“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:
He is yet to score his first goal for the club and, with limited game time the summer signing has not had the immediate impact many supporters would have expected. But when asked if the fee paid for Lamela meant there was pressure to pick him, Villas-Boas replied: “Not really, no. “We have been speaking a lot with him. I think getting acquainted to the Premier League is important but he doesn’t know the language. (Roberto) Soldado had some knowledge of the language before (he came) so it was a little bit easier for him. “With Erik it was a little bit more difficult but we have given him massive, massive help and his family arrived this week. “He knows he isn’t producing half of what he can produce but he understands the situation now is that he has to compete for his place.” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes the language barrier is preventing club-record signing Erik Lamela from hitting the ground running at White Hart Lane. The 21-year-old Argentina international, signed from Roma in the summer for a fee believed to be close to £30million, has featured only sparingly for Spurs and has yet to be handed a start in the Barclays Premier League. Lamela was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Hull and the former River Plate forward has had to make do with looking to have an impact in Europa League ties. Press Association
An alleged bird thief, who of recent had reportedly been on a bird snatching spree, was killed in Sophia, Greater Georgetown on Tuesday morning when he allegedly attempted to snatch another bird.Dead: Shelton JordanTwenty-one-year-old Shelton Jordan, called “Mickey Mouse”, of West La Penitence, Georgetown, was reportedly killed at about 05:30h.Guyana Times was told that Jordan attempted to steal a bird on Dennis Street, Sophia but was unsuccessful.An argument reportedly ensued between him and the owner of the bird and Jordan reportedly stabbed the man to his hand. This resulted in a scuffle between the two.The robbery victim managed to disarm Jordan of the knife he was carrying, and stabbed him several times in the process.The 56-year-old man then proceeded to the Police station where he reported what transpired.Tiffany Lowers, the girlfriend of the now dead accused bird thief, was in a distraught state at the scene of the incident.According to the woman, Jordan left home at about midnight on Monday but never returned.“He left home at 12 last night (midnight Monday) to work… he had no problems with the Police before…we had been together for the last seven years,” the young woman cried.However, at the scene of the crime, several persons who had their birds stolen, alleged that Jordan was among a group of men who had been prowling the area and stealing birds.“We know this motorcycle,” one eyewitness relayed, adding “this same motorcycle pull up and grab two birds from that man there with that black hat, it was this boy (pointing to dead man) and another red skin boy,” the man revealed.Another person told this publication that he was sitting on his veranda one day attending to one of his birds when he noticed Jordan riding past on numerous occasions.The man’s body along with the motorcycle following the stabbing“I see he deh driving pass for about three times. I had my bird right in front of my yard up on a lamp post. He play like if he was about to pee but he grab the bird from the post and by the time I reach down he did already drive away,” the man explained.According to a resident in the area, a wildlife dealer, the stolen birds are expensive and are being sold to persons who smuggle them out of the country.“The birds are expensive, especially if it’s a racing bird but the birds are being stolen and sold back at a low value.”When this publication visited the dead man’s home, his family were not at home and were said to be at the Police station.The Police are continuing with their investigations.