclear bomb. And the mullahs are the big winners in this too, as they succeeding in getting Barack HUSSEIN Obama to dig the knife even deeper into Israel’s back…the country they want wiped off the map…without them having to lift a finger.

And so now it’s clearly obvious that neither Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his pro-Palestinian, Israel-hating minions nor the international community as a whole care that Iran has NO intention of wanting or needing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. And they all know that Iran wants and has always wanted nuclear bombs as much as they know that Iran wants Israel gone.

And so the truth is plain for all to see…Barack HUSSEIN Obama and those who signed onto this most dangerous of agreements all want to finish what Adolph Hitler started…period.

“What was concluded in Geneva last night is not a historic agreement, it’s a historic mistake,” responded Benjamin Netanyahu after the deal was announced adding that, “It’s not made the world a safer place. Like the agreement with North Korea in 2005, this agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place.”

“Taking only cosmetic steps which it could reverse easily within a few weeks, and in return, sanctions that took years to put in place are going to be eased,”
Netanyahu sees this deal for what it is…a deal where Iran does NOT have to dismantle any of its existing 19,000 centrifuges…a deal where Iran can still enrich uranium to a level of 3.5%…a deal where Iran does NOT have to surrender the enriched 20% uranium they already have (they expect us to trust that they will neutralize the 20% uranium already in their possession)…a deal where even the low-grade uranium enrichment still allowed in the agreement can be used to assemble a nuclear weapon within a short period of time…a deal calculatingly orchestrated by our most miserable of presidents on the advice of Jew-hating Valerie Jarrett and done through his shill John ‘Swiftboat’ Kerry for one reason and one reason alone…to stop Israel from going ahead with a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure...on Obama's islamic brethren.

So what will the Jewish nation of Israel do now as this deal actually gives Iran needed time to master nuclear technology and amass nuclear bomb fuel while fooling the world into believing that they have taken a step back. Betrayed and with Israel’s security now in danger because of the Obama administration, Netanyahu told local Moscow media outlets that, "Iran was essentially given an “unbelievable Christmas present – the capacity to maintain this (nuclear) breakout capability for practically no concessions at all” for when all the media hoopla is cleared away this deal merely requires Iran to halt or scale back small parts of its nuclear program and NOTHING more.  And the clueless P5+1 is hoping that this joke of a deal will lay the foundation for a more sweeping that will ever happen.

And now what happens as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and other Arab countries NOT friendly towards Iran, along with many in DC on both sides of the isle who all agree with Netanyahu in his NOT trusting Iran (and rightfully so), and all believing that by agreeing to lift some sanctions that the US and her allies are actually giving up important leverage against Iran…Obama continues to bloviate that, "sanctions put in place during my administration (all about him again) are what forced Iran to the negotiating table to begin with and easing some of the sanctions could help move things forward"…what happens is what former US Ambassador John Bolton has been saying since the agreement was announced,"The opening gun in a [nuclear] arms race in the Middle East has begun.”

And Barack HUSSEIN Obama built that…owns that…and the consequences will most assuredly come back to haunt him and the world…or should I say what’s left of the world. 
That is unless Israel does now what Israel has needed to do all along to end this nonsense...for as Benjamin Netanyahu said after the deal was reached, "The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel, and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat."