Friday, February 01, 2019

Outside the Center Ring of the Shit Show Circus

While we all gaze at the Shit Show Circus, real life with real impacts occurs off stage... (PS - I love this pic from The Art Of Brian (link))

The Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives has proposed legislation which makes it easier for the public to vote. Easier registration (for citizens), a public holiday for voting (unlike most countries, we vote during a week-day and don't get the day off work).

Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republicans, has called it a "power grab". This sounds odd, but it is true, the Republicans don't want regular people voting. Making voting more difficult ensures that primarily the well-off and white people vote. The Republicans have spent the past 12 years since the Voting Rights Act was overturned trying to limit the ability of minorities and Democrats to vote (the list is long and I will share it if you need reminding).
So, this just in. The White House has worked hard to lift sanctions on a Russian Oligarch and his company. These were put in place when Russia invaded Crimea, but that is all over now. (PS - That was sarcasm. Russia still controls Crimea and since then has meddled in 2 US elections, Brexit and violated a nuclear arms treaty.) As reward for "good behavior" the sanctions were lifted.

At the same time, with absolutely no stings attached, one of Trumps' supporters on the transition team was put on the Board of Directors of the Russian Company where sanctions were just lifted (yep- that was sarcasm too).
I tired to warn you all a few years ago. The only reason sanctions from the US are so effective is that all currency clearances go through the United States. This makes the US Dollar valuable and effective as clout. But, I warned, if we overuse this tool, then people will find ways around it and our "sanctions" will become less powerful. Overuse this and we shoot ourselves in the foot.

Consider foot shot.

By re-imposing sanctions on Iran, over the objections of the Europeans, the UN and our own intelligence agencies, the Europeans have felt free to set up an alternative (non-dollar) payment system. If Russia and China buy into this, our sanctions not just for Iran, but against North Korea, oligarch and everyone else are pretty much worthless.

Great job Very Special Genius.