WASHINGTON, DC–Noting that Iran has failed to live up to the Spirit of the agreement, senior White House officials told The Daily Face Palm that it would be in America’s national interest to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.* Continue reading US Officials: Iran Nuclear Deal Failed to Address Non-Nuclear Issues
When I write My Two Cents, I do my very best to stick to the straight and narrow of moderate centrism. So much damage is done to our democracy by politicians and voters who form principled opinions based on a coherent worldview instead of firmly sticking to the sensible middle ground position.*
But after hearing the news that the Trump Administration really is moving forward with his tweeted plan to prohibit transgender individuals from serving in the military, I realized I could not hold back what is left of my flaccid ideology any longer.
Not only is this latest trans-ban bad policy, and bad politics, it is fundamentally immoral.
Fort Myer, VA–In a widely anticipated foreign policy speech on Monday, President Trump laid out a bold new branding strategy for the War in Afghanistan. He also offered some important insights into his decision-making process.
Trump explained to the audience that his original instinct on Afghanistan was to pull US troops out, a position he has expressed openly for several years. But he ultimately came to a different conclusion now that he is president.
As he summarized, “I usually follow my instincts, except when they’re right.”*
Washington, DC–Seeking to further distance himself from an embattled President Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reiterated at a press conference over the weekend that he “strongly condemns the KKK, white supremacists, and all Nazis that are not in the Ukrainian government.”*
WASHINGTON, DC–Praising President Donald Trump for his much-anticipated remarks denouncing the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists by name, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told NBC News he expected the problem to be resolved in “weeks”.*
Rubio acknowledged that Trump “took his time” to issue a proper condemnation, and was actually one of several Republicans to criticize the White House’s initial response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, VA. In his first remarks on the incident, Trump denounced violence “on many sides” and failed to condemn any specific groups or ideologies.
Trump’s early comments were widely seen as out of character for an outspoken president with a famously porous filter between his thoughts and his Twitter feed.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) made headlines last week with his dramatic return to the Senate floor after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
One of his first actions while back on Capitol Hill was to cast a decisive vote in favor of starting the formal debate procedure on healthcare reform in the Senate. Ironically, he then proceeded to vote against the healthcare bill that had the best chance of passing and was again decisive in scuttling the Senate’s efforts.
While these McCain votes captured many of the headlines in the US, international observers were focused on a different aspect of McCain’s busy week. Specifically, upon his return to the Senate, McCain took the opportunity to give an impassioned plea for Democratic and Republican lawmakers to come together and collaborate on new legislation.*
Speaking to reporters in New York, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley weighed in on the North Korean crisis. As the leader of the world’s only indispensable nation, President Trump has some “hard choices” to make in the coming days, Haley said.*
This week, a Washington, DC jury decided to acquit Ferdinand Jones of manslaughter charges relating to the death of homeowner Tomas Hernandez. Jones had already pleaded guilty on a lesser charge of criminal trespass.*
At a press conference in DC, General John Nicholson praised the Senate’s vote to admit the Eastern European country of Montenegro into NATO. The current leader of the US war effort in Afghanistan, General Nicholson predicted it would be an “absolute gamechanger” for the global War on Terror.*
The General acknowledged that the 15-year-long War on Terror has “not quite met expectations” and lamented the current stalemate in Afghanistan, which has seen the Taliban rapidly gaining ground in many parts of the country and actually sounds nothing at all like a stalemate.
It is estimated that the US has committed $4.8 trillion dollars to the War on Terror, and hundreds of thousands of troops have been deployed at times to Iraq and Afghanistan. In spite of this, the US has been unable to usher in a sustainable peace in any of the places it has waged war, and the General unhappily conceded that terrorism seems to be spreading “faster than a new Adele single at a college sorority.”
With all that said, the General thinks Montenegro’s entry into NATO could be just the thing we need to “tip the scales” back in the US’s favor. “Montenegro brings an impressive military budget that is nearly 1/7,800th of America’s and their armed forces amount to almost 1/100th of US’s. By bringing them into NATO, we’ll expand our military strength by at least one-hundredth of one percent, maybe even two-hundredths of one percent.”
One reporter present asked if that would be enough to make a difference.
The General’s reply: “Every little bit counts.”
* General Nicholson is a real person and he really is in charge of operations in Afghanistan right now. However, all of the quotes attributed to him above are fictional in nature.
As the world braces for the Trump era in US foreign policy, it appears the new President’s 140-character declarations are much less popular globally than the flowing oratory of his predecessor.