HANSON – War on human nature; ZOMBIE – Please be a dictator; GOLDMAN – Envy by the dead.
NATIONAL: Pappas – Rove the ATM; Boyle – Rove the ATM; Fox – IRS reins; Swasey – Fed control of Common Core; Soave – Grade inflation; Hosenball – Snowden’s doomsday cache; Brown – Pope smokes dollar.
HEALTH CARE: Carson – Health lemons; Sherman – SCOTUS & contraception; Boehner enrolled; Hawkins – 5 predictions; Howley – O’Keefe star fired.
MIDDLE EAST: Pruden – Obama’s grovels to Iran; Phillips – World not saved; Stephens – Worse than Munich.
PA: Gibson – BO in negatives; Straub – Motorists to buy roads; Wing/Quinones – Nutter on knockouts; Cody – Common Core mistakes.
END NOTES: NYT’s nipple; Deutsch – GOP daughters; Washington’s proclamation; Daniel Hannan – Invented freedom.
“If you like your uranium, you get to keep it.” Jay Leno
“You can be impeached for being a ham sandwich.” Red Eye Radio, 11/25/13
“. . .Being ‘sceptical about Iran’s intentions’ means you think it is lying about those intentions. If the White House thinks Israel has good reason to believe Iran is lying, it follows that the White House must also think Iran is lying. If the White House thinks Iran is lying, how could it have done this ‘confidence building’ deal and part-lifted the sanctions regime imposed upon this lying, west-attacking, Jew-hating regime?” Melanie Phillips
“What happened to that inspiring, bipartisan fellow who made the speech about not slicing and dicing red and blue states?” the conservative politician, who despite being a member of the European Parliament is a Euro-skeptic, told The Daily Caller. “The debt is growing, the health care scheme is misguided, and I’m not sure there has ever been a president who cares less about the U.S.’s relations with her traditional friends, or the patrimony she was privileged to inherit from her Founders.”
CHANUKAH began at sundown, 11/26, ends 12/5
October 3, 1789: By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. . .” http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/GW/gw004.html
1806: President Jefferson warned citizens of a conspiracy to make the western frontier a separate nation, a scheme that allegedly involves Aaron Burr.
1834: Thomas Davenport, a Vermont blacksmith, invented the electric motor.
1924: The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York City.
2003: President George W. Bush spent Thanksgiving with the troops fighting in Iraq. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “The War on Human Nature “
“For nations as for individuals, pretending self-interest doesn’t exist is perilous.
“At some critical point, everyone makes choices based on incentives and his own perception of self-interest. Somehow the Obama administration has forgotten that natural law.
“A therapeutic sense of self-sacrifice is fine in the abstract, but in the concrete such magnanimity causes far more harm to the innocent than does a realistic appraisal of self-interest and a tragic acceptance of the flawed nature of man. The theme of the present administration is that it possesses the wisdom and resources to know better what people should do than they do themselves. From that premise arose most of catastrophes that have befallen this administration.
“Consider the logic of Obamacare — a protocol that we lesser folk were supposed to learn about only after the bill was passed, in the expectation that eventually we will surely like it, although we are not able to know that yet. If you use medical care infrequently, you supposedly will rush to sign up to pay more for it, so that those who will pay less can use it more. I wish such idealism were innate to the human character, but nothing suggests that it is. Does providing more coverage at less cost to more people somehow lead to lower costs for all participants? If so, the entire history of capitalism would have to be rewritten. Is it true that the more you try to get onto a website and are stymied, the more you will redouble your efforts to log on? If that were true, wouldn’t Amazon rig its website to fail 20 percent of the time?
“Would employers hire more full-time employees in order to up their health-insurance costs, or would they keep their work force small enough that the federal guidelines will allow them not to provide coverage? And how would those incentives affect overall job growth? Will employers decide to forgo more of their profits so that the nation’s unemployment rate will stabilize?
“Consider the news that the IRS improperly refunded $132 billion to people who falsely claimed earned-income tax credits. Add in the fact that about 45 to 50 percent of all Americans already pay no federal income tax. Then factor in the idea that conservative groups were more likely to be targeted by the IRS’s tax-exempt division than other nonprofit organizations. What natural lessons do many citizens learn from the IRS that might govern their future behavior? Are they likely to feel a greater need to report cash income, or to worry about unauthorized income while on federal assistance?
“Did administration explanations about Benghazi and the IRS scandals help reassure the American people that what the president said about Obamacare was likely to be true? Does serial disingenuousness finally ensure remorse and a return to veracity?
“Does promising a new transparency and an end to lobbying and to the revolving door between government and the private sector at least display a heartfelt desire to change the system, even if in reality there is no end to any such influence peddling? Is it better to promise great things and then break those promises than to have never promised at all? Do we operate on the T-ball philosophy that effort and happy talk can substitute for achievement? Does continuously blaming a prior president drive home the message of his culpability, or appear tasteless and reveal a sense of inferiority?
“Do the unemployed more eagerly seek employment when they are provided increases in food stamps, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, and assorted housing, legal, and education subsidies, or are they more likely to remain on public assistance, to become more indifferent to full-time employment, and to augment their subsidies with off-the-books cash income? . . .”
Zombie, PJM: “SF Protesters to Obama: Please be a Dictator!”
When Obama’s motorcade rocketed around San Francisco on Monday, very few locals even noticed his presence, and fewer still cared. The crowds awaiting him at each fundraiser were the by far smallest I’d seen in over five years of covering his visits here. Ticket sales to at least one of the events were so sluggish that prices had to be lowered to fill the empty seats. Out in the street, rubberneckers and protesters had dwindled to the bare minimum. This is what happens when a hero disappoints: you don’t turn on him in anger, but rather just tune him out and move on to other interests.
Yet even with the small turnout, there was a theme amongst Obama’s protesters/supporters (supportesters?): They didn’t want him to change his political agenda — instead, they demanded that he assume dictatorial powers so that he could finally implement the radical plans with which they already agree. The message of the day was: Stop dilly-dallying around, Mr. President: Ignore the Constitution and just make The Revolution happen, as you promised!
“That message would be disturbing enough all on its own, but it becomes much more disturbing when you suspect (as I do) that many of these pro-totalitarian protesters were astroturfed. In other words: Is the White House scripting/encouraging/guiding protesters on the left to beg him to become a dictator? So that later, he can explain, “I had no choice — the people demanded it!” Or is Obama simply telegraphing to his supporters that they should not be so disappointed when he throws in the towel and gives up even trying to achieve anything in his second term? . . .”
David Goldman, PJM: “The Dead’s Envy for the Living”
“Many commentators, most eloquently Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal, draw a parallel between the appeasement of Hitler at Munich in 1938 and the appeasement of Iran at Geneva. There is another, more chilling parallel: Iran’s motive for proposing to annihilate the Jewish State is the same as Hitler’s, and the world’s indifference to the prospect of another Holocaust is no different today than it was in 1938. It is the dead’s envy for the living.
“Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the same level as Western Europe, a catastrophic decline from 7 children per female in the early 1980s. Iran’s present youth bulge will turn into an elderly dependent problem worse than Europe’s in the next generation and the country will collapse. That is why war is likely, if not entirely inevitable. . .”
NATIONAL . . .
Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: “Federal investigators still not contacting conservative groups targeted by IRS”
“More than half a year after the IRS targeting scandal broke in May, federal investigators have still not contacted any of the 41 conservative groups represented in the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) lawsuit against the IRS.
“Though the FBI and IRS both launched investigations into the wrongdoing, and Eric Holder’s Justice Department vowed to cooperate with the FBI probe, none of these agencies has contacted the ACLJ’s clients to figure out what happened.
“It’s now been more than six months since the public revelation of the IRS targeting scheme. The Obama Administration — including the White House — has repeatedly promised that an investigation would ensue and that we would get to the bottom of this unlawful and unconstitutional scheme. “Unfortunately, that does not appear to be happening. . .”
Alex Pappas, Daily Caller: “Exclusive: A look at the ATM for the country’s most conservative groups”
“You may not have heard of the Center to Protect Patient Rights, but the organization doled out millions to some of the country’s most active conservative groups in 2012, according to new tax documents provided to The Daily Caller.
“Tax forms indicate that the Arizona-based group — one of the largest nonprofit conservative grant makers of its kind — spent almost $137 million on its activities in 2012. Most of that money went to grants to nearly 50 conservative organizations, many of which are dedicated to getting rid of President Barack Obama’s unpopular health-care law.
“Among the groups that received the most money from the Center to Protect Patient Rights in 2012:
— American Future Fund – $49.2 million
— Americans for Responsible Leadership – $24.7 million
— Americans for Prosperity – $11.5 million
— American Commitment – $4.8 million
— Citizen Link – $4.2 million
— National Rifle Association for Legislative Action – $3.2 million
— 60 Plus Association – $2.6 million
— Americans for Limited Government – $1.6 million
— Citizens Awareness Project – $1 million
“Other conservative groups that received grants: Americans for Tax Reform ($350,000); Americans United for Life Action ($65,000); Club for Growth ($450,000); Concerned Women for America ($173,573); Emergency Committee for Israel ($200,000); Hispanic Leadership Fund ($645,000); Susan B. Anthony List ($385,000); Heritage Action Fund ($8,000); Generation Opportunity ($29, 211) and the National Federation of Independent Business ($135,783).
“The nonprofit is not required to disclose its donors, but tax documents from the organization Freedom Partners indicate it has given the Center to Protect Patient Rights at least $115 million. Freedom Partners has spent millions in opposition to Obamacare, and has ties to billionaire libertarian donors Charles and David Koch. . .”
Fox: “IRS moves to rein in tax-exempt groups after targeting scandal”
“The Obama administration launched an attempt Tuesday to rein in the same class of politically active non-profit groups the IRS was accused of targeting last summer.
“Under the proposed new rules, organizations that fall under the tax-exempt 501(c)(4) umbrella would also be more clearly identified during campaigns. The new guidance would curtail activities such as running ads, distributing campaign literature and other get-out-the-vote initiatives.
“The groups in question are able to raise millions of dollars to influence elections.
“Smaller organizations that are similarly classified were the subject of unfair targeting practices earlier this year by IRS employees, leading to the eventual resignations of several senior IRS officials.
“However, it could be several years before any regulations are finalized, meaning the groups could likely still raise millions before next year’s elections. . .”
Matthew Boyle, Big Govt: “Documents: Karl Rove Gave Grover Norquist $26 Million in 2012”
“Tax documents from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS show that Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is largely funded by Rove, ProPublica’s Kim Barker reports.
“Social welfare nonprofits, also known as dark money groups because they don’t have to report their donors, are allowed to spend money on politics as long as their primary purpose is social welfare,” Barker wrote on Monday. ‘The groups often count so-called issue ads that stop short of advocating for or against a candidate and grants toward that social welfare mission. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision allowed corporations and unions to spend directly on election ads, these nonprofits have turned into the vehicle of choice for anonymous spending, dumping more than $254 million into the 2012 elections. Of the 150 or so social welfare nonprofits that reported spending to the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 election cycle, Crossroads was king, the biggest anonymous spender by far. Americans for Tax Reform came in fourth, with $15.8 million.’
“On its 2012 tax return, Barker reported, the biggest grant Rove’s Crossroads GPS gave to anybody was a $26.4 million grant it gave to Norquist’s ATR for ‘social welfare.’
“There are also questions about the legality of Rove’s and Norquist’s arrangement, Barker noted throughout her piece, questioning the use of the money for politicking. . .”
Also: Kim Barker, Pro Publica; “New Tax Return Shows Karl Rove’s Group Spent Even More On Politics Than It Said”
“On its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. (Here’s the tax return itself, which we detailed last week.)
“The return, signed under penalty of perjury, specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, “and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization’s tax-exempt mission.”
“But that’s not what happened. . .”
Christel Swasey, “7 Links to Evidence of Federal Control of Common Core”
“. . . The fact is that states that adopted Common Core standards are being co-parented by two groups in partnership, neither of which takes seriously the constitutional rights of the states to govern education locally: these partners are 1) The federal government and 2) Private trade clubs financed by Bill Gates NGA and CCSSO.
So first, here’s evidence of terrible federal controls: (click to fact check, please)
1. Federal micromanagemment in Common Core testing grant conditions
2.Federal ESEA 15% capped waiver conditions that deny states the right to add more than 15% to our standards;
3. Federal reviews of tests
4. Federal data collection
5. Federal disfiguration of previously protective FERPA laws that removed parental rights over student data;
6. President Obamas four assurances for education reform which governors promised to enact in exchange for ARRA stimulus funds;
7.Obamas withholding of funds from schools that do not adopt Common Core as read in his Blueprint for Reform (aka The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) which says, Beginning in 2015, formula funds will be available only to states that are implementing assessments based on college- and career-ready standards that are common to a significant number of states. . .”
“Here’s evidence of unelected, corporate control of Common Core:
1) Common Core copyrights (and living work alteration rights) are held solely by two unelected, private clubs, the superintendents club (aka CCSSO) and a governors club (aka NGA).
2) These two clubs are are influenced by and funded by the politically extreme Bill Gates, who has spent over $5
Billion on his personal, awful version of education reform and that dollar amount is his own admission.
3) No amendment process exists for states to co-amend the living work standards. The living work statement means that OUR standards will be changed without representation from US as the states; it will be done by the private trade groups CCSSO/NGA.
4) Bill Gates and Pearson are partnered. (Biggest ed sales company partnered with 2nd richest man on earth, all in the effort to force Common Core on everyone.)
5) The speech of corporate sponsor Bill Gates when he explains that Well only know [Common Core] this works when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these standards. This explains why he is giving away so much money so that companies can be united in the gold rush of creating Common Core curriculum.
6. Virtually every textbook sales company now loudly advertises being common core aligned despite the fact that the standards are unpiloted, experimental (in the words of Dr. Christopher Tienken, Common Core is education malpractice.)
7. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many huge corporations (ExxonMobil) are selling Common Core as a way of creating wealth, despite the standards untested nature.
The federal partnering with the private groups like CCSSO/NGA, means that mandates and thought-monopolies of Common Core are truly beyond even legislative control because they are privately controlled, they’re beyond voters influence.
This is why nothing short of an outright rejection of all things Common Core can restore us to educational freedom.
Robby Soave, Daily Caller: “‘A’ for effort! Wild grade inflation at most colleges
“‘In a fair grading system, you reward people for their outstanding achievements,’ said Rojstaczer. Grade inflation ‘lowers the intensity and intellectual level in many classes.’
“Of course, grade inflation is not even across the board. Elite and private universities inflate more heavily, while community colleges give comparatively honest grades and even flunk students. Yale University, for instance, gave an ‘A’ grade 62 percent of the time last year.
“Yale administrators briefly considered instituting a deliberate grade deflation, but relented.
“Princeton University, on the other hand, is nearly 10 years into its calculated grade deflation program, which it may suspend due to student complaints. . .”
Mark Hosenball, Reuters: “Spies worry over ‘doomsday’ cache stashed by ex-NSA contractor Snowden”
“(Reuters) – British and U.S. intelligence officials say they are worried about a ‘doomsday’ cache of highly classified, heavily encrypted material they believe former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has stored on a data cloud.
“The cache contains documents generated by the NSA and other agencies and includes names of U.S. and allied intelligence personnel, seven current and former U.S. officials and other sources briefed on the matter said.
“The data is protected with sophisticated encryption, and multiple passwords are needed to open it, said two of the sources, who like the others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
“The passwords are in the possession of at least three different people and are valid for only a brief time window each day, they said. The identities of persons who might have the passwords are unknown.
“Spokespeople for both NSA and the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
“One source described the cache of still unpublished material as Snowden’s ‘insurance policy’ against arrest or physical harm. . .”
Stephen Brown, NY Daily News: “The unholy dollar: Pope Francis slams ‘tyranny’ of markets and ‘idolatry of money’”
“In his first major work, Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church to commit itself to fighting poverty and called on world leaders to become more concerned about the current state of society. He opened the door to reforms of Vatican bureaucracy while reaffirming that female priests and the church’s opposition to abortion is ‘not open to discussion.’
“Pope Francis decried the unfettered capitalism that has created ‘a new tyranny’ and an ‘idolatry of money’ Tuesday in his first major work as pontiff.
“‘Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,’ Francis wrote in his apostolic exhortation, which amounts to a platform for his papacy.
“‘How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’
HEALTH CARE . . .
Ben Carson, Washington Times: “A health care lemon”
“Americans have a right to an Obamacare refund
“. . . The salesman said the car was practically new and was the deal of the century. Before long, it was discovered that the engine was completely shot, and the car was essentially a beautiful piece of junk. The salesman did not know my mother, and in the end, gladly refunded her money and took the car back.
This kind of story is, of course, the reason that used-car salesmen have such a bad reputation. Just behind used-cars salesmen are politicians, who have also been known to sell people a bill of goods with no substance. Obamacare is such a bill of goods, one that was promoted as one thing and turned out to be something quite different. In the real world, it is frequently possible to gain legal relief in the case of a fraudulent deal, but in the case of Obamacare, we are being told that it is the law of the land and that you simply must live with it.
When you place misdeeds by the government beyond the reach of normal mechanisms of recourse, you establish a condition ripe for abuse. . .
Mark Sherman, Big Govt: “Supreme Court Will Take Up New Health Law Dispute”
“WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama’s health care law: whether businesses may use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.
“The justices said they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception.
“The Obama administration promotes the law’s provision of a range of preventive care, free of charge, as a key benefit of the health care overhaul. Contraception is included in the package of cost-free benefits, which opponents say is an attack on the religious freedom of employers.
“The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts.
“The other case is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected the company’s claims.
“The court said the cases will be combined for arguments, probably in late March. A decision should come by late June. . .”
Also: Michelle Malkin, RCP: “Thank You, Hobby Lobby”
“Religious liberty is front and center on the nation’s Thanksgiving table. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The family-owned craft store company is intrepidly challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare’s abortion coverage mandate. Hobby Lobby’s faithful owners deserve our thanks and praise as they defend freedom of conscience for all Americans.
“The privately held retail chain’s story is the quintessential American Dream. . .”
Laura Stampler, Time: “John Boehner Signs Up for Obamacare”
“It wasn’t easy, either
“It might have taken him a few hours, but Speaker of the House John Boehner has enrolled for health insurance through the Washington, D.C. exchange website Thursday.
“Like many Americans, my experience was pretty frustrating,” he wrote, providing screen shots of error messages. . .”
John Hawkins, Townhall: “Republicans Got It Right about Obamacare: 5 Predictions That Turned Out To Be True”
“. . . The only real way to “fix” this law is to repeal it. The people telling you that are the ones who pointed out all of these problems that the Democrats lied about and missed like…
1. The cost of insurance will go up . . .
2. People will lose their jobs or be cut back to part-time because of Obamacare . . .
3. More Americans will lose their health insurance because of Obamacare than will be covered by the law . . .
4. “If you like your doctor, you keep your doctor” was a lie . . .
5. “If you like your plan, you can keep it” was a lie . . .
These are just five examples of what most conservatives thought would happen with Obamacare and we were spot on. In fact, conservatives predicted every problem with Obamacare other than the utter and complete failure of the website, which if anything shows that we may have given Obama too much credit. What should really scare you is that the same people who got so much right about the bill so far are predicting tens of millions of Americans will lose their plans when the employer mandate comes online and there will be death panels, doctor shortages, a dramatic decline in the quality of care, and massive cost increases that will dwarf anything we’ve seen so far, even though tens of millions of Americans still will remain uninsured under the law.”
Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: “O’Keefe sting victim (!!!) resigns from Enroll America”
“The Obamacare enrollment group linked to Kathleen Sebelius cut ties with an employee caught engaging in covert political activity in a James O’Keefe video.
“The employee seen in the video has resigned from his role with Enroll America,” Enroll America press secretary Justin Nisly said in a statement to the KCEN television station in Texas.
Enroll America’s Texas state communications lead, Christopher Tarango, conspired to provide a list of potential Obamacare enrollees — obtained through the “commit cards” that the group hands out door to door to help them pick insurance plans — to an investigator with O’Keefe’s group Project Veritas posing as the representative of a political action committee. . .”
MIDDLE EAST . . .
Eliana Johnson, NRO: “Behind 60 Minutes’s Bungled Benghazi Report”
“Lara Logan’s botched exposé is the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s not often that 60 Minutes, the high church of television journalism for over four decades, becomes late-night comedy fodder. But that’s what happened earlier this month when Saturday Night Live’s cold open featured 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan (Kate McKinnon) giving a sympathetic hearing to disgraced Toronto mayor Rob Ford (Bobby Moynihan).
“‘I’m going to go on a show where people do believe me and will believe anything I say!’ Ford declared. Cue the ticking clock and Logan, clad in a form-fitting dress and displaying ample cleavage. After Ford asserted that he had never used crack cocaine, smoked pot, or consumed alcohol, Logan cooed gauzily, ‘I believe you.’
“Logan has been tight-lipped about the inspiration for this bit: The revelation that her October 27 report on last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, was riddled with inaccuracies and featured an unreliable star witness, a British security contractor who told her a riveting story contradicted by the one he’d put on record with his employer and the FBI. The exposé threatened to reignite the Benghazi scandal, which dogged the Obama administration and was the most glaring liability for Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential candidacy. Instead, its failures seem to have closed the books on the scandal, at least temporarily.
“Citing a memo from CBS chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, the Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone reported on Tuesday that CBS News has placed Logan and her producer, Max McClellan, on leave. Fager cited the ‘journalistic review’ into the Benghazi segment, which concluded it was “deficient in several respects.” Chiefly, the review faulted Logan and McClellan for their failure to vet the contractor’s account; in particular, it noted that the ‘wider reporting resources of CBS News were not employed” in an effort to confirm it. . .’
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times: “Obama’s full grovel to Iran”
“There’s good news and bad news in Barack Obama’s sucker deal with Iran. The Iranians get all the good news, and the West gets all the bad news. The only good news for the good guys is that the deal, like Obamacare, is President Obama’s baby. Sometimes, the baby daddy has to pay up.
The president and his administration, having done the full grovel in Geneva, is now into full defensive mode. Stung by the cries of disbelief in Washington from a growing number of his partisan allies in Congress, the president insists that his handiwork “halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.”
But it has done no such thing. The deal, or the “interim accord” as the Western deal-makers insist on calling it, does not even meet the requirements of several United Nations resolutions insisting on suspension of all enrichment of uranium before it gets relief from the sanctions that were driving the mullahs in Tehran to cry “uncle.”
Mr. Obama, the crafty Chicago politician, is counting on the maxim that “all politics is local,” that the talk of centrifuges, the plutonium reactor at Arak, and oxidation of 5 percent against the enrichment of 20 percent, will quickly make everyone’s eyes glaze over and we can get back to the important affairs of state that everyone understands, such as whether to change the name of the Redskins.
Melanie Phillips: “World saved? Hardly. More a final countdown to nuclear blackmail and war”
“. . . for your own assistance when facing someone who thinks this deal has saved the world rather than provided the final countdown to genocidal nuclear blackmail and war, here is my cut-out-and-keep guide to why the Geneva deal all but guarantees that the principal source of terrorism in the world today will now develop nuclear weapons for its monstrous purposes.
“1) The deal is not designed to stop the Iranian bomb. It is said rather to be an interim agreement designed to boost confidence. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry promise a subsequent permanent agreement which will disarm Iran of its nuclear and military capabilities. So sanctions are currently being lifted in exchange for… what exactly? Nothing of any significance whatever.
“2) The Americans admit that, even in the best-case scenario, the deal will lengthen the Iranian bomb-making process by only a few months. And then what?
“3) However much Kerry tries to deny it, the deal inescapably accepts that Iran will enrich uranium in a ‘mutually defined enrichment programme’.
“4) It thus unilaterally chucks onto the scrap-heap the UN Security Council binding resolutions making any easing of sanctions dependent upon Iran ceasing uranium enrichment altogether.
“5) The vaunted slowdown, by reducing uranium enrichment from 20 per cent to five per cent, can be easily reversed.
“6) The deal does not destroy one single centrifuge. Some 10,000 of them will continue to spin and enrich the uranium needed for the bomb. According to some experts, Iran already possesses enough enriched uranium to make 4-5 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs.
“7) The slowdown still gives Iran yet more of the gift Obama has already so lavishly bestowed upon it over the past five years – the time it needs to arrive at nuclear weapons breakout capability.
“8) The deal enables Iran to remain on the ‘nuclear threshold’, enabling it to acquire the material it needs for a nuclear weapon within six to eight weeks. To reduce that break-out threat, Iran’s nuclear programme must instead be heavily put back.
“9) The last-minute, French-imposed pause in the assembly of the heavy water reactor at Arak (and the US was originally willing to do a deal without any change at all at Arak) will still not prevent Iran being able to use Arak to produce a plutonium-based nuclear weapon.
“10) Considering the spotty track record of the IAEA inspectors and the sophisticated guile of the Iranians, not to mention the likely existence of more secret nuclear sites than have been detected so far, the prospects of IAEA inspections keeping Iran honest must be considered slim indeed.
“11) The absence of any requirement to divulge its programme to manufacture explosive devices and warheads means that Iran can complete the development of its nuclear weapon.
“12) The deal starts to weaken the sanctions regime unconditional upon Iran delivering anything at all. It thus throws away the one piece of leverage the west finally developed against the regime and removes the incentive for Iran to keep to the terms of the deal. For if Iran could get something for nothing from the US, UK and EU this time, it can be confident that Obama, Ashton and Cameron are so desperate for any deal that it will be able to do so again and again.
“13) Obama has now conclusively demonstrated that he will never attack Iran. His real target in doing this patently absurd deal was not Iran at all, but Israel. This is because Obama clearly regards the biggest threat around to be not the ‘unthinkable’ nuclear-arming of war-on-west-waging, genocidal Iran but an attack on Iran by its putative victims, to prevent that genocide and avert nuclear blackmail and worse against the US and the rest of the west. Iran now knows it can proceed with impunity to the bomb because Obama’s US has become a paper tiger.
“14) Rouhani is not moderate at all, but a supremely wily negotiator who understands all too well the death-wish of the appeasement-driven west. He has boasted in the past of duping it in order to buy time for Iran to continue to build the bomb. In time, he will similarly boast of this deal, too.
“15) Rouhani is in any event not the main guy. The west was negotiating with a mere puppet. The only person who matters in Iran is the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
“10 [sic]) Khamenei’s regime remains committed to wiping Israel ‘off the page of history’ because of the regime’s deranged, psychopathic hatred of Jews whom it regards as not human at all but, in Khamenei’s recent words, like ‘rabid dogs’.
“11) [sic] The fact that the US, UK and EU casually dismissed such chilling words suggests that they are similarly indifferent to what history tells us is the terrible fate that follows from such words, unless those who utter them are stopped.
“After the deal was signed, the White House said that
‘Israel has ‘good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions…’
“Think about that for a moment. . .”
Bret Stephens, WSJ: “Worse Than Munich”
“. . . each deal was a betrayal of small countries—Czechoslovakia, South Vietnam, Israel—that had relied on Western security guarantees. Each was a victory for the dictatorships: ‘No matter the world wants it or not,’ Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said Sunday, ‘this path will, God willingly, continue to the peak that has been considered by the martyred nuclear scientists.’ Each deal increased the contempt of the dictatorships for the democracies: ‘If ever that silly old man comes interfering here again with his umbrella,’ Hitler is reported to have said of Chamberlain after Munich, ‘I’ll kick him downstairs and jump on his stomach.’
“And each deal was a prelude to worse. After Munich came the conquest of Czechoslovakia, the Nazi-Soviet pact and World War II. After Paris came the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh and the humiliating exit from the embassy rooftop. After Geneva there will come a new, chaotic Mideast reality in which the United States will lose leverage over enemies and friends alike.
“What will that look like? Iran will gradually shake free of sanctions and glide into a zone of nuclear ambiguity that will keep its adversaries guessing until it opts to make its capabilities known. Saudi Arabia will move swiftly to acquire a nuclear deterrent from its clients in Islamabad; Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made that clear to the Journal last week when he indiscreetly discussed “the arrangement with Pakistan.” Egypt is beginning to ponder a nuclear option of its own while drawing closer to a security alliance with Russia.
“As for Israel, it cannot afford to live in a neighborhood where Iran becomes nuclear, Assad remains in power, and Hezbollah—Israel’s most immediate military threat—gains strength, clout and battlefield experience. The chances that Israel will hazard a strike on Iran’s nuclear sites greatly increased since Geneva. More so the chances of another war with Hezbollah. . .”
PA . . .
Keegan Gibson, Politics PA: “PPP Poll: Obama Approval Slides Into Negatives”
“Barack Obama’s job approval rating is in negative territory in Pa., mirroring the recent nation trend.
53% of registered Pa. voters said they take an unfavorable view of the President is doing his job according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling. 43% said they approve.
“PPP surveyed 693 Pa. voters from Nov. 22 to 25 via IVR. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7%.
1 in 3 self-identified Democrats gave Obama negative marks, an overall approval rating of 65% to 30% among his party.
“He has positive marks among independents and third party voters, too, 53% to 43%. Republicans disapprove his performance 81% to 17%.
“His strongest numbers come from voters ages 18 to 45, who give him a positive 50% to 47% rating. Middle aged voters (ages 46 to 65) gave him the worst marks, disapproving 59% to 37%.
“There was no significant difference between Obama’s rating among men and women. . .”
Alex Straub, PA Independent: “As transportation bill heads to Corbett’s desk, higher taxes and fees on way”
“HARRISBURG – Sometime next week, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign a bill that eventually will inject $2.3 billion into transportation initiatives. But the bill includes financial potholes for every motorist in the Keystone State.
“While the transportation funding package will eliminate the 12-cents-a-gallon tax that motorists pay when they fill up, there’s a real possibility that a move to further tax fuel at the wholesale level will trickle down to the pumps. Vehicle registration and drivers’ licenses fees would also increase.
“The taxes and fees will be phased in over five years, with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation anticipating the average driver will pay $2.50 more in weekly gas costs in the final year.
“‘We’re asking people to pay more, but it’s not coming all at one shot,’ said Rich Kirkpatrick, a PennDOT spokesman.
“After appearing more like a lemon than a substantial investment to improve infrastructure and mass transit earlier this week, the transportation funding package began moving through the state Legislature quickly on Tuesday, with the House sending it to Corbett’s desk after passing it by a 113-85 margin during a previously unscheduled Thursday session.
“It marked a huge political victory for Corbett, who made transportation funding a top priority this fall and called the passage of the bill a “landmark day for Pennsylvania.” Still, he faced questions of whether he was reneging on a campaign promise to not increase taxes. The governor disagreed and said he had to deal with an issue of public safety. . .”
Dan Wing & Todd Quinones, CBSPhilly: “Mayor Nutter Says ‘Knockout’ Attacks ‘Will Not Be Tolerated Here’”
“Nutter was joined by Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, as they discussed the so-called game in which a person is randomly assaulted, while another person films it with their phone or other device.
With cases reported in other U.S. cities, including New York, Mayor Nutter says the city is working to stay ahead of the problem, but needs parents to do their part.
‘This is not a game. You can seriously injure or possibly kill someone. Your child’s life will be dramatically changed, and probably yours as well as a parent. So let’s cut out the nonsense. There are many other things that people can do to enjoy themselves. This is not one of them,’ Nutter said.
“The Mayor says that anyone caught taking part in the ‘knockout’ game will face charges ranging from aggravated assault up to third degree murder, but that’s not all.
“‘You’re also hurting another human being for no reason at all. There’s no excuse for this kind of behavior, it will not be tolerated here in the city. We will do everything we can to both prevent, but if someone does engage, we will catch you. . .”
Anthony Cody, EdWeek: “Common Core Standards: Ten Colossal Errors”
“A recent book described the “Reign of Errors” we have lived through in the name of education reform. I am afraid that the Common Core continues many of these errors, and makes some new ones as well.
“The Business Roundtable announced last month that its #1 priority is the full adoption and implementation of the Common Core standards. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is likewise making a full-court press to advance the Common Core. Major corporations have taken out full-page ads to insist that the Common Core must be adopted. Many leading figures in the Republican party, like Jeb Bush, have led the charge for Common Core, as have entrepreneurs like Joel Klein. And the project has become a centerpiece for President Obama’s Department of Education.
“Yet in New York, the first large state to implement the tests associated with the new standards, students, parents and principals are expressing grave concerns about the realities of the Common Core. Common Core proponents like Arne Duncan have been quick to ridicule critics as misinformed ideologues or delusional paranoiacs. Defenders of the common standards, like Duncan and Commissioner John King in New York, insist that only members of the Tea Party oppose the Common Core. In spite of this, the opposition is growing, and as more states begin to follow New York’s lead, resistance is sure to grow.
“With this essay, I want to draw together the central concerns I have about the project. I am not reflexively against any and all standards. Appropriate standards, tied to subject matter, allow flexibility to educators. Teachers ought to be able to tailor their instruction to the needs of their students. Loose standards allow educators to work together, to share strategies and curriculum, and to build common assessments for authentic learning. Such standards are necessary and valuable; they set goals and aspirations and create a common framework so that students do not encounter the same materials in different grades. They are not punitive, nor are they tethered to expectations that yield failure for anyone unable to meet them.
“The Common Core website has a section devoted to debunking “myths” about the Common Corebut many of these supposed myths are quite true. I invite anyone to provide factual evidence that disproves any of the information that follows. (And for the sake of transparency, I ask anyone who disputes this evidence to disclose any payments they or their organization has received for promoting or implementing the Common Core.)
“Here are ten major errors being made by the Common Core project, and why I believe it will do more harm than good.. . .”
END NOTES . . .
NYT: Leads with a nipple . . .
Circulation falls, staff move to unemployment . . . today the grande damme printed a 6×8 inch color photograph of a tattoo, a scar, and a half nipple, front page, above the fold. The one copy slowed up the line at Starbucks. OMG! Is she trying to imitate the Daily Caller????
Breanna Deutsch, Daily Caller: “Study: Having daughters makes parents more Republican”
“Having more pink around the house could lead parents to vote red at the ballot box.
The Pew Research Center reports that a new study finds that parents of girls are more likely to support Republicans.
“Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rauscher of the University of Kansas concluded that having more daughters than sons and having a daughter first “significantly reduces the likelihood of Democratic identification and significantly increases the strength of Republican Party identification.”
Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
“By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
“and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
“Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Daniel Hannan, Fox: Warning for America
His latest book: Inventing Freedom, about $20 . . .
Interview with Shawn Hannity – http://video.foxnews.com/v/2849495370001/daniel-hannans-warning-for-america/
Also: YouTube – “Daniel Hannan MEP: The devalued Prime Minister of a devalued Government”
Also: YouTube – “Full Speech: Daniel Hannan at CPAC 2012”
Also: Daniel Hannan, WSJ: “The World of English Freedoms”