Friday, August 14, 2020

Barnard Bailyn

 I think this discussion Katie Halper held on her podcast is an important one.

I will also note this from WSWS:

Bernard Bailyn, an influential and significant historian of the American colonial period, passed away last week at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts. The cause of death was heart failure. He was 97.

Bailyn’s writing spanned 70 years. His first book, The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century, was published in 1955. His last book, Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades, appeared last year.

In the course of his long academic career, all of it spent at Harvard University, Bailyn published dozens of books and articles. Bailyn guided the dissertations of many historians, several of whom themselves have made extraordinary contributions to knowledge of the colonial and revolutionary periods, foremost among them Gordon S. Wood of Brown University. Bailyn’s most famous study, published in 1967, is The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which demonstrated the extraordinary breadth of the political debate that ruptured the colonies’ relationship with Great Britain. It won both the Bancroft and Pulitzer prizes for history.

Bailyn brought to his work enormous technical skills, vast erudition and the capacity to imagine the past as a time profoundly different from one’s own, in which the actors lived, thought and struggled in the context of a historically-conditioned situation. Bailyn valued historians, as he explained it, who “sought to understand the past in its own terms: to relocate events, the meaning of documents, the motivations of historical actors in their original historical sockets.”

Bailyn captured the drama of historical actors moving toward ends unknown to them, an approach that imbued his writing with literary quality. History, he wrote, imposed “limitations within which everyone involved was obliged to act; the inescapable boundaries of action; the blindness of the actors—in a word, the tragedy of the event.” And further, “the essence and drama of history lie precisely in the active and continuous relationship between the underlying conditions that set the boundaries of human existence and the everyday problems with which people consciously struggle.”

Wood, in a tribute to his mentor, noted that “George Eliot or Thomas Hardy or Henry James could not have described better what they were doing in their tragic novels.”

This outlook brought Bailyn into conflict with anachronism in history-writing throughout his career. When The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution was published, it challenged both the conservative “consensus school” of American history, sometimes called “Whig history,” that dominated the 1950s and which saw the revolutionary period as unfolding to a predetermined, liberal, end. It also put him at odds with an ostensibly “left” history—falsely identified with Marxism—that interpreted the eighteenth-century politics of the revolutionaries as nothing more than hypocritical rationalizations for economic interests. This school of thought was associated above all with the progressive historian Charles Beard.

I don't read a lot of historians but I did read Bailyn and I did enjoy his writing.  (I also read Charles Beard -- and his wife Mary Ritter Beard.)

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, August 13, 2020.  Senator Kamala Harris' record gets some examination from the media now that she's Joe Biden's running mate and Turkey issues a statement saying Iraq had this week's attack coming to them and refusing to acknowledge -- let alone apologize for -- murdering 3 members of the Iraqi military.

Senator Kamala Harris continues to dominate the news, having been selected as Joe Biden's running mate -- Biden being the presumed presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.   Dan Conway (WSWS) notes:

Joseph Biden’s selection of the first-term Senator and former state Attorney General from California Kamala Harris as his running mate comes as no surprise and solidifies the Democratic Party establishment’s right-wing ticket for the 2020 presidential elections.

As was the case in her bid for the Democratic Party nomination earlier this year, Harris’s mixed ethnicity—her father is Jamaican and her mother is Tamil—was a significant factor in the calculations behind her selection by Biden. In the remaining three months before election day on November 3, the Democrats are clearly doubling down on race and gender identity politics.

Indicating the consensus behind the Biden-Harris ticket, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders quickly endorsed her selection.

Also at WSWS, Patric Martin points out:

Harris has frequently traded on her status as the first black woman to be district attorney, the first black woman to be state attorney general, the second black woman to hold a US Senate seat, etc., as a political screen to cover the right-wing policies she advocates and the social class that she defends: the corporate elite of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

She has now joined this class herself, thanks in part to her marriage to millionaire entertainment industry lawyer Douglas Emhoff. The couple had an adjusted gross income of $1.88 million in 2018, putting them in the top 0.1 percent of American society.

Objectively speaking, there is little to distinguish Harris, with only four years in the US Senate, from other potential alternatives for the vice presidency. She is not notably more qualified than dozens of other senators, governors or representatives. But in the eyes of the advocates of identity politics, in and out of the corporate media, Harris’s mediocrity and right-wing politics count for nothing compared to her skin color and gender.

In her unbounded opportunism and ruthless pursuit of her own career and economic interests, Harris personifies both the social psychology and class basis of identity politics. It is the politics of privileged layers of the upper-middle class, including but not limited to minorities, that use race, gender and sexual orientation to conceal the fundamental class divisions in capitalist society, channel social opposition behind the Democratic Party, and carve out a greater share of the wealth of the top one percent for themselves. It is organically hostile to the interests of the working class and socialism.

Identity politics was the key to Biden’s own campaign for the presidential nomination, which he based on the mobilization of support from the Congressional Black Caucus and African-American businessmen and Democratic Party operatives, trading on his role as Obama’s vice president. Prior to the Obama administration, he had no significant connection to civil rights struggles and won no significant black support in either of his own presidential campaigns, in 1988 and 2008.

Branco Marcetic (JACOBIN) offers:

Harris’s possible ascension to the White House solidifies what Biden’s nomination already represented: the defeat, at least temporarily, of the left of the Democratic Party by the party’s corporate faction, and the determination of its elites to barrel ahead with the shallow, corporate politics of the Obama era, a politics mainly concerned with lowering the expectations of ordinary people.

Indeed, one of the reasons it was hard to imagine anyone else but Harris ending up on the ticket is that she so snugly embodies the modern Democratic Party — which also means almost everything you’re about to hear about her has little to do with who she actually is.

Far from the “progressive prosecutor” Harris has been masquerading as since angling for a 2020 run, her record bears no resemblance to figures who might actually fit that description, like Larry Krasner or Keith Ellison. Even in a party that embraced Biden- and Clinton-style tough-on-crime policies, Harris stands out for her cruelty: she fought to keep innocent people in jail, blocked payouts to the wrongfully convicted, argued for keeping non-violent offenders in jail as a source of cheap labor, withheld evidence that could have freed numerous prisoners, tried to dismiss a suit to end solitary confinement in California, and denied gender reassignment surgery to trans inmates. A recent report detailed how Harris risked being held in contempt of court for resisting a court order to release non-violent prisoners, which one law professor compared to Southern resistance to 1950s desegregation orders.

Harris loves to laugh. Watching Harris cackling like a cartoon villain about prosecuting parents of truant schoolkids is one of the more bone-chilling things you’re likely to see in politics. Other things Harris found funny? The idea of building schools rather than prisons, and the concept of legalizing pot. Five years later she laughed again, this time while running for president and fondly recalling her pot-smoking days, as she mugged for a younger audience. Extra hilarious was the fact that her office had convicted nearly 2,000 people for marijuana offenses while she was San Francisco’s district attorney.

Harris’s callousness toward the poor and powerless has been matched only by her sympathy for the rich and powerful. Most notoriously, Harris overruled her own office’s recommendation to prosecute the predatory bank of current Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, who later donated to her Senate campaign, then allegedly tried to cover up her inaction.

Responding to the announcement, Ajamu Baraka Tweeted:

Politics in the U.S. is so right-wing that a ticket of two neoliberal pro-imperialist servants is actually being pushed as progressive. Meanwhile, workers are living with uncertainty, fear & desperation while bourgeois politics play politics with providing social protections.

While Liza Featherstone offered:

no, no people, we really don't HAVE to spend any of our too-brief time on earth having feelings about Biden's running mate

At COUNTERPUNCH aka BEHIND THE TIMES, they publish an article this morning about . . . who Joe Biden might pick.  Yes, Joe made that announcement two days ago.  Shhhh, don't wake them, it's still early.  If COUNTERPUNCH is sleeping in, IN THESE TIMES is doing lines of the hard stuff.  How else to explain Natalie Schure's laughable article entitled "Now Comes The Difficult Work of Pushing the Biden-Harris Ticket Left"?

I'll snort where she's snorting.

But either she's all out or Natalie doesn't share.  Which would explain this sober analysis from Sarah Lazare:

Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris (D‑Calif.) has not made war and mil­i­tarism a cen­ter­piece of her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. She’s giv­en no major for­eign pol­i­cy” speech, and she did not respond to a series of sim­ple yes-or-no ques­tions about glob­al pol­i­tics from FiveThir­tyEight (Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg were the only oth­er major Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates to decline). On her cam­paign web­site, Har­ris’ only state­ment on for­eign pol­i­cy” is just over 500 words — and it’s more a screed against Trump (he’s men­tioned sev­en times) than a cogent vision. In the realm of inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics, she’s prob­a­bly best known for say­ing in Jan­u­ary that we can­not con­duct our for­eign pol­i­cy through tweets,” a state­ment that con­veys noth­ing, oth­er than oppo­si­tion to Trump.

But this cam­paign brand­ing doesn’t mean Har­ris has no for­eign pol­i­cy.” Just look­ing at war (with­out get­ting into oth­er crit­i­cal for­eign pol­i­cy issues, from cli­mate to trade agree­ments to covert oper­a­tions), Har­ris has dis­cern­able stances. A close look at her record shows that, to the extent she has tak­en posi­tions, they are defined by her close rela­tion­ship with the right-wing lob­by out­fit Amer­i­can Israel Pub­lic Affairs Com­mit­tee (AIPAC), bel­li­cose rhetoric toward North Korea and Rus­sia, and reluc­tance to cospon­sor key pieces of leg­is­la­tion aimed at pre­vent­ing war with Venezuela and North Korea. On issues of mil­i­tarism, she’s square­ly in line with — and some­times on the right of — a hawk­ish Demo­c­ra­t­ic establishment.

It’s now less palat­able for Democ­rats to be pub­licly cozy with AIPAC, due to grow­ing sol­i­dar­i­ty with Pales­tini­ans among the base of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, and dis­com­fort with AIPAC ally Ben­jamin Netanyahu’s open align­ment with Trump. Yet, Har­ris has forged close ties with the orga­ni­za­tion, which advo­cat­ed for the 2003 inva­sion of Iraq and opposed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. In March 2017, she told the AIPAC Pol­i­cy Con­fer­ence, Let me be clear about what I believe. I stand with Israel because of our shared val­ues, which are so fun­da­men­tal to the found­ing of both our nations.” At the 2018 con­fer­ence, Har­ris gave an off-the-record speech, in which she boast­ed, As a child, I nev­er sold Girl Scout cook­ies, I went around with a JNFUSA box col­lect­ing funds to plant trees in Israel.” The JNFUSA, or Jew­ish Nation­al Fund, has direct­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in land theft and eth­nic cleans­ing cam­paigns tar­get­ing Pales­tini­ans and Bedouins.

In 2019, Har­ris announced that she’d skip AIPAC’s con­fer­ence (along with Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Eliz­a­beth War­ren, and four oth­er can­di­dates) but then, a few weeks lat­er, host­ed AIPAC lead­ers in her office to talk about the right of Israel to defend itself,” as she put it.

These posi­tions are not just the­o­ret­i­cal. As Har­ris bragged in her 2017 AIPAC talk, “[The] first res­o­lu­tion I co-spon­sored as a Unit­ed States sen­a­tor was to com­bat anti-Israel bias at the Unit­ed Nations and reaf­firm that the Unit­ed States seeks a just, secure and sus­tain­able two-state solu­tion.” She was refer­ring to S.Res.6, intro­duced by Mar­co Rubio (R‑Fla.) in Jan­u­ary 2017, which object­ed to a UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion adopt­ed in 2016 that declared Israeli set­tle­ments a vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law. By con­trast, Sanders and War­ren did not cospon­sor the res­o­lu­tion. It nev­er came to a vote.

Also at IN THESE TIMES, Marie Gottschalk observes:

When Har­ris was elect­ed dis­trict attor­ney of San Fran­cis­co in 2003, the prob­lem of mass incar­cer­a­tion was invis­i­ble to the wider pub­lic. To her cred­it, she chal­lenged the idea that pros­e­cu­tors should incarcerat[e] peo­ple for as long as pos­si­ble, no mat­ter the crime, no mat­ter how much it costs to incar­cer­ate them, and despite the doc­u­ment­ed fact that our cur­rent prison sys­tem rarely pre­vents offend­ers from com­mit­ting new crimes when they come back out.” Ear­ly in her tenure, she took a coura­geous stand not to seek the death penal­ty in the case of a man accused of killing a police offi­cer, and her office was also less like­ly than many oth­er juris­dic­tions to deploy Cal­i­for­ni­a’s dra­con­ian three-strikes law. 

These are ear­ly bright spots in what is oth­er­wise a trou­bling record. A judge exco­ri­at­ed her DA’s office for its lev­els of indif­fer­ence” to defen­dants’ con­sti­tu­tion­al rights in its fail­ure to dis­close infor­ma­tion about a scan­dal in the crime lab’s drug analy­sis unit that led to the dis­missal of 700 cas­es. A tech­ni­cian had been skim­ming cocaine and tam­per­ing with evidence.

As attor­ney gen­er­al, Har­ris suc­cess­ful­ly cham­pi­oned leg­is­la­tion to crim­i­nal­ize tru­an­cy and pun­ish par­ents with fines and incar­cer­a­tion. She also sided with Gov. Jer­ry Brown to stymie imple­men­ta­tion of Brown v. Pla­ta, the most con­se­quen­tial pris­on­ers’ rights deci­sion in more than a gen­er­a­tion, by repeat­ed­ly return­ing the case to the low­er courts. The U.S. Supreme Court had declared that Cal­i­for­ni­a’s gross­ly over­crowd­ed pris­ons were uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and ordered the state to reduce its inmate pop­u­la­tion. Andrew Cohen of the Bren­nan Cen­ter for Jus­tice char­ac­ter­ized these attempts to weasel out” of the Supreme Court’s rul­ing as noth­ing short of contemptuous.”

In The Truths We Hold, Har­ris lauds implic­it bias train­ing as her weapon of choice to reduce police shoot­ings of peo­ple of col­or. There are much more effec­tive and proven mea­sures, like stricter use-of-force reg­u­la­tions for police depart­ments and man­dat­ed inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tions of shoot­ings — but they are stri­dent­ly opposed by many police offi­cers and their unions, and Har­ris has not force­ful­ly advo­cat­ed them.

Har­ris has tak­en sim­i­lar­ly trou­bling posi­tions on many oth­er key crim­i­nal jus­tice issues, includ­ing the use of soli­tary con­fine­ment, civ­il asset for­fei­tures, the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of sex work, and puni­tive res­i­den­cy and oth­er mea­sures lev­eled on peo­ple con­vict­ed of sex offens­es. She resist­ed key efforts to mod­er­ate California’s three-strikes law. Har­ris peri­od­i­cal­ly has tout­ed her­self as a fierce oppo­nent of the cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, but as attor­ney gen­er­al, she appealed a fed­er­al judge’s rul­ing that the state’s enforce­ment of the death penal­ty was uncon­sti­tu­tion­al. She con­tin­ued to come down on the side of the death penal­ty as the case made its way through the fed­er­al courts and took no pub­lic posi­tion on a 2012 bal­lot mea­sure to repeal cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in California.

Kate Sullivan (CNN) reports:

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin offered advice and congratulations to Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday shortly after the California Democrat was announced as former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate.

Palin was on the ticket with Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008, the second woman to be on the ticket of a major political party. When Harris accepts the nomination next week at the Democratic National Convention, she will become the third woman and first Black and South Asian American woman nominated for the role.
"Congrats to the democrat VP pick," Palin wrote in an Instagram post. "Climb upon Geraldine Ferraro's and my shoulders, and from the most amazing view in your life consider lessons we learned." In 1984, Democratic Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York was the first woman to be on a major party ticket.

Jimmy Dore offers his thoughts on the selection of Harris in the video below.

We'll return to the topic of Kamala Harris in the future, hopefully, tomorrow  and, hopefully, we'll include "Oh, no, not Joe Biden."

But in Iraq . . . 

Yemen Details Tweets:

#Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, and Jordan express their solidarity with #Iraq and call on #Turkey to stop its violations against the country.


JUST IN: France says Turkey's drone attack in Iraq breached the country's sovereignty

If you thought the government of Turkey might share any remorse or regret over killing three members of the Iraqi military, you were wrong.  ALJAZEERA notes:

In a statement early on Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry said the PKK presence also threatened Iraq and that it was Baghdad's responsibility to take action against the rebels, and Ankara would defend its borders if the PKK's presence is allowed.

"Our country is ready to cooperate with Iraq on this issue. However, in the event PKK presence in Iraq is overlooked, our country is determined to take the measures it deems necessary for its border security no matter where it may be," the ministry said. "We call on Iraq to take the necessary steps for this."

HURRIYET covers the statement here.

The government of Turkey violated Iraq's sovereignty and international law, their actions killed three members of the Iraqi military.  They issue a statement and it takes no responsibility for the deaths nor does it note regret.  It just says, in typical thug fashion, 'you made us do this.'  Selcan Hacaoglu (BLOOMBERG NEWS) notes:

Turkey rebuffed Iraqi criticism of its cross-border attacks on autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants, which Baghdad says killed two of its military officers this week. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement didn’t refer to Iraq’s claim of a Turkish drone attack near their shared border, but told Baghdad it was responsible for taking measures against Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq.

Read more at:
Copyright © BloombergQuint
Turkey rebuffed Iraqi criticism of its cross-border attacks on autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants, which Baghdad says killed two of its military officers this week. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement didn’t refer to Iraq’s claim of a Turkish drone attack near their shared border, but told Baghdad it was responsible for taking measures against Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq.

Read more at:
Copyright © BloombergQuint

 Turkey rebuffed Iraqi criticism of its cross-border attacks on autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants, which Baghdad says killed two of its military officers this week. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement didn’t refer to Iraq’s claim of a Turkish drone attack near their shared border, but told Baghdad it was responsible for taking measures against Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq.

Serge Tweeted:

Turkey is now not only occupying parts of Iraq but also killing Iraqi soldiers. There must be severe consequences for this, otherwise the killing of Iraqi soldiers by Turkey will be normalized as well.

In other news of occupying Iraq, Eric Schmitt (NEW YORK TIMES) notes:

Turkey rebuffed Iraqi criticism of its cross-border attacks on autonomy-seeking Kurdish militants, which Baghdad says killed two of its military officers this week. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement didn’t refer to Iraq’s claim of a Turkish drone attack near their shared border, but told Baghdad it was responsible for taking measures against Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq.

Read more at:
Copyright © BloombergQuint

 The top American military commander in the Middle East said on Wednesday that U.S. troop levels in Iraq and Syria would most likely shrink in the coming months, but that he had not yet received orders to begin withdrawing forces.

Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the Pentagon’s Central Command, said the 5,200 troops in Iraq to help fight remnants of the Islamic State and train Iraqi forces “will be adjusted” after consultations with the government in Baghdad.

General McKenzie said he expected American and other NATO forces to maintain “a long-term presence” in Iraq — both to help fight Islamic extremists and to check Iranian influence in the country. He declined to say how large that presence might be, but other American officials said discussions with Iraqi officials that resume this month could result in a reduction to around 3,500 U.S. troops.

Despite President Trump’s demand last fall for a complete withdrawal of all 1,000 American forces from Syria, the president still has some 500 troops, mostly in the country’s northeast, assisting local Syrian Kurdish allies in combating pockets of ISIS fighters.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Fake Ass Tulsi and the Fake Ass Krystal Balls that cover for her

 Let me step into it.  C.I.'s got guts.  She's strong but I'm not going to let her stand alone on this.

Tulsi Gabbard is a fake ass.  A cheap, little hustler who fooled a number of people with her whole 'anti-war' stance.  We were told she was the peace candidate.  She used that to mobilize support.  

Yet in July of 2020, this woman who talked so big when on Joe Rogan's podcast, for example, didn't talk big in the debates, not on matters of peace.  Then came July 31st and she was finally on stage with one of the supporters and planners of the Iraq War, Joe Biden.  Instead of taking him on, she went after Kamala Harris.  She offered excuses for Joe.  She gave interviews in the days that followed offering excuses and, yes, lies for Joe Biden.

She's a fake ass piece of s**t.  

If you were too damn stupid to grasp it after that debate performance, you should have grasped it when she dropped out of the race and . . . endorsed Joe Biden.

Tulsi Gabbard is trash.  She's homophobic trash who only found her way to 'tolerate' gay people after her homophobia became a big deal in 2019.  She's trash.

Krysal Ball?

She's filthy trash.  She tries to pretend she's a truth teller but every week she's trying to get you to vote for Joe Biden.  She also backs up her hero Tulsi.  Krystal has never done s**t to take on the Iraq War.  She didn't do s**t at MSNBC and she doesn't do it at RISING.  She's full of s**t.  She'd rather offer her snark about trivial matters than address real issues.  Most likely, THE HILL (her employer) won't let her address real issues.  Remember, Krystal never spoke out about MSNBC while she was employed there.  No doubt, she'll be rushing to tell us a ton of stories when she's no longer with RISING.

Tulsi is a two-bit liar, a fake ass and so much worse. 

Krystal Ball needs to stop propping that bitch up.  Tulsi betrayed America.  She pretended she was anti-war and she stabbed everyone in the back -- including Bernie Sanders who she refused to endorse.  

Don't get me started on how she had her family try to lie online about Bernie and only when C.I. made it clear that Tulsi could be exposed online -- on a topic no one has touched -- did Tulsi start walking it back.  Tulsi knows what C.I. knows, Tulsi lives in fear that C.I.'s going to write about that.  She should live in fear.  Nothing I've written in this piece goes to what Tulsi's hiding.  I'd move away from Tulsi, that's my advice to everyone.  If C.I. gets pissed enough, she will address the reality of Tulsi and then Tulsi -- and all who have supported her -- become radioactive. 

Read C.I.'s following two pieces:

  • He is not "commander and chief" and will not be --...
  • Iraq snapshot

  • Also stream this video which explains that fake ass Gabbard refused to vote for a reduction in military spending.

    Tulsi is not anti-war.  

    "TV: Who gets to be the focus?" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):

    Zoe has a solid point. People of color barely exist on HULU. Women of all colors do not fare any better. For years, HULU has emphasized men over and over: THE CONFESSION, THE PATH, CHANCE . . . In fact, it often seems that if it weren't for homophobia, HULU wouldn't cast women in any roles. They'd just have Aaron Paul snog Kiefer Sutherland and brokeback what they couldn't bareback.  

    I love that entire piece but I especially loved that paragraph.  I agree with it, if it weren't for fear that they'd been see as gay, half the shows HULU and AMAZON have offered wouldn't even have the tiny number of (token) women that they have featured.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

     Wednesday, August 12, 2020.  Kamala Harris gets her moment (who remembers Tulsi?), Turkey continues to terrorize Iraq, and much more.

    Starting in the US where Senator Kamala Harris has been selected as Joe Biden's running mate.  Kamala brings positives and negatives to the ticket.

    On the positive side, she has energy and charisma.  She has held elected office -- District Attorney in San Francisco, Attorney General of California and US senator.  Her campaign for the presidential nomination created the K-Hive -- a group of supporters.  Those are all strengths.

    On the negative side?  Her record as DA and AG could hurt the ticket.  Betty's "Kamala isn't Black" makes a solid point.  Kamala's father is Black and her mother is from India.  We've explained before that she doesn't use the term African-American.  She does use the term Black.  At other times, that might be fine.  But she is bi-racial and Betty's right that a message is sent by the Joe Bidens when the "Black" person they choose to embrace is actually bi-racial.  What message does that send to the Black community in this country?  There's not a lot Kamala can do about that. 

    For some on the right wing, Kamala's work on the anti-lynching measure is a source of controversy because she embraced Jussie Smollett's lie and then had no real answer when asked about it after it imploded.  She looked at the camera and played dumb.  Some on the right insist she was 'in on it,' knew it was a hoax.  (No, I don't believe she knew it was a hoax, I'm talking about baggage she brings to the ticket.) 

    For me, what the choice of Kamala drives home is . . . just how unimportant Tulsi Gabbard was and is.

    For those who have forgotten, the last day of July saw one of two Democratic Party debates -- there were so many candidates that they had to divide them into two nights.  Kamala was on stage with Joe Biden and Tulsi Gabbard among others.  

    Tulsi -- the fake ass anti-war candidate -- went after Kamala on her record of prosecutions.  She ripped her apart and got media attention because, hey, it's a cat fight and that feeds into the media's ingrained sexism.

    Take on Joe and you will be held accountable by the media -- ask Cory Booker, ask Julian Castro -- even ask Kamala.  But if two women disagree, the media will run with it.

    In this case, Tulsi did not disagree.  She walked up with a two-by-four and knocked Kamala across the face with it.  

    The media loved it and Tulsi got a wave of attention. 

    In that wave, she offered lies for Joe Biden about the Iraq War.

    In real time, the morning after the debate, we noted that fake ass anti-war Tulsi was given two chances to call Joe out in that debate.  Jake Tapper set her up for it.  She didn't do it.  He then worked his way back to her and gave her a second chance and she took a pass.

    Fake ass.

    From the August 1, 2019 snapshot:

    Joe was an embarrassment and we'll probably come back to him.

    But let me now break a thousand and one fantasies and tick a lot of people off.

    The other big loser?  Tulsi Gabbard.

    Why was she on the stage?

    Yes, she was rarely called on and had little time to speak.  That really doesn't make a difference because when she did speak, she repeatedly blew it.

    Watching her, with a group of college students, was cringe worthy.  I kept my mouth shut during the debate and I waited until all the students had spoken before I shared my opinion.

    The group was made up of people who were supporting Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Tulsi Gabbard (one young man was supporting Mike Gravel).  No one was hostile towards her going into the debate.

    No one was impressed with her after the debate -- not even her supporters -- one of which said that she performed like she thought Joe Biden was going to win the nomination and she was angling to be his running mate on the ticket.

    She was bad.

    How bad?

    Jill Stein bad.  In 2012, Jill ran a hideous campaign.  One of the worst campaigns I've ever seen.  Ava and I noted that in our day-after-the-election piece ["Let the fun begin (Ava and C.I.)"].  Marianne Williamson is ridiculed by some as a 'new age guru.'  That's nonsense.  She runs like a real candidate, she speaks to real issues.  Jill, however, ran in 2012 like a new age guru and I found Tulsi last night to be just as vapid.

    When I shared a month or so ago that I hadn't decided who I'd support (I thought that was rather obvious by the statements I'd made all along but I guess it wasn't) e-mails poured in -- to the community e-mail, not the public one, these were community members, not drive-bys to the public account -- insisting that if I was against the wars, I had to support Tulsi because she was.

    Tulsi speaks a lot of beliefs that I agree with.  In her interviews.  In some of her speeches.

    But I'm not 19.  I've seen nonsense before.

    And I saw it last night, repeatedly.

    If people went to her website today demanding their donations back, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

    She's polling slightly higher -- or was before the debate.  Just a tad higher.  And she needed to connect.  But whomever wore that white pantsuit on stage last night -- the real Tulsi or Tulsi on ambien -- didn't connect.

    With Mike Gravel and Tulsi, we're told it's important that they're on the stage in the debates because they will raise real issues.  I know Mike and he will -- and did in 2008 when he was on the stage.  But Tulsi didn't.

    She was supposed to be the anti-war voice.  She was on stage with the biggest War Hawk running for the nomination -- Joe Biden.

    And she didn't touch him.

    And she didn't call out the wars in any significant or meaningful manner.

    And the wars were an actual issue.  Moderator Jake Tapper brought the topic up and Jake went to more than just two people on this issue.  We're using NBC transcript for this debate, by the way.

    TAPPER: Thank you, Governor Inslee. I want to turn to foreign policy, if we can. Senator Booker, there are about 14,000 U.S. services members in Afghanistan right now. If elected, will they still be in Afghanistan by the end of your first year in office?

    BOOKER: Well, first of all, I want to say very clearly that I will not do foreign policy by tweet as Donald Trump seems to do all the time. A guy that literally tweets out that we're pulling our troops out before his generals even know about it is creating a dangerous situation for our troops in places like Afghanistan.
    And so I will bring our troops home and I will bring them home as quickly as possible, but I will not set during a campaign an artificial deadline. I will make sure we do it, we do it expeditiously, we do it safely, to not create a vacuum that's ultimately going to destabilize the Middle East and perhaps create the environment for terrorism and for extremism to threaten our nation.

    TAPPER: Congresswoman Gabbard, you're the only veteran on this stage. Please respond.

    GABBARD: This is real in a way that's very difficult to convey in words. I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 during the height of the war where I served in a field medical unit where every single day I saw the high cost of war. Just this past week, two more of our soldiers were killed in Afghanistan.
    My cousin is deployed to Afghanistan right now. Nearly 300 of our Hawaii National Guard soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, 14,000 servicemembers are deployed there. This is not about arbitrary deadlines. This is about leadership, the leadership I will bring to do the right thing to bring our troops home, within the first year in office, because they shouldn't have been there this long.
    For too long, we've had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll that it takes on our servicemembers, on their families. We have to do the right thing, end these wasteful regime change wars, and bring our troops home.


    TAPPER: Thank you. Thank you, Congresswoman.
    Mr. Yang, Iran has now breached the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal, and that puts Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon, the ability to do so, at the very least. You've said if Iran violates the agreement, the U.S. would need to respond, quote, "very strongly." So how would a President Yang respond right now?

    YANG: I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they're responding to the fact that we pulled out of this agreement. And it wasn't just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We'd have to try and reenter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don't make as much sense.
    But I've signed a pledge to end the forever wars. Right now, our strength abroad reflects our strength at home. What's happened, really? We've fallen apart at home, so we elected Donald Trump, and now we have this erratic and unpredictable relationship with even our longstanding partners and allies.
    What we have to do is we have to start investing those resources to solve the problems right here at home. We've spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives in conflicts that have had unclear benefits. We've been in a constant state of war for 18 years. This is not what the American people want. I would bring the troops home, I would de-escalate tensions with Iran, and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.


    TAPPER: Governor Inslee, your response?

    INSLEE: Well, I think that these are matters of great and often difficult judgment. And there is no sort of primer for presidents to read. We have to determine whether a potential president has adequate judgment in these decisions.
    I was only one of two members on this panel today who were called to make a judgment about the Iraq war. I was a relatively new member of Congress, and I made the right judgment, because it was obvious to me that George Bush was fanning the flames of war.
    Now we face similar situations where we recognize we have a president who would be willing to beat the drums of war. We need a president who can stand up against the drums of war and make rational decisions. That was the right vote, and I believe it.

    TAPPER: Thank you. Thank you, Governor. Vice President Biden, he was obviously suggesting that you made the wrong decision and had bad judgment when you voted to go to war in Iraq as a U.S. senator.

    BIDEN: I did make a bad judgment, trusting the president saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the U.N. to agree to put inspectors in. From the moment "shock and awe" started, from that moment, I was opposed to the effort, and I was outspoken as much as anyone at all in the Congress and the administration.
    Secondly, I was asked by the president in the first meeting we had on Iraq, he turned and said, Joe, get our combat troops out, in front of the entire national security team. One of the proudest moment of my life was to stand there in Al-Faw Palace and tell everyone that we're coming -- all our combat troops are coming home.

    TAPPER: Thank you.

    BIDEN: I opposed the surge in Afghanistan, this long overdue -- we should have not, in fact, gone into Afghanistan the way...


    TAPPER: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I want to bring in...

    INSLEE: Mr. Vice President -- I'd like to comment.

    That was Tulsi?

    Her whole reason for being on the stage is supposed to be about ending the wars.  Get Tulsi on the stage, even her detractor David Swanson has argued, because she's going to be raising the real issues.

    Well not only were her remarks above inadequate and, yes, flat out embarrassing -- John Kerry could have made the same remarks in 2004 -- but she blew it.

    Not just then.  If it was just then, okay, she didn't think on her feet and realized a few seconds after that she should have spoken to the issues strongly.

    Okay but Jay Inslee wanted to speak -- see above -- Jake instead went back to Tulsi, went back to her.

    TAPPER: I would like to bring in the person on the stage who served in Iraq, Governor -- I'm sorry, Congresswoman Gabbard. Your response to what Vice President Biden just said.

    GABBARD: We were all lied to. This is the betrayal. This is the betrayal to the American people, to me, to my fellow servicemembers. We were all lied to, told that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was working with Al Qaida, and that this posed a threat to the American people.
    So I enlisted after 9/11 to protect our country, to go after those who attacked us on that fateful day, who took the lives of thousands of Americans.
    The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us. We were supposed to be going after Al Qaida. But over years now, not only have we not gone after Al Qaida, who is stronger today than they were in 9/11, our president is supporting Al Qaida.

    Oh, shut the f**k up, Tulsi.

    Just reliving that moment is enough to piss me off.

    Donald Trump is bad, Donald Trump is evil blah blah blah blah blah.

    If you're honestly surprised by how Donald has been as a president, you shouldn't be allowed to vote.  Seriously, you are too damn stupid to be trusted with a ballot.  I'm opposed to Donald and I was before he announced he was running, long, long before.  

    Joe Biden voted for the war, he sold the war.  He lied onstage and Tulsi safe little go to -- her bulls**t I'm-just-a-girl move -- was to talk about Donald Trump and al Qaeda.  WTF was that, you stupid idiot.  I'm furious.  We've noted her here.  We've reposted her Tweets on Sunday.  We've never noted much of her from her Congressional office because her press releases are infrequent and disappointing.  I think we've carried two of her Congressional press releases.

    There's a reason for that.  And there's a reason that while I could applaud her earlier statements on the war, I did [not] buy a pass to the Tulsi train.

    She betrayed everyone last night.  While I was working out this morning, I kept telling myself to be nice when I dictated this.  Sorry, that's out the window.

    Joe Biden voted for the war, he supported it.  He used his position to silence dissent.  And it didn't end there, people.  He knew Nouri al-Maliki was a thug.  Unlike Hillary Clinton, he didn't have the guts to say it publicly, but he knew it.  Yet he betrayed democracy and the people of Iraq as vice president by arguing that the Iraqi people's 2010 vote didn't matter and that Nouri should have a second term even though they voted against that.

    Joe is a disaster.

    Mike Gravel would have called him out.

    I'm-just-a-girl-standing-on-a-stage-wanting-Joe-Biden-to-like-me was full of s**t.

    Did she choke or is that the real Tulsi?

    If that''s the real Tulsi, get her off stage, we don't need her.  We've had enough liars pretending that the wars were wrong and needed to be ended -- hey, Nancy Pelosi, I'm looking at you -- to last a lifetime.  We don't need another.  

    Jake Tapper specifically brought her back in after Joe lied about his record, and asked her about Joe's response and she's telling us about Donald Trump.  

    Note that Tulsi went on, in her brief media wave after that debate, to lie for Joe.  

    Are you among the many unhappy that Joe will most likely be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee?  Lay some blame at Tulsi's door.

    She was more than happy to rip apart a woman for alleged wrongful imprisonments but she wouldn't touch the White man who is responsible for the deaths of over a million Iraqis (not to mention all the people in prison because of Joe's crime legislation).

    People praised Tulsi for that debate -- people who should damn well have known better.  I'm being kind and not saying, "_____ what were you thinking when you used your radio program after that debate to hail her as 'anti-war'?"  But there was a whole host of people who made excuses for her.

    Don't worry, we were told, at the next debate, Tulsi was going after Joe.

    They lied to themselves about that.  And, of course, Tulsi's ass never made it on stage again.

    She had one shot to call out a War Hawk who was responsbile for so many deaths and she didn't choke, she just refused to do it -- on stage at the debate, on camera with multiple outlets in the wave of attention after.  

    About the only one with the guts to call Tulsi out in real time (other than us)?  Adam Kokesh.  He noted the myth of Tulsi, saw through it.  It's a shame others could not.  

    When Tulsi dropped out and refused to endorse Bernie, people made excuses for her again.  She dropped out and, in her dropping out announcement, endorsed Joe Biden.  That was March 19th.  Stop pretending that piece of garbage is anti-war.

    She is one of the strongest reasons that Joe is the nominee.  

    The fools who supported her to the tiny end insisted that she destroyed Kamala.  They took comfort in that.  The Michael Traceys, for example, the sewer of the internet.

    Well it's August 12, 2020 and who is destroyed?

    Not Kamala.  She's on a presidential ticket.  Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 election, her profile has risen considerably and she is now, to the media, a rock star.

    Fake Ass Gabbard?

    She's not on a presidential ticket.  She's also not going to be in Congress much longer.  She couldn't win her own district.  The polling showed that.  So she tried to save face and declare that she wouldn't seek re-election.  Fake Ass' Congressional district wasn't about to re-elect her.  Had she not declared that, she would have been embarrassed in the midst of her pathetic presidential run by losing a Democratic primary.  What an endorsement that would have been.

    Tulsi: I've been in the US Congress.  Now I'm running for president.  I just got primaried and lost.  My own district won't re-elect me but I'm asking you to make me president of the United States.  I'm Tulsi Gabbard and I fake ass this announcement.

    Fake Ass Gabbard achieved nothing in her run and that's no one's fault but her own.  After she endorsed Biden, some people tried to say that at least she took out Kamala.  She never took out Kamala and we said that all along.  

    The Iraq War continues -- not that Tulsi uses her Congressional seat to point that reality out.  Nor does she ever try to advocate for the Iraqi people who continue to suffer.  She doesn't speak of them and didn't even when she was posing as the anti-war candidate.  

    AL-MONITOR notes:

    A Turkish drone strike struck a military vehicle north of Erbil, killing two Iraqi border guard battalion commanders and their driver, the Iraqi military said Tuesday.

    According to the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw, the strike in the Bradost area in northern Iraq targeted a meeting between border officials and fighters with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group. Bradost Mayor Ihsan Chelebi told the Associated Press that the officers killed Tuesday had been setting up new posts in the area.

     The world -- including the US government -- has looked the other way as the brutal and repressive government of Turkey has violated Iraq's national sovereignty.  How much longer is that going to be allowed?  They terrorize the people in northern Iraq -- villagers, farmers -- by dropping bombs constantly.  They violate Iraq's borders by sending ground troops into Iraq.  How much longer are they going to get away with this?

    Iraq cancelled a ministerial visit and summoned Turkey's ambassador on Wednesday as it blamed Ankara for a drone attack that killed two high-ranking Iraqi military officers. 

    Iraqi officials called the attack a "blatant Turkish drone attack" in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where Turkey's military has for weeks raided positions of fighters it considers "terrorists".

    Yesterday's snapshot noted reports of two attacks on US convoys.  Yesterday saw the US government denying both attacks.  Today?  They admit one took place.  AP reports:

    An explosion targeted a U.S.-led coalition convoy in Iraq on Tuesday and caused no casualties, just hours after a newly formed Shiite militant group falsely claimed bombing a similar convoy at the Iraq-Kuwait border, the American military said.

    The little-known Ashab al-Kahf group claimed in an overnight statement it destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy” in a bombing targeting a border crossing south of the Iraqi city of Basra.

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