Grind for August 16th, 2018
“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.”
– Edgar Allan Poe
Iran rejects war and negotiations with US
President Trump exchanged harsh words with his Iranian counterpart in July, but then on August 1st said he was ready to meet “whenever they want to.”
On August 6th, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he wanted to talk with the US as soon as possible: “I don’t have preconditions. If the US government is willing, let’s start right now. If there is sincerity, Iran has always welcomed dialogue and negotiations.”
That night, President Trump signed an executive order rolling out new economic sanctions on Iran.
On August 7th, Rouhani made it clear Iran wouldn’t be entering talks with the US: “You cannot expect to talk to a person after you stab him and leave the knife in his body,” said Rouhani. “If there is trust, Iran always welcomes negotiations. But negotiations don’t make sense while we are under sanctions.”
The new sanctions, which are designed to exert maximum pressure on Tehran, will:
— Block Iran from purchasing US banknotes and commercial aircraft
— Prevent Iran from trading in gold, food, and other goods
— Restrict Iran’s access to the software and automotive sectors
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded to the new sanctions by claiming “there will be no war, nor will we negotiate with the US.”
In the meantime, Iranians are furious with Rouhani’s government over rising prices, high unemployment, and state corruption. The Iranian rial has lost 50% of its value since April.
A second round of sanctions on Iran’s oil industry are scheduled to go into effect on November 5th.
Judge Kavanaugh is on his way to the Supreme Court
Senators on Sunday released nearly 90,00 pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh in advance of his confirmation hearing.
The documents, which detail Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House, were released just days after Republican leaders announced that Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing would begin on September 4th.
The deadline gives Democrats little time to search through the documents for anything they could use to block Kavanaugh’s path to the Supreme Court.
But as long as Kavanaugh can make it through the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats won’t be able to stop him unless they can win over at least one Republican – and that’s unlikely.
Judge Kavanaugh worked as a White House lawyer before he was confirmed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. He is famous for assisting the prosecutor who investigated Bill Clinton.
President Trump in July nominated Kavanaugh to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – a swing voter famous for determining the outcome of controversial cases.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be a huge victory for President Trump because it will shift the balance of the court to the right for years to come.
Democrats are doing their best to delay his confirmation, but if all goes according to plan Kavanaugh will be on the bench by October 1st.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… The onion is named after the Latin word ‘unio’ meaning large pearl.