Category Archives: Biden

Iran Has Biden’s Nuclear Number

Biden’s team has even less backbone than Obama’s, which was spineless. After all the Trump accomplished in terms of promoting the US agenda (and Trump’s team wasn’t perfect, I know). mrossol

WSJ  11/29/2021  by the Editorial Board

The Iran nuclear talks resume on Monday in Austria, and pessimism seems to be the order of the day. Iran refuses to make concessions, while the U.S. is signaling that its patience may be limited. But don’t underestimate the Biden Administration’s desire for a deal—any deal.

 

For months the U.S. has been all but begging Iran to return to the table, though the U.S. won’t literally even be at the table in Vienna. Iran refuses to talk to the U.S. directly, so American negotiators must work through European intermediaries. The U.S. seems undeterred by this intentional humiliation.

Since Iran walked away from talks earlier this year, Tehran has elevated an even more hardline president and accelerated its enrichment of nuclear fuel. Iran has also continued to restrict international inspectors’ access to its nuclear sites. Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported last week that talks about verification have “proved inconclusive”—diplomatic-speak for they failed.

Uranium particles found at three locations that Iran hasn’t declared to the agency are cause for alarm. Mr. Grossi said this “is a clear indication that nuclear material and/or equipment contaminated by nuclear material has been present at these locations.” The U.S. and its European allies have declined to censure Iran for refusing to cooperate.

 

They’re hoping the talks will yield concessions, perhaps with the inducement of more U.S. sanctions relief. Iranian diplomats are demanding that any deal will remain in force beyond President Biden’s tenure. And they won’t commit to anything beyond a return to the 2015 deal struck by President Obama. That deal allowed Iran sufficient leeway to advance on the path to a weapon with limited inspections, which is why Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

The latest reports are that the U.S. has floated the idea of an interim accord that would give more time to negotiate a larger deal. The interim accord would offer sanctions relief to Iran in return for some restraint on Iranian enrichment on nuclear fuel. This sounds like what Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies calls a “less for more” deal—that is, less restraint on Iran than in the 2015 deal in return for more sanctions relief.

The signs are that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and new President Ebrahim Raisi have no intention of slowing their march to the brink of a bomb. They may offer token concessions for sanctions relief, but they will continue to hide their nuclear development from inspectors. China is now openly buying Iranian oil in defiance of U.S. sanctions, and the U.S. doesn’t seem to care.

Tehran is also escalating support for terror attacks in the region. U.S. officials say Iran was responsible for a drone attack on a U.S. base in Syria last month, and Iraqi officials believe an Iran-backed militia was behind the attempt to kill Iraq’s prime minister this month.

All of which suggests that all of Team Biden’s entreaties have merely made Iran more determined to demand a deal that is even weaker than Mr. Obama’s. Such an agreement will reassure no one beyond the spreaders of revolution in Tehran.

Appeared in the November 29, 2021, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-has-biden-nuclear-number-antony-blinken-robert-malley-jake-sullivan-bomb-jcpoa-deal-11636487314?mod=hp_opin_pos_5#cxrecs_s

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Biden’s Covid Death Milestone

WSJ  11/26/21, by

President Biden may not recall what he said during a 2020 campaign debate last fall, but Americans should: “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.” At the time the U.S. had recorded 220,000 Covid deaths.

Covid deaths this year have now surpassed the toll in 2020 with 350,000 since Inauguration Day. It would seem that Mr. Biden has done no better than Donald Trump in defeating Covid despite the benefit of vaccines, better therapies, and more clinical experience. The left politicized Covid by holding Mr. Trump responsible for a disease that was always going to be hard to defeat.

“If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive,” Mr. Biden said last fall. That was as false as anything Mr. Trump ever said, but most journalists and experts agreed with the basic premise: Mr. Trump had blood on his hands. The world’s top medical journals called for Mr. Trump’s defeat.

A New England Journal of Medicine editorial headlined “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum” called the Administration “dangerously incompetent” and declared “we should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.” No wonder so many conservatives don’t trust these health experts.

Mr. Biden famously promised “to shut down the virus, not the country,” and he accused Mr. Trump of having “no plan.” Mr. Trump did downplay the virus in the early part of 2020, and he needlessly put himself in the middle of almost every debate over the disease and possible treatments. Politically, he played into Mr. Biden’s hands. But his Administration accelerated the vaccines and therapies that Mr. Biden later took credit for.

Recall how Mr. Biden scoffed at Mr. Trump’s prediction that vaccines would be widely available in the spring. “The distribution of that vaccine will not occur until sometime beginning of the middle of next year to get it out, if we get the vaccine,” he said. Mr. Trump turned out to be right, and Mr. Biden largely followed the distribution plan his predecessors had put in place.

Because of the Trump Administration’s preparation, the U.S. led most of the world in vaccinations this spring. Yet Mr. Biden had no plan to deal with the large numbers of vaccine holdouts, other than to deride them. He missed his goal of getting 70% of adults vaccinated by July 4 but proclaimed victory nonetheless.

Then came the more transmissible Delta variant, which Mr. Biden also had no plan to deal with though it had been spreading around the world for months. He needlessly injected himself into fights in GOP states over mask mandates. By late September, daily deaths exceeded 2,000—more than twice as many as a year earlier.

Mr. Biden blamed GOP governors and unvaccinated conservatives. Yet blacks and young people have also shown reluctance to get vaccinated, and they don’t tend to be Republican. See Nicki Minaj and Kyrie Irving. Meantime, Mr. Biden’s vaccine mandates have further polarized the country.

Virus cases this fall have plunged in the South but are now rising in the Northeast and Midwest states with relatively high vaccination rates. Vaccines are helpful in preventing severe illness but aren’t as effective at preventing infections and transmission as health experts hoped. Booster shots will be needed to keep the virus at bay this winter, especially for seniors and people at high risk. Yet the Administration’s messaging on boosters has been inconsistent and often confusing.

We recount all this not to blame Mr. Biden for this year’s Covid deaths. The truth last year and this year is that the virus is impossible for any politician to control, much less eliminate. Mr. Biden used the illusion he could vanquish the virus to win election, and he is now paying a political price because he hasn’t.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-covid-death-milestone-biden-administration-trump-11637708781?mod=trending_now_opn_2

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Kyle Rittenhouse and the Left’s Terrifying Assault on Due Process

Well written article which captures much of what I have been saying and fearing for America. If freedom-loving citizens do not become more engaged to protect our Constitution and rights, we will deserve what we get. mrossol

WSJ, By Gerard Baker, 

The unhinged reaction from the left to Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal last week is easily dismissed as a glimpse into the rancid minds and rabid hearts of the ideological brigands of modern progressivism.
 

But it may offer clarity about the real threat posed by the Democratic Party and its fellow travelers to the values and institutions that have made America the most successful democratic republic in history.

 
 

With varying degrees of apoplexy, from President Biden on down, the party’s leaders and its allies emphasized their dismay with or rage at the decision by 12 of Mr. Rittenhouse’s peers, after due deliberation, unanimously to find him not guilty of first-degree murder and lesser charges in the killings of two men and wounding of a third during the August 2020 riots in Kenosha, Wis.

Mr. Biden, proving himself once again the consummate moral weakling, first declared his respect for the jury’s verdict, then pronounced himself—no doubt after consultation with his handlers—“angry and concerned.”

While the follow-up statement paid lip service to the idea that a jury’s decision should be respected, the more striking message was that remarkable emotional response to its unanimous decision.

The president’s politically motivated disregard for the rights of accused defendants is well documented by now. He had already included the young man among a video montage of “white supremacists” during his memorably “healing” campaign for the presidency. He also told the nation he was “praying for the right verdict” as the jury deliberated in April before convicting Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Running commentary on the guilt of criminal defendants is despicable when offered by barroom braggarts, but when it comes from the most powerful man on the planet it amounts to reckless endangerment of the rights of his fellow citizens.

But that’s the point.

In the minds of the ranting radicals of the Squad or MSNBC, dimly repeated by the president, these so-called rights—presumption of innocence, due process, trial by jury, proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, etc., are not the bedrock legal protections against overweening authority the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence has deemed them to be. In the minds of the regnant left when they find the defendant unsympathetic, they are inconveniences, fetishized excrescences of judicial process that obstruct and subvert the larger and more important objective of social justice. In this increasingly popular account on the left, they are the armor with which the capitalist white supremacists protect their hegemony. As such they can be dismissed.

And so people like House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic congressman, his own intellectual vacuity helpfully filled in by Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, can demand that Mr. Rittenhouse face further prosecution under spurious civil-rights precepts designed to undo the principle of double jeopardy.

So too do the president and his party demonstrate disdain for other niceties of the law: extending the Covid eviction moratorium Mr. Biden knew was unconstitutional, imposing a blanket vaccine mandate on employers in the face of widespread advice that it wouldn’t pass legal muster.

It’s hard to resist the conclusion that the intention behind the denunciation by some of the left of the Rittenhouse verdict reflected an even darker instinct. Though the president himself called for restraint, some of the loud condemnations sounded like incitement of more of the kind of behavior that characterized the Kenosha riots in the first place. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted: “The judge. The jury. The defendant. It’s white supremacy in action”—just as California’s Maxine Waters had promised unrest if the Chauvin verdict went the wrong way.

This is what the pernicious doctrines of the modern progressive identity left look like in practice. The “critical theory” they subscribe to says real justice cannot be delivered by a court, presided over by a judge whose outcome is determined by a dispassionate jury, since the entire structure is itself the product of racism, oppression and discrimination.

What they want is revolutionary justice. The legal system’s verdict will be supplanted by the people’s judgment so that someone like Mr. Rittenhouse will pay for his crime of defending himself and the property of others against the people’s paramilitary.

These same people professed outrage when a Republican-supporting mob attempted to subvert a constitutional process. Genuine democrats condemn both sorts of lawlessness.

Juries sometimes reach the wrong verdict. But no one who watched critical phases of the Kenosha trial can honestly assert that the evidence proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Far from representing some malign flaw in the legal process, it showed the system working at its best.

If the left’s reaction to this case doesn’t scare you, I am afraid you don’t understand what it represents, or how rapidly and how far the poison of this subversive and illiberal dogma has already spread through a political movement and ideology we once called liberal.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kyle-rittenhouse-and-the-lefts-terrifying-assault-on-due-process-trial-verdict-not-guilty-11637597046?mod=opinion_lead_pos8

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The FBI’s Raid on James O’Keefe

WSJ  11/18/2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland still refuses to retract the memo he sent last month instructing the Department of Justice to scrutinize parents protesting at local school board meetings. Now his department may have committed another civil-liberties abuse with its raid on Project Veritas leader James O’Keefe.

Project Veritas is a right-wing media organization known for going undercover inside progressive institutions and using its findings to embarrass them. Early morning a week ago Saturday, FBI agents raided Mr. O’Keefe’s New York apartment, handcuffed him in the hallway and seized two cell phones. He has not been charged with a crime.

The subject of the investigation is apparently a diary believed to belong to President Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden. Project Veritas says it was given the diary by two individuals last year and chose not to publish it because its authenticity couldn’t be verified, then handed it over to law enforcement. The diary was later published by an obscure website.

It’s settled law that it’s not a crime for journalists to publish information that was obtained unlawfully. If it was a crime, most of America’s largest news organizations would be criminal enterprises. Project Veritas says the people who gave the group the diary said it was not stolen. How the diary was obtained, and how it came to be published by a different website, is still murky.

Yet the search warrant says Justice is investigating “possession of stolen goods” and related offenses, suggesting Project Veritas or its employees may be targets. Imagine if the Trump Administration raided New York Times editors’ homes after the publication of the President’s tax records—or even for an investigation into documents they did not ultimately publish.

Nothing that invasive ever happened. But partly in response to the furor over the Trump Administration’s supposed threat to press freedom, Mr. Garland published guidelines in July narrowing Justice’s ability to seize information from reporters. The policy said Justice “will no longer use compulsory legal process” against journalists “acting within the scope of newsgathering activities.”

There are exceptions for things like the threat of imminent terrorist acts, or where a reporter “has used criminal methods, such as breaking and entering” to obtain information. Mr. Garland’s deputy must also approve any searches.

The seizure of Mr. O’Keefe’s phones gives the FBI access to all of Project Veritas’ investigations, not just records related to the diary. When Mr. O’Keefe’s lawyer asked the government after the raid to pause its search for a day to address legal issues regarding “attorney client privileged information, material protected by the First Amendment, and confidential donor information,” the government refused.

Last Thursday federal Judge Analisa Torres ordered the government to pause. She’ll consider Mr. O’Keefe’s motion to have a court-appointed “special master” keep the FBI from snooping on protected records.

The government also confirmed in correspondence with Mr. O’Keefe’s attorney that it “complied with all applicable regulations and policies regarding potential members of the news media”—meaning Mr. Garland’s guidance—in executing the search warrant.

That suggests Mr. Garland’s policy supposedly expanding press protections does the opposite. Reporters who obtain potentially stolen documents related to a public figure may be subject to the same treatment as Mr. O’Keefe—homes raided and devices seized and searched with no special dispensation for journalistic activity.

Journalism isn’t a shield against lawbreaking, and if Mr. O’Keefe committed a crime in obtaining the diary, he is subject to prosecution. We don’t agree with or practice all of Mr. O’Keefe’s methods, but what he does is reporting that qualifies as journalism.

The circumstances of the FBI raid were punitive. Project Veritas was in the process of complying with a subpoena. On Monday the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a motion for the court to unseal the documents that were the basis for the search warrant.

Those documents better contain very strong evidence of a crime committed by Project Veritas to justify this behavior by a Democratic Administration toward a journalist. If not, the seizure of Mr. O’Keefe’s records is another abuse of civil liberties by Mr. Garland’s department, and Congress ought to ask what the Attorney General knew about it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fbis-raid-on-james-okeefe-project-veritas-department-of-justice-merrick-garland-11637091882?mod=hp_opin_pos_6#cxrecs_s

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