Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cotton Blather

Dumbest Man In America

From (O)CT(O)PUS of The Swash Zone 

"How low can the GOP go? Just when you thought Netanyahu’s invitation to address Congress (without consultation with the President) was bad enough, you can thank Senate Republicans for breaking with two centuries of tradition and legal precedent – in a breach of protocol that effectively breaks our system of government. 

I refer to 47 Senate Republicans who dispatched a letter to Tehran that undermines P5+1 negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The letter states that any negotiated settlement should be considered non-binding because any future president or Congress can reverse it. More than offensive as another example of outrageous partisanship, the letter is downright destructive: 

Violation of Constitutional Law. Justice Sutherlin of the United States Supreme Court wrote this precedent in 1936: “[The President] makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it." 

Violation of Federal Law. Passed in 1799, the Logan Act states: “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both." 

Violation of Trustworthiness. The letter undermines the full faith and trustworthiness of the U.S. government in matters of foreign policy. In a White House statement yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden said: “In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country -- much less a longtime foreign adversary -- that the President does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them. This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments -- a message that is as false as it is dangerous." 

 Borrowing a page from the GOP playbook, it means the foreign policy initiatives of any future Republican administration can be similarly sabotaged. If war is what Senate Republicans want, then they should be damn careful what they wish for ... in more ways than one. The ‘Dear Tehran’ letter represents nothing less than a hypocritical and unconstitutional coup d’etat against the Executive Branch … deserving of prosecution under the Nolan Act. 

 Traitors, the whole damn lot!"

The reviews are in:  Major newspapers across the country condemn what the 47 saboteurs did to the United States of America and her Commander in Chief:

From the daily kos:

Both of Kentucky's senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, signed the letter. Their state's Courier-Journal asked: 

Has Congress gone crazy? [...] A blatant attempt to sabotage the discussions to limit Iran’s nuclear capacity, the letter is signed by by 47 GOP senators, aligning themselves — President Obama noted ironically — with hardliners in Iran who oppose any deal with the United States.

The Concord, NH, Monitor focused very directly on New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte: Unlike the thousands of other times she has signed her name, Ayotte will remember this signature. How could she forget? It’s not every day that a United States senator attempts to undermine U.S. foreign policy and weaken the nation in one cursive swoop. 

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey signed the letter, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's editorial board wrote: The senators who signed the letter should be ashamed. 

The Salt Lake Tribune's headline is almost all you need to read: Utah senators increase risk of war. Although the editorial itself is worth a look: It will be up to history to judge whether the latest partisan stunt joined by Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch amounts to an act of End Times warmongering or merely another bit of cringe-worthy buffoonery on the global stage.

 The Sacramento Bee wrote that Senate Republicans need a civics lesson, “It’s the Republican senators who signed the letter – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and potential presidential candidates Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida – who could use a remedial civics class. The Constitution gives the president broad authority to conduct foreign policy. The Senate’s “advise and consent” role covers formal treaties. The potential deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not a treaty. It is a multinational agreement that involves Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, as well as the United States and Iran.”

The Baltimore Sun pulled no punches, “The poison pen note was a shocking example of just how far President Barack Obama’s GOP critics in Congress are willing to go in an effort to undercut his foreign policy goals…The GOP senators might just as well have put up a big sign over their chamber warning the mullahs in Tehran to prepare for war because that’s the practical import of rejecting any possibility of a negotiated resolution of the two countries’ differences. Republican lawmakers in effect have adopted the hard-line agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who offered a similarly uncompromising view of Iranian intentions when he addressed a joint meeting of Congress last week.”

The Boston Globe accused Senate Republicans of winning sympathy for Iran, “WINNING SYMPATHY for the renegade Islamic Republic of Iran is no easy trick. 

But Republicans in the US Senate seem to be accomplishing it with their breathtakingly reckless intrusion into international diplomacy….The letter not only undercuts the president’s traditional authority to oversee the shaping of foreign policy but badly undermines America’s credibility in the international community.”


Dave Miller said...

nice to see you back...

Infidel753 said...

It's amazing the maniacal lengths to which the Republicans will go to sabotage Obama, regardless of the cost to the country or even to their own credibility.

It can't be a serious effort to intervene in the negotiations for good (illegal as that would have been), because if that were the motive, they would have taken the trouble to get better acquainted with the political situation in Iran, which they obviously have not. This is purely an effort to undermine the President, Obama Derangement Syndrome taken to a whole new level.

Luckily, the Iranian foreign minister recognized the letter for what it was and said that it will not affect the negotiations (President Rouhani also has to deal with lunatic conservative extremists in his legislature trying to sabotage him).

But if there were any bridges left between the Republicans and the administration, this letter has burned them. I can't imagine Obama ever again offering any more cooperation than absolutely necessary now.

K.O. said...

"Here's the irony with the republican party. People are finally catching on. That's a good thing. But in the mean time ... precious time has been wasted. How about 6 yrs???

Yesterday our country witnessed 47 republican senators sign off on a letter to one of our adversaries, Iran. Unheard of in my lifetime. A country that we all would like not to have any nuclear capability. That our president has been tirelessly working with allies of ours to stop Iran from achieving. And these republicans sit down with their ring leader, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who just got out of diapers as a newly elected Jr Senator, writing a letter threatening Iran that nothing will come of these talks with the president b/c nothing the president says or does has any teeth to it. So you need to pull out of these talks, these negotiations. Imagine this!!!

Imagine our own so called American senators, 47 republicans doing something like this?? Imagine undermining the Commander in Chief by basically siding with the enemy???
And here's where the irony comes into play. The Iranians saw this move as a propagandist ploy and intimated that these 47 senators don't even know their own constitution. They don't understand that what the president is doing is not required by our constitution to get permission, or approval from the senate for an agreement between Iran and many of our allies.

But once again, republicans step all over the constitution, and make a mockery of it. And again have no other solutions to offer. They did the same with Obamacare. What is YOUR alternative??? The answer to that is NOTHING!!! We just don't like what the president has done. But we don't have an alternative to offer the people of this country. We just want it to go away. That's not going to happen first and foremost. And it's a sign of complete ignorance and immaturity of a republican party that has nothing better to do than play a cat and mouse game with the president. And we all know how the cat and mouse game plays out. The cat swallows up the mouse in one gulp after playing the game.

And that is what I saw in our presidents face yesterday when asked about what the republicans did. He had that slanted grin on his face as he swallowed one of 47 mice at a time up. They taunted the cat, and the cat digested each and everyone of them."

Flying Junior said...

I am reminded about the proverb of a man who found a snake that was sick and dying. (A good metaphor in more ways than one!) The man carefully took the snake up in his cloak and brought him home to nurse him back to health. After some weeks the snake had returned to good health. The man had grown fond of his charge. He decided to go about with the snake again nestled by his breast. Thus walking to his village one day, the man was horrified when the snake viciously bit him as he cradled it. He asked the snake, "How could you do this to me after all that I have done for you?" As he lay dying, the snake replied, "You knew when you took me in that I was a snake. How then could you be so foolish as to carry me in your cloak so close to your own breast?"

The moral of the story is to never trust today's republican politician. They are all thieves cut from the same cloth. Sure Ron Paul has an immaculate anti-war record. What did it ever cost him? Rand Paul is such a cutesy Benjamin Spock pothead baby-face. He supports segregation. And now he's onboard with the war hawks. Think of all the love the American people still have for GWB.

Never trust them. Never give an inch. Foolish American people to elect such frauds. Lazy, apathetic liberals and democrats to not even bother to go to the polls.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

In a recent op-ed column, Fareed Zakaria explains why Netanyahu – and Republican war hawks – are utterly divorced from reality and why negotiations with Iran are vital at this time (edited for brevity):

Between 2003 and 2005 … Iran negotiated with three European Union powers a possible deal to place its nuclear program under constraints and inspections. The chief nuclear negotiator at the time was Hassan Rouhani, now Iran’s president.

Iran proposed to cap its centrifuges at very low levels, keep enrichment levels well below those that could be used for weapons and convert its existing enriched uranium into fuel rods … But the talks collapsed because the Bush administration, acting through the British government, vetoed it …

What was the result? Did Iran return to the table and capitulate? No, the country withstood the sanctions and, unimpeded by any inspections, massively expanded its nuclear infrastructure. Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000, accumulated more than 17,000 pounds of enriched uranium gas and ramped up construction of a heavy water reactor at Arak that could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Harvard University’s Graham Allison, one of the United States’ foremost experts on nuclear issues, pointed out that “by insisting on maximalist demands and rejecting potential agreements, the first of which would have limited Iran to 164 centrifuges, we have seen Iran advance from 10 years away from producing a bomb to only months.”

If the deal now being negotiated fails, the most likely scenario is a repetition of the past. Iran will expand its nuclear program. If the other major powers believed that Iran’s offer was serious but U.S. and Israeli intransigence torpedoed it, they would be reluctant to enforce sanctions — and all sanctions start to leak over time anyway … But without the deal, in 10 years Iran would likely have 50,000 centrifuges, a massive stockpile of highly enriched uranium, new facilities, thousands of experienced nuclear scientists and technicians, and a fully functioning heavy water reactor that can produce plutonium.

For almost 25 years now, Netanyahu has argued that Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear weapon. In 1996 — 19 years ago — he addressed the Congress and made pretty much the same argument he made this week. Over the last 10 years he has argued repeatedly that Iran is one year away from a bomb.

So why have Bibi’s predictions been wrong for 25 years? … The larger part is probably that Iran has always recognized that were it to build a bomb, it would face huge international consequences. In other words, the mullahs have calculated — correctly — that the benefits of breakout are not worth the costs. The key to any agreement with Iran is to keep the costs of breakout high and the benefits low. This is the most realistic path to keeping Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state …

Shorter version: To avoid a future military conflict, a deal with Iran is either now or never.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tehran Tom: Stupidity is its own reward.

You and the traitorous 46 have been made fools on a global scale. Well done, idiots, well done!

Ema Nymton said...


Everything you and the others you quote have said may be absolutely correct. But in the end, it will _NOT_ make a bit of difference as long as the 47 keep their pay-masters happy.

One can expect the 47 will be reelected because the pay-masters will keep pouring money into their reelection campaigns.

Remember, this is all about the money for war monger machines. And the war monger machines will be making money over this!

Ema Nymton

Shaw Kenawe said...

Follow the money. Reports are out there showing Tehran Tom accept almost $1 million in money from neocons, the ones who supported war with Iraq.