WaterCooler, Saturday! 8/27/2016 - Open Thread - Oz, ALBA and Trump Watch

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Scariest Kid’s Movie Ever Made?

The Wizard of Oz, hands-down, terrifying! The movie covered nearly every childhood nightmare: powerlessness; abandonment; disenfranchised witches; superglued footwear; flying bellboy monkeys. The worst nightmare? Don’t mess with Toto!


Roger Ebert chose it as one of his Great Films, writing that “The Wizard of Oz has a wonderful surface of comedy and music, special effects and excitement, but we still watch it six decades later because its underlying story penetrates straight to the deepest insecurities of childhood, stirs them and then reassures them.”  – Wikipedia

The film opened nationally on August 25, 1939; seven days later Hitler invaded Poland marking, for some, the start to WWII. Nothing quite as effective as movie magic to provide distraction from an attempted worldwide coup.

Iran’s Latin American Tour

What is Iran’s Latin American strategy?

“Zarif (Iran’s Foreign Minister) is unlikely to rebuild the hegemony and regain the influence. Yet even if he succeeds in his negotiations there, it can help Iran move closer to its positions in the US backyard.” – attributed to Hamid Reza Taraqi, Iranian politician and Foreign Relations Director of the Islamic Coalition Party, Trend News Agency, 23 August 2016

Well, that’s comforting. Taraqi’s Islamic Coalition Party was formed by Khomeini as the “political and military wing of the bazaar.” It has strong Islamic Revolution roots and is one of only a few state sanctioned parties.

Although Mohammad Javad Zarif stresses his tour of ALBA countries (to which Iran is an “observer state”) is a caj meeting of old friends chatting up common economic and trade goals, the US is not impressed.


“The timing of Zarif’s trip is significant as Iran could use many of these rogue regimes to circumvent remaining sanctions, undermine U.S. interests, and expand the drug trafficking network that helps finance its illicit activities,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

The renewed concerns about Iran’s footprint in Latin America comes nearly two years after the State Department said Tehran’s influence in the region was “waning.” – The Washington Free Beacon, 23 August 2016

JV US leadership is taking it’s toll for the US, yes, but as Russia builds its new “axis of evil” (my words) Putin is poised to swoop in and provide “security” for it’s allies in their time of need.

Trump’s foreign policy doctrine, is the sweet sound of retreat to Putin’s ears, and Russia could not be happier.

Trump’s Louisiana Commitment

The Washington Post is reporting that Donald Trump followed through on his commitment to Greenwell Springs Baptist Church with his $100k donation. Good optics for Trump; Great benefit to Louisiana Flood victims and volunteers.

The Washington Post put some perspective on the good man’s pivot to philanthropy. When Trump’s donation to the Louisiana church is combined with his $1 million promise earlier in the year to a veteran’s organization (which he blew off until embarrassed by the media to pony up), that 4 month giving spree is a whopping sum greater than the whole of his 10 years of previous earth-shattering giving of personal funds.


Trump’s donations fell off sharply in 2007 and 2008. Then they stopped completely. Tax records show no gifts from Trump to his own foundation since a $30,000 gift in 2008. The foundation’s coffers have been filled, instead, by gifts from other donors. – The Washington Post, 26 August 2016

An “E” for effort.


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