TOC Ready Room 5 Dec 2021: Iran, nukes, Turkey, Ommy-cron – and DeSantis, oh my

What’s wrong and right with the world.

This Ready Room installment will be a little different, functioning more as a way of getting some headlines out there than as a more select batch of analyses.  Events are flying thick and fast, and in some ways it isn’t useful to keep going over the same old ground with them (e.g., “Iran nuclear negotiations,” which are lame and tired and haven’t changed in character for at least 18 years).

Nothing has changed with Iran negotiations, except the level of uranium enrichment

In fact, let’s just start with that.  Back in 2013, when the pre-JCPOA “Petunia” was being negotiated with Iran – what became known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) – I pointed out that Iran was participating in talks in order to delay decision points for the West. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 5 Dec 2021: Iran, nukes, Turkey, Ommy-cron – and DeSantis, oh my”

Iran, U.S: Pre-talks posturing ropes in Israel, trash talk, Trump administration

Signals, intentional and not so.

Iran announced in early November that it would start talks on the Iranian nuclear program with the Biden administration and other world leaders this coming week in Vienna.

In preparation for the talks, Iran and the Biden administration have been sending smoke signals.

At a superficial level, the least ambiguous of these signals is probably one sent by Iran, in which the commander of the IRGC, Hossein Salami, stated that Iran “decides for USA and runs its policy”: Continue reading “Iran, U.S: Pre-talks posturing ropes in Israel, trash talk, Trump administration”

Time to ‘John Paul Jones’ the non-deal ‘Iran deal’

Nail the colors to the mast.

Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779. Painting by Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962). (Via crashmacduff.wordpress.com)
Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis at the Battle of Flamborough Head in 1779. Painting by Anton Otto Fischer (1882-1962). (Via crashmacduff.wordpress.com)

“I have not yet begun to fight!”

John Paul Jones, commanding the Continental Navy, Battle of Flamborough Head

23 September, 1779

If we went by the triumphal proclamations of the mainstream media, we would think opponents of the unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – described inaccurately as a “deal” with Iran – were out of options at this point.

Operating on the process set in motion by the Corker-Cardin bill, the House has voted against approving the JCPOA.  But the JCPOA’s opponents in the Senate have failed twice to move the JCPOA to a vote.  A 42-vote minority has prevented a Senate vote, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” of overriding the effective filibuster by the minority, and forcing a vote on the JCPOA.

If we accept that Obama met his requirements under Corker-Cardin, when he submitted the JCPOA to Congress for review, then the deadline for Congress to act was 17 September.  Since the Senate couldn’t vote by then, the theory is that all objections to the JCPOA are now dead. Continue reading “Time to ‘John Paul Jones’ the non-deal ‘Iran deal’”

Legal bombshell? Obamacare case may enable Congress to sue Obama over Iran ‘deal’

For such a time as this.

House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy (Majority Leader), Steve Scalise (Majority Whip), and Speaker John Boehner. (Image via Politico)
House GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy (Majority Leader), Steve Scalise (Majority Whip), and Speaker John Boehner. (Image via Politico)

On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked cloture on debate over the resolution to disapprove the non-deal Iran “deal,” or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

The Senate is effectively hamstrung.  As of now, no Senate vote is foreseeable on the disapproval resolution.  The mainstream media are visibly crowing over this as a big win for Obama.

Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to push for a vote again next week.  But there’s no reason at this point to think the outcome will be any different.  Obama has the votes to prevent cloture in the Senate; he needs 41 and has 42.  The vote on the disapproval resolution itself doesn’t look like it will be happening. Continue reading “Legal bombshell? Obamacare case may enable Congress to sue Obama over Iran ‘deal’”

Verify-ish: What if Obama’s standard for Iran were applied to other policy issues?

Peace in our time.

In homies we trust. (Image: IRNA via Gatestone Institute)
In homies we trust. (Image: IRNA via Gatestone Institute)

Sometimes a comparison is the best way to illustrate a point.

Suppose, after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri a year ago, the Obama administration had decided – as it in fact did – that the Ferguson police and courts needed to be investigated for their history of law enforcement practices.

But instead of the Obama Justice Department conducting an investigation itself, the federal government called in a third party to negotiate an agreement with the city of Ferguson as to how it would be investigated.

Applying the “Iran verification” standard to the issues of policing in American cities, the U.S. Justice Department would have relied on an “independent” third party – one without any legal authority, and only there at the sufferance of Ferguson – to come up with a plan of its own to investigate the city’s police department. Continue reading “Verify-ish: What if Obama’s standard for Iran were applied to other policy issues?”