Monday, April 08, 2019

Barbara Lee, faking her way through

Oh, Norman Solomon, grow up.

He prattles on at COMMON DREAMS:

What Barbara Lee did on the House floor three days after 9/11—speaking prophetic words and casting the only vote against a green light for endless war—remains the bravest wise action in Congress during this century. The contrast was jolting last week when her vote enabled the House Budget Committee to approve a bill with a $17 billion increase in military spending for next year and another such increase for 2021.
Because of the boost to the military, three progressive Democrats on the committee voted against the budget bill: Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Ilhan Omar. “This is a key philosophical moment for our party,” Khanna said. The second-term congressman told the committee: “We cannot be against endless wars and then fund those wars.”
But, in effect, Barbara Lee voted to fund those wars—plus vast quantities of new weaponry and waste. If she had joined with Jayapal, Khanna and Omar in voting no, the committee would have deadlocked with an 18-18 tie, blocking the bill. (Many deficit-hawk Republicans voted against the bill because it raises the caps on non-military and military spending.)
After the committee vote on April 3, I requested a statement from Congresswoman Lee. “I voted to advance a bill out of committee that sets budget caps for the next two fiscal years,” she said. “To be clear: I do not support the Pentagon spending levels in the bill and voted for an amendment offered by my colleague Rep. Khanna to freeze Pentagon spending at FY2019 levels. Unfortunately, the Khanna amendment failed.”
Lee’s statement added: “I have a long record of fighting to cut bloated Pentagon spending, audit the Pentagon and repeal the 2001 Authorization [for] Use of Military Force. I will continue to fight for these efforts, and to increase domestic discretionary spending as the budget and appropriations process moves forward.”
Certainly, Barbara Lee has been a stalwart opponent of endless war. Her tireless efforts to undo the AUMF have most recently included the introduction in mid-February of a bill titled “Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force” (H.R. 1274).

Yet there’s no getting around the fact that Lee’s vote in committee last week made it possible for a budget bill that further bloats the Pentagon’s spending to reach the House floor. 

Barbara Lee is not against endless wars.  She has done nothing to stop the Iraq War -- and we're gearing up for another deployment to Iraq.  She's even worse on Afghanistan.  Every year since Barack was sworn in as president, she'd say publicly that if a withdrawal wasn't announced, she was going to do something.  She never did anything but talk and talk some more.

No one believes Barbara Lee.  For the longest, C.I. was the only one to call her out for being the fake ass that she is.  But, recently, you've seen others -- Margaret Kimberley, for example -- start calling her out as well.  Lee is and remains a fake ass.

For reality and truth, go read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Some want to time travel back to the sexist past."

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, April 8, 2019.  Flooding in Iraq, Moqtada's back, more US troops to be deployed to Iraq and Cobra Joe mocks the women he made uncomfortable.

how have recent changes in water management in southern Iraq influenced the severity of the recent floods?


: Iraqi Red Crescent: Displacement Of More Than 270 Families From Their Houses That Affected By Floods In Salah Al-din Districts

Heartbreaking video of a woman in south Iraq bewailing the loss of her annual crops due to severe flooding.
0:07 / 0:36

The flooding in Iraq continues -- with no US media coverage.  ALSUMARIA has a photo essay here.  They have a video here and note that the Baquba orchids could be at risk.  RUDAW notes:

High water from heavy rains and overspill from Dukan Dam has swept away tourism infrastructure along the Little Zab River. Further downstream, hundreds of people have been evacuated and aid agencies report problems accessing flooded areas.

Water in the Dukan Dam reservoir reached the bell-mouth spillway this week, for just the second time since the dam was constructed in 1959. Riverside streets are flooded and the town of Dukan has told people to avoid the area.

“We have instructed people not to use the road until the water level decreases. The manager of the dam in coordination with Baghdad and Erbil is releasing the dam's water. It’s them giving the orders and we are here on full alert,” Mayor Sirwan Sarhad said.

The high waters have also brought snakes.

The European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations notes, "The recent floods along the Tigris River and its effluent overflow have caused displacement of people and damage across several areas of Iraq, with Salah governorate being the worst hit. As of 8 April, according to Iraqi Red Crescent, at least 270 families have been displaced in Salah, while 60 houses have been flooded. For the next 24 hours, moderate rainfall is forecast over central-western regions of the country."

In other news, ALSUMARIA reports that Shi'ite politician Ayad Allawi has given conditional support to the call for Basra to become a semi-autonomous province.  Allawi also noted his support on his Twitter feed.

is ailing from corruption and this epidemic must be ended. Although in principle we do not oppose regionalism, there must: be solid institutions in place to protect the respective authorities; laws to control their performance; and their powers must be ratified.
هل سيعالج انشاء الاقليم اساس المشكلة ويضع حداً لسوء التخطيط والادارة وهدر المال من حيث المبدأ، لا نُعارض إقامة الإقليم شرط وجود مؤسسات رصينة تحميه وقوانين واضحة تضبط اداءه وتحدد صلاحياته المكلومة بحاجة اليوم لعملية عاجلةتستأصل الغدد السرطانية التي خلفها وباء فيها

Ayad Allawi led Iraqiya in 2010, the year it won the elections.  Nouri al-Maliki, having lost, refused to step down as prime minister.  An eight month political stalemate ended with the US negotiated Erbil Agreement which gave Nouri a second term that he did not earn.  The will of the voters was thwarted and then-Vice President Joe Biden told a stupid analogy about Ireland (that was stupid and non-applicable).  If the US government ever wanted democracy in Iraq, it would have backed the 2010 election results.  Instead, they backed Nouri and saw the rise of ISIS in response to Nouri's actions.

While Allawi is backing the independence of Basra (conditionally), Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is not.  After several months in Lebanon, Moqtada has returned to Iraq and he's calling out Basra's call to become semi-independent of the Baghdad-based government -- semi-autonomy similar to the KRG.

The speech of Iraqi leader Al- Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr about (the callers for regions) on 7/4/2019 تغريدة الزعيم العراقي السيد مقتدى الصدر اعزه الله حول (دعاة الاقاليم) .. الاحد 7 / 4 / 2019

The speech of Iraqi leader Al- Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr about (the callers for regions) on 7/4/2019 تغريدة الزعيم العراقي السيد مقتدى الصدر اعزه الله حول (دعاة الاقاليم) .. الاحد 7 / 4 / 2019

Saturday, REUTERS reported:

Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iraq on Saturday to demand U.S. troops leave “as soon as possible”, during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi that showed off Tehran’s strong influence in Baghdad despite U.S. pressure.

RUDAW noted:

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to remove US forces from Iraq as soon as possible and to reject closer relations with Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia.

“You should take necessary measures so that the US will withdraw its troops from Iraq as soon as possible; because in any country where US maintained an enduring military presence, the process of expelling them became more complicated and problematic,” Khamenei told the Iraqi PM, according to a statement on his website.

There are roughly 5,200 US troops stationed in Iraq – officially invited back by the Iraqi government in 2014 to advise and train local forces in the fight against the Islamic State group (ISIS).

Shiite parties in Baghdad which enjoy close ties with Tehran have persistently called for a full US withdrawal, accusing Washington of treating Iraq like a colony

 This as Matthew Cox (MILITARY TIMES) reports:

The Army will deploy the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, to replace the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, according to another news release.

"We are privileged to be joining the international coalition that will defeat ISIS and set conditions for increased regional stability," Col. Matthew Brown, commander of the 1st SBCT, said in the release, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. "The Arctic Wolves are trained, equipped and exceptionally well led. ... The brigade has readied itself for any mission."

Staying in the US, Joe Biden, on Friday, mocked those who felt uncomfortable with his groping.

.: In most cases if you're a public figure being accused by women of inappropriate touching the last thing you want to do is make any kind of joke about inappropriate touching. Joe Biden today made two."

So the notion of consent is now to be mocked?

Same reason he's drawing out the announcement of his presidential run. Forcing people to wait is a power move. It's about showing that you can get away with stuff other people can't.
  • I think Biden touches women in weird and unsettling ways for the same reason he made trolling jokes about it later: It's a power move and he gets a rise out of little displays of dominance that people, especially women, can't do anything about.
  • Biden keeps insisting that people are objecting to handshakes and hugs. But, as we see in this video, the woman is very happy to shake his hand. It's when he tries, like a weird creep, to grab her face that she flinches.

    Link to headline article

    Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet reacts to former Vice President Joe Biden joking about physical contact in his first speech since allegations he made women uncomfortable: "I do not think anyone should make jokes about it"

    The men who are bothered by the response to Biden should be asking themselves why their desire to hug women without asking trumps women’s desire to feel respected.
  • Again, it’s this idea that women are only allowed to complain about the “monsters.” That anything not rising to the level of rape or violence is unimportant.
  • “Why are we talking about this thing that women care about and impacts their daily lives?”
  • This this this
  • When women talk about the every day indignities we face - the too close hugs, the shoulder rubs - a huge hurdle is the fear that we'll be accused of overreacting. That we'll be laughed at. Biden is proving that fear correct.

    New content at THIRD: