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Archive of Articles in the "Iran" Category

Friday Talking Points [457] -- Buck-Passer In Chief

[ Posted Friday, October 13th, 2017 – 17:48 PDT ]

On Harry Truman's desk famously sat a sign which proudly proclaimed: "The Buck Stops Here." If Donald Trump had such an item, it might read: "Buck-Passer In Chief." His governing style (if it can even be dignified as such) is to cause a crisis on his own, and then dump the entire problem on Congress to deal with. Because we all know what masterful problem-solvers the Republican-led Congress are, or something. This could lead to utter disaster on many fronts, within the next few months.

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End Is Near For Islamic State's State

[ Posted Thursday, October 12th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

A major geopolitical goal is now in sight, and should arrive within months if not weeks. The Islamic State is about to become stateless. They are about to lose the last shreds of territory they still control in Iraq and Syria, forcing their transformation into a stateless terrorist network (like Al Qaeda) or even their total collapse. Because their self-proclaimed "caliphate" is about to disappear.

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Friday Talking Points [456] -- Rex Says What Everyone's Been Thinking

[ Posted Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 17:27 PDT ]

It's getting kind of hard to understand why Rex Tillerson is still secretary of state. He just had an extremely rough week, and that's even without counting the breaking news that he had previously called President Trump not just a "moron" but a "fucking moron." It's easy to get distracted by such salacious news (especially when Tillerson pointedly refused to deny the "moron" part of it), but even before that juicy leak, Tillerson was roundly being ridiculed for, once again, how his boss snarkily contradicted and belittled him on Twitter. Last weekend, Trump destroyed Tillerson's efforts to bring North Korea to the diplomatic table, tweeting that Tillerson was "wasting his time."

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Trump Can't Deal

[ Posted Thursday, October 5th, 2017 – 16:51 PDT ]

That headline should be taken literally, and not as slang. President Donald Trump, supposed dealmaker extraordinaire, the King Of The Deal, seems to be trying to prove to the world that he cannot successfully cut a deal with anyone on any subject. So, literally: Trump can't deal.

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The Kurds' Historic Vote In Iraq

[ Posted Monday, September 25th, 2017 – 18:03 PDT ]

Most Americans alive today have no memory of our country ever changing its borders. And the last time it happened, many Americans alive at the time had no memory of the country adding previous states, either. The 47th state (Arizona) was admitted to the Union in 1912. Hawai'i and Alaska joined in 1959. Since then, we've now gone 57 years without the United States of America changing its outline on the world map. "This sort of history happens to other people in the world, not us," we tell ourselves. I was thinking of this while watching the muted attention given to Puerto Rico after it got hammered by Hurricane Maria this weekend. But that's a really subject for another column. What made me think about our historic cartological stability again today was the vote for independence being conducted in the parts of Iraq under Kurdish control.

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Friday Talking Points [454] -- Senator Cassidy Fails Jimmy Kimmel Test

[ Posted Friday, September 22nd, 2017 – 17:28 PDT ]

The zombie legislation attacks (again)! While much else was going on in the political world this week, the most important event was the reanimation of the Republican "repeal and replace Obamacare" effort: It's not dead! It's alive! And it's lurching around threatening millions!

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Trump's North Korea Bluster Is Not Believable

[ Posted Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 – 16:59 PDT ]

President Donald Trump gave his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, which was notable for the amount of bluster it contained. Now, blustering is a time-honored tradition at the U.N., but it is usually reserved for heads of state from countries that are insecure in their standing in the world and led by charismatic totalitarians. Think: Hugo Chávez, or Fidel Castro in his prime. So it was pretty unusual to hear such a speech from an American president, who at one point threatened to obliterate another country from the map. Bluster has long been a cornerstone of Trump's foreign policy (such as it is) -- a deep-seated belief that talking tough with lots of swagger will cause all foreign countries to see the error of their ways and thus do exactly what the United States (or Trump) wishes them to do. It hasn't been working in any noticeable way yet, but that didn't stop Trump from giving it another try yesterday on the world stage.

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Friday Talking Points [448] -- Rogue Elephants!

[ Posted Friday, August 4th, 2017 – 17:39 PDT ]

As time goes by, more and more elephants in Washington seem to be going rogue. By this, we mean that resistance to Donald Trump is growing... within the Republican Party. Just last week, three GOP senators (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain) denied Trump his sought-after "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill. Senator David Perdue from Georgia summed it up as: "We had three chairmen who went rogue on the Republican caucus and cost us this vote." Since then, other elephants have been going rogue at an increasing rate.

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Congress Unifies... Against Trump

[ Posted Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 – 17:23 PDT ]

President Donald Trump finally got a major piece of legislation to sign. However, he wasn't too thrilled about it and I doubt he'll be bragging much about it in the future. Because while it could be called a rather stunning bipartisan congressional victory, it certainly wasn't any sort of political victory for Trump. Unless you count "unifying Congress... against Trump," which I kind of doubt he would.

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Friday Talking Points [447] -- Donald Trump, Loser

[ Posted Friday, July 28th, 2017 – 17:17 PDT ]

It was just another week in Trumpland, folks. By that we mean more scandalous behavior and bumbling incompetence packed into one single week than most White House administrations show during an entire term of office. The week really began with the news last Friday that Sean Spicer had decided to quit, upon hearing that Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci was to be his new boss. The week ended (the news is breaking even as we write this) that Trump is sacking his chief of staff, Reince Priebus. During the week, Trump also tried his darndest to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to quit in frustration, while rumors appeared that Rex Tillerson is planning his "Rexit" as well. For good measure, Mooch fired an underling of his, and then just threatened to fire his entire department if he couldn't figure out who was doing all the leaking. In other words, it's getting kind of crowded beneath the Trump bus, as more and more people are casually thrown under it (and as the wheels begin to come off entirely). Just another wacky week at the Trump White House, in other words. Maybe Reince got tired of all the winning?

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