January 18, 2016

As expected, the Fox and Friends crew is outraged and appalled by the provisions of the Iran Deal coming to fruition. When Iran meets their end of the P5+1 bargain, they are guaranteed that their assets are unfrozen, and this is just too much to bear for these hatriots.

This morning's especially bile-inducing segment was much like you'd expect: a bitch session of disrespect and vitriol towards the 'Kerry, Clinton and Obama' foreign policy triumvirate, timelines be damned. Kerry and Clinton never served at the same time.

The right likes to cherry pick the P5+1 specifics, out of context, while neglecting to mention seditious Republican behavior. Peter Johnson Jr. unearthed the Beirut Marine barracks bombing of 1983 as a reason we shouldn't have given the money ($1.7 billion in frozen Iranian assets) back. He forgot a few egregious transgressions his own party committed, in this century.

They also forget that little 'incident' when the Republicans in the U.S. Senate signed on to Sen Tom Cotton's (R-Ar) 47 Traitors letter to Iran, urging Iran's leaders to disregard any agreement made by the Obama Administration. When a Republican 'wins' in 2016, all deals of the previous administration will be nullified, even if that's impossible with an international agreement.

Cotton's letter was a direct violation of the Logan Act. He and the other 46 GOP Senators were breaking the law, albeit one that isn't enforced, unfortunately.

The law they probably broke, the Logan Act of 1799, allows for fines and up to three years in prison.

The act bans U.S. citizens from engaging “without authority of the United States” in “correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government ... with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government ... in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.”

Peter Johnson Jr. is particularly miffed over the return of the $1.7 billion in frozen assets. His misdirected outrage is laughable considering this was their money frozen for several decades, and the amount pales in comparison to the $24 billion the Ted Cruz government shutdown cost the U.S. taxpayers.

The reality of the perceived 'windfall' to Iran is greatly exaggerated by the pundits on the Right.

The broader issue facing the Iranian government, said Rachel Ziemba a senior director for emerging markets with Roubini Global Economics in New York, is that any return to the global financial scene will have to be preceded by a period of “disentangling” the country’s banks and public institutions from the fallout of years of dubious lending practices and general economic stress.

“Iran’s banks are full of a lot of non-performing or under-performing assets … and in this period of greater sanctions and economic contraction, those probably became even less performing,” she said in an interview Friday. “Right now, the banks do not have the capacity to lend to support the real economy.”

“Let's be clear what those assets are,” Lew told members of the Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s not money we are giving to Iran. It’s Iran money that sits in other countries that was locked up because of international nuclear sanctions that were designed to bring them to the table to negotiate a nuclear agreement.”

“We think it’s about $50 billion” he continued. “There’s at least $500 billion of domestic demand. They can’t possibly scratch the surface of that need.”

Steve Doocy asked if it was a coincidence that the prisoners were released at the same time the sanctions were lifted. Peter Jr. said that it was tit for tat, basically, and it's just the U.S. getting the short end of the stick.

Doocy then asked Peter if the recent Iran-U.S. timeline is associated with President Obama trying to secure his legacy, and Johnson Jr. nods in disagreement. In an obnoxious display of disdain and disrespect for the duly elected current administration, the Junior Johnson labels U.S. foreign policy after a relatively brainless television game show.

JOHNSON JR: This is about Wheel of Fortune. It's a Wheel of Fortune foreign policy. In Wheel of Fortune, you buy vowels. Here we buy back hostages, and then say somehow it's a great coup in terms of negotiation. This is part, and to be more serious, it's truly a 13 Hours foreign policy. I watched the movie yesterday, same thing: get nothing, claim everything and Americans die and are held hostage in the end. It's BAD!

Gaining a powerful ally in the fight against the ultimate villains, ISIS, is apparently a negative. Iran is as averse to the death cult as we are (or at least should be), except that positive is left out of every discussion regarding the 'Axis of Evil' nation of Iran. I suppose it is helpful to the average Fox viewer that you compare complex diplomacy to simple television and movie references that they can wrap their heads around.

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