PM pick me up for Monday, March 16: when terrorists are not terrorists; the guns of Ivy

News and commentary from Political Woman:

Iran, Hezbollah (and Syria) – the Administration’s new BFFs

The unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, dated February 25, 2015 (h/t The Times of Israel) indicates that Iran and Hezbollah are no longer on the United States’ list of terror threats according to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (oxymoron alert), although they still remain on the terror threat list of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Are you feeling any safer?

Of course, the removal of both organizations, especially Iran, just happens to coincide with the Administration’s “Let’s Make a Deal” talks with Iran.  We concede lifting of sanctions, removal from the global terror threats list, ignore/bypass Congress in favor of the UN, that noblest of organizations, and look the other way as Iran exerts its spreading influence in the region.  For a country, once known as Persia, that has existed for over a thousand years, what’s 10 years waiting for a sunset clause.  Our modern day Islamic versions of Xerxes, already have scoped out their plans for probably the next three decades, and they only need the US vacuum of leadership in the region, aided and abetted by this Administration, to put their plans in motion.

Ah, but not so fast, Mr. President.  Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) with 46 of his Senate colleagues, upset your apple cart last week by notifying the Iranian leaders that the US Congress must approve all “agreements” of this magnitude.  That re-inserts the Senate back into the ballgame, along with the bipartisan legislation that Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) wants introduced.  Now, Mr President is officially in a hissy fit.  From today’s Wall Street Journal, we get a sample of what’s going on:

“Mr. Corker wrote March 12 asking the President to clarify comments by Vice President Joe Biden and others that an Iran deal could “take effect without congressional approval.” He also asked about media reports that “your administration is contemplating taking an agreement, or aspects of it, to the United Nations Security Council for a vote,” while threatening to veto legislation that would require Congress to vote.

Mr. McDonough replied for the President on the weekend in a letter that can only be described as an affront to Congress’s constitutional prerogatives. The chief of staff asked Mr. Corker to further delay his bipartisan legislation that would require a Senate vote within 60 days on any Iran deal. “The legislation would potentially prevent any deal from succeeding by suggesting that Congress must vote to ‘approve’ any deal, and by removing existing sanctions waiver authorities that have already been granted to the President,” he wrote.

The larger context here is that Mr. Obama is trying to make his Iran deal a fait accomplibefore Congress has any say. His plan is to strike a deal and submit it to the U.N. Security Council for approval, hemming in Congress. He’ll then waive some Iran sanctions on his own, while arguing that anyone who opposes the deal wants war.”

But wait, there’s more!

With all the focus on Iran, just ICYMI, Secretary of State John Kerry (also affectionately known as “Lurch”) was on Face the Nation yesterday, where we learned of his new stance on negotiating with Syria, although he forgot to tell his State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf (also affectionately known as “Valley Girl”).  Meanwhile, back in the real world, Egyptian President al-Sissi is worried his country may collapse, as he turns to the Russians for weaponry, the Saudis have struck a nuclear technology deal with South Korea, and most importantly, the Israeli election tomorrow could oust Netanyahu.  Unfortunately, the Israeli populace will learn that US/Israel relations will not be any better after Netanyahu than with him, since our President’s personal animus comes into play.

So as we continue to not negotiate with terrorists, we can only hope that our negotiator-in-chief doesn’t give us his 2015 version of Bowe Bergdahl.  All bets are off on that score.

The NRA – coming to a campus near you

Who knew?  The latest craze to hit the Ivy League schools and others happens to be sport shooting, i.e., rifle and target pistol teams.

“They are majoring in biological engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, aeronautics, mechanical engineering, computer science and nuclear science. Before arriving at MIT, nearly all of them had never touched a gun or even seen one that wasn’t on TV.

Although some collegiate teams date to the late 1800s, coaches and team captains say there is a surge of new interest from students, both male and female, ­finally away from their parents and curious to handle one of the country’s most divisive symbols. Once they fire a gun, students say they find shooting relaxing — at MIT, students call it “very Zen” — and that it teaches focusing skills that help in class.

Some also find their perceptions about guns changing.

“I had a poor view, a more negative view of people who like guns than I do now,” said Hope Lutwak, a freshman on MIT’s pistol team. “I didn’t understand why people enjoyed it. I just thought it was very violent.”

As a gun owner myself, I can understand the brainiacs’ involvement in target shooting.  If you’re a Type-A personality, you can’t stop until you get that bulls-eye.  And once you get one, you can’t stop until you get one again and again.  And like these students, whose more liberal parents might be appalled to find their college kids on shooting teams, my conservative parents, would probably feel the same way about my gun ownership.  There are some things that liberals and conservatives can agree on.  🙂


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