Grind for July 27th, 2018
“Let’s stop ‘tolerating’ or ‘accepting’ difference, as if we’re so much better for not being different. Instead, let’s celebrate difference, because in this world it takes a lot of guts to be different and to act differently.”
– Kate Bornstein
Trump warns Iran never to threaten US again
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” tweeted President Trump on Sunday. “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
The blistering warning, which comes directly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested Washington’s policies against Iran could lead to the “mother of all wars,” follows increased pressure on Iran including:
— US withdrawal from JCPOA and resulting sanctions on Iran
— Trump’s threat to sanction any nation that continues to purchase Iranian crude after November 4th
— The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Trump’s travel ban, which affects Iranian citizens
Iran has fought back by threatening to block all exports from the Strait of Hormuz if the US blocks its crude sales. Last Wednesday, Iran’s nuclear chief claimed the country’s uranium stockpile had reached 950 tons.
On Sunday, President Rouhani warned Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail.” That same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likened the Iranian regime to the “mafia” and accused its leaders of funding terror at the expense of its citizens.
“To the regime, prosperity, security, and freedom for the Iranian people are acceptable casualties in the march to fulfill the Revolution…The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders show Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government,” said Pompeo.
“Right now, the US is undertaking a diplomatic and financial pressure campaign to cut off the funds that the regime uses to enrich itself and support death and destruction,” continued Pompeo. “We are asking every nation who is sick and tired of the Islamic Republic’s destructive behavior to join our pressure campaign.”
Trump offers $12 billion to American farmers
The Trump Administration on Tuesday announced plans to provide American farmers with $12 billion to mitigate the damages to the agricultural industry caused by retaliatory trade tariffs.
Aid money will be focused on boosting the prices of hard-hit crops like sorghum, soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, and pork.
“This is a short-term solution that will give President Trump and his administration time to work on long-term trade deals,” said Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue.
The move will also pacify Trump’s voter base ahead of midterm elections in November.
Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports have incited retaliatory taxes on $34 billion worth of US goods – including crops. Mexico, Canada, and the EU have also imposed retaliatory taxes on US products following Trump’s decision to tax aluminum and steel.
Critics insist farmers need certainty on future trade deals, not a bailout from the feds, while lawmakers worry Trump will need to provide aid to other sectors if he continues fighting China and our allies on trade.
“What’s the strategy, what’s the end game here? At what point do we start seeing things move out of the chaotic state they are in now and to where we actually see new trade agreements?” asks South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds (R).
And while $12 billion might not seem like a lot, it won’t make up for the “hundreds of millions of dollars” being lost in every state thanks to Trump’s trade disputes, adds North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.
On Wednesday, Trump discussed trade issues with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker before meeting directly with Republican lawmakers from farm states.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… Olympus Mons, on the planet Mars, is the tallest volcano in the Solar System at a height of 14 miles. It is nearly 3 times the height of Mount Everest.