Even the left-wing sites are starting to pile on to the Clinton e-mail scandal

Remember: Politico is not a right-wing news site:

Clinton aides pushed to view top-secret material on handhelds, emails show

Newly released emails show top-level security officials at State expressing apparent concern about the requests.

By Josh Gerstein | 09/02/15, 01:59 PM EDT

Qvid? Me anxiovs svm?

Hillary Clinton’s aides appear to have pushed for handheld devices capable of handling classified material soon after Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state — a request that was discussed by senior security personnel at the agency, according to newly-disclosed emails.

Some of those top-level security officials also appeared to have concerns about requests from Clinton’s aides that they be permitted to view “SECRET” and “TOP SECRET” material on personal electronic devices, the heavily-redacted emails indicate.

Since a furor erupted in March over Clinton’s decision to use a personal email account and server as her exclusive email during her four years as America’s top diplomat, the State Department has steadfastly refused to say who at the agency–if anyone–approved her use of the private arrangement.

The newly-disclosed emails shed some light on that mystery by indicating that the State Department’s senior leadership on security issues had at least some knowledge of devices Clinton and her senior aides used. However, the messages don’t definitively show that anyone at State formally approved Clinton’s account or made an assessment of potential security risks posed by her using the family server, housed at the time at the Chappaqua, N.Y. home she shares with President Bill Clinton.

The newly-disclosed documents show that less than two weeks after Clinton assumed her post, several top-level security officials exchanged a series of messages with the subject line: “PDAs for S and S Staff.” “S” is a State Department abbreviation for the secretary and his or her office.

Much of the text of the emails was deleted from copies the State Department released recently in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. However, the messages show that a request for portable devices that could handle classified information seemed to cause some consternation among the security personnel.

There’s more at the original, noting that State Department security officials, including then-Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell — who later (sort of) resigned after the Benghazi massacre — was concerned about this, but there’s no noted attempts to suggest to the Secretary of State that this was a bad idea, one against regulations and probably against the law.

Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but Mrs Clinton seems to be resembling a piece of toast, which has fallen on the floor, buttered side down.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and hypocrisy on the left

Kim Davis, the County Clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, has been in the news ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v Hodges, requiring all states to recognize and license homosexual “marriages.” Mrs Davis lost her final appeal, when the Supreme Court declined to take her appeal of a ruling that she must issue marriage licenses, something she ceased doing following the same-sex “marriage” ruling.

The Lexington Herald-Leader editorialized last Thursday:

Rowan clerk faces big decision on job

After her latest legal setback, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has some decisions to make.

If she continues to defy the law and a court order, U.S. District Judge David Bunning has no choice but to find her in contempt and order her fined, imprisoned or both.

If her conscience really won’t let her issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, she should resign the $80,000 a year post that has long supported her family.

Davis, a Democrat, was elected last November to succeed her mother after working for her mother in the clerk’s office for 27 years. Davis now employs her son in the office.

It’s astounding that in almost three decades on the public payroll, Davis never sorted out the roles of government and religion under the U.S. Constitution that she swore to uphold. And it’s worth noting that 117 of Kentucky’s 120 county clerks are still issuing marriage licenses.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to delay Bunning’s order that Davis resume issuing marriage licences by Monday. The panel said Davis has “little or no likelihood” of winning her appeal.

And it’s true enough that Mrs Davis had little likelihood of winning her appeal; she lost it. But the editors continued:

Nothing reveals the absurdity of her position more clearly than her lawyer’s response to the latest ruling against her. Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver continues to insist that elected public officials have a constitutional right to pick and choose which of their government duties they will perform based on their religious beliefs — in other words, that public officials can use religion to discriminate against certain citizens.

Nothing could be more un-American. What he is advocating would destroy the rule of law, a foundation of our republic. And imagine the chaos, given the wide range of religious beliefs.

So, there we have it: on August 27th, the editors said that government officials cannot and should not pick and choose what laws they will obey.

And so we come to yesterday’s editorial, in which they wrote:

Thursday, the same-sex marriage circus will continue as Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her deputies appear before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, accompanied by an entourage of lawyers, reporters and photographers, supporters and opponents of both sides, cell-phone videos running as they wave signs and shout encouragement and derision.

We will not question Davis’ sincerity, although we disagree with her interpretation of just what authority she was elected to enforce.

But there can’t be any question that political operatives have been eager to bend this issue to their objectives, godly or not.

Some of Davis’ supporters held signs Tuesday declaring that if Gov. Steve Beshear doesn’t intervene on Davis’ behalf, they will withhold votes from his son, Andy, who is running for attorney general. The younger Beshear’s opponent, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, appeared at a Frankfort rally supporting Davis.

So did Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin who railed against his opponent, current Attorney General Jack Conway, for saving taxpayers both money and humilitation by declining to appeal a U.S. District Court ruling against Kentucky’s anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.

That amendment itself, passed in 2004, was clearly a wedge issue used to mobilize conservative voters for Republican candidates that year.

In other words, the editors of what my best friend Ken calls the Herald-Liberal approved Kentucky state Attorney General Jack Conway declining to do his duty, which included defending the Commonwealth’s state constitution in federal court, because he supported same-sex “marriage.” It seems as though the editors are less concerned with officials doing their duty than which duties they are supposed to perform.

I chose the Herald-Leader‘s comments because it is the closest major news source to Morehead, Kentucky, where the County Clerk’s office is located,1 but the editors are hardly the only examples of this hypocrisy on the left. The good people at the Delaware Liberal want to use physical force to remove Kim Davis from her position, yet the same website, and same writer, supports President Obama’s choosing which laws he wants to enforce concerning immigration.

Well, let’s go out west, where the San Francisco Chronicle editorialized that “when Davis is serving in an official government capacity, she needs to follow the law, even when she disagrees with it,” and that the state legislature should impeach her if she continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses. But, just a few weeks ago, the very same editors held, after the murder of Kathryn Steinle by an illegal immigrant whom ICE wanted deported but whom the sheriff simply released, that some “sensible steps (should be taken) to help ensure that San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies do not inadvertently become shields for criminals who should be deported,” never saying that the City by the Bay should obey federal law, period, and end its “sanctuary city” policies.

Let’s face it: if it weren’t for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

As for The First Street Journal, we very regrettably agree that Mrs Davis must either find a way to square issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples with her conscience,2 or resign. It’s unlikely that she will find another $80,000 a year job in Morehead; the median family income in Rowan County was $33,081 according to the 2010 census, and she may have to choose between feeding her family today or obeying her conscience, and that’s a tough choice. We applaud her courage and her toughness, but she cannot choose to both be a functionary of the government and refuse to perform a duty that the government specifies she do.

  1. Between the seventh and eleventh grades, I delivered the Lexington Herald morning newspaper, and Lexington Leader afternoon newspaper in Mt Sterling, Kentucky. In 1983, the two papers merged to form the Herald-Leader. The Herald-Leader has a great sports section as far as University of Kentucky basketball is concerned, but, other than that, it’s a fairly mediocre middle market sized newspaper.
  2. The Editor agrees with Mrs Davis’ position; it does not matter what other people might like or say, the relationship between two men or two women is not a marriage, no matter what the law or a piece of paper may say.

Your children belong to Teh State

From The Wall Street Journal:

Children Don’t Have Constitutional Right to Switch Schools, Appeals Court Rules

Parents aren’t guaranteed public-school choice in Arkansas case

By Jacob Gershman | August 31, 2015 6:29 p.m. ET

Public-school parents don’t have a constitutional right to decide where to send their children to school, an appeals court ruled.

The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected claims by a group of Arkansas parents that they had a right to transfer their kids out of a struggling school district in northeast Arkansas to neighboring districts where they thought the children could be better educated.

School officials rejected the transfer applications because they said the children’s assigned district, which is predominantly African-American, is still subject to a desegregation order from more than 40 years ago. The parents, who are white, sued for violations of due process and equal protection, claiming they had a constitutional right to move their kids. A lower court last year dismissed the parents’ complaint.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court in St. Louis agreed with the lower court’s decision, saying the Constitution doesn’t guarantee so-called public-school choice.

Courts have said parents can’t be denied the right to choose to enroll their children in private schools. But those rulings don’t apply to parents seeking to move their kids within the public system, the appeals court said. The opinion, written by Judge Lavenski R. Smith, said there was no precedent that supported the position that “a parent’s ability to choose where his or her child is educated within the public school system is a fundamental right or liberty.”

There’s more at the link, but I just love the reasoning that wealthier parents have the right to choose private schools, to provide a better and safer education for their children, but parents who cannot afford private or parochial schools are just plain out of luck.1

Arkansas, like every other state, has a compulsory education law. Parents must send their children to school, unless they can home-school in a state-approved program. If they do not, their children can be taken from them, and the parents jailed.

Yet, when the state cannot provide a safe and adequate school, parents who don’t have the resources to pay for private schools, or the time to home school — in many families, both parents (if there is more than one parent in the home) have to work to support the family — then their children must, under the compulsion of law, attend a school which is not providing a good education or a safe environment.

All that’s left for the parents is to pick up and move out of Blytheville — if they can afford it — making the city even more segregated. Yeah, I’m sure that was the goal of desegregation orders.

  1. The Editor and his wife had to pay parochial school tuition for our daughters for several years. We put our daughters in parochial school due to the utter disaster that Hampton, Virginia, public middle schools were at the time. We were fortunate to be able to afford it.

Good news for Carly Fiorina!

From The Washington Post:

How Carly Fiorina earned a spot on the big stage at the GOP debate

By Karen Tumulty | September 1 at 5:12 PM

The organizers of the next Republican presidential debate have announced changes to debate criteria that mean former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will almost certainly join the rest of the top-tier candidates on the main stage at the Reagan Library on Sept. 16.

Carly Fiorina

“CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August,” the network announced. “Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between August 6 and September 10 will be included.”

The CNN move is being greeted as a positive development, and not only for the most obvious reason, which is that a woman will be in the mix, in contrast to the 10-man tableau that a huge national television audience saw at the first debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

Fiorina also had fairness on her side, say supporters. The original rules would have made the cut according to an average of polls conducted between July 16 and Sept. 10. That arithmetic minimized the significant rise in Fiorina’s numbers since she made was widely reviewed as the single best performance of the evening in Cleveland, despite being relegated to the earlier, non-prime-time “undercard” debate of longshot contenders.

Now, Fiorina’s presence on the main stage–which, under the new formula, may end up including 11 candidates–is likely to make that faceoff a far more interesting debate.

There’s more at the original.

My previous criticism of Mrs Fiorina’s campaign remains valid to me, but I still like her as a candidate, and I’m glad to see that she has moved up to the majors. She will add some real punch to the debate, and she deserves to be there.

Anyone can run for President, but it’s clear to me that way, way, way too many Republicans are in this race; candidates like Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum all wish that they had as much chance as a snowball in Hell, and they need to drop out now.

Rules and Regulations Dictating The Conduct of Debt Collectors

It can be a challenge for a person who is falling behind on their bills to catch up. In addition to the frustration that comes with having accumulated debt, there is also the frustration that comes from constant phone calls from a collection agency. Collection agencies have a little bit of latitude when it comes to how they will collect their debts. However, the law strictly limits the way they conduct themselves. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a collection of federal laws that control how collectors can act. It protects customers from being lied to, harassed, or tricked by creditors. In addition to federal law, many states have created their own laws to provide further protection.

The following are examples of conduct that collectors cannot engage in. They cannot call to collect money before eight in the morning or nine at night, unless the debtor gives the collector explicit permission to call during these hours. They cannot make repeated, harassing phone calls. It is also prohibited for creditors to call and let the phone ring for an extended period of time in order to harass or annoy a debtor.

A debt collector cannot contact a debtor at work if that person makes it clear that their employer will not allow them to receive such phone calls. Debt collectors cannot make fake threats. They can’t say that they are going to take legal action against the debtor if this is not something that they are actually considering doing.

Debt collectors cannot lie about who they are. They cannot say that they are an attorney or law enforcement, and they cannot use stationary that gives the impression that the documents they are sending are coming from a court or from a government agency.

They cannot threaten to have a debtor arrested if they don’t pay the debt, and they cannot shame the debtor by putting their name on a blacklist or giving their information to a third party. It is also not permissible for them to use obscene language when on the phone.

It is a good idea for anyone who is currently being harassed by a debt collector to browse information that details their rights as a debtor. It is also a good idea to speak to an attorney like Martin & Bontrager for example who has experience dealing with debt collectors. Attorneys like these can be an invaluable resource and can provide much-needed protection.

The hypocrisy is amazing!

From The Pirate’s Cove:

Obama Claims It’s Almost To Late Do Something About Hotcoldwetdry

By William Teach | September 1, 2015 – 8:26 am

So, in order to fix this, he took a long, long fossil fueled flight to Alaska, accompanied by a backup jumbo jet and military fighter jets, followed by multiple huge caravans of fossil fueled vehicles

(USA Today) President Obama made an ever-more-urgent plea for nations to take action to address climate change Monday, repeatedly telling representatives of Arctic nations meeting in Alaska that “we’re not moving fast enough” to address the challenge.

Kicking off a three-day Alaska trip meant to focus attention on how the Arctic climate affects the rest of the world, Obama used near apocalyptic imagery to drive home his call to action. The result of inaction will be catastrophic in economic and security terms, he said, as more drought, wildfires, floods, leads to more refugees, more conflict and scarce resources.

In Alaska, he said, raging wildfires are helping to thaw the permafrost, releasing carbon dioxide trapped underneath into the atmosphere — “a negative feedback loop, a cycle, warming leading to more warming, that we don’t want to be a part of,” Obama said.

There’s little point in attempting to rebut this, as hysterics caught up in cult-like talking points will never ever listen and see the reality. Nor will they modify their own behavior to match their talking points.

As he has done over the past week, Obama also escalated his criticism of “people who are denying the science of climate change.”

“The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers of climate change is past,” he said. “The time to plead ignorance is surly past. Those who want to ignore the science are increasingly alone. They’re on their own shrinking island.”

There’s a bit more at the link.

The money line:

Nor will they modify their own behavior to match their talking points.

And that’s why so many people do not and cannot take the warmists seriously; they do not behave as though they believed their own words.

When the President travels, there will always be a huge entourage. That’s necessary, because of the security required and the requirement that he always have command authority over our nuclear deterrent. But we have only one President, and we ought to expect to see the warmists below that pay grade acting like they believe their own words.

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington DC.

It’s the 21st century; we have all sorts of communications tools ready for meetings. It’s not like videoconferencing is unknown. Yet the Federal Reserve took everybody out to Jackson Hole for a retreat, and has called in all sorts of economic “experts” to help with decision taking concerning the FOMC’s September meeting, as though the Fed’s own headquarters building on Connecticut Avenue wouldn’t have served. Experts who lived in New York could have taken Amtrak to DC is necessary, and then the Metro to a couple of blocks away, if videoconferencing wasn’t good enough, but did the President ask or require the Fed to cut their travel — to say nothing of their spending — so as not to spew more CO2 into the atmosphere?

Let’s face it: changing your behavior to address climate change is for the Little People, not for Our Betters.

Slowly cooking Hillary’s goose

The much better looking Dana wrote today, on Patterico’s Pontifications:

Remember When Hillary Clinton Said, “I’m confident that this process will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified”??

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:23 pm

Well, so much for her confidence because this is the scandal that just keeps on giving:

The State Department has deemed roughly 150 more of Hillary Clinton’s email messages to be classified, a move certain to fuel the roiling controversy over her use of a private email server instead of an official government account when she served as secretary of state.The new classifications will more than triple the previous total of 63 classified messages on Clinton’s account, but State Department spokesman Mark Toner stressed that the information was not marked classified at the time it was sent several years ago. He also said the decisions to classify the information did not represent a determination that it should have been marked or handled that way back then.

“That certainly does not speak to whether it was classified at the time it was sent, or forwarded, or received,” Toner said during the daily State Department briefing on Monday. “We stand by our contention that the information we’ve upgraded was not marked classified at the time it was sent.”

And more defense:

Toner batted away questions about whether State Department policy dictated that Clinton and other agency employees treat as classified information obtained in confidence from foreign officials or diplomats. “Classification — we’ve said this many times — is not an exact science. It’s not, often, a black-and-white process,” Toner said. “There’s many strong opinions. … It’s not up to me to litigate these kinds of questions from the State Department podium.”

All of this comes in advance of the State Department’s pending release of 7,000 “additional pages” of her emails.

Also, not only did Clinton use a private server for official State Dept. business, a new report asserts that she also shared an email network with the Clinton Foundation:

There’s more at the original.

To me, the big story is that this was covered on the CBS Evening News today. All of a sudden — sudden, as in: now Mrs Clinton has actual challengers for the Democratic presidential nomination — the professional media other than Fox are covering this story. As long as this was just a story on Fox and Rush Limbaugh and conservative blogs, why it could be dismissed, ignored, and simply not brought up. Now, The New York Times is taking note, and even publishing a major story on it:

Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders

By Patrick Healy, Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman | August 27, 2015

Democratic leaders are increasingly frustrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices and ease growing doubts among voters about her honesty and trustworthiness.

On top of that, many say, her repeated jokes and dismissive remarks on the email controversy suggest that she is not treating it seriously enough.

Interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members have laid bare a widespread bewilderment that Mrs. Clinton has allowed a cloud to settle over her candidacy — by using a private email server in the first place, since it was likely to raise questions about her judgment, and by not defusing those questions once and for all when the issue first emerged in March.

With Americans registering their mistrust of Mrs. Clinton in opinion polls, anxious supporters are starting to speak bluntly of fears that she has inadvertently opened the door to a possible challenge for the party’s nomination from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and handed Republicans new ammunition for attacks on her character should she become the nominee.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Click to enlarge, if you don’t care about damaging your computer screen.

More at the original.  Along with the original is a Times listing of related stories:

With the two Times stories noted above, that’s seven stories, in the very liberal, you’d-expect-them-to-be-in-the-tank-for-Hillary New York Times. And if she wins the nomination, I would be flabbergasted if the Times didn’t endorse her; the Republican Party could nominate Jesus Christ, and the Times would still endorse the Democrat!

But, for now, not only are the reporters investigating Mrs Clinton, but the editors are choosing to publish those not-very-helpful stories about Her Inevitableness. Some might say that the Times is just practicing good journalism, but I am not so charitable; when the editors of the Times publish stories about a candidate which could cost the candidate votes, they are doing so deliberately. There is a lot of news that the editors don’t find fit to print, and stories critical of Hillary Clinton have been unfit . . . until recently. I am starting to have real hope that Hillary Clinton will never, ever be President of the United States.

I have a bad habit . . .

. . . of picking losing candidates. In the 2012 election campaign, I backed Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) early on, but he stumbled badly in the early debates, and withdrew in January. This year, I gave my early endorsement to Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), and even bought a Scott Walker t-shirt, but a mediocre performance in the first debate has hurt him.1 From Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion:

Scott Walker has fallen, hoping he gets back up

The only Republican candidate to have delivered institutional-level body blows to the left.

Posted by William A. Jacobson | Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 7:00pm

In an electorate demanding a dismantling of the status quo, Scott Walker should be a natural favorite.

Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) on the campaigntrail.

There is no candidate in the Republican field who has delivered the institutional-level blow to the left-wing that Walker did by passing collective bargaining reform in Wisconsin.

It wasn’t an easy fight, and it would have been easy just to compromise to get the howling crowds to go away. It was what I called Wisconsin’s long, strange trip:

Police insurrections.  Palace guardsCatch a Senator contests.  Doctors behaving badly.  Massive national solidarity protests which weren’tIdentity theft as political theater.  Shark jumping.  Legislators who run away to other states.  Bus bang bangs.  Protesters locking their heads to metal railings and pretending to walk like EgyptiansBeer attacksCanoe flotillas.  (alleged) Judicial chokeholds.  Tears falling on Che Guevara t-shirts at midnight.  Endless recalls.  And recounts.  Communications Directors making threats.   Judges who think they are legislators (well, I’ll grant you that one is common).  V-K DayHole-y warriors.  Cities named Speculation and Conjecture.

But in a quiet way, he just kept on keeping on. And the result, including surviving a recall election, dealt a body-blow to Democrats unlike anything any other Republican presidential candidate can claim.

Walker also had other, though less obvious, conservative reforms.

And he did all this as the conservative movement in Wisconsin was under full-blown assault by the John Doe prosecutors, seeking to isolate Walker and bring him up on charges. After several years of investigation and ruined lives, they never got nothing on Walker.

There’s more at Professor Jacobson’s original.

I look for candidates who have actually done something in office, who have a strong record of actual accomplishment, and that’s something Messrs Perry and Walker both had. Governor Perry hadn’t actually won the gubernatorial seat, but was the Lieutenant Governor when Governor George W Bush resigned after winning the 2000 Presidential election. Mr Perry subsequently won three gubernatorial elections on his own, but he had the advantage of incumbency.

Mr Walker didn’t have that advantage: he won the gubernatorial election on his own in 2010, faced a recall election and won that, and then won re-election in 2014, all in a blue state. As Governor, he compiled a strong record of getting things done, and of doing what he said he would do. But, though he didn’t stumble in the debate, as Governor Perry did, he didn’t distinguish himself, either, and his support in the polls has fallen off.

Life is not fair, and neither are election cycles. It may be that people are looking for something Walker is not capable of selling. That would be unfortunate, but no one said politics is fair.

I have little doubt that as President, Walker would deliver more of the body blows that so endeared him to us. It won’t be fluff, and it won’t be showmanship.

It may be that my idea of a good Presidential candidate isn’t the right one; I look for a record of accomplishment, which Mr Walker has. But the debate format is a terrible one: we are judging a potential President based on how well he can give snap answers to unforeseen questions, without any notes or any assistance. A President, on the other hand, normally has weeks or months to take a decision, and has all of the information he wants available, with whatever advisers he believes he needs there to assist him; that is the exact opposite of what the debates supposedly measure.2

It’s early, and perhaps Governor Walker can make a recovery, but in this game you don’t get many second chances.

  1. Given my poor record on this, perhaps Carly Fiorina won’t appreciate the fact that I said I liked her as a candidate.
  2. Even in the famous “thirteen days” of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy did not take his decision to impose a naval blockade of Cuba until the sixth day.

Money talks

From The Wall Street Journal:

Iran Deal Could Open Door to Gulf Businesses

While executives see opportunities, governments remain at loggerheads on other issues

By Rory Jones and Nicolas Parasie | August 31, 2015 5:30 a.m. ET

DUBAI–In the 10 years since RAK Ceramics opened a $40 million tile manufacturing plant in Iran, the United Arab Emirates-based firm has racked up millions of dollars in losses in the Persian country, fired hundreds of employees and all but stopped its kilns from burning.

But then Iran struck a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other foreign powers this summer. Now with sanctions expected to ease, RAK Ceramics is looking to boost output of the kitchen and bathroom tiles it sells in Iran and the wider region. Executives for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tiles and sanitary ware by capacity are now betting the long wait on Iran is about to pay off.

“We were a patient investor,” says Abdallah Massaad, RAK Ceramics’ chief executive.

RAK Ceramics is one of a handful of Arab-owned firms positioning their businesses to profit from a post-sanctions neighbor, even as frosty political ties between Iran and most of the Gulf Cooperation Council–Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the U.A.E., Oman, Qatar and Kuwait–show few signs of thawing.

The week after the U.A.E. joined Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes in April against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, U.A.E.-owned Etihad Airways launched a daily commercial service to Iran’s capital Tehran. Dubai-owned FlyDubai has launched seven new routes to Iran this year after a bilateral aviation agreement was signed in January between the U.A.E. and Iranian governments.

Click to enlarge

There’s more at the original. But this tells you why the Congress won’t block President Obama’s nuclear arms deal with Iran: too many people see too much money to be made by normalizing trade relations. And even if someone sensible like Scott Walker or Carly Fiorina or Ted Cruz is elected to be our next President, American sanctions won’t be re-imposed, because American businesses will be making money off the deal.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts that with the removal of sanctions Iran’s annual import needs could soar to $200 billion from $80 billion in 2014. The U.A.E. is among those countries best positioned to benefit from the trade flows, analysts at the bank said in a note to clients.

The article doesn’t mention much in the way of American businesses making money on this, but you can count on it: European businesses will, and the Europeans have American business interests as well. And if the Europeans don’t continue with the sanctions, then there’s little use in the United States doing so; that wouldn’t stop Iran from making money, or obtaining anything it wanted in trade, but it would hurt American business interests.

President Obama has gotten his way on this one: he structured the deal in such a fashion that both Houses of Congress would have to override his veto of any law disapproving the deal, something which would require 2/3 supermajorities in both Houses, and in a way which makes the reimposition of sanctions by a subsequent President cost American businesses money.

Completely missing the point

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Worldview: A shocking silence on ISIS’s sex slavery

Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Opinion Columnist | Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2015, 1:08 AM |

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker, was captured in Syria in 2013 and reportedly subjected to months of rape before her death. The lack of outrage is troubling. JO. L. KEENER / Daily Courier

One of the most heinous of the endless war crimes of the Islamic State has been the systematic rape of thousands of young girls and women – who are sold as sex slaves.Most of the victims come from the Yazidi religious minority, labeled nonbelievers by ISIS. They were captured when ISIS invaded northern Iraq last year and wiped out their communities.

But one of the sex slaves was a fresh-faced blond American, a 25-year-old aid worker who was captured in Syria in August 2013. Kayla Mueller was chained in a room and raped for months by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before being killed in February (supposedly by a Jordanian air strike, but the true cause is uncertain).

What astonishes me is the paucity of global outrage at the buying and selling of sex slaves – not to mention U.S. outrage at the enslavement of Mueller. American women organized to protest the Taliban’s repression of women but not ISIS atrocities that make the Taliban’s war crimes look mild in comparison. How can this be?

You can read the rest here.

An obvious question: would Mrs Rubin have ever written this article if there hadn’t been “a fresh-faced blond American” among the victims of Da’esh’s1 sex slavery?2

But, to answer Mrs Rubin’s question, “How can this be?” that Americans and other Westerners are not protesting this, the Taliban were an insular group, imposing their brand of Islam in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, but they were not seen as a particular threat to the United States or the rest of the civilized world. Da’ish, on the other hand, are trying not only to seize Syria and Iraq, but are exporting, as best they can, their own form of violence to the Western world, and much of the West is just plain too cowardly to say anything about it. Je suis Charlie didn’t last long.

And, of course, there is another reason. The Taliban took power in Afghanistan in September of 1996, before the September 11th attacks, and while Bill Clinton was President. For the American left, criticizing the Taliban would not have been somehow aligning themselves with George W Bush.

While there was a huge initial surge of support for President Bush following the World Trade Center attacks, it didn’t last long, and the Republicans’ perceived hostility to Muslims3 was anathema to the oh-so-inclusive politically correct left; to say anything which could be perceived as hostile toward Muslims could be interpreted as supporting conservatism and the Republican Party, and they couldn’t have that. And Mrs Rubin was careful enough in her article to not write anything which could be seen as insulting to Muslims in general.

It isn’t only sex slavery. There was an international outcry over the Taliban’s decision to destroy the 1700 year old Buddhas in the Bamiyam Valley, but that disgust was muted when Da’ish destroyed 2000 year old monuments in Iraq.

One would think that the very supportive of homosexuals Democratic Party would be outraged by Da’ish’s habit of executing homosexuals by throwing them off of multi-story buildings, but, again, that would be criticizing Muslims, so it’s Just Not Done.

Mrs Rubin recognizes that President Obama’s policies haven’t helped:

President Obama’s policies for fighting ISIS are so inept and contradictory they have helped the group’s so-called caliphate to sink ever-deeper territorial roots. The White House still doesn’t seem to recognize the long-term security threat the group poses to the U.S. homeland, as ISIS inspires ever more disgruntled youths to adopt its fanatic values.

But, after writing that, and saying that “there are things to be done” to combat Da’ish’s so-very-illiberal treatment of women, she suggests nothing. So let me be clear here: the ideology of Da’ish isn’t something somehow separate from the leadership and the soldiers, but something that each of them carry in their heads and hearts. The way to defeat Da’ish is to wage real war against them, to seek them out and kill them, to kill so many of them that the few survivors will be so mentally beaten that there will be no will to revive the movement. President Obama is loath to put any American soldiers on the ground to combat Da’ish, and in that, he probably reflects the will of the majority of Americans. That being the case, the only alternative is a massive, massive bombing campaign which will simply destroy everything in the Da’ish controlled areas, combatants and non-combatants alike.

That was how the last war we won was done. The firebombings of Tokyo and Yokohama and Dresden didn’t somehow discriminate against enemy soldiers, and leave the civilians alone; in going after munitions factories and railroad terminals in the Third Reich, we also destroyed the homes and schools and churches around them, we killed not just the factory workers,4 but their wives and children as well. It wasn’t just the Nazis who were killed, but men and women and children who had nothing to do with National Socialist ideology were slain as well.

Even a massive, indiscriminate bombing campaign might not be enough; we destroyed almost all of Germany’s and Japan’s infrastructure, and killed hundreds of thousands of their civilians, but it still took the advance of the American, British, Canadian and Soviet armies to finally conquer Germany, and it was only the two atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which gave the Emperor Hirohito the leverage to force the military government to surrender.

Da’ish will not be defeated by precision drone attacks and indignant articles in the Western press; we have been trying that, and Da’ish still seems to be winning, not falling back. Da’ish will only be defeated with bullets and burning and bombs; Trudy Rubin needs to recognize that.

  1. Your Editor is not particularly fond of the initials ISIS, and the reduction to just IS, for Islamic State, seems even worse. Da’ish is an acronym for the Arabic al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham, and, according to the BBC, the group “objects to the term and has advised against its usage.” Therefore, I shall use it! The Editor shall not edit comments using other commonly-used terms, but the use of Da’ish is now the accepted form in The First Street Journal’s stylebook.
  2. I remember the Inquirer’s coverage of the 2009 murder of cute white girl Rian Thal, when so many killings of black Philadelphians by other black Philadelphians barely get a paragraph. Even now, when the Inquirer’s website, philly.com, deletes many older articles, a site search for “Rian Thal” returns 24 articles.
  3. President Bush went out of his way to insist that the “Global war on Terror” was not a war against Muslims.
  4. Despite manpower shortages in Germany, the Nazis never made the change to women working in the factories to free men up for the Wehrmacht.