Friday, January 22, 2021



That's Tina Turner's "When The Heartache Is Over."  


I've had that song stuck in my head for about two days now.  Don't know if it's been on my mind because Trump's gone or because Biden's now with us for four years or maybe it's the pandemic?


But the heartache never ends.  If you pay attention right now, you will be able to see the whores.  You will be able to see the liars who will cover for an elected official and go back on everything they've spent the last four years griping about.


"I can make my own decisions, it was only a matter of time," Tina sings.  Exactly.  We can and we need to put these pundits and 'leaders' on the garbage heap and stop letting them lie and distract.


When the heartache is over

I know I won't be missing you

Won't look over my shoulder

 Cause I can live without you

That's what we should be saying to all the Sam Seders out there.  You want a functioning democracy?  Stop glorifying the whores that keep cheapening it and excusing do-nothing politicians.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, January 21, 2021.  Bombings slam Baghdad, US media gushes over Joe Biden.

This morning, Baghdad is slammed with bombings "in a busy commercial area near Baghdad’s al-Tayaran Square."  

Ghassan Adnan and Justin Malcolm (WALL STREET JOURNAL) report, "Twin suicide bombings ripped through a crowded marketplace in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 32 people and wounding at least 75 others in the first such attack in Iraq’s capital in more than two years."  The writers insist that "the explosions shattered a period of relative calm."  It hasn't been relatively calm in Iraq but it does provide cover for your outlet that's ignored the ongoing violence -- especially the violence aimed at the protesters -- when shocked readers see the story.  As XINHUA points out, "sporadic deadly incidents still occur in the war-ravaged country as IS remnants have since melted into urban areas or deserts and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians"  Samya Kullab and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) note, "Blood smeared the floors of the busy market amid piles of clothes and shoes as survivors took stock of the disarray in the aftermath." The first bomb helped draw the crowd, the second one then went off.  Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) explains, "The interior ministry said the first bomber had claimed he was ill and when crowds gathered to help, he detonated his bomb."  Aqeel Najm, Jomana Karadsheh, Kareem Khadder and Tamara Qiblawi (CNN) add:

Security forces say they pursued the two attackers before they blew themselves up. It was the first suicide attack to strike Baghdad in nearly two years.
The first bomber entered the marketplace and, pretending to be sick, asked for help, causing people to gather around him before he blew himself up, according to officials and state media. The second bomber then drove to the scene on a motorbike before detonating his explosive vest.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though it bears the hallmarks of Sunni jihadi groups who have carried out numerous similar attacks in Iraq. Double bombings were common in the country during the height of its sectarian war between 2005 and 2007. 

ALJAZEERA's Abdelfattah Fayed states, "The injured were rushed to the nearby hospitals. Local reports suggest that the number of fatalities will rise as the large number of those injured are in very critical condition."  Ramadan Al Sherbini (GULF NEWS) notes, "Photos carried by Iraqi media showed bodies lying on the ground in the aftermath of the attack."  XINHUA reports:

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms the twin suicide bombings at a crowded commercial area in Iraq's capital Baghdad.

"That terrorist attack is a heinous act that came at a very important time. It undoubtedly aimed to hinder Iraq's efforts to restore the country's security and stability and achieve the aspired economic reform," Aboul-Gheit said.

MIDDLE EAST MONITOR offers this context, "The latest bombings come just days after the government unanimously voted to postpone the country's general elections to October this year. They were scheduled for 6 June. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had pledged to hold early elections after taking office last year, to appease anti-government protesters demanding a reform of the country's political system and an end to rampant corruption and poor public services."

Among the many hideous moments on US TV yesterday?  The efforts to turn Bully Boy Bush into someone worthy of admiration.  The War Criminal is beloved by those who whore for corporations.  Hannibal Khoury Tweets:

Children are still getting blown-up in Iraq but CNN and Stephen Colbert want you to know what a cute and cuddly grandpa George Bush is
Red heart


Corporate whores are happy.  They spent yesterday ooh-ing and ahh-ing over aged debutante Joe Biden's coming out party.   The rest of the world?  Not so much.  Kooky | Destroyer of Mayo notes:

Palestine is not celebrating today Venezuela is not celebrating today Iran is not celebrating today Syria is not celebrating today Iraq is not celebrating today Cuba is not celebrating today Bolivia is not celebrating today Yemen is not celebrating today

Chile is not celebrating today Afghanistan is not celebrating today Honduras is not celebrating today

I'm not letting liberals enjoy this. There is nothing to enjoy, only the continuation of capitalist terror and hegemony

Also a preemptive response to liberals finding this: I'm Syrian, ask me about the Obama years

Victory hand

Yeah the new president is a war criminal who has terrorized the places I listed. Take your smart comments to other places

Joseph Kishore (WSWS) reports of the inauguration:

President Joseph Biden’s inaugural address yesterday was significant above all for its banality. Amidst an unprecedented political, social and economic crisis of the entire capitalist order, Biden delivered remarks filled with cliches, incoherent non sequiturs and the emptiest of abstractions.

One would not, of course, expect Biden to deliver a socialist speech. He is a capitalist politician assuming the position of “commander-in-chief” of the most powerful imperialist country. However, in the tradition of American politics, the inaugural address of the incoming president used to be an occasion for speaking in some form to the political situation and the policy of the incoming administration.

[. . .]

The poverty of Biden’s remarks is not just an intellectual failure. He knows full well that any hint at a significant shift in policy would spark a sell-off on the markets. As it was, the markets rose during his speech. In the minds of the political establishment and the media, this is the main factor in concluding that the speech was a great success. They were all somewhat richer at its conclusion than at its beginning.

Moreover, the political representatives of the ruling class, and particularly the Democratic Party, are acutely aware of the fact that any serious examination of reality—including the political and social forces behind the rise of fascism in America and the bipartisan policies that have produced the catastrophic spread of the pandemic—risks a social and political explosion that will threaten the entire capitalist order.

Biden’s appeal to “unity” is, ultimately, a desperate effort to cover over a massive social chasm. This chasm does not separate the Democrats from the Republicans, who, whatever their differences, both represent the same oligarchy. It is the unbridgeable division between the capitalist ruling elite, on the one hand, and the working class, on the other. It is the fear of the open eruption of this conflict that drives Biden to his abstractions.


Margaret Kimberley offered:

Every 4 years I suffer. I watch many people who I respect shed tears over a democrat winning or the first black president or Trump is gone and Harris is a woman, etc. But I don't care because I want a different society altogether.

ADDED: Glenn Greenwald Tweeted:

"The commentary from TV broadcasters across the board, all day long, was at times embarrassingly complimentary" -- The Washington Post's , with great understatement on yesterday's festivities and how the media covered them.

The following sites updated:


  • Thursday, January 21, 2021

    Joni was right

     Ajamu Baraka was the Green Party's vice presidential nominee in 2016.  He's a noted intellectual and he's also an activist.  Two on the money Tweets from his Twitter feed:


    When the Clinton News Network (CNN) MSNBC & other neoliberal propaganda organs talk about the need to police speech to purge "extremism" every anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-white supremacist radical should be concerned.

     Brilliant!: Capitalism moved millions to social media platforms promising freedom, connectivity, a new world where they had instant access to information. Then using Russiagate & now "domestic terrorism," the public is being conditioned to accept capitalist content censorship.


    As Joni Mitchell sings, "They're going to slam free choice behind us."



    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

     Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  Donald to leave today, Joe to be sworn in.

    Today, Donald Trump's presidency ends.  It was four years of turmoil and nonsense -- from the press and from Donald.  He came into office a petty man and he leaves it that way as well.  Despite repeatedly insisting he was a menace to the world, Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats were more than happy to back any war funding or corporate give aways while pretending there was a significant difference between themselves and Donald.

    He did cut the official number of US troops in half in Iraq.  The official number is now 2,500.  Other than that, not much can be said for President Donald.  Not much can be said that's nice.

    The key word for Donald remains "petty."  

    He never rose above petty.  In fairness to him and his egomania, he never rose to the level of Great Satan that so many 'faux' resistance persons -- among the people, in Congress, in press -- tried to insist he was.  

    And he created jobs.  

    Take Carl Bernstein, a vile and disgusting man (I say that as a friend of the late Nora Ephron's) who got to pose and preen as some sort of journalist.  Watergate was decades ago.  Bernstein did one article on the CIA infiltration of US media after that and then moved on to writing bad prose (and having fits that his ex-wife's novel was turned into a film).  Garbage Bernstein wasn't interested in truth then, no.  He didn't want the children to know how disgusting and unfit their father really was.  But the Trump presidency allowed Bernstein to show up regularly on MSNBC and be treated seriously -- as long as he toed the party line and claimed that each scandal -- real or imagined -- was, wait for it, worse than Watergate.

    No, they weren't.  And that only demonstrates what many have long known -- and what the film DICK parodied -- Carl didn't know a damn thing about Watergate.  Bob Woodward took him along for the ride.  He was the Oates to Bob's Hall, the Andrew to Bob's George Michael.  Carl clearly has no grasp of what Watergate was.  It wasn't just a break-in.  It was a conspiracy, an enemy's list and a hell of lot more.  It was government persecution of the American people.  

    But, again, Carl's not very smart and he has no life so he needed to be on TV.

    And if you ever needed to be on TV, Trump hatred was the way to go.  Failed comic Tom Arnold was a 'resistance' hero.  Remember that?  Michael Avenatti was a 'resistance' hero.  James I-Lied-To-Congress Clapper was a 'resistance' hero . . .

    So many scoundrels, so much cable TV time.

    The four years ended like a really bad DC superhero movie -- in the end, the villain never lived up to the build up.

    But he certainly was a wonderful distraction, wasn't he?

    Allowing for members of Congress to grandstand and preen -- while they told the American people that, in a pandemic, corporations were entitled to billions but the American people only deserved about $150 a month -- that's what the only stimulus check that arrived prior to December 25th averaged out to.  It allowed them to desecrate the Constitution and continue wars around the world while pretending that they had some moral standing and/or ethics.  

    Now Donald's leaving and it's 'time to heal.'

    How stupid do they think his supporters -- which includes nearly 75 million Americans who voted for him -- are?  There was no 'time to heal' after the 2016's election.  There were obstacles and hatred tossed out immediately.  The "honeymoon" period every new president traditionally gets?  Denied to Donald.  

    And now you have various whores ready to dance for their master.  Dickless Bruce Springsteen will trot around on a leash for Joe.  So will Jennifer Lopez.  I'm sorry, who in the world thinks Jennifer is a singer?  She was a dancer with a weak voice who had chart hits -- years and years ago.  As one desperate celebrity after another rushes to bow to empire, it becomes clear that the United States really needs some celebrities to announce that they won't perform at any presidential inauguariton -- no matter who is the president, no matter which party has the White House.  They whore themselves out.

    Donald has millions of admirers to this day.  But he never managed to win over anyone not already for him.  That's because he's so damn petty.

    He issued so may pardons -- including yesterday -- but not one for Ed Snowden.  Not one for Julian Assange.

    Ed?  I'd argue history will judge him a hero.  

    Julian?  There's no arguing.  He needed to be pardoned -- both for himself and also for what a possible US trial could mean to the press -- destroying a free press.l

    Had Donald the guts to pardon Julian, he would have had one historical note to applaud.  

    Instead, he's just a petty man who has no real accomplishments.  Cutting the troops in Iraq in half (officially, anyway)?  That's not getting all the US troops out of Iraq.

    He's got nothing.

    One historical moment -- and pardoning Julian would have been one -- would have allowed for some reconsideration of his presidency in the future.  How could he be so right about one thing (Assange) and so wrong about other things?

    That would have led historians to look at the way the media treated him -- unfairly and it wasn't journalism.  But for a deep dive like that to take place and matter, there would be a need for historians to explore.  And Donald's pettiness ensured that they had no reason to explore what he did have to face.  

    Will Joe Biden face that?

    It doesn't appear so.  The 'independent' press spent 2020 either ignoring Joe's scandals (the credible allegations made by Tara Reade; Hunter Biden under federal investigation) or dismissing them -- and usually dismissing them with what the campaign told them to say.

    Today, Joe Biden gets sworn in.  And we're supposed to be grateful that a War Hawk who is responsible for the slaughter of the Iraqi people is going to be president -- someone who in severe cognitive decline is going to be president.

    He's not going to seriously address the environment.  Possibly due to having one foot, an ankle, a calf, a knee and a huge portion of his upper leg already in the grave, Joe doesn't feel that climate change is an urgent issue.  

    His history of racism is appalling and maybe that'll take him down.  Barack Obama has repeatedly called out 'woke' culture and there's a reason for that: He himself couldn't have survived it had it been around when he was president.  His attacks on African-American fathers, for example, would have been loudly rebuked.  Can Joe survive "woke" America?

    He already has his defensive line up, doesn't he?  People like Ryan Grim (glad you paid attention to the hair tip, Ryan, you almost look like a real boy), Betsy Reed, Naomi Klein and assorted others.  And right behind them, in the second ranks, you've got the nutless Kyle Kulniksi who will scrape and bow before power because that's what you do -- if you're a coward and a whore.  Demands?  No, no, no says nutless Kyle.  (Nuts does not invoke power in this paragraph -- I don't use that metaphor and never have.  I'm referring to Kyle's endless podcasts about his balls.  And after awhile, you have to start wondering if he can't stop talking about them because he really doesn't have them?)

    The corporate press will likely go back to sleep and just spout the usual lines from government officials as fact -- the way they did long before Donald.  

    ADDED at 1:25 PM EST on 1/20/21 David Sirota Tweeted:

    NEWS: Biden's new health care plan lifted its proposals from insurance lobbyists' letter - it would provide lucrative subsidies to insurers that pumped cash into the 2020 election. It avoids a promised public option & Dem legislation to expand Medicare.

    Nothing really changed in the last four years -- Barack's points and plans were upped by Donald Trump.  Nothing really change in the last four years except a lot of innocents were murdered and harmed and a lot of time that could have been spent addressing climate change got wasted.

    That's all that happened.

    But garbage like Paul Mulshine serve up nonsense like "Donald Trump’s legacy: He turned Washington, D.C., into Baghdad, Iraq."  No, he didn't.  The riot that took place does not compare to the slaughter in Iraq.  The slaughter that continues today or the slaughter that left corpses in the street or the slaughter when the US backed the Shi'ite death squads that set out to 'cleanse' Baghdad.  Paul Mulshine is garbage because he wants to pretend that DC is Baghdad.  He has no idea what Baghdad became due to the US-led invasion.  It's insulting to the Iraqi people to pretend that DC has been turned into Baghdad.  

    But drama queens need their drama, don't they?  Sad because what journalism is supposed to offer is perspective and context.  We all survived without it for the last four years so maybe we'll make it through four more?

    ADDED at 1:25 pm 1/20/21, Glenn Greenwald Tweeted:

    If you're in the national press and will be on TV at any point today and being to feel the need to weep joyously, just hold it in until you find a private place. Nobody is expecting any adversarial coverage over the next 4 years, but it's just a matter of personal dignity.

    New content at THIRD:

    Ava and I did our TV piece on Sunday.  We didn't have time to update it.  We'll look over it at some point today and if it needs a note "This was written Sunday" we'll add that.  The following sites updated: