Weekly Letter to the President
Copyright © 2017
ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
July 19, 2019
Mr. President: It's one for the history books, as they say. On July 16, 2019, Donald
Trump was formally rebuked by the House (in a 240 to 187 vote) for his 'racist' tweets
on four Congresswomen. The last time the House rebuked a president was William
Howard Taft over a 100 years ago.
So what did Trump do? He told the four members of Congress to "go-back" to the
"the crime infested places from which they came" instead of "viciously telling" us "how
our government is to be run."
Three of the women were born in the US and Ilhan Omar was a refugee from
Somalia. Not difficult to guess which country was largely responsible for a proxy war
in Somalia that overthrew a regime agreed to by warring parties for a rare interlude of
peace. The resulting civil war now continues, and Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are
home to more than 2 million Somali refugees. Others have ventured further, to the
EU and the US.
Trump's assessment of all this is uniquely Trumpian. He thinks he has won because
he has now got Speaker Nancy Pelosi exactly where he wants her for the 2020
election ... in the arms of the squad of four, who he positions as radicals.
Exactly how radical are they? They want a living minimum wage, healthcare for all --
something other developed countries already have -- a decent shot at education, and
they are strongly against Trump's policies on the southern border. Finally, they want
Palestinians to get a fair deal.
Steny Hoyer (aged 80) the Majority Leader and Nancy Pelosi (aged 79), the first
woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, both with distinguished
decades-long careers, starting together coincidentally as staffers in the office of
Senator Daniel Brewster (Democrat, Maryland), have weathered difficult battles on
critical issues as well as the rough and tumble of politics for many a year.
To them the squad of four appear as upstarts with a brashness and energy that have
captured the attention of mainstream news, and had a heretofore unseen impact on
social media. They seem unwilling to compromise, and speak as equals despite a
half-century age difference and a vast power gap in the House itself.
Not for them the lure of key committee appointments or other such carrots for a
successful Congressional career. They are out and out idealists with a platform
publicized positively thanks to left-wing websites and social media, and which can not
be ignored by the mainstream outlets. The world has changed; no, these four have
turned it upside down.
Trump himself has other worries. There is the case against Roger Stone his
long-time ally, friend and attorney, who was back in court for disobeying the judge's
gag order. As the case goes forward, we will be back to the 2016 election, the
Russian connection, and other efforts to smear Hillary Clinton. Will the calls for
impeachment finally find a receptive ear in Nancy Pelosi?
Then there is Iran. Trump's idea of a better deal is always to walk away from the
present one. No matter if its a treaty or an international agreement. Ayatollah Ali
Khamanei is not having any of it. People in this country are unaware that most such
clerics, in addition to Islamic studies, are experts in jurisprudence and philosophy, are
well-read, well-informed, and above all have to be highly intelligent to have been
selected for this career path. The Ayatollah wants relief from sanctions first.
Trump's new envoy to Iran, Senator Rand Paul is a libertarian like his father, and both
are anti-war with a particular aversion for America's misadventures abroad. So there