Bob Menendez (D-NJ), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“let’s remind ourselves of the stated purpose of our negotiations with Iran: Simply put, it was to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time. Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”


“This deal grants Iran permanent sanctions relief in exchange for only temporary – temporary — limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations. At year ten, the UN Security Council Resolution will disappear along with the dispute resolution mechanism needed to snapback UN sanctions and the 24-day mandatory access provision for suspicious sites in Iran.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment.”

The above is from Menendez’s speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations yesterday, which I urge you to read in full (the speech is also available on YouTube). Get past the obligatory putdown of Republicans and praise of Obama, and you have, as Ace calls it, a speech that is all but unanswerable.

Today Menendez has an op-ed on the NYPost reiterating his proposal for a better Iran deal. He lists six points, and asserts that talks should continue to “allow the re-consideration of just a few, but a critical few issues”, and he lists six essential points, while

At the same time we should: Extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires in 2016, to ensure that we have an effective snapback option; consider licensing the strategic export of American oil to allied countries struggling with supply because Iranian oil remains off the market; immediately implement the security measures offered to our partners in the Gulf Summit at Camp David, while preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Menendez is keenly aware that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani flew to Russia to consult with Vladimir Putin last week while two Russian warships docked in northern Iran for naval training exercises.

Rouhani, you may recall, is still under an Interpol Red Notice for his alleged role in the decision to bomb the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. More recently, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was killed by a single shot to his head in his apartment the day before he was to testify to congress about Iran’s deal(s) with president Cristina Fernandez for suppressing evidence, deals in which Nisman alleged Rouhani was involved (you can go to my blog and scroll down).

And yet, “Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran” when he’s not attending Death to America events.

As Ted Cruz says, “If there’s one principle that history has taught us, it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who last Friday stood like patience on a statue while Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla brazenly lied about Cuba and insulted the U.S. during their joint press conference, demonstrated his contempt for Congress during his Iran testimony

by making cause with self-proclaimed enemies of his nation against a branch of his own government.

Not only with his words, but also in

the way the administration is seeking to bypass the Congressional role in approving treaties through the combination of an executive agreement and a UN Security Council resolution.

Does it all amount to Failure Theater, or will Menendez and the Senate Democrats who oppose the deal achieve their goal?

I don’t know.

But I’m calling my Senator to oppose the Iran deal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Name a company and we could get them. Except one. We were never able to get a Market Basket employee to jump ship.

Arthur (Jay) DiGeronimo Jr.

Lorenzo: The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

A Bronx Tale 1993



One year ago at this time the one and only story in New England was the Market Basket Strike.

For those of you from outside the area basically there was a power struggle between two cousins both named Arthur Demoulas.  One Arthur T who was deeply involved in the day to day operations of the highly profitable company and treated his workers and managers so well that when the majority of 9 person Board of Directors,  despite high profits in bad times  headed by supporters of his cousin Arthur S finally succeeded in forcing out his cousin,  the workers went on “strike” in support of Arthur T.

Within a short time the shelves started to go empty and the workers started protesting (off the clock).

It was the most unusual protest in US history to wit:

I’ve heard this sentiment from every Market Basket person I’ve talked to from managers to baggers they don’t want a union and it was made plain during the protest

When word got out at a Friday rally at Market Basket headquarters that representatives of an unidentified union were passing out cards to protesting employees, it was Trainor who responded: “Really, do you think we need a union?” The crowd responded with a resounding “no.”

“There is no union in this country that’s stronger than this crowd right here,” Trainor said. “So take your cards and go home.”

So basically you have a workforce not complaining about wages, not complaining about working conditions, not calling for a union but instead protesting against business decisions that they believe will hurt long term profitability.

There is one way to describe a protest like that: Pro Capitalist.

It was like covering a tea party rally.  It’s why I suspect they were getting flak from some left wing sites and the overwhelmingly Democrat state legislature was slow to fall behind them.

I saw a huge opportunity here for the GOP

If I was Rick Santorum I’d be in Massachusetts at the next rally. If I was Reince Priebus I’d be asking why Elizabeth Warren & the left are AWOL and suggest it is due to being owned by the unions.

And if I was Kirsten Hughes I’d run through that gap in the line the left has left unguarded and I’d go all in for the Market Basket Workers and vividly illustrate the GOP’s support for the working man.

However the GOP did nothing.

Eventually vendors started scooting ,  20,000 layoffs came, and viola:

Suddenly the prospect of 20,000 to 40,000 voters in two states controlled by Democrats going to the polls angry with an election less than 90 days away was a reality.

And so Governor Patrick and Gov Hassan of New Hampshire decided to get involved.

In the end, a year ago this month Arthur S sold out to his cousin Arthur T.  Within a few days the stores were re-stocked  and Arthur T was back in the stores greeting customers who waited in lines to shake his hand.

And it’s thriving:

The company is on track to record total revenues of about $4.8 billion in 2015, top executives say, the most in its nearly 100-year history. It is also in expansion mode, opening five new stores in the last year, some with upscale accents such as massive gourmet cheese islands, expanded organic food offerings, and outdoor cafe seating. Two new stores are under construction in Plymouth, Mass., and Rochester, N.H.

Now imagine for a second if the GOP had taken my advice, There are twelve GOP candidates polling at under 10% in NH.  What if Lindsey Graham had given kudos to the Market Basket Workers on the senate floor.  Picture if Rick Perry saying Arthur T would be a hit in Texas.  Imagine Carly Fiorina noting him as an example of a CEO who gets it.  Think of Scott Walker using Market Basket to compare Union vs Non-Union shops.  Ponder Rand Paul praising the Market Basket low-no debt model.

What if in 2014 Chris Christie came to NH and used Arthur T as an example of hands on management or Ben Carson showed up describing it as the difference between doing and saying or Ted Cruz giving a speech talking about Market Basket as a non-government success story.

And I didn’t even mention Rick Santorum.  Could you see Rick Santorum at a Market Basket rally in 2014 saying they are the model of how to create success in America.  It was a story absolutely tailor-made for his campaign.

What would any of these guys give to have the chance to go back a year and knowing what they know now, give that speech?  Where might they be in the polls today?  A non-union, pro capitalist, anti debt, tea party like labor action and we just let it go.  There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an opportunity like that a wasted.

Sigh if only.

Postscript, I was searching on the net and I did find one presidential candidate that noted the end of the Market Basket strike on his web site an tweeted about it at the time.

By an odd coincidence he happens to be leading in NH by 7 pts in the latest Boston Herald poll.