This being a Weekend Post, you might think the title refers to the gridiron perhaps, be it high school, college, or professional. Or maybe, for those of you (Marge!) who still have baseball teams in the Playoffs, you might think this post relates to the games on the diamond. That would be a reasonable guess.
Or perhaps one might think I refer to the revelation this week from the bright light shining on the Iran deal that, honestly, isn’t a huge surprise to some of us. That revelation would be this, as Fox News reported:
Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.
At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall…license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”
In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole. […]
Oopsie daisy. Seriously, though – is anyone really surprised by this? Didn’t we already suspect this to be the case? Well, wonder no longer. It violates Federal Law. But wait – there is more:
[…] Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran’s foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the “foreign sub” loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal’s implementation.
But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated – but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran’s removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.
It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department’s deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month “there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo….We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from…engaging in most commercial activities.”
It only goes down hill from there leading Sen. Cruz to make this observation:
Good grief. This deal is just looking stupider and stupider as it sees the light of day. And now we can add unlawful to boot.
But that is not the “playing under the lights” to which I refer. No, the reference is to something that is sacred where the above revelation is profane. And it involves two of my favorite things: the Aurora Borealis and Humpback whales, both at the same time:
Isn’t that just AMAZING?! Honestly, the beauty of each individually would be enough. But the two together? Magical, just magical. I love that you can hear the whales and the water without any alteration. Just the sounds of this incredible planet on which we make our home.
Here is more on how this came about from HuffPo:
[…] The gorgeous footage was shot recently on the northern Norwegian island of Kvaløya, which translates to “Whale Island” and is no stranger to whale sightings. This time of year is considered ideal timing to catch the aurora borealis, which most frequently appear between September and March.
According to Harald Albrigtsen, the photographer, the encounter wasn’t even a once in a lifetime experience: he saw the whales playing under the lights two nights in a row.
“I suddenly came across a group of humpback whales that were playing in the Northern Lights,” Albrigtsen told NRK, a Norwegian broadcasting service. “I went back the next day to see if I could come closer. After a few hours I had almost given up, but then they showed up again.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)
Isn’t that just incredible? Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see that! I am hoping to see the Aurora Borealis when we are in Montana next week, but holy moley, whales and the Northern Lights at the same time. What a gift that would be!
While this has nothing to do with the Lights, I have to share this with you. A friend had the following video at Facebook. I thought it was so darn cute, and the lessons are good ones, too:
C’mon, how CUTE were those little pigs?! Cracked me up! And pigs are supposed to be quite intelligent, so learning the kinds of things they did isn’t a huge surprise. Still cute as the dickens, though!
Finally, I have to share with you this incredible Freestyle Reining performance our dear Helen shared with me. Talk about “playing under the lights,” this most definitely qualifies:
Yeah, I am not one bit surprised that this young woman took the competition with that performance. The connection between the horse and rider is just amazing…
Well, that is it for me. Whether it is playing or pondering, feel free to share. This is the Weekend Open Thread.Advertisements