Freshest Country Air
The White House
September 20, 2015
Thank you for writing. After 2 years of negotiations, the United States—together with our international partners—has achieved what decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive, long-term deal that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal shows that American leadership and diplomacy can bring real and meaningful change that makes our country and our world safer and more secure. We negotiated from a position of strength and principle, and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon. I want to make sure you know what this deal means and how it works.
Under this deal, Iran will not be able to produce highly enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium—the raw materials necessary to build a bomb. Iran will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges—the machines necessary to produce highly enriched uranium—and store them under constant international supervision. To put that in perspective, Iran currently has a uranium stockpile that could produce up to 10 nuclear weapons, and that stockpile will be reduced to a fraction of what would be required for a single weapon. Additionally, Iran will modify its nuclear reactor in Arak so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium, and all spent fuel from the reactor will be shipped out of the country indefinitely.
This deal is not built on trust; it’s built on verification. For the first time, we will be in a position to verify that Iran is meeting all of these commitments. International nuclear inspectors will have access to Iran’s nuclear program where and when necessary. This is the most comprehensive and intrusive verification regime we have ever negotiated. If Iran tries to divert raw materials to covert facilities, inspectors will be able to access any suspicious locations. As Iran implements this deal, it will receive gradual relief from sanctions, and if it violates any aspect of this agreement, sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy will snap back into place.
That’s the deal. It has the full backing of the international community. Without it, there would be no agreed-upon limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, and other countries would feel more compelled to pursue their own programs—threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world. Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East. That is why it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal. Moving forward, I welcome a robust debate in Congress on the details of this agreement. As Commander-in-Chief, I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents its successful implementation.
Our differences with Iran are real, and the difficult history between our nations cannot be ignored—but it is possible to change. The path of violence and rigid ideology—a foreign policy based on threats to attack neighbors or eradicate Israel—is a dead end. A different path of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive. This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction, and we should seize it.
Again, thank you for writing. To learn more about this historic deal and how it will make the United States, our allies, and our world safer, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Iran-Deal.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500 September 9, 2015
This letter is to lend my support and congratulations on the historic negotiated agreement (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am a retired Social Studies teacher just across Lake Michigan from Chicago with a daughter working as a Speech Pathologist on the north end of the City. Our other daughter is a physical therapist in Indianapolis. Both work and live in major U.S. cities, so the agreement with Iran to shut down the creation of nuclear weapons matters a great deal to my wife and I. The success of Secretaries Kerry and Munoz in crafting the terms and collaborating with their partners to gain what is, arguably, a fair, detailed, and comprehensive agreement will be hailed as a landmark in the history of nuclear nonproliferation.
Those 100% of Senate Republicans and four Democratic Senators who are promoting its failure are wrong. The good news is, 42 Senators disagree and will derail Leader McConnell’s intention to disapprove the JCPOA. It is good for the country, our ally, Israel, and the region for this agreement to be implemented, no matter what the naysayers believe or say. Senator Cruz’s comments on the floor of the Senate today amounted to gross demagoguery at best and dishonest rhetoric at worst. It is also a sign that your work to develop and create a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear threat is the correct policy. When Ted Cruz spins off into his furious Joe McCarthy mode, you are doing something good and right.
I wrote to you a few years ago in your first term to do all that you could to avoid major military action against Iran. Thank you and your team for taking a diplomatic approach, first, to reach the deal that averted all-out war. The Middle East with all of its medieval religious conflict has been a pit of death for American servicemen and women under hawkish Republican leadership. You have instilled a radical, new strategy to stabilize the relentless militarization of that region. As you finish your tenure as president, keep our soldiers and sailors out of harm’s way if at all possible. Your work in diplomacy and other areas such as environmental preservation, clean energy, and economic growth is inspiring.
Bless you and your family, President Obama. I wish you well and good health for a long, long time. And Go, Bears!
It is very likely that Thomas Paine was not referring to planet Earth in his stirring assertion listed above. As the premier social commentator of his time, he was talking about the human beings that inhabited the planet during the American Revolution. His point suggested that societies would be well advised to assess what life was designed to be by the powers that ruled this and that nation and people. Then, it would become apparent to the simplest of the masses that a new order would provide the human race with a far more pleasant experience when the common people chose to rule themselves.
Kings, czars, princes, and shoguns would take a backseat and be forced to remove their artificial authorities to govern. The United States was an experiment in democracy that opened the doors the future for the human race to start the society of their choosing over along with the relationship of people and structured systems of law and order.
CAN THIS EVER END?
Something that has been going on for centuries is a hard nut to crack or change in its basic characteristics. The cable news channels have been buzzing, nonstop, since the horrible terror attack in Paris Friday night. Americans on Facebook are covering themselves with the flag of France, presidential candidates of both major parties are staking out their claims and promoting their views in time with the fury of the news coverage that flew crews to Paris for on the scene broadcasts, the multiple airstrikes on ISIL's capital and headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, Sunday night, and now, the race between governors closing their states to Syrian refugees in fear of terror strikes on their soil grows by the hour. It is undeniable that, like the coordinated attack on 9/11/01 in our country, the brutal murders in Paris have shaken the world and raised a global call to arms against evil.
President Obama does not intend to send American combat soldiers to lead the western world against the radical extremists. Generally, he refuses to resume conventional military operations in the Middle East and is advancing a collective approach of coalition forces to battle ISIL on their territory along with support for the U.S. Air Force, special operations, and shared intelligence to degrade and demolish their identifiable forces on the ground. The troubling reality is, however, the more troubling capability of the terrorist monstrosity of ISIL involves random, but well-coordinated, sudden attacks like that which stunned Parisians, first, and then the rest of her allies, instantly.
Washington, D.C., is now under threat as the next high-visibility target, according to the latest release from the wicked, uniformed spokesman of the world’s most wanted group of merciless criminals---just what we Americans were hoping for as the holiday season descends upon us. What worries me the most, is the detonation of a nuclear device in one of our major cities. These monsters have no problem killing thousands of innocent human beings to gain an edge in their war on western civilization. War is a symptom of the root cause of the inherent evil of ISIL. Hateful people thrive on a war footing. Men and boys who like to explode ordnance enjoy war and the conflict that enables them to explode more TNT devices. It is the need and desire for destruction that fans the flames of evil.
Fighting against this army of evil already has cost the U.S. over 3,000 lives and 35,000 wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama has decided to extract our good servicemen and women from this cauldron of death with the knowledge that ISIL is a multi-headed snake with groups in at least twelve different countries. Following on the destruction wrought by al-Qaeda, the radical jihadists are widening their holy war (a misnomer) to any area where instability and weak governance exists. The American people were reluctant to pay for the war in Iraq, but put a $1 trillion into that quagmire. This president seeks the involvement of the rest of the world to slow and then stop ISIL in its tracks.
2016 - An Acrimonious Presidential Election Year.
Now the tone of the primary election for the presidency has turned vicious as protests and violence have surfaced at Donald Trump rallies in the days leading up to the March 15th Super Tuesday II. With big states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and Illinois waiting to tally millions of votes in three days, all hell has broken loose on the Republican side of the ledger. Protesters in Chicago prevented Donald Trump from holding a scheduled rally at the University of Chicago Pavillion on Friday, March 11th.
Why Not Support President Obama?
In the final year of his presidency, the odds are very slight that he can look to opponents like John Kubik to find a way to support his initiatives. Mr. Kubik could only conclude that the president “exists and operates in some type of parallel universe separated by the harsh facts of reality” in delivering his final State of the Union address to Congress. This parallel universe metaphor was mentioned by several of his critics and Republican candidates for his office in the spin period after his speech in their relentless anti-Obama choir of scathing rebuke. Better put, it reveals more about these opponents of the Obama administration than the state of the American economy they relentlessly decry at the same time it is leading the rest of the world.
President Obama has often included in speeches the caveat that, while the economic indicators are pointing upward, many people are still left out of the recovery and must not be forgotten in the national scale of growth strategy. Yes, the number of Americans still out of the labor force is staggering, but is that Barack Obama’s fault? I don’t suppose the global economy and corresponding loss of American manufacturing sector jobs should share any of the blame for the increase in food stamp recipients. How many thousands of jobs followed the closing of Joy Manufacturing, Weil-McClain, Pullman, JayMar-Ruby, Burnham Glove, Sullair’s cutbacks, and other local factories? Did any president, current or past, cause those closings? Did the employees who lost their jobs write to the president with their desperate complaints? I doubt it. My TV was made in Japan, my refrigerator in Korea, and my iPhone in China. My shirts and shoes come from Asia and Central America. I could go on and on to make this point.
Regarding the national debt, has the Congress passed a budget since President Obama’s political opponents have controlled both houses for the last five years? No, there has been instead, a series of debt-laden continuing resolutions mostly passed in frantic hours before the government ran out of money to function, and once when the government shut down---costing the U.S. economy about $20 billion in the aftermath. No, the glass is half-full and President Obama spent his final SOTU speech pointing to his desire to make progress in several major policy areas before he turns over the reins of office to a successor. Among those priorities, he spoke, is the need to reform the damaging effects of big-money on the democratic system of American government. That is the bottom line. No support is expected from the obstructionists in Congress, unfortunately. Bipartisan cooperation is a lost art in Washington D.C.
Michigan City News-Dispatch " Friday, 1/23/16
Christie, Walker, Huckabee and Paul
Soon to Exit the Race for President.
After the Republican candidates debate on CNN from the Reagan Presidential Library, it is possible and probable that four of them will think twice about their fledgling attempts to gain the nomination from their party this election cycle. Chris Christie and Scott Walker have seen the public's support fall precipitously of late. Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, too, are close to throwing in the towel, in this writer's opinion, because the competition is just too overwhelming. The rise of Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina has created almost devastating separation with the Iowa caucuses still four months away. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz will stand pat until poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, then they will also face extinction.
John Kasich and Marco Rubio have staying power because they hail from two key electoral states, Ohio and Florida, respectively. So even if the top job is unreachable, they stand to gain acclamation with an offer as a running mate for the eventual winner----who will NOT be Donald Trump. That train will not generate the votes needed to gain the nomination. Dr. Carson or Ms. Fiorina, however, might gain the momentum to ride their trains to a glorious victory in Philadelphia come August, 2016.