Democrats Cracking Under Iran Deal (Ezekiel 17)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31:  U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) attends a press conference announcing federal funding for Super Storm Sandy recovery efforts on March 31, 2015 in New York City. The FEMA grant is the largest single grant in U.S. history for disaster relief.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Growing signs Schumer will oppose Iran deal

‘He’s got the toughest vote of his career coming,’ a colleague says of the New York Democrat, who insists he’s undecided.

By Manu Raju and Burgess Everett
8/2/15 5:44 PM EDT
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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 31: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) attends a press conference announcing federal funding for Super Storm Sandy recovery efforts on March 31, 2015 in New York City. The FEMA grant is the largest single grant in U.S. history for disaster relief. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Chuck Schumer is getting an earful from opponents of the Iran nuclear deal.

More than 10,000 phone calls have flooded his office line the past two weeks, organized by a group looking to kill the deal. Another group has dropped seven figures on TV in New York City to pressure Schumer and other lawmakers to vote against the plan. The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee has put its muscle behind an effort to lobby the New Yorker against it.

And Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was arrested for disorderly conduct while protesting the deal outside Schumer’s office.

People who have spoken with the senior New York senator believe the pressure campaign is having an effect: They say there is a growing sense inside and outside the Capitol that Schumer will vote against the deal when the Senate considers it in September. The bigger question many have now is this: How hard will he push against it?

Schumer is one of about 15 Democratic senators who will decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in Congress. The president can afford to lose no more than a dozen Democrats on the Senate floor, and as the next Democratic leader, Schumer may be the most critical of them all.

In an interview with POLITICO, Schumer insisted he’s still weighing his vote. He said he would decide based on the merits of the deal, not lobbying from either side.

“I haven’t made up my mind,” said Schumer, who is in line to be the first Jewish Senate leader next Congress. “There are expectations all over the lot. I’m doing what I’m always doing when I have a very difficult decision: Learning it carefully and giving it my best shot, doing what I think is right. I’m not going to let pressure or politics or party get in the way of that.”

He wouldn’t say if he would forcefully advocate his position once he makes his stance clear.
“I’ve got to first decide how I’m voting,” Schumer said.

Opponents have been much louder than supporters. If that trend continues over the break at town hall meetings, it will only amplify pressure on swing Democrats to vote against the deal.

Sen. Chris Coons, who was personally lobbied by President Barack Obama and national security adviser Susan Rice to back the deal during a trip to Africa in July, said the view of the accord was about evenly split in his home state of Delaware in the first few days after the announcement. But the Democrat now says telephone calls against the deal outnumber those in favor by 10-to-1 in his state, an avalanche of opposition he has no choice but to listen to.

“I am a Democrat, and I would like to be able to support this agreement,” Coons said. “But I have serious reservations about it.”

Schumer does as well. As an Israel hawk who will be the next Democratic leader after Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) retires in January 2017, Schumer is seen as a bellwether among the handful of fence-sitting Democrats who may buck the White House and try to kill the sweeping accord. That leaves Schumer stuck between pro-Israel forces who have long been a key base of support and who are trying to kill the deal — and the White House and its progressive allies who are eager to secure a centerpiece of Obama’s foreign policy legacy and stave off a potential war.

Schumer will be criticized no matter what he does. If he tries to lobby members against the deal, he’ll be lashed by the left for undermining both President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and precipitating another conflict in the Middle East. If he quietly opposes the deal, he’ll be criticized by his hawkish Israel supporters for not doing enough to scuttle the agreement.

And if he supports it, he’s bound to get slammed by powerful Jewish donors and constituents who have long been among his staunchest supporters.

“Boy, I’m glad I’m not Chuck Schumer, I’ll tell ya,” said a smirking John McCain (R-Ariz.), a friend of the New York Democrat. “He’s got the toughest vote of his career coming.”

Congress has 60 days to consider the Iran nuclear agreement, which was reached between the United States, five world powers and Iran, meaning decisive votes will occur no later than September 17th. The agreement seeks to pare back Iran’s nuclear program, opening its facilities to inspections and monitoring, in exchange for lifting sanctions.

Congress vote is on whether to lift legislative sanctions, which have been key to bringing Iran to the negotiating table and would provide major economic relief if Congress lets the deal go through. Republicans will need a veto-proof, two-thirds majority to scuttle the deal, a high bar that will require a sizable bloc of Democratic opposition.

Skeptics in both parties fear the plan will make Iran richer but do little to curtail the country’s nuclear ambitions. Nowhere is that feeling more prevalent than in New York, with one of the most politically active Jewish populations. Last week, Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) announced her opposition to the deal, and one New York Jewish Democrat, Eliot Engel, expressed deep skepticism of the agreement.
“There are a number of parts of the deal that trouble me,” Engel said in an interview. “The main problem I have is that this deal will give a lot of money to Iran. Iran will be awash in cash, and they will be able to use it to fund their terrorist activities.”

The New York and New Jersey delegations have been the top focus of groups trying to kill the agreement, and there’s evidence they are making headway. In New Jersey, Sen. Robert Menendez sounds like a “no” vote, while Sen. Cory Booker is undecided. In New York City, the group Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran spent $1.6 million on broadcast television and $119,500 on cable betw
een July 16-July 30 advertising on the issue, according to a media tracking source. Secure America Now, a hawkish group trying to kill the deal, has organized the call-in campaign to Schumer.

“You will always get phone calls when you’re from New York,” Schumer said. “Hundreds of them on every issue.”
Indeed, Schumer is feeling heat to support the deal, too. The National Iranian American Council bought a full-page New York Times ad in support of the deal in July and is delivering petitions to his local offices and hoping to blunt efforts of opponents at town halls this month. J Street, a liberal Jewish group, is also pressing Schumer to back the nuclear pact.

Schumer will “have the support of the majority of American Jews” if he backs the deal, said Jessica Rosenblum, a spokeswoman for J Street.

Schumer has long sought to avoid alienating large segments of his caucus by taking vocal positions on divisive issues; when he has to take a stand, he typically keeps it low-key. Many expect him to wait to announce his opposition, possibly until the end of the process, and to do little to advocate internally for others to join him.

Mutual Assured Destruction is In God’s Plan (Rev 16)

 
Nuclear War’s Unlearned Lessons

August 1, 2015

The upcoming 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a fitting moment for the world to contemplate the dangers from the continuation of nuclear arsenals and the cavalier attitude that many countries take toward geopolitical crises, as Robert Dodge explains.

By Robert Dodge

This week the world remembers the events of 70 years ago in Japan, on Aug. 6 and 9, when the U.S. dropped the first atomic bombs on two cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We are reminded that these bombs instantly killed more than 100,000 human beings and that in the days and weeks that followed, tens of thousands more died from injuries suffered during the bombing and from the effects of nuclear radiation afterward.

This year, on Aug. 6, the day the atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, there will be worldwide vigils to remind humanity of the beginning events of our world’s nuclear history – tragedies of death and destruction.

To ensure these events are never repeated, we must educate those among us who are unaware or are uninformed about the real threats nuclear weapons pose. People need to know that in the seven decades that have followed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some of the world’s governments have done little to move away from the use of nuclear weapons. Inexplicably, many governments have even chosen to move closer to the brink of destroying civilization and the probability of causing the extinction of our species.

After witnessing the horrific reality caused by these weapons 70 years ago, mankind has always had two options. The first is to rid the planet of these weapons and the second is to build more. To the detriment of the world, governments like U.S. and Russia have consistently chosen the latter option.
The insane doctrine throughout the Cold War, appropriately called Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), was based on guarantees of the annihilation of an adversary in retaliation for a first-strike. The MAD doctrine has resulted in an incorrect notion of nuclear war deterrence and has provided a false sense of security for most civilians who hope their governments are wise enough to not attack another nuclear power. The ill-advised faith in MAD has been the major driver of the arms race, which has so far encouraged governments to build another 15,685 nuclear weapons.

Following the bombings of Japan and subsequent nuclear testing by numerous governments, the world has proof of how destructive nuclear weapons really are. We have also recently learned that these weapons have the potential to be much more dangerous than most had ever imagined.
We now know that even a unilateral attack using the nuclear arsenals of either the U.S. or Russia, even without retaliation, would ultimately result in such catastrophic global climate change that billions would die from starvation and disease, including the people of the attacking nation. In effect, the MAD doctrine of the Cold War has become a doctrine of Self Assured Destruction which ultimately turns any nation that would unleash its nuclear arsenal into suicide bombers and the destroyers of their own civilization. SAD indeed.

Even a limited regional nuclear war using “only” 100 Hiroshima-size bombs, possibly between India and Pakistan, a vulnerable nuclear hot spot on the planet, would cause immense injury, death and destruction. It is estimated that a nuclear strike of this size would kill 20 million people outright and the after effects resulting from global climate change in the days that follow would be catastrophic, killing more than two billion people around the world. The effects of a regional nuclear war like this would continue for more than 10 years. Remarkably, this scenario uses less than half of one percent of the global arsenals.

On this 70th anniversary of the nuclear age, we have an opportunity and responsibility to act. Knowing what we now know, we can no longer make the choice to sit idly. Ultimately the longer we adhere to the MAD doctrine, the more probable that our luck will run out and we will experience nuclear war either by accident or intent.

Citizens of the world must demand that our governments work together with the majority of nations, now numbering 113, who have signed the “Humanitarian Pledge” to ban nuclear weapons by convention. Every other weapon of mass destruction has been banned and nuclear weapons need to be banned as well.

All attempts at nonproliferation and diplomacy must be supported including the nuclear deal with Iran. America’s citizens must demand that our nation join the non-nuclear nations of the world and work together to abolish these weapons. We owe this to the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, to our children and to the future generations who deserve a nuclear weapon-free world.
Robert F. Dodge, M.D., is a practicing family physician, writes for PeaceVoice, and serves on the boards of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Beyond War, Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, and Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions.

The Scarlet Woman Is Fit To Rule The Beast (Rev 17:4)

 

No Serious Health Issues for Hillary Clinton, Her Doctor Reports

2:08 PM ET 2:08 PM ET Lawrence K. Altman

Updated, 9:52 p.m. | Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign released a letter on Friday from her doctor attesting to Mrs. Clinton’s good health and fitness to serve as president based on a full medical evaluation.

The letter from Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco, N.Y., summarized Mrs. Clinton’s history of treatment for a brain concussion, blood clots affecting her legs and brain on separate occasions, an underactive thyroid gland and a family history of heart disease.

Mrs. Clinton, 67, regularly takes thyroid hormone to bring her levels to normal as well as the anticoagulant drug Coumadin to help prevent new blood clots, Dr. Bardack wrote. Mrs. Clinton also takes antihistamine drugs for seasonal pollen allergies and vitamin B-12.

Mrs. Clinton has faced questions about her health since 2012, when, as secretary of state, she suffered a concussion and a blood clot — known as a transverse sinus venous thrombosis — in her brain. Those were a result of a series of events caused by a stomach virus Mrs. Clinton acquired while traveling abroad. While alone in her home after returning, she became dehydrated and then fell from a faint, striking her head. She subsequently experienced double vision and temporarily wore glasses with a Fresnel Prism to ease the difficulty with her eyesight.

Mrs. Clinton was treated at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, and then went to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital in Manhattan before returning to her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

The concussion symptoms and double vision resolved within two months and Mrs. Clinton stopped using the prism, Dr. Bardack wrote.

But former President Bill Clinton told a reporter that his wife’s concussion “required six months of very serious work to get over” and that she had “never lowballed” the severity of her head injury.
Follow-up testing in 2013 showed “complete resolution of the effects of the concussion, as well as total dissolution” of the blood clot, Dr. Bardack wrote. Mrs. Clinton did not release statements from a neurologist, neurosurgeon or other specialist involved in her medical care in Washington or New York.

Mrs. Clinton is the first presidential candidate in this cycle to make public a medical history. But in the past many candidates have released copies of extensive records, agreed to personal interviews or allowed their doctors to be interviewed.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, did not reply to an email request to interview Dr. Bardack.

While Mrs. Clinton experienced blood clots in 1998, 2009 and 2012, tests showed that she did not have any underlying disorder that put her at an increased risk of the clots. Tests are performed to monitor the dose of Coumadin she takes and ensure that she has not experienced side effects, Dr. Bardack wrote.

Mrs. Clinton’s electrocardiogram was reported as normal, as were her blood lipids. Cancer screening tests, including mammography, breast ultrasound, colonoscopy and gynecological examination were normal.

Dr. Bardack did not disclose Mrs. Clinton’s height and weight, which are standard items in medical histories.

She said Mrs. Clinton eats a diet rich in lean protein, vegetables and fruits. She exercises regularly, including yoga, swimming, walking and weight training.

Find out what you need to know about the 2016 presidential race today, and get politics news updates via Facebook, Twitter and the First Draft newsletter.

The Iranian Lunatic (Daniel 8:4)

  
Iran publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel
 
By Amir Taheri
August 1, 2015 | 3:00pm

While Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama do their best to paper over the brutality of the Iranian regime and force through a nuclear agreement, Iran’s religious leader has another issue on his mind: The destruction of Israel.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

A friend sent me a copy from Iran, the only place the book is currently available, though an Arabic translation is promised soon.

Obama administration officials likely hope that no American even hears about it.
 
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.

He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”

Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”

One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.

Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.

Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.

These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of The Philippines and Thailand.

However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as “adou” and “doshman,” meaning “enemy” and “foe,” is a special case for three reasons.

The first is that it is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan” and a key element in its “evil scheme” to dominate “the heartland of the Ummah.”

The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions, thus becoming “a hostile infidel,” or “kaffir al-harbi.”

Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as Islam’s third Holy City.”

He intimates that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to one day pray in Jerusalem.

Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.

His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.

Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.

In Khamenei’s analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the US, which have supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits.

Thanks to President Obama, the US has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.

Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.
Khamenei’s “practical and logical mechanism” excludes the two-state formula in any form.

“The solution is a one-state formula,” he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove “genuine roots” in the region to stay as “protected minorities.”

Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.
All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.
Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum.

He does not make clear whether the Kingdom of Jordan, which is located in 80% of historic Palestine, would be included in his one-state scheme. However, a majority of Jordanians are of Palestinian extraction and would be able to vote in the referendum and, logically, become citizens of the new Palestine.

Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit “fighters” in the West Bank to set up Hezbollah-style units.

“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip,” he boasts.
Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.”

Khamenei’s book also deals with the Holocaust which he regards either as “a propaganda ploy” or a disputed claim. “If there was such a thing,” he writes, “we don’t know why it happened and how.”
This is what Iran’s leaders are preaching to their people and their allies in the Middle East. Do we really want to give succor?