Surprise. A Potpourri Thursday

It is Tuesday afternoon as I begin to write this. I am willing to bet a lot of you expected to see a piece dealing with Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill. So many strange things happen in Washington these days that even at this late hour I wasn’t completely convinced that Mueller would testify or that his testimony would warrant a column. (We all know the answers to those questions by this reading.) With that in mind and wanting to clear most of Wednesday to watch what I hope will be Mueller’s testimony I decided to do another catch up/potpourri article. Let’s explore.

Staying in the “don’t count the chickens camp”; supposedly a budget/debt ceiling deal avoiding an October government shutdown has been reached by Congressional leaders and the White House. I hope the reports are correct. That would be good for America and its economy. However we have seen Trump renege on a deal several times already when the extreme right objects. Until he applies the sharpie to the paper you don’t have anything.

Tuesday the Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Mark Esper as Secretary of Defense. With July almost gone why did we have to wait nearly seven months to replace Jim Mattis? I am willing to predict that in the future many Senators will wish they could have their confirmation vote back. Esper’s main “qualifications” appear to be time at the Heritage Foundation and a stint as a lobbyist for Raytheon. Raytheon is a major defense contractor and despite Senator Elizabeth Warren pressing him on the point Esper has refused to recuse himself on contract decisions involving Raytheon. Can you say swamp?

Tuesday morning we awoke to the expected news that Boris Johnson is the new Prime Minister of the UK. Johnson is an incompetent joker of very limited cerebral ability ala Donald Trump. He inherits the Brexit dilemma he was a principle force in creating. I will go out on a very short limb to predict the UK will make a “no deal Brexit”. Does any thinking individual actually think the remaining members of the EU are going to give him some sweetheart deal that eluded Theresa May?

Not only do I know that climate change is real; I believe it is one of, if not the most, serious problem facing the world today. Some repercussions are relatively predictable – things like sea level rise. Others are totally unpredictable and rather resemble science fiction. The threat of Candida Auris is one. If you are asking, what Candida Auris is you are far from alone. It is yeast that seems to have “mutated” with the help of higher temperatures and unlike most yeast is now often fatal to humans who contract it. Climate change just got scarier.

Over the weekend what appears to be hired thugs (ala the union forming days and Pinkerton’s) attacked unarmed protestors in Hong Kong. This appears to be an extremely rare case where Trump is keeping his word. It had been reported that Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would stay out of whatever China did with Hong Kong. Could this be an alliance of a strongman and a wannabe strongman? Or perhaps payback for an Ivanka merchandising deal?

Staying in East Asia for a minute, recently leaked documents indicate that Chinese telecom giant Huawei is involved in building a 3G network for North Korea in violation of international sanctions. Huawei has been the target of several international intelligence agencies (including American agencies) and the recipient of favored rulings from the Trump administration. How about keeping America safe?

All this is going on with the backdrop of the British flagged tanker Steno Impero sitting in an Iranian port after it was bordered in international waters by element of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The world is an increasingly dangerous place especially with incompetent people of extremely limited ability in positions of power.

My near term prediction is that it will get worse before it gets better.

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One thought on “Surprise. A Potpourri Thursday”

  1. Impeach?…or not impeach? Am I missing something here? It seems to me the question of whether to impeach has a simple answer. And the answer is that as long as the Republicans control the Senate, there is virtually no chance they will vote to convict on articles of impeachment brought by the House. My question is: Why are Nancy Pelosi and others not making this point clear?

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