December 11, 2013

The few good apples at the United Nations. “It is shameful to see the General Assembly continuing to single out Israel for malign attention, and shameful that so many democracies choose to abstain on resolutions that merit an easy ‘No’ vote. But Israel can be proud of the three great democracies [U.S., Canada, Australia] that voted with her, as we can be proud to be one of them.”

(Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.com)
(Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.com)

A good rule of thumb on Iran: Never believe the administration. “[T]the suspension of automotive sanctions will undoubtedly generate additional economic benefits for Iran, beyond what was stipulated in the [interim Iran deal at $1.5B]. It is inconceivable that the Iranian automotive sector will fail to contribute to increased GDP over the next six months through production, domestic sales, wages paid, and other economic activity beyond the administration’s estimate of $500 million in export revenue. Even if Iran’s auto sector contributed only ten percent of the sector’s previous $50 billion annual contribution in GDP to Iran’s overall economy, that would be worth $2.5 billion in additional economic activity over the next six months not included in the White House’s calculations. By helping to revive the auto industry, the most important economic sector after energy, the Obama administration may end up providing far greater economic benefits to the Iranian government, and to the IRGC, than previously believed.”

Good grief. “President Obama suffers an all-time low approval rating and a plurality of registered voters want the GOP to control both chambers, according to a new survey out from Quinnipiac University on Tuesday. The poll indicates 57 percent of registered voters nationwide disapprove of the job Obama’s doing while only 38 percent approve, a new low for the embattled president. He’s underwater with nearly every demographic and ideological group, except blacks, Hispanics and Democrats. Obama even loses young Americans, typically his strongest supporters, nearly 50 percent of whom say they disapprove of his job performance.” He’s also sinking congressional Dems who are down five points in generic polling.

Good question for the secretary of state. “Earlier this year, the Pentagon expressed concern regarding Iranian work on ICBMs capable of reaching the US. The UN Security Council has voted to require Iran to end this work. It is well known that Iran has broadened the reach of its missiles and has sought to miniaturize nuclear weapons for a missile payload. Yet Iran’s delivery programs are not mentioned in the agreement. Is it your view that Iran can continue work on its ICBM program, notwithstanding binding UN Security Council requirements?”

Good times for thugocracies these days. “President Obama shook hands with President Raúl Castro of Cuba on Tuesday, offering a friendly gesture freighted with symbolism to one of America’s most enduring Cold War foes. . . . A handshake like the one Mr. Obama offered Mr. Castro has the potential to become a political problem for the president, much the way that Mr. Obama’s handshake in 2009 with Hugo Chávez, then the Socialist president of Venezuela, was criticized by Republicans.” It would be one thing if he raised the Alan Gross case with him, but this is just PR for a dictator.

Good showing of bipartisanship. Democrats and Republicans pummel Secretary of State John Kerry on Iran: “Facing skeptical legislators from both parties, Kerry tried to assure them that he shares their mistrust of Iran while asking that they halt the drive for new sanctions for now to give negotiations, which also involve the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, a chance to succeed.”

Good thing the incumbent senator’s “opponent” turned out to be a crank. “Representative Steve Stockman, the Houston-area congressman famous for bringing Ted Nugent to the State of the Union and wanting to arm fetuses, was not the Tea Party’s first choice to run in the GOP primary against Senator John Cornyn. That honor belongs to Representative Louie Gohmert. Next on their list was noted pseudo-historian and homophobe David Barton. Both men, perhaps sensing that Cornyn’s $7 million campaign war chest and extremely conservative record made victory unlikely, politely declined. Stockman, probably the wackiest of the three, wasn’t even part of the conversation, at least not until Monday night when, minutes before the filing deadline, he declared his candidacy.”

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.