Professor +Juan Cole recently shared this image done by Sandow Brikow that is at the San Jose Museum of Art. This is a depiction of a possible future for California as Climate Change continues to be or profound concern despite the skepticism at the highest levels of the Trump Administration-underscored by the nomination of Scott Pruitt at the EPA. We here in California, though, are gratified to note that the end of the drought is in sight. In Southern California, we're expecting rain!!! What was striking to us earlier in the week was a tacit disregard given to the Governor of California who has emerged as one of the leading opponents of the President's Policies. During the Orville Dam emergency evacuation order, The White House Press Secretary noted how the situation was being "monitored" by coordinating it with the local Representative without any mention of Governor Brown.
As we went to press, our team attended the live webcast of President Trump's news conference just concluded within the past hour. He unleashed an attack on the Media in the aftermath of the resignation of General Flynn and the chaos that seems to be the order of the day in the White House. He noted that he "inherited a mess" when he took office. It was interesting how The White House is interestingly trying to change the story to the "leaks"-including a letter sent by leading members of the House GOP caucus to investigate the leaks. It is also interesting how the Press now is ever so assertive as shown by this latest on MSNBC's Morning Joe:
His Budget Director, a proponent of deep Government cuts, has been confirmed by a narrow vote as he has just nominated a new Labor Secretary to replace the previous one who withdrew. The President also hosted the Israeli Prime Minister at the White House yesterday. What we found very curious is the choices the President made to take questions from: Townhall.Com & Christian Broadcasting. It was left up to Israeli Journalists to ask probing questions about the Two-State Solution and the controversy over the Holocaust. The President responded by touting his election win and noting how there is going to be a lot of "love". It was also striking as he was asked about Anti-Semitism and his response was " I am the least anti-semitic person there is"--reminding all that his son-in-law, daughter and grandchildren are Jewish. This is as the Israeli Consulate in Miami was evacuated due to a bomb threat. He also noted that the team is a "well-oiled" machine despite the chaos currently prevalent in the White House. We also will be working to release a retrospective on the first 30 days of the Trump Administration during Presidents' Day WeekEnd here in the United States in addition to another edition of Notations on Israel.
Beyond the United States, there is Africa. We have been monitoring reports of the President of Nigeria's illness. What is critical to note is that Nigeria is the largest Country in Africa and what happens in Nigeria Matters. Although there have been notable successes in the fight against Boko Haram, there are profound economic and social challenges as the Country is being hampered by the President's absence due to illness.
The second largest economy in Africa is South Africa. Jacob Zuma gave his "SONA (State of the Nation) address. The left reflects the ceremony and the right depicts the chaos inside the chamber:
EFF, Madisha removal during Sona referred to rules committee: Parliament has referred the physical removal of Congress of the People (Cope) MP Willie Madisha and the violent ejection of Economic Freedom FIghters (EFF) members to the joint rules committee. Madisha was the first to be removed by Parliament’s 'bouncers' during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
Our team was blown away by the use of the Word "bouncers". The two countries are the key countries in Africa and the turmoil will continue to present challenges for the entire continent. T Tragedy also struck Pakistan as a Sufi Shrine was attacked which underscores how Pakistan continues to be besieged by insurgencies with no end in sight. Iraq is also as dangerous as ever as cars bombs again shook Baghdad. Gaza has also seen a change in leadership as a new leader has been elected as the prospects for any peace has faded away despite President Trump's declarations to the contrary.
We conclude by remembering and calling for the immediate release of Mahmoud Hussein who has been in prison in Egypt and reminding all that #JournalismIsNotaCrime: