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Obama admin’s ‘deal partner’ Iran sentences WaPo reporter to prison; Obama advises foreign leaders to avoid ‘pitfalls’ of America (a Sunday open thread)

By Doug Powers  •  November 22, 2015 10:21 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

It’s a good day for a Sunday open thread, because I’ve got some snow to shovel due to climate change and also because it’s winter.

A few things to kick it off…

The Obama administration was asked time and time again why they didn’t make the Iran nuke deal contingent upon the release of American citizens being held in Iran, and John Kerry said “it was important not to hold a nuclear agreement hostage to hostages.”

The White House spiked the ball and congratulated themselves on making an “historic” deal, Iran was immediately defiant and returned to chanting “death to America,” and now they’ve sentenced the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian to prison:

Iran on Sunday confirmed that it had sentenced Iranian-American Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges including espionage.

“The verdict includes a prison term,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

He did not specify the length of the sentence.

Rezaian has been in jail in Iran for more than a year and had stood trial on charges of espionage along with other crimes against national security — charges thought to carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.


President Obama spoke in Malaysia this week:

Human Rights Watch said the ruling party in Malaysia “has engaged in a strong crackdown on civil and political rights” since losing the popular vote in 2013, and that Prime Minister Najib Razak has strengthened a sedition law after promising to repeal it. The group also said opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim received a five-year prison sentence this year on “trumped-up sodomy charges,” and that Sharia (Islamic law) courts “have increasingly been used to prosecute alleged LGBT activity.”

With that in mind, Obama thought it was time they got a lecture… about what’s wrong with America:

Obama, however, warned the leaders about such American weaknesses as racial divides, income inequality, harsh partisanship and a political system dominated by the wealthy.

“Right now, our political system does not work as well as it should,” Obama said. “And what I would say to young leaders, what sort of pitfalls should you avoid, I would say, number one, it is very important to avoid any political system where money overwhelms ideas. And the United States politics process has become so expensive and it lasts so long, and even though I was successful at it, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in television advertising and in all the things that go into a U.S. presidential campaign.”

Obama added that politics in the U.S. was increasingly defined by “personal attacks and saying very sensational things to the media.”

Funny coming from the guy who at the G20 in Turkey said some Republicans’ position on taking in Syrian refugees is “not American” and later said GOP rhetoric “helps ISIL.”


Michael Moore has graciously volunteered to show refugees that America is so unfair even the anti-capitalists have several homes, and has offered up some apartment space to Syrian refugees:

Michigan documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration continue to spar over the issue of Syrian refugees.

In a letter to Snyder posted on his Facebook page, the Oscar winner called it “disgraceful” that the governor wants to pause the process of bringing more Syrian refugees to the state.

He also volunteered his own apartment in northern Michigan as a shelter for those fleeing the war-torn country.

Now the governor’s press secretary says his views aren’t being represented accurately. And Moore reiterated to the Free Press that his offer to help the refugees is much more than symbolic.

Moore’s Facebook letter spells out why he’s opposing Snyder and how.

“I just wanted to let you know that, contrary to your declaration of denying Syrian refugees a home in our state of Michigan, I myself am going to defy your ban and will offer MY home in Traverse City, Michigan, to those very Syrian refugees you’ve decided to keep out,” wrote Moore in the letter.

“I will contact the State Department to let them know I am happy to provide a safe haven to any Syrian refugee couple approved by the Obama administration’s vetting procedures in which I have full faith and trust.”

Moore bashes the U.S. every chance he gets so I’m not sure how he can consider bringing refugees to America to be an act of compassion.


Hillary Clinton says Americans on the TSA’s no-fly list should be disqualified from owning a gun. Meanwhile, Clinton does believe that certain people under FBI investigation remain fully qualified to be president.


GOP polls from Iowa and New Hampshire according to CBS:


The Obama administration really appears to have its finger on the pulse of the American people:

The wind-up:

And the pitch:

History will view what effect eight years of the Obama administration had on the country this way:

Have a good Sunday all!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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