Sunday, September 30, 2018
BY: United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for his secret meetings with the Iranian regime about the nuclear deal.
The Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement in May, saying it was fundamentally flawed and slapping sanctions back on the Iranian regime. This undid one of the Obama administration's signature achievements, and Kerry has responded by engaging in rogue diplomacy with the Iranians to salvage the deal.
"What Secretary Kerry did was not only disrespectful, it was hurtful to America," Haley told Fox News. "When we are sitting there trying to get Iran to come to the table in a way that they understand that the ballistic missile testing has to stop, the support of terrorism has to stop, they have to quit selling arms to the Houthis–to have another American go in and say, ‘Don’t worry about it,' that absolutely is anti-American."
Kerry said he met Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in Norway, Munich, and other international forums.
At stake is the cash flow the Iranians have benefitted from thanks to the deal. Leaders of European nations in the deal have stayed in, but U.S. sanctions are pushing against the Iranians’ interests, and Haley said Kerry was anti-American for trying to convince the Iranians that the U.S. will eventually back down.
Haley said Kerry's actions were "hurtful to the American people" and added that if "Secretary Kerry was secretary of state, he would not want anyone doing that."
She slammed European leaders for their attempts to save the deal by getting money to Iran, but she argued it wouldn’t work because businesses are avoiding Iran because of its corruption.
"The European Union has this so wrong, and it’s all because of their ego and their pride," Haley said.
European companies don't want to do business with Iran because they "get who they’re dealing with," Haley said.
Asked about former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger’s activities overseas, Haley said he operates with openness toward the administration and support for America.
"[Kissinger] never goes out of the country without telling our administration. When he comes back, he tells our administration. He works with us and tells us what he’s doing all the time," she said, noting they didn’t know about Kerry’s meetings with the Iranians.
"Dr. Kissinger, you never have to worry that he’s not on America’s side," she added.
I have been reading Ms. McArdle's work for over a decade and a half because she is always struck me as intelligent, serious, and in good faith. Her premises here, however, are fundamentally flawed.https://pjmedia.com/blog/liveblogevent/live-blog-87/entry-241560/
It is tempting to watch the political spectacle of Democrats destroying Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as if it were only some shameful partisan circus.
Something brutally Roman with a howling mob, blood on the sand; or something medieval, like trial by ordeal, with a mace and an axe and the might of brutes as the elements of God’s will.
Or, better yet, a drama as Spanish as the Inquisition itself.
Because what we’re seeing in the Kavanaugh circus isn’t American, where until very recently — like a few months ago — the accused was given the presumption of innocence.All that has changed. Now the accused is forced to prove his innocence before accusers who must be believed, accusers who aren’t expected to bring witnesses, accusers who must not under any circumstance be subject to rigorous cross-examination, before judges who have already made up their minds.
What we’re witnessing is the symptom of an illness now deep within the very bones of our republic.
It threatens Republicans now, and Democrats tomorrow. It will threaten even those who don’t give two figs for politics and see all such talk as lies told by knaves to fools.
What we are seeing are founding American principles being swept — among them the presumption of innocence and the rights of the accused — to feed the appetites of power politics
That’s what Kavanaugh is dealing with, having to testify and defend himself against uncorroborated allegations of sexual predation 36 years ago, when he was in high school and in his freshman year of college.
The short-term politics of all this is quite clear, a movement led by cynics and assisted by their handmaidens in the Democratic Media Complex.
It is designed to convince suburban women voters that Republicans are hateful creatures, help Democrats pick up congressional seats in the November midterm elections and do away with President Donald Trump.
But look deeper and you’ll see something else.
The sweeping away of traditions that have been carefully nurtured from the founding of this nation, to protect individual liberty and shield us from the passions of the mob.
Without these principles, we are no longer a republic.
To prove the point, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono insisted the other day that Kavanaugh’s accusers not only “need to be heard, they need to be believed.”
But asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if Kavanaugh should have the same presumption of innocence as other Americans, here is what Sen. Hirono, a lawyer, said: “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.”
In other words, Kavanaugh’s legal decisions on unrelated matters make him guilty of sexual predation, and therefore, he is disqualified.
That is the reasoning of magistrates in the trials of Salem, that is the logic of Torquemada’s Spain, not the principles of the United States of America.
Sen. Hirono says she supports women. But I wonder about American women who are the mothers of boys, women who are the wives of husbands, women who have brothers. Doesn’t what’s happening to Kavanaugh concern them?
A few days ago, there was that story in The New Yorker, that while a freshman at Yale, Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party to a female student, Deborah Ramirez, who couldn’t remember seeing him do it.
The story offered no corroborating eyewitnesses, only hearsay. And still it was published, providing cover for political operatives to peel Kavanaugh’s skin.
Even the New York Times, the great gray liberal battleship in America’s cultural/political wars, wouldn’t touch it. The newspaper explained:
“The New York Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week to corroborate Ms. Ramirez’s story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the episode and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.”
No firsthand knowledge? And even the alleged victim was unsure it was Kavanaugh? Then why run it?
But it was published in The New Yorker. And it was defended by the same journalistic class that wonders, publicly, why Americans hold journalism in such low esteem.
This is what happens when tradition and principle is swept away and are subjugated to politics.
As if to mitigate its sin for avoiding the Yale story, The New York Times offers an account of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook, and the lusty commentary from high school boys who drink beer.
Those of us who were once high school boys may dimly recall that lust was on our minds, oh, every 30 seconds or so, in those rare moments when physics or baseball didn’t intrude upon the urgent requirements of biology.
Now, I don’t know what happened 36 years ago between Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. And I don’t know what happened at Yale in that drunken dorm room party. I refuse to condemn the women making the accusations.
Witnesses might help us understand, but as I write this, they don’t exist.
And as Sen. Hirono and her Democratic colleagues insist, witnesses are irrelevant.
And this is damning.
Somewhere in America, there must be Democrats who read John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” when they were children, Democrats who must be sickened by what is happening and would speak out.
But they must be afraid, lest they, too, are denounced and devoured.
Theirs is a silence breaking the bones of America.
We reap what we sow.
Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at www.wgnradio.com/category/wgn-plus/thechicagoway.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
President Donald Trump says Democrats are playing a "con game" against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Sept. 25) AP
Hugo Drax to James Bond in “Moonraker”: “You appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.” So do complaints about “whataboutism.”
Drax was frustrated upon yet again encountering Bond after a series of futile attempts to dispatch the British secret agent. Drax could have been speaking of the increasingly tiresome attempts to use “whataboutism” to cut off political debate.
Here’s how “whataboutism” works: A critic of presidential lying says Trump has told lies about Obamacare’s failures. A second person explores the Trump critic’s principles by asking, “What about Barack Obama’s repeated falsehood, ‘You can keep your insurance and your doctor?’ If that didn’t upset you, how can you demand I be upset about Trump?”
The critic says, “That’s ‘whataboutism.’ We’re talking about Trump, not Obama, because he’s not president.” That means the critic had nothing, and has nothing, to say about Obama’s multiple promises he knew weren’t true. Nevertheless, “whataboutism” is invoked to evade that side of discussion and to indict the other participant.
The Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination and its allegations of sexual assault 35 years ago have propelled “whataboutism” into stratospheric use. As social media has become an ever-larger part of life, arguments in that forum are rampant.
What follows is a social media post of mine responding to the “whataboutism” silencing technique and why it’s a bad, and even dangerous, idea to surrender the field to people who plant their flag in that unloved season.
“I've done a foolish thing on Facebook far too late into the evening, foolish because it has gone on so long. I've been challenging people to explain why they are certain - on the basis of an allegation of a teen-age act - that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of having committed sexual assault. However, these same people will provide no opinion on:
“* The domestic violence charge by his former live-in girlfriend against Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee
“* Sen. Cory Booker's column, written years ago, that he as a teen-ager wouldn't take no for an answer as he groped, and finally reached his "mark." on a drunken 15-year-old girl, which leaves questions how many other of his victims are out there.
“I've also included questions about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who left a young woman to drown in his submerged car, waiting nine hours to report the accident (after meeting with his advisers) but who served until 2009 idealized as the "Lion of the Senate`; and, of course, how can you talk about politicians and sexual assault without referencing former President Bill Clinton?
“The social media warriors say the subject can't be broached in terms they don't like, citing ‘whataboutism.’
“Their general response is either to call me names or claim that the issue is Kavanaugh, not Ellison or Booker, which means they don't have (or want) to talk about Ellison, Booker, or anyone else.
“I contend the issue is principle: if they are adamant about Kavanaugh it would seem they would be equally or more adamant about Ellison and Booker. One's more recent with a greater ability to prove, the other is admitted. Instead, these folks want to be careful to not criticize Ellison and Booker; they’re in many cases reluctant to even write their names.
“Here's something to which I will never bend the knee: it's the contention that in the court of public opinion an issue like this can only be discussed within the narrow confines demanded by Kavanaugh opponents to avoid revealing their principles, or lack of them.
“That tactic of ‘you can't talk about that’ is a way to try to silence anything that doesn't fit the narrative that one side demands is all that can be discussed. The subject must be pursued in their way, on their terms, with a corresponding ability for them to cry ‘whataboutism’ to avoid any question or challenge.
Glenn Reynolds: Brett Kavanaugh-Christine Blasey Ford saga: Believe the facts, not necessarily the women
“As a political tactic it's understandable; however, as a matter of public debate it must be opposed.
“What they're saying, in effect, is, ‘I have no position on those political leaders because I like them, but I have all kinds of negative positions on these other guys because I don't like them. And you can't comment apart from what I allow to be said or you're engaging in ‘whataboutism.’
“This goes as much for Republicans as it does Democrats. It's just that right now Democrats are dominating the side of the aisle that says, ‘You can't say that.’”
“Yes, we can.”
George Korda is political analyst for WATE-TV, appearing Sundays on “Tennessee This Week.” He hosts “State Your Case” from noon – 2 p.m. Sundays on WOKI-FM Newstalk 98.7. Korda is a frequent speaker and writer on political and news media subjects. He is president of Korda Communications, a public relations and communications consulting firm.