As Zakaria pointed out, China and the US had a common enemy in the Soviet Union. That gave them a reason to play nice. Iran and the US have no common enemy. That does not mean that they can’t begin to establish some type of relationship. It is just like dating; you don’t have to have something in common to date a someone, but it helps. Iran, of course, would like to lift the UN sanctions. The US would like Iran to stop making nuclear weapons. We will see how this dance works out.
Another day of government shut down, and the IRS says you still must pay your taxes. That is the only question that they are currently staffed to answer. I think it is a nice gesture (or is it a jester?) for members of congress to give their pay to the government employees on furlough. Their generosity inspires me. In an show of solidarity, let’s all forfeit our income for those less fortunate government employees until this shut down is over. You go first.