Krauthammer: The Worst Agreement in U.S. Diplomatic History (6)

Two Liars in Chief

The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.

Then, instead of welcoming Congress’s attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which began growing again in 2014), and conceding in advance an Iranian right to enrich uranium.

It’s been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.

[More]

See Also:

#1 — Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions Relief

#2 — Iran hints at way around nuke talks roadblock

#3 — Iran and U.N. Work Out Ways Forward in Nuclear Talks

#4 — Senior Western diplomat: No plan to continue Iran nuclear talks long past July 7

Watch!

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Afternoon Update July 3rd, 2015 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Doctors say Rob Ford can return to work

Doctors have given Councillor Rob Ford the green light to come back to work starting next week.

[…]

#2 — CTV | Metro Vancouver residents reject tax to fund transit upgrades

VANCOUVER — Mayors and British Columbia politicians each say the other side must pay for crucial transportation upgrades now that Metro Vancouver residents have voted against paying a higher sales tax to fund major projects.

[…]

#3 — Global | Conference Board of Canada cautious about crude price rebound

CALGARY – The Conference Board of Canada says it’s taking a cautious view of crude prices, even though they’ve improved substantially since the beginning of the year.

[…]

#4 — Globe | Quebec bar can proceed with challenge of minimum-sentence law

Quebec’s bar association has been given the green light to proceed with its challenge of a federal law that provides for mandatory minimum sentences.

[…]

#5 — Postmedia | Canada in recession, heading to 70¢ dollar: analyst

Sapped by the oil slide, Canada’s economy appears headed toward recession, economists warn — and one says we’re already there.

[…]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | US elections 2016: Democrat Jim Webb joins presidential race

Vietnam veteran and former US Senator Jim Webb has launched his bid for president, joining other Democrats taking on front-runner Hillary Clinton.

[…]

#7 — CNS | 128 Unaccompanied Alien Children Caught at Mexican Border Per Day in May

(CNSNews.com) – Data obtained by CNSNews.com from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) shows about 128 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) were apprehended at the Southwest U.S. border every day during the month of May. In total, 3,965 children were caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally during that month alone.

[…]

#8 — Fox | Oregon launches program to tax drivers by the mile

David Hastings is a rare American. This long-time hybrid car owner from Oregon wants to pay higher taxes for roads and bridges and says the current 30 cents per gallon state gas tax barely affects him.

[…]

#9 — DM | Saab unveils superstealth ‘ghost submarine’

Saab has unveiled what it claims is the world’s most advanced stealth submarine.

The A26 sub is 207 feet long, and features a ‘ghost mode’ to make it virtually undetectable when underwater.

[…]

#10 — WT | California vaccine bill battle erupts into all-out political war

Those people clad in white keeping silent vigil in front of the California state Capitol have a message for Democratic legislators: The thousands who opposed the stricter vaccination mandates signed into law Tuesday aren’t backing down.

[…]

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Ambrose-Pritchard: Europe has suffered a reputational catastrophe in Greece (10)

The eurozone has shown itself unable to manage its basic moral responsibilities

Oxi Day has totemic significance in Greece. It commemorates the defiant Greek “No” to Mussolini’s ultimatum in October 1940, and the heroic acceptance of war against a vastly bigger military machine.

It is the same word that will top the ballot sheet when Greeks vote in a snap referendum this Sunday on creditor demands, and prime minister Alexis Tsipras is not shy in evoking the same spirit of wartime resistance.

His speech to the nation on Wednesday night was peppered with talk of ultimata. He accused “extreme Right-wing circles” of forcing the closure of the Greek banks and the imposition of capital controls through liquidity asphyxiation.

He lashed out at “authoritarians” in charge of the IMF and EU institutions. He spoke of attempts to blackmail the Greek people. And he vowed to campaign against the creditor package – which, strictly speaking, is no longer on offer – deeming it the “destruction of Europe”.

Where this will take him, and take Greece, is anybody’s guess. The latest Efimerida ton Syntakton poll shows the “No” side leading by 54pc against 33pc for “yes”. But that lead – if it really exists – may evaporate as the ghastly consequences of financial collapse become clearer by the day.

[Read it all]

See Also:

#1 — Nigel Farage is ‘right’ about EU’s failing migration policy, admits top Brussels diplomat

#2 — Farage: EU is at loggerheads over the key issues affecting Europe

#3 — The Wages of ‘Ever Closer Union’: Potential Ruin

#4 — Greece teeters on brink of bankruptcy as crowd-funding bid reaches £1million

#5 — Greece’s Referendum: The Price of Five Years of Cowardice

Afternoon Update:

#6 — IMF warns of worsening state of Greek finances ahead of vote

#7 — Greece: The money’s gone but the refugees are still coming

#8 — Referendum campaigns squeezed to deadline

#9 — Greek shipping companies are eyeing Cyprus as a safer harbor

#10 — Greece’s top court to rule on legality of referendum

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Prowler Retires Following 45 Years of Naval Service

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) — Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CVWP), hosted a three-day Sunset Celebration commemorating the retirement of the Navy EA-6B Prowler, June 25-27.

The celebration, marking the end of an era for the Electronic Attack community, included a history hall in CVWP’s Havilland Hangar with a Prowler on display, a farewell ceremony and concluded with the last Navy Prowler flying off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s (NASWI) Ault Field. More than 1,000 registered guests attended the event.

“This weekend, the Prowler Sunset Celebration, has been fantastic,” said retired Capt. Fred Wilmot, who served as a test pilot for the Navy Prowler and delivered the first Prowler to NASWI while serving in Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 in January 1971. “We’ve been able to see people we haven’t seen in 35, 40 years or so including some of the original people from Grumman who designed the system. It’s really a fitting end to the Prowler era.”

Wilmot credited the lengthy service of the Prowler to multiple factors.

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Bond Insurers Crash, Hit by Puerto Rico’s Default Shrapnel

On Monday, Puerto Rico’s government released a report that gave the municipal bond market the willies.

Written by former World Bank and IMF economists, it vivisects Puerto Rico’s finances, lays out the basic fact that the nearly $73 billion in bonds that the US commonwealth has outstanding, amounting to nearly 70% of its GDP, are of dubious value, and offers a debt restructuring strategy.

The report is decorated with financial doom and gloom: Outmigration has caused the population to drop nearly 8% since 2006 to 3.5 million today, even while the debt kept ballooning. It contained this choice passage:

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Campaign to help couple suffering from car blaze

A gofundme campaign has been started for a young Winnipeg couple who are both struggling with serious burns from a car fire.

The blaze has left Angela Strike fighting for her life in a Winnipeg hospital.

“We are really worried about Angela,” Shannon Croft, her younger sister, said Wednesday. “She was burned badly — 65% of her body. She had trouble breathing, so she had to have surgery to insert a tube, and they’ve already had skin grafting done around her vital areas.”

Angela underwent the surgery while still in a medically-induced coma and she is scheduled for another operation Thursday.

“They will be doing skin grafting on her face,” Croft said.

Angela will remain in the coma for three to six weeks.

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Fair Elections Act critics seek injunction, arguing new ID rules block voting

The Ontario Superior Court will hear arguments today from a coalition of groups seeking an injunction against a couple of key elements of the Conservative government’s Fair Elections Act.

The group, comprised of the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Federation of Students, and three private voters, is concerned that provisions in the Fair Elections Act will systematically affect the ability of certain groups to vote.

“There is nothing fair about this act,” said Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, in a press release.

“This voter suppression legislation will deprive tens of thousands of eligible voters of their right to vote, with a disproportionate impact on youth, seniors, Indigenous people, new Canadians, the homeless, and people with disabilities. As long as this legislation remains, in place our elections will be anything but fair.”

The requirement that voters prove their address in order to vote may be difficult for certain groups of Canadians, the group details in its factum.

Under the Fair Elections Act, voters are no longer able to use their voter information card as proof of address. Voters must now provide a second piece of identification, such as a driver’s licence, to prove where they live.

[Read it all]

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Poll shows ‘honeymoon’ over for NDP, Notley

Support for Rachel Notley and her NDP party has dropped since this spring’s provincial election, but the premier still holds the highest approval rating among all party leaders, a new poll shows.

The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll found that if an election were held immediately, more voters would cast votes for the Wildrose Party than the governing NDP.

And while Notley’s approval rating has dropped 12 percentage points since the last poll in late May, her 50 per cent rating remains higher than that of Wildrose Leader Brian Jean (45 per cent), the Alberta Party’s Greg Clark (36 per cent), Liberal Party Leader David Swann (34 per cent) and the PC Party’s Ric McIver (25 per cent).

“The honeymoon may be over for Premier Notley as the realities of an NDP government sink in for Albertan,” said Mainstreet president Quito Maggi of the poll, which surveyed a random sample of 3,007 Albertans on June 30th.

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McCarthy: No, GOP Candidates Did Not ‘Embarrass’ Themselves in Rebuking the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

From what he bizarrely frames as a conservative perspective, Joseph Curl has penned a Washington Times op-ed ripping the purportedly out-of-touch reaction by Republican presidential candidates to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage (SSM) ruling.

Mr. Curl takes Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker to task over their harsh criticism of the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. A bare 5-4 majority of the justices compelled all fifty states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thus have five unelected lawyers wrested control over the definition of marriage from the people of the states, to whom the Constitution commits it.

Curl says the candidates have embarrassed themselves. The only embarrassment, besides the decision itself, is Curl’s defense of it.

In lauding Obergefell, he equates state refusals to license SSM with anti-miscegenation laws. It is a frivolous analogy, yet one Curl sees as a showstopper: “First, let’s do one simple exercise: Substitute ‘interracial’ for ‘same-sex.’ Argument over.”

[Read it all]

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Lukas: Why Carly Fiorina’s feminism flummoxes liberals (1)

Carly Fiorina has become a darling among conservatives hungry for an unapologetic advocate for rolling back big government.

That — and the fact that she sees America as a land of opportunity, not sexist oppression — means she’s also driving liberal feminists crazy.

Liberals typically dismiss conservative women as tokens and lightweights. Yet Fiorina’s take-on-all-comers attitude makes such criticism absurd.

Fiorina speaks nimbly on the minutiae of public policy from taxes to energy issues, projects a commanding knowledge of foreign affairs and navigates the fraught terrain of social issues without alienating her base or moderates.

That’s no easy feat. She’s accepted hard-hitting interviews with George Stephanopoulos, Andrea Mitchell and the liberal-packed “The View.” She’s spoken at venues across the country, most recently winning accolades and a strong second-place finish in the straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit.

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See Also:

#1 — Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina winning over skeptics

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Morning Update July 3rd, 2015 (10)

CANADA

#1 — CNews | Boy nets massive 600-lb. sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

Rumours of monster fish that coaxed a New Jersey nine-year-old to B.C. proved more than just a few fish tales.

[…]

#2 — CTV | Math teachers debate best methods as test scores fall

TORONTO – Don’t get math teachers started on best teaching practices.

The discussions are emotional, heated and they don’t agree on much – except that Canadian kids are falling behind their peers in other countries, and there’s no clear solution.

[…]

#3 — Global | 1st Canada Day with controversial Bill C-24 citizenship changes in effect

CALGARY – Wednesday marked the first Canada Day to be celebrated with new rules under the country’s citizenship act, thanks to the passing of a controversial bill that came into effect in May.

[…]

#4 — Globe | Ottawa won’t lower flag for Arthur Porter, accused in bribery scandal

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has apparently suspended the protocol that would have seen the Peace Tower flag flown at half-mast in honour of Arthur Porter, the controversial physician who has died while fighting extradition in Panama.

[…]

#5 — Postmedia | Union battle with Tories ramps up as PSAC seeks court injunction over budget bill

The largest union representing Canada’s public servants is seeking an injunction to stop the Conservative government from using the budget bill to unilaterally impose a sick leave deal before the courts determine whether the legislation is constitutional.

[…]

WORLD

#6 — BBC | Fifa arrests: US asks Switzerland to extradite officials

The United States has asked Switzerland to extradite seven Fifa officials arrested on corruption charges in May, the Swiss authorities say.

[…]

#7 — CNS | Debt-Ridden Illinois Heading Toward State Government Shutdown

(CNSNews.com) – Illinois is heading toward a state government shutdown after the legislature adjourned Tuesday without closing a $6.2 billion gap and passing a budget by the July 1 deadline.

[…]

#8 — Fox | US reportedly blocks Arab allies’ attempts to deliver weapons to Kurds fighting ISIS

The U.S. has reportedly blocked any attempts by Middle East allies to fly weapons to the Kurds fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.

[…]

Express | Fury as the US blocks plans to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq

#9 — DM | If aliens do exist they probably look like HUMANS

They are often depicted as little green men or even monsters with ferocious teeth and claws, but there may well be aliens that look a lot like humans, a leading evolutionary biologist has claimed.

[…]

#10 — WT | Keystone pipeline divides Congress as deadline nears

With a decision looming, both sides of the Keystone XL pipeline debate are making last-ditch appeals to President Obama, with opponents saying the project fails the White House’s climate test and supporters arguing it’s a no-brainer that will spur U.S. energy independence and economic growth.

[…]

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