New Day 1087 Here We Are Again (only worse)
Sunday January 12, 2020
296 Days until the 2020 election and 372 days to the Inauguration
Wow, what a weird week. The president took out the #2 guy in Iran. The Iranians shot missiles at our bases in Iraq and then shot down a passenger by mistake and we seem to be right back where we were, except worse off. In fact, that seems to be the mark of this president. Make a mess, claim victory, then try to get back to where we started. Except he can’t get back; he can only re-establish at a lower level and a worse level for us as a nation than before he started whatever mess he created. The best thing we can hope for is he stays on the golf course.
Hey, remember how he said he wasn’t big into vacations? He’s right. He’s HUGE into vacations.
He’s spent something like one day in five at his golf courses and resorts, and that has been a HUGE expense for us tax payers.
Okay, let’s review the U.S. relationship with Iran. Well, let’s go back a bit further. The Greeks fought them. Darius was setting out to invade Greece. That’s where the movie The 300 came from and the Marathon race, because the Greeks were resisting the Persians (Pro-tip – Persia is the old name for Iran!!!) It was Alexander who finally defeated the Persians in an epic battle but not before some pretty nasty stuff on both sides went on. Xerxes was emperor of Persia when he made the last push to conquer Greece. The problem was he had too much stuff that he sent over to do the job and he clogged the roadways. One of his top generals had five sons, four were in the army. The general asked his emperor if his youngest son could be spared from military service. “Sure, no problem.” Xerxes had the young son ripped in half and mounted on spikes on either side of the road his men had to pass through. Nice guy.
(By the way, I get the names confused as to the names of the Persian emperors, so don’t take the names as gospel.)
The Persians also came up with a neat thing that if you’re a Christian you may have heard of. It’s called cruxifixction. Yeah, turns out that after several days the only way you can breath is to lift yourself up with your feet to pump air into your lungs. That’s why in the Bible they talk about someone taking pity on Jesus and breaking his legs so he can’t breath anymore and finally die. It’s pretty horrible. I guess that’s why the Saudis like it so much.
One last little fact about Persia and that is they are not Arab. Many people here think they are, but they aren’t. They have their own rich culture, history, and traditions, Aladdin and all that.
Okay so let’s move up to the near present day, the 2016 Republican debates. All those goofs were yelling and screaming about what a terrible deal the Iranian Nuclear Deal was. Why if anyone of them had been in charge they would have punched a mullah right in the face and made him eat dirt, or something like that. The truth is that none of them had ever negotiated squat. They had no idea what they were talking about. Well, I’m being unfair. Carly Fiorina had managed to take HP into the dumpster by her terrific management. Jeb had actually done some good things as a governor. But come on. That’s about it. Obama and Hillary had gotten the Chinese, the Russians, and all the European allies to work together to get the Iranians to the negotiating table and then two MIT graduates with degrees in physics worked out the details. Our guy had a Nobel prize for god sake. We could only get a deal and not a treaty because the Republicans in the Senate refused to help, which is typical. Ask yourself this, “When has a Republican Senator done anything to help you or this country?” Let me ask that a different way, “How is it that Mitch McConnell has managed to make $2.4 million every year he’s been in office?” Or “Why are the Russians helping out the poor people of Kentucky and not their Senator?”
Okay, so with no treaty it’s left to the president to keep the deal going. Trump pulled out of it. Why? No reason. He was going to get a better deal – remember? Just like the Republicans were going to give us better health care – remember?
So where are we on those two issues? On health care the president backed by the Republicans have come up with a way to threaten the health care coverage of 134,000,000 Americans and they hav no plans to replace what we have with anything. This is nothing new in the last 35 years they have never proposed an kind of health care. So if you like your existing health care but just want less at a higher price than the Republicans are your ticket.
Moving on to the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump keeps saying we are close to bringing the Iranians to the table to renegotiate the nuclear deal. No we aren’t. They like the deal they have. We liked the deal we and our allies had. Was it as tough as all those Republican presidential wannabes said they wanted? No. But remember most of those folk had never negotiated anything of any significance and President Obama did it with a pack of whining Republican Senators obstructing him every step of the way. What has Trump done to get a deal? Sanctions. How has that worked out? Well, it’s made the life of the average Iranian much tougher, pissed off the politicians and clerics who run that country, but otherwise – it hasn’t done much.
Somehow the thinking, if we can call it that, inside this administration is to squeeze the life out of Iran’s economy and they’ll come to the table, give up their government, and do what we say. Lemme ask, “How’s that working out?” Hum, hum, I see. Not to well, eh? What? A bunch of fanatical religious folk aren’t willing to say to another country, “Okay, you win.” Imagine that? Remember, until Trump came along John Bolton was considered a pretty out there kind of guy. Now? He seems to have been the voice of reason. Of course, given the other advisors close to the president this is understandable. We’ve got a white nationalist running immigration, We have golfing pals running the VA. We’ve got a guy who’s been publishing books saying China is the big threat (which is true) and what we need to do is to impose sanctions (Yeah, that’s worked out well. How much has that cost us Americans? $135B so far, I think was the last number I saw. this doesn’t count the farmers and dairymen that have been wiped out due to Trump’s policies. But hey, take comfort in the words of Senator Tom Cotton – You should be happy to take a bullet for Trump.)
Then there’s NAFTA. Tore it up. What do we have as a replacement? NAFTA – only worse.
I’m tired of winning. I’d like to see someone come in and really do something. Hey, Elizabeth Warren has been doing the talk show circuit. Remember how the right and the center Dems keep saying her stuff is expensive and will cost too much? And how she hasn’t said how she’ll pay for it? Despite her telling folks how she’ll pay for it? Yeah, well, she made it pretty straight forward last week. See if you can follow this:
Companies file tax forms (They don’t pay any taxes, but they have to file.),
There is a line that says how much profit they made.
Warren says take 7% of that as a tax.
It’s as hard as figuring out the tip at a restaurant. Why is Mike Bloomberg in the race? He’s afraid Warren might get the nomination and he might have to pay taxes.
Well, at least he has a record of accomplishment. Too bad he didn’t throw his money behind another candidate instead of himself. Too bad billionaires can buy their way into our political arena.
I look forward to a day when our judiciary and our Senate reflects more what our country really looks like.
Meanwhile, Australia burns.
296 Days until the 2020 election and 372 days to the Inauguration
PS Crazy American tourist being restrained by nice Egyptian security man. ( Egyptians are kind of like Iranians, right? Am I right? I mean they both are over there and not here. )