Tell Me Something I Don’t Already Know

Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, really?

U.N. report cites secret nuclear research by Iran

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said Tuesday that it has “serious concerns” that Iran is secretly working toward building a nuclear bomb, citing documents pointing to Iranian scientists’ extensive and possibly ongoing efforts to master the technology needed for atomic weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency cited “credible” intelligence — provided by 10 countries and vetted over many months — that directly contradicts Iran’s steadfast assertions that its nuclear intentions are entirely peaceful.

“The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” the IAEA said in an uncharacteristically blunt report prepared for the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of directors.

Read the report:

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards
Agreement and relevant provisions of
Security Council resolutions in the
Islamic Republic of Iran

See also:
IAEA report: Iran has been working toward nuclear bomb since 2003
Nightmare Scenario In the Middle East as Iran Inches Closer to the Bomb
Iran’s nuclear program alarms world powers
World divided on response to Iran nuke report
US breaks silence on IAEA report,’won’t rule anything out’
European states call for stiffer sanctions against Iran following IAEA report
Official says Russia will not support any new sanctions against Iran over nuclear program
Iran says IAEA nuclear report influenced by U.S., West
PM: Iranian nukes endanger Mideast, world peace
Western Powers Warn of New Sanctions if Iran Ignores Nuclear Concerns
IAEA’s Iran Report Represents Critical Inflection Point
The IAEA report: what does it really mean and will it lead to war with Iran?

Face it, sanctions aren’t going to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, especially as long as China and Russia continue to side with Ira. That leaves only one option, a military strike. Whether a military strike will stop Iran’s nuclear program is debatable and extremely risky. However, the 100% certain alternative is that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Those are the two bad choices, a military strike or Iran gets nuclear weapons. Pick one.

/and forget about all the fussing about air routes and in-flight refueling, use ICBMs tipped with conventional ground penetrator payloads and start here

Get With The Program

Cut, cap, balance. Get used to hearing those three words, because they’re going to be the “drill baby drill” mantra of the 2012 election cycle. It’s a winning issue and our country’s fiscal survival depends on it.

Cut, cap and balance

This week a group of serious, committed advocacy organizations banded together to send a clear message to Washington and urged members of Congress to sign their pledge, titled “Cut, Cap and Balance.”

. . .

So what are the right things to do, according to the pledge?

Cut — Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.

Cap — Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.

Balance — Passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution — but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a supermajority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.

Take the pledge:

Cut Cap Balance Pledge

See also:
The Fiscal Pledge We Need: Cut, Cap, Balance
Conservative Lawmakers Sign Pledge Demanding Cuts, Caps & Balanced Budget Amendment in Debt Limit Deal
Coalition Calls for ‘Cut, Cap, And Balance’ on Capitol Hill
Conservative groups, lawmakers officially roll out Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge
Lawmakers sign pledge to balance the budget
Cut, cap, balance to save economy
CBO Warning Bolsters ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’
Cut, Cap and Balance–As in the Budget–Full-Speed Ahead
Cut, Cap, Balance: How to Address the Debt Ceiling Issue
Behind the GOP’s ‘Cut, Cap, Balance’ Pledge
Can Conservatives’ ‘Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge’ Cure Spending Problem?

Go to the pledge website, work your e-mail, work your phone. Do whatever you can to get your Congressional representatives to sign on to the Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge. Just do it, do it now.

/and if they won’t sign on, make sure you do your part to vote them out of office

Taking NATO To The Woodshed

On his way out the door, retiring U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lets it fly.

Gates Says NATO Could Face ‘Irrelevance’ in the Future

American Defense Secretary Robert Gates has told NATO members that they need to do more — and spend more — to support the alliance.

ROBERT GATES: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the US Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.”

On Friday, Mr. Gates gave his last policy speech before he retires as defense secretary on June thirtieth. He spoke in Brussels, Belgium, at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was created in nineteen forty-nine to defend western Europe against the Soviet Union.

See also:
Transcript of Defense Secretary Gates’s Speech on NATO’s Future
Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech
‘Collective Military Irrelevance’
After Gates’ Blunt Warning, What’s Next for NATO?
US warns Europe over NATO future
Libya, Europe and the future of NATO
NATO’S future at risk, warns Pentagon chief
Gates offers grim account of NATO’s Libya efforts
Gates slams NATO allies over share of combat burden
Where Gates criticizes, Obama celebrates
How long will the U.S. find NATO relevant and affordable?

Just how worthless is NATO? They’ve been battling third rate military power Libya for three months now, NATO’s running out of ammunition, and Moammar Gadhafi is still there. What would NATO do if, say, Russia attacked western Europe? If NATO can’t defeat Libya, how can they possibly defend themselves? It’s more than obvious that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to be disbanded. Why should the United States continue to put up the vast majority of funding, troops, and equipment to support Europe’s defense, when Europe refuses to defend itself?

/and why the [expletive deleted] is Turkey a member of NATO, they not only don’t contribute much of anything, they actively work against the other alliance members, how insane is that?

Have We Attacked China Yet?

No sooner was it publicly revealed that the United States would now treat damaging cyberattacks by other nations as an act of war, threatening retaliation with conventional weapons, the new, bold, some say foolish, policy, was immediately put to the test.

China Google hackers’ goal: Spying on U.S. Govt.

It’s the second time Google has blamed a major computer hacking scheme on China, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.

This time Google says unknown hackers from Jinan, China, a city with a military command center, stole the personal Gmail passwords of hundreds of senior U.S .government officials.

Google said the hackers’ “goal” was to eavesdrop on the officials — “to monitor the content of the users’ emails.”

That suggestion — of spying — rang alarm bells in the Administration.

“These allegations are very serious,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “We take them seriously. We’re looking into them.”

See also:
Clinton: Google’s China Hacking Claims ‘Very Serious’
Hillary Clinton says FBI will probe Gmail hacker attack
US Investigating Google Claim of China Hacking
FBI Investigating Google Claim that China Hacked Them
Google breach gives way to diplomatic, high-tech tensions
China Denies Accessing High Profile Gmail Accounts
Google’s groundless accuses hurt global trust on Internet
The Google-China Saga Continues
Admin: Gmail phishers stalked victims for months
Gmail Hack Targeted White House
Cyber war: Google, China in fresh spat over email hacking
Google, what exactly is the China connection for the phishing scare?
Is Google an agent of the US Government? It certainly gives that impression

So far, the U.S. has uncovered a successful espionage phishing expedition, against top level U.S. Government officials, tracked back to a specific Chinese city. Why aren’t we bombing China, isn’t this a perfect situation to show how our new military policy will treat hacking intrusions like this as acts of war? Unfortunately for us, China denies the attack and, as I pointed out yesterday, it’s extremely difficult to be absolutely sure as to the origins of cyberattacks like this, so we do nothing and our brand new policy looks foolish and radiates national weakness.

/instead of making toothless threats to send missile strikes in response to hack attacks, why don’t we just send the Chinese back a nice Stuxnet worm or take down Baidu with a complimentary DoS attack

Running On Empty

Actually, we’re running beyond empty now. The United States can’t legally borrow any more money until Congress acts to raise the debt ceiling.

US government hits debt ceiling, lighting 11-week fuse

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress on Monday that the United States has reached its legal debt limit, setting off a ticking time bomb that could explode in less than three months if lawmakers can’t bridge differences and allow more government borrowing.

In hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling – the limit on how much the government can borrow – the Obama administration on Monday began temporarily halting payments to the retirement and federal pension accounts of federal workers and started borrowing from those funds, to be restored later.

Geithner sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., warning that the government can move money around for about 11 weeks but if a new debt ceiling isn’t agreed to by Aug. 2, the U.S. government could effectively default on its obligations to its creditors. He warned of “catastrophic economic consequences for citizens” unless Congress raises the debt ceiling.

An increase of about $2 trillion is expected, enough to get the issue past the 2012 elections before Congress would have to lift it again.

Republicans who control the House of Representatives vow to link raising the debt ceiling to cuts in government spending of at least equal measure. In a combative statement Monday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, upped the ante.

“As I have said numerous times, there will be no debt limit increase without serious budget reforms and significant spending cuts, cuts that are greater than any increase in the debt limit.” Boehner has called previously for $2 trillion in spending cuts as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling.

See also:
US hits $14 trillion debt limit
US Hits Debt Ceiling, But Treasury Market Rules Out Default For Now
Deja Vu, But No Disaster: U.S. Government Hits Debt Ceiling
U.S. Hits Debt Limit, Sky Doesn’t Fall
U.S. hit debt limit today
Treasury Tapping Federal Retirement Accounts to Stave Off Default
Turbo Tim Raids Pension Plans
With Debt Limit Maxed Out, Lawmakers Hold Firm On Remedy
Rep. Jordan: U.S. won’t default if debt ceiling isn’t raised
U.S. National Debt Clock

Well, we hit the debt ceiling and, despite all the Democrat Chicken Little hysteria, the Sun didn’t explode, the seas didn’t boil, and the markets didn’t plunge thousands of points. Go figure.

/all I can say is that the Republicans had better stand firm and hold their ground this time and hold out for concrete, verifiable spending cuts that at least equal the amount of any debt limit increase