Istanbul and Moscow: The Capitals of an Emerging Axis of Evil
Joel J. Sprayregen
May 18th, 2010
BY ED MORRISSEY, Hot Air
This must be what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton mean by “smart power.” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not exactly known for his erudition or deep intellect, has managed to outmaneuver the US on uranium enrichment, reaching a deal with Brazil and Turkey to exchange raw nuclear fuel for processed fuel rods. That deal still allows Iran to enrich some of its own uranium, but even while the US objects, it allows political cover to Russia and China:
Iran backed the Obama administration into check in its ongoing nuclear chess match by announcing its own fuel swap deal after a Western-backed plan fell apart last fall.
The country, trying to avoid sanctions after it rejected a deal with the U.S., Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency in October, steered around the United States in brokering a swap with Turkey and Brazil.
In a sense, Iran left the Obama administration an out by declaring it would continue producing 20 percent enrichment uranium even as it proposes shipping nuclear material to Turkey. To become official, the deal still has to be agreed to by the same group of nations that pursued the deal last fall — and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a written statement that while the fuel swap would be a “positive step,” any move to continue enrichment internally would be a “direct violation” of Security Council resolutions.
The UN’s Economic and Social Council has just elected Iran to a seat on the UN’s women’s rights commission. Wouldn’t it be easier to just ship the entire UN, lock, stock and seating arrangements, to Iran?
…”Pragmatic cooperation” with the ICC-for example, helping it with investigations and sitting in on court bodies, [proponents argue] would give the U.S. a voice on decisions that affect its interests, such as helping the ICC define the “crime of aggression.” U.S. officials were stunned that a recent draft defining aggression was so wide-reaching that NATO would have been criminally liable in the 1999 Kosovo war…
…The ICC’s indictments have so far targeted nasty characters in Africa, but the court has always resisted outside oversight, especially from the U.S. What’s more, no amount of reform of the founding treaty will change the ICC’s inherent flaw. The ICC is a child of the doctrine of “universal jurisdiction,” which holds that courts can adjudicate crimes [by their definition] committed anywhere in the world.
And other Obama acolytes support a constitutional overhaul to allow more direct control to those in power, without the messiness of congressional action – as originally stipulated in the Constitution. Stephen Markman, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, has warned about Obama’s “living constitution” views :
…the important decisions would increasingly be undertaken by courts, especially by federal courts. It will be the California referendum process writ national, a process by which the decisions of millions of voters on matters such as racial quotas, social services funding, and immigration policy have been routinely overturned by single judges acting in the name of the Constitution – not the Framers’ Constitution, but a “constitution for our times,” a “living constitution,” resembling, sadly, the constitutions of failed and despotic nations across the globe…
As various advocates of a 21st century constitution have urged, [the constitution should] be interpreted to allow the invention of a host of new “rights,” and thus be construed to guarantee social or economic equality. However pleasing this might sound to some people, there should be no mistake: adopting this interpretation will supplant representative decision-making with the decision-making of unelected, unaccountable, and life-tenured judges.
Morning Bell: The Ahmadinejad Victory Tour
Posted By Conn Carroll On April 29, 2010 @ 9:26 am In American Leadership, Protect America | No Comments
Yesterday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had submitted an application for a visa to attend the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York next month. Since Crowley also confirmed that Ahmadinejad is likely to be awarded the visa, the Iranian President can now look forward to witnessing first hand the failure of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.
At first the White House believed that President Barack Obama’s sheer power of personality and persuasion would be enough to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear program. So the President gave a conciliatory speech in Cairo , sent a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , and opened up direct talks with the Iranian regime . The results have been crystal clear: the Iranian regime has only accelerated its nuclear program , accelerated its ballistic missile program, and further crushed internal dissent, all while the Obama administration remained silent  as the Green Revolution was brutally crushed .
Now the Obama administration is seeking “crippling” sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council. This is another Obama fantasy that plays right into Iran’s “cheat, retreat, and delay”  nuclear strategy. Whatever goodwill the Obama administration hoped to get from Russia by caving into their New START demands has not paid off . With help from Turkey , China and now Egypt , Iran’s rope-a-dope  U.N. diplomacy will render any U.N. sanctions regime completely toothless .
All these Ahmadinejad victories over President Obama would not be so alarming if the Obama administration were not actively undermining our nation’s ability to deter and defend against Iranian nuclear attack. First there was President Obama’s decision to cancel missile defense installations in Eastern Europe . The Obama administration claimed that their alternative system, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, could defend U.S. allies by 2020. But a recent Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report  warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. This means President Obama has created a new “window of vulnerability”  for our enemies to exploit.
And then there is President Obama’s New START agreement which limits U.S. conventional, nuclear and missile defense options. Former director of the Missile Defense Agency, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, noted in The Washington Times  this week: “Strangely, New START may actually rest on what Russia permits the United States to do to defend Americans and our allies from such a missile attack. This equation is both bizarre and unsafe.”
“Bizarre and unsafe” is a generous assessment of the Obama administration’s efforts to protect America from Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far. The Obama administration must change course. The United States should impose and enforce the strongest possible sanctions , even if doing so requires action outside of the U.N. framework, and step up public diplomacy efforts to discredit the regime’s legitimacy and offer support to opposition groups, such as the Green Movement . Most importantly the Obama administration must make the commitment to create and sustain a layered missile defense system , designed to counter every range of Iranian missiles in all stages of flight, including those that threaten the territory of the United States and its allies. This would include scrapping New START, returning missile defense installations to Eastern Europe and fully funding missile defense. For more, see 33 Minutes .
By James Lewis
With the economy in the tank, unemployment hovering at ten percent and over four million jobs lost since he was elected, one would think President Obama would have more important things to talk about than what his opposition says or does on a daily basis. In fact, most former presidents would rather focus on their job than be distracted by a daily war of words with their opposition. In an effort to stay above the fray and maintain their “presidential” status,” former presidents usually let their surrogates do political hand-to-hand combat.
But not President Obama. He could care less that his provocative statements might show him as unfocused or even un-presidential. In fact, the President’s provocative statements are a calculated political strategy intended to divert attention from his socialist agenda.
President Obama’s is just following Saul Alinsky’s methods from his book, “Rules For Radicals,” to change America into a socialist European-style socialist nation.
Excerpts from Alinsky’s book help illuminate, in part, President Obama’s propensity for making frequent provocative statements: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” These rules have worked for President Obama his entire political and community organizing career, and continue to work to advance his socialist agenda today.
Putting Alinsky’s methods into practice, President Obama will continue to say and do provocative things in order to identify the target so he can; ” freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
Following the President’s lead, the liberal media will reinforce and defend any and all of his provocative statements. Once the opposition is identified, they will be branded as dangerous right-wing radicals and railed against, on a daily basis, by the liberal media until they are marginalized. This scenario has been playing out since before President Obama was elected, and will continue throughout his tenure in office.
Unless the Republicans can take back the House and Senate this November, President Obama, with the help of his willing accomplices in the liberal media, will lead America slowly and methodically into socialism. Like a frog in a pot of cold water, gradual warming will result in the frog being boiled without making any effort to escape.
Feel free, fellow Americans – while you still are – to investigate the facts regarding President Obama’s radical strategies and socialist agenda.
When these facts become clear, read the following words from the “Declaration of Independence,” and see what “we the people” have a “right” to do when “any form of government becomes destructive.”
“…that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Exposing President Obama’s socialist agenda, and getting enough people to declare their independence from it, may be the only way to keep America’s melting pot from boiling.
Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire and is a regular contributor to PoliticalDerby.com.
Years ago, R. Emmett Tyrell characterized Bill Clinton as the “Boy President.” In Barack Obama, I believe we are seeing the return of the little boy as president. As a former Cub Scout den leader, I spent a lot of time around boys. It struck me that the president exhibits classic little boy behavior. Here are a few examples:
Boys are bored by day-to-day work. Almost immediately after his inauguration, Obama started complaining. At a photo op at a school in February, 2009 he said, “We were just tired of being in the White House.” The First Couple constantly leave the White House, putting the “frequent” into frequent flier.
Anyone who has been a Scout leader, coach, or teacher knows how quickly boys get bored. I used to plan extra activities, just in case the Cubs got fidgety. But an amazing thing happens as boys grow up: They are able to stay put for an hour. They stop whining, “This is boring!” and put in the necessary work to earn a merit badge or progress to the next rank. President Obama, however, reminds me of the Scout who would goof off and refuse to work during the meetings but return the next week with all the requirements for the merit badge signed off by his parents. Everyone, even his fellow Scouts, knew he didn’t do the work. Which brings us to:
Boys don’t respect things they haven’t earned. Every parent I know has a story of a child given an expensive toy who treats it carelessly. But the toy that he has saved his allowance for months to purchase is treated with respect and reverence.
Barack Obama doesn’t respect the presidency because he didn’t earn it. He had a wafer-thin résumé, no paper trail, and a suspect autobiography. It took massive lifting from the media, Hollywood, and his PR team to put him over the top. He is like the college student whose mom is writing his papers. He doesn’t value the education he’s receiving because he isn’t earning it, and he certainly isn’t paying for it. He also doesn’t respect the professors who are letting him get away with it. Note how President Obama treats the media.
Boys love snack and game time. It didn’t matter how much I lectured or how formal the occasion — as soon as grace was over, my Cubs shot to the front of the buffet line like a horse heading back to the barn. The best way to get them to pay attention to me during meetings was by threatening withholding of the cupcakes.
I’ve been fascinated by what foodies the First Couple are. Last year, we were treated to breathless reports on the gourmet food being served at the White House and the hot restaurants the Obamas were jetting off to. Even pizza became a “big f-ing deal” (as the Vice President would say). Perhaps the Republicans could coax Obama into listening to them by threatening to withhold the Wagyu beef.
As far as games are concerned, boys are always ready to play. Red Light Green Light, marbles, even paper football across the dining room table brought joy to den meetings. The president also loves game time, whether he’s playing or watching. When an unexpected day opened up last weekend, he hit the links. I’ll never forget an interview I saw when Obama was President-Elect. He was answering questions in that serious, dull manner, when the interviewer asked him about college sports. The change in Obama’s demeanor was startling. He sat up straight, his voice became animated, and for the first time, he seemed interested in the conversation.
Boys have difficulty grasping the importance of tradition and protocol. We had a strict rule for our Cub Scouts: When we were in public as a den, they had to wear their uniforms. We discovered that the simple act of wearing the traditional uniform encouraged the boys to behave and to be proud of being a Scout. As the boys got older, we would rejoice to see them teach the Tiger Cubs to take their hats off during prayer, or stand and salute when the flag passed by. The boys learned these traditions were part of what made them Scouts.
It breaks my heart to see our president making a serious statement without a tie, or giving the British Prime Minister a cheap, thoughtless gift. By belittling tradition, he diminishes the magnificence of the office of which he’s been given temporary stewardship. This past weekend, the president was unable to attend the funeral of the Polish president. Instead of visiting the Polish embassy to sign the condolence book, or even staying quietly out of sight, President Obama decided to play golf.
Boys are always in a hurry. Watch any boy at a computer. It doesn’t matter how fast the connection speed is, he’ll soon be tapping his foot and sighing in frustration as he waits for a page to load. By the time they start crawling, boys are hardwired to hurry up.
My question to them is, ‘When’s the right time? If not now, when? If not us, who? Is it a year from now or two years from now or five years from now or ten years from now?’ I think it’s right now …
Hurry up! Do it now! There’s no time — to read, to discuss, to compromise, to think. Cub Scouts have den leaders to slow them down, to teach them about tradition, to reinforce the rewards of work. But there are no den leaders surrounding our president. That could change in November, however. If Republicans win the Congress, Representative Boehner and Senator McConnell will be leaders. Hopefully they can encourage our Cub Scout president that it’s time to grow up.
Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.
Morning Bell: The Wall Street Bailout Bill Threat to Your Bottom Line
Posted By Conn Carroll On April 20, 2010 @ 9:42 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments
This past Friday, President Barack Obama again threatened to veto  any financial reform bill that fails to tightly regulate financial derivative products which many blame for the 2008 economic crisis. Derivatives  work like insurance to protect certain investments, and provide stability to the price of most goods and services. For example, farmers buy derivatives on the price of their crops, so if the price of their crop plummets, the price of the food at the grocery store won’t change that much. Airlines buy derivatives on oil, so if the price of oil goes up drastically, they won’t have to immediately hike ticket prices.
Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld shares President Obama’s view on derivatives. He also blames them for the downfall of his Wall Street firm. But a closer examination of Lehman’s failure shows that derivatives may just be a convenient scape goat. Bankruptcy examiners found that it was bad business decisions hidden by complex accounting tricks , not addressed by the current Wall Street Bailout Bill at all, that brought Lehman down. In fact, Lehman’s derivatives positions represented only about 3.3 percent of its net assets, and the bankruptcy examiner found  its derivatives trades were reasonable and more carefully monitored than Lehman’s other assets.
So whenever Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) says his Wall Street Bailout Bill “would have prevented that kind of events from happening”  he needs to explain how. If anything, the Dodd plan will only make future Wall Street bailouts more likely and more costly while also stifling consumer choice.
Increases Chance of Future Bailouts: Obama administration officials are claiming their plan “outlaws bailouts ,” but in fact it institutionalizes them forever. Just go straight to page 134 of the 1,334 page Senate bill. On that page begins a section titled “Funding for Orderly Liquidation.” The text reads that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the designated federal receiver for failing financial firms, “may make available…funds for the orderly liquidation of [a] covered financial institution.” Where are those funds to come from? Well, on page 272 the bill creates an “Orderly Resolution Fund” within the U.S. Treasury. The target size of this fund? Fifty billion dollars.  The Obama administration claims no funds could be provided to compensate a firm’s shareholders. But the failing firm’s other creditors would be eligible for a cash bailout at the discretion of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who has described the bill’s new bailout authority in exactly the same way he described how he bailed out AIG.  This is why Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) told Politico: “The Dodd bill has unlimited executive bailout authority. That’s something Wall Street desperately wants but doesn’t dare ask for. The bill contains permanent, unlimited bailout authority.”
Increases the Costs of Future Bailouts: The second administrative fall back position is that while the bill does bailout Wall Street, the bailouts will be paid for by Wall Street so taxpayers won’t foot the bill. But where does the left think Wall Street will get the money for the bailout funds? The tooth fairy. Just as airlines will ultimately just recoup the money they would have charged for carry on bags in higher ticket prices, Wall Street will suck the bailout money from American consumers in the form of higher bank fees. The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed this the last time the Obama administration proposed a new bank tax . Worse, The New York Times  reports: “The Obama administration does not support the $50 billion fund, partly out of concern that more money may be needed if one or more big financial firms ever collapse and that creating a fund could make it difficult to authorize more money.” In other words, the only reason the Obama administration does not want a set $50 billion fund is so it will be easier to ask for even higher bailout funds later.
Limits Consumer Choice: One of the new Super Regulators  Dodd’s Wall Street Bailout Bill would create is a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection that would make it harder for consumers to utilize new technologies. Debit cards, for example, are common today. Just a decade or so ago, though, customers had to carry bulky checkbooks and two forms of ID in order to pay for many purchases. What might be the next innovation to revolutionize how Americans pay for products? It’s impossible to say, and under the Dodd bill we may never know. Under a CFPA, a cell phone company that wants to offer an even more convenient payment mechanism would have to submit to a massive set of regulations. 
Heritage fellow David John concludes :
A better approach to preventing another crisis is to modify U.S. bankruptcy law to accommodate the special problems of resolving huge financial firms and to allow the courts to appoint receivers with the specialized knowledge necessary to best deal with their failure. By creating an open process controlled by an impartial judiciary guided by established statutory rules, financial firms, investors, taxpayers, and others would have the advance knowledge that large financial firms that were once known as “too big to fail” can now be closed if necessary without risking disaster.
Democrats’ collective fixation on Frank Luntz’s memo on Financial Reform misses the point entirely but it is very telling.
The now famous Luntz memo makes strategic recommendations based on an aggregation of voters’ responses to being informed about various portions of the Dodd Blank Check Bailout bill in factual, common sense, simple language. The public spoke and Luntz recorded it. He didn’t make up the fact that there is a $4 trillion dollar bailout in the bill. Its right there in black and white.
But what has Democrats completely possessed is that what the public said is inconvenient to their Orwellian plan to dupe America into believing that up is down, black is white and that the Dodd bill will end “too big to fail”, contains no new bailouts and will possibly save endangered animals.
Their plan is a two step process: First, use oblique language about “protecting consumers” and “ending too big to fail” to convince the public that the Dodd bill is somehow “financial reform”. Then, bully Senate Republicans into voting for Dodd’s government takeover bill by portraying them as against said “financial reform.”
So Democrats are pulling out all the stops. They have launched attacks to discredit the Luntz memo and label legitimate criticism of the Dodd bill “poppycock”. And President Obama has engaged to reassure the public that the bill will stop bailouts.
But here in the real world, Dodd’s bill is in fact an attempt to takeover the other 5/6 of the economy left after health care and makes bailouts the official policy of the US Government.
Did small businesses cause the Financial Crisis? Of course not. Nevertheless, small businesses take a huge hit in this bill. A little noticed provision tucked into the bill is a death blow to the American Dream that will severely limit the ability of the average American to finance a start up small business.
Dodd’s bill adjusts the net worth requirements for a person to be considered an “accredited or qualified investor” by the Security and Exchange Commission. The change would dramatically reduce the number of informal investors financing small business and start up companies across the nation. Even the Huffington Post — a cheerleader for the Dodd bill — has recognized the dangers of this provision: ”Meanwhile, in his zeal to regulate the monster banks of Wall Street, Senator Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is about to kill the most vital and exciting part of the American economic miracle in all of these areas — start-ups.”
Whether it is the next eBay or the next Joe’s Hot Dog stand, the bill will dry up the ability of people to invest their own capital in a small business. So, even though the words coming out of Democrats mouths say “reform” it sure sounds, looks and smells a lot more like “takeover”.
On bailouts and “too big to fail”, Democrats have repeatedly pointed to the $50 billion dollar fund created by new taxes and fees on banks and disingenuously said that “taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay.” Aside from the fact that taxpayers will pay regardless when banks pass along the costs, there is a bigger omission here that puts taxpayers directly on the hook. While the $50 billion fund is certainly in the bill, the bill also gives the Fed unlimited authority to use taxpayer money as well.
So, rather than eliminating bailouts Dodd’s bill actually gives big bank CEO’s TWO bailout funds to catch them when their risky bets don’t pay off. Yet, Democrats continue their propaganda campaign with a straight face and repeat over and over that the Dodd bill will end “too big to fail” and contains no bailouts.
The public should not be fooled and should make sure that their senators aren’t either.