Shifting Standards — 7 Ways

racial injustice mental unrest

…. That tennis legend John McEnroe took time during his retirement to inexplicably mitigate Serena Williams’ standing as the top-rated women’s tennis player in the world — and possibly the best in history — by creating a new standard: comparing her to players from the men’s division

… That the insult appears to be a growing work in progress, as evidenced by the journalist who ignored the 12 grand slam titles that Williams, an American citizen, won since 2009, when he asked tennis great Andy Murray how it felt to be the first American to reach the semifinals for a Grand Slam title — since 2009.

… That Jasmine Shepard couldn’t enjoy her achievement of becoming valedictorian of a Cleveland, Mississippi high school without the school (allegedly) doing something it had not done in 110 years: appoint a co-valedictorian with a lower grade point average to share the honor with Shepard.

… That when Jasmine’s family publicly complained abiut this academic rendering, she became the target of racist attacks from perfect strangers — one of whom commented that “Black lives don’t mean s***.”

… That the documented views of many White Americans regarding race drove them to erect the highest standard they could imagine in 2008 for someone to be elected President of the United States, where even the mere rumor of a pussy-grabbing fantasy on candidate Barack Obama’s part would have relegated him to the recurring “He’s not a a first-stringer” commentary — only to see those standards dismantled in 2016 to elect someone who brags harder about snatching women’s crotches than he does about his self-described God-fearing ways …

… That the same demolished standard overlooked how the current President of the United States arrived at the NATO and G20 meetings so abysmally unprepared that some members of the mainstream media took the rare step of calling out his dull performance.

… That police officers, without guns drawn, found 18-year old Vermont native Logan Huysman sleeping in a running car with her friends; treated obtaining information from Huysman as if it were a negotiation-turned-earnest appeal — with no guns drawn; offered a weaponless response when Huysman lunged at them; responded to Huysman’s kick in the groin with “Oh my God, she kicked me” — and still no weapons drawn. No barrel roll. No body slam

That the CEO of JPMorgan can say being an American in 2017 is “almost an embarrassment” without the same backlash First Lady Michelle Obama received when she said “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”

You can sometimes travel through life too quickly to catalog the instances of shifting standards. Those are my quick seven…

song currently stuck in my head: “red clay” – charlotte dos santos

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Let’s Revisit Robots and Minimum Wage Fast Food Workers

Robots

I’m not a fan of convenience stores.

But I get the case for why so many of us visit them — familiar structures located within the familiarity of our neighborhood’s borders, and merchandised with a limited set of familiar choices to enable easy purchase decisions.

The world is already difficult to navigate. We love “easy” when we can find it.

The problem with convenience and familiarity is the risk of obscurity.

Meaning, when left unchecked, convenience and familiarity can inhibit our freedom to view choices through a new lens, or explore a completely new set of choices.

And smashing the whole idea of “familiar” is a reason for why mentalunrest exists …

The fight for fast food workers to receive a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour fits squarely into criteria for becoming a story in this blog. Politicians and the mainstream media have conveniently framed — if not curated — the issue’s debate positions into the binary bins of “for” or “against” the wage increase.

But how about an effort to reframe the problem of poorly-paid fast food workers and ask a different set of questions?

Nope. Doing so breaks the rules of convenience and familiarity. And such an exercise would place politicians in an uncomfortable position, given their focus on treating your support as a transaction.

More on that later in this piece.

For a moment, forget about how the current states’ minimum wages virtually makes an affordable one-bedroom apartment a coast-to-coast American fantasy.

And let’s not dwell on a post I published just over a year ago about how the a $15/hour wage represents a step toward helping families save money, change their living conditions and even increase consumption in the economy.

Instead, let’s build on a point I made a while back about how robotics makes the $15 an hour debate is a decaying one and an eventual waste of time — perhaps even a game —  thanks to a moving goalpost called economic opportunity and the technology advancements that carry it.

Last month, robotics company Momentum Machines received $18 million in funding to pursue its mission: roll out restaurant robots that can each serve 400 hamburgers — from grilling to bagging — in just one hour.

This stealth technology startup, which has been funded by luminary venture firms like Google Ventures, is poised to conduct a limited test of these robot employees, with an eye toward ramping up deployment.

Major restaurant chains across the country are exploring robotics as a way to replace traditional eatery jobs.

So while states like New York slowly phase in wage increases to reach $15/hour as a way to protect restaurants from sudden financial disruption — a point I completely understand, by the way — fast food workers are on track to experience a major disruption of their own: long-term unemployment with limited prospects for skills upgrades.

With no help in sight.

And that translates into nothing less than increased misery for the working poor and poverty classes who’ve already been under attack during the past four decades.

The coming labor disruption also means a higher social and financial burden placed on local, state and federal government agencies.

As I mentioned in the past, the common sense prescription for workforce relevance while commericial enterprises continue to innovate is education and training.

Politicians have not been oblivious to this point. Burrowed deep in then-President Barack Obama’s February 2016 report (pdf) to Congress prepared by his Council of Economic Advisors, is an acknowledgement that the rise of robots is not only real, but there’s also a high probability that technology will aggressively replace workers who earn less than $20 an hour.

effects of robotics automation on jobs research

After citing the productivity gains the American economy will experience from robots, the report tries to address the human needs that will result from automation:

These data demonstrate the need for a robust training and education agenda, to ensure that displaced workers are able to quickly and smoothly move into new jobs.

Given what policymakers know about the coming disruption to the low-wage workforce, I challenge you to visit welfare offices across the country and find widespread signs of a desire to reimagine possibilities for underskilled job seekers in the robotics age.

I know — some of you will get sidetracked by that last sentence and begin to rant about how “those people don’t want to work anyway.”

While I don’t agree with that pseudo-hypothesis, let’s run with it for a moment.

The work provisions in many state welfare policies mean that whether or not recipients of public assistance dig the whole concept of work, they have no choice but punch a clock to receive welfare benefits.

But what you’ll mostly find in the form of support for the poor entering the workforce are listings for low-skilled and low-wage 20th century jobs with no skills upgrades opportunities for the current marketplace.

Any such skills initiatives broadcasted by the Obama administration were small in scale and subsequently ineffectual, while President Donald Trump has shown no appetite for reskilling the poor and working class.

This means, given the current course and data, two sad realities.

One, the cycle of poverty and unemployment is about to run deeper. Obsolete skills send more people to the public benefits line; but they will need jobs to get those benefits and the supply of low-wage jobs will become smaller over time; the lack of training presents more obstacles to finding employment thus reinforcing the poor’s position in the public benefits line. But they’ll need jobs …

Two, you now have proof that politicians view your support on issues as a mere transaction.

Not as a longer-term partnership for equality, social justice and a sustained vigilance for your community’s well-being, but simply a transaction where your vote is exchanged for mere “Thank you,” followed by a hope that your memory is short …

song currently stuck in my head: “desire” – pharoahe monch

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“Liar” Trump and Selective Investigations

Now that we’re past the sensationalist social media opinions — which are not-so-curiously distributed by partisan leanings — can we discuss former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony about his professional life under President Donald Trump? Well, before Trump fired him.

Coming from a senior law enforcement leader who anchors his judgement on facts and no impartiality, Comey’s testimony sounded damning to President Donald Trump but also seemed, well, partial.

Plus, I don’t think Trump will be impeached based on what Comey wrote or said last week.

My posts tend to be dense with tons of nuances, so I want to bring back the most important opinion I expressed the last time I covered Comey’s written statement for the Senate hearing (bolded emphasis added):

Forget the Russia allegations for a moment — there’s still plenty of digging to do before a solid case of elections interference or collusion can be made — what Comey described in his multiple interactions with Trump looks like a textbook example of obstruction of justice.

Trump removed Comey from his FBI post on May 9.

What’s left to sort out is Trump’s intent or motivation.

Intent or motivation” is a critical phrase — particularly when we’re talking about the President of the United States.

Folks like you and I attempting to shoo Comey away from investigating a colleague or friend will quickly find ourselves in jail.

But PRESIDENT Trump? A different story.

Assuming Trump’s lawyers are sharp — and if his head isn’t helplessly hard — the President can testify before Congress and say “Hell yeah, I told Comey to stop investigating Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. I had every INTENTION of pardoning him or anyone else on my team with suspected links to Russia, so an FBI investigation would be a waste of time.”

Boom. The obstruction of justice case would fall apart. Trump has every right to pull the pardon card as President.

An alternate path would be for Trump to put his word against Comey’s.

Therefore, a more compelling case will need be made about Trump’s intent that can neutralize what appears to be an obvious defense strategy.

But I have another question about last week’s hearing that much of the mainstream media ignored: wassup with Comey’s selective sense for conversations to document?

Or perhaps, wassup with the Justice Department’s selective sense for criminality?

Comey testified that his need to document conversations he had with President Trump from day one stemmed from Comey’s judgment of “the nature of the person.”

I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.”

I get it — anyone who has a discussion with Trump should be prepared to document every word and outcome. I certainly would.

But Comey also told the Senate panel about the “queasy feeling” he had when his boss from the Obama administration, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, requested that he publicly rebrand the criminal “investigation” he was leading of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified government information to a “matter.”

In Comey’s words:

And I wanted to know, was she going to authorize us to confirm we had an investigation?

And she said yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter. And I said why would I do that? and she said just call it a matter.

Perhaps Lynch isn’t a “liar,” but her decision on how to handle the Clinton “matter” looks a whole lot less than honest — particularly when her FBI Director thinks he’s leading a “criminal investigation.”

And despite Comey’s “queasy feeling,” he chose not to document his discussions with Lynch?

Comey continues:

I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but it gave the impression that the Attorney General was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way [Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s] campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate.

So — In addition to the Saturday night debates and other thumb-on-scale support the Democratic National Committee provided to put away Democratic primary challenger Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton received campaign air support from the Justice Department?

While the US government conducts its investigation of Russia’s role in the presidential elections — a task I feel should be completed to discover truth and provide closure — there should also be investigations of:

  • Donald Trump, and allegations of obstruction of justice.
  • Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department, for its behavior during the Clinton email investigation.
  • US Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his knowledge of any activity relating to obstruction of justice in the Trump White House
  • Advisor Jared Kushner, for his knowledge of any activity relating to obstruction of justice
  • The Democratic National Committee, its role in tilting the Democratic primaries

Did I miss anyone?

song currently stuck in my head: “daylight” – ramp

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Sunday Smack: Is Van Jones Correct About the Clinton Campaign and DNC Being Out of Touch?

This week’s Sunday Smack covers the Chicago People’s Summit this past Saturday, where CNN commentator Van Jones had strong words for the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party’s inability to connect with people of color and white working class voters. Quote and video are below.

Number one, we’ve been tricked into fighting among ourselves over the wrong issue. They’ve been keeping this thing going Among us on the left: should we focus on people of color, should we focus on racial justice, should we focus on African Americans and Latinos and the rising majority, or should we instead focus on the white working class. Should we focus on those industrial workers who’ve been left behind.

This is the stupidest false choice that I have ever heard … First of all, I don’t mean to be rude, and I don’t mean to offend anybody, but the people who ran the Hillary Clinton campaign did not spend their money on white workers, and they did not spend their money on people of color, they spent it on themselves! They spent it on themselves! Let’s be honest!

They took a billion dollars, a billion dollars, a billion dollars, and set it on fire, and called it a campaign! That wasn’t a campaign! That’s not a campaign!

A billion dollars for consultants. A billion dollars for pollsters. A billion dollars for a data operation, that was run by data dummies who couldn’t figure out that maybe folks in Michigan needed to be organized.

That wasn’t a campaign. it was a boondoggle. And now they want us to fight about whether black folks or white workers or Latinos or any other group or any other group should get the money. First of all, you need to give the money back to the people …

Here’s my Sunday Smack to you:

Is Van Jones correct?

song currently stuck in my head: “girl like you” – toro y moi

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Perhaps James Comey’s Statement Shows How “The Donald” (Corleone) Earned His Name

trump the godfather

Did you read Former FBI Director James Comey’s opening statement for tomorrow’s Senate hearing?

Who needs a script writer for the inevitable President Trump: The Movie when you have Comey?

This part:

 

A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.

 

(Laughing) Makes me wish I were in the room with a Canon C-100 to create the sequence.

Either Trump is insanely confident in himself and tries to rock the Presidency as if it’s one of his real estate companies, or he’s just keeps it gangsta like that.

Or — he’s dumber than anyone has ever imagined.

Forget the Russia allegations for a moment — there’s still plenty of digging to do before a solid case of elections interference or collusion can be made — what Comey described in his multiple interactions with Trump looks like a textbook example of obstruction of justice.

Trump removed Comey from his FBI post on May 9.

What’s left to sort out is Trump’s intent or motivation.

Unless you’re living on that other planet

Any bets on tomorrow?

Comey’s statement is embedded below …

Song currently suck in my head: “confirmation” steve Kuhn trio

 

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Sunday Smack: Wonder Woman and Images of Power

This tweet by @megsauce about the new Wonder Woman movie is destroying the Internet right now:

“No wonder white men are obscenely confident all the time. I saw one woman hero movie and I’m ready to fight a thousand dudes barehanded.’

There are people on Twitter who are disagreeing with every bit of that statement.

What are your thoughts?

song currently stuck in my head: “trouble in mind” big bill broonzy

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Trump’s Yuge European Failure Part 2: The Paris Climate Agreement Chapter

trump coal

Now that we’ve covered the pitfalls of putting your trust in deal chasers to craft America’s military strategy and NATO relationship, what do you say about tackling climate change and the inner workings of President Trump’s brain?

Let’s first deal with what the media calls a “shocking” reversal: Trump’s acknowledgment that climate change is real, despite his earlier dismissal of the phenomenon as a hoax and Chinese conspiracy.

trump global warming hoax

I’m sure Trump knew all the time that climate change is real!

Some of his oil peeps have known for at least 40 years that climate change is real — even while they denied its existence.

And if oil companies wish to remain in denial about climate change, shareholder activism is working hard to keep everyone honest.

For example, here’s the most recent acknowledgement of climate change by ExxonMobil. I took a long screenshot because you never know these days. I’ll continue my thoughts after the graphic …

exxonmobil climate change

Let me repeat what I’ve shared with friends: climate change is real but the media outrage over President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accords, the compliance strength of those Accords and even Trump’s decision are simply symbolic.

Trump had a choice between telling coal miners and unemployed Rust Belt workers before his trip to Europe that he sees no future in carbon-based energy sources, or saving a crucial component of his support base by giving that “Coal is our future” meme a longer life.

This decision was a no-brainer in Trumpland. He plans to run for reelection in 2020.

Meanwhile, Team Trump aims to use this new outsider position to negotiate a more favorable — here comes that word again — “deal” for American companies in exchange for participation in the agreement.

And once again, deal-think is preventing Trump from reimagining a problem and discovering its insightful solutions.

The Paris agreement has no teeth to ensure compliance and participation in the agreement is voluntary.

In theory, this means a country can sign the agreement and do absolutely nothing to help save the planet, or do the complete opposite.

The media and public outcry over Trump’s Paris agreement decision misses a larger point: Trump could have used renewable energy as a way to inject new life into America’s tired economy.

The two questions Trump should be asking right now are:

  • If climate change is real, What is a realistic, target sunset date for fossil fuel?
  • If renewable energy is the future, how can America own this industry?

I rapped about this a few years ago on another channel: America needs a NASA-like program which will create the next wave of jobs, as well as drive new and innovative investments in education and training.

Renewables could be that industry.

This is why I’m scratching my head. It appears that Trump is leading from behind. Ironic, isn’t it?

Sure, American cities like New York can continue to drive local investments in renewables.

But the bigger win happens when the US President drives an industry’s national agenda through targeted tax incentives, education policy initiatives and meaningful public-private partnerships.

Such an agenda shifts America further away from its “consumer” status and closer to that of a “producer.”

Who could argue with that kind of national transformation?

Trump, apparently.

By leading from behind, Trump will have allowed other countries to take the lead in renewables and shape this industry.

As a result, Trump will not only maintain America’s consumer status, but he will also miss a rare opportunity two create a future for America that both political parties could support.

Trump’s major miss on climate change brings up a question I raised in the last post: are we witnessing some kind of game to keep the two parties at war?

song currently stuck in my head: “after the moon“ real estate

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Trump’s Yuge European Failure — The NATO Chapter

trump-nato

President Donald Trump’s recent trip to Europe reminds me of an episode from that Blind Date TV show: Trump returns home after the date thinking he’s slayed like no other president before him — (laughing) the best Europe’s ever had — while EU leaders feel resigned to look for another lover.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Trump’s self confidence makes make him believe he’s earned the right to grab Europe by its puss (couldn’t resist) when he chastised them about those sub-two percent of GDP contributions to NATO over the years, and continued his climate change games when he pulled America out of the Paris agreements.

When I warned you many months ago about placing America’s energy, national security and economic future with a mercurial and hopeless dealmaker, you probably thought I was simply crafting prose for points.

Well, you now have evidence that [1] I wasn’t; and [2] a “deal” appears to be a permanent spot on Trump’s lens — making him too narrowly focused to comprehend, let alone address, the complex and strategic problems of geopolitics.

Take the drama Trump caused when he beefed about NATO nations’ relatively low financial contributions.

If Trump was the least bit intellectually curious, he wouldn’t spend so much time focusing on the two percent target as much as he should have asked “What does two percent mean?”

Does a 1.9% spend mean NATO countries have assured their destruction by future enemies, and 2.1% spells certain economic ruin by excessive government spending?

in other words, I would be more concerned with the components and outcomes NATO spending than hitting a benchmark for the sake of budgetary target practice.

Answering the questions I raised would call for a study to understand what should be those strategic investments, as well as the US’s role in them.

Trump could have weaved those thoughts into a thought-provoking speech to his NATO partners without causing much alarm.

But what kind of strategic depth can you expect from someone chasing after a two percent deal?

Before Trump closes this deal, he should understand the two big reasons — its armed forces and position as NATO’s largest funder — for why the US has earned the right to call most of the shots in that organization.

Let’s say Europe fulfills Trump’s desires and begins to carry its own budgetary weight in NATO, wouldn’t that mean the US should call fewer shots?

That’s a mind-blowing point Trump may soon regret the next time America wants to recruit NATO’s help in taking on overseas regime change adventures (e.g., Obama-Clinton’s Libya disaster) that are far beyond the alliance’s traditional scope.

More on that last point in a moment.

And if other NATO nations began to boost their financial commitments, could the US begin to lower its own? And would the US actually do it?

My back-of-envelope estimate says the US would see a nearly $300 billion windfall by decreasing its NATO commitment to two percent of GDP.

$300 billion is a helluva lot of Make America Great Again job skills training programs.

Don’t get your hopes up. Those training programs came from my wishful imagination.

Besides — and dare I bring this up — shouldn’t we have a talk about NATO’s serious case of scope creep?

How did this military alliance transition from serving as a barrier to the big, bad Soviet Union to overthrowing African countries and continuing to expand eastward to Russia’s borderEVEN AFTER the Soviet Union collapsed?

Nope, Trump’s not thinking about any of those things. He’s running after his two percent deal.

The Paris accord has become a similar deal-chasing mess. I’ll address that in my next post …

song currently stuck in my head: “loving you the way i do” – the voices of east harlem

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Thank You, Gregg Allman. You’re Bigger Than Southern Rock.

Gregg Allman Dead

I’m saddened to hear that Rock luminary, elder and Allman Brothers Band co-founder, Gregg Allman, has passed on.

It’s not hard to say that at 69 years of age — with a willingness and skill to create music that matters — Allman’s earthly departure is a life cut short of inspiring additional thousands of future musicians, as well as forging deeper explorations into Rock and Roll.

My last point about Rock and Roll is important. People shortchange their musical experiences by lazily slapping the “Southern Rock” label on the Allman Brothers Band. As we music headz always say, folks need to “dig deeper.”

Allman is one of a vanishing breed of musicians who chased the flavor of good music, regardless of genre.

In the performance world of the Allman Brothers band, there was a clear understanding of how the “Roll” fits into Rock.

Gospel turned into foot-tapping Jam Rock. Soulful Country leanings transformed into Jazz Fusion chords. Banjos and African percussion shared same stage.

And Blues remained the mother of all of the band’s creations.

I think about ABB Blues and “Not My Cross to Bear” starts playing in my head:

So, I now want to start sharing Allman Brothers songs. “Midnight Rider” is one of those have-a-beer-chill-with-your-peeps-and-listen songs:

The Fusion Jazz-flavored “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” has to be one of the most memorable tunes in music history:

I love the twin-guitar charm of “Blue Sky.” I’m equally in love with the song’s chord progressions …

And there’s the Funky Blues mix slathered across “Southbound”:

Rest in Love, Gregg. And thank you …

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A Bomb and $350 Billion Proved Trump is FOS About Fighting Terrorism

trump in riyadh

It took Islamic State follower Salman Abedi and a bomb to kill 22 people just outside a Manchester Ariana Grande concert to prove a point a few of you already suspected: President Donald Trump is completely FOS about fighting terrorism.

 

And yet, the Right seems confused, and the Left acts as if Trump is the first to discover banana republics.

 

With every US President since Richard Nixon supporting what looks to me like a “Saudi first” policy, what part of President Donald Trump’s USD 350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia surprises you?

 

I have a message for shocked readers: take a break from digesting this piece and consider two things.

 

One — every OPEC nation, with the exception of Iran and Venezuela, sells oil in US dollars.

 

Two — read this dirty secret about how America can consistently run deficits to fund overseas wars and maintain tax cuts for the rich …

 

Welcome back, formerly shocked readers …

 

Nevertheless, the arms deal is disappointing.

 

It means the war on civilians in Yemen — which started with the Obama administration’s support through missiles, refueling planes, intelligence and Special Forces operators — will continue.

 

It also means the jihadist-led war on Syria will continue.

 

That’s right — the same terrorist groups currently in Syria fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and wishing to destroy America, have Saudi Arabia’s support.

 

And America supports Saudi Arabia with arms deals.

 

The news is even worse — America supports Saudi Arabia with full knowledge of the Kingdom’s support for jihadists.

 

Even the mainstream media doesn’t hide this fact. In 2010, the New York Times reported on what then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew about Saudi Arabia’s support for jihadists:

 

A classified memo sent by Mrs. Clinton last December made it clear that residents of Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, all allies of the United States, are the chief financial supporters of many extremist activities. “It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” the cable said, concluding that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

 

Nearly five years later, Clinton once again acknowledged the Saudis role in supporting jihadists in Syria’s so-called civil war. Via Wikileaks:

 

… [W]e need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.

 

Hmph. The US has not and will not “bring pressure” — especially when the the Saudis have grabbed the US by the petrodollar.

 

Hell, Vice President Joe Biden tried to tell y’all about the Saudis’ love for terrorists  — before he was shut down.

 

And let’s not forget the September 11 attacks (Via NY Times):

in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

I’ll also throw in the turmoil created by releasing those 28 pages from the 9/11 Commission’s report.

And like other Presidents, Trump amazingly ignores Saudi Arabia’s role in sponsoring terrorism to blame Iran for Middle East terrorism, thus adding to the FOS quotient. Here’s an excerpt of the President’s speech in Riyadh three days ago (emphasis mine):

 

But no discussion of stamping out this [terrorist] threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three — safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime—launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

 

And less than a day later, Manchester gets bombed by the follower of a terror group that has received cash and arms from Saudi Arabia. Trump became predictably silent about that point.

I get the sense that $350 billion in arms will help Trump prepare the Middle East for yet another regime change adventure. Take a good guess where …

 

But at least you’ll now get to see those jobs Trump promised during his 2016 campaign! Bloodshed is just collateral damage …

 

song currently stuck in my head: “tallulah feels good (feat. james brown, gorillaz & jamiroquai)” – tamar mashup

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