“We want to restore democracy there,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week, walking just to the edge of declaring that regime change is the goal. “We think the Iranian people want that same thing.” – Advertisement – At Daily Kos on this date in 2018—What does Secretary of State Pompeo mean by ‘restore democracy’ in Iran? – Advertisement – In 2014 when he was just a Kansas congressman, Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state and one of the most pugnacious ideologues of the neoconservative club, bragged that it would take only “2000 [bombing] sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity.” Last month, he wrote in Foreign Affairs his view of how the reimposition of sanctions are meant to bring Iran to its knees and do Washington’s bidding, or be toppled by a populace disgruntled by a smashed economy. Colin H. Kahl, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a former national security and defense official in the Obama administration, dismantled what he calls Pompeo’s “dangerous delusion” in a subsequent essay in Foreign Affairs. I keep sensing an undercurrent of despair when talking to liberal partisans about the election, a sigh that beating Trump is not enough but all that can be done. Yes, Democrats are only an even-money shot, at best, to flip the Senate. And yes, even if they succeed, Mitch “Grim Reaper” McConnell can obstruct the majority with the filibuster, and it would not be up to the next president, but the 50th senator ideologically, someone like Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, to agree to change the Senate rules to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for legislation. (There’s always budget reconciliation, but that limited path goes through the same conservaDems.)But this reality does not have to inspire progressive anguish. Anyone telling you that a Democratic victory next November would merely signal four years of endless gridlock hasn’t thought about the possibilities laid out in this issue. And if you doubt the opportunity for strong executive action, let me direct your attention to Donald Trump.MAKE NO MISTAKE: Trump is an autocrat, more than willing to break the law to realize his campaign promises. His invocation of inherent, extreme executive power, egged on chiefly by Attorney General William Barr, is in fact dangerous, as former Representative Brad Miller lays out for us later in this issue. Trump has asserted the right to ignore Congress’s oversight function, reinterpret laws based on his own preferences, hide information from lawmakers and the public, promise pardons before illegal actions take place, appoint acting heads of federal agencies without advice and consent from the Senate, and raise the specter of emergency to follow through on his campaign promises.But in a significant number of cases, Trump’s pathway has sprung from a simple proposition: When Congress gives the executive branch authority, the president, you know, can actually use it.[…]THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READINGWide Awake, by Rebecca Traister. The past four years have birthed a progressive movement so extraordinary it just might survive the forces that threaten its extinction.The Right-Wing Violence Trump Has Encouraged Has Deep Roots in American History, By Dolores Janiewski and Chad Pearson. The far-right violence that Donald Trump has stoked has deep roots in US history. Kicking him from office won’t change that — but it would deal a blow to right-wing vigilantism. The South Has Already Changed, by Adam Harris. Jaime Harrison lost to Lindsey Graham but expanded Democrats’ vision of what’s possible in the Deep South.TOP COMMENTSQUOTATION“In a democracy, someone who fails to get elected to office can always console himself with the thought that there was something not quite fair about it.” ~~Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (411 BCE)TWEET OF THE DAYxNow seems like a good time to remind Trump appointees that destroying federal records is a crime. And it’ll be easier than you think to prove you did it.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 4, 2020BLAST FROM THE PAST- Advertisement – Certainly, a truly democratic, socially liberal, non-aggressive Iranian government that puts a high value on human rights would be a welcome change from the brutal one now in charge. While Iran has some of the trappings of democracy, it’s a profoundly constrained one riven by corruption that favors the clerical elite, holds large numbers of political prisoners, engages in torture and other brutality, and has a long record of human rights abuses, one of the targets being gay people. It was obvious from the election protests in 2009 that many Iranians would like to see a different kind of government. For each one of the thousands of protesters who dared confront Iran’s pernicious religious zealots in the street, for every Neda Agha-Soltan murdered by government henchmen, there no doubt were dozens silently cheering them on from home but fearful to join the opposition. They deserve better.As do the Saudis. Yet neither Pompeo nor Trump are making any noises about sanctioning the royal autocracy of that kingdom. It doesn’t take any imagination to figure out why. David E. Sanger at The New York Times reports:
RelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland FIFA’s legal team have launched a forthright defence of president Gianni Infantino after a Swiss special prosecutor opened criminal proceedings against him and former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber.A criminal case into Infantino’s conduct was opened on Thursday over his meetings with the country’s attorney general, who had been leading a sprawling investigation into football corruption. FIFA deputy secretary general Alasdair Bell says football’s governing body and Infantino have nothing to hide, insisting there is no factual basis for the criminal investigation and that they have no idea what Infantino has allegedly done wrong.Bell has called the investigation “grotesque and unfair” and insists he is 100 per cent confident there will never be a criminal charge or conviction.However, he said FIFA will co-operate fully with the investigation, as it wants the truth and wants it quickly.Bell believes the perception of a criminal investigation against Infantino is damaging.He would not rule out that the anonymous complaint against Lauber and Infantino may have come from someone who would wish to see the FIFA president “fall”. The reason the FIFA legal team say they are speaking out is because of reputational damage towards Infantino and the organisation given its chequered past. They are insistent there is nothing to suggest any criminal wrongdoing at any time during three meetings Infantino had with Lauber.Bell also said there is nothing unusual about the fact that there were no notes or minutes taken by Infantino during meetings with Lauber.Tags: FIFAgianni infantinoMichael Lauber
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Now that’s more like it.The Clippers, struggling to become the team they were a season ago, finally came up with a really good effort Saturday night against the Phoenix Suns.They broke open a game that was tied at halftime and rolled to a 120-107 victory before a sellout crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center. The Clippers, tied 54-54 at halftime, scored 42 points in the third to take a 96-74 lead into the fourth. They led by as many as 26 in the quarter. However, that 93-67 lead was cut to 105-94 by the Suns (5-5) midway through the fourth quarter. The Clippers (5-3) came out a timeout and went on a 6-0 run to lead 111-94. The Suns again cut the lead to 11, but they could get no closer.Chris Paul led the Clippers with 32 points and made 5 of 6 shots from 3-point range, Blake Griffin scored 19 points, Spencer Hawes had 14 points and eight rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 14, DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 18 rebounds, and Matt Barnes scored 12.Gerald Green led Phoenix with 26 points off the bench, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas each scored 19, and Alex Len scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.Both Barnes and Green were ejected after getting two technical fouls apiece.“Yeah, and I think we will be,” said coach Doc Rivers, when asked if the tremendous third quarter is the team he knew the Clippers can be. “I thought we played great in the first quarter, too. I thought our defense was fantastic in the first quarter. … I thought the third quarter was great.” Rivers didn’t even mind that his team lost 15 points off that 26-point lead, with still enough time for the Suns to come all the way back.“No, it happens,” he said. “I’m not going to worry about it. They’re a lethal basketball team, they score points. I thought we went on a stretch where we stopped playing offensively. But, no.”The theme was defense. The Suns took 31 more shots (99-68) than Los Angeles, but was held to a 38.4 shooting percentage (38 of 99). Besides his 18 rebounds, Jordan had seven blocks.“I thought he was the star of the game,” Rivers said of Jordan. “Not only on the rebounds, but he changed opponents’ shots.It sounded like Jordan was on a mission in this one.“With the performance we put on last game, we really had to come out tonight and bounce back,” Jordan said of an 89-85 loss Monday to San Antonio, in which the Clippers fell apart down the stretch.Indeed, the key was the third quarter. Paul came out and made back-to-back 3-pointers and before the Suns knew what hit them, the Clippers led 76-59 with 6:23 to play in the quarter.“The third quarter, I think we got a defensive rebound and I had a chance to push up the court and nobody was on me and I hit an open 3,” Paul said. “And then we just started stringing together stops and pushed it up a couple of times and hit Blake in the post, hit Matt for a 3, D.J. for a lob and it was one of those where our defense started creating our offense.”Paul also had nine assists, five rebounds and two steals. But those consecutive 3-pointers to start the third set a vicious tone, one from which Phoenix could not recover.“I know he will not do that every game, but sometimes I would like him to be more of an aggressive (offensive) player like he was tonight,” Rivers said of Paul. “I told him that coming into the season. He is such a point guard that it is hard for him to do it. When he is very aggressive, we are a dangerous team.”The Clippers shot 52.9 percent from the field, 48.3 percent (14 of 29) from 3-point range.Redick really liked what he saw.“Tonight was a step forward,” he said. “I don’t know that we’ve had many steps forward.”The Clippers’ previous largest margin of victory this season was seven points.