Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The jobs?

"TV: The meanings of OZARK" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
Where are the jobs?

The good ones, the ones you can make a career of?

We're not talking the part-time jobs, the seasonal jobs, the barely paying jobs.

We're talking about the jobs that vanished.

And notice how so few seem to care.

Bill Clinton was seen as so brave, by some, in 1992 when he spoke of the economy as he ran for the presidency.

He seemed to be offering straight talk.

But he really wasn't.

Talking about how you will earn what you learn and you'll shift jobs repeatedly in a lifetime, he also promised to revitalize the economy but he was all words. Service jobs, service jobs, service jobs. The downwardly mobile Generation X.

As the economy was falling apart in the 80s, the adults had DYNASTY and DALLAS -- mansions, oil wells -- to fantasize about. By the time Gen X was becoming adults, the soap operas revolved around high schools (90210) or apartment complexes (MELROSE PLACE) -- the downgrading of expectations and dreams. Clinton talked about a changing economy while never addressing it.  Bully Boy Bush followed and did nothing.  Then came Barack Obama. He did something -- as Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) noted:

Two years ago this month, BET reporter Andre Showell posed a question to Barack Obama at a press conference to mark the president's first 100 days in office. Showell noted "double-digit unemployment" among Blacks and asked Obama, "What specific policies can you point to that will target these communities and what's the timetable for us to see tangible results?"
It was one of the First Black President's greatest "I Have Nothing for the Blacks" moments. "My general approach is that if the economy is strong, that it will lift all boats," replied the man who had brought millions to the Washington Mall just three months earlier, transforming an inaugural formality into a must-be-there-if-you-are-breathing Great Black Hajj. Obama then offered smug assurances that "folks who are most vulnerable are most likely to be helped because they need the most help." Under his presidency, the exact opposite would occur.
In the year that followed, Obama would pump $14 trillion into Wall Street’s accounts, the biggest transfer of wealth in human history, but the "rising tide" would swamp Black America. Black male unemployment, which stood at an official rate of 17.2 percent when Sowell posed his question, would exceed 20 percent as the crisis deepened, with never a hint of targeted policy consideration from the Obama administration. Today, at 16.8 percent, Black male unemployment is markedly higher than twice that of white men (7.7 percent) -- a significant widening of the great gap that has come to be thought of as "normal," beginning in the early Seventies. The "hidden" chasms of Black joblessness have grown even more under Obama's economic tutelage, as Blacks disproportionately crowd the subterranean corridors of the long-term and "discouraged" unemployed -- a despairing cohort whose ranks have swelled to record levels during this rich man/s "recovery." 

He oversaw "the biggest transfer of wealth in human history."

Guess what?

It wasn't to the workers.

Lift all boats, he insisted.

It certainly lifted his, right?

As Dan Alexander (FORBES) noted earlier this year Barack went from $85,000 a year in 2005 to leaving the White House worth $20 million.  Of course, he'll also get at least $200,000 in pension each year as a former US president.

Between that and all the corporate donors to his foundation as well as those big paying speeches he's giving to Wall Street, his boat has certainly been lifted.
But it wasn't a boat, it was a yacht -- David Geffen's yacht -- that Barack took a pleasure cruise on after exiting the White House. 

It's amazing how many ignore those realities about Barack.

He's out of office, this need to still play infant looking up to the Great Barry is disgusting.

He did nothing for the people.

He enriched himself.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

On his trip to Russia, Nouri al-Maliki has now met with the country's president Vladimir Putin.

  1. Meeting with Vice President of Nouri al-Maliki

: Meeting with Vice President of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki

Former prime minister of Iraq and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki is now one of Iraq's three vice presidents.  He sometimes elevates himself to 'senior' vice president but he's not and there is no such position or ranking.

Dwayne Harmon (NEWBURG GAZETTE) reports, "During a meeting with Iraq's vice president near Saint Petersburg Tuesday, Putin said the situation in the Middle East is complicated, but the two countries must work together."  SPUTNIK notes the two "discussed the issue of supplying Russian T-90 tanks delivery to Iraq, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Director Dmitry Shugaev said."  XINHUA adds:

Russia's participation in Middle Eastern issues has prevented the region from falling apart, specifically in Syria and Iraq, said visiting Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki here on Tuesday.
Maliki made the remarks ahead of an official meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Kremlin transcript.

"If it were not for Russia's contribution, the map of the region would have changed for the worse for us," Maliki told Putin.

Ahead of the trip, Nouri was making these sort of statements.  He's continued to make them.


Let's drop back to Sunday:

Today on NPR's MORNING EDITION, the topic came up.  Excerpt.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: Andrew Exum is a veteran of the Iraq War. He was also the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy in the Obama administration. I asked him about the role of the U.S. military in Iraq right now. [. . .] So the idea is to train Iraqi troops, support Iraqi troops and let them do the fight. But how many people does the United States have on the ground there, and what are they doing?

EXUM: So the United States has about 6,000 forces on the ground in Iraq. Most of them are serving as advisers. Some of them are serving as trainers. Some of them are helping the Iraqis with things in which the Iraqi military has traditionally struggled, such as logistics. The United States obviously is also engaging in direct combat in the skies. And there's also a very small special operations component that exists in order to do the kind of direct action special operations raids. If, for example, you get an opportunity to go after senior leadership of the Islamic State, but those strikes are very, very rare. The vast, vast majority of the fighting and the dying, it has to be said, has been done by the Iraqi forces. And they, and specifically the Iraqi special operations forces, have really borne the brunt of the human cost of this conflict.

As this exchange took place, KURDISTAN 24 reminded, "About 2,100 US soldiers will deploy to Iraq later this year to take over the mission to train and advise Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State (IS) militants following the fall of Mosul, the US announced last week."

Meanwhile PRESS TV notes:

Washington now seeks to establish military bases on Iraqi territory in a bid to maintain influence in the region, he said.
“ISIL resembles the Taliban which was created by the US administration to counter the USSR in Afghanistan. The same way, ISIL was created to counter the Iraqi stance, which did not agree to blockade Syria, was against no-fly zones in Syria and against American military bases,” said the Iraqi vice-president in an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
“The Iraqi society is against foreign military bases on the country’s territory,” al-Maliki noted, adding that he has already warned the Americans against “coming back to Iraq and setting up bases here.”

Per the law, the US shouldn't be in Iraq now or providing financial or weapon aid.  The Iraqi forces are attacking the Iraq people.  Treaties, laws and the Leahy Amendment are clear that when this happens, the US has to step away.

Nancy A. Youssef and Mike Giglio (BUZZFEED NEWS) report:

In the two weeks since Iraqi forces declared victory over ISIS in Mosul, local and international media have told a grim counterstory to the scenes of celebration — a rash of extrajudicial killings of suspected ISIS members at the hands of Iraqi security forces.
The killings are no secret. Videos of Iraqi soldiers executing ISIS suspects have been posted to social media. Human Rights Watch and other watchdogs have issued reports. Iraqi military officers have openly discussed their participation in torture and revenge killings with reporters.
Yet US troops embedded with the Iraqi military have reported seeing little of this, a US military official told BuzzFeed News — fewer than five instances. The lack of US reports raises an uncomfortable question: Have US forces simply been absent when the most horrific abuses have taken place or are they ignoring them?
“My presumption would be that they don’t want to know that all the forces they are supporting have to go on the blacklist,” Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher for Human Rights Watch, told BuzzFeed News. “The vast number of abuses we are seeing in Mosul are by Iraqi government forces.”

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:

  • iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq Iraq