Jul 272015
 

The more I have thought about it, the more I have come to the conclusion that, although I expect Republicans to pass a bill to block the international effort to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands, they will not be able to overcome the presidential veto that will follow.  Then why is Benjamin Netanyahu (R-IS), aka Butcher Bibi, investing so much of himself in the Republican effort?  I’ve gotten pretty close, but the following author understands.

0727ButcherBibi…On the battle to come the headline over a story in The Times of Israel put it this way. AIPAC girds for rare high-noon showdown with White House.

The first question arising is this. Does Netanyahu really believe that with AIPAC’s assistance he can mobilize Zionism’s election campaign funders and those in Congress who do their bidding to kill the deal?

Unless he is completely out of touch with the way things are moving in Washington D.C, Netanyahu must know there is no chance of Congress coming up with the two-thirds majority necessary to over-ride an Obama veto of legislation to kill the deal.

So what, really, is Netanyahu’s game plan for America?

The only answer I can think of is that he is reconciled to the fact that a growing number of Democrats in Congress are no longer prepared to do the Zionist state’s bidding when doing it is clearly not in America’s own best interests. Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 race to the White House, felt that gave her the freedom to endorse the deal with Iran. She said, "With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel and our Arab partners safer."

In that light it seems to me Netanyahu’s game plan is to say and do whatever he thinks will assist the Republicans to rubbish President Obama and win the White House in 2016, in the hope that a Republican president will kill the deal.

If that is the hope in Netanyahu’s deluded mind it is no doubt being encouraged by the statements of all the Republicans who are offering themselves as presidential candidates… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Op-Ed News>

Effectively what we had here is the Republican Party conspiring with a foreign power to undermine America’s foreign policy and influence an American election.  This is nothing short of criminal sedition.

American Jews have been more likely to vote for Democrats, because so many are social liberals.  But that has been with both Republicans and Democrats supporting Israel, even against our own self interest.  Therefore Butcher Bibi’s partisan stance will shift some Jewish voters to the Republicans in 2016.

However, I think we need to stress that killing the deal would lead to a nuclear armed Iran with nothing to lose.  That is the most dangerous scenario for the people of Israel, so American Jews can support Israel best by opposing Butcher Bibi (R-IS), and abandoning AIPAC, which is now dominated by Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of real authentic Christians).

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Jul 212015
 

I’m getting a late start on a busy day.  The forecast high is only 80°, but the building is still retaining the heat.  Since tomorrow should be only 75°, I thing it will make the difference.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, so I have some cleaning to do.  They just called for my order, and I reminded them to keep track of it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In its unending desire to mollify its intolerant, bigoted base, the GOP appears ready and willing to throw single women under the bus, along with the same-sex couples whom we already know they hate. 

In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, Republicans are pushing legislation that aims to protect Americans who oppose these unions on religious grounds. But critics say the language is so broad, the bill creates a license to discriminate that would let employers fire women for getting pregnant outside of wedlock.

The legislation, already with 130 Republican sponsors in the House and a companion bill in the Senate, is nobly titled the "First Amendment Defense Act," but in real-world terms it has less to do with the free "exercise" of speech or religion, but with the right to impose one’s bigotry (end economic power) on others, using "religion" as a fig leaf.

In GOPerville, women are supposed to be barefoot and pregnant, unless the woman is not owned by a man.

From NY Times: The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution that creates the basis for international economic sanctions against Iran to be lifted, a move that incited a furious reaction in Israel and potentially sets up an angry showdown in Congress.

The 15-to-0 vote for approval of the resolution — 104 pages long including annexes and lists — was written in Vienna by diplomats who negotiated a landmark pact last week that limits Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for ending the sanctions.

There are two sides to this issue. On one is Benjamin "Butcher Bibi" Netanyahu (R-IS) and his Republican lackeys in Congress. On the other is the rest of the world.

From Right Wing Watch: Last week, John Hagee hosted his annual Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, D.C and during the event, Matthew Hagee conducted a short interview with Rep. Louie Gohmert about the recent nuclear agreement that the United States and several other nations struck with Iran.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

If Go-Go Goosestep Gohmert and his Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian allies are successful in preventing this peace accord and placing this nation of the path to war, their "god" who will get the glory has cloven hooves, a pointy tail, and a pitch fork.

Cartoon:

0721Cartoon

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Jul 152015
 

0715IranDeal

Normally, I have an article to share, but today I’m just going to share six video clips in which Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and their guests express their views.  Finally there is a summery of the Republican Plan.  I’d also like you to have to have an opportunity to do something that no Republican could have done before declaring opposition to the deal.  To read the text in it’s entirety, click here.

Ed’s video: President Barack Obama hails a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program but Republicans vow to kill it. Ed Schultz, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Eaton and the Stimon Center’s Laicie Heeley weigh in on the historic agreement.

 

Rachel’s first video: Joe Cirincione, president of The Ploughshares Fund, talks with Rachel Maddow about the chances for success of the newly announced nuclear deal with Iran and how diplomacy could take the US and Iran out of a war posture for the first time in a generation.

 

Rachel’s second video: Vali Nasr, dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, talks with Rachel Maddow about politics within the U.S. and also within Iran, and the pressures of global circumstances that will determine whether the Iran nuclear deal succeeds.

 

Lawrence’s first video: The Iran deal states "… under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons." Lawrence discusses the details of the deal with nuclear expert Matthew Bunn, analyst Phyllis Bennis and Foreign Policy’s James Traub.

 

Lawrence’s second video: Lawrence talks to NBC News Historian Michael Beschloss and Jonathan Alter about the historical significance of today’s deal with Iran and what it could mean for Pres. Obama’s legacy after he leaves office.

 

The Republican Plan:

Looking ahead, there are two things to keep in mind.  Most of the arguments against the deal relate to Iran’s status as a bad actor, which is true,  But Iran’s non-nuclear behavior has nothing to do with this deal.  Second, the other choices are to accept Itan having nuclear weapons short term of go to war to stop it.

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Jul 142015
 

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this, as time goes on, and I know more about the details of the deal reached.  From everything I can see so far, it appears that it includes all the safeguards we need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  This seems to be the best possible outcome.

0714ItanDealA historic agreement Tuesday to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief will ensure Iran has no possibility to achieve rapid nuclear weapons “breakout” capabilities for at least the next decade, U.S. leaders said.

“We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” said President Obama as he listed some of the pillars of the deal including international inspections, reductions in Iran’s centrifuges used to make nuclear fuel and a sharp cut in Iran’s stockpile of nuclear material.

“We put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic solution, and that is what we have done . . . This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,” said Obama, noting the potentially tough review ahead in Congress.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry described the deal as moving beyond a political framework reached three months ago, and said it met all U.S. requirements for blocking pathways to weapons development with strict inspections and provisions to snap sanctions back into place if Iran violates the rules.

But he also raised the possibility it could also provide the platform for expanded diplomatic overtures between Iran and the United States — which cut ties shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I saw more of the details about the deal on Way Too Early.

The biggest obstacle we now face is getting approval from Republicans in Congress.   They will also be stirred on my Israeli war monger, Butcher Ben (R-IS).  What will happen?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  In the meantime, I’m sure you have a pants-load of petitions.

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Apr 072015
 

You don’t see me featuring clips of Chris Matthews very often, because I not really a fan of his.  Of the MSNBC crew, he ‘s more of a Hillary Democrat than the more progressive Schultz, Hayes, Maddow, and O’Donnell.  But every once in a while, he hits home, and this is one of those times.

GOPwarmongersChris Matthews took apart all of the nonsensical objections to Obama’s negotiations with Iran with a few pointed questions to Michael Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute (aka Koch Industries Thinkers, Inc.)

We begin with the "appeasement" talking point, which is a crowd favorite on the right, despite the fact that it has absolutely no basis in fact. Nevertheless, conservatives have trotted out such knowledgeable beings as Ron Christie, Allen West, John Bolton, and Ted Cruz. Armed with their talking points and media training, each looks straight into the camera and tells their fearful audience this deal is as terrible as Chamberlain’s agreement with Hitler.

Tweety isn’t having it, and reminds that the very same argument was used to get us into the Vietnam war…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

 

Simply put, if Republicans sabotage this deal, Russia, China and Europe will not back us in proposing a tougher deal that Iran will not accept. Rubin’s better settlement is as big a lie as his claims about Iraq.

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Apr 052015
 

I’m feeling a bit under the weather, but I am taking it easy.  My Easter message from last year has lost none of it’s relevance, so I’m just reposting it.  I think it’s worth a second go round.  Hugs to all from the Easter Cat!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:01 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From Daily Kos: Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… end of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

  1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
  2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
  3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness – Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
  1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
  1. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
  1. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
  1. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
  1. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
  2. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
  3. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,

James M. Kauffman, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

A classic!

From NY Times: As the proposed agreement over Iran’s nuclear program is debated in coming weeks, President Obama will make his case to a Congress controlled by Republicans who are more fervently pro-Israel than ever, partly a result of ideology, but also a product of a surge in donations and campaign spending on their behalf by a small group of wealthy donors.

One of the surprisingly high-profile critics is Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who burst to prominence with a letter signed by 46 Republican colleagues to leaders of Iran warning against a deal. Mr. Cotton, echoing criticism by Israeli leaders, swiftly denounced the framework reached on Thursday as “a list of dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons” — words, his colleagues say, that expressed his deep concern about Iran’s threat to Israel’s security.

But it is also true that Mr. Cotton and other Republicans benefited from millions in campaign spending in 2014 by several pro-Israel Republican billionaires and other influential American donors who helped them topple Democratic opponents.

When hatred and billionaire bucks come together, it’s a Republican wet dream.

From Alternet: Mike Huckabee could give Cruz a run for his money in anti-LGBT hysteria.

All-but-declared presidential contender Mike Huckabee is right up there with Ted Cruz in his anti-gay hysteria. In an interview with CNN this week, the Huckster warned of the “militant gay community” that has mobilized behind “more pressure to put sanctions on Indiana than Iran.”

Ah, but the down-home, grits ‘n’ gun-loving former pastor, does have a way with words.

He especially did not appreciate the fact that big corporations like Apple and Walmart—which he loves, don’t get him wrong—joined in the condemnation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, enabling people and businesses to discriminate against gays.

“The reason that those corporations put the pressure on Indiana and Arkansas was because the militant gay community put the pressure on them,” Huckabee insisted. The dreaded “militant gay community” does not represent average Americans according to the Huckster. He does.

On an appearance on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” this week, Huckabee continued his crusade, saying the LGBT rights movement is akin to something out of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984: “It is a classic example of — really a page out of 1984, when what things mean are the opposite of what they really are,” he said.

Hmmm. Really interesting point, Mike, because if ever there was an excellent example of 1984-like Newspeak, it has to be calling the license to discriminate “religious freedom.” Huckabee is a consummate speaker of this language: “That’s what I’m seeing here is that in the name of tolerance, there’s intolerance. In the name of diversity, there’s uniformity. In the name of acceptance, there’s true discrimination.”

Wow! He’s good.

This blast of garbage from Upchuck Huck is just one of the five most deranged Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other four.

Cartoon:

0405Cartoon

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Apr 032015
 

To delay Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, I have been expecting a deal that gives up a lot more than I’d like to see, and was prepared to support such a deal, because the other two alternatives to a negotiated settlement would leave us facing an Iran that not only possess nuclear weapons sooner, but also, would be more hostile toward the US.  The deal in the works is actually far better than anything I had imagined.

0403IranDealIran and the United States, along with five other world powers, announced on Thursday a surprisingly specific and comprehensive understanding on limiting Tehran’s nuclear program for the next 15 years, though they left several specific issues to a final agreement in June.

After two years of negotiations, capped by eight tumultuous days and nights of talks that appeared on the brink of breakdown several times, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, announced the plan, which, if carried out, would keep Iran’s nuclear facilities open under strict production limits, and which holds the potential of reordering America’s relationship with a country that has been an avowed adversary for 35 years.

President Obama, for whom remaking the American relationship with Iran has been a central objective since his 2008 campaign, stepped into the Rose Garden moments later to celebrate what he called “a historic understanding with Iran.” He warned Republicans in Congress that if they tried to impose new sanctions to undermine the effort, the United States would be blamed for a diplomatic failure…

Inserted from <NY Times>

If you don’t already know and understand the details, Rachel Maddow brings it down to a level that a child could understand. Republicans, however, seem to lack that degree of sophistication.

There you have it.  Two major questions remain.  First, will Republicans sabotage the negotiations, because they are such a spectacular success for the Obama Administration?  I hope they realize that, while the US would be blamed by other nations, they would be blamed here.  Second, given the opportunity, can the Obama administration and their international partners close the deal?  If they can, “historic” would be an understatement.

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