“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:
The Japan-based Nippon Life Insurance has executed a GBP 200 million syndicated loan for the Race Bank offshore wind project in the UK.According to Nippon, the provided loan will be used to refinance existing debt to support the stable operation of the 573MW project.The Japanese company said it joined the loan syndication process from the primary phase, and as a result, it represents its first offshore wind financing transaction in the UK.Located 27km off the coast of North Norfolk, the Race Bank offshore wind farm comprises 91 6MW Siemens Gamesa turbines which were officially inaugurated in June this year.The project is operated from Ørsted’s East Coast Hub in Grimsby, while offshore maintenance is being carried out from the Edda Passat SOV that remains offshore with technicians working shifts of 14 days on and 14 days off.Ørsted owns 50% of the wind farm, with Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 holding 25%, Sumitomo Corporation 12.5% and funds advised by the Green Investment Group, Arjun Infrastructure Partners and Gravis Capital Management 12.5%.
At 41 and a veteran of professional mixed martial arts for 15-plus years, Lyoto Machida still loves to train. Every single aspect of it: from packing his gym bag to making the trek to his next session and putting in the actual work.“I enjoy every single moment of the journey,” Machida told Sporting News during Wednesday’s media day for Bellator 222, where he’ll face fellow MMA veteran Chael Sonnen in the co-headlining event at Madison Square Garden on Friday, live on DAZN. In addition to his fondness of training, Machida also fuels his fighting career with another passion: cooking.The former UFC champion first fell in love with cooking while suspended 18 months — from April 2016 to October 2017 — after admitting he used a banned substance in a drug test administered by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).Join DAZN and watch Bellator 222 on June 14“When I stayed out of fighting for almost two years, I tried to find something that I could enjoy more than my training,” Machida said. “I think it’s a way that I found to get involved more with my kids. They love when I make sukiyaki — it’s a Japanese dish with vegetables and meat.”Over time, “The Dragon” has been able to pinpoint similarities between culinary arts and mixed martial arts, adding that the former aids his elusive, karate-based style and overall fighting in the twilight of his career. View this post on Instagram That said, Machida minces no words about what he expects if he gets his hand raised over Sonnen.“I want the belt,” Machida said, with his sights set on Bellator heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, whom the Brazilian knocked out in the UFC back in August 2012. “I’m not here to play around. I’ve been saying that since I signed with Bellator.”With ambition like that, it’s a good thing Machida has the culinary skills to fuel his fighting fire. Hobby nada mais é que um passatempo, uma ação, uma atividade que lhe traz prazer e satisfação. Eu, por exemplo, gosto muito de cozinhar! Isso mesmo. Sempre faço algumas receitas e me divirto na cozinha. Para mim é algo prazeroso e não tenho dúvidas de que influencia na minha qualidade de vida e no meu humor. Você tem um hobby? Então ao fazê-lo com frequência, perceberá um aumento no bem-estar conforme a tensão do dia a dia reduz. Agora é a sua vez, conta pra mim nos comentários qual o seu hobby! #tbt A hobby is a pastime, an activity that brings your pleasure and satisfaction. For instance, I really like to cook! That’s right, I always cook up some recipes and have fun in the kitchen, it’s something that I enjoy and I’m sure that it has an influence on my quality of life and mood. Do you have a hobby? If you do it often, you will notice an increase in your well-being as the daily tensions will be reduced. Now it’s your turn, tell me about your hobbies in the comments!A post shared by Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) on Apr 18, 2019 at 8:01am PDT“When you cook, you kind of find yourself,” Machida says. “You have your own moments. You cut the onion, you cut the tomato, you do everything on your own and you feel more concentrated and focused in a different style.“When you train in martial arts, you’re already in this stage,” he continues. “But when you cook, it’s more peaceful and you could get the same aspects (as training).”MORE: Bellator 222: Rory MacDonald explains clarity he found to continue fighting career“More peaceful” is not how you would describe promoting and entering a fight with the ever-opinionated Sonnen. But Machida (25-8) hasn’t found Sonnen (31-16-1) to be the trash-talking, venom-spewing fighter he usually is entering scraps with past opponents.“He’s so quiet now,” Machida says. “I’m not sure why.”Perhaps it’s partly because Machida counts victories over MMA greats like Gegard Mousasi, Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz — to name a few.Machida has heard Sonnen say he wants to exact revenge on behalf of his Team Quest stablemates, Couture and Henderson — a motivational theme that “The American Gangster” continued running with on Wednesday.”I thought as a team, we got closer and closer, but that’s a tough puzzle to solve,” Sonnen told SN. “Machida’s got some very unique skills. He does stuff that other guys don’t do. If you’re one guy who runs through Team Quest, you’ve got quite the feather in your cap and he will deserve that … if he gets it done.”
The best Bosnian-Herzegovinian judoka Larisa Ceric won second place and a silver medal at the European Games in Minsk.Ceric lost gold from home competitor Maryna Slutskaya.The BiH representative beat Serbian Milica Zabic, Galyna Tarasov from Ukraine and Rochele Nunes from Portugal.