Archive for John Kerry

The Most Transparent Anti-Semitic Administration Evah!

I apologize for not having seen this earlier; it came to my attention only this morning in a comment from reader Jeanette.

In another slap in the face for Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama pulled Secretary of State Kerry and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power out of the General Assembly during Netanyahu’s powerful address. A large number of delegations walked out of the General Assembly for the speech, but Obama left behind a crew of underlings bearing Jewish names:

“Ambassador Power and Secretary Kerry were unable to attend Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech before the General Assembly because they were called into a meeting with President Obama, which they participated in via video teleconference,” a State Department Official told Breitbart News.

“The United States was represented at the speech by Ambassador David Pressman, Alternate Representative of the United States to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs, Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, and Ambassador Richard Erdman, Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly,” the official added.

What, Alfred E. Newman wasn’t available?

Let’s have a show of hands of everyone who thinks that Obama calling the US A-team of diplomats (such as they are) off the floor of the UN, leaving the Jew-V in its place, as all the other Jew-hating nations walked out…how many people think that was a coincidence? Anyone…?

Me neither.

I tried to find a list of the other nations’ vermin who scuttled out as our dips decamped, but I’ll have to leave it to your imagination. Obama betrayed an ally to join forces with the scum of the earth.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

PS: Even the jackals at the UN broke into applause on a few occasions. But not the US contingent. They sat on their hands throughout.

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“Stand There and Try Not to Look Stupid”

And you couldn’t even do that, could you?

Russia’s airstrikes in Syria “do not go beyond ISIL (ISIS), al Nusra or other terrorist groups recognized by the United Nations Security Council or Russian law,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday.

Pushed to define “other terrorist groups,” Lavrov said: “If it looks like a terrorist, if it acts like a terrorist, if it walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?”

Lavrov questioned the U.S.-led coalition’s legitimacy, given the mission had not received the consent of the U.N. Security Council or any “request of one of the countries on whose territories they operate.”

“You cannot avoid the impression that the legal basis of the coalition activities in Syria is really flawed,” he said.

“As far as I understand, the coalition announced ISIL and other associated groups as the enemy and the coalition does the same as Russia [does]. Somehow some people try to present the coalition action as leading to a political settlement and Russia fighting the same people is being perceived or presented like defending the regime. It’s absolutely unfair,” he said.

Russia has plenty of fans in the region:

“Well, of course it is beneficial,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in an interview with PBS. “Don’t forget, Iraq was attacked from across the Syrian border into Iraq by Da’esh, by ISIL. And that cost us a lot of human costs in terms of people killed, people being kidnapped, people being enslaved, women, children.”

For that reason, al-Abadi said, Iraq appreciated anyone willing to join the fight.

“Our message to the Russians — I met with Putin — please join this fight against Da’esh,” he said, using another name for ISIS. “Da’esh is a dangerous terrorist organization, not only against Iraq, against Syria, against the whole region, against the whole world. It is time that we all join the same forces to fight Da’esh.”

I pity Foreign Minister Lavrov, actually. He’s engaged in the serious business of rebuilding the Russian empire, and we keep pestering him with clowns.

I could make a joke about that being the last time a man put a finger on Hillary’s button, but that would be ungallant. Oops.


Why You Have to Fight Them Over There

Because if you don’t, they come over here:

The U.S. is offering new details about its plan to ease the Syrian refugee crisis by significantly increasing the number of worldwide refugees it will take in over the next two years.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees from around the world next year, up from 70,000, and the number will rise to 100,000 in 2017.

Aides to Kerry say that many, though not all, of the additional refugees would be Syrian.

The migrants would be referred by the United Nations, screened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and resettled around America.

“Referred” by the UN and “screened” by DHS. I feel better, how ’bout you?

How we got here:

A country is hemorrhaging people. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are on the road, traveling to Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, or they have already arrived, and millions will follow suit. The exodus is putting a long-ignored question back onto the political agenda in the West: What can be done to stop the horrors in Syria?

Four years after the beginning of the uprising, a quarter of a million are dead and the political proposals by the United Nations, the German foreign minister, the United States government and others sound very much like proposals in 2011: Negotiate, apply pressure and seek a political solution. The situation is complicated by announcements from France and Great Britain of their intention to participate in air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. But what they overlook is that the overwhelming majority of Syrians are not fleeing from IS, but from Assad’s barrel bombs, the Syrian Air Force and the generally hopeless situation.

IS primarily controls sparsely populated desert areas in eastern Syria. According to reports by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Assad’s soldiers killed about 11,500 people between January and August, while IS killed 1,800. Among civilians, at least 10 times as many people die as a result of the regime’s attacks than at the hands of IS.

Like sand through the hourglass, much of the population of the Middle East is pouring into Europe; and from Europe, here. You think maybe that isn’t worth avoiding? I would.

What a debacle. What a failure. And Obama’s greasy fingerprints are all over it as much as they are on ObamaCare. Forget Iran’s nuclear program, this is his signature foreign policy acheivement.

And he doesn’t give a sh*t:

As summer comes to an end, President Barack Obama is seemingly refusing to put his golf clubs away – he hit the course yet again on Saturday.

Obama went for the round of golf at Renditions Golf Club in Davidsonville, Maryland, about 25 miles outside Washington, DC.


UN To Allow Iran To Inspect Suspected Nuclear Work Site

You probably think I typed that up wrong, that it should read: Iran to allow UN to inspect… but no, the UN is going to allow Iran to inspect their own nuclear site.

Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the UN agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by the Associated Press.

The revelation is sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the US, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the deal is built on trust of the Iranians, a claim the US has denied.
The investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency is linked to a broader probe of allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear deal.
The Parchin deal is a separate, side agreement worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers that signed the Iran nuclear deal were not party to this agreement but were briefed on it by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

I am not sure why the Left wants Iran to become a nuclear power, but they certainly do. Consider this: Iran executes more people for political reasons that probably any nation on earth. Even if the inspectors wanted to play it straight, do they really want to be lifted from the arm of a crane by their necks? I think not.

– Aggie

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Dumb and Dumber…and John Kerry

When does he get to our pets’ heads falling off?

SEC. JOHN KERRY: Are you kidding me? The United States is going to start sanctioning our allies and their banks and their businesses [who do business with Iran] because we walked away from a deal?

And we’re going to force them to do what we want them to do — Even though they agreed to the deal we came to?

Are you kidding?

That is a recipe, very quickly, my friends… for them to walk away from Ukraine.

Where they are already very dicey and ready to say they have done their bit.

They’re ready to say, “we’re the ones paying the price for your sanctions.”

It was Obama who went out and actually put together a sanctions regime that had an impact — I went to China. I pursuaded China not to buy more oil.

We pursuaded India and other countries to step back.

Could you imagine trying to sanction them after pursuading them to put in place sanctions to bring Iran to the table, and when they have not only come to the table but they made a deal, we turn around an nix the deal, and then turn around and impose the sanctions anyway.

That is a recipe, my friends, businesspeople here, for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world, which is already bubbling out there.

If I didn’t know this administration better, I’d say that sound like blackmail. “Nice currency ya got there. Shame if something happened to it.”


Kerry Over Coals

Earlier today, we shared John Kerry’s blithe and condescending dismissal of concerns over the Constitutionality of this Iran fiasco, as well as the new era of terror it will usher in.

It got better:

A tough, focused, relentless cross-examination of the Secretary of State by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton — an Iraq war veteran and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Cotton makes clear that the Corker/Cardin legislation, which was signed into law by President Obama, requires that Congress receive every single word of the finalized Iran deal. Having discovered and confirmed the existence of secret side agreements within the overall accord, Cotton wonders whether or how the administration will adhere to that provision of the law. Kerry responds that such matters must be classified in order to respect the privacy of the IAEA. Cotton’s framing is outstanding: “The Ayatollahs will know what they agreed to, but not the American people.” Brutal.

Brutal, yes. Fatal…not necessarily.

The Arkansas Senator drills down on reports that Iran may be permitted to provide its own soil samples as part of an important nuclear “inspection,” likening this alleged concession to allowing an athlete to submit a urine sample for a drug test without supervision. Kerry says that the US government is “satisfied” that this arrangement — which he’ll neither confirm nor deny — will “provide the answers we need.”

With Gen. Dempsey’s help, Cotton demonstrates that Iran is chiefly responsible for providing specialized IEDs to terrorist insurgents in Iraq, who have used the deadly devices to kill hundreds of American soldiers. Cotton’s point is obvious: This is a regime with a great deal of American blood on its hands and whose leaders still chant “death to America.” This deal rewards those very people with a huge cash injection that can and will be used to promulgate terrorism. The agreement does not require Iran to cease or even diminish its terrorist activities, regional meddling, and human rights abuses.

“Human rights abuses” like these?

Iran’s “execution spree” is continuing full force, according to opposition activists – and at an alarming rate.

A recent Amnesty International report revealed the Islamic Republic was executing an average of three people per day, with nearly 700 people executed in the first half of 2015 alone, many for political crimes or on trumped-up charges.

At that rate, the theocratic regime is expected to surpass 2014’s execution rate of 734 by mid-August.

However, it looks like that grim record may be set far sooner, as at least 31 people were reportedly executed over the past nine days.

According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), one of the most recent execution was of a 43-year-old mother, who was hanged in a prison in the city of Karaj, north-west of the capital Tehran.

In its report last week, Amnesty said the alarming rate of execution was particularly disturbing given the fact that the courts imposing the death penalty are “completely lacking in independence and impartiality.”

“Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North AfricaProgramme.

“If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.”

And we trust these monsters. We are in business with them. We get what we deserve. But what about all the people, foreign and domestic, who will die? What did they ever do to be sentenced to death by John Kerry’s fecklessness?

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Open Season

Have at it, Iran. Jew-hunting season has commenced:

REP. MO BROOKS: Less than two weeks ago, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khomenei led a rally that was frequently punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

Do you beleive his comment accurately reflect Iranian government goals?

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: I think they reflect an attitude and a rehtorical [sic] excess, but I see no evidence they have a policy that is implementing that against us at this time.

BROOKS: Do you beleive that Iran is the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism?


MO BROOKS: And that they will use the conventional weapons made available by the Iran nuclear treaty to kill Americans or Israelis?

KERRY: Well, they may. And we have, as you know, responded to that, as you know responded to that from 1979 when they took over our Embassy forward. We put sanctions in place, specifically.

The Secretary of State acknowledges that Iran will revert to form and sponsor the killing of Americans and Israelis. (Did they ever stop?) But that’s okay, because we have “sanctions”.

And if we find this state of affairs deplorable and unacceptable, tough:

REP. REID RIBBLE: For 228 years, the Constitution allowed treaties to [pass] with the advice and consent of 67 U.S. Senators. Why is this not considered a treaty?

SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Well Congressman, I spent quite a few years trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate, and it has become physically impossible.

That’s why. Because you can’t pass a treaty anymore. It has become impossible to schedule, to pass, and I sat there leading the charge on the Disabilities Treaty which fell to basically ideology and politics. So I think that is the reason why.

At least that’s honest, if unconstitutional. This atrocity is not a treaty only because they could never pass it as one and for no other reason.


Iran Can Keep its Doctor—and Save $2,500 for a Family of Four!

The lies used to pass one calamitous bill can be repurposed to pass another:

The Obama administration assures Americans that the Iran deal grants access within 24 days to undeclared but suspected Iranian nuclear sites. But that’s hardly how a recalcitrant Iran is likely to interpret the deal. A close examination of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action released by the Obama administration reveals that its terms permit Iran to hold inspectors at bay for months, likely three or more.

Paragraphs 74 to 78 govern the International Atomic Energy Agency’s access to suspect sites. First, the IAEA tells Iran “the basis” of its concerns about a particular location, requesting clarification. At this point Iran will know where the IAEA is headed. Iran then provides the IAEA with “explanations” to resolve IAEA concerns. This stage has no time limit.

Opportunities for delay abound.

The next several paragraphs, while amusing, can be summed up by yadda-yadda. Read them if you like:

Iran will presumably want to know what prompted the IAEA’s concern. The suspect site identified by the IAEA is likely to be remote, and Iran will no doubt say that it must gather skilled people and equipment to responsibly allay IAEA concerns. Iran may offer explanations in stages, seeking IAEA clarifications before “completing” its response. That could take a while.

Only if Iran’s “explanations do not resolve the IAEA’s concerns” may the IAEA then “request access” to the suspect site. Oddly, the agreement doesn’t specify who judges whether the explanations resolve concerns. If Iran claims that it has a say in the matter, the process may stall here. Assuming Iran grants that the IAEA can be the judge, might Iran claim that the “great Satan” improperly influenced IAEA conclusions? Let’s assume that Tehran won’t do that.

Now the IAEA must provide written reasons for the request and “make available relevant information.” Let’s assume that even though the IAEA may resist revealing the secret sources or technical means that prompted its suspicions, Iran acknowledges that a proper request has been supplied.

Only then do the supposed 24 days begin to run. First, Iran may propose, and the IAEA must consider, alternative means of resolving concerns. This may take 14 days. Absent satisfactory “arrangements,” a new period begins.

During this period Iran, “in consultation with” the Joint Commission, will “resolve” the IAEA concerns “through necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA.” The Joint Commission includes China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K, the U.S., the European Union and, of course, Iran. Not exactly a wieldy bunch.

The Iranians will likely claim that “consultation” with the Joint Commission doesn’t bind Tehran, just as the U.S. president isn’t bound by consultations with Congress. The agreement says the consultation process will not exceed seven days, but Iran can point out that the nuclear deal doesn’t specify when Iran and the IAEA must reach agreement and “resolve” IAEA concerns.

In the absence of Iran-IAEA agreement, a majority of the Joint Commission has seven days to “advise” on the “necessary means” to resolve the matter. Iran may fairly argue that the commission’s right to “advise” is not the same as a right to “determine” the “necessary means.” Lastly, the agreement provides that “Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days.” But what “necessary means” are these? As noted, the agreement refers to “necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA.” So these additional three days don’t even begin until an agreement is reached.

Now what? Well, the U.S. may take a “Dispute” to the Joint Commission, on which Iran sits, which has 15 days to resolve the issue. Parties may or may not invoke a similar 15 days for foreign ministers to act. Parties may also request a nonbinding opinion within 15 days from an advisory board consisting of three members, one appointed by Iran, one by the complaining country and “a third independent member.”

But Iran may argue that nothing in the nuclear deal specifies how quickly a country must appoint its advisory-board member or even how the “independent member” is selected. In short, this stage may take at least 30 days and possibly 45 of consideration at the different levels, but Iran may argue that the last 15 days don’t start until an advisory board has been duly formed. Then we get another five days of Joint Commission deliberation, before a disappointed U.S. or other commission member seeking IAEA inspections can hobble off to the United Nations seeking resolutions reimposing sanctions.

We now rejoin the narrative:

In short, as Iran is free to interpret the agreement, 63 or even 78 days may pass, plus three potentially lengthy periods that Iran can stretch out: One of “explanations” before the clock starts, one to agree on necessary means and “resolve concerns,” and one for advisory-board selection near the end.

So from the moment the IAEA first tips its hand about what it wants to inspect, likely three or more months may pass. All along, the Joint Commission is required to act in “good faith,” and to make only “minimum necessary” requests limited to verification, not “interference.” Tehran could also cite these terms to challenge particular requests.

Don’t be angry. This is the language of diplomacy. This is what you get when your stated position is capitulation, appeasement.

But don’t be a fool, either. Obama and Kerry have broken every promise, assurance, or guarantee:

In 2013, Kerry declared of the Iranians, “There is no right to enrich.” Two years later? The final agreement allows Iran to keep 5,000 centrifuges, 2,000 more than Pakistan had when it secretly built a nuclear arsenal.

Nor will Iran be limited to current technology; Kerry has ceded Iran’s right to experiment with new-generation centrifuges exponentially more powerful than Iran has now.

But centrifuges are only one part of Iran’s illicit program. In 2013, Kerry told Congress the “whole point of the [sanctions] regime” was to force Iran to “dismantle its nuclear program.” But the deal to which Kerry agreed lets Iran keep everything in place.

This includes Fordo, the once-covert nuclear site Iran built under a mountain.

“They don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful nuclear program,” Obama said in 2013. Congress will likely ask what changed, since this deal allows Iran to keep Fordo.

It gets worse. In 1991, the International Atomic Energy Agency required South Africa to come clean on the past 20 years of its nuclear work in order to certify that it had ceased its nuclear weapons program.

Anything short of that, and the IAEA said it could not certify that all material was accounted for. And yet, Kerry caved on this, effectively crafting a deal the IAEA can’t certify.

But what about “anytime, anywhere” inspections? Again, the administration backtracked. First, they qualified by saying they’d be the most intrusive inspections on any country “not defeated in war.”

Then, Kerry backed down on demands that inspectors be able to conduct snap inspections on military sites. Those inspections are necessary because this is where, according to the IAEA, Iran worked on everything from components for a warhead to detonators.

And now, the 24-day canard.

Again, it’s difficult to hard-ball someone when you’ve checked your own balls at the door. Iran’s negotiating stance was simple and consistent: make me. We wouldn’t, we didn’t.

But pass this treaty, and millions of shovel ready jobs can be yours! Without a smidgen of corruption. Operators are standing by.


What’s Going On?

At first I thought it was the Botox.

But now I wonder if John Kerry looks the way he does from mutations caused by radiation poisoning. Sitting with the Iranians that long is bound to have an effect.

Am I the only Trekkie here to make the comparison to Constable Odo from Deep Space Nine?

Of course, the comparison fails from there. Odo was cunning, shrewd, and suspicious of anyone with a shady disposition. Kerry practically begs for sadomasochism, and bondage-and-discipline from the stiletto-heeled ayatollahs. “Take advantage of me,” he pants. “Degrade me. Make me feel worthless and contemptible.”

But then, he can get that at home.


Reporting for Doo-Doo

At last, someone in the administration ready to stand up to Islamist aggression:

Here’s some hot lead to break your Ramadan fast, you turbaned twats.

In an article published by The New York Times this week, Prof. Alan Kuperman explained that Obama’s central justification for the agreement – that it will lengthen Iran’s breakout time to the bomb from the current two months to 12 months – is a lie.

Based on nothing more than the number of centrifuges Iran will be allowed to possess and the amount of enriched uranium necessary to make a nuclear bomb, Kuperman demonstrated that far from prolonging Iran’s nuclear breakout time by 10 months, the deal will only prolong its breakout time by one month. In other words, the deal is worthless.

Then there are the US’s stated redlines in negotiations.

These have collapsed in significant ways over the past few weeks.

Because the US agreed that Iran can continue to enrich uranium, perhaps the most critical means of preventing Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities involve requiring Iran to expose all of its previous nuclear work that is still unknown, and requiring Iran to agree to unfettered inspections of is nuclear work and access to its personnel involved in its nuclear work on the part of UN nuclear inspectors.

Clearly, without meeting both requirements, Iran will be able to breach its commitments easily and the agreement will be worthless.

Due to the general understanding of these requirements, the administration’s public position has been that it will require Iran to both expose its previous nuclear work with possible military dimensions and permit the US unfettered access to all its nuclear installations.

For its part, Iran refuses to accept either demand.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reiterated this refusal on Tuesday.

Rather than present Iran with an ultimatum that it either abide by these basic requirements or receive no nuclear deal, the administration abandoned its position.

To which John Kerry says, “What, me worry?”

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that there is no reason for Iran to expose its previous nuclear work because, “We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”

This statement is a lie. As Yukiya Amano, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog IAEA, reiterated just weeks ago, “We don’t know whether they have undeclared activities or something else. We don’t know what they did in the past. So, we know a part of their activities, but we cannot [say] we know all their activities. And that is why we cannot say that all the activities in Iran [are for] peaceful purposes.”

Of all the arrogance: to say “we know what they did.” The only thing we know for certain is that we don’t know jack. Every lie exposed, every secret revealed, yields yet more lies and secrets. Iran barely hides it anymore; they barely have to.

As for Israel, it is now clear that there is no “crisis” in Israel-US relations. The Obama administration is betraying Israel. The centerpiece of Obama’s foreign policy is his desire to transform Iran’s illicit nuclear program, which endangers Israel’s existence, into a legal Iranian-American nuclear program that endangers Israel’s existence.

Consequently, the last thing Israel should worry about is upsetting Obama. To convince fence-sitting Democratic senators to vote against Obama’s Iran deal, Israel should expose all the ruinous details of the nuclear agreement. Israel should let the American people know how the deal endangers not just Israel, but their soldiers, and indeed, the US homeland itself.

At the end of the day, what we now know about US collaboration with Iran brings home – yet again – the sad fact that the only chance Israel has ever had of preventing Iran from getting the bomb is to destroy the mullahs’ nuclear installations itself. If Israel can still conduct such an operation, it makes sense for it to be carried out before Iran’s nuclear program officially becomes the Iranian-American nuclear project.

ISIS picked the wrong day to shock the world with its blood lust. While the news maxim “if it bleeds, it leads” is true, carnage takes second page to carnality in today’s America. The Supreme Court finds a right to gay marriage that no one even thought to look for ten years ago, and depraved slaughter on a Tunisian beach barely rates a mention in the news. Kuwait will have to wait; smell ya, Somalia.

Caroline Glick’s jeremiad against American treachery reads almost like a history paper. Iran…I read about that place once. Hanging gays (or forcing them to undergo sex-change surgeries); stoning adulterers; exporting terrorism to the four corners of the earth; swearing extermination on “the Zionist entity”. They’re still at it?

Yep, and we’re cool with it. ObamaCare and gay marriage are here to stay, and so is Hezbollah. What a great time to be alive.


What’s Wrong With Marco Rubio?

How come he hasn’t amassed wealth in the manner of his corrupt colleagues?

You all are doubtless aware that Marco Rubio has scandalized the New York Times with his record of erratic driving (two tickets in almost two decades, the other tickets either having been dismissed, or earned by his wife). Today, the Times has the vapors that Rubio once bought—sorry, “splurged on”—a boat for $80,000.

I found a powerboat for sale online for about 80 grand. Rubio’s boat might have looked something like this:

Not bad. Until you compare it to John Kerry’s seven million dollar yacht, custom-built in New Zealand.

Rubio’s boat wouldn’t make it as a lifeboat for Kerry’s—which makes sense, given that Kerry’s annual Massachusetts excise tax almost equals the cost of Rubio’s boat. If he moored the boat in Massachusetts, which he doesn’t.

But John Kerry married money. Harry Reid made it the old-fashioned way: graft.

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

When his 2010 challenger Sharron Angle asked him in a debate how he had become so wealthy, he said, “I did a very good job investing.” Did he ever. On December 20, 2005, he invested $50,000 to $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies whose shares it held included ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips. When he made a partial sale of his shares on August 19, 2008, during congressional recess, IYE closed at $41.82. Just a month later, on September 17, Reid was working to bring to the floor a bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies — including those in the fund — billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees. The bill passed a few days later, and by October 10, IYE’s shares had fallen by 42 percent, to $24.41, for a host of reasons. Savvy investing indeed.

Here’s another example: The Los Angeles Times reported in November 2006 that when Reid became Senate majority leader he committed to making earmark reform a priority, saying he’d work to keep congressmen from using federal dollars for pet projects in their districts. It was a good idea but an odd one for the senator to espouse. He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, Nev., and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency. His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

There are richer Senators, the richest Democrats, but the point is made. The Rubios have done all right for themselves, but in that quaint, old-fashioned way of hard work, diligence, good fortune, and fast-driving.

I wasn’t sure whom I supported in the Republican primaries, but the Times has made the decision for me!

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From Russia… With Love

Guess what Russia gave to John Kerry

A nice watch? A bottle of vodka? An iPhone loaded with Putin’s favorite music?

Things are so frosty between Russia and the United States these days that the slightest sign of warmth catches the eye – even a gift of spring vegetables.
Pictures from Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coast, on Tuesday showed Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, presenting John Kerry with two baskets of potatoes and tomatoes.

They love us, they really love us. :)

– Aggie


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