200 Retired US Generals And Admirals Call Upon Congress To Reject ‘Defective’ Nuclear Deal With Iran

A group of over 200 retired U.S. generals and admirals has sent a letter to Congress in which they condemn the nuclear deal between Iran and the so-called 5+1 countries, the Washington Post reported.

The letter was a response to a petition in support of the deal which was sent to Congress last week by a group of three dozen retired U.S. military personnel.

The most recent action was initiated by retired Admiral Leon “Bud” Edney, who served as deputy chief of naval operations. Many of the senior military officers in the group worked in the White House under Democratic as well as Republican administrations.

The senior officers wrote in their letter that the deal – called the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) – will “threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.”

The group says the agreement does not “cut off every pathway” to an Iranian nuclear weapon as is claimed by the Obama administration.

“To the contrary,” the officers wrote, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal.”

 ”JCPOA allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb to be preserved and enhanced. Notably, Iran is allowed to: continue to enrich uranium; develop and test advanced centrifuges; and continue work on its Arak heavy-water plutonium reactor. Collectively, these concessions afford the Iranians, at worst, a ready breakout option and, at best, an incipient nuclear weapons capability a decade from now,” according to the officers.

Their arguments against the deal are very similar to those of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum.

“This agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies. In our professional opinion, far from being an alternative to war, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action makes it likely that the war the Iranian regime has waged against us since 1979 will continue, with far higher risks to our national security interests. Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the retired generals and admirals concluded their letter.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BULLSEYE: Charlie Daniels Totally Nukes ‘Pushover, Pathetic’ Congress In Awesome Open Letter

Not only can he belt out hit lyrics, but country music superstar Charlie Daniels can also fire off an incredibly hard-hitting letter to Congress — a blistering open letter that could easily serve as Daniels’ entry into rough-and-tumble politics, should he ever choose to switch careers.

Published by CNS News, this missile, uh, missive takes dead aim at a body of lawmakers that Daniels condemns as “milksop, politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly.”

The open letter begins with Daniels’ unabashed admiration for members of the Continental Congress and other proud and patriotic figures in American history, including presidents and military leaders.

The history of this nation is written in the blood and courage of men who stood in the face of overwhelming odds – politicians, soldiers, statesmen and ordinary citizens who sought to do the right thing regardless of the cost or the consequences.

Then the popular singer, guitarist and fiddler whose biggest hit is “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” launches a scathing assault on the current crop of Capitol Hill lawmakers for allowing Barack Obama and his allies to make “a deal with the devil.”

“Be honest with yourselves a minute,” writes Daniels. “Go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and ask the person you see this question: ‘Do I really believe that Iran will not use the money we’re releasing to them to finance terrorists to kill Americans, and, when, not if, but when, the Iranians develop their nuclear device, will they really use it against America and Israel?’”

The music superstar goes on to pound lawmakers mercilessly for not doing anything meaningful about border security, for allowing the federal budget to balloon and the national debt to explode, and for letting the IRS run amok over the administration’s political opponents.

He goes so far as to accuse federal office holders of shirking their duty and betraying their country, charging, “you’ve sat on your hands while an imperial president has rubbed your noses in the dirt time after time.”

Charlie Daniels’ scorn for members of the modern House and Senate is expressed in no uncertain terms, and without giving the targets of his contemptuous criticism time to catch their breath.

You’re puppets, caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor.

This isn’t the first time that Daniels has penned an open letter that throws the book at Washington. As Western Journalism reported on June 11th of this year, the 78-year-old music legend struck a chord with many Americans in firing off an open letter to President Obama that called him an “intentional” liar who demonstrates an immature “petulance” in the face of criticism. The iconic singer-songwriter-musician concluded that letter with this ominous line: “Time is running out for you Mr. President and the horrible thing about it is that time is running out for America too.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Obama’s Odd New Allies In Promoting Iran Nuke Deal Know More About Brickle Than Bombs

Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road, Save Our Swirled, Cherry Garcia, Hazed & Confused, Blondie Ambition, Chubby Hubby — just a few of the signature flavors offered by the ice cream company named for its far-left founders, Ben & Jerry’s. Now, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are turning their attention from oddball flavors to complex foreign policy as they try to whip up support for President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

The Vermont-based businessmen — who have already come out in full-throated support of socialist Bernie Sanders in his bid to be the next occupant of the White House — have written an email to MoveOn.org’s progressive activists urging Democrats to back Obama in his push to get the pact approved by Congress. And to those Dems on Capitol Hill who don’t stand by Ben and Jerry’s man in the Oval Office, the pair has issued a threat.

Breitbart News reports on the retaliation the ice cream entrepreneurs threaten in their email: “Calling the agreement ‘the only peaceful way to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,’ the pair pledge a ‘donor strike,’ promising not to donate any money to Democrats who vote against the deal.”

As for money that they could withhold from Democrat candidates with their hands out for more than ice cream, Ben and Jerry likely have a fair amount left from the sale of their company fifteen years ago to Unilever for $326 million.

The MoveOn email signed by Ben and Jerry claims that a massive advertising blitz against Obama’s nuke deal with the Iranian regime could lead to its defeat and then to war and enrichment of the “big military contractors and their armies of lobbyists” who would supposedly benefit from military action.

Observer News quotes from the email that asks readers to sign a petition pledging their support for the “donor strike” against Democrat candidates who aren’t on board with the Iran pact and protecting it from being killed in Congress.

Lobbyists and billionaires plan to spend over $40 million to stop the diplomatic deal with Iran — the one the Obama Administration negotiated to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. That’s dangerous, because if too many Democrats listen to the flood of hawkish, misinformation-ridden TV ads — and if they vote with Republicans — they could override the president’s agreement in just about a month.

Considering the heated dispute over Obama’s deal and whether it blocks or benefits Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, there are several Ben and Jerry’s flavors that just might pertain to the controversy and its consequences: Boom Chocolatta, That’s My Jam, or maybe Half Baked.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Scapegoating Immigrants Isn’t The Answer

About three years ago, my dad was driving the truck he uses for his landscaping business in Phoenix, Arizona, when he was pulled over. Two patrol cars cornered him for making a wide right turn.

Yes, you read that right: Multiple police officers went out of their way to stop my dad for supposedly making a right turn too wide.

The traffic cops grilled my dad and his coworker about their immigration status. They let my dad, a Mexican immigrant and U.S. citizen, go on his way without even issuing a warning. Then they arrested his coworker, who happened to be an undocumented immigrant.

What seemed like a normal drive to work turned into a nightmare.

Traffic stops that often begin with this kind of racial profiling, along with parking tickets and other minor offenses, have led to two-thirds of the record 2 million deportations during the Obama administration. These daily expulsions have instilled a culture of pain and fear among all our nation’s immigrant communities.

When some of those communities urged their local governments to do something about it, about 300 cities responded by becoming something called a “sanctuary city.”

Maybe you’ve heard a lot about these places lately but don’t know what a sanctuary city is.

It’s a term for localities where police officers don’t have the added responsibility of acting as federal immigration authorities. As a result, people won’t be deported without a compelling reason, more families will remain united, and police officers will get to focus on the already tough job of policing real criminals instead of racially profiling drivers.

Sanctuary cities serve everyone’s interest.

They boost public safety and foster trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities. Undocumented immigrants can work, go to school, and live their lives without constant fear of deportation. They’re no longer afraid to report crimes or assist in a police investigation. This restores a bit of the human dignity that immigrants are too often robbed of.

Studies have shown that sanctuary cities are actually safer than other places. But one tragic incident has ignited a debate in Congress and the 2016 presidential race.

Earlier this summer, Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed in San Francisco. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the alleged shooter and an undocumented immigrant, had a long criminal record, including drug charges and several deportations. He’d just been released after serving time for re-entry into the country, an act that’s considered a felony.

Presidential candidates and politicians are taking advantage of this incident to justify their extremist anti-immigrant views. But studies show that native-born Americans commit crime at a higher rate than immigrants and are five times more likely to be serving time in prison.

There’s no reason to presume that undocumented immigrants are a menace to society. Yet before starting its August recess, the House passed a bill that would deny federal law enforcement funding for sanctuary cities. This measure would reverse years of progress by immigrant rights organizations, local governments, and local police associations.

Steinle’s death was a terrible tragedy. But scapegoating undocumented immigrants won’t make San Francisco or the rest of the country any safer.

What became of my dad’s co-worker? Following that traffic stop arrest, he was detained by local authorities for a couple of days and then handed over to immigration officers. He spent two months in an immigration detention center.

A compassionate judge granted his release because his eldest son was on the brink of becoming a U.S. citizen, and the man obtained a temporary work permit. Happy endings to stories like these would become rarer if anti-immigration House lawmakers get their way.

 

Cecilia Velasco is the New Mexico Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. IPS-dc.org

Originally distributed by OtherWords.org.

 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Time For A Supine Congress To Reassert Itself

Congress is one of the least respected institutions in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports phone survey published last month “finds that just 13% of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job overall, while 56% rate the current Congress poorly.” 13% is lousy, but it is almost double the 7% rating of a year ago when the memory of the Senate’s dysfunction under former Majority Leader Harry Reid was fresher.

Congress’ reputation suffers for a multiplicity of reasons, including hypocrisy, perceptions of corruption (e.g., enriching themselves at public expense or selling themselves to the highest bidder), the pervasive nastiness of venomous rhetoric, etc.; but from my perspective, Congress’ biggest problem is disloyalty to the Constitution stemming from political cowardice. For decades, Congress’ members have abdicated their constitutional prerogatives. Rather than honoring their oath to uphold the Constitution and its system of checks and balance, a majority of members have chosen the path of least resistance by delegating or ceding to others the often-unpopular decisions that the people’s representatives are supposed to make.

Congress has ceded power to the Federal Reserve and sundry multilateral institutions like the IMF, UN, et al., as well as to the other two branches of the federal government—the executive and judicial. I’ve taken on some of the multilaterals elsewhere. Today, I’ll suggest several steps Congress could take to reclaim some of its rightful power from the other two branches of government in Washington, and thereby possibly earn more respect. Admittedly, the steps I will propose won’t come to pass as long as a “progressive” is in the White House.

The executive branch has been steadily usurping congressional prerogatives for decades. The process has accelerated markedly during the Obama presidency–think EPA, BLM, NLRB, FCC, etc. Here are four policies designed to curb executive-branch power that congressional Republicans should vote into law in early 2017 if they are fortunate enough to retain the House and Senate and win the White House next year:

1) John Stossel’s important special “Green Tyranny” showed how the EPA has been cramming loathsome propaganda down the throats of our children in public schools. It’s worrisome enough when the Department of Education seeks to centralize educational standards in Washington, but for other agencies that weren’t even chartered for educational purposes to develop and impose our public schools’ curricular content is unacceptable. Congress should shut down the Office for Environmental Education that Congress itself unwisely created in 1990 and defund all indoctrination programs within the executive branch.

2) Earlier this summer, Investor’s Business Daily reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice both have collected tens of millions of dollars in fines from private corporations and then disbursed the funds collected to various “activist” organizations. While a worthy ultimate goal would be the abolition of the unaccountable, undemocratic CFPB, the least Congress should do is pass a law that any funds collected as fines by the executive branch shall be deposited with the U.S. Treasury so that Congress (which has the constitutional power of the purse) may determine the disposition of those funds. (For the record, Congress shouldn’t be in the wealth redistribution business either; but at least members of Congress can be voted out of office, whereas officials of DOJ, CFPB, etc., are insulated from the electorate.)

3) Much mischief has come out of the incestuous relationship that Milton Friedman dubbed “the iron triangle.” This is the loop whereby special interest groups lobby Congress for more spending, a pliable, complicit Congress then increases appropriations to particular agencies, and then the agencies grant that money to the special interest groups that lobbied for the spending increases so that they can keep lobbying for another round of spending increases. The taxpayer is the perennial victim of “the iron triangle.” Congress could end this scam by forbidding federal agencies from giving grants to special interest groups (whether profit-seeking corporations or not-for-profit organizations) and cutting from agencies’ budgets the full amount they currently spend on such grants.

4) Here’s the big one: Of the flood of rules coming out of Washington that Americans must obey, fewer than 5% are laws passed by our elected representatives in Congress; the other 95% are promulgated by unelected, undemocratically unaccountable bureaucrats in the executive branch. Again, this is Congress’s fault. Decades ago, Congress adopted the policy of allowing executive branch agencies to promulgate regulations that take effect automatically unless Congress specifically votes against them within 90 days. Members of Congress rarely have time to read every word in the laws they pass (remember Obamacare!), much less every regulation that comes down the pike–and so lots of lousy regulations slide through. Congress needs to reverse the process: Instead of a rule becoming the law of the land unless Congress says it isn’t, nothing should be the law of our land unless Congress says it is. One of the fundamental constitutional principles is that Congress is the legislative—the law-writing—branch of government. It’s time to cancel the executive agencies’ virtual blank check to impose rules upon us.

Besides Congress, the Supreme Court also recently intruded on Congress’ legislative prerogative when Chief Justice Roberts stated in his opinion in King v. Burwell that the phrase “state exchange” in the Affordable Care Act really meant “a state or federal exchange.” House Speaker John Boehner won’t push back and risk media outrage, but a bolder congressional leader would call for a vote to amend the ACA by inserting language stipulating a federal exchange. Then, if Congress explicitly refused to adopt such language, the Supreme Court would be in the position of insisting that Congress adopt a provision that it explicitly voted not to adopt. With Obama taking SCOTUS’ side, the Court’s reinterpretation of the law would stand; but then the Speaker could rebuke the Court by presenting a motion to censure Mr. Roberts.

Come on, Congress! Push back. Assert your constitutional prerogatives and regain your relevance.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth