Weekly Letter to the President
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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
September 18, 2020

Mr. President:  That reminder from the Bible, 'He who is without sin, let him cast the
first stone' may give us pause -- but not journalists who by all appearances assume
exemption.  And the stones certainly bruise.

Evidence for the bruises lies in the latest poll numbers.  Overall, Joe Biden leads
Donald Trump 50 to 43 percent, a margin that has continued to increase since
January.  It is also considerably wider than the few points lead Hillary Clinton had over
Trump four years ago.  It gets worse for Trump.

In the industrial states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Trump in 2016 won by
razor thin margins, he is losing by over 4 percent.  Also key to his victory was
Wisconsin where, despite his success in getting dairy products into Canada, he is
behind by a substantial 7 percent.  Key states Ohio and Florida are also going for the

Trump was not doing so badly until the coronavirus struck and during the course of
his news conferences he displayed an uncaring persona larded with incompetence.  
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the man he fired for correcting Trumpian exaggerations became a
hero and Trump the bully.

If that bullying nature won him small rewards with allies, he hit an impasse with China
and Iran ... while bringing the two closer to each other.  Then there is the border wall,
a sore point for our southern neighbor Mexico.  President Lopez Obrador made sure
the subject never came up at the July meeting with Trump,   Thus Mexico is not
paying for it so far and will not be in the foreseeable future.

The United Arab Emirates, a conglomeration of what used to be the Trucial States
under British hegemony. have agreed to formalize its already fairly close relations with
Israel.  In return, Israel has postponed plans to annex the West Bank.  Whether or not
it is in Israel's long term interest to do so is a debatable question because it provides
much more powerful ammunition to its critics who already accuse it of becoming an
apartheid regime.  However, it had become Prime Minister Netanyahu's sop to the
right wing who will have to wait.  Of course, the reality is that Israel is already the de
facto ruler.

If Mr. Trump was crowing about the agreement signed on September 15, although it is
akin to someone signing an agreement with Puerto Rico while the United States
remains aloof.  As a postscript, the little island of Bahrain also signed a peace deal
with Israel.  Bahrain has had its own problems in that a Sunni sheikh rules a Shia
populace.  When the Shia had had enough, Saudi and UAE troops were used to end
the rebellion.  Bahrain is thus indebted to the UAE.

How many among voters will know the real value of these historic (according to
Trump) deals particularly when he starts twittering his accomplishments as the
election nears?

There things stand.  As they say, there is nothing worse than peaking too early.  
Bettors are still favoring Trump with their money.  The longer anyone has been in
politics the more there is to mine, and for an opponent to use to his/her advantage.  
Time it seems is on Trump's side.