Administration Says Failure to Accept Iran Deal Means War
The Obama Administration denounced Congressional opposition to its Iranian deal, saying that failure to accept the pact would lead to war.
"Secretary of State John Kerry has assured the President that agreeing to this deal is the only alternative if we want to deter Iran from attacking America," said Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "Republicans agitating against this treaty weren't in on the negotiations. They don't know what we know."
Critics of the deal have cited what they have characterized as serious flaws, including Iran's refusal to allow on-site inspections of its nuclear facilities, a requirement that the US help Iran against Israel, and the immediate relaxation of sanctions. "There are absolutely, no mechanisms for ensuring that Iran upholds its part of the bargain," complained Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). "On top of this, the Iranian regime's post-deal assertion of its right to acquire long range ballistic missiles in order to fulfill its goal of exterminating Israel and carrying the battle for Islamic global supremacy to our shores is, to use the words of Secretary Kerry, himself, 'disturbing.'"
In a post-negotiation interview, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi appeared to confirm some of Cruz's worst fears, insisting that "this agreement does not impede our sovereign right to obtain whatever weapons we deem necessary to implement our obligation to carry the religion of Mohammed to every square inch of the world. To the contrary, the United States' release of $150 billion in previously frozen Iranian assets is an explicit acknowledgment and facilitator of this right."
Earnest described pact opponents' expectations as "unrealistic. We can't impose western ideas and values on these people. It is their deeply held religious belief that they must wage holy war on unbelievers in order to please Allah. If we believe in freedom of religion we must respect these beliefs and try to cope the best we can."
As disturbing as some of the Iranian regime's rhetoric and behavior has been since he finalized the deal, Kerry still insisted that "the treaty is essential if we are to have a semblance of peace for the next few years. Relying on Iran to self-monitor its nuclear program is our only option. They simply won't agree to allow outsiders into their top secret facilities. If Iran cheats they will suffer serious damage to their reputation in the international community. That is a risk that we believe will deter them from covertly developing nuclear weapons."
President Obama admitted that Iran could use the $150 billion they will receive as part of the deal to fund terrorist attacks around the world, but argued that "it's the price we had to pay in order to get them to agree to the pact. The thousands that might be killed in such attacks are preferable to the millions that could be killed by Iranian nuclear bombs."
Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's dissatisfaction with the pact, Kerry warned Israel against taking any action aimed at preempting a threatened nuclear strike by Iran. "The terms of the recently completed agreement obligate the United States to defend Iran agai8nst any external or internal threat to its nuclear facilities or its current government," Kerry pointed out.
In related news, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explained that "refusing to label Islamic terrorists as 'Islamic terrorists' is a crucial weapon in our battle against them. By identifying the murders and bombings carried out by these people as acts of misguided or mentally ill individuals we are undermining their morale and sapping their will to fight." Whether Johnson's view is accurate was cast in doubt by ISIS strongman Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's retort: "the views of kafirs are of no concern to us. We know who we are fighting and why."
House Passes Bill that Withholds Federal Aid from Sanctuary Cities
In a long overdue reaction to the mounting tally of victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens, the US House of Representatives enacted the "Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act." The bill would block federal law-enforcement grants to cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
The vote for the bill was highly partisan with Republicans heavily in favor and Democrats heavily opposed. Mocking the bill as "the Donald Trump Act," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, called the legislation "illogical. Sanctuary cities bear a disproportionate burden of the crimes committed by undocumented inhabitants. Their need for law enforcement aid is even greater than cities that have not opened their doors to these immigrants. Cutting them off would be unfairly punitive."
Whether the bill will do more than allow some members of Congress to vent their anger over the rising tide of felonies committed by persons who should have been deported seems improbable. President Obama has vowed to veto the legislation should it ever get past the Senate.
"It is Congress' failure to pass comprehensive immigration legislation that is the real culprit here," Obama asserted. "If we legalize these undocumented immigrants the crime wave perpetrated by illegal immigrants would vanish. If we bring these individuals out of the shadows, sign them up to get benefits—food, clothing, shelter—we will reduce their incentive to rob, rape, and murder. If we allow them to participate in our democratic process they will be able to vote for those who support programs that meet their needs and wouldn't have to try to take their own initiative to get what they want."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) concurred in the President's assessment and added that "the problem isn't immigrant criminals, it's guns. If all guns were removed from private hands the government's monopoly on the use of force would be supreme. The redistribution of wealth to impoverished immigrants could be achieved through normal government programs.
In related news, the Obama Administration is putting the final touches on a policy that would grant illegal aliens permanent residency status based on what they are calling the "accrual of unlawful presence." Under this policy, the longer an individual is able to evade being deported for illegally entering the US, the more entitled he is to remain in the country. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson described it as "analogous to the statute of limitations for other criminal offenses. If you aren't prosecuted or punished within a specified period of time you can never be deported."
Democrat Says American Citizenship Is a Human Right
Former Maryland governor and current contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination Martin O'Malley vowed to extend the rights of US citizenship to every alien in the country on day one of his administration.
"According to our Constitution, all men are created equal," O'Malley maintained. "It is a crime against humanity for us to treat people unequally based on their place of birth. Humans have the right to live wherever they want. Our government has the obligation to ensure that every human who chooses to live in America receives everything to which he or she is entitled."
As O'Malley sees it, the list of things to which every human is entitled includes "decent housing, nutritious food, health care, education and enough pocket money to have some fun once in a while." In order to empower recent immigrants' ability to obtain these things, O'Malley promised to issue an executive order granting citizenship to anyone who wants it, because "unless people have the right to vote they have no way of ensuring that the candidates who will guarantee them a fair share of the nation's wealth can be elected."
O'Malley denounced President Obama's approach to the illegal alien situation as "excessively passive and niggardly. Restricting benefits to those strong enough and ambitious enough to make their way into the US by their own efforts leaves those too weak or lazy to make the arduous trek on the outside. Under my administration we will give bus, train, or plane fare to anyone, anywhere who wants to come to America. As with other human rights, like abortion—we can't let inability to pay lead to exclusion."
In related news, under orders from President Obama, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will no longer require new citizens to pledge to defend the United States as part of the Oath of Allegiance they recite at their naturalization ceremony. Immigration official Juan Osuna explained the move as "an effort to accommodate the religious objections of many immigrants. For immigrants from the Middle East, for example, their Muslim faith demands that they wage war on unbelievers. Rather than disbar such individuals from obtaining US citizenship or forcing them to lie, it is easier to just change the language of the oath."
Left Rallies to Defense of Planned Parenthood
Video evidence that Planned Parenthood traffics in organs taken from the babies it kills has sparked a wave of revulsion across the country. This gory profiteering clashes with the organization's attempts to portray itself as a champion of women's health.
While Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and ten other Republican senators have requested that the DOJ investigate Planned Parenthood's body snatching business, leading Democrats want an investigation of the organization that released the videos to the media.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) called the videos "a reprehensible invasion of privacy" and demanded that the Center for Medical Progress (the organization that made and released the videos) be investigated. "The right-wing assault on Planned Parenthood has gone on too long," Pelosi contended. "The perpetrators of this latest atrocity need to be brought to justice."
Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) have written to US Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to open investigations into the Center for Medical Progress. "It appears that persons working for CMP misrepresented themselves to Planned Parenthood's leadership," their letter read. "Instead of being legitimate purchasers of human body parts, these CMP employees cruelly duped Doctor Mary Gatter and Doctor Deborah Nucatola into trusting them with the organization's private information."
Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest characterized the GOP's request for an investigation of Planned Parenthood as "a witch hunt" and scoffed at the idea the Administration would even consider questioning the government's financial support of Planned Parenthood (over $500 million in fiscal 2014). "The President has made it quite clear that, in his view, Planned Parenthood is doing God's work," Earnest said. "We shouldn't permit bleeding heart emotionalism over how the tissues of terminated fetuses are disposed of knock this great organization off course. Would the GOP really be happier if the body parts were simply thrown in the trash? After all, doesn't salvaging some revenue from selling fetal tissue reduce the amount that the government has to pay to sustain Planned Parenthood?. Shouldn't the GOP's fiscal 'hawks' be with us on this issue?"
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned that "we must not let squeamishness over the details of how Planned Parenthood goes about its business detract from the heroic history of this great organization and the essential services they have performed for so many years." Clinton went on to decry the covertly obtained videos as "a massive invasion of privacy—the very right which 1973's Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision sought to establish. And why shouldn't Dr. Gatter have a Lamborghini. She's worked very hard to build up the business end of the organization."
IRS Targeting of Conservatives Blamed on "Inadequate Funding"
In addition to harassing conservative activist groups it also was discovered that the IRS has been using these groups' donor lists to select which taxpayers will be subjected to audits.
President Obama blamed the Republican Congress for this outcome, saying that "if they weren't so stingy with the agency's budget this might not have had to happen. Ideally, the IRS should audit everybody's tax returns, but this would require more employees and a bigger budget. Faced with the necessity to limit the number of returns it audits, the IRS made a reasonable decision to narrow the scope of its efforts."
"Instead of just randomly selecting from the total pool of returns, they made an executive decision to focus on donor lists of conservative leaning organizations," Obama continued. "There are several sound reasons why that choice makes sense. First, conservatives are more likely to have money—they have good jobs, they own businesses, they have savings and investments. Second, if these individuals are put through the wringer they'll have less time and energy to work against my agenda. Third, there could be some positive behavior modification changes leading to less opposition to progressive social policies in future election cycles."
"If government isn't adequately funded it seems fair to me that those most responsible for this shortfall ought to bear the brunt of the consequences," the President argued. "So, on balance, I believe the IRS has done a commendable job under difficult circumstances."
DoD Stands by Its Policy of Barring Personnel from Carrying Arms
Despite the mass murder of personnel at a Chattanooga, Tennessee military recruiting office by Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez last week, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter rejected suggestions that on-duty armed forces members be allowed to carry guns.
"Sad as we all are for the tragic loss experienced in Tennessee, arming our soldiers and sailors is not the answer," Carter adamantly declared. "Turning a crime scene into a war zone by arming our men escalates the situation and could lead to even greater loss of life."
Carter also contended that having military personnel go about carrying weapons "would unduly frighten the general public. Making people feel unsafe on the streets, in the city and in their neighborhoods adds unhealthy stress to their lives. This would be too high a price to pay in order to give our troops the ability to defend themselves against the occasional crazed gunman."
In related news, the Army has warned its recruiters to treat the gun-toting civilians who have been voluntarily standing guard at enlistment centers across the country as a security threat. As Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno put it, "in the view of both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, the millions of private citizens who own guns pose a far greater threat than the much smaller number of Islamic terrorists theses volunteers purport to be protecting us from. Military personnel at recruiting centers are advised to call on local police to disperse these 'volunteers.'"
NY Governor Decrees Higher Minimum Wage
Professing to be "fed up" with the state legislature's failure to enact a minimum wage he deems high enough, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has decreed a $15 per hour minimum wage for the fast food industry in his state.
"I gave the legislature the opportunity to do the right thing, but their refusal to pass the $15 per hour wage has forced me to seize the initiative," Cuomo said. "The voters of this state elected me to get things done. One way or another, that's what I'm going to do. If the legislature thinks I'm treading on their turf they can try to impeach me."
Cuomo brushed aside fears that the wage boost could drive many fast food restaurants out of business, saying "so what? Fast food is unhealthy. If this regulation drives down the consumption of this poison so much the better."
The Governor similarly dismissed concerns that the higher wage would drive up prices consumers have to pay. "If customers have to pay more for food maybe they'll eat less of it," he reasoned. "Americans are too damned fat as it is. They could stand to go on a diet. If that's an outcome from the higher wage regulation, then that's a win-win scenario as far as I'm concerned."