“actually ending someone’s career through the power of public backlash is easier said than done. Few entertainers have truly been canceled — that is, they haven’t had their careers totally shut down by negative criticism on the internet.”
“in order for this strike to be legal without congressional authorization, it would have to be in response to an imminent threat to the United States. And then we immediately enter into a discussion about what “imminent” and “threat” actually mean.”
“Many of the people who have shaped our legal understanding of “imminent” over the years understood it to mean that the threat was unfolding right now and there’s no time to do anything other than to kill the person.
The Soleimani killing doesn’t appear to meet that threshold.”
“If this is just a thing we did, then Congress doesn’t need to be notified. But if it’s an act of war, then clearly Congress needs to be notified.”
“for better or worse, at a point where the majority of lawmakers have basically acquiesced to the administration’s interpretation of the law when it comes to war, and again, this goes back to the George W. Bush era. So if that’s the case, then eventually the law becomes whatever the current administration says it is. That’s where we are.”
“there were several AUMFs but none of them, in any way, were directed at Iran. Each of them very clearly gave the executive branch the power to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and later, ISIS in Iraq. And in fact, Iran has been on our side in the fight against ISIS and the Taliban. So there’s just no plausible legal justification under which you could stretch any of the AUMFs to include an attack on an Iranian official.”
“The fires have now killed at least 20 people, torched more than 14.8 million acres, and destroyed more than 900 homes since September. The blazes turned skies orange and made breathing the air in Sydney as bad as smoking 37 cigarettes. The bushfires have also killed 480 million animals, environmental officials told the Times in the United Kingdom, including nearly one-third of the koalas in one of Australia’s most populated koala habitats, an area 240 miles north of Sydney.”
“The extreme heat in Australia this week is not just a fluke. There were unique patterns in rain, temperature, and wind that converged to scorch the continent, factors that scientists were able to detect in advance. But Australia is also deep in the throes of the accelerating climate crisis, facing not just extreme heat but changes in rainfall patterns. These shifts in turn stand to worsen other problems like drought and wildfires.”
“However, the links between fire risk and climate change are more complicated than the links between extreme heat and climate change.”
“According to Zarif, Iran will continue to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the international nuclear watchdog organization, to review its nuclear research, and would be willing to rejoin the agreement if sanctions against it are removed.”
“Last July, the Iranian government made it clear it planned to stop adhering to some elements of the nuclear deal by stockpiling more low-enriched uranium than the agreement allows.”
“The Iranian government announced it would no longer adhere to limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal in the wake of national outrage over the US’s assassination of one of the country’s top officials, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani”
“The passage of the resolution, however, does not mean foreign forces will immediately be expelled from the country. The country’s prime minister would need to sign off on a formal bill to accomplish that. Mahdi, of course, supports the move, but the fact that he is an interim prime minister could complicate matters.”
“All politicians garner fact-checks, but Trump is so dishonest that CNN’s Daniel Dale has a beat composed exclusively of keeping track of all the nonsense the president spouts, routinely generating headlines like “Trump made 96 false claims over the last two weeks” and “Trump makes at least 18 false claims in ranting Fox & Friends interview.”
The sheer range of things Trump lies about — including recently claiming that the prime minister of Canada edited a version of Home Alone 2 to remove a Trump cameo — is mind-boggling and goes way beyond any kind of normal political process.
Part of Trump lying about everything is that he frequently says things specifically about Iran that are not true. Back in July, for example, Trump tweeted about the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal that misstated the amount of money involved, misstated the duration of the deal, and fabricated secret Iranian violations of the agreement. It was not particularly clear at the time why Trump was lying about this stuff. But he lies so routinely about everything that people scarcely bother to inquire about what might be driving those specific lies.”
“As the former CIA director, Pompeo distorted intelligence about Russia to fit Trump’s preferred narratives. Then, as secretary of state, he misled the public about his role in the Ukrainian aid holdup that led to Trump’s impeachment.
Pompeo, too, engages in routine misstatements about Iran specifically, including lies about Iranian nuclear research.
This is important because Pompeo has become the public face of the administration on this issue. Although Pompeo does not engage in the range of dishonest statements that Trump does, his more focused dishonesty does include statements on Iran.”
“I hope there was some kind of good reason to bomb that Baghdad airport and some kind of plan to deal with the aftermath. But all we really know is that the people in charge of explaining to us what happened and why aren’t worthy of our trust.”
“Even as the labor market has gotten steadily healthier in recent years, the American birth rate continues to fall from its recession-era highs.
Women tell pollsters that’s not because the number of kids they’d ideally like to have has fallen. Instead, the No. 1 most-cited reason is the high cost of child care. Child care doesn’t get more affordable just because the unemployment rate is low. If anything, it’s the opposite — child care is extremely labor-intensive, and the prospects for introducing labor-saving technology into the mix look bad. To make child care broadly affordable would require government action; it’s just not going to happen in a free market, which doesn’t magically allocate extra income to people who have young kids.”
“America’s sky-high child poverty rate compared with peer countries is entirely attributable to our failure to enact a child allowance policy. A better labor market helps marginally, but it doesn’t address the fundamental issue that a new baby increases financial needs while also making it harder to work long hours.”
“This is how you get a full-scale war that neither side wants. Each hopes to cow the other with violence, but in actuality keeps provoking the other until they’ve crossed a line that nobody is willing to back down from. Given the absolute horror that would be a US-Iran war, the decision to kill Soleimani was a gigantic risk.
I don’t want to be entirely alarmist. Historically, accidental wars are relatively rare. Leaders tend to find ways to pull back from the brink while saving face.
But neither Ayatollah Khamenei nor President Trump are particularly trustworthy decisionmakers, to put it mildly. It’s very hard to predict how they’ll handle this crisis, and things could easily get out of hand. The US-Iran war could well get much worse — and the mere possibility should scare all of us.”