“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."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

One Step Closer to a Nuclear Arms Deal with Iran


  1. WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Republican committee chairman acknowledged Tuesday that the White House lobbying campaign for the Iran nuclear deal has generated results, and said he doesn’t know if opponents of the deal can prevail.

    The comments from Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and is a leading voice against the deal, came as supporters of the agreement claimed growing momentum. A 29th senator, Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, came out in favor of the deal on Tuesday.

    That put supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a resolution disapproving of the agreement struck by the U.S., Iran and five world powers. The deal aims to dismantle most of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions in sanctions relief, but opponents say it makes perilous concessions to Iran.

    Some supporters have now begun aiming to get 41 votes, which would allow Democrats to kill the disapproval resolution outright in the Senate and protect President Barack Obama from having to use his veto pen.

    Corker said he didn't know if opponents could stop that effort. But he criticized Democrats' attempts to filibuster the disapproval resolution and block a final vote, given that Congress overwhelmingly endorsed hard-fought legislation giving lawmakers the right to weigh in on the deal.

    "I find that stunning that the leader, the Democratic leader, is proposing that," Corker told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "All but one senator voted in favor of having the right to vote on the final deal, so then to turn right around and filibuster it to me is very inconsistent and I think would be confusing to the people they represent."

    As for whether Republicans who control Congress and unanimously oppose the deal could thwart such a filibuster, Corker said: "I don't know, I don't know."

    "I don't think there's any question but the lobbying effort by the administration certainly has generated results, and I have no idea what the final vote is going to be but certainly they've picked up some support on the Democratic side," Corker said.

    He declined to speculate as to why lobbying by opponents, including the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has not gotten more traction. Israel says the deal poses a threat to its very existence.

    In her statement backing the agreement, Murray said: "This is not a perfect deal, and there are several elements I would like to be stronger. But after working my way through the details and the alternatives, losing a lot of sleep, and having a lot of good conversations with so many people, I am convinced that moving forward with this deal is the best chance we have at a strong diplomatic solution."

    Only two Senate Democrats — New York's Chuck Schumer and New Jersey's Bob Menendez — have announced that they will vote against the agreement, though several key Democratic senators have yet to announce their position. One of the most-watched is Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, who is the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and whose position could influence colleagues.

    1. Corker said he spoke with Cardin Tuesday morning but that Cardin remained undecided.

      Congressional aides say they've rarely seen the White House work an issue so hard, with Obama making personal appeals to undecided lawmakers.

      The disapproval resolution is certain to pass the House, though Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has declared that Democrats have the votes to sustain an Obama veto. Two-thirds votes are required in each chamber to override a presidential veto.

    2. The deal will pass, that is for sure.

      But there will be those who are clear thinking, rational that love America and Israel that will stand up against it to be counted.

  2. Obama makes a powerful case for the nuclear deal and exposes the folly of the Neocons and the extreme damage they have done to the US and the ME. The same crew that caused the Iraq disaster want the US to double down on Iran.

    The good news is that the Aipac assault on US interests and its sordid intimidation campaign against peace is falling short. Aipac has exposed itself. One can only cheer their demise.

    1. The only demise is the hundreds of thousands that Iran (with it's proxies syria and hezbollah) have murdered in Iraq and Syria.

      But what's the difference...

      360,000 in syria, 550,000 in Iraq, countless numbers in Iran.. The dead in lebanon, yemen, and in Iran too...

      One can only look with clear eyes at the genocide that Iran is doing...

  3. Aipac and the Israeli-firsters will continue their lying and intimidation. Netanyahu will continue his aggression against the Palestinians, but a day will come in the near future when Israel will remove the belligerent bully. Aipac will have shot its wad.The loathsome GOP freak show will continue its long slow march over the cliff.

  4. Dozens of high-profile Iranians, many of whom have been jailed for their political views, launched a video campaign calling on the American people to lobby Congress not to jeopardise the landmark nuclear agreement.

    The campaign includes messages from celebrated film-maker Jafar Panahi, Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and British-Iranian activist Ghoncheh Ghavami.

    Many of the campaign’s participants have been persecuted in Iran for their beliefs or activism, sentenced to lengthy prison terms or even solitary confinement. But they have expressed support for the Vienna nuclear agreement struck in July between Iran and the world’s six major powers, calling it a good deal which could avert threats of war.

    Mohammadreza Jalaeipour, one of the organisers of the campaign, said the video was intended to show “that those who have paid the highest prices for the cause of democracy and human rights in Iran are supporting the deal”.

    The video messages were gathered, to show to the world “that not only the overwhelming majority of Iranians, but also almost all the leading human rights and pro-democracy activists, prominent political prisoners and the independent voices of Iran’s society are wholeheartedly supporting the Iran deal,” the activist, who spent five months in solitary confinement in Iran, said.

    In her video, Ghavami said, “I support the Iran deal because I strongly believe that sanctions are violating the human rights of the Iranian people.”. The British-Iranian activist spent five months in jail last year, for trying to attend a men’s volleyball match, drawing worldwide attention. “It’s time for Americans to contact their representatives in the Congress and ask them to vote for peace. The whole world is watching.”

  5. Nice cute graphics.

    Shame it misses Irans paths to a bomb:

    1. CHEAT

    2. BUY one from North Korea.

    3. Build a nuke plant in Syria.

    shame you don't cover that possibility since Iran has done all 3 in the past.

  6. As the deal goes forward, so goes the arab sunni race to get nukes...

    War will happen now for sure.

    Thanks to the appeasement by Chamberlain, oh I mean Obama of Iran

  7. So Deuce, the moment that Iran is proven to cheat or lie do you support bombing Iran?

  8. The moment that an undisclosed site is discovered do you support bombing it?

  9. They have misunderestimated this fella one more time, haven't they? :)

    Now, their base is so mad they're going to nominate a stone, cold buffoon.

    Whatta show. :)

    1. Obama is not running again!

      Oh you mean Biden...

      Oh Sanders?

      Oh Billery?


      Lots of LUCK.

  10. Iran has violated every "deal" it has signed.

    What do the Iran Firsters propose as punishment if and when Iran, again, breaks it's word.

    Since sanctions are useless.

    What military actions do the Iranian loyalists propose?

  11. Susan Collins, R. Maine, has moved over to the "undecided" column (from the "leaning no" list.)

    1. The deal with go thru.

      Now let us discuss the reality.

      What punishments do you advocate against Iran for cheating. Sanctions are worthless.

  12. It will be interesting to see what those that sought this appeasement deal with Iran will do when Iran cheats....

    Let's hear from the iranian loyalists what their ideas are.

  13. Iran spends billions on arming Hezbollah and Hamas.....

    Do you support the continuation of the state funding (by Iran) of Jews across the globe?

    If not, what should do about it now that the sanctions will be lifted for such behavior?

    I doubt you have the balls to answer without an attack or deflection...

    1. .

      Haven't you heard, Iran is on the outs with Hamas since Hamas fell out with Assad?

      If not, what should do about it now that the sanctions will be lifted for such behavior?

      I suggest we take the same actions with Iran as we do with Israel for the support they have been providing to their proxies in South Sudan.


    2. I suggest we take the same actions with Iran as we do with Israel for the support they have been providing to their proxies in South Sudan.

      So you cannot answer the specific query?

      You are a coward.

    3. .

      And you are a moron and apologist.

      I gave you a direct answer. I'll be more concerned about Hamas when the US stops making up excuses for Israeli actions.

      You would like to have it both ways but it doesn't work that way.

      Your statement that Israel doesn't OCCUPY Gaza is pure sophistry. Gaza is an open air prison controlled by Israel; yet, you seek brownie points because the IDF doesn't patrol the cell blocks.

      On a regular basis, you offer us faux alternative history as to how Israel came into being and claims of what Israel was 'promised' as if promises, even if they were true, mean shit in the real world.

      You stomp your little feet crying that the nuclear deal doesn't accomplish every fantasy land demand coming out of Israel as if most of those demands have shit to do with an NPT treaty.

      Then you demand that WE solve all of Israel's problems with Hamas (a group formed in '88 to resist Israeli's 20 year, at the time, occupation of Palestine) and Hezbollah (a group formed in '82 to resist Israel's continued occupation at the time of Lebanon).

      We've done our part. Damn, we have written into US law an obligation to assure Israel remains with a qualitative military edge over all other countries in the region. What other country have we done that for? We give Israel billions every year, more aid than any country. We are now talking about giving them more billions more in baksheesh to shut them up about the nuclear deal. The deal itself will be the excuse for America borrowing more billions in the future so that we can ship it off to Israel. And is Israel grateful. Fuck no. Nothing is good enough.

      You are a whining, sniveling little shit.

      I'm a coward? If you say so.

      But you are THE complete asshole. No one else comes close.

      It's time Israel handles all the shit it create on its own and stops coming to the US to bail it out, bail it out with aid, bail it out by covering for its actions with the UN, bail it out by subordinating American interests to those of Israel.

      What should be done with Hamas or Hezbollah? Frankly, I don't give a shit. We've got bigger problems with ISIS, and frankly they, unlike Israel, are helping us with that problem at the moment.

      Iran? Same thing. We have much bigger concerns right now. Russia and China come to mind. And right now Iran is also helping is with out ISIS problem.

      Quit bitching. We both know where everyone here stands on the nuclear deal. That won't change. Now, the only thing we all can do is count votes and wait.


  14. Personally, I could give a shit about Israel, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

    That said, I have no reason, whatsoever, to doubt Obama, when he says that he will take military action if Iran doesn't abide by the deal.

  15. Complaining about Hamas and Hezbollah is the equivalent of the Germans complaining about the Dutch, Polish and French underground. That is the price of occupation.

    1. Hardy deuce.

      The Israelis do not OCCUPY one inch of Gaza or Southern Lebanon.

      Try again....

      But if it pleases you?

      Maybe Israel SHOULD actually occupy Gaza and Southern Lebanon and do what the Germans did, mass executions of any male aged 14-65..

      Oh my bad that's what Iran does in Iraq, Assad does in Syria, Hezbollah does in Southern Lebanon, and Hamas does to it's OWN in Gaza...

      On wait, Hamas actually executes kids...

    2. Sophistry.

      the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.
      a fallacious argument.
      plural noun: sophistries
      synonyms: specious reasoning, fallacy, sophism, casuistry More

      Are you referring to:

      Deuce ☂Wed Aug 26, 10:46:00 AM EDT
      Complaining about Hamas and Hezbollah is the equivalent of the Germans complaining about the Dutch, Polish and French underground. That is the price of occupation.

      Seems to fit..

  16. Deuce ☂Wed Aug 26, 10:46:00 AM EDT
    Complaining about Hamas and Hezbollah is the equivalent of the Germans complaining about the Dutch, Polish and French underground. That is the price of occupation.

    SO basically you do not think Israel has any right to be.

    That said, maybe Israel should take your approval of it's destruction as a permission to kill the enemies of the state.

    Just like America is doing in Iraq to ISIS, 5000 bombing runs against civilians..

  17. Deuce ☂Wed Aug 26, 10:46:00 AM EDT
    Complaining about Hamas and Hezbollah is the equivalent of the Germans complaining about the Dutch, Polish and French underground. That is the price of occupation.

    So now is comparing Israel to the Nazis and the holocaust.

    I knew you were too ball-less to actually answer the question.

    "I doubt you have the balls to answer without an attack or deflection..."

    Yep Deuce you are an empty suit.

  18. Deuce feels that Israel is the same as Germany in WW2....

    Please where are the death camps?

    Where is the wholesale slaughter of millions and millions?

    Did the Germans actually tell the Jews which homes they were going to hit?

    Deuce you words show you are not a ration serious person, rather you are a provocateur, not capable of rational discussion, just slurs lies and distortions.

    Again I put it to you.

    What will you advocate to punish iran for it's support of terrorism now that the international sanctions will be removed?

    If you say: "I support Hezbollah and Hamas"?

    Then you are an HONEST supporter of terror.


    1. Israel is an occupying power. It is a taker of lands. Germany was the same.

      Israel claims to have an ancient right to the lands it took. Nazi Germany made the same claim, as did Fascist Italy.

      The Dutch, Poles and French resisted the occupation as are the Palestinians.

      Sorry that the facts upset you.

    2. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., has asked the Department of Justice to investigate whether the deaths of two Palestinian youths at the hands of Israeli security forces at a protest last spring violate the Leahy Law.

      From The Huffington Post:

      “The murders of Nadeem Nawara and Mohammad Daher highlight a brutal system of occupation that devalues and dehumanizes Palestinian children,” she wrote in a letter to two State Department officials, referring to the teenagers who were shot and killed May 15, 2014, during a protest at the Ofer prison in the West Bank. “It is time for a strong and unequivocal statement of U.S. commitment to the human rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation,” McCollum continued in the letter, which was publicly released on Monday.

      The protests were part of the annual remembrance of Nakba Day, the Palestinian term for the day after Israel declared itself a state in 1948. The Israeli military initially denied using live ammunition at the protest, insisting that security forces only used rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. But a bloodied bullet was found in Nawara’s backpack, and an autopsy showed an entry and exit wound in his body. At his family’s request, Daher did not have an autopsy.

      A compilation of live video footage from news outlets and closed-circuit television from a local business show that neither boy was actively participating in the protest or posing a threat to Israeli soldiers when shot.

  19. The Reactionary Soul

    AUGUST 26, 2015 7:13 AM August 26, 2015 7:13 am 22 Comments

    Frank Bruni marvels at polls indicating that Donald Trump, with his multiple marriages and casinos, is the preferred candidate among Republican evangelicals. Others are shocked to see a crude mercantilist make so much headway in the alleged party of free markets. What happened to conservative principles?

    Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real. Conservative religiosity, conservative faith in markets, were never about living a godly life or letting the invisible hand promote entrepreneurship. Instead, it was all as Corey Robin describes it: Conservatism is

    a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.

    It’s really about who’s boss, and making sure that the man in charge stays boss. Trump is admired for putting women and workers in their place, and it doesn’t matter if he covets his neighbor’s wife or demands trade wars.

    The point is that Trump isn’t a diversion, he’s a revelation, bringing the real motivations of the movement out into the open.

    PK - New York Times

  20. I hope I am around to watch your appeasing of Iran literally blow up in your own faces.

    You deserve it.

    1. Hardly.

      Mr Quirk.

      You cannot be intellectually honest.

      So you bloviate in some cases or in shorter sequences you just out and out lie……

    2. I hope I am around to watch your appeasing of Iran literally blow up in your own faces.

      You deserve it.

    3. This my friends is what happens to you when you have conflicting loyalties as an Israel-firster. A wish that the US gets destroyed because Isreal, the first love, did not get its way.

    4. No, I hope that specifically Deuce, Rufus, Rat and Quirk experience the pain personally.

      I never said that i wanted america to be destroyed.

      And it's "Israel" not "Isreal"


  21. .

    You cannot be intellectually honest.

    So you bloviate in some cases or in shorter sequences you just out and out lie……

    Be specific.

    You can't expect to keep putting out your faux history of the world without being challenged.


    1. Nearly 200 retired U.S. military generals and admirals sent a letter to Congressional leaders Wednesday, asking them to vote down the Iran nuclear deal.

      According to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the letter, many of the signees have worked in the White House going back three decades.

      The letter was addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

      "As you know, on July 14, 2015, the United States and five other nations announced that a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reached with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons," the letter reads.

      "In our judgment as former senior military officers, the agreement will not have that effect. Removing sanctions on Iran and releasing billions of dollars to its regime over the next ten years is inimical to the security of Israel and the Middle East. There is no credibility within JCPOA's inspection process or the ability to snap back sanctions once lifted, should Iran violate the agreement. In this and other respects, the JCPOA would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.

      "The agreement as constructed does not 'cut off every pathway' for Iran to acquire
      nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal."

      Warning that Iran could have nuclear weapons in 10 years, the group of retired military officials says it’s “unconscionable" that the Iran agreement will provide Iran with around $150 billion in sanctions relief.

      Read Latest Breaking News from


      Big Fucking Whoop

      Almost 200 generals and flag rank officers agree on opposing the Iran deal. Impressive? Hardly. There are over 4700 living retired generals and flag rank officers. Do the math and you have 4% of all retired US generals and flag officers agreeing that the Iran deal is a bad deal.

      US military officers lean conservative and Republicans as do much of the mercenary army. Prior to ending the draft, the officer corps was Republican and the enlisted ranks were Democratic. The officer corps could not wait to get rid of the draftees and fill the ranks with “professionals”. If getting 4% of that crew is the best that they have, this deal is done.

    2. Republican voters oppose the deal by 86 to 3 percent who support. The Republican Party is more and more a dwindling right-wing, Christian conservative organization. For the record, Republicans and Democrats in Congress each get one of their worst approval ratings ever as voters disapprove 75 - 17 percent of the job Republicans are doing and disapprove 63 - 29 percent of the job Democrats are doing.


      CAPTION: Saudi Arabia has long been one of the Iran deal's fiercest critics, along with Israel.
      But in the last month it has shifted its position to one of support, which it is now using as leverage for security and reassurance from the United States.

      PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: Saudi opposition to the deal was never really primarily about the possibility of Iran someday maybe getting a nuclear weapon. What they were really worried about and continue to be worried about is the fact that Saudi Arabia sees in Iran a regional competitor for basic issues of power, control of oil, economic power, and crucially military power.

      BEN NORTON, JOURNALIST: The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met with the Saudi royal family and discussed the deal. And at that point, this is in late July, the Saudi royal family changed their position and King Salman now says he supports the deal. This is what some Saudi analysts have claimed. In their view, the nuclear deal may in fact weaken the Iranian regime. They see it as a way of opening Iran to Western influence and to the international community, in a way introducing democratizing elements and things like that.

      BENNIS: Presumably what happened there is that there was some kind of an agreement that whatever shifts may occur in the future between the U.S. and Iran, the U.S. would continue sending billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, would continue to act as a guarantor of the Saudi state. Three years ago Saudi Arabia led a region-wide arms deal with the U.S. of $60 billion. It was the biggest arms deal in the history of the world. There had never been one anything close to that. And I think that there were probably guarantees made when Ashton Carter was there to visit, the Secretary of Defense, that those deals would continue.

      GIORGIO CAFIERO, FOUNDER, GULF STATE ANALYTICS: We also should keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is engaged in an ongoing military campaign in Yemen that the United States is backing. If it weren't for Washington's support Saudi Arabia would not be able to carry out the military campaign the way it is right now. And I think Saudi Arabia, for all of its reservations about the nuclear agreement, they really wanted to play the good ally and not do what the Israeli government did and officially oppose the agreement. So we might see Saudi Arabia pursue these proxy wars in the region more aggressively. And of course there are some great risks to that, as the continuation of the crises in Syria and Yemen helps out groups like Daish and al-Qaeda more than anyone else. And I think this kind of a reaction on the part of Saudi Arabia entails much risk for the region.



    4. Five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel from administrations of both parties, and three former U.S. Under Secretaries of State (including Thomas Pickering, who held both jobs), who issued a public letter on Monday supporting the deal.

      Sample passage: “Those who advocate rejection of the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s Nuclear Program, a.k.a. the deal] should assess carefully the value and feasibility of any alternative strategy. … The consequences of rejection are grave: U.S. responsibility for the collapse of the agreement; the inability to hold the P5+1 together for the essential international sanctions regime and such other action that may be required against Iran; and the real possibility that Iran will decide to build a nuclear weapon under significantly reduced or no inspections.”

      — More than 100 former U.S. ambassadors, career and political alike, and from both parties, who signed a similar public letter endorsing the deal. It begins, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran stands as a landmark agreement in deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

      More than 60 American “national-security leaders”—politicians, military officers, strategists, Republicans and Democrats—who issued their own public letter urging Congress to approve the deal. E.g., “We congratulate President Obama and all the negotiators for a landmark agreement unprecedented in its importance for preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran.” Here are a few Republicans who signed this letter: former Special Trade Representative Carla Hills; former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill; former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum. Here are a few Democrats: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell; former Defense Secretary William Perry. I’m resisting saying:

      But what do any of them know, compared with Mike Huckabee?

  22. O shut up, Quirk.

    You sound like a moron.

    The kind of drunk driver that would wish to supply his own blood alcohol lever 24 days after the vehicular homicide.

  23. I think add much attention should be payed to IAPAC, As AIPAC -

    Traitor Senators Took Money from Iran Lobby, Back Iran Nukes
    The Democrats are becoming a party of atom bomb spies.
    August 25, 2015
    Daniel Greenfield

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

    Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb.

    There was no surprise there.

    Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.

    After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.

    As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise.

    The Iran Lobby had even tried, and failed, to turn Arizona Republican Jeff Flake. Iran Lobby cash had made the White House count on him as the Republican who would flip, but Flake came out against the deal. The Iran Lobby invested a good deal of time and money into Schumer, but that effort also failed.

    Still these donations were only the tip of the Iran Lobby iceberg............

    Good night.

  24. Time will tell.

    I suggest that those that support the appeasing of Iran will in time be shown to be stupid, naive or evil

    Which is it?

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. .

    The Idaho state motto,

    Drink! Don't Think!