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Soleimani is dead. What happens now?

No one knows, really. Iran will retaliate, but then what?

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**Updated June 29, 2020 (scroll to the bottom)

No one knows, really.

I’m not a Middle East expert. I’m not even all that much more informed than the average person who pays a decent amount of attention to world politics. I don’t profess to know how to solve anything in the region, and I’ve never felt comfortable throwing suggestions or conjectures out there because there are a lot of moving parts and I’ve never seriously studied how they fit together. I’m comfortable talking (ranting mostly–y’all know me) about the US economy or our justice system or lobbying etc. because I’ve studied those things and I feel confident that I have a handle on how they work.

I just wanted to put that out there first — if you want expert analysis, please look up expert analysis. I’ve been doing that all morning and it has both confirmed what I felt and talked me off a ledge of irrationality.

I have a negative reaction to anything Donald Trump does, especially at this point in his presidency. I see the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani as an impulsive, two-pronged effort to shore up support going into this year’s election: his Strongman Mentality proving how strong he is by taking out a powerful adversary when no one else had and a basic understanding that a sitting President rarely loses his re-election bid when the country is at war. Starting a war with Iran by taking out arguably the most influential if not most powerful man in the region achieves both, and Trump understood it as a political strategy all the way back in 2011.

Soleimani wasn’t walking around pulling puppet strings in the Middle East for three decades because US government officials didn’t know how to kill him or never had the opportunity to kill him. They just didn’t have a plan for what comes after. Trump would like to characterize this assassination as Trump being smarter than those before him (because he figured out how to kill Soleimani), being braver than those before him (because he’s not afraid of the repercussions), and being more patriotic than those before him (because Soleimani was almost certainly behind the attack on the US embassy in Iraq recently).

Theoretically, I have no problem with Soleimani being dead via the actions of the US government. If I objectively look at the situation without the negative impulse to hate Donald Trump and without examining the rationale behind why Trump ordered the strike, I still have no problem with Soleimani being dead via the actions of the US government. If I put this sequence of events in the context of another Presidency (dangerous leader in the Middle East terrorizes the area for decades, fights proxy wars with the US through other countries, makes a direct attack on the US embassy, so the President orders his murder), I still have no problem with Soleimani being dead via the actions of the US government. If you and I are on the same page and you’re looking for a way to “debate” the Republicans in your life who accuse you of loving Iran or hating Trump so much you can’t see a good thing, remind them that you agree Soleimani had it coming….at some point.

The unease I’m sitting with rests with the question of Who is the Adult in the Room? Donald Trump ordered this strike without Congressional approval. I feel uncomfortable with an unpredictable wannabe dictator who reads at a 4th grade level being in charge of anything, let alone anything that could lead to war. He has proven repeatedly that he does not surround himself with the best, the brightest, or even the competent. Short of seeing what the long range plan is, there’s nothing that would settle this disquiet in my gut. If this was Obama or Hillary, I would wonder what Iran’s retaliation would be, but I would trust they, with the help of the most talented, most informed people in Washington, would have a plan to deal with it. I don’t trust Donald Trump or anyone around him to have a plan, and if they did have a plan, I would assume the plan would make everything worse.

So now we wait. What will Iran do now that we have declared war by murdering their Number Two? How will the Trump administration handle that war? What does that war mean for the safety of the US in the short term and in the long range perspective of looking at the effect of that war on the election? The only thing we know for sure is that we are at war with Iran whether that was the plan or not.

June 29, 2020

So, I had forgotten all about this and today on Twitter, Soleimani is trending again because Iran has issued an arrest warrant for Donald Trump and a bunch of other people relating to the assassination. 

Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly said Monday.

While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

(cont. ABC News)

It’s been 6 months and a war didn’t materialize the way many of us thought, so the whole situation just kind of faded from consciousness. Now it’s back and I’m sitting with this unease again.

And I’m also annoyed at Iran for doing this in the runup to the election. An escalation between the US and Iran this close to November will only help the sitting President, because no President loses reelection when the country is at war…in theory anyway. Donald Trump is a wild card, so he could react terribly and lower his chances even more because who wants Donald Trump in charge if the country is at war?

Then again, Joe Biden can barely remember his wife’s name.

I’ma just…fix myself an early drink.

 

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Trump sues the Internet, because he needs money.

He’s filing a suit he can’t win so his cult will give him more cash.

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Donald Trump sued Twitter, Facebook, and Google yesterday because he misses being able to shit in America’s face whenever the mood strikes, and because he needs money.

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he will lead a lawsuit over alleged censorship against Twitter, Facebook and Google – three tech companies that removed him from their platforms after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

The lawsuit will be a class-action, with Trump as the lead plaintiff, claiming that he’s been censored by the companies. He spoke about the legal action from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I stand before you this morning to announce a very important… development for our freedom and freedom of speech,” Trump said. “In conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing, as the lead class-action representative, a major class-action lawsuit against the big tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as their CEOs.”

(cont. Fox News)

Fox News is reporting this story to its viewers and readers the way it reports everything else: with half of the truth and a Conservative tilt that builds a false reality in the minds of its consumers. Trump is indeed filing suit and he does indeed feel that his First Amendment rights have been infringed upon, but if Fox News would just say plainly that these suits have zero chance of success, people would be less likely to send Trump money, which is all that orange bastard wants in the first place.

Donald Trump’s entire fundraising strategy is to present himself as a champion of white Conservatives who feel they’ve been silenced. They feel like he’s the only one who’s fighting for them, so they send him — a supposed billionaire in their eyes — money to fight liberals, to fight Democrats, to fight the legal establishment, to fight media elites. Fine, if you want to throw away your money so your champion has enough cash to fight the good fight, that’s your right.

Where’s the good fight though? These are lawsuits for show. They won’t be pursued because they have no chance of winning and Trump hates to lose. From a legal precedent, we just had a ruling on this exact same situation less than two weeks ago, and it was in Florida where Trump filed his lawsuit.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for blocking a politician’s posts, a blow to conservatives’ efforts to respond to Facebook and other websites’ suspension of former president Donald Trump. The law was due to go into effect Thursday, but in issuing a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida suggested that the law would be found unconstitutional.

(cont. WaPo)

Speaking of Florida, you can’t sue Facebook or Twitter from Florida. You have to sue them in California. I’m not a legal scholar and I don’t know why that is. I would suspect that a company would choose to set up shop in a state whose legal system was more likely to side with the company should an issue arise. If I’m a gun manufacturer, I’d rather be sued in Texas than in New York because my Texas judges will probably see it my way. Whatever the reasons, we all agree to file suit against Facebook and Twitter in California. When you sign up to use the platform, it says in the Terms of Service that any dispute you have must be filed in California.

It’s a done deal. Case closed, before it’s even open. Courts almost always uphold Terms of Service agreements unless there’s something egregiously illegal or unconstitutional in them, and specifying a jurisdiction in which to file a lawsuit is so commonplace, there’s no court that would even look twice at this filing from Florida. The Terms of Service agreement isn’t suddenly rendered invalid because you don’t like what you agreed to or you didn’t read it. It’s a legally binding contract that you agreed to, and if Trump wanted us to believe even for a second that he would pursue this lawsuit seriously, he would’ve at least bothered to file it in California. It’s so clearly Trump’s latest grift to wring money out of his cult, a way to keep his name trending, and another virtue-signaling tactic to his brainwashed followers that says, “hey…I’m still fighting for you guys.”

But he’s just fighting for his bank account.

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Dr. Jill Biden for Vogue

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden covers Vogue this month and the accompanying write up is great.

I don’t feel like I know as much about her as I did about Michelle Obama, because the press were breathlessly reporting on every little Obama Tidbit, but Dr. Jill has firmly had me in her camp since I noticed how often she perfectly matches her gloves to her outfit.

This passage about the Navajo nation made me give her two snaps:

Dr. Biden’s trip to the Navajo Nation was, in fact, her third official visit to the tribal land—a fact that was lost on no one. (Business leader and Navajo advocate Clara Pratte says, “As someone who has worked in this field for a long time, I can tell you: This is not the norm. But it should be the norm.”) Dr. Biden’s last trip was two years ago, when she came to open “the very first cancer-treatment center on any American Indian reservation,” as the Navajo Nation’s first lady, Phefelia Nez, pointed out. Her husband, President Jonathan Nez, added that it was the Navajo Nation that helped put Biden over the top in Arizona, with “60, 70, even 80 percent turnout in some places.” There is a Navajo word, jooba’ii, that sounds like “Joe Biden” and means compassion, he said. “That’s how a lot of our elders remembered it at the polls.”

(cont.)

How about that. She’s the real deal.

Also: I love that this photo of Dr. Jill and her grandchildren from a couple of years ago pops up again. Annie Liebovitz did some good work here.

 

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WaPo: 21 House Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded on Jan. 6

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Twenty-one House Republicans on Tuesday voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to all police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

The measure passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support from 406 lawmakers. But the 21 Republicans who voted “no” drew immediate condemnation from some of their colleagues, and the vote underscored the lingering tensions in Congress amid efforts by some GOP lawmakers to whitewash the events of that day.

(cont.)

Imagine facing down an angry mob and putting your life on the line for a group of people who largely look past you day to day, and then having those people say “oh it wasn’t that bad” and refuse to give you recognition.

The way I would CUSS them out to their FACE. The GOP has no floor. Their party is in hell.

 

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