The Morning Jolt

Use Our Senatorial Nuclear Option to Stop Iran’s Radioactive Nuclear Option

A simple proposal: To stop Iran’s nukes, use our own nuclear option. Scrap the filibuster, pass a resolution declaring the Iran deal a treaty that requires Senate authorization, introduce the text of the Iran deal, and vote it down.

Remember, Democrats got rid of the filibuster for nominations in 2013, arguing that GOP obstructionism was interfering with the president’s constitutional authority to make judicial appointments. The Constitution requires Senatorial consent to treaties. The administration claims the Iran deal isn’t a treaty because they think it has “become physically impossible“ to pass a treaty in the Senate.

Do you think Iran will honor their side of the agreement? Probably not, right?

Even if they do, do you think Iran will attempt to build a nuke quickly when the deal expires? Certainly, right?

Do you think that if Iran gets a nuke, they will use it? Pretty darn likely, right?

So, congressional Republicans . . . what are you willing to do to prevent a mushroom cloud either in the Middle East or closer to home?

Why Did Bill Clinton Consider a Speaking Gig in North Korea?

How . . . screwed up is it that North Korea invited President Clinton to give a paid speech, and he wanted to do it?

A second email thread in May 2012 shows another potentially thorny event — subject line: “North Korea invitation.”

“Is it safe to assume [the U.S. Government] would have concerns about WJC accepting the attached invitation related to North Korea?” Desai wrote in an e-mail to Mills and two other State Department officials — Jake Sullivan, then-director of Policy Planning Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, and Michael Fuchs, then a special assistant to the Secretary of State who now serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Mills two-word response? “Decline it.”

But the Clinton Foundation followed up three weeks later, saying the invite came via Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham.

“We would be grateful for any specific concerns that we could share,” Desai wrote. “Tony is seeing WJC in a couple hours.”

Mills wrote back to tell Bill Clinton, “If he needs more let him know his wife knows and I am happy to call him secure when he is near a secure line.”

There is no further explanation of what the North Korea related event entailed in the documents provided to Citizens United by the State Department.

We know he didn’t need the money. That ABC News report notes, “Bill Clinton delivered 215 speeches totaling over $48 million in the four years Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.”

It reminded me of this long-lost chapter of history:

CNN has learned that President Clinton’s half-brother Roger Clinton is scheduled to visit North Korea in the first week of December. Roger Clinton and his band were invited to play in a concert in Pyongyang that will include artists from South Korea and North Korea.

Korecom, company based in Seoul, South Korea, has been working to make arrangements for the event. The six-day visit would include sightseeing.

Clinton administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Roger Clinton did not tell the White House of his plans to participate in the concert.

They pointed out that the president’s half brother does not need approval and did not seek it, though the U.S. officials said it would be preferable if he or any other high-profile person would seek the administration’s input in planning a trip to the communist country.

But, said one of the officials, “We’ve been down similar paths with Roger before — he is his own unique person.”

Are Americans Becoming Grievance Collectors?

Over on the home page, I look at the rush to find societal scapegoats for mass shootings on both the left and the right, and the possibility that this ignores the more proximate issue of individuals’ becoming “grievance collectors.”

There are disturbing ramifications if media discussions are indeed driving us to become a more grievance-minded society. Willard Gaylin, one of the world’s preeminent psychology professors, writes about the dangers of “grievance collecting” in his book Hatred: The Psychological Descent into Violence:

Grievance collecting is a step on the journey to a full-blown paranoid psychosis. A grievance collector will move from the passive assumption of deprivation and low expectancy common to most paranoid personalities to a more aggressive mode. He will not endure passively his deprived state; he will occupy himself with accumulating evidence of his misfortunes and locating the sources. Grievance collectors are distrustful and provocative, convinced that they are always taken advantage of and given less than their fair share. . . .

Underlying this philosophy is an undeviating comparative and competitive view of life. Everything is part of a zero-sum game. Deprivation can be felt in another person’s abundance of good fortune.

At the heart of the grievance collector’s worldview is that he is not responsible for the condition of his life; a vast conspiracy of malevolent individuals and forces is entirely at fault. There is always someone else to blame, and the Virginia shooter quickly finds ways to excuse his actions and deflect the responsibility to others.

A lot of people on the right will read that and say, “Ah-ha! A ‘grievance collector’ is exactly what liberals want people to be! That’s what they’re stirring up with their class warfare, their portrait of a relentlessly racist society, ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ and so on!” Except this is not just a matter of politics, it’s a matter of personal worldview. Nobody can brainwash you into being angry at the world for slights and injustices, real or perceived. Everyone who embraces fury and resentment makes the choice to do so.

Also . . . is this really a phenomenon of the Left? Isn’t it fair to say the right side of the spectrum is more grievance-minded in 2015 than in, say, 1980 or 1988? Perhaps the reasons for anger are more legitimate — illegal immigration, monstrous activities within Planned Parenthood’s walls, a deal that legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program . . .

. . . and then there’s the deliberate provocations.

Hillary Clinton’s Insane ‘Terrorism’ Charge against the GOP

What does Hillary Clinton have in common with terrorist groups? Well, they’re both being investigated by the FBI.

Hillary Clinton wants to get out of trouble. So she calls Republicans terrorists . . .

During a riff Thursday where Clinton name checked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Clinton said Republicans are “dead wrong for 21st century America.”

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” Clinton said at a speech in Cleveland. “Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

It sounds like she’s practicing a version of the “stray voltage” theory — say something deliberately over-the-top provocative to shift the conversation. John Fund explains:

Major Garrett, the CBS White House correspondent, has talked with White House aides who confirm that the administration is working from the theory of “stray voltage,” as developed by former White House senior adviser David Plouffe.

“The theory goes like this,” Garrett wrote. “Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness,” Deliberately misstating information about key issues in order to keep certain issues before the public is often a premeditated strategy.

“The tactic represents one more step in the embrace of cynicism that has characterized President Obama’s journey in office,” John Dickerson wrote at Slate. “Facts, schmacts. As long as people are talking about an issue where my party has an advantage with voters, it’s good.”

There are a lot of reasons why Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be the next president of the United States. But a pretty big one is illuminated by this; at the moment that the country has a bursting-at-the-seams list of real problems — low workforce participation, a ticking time bomb of entitlement programs, turbulent markets, an insecure border, Russian aggression, saber-rattling all over the Pacific Rim, sputtering schools, crushing student debt — she chooses to pour gasoline on the fire, comparing her opponents to terrorists. When she’s in a jam, her instinct is to take public divisions and make them worse. If you’re tired of public discourse resembling a cross between a bar fight between bikers and a YouTube comments section, President Hillary Clinton will do nothing to improve that.

ADDENDA: I’m scheduled to appear on MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz this Sunday morning. Topics to be determined.


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