“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

NY Post Sees That The GOP’s Efforts to Undermine The US Presidency Will Fail on Iran Deal

Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal in Congress admit they can no longer kill the accord. Their focus now is making sure there will be a vote on the agreement at all, and salvaging some political benefit from their well-funded bid to stop it.
Lawmakers, congressional staffers and lobbyists opposed to the deal reached in Vienna last month tell us they are now fighting to get more than 60 votes in the Senate for a resolution of disapproval to avoid a filibuster by Democrats supporting President Obama. 
That is a far cry from the 67 votes in the Senate needed, along with two thirds of the House, to overturn an expected presidential veto of that resolution.
Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday it was “very unlikely” there would be 67 votes against the deal in the Senate, but there would be a “bipartisan majority” voting to disapprove of the deal. As of now, only two Senate Democrats and 14 House Democrats have come out against the pact.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to filibuster the bill, and unless at least four more Democrats promise to vote against the deal, Reid may succeed. Critics of the deal are outraged at the idea that Congress’ only chance at oversight of the initiative might not even get a hearing on the Senate floor. 
The White House is also reportedly pushing for the deal to be filibustered, so that Obama won’t have to veto a resolution disapproving the signature foreign-policy accomplishment of his presidency.


Senate Democrats climb closer to votes needed to back up Obama on Iran nuclear deal

Associated Press+ More
ERICA WERNER, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware on Friday became the 30th senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum for the White House-backed agreement grows.
If Senate Democrats can amass 41 votes in favor of the deal, they could block passage of a congressional resolution to disapprove of the deal.
If that doesn't happen and the GOP-led Senate votes to disapprove of the deal, President Barack Obama has vowed to veto it. Democrats then would need 34 votes — four more than they have now — to prevent a congressional override of the presidential veto.
A vote on the nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Iran is scheduled for early September.
"This next week or 10 days will be critical because those that have really been thinking over long and hard about where they're going to end up many of them are likely to announce something before we return from the Labor Day recess," Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
He wouldn't predict the success of getting to 34 or 41 votes, but said some of the 14 undecided Democrats likely would announce their decision before Congress returns from its August recess.
"We're in active communication with all of the remaining who have not announced," Durbin said. "I would say that most I've spoken to are inclined to do something sooner rather than later and I take that to mean possibly before we return."
In an opinion piece in The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, Carper said the deal was good for America and allies including Israel.
"The stakes surrounding this deal couldn't be higher," Carper wrote. "Current estimates assess Iran's nuclear program to be as close as two months away from a bomb. Without a deal, that time will only shrink. That's a stark comparison to what the deal would yield - an Iranian nuclear program that is at least a year away from a bomb for each of the next 15 years and, possibly, longer."
Republicans are unanimously against the deal which provides sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for constraints on its nuclear program. Two Senate Democrats also have announced their opposition.
Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.



    WASHINGTON (CNN) —Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, are likening President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran to the Munich agreement that paved the way for World War II, saying it makes war “more, not less, likely.”

    Guantanamo and the Water Board Park would be too good for Cheney.

  2. Nothing is more important than my country’s security and by extension, the safeguarding and security of our most critically important ally in the Middle East, Israel.

    For that reason, I was proud to be the first Jewish American ever to serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, where I offered unwavering support for America's and Israel's security and the cause of peace.

    And it is from that perspective that I support the Iran nuclear agreement.

    The accord lengthens the time that Iran would need to develop enough enriched uranium for one nuclear weapon from the present two months to one year. That's one year for just one weapon.

    That timeframe does not include the time needed to weaponize the material, attach it to a warhead and then mount it on a long range missile, assuming that the missile was even capable of reaching a specific target. The international agreement cements those provisions and keeps them in place for 15 years.

    As for Iran's existing nuclear program, the agreement requires Iran to cut its number of centrifuges – the devices used to enrich uranium gas – from 19,000 to 6,000; to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium from about 10,000 kilograms to a mere 300; and to limit uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent, the amount needed for a nuclear power plant, as opposed to the 90 percent needed for a nuclear weapon.

    The document contains these words: "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons."

    So why is there opposition to this deal?

    To put it mildly, Iran's track record of keeping its word in international agreements is less than stellar. It is therefore understandable that some policymakers would be skeptical of any arrangement with Iran.


    1. {...}

      But the United States and its negotiating partners were sensitive to such skepticism – and, in fact, shared it – which is why the agreement contains unprecedented verification provisions. Despite the rhetoric emanating from some quarters, unobserved cheating under this deal is as close to impossible as has existed in any such accord.

      For instance, there will be 24-hour-a-day, seven-day a week International Atomic Energy Agency presence and inspection capabilities at every known location where any facet of uranium enrichment or weaponization is now taking place.

      As for newly discovered sites or places where Iran might attempt a breach, the deal allows for immediate notification to the world community via the IAEA or others, constant "eyes on" such locations (creating an opportunity for interested parties to take any necessary military action) and a re-imposition of sanctions.

      In other words, the agreement provides strict prohibitions designed to stop and set back Iran's nuclear weapons program, without relying on an ounce of trust towards Iran.

      Some critics are suggesting that the agreement should be shot down not for what it contains but for what it doesn't.

      True, it does not address Iran's odious statements towards Israel or its abhorrent behavior as a sponsor of terror. There are, however, existing U.N. sanctions against such Iranian activity that can serve as the basis for greater enforcement of those sanctions and possible military action.

      Just as President Ronald Reagan chose not to condition his nuclear arms treaty with the then-Soviet Union on the Soviets withdrawing support for rogue or terrorist regimes in various parts of the world, President Barack Obama rightly chose to focus on the singular goal of halting Iran's nuclear weapons program.

      As always, we must, by diplomatic words and military actions if necessary, demonstrate to Iran that – while this nuclear deal may be done – the world will not tolerate Iran's support of murderous regimes and thugs against America or our allies.

      Simply put, this deal, if carried out with the appropriate level of inspections and vigilance, will eliminate a nuclear-armed Iran and enhance the safety of the United States, our ally and friend Israel and the entire world community.

      Steven R. Rothman, a Democrat, formerly served eight terms as a member of the House of Representatives from New Jersey and presently practices law in Newark at Sills Cummis & Gross. The views expressed in this essay are his own and not necessarily those of his firm.


    Iranian Vice-President Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation, on Friday said China would play “a leading role” in redesigning the Arak heavy-water reactor to significantly reduce its plutonium output.

    Selahi's comment, made as he wrapped up his meeting with Chinese nuclear experts and officials in Beijing, again highlighted China's role in the recent nuclear deal reached by Iran and the world powers, as well as the two countries' close cooperation in energy projects.

    As one of the key elements of the deal on Iran's nuclear programme with the P5+1 group - comprising China, Russia, the United States, Britain, France and Germany - Iran has agreed to redesign the Arak reactor, which is already in its final stage of construction, to reduce its annual plutonium production from 10kg to less than 1kg to "remove the concerns", according to Salehi.

    "China has accepted … a leading role in a working group that would look into the redesign and refurbishing of Arak. Americans will also participate very seriously," he said.

    Salehi held meetings with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and China Atomic Energy Authority chairman Xu Dazhe.

    Read more:


    Congressional Republicans are unanimous in their opposition to the international nuclear agreement with Iran, but even among GOP lawmakers, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) stands out as unique. Arguably no American lawmaker has done more to undermine U.S. foreign policy than the right-wing freshman.

    This week, as support for the diplomatic deal grows on Capitol Hill, opponents confronted the very real possibility that a Republican bill to derail the agreement may not even get the 60 votes it needs in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster. This in turn led Cotton to issue a fascinating press statement (via Salon’s Simon Maloy).
    “First, the president did an end-run around the Constitution by refusing to submit the Iran deal as a treaty requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate for approval. Now Harry Reid wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal. […]

    “The Congress and the president should speak with one voice when it comes to dealing with the Iranians, but it seems that Harry Reid believes that only his and the president’s voices matter.”
    Tom Cotton, in case anyone has forgotten, wrote a letter to Iranian officials in March, telling them not to trust U.S. officials, all in the hopes of sabotaging American foreign policy and derailing the international diplomatic talks. The Republican senator corralled 46 of his GOP Senate colleagues to join him in this dangerous stunt, which according to our allies, had the effect of helping Iran during delicate negotiations and embarrassing the United States.

    Here’s a radical idea: maybe Tom Cotton should avoid lectures about the importance of Congress and the White House speaking “with one voice when it comes to dealing with the Iranians.” Unless the right-wing senator is deliberately trying to become a laughingstock, he should take a moment to acknowledge his lack of credibility on the subject.

    As for Cotton’s affection for up-or-down votes, I’m tempted to ask the senator, “Are you new here?” The answer, as it turns out, is, “Yes” – the Arkansas Republican was only in the U.S. House for a year when he announced his Senate bid, and he’s only been in the upper chamber for seven months.

    In other words, Cotton may not realize that his own GOP colleagues effectively created a new standard in the Senate, mandating that practically every bill of any consequence needs a minimum of 60 votes to advance. If Cotton disapproves, he can blame Mitch McConnell.

    Of course, the Arkansan’s press release yesterday serves as a reminder of just how poorly the debate is going for the far-right. The Republican target in the Senate has always been 67 votes – in part because they saw 60 votes as a foregone conclusion. As of this week, however, even that goal is in doubt.

    Cotton added yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “is obstructing because he is scared.” Someone’s scared, but I don’t think it’s Harry Reid.



    TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) – Reporting on the meeting of 450 Iranian and Swiss business entities in Zurich, the head of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce said a large trade delegation will soon visit Iran.
    Pointing to a conference on Iran’s investment opportunities in Switzerland, Sharif Nezam-Mafi stated that, “business units from various levels attended the conference including banks which had an impressive presence as well as companies in the fields of food industry, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, grains, services, heavy industry, and the health sector.”

    Reporting on the attendance of 450 Iranian and Swiss investors and real estate agents in the conference, the head of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce added that, “our initial expectation was a total participation of 150 companies but one week before the meeting the registration website was shut down due to the large number of requests and finally the gathering was held with the presence of 450 participants.”

    “Swiss investors found Iran as a country which is ready to attract new, joint, and independent investment and due to the simultaneous presentation of strengths and weaknesses, investors gained a clearer vision towards Iran’s market,” asserted Nezam-Mafi.

    He concluded that, “Iran has high capacity for investment and the present challenges and problems can be issued; on the other hand, the necessary plans for the visit of a large Swiss trade delegation to Iran have been made because Swiss companies are highly interested in joint venture in Iran and they are also keen on meeting their business partners.”


    Czech trade delegation due in Iran next week
    Tehran Times Economic Desk

    TEHRAN – A trade delegation, comprised of representative of 48 companies from the Czech Republic, will arrive Iran on September 4 for a three day visit.

    Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek will lead the delegation, the IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

    Managers of companies active in the fields of cargo aircrafts, tourism, medicine, transportation, oil and gas exploration, mining, power plants, and vehicles will discuss ways with Iranian officials to boost bilateral trade.

    In May, Iran and the Czech Republic signed a double taxation avoidance agreement in a bid to give a boost to the bilateral trade.

    Over recent years, the bilateral trade has plunged due to the economic sanctions of the West against Iran.

    Tehran Chamber of Commerce Chairman Yahya Ale Es’haq said in April that Iran and the Czech Republic can boost mutual cooperation in trade and economic projects.

    Ale Es’haq said that the two countries’ mutual trade traditionally focused on industry, infrastructure, oil, energy, crystal products, and textile.

    “Our mutual trade has lowered to $40 million, but technical factors and the markets are such that we can boost our relations,” he stated.


    Iran and Pakistan are planning to increase the volume of their annual trade to USD 5 billion over the next five years following the removal of sanctions imposed on Iran on ground of its peaceful nuclear program.

    According to a report by Pakistan’s ACQ website, the decision was announced following a meeting at Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry on Monday, which was attended by officials from Federal Board of Revenue, State Bank of Pakistan, and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

    The meeting was held ahead of the arrival of a high-ranking Iranian delegation in Islamabad to explore existing avenues for cooperation between the two countries. The main mission of the delegation, which will pay a two-day visit to Pakistan, is to revive trade exchanges between the two neighbors.

    Following imposition of sanctions on Iran, its trade volume with Pakistan fell drastically as a result of which Pakistan’s exports to Iran plummeted to USD 43 million in 2014 from USD 182 million in 2010.

    At the same time, imports from Iran fell from USD 884 million in 2010 to USD 186 million in 2014.

    Iran and Pakistan signed a preferential trade agreement (PTA) in 2006, according to which tariff concessions were granted to Iran on 309 tariff lines while Pakistan was offered concessions on 338 tariff lines, the report said.

    The Iranian delegation will discuss, among other things, the expansion of PTA with Pakistan as experts predict that normalization of payment mechanisms between the two countries will pave the way for diversification of trade exchanges.

    Major export and import goods covered by the PTA include rice, fruits, cotton, cotton yarn, pharmaceuticals and cutlery.

    Following the conclusion of Iran's nuclear talks with the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on July 14, Iran has been trying to revive past economic and trade ties with other countries against a background of the lifting of sanctions imposed on the country.

    According to an agreement reached by the two sides, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, limits will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of all economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

    The agreement has further paved the way for the implementation of a five-year plan that Iran and Pakistan had announced in April 2015 to increase bilateral trade to USD 5 billion.


      Dubai-Iran trade set to soar with new flights

      Dubai’s trade with Iran will get a major boost when Emirates begins services to Iran’s second city, Mashhad, next week.

      The airline, which will commence passenger flight to the city next Tuesday, estimates that it can fly nearly 8,000 tonnes of freight goods to Mashhad yearly, in addition to the 17,500 tonnes it already sends to Tehran via its SkyCargo freight division.

      Emirates’s new service closely follows Iran’s historic deal, signed last month, with six world powers to limit its nuclear ambitions.

      It could take as long as nine months for western-imposed economic sanctions to be lifted, but Emirates has moved fast to exploit the lucrative trade potential.

      The airline said yesterday that trade with Mashhad would mainly consist of Iranian exports of fruit, vegetables, carpets, saffron, and nuts, as well as its imports of meat, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, machinery and motoring parts.

      The cargo will be transported in the holds of Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which will also be able to carry up to 278 passengers on each Mashhad trip. Emirates also has a fleet of 14 dedicated freight-carrying aircraft.

      Emirates SkyCargo already carries Iranian exports to Dubai, Kuwait, Riyadh, Bahrain, Osaka, Tokyo and Melbourne.


      Publication date: 8/25/2015

    2. Nazi Germany did business with IBM...


    Italy to focus on renewing Iran trade ties
    Tehran Times Economic Desk

    TEHRAN – Italy will focus on renewing trade ties with Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal which will lift sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Italian Deputy Justice Minister Cosimo Ferri said on August 23 in an address to mark National Day of Iran at Milan Expo 2015.

    “The current climate offers us the opportunity to renew relations between Italy and Iran. The two countries are linked by a long-lasting and sincere friendship. Now we have the conditions for strengthening of cooperation,” Ferri added.

    Meanwhile, Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mohammad-Reza Ne’matzadeh, addressed the audience, saying that Iran is ready to make joint ventures with Italian companies.

    Iran has a competitive advantage in terms of industrial, cultural, and technological industries, Ne’matzadeh said, adding that Iran is interested in launching joint production projects, aiming to sell the products in the global market.

    Iran-Italy Joint Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman Ahmad Pourfallah has said that Italy can have a good cooperation with Iran in supplying steel industry’s equipment, household appliances and leather products as well as in weaving sector.

    Italy was the leading European trading partner of Iran before sanctions were imposed on the Islamic Republic, the official said, adding that Iran-Italy annual trade stood at $7 billion prior to the sanctions, while it has dropped to around $1 billion now.

    The figure could rise to $10 billion given the potentialities between the two countries, he mentioned.


    Follow the money.

  10. The verification procedures are, indeed, unprecedented.

    Iran does its own self verification.

    Provides its own soil samples.

    Can declare any place in the country off limits as being a military base.

    No USA or Canadian inspectors allowed.

    24 day lag time.

    'Unprecedented' is an understatement.

    Idiot Farce is much better.

    And the American People know it, and are against it.

    IAPAC is heavily buying Democratic Congressional votes as I type.

    It's all a little like Quirk providing his own DUI blood sample, or Ash grading his own IQ Test.

    The Arabs too all set against it.

    It is a disaster.

    It makes war much much more likely, perhaps inevitable.

    August 29, 2015
    Israel will Never be a Second Czechoslovakia
    By Shoula Romano Horing

    Israel is not like the Czechoslovakia of 1938 and never will be. Israel is an independent military and nuclear power that intends to use its right of self-defense against Iran and its terrorist proxies whether “Emperor” Obama likes it or not, or tries to stop it.

    Obama and his army of Democratic followers in the Congress, progressive groups, and the media repeatedly state their main argument in favor of the agreement, which is that Israel is the only country in the world opposing the Iran nuclear deal. First, It seems that President Obama and his supporters have not paid attention to a recent CNN poll taken on August 20 that found that 60 percent of Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling the Iran deal, and 56 percent believe that Congress should reject it.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    Cheers !

    1. Iran and the rest of the planet are going to be too busy doing business to notice the US Conga Line is AWOL from the party. The GOP hasn’t a clue about their loss of credibility on any future political decision. No one will take The Republicans seriously. They like their masters in the Likud will slowly sink into the cesspool of previous political parties that turned to shit.

    2. You are correct that the Europeans have become hopelessly mercantile.

      That old saying of Karl Marx comes to mind about selling the rope that we will hang them with........

      Meanwhile -


      (((((NBC Trump takes aim at Huma Abedin and “perv” Anthony Weiner))))))

      Trump is a liberator......isn't it refreshing to be able, finally, to once again to call a perv a perv ?

      Yes, it is.

      He deserves out votes for that reason alone......

    3. August 29, 2015
      US refuses to bomb ISIS training camps turning out thousands of fighters a month
      By Rick Moran

      Ever wonder why the US military - the most powerful and technologically advance force in the world - is losing a war to a bunch of fanatical fighters?

      Could be that we're not serious enough about "destroying and degrading" Islamic State forces.

      Case in point: There are dozens of ISIS training camps spread throughout Syria and Iraq training thousands of fighters a month - and we haven't once targeted a camp in our air campaign.

      The fear is hitting civilians - what the military calls "responsible targeting." But Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon has examined the targets hit by our forces and comes away unimpressed.

      The military campaign, known as Operation Inherent Resolve, appears to be floundering despite a yearlong campaign of airstrikes and military training programs aimed to bolstering Iraqi military forces.

      A review of Central Command reports on airstrikes since last year reveals that no attacks were carried out against training camps.

      Targets instead included Islamic State vehicles, buildings, tactical units, arms caches, fighting positions, snipers, excavators, mortar and machine gun positions, bunkers, and bomb factories.

      Read more:
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

      Obama is a traitor and whacked out Islamist of some weird kind.

      High winds again today, and no rain. The fires will be spreading even more...

      9,000 firefighters from Australia, and New Zealanders too and some Canadians have arrived to lend a hand. We are outgunned......

      You wouldn't believe the smoke. Never seen anything like it, day after day......

      All of north Idaho is becoming irritable and grumpy.....

      The weather pattern just will not change.


      Many of the roads are closed, main ones too, all over the place.....

      They have called for anyone with a bulldozer to help out, everyone is responding......

  11. . . . . having writ, moves on.

    1. And, there are some agreements between the UN and Iran THAT WE DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT.

      Total 100% farce.

  12. What happened, Deuce? Did he find a tear in the wall?

    1. I was occupied for a couple of days. No promises.

  13. .

    You want nuts? We've got nuts.

    How about William Bradley?

    West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror

    Bradley, recently hired as a professor at West Point, has written that in his view anyone who questions the military or their tactics should be considered a traitor and excised along with all 'Islamists' including civilian populations through any means necessary including nuclear attacks. Oh yea, he also argues for taking out Islamic holy sites.


  14. :) :) :)

    Good Fucking God; Wio's done got hired on at West Point. :) :) :)

  15. Replies
    1. " his view anyone who questions the military or their tactics should be considered a traitor and excised"




      Anyone know the exact definition of 'excised' in his context ?

      Would Quirk be a candidate ?

      If 'excised' is something considerably less than 'neutralize', or 'liquidate', something more polite along the lines of render mute for a month, put in the Dunce Chair for a year, to teach humility, the idea might carry some real merit.


    2. Whatever the meaning, it does sound taxing.

  16. Many nations will line up to do business with Islamic Nazis.

    Nothing new.

  17. The Islamic Nazis of Iran bombed Israel last week...

    the world yawned...

  18. To the world? A Jew's life is meaningless and worthless.

    However, to Israel? Each life is the universe.

    Dont be surprised if the Jewish state doesn't give a hoot how much money Italy or others will lose when Iran is punished directly for it's murder of israel's citizens.

  19. The good news is, and it really is great news - Hillary Clinton is not going to be the next President of the United States.

    Whoopie !

    Casino Time

    1. But first, one item of excellent news from Drudge -

      Iowa poll: Ben Carson closing in...