Tag Archives: Iran

News Roundup – John Oliver, Trump, Bowling Green, Yemen

I didn’t watch the Last Week Tonight show after the election. John Oliver was exactly right. This is NOT normal. Trump is not normal. We have no idea what Trump is going to do. This is a leaky White House. I really, really want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but I still believe that he does not have the intellectual curiosity to be a good president. Remember, we had a long national discussion about Bush and his lack of being curious. He just accepted information that was given to him. You simply can’t do that.

Great opinion piece by John Marshall at Talking Points Memo. He argues that Trump was never a populist; rather, he is a nationalist. This could be a good thing, but it could also be interpreted negatively. From the perspective of a nationalist, it would seem that the fact that America is an open and inclusive society, embracing abd loving our melting pot, is one of our strengths. Trump, however, has adopted a different type of nationalism.

Paul Krugman has put my fear into words. It seems as if we are picking fights with everyone. Why would we want to pick a fight with Australia? BTW, what does “putting Iran on notice” actually mean? I have a bad feeling that we are going to be at war with someone pretty soon.

There is so much going on that it is easy to miss things like a raid on a compound in Yemen. For me, American casualties are never a good thing. We need to think long and hard about everything we are doing any time any American soldier dies. Was the raid worth it? So far, I don’t have any idea. I understand the problems with counterterrorism. The purpose of this raid was to stop what exactly? As the American soldiers approached the target they knew that they had lost the element of surprise. So why press on? Was this that important? I don’t know. We lost a $75 million MV-22 Osprey (an aircraft that got a terrible reputation 20 years ago as it was being developed).

Have you heard anything about the Bowling Green Muslim Massacre? Nope, neither had I.

So, it is Black History month. The White House usually does something to honor Black Americans. Trump was Trump. He started on the topic of Black History, covering the basics – Martin Luther King, Fredrick Douglass, and Harriett Tubman. He then veered off the subject into nothingness. It isn’t that I think that our president needs to be an expert on Black History, but he should at least pretend that it is important to America. That’s all that I ask…maybe that’s too much.

What stories are you following?

Nuclear Deal with Iran

From Slate:

The new agreement doesn’t overthrow the clerical regime ruling Iran. It doesn’t change Iran’s policies toward Israel or its Arab neighbors. And it doesn’t force Iran to end the repression of its own people.

The agreement forged between Iran and the world’s powers does only one thing, but it is a big one: It reverses and contains what most experts consider the greatest nuclear proliferation challenge in the world. Whatever else Iran may do in the world, it will not do it backed with the threat of a nuclear weapon.

U.S. negotiators went into the Iran talks with three key objectives: cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb, put in place a monitoring system to catch any Iranian cheating, and keep together the global coalition that can snap back sanctions if Iran breaks the deal. After 22 months of hard bargaining they have emerged with that and more. This detailed 100-plus-page agreement dismantles much of Iran’s nuclear program, freezes it, and puts a camera on it.

The deal eliminates the three ways Iran could build a bomb.

Obama Derangement Syndrome: Michele Bachmann

bachmannI have said for years that Obama Derangement Syndrome completely numbs the mind. You’re unable to see anything positive in the world if you suffer from ODS. Everything, every problem, is Barack Obama’s fault. Michele Bachmann is the latest example of Obama Derangement Syndrome. The former Congresswoman took to her Facebook page and stated, “With his Iran deal, Barack Obama is for the 3 million souls of the United States what Andreas Lubitz was for the 150 souls on the German wings flight – a deranged pilot flying his entire nation into the rocks. After the fact, among the smoldering remains of American cities, the shock survivors will ask, why did he do it?”

First of all, I’m not surprised that Michele Bachmann would type such a thing. She rose to prominence because she would say outrageous things. She flamed out because she would say outrageous things which made absolutely no sense. Secondly, in my mind, Barack Obama has done exactly what we wanted him to do. We wanted to make the tough decisions. We wanted him to do things that are hard but are in our best interest. He negotiated with our enemies and seems to have gotten a blueprint forward. It appears that Iran has agreed to dismantle some of its nuclear facilities. They’ve agreed to intrusive inspections. They’ve agreed to give up their aspirations to make nuclear weapons. In exchange they want to become a member of the international community. They would like to have a prosperous society like they had in the 1970s. The whole agreement would look different if it weren’t verifiable, but it is. This looks like a great deal for the United States, a great deal for Iran and a great deal for the international community.

Maybe the problem with Michele Bachmann is that she never learned if/then equations in grade school.