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Ret. Admiral Stavridis: ‘You Can Drive a Truck Through’ Holes in Iran Deal

by Blake Seitz     •     Washington Free Beacon

Retired Admiral James Stavridis rejected key talking points used by the Obama administration to sell the Iran nuclear deal in an interview Wednesday.

Admiral Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander and is now Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe the deal may not catch Iranian nuclear cheating if it occurs.

“I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to roughly resemble Swiss cheese,” Stavridis said. “You can drive a truck through some of the holes. I am very concerned about that.”

Defenders of the deal, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, have insisted the deal’s verification measures are airtight. [Read more...]

The Curious Case of Lois Lerner’s Physically Damaged Hard Drive

by Alexander Hendrie     •     Americans for Tax Reform

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerNew documentation released by the House Oversight Committee this week again raises questions on how Lois Lerner’s hard drive was physically damaged and whether there was some kind of deliberate act to destroy data on it.

The House Oversight Committee report cites an officially transcribed interview with John Minsek, senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) unit. Minsek examined the Lerner hard drive in 2011. In the transcribed interview, he notes Lerner’s hard drive contained “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” The Oversight Committee report states:

“Using the CI unit’s digital forensic facilities, Minsek opened the hard drive and conducted additional tests. Once he opened the hard drive, Minsek noticed “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” [Read more...]

The Scales Continue to Fall From the World’s Eyes


By Shawn Macomber Lawfare Tyranny

Though we’ve obviously been beating the drum for quite awhile in this space, opposition to the International Criminal Court is becoming a less and less marginal position every day in the national and international conversation at large.

A couple weeks we noted the Chicago Tribune‘s stinging rebuke, but even that brutal salvo pales in comparison to the devastating critique offered up by former U.S. ambassador and current Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Jendayi Frazer in the Wall Street Journal.

“Sadly, the early hope of ‘universal jurisdiction’ ending impunity for perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity has given way to cynicism, both in Africa and the West,” she writes. “In Africa it is believed that, in the rush to demonstrate their power, these courts and their defenders have been too willing to brush aside considerations of due process that they defend at home.”

Ah, yes, do as we say, not as we do…


[Read more...]

Oil Export Momentum

Support is growing to repeal a Nixon-era ban that Iran and Russia love.

Wall Street Journal

oil-well-drillingThe Washington news isn’t all bad these days: Republicans and some Democrats are working hard to gather enough votes to repeal the 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. With gasoline prices hitting new lows, now is the right political moment to do something right for the economy and national security.

The ban is a relic from the Nixon era when oil prices spiked and OPEC began. America’s unconventional oil boom has changed everything. U.S. crude production bottomed in 2008 at about seven million barrels per day and is now more than 11 million. The Energy Information Administration estimates that U.S. output could hit 18 million barrels a day by 2040. Crude inventories are at an 80-year high, and imports declined nearly 30% between 2005 and 2013.

The export ban is, paradoxically, one of the biggest threats to this U.S. production boom. The decline in oil prices over the past year has forced U.S. producers to slash investment and cancel projects. The U.S. rig count has dropped 50% since last autumn, and the industry has cut more than 125,000 jobs. Lifting the ban would offer new markets for U.S. oil and mean fewer layoffs. [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton Boards Private Jet After Making Climate Change Address

Washington Free Beacon

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton boarded a private airplane Monday in Iowa after making a policy address about green energy and fighting climate change.

The Daily Mail reports:

The aircraft, a Dassault model Falcon 900B, burns 347 gallons of fuel per hour. And like all Dassault business jets, Hillary’s ride was made in France.

The Trump-esque transportation costs $5,850 per hour to rent, according to the website of Executive Fliteways, the company that owns it.

Clinton’s policy speech was poorly received, and she also upset the left by again not taking a stance on the Keystone XL pipeline, which many liberals claim will hurt the environment.

Mitchell: Nobody Can Explain Why Hillary Clinton Had Private Server

by Andrew Kugle

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell said Monday that nobody she talks to can explain why Hillary Clinton had a private server while secretary of state.

Clinton used a private email account to conduct official State Department business and Clinton stored the emails at a private server at her house.

“I was at a security conference speaking to intelligence officials on all sides and the attorney general will talk about that later,” Mitchell said. “But nobody can give an explanation for why a cabinet secretary would have a private email system other than to thwart inquiries and someone who spent 20 years fighting off many investigations, many of which were unwarranted and led nowhere.” [Read more...]

Majority of Americans Want Congress to Reject Iran Deal

by Alana Goodman     •     Washington Free Beacon

More Americans want Congress to vote down the Iran nuclear deal than to approve it, according to two new polls released this week.

Fifty-two percent of Americans polled by CNN/ORC said Congress should reject the agreement, while 44 percent said it should be approved. A plurality of respondents in a separate survey commissioned by the Israel Project also said legislators should scrap the deal.

The CNN poll found opposition to the deal is higher among Republicans and independents, with a respective 66 percent and 55 percent objecting to it. Sixty-one percent of Democrats said the agreement should be approved.

The results are similar to the TIP survey of registered voters released on Wednesday. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they disapprove of how President Obama has handled the Iran nuclear negotiations. [Read more...]

An End To Impunity For Thee, But Not For Me

bensoudaBy Shawn Macomber  •  Lawfare Tyranny

Via the Irish Times:

The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has refused to appear before the Kenyan High Court, despite being summonsed in a case aimed at revealing a secret list believed to have named those allegedly behind post-election violence in the country in 2007 and 2008.

Fatou Bensouda has written to the Kenyan ambassador to the Netherlands, Rose Muchiri, stating that she is “immune” from summons by the Kenyan judges, who have “no jurisdiction” over her personally, over her office or over the ICC as an international institution.

Of course, this is no surprise to us…

(Photo via ICC Flick’r page.)

Hey, Sen. Schumer: How about answering questions about the Iran deal?

By Post Editorial Board     •     The New York Post

Where’s Chuck?

On Monday, The Post sent Sen. Chuck Schumer 10 key questions to gauge his stand on the nuclear deal with Iran. On Tuesday, a Post reporter asked him in person for his view.

“I’m studying [the issue],” snapped New York’s senior senator.

Studying the issue? Please.

There’s nothing to study: Just nix the deal, Chuck.

We’d asked Schumer — among other things — if he had any input into the agreement, what he thought of its 24-day advance notice for inspections and whether the deal raises new concerns for Israel.

As the Democrats’ presumptive next Senate leader, Schumer’s view is key — because it could influence others in his party in any move by Congress to scuttle the deal. [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s former spokesman turns over 20 boxes of emails

by Rachael Bade     •     Politico

Hillary Rodham ClintonLong-time Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines handed the State Department 20 boxes of work-related emails taken in part from a personal email account, State officials said Wednesday, calling into question the extent to which top aides to the former secretary of state also engaged in controversial email practices.

State Department top document official John Hackett, who heads Freedom of Information Act requests for the agency, told a federal judge in a court hearing Wednesday that Reines was among several officials asked to turn over any any work-related documents in his possession.
Story Continued Below

He handed over 20 boxes last night, according to a separate State lawyer present at the hearing. The hearing involved a lawsuit filed by the Associated Press that charges the agency with failing to respond to FOIA requests. [Read more...]

If Wind Energy Is “Strong” Why Does It Need Subsidies?

American Energy Alliance

Wind Energy Subsidies Green EnergyLast week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its second quarter 2015 U.S. wind energy market report. In a press release, AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan hails the report as indicative of a vibrant wind energy industry: “With a near-record amount of wind capacity under construction, this looks to be a strong year for American wind power.” However, Kiernan quickly changes tone, stating that “…to create longer term stability for the industry the full Senate and the House of Representatives must move quickly to extend the PTC,” or wind Production Tax Credit.

If the wind industry is “strong,” then why does it need subsidies for “stability”? This doublespeak is a favorite tactic of AWEA, who continues to boast about how vibrant the wind industry is while also lobbying for more subsidies that they supposedly need to survive. AWEA and wind advocates can’t have it both ways: if they expect Americans to believe their claims that wind energy is booming, then the industry should give up the PTC and stand on its own two feet. [Read more...]

Three Sentences That Explain the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal

by Andrew Stiles     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton 1Hillary Clinton is awkwardly defending herself again after an intelligence community inspector general determined that she sent classified information over her private email account. Here are three sentences that explain everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask:

1. “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”
— Hillary Clinton (March 10, 2015) in a press conference shortly after her private email account was revealed [Read more...]

Dempsey: Obama Presenting False Choice Between Deal and War

‘I can tell you that we have a range of options’

by Blake Seitz     •     Washington Free Beacon

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testified Wednesday that the United States has “a range of options” if it does not accept the Iran deal, contrary to President Obama’s assertion that the choice is between his deal and war.

Dempsey was pressed on this point by Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I understand that you advise the president on these issues,” Ernst said. “Is that what you have told the president—that we either take this deal or we go to war?”

“No, at no time did that come up in our conversation nor did I make that comment,” Dempsey said. [Read more...]

Vermont Struggles With Renewables

By William Tucker     •     RealClearEnergy

When the Green Mountain power company, Vermont’s largest utility, announced earlier this year it will be buying nuclear power from New Hampshire’s Seabrook reactor, many environmentalists felt betrayed.

“This is exactly why we closed Vermont Yankee, because we didn’t want any nuclear power,” they complained. But consumer demands left Green Mountain with no other choice. Nuclear is the ultimate reliable source of power – reactors operate more than 90 percent of the time – and Green Mountain needs back-up in case other sources stop working or if demand exceeds supply on a hot summer day. Vermont is struggling with its desire to be clean and green. The state closed down Vermont Yankee, which provided 600 megawatts of power, when public opinion against it became overwhelming. The state only consumers 1100 megawatts on the hottest day.

Along with the shuttering of the state’s largest generating station came dreams of windmills, solar collectors, and other “clean and green” options that would soon be taking its place. Like many other states and nations, Vermont has assumed that passing laws mandating renewable energy quotas will solve the problem. The state has set a goal for itself of 55 percent renewables by 2017, 75 percent by 2032 and 90 percent by 2050. The figure now is 17 percent. [Read more...]

IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Conservatives for Audits

Also warned Chamber of Commerce may come under ’high scrutiny‘

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

irs-targets-conservativesA request made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the investigative group Judicial Watch reveals that the Internal Revenue Service used donor lists of tax-exempt organizations to target them for audits.

“The IRS produced the records in a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking documents about selection of individuals for audit-based application information on donor lists submitted by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations,” the group states. In addition, IRS officials warned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” by the IRS.

“These documents that we had to force out of the IRS prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech,” said Tom Fitton, the group’s president. “And the snarky comments about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the obsession with Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPD show that the IRS was targeting critics of the Obama administration.” [Read more...]