The Washington Post writes, “President Obama took sharp aim at critics of the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying many of those who backed the U.S. invasion of Iraq now want to reject the accord and put the Middle East on the likely path toward another war.” This was in a speech where the president also said, “I know it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats . . . ” President Obama lamented, “Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism,” then later claimed, “It’s those [Iranian] hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.”
AFP notes something else Obama said. “President Barack Obama acknowledged Wednesday that Iran might use cash coming its way under sanctions relief to fund ‘terrorist organizations’ but argued this is preferable to allowing it to develop nuclear arms. ‘The truth is, that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts,” Obama said, in a speech to defend the Iran nuclear deal. And whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.’”
“‘The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,’ Kerry said. ‘This’—a congressional rejection—‘will be the ultimate screwing.’ He went on to argue that ‘the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.’”
Meanwhile, the administration still can’t seem to get its story straight on the side deals between Iran and the IAEA. According to The Hill, “The only Obama administration official to view confidential ‘side deals’ between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) admitted Wednesday she and her team have only seen rough drafts.
‘I didn’t see the final documents. I saw the provisional documents, as did my experts,’ said Wendy Sherman, a lead U.S. negotiator for the deal, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Sherman, undersecretary of State for political affairs, said she was only allowed to see the confidential deals ‘in the middle of the negotiation’ when the IAEA ‘wanted to go over with some of our experts the technical details.’
“She maintained the deals — which focus on with Iran’s prior work on a bomb and access to Iran’s Parchin military site — are still confidential and can’t be submitted to Congress.
“Sherman said the U.S. did not protest to the confidentiality of the agreements, despite the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act demanding all related agreements, because the administration wanted the IAEA to respect the confidentiality of their agreements with the U.S. . . .
“However, later in the hearing, she walked back her comments about not seeing the final arrangements. ‘I was shown documents that I believed to be the final documents, but whether there were any further discussions…’ she added before being cut off by another question by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Later, she said responded, ‘I have’ when asked whether she saw the final versions of the deals.
“She also argued they could not be submitted to Congress because the administration does not have the deals, and that the Senate had ‘every single document’ the administration has.”
What is clear is that opposition to this deal has been growing. A Quinnipiac poll this week found “American voters oppose 57 – 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released [Monday]. Voters say 58 – 30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.”
And today, The Hill reports, “The highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House announced his opposition to the nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, in a blow to the Obama administration’s lobbying efforts.
“‘I’m going to vote against the Iran deal,’ Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) — the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — told Newsday. ‘I tried very hard to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.’
“In addition to Rep. Israel, Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) also came out against the deal on Tuesday, saying that the multinational agreement did not include enough safeguards to prevent Iran from cheating on its commitments or limit it from supporting extremist groups such as Hezbollah.”
Is it the president’s contention that these influential House Democrats and 57% of American voters are in favor of “some form of war,” as he suggested in his speech today?
I am a St. Louis resident and one of the parties to the first Frozen Embryo case in Missouri to go to the Appellate Court. My Notice of Appeal was filed on June 25. This case will make law in regards to how frozen embryos are disposed of in divorce. My case was on the local news In April but did not specifically state who the parties were.
My case is simple: During our marriage, my ex and I signed an agreement stating that I would get the embryos upon divorce or legal separation. He admitted to signing the document during the trial and the trial court erroneously decided to not uphold the agreement and not give me the embryos. I might add that I am also an attorney and the court’s decision is not only baseless but outrageous. Now my two unborn children (siblings of my two current twin boys) are now forced sit in cryofreeze waiting for their fate. My ex says he does not want them to see the light of day and I cannot reach them without his consent.
At the same time (being so outraged) I, along with my co-founder Rebecca Keissling (Michigan resident), organized a Missouri non-profit called Embryo Defense (whose main mission is to help connect and provide resources for people like me). It will be the first of its kind in the nation. My organization made international headlines when we organized and participated in the protest against Sofia Vergara on Hollywood Blvd at the Magic Mike XXL Premiere which was held on Thursday, June 25.
The Wall Street Journal editors unload today on President Obama and his EPA for the costly power grab on power plant emissions the agency announced yesterday. They write, “Rarely do American Presidents display the raw willfulness that President Obama did Monday in rolling out his plan to reorganize the economy in the name of climate change. Without a vote in Congress or even much public debate, Mr. Obama is using his last 18 months to dictate U.S. energy choices for the next 20 or 30 years. This abuse of power is regulation without representation.
“The so-called Clean Power Plan commands states to cut carbon emissions by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. This final mandate is 9% steeper than the draft the Environmental Protection Agency issued in June 2014. The damage to growth, consumer incomes and U.S. competitiveness will be immense—assuming the rule isn’t tossed by the courts or rescinded by the next Administration.”
The WSJ editors explain, “[T]he point is to bull-rush states into making permanent changes to their energy systems. The investments and lead times in new power plants and transmission lines on this scale are generational. Yet state compliance plans are due in September 2016, and most of the carbon reductions must be complete by 2022.
“The White House and EPA know they are distorting the law beyond recognition and that this rule will be litigated for years. But they figure that if they can intimidate the states into enacting as much change as fast as possible, a legal defeat won’t matter because the outcome will be a fait accompli. . . .
“The High Court has rebuked the agency twice in the last two years for exceeding its statutory powers. ‘When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate a significant portion of the American economy, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism,’ the Court warned last year. ‘We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast economic and political significance.’
“Congress did no such thing with the Clean Power Plan, which is a new world balanced on a fragment of the Clear Air Act called Section 111(d). This passage runs a couple hundred words and was added to the law in 1977, well before the global warming stampede.”
The Journal editors add, “Meantime, states can help the resistance by refusing to participate. The Clean Air Act is a creature of cooperative federalism, and Governors have no obligation to craft a compliance plan. The feds will try to enforce a fallback, but they can’t commandeer the states, and they lack the money, personnel and bandwidth to overcome a broad boycott. . . . The states have good reason to avoid collaborating in a scheme that will result in higher prices for consumers and business as the EPA mandates are passed down the energy chain. The plan also endangers electric reliability, and the strains to the grid could lead to brownouts or worse.”
The Wall Street Journal editors sum up the situation well: “This plan is essentially a tax on the livelihood of every American, which makes it all the more extraordinary that it is essentially one man’s order. Mr. Obama’s argument is that climate change is too important to abide by relics like the rule of law or self-government. It is an important test of the American political system to prove that he is wrong.”
Of course it is! Where else is a woman going to go for an abortion except to the largest abortion provider in the country?
“I don’t think you realize how many women that Planned Parenthood is their go-to resource,” McCaskill replied. “I’m not saying that they are the only ones that should. I’m saying, investigate them, make sure they haven’t broken the law, don’t give them tax money for abortions — but don’t cut off the very way we avoid abortion in this country.”
McCaskill was dis-invited to speak at her daughter’s High school commencement last spring due to her stances on abortion and stem cell research.
The Hill reports, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is fast-tracking a bill to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, after senators huddled in his office Tuesday to work out the details of a bill.
“Speaking on the Senate floor, the Republican leader started the process, known as Rule 14, which allows the bill to skip over being sent to a committee and go directly to the Senate floor for a vote. ‘The horrendous videos of senior executives from Planned Parenthood discussing in callous tones and shocking detail their role in a national scandal requires a congressional response,’ the Republican leader said in a statement. ‘This legislation would ensure taxpayer dollars for women’s health are actually spent on women’s health — not a scandal-plagued political lobbying giant.’
“McConnell is expected to finish the fast-track process Wednesday. . . . The Republican leader told reporters earlier Tuesday that Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) would be leading a working group of senators, which also included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), to come up with a new bill. The group huddled in McConnell’s office Tuesday afternoon.”
Earlier this afternoon, Leader McConnell joined Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Lankford (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) at a press conference to introduce the legislation, S. 1881.
All are cosponsors of the bill, as are Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John McCain (R-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), David Perdue (R-GA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).
At the press conference, Leader McConnell said, “By now we’ve all seen those Planned Parenthood videos that absolutely shock the conscience. I want to thank Senator Joni Ernst, Senator Rand Paul, Senator James Lankford, and others you see behind me for leading the effort to put together legislation we’ll vote on next week to address the issue.
“But before I turn it over to Senator Ernst, I want to make the point that I’m sure others will make repeatedly, this bill would ensure tax payer dollars for women’s health are spent on women’s health. This will ensure tax payer dollars that are supposed to be spent on women’s health are in fact spent on women’s health. It would ensure we’re funding that and not subsidizing some scandal-plagued organization.”
Sen. Ernst said, “The recent footage depicting Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of organs . . . of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and vile. The American people—Republicans and Democrats alike—are horrified by the utter lack of compassion shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. In fact, now, Hillary Clinton is calling is calling these Planned Parenthood images, ‘disturbing,’ and I agree.”
And several Democrat senators have also said they find the videos troubling, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
Politico adds, “The Senate GOP bill would strip the roughly $540 million in funding that Planned Parenthood is scheduled to receive and steer it toward other women’s health programs, a bid to undermine Democratic complaints about the measure. ‘Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services,’ said a statement from Senate Republicans on the new legislation.”
And the AP notes, “The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. . . .
“The positioning came as an anti-abortion group released a third covertly recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research and showing stark close-ups of what it said was fetal tissue in a Planned Parenthood lab.”
As Sen. Tim Scott said, “To me, this is not a political issue, it is not a partisan issue, it’s not even if whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice. This is an issue about our humanity. . . . Without any question, I think the right thing for us to do is to defund Planned Parenthood and to make sure that we see that every single dollar goes to provide women’s health services.”
Is it just us or does it seem that whenever there is any kind of national or state controversy brewing, Senator McCaskill always jumps on the bandwagon to gain publicity for herself? Senator of McCaskill has been full aware of the shenanigans going on Jefferson City. Now she finds her voice?
She was an intern in the Missouri capital 41 years ago. “I am bitterly disappointed that the climate has not changed significantly since 1974,’’ the senator said, recalling her own experiences with off-color jokes and unsolicited sexual comments. And McCaskill remembers the self-doubt of what she should do. “I wanted to be an intern, and I wanted to learn,” she told reporters in a Tuesday conference call. “I was afraid if I told the university they’d decide they didn’t want to do the intern program anymore. So I just tried to handle it myself.” Read more…