Thursday, October 01, 2020

Comey just got served

James Comey.  I think most Americans can agree he is an idiot and he did real damage.  Jonathan Turley notes of Comey's appearance before Congress:

Comey did finally admit that, knowing what he knows today, he would not have signed off on the key secret surveillance targeting Carter Page. That makes it unanimous. Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and now Comey himself have all said that the application was invalid. Everyone agrees but no one is taking real responsibility.

Yet, Comey bizarrely said, while he would not have approved such surveillance today, he still did not think that he should have been informed (while considering the application containing Steele dossier information) that the source for the information was believed to be an actual Russian agent. Comey said that that was something that he did not really need to know: “I’m not investigating the case…They’d want to wrestle with that [on the team] and decide what to do with it.”

So Comey was questioning the relevancy of his knowing that FBI agents believed that the Steele dossier (which was part of his briefing) was Russian disinformation and supplied by a Russian agent. That apparently would not “ring his bell” before signing a highly unusual application, including the Steele material, targeting a person close to the Republican presidential candidate in an investigation on Russian influence in the election.

It is part of Comey’s deeply conflicted self-image. Comey previously in his book on “ethical leadership” criticized Trump and said “a leader needs the truth, but an emperor does not consistently hear it from his underlings.” That apparently does not apply to being informed that secret surveillance might be based on false information, including Russian intelligence disinformation. 

Boom.  He got served.  I need to note Stan's "DISNEY+ and TCM" because I agree TCM has been awful for a month now.  There is nothing worth watching on it.  September was the one month in memory where I never found anything worth watching on TCM.  

Last week, I offered "Five great Fleetwood Mac songs by Stevie Nicks" and, in that, I noted of "Rhiannon:" 

This beautiful song appears on FLEETWOOD MAC and was a huge hit for the band, a defining song for the band.  For years, there was talk of the tale being made into an animated film.  I still think that needs to happen.  "Will you ever win?"  I'll be hopeful and say yes.

There's an update to the Rhiannon project. Zach Sharf (INDYWIRE) notes:

Stevie Nicks revealed in May she was spending her pandemic lockdown adapting Fleetwood Mac’s iconic rock song “Rhiannon” into a feature film. Now comes word from the musician the project is so big in scope it’s being turned into a television miniseries. Nicks confirmed the plan in a new interview this week with the Los Angeles Times. The musician added she has already signed a deal with a studio to make the miniseries, although she did not disclose which studio.

The “Rhiannon” miniseries is set to explore the mythology and folklore that inspired Nicks to write the Fleetwood Mac song. Nicks told the Times that a fan sent her “four paperback novels in a Manila envelope” five years after she first wrote “Rhiannon” in 1973 that explored all the mythology behind the song. Included in the envelope was Evangeline Walton’s adaptation of the ancient British Mabinogion, which Nicks then bought the rights to after being “transfixed” by the prose.
According to the Times, Nicks has 10 songs she never released that she is holding onto in order to include in the “Rhiannon” miniseries. The musician said she has no plans to star in the project herself, although she’s not ruling out a cameo (similar to her appearance in “American Horror Story: Coven”). One actor Nicks is already trying to court is Harry Styles, a friend and fellow musician who she has performed with on numerous occasions.
Nicks told the Times that Styles “is definitely in the running,” adding, “I’m going, ‘Harry, you cannot age one day. You have to stay exactly as you are.’ I’ve already sold him on it.”

I'd watch that mini-series.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, October 1, 2020.  A presidential candidate reveals himself to be a fake ass and more on the debates. 

Starting in the US.  First off, Joseph Kishore.  As I note during election year, my time is valuable.  I cover you until you reveal you're a fake ass.  Then I don't have time for you.  Trina's going to be writing about Kishore tonight and I'll link to it in Friday's snapshot.  He's a fake ass.

You either do what your supposed to do or you don't.  In this case, you didn't.  I didn't create the SEP platform.  I didn't sign off on.  If their candidate cannot follow their platform, that's on them and their candidate and I don't have the damn time.  I was already wasting too much time every Friday searching wildly for anything that week -- the entire week -- that fake ass Kishore had done that we could note here to include him as one of the people running for president.

Jo Jorgensen deserves to be included in the debates.  I have argued that all should be.  But my argument gets really weak when a fake ass can't run a campaign well enough to issue at least one statement or one video a week.  People in all fifty states can vote for Jo Jorgensen.  She has her ballot access.

Equally true that she, the Green Party's Howie Hawkins and PSL's Gloria La Riva are running real campaigns.  

In 2024, if the SEP cannot get a candidate who can do a minimum of one video a week -- as opposed to Kishore one every two months? -- then they don't need to run a campaign.

And let's also be clear, you're copyrighted articles at WSWS do not count as press releases so stop linking to them as such from your inactive and lazy campaign site.

I will champion the right of people who make real runs for the office.  I will do my best to include them.  Joseph Kishore is not a real candidate.  He's another Dennis Kucinich who play acts at being a candidate and then gives delegates away in Iowa only to later whine, "The press isn't covering me."  No, they not going to.  Once you care so little about your campaign that you send your supporters over to another candidate, you're not really running for anything.  And we all have limited time so we don't have time your fake ass.

As a candidate, Joseph Kishore has now demonstrated he's a fake ass.  We'll link to Trina's piece tomorrow.  Back to the debate.  I'll grab this because I know Trina isn't planning to.  Donald Trump's taxes.

They don't matter.  Here's Jimmy Dore.


It essentially says:

  • Trump is a quite rich international real estate investor.
  • U.S. tax laws allow investors to minimize their reported income by claiming various kinds of deprecations and other gimmicks.
  • Tax regulations that allows investors to carry forward leftover losses to reduce taxes in future years are especially helpful.
  • Trump has good accountants and tax lawyers and has used the laws to their full extent to minimize his tax payments.

Is any of the above something we did not already knew?

What the Times story does NOT say is:

  • Trump's tax record reveal that he did something illegal.

The paper had surely hoped for more. It must have been especially bitter for its authors to write this paragraph:

By their very nature, the filings will leave many questions unanswered, many questioners unfulfilled. They comprise information that Mr. Trump has disclosed to the I.R.S., not the findings of an independent financial examination. They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia.

This is a dud. It is certainly not the campaign ammunition the Democrats had hoped for.

Where's WSWS on this?

It's news -- to them -- when they aren't tops in a GOOGLE search result.  It's news -- to them -- when there are efforts to disappear them online.  The media's unfair -- they cry then.  But only for them.

We've been here for 16 years next month.  Go find the entry where I'm whining about this site.

ALTERNET delinked from us.  I did note that.  Because I publicly told them to because of their writers were bullying a young teenager.

Other than that?

Nothing up here.  Nothing about why the backup sites that I did are no longer posting.  The reason is because there was an effort to influence our GOOGLE status by referring to those.  Which is why I no longer post content there.  There have bene so many attacks and so many efforts to just shut this tie up -- including legal threats.  And I just keep going and don't try to make it about me or this site.  

I do not dislike Zach Haller.  I think he's a strong voice for the right.  If I read him, he makes me think about where I stand on the left and that's the best thing you can say about a political writer.  I have called him out only once and that was when a year after the fact he's still got a pinned Tweet (he changed in August finally) about his being censored.  Again, he's got a new pinned Tweet and thank goodness.  But what's WSWS' excuse.  They only care when it's them?

THE NEW YORK TIMES article was supposed to be an "October surprise."  It was a smear job and a hit job.  It was the media working together to determine the election.

I'm not voting for Donald Trump.  That doesn't mean I applaud organized efforts by the press to determine the outcome of the election.

Donald Trump paid very little taxes, the article argues.   But that's not illegal.  He apparently followed the tax code.  Did he create the code?  No.  He was not in the White House nor was he in Congress.  Joe Biden cannot say the same.

The only thing worse than THE NEW YORK TIMES is THE GUARDIAN.  They run with anything to undercut Trump.  They do that because they have no real reporters.  Martin Chulov got bullied by Nouri al-Maliki and was never the same -- boo hoo.

And the rest are opinion writers who often try to pass themselves off as objective news reporters.  They are not.

THE GUARDIAN offered a stupid report that's stupid on so many levels.  First off, butt the hell out of the US election.  Truly, do you see the US involving itself in whether or not this or that person becomes prime minister of the UK?

Apparently, the UK is such a tiny pond and their writers have such a case of penis envy that they have to obsess over the US.

Which is how you get the garbage 'report' of US workers who are outraged by Donald because of his taxes.

Grow the f**king hell up.  Outside of some rabid know-nothing, no one's having a fit.  Most Americans do not like paying taxes to begin with.  If Donald broke the law, people would be outraged.  He followed the law and got off via loopholes that the Congress created?

Only the politically stupid would be outraged at him over that. 

But THE GUARDIAN exist to, week after week, try to chip away at support for Donald Trump.  That's disgusting and that's disgusting if they're a US publication.  They're a foreign publication and they're vile and disgusting.  

Now they could call out US policies -- under Donald or anyone -- and that could be effective reporting.  But they won't do that, will they?

Remember, THE TIMES OF LONDON broke the news of the Downing Street Memos.  In the US, you may remember, we were outraged that our press wouldn't cover those memos.  But, reality, THE GUARDIAN never covered them either.  Nor did the rag try to stop the Iraq War.  Tony Blair was for it and, neo-liberal, NEW LABOUR organ that it is, it went right along.

There is a lot of messaging going on right now in the media.  That's why your partisan blogs read like MSM -- and vice versa -- over recent allegations about Hillary Clinton.  Even the headlines were similar.  Just by chance, right? 

No.  You've got an organized messaging system taking place right now and it'll be exposed later on just like JOURNOLIST was.  

There are real issues and Donald Trump's tax returns were never a real issue.  

Want to talk about the tax code and Congress?  Let's cover that.  Real issue.  

But the press working overtime to take down Donald Trump is not a reflection on Donald, it's a sign of how corrupt they are and how much disregard that they have for the public.

Remember that Katha Pollitt is a whore.  She's a racist whore, yes.  But she's a whore.  She saw Sarah Palin speak at the GOP convention and took to JOURNOLIST to complain about how effective she felt Sarah was and how she felt Sarah was connecting with voters.  

Now Katha's paid to share her opinions with readers of THE NATION.  But that opinion never made it into print.  Instead, she whored and attacked.  We know what she really thought because JOURNOLIST got leaked.  But if THE NATION was a credible outlet, they would have immediately fired her when the JOURNOLIST was exposed because how can they -- or their readers -- trust someone who they now knew lied in an opinion piece?

Now she's a racist.  African-American writers have always known that.  Alice Walker is not the only one Katha's attacked in a NYT review.  She's a racist.  That's why, when at the start of the '00s, the NAACP was rightly calling out the lack of people of color on TV programs, Katha, in her racist huff, felt the need to lecture the NAACP and tell them that there were more important matters.

She's an ugly person and she's still got a job.  She's useless and she's ugly and THE NATION keeps her on the payroll while a small group of White feminists rally round her like she's Edna Garrett and they're THE FACTS OF LIFE gals.

The press is corrupt and it always has been.  Katha's been a racist for years.  She signed off on that racist letter this year and, even then, notice she wasn't called out.

Supposedly, on the left, we care so much about racism.  We want to end it.  But we're too scared to even call out an elderly, fat White woman for her long history of racism.

The debate coverage goes to the corruption of the press.  Ruth's "It was the Dog Faced Pony Boy that started the interruptions" went up.  She's right.  It was Joe Biden who first started interrupting and cutting off Donald Trump.  But how the press has painted Senile Joe as the victim.

And when this happens, go watch the debate again, moderator Chris Wallace encourages it.

The debate failed to cover serious issues.  War was not on the table.  Though Joe did try to self-servingly bring up his dead son again.  Trump cut him off, thankfully.  Beau serving -- briefly -- in the Iraq War does not mitigate your role in the Iraq War.  You stifled debate, you attacked people who were against the Iraq War, you voted for it and then, long after you knew better, you continued to support the war.  In April 2008, you noted that Nouri al-Maliki was a thug (without using the term -- only Hillary Clinton had the guts to call him that with that term in April of 2008) and you noted that his government had no support among the Iraqi people and that US troops were being used to keep him in place.  Those were solid observations.  However, two years later, you didn't care about any of that.  The Iraqi people voted Nouri out in the 2010 elections.  He refused to step down -- as US Gen Ray Odierno warned could happen.  Instead of backing the winner and ensuring that Iraqis had trust in this new voting system (that was imposed on them, not created by them) and that democracy could flourish in Iraq, Joe overturned that vote with The Erbil Agreement.  

What Beau did or didn't do -- this is where I could float some truths about Beau but won't -- is not pertinent.  What is pertinent is what Joe Biden did.

And if he wants to talk about support for the troops, I'm sorry Senator Tammy Duckworth, where's your critique?  Candidate Wheezy?  She's slammed Donald Trump for not serving in Vietnam.  Joe didn't.  Despite playing baseball and football in high school and college, he was too 'sickly' from asthma to serve in Vietnam.  And then he got those deferments -- I mean children.  Saint Joe did not father children to stay out of the war, no one ever did, right? 

I didn't support the war on Vietnam and don't feel anyone should have been sent there.  But Joe did -- after the fact, after it was over and his cowardly ass couldn't be sent there.  

Throughout the debate, Chris Wallace offered opinions that he passed off as facts -- he did that with Joe and with Donald.  It was disgusting.  "I guess I'm debating you and not him," Donald said at one point and he was right.  The moderator is not running for president, the moderator's opinions are not important or necessary.  

The questions?  We could have had more if Chris wasn't so enthralled at the sound of his own voice.  Where was gender in the debate?  Old White Man Chris asked Old White Men Joe and Donald a ton of questions.  He didn't ask about assault -- because both Joe and Donald have been accused of it? -- and he didn't ask about domestic violence.  Poverty and healthcare are issues that overwhelming effect women -- especially single mothers -- but there was nothing that indicated that in the debate.  Healthcare was reduced to pre-existing conditions.  

Candidates may choose to run issue-less campaigns and stand for nothing.  That's no excuse for the media to go along with it.  The moderator needed real questions and offered none.

In Iraq, the war continues.  Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM):

During September at least 104 people were killed across Iraq, and 114 more were wounded. A mass grave also gave up 21 victims. The toll from August was 102 dead and 134 wounded.

Rebecca's "nora barrows-friedman" just went up.  In addition, the following sites updated: