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US-Iran Nuclear Deal: The Basics

What is the nature of the deal that was reached?

“It’s more of an interim agreement before the deal. Described as an initial, six-month deal, the White House says it includes “substantial limitations that will help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon.” In short, it slows the country’s nuclear development program in exchange for lifting some sanctions while a more formal agreement is worked out.”

It’s not permanent, so why is it a big deal?

 “For years, Iran and Western powers have left negotiating tables in disagreement, frustration and open animosity. But the diplomatic tone changed after Iran’s election this year, which saw President Hassan Rouhani take over. “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program,” U.S. President Barack Obama says.”

What about the stockpiles Iran already has?

“As part of the deal, Iran will be required to dilute its stockpile of uranium that had been enriched to 20%. While uranium isn’t bomb-grade until it’s enriched to 90% purity, “once you’re at 20%, you’re about 80% of the way there,” Hibbs says. The deal also mandates Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and dismantle the technical equipment required to do that. Before the end of the initial phase of the deal, all its stockpiles should be diluted below 5% or converted to a form not suitable for further enrichment, the deal states.”

What’s in it for Iran?

“Billions of dollars.”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/24/world/meast/iran-nuclear-deal-qa/

Secretary of State John Kerry’s Prominent Role in the Iran Nuclear Deal

“The deal Kerry was instrumental in cutting is a diplomatic coup, even if its effectiveness and durability remain in doubt. It sets new boundaries for Iran’s disputed nuclear program that represent significant compromises and concessions for Iran as well as the international coalition that suspects it of seeking nuclear weapons.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/kerry-plays-the-closer-in-iran-deal/2013/11/24/14714e7e-5537-11e3-bdbf-097ab2a3dc2b_story.html

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Calls Deal “Historic Mistake”

“What was concluded in Geneva last night is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake,” he said.

“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/24/us-iran-nuclear-israel-idUSBRE9AN07320131124

How Iran Nuclear Deal Could Affect US Geostrategy

“Even the most optimistic Middle East analyst probably is not cockeyed enough to expect Iran’s nuclear agreement to also mean it will withdraw the many tentacles it uses to work its will in places from Syria to Iraq to the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. But eliminating the nuclear threat from the geostrategic equation in the neighborhood would reduce the risks to the U.S. and its allies — especially Israel — by many orders of magnitude.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/iran-deal-could-change-the-strategic-calculus-100304.html

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Snowden’s Leaks 

“In a perfect world the officials who want to destroy such machines[laptops] prefer them to be dropped into a kind of giant food mixer that reduces them to dust. Lacking such equipment, The Guardian purchased a power drill and angle grinder on July 20 this year and—under the watchful eyes of two state observers—ripped them into obsolescence.”

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/nov/21/snowden-leaks-and-public/?page=1

Healthcare.gov Likely to Lose 1/3 of a Letter Grade for Missed Deadline 

“In Pennsylvania, Charles Roes­sler, 64, tried to apply three ways: online, through a call center and on paper. The retired computer salesman has decided on a health plan but hasn’t been able to sign up via any of the methods because no one has been able to verify his subsidy.

During his most recent attempt, on Monday, he asked a call center representative to delete duplicate applications but was told that the center lacked the authority.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/troubled-healthcaregov-unlikely-to-work-fully-by-end-of-november-as-white-house-vowed/2013/11/12/daf9670a-4bca-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html?hpid=z1

Hide Your Crack Pipe: Life Sentences Dealt for Non-Violent Crimes 

“A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes

Federal Reserve Apologetics: Quantitative Easing is a Wall Street Bailout 

“Having racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in opaque Fed subsidies, U.S. banks have seen their collective stock price triple since March 2009. The biggest ones have only become more of a cartel: 0.2% of them now control more than 70% of the U.S. bank assets”

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303763804579183680751473884

Photo Credit: businessinsider.com

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Obama’s Approval Rating Turns Bush-like 

“In the new poll, more voters in every age and income group disapproved than approved, as did voters in two core Democratic blocs: women and  Hispanics. Mr. Obama held onto strong approval numbers among African American voters.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/11/12/trust-in-obama-plunges-in-new-poll/

Bill Clinton Weighs in on the ACA

“”I personally believe, even if it takes changing the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton told OZY TV ”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/12/bill-clinton-health-care_n_4260184.html

Hillary ’16? Not So Fast 

“Clinton represents the head of the Democratic party. But Warren is its heart.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/11/11/why-elizabeth-warren-should-scare-hillary-clinton/

Toobin’s Take on Stop & Frisk 

“Indeed, the N.Y.P.D. has implicitly recognized its own excesses with stop-and-frisk, and has dramatically cut back the number of confrontations in recent months—with no uptick in the crime rate. But, rhetorically and legally, the city continues to insist that it did nothing wrong, and the old-boy network at the Second Circuit seems poised to agree.”

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/11/the-last-word-on-stop-and-frisk.html

Photo Credit: itsonbroadway.wordpress.com

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