Durant Democrat: Inhofe visits Durant, tours industrial area

Click here to read online at Durant Democrat

By Dan Pennington

Published October 15, 2015

Durant

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Ok) chairs the Environment and Public Works (EPW) in the United States Senate.

They oversee the Economic Development Authority. The EDA is who gave the grant to Durant for the CMC development east of Durant.

While the Senate is on recess this week, Inhofe saw this as a great opportunity to come to Durant and tour the area that will soon become Commercial Metals Company.

The area east of Durant on Old East Main near the bypass, will soon have a new entrance and exit ramp. He had a major part in funding the $1.5 million project.

The trucks carrying scrap metal to the facility will have a straight shot into the plant using the new highway addition.

Inhofe flew his “Harmon Rocket” experimental plane into Durant Regional Airport on Wednesday and met with the Democrat after his tour of the future Commercial Metals Company site east of Durant.

Inhofe has fond memories of the area from the days he shared an office with Wes Watkins.

Inhofe said, “I remember when Durant was way down economically.”

He would always pick up some of Lopez’ famous tamales and bring those home to his wife when he would visit Durant.

He said, “Durant is the success story. The EDA has done a great job here.”

###

ICYMI: Inhofe Praises Passage of FY’16 NDAA on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wednesday evening spoke on the Senate floor about the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2016. 

Senate Floor
Click here to watch the floor speech.

As prepared for delivery:

Our nation is in the midst of over two decades of wars and is being challenged on all fronts - from national states to terrorist organizations and extremists to cyber and lone wolf attacks.

Our military is directly engaged in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the demands this country is placing on them continues to increase.

Today, we voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for the 54th consecutive year.

I consider the NDAA to be the most important bill Congress considers each year.

It’s Congress’s constitutional duty to provide for the nation’s defense and exercise oversight over the President and his administration. 

The NDAA contains vital provisions that take care of our military men and women and their families – pay and benefits, bonuses, new starts for weapons programs and military construction, acquisition reforms, and additional protections for victims of sexual assault…to name just a few.

We have thousands of men and women serving in harm’s way right now, with families back home, who depend on this bill. 

They should be focusing on accomplishing their missions instead of wondering if this bill that authorizes spending priorities critical to our national security and supports the resource requirements of the Department of Defense.

While this bill does not contain every provision the Senate, House or the President would have liked, the final language is overall good policy for our national defense and provides authorizations in a timely manner.

This vital piece of legislation sets the course for our national security and provides for our nation’s nearly 2.1 million all volunteer force and their families for fiscal year 2016.

This defense funding is needed by our nation’s military to meet readiness needs at a time when the United States faces numerous conventional, cyber, and terror threats both at home and abroad.

At a time that each Service Chief, Secretary and Combatant Commander has testified that no service will be able to meet the wartime requirements under sequestration.

At a time that Secretary Carter says, “readiness remains at troubling levels across the force,” and “that even with the FY16 budget, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps won’t reach their readiness goals until 2020 and the Air Force until 2023.”

At a time that Former Sec. Hagel says, “American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and in space can no longer be taken for granted.”

At a time when ADM Winnefeld says, “there could be for the first time in my career instances where we may be asked to respond to a crisis and we will have to say that we cannot.”

At a time that GEN Dempsey says we are putting our military on a path where, “the force is so degraded and so unready” that it would be “immoral to use it.”

A time that GEN Dempsey labels “unlike any in his lifetime,”

Passage of this legislation is absolutely necessary.

Vetoing this bill would send a terrible signal to the men and women in uniform that their well-being is no longer a priority and it will show that we are unable to live up to our most fundamental responsibility: ensuring the national defense.

Vetoing this bill also sends a message to the world that the United States is not interested in national defense, maintaining stability, and supporting its security commitments.

In the past six years, roughly $1 trillion in defense cuts have been put into motion under the leadership of President Obama, yet in the past few years our nation has increased its contingency operations around the globe.

This coupled with the need to reset military equipment worn down by over two decades of combat operations, required an increase in OCO funds in order to ensure our men and women in uniform have the training and resources needed to effectively execute current and future operations.

We are already in the next fiscal year and we have a President threatening to veto an authorization bill with 12 appropriations bills passed through their committees and waiting for Senate consideration. 

By signing this bill and funding our national security, the President has an opportunity to signal to our allies and those who would oppose us that the United States is not disengaging from the world and is ready to lead.

###

ICYMI: Inhofe's SASC Q & A with General Campbell

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee (SASC), participated in a SASC committee hearing today titled “The Situation in Afghanistan”  with witness Gen. John F. Campbell, Commander of the Resolute Support Mission and United States Forces in Afghanistan. Inhofe’s dialogue with Gen. Campbell highlighted the need to re-examine the Obama administration’s U.S. troop withdrawal plan in Afghanistan. 

SASC

Click here to watch the Q & A

Unofficial Transcript: 

INHOFE:

…In our last hearing you stated the…Afghan Army and National Police have shown that they can win battles on their own over matching insurgence whenever…to challenge. You also estimated that it'd be unlikely that Taliban would be able to over- match them on the battle field in 2015.

How has your -- that estimate changed, or has it?

CAMPBELL:

Sir, I think, again, that this fighting season we knew is going to be very, very tough. I…still believe that the Taliban cannot overtake the government, they will not overthrow the Afghan government. They will continue to challenge the Afghan Security Forces as the Afghan Security Forces continue to grow. They've stretched the Afghan Security Forces, as you look at the map...

INHOFE:

Yes.

CAMPBELL:

... Senator McCain referred to. Those areas up in the north, there are some areas up in Badakhshan and in the far north- east; Faryab, Kunduz, are areas in the past that we have not seen as much insurgent activity.

But, again, they have -- all the enemy has to do is go in and cause terror, fear, and then come back out. May not try to occupy or control, but they're…really trying to stretch, I think, the Afghan Security Forces. Their…main goal continues, I believe, to be Helmand, Kandahar, the heart-land of the Taliban, and so as they pull forces from maybe the south-east to the north, it could make the Afghan's Security Forces vulnerable.

In the south the Afghan Security Forces understand this, they have a campaign plan for this fighting season, they have a campaign plan of what they want to do during the winter in preparation for the next fighting season, so I think they understand this and continue to work to try and improve.

INHOFE:

…Has there been a deterioration in the will to fight on their behalf?

CAMPBELL:

Sir, we’ve seen on two occasions here in Kunduz where the police, and probably northern Helmand -- with the police that you had…some members lose that will.

… they were hired and not gone through the requisite training, had been put out very hastily out on the check points, that may not have been supported by other forces and when they took fire, you know, they felt they may not have been supported and…they left, so.

But that is not the majority of the Afghan -- it's far from the majority of the Afghan forces, and I think they continue to learn from that and they've made adjustments.

Click here to read the full transcript.

###

ICYMI: Inhofe Gives Six Reasons Members Of Congress Should Oppose President’s Deal With Iran

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday evening addressing his disapproval of the president’s deal with Iran and delivering six reason why members of Congress should oppose it:

ICYMIClick here to watch the video

Below is an unofficial transcript of  Inhofe’s speech:

Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, it has been a long day. We have heard about everything that can be heard from a lot of different people, and I have come to some conclusions that there are some things that are incontrovertible after hearing both sides of the debate all day long. There are six things we should be looking at. I will quickly summarize these. I think it is kind of a good wrap up.

There are six things. First of all, this deal rewards and legitimizes Iran for violating international laws and treaties and United Nations Security Council resolutions. I say it rewards and legitimizes.

The second thing it does is it rewards Iran with $100 billion dollars. You heard it today. That could be a floating figure. We are not sure just how much it is, but we do know this: what they do with their money is to expand their influence with terrorist organizations.

The third thing is it places the Middle East on the brink of a new arms race. This is something we have heard from others for quite some time, and now we already have some countries coming forward with what their intentions are.

The fourth thing is it fails to dismantle Iran's enrichment infrastructure. That has been stated by a lot of people. No one really is denying that.

And fifth, it places no restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program. You have to keep in mind we have been talking about bombs all day, but you have to deliver the bombs to make them effective. That is when the missile program comes into play.

And sixth--and I think it is most important--there is, in my opinion, no verification at all.

I would like to summarize all of that real quickly. In speaking about the fact that the agreement rewards and legitimizes Iran's violations, keep in mind they have violated almost every international law or treaty or United Nations Security Council resolution. The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, for developing nuclear weapons--they have violated that. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has to do with the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination, and freedom from torture--they have violated that. The International Convention against the Taking of Hostages--several people have mentioned today--I think the junior Senator from Georgia asked: What about the four hostages who are over there?

I would carry that one step further. One of the hostages is an FBI agent named Robert Levinson. Robert Levinson now holds the record of having been held hostage longer than anyone else in history, and he is still there. He is still there at a time we are in this process.

The U.N. security resolutions on access to nuclear facilities--they have violated that. I think everyone knows that.

Iran has shown from time to time they can't be trusted. The Director General of the IAEA has said Iran has consistently failed to provide information or access needed to allay the IAEA's concerns about the weapons potential.

So that is the first thing. The second thing is rewarding the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. The United States does not normally negotiate with terrorists. This is something I have heard for many, many years, as long as I have been here, until now. Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, as we have heard all day today.

According to the State Department's ``2009 Country Reports on Terrorism,'' they have provided training and weapons to the Taliban fighting our forces in Afghanistan. Iranian IEDs have killed U.S. troops in Iraq. They have paid the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops. Iran supports Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Assad in Syria.

I had occasion to be in the Persian Gulf on the USS Carl Vinson just a few weeks ago. It was during the negotiations. There I was in the Persian Gulf at the same time an Iranian ship was taking weapons down to Yemen to kill Americans. That was while we were negotiating.

Iran is bankrolling the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrians and has publicly committed to the annihilation of the State of Israel and has called for ``Death to America'' while we are in the middle of negotiations.

General Austin, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, made the statement--and I was there when he made this statement--that ``Iran represents the most significant threat to the central region ..... Iran continues to pursue policies that threaten U.S. strategic interests and goals throughout the Middle East.''

As was stated by my good friend before me, even Susan Rice, who would do almost anything the President asks, has said we can expect some of this money--this $100 billion dollars or whatever the amount ends up being--is going to be used to fortify their terrorist friends. So we can only conclude the financial windfall estimated to be over $100 billion will be used to fortify more terrorism.

The third point I think was made today is--and these are the six I think have become incontrovertible--this agreement places the Middle East on the brink of a new arms race.

Dr. Kissinger, who testified before our committee--the Armed Services Committee just the other day--when testifying regarding the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, said, ``The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.''

We all recall last month, when Prime Minister Netanyahu warned us and said, ``The deal that was supposed to end nuclear proliferation will actually trigger nuclear proliferation. It will trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.''

Saudi Arabia has been talking recently about possibly being the first to jump in there on this new program, so we can expect that to happen. We know it is going to happen.

The fourth thing is, the agreement fails to dismantle Iran's enrichment infrastructure. I think that has been driven home by many people here. And it permits Iran to retain its enrichment infrastructure, including advanced centrifuges and continued development of its enrichment technology. That is something that is now pretty much agreed to.

Fifth, and next to last, is it places no restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile development. People have not talked much on the floor about this fact. They have talked about the bomb, but there has to be a delivery system before the bomb can be effective.

I can remember in 2007 that our unclassified intelligence report said that by 2015 Iran would have the bomb and a delivery system. Well, here it is 2015, and they weren't that far off. So we know what the capability is out there, what they are planning on doing, and the U.S. intelligence assesses--this is the quote and this is very significant--``that Iran's ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and that Iran's program on space launch vehicles improves Tehran's ability to develop longer range missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).''

What no one has mentioned on this thing is we made an arrangement in the previous administration knowing that Iran was going to have this capability. We have some 30 ground-based interceptors, but they are all on the West Coast, because we thought that was where it was going to have to come from. But guess what. All of a sudden Iran is going to be coming from the other direction. Well, the first thing this President did when he took office was to do away with our commitment.

We had an arrangement with the Czech Republic to have a ground-based interceptor there. I remember so well that one of the best friends we have over there made the statement: Are you sure if we enrage Russia by having this system that you are not going to pull the rug out from under us?

I said: Absolutely.

That was Vaclav Klaus, one of our best friends over there.

I said: Absolutely.

Of course, that is what the President did. Now we have that same problem with the delivery system.

The last thing I think is most important--and I may be the only Member of the Senate who believes this, but I look at this and I go back home. A lot of times you don't find the wisdom here in Washington; you have to go back home. Certainly over this past month, being around my State of Oklahoma, people have asked the question: Well, wait a minute, if they have all this time once accused of something or if the IAEA should say ``We believe they are making a bomb in a certain location''--once they do that, if they have the ability under this deal to delay that not just 24 hours, not just 24 days, but they can go on and delay it for two additional periods by applying to the joint commission for 15 days and then the Minister of Foreign Affairs for 15 days--that is 54 days. I suggest we stop and think about that. If we know somebody has something, but they have 54 days to either destroy it or hide it or put it someplace else, they are going to do it.

So my people in Oklahoma say there just isn't any kind of verification. And we all remember what Ronald Reagan said: ``Trust, but verify.''

These pages are too young to remember what happened with the Soviet Union and all those problems, but clearly that was the major concern at that time. So this is the situation that was pointed out way back during the joint presentation of the House and the Senate by Netanyahu. If he would just change his registration, I would love it if he would run for President of the United States. He is the kind of guy we need. He made the statement at that time that no deal is going to be better than the bad deal that is on the table. I believe that is true.

I had occasion to publish an op-ed last week in the Wall Street Journal urging States to hold fast to their sanctions on Iran. Even if they consider strengthening and expanding those sanctions, here is the thing people don't understand. The reason the President gets by with not calling this a treaty that would have to be confirmed and verified by this body is that it is dealing with the States and not the Federal Government. So my hope is that many other States will be doing what we are doing in the State of Oklahoma and holding on to our sanctions and not releasing any of them. I think that could certainly be, if this thing becomes a reality, one of the few things we can do.

I will end with a quote from then President Bill Clinton in 1994. I remember this because I was there, and I heard him make this statement. After the deal with North Korea, this is what he said:

This is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons. The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments.

Two decades later, the Defense Intelligence Agency announced that it had ``moderate confidence'' that North Korea has a nuclear weapon small enough to be placed on a ballistic missile.

So that is what is going on. In today's New York Times--I don't know how anyone can take them seriously when we have the guy who is the real boss over there--the Ayatollah Khamenei, talking about Israel, said: I'm telling you first, you will not be around in 25 years. We will annihilate you in that period of time. Then he talked about the United States. He said: Iranians must not forget the United States is the Great Satan. Ayatollah Khamenei warned, criticizing those calling for better relations, wanting to show this Satan as an angel, but the Iranian nation has pushed this Satan out. We should not allow it to sneak back in through the window.

These are the guys we are negotiating with. With that, I would say this is not a treaty, it is not a deal, it is surrender.

I yield the floor.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.

###

Mr. President, it has been a long day. We have heard about everything that can be heard from a lot of different people, and I have come to some conclusions that there are some things that are incontrovertible after hearing both sides debate all day long. There are six things we should be looking at. I will real quickly summarize these. I think it is kind of a good wrap up.

 

First of all, this deal rewards and legitimizes Iran for violating international laws and treaties and United Nations Security Council resolutions. I said - rewards and legitimizes.

The second thing it does is it rewards Iran with $100 billion dollars. You heard it today. That could be a floating figure. We are not sure just how much it is, but we do know this: what they do with their money is to expand their influence with terrorist organizations.

 

The third thing is it places the Middle East on the brink of a new arms race. This is something we have heard from others for quite some time, and now we already have some countries coming forward with what their intentions are.

 

The fourth thing is it fails to dismantle Iran's enrichment infrastructure. That has been stated by a lot of people. No one really is denying that.

 

And fifth, it places no restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program. You have to keep in mind we have been talking about bombs all day, but you have to deliver the bombs to make them effective. That is when the missile program comes into play.

 

And sixth--and I think it is most important--there is, in my opinion, no verification at all.

 

I would like to summarize that real quickly. In speaking about the fact that the agreement rewards and legitimizes Iran's violations - keep in mind they have violated almost every international law or treaty or United Nations Security Council resolution. The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons for Developing Nuclear Weapons--they have violated that. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has to do with the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination, and freedom from torture--they have violated that. The International Convention against the Taking of Hostages--several people have mentioned today--I think the junior Senator from Georgia asked: What about the four hostages who are over there?

 

I would carry that one step further. One of the hostages is an FBI agent named Robert Levinson. Robert Levinson now holds the record of having been held hostage longer than anyone else in history, and he is still there. He is still there at a time we are in this process.

 

The U.N. Security Resolutions on access to nuclear facilities--they have violated that. I think everyone knows that.

Iran has shown from time to time they can't be trusted. The Director General of the IAEA has said Iran has consistently failed to provide information or access needed to allay the IAEA's concerns about weapons potential.

So that is the first thing.

 

The second thing is rewarding the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. The United States does not normally negotiate with terrorists. This is something I have heard for many, many years, as long as I have been here, until now. Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, as we have heard it all day today.

 

According to the State Department's ``2009 Country Reports on Terrorism,'' they have provided training and weapons to the Taliban fighting our forces in Afghanistan. Iranian IEDs have killed U.S. troops in Iraq. They have paid the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops. Iran supports Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Assad in Syria.

 

I had occasion to be in the Persian Gulf on the USS Carl Vinson just a few weeks ago. It was during the negotiations. There I was in the Persian Gulf at the same time the Iranian ship was taking weapons down to Yemen to kill Americans. That was while we were negotiating.

 

Iran is bankrolling the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrians and publicly committing to the annihilation of the State of Israel and has called for ``Death for America, Death for America" while we are in the middle of negotiations.

 

General Austin, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, made the statement--and I was there when he made this statement--that ``Iran represents the most significant threat to the central region ..... Iran continues to pursue policies that threaten U.S. strategic interests and goals throughout the Middle East.''

 

As was stated by my good friend before me, even Susan Rice, who would do almost anything that the President asks, has said we can expect some of this money--this $100 billion dollars or whatever the amount ends up being--is going to be used to fortify their terrorist friends. So we can only conclude the financial windfall estimated to be over $100 billion will be used to fortify more terrorism.

 

The third thing I think was made today is--and these are the six I think have become incontrovertible— and that is this agreement places the Middle East on the brink of a new arms race.

 

Dr. Kissinger, who testified before our committee--the Armed Services Committee just the other day--when testifying regarding the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran, he said, ``The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.''

 

We recall last month, when Prime Minister Netanyahu warned us and said, ``The deal that was supposed to end nuclear proliferation will actually trigger nuclear proliferation. It will trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.''

 

Saudi Arabia has been talking recently about possibly being the first to jump in there on this new program, so we can expect it to happen. We know it is going to happen.

 

The fourth thing is, the agreement fails to dismantle Iran's enrichment infrastructure. I think that has been driven home by many people here. It permits Iran to retain its enrichment infrastructure, including advanced centrifuges and continued development of its enrichment technology. That is something that is now pretty much agreed to.

 

Fifth, and next to last, is it places no restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile development. People have not talked much on the floor about this fact. They talk about the bomb, but there has to be a delivery system before the bomb can be effective.

 

I can remember in 2007, our unclassified intelligence report said that by 2015 Iran would have the bomb and a delivery system. Well, here it is 2015, and they weren't that far off. So we know what the capability is out there, what they are planning on doing, and the U.S. intelligence assesses--this is the quote and this is very significant--``that Iran's ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and that Iran's program on space launch vehicles improves Tehran's ability to develop longer range missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).''

 

What no one has mentioned on this thing is we made an arrangement in the previous administration knowing that Iran was going to have this capability. We have some 30 ground-based interceptors, but they are all on the West Coast, because we thought that was where it was going to have to come from. But guess what. All of a sudden Iran is going to be coming from the other direction. Well, the first thing this President did when he took office, Obama did away with our commitment.

 

We had an arrangement with the Czech Republic to have a ground-based interceptor there. I remember so well that one of the best friends we have over there made the statement: Are you sure if we enrage Russia by having this system that you are not going to pull the rug out from under us?

I said: Absolutely.

That was Vaclav Klaus, one of our best friends over there.

I said: Absolutely.

 

Of course, that is what the President did. Now we have that same problem with the delivery system.

 

The last thing I think is most important--and I may be the only member of the Senate who believes this, but I look at this and I go back home. A lot of times you don't find the wisdom here in Washington; you have to go back home. Certainly over this past month, being around my State of Oklahoma, people have asked the question: Well, wait a minute, if they have all this time once accused of something or if the IAEA should say ``We believe they are making a bomb in a certain location''--once they do that, if they have the ability under this deal to delay that not just 24 hours, not just 24 days, but they can go on and delay it for two additional periods by applying to the joint commission for 15 days and then the Minister of Foreign Affairs for 15 days--that is 54 days. I suggest we stop and think about that. If we know somebody has something, but they have 54 days to either destroy it or hide it or put it someplace else, they are going to do it.

 

So my people in Oklahoma say there just isn't any kind of verification. And we all remember what Ronald Reagan said: ``Trust, but verify.''

 

These pages are too young to remember what happened with the Soviet Union and all those problems, but clearly that was the major concern at that time. So this is the situation that was pointed out way back during the joint presentation of the House and the Senate by Netanyahu. If he would just change his registration, I would love it if he would run for President of the United States. He is the kind of guy we need. He made the statement at that time that no deal is going to be better than the bad deal that is on the table. I believe that is true.

 

I had occasion to publish an op-ed last week in the Wall Street Journal urging States to hold fast to their sanctions on Iran. Even if they consider strengthening and expanding those sanctions, here is the thing people don't understand. The reason the President gets by with not calling this a treaty that would have to be confirmed and verified by this body is that it is dealing with the States and not the Federal Government. So my hope is that many other States will be doing what we are doing in the State of Oklahoma and holding on to our sanctions and not releasing any of them. I think that could certainly be, if this thing becomes a reality, one of the few things we can do.

 

I will end with a quote from then President Bill Clinton in 1994. I remember this because I was there, and I heard him make this statement. After the deal with North Korea, this is what he said:

"This is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons. The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments."

 

Two decades later, the Defense Intelligence Agency announced that it had ``moderate confidence'' that North Korea has a nuclear weapon small enough to be placed on a ballistic missile.

 

So that is what is going on. In today's New York Times--I don't know how anyone can take them seriously when we have the guy who is the real boss over there--the Ayatollah Khamenei, talking about Israel, said: "I'm telling you first, you will not be around in 25 years. We will annihilate you in that period of time." Then he talked about the United States. He said: "Iranians must not forget the United States is the Great Satan." Ayatollah Khamenei warned, criticizing those calling for better relations, wanting to show this Satan as an angel, but the Iranian nation has pushed this Satan out. We should not allow it to sneak back in through the window.

 

These are the guys we are negotiating with. With that, I would say this is not a treaty, it is not a deal, it is surrender.

 

The Oklahoman: GOP accomplishments in Congress are worth noting

Click here to read at The Oklahoman

UNDER Republican control of Congress, lawmakers have advanced modest but sensible proposals that were previously stymied under Democratic control. Yet many conservative activists decry this as a do-nothing Congress.

That conservatives hoped for more from a Republican Congress is understandable. But expectations must be tempered by political reality. So long as Barack Obama is president, progress on the nation's most pressing challenges will be exceedingly difficult. Many national policy failures originated with Obama, and he remains committed to preserving those mistakes regardless of the consequences to citizens.

Nonetheless, this Congress has been far more productive than its predecessors. Admittedly, that bar was set low given the severe dysfunction under Democratic control. Consider this: There were more votes cast in the U.S. Senate during the first two months of this year's session than in the last two years under the leadership of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.

And lawmakers have done more than simply vote. For the first time since 2009, the House and Senate have both passed a budget plan with those proposals outlining a gradual path to a balanced budget. Appropriations bills have advanced from committees on schedule.

Such accomplishments are more procedural than substantive, but represent progress and lay the groundwork for improved budget planning.

More significant measures also have advanced. Legislation authorizing construction of the Keystone pipeline was sent to the president's desk (Obama vetoed it). A major trade promotion act was approved, opening the door for consideration of free-trade agreements in the Pacific region. Rewrites of the federal No Child Left Behind education law have advanced (a process Democrats delayed for eight years). An effort to target human traffickers has advanced.

Under the leadership of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, bipartisan agreement is forming to significantly revise the Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time since its 1976 enactment, which could restrain the power of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Those are all goals conservatives broadly support. Virtually none would have advanced under Democratic leadership.

“This has been a much more successful session of Congress than most people recognize,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, told The Oklahoman editorial board. “It's passed more legislation, done more significant things, and operated more efficiently.”

Still, conservatives hoped for more, understandably so. With full control of Congress, many expected Obama would be forced to at least veto more bills, including repeal of unpopular Obamacare provisions. Many expected Obamacare's tax on medical devices to be quickly repealed, partly because many Democrats are on record opposing it. That hasn't happened — yet.

Inhofe says there are strategic reasons to delay some votes, noting Democrats will face greater pressure (and may therefore be more likely) to support repeal of the medical device tax in an election year.

But even if congressional Republicans are ultimately able to overcome Obama vetoes on select issues, those victories will be limited in scope.

Obama successfully advanced much of his agenda because his party held the presidency and supermajority control of Congress in 2009 and 2010. Until Republicans hold similar leverage, the effort to roll back the worst abuses of the Obama regime will be a slow, plodding process.

Conservative voters need to brace themselves for a long, drawn-out fight — and keep up the pressure on Congress, not throw up their hands and declare there's no difference between the parties.

###

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12
Showing page   of 12