Midday open thread: Iran policy 'untethered to history'; House climate committee to go on the road

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is The Barr report:

What’s coming on Sunday Kos:

Obama did what he thought was best. Progressives must accept no less than Medicare for All and more, by Egberto Willies 

The ghosts of the Mueller investigation will be haunting the GOP for the foreseeable future, by Frank Vyan Walton

The Trump slump is coming. It may be here already, by Ian Reifowitz

The Barr cover-up: Trump was not exonerated, and anyone claiming otherwise is a liar or a dupe, by Laurence Lewis 

Republicans’ message to Jewish Americans: Everything we hate is like the Holocaust, by Jon Perr 

The 2020 presidential election must be about issues. Daily Kos asks the Democratic field to go there, by Daily Kos Candidate Guides

What does the Republican Party stand for anymore? by Mark E Andersen 

Kill Obamacare? Trump voters won’t care. But we will—in 2020, by Sher Watts Spooner 

Black congresswomen made political history. Democrats need to give them more support, by Denise Oliver Velez 

Veteran diplomat William Burns says U.S. Iran policy “untethered to history”: The excerpt below is from Robbie Gramer’s interview at Foreign Policy with the former ambassador to Russia and the State Department envoy to the Middle East after the 9/11 attacks. Burns’s new book is The Back Channel, in which he talks about the “militarization of diplomacy”:

FP: This month marks the 16th anniversary of the Iraq War. You described in one chapter in vivid detail how you and other U.S. officials tried and failed to slow walk the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Now, 16 years later, do you feel the U.S. foreign-policy establishment has adequately learned its lessons?

WB: No. I don’t think so. This is a criticism of all of us. We have a tendency in Washington, across both parties, to have short memories sometimes. Iraq 2003 was a cloud that then hung over a lot of other choices. President [Barack] Obama was criticized for, as some people put it, “over learning” the lessons of Iraq 2003. Today you hear echoes of some of the same false assumptions that underpinned the rush to war in 2003 against Saddam Hussein in what at least some people in the administration say about Iran. False assumptions about how a muscular, unilateralist U.S. approach can produce the capitulation or implosion of this Iranian regime, which I think is an assumption untethered to history. I don’t need to be convinced that the actions of this theocratic regime in Iran threaten our interests or the interests of our friends in the Middle East, but I think it was a profound mistake to abandon the comprehensive nuclear agreement.

Manafort must cough up tens of millions to the government, banks, and creditors: But he gets to keeps his fancy, tasteless wardrobe, including that python bomber jacket worth $18,500.

MIDDAY TWEET

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it stuns me how quickly an investigation initiated by Republicans and run by Republicans looking into crimes committed by Republicans that resulted in a report written by Republicans and covered up by Republicans became “thanks for wasting everyone’s time, Democrats” in the media

— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) March 29, 2019

House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will be traveling a lot: The 15-member committee held its first meeting Thursday. While it will has no subpoena power and no authority to advance legislation, it will be spending a lot of time on the road, according to Chairwoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).  “One of the charges of this committee will be to hold field hearings,” Castor said. “We will likely hold more field hearings than the typical committee in Congress.” The focus will be on communities that are making an energy transition away from fossil fuels or adapting to climate change in their region. “I don’t anticipate we’ll be having a lot of hearings on whether climate change is happening,” Castor said. “I think we’re well past that.”

Tesla installs 7-megawatt battery to keep Japanese railway running in an emergency.

French filmmaker Agnes Varda—who was “New Wave” before Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut came along—is dead at 90:

It was her early dramatic films that helped establish Ms. Varda as both an emblematic feminist and a cinematic firebrand — among them “Cléo From 5 to 7” (1962), in which a pop singer spends a fretful two hours awaiting the result of a cancer examination, and “Le Bonheur” (1965), about a young husband’s blithely choreographed extramarital affair.

Family of notorious “El Chapo” hopes to make money off clothes branded with the street moniker of the leader of the murderous Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico: None of the money from the brand will go to “El Chapo,” whose real name is Joaquín Guzmán. One of his lawyers, Michael Lambert, said, “He wanted to be able to set something up—a legitimate enterprise—for the benefit of his wife and his two daughters. He loves his wife and he loves his daughters, and he wants to prepare for the future.” Another attorney, Mariel Colon Miro, said of Guzmán’s wife—Emma Coronel—”It’s very important for Emma and for the board of the company that it stays as much as possible in Mexico to help the Mexican economy and create more opportunities and work.”

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The NRA exports gun nuttery to Australia. Is Putin helping? Secret nukes for the Sauds. Can Dems get Mueller’s grand jury material without invoking the I-word? Aaron Kleinman, aka Bobby Big Wheel, discusses the FutureNow.org agenda, and right wing loons.

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