As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

President to Play Golf While Fate of World Decided

It’s the final, tense days of 18 months of negotiations over one of the most critical treaties of modern times – the terms under which Iran will either be permitted or not permitted to obtain a nuclear weapon.

It will be permitted to obtain one, but stick with me here.

The president’s emissaries, led by his Secretary of State, are in Switzerland feverishly negotiating the final details, hoping to ensure the toughest bargain possible to prevent the advent of an historic new peril to the world: Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran’s crazed Islamist theocrats.

The president this weekend will be hunkered down in the Situation Room, in constant touch with his envoy, issuing last-minute orders and ensuring that his careful instruction are complied with and none of his red lines are crossed.

This just in now from the “pool” reporters covering the president:

On a sunny and beautiful, if chilly morning, the president left the White House residence at 9:30am, wearing a light blue button-up shirt with no tie, a navy blazer and khaki slacks.  He waved to the pool but didn’t respond to your pooler’s shouted question about the new Indiana religious freedom law.  The president got into Marine One . . . The helicopter was wheels-up to Joint Base Andrews at 9:34am. Handing over now to the travel pool . . .

Marine One touched down at Joint Base Andrews at 9:41 a.m. POTUS bounded down the steps at 9:45. We’re headed for warmer climes. Up the AF1 steps moments later. You can tell this is a non-work trip (because) someone forward of the press cabin ordered 3 beers at 9:26 am.

Wha? Wait a second. OBAMA’S GOING TO SPEND THE WEEKEND PLAYING GOLF IN FLORIDA.

Obama is headed to the Floridian golf club in Palm City for two days of golf, according to local news outlets. Not that he didn’t just have a golf extravaganza in California last month.

This is beyond appearances, symbolism, optics, and so forth. This is a genuine statement about the care, attention and seriousness being given the Iran nuclear issue, perhaps the gravest problem confronting the United States and, indeed, the world.

obama goofy

It is not possible to completely compartmentalize your life. When you are on vacation, there is a different attitude that takes hold, one that doesn’t want to be bothered with too many details or critical issues. It is not merely disgraceful that the president is on a golf junket this weekend. It’s frightening.

If Ayatollah Khamenei is out playing golf or shuffleboard or competing in a backgammon tournament or whatever the Hell they do over there for recreation, I’d be very surprised.

This deadline for a nuclear deal has been scheduled for many months. This is no surprise.

Neither, sad to say, is Obama’s choice of priorities.

The Dangerous, Erroneous Assumption Guiding Obama’s Mideast Policy

President Obama, like most liberals, is under the unfortunate and rather self-indulgent misimpression that the rest of the world is just like us.

That’s why Obama and his friends have a hard time being American exceptionalists. That’s why they trust, but aren’t really serious about verify, and to the extent they are, they blithely assume that someone’s going to let them in to verify in the first place. That’s why they don’t see anything wrong with subsuming the country within horde after horde of illegal immigration. Because ultimately, we’re all the same deep down inside, aren’t we?

But are populations that seek to murder other populations the same as us, even, ya know, underneath it all? I sure hope not.

During his press conference this week with Afghan President Ghani, Obama offered his latest glimpse into the attitude the underlies his hope for partnership with the Iranians and the moral equivalence he attaches to the two sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

But I am required to evaluate honestly how we manage Israeli-Palestinian relations over the next several years.  Because up until this point, the premise has been, both under Republican and Democratic administrations, that as different as it was, as challenging as it was, the possibility of two states living side by side in peace and security could marginalize more extreme elements, bring together folks at the center and with some common sense, and we could resolve what has been a vexing issue and one that is ultimately a threat to Israel as well.

The presupposes that “folks at the center” among the Palestinians have goodwill and “some common sense.” But in reality, these folks have some very disconcerting views.

According to a just-released poll of Palestinians by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, sixty eight percent support the launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel if the current security blockade imposed by Israel is not lifted. The blockade was established as a protective measure after the Palestinians voted Hamas, a terrorist organization devoted to the destruction of Israel, into the government and then Hamas seized full control of Gaza.

Launching rockets. On the heads of children.

Obama abbas
Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Half of Palestinians polled support resumption of an armed Intifada, which mainly involves targeting and killing Israeli civilians.

Seventy four percent favor the “Hamas way” of resisting occupation, and 56 percent favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank.

Only half of Palestinians polled support a two-state solution, with the other half presumably hoping to drive Israelis into the sea and reclaim the whole place for the Arabs. AND JUST BECAUSE ONE SUPPORTS A TWO-STATE SOLUTION IN THE SHORT RUN DOESN’T MEAN THE ULTIMATE GOAL ISN’T A SINGLE STATE. It is. Talk to almost any Muslim Arab.

Only 39 percent support recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people in return for an Israeli recognition of Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people.

Most Palestinians do not support negotiations with Israel. Thirty seven percent believe that armed confrontation is the most effective route to statehood, 30 percent support “non-violent resistance,” and just 29 percent back negotiation.

Obama exists in his own world of presumptuous fantasies. The Israelis actually have to live in Israel, surrounded by Palestinians and other hostile Arabs, which is why they elected Netanyahu, despite Obama’s objections.

Schumer Poised to Succeed Reid

Did Harry Reid get on your nerves? Well soon you’ll have Chuck Schumer under your skin.

Retiring Senate Minority Leader Reid has designated New York Sen. Schumer, number 3 in the Democratic leadership, as his successor, and the number 2, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, has agreed to back off, according to Politico.

Schumer is viewed by Democrats as a consummate tactician and an aggressive spokesman for the cause. He is unlikely to be seriously challenged, though a possible wrinkle is his support for Wall Street, which is anathema to the Elizabeth Warren wing of the party. She, though, has indicated she will not run for leader.

But don’t worry. Reid is not stepping down until he leaves the Senate in January 2017.

Or do worry. It’s worth noting, unlike Reid, Schumer does have his moments of lucidity.

The Obama Morning News || March 27, 2015

U.S. declassifies report detailing Israel’s nuclear program . . . The Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent. But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth. The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu’s March 3 address in Congress. Israel National News

U.S. caves to key Iranian demands . . . The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations. U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran. Washington Free Beacon

Centrifuges to spin at underground facility . . . The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.

White House bullying allies to agree to deal . . . Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program. Washington Free Beacon

House panel wants docs on Bergdahl swap . . . The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Obama administration Thursday to turn over all reports and documents, including intelligence information, related to last year’s exchange of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban. Fox News

Obama’s Mideast vacuum . . . An abiding goal of President Obama’s foreign policy has been to reduce America’s role in the Middle East, in the belief that it would lead to greater stability and serve U.S. interests. Has a policy ever been so thoroughly repudiated in so short a time? Mr. Obama has succeeded in his retreat, but the vacuum he’s left has produced a region on fire that is becoming a broad Sunni-Shiite war. Wall Street Journal

Obama Schedule || Friday, March 27, 2015

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 3:15 pm || Meets with members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Roosevelt Room 4:25 pm || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew All times Eastern Live stream of White House briefing at 12:30 pm Don’t forget to share

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