We have a nuclear deal with Iran. Also, the deal with Greece rocks the Eurozone, and the Pentagon will allow transgender service members. (More)
This morning President Obama announced “a comprehensive, long-term deal” to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The New York Times has details on the terms of the agreement, and the Guardian has a live blog including the full text of the joint statement. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “freaking out” and Haaretz’s B. Michael explains that Prime Minister Netanyahu has lost “his most beloved toy – the Iranian bomb.”
Bizarrely, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough likened today’s deal to President Bush’s invasion of Iraq, in that both were risks. Well sure. Everything is a risk, including not negotiating a deal. But even a bat hanging from a cave roof would find the upside-down-ness of Scarborough’s argument … confusing.
Then again, a bat wouldn’t watch Scarborough. I only turned him on because I was waiting to hear President Obama. Now I understand why so many Twitter friends get so worked up every morning. Well, not quite. They could turn him off.
“Any other country that in future might challenge German economic orthodoxy will face similar problems”
Yesterday Eurozone leaders forced Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to accept an austerity mandate that may well topple his government. The American Prospect’s Arthur Goldhammer wrote that Chancellor Angela Merkel “proved to be a good German but not a good European,” and the Financial Times’ Wolfgang Münchau was even more scathing:
They have destroyed the Eurozone as we know it and demolished the idea of a monetary union as a step towards a democratic political union. […] They demoted the Eurozone into a toxic fixed exchange-rate system, with a shared single currency, run in the interests of Germany, held together by the threat of absolute destitution for those who challenge the prevailing order. The best thing that can be said of the weekend is the brutal honesty of those perpetrating this regime change. […] The fact that a formal Grexit may have been avoided for the moment is immaterial. Grexit will be back on the table when you have the slightest political accident – and there are still many things that could go wrong, both in Greece and in other Eurozone parliaments. Any other country that in future might challenge German economic orthodoxy will face similar problems.
The Financial Times is paywalled. That excerpt comes from a roundup on the deal by the Washington Post’s Max Ehrenfreund.
Ehrenfreund thinks the deal may have come too late, and he might be right. But if so, the blame for failure will now lie solely on Germany and The Institutions Formerly Known as the Troika. And here’s why:
If the Greek Parliament accept this deal, they cede almost complete sovereignty to The Institutions. Among the terms of the deal: any new legislation in Greece must be cleared by The Institutions before being offered for public debate or a vote in the parliament, and The Institutions will monitor and supervise Greek agencies that implement new laws.
In other words, The Institutions now govern Greece, and if their cut-to-grow magic beans don’t bear fruit, it won’t be because Greece didn’t fertilize and tend them properly. It will be because those cut-to-grow magic beans … aren’t magic after all.
“Real, patriotic Americans”
And the Pentagon will now allow transgender service members to serve openly. In a sign of Times They Are A’Changin, Sen. John McCain (R-Sunday News Shows) said he has no objection to the new policy, but “will obviously examine the policy and look at how it affects our military readiness.”
Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.
The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.
Someone should send Sec. Carter a whole crate of macadamias.
Good day and good nuts