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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Iran Now Has ICBMs. With Nuclear Weapons, The US Could Be Under Under Threat.

Israel Warns US: Iran Building ICBMs for YOU, Not for Us

Lori Lowenthal Marcus - The Jewish Press,  November 20th, 2013

Israeli Spokesman Mark Regev on CNN with Jake Tapper, Nov. 19, 2013
Israel is openly opposed to the nuclear weapons deal the United States seems dead set on consummating with Iran. The goal of that deal is the easing of international sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran taking limited steps suggesting a possible shift away from its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.
The disagreement between the U.S. and Israel about the wisdom of this deal has become what many are calling a significant strain between the two allies.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned against the deal last week, calling it “a bad deal, a very, very bad deal,” and Israel remains steadfastly opposed. In turn, Secretary of State Kerry was quoted by senators as having told them to “ignore” what the Israelis were telling members of congress about the potential consequences of the deal.
Tuesday evening, Nov. 19, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it isn’t just Israel in Iran’s cross-hairs, but it is the U.S. itself that is an intended target of Iran’s nuclear weapon.
The interview began with Tapper quoting the Iranians who said that Israel is “trying to torpedo the agreement.”
Regev explained that Israel is certainly not opposed to an agreement that will end Iran’s rush towards nuclear weapons. But, he explained, what Israel wants is a good agreement.
Regev suggested that the alternatives aren’t between coming to an agreement and going to war. To illustrate, he offered the nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea that was entered into by the global community with great fanfare and celebration, but which turned out to be a very bad deal, as everyone learned.
North Korea, after having “shaken hands” on an agreement that barred it from developing nuclear weapons, within a year had not only developed those weapons, but exploded one. That was a spectacular display of what happens when a hopeful but naive global community places its trust in an inherently untrustworthy partner.
Israel’s goal is one Regev described as an agreement that actually, effectively, dismantles Iran’s nuclear weapons program, in contrast to the far more limited results the U.S. is seeking at this stage.
“Look, you can have an honest difference on what the estimates are,” Regev told Tapper, but the difference is not only about amounts, the difference is in direction. And Israel fundamentally disagrees with the U.S. view of the equation.
The U.S. view is that “the Iranians take small steps and then the international community, in parallel, takes small steps, to encourage them to move in the right direction.”
“The trouble with that equation is that it’s based on a falsehood,” because, Regev stated the Israeli understanding, it is simply not true that the Iranians are taking steps in the right direction.
And here’s the fundamental distinction: “All that we’ve seen, all the information that we have is that the Iranians are taking only cosmetic measures that in no way undermines their goal of having a nuclear weapon.
“They’re not willing to take any serious step. Not to dismantle a single centrifuge.”
That’s not just a difference in degree, it’s a difference in kind. It isn’t a question of how much, it is a question of “at all.”
The other significant concern which Regev touched on was that any easing of sanctions will actually lead to a complete collapse of the pressure on the Iranian economy, and therefore will mean there will be no pressure on Iran to even make the minor adjustments it has finally offered at this late stage.
But the really big news, the news that the Israeli government clearly wanted the American people to hear, is the direct consequences for Americans sitting in their homes in New York and Boston and Los Angeles and Houston.
This was the “okay, Washington, you may be willing to bet Iran won’t attack Americans in their homes, but the American people may feel a bit differently about that” approach.
Regev’s delivery and timing was perfect:
I mean, the Iranians are building intercontinental ballistic missiles. They’re not building them for us, they’ve already got missiles that can reach Israel. They’re building them for you! For targets in North America and Western Europe. It’s crucial that we don’t allow them to get nuclear weapons.
The interview ended with Tapper trying to get Regev to comment about the strain between the two nations, but Regev was not interested in that line of questioning. Instead, he ended the interview reminding the (American) audience that “Israel is directly affected by this. This is for us a core issue in our national security.”
Regev’s mission for this interview was to present the idea that it isn’t just Israelis in Tel Aviv and Haifa who need to worry about Iran having nuclear weapons. His message was that Americans need to see the problem of Iran becoming a country with nuclear weapons, one with its ICBMs pointed at the U.S., as a core issue for their national security.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.

Iran Wins The Lottery. Now It Can Produce Its Nuclear Weapons. It Fooled The West Again. Obama is America's Chamberlain.

The President made an announcement tonight that an agreement has been struck with Iran. It lifts some of the sanctions and allows Iran to access money that had been seized. In other words, the public relations efforts of Rouhani have been successful beyond Iran's dreams.

For those other Middle East countries that fear a nuclear Iran, this is a major setback. The agreement does not require any destruction of the centrifuges, no inspection protocols for nuclear sites or elimination of heavy water plants. Iran promises not to create nuclear weapons. What a terrible agreement!  Especially since Iran has never been a reliable partner.

Neville Chamberlain thought than an agreement with Adolph Hitler could satisfy his ambitions. The Prime Minister and the world lost that bet big time. This time is no different

Obama and Kerry believe that by reducing the pressure on Iran caused by the sanctions, it will make Iran thankful and cooperative. They also want to help Rouhani with his relations with the Ayatollahs who run the country. These are the dreams of inexperienced, naive and world politic unsophisticated leaders. In other words our President and Secretary of State.

Today's agreement will go down in history much like the one Hitler and Chamberlain did in Berlin. Nothing will be accomplished except that Iran will eventually get the nuclear weapons it so desires.

Add to this the ICBMs that Iran has been building, that will be able to reach the US, you have a world under the threat of weapons of mass destruction. To make it worse, they are controlled by religious ideologues that believe that killing infidels get you into heaven. How do you spell nuclear intimidation?

Additionally, it places Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and other Middle East countries in a very tenuous position.  They all fear an nuclear armed Iran. Will this cause them to act in concert to destroy Iran's ability to create the nuclear weapons?  They must and they must act soon.

If they do, this will destabilize the world. We can place all the blame on Obama and Kerry. It is another case of their incompetence. 

Rank amateurs should never be allowed to have control of the levers of world power. We now see how it looks like. Better be prepared for some very terrible things coming our way. Thank you Obama and Kerry.

Conservative Tom

Israel Cannot Yield To World Pressure Over Iran Nuclear Program! Netanyahu Has It Right.

Why Netanyahu won't yield

Michael Oren - The Los Angeles Times,  November 21st, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been labeled a warmonger, a wolf-crier and an opponent of peace at any price because of his policies on Iran.
Here's what Netanyahu's critics say: His warnings of a bad deal are designed to undermine measures to slow Iran's nuclear program and test its openness to long-term solutions. His insistence on strengthening, rather than easing, sanctions will weaken Iranian moderates and drive them from the negotiating table — precisely what Netanyahu allegedly wants. Similarly, his demands for dismantling Iran's uranium enrichment facilities and removing its nuclear stockpile are intended to replace diplomatic options with military ones.
The critics claim that he is again playing the doomsayer, the spoiler of efforts to avoid conflict and restore Iran to the community of nations.
Why would any leader subject himself to such obloquy? Why would he risk international isolation and friction with crucial allies? And why, as some commentators assert, would Netanyahu jeopardize a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear threat and drag his country — and perhaps not only his — into war?
The answers to these questions are simple.
Netanyahu is acting out of a deep sense of duty to defend Israel against an existential threat. Such dangers are rare in most countries' experience but are traumatically common in Israel's, and they render the price of ridicule irrelevant.
Moreover, when formulating policies vital to Israel's survival, the prime minister consults with Israel's renowned intelligence community, a robust national security council and highly specialized units of the Israel Defense Forces. Netanyahu may at times appear to stand alone on Iran, but he is backed by a world-class body of experts.
In 2011, these same analysts predicted that the Arab Spring, which was widely hailed as the dawn of Middle Eastern democracy, would be hijacked by Islamic radicals. They foresaw years of brutal civil strife. Netanyahu publicly expressed these conclusions and was denounced as a naysayer by many of the same columnists who are now lambasting him on Iran.
Yet it is precisely on Iran that Israeli specialists have proved most prescient. They were the first, more than 20 years ago, to reveal Iran's clandestine nuclear activities. They continued to scrutinize the program, emphasizing its military goals, even after 2003, when weaponization was purportedly halted.
Throughout several attempts at diplomacy, these experts have disclosed the ways that Iran systematically obstructed United Nations observers, lied to world leaders and hid nuclear facilities, such as the one at Fordow, which can have no peaceful purpose. Israeli intelligence has accurately tracked Iran's support for terrorist organizations, its role in the massacre of thousands of Syrians and its responsibility for attacks against civilians in dozens of cities around the world.
This does not mean that Israeli estimates are infallible. Since the failure to foresee the 1973 Yom Kippur War, intelligence officials are wary of long-standing conceptions and rigorously question them. Nevertheless, Israeli experts agree that for hegemonic purposes and internal security, the Iranian regime wants and needs the bomb.
Consequently, it will employ any ruse to preserve the ability to produce a weapon in a matter of weeks while obtaining some relief from sanctions.
Iranian leaders know — and Israel's analysts agree — that lessening the economic pressure on Iran will send an incontrovertible message to foreign companies, many of which are already seeking contracts with Tehran, that the sanctions that took years to build are ending. Iran could drag out any confidence-building period indefinitely while producing fissile materiel for multiple bombs.
Top-flight intelligence helped Israel grapple with the challenges posed by the Arab Spring, but the stakes regarding Iran — the lives of 8 million Israelis — are vastly greater. Pundits may posit that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a moderate, but Israelis cannot indulge in speculation. Our margin for error is nil.
Knowing that, Netanyahu is duty-bound to warn of Iranian subterfuge, to insist that Iran cede its centrifuges, cease enrichment, close its heavy-water plant and transfer its nuclear stockpiles abroad.
He has a responsibility to explain that although Israel has the most to gain from diplomacy, it also has the most to lose from its failure. He is obliged to stress that the choice is not between sanctions and war but between a bad deal and stronger sanctions. And as the prime minister of the Jewish state, Netanyahu must assert Israel's right to defend itself against any existential threat.
Critics can call him militant or intransigent, but Netanyahu is merely doing his job. Any Israeli leader who did less would be strategically and morally negligent.
Michael Oren served as Israel's ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013.

With Friends Like Kerry And Obama, Israel Doesn't Need Enemies! The Iranian Agreement Will Not Be A Positive For The World.

Kerry in Geneva as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach 'Final Moment'

Image: Kerry in Geneva as Iran Nuclear Talks Reach 'Final Moment'
Saturday, 23 Nov 2013 07:45 AM

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GENEVA — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva on Saturday to join talks on Iran's contested nuclear program with Tehran and six world powers appearing on the verge of a breakthrough to defuse the decade-old standoff.

The Chinese, Russian, French, British and German foreign ministers — Wang Yi, Sergei Lavrov, Laurent Fabius, William Hague and Guido Westerwelle — also prepared to take part in the push to seal an interim deal under which Iran would curb its nuclear work in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.

Diplomats said a formidable sticking point in the intense negotiations, which began on Wednesday, may have been overcome with compromise language that does not explicitly recognize Iran's claim to a "right to enrich" uranium but acknowledges all countries' right to their own civilian nuclear energy.

But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Iran's demand to continue construction of a heavy-water reactor near Arak that could, when operational, yield bomb-grade plutonium remained one of the main outstanding issues.

Ryabkov said a breakthrough was closer now than at the Nov. 7-9 round of Geneva talks but, he told Russia's Itar-Tass news agency, "unfortunately I can't say that there is a certainty of reaching that breakthrough."

"It's not a done deal. There's a realistic chance but there's a lot of work to do," Germany's Westerwelle told reporters.

The powers' goal is to cap Iran's nuclear energy program, which has a history of evading U.N. inspections and investigations, to remove any risk of Tehran of refining uranium to a level suitable for bombs rather than electricity.

"We are close to a deal but still differences over two-three issues remain," said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbar Araqchi, a senior negotiator.

A senior European diplomat had told reporters earlier that foreign ministers of the six states would come to Geneva only if there was a consummated agreement to sign.

An interim accord on confidence-building steps would be designed to start a cautious process of detente with Iran after decades of estrangement, and banish the specter of a devastating Middle East war over its nuclear quest.

The draft deal would have Iran suspend some sensitive nuclear activities, above all medium-level enrichment, in exchange for the release of some of many billions of dollars in Iranian funds frozen in foreign bank accounts, and renewed trade in precious metals, petrochemicals and aircraft parts.

The United States might also agree to relax pressure on other countries not to buy Iranian oil. Tehran has made clear it wants a more significant dilution of the sanctions blocking its oil exports and use of the international banking system.

France's Fabius, who objected to what he felt was a one-side offer to Iran floated at the November 7-9 negotiating round, appeared guarded on arrival in Geneva early on Saturday.

"I hope we can reach a deal, but a solid deal. I am here to work on that," he said. France has consistently taken a tough line over Iran's nuclear program, helping Paris cultivate closer ties with Tehran's adversaries in Israel and the Gulf.

Kerry left for Geneva "with the goal of continuing to help narrow the differences and move closer to an agreement," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Echoing optimism that a deal was close, China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying the talks "have reached the final moment".

The United States and other Western powers say there is no such thing under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a "right to enrich", but Iran has viewed this as a matter of national sovereignty and crucial to any deal.

Diplomats said new, compromise wording on the table did not explicitly recognize a right to produce nuclear fuel by any country. "If you speak about the right to a peaceful nuclear program, that's open to interpretation," a diplomat said.

Iran also wants relief from sanctions that have severely damaged its oil-dependent economy in return for any nuclear concessions it makes that could allay the West's suspicions about its stockpiling of enriched uranium.

For the powers, an interim deal would mandate a halt to Iran's enrichment of uranium to a purity of 20 percent - a major technical step towards the bomb threshold, more sweeping U.N. nuclear inspections in Iran and an Arak reactor shutdown.

If a preliminary agreement is reached, it would run for six months that would provide time for the powers and Tehran to hammer out a broader, longer-term settlement.

Diplomacy on Tehran's nuclear aspirations has revived remarkably since the election of Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate, as president in June on promises of winning sanctions relief and diminishing Iran's international isolation.

The sides have struggled to wrap up a deal, however, bogged down in politically vexed details and hampered by long-standing mutual mistrust.

The OPEC producer rejects suspicions it is covertly trying to develop the means to produce nuclear weapons, saying it is stockpiling nuclear material for future atomic power plants.

Israel pursued its public campaign against the offer of respite from sanctions for Iran, voicing its conviction that all this would achieve would be more time for Iran to master nuclear technology and amass potential bomb fuel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told local media in Moscow that Iran was essentially given an "unbelievable Christmas present - the capacity to maintain this breakout capability for practically no concessions at all."© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Another Piece Of Evidence That ObamaCrapCare Was Never Meant To Work

Removal of Obamacare 'Anonymous Shopper' Tool Enrages Republicans

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 08:30 PM
By Cathy Burke
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A key feature of the Obamacare website that would let people window-shop for plans and pricing data was one of the few functions that actually worked — yet administration officials told Congress it "failed miserably" before the Oct. 1 launch, CNN reported Friday.

CNN reported that documents show the "Anonymous Shopper" function passed a key test almost two weeks before the launch, yet was turned off and is still unavailable to users.

Its absence, one expert told CNN, is "a major design failure."

Online window shopping "is how people have become accustomed to shopping online," Sam Karp, vice president of programs at the California HealthCare Foundation, told CNN. "Whether it's for airplane flights or shoes, people have become accustomed to anonymously shopping without entering credit card or personal information."

House Republicans suspect the function was turned off to hide the sticker shock of insurance plans' costs and force Americans to jump through hoops before they could shop, CNN reported.

"Anonymous Shopper" was supposed to let people compare health insurance plans without opening an account, verifying their identity, or determining whether they qualified for a federal subsidy, CNN noted.

Ironically, that's exactly the feature matching President Barack Obama's stated vision for the federal website: to operate just like retail sites that Americans browse and buy from every day, CNN reported.

Henry Chao, the top technology officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Department of Health and Human Services, who helped build the federal website, told lawmakers last week that the window-shopping feature "failed so miserably that we could not conscionably let people use it."

A CMS document made public by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week tells a different story, CNN reported.

CMS and one of its subsidiaries, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, was working with government contractors on the website, and declared the Anonymous Shopper feature "tested successfully," revealed "no high severity defects open" and that "remaining lower severity defects will not degrade consumer experience," CNN reported.

Yet CMS raised questions about the "tested successfully" notation, and wrote: "‪CMS believes that the 'yes' that is written on the document in question is likely an error, because the same document also lists a number of ongoing defects and problems with the tool. Additional defects were communicated and discussed in other settings."

A source told CNN that Anonymous Shopper passed testing Sept. 17. The next day, in an internal email obtained by CNN, Chao wrote that the shopper function "isn't needed and thus should be removed."

Interviewed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Nov. 1, Chao said there were 20 outstanding defects that prevented the window-shopping feature from making it online when the healthcare website launched.

But according to a list that CNN obtained, only 12 defects remained when the decision to shelve it was made, and a source told CNN that they were "rather minor" and could have been fixed by launch day.

On Sept. 12 and 18, federal health officials instructed CGI, the site contractor to concentrate instead on a part of the website called "Plan Compare" instead of the "Anonymous Shopper" feature, CNN reported.

"Plan Compare" enables users to look at health insurance plans only after they have created an account at, verified their identification and provided qualification details for a subsidy. It was added to the site Oct. 10.

"It's not as good as Anonymous Shopper," California's Karp told CNN. "It doesn't provide the full experience of anonymous shopping that was recommended" in the prototype CMS encouraged state exchanges to adopt, he said, adding that the online window-shopping tool "still remains a key component, particularly to filter plans in states where there are so many plans."

HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told CNN:

"As we have said, we always envisioned 'anonymous shopping' as a tool that would be a part of at some point," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters told CNN. "However, we chose to prioritize other functionality in order to be ready for an Oct. 1 launch."

Republicans are furious.

"Although CGI officials were not able to identify who within the administration made the decision to disable the anonymous-shopping feature, evidence is mounting that political considerations motivated the decision," Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote in a letter to federal technology executives in October.

So far, no document or testimony has revealed White House involvement in the anonymous-shopper decision.

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Obama's Worst Days Are Ahead. Americans Do Not Trust Him. They Expect Him To Lie About Everything.

Even Crack-Smoking Toronto Mayor Has Higher Approval Ratings Than Obama

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 07:33 PM
By Todd Beamon
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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack cocaine, has been in "drunken stupors," and was caught on camera in an expletive-laced rant. But he's still having a better month than President Barack Obama.

Ford has the approval of 42 percent of 1,049 Toronto voters surveyed by Forum Research. The poll results, released on Friday, came as Ford saw most of his powers stripped by the city council in Canada's largest city.

South of the border, Obama must wish he were doing that well.

Story continues below video.

Ford, who was elected in 2010 on a pledge to cut government spending, also has said he bought illegal drugs and drove after drinking. The mayor has been lampooned on late-night TV for his erratic behavior, which includes a drunken rant caught on camera and knocking over a city council member.

Obama has also been the butt of late-night jokes over various fiascoes since his second term began in January — widespread snooping on Americans and world leaders by the National Security Agency, the IRS' targeting of conservative and tea party groups, and, lately, the botched rollout of Obamacare.

These scandals have caused the president's approval ratings to plunge to new lows in recent weeks.

A CNN/ORC International poll released on Thursday showed that only 41 percent of Americans liked his performance in the White House, the lowest level in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent said they disapproved, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

The CNN survey is the fourth released this week to put Obama's approval rating between 40 percent and 42 percent — and it is among several dismal polling results for the president released over the past three weeks.

Obama's approval rating has reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in surveys conducted by CBS News, ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

In fact, the CBS News survey released Wednesday put Obama's approval rating at just 37 percent.

The Ford and Obama surveys were released this week — and "it's a fun comparison, but not an apt one," Tobe Berkovitz, an associate professor of advertising at Boston University, told Newsmax.

"It's a contrast that does a disservice to the level of popularity of Barack Obama," he added. "It's basically saying that a clown hasn't fallen as low in public opinion polls as the president of the United States."

For Obama, the low approval ratings show that he "has run out of his bag of magic tricks when it comes to going on TV — whether it's a speech or a talk show — in trying to win the hearts and minds of the American people," Berkovitz said.

"What's happened is that you can only go to the well so many times, even if it is the same well — and that's what Obama is doing.

"Another exclusive interview, another speech, just isn't going to turn around public opinion. So that's the crux of Obama's problem," Berkovitz said.

The continued problems with Obamacare are definitely behind the poor ratings, Berkovitz said.

"Certain issues a president or a governor can get away with, but when it comes to something that directly affects a citizen and his or her family — unemployment and, now, their health insurance — rhetoric can't convince someone that the realities of their life aren't so."

But Obama's low scores show something more alarming, Berkovitz told Newsmax: The American people no longer trust the president.

The Quinnipiac survey reported last week that 52 percent of its respondents said they thought Obama was not honest and trustworthy. Only 44 percent said that he was.

The president's previous lowest marks on honesty in the Quinnipiac poll were on May 30, when 49 percent of voters surveyed said that he was honest, while 47 percent said he was not.

"That's the real crusher for Brand Obama," Berkovitz said. "There have been times when Obama's approval ratings and job performance have suffered, but people have always liked and trusted him as a person.

"The most significant feature of all the polling is that people don't really trust him and people think that he doesn't really care about people like them. That's the price he's paying for Obamacare."

Regardless, however, "someone is a fool if they think that there's not chance that Obama is going to recover — that he's down and out," Berkovitz cautioned. "The real question is, 'If he recovers, when, and will it be before the 2014 congressional elections?'"

The low ratings could easily translate to a Republican shift in Congress next fall.

"The American public is very volatile. They vote against the Republicans, then they vote against the Democrats," Berkovitz said. "If there's a slight shift to the Republicans in 2014, there's always a sense of buyer's remorse with the American public — and that might benefit Obama toward the end of his presidency."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Filibuster Move Will Result In Justice Being Perverted.

Cruz: Democrats Want to Pack D.C. Court To Save Obamacare

Image: Cruz: Democrats Want to Pack D.C. Court To Save Obamacare
Friday, 22 Nov 2013 10:25 AM
By Drew MacKenzie
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The White House is trying to save Obamacare by packing the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., with judges who will rubber stamp its "lawless behavior," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says.

Senate Democrats, according to Cruz, enacted "the nuclear option" to prevent filibusters against appellate court nominees in order to make it difficult for Republicans to repeal the disastrous Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature healthcare legislation, The Hill reported.

"The heart of this action is directed at packing the D.C. Circuit (court) because that is the court that will review the lawless behavior of the Obama administration implementing Obamacare," said Cruz, a leading force in the government shutdown last month in a confrontation over the Affordable Care Act.

"President Obama and the administration refuse to follow the plain text of the law, and the D.C. Circuit is the court of appeals that has been holding the administration accountable."

Cruz said the change in the filibuster rule, passed by the Senate on Thursday, was designed purely "to pack that court with judges that they believe will be a rubber stamp" to Democratic policy.

The D.C. court has a quota of 11 seats. Three have been vacant. Of the current judges, four were appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats.

Obama has nominated Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Robert Wilkins, but their nominations were being filibustered by Republicans who worried a shifting balance of power.

The court is particularly important because it deals with decisions made by federal agencies and the White House, reports The Washington Post.

Cruz was echoing the sentiments of numerous Republicans, including Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who told Newsmax that the real reason for the "dangerous" ploy was "to create a controversy so they can escape criticism for Obamacare, which is wrecking the country."

Hatch claimed that Obama will use the D.C. court to pass legislation that he can't get through Congress.

Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana said that the "nuclear option" was intended by Democrats as a"distraction" from the failed launch of the Affordable Care Act and its website

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, declared that the fate of Obamacare may rest in the hands of the D.C. court.

"Lawsuits affecting the healthcare law will go through this court, and if the president is able to pack this court, it’s his effort to try to defend a law the American people don’t like and believe they can’t afford," he said.

Meanwhile, during an appearance on Bloomberg TV Thursday, Cruz suggested that he might use the expected budget crisis in January as a means of having the healthcare law repealed.

"There will be plenty of time to worry about the specific text," he said of the possibility of linking budget legislation to the removal of the Affordable Care Act.

"What I think is critical is that we keep focus on Obamacare and on fixing things. I think what we need to do is repeal in its entirety. I don’t know (if I can do that in January). I hope so."

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