Friday, December 27, 2013
From: Gary L. Bauer
Tehran Defies Obama
Remember Obama’s much-hyped nuclear deal with Iran, announced just before Thanksgiving? It was supposed to delay Iran’s nuclear program for six months, allowing time to negotiate a more comprehensive agreement. Predictably, the mullahs are using the time to their advantage.
The Associated Press reports that Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, announced yesterday that the Islamic Republic is developing “a new generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment.” Under the Geneva deal, Iran agreed to limit the number of centrifuges currently spinning in its enrichment program. But it is still permitted to develop new ones, and that is exactly what the Iranians are doing.
If no deal is reached in six months, it is a sure bet that these new centrifuges will be immediately included in Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. Obama’s agreement appears to have done little more than given Iran the green light to further advance its nuclear research and development efforts.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a bi-partisan coalition of senators (15 Democrats and 19 Republicans) is pushing legislation to tighten sanctions on Iran. It is important to note that members of Obama’s own party are leading the charge in opposition to Obama’s weak-kneed approach toward Iran.
The sanctions bill is being sponsored by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez. Liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer, usually a key Obama ally, said this week, “There are many of us, Democrats and Republicans in this Senate, who believe the best way to avoid war and get Iran to give up nuclear weapons is by ratcheting up sanctions, not by reducing them.”
That is how out-of-touch Obama is when it comes appeasing the mullahs in Tehran. Sadly, Obama has vowed to veto the sanctions bill if it passes the Senate, making him, in effect, Tehran’s top lobbyist in Washington!
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Obamacare Targeting Volunteer Groups
The unintended consequences of the poorly written Obamacare law continue to shock the country. Here are a few recent examples:
- The New York Times reports that many AmeriCorps workers were told just last week that their health plans are not in compliance with Obamacare’s mandates and regulations. If they don’t buy new policies quickly, they may be forced to pay a penalty tax.This is somewhat ironic given that AmeriCorps is essentially a government program. One worker told the Times, “It’s as if the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. The Affordable Care Act has been on the books since 2010. Why are we hearing only now that our health plan is not compliant?”
- Federally-funded volunteers aren’t the only ones feeling Obamacare’s ill effects. Fire departments and other emergency service organizations across the country are panicking over whether Obamacare may force them to raise taxes or fire their volunteers.For example, Clay County, Florida, employs 157 firefighters. But that force is supported by 60 volunteer firefighters. Current Obamacare IRS regulations appear to count the volunteers as employees eligible for healthcare coverage. That means the county must raise taxes in order to dramatically increase its budget for health insurance or to pay a fine for each volunteer it refuses to cover. Or it must fire all the volunteers.
- And here’s one more example of just how badly written the Obamacare legislation is: The Washington Post writes that because of Obamacare, “…it will be literally impossible for an individual to buy a new policy in the Northern Mariana Islands, and difficult in other [U.S.] territories.”
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