Good News to Boost Your Day
4 items by the Washington Examiner. My thoughts on these are somewhat positive. These 4 articles signal to me that all parties are engaged, and all are ready to do good work. I sincerely hope that a good deal can be found between Iran and the United States. A deal that doesn’t cheat any of the parties involved, (but if you look at the second article, it already foreshadows something sinister). Good relationships must be built on trust. Build that trust and you improve everything downstream.
Trump Repairs GOP Relationships Ahead of 2018 Midterm Battle
- Facing the prospect of a Democratic wave in November, the White House and GOP lawmakers have already begun to bridge their past differences in preparation for the political battle they will fight together over the next 10 months.
- “It is a recognition by both President Trump and his Republican congressional critics that they need each other for political survival,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.
- “When he does things that are not seen as presidential or the way that necessarily a lot of folks would play something, they’re not running to TV booths anymore to criticize him,” O’Connell said of congressional Republicans. “They recognize that if he goes away or if they lessen his power, they might be next on the chopping block. But if he succeeds, they succeed.”
http://www. washingtonexaminer. com/trump-repairs-gop-relationships-ahead-of-2018-midterm-battle/article/2645584
Trump’s Iran ultimatum puts pressure on Hill negotiations
- “Members of Congress are negotiating, in good faith, modest and reasonable revisions to [the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act] that would allow him to be more comfortable with the agreement,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., another member of the foreign policy panel, told Capitol Hill reporters on Thursday.
- Trump eschewed a modest tone in his Friday message to Congress. “Any bill I sign must include four critical components,” he said.
- Those provisions include the broader access for international monitors seeking to inspect Iran’s nuclear program, in perpetuity, and a mandate to impose “severe” sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program. “If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume,” he said.
- (Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee) expressed hope that Trump’s aggressive rhetoric would strengthen their hand without leading to an ultimate withdrawal from the deal.
- “I was very happy with his announcement. I’m very supportive of what I’m hearing in terms of the potential legislation here on the whole Iranian agreement,” Johnson told the Washington Examiner. “And I think you have to give President Trump’s bluster a fair amount of credit in terms of, I think we have the possibility of actually improving our position as it relates to that horrible deal.”
- But Johnson added that the improvements need to be made in a way that wouldn’t terminate the agreement entirely. That’s because, he explained, Iran has already gotten “everything they wanted” out of the deal, so they have less incentive to remain in compliance with the pact if Trump tries to impose a major change unilaterally.
- “Ripping it up makes no sense whatsoever,” Johnson said. “You want to strengthen it without having anybody give Iran cover to not continue to comply, and I believe that is the whole purpose of this effort.”
- As lawmakers attempt to thread that needle, they run the risk of appearing soft on Iran by comparison to Trump or other congressional foreign policy makers. That difficulty is heightened in the Senate, where Corker has to develop a bill that can win enough Democratic support to avoid a filibuster.
- “The president’s announcement undeniably puts pressure on the Senate to start moving, and Corker will be feeling that from both his left and right,” a source close to the congressional negotiations told the Washington Examiner. “But the bigger challenge is going to come from the House, where Republicans are coalescing around competing legislation that’s backed by influential Iran hawks.”
http://www. washingtonexaminer. com/trumps-iran-ultimatum-puts-pressure-on-hill-negotiations/article/2645859
Iran frees 440 people arrested in December protests
- The Iranian government has freed 440 people who were arrested in the capital city of Tehran during protests nationwide late last month, a government official announced Sunday.
- “More than 440 people who were arrested in Tehran riots have been released,” Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told Mehr news agency, according to Reuters.
- About 1,000 people were arrested, judicial officials said, although a lawmaker said that number was actually 3,700. Dolatabadi said the majority of those taken into custody were from low-income families, and are 18 to 35 years old.
http://www. washingtonexaminer. com/iran-frees-440-people-arrested-in-december-protests/article/2645937
Pope Francis worries about nuclear war: ‘I am really afraid of this’
- Pope Francis warned Monday the world is on the verge of a nuclear war.”I think we are at the very limit,” he said when asked by a reporter aboard his plane about the chances of a nuclear conflict. “I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things.”
- Reporters were given a photograph of the pillage following the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, and showed a Japanese boy carrying his deceased brother.”I was moved when I saw this. The only thing I could think of adding were the words ‘the fruit of war’,” Francis said. “I wanted to have it reprinted and distributed because an image like this can be more moving than a thousand words. That is why I wanted to share it with you.”The comment comes days after Hawaiian residents were mistakenly told by the state government of an impending nuclear attack by North Korea on the Pacific islands. Pope Francis did not mention North Korea or the recent scare in Hawaii.
http://www. washingtonexaminer. com/pope-francis-worries-about-nuclear-war-i-am-really-afraid-of-this/article/2645928