- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Skeptical critics of the U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran have deemed the diplomatic deal a historic mistake, a disaster, a catastrophe and a surrender, among many other things. While the toxic fallout continues, one lawmaker recommends the U.S. at least consult the lessons of the Cold War, when finesse, guts and common sense were paramount — along with a few fully loaded B-52s.

“The president’s deal with Iran failed to meet the only standard that ensures the future safety of America and its allies, which is the complete dismantling of Iran’s capability to build a nuclear bomb. The U.S.-Iran agreement also entangles the inspection process in red tape that will ultimately result in no verification of Iran’s nuclear facilities,” Sen. James M. Inhofe, senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and one of many Republicans who are uneasy about the newly hatched nuclear agreement.

“Instead, Iran will get roughly 21 days to prepare for an inspection, and even then there is no certainty that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will get full access. President Reagan’s method to diplomatic negotiations was trust but verify. This deal has no guarantee of verification,” Mr. Inhofe points out.

Americans appear to agree with such reasoning, something for presidential hopefuls to ponder. A Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday reveals that 55 percent of the respondents do not trust Iran “at all” to honor the terms of the agreement. And, of course, there’s a partisan divide: 71 percent of Republicans do not trust Iran at all, along with 55 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

WALKER BASHING GETS FEVERISH



Well, of course they’re nervous. The Democratic Party and mainstream news media are confronting a foe with enough energy, inner mettle and sheer nerve to be the star of 16 public events in five states in four days. That foe is Gov. Scott Walker, who has plunged into his campaign for president in a blaze of grass-roots glory, ramped up by the fact that he’s actually an authentic grass-roots kind of guy. The quality gives Mr. Walker’s critics the heebie-jeebies. Indeed, the press is “walloping Walker,” says Geoffrey Dickens, an analyst with NewsBusters.com, a conservative watchdog. In particular, he cites CBS News for calling the Wisconsin governor “awkward” this week, then traces the Walker-bashing tradition with other examples that date back almost two years.

And, as is their inevitable practice, the Democratic National Committee has already launched a public petition against Mr. Walker, advising, “sign on if you think he’s really lame.” But the governor is now far from the rarefied air of such insider politics and closed door strategery. Mr. Walker is already in Nevada, to be followed by journeys to South Carolina, New Hampshire, Georgia and a three-day Winnebago trip through Iowa at week’s end.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Keep Calm and Cruz On”

— New motto from the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz

AND, IN SUMMATION

“The Republican-controlled Congress must defund Planned Parenthood now. Immediately. The horrific truth that the top doctor at Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted babies compels Congress to recognize it has been funding a 21st century Josef Mengele. Anyone of either party who plays politics with this ghastly, inhuman behavior, or fails to exercise his or her responsibility to end taxpayer funding of it, should be condemned as participatory in it,” says Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, a grass-roots group backing traditional values, following an investigation revealing that a Planned Parenthood official acknowledged the sale of fetal tissue.

“Let President Obama veto the budget over this. It will crush his presidency and end this ghoulish practice for once and for all,” Mr. Bozell adds.

SAFETY FIRST

The Family Research Council is puzzling over press reports that the Pentagon, under direction from the White House, will soon announce a study of the possibility of allowing openly transgender troops.

“Considering the abysmal condition of our military and a decline in readiness, why is this a top priority for the Obama administration? Before changing any policy, the impact on military readiness has to be the first consideration. The Pentagon must answer whether this proposed policy makes our military more capable of performing its mission. The answer is a very clear and resounding no,” says retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a former Delta Force member, commander of Army Special Operations and now executive vice president for the aforementioned council.

“This has everything to do with President Obama’s social agenda for the military, but it has nothing to do with enhancing military readiness. No new science has led to the Pentagon’s transgender study — only the politics of the Obama administration and the transgender movement,” he adds.

JOB WELL DONE

“This morning, the United States became the first country to reach Pluto — and the first country to explore the entire classical solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.”

John P. Holdren, director of the White House office of Office of Science and Technology Policy, commenting on the space agency’s flyby of the diminutive solar body via the New Horizons interplanetary probe on Tuesday.

MR. HOLT PERSEVERES

Five months ago, Lester Holt temporarily took over the “NBC Nightly News” anchorman’s chair following the sudden exit of Brian Williams, who was suspended following the discovery that he had made false claims as a newsman. Three weeks ago, Mr. Holt was named the permanent replacement.

Nielsen now reveals that the “Nightly News” is in first place. In the most recent five-day period, ending July 6, “Nightly” won an average audience of 8.1 million viewers, compared with 7.5 million for ABC and 6.6 million viewers for the “CBS Evening News.”

Mr. Holt, a veteran newsman with over three decades of experience, has his own modus operandi that incorporates some traditional news tenets.

“You can call me any fancy title you want — principal anchor, executive producer, news director — at its essence, we are all reporters. That’s what we should be, that’s what we should aspire to be, and that’s what makes us good at what we do,” Mr. Holt declared after receiving a First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association last year.

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of Americans have heard about U.S. efforts to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran; 83 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

55 percent of Americans do not trust Iran “at all” to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other nations; 71 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent overall say the negotiations with Iran were “a good idea”; 38 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.

36 percent overall say the negotiations were a “bad idea”; 55 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.

35 percent overall say they trust Iran “a little”; 28 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 45 percent of Democrats agree.

5 percent overall trust Iran “a lot”; 1 percent of Republicans, 6 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University Poll of 1,001 U.S. adults conducted July 9-12.

Murmurs and curious asides to [email protected]

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