U.S. Sanctions on Iran Leave Pension Funds on Brink of Collapse

Crippling sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran since President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal last year have left pension funds throughout the country on the brink of collapse, according to documents reviewed by National Security Council officials and obtained by Fox News. . .

“They have fewer resources. We can see it with the Shia militias in Iraq. They’re scrambling for resources. We think the Iranian government will shrink, that their GDP will shrink by as much as 12 or 14 percent this year,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday,” speaking to the economic impact. “This will reduce their capacity to purchase the things they need, the equipment they need, the materials they need, to inflict terror around the world.”

The impact has been so severe that of the 18 existing retirement funds in Iran, 17 are in the red, according to these documents. That includes the pension funds for all of Iran’s armed forces.

As much as 80 percent of Iran’s retirement funds rely on government subsidies, which the documents refer to as unsustainable for not just pensions but for food products, drugs and fuel. . .

The details from the pressure campaign come amid reports that Trump is now considering throwing support behind a plan crafted by French President Emmanuel Macron that would extend a $15 billion line of credit to the regime in Tehran if leaders agree to come back into compliance with terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement. (Read more from “U.S. Sanctions on Iran Leave Pension Funds on Brink of Collapse” HERE)

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Why Conservatives Must Fight Judicial Supremacism — and Not Hang Their Hopes on John Roberts

The reason why judges don’t stand for election is because they are supposed to look narrowly at the law, regardless of their political positions or political pressure from elites in media and culture. Yet Chief Justice John Roberts appears to be crafting vital legal opinions based on nothing more than a scorecard of how often each political side wins on a legal question. The latest revelation that Roberts might have changed his mind on the census case, just as he did on Obamacare, should give conservatives pause about putting their faith in a “conservative Supreme Court” rather than delegitimizing the concept of judicial supremacy in the first place.

Joan Biskupic, a CNN legal analyst and Supreme Court biographer, wrote an “exclusive” exposé on Thursday suggesting that initially, “Roberts was ready to rule for [Secretary of Commerce] Ross and the administration. But sometime in the weeks that followed, sources said, Roberts began to waver.”

The reason this report sounds credible is because, as I noted at the time of the ruling, if you read Roberts’ plurality opinion, the legal reasoning sounds like the opposite of his final order, the same phenomenon that gave away his flip in the Obamacare case. Roberts noted that the citizenship question is the essence of the census, has been with us for most of our history, and that nothing in the Constitution, census statute, or even the rule-making process under the APA precluded the president from doing this. But he then concluded that the case should go back to the lower court because he didn’t like the reason the secretary of commerce gave for why the administration chose to reinstate the citizenship question.

The problem with this rationale is that if there is no violation of statute or the Constitution, then how is there a valid case or controversy against the administration, regardless of the reason they give for a policy, especially something as obvious as asking about citizenship on a census? Whether you are a liberal or a conservative, his decision made no sense.

I have noticed in following many other Roberts decisions that he has an iron political motivation to avoid making the Supreme Court look too “conservative” at all costs. Thus, he finds ways to either allow liberal rulings to stand by not taking up appeals or uses tortured logic to join with the liberals on some other cases, but in a convoluted way that he thinks won’t offend his personal jurisprudence. He so badly doesn’t want to be political that he is more political than anyone else.

In the run-up to this past term’s grand finale in June, many court watchers and commentators that I follow were speculating about a “conservative sweep” in the critical cases. But Roberts found ways to side with the leftists. He did so on a number of criminal “rights” cases, executions, a global warming case, and an administrative state case, in addition to flipping on the census.

There is a simple reason why conservatives should win every case at the Supreme Court: The law compels it. Most (but not all) political cases initially brought to court are from the Left. This is because, in general, leftists control the legal profession and more aggressively litigate political issues, but it’s also particularly true today because Trump is president and they will naturally shoot at anything he does in court. Thus, by definition, the cases the Supreme Court gets are appeals from lower court judges who created insane new constitutional rights or adopted novel rules of standing. Sorry to break it to you, Roberts, but you have an obligation to aggressively swat them down categorically.

Most of the court’s cases are not 50-50 equal constitutional questions. They are legally 100-0 no-brainers but nonetheless are viewed, at least by the elites, as political 50-50 issues or as leftist winners. Any judge, regardless of his politics, is obligated to side with the law, even if that means siding against the political outcome of the more popular political movement in Washington 10 out of 10 times.

Take Obama’s DACA amnesty, for example. Among the D.C. elites, 90 percent of Republicans support it. Heck, even Trump supports it. Nonetheless, anyone with any legal honesty would know that this doesn’t even register as a legal case. There is no way, however much you want the result, to say that Obama can take people whom law requires be deported and give them legal documents, much less mandate that Trump must continue this usurpation. You could be a rabid open-borders advocate from a political standpoint, but you’d have to concede that there is no legal justification, much less legal mandate, for Obama’s amnesty.

But it appears that for Roberts, it would be perceived as an act of right-wing court bias to rule correctly. Thus, either he will employ another tortured legal trick to avoid categorically throwing out the lawsuit, or he will “compensate” for a proper ruling on amnesty by agreeing with the Left in another absurd case. And there are plenty of totally absurd cases to choose from: a ruling creating a right for 7.8 billion people to immigrate, a ruling creating a right for Planned Parenthood to be subsidized, another case where they say transgenderism is in the Civil Rights Act, and yet another case where the Ninth Circuit says the Eight Amendment creates a right for prisoners to undergo taxpayer-funded castration.

No sane person can say the law or Constitution mandates those policies. As such, any honest justice not only must reverse those opinions, but is obligated to do so as early and as categorically as possible. The simple reality is that most cases coming before the court that are very political have a “legal” foundation built upon insanely novel “constitutional” ideas.

Imagine for a moment if the shoe were on the other foot. Let’s say conservatives got their favorite judges to indulge the following propositions: abstinence organizations are entitled to free taxpayer funding, government can mandate that all citizens without a criminal record must own a gun, and government must pay for at least one firearm for people who can’t afford them. Even with gun rights emphatically listed in the Constitution, while the right to immigrate is not, Americans suing for government-funded guns is absurd. And illegal aliens crashing our border and then suing because they don’t like the free medical care they get is even zanier. But the Supreme Court would immediately “side with the Left” in these hypotheticals, and likely call for the removal of those lower court judges mandating taxpayer-funded firearms.

But the Left has successfully made its most insane ideas mainstream and at least a 50-50 toss-up legal questions in the courts. This is why Roberts feels the pressure to make up reasons to rule with the Left and often quietly allows absurd lower court rulings to stand in the “shadow docket,” as he sometimes agrees to overturn others.

Which brings us back to the census case. Nobody had any inkling that Roberts could buy into the absurd notion that the census can’t ask a citizenship question. But he is not governed by law or rationality; it seems he is governed by his perception of the equilibrium of politics in Washington.

This is why conservatives are foolish to agree to judicial supremacism and then put their faith in somehow winning the supremacism game. Instead, it’s time to educate the public in the fact that the courts don’t have the final say over political matters. Courts are every bit as political as the political branches. So let’s keep the politics where it actually belongs, where it is more transparent, and where the public can address their problems through elections. (For more from the author of “Why Conservatives Must Fight Judicial Supremacism — and Not Hang Their Hopes on John Roberts” please click HERE)

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Republicans Would Be Dumb Not to Pick a Budget Fight Over Sanctuary Cities

Very few people in America realize the extent to which Democrat-controlled areas are now harboring the worst illegal alien sex offenders and dangerous criminals. Republicans barely talk about it and never use any legislative leverage point to expose the issue and force a resolution. The latest budget deadline is a perfect opportunity for them to either end sanctuary cities or expose the open-borders supporters to the American people. They’d be dumb not to pick a budget fight over this issue right now. Case in point? Montgomery County, Maryland.

Hillary Clinton carried Montgomery County 75-19. Local Democrats couldn’t lose office if they tried. Yet a sustained focus from just a few reporters and one Trump administration official on how its sanctuary policies harbored scores of illegal alien sex offenders has brought County Executive Marc Elrich to the negotiating table.

WAMU reports that after meeting with ICE officials on Wednesday, Elrich is considering changing his policies on notifying ICE when local police release criminal aliens from local jails. Frank Madrigal, ICE’s Baltimore deputy field office director, said in a statement, “We are pleased that we were able to come together with Montgomery County officials today to speak more clearly and candidly about our goals for public safety.” While stopping short of touting any policy breakthrough, he noted that in general, “This kind of open dialogue is welcome, productive, and more supportive of our public safety practitioners and the communities they serve.”

National Republicans as well as anyone in the Trump administration not named Ken Cuccinelli (who is already aggressively fighting sanctuaries) should watch and take notes. Imagine if every elected Republican hammered the issue of criminal aliens released or harbored by sanctuary jurisdictions in their respective states every day. Democrats could never withstand a sustained public focus on refusing to turn over other countries’ criminals to ICE. It would single-handedly realign the electoral map. Yet they barely say a word even when the most egregious illegal alien crimes occur in their home states.

Take North Carolina for example. I’ve reported on numerous murders and rapes allegedly committed by illegal aliens and the fact that Mecklenburg County’s sanctuary policies resulted in the worst criminal aliens being able to reoffend. Yet not a single federally elected North Carolina Republican is pushing a national fight or an effort to defund places like Mecklenburg County.

Consider the fact that Republican Dan Bishop won the special election in the 9th District by just two points, even though Republican presidential candidates carried the district by 12 points during the past two elections. That was due to the poor showing in the portion of the district that includes part of Mecklenburg County. Imagine if Republicans had been building the case against this sanctuary for months and exposing every criminal alien case.

According to a recent Harvard/Harris poll, 72 percent of overall voters and 76 percent of suburban voters oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Imagine if the election were framed around the specific issue of harboring illegal aliens arrested for other crimes, allowing them to remain here to commit more serious crimes? Even Democrats elected in 75-20 blue counties do not want that sort of PR nightmare, as we see.

Which brings us to the September 30 budget deadline. Republicans have already given away the farm on the budget caps. They will spend us into oblivion. They are left with no narrative headed into the election. Why not have the Senate bring a continuing resolution to the floor that defunds cities that violate federal law and shield illegal aliens arrested for crimes from detection? Voters care a lot more about the release of illegal alien child sex offenders than a risk of a partial, temporary government shutdown. Republicans sure won’t fight on anything this time next year, right before the election, so now is the only time to do it.

Today, congressional Republicans are meeting in Maryland at their annual policy and strategy retreat to cast around for a winning agenda. The irony of the location for their retreat is likely lost on them because they almost never discuss sanctuary cities, MS-13, or the massive illegal alien crime wave. But perhaps if they peek out their hotel windows, they will be reminded that the winning agenda is staring them in the face. (For more from the author of “Republicans Would Be Dumb Not to Pick a Budget Fight Over Sanctuary Cities” please click HERE)

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Beto’s Coming for Your Guns: ‘Hell Yes, We’re Going to Take Your AR-15’

By Townhall. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke pledged to go after AR-15s and AK-47s during Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston, Texas.

ABC’s David Muir asked O’Rourke if he stood by his proposal for a mandatory buyback program, noting that many were equating it to gun confiscation. . .

He continued: “When we see that being used against children, and in Odessa, I met the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was shot by an AR-15, and that mother watched her bleed to death over the course of an hour because so many other people were shot by that AR-15 in Odessa and Midland, there weren’t enough ambulances to get to them in time, hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

(Read more from “Beto’s Coming for Your Guns: Candidate Vows to Take AR-15s” HERE)

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O’Rourke’s Debate-Stage Vow: ‘Hell Yes, We’re Going to Take Your AR-15’

By Fox News. Arguing for a mandatory buyback of assault weapons, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke declared during Thursday night’s presidential debate, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15, AK-47.”

The line from the former congressman from Texas received loud applause from the audience at the third-round debate, which was held in Houston. . .

In the wake of multiple deadly mass shootings last month, including two in Texas, many of the Dem candidates stepped up their calls for the federal government to start buying back assault-style weapons from owners – with some of the White House hopefuls urging mandatory buybacks.

O’Rourke was among the candidates to recently declare, “Americans who own AR-15s and AK-47s will have to sell their assault weapons.”

O’Rourke’s campaign quickly took to Twitter to fundraiser off the debate moment. Showing the picture of an assault weapon, the campaign tweeted “Beto has a plan for that.”

(Read more from “O’Rourke’s Debate-Stage Vow: ‘Hell Yes, We’re Going to Take Your AR-15’” HERE)

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Gay Buttigieg: Supporting Trump ‘Is Supporting Racism’; Beto’s Website: ‘The President of the United States of America Is a White Supremacist’

By Breitbart. . .Univision Anchor Jorge Ramos asked, “Eight out of 10 Latinos in Texas fear another mass shooting targeted them. This is according to a new Univision pool. President Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists and killers, tried to ban Muslims from entering this country, separated children from their parents. He supporters have chanted ‘build a wall’ and ‘send her back.’ Do you think people who support President Trump and his immigration policies are racist?

Buttigieg said, “Anyone who supports this is supporting racism.” (Read more from “Gay Buttigieg: Supporting Trump ‘Is Supporting Racism’” HERE)

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Beto’s Website: ‘The President of the United States of America Is a White Supremacist’

By The Blaze. Struggling Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke is getting desperate in his quest to appeal to the far-left base, even declaring on his campaign website Thursday night: “The president of the United States of America is a white supremacist.” . . .

O’Rourke is seeking to breathe life into his campaign amid consistently weak polling performances, and apparently used the occasion of the third Democratic presidential primary debate to go for broke. . .

But as the debate wore on, pundits on the Twittersphere discovered that O’Rourke’s campaign website had also been updated for debate night.

“Here’s proof,” the site says, citing dozens of “examples.” The first was reportedly pulled from the El Paso Times, and reads, “Trump falsely claimed that El Paso, one of America’s safest cities, had ‘extremely high rates of violent crime’ before fences were built.”

Another example quoted USA Today as reporting that “Trump launched his campaign calling immigrants ‘rapists’ and criminals.” A third excerpt was from CNN, and read, “Trump said there is an ‘infestation’ of gangs in our country.” (Read more from “Beto’s Website: ‘The President of the United States of America Is a White Supremacist'” HERE)

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Parkland Father Exposes How Killer Was Enabled by Obama’s School-Leniency Policies

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was a victim of the Parkland massacre that left 17 dead, is on a mission to make sure other parents are aware of what failed in Broward County so that future school tragedies might be prevented.

The mourning father has written a book spelling out the countless red flags school officials and law enforcement were handed regarding the deranged murderer who took the lives of so many innocent victims, including Meadow — and says policies implemented by President Barack Obama prevented the reporting of an abundance of evidence that could have been used to stop his daughter’s killer. . .

The piece goes through a litany of events which — although apparently disturbing enough for Cruz’s teachers to report in their notes — were either never reported to or dismissed by proper authorities. One noteworthy example was that Cruz’s psychiatrist insisted her patient should not be admitted in to JROTC citing “the safety of others/himself,” but he was nonetheless enrolled in the program and “literally” given “an air gun, shaped like an AR-15, and [allowed to] practice shooting.”

On Wednesday, Pollack explained to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, a specific example of how policies implemented by the Obama administration contributed to Cruz slipping through the cracks.

“Students were allowed four misdemeanors per school year without being introduced to the judicial system,” Pollack said. “And then, at the end of the year — if you can believe this, Tucker — so that was in the ninth grade, you had a kid next to your kid in the classroom, commits four misdemeanors, and then the next year in tenth grade, he resets at zero, again, and is allowed another four misdemeanors per school year.” (Read more from “Parkland Father Exposes How Killer Was Enabled by Obama’s School-Leniency Policies” HERE)

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Andrew Yang Does What No Other Presidential Candidate Has Ever Done at Democratic Debate — but It Could Be Illegal

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang promised to do what no other candidate has ever done at the third Democratic debate, and he revealed his legally-suspect strategy in his opening statement.

The entrepreneur announced that he would give $1,000 a month to ten randomly selected families that signed up at his website. . .

“In America today everything revolves around the almighty dollar,” he began.

“It’s time to stop trusting politicians and start trusting ourselves – so I’m going to do something unprecedented tonight,” he continued.

“My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families,” he announced. (Read more from “Andrew Yang Does What No Other Presidential Candidate Has Ever Done at Democratic Debate — but It Could Be Illegal” HERE)

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Joe Biden Attacked During Debate over Memory Problems; Democrat Debate Highlights: Biden at Center Stage and Focus of Attacks

By Daily Wire. During Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro attacked former Vice President Joe Biden over his health care plan, saying that it would leave many Americans uninsured.

“The difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in, and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled, they wouldn’t have to buy in,” Castro said to Biden.

“You do not have to buy in,” Biden responds.

“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago,” continues Castro. “Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I can’t believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in, and now you’re saying they don’t have to — you’re forgetting that.”

Immediately after the exchange, the internet reacted with a mixture of humor and shock. Trevor Noah, the host of The Daily Show, tweeted a clip of the exchange with the caption, “Achievement Unlocked: Elder Abuse.”

(Read more from “Joe Biden Attacked During Debate over Memory Problems” HERE)

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Democrat Debate Highlights: Biden at Center Stage and Focus of Attacks

By Politico. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren shared a debate stage for the first time Thursday. But it was former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro who went hardest after the ex-vice president and Democratic front-runner. . .

Joe Biden spent the first two debates of the Democratic presidential primary as the front-runner waiting to get attacked onstage.

On Thursday, Biden decided to go on the attack and take on the two primary rivals threatening his first place status — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — over health care, prompting a lengthy debate that pitted the more moderate candidates against the more progressive ones.

“I think we should have a debate on health care. I think — I know that the senator says she’s for Bernie, well, I’m for Barack. I think the Obamacare worked,” Biden said, not so subtly pointing out he was the vice president of the last Democratic president. (Read more from “Democrat Debate Highlights: Biden at Center Stage and Focus of Attacks” HERE)

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Woman with Dementia Euthanized Against Her Will and the Doctor Isn’t Getting in Trouble

Three years ago, a 74-year-old Dutch woman with dementia was euthanized by a doctor who drugged the patient’s coffee without her knowledge and then had family members physically restrain her for the final lethal injection.

The doctor, who has not been publicly named, was cleared of all wrongdoing by a court in the Netherlands on Wednesday, “clarifying” the country’s euthanasia law enacted in 2002 in relation to patients with “severe dementia,” according to MedicalXPress.

Patients with dementia can now be killed by their doctors even if they strongly object to euthanasia at the time, so long as they have previously given consent for the fatal procedure. In other words, if a patient were to change their mind about the assisted suicide, a doctor could still legally kill them against their will. “The court ruled that in rare cases of euthanasia that were being performed on patients with severe dementia — and who had earlier made a written request for euthanasia — the doctor ‘did not have to verify the current desire to die,'” MedicalXPress reported.

And in the case of this specific Dutch woman with dementia, she never once gave an express request to be euthanized. In her will, which was renewed about a year before her death, the woman said she would like to be euthanized “whenever I think the time is right.” And when she was asked if she wanted to be euthanized, she reiterated multiple times that her suffering was not bad enough to where she wanted to be killed:

“The 74-year-old woman had renewed her living will about a year before she died, writing that she wanted to be euthanized ‘whenever I think the time is right.’ Later, the patient said several times in response to being asked if she wanted to die: ‘But not just now, it’s not so bad yet!’ according to a report from the Dutch regional euthanasia review committee.”

(Read more from “Woman with Dementia Euthanized Against Her Will and the Doctor Isn’t Getting in Trouble” HERE)

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Planned Parenthood Makes Major Admission About Body Part Harvesting

During the preliminary hearing this week in the criminal case against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, a “semi-retired” Planned Parenthood executive admitted that the abortion business had no ban on altering abortion procedures in order to better harvest baby body parts that would later be sold, allegedly for a profit.

According to reporting from Lianne Laurence at LifeSiteNews, “Doe 10,” the former medical director at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles until 2013, “admitted under questioning Wednesday by Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society and lawyer for Daleiden, that the Planned Parenthood affiliates she worked in had no rule against changing the abortion procedure ‘technique’ in order to obtain better baby body parts.”

As noted by Laurence, “federal consent rules stipulate a doctor cannot change the method of a medical procedure without a patient’s consent.”

“‘Doe 10’ testified that Planned Parenthood abortionists ‘would never change the method’ but admitted Planned Parenthood began making the distinction between ‘technique’ and ‘method’ after the [Center for Medical Progress] undercover videos were released,” the report noted.

“We had to grapple with fallout from videos,” the abortion executive, who is not allowed to be named, admitted to the court. “We had to be more specific.” (Read more from “Planned Parenthood Makes Major Admission About Body Part Harvesting” HERE)

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