There is a building campaign at Harvard to rescind the degrees of Trump officials and allies including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). This is not the only such effort to retaliate against Trump officials from blacklists to campaigns of harassment. Indeed, previously there was a demand for a ban on former Trump officials from being allowed on campus at Harvard. Recently Rep. Elise Stefanik was removed from a high-ranking board on Harvard for challenging the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. The concern for some of us is that the Capitol riot is now being used by many to accelerate the crackdown on free speech on our campuses.
The revocation of degrees would result in immediate and likely successful court challenges. I cannot imagine a court allowing such an action to occur on this basis.
More importantly, it is wrong. It is using academic degrees as a vehicle for political expression and retaliation. Just declaring such figures “violent actors” does not change the fact that the university would be acting in a raw political fashion. It would send the message that any degree is subject to the shifting political winds of a university and that attaining a degree remains only tentative and subject to revocation by majority demand.
Stuff to think about -- and pair it with the HOME ALONE II nonsense Ava and C.I. noted Wednesday in the gina & krista round-robin.
Now for Nanci Griffith. I love Nanci's music. She's a singer-songwriter in the folk and country genre. I've written about her before and love so much of her music. I generally note her great live album ONE FAIR SUMMER EVENING and her studio album STORMS. I note my favorite songs often and they usually come from either of those two albums. "You Made My Love A Tear Drop" is a huge favorite song of mine.
But I'm over at C.I.'s -- probably through at least April -- and so we get live music. You've got C.I. who plays guitar (acoustic and electric), bass, drums, keyboards and especially piano. You've got Betty's oldest who plays bass and electric guitar. Ty's boyfriend plays drums. Ty himself plays saxophone and Betty plays the flute, the dulcimer and the organ. Wally plays the acoustic guitar. So it's not unheard of for a jam session to take place nightly in the music room in C.I.'s house. Or Wally, Betty's son, Betty or C.I. will grab an acoustic instrument and play outside.
By the way, I told Betty I was writing about this and she wanted it known that "it's never too late to learn an instrument." She learned the flute in middle and high school and the organ via church as a child. But she picked up the dulcimer in the last five years and did so because she loved the sound of it on Joni Mitchell's BLUE and didn't realize it was a dulcimer until she asked her son how Joni got that sound. So it's never too late to learn an instrument, if you want to. Wally and C.I. had guitars out Friday night and were just strumming and singing under the stars in the backyard and it was lovely.
But they were going for songs they loved and challenging each other to think of a "non-obvious song." One of the ones C.I. played was Nanci Griffith's "It's Too Late." I've always enjoyed that song and it's so beautiful which had me thinking that Nanci has so many beautiful songs, does not get near the credit she deserves for her songwriting and this 5 pick entry is just me noting some of Nanci's lesser known songs that are so beautiful we really should know them better and more.
1) "It's Too Late"
And it's too late to leave you
You know that I will never leave you
It's too late to know you
You don't like to be known
You would never hold me
I don't like to be held
I will always love you
In spite of myself
I can feel the weather changing
The leaves are tired and turned with anger
They fall around us like a veil
Of golden tears
2) "Anyone Can Be Somebody's Fool"
Down in this lonely town there's a lovely silver frost
So we can stop and have another round for the true love that you've lost
It's gonna take a little time before your emptiness grows old
And underneath that silver frost you've still got a heart of gold
3) "Anything You Need But Me"
I'm shattered as the broken glass
Around the wreck out on the tracks
You had the very heart of me in your hands with honesty
You rolled it up within your sleeve like a beacon
Then you left it out
In the cold and the rain
I've picked it up and brought it home again
4) "Not My Way Home"
I know your kiss is sweeter
Than the dust that this love has become
Yet, I know your path is clearer
Shed of me, out there on your own
I don't intend to sound ungrateful
You've given love when I had none
My feet have tread upon the road you're on
And I know it's not my way home
5) "Up Against The Rain"
You took it on yourself to pave the road to hell
Paid your dues and sang the blues
Lord, you knew them all too well
Every word upon the page
You let them sail away
The wind would blow and then you'd go
Up against the rain
I love those five and I could easily note five more that go beyond the ones that are well known -- I mean the well known staples like "You've Made This Love A Tear Drop," "Love At The Five and Dime," "Trouble In These Fields," "I Don't Want To Talk About Love," "Once In A Very Blue Moon," "Drive-in Movies and Dashboard Lights," "Working In Corners," etc. Great songs but they're the most well known. She's got many, many hidden gems.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, January 15, 2021. A look at impeachment, an activist targeted in Iraq, and more.
Let's start with impeachment. I'm working for a list of comments, questions, slams compiled by Martha and Shirley from e-mails to the public account. First, as Keesha always says, this is a private conversation in a public space. Second, public e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and community members have the private e-mail but apparently some are asking "what's the public e-mail"? That's what it is.
I always, several insisted, agree with Jonathan Turley. No, I don't. One example, he's arguing that incoming President Joe Biden should not pardon Donald Trump. My thoughts on the presidential power of pardon have long been established here. I think there should be more pardons, not less. I would love to see Julian Assange, Ed Snowden, Leonard Peltier and many more pardoned. You will never see me whine over a pardon. If Joe wants to pardon Donald, okay. If he doesn't, then don't do it. But, again, I think we need more pardons not less. Jonathan Turley is very intelligent and highly educated. That doesn't mean I always agree with him. I think he's probably the best living legal scholar in the United States. But I don't agree with anyone 100% of the time.
How was Donald Trump given power by this latest impeachment -- a few ask referring to the comments at the end of yesterday's snapshot. How?
This goes beyond today. Way beyond and so many can't see beyond a 24 hour news cycle.
But Donald Trump's now historic. He's been impeached by the House twice and, guess what, not removed from office either time.
And history will see it as such and wonder why? Was Donald that strong? Was he that powerful?
One hundred years from now, people are going to be making calls and it appears the calls will be an ineffectual Congress was unable to take out a president twice impeached in one four year term.
He has historical power.
He was also given power by the nonsense of impeachment itself.
Was there a reason to impeach him? There were several possible grounds to impeach him on. But what Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in the House went with was ridiculous. I could see an argument for Donald being a clear and present danger -- and I made that point last Friday:
The argument here could be (a) he is a clear and present danger so we must take up the American people's time with this. That's your only pro-impeachment argument. Unless someone comes up with something else, that's really it. And that approach would justify a real trial -- because we would need to determine whether or not Donald was now a clear and present danger to the country.
If your issue is just what took place on one day in DC, some will respond that the day is already over, what's the point? He is gone in 12 days, what's the point?
To justify using time on impeachment at this point -- the House to quickly vote, the Senate to have a trial -- which would include Donald being able to call all the witnesses he wanted and his attorney arguing on behalf of Donald -- which would probably be a long trial -- you'd need a charge like Donald remaining in office for less than two weeks is a clear and present danger to the United States.
Nancy Pelosi ending up mouthing the words but she didn't make the argument why. She refused to build a case in the Articles for that.
Could a charge have been made on clear and present danger? Yes, a credible one could have been made. But they didn't do that.
Instead they want to say that Donald Trump incited what took place. Legal defitinions of incitement and sedition and insurrection were all tossed aside. I don't know what ridiculous definition of "coup" they're using -- it's not a legal definition and it's not a political science definition.
I guess it's a clutch-the-pearls definition?
The hysteria was ecnouraged and people frothed at the mought and it was all a bunch of nonsense. Quoting Keesha again, last week in DC was an unruly mob storming the halls of Congress. That's all it was. It was not a terrorist attack. It was not a coup. It was not an issurrection.
But they want to turn it into that and pretend that somehow Donald Trump made remarks advocating or violence. No, he didn't. And while bad journalism can selectively quote Donald, a hearing is supposed to examine the full remarks.
By refusing to do their job, they gave Donald power. And by wasting everyone's time, they gave him power. If you wanted to impeach him, make a solid argument for it. Otherwise, you just look tiny and petty. You look ignorant and stupid.
And that's the House of Representatives.
It also empowers future impeachments because it really doesn't matter. Bringing impeachment against a president and failing to remove him from office no longer matters. Mindless idiots will cheer you on and pretend you did something when you did nothing.
Will Donald be removed from office? I've spoken to sixteen US senators (14 of them Democrats) and no one believes the Senate will be back before the inauguration.
That means a post-presidency impeachment. That's going to be a hard argument for those of us who remember Nancy Pelosi's remarks when John Conyers was attempting that in 2009. It's also going to be a hard argument for the country.
In the midst of a pandemic, we're going to pause to remove someone from office -- someone who already has left office? We're going to waste the time and the money for that?
Most Americans are going to be of the opinion, "Turn the page."
That's why a lot of us told John Conyers that there was not going to be an impeachment after for Bully Boy Bush. After Nancy took impeachment off the table in 2006, he sincerely believed he could put it back on the table after Barack Obama was sworn in. But those of us who talked to him saying, "Lots of luck but it's not happening," grasped the turn-the-page attitude of the American people.
It's been a time of hysteria and that always is used to panic the American people and make them think they need to give up liberties and give up freedoms.
Our appetites find us
Release us and blind us
Deep in the night
While madmen sit up building bombs
And making laws and bars
They'd like to slam free choice behind us
-- "Three Great Stimulants," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on DOG EAT DOG.
And that's the real danger to the country -- watch the discussion Chris Hedges and Jimmy Dore have in the video below.
We are living in a time where no rights whatsoever are respected concerning the people of this country, but the controlling ‘elite’ and their government puppets continue to live mostly without restriction. We are now ruled by an oligarchic upper class, while all the rest of society languishes at the bottom of the heap as serfs. Where is all the anger due to this tyranny that has consumed society? It seems that we are all fighting against one another while those in the ruling class that are causing all the problems are laughing while plotting the final stage of the coup called the “Great Reset.”
This government has been given massive power by the very same people that are now being abused and destroyed because of that power. This is the truth of the matter, but the masses cannot see it. Until this truth is fully understood and accepted by the common man, our fate is not only uncertain, but we are doomed to a life without freedom.
The political system has never existed to give or protect liberty; it is only there to seek more money, power, and control over society. No political solution to this debacle exists, no voting process is worthwhile, and in fact, no remedy for this tyrannical sickness will ever be due to politics or government. The only solution is for the people themselves to stand together instead of fighting each other, to dissent at every level possible, and to disobey all government orders.
Where is the outrage? How can over 300 million people lay back and take what this heinous government has done to them this past year? Why are so many afraid to protect their own liberty and that of their family? The only hope for Americans is to find the truth and act on it, and not expect the government or any politician to take care of them. The government does not care about you. Politicians do not care about you. The one percent and the large corporations do not care about you.
So again, it’s pretty clear that America isn’t going to attempt to reverse the conditions which created Trump and all the extremist factions that everyone’s been freaking out about since the Capitol riot. Obama led to Trump, and the strategy going forward is to just keep tightening the neoliberal screws like both Obama and Trump did throughout their entire administrations. And, of course, to advance new “domestic terrorism” laws.
As we discussed previously, Biden has often boasted of being the original author of the Patriot Act years before it was rapidly rolled out amid the fear and blind obsequiousness of the aftermath of 9/11. Now in the aftermath of the Capitol riot we are seeing a push to roll out new authoritarian laws around terrorism, this time taking aim at “domestic terror”, which were also in preparation prior to the event used to manufacture support for them.
In a new article for Washington Monthly titled “It’s Time for a Domestic Terrorism Law“, Bill Scher argues against left-wing critics of the coming laws like Glenn Greenwald and Jacobin‘s Luke Savage saying such “knee-jerk reactions” against potential authoritarian abuses fail to address the growing problem. He opens with the acknowledgement that “Joe Biden’s transition team was already working on a domestic terrorism law before the insurrection,” and then he just keeps on writing as though that’s not weird or suspicious in any way.
Scher lists among the growing threat of domestic terror not just white supremacists and right-wing extremists but “extremist left-wing domestic terrorism” as well. He approvingly cites Adam Schiff’s Confronting The Threat of Terrorism Act, which “creates a definition of domestic terrorism broadly encompassing plots that carry a ‘substantial risk of serious bodily injury’ along with an ‘intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population’ or ‘influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.'” The ACLU has unequivocally denounced Schiff’s bill, saying it “would unnecessarily expand law enforcement authorities to target and discriminate against the very communities Congress is seeking to protect.”
Is Bill Scher shocking for doing that? I guess if you're only now encountering him. But, never forget, he played footsie with DLC ("New Democrat") Simon Rosenberg despite Simon's homophobia, sexism and racism. He played footsie and pimped Simon's lies when Simon was trying to become the leader of the DNC in 2005. Bill Scher is a big joke and if you're only now learning that, you haven't been paying attention. It's like being surprised by how hideous Sam Seder is (Bill's friend, by the way).
Bill Scher never stood up for the rights of the American people. he thought he was writing think pieces but they were paint by number pieces that never challenged the mind and certainly didn't challenge the assumption that we needed to give up freedoms.
Bill works today because people didn't hold him accountable and because he was part of the circle jerk of the '00s. He and the others accomplished nothing but they did set themselves up nicely, didn't they?
Iraq remains a failed state and the Iraqi people remain terrorized because of people like Bill Scher who pretended to care when a Republican was in the White House and walked away from Iraq as soon as Barack Obama was sworn in as president.
Iraq? UNAMI Tweets:
The elections may not happen in June, UNAMI forgot to Tweet that. They forget a lot of things that take place in Iraq. For example, Ruba Ali al-Hassani Tweets:
Unidentified assailants targeted, with an IED, the house of Dr. Abdul-Wahab Al-Hamdani in Sumer neighborhood in central Nasiriyah. Activists in Nasiriyah said that Al-Hamdani was one of the most prominent activists in the protests
No one will be punished for this attack, no one ever is. And elections? Looks like they may not be held in June as announced. Sura Ali (RUDAW) reports:
Holding elections in June may not be realistic, according to the
spokesperson for Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).
Only a fraction of eligible voters have updated their electoral records
and most of the political entities have not registered yet, Jumana
Alghalai told Rudaw English on Friday, a day ahead of a registration
“Twenty-five political alliances were registered in IHEC records in 2018, but only two of them have registered again for 2021 and updated their data in IHEC records, although the deadline for registering political alliances is tomorrow, Saturday,” Alghalai said.
“The commission has issued registration licenses for 230 parties, but only a few of them have registered and updated their records, despite the fact that the deadline is soon,” she added.
Most voters, too, have not updated their records. “We have 25 million citizens eligible to vote this year. While 14 million of them have their biometric ID, only 105,390 have updated their electoral records,” Alghalai said. “Therefore, it might be unrealistic to hold elections in June without political alliances, parties, or voters.”
Lastly, POLITICO's Lara Seligman Tweets:
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Impeachment?
- Media: The Failure of QUIBI and its implications
- KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)
- From The TESR Test Kitchen
- This edition's playlist
- Stan reviews I AM WOMAN
The following sites updated: