The Anti-Defamation League reverses course. “I wanted to give the Obama Administration a chance to demonstrate that they could make real progress on this issue. But rather than leading Iran to make serious concessions, the Islamic Republic has used the perception of its willingness to negotiate with the U.S. and other nations in order to hold on to its right to enrich uranium while getting relief from some sanctions. I was deeply troubled by several of the points in the tentative agreement which were reported in the past few days and may be acted upon in the next round of meetings scheduled for November 20 in Geneva. I am now convinced that this agreement will not only prematurely roll back the sanctions regime, but that it would legitimize Iran as a threshold nuclear state.”
Now is not the time to roll back sanctions. “The threat of more sanctions being enacted by Congress should serve as an effective cudgel to win minimal concessions from the Iranians, assuming they are serious about getting a deal. And delaying the enactment of these additional sanctions costs little — whereas giving Iran access to frozen assets and partially lifting existing sanctions is a gift of inestimable valuable to the Islamic Republic.”
If this administration won’t stand up to the mullahs on nuclear weapons, does anyone think it would insist Iran relent on human rights? “Activists say concerns over human rights abuses in Iran, such as the imprisonment of U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini, appear to be taking a backseat to ongoing negotiations over the country’s nuclear program. Abedini, an American pastor who was sentenced to eight years in prison last year because of his Christian faith, was recently moved to a more dangerous facility outside of Tehran. Experts have also noted an increase in state executions and persecution of religious minorities under the tenure of new President Hassan Rouhani despite his putative reputation as a moderate.”
The United States has turned on a dime, it seems. “Negotiations in Geneva faltered in large part over Iran’s push for language that would give it a formal right to enrichment, according to Western diplomats. But given that Iran already has 19,000 centrifuges, many experts and former administration officials say that such an accommodation will inevitably have to be part of a final agreement. Persuading Israel, Saudi Arabia, and members of Congress to go along with that, analysts say, will require a lobbying campaign far more intense than the one Mr. Kerry is now waging. To succeed, some said, the administration will need to bring in a bigger gun.” Recall it is the administration that insisted there is no right to enrich. Repeatedly.
Could Irish-Americans get the GOP to turn around on immigration reform? “Immigration activists may have found an unusual ally in the daunting bid to convince Republicans that comprehensive immigration reform must happen: the nation’s 40 million Irish-Americans.”
Trying to undo the damage may be impossible. “The administration has run out of political bullets. Unless the Affordable Care Act starts working, and delivering big benefits to more people than are losing their insurance, it can’t do much to improve those sagging poll numbers. . . . [T]he president has also ordered aides to explore administrative fixes for people who are going to be made financially worse off by their cancelled policies. This would probably involve grandfathering all the existing plans. That will create chaos, and may leave the exchanges with a poorer and sicker pool of the folks who couldn’t buy insurance before. It would also mean conceding that the administration made a grave mistake when it drew the regulations for grandfathered plans so narrowly.”
Never underestimate the left’s ability to upend Hillary Clinton’s inevitability scenario. “Will Elizabeth Warren challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016?”