Dave Granlund picks up on an odd co-inky-dink in Trump’s magnificent “Deal of the Century,” which sounds like something Monty Hall should emcee but instead has been presented by an American president under impeachment and an Israeli prime minister under indictment.
All this while Trump’s party back home is explaining that we shouldn’t let John Bolton testify because he has a few blemishes in his background. We’ll get back to that in a minute.
Meanwhile, as David Rowe notes, the notion of a peace deal in which only one party was part of the negotiations is laughable, or, at least, it would be if it didn’t involve human rights and human lives.
It’s interesting that both the Israel Times and Ha’aretz have run columns strongly condemning this one-sided deal. The Times column is particularly compelling because it argues that, while the system is broken, it’s not all that far out of whack at the moment and any attempt to fix it will make it far worse.
We’d expect opposition from the Arab world and it’s certainly out there, but Al Jazeera offers a wider, worthwhile roundup of world opinion. Nobody they quote exactly praises the deal itself, but some suggest that it’s the only route to peace, while others reject it outright.
It’s worth educating yourself on how the world sees this, because Lord knows (same Lord, different names) the Middle East has enough trouble at the moment, and nobody’s exactly carrying Bibi and Donnie around on their shoulders cheering this non-consensual agreement.
But good luck educating yourself in Newspeak World
Nick Anderson celebrates the generally shared opinion that Mary Louise Kelly successfully stood up to the bullying and deceit of Secretary of State Pompeo.
And it is good that, while Dear Leader praised him for his disgraceful, dishonest, ignorant assault upon a free press, there haven’t been many who found victory in it, much less honor.
However, as Jack Ohman notes, the dust up has only reminded Pompeo and his accomplices that suppressing the free press is a necessary part of their plan for dominance, and there are already moves to once more attempt to defund NPR and local stations.
In addition, Pompeo has denied press credentials to NPR for his next trip abroad, while Dear Leader took a rightwing moonbat Christian media source on his last, and that’s how you guarantee that the news fits the narrative.
Incidentally, NPR only gets a small percentage of its funding from the government, ditto for local stations,and they’d likely survive a purge, but it might cost some of the in-depth local reporting the best of them undertake.
I’d find the whole thing absurd if their pissy little temper tantrums were not embraced by the Deplorables and backed by the GOP party faithful, which brings us to the John Bolton issue I promised earlier.
For my part, I wonder how our criminal courts would fare if only unblemished angels were permitted to testify, since it’s my impression that getting crooks to turn on each other is a major tool in the prosecutorial toolbox.
But this is a case where I’ll let Clay Jones not only draw the picture but rant the rant, because I have to say this is a rant of Belushian proportions, the best part being that, even at the height of his fury, he doesn’t lose sight of his point.
And it’s a valid point.
I was surprised and disappointed that Holocaust Remembrance Day managed to slip past, marked on my social media feeds only about halfway through the day itself, which made it hard to do anything more substantial about it than to “like” the postings.
However, Mike Lynch passed along a link to “Never Again Will I Visit Auschwitz” by Ari Richter, which details his long-anticipated visit to Auschwitz, where a large number of his relatives had died.
I had heard that the right-wing Polish government has its own twist on the Holocaust, basically absolving the Polish people from any sort of involvement, but Richter tells the story on ground level, from the point of view of a person who makes the pilgrimage only to find the site altered in order to cleanse what can be cleansed and to point fingers elsewhere when faced with the undeniable.
It puts a twist on the old bromide about history being written by the victors, because, of course, the history of the Holocaust was written by the victorious Allies, but in different ways in the West and behind the Iron Curtain.
In fact, I was just out of high school and thus reasonably well-educated when I visited the Soviet pavilion at Expo in Montreal and heard about their part in WWII. I mentioned it to my father and he quickly confirmed their sacrifice and efforts, but I’d never learned much about it in school.
Now that extremists are gaining a political foothold, history is being forced into their mold, which we can decry in the case of Auschwitz but perhaps should be equally cautious about in our own country.
Please don’t say “It can’t happen here” unless you plan to help make sure it doesn’t.
On a far lighter side
Today’s Free Range got a particular laff because I’ve lived the cartoon.
During a brief but ghastly flirtation with on-line dating I set a dinner get-together only to find that she had invited her whole fam damily to come to the restaurant.
She and I sat at a small table for two and they all piled into a curved corner booth, such that she had her back to them and I was facing them.
Which meant that, as we got to know each other, I was seeing, over her shoulders, eight of her parents and siblings and in-laws watching, laughing and giving me thumbs-up and other jovial, semi-sympathetic indications that coming along to give baby sister courage was not an unusual event in their family.
Sometimes a date can be so awful that the entertainment factor makes you glad it happened.