After all, Smollett followed a similar strategy successfully in the media for months. He knew that “facts” are whatever people want them to be. Some of us expressed skepticism over Smollett’s initial account: two Trump supporters coming upon him around 2 a.m. in Chicago on a freezing night in January 2019, and then allegedly beating him, putting a noose around his neck, pouring a chemical on him and declaring — perhaps for the first time in history — that Chicago is “MAGA country.” Making this even more bizarre was that the spontaneous attack occurred shortly after Smollett was the target of a racist letter threatening to lynch him — a letter that prosecutors believe he wrote.
None of that mattered, though, because Smollett knew his audience. Vice President Kamala Harris, then a U.S. senator, denounced what happened as an “attempted modern-day lynching.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it was a “homophobic attack and an affront to our humanity.” In a fawning interview, ABC’s Robin Roberts described Smollett as “bruised but not broken” and breathlessly concluded the segment with “Beautiful, thank you, Jussie.”
Even when evidence mounted that this was a hoax, some media figures lashed out at Smollett’s doubters. ABC’s “The Talk” host Sara Gilbert was irate: “I find so personally offensive that a gay Black man is targeted and then suddenly he becomes the victim of people’s disbelief.”
Smollett’s attack was simply one of those “facts too good to check.” It made more sense to assume there are roaming bands of MAGA-hatted Trump supporters attacking Black people on Chicago’s streets.
The verdict came in after the column went up. Stan covered it with "The verdict is in." Smollett has been found guilty. All that's left now is the sentencing.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, December 9, 2021. A lot of boos and hisses to offer but Joe Biden does get some praise.
Margaret Kimberley has a reTweeted a video of Hillary Clinton. As ususal, Hillary has nothing to offer. Among other things, she's being her whiney self and she's offering this crap, "If you don't want to support Democrats then go somewhere else." Youre not your husband, Hillary. You don't know how to get votes. Which is why you never made it into the White House and now you never will.
Going into the mid-terms, Democrats are going to need all the votes they can get. That's based on current polling, yes. It's also based on history. And this is how she's helping the Democratic Party?
Maybe it's time 'the Goldwarter girl' went somewhere else? Having lied over and over about Russia-gate. Having lied about her campaign's connection to the made up Steele dossier. She has no shame. She should be getting honest with the American people.
But she can't get honest and, honestly, it's really too late. Or to put it into language she would understand: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
None. She's a loser. Mike Dukakis and other losers knew to go away. Hillary doesn't know how to.
How to be a doormat with a spouse who never stops cheating on you? How to lie to the world for him? How to hate yourself so much that you will trash the women he sleeps with but never him?
She's pathetic and she's a loser. She's not a face of strength. Shes not a face of feminism.
Not only did she choose that for her personal life, she encouraged it in her work life. One man after another was rewarded by her for his bad behaviors.
She's just an embarrassment. Remember her podcast? YOU AND ME BOTH? She's on hiatus. Does that mean no one was listening? She couldn't even do one every month when she was making the podcast. But she wants you to know, season two is just around the corner.
She's annoying, she's polarizing and she lied to the Amreican people over and over about Russia-gate.
Because she can't accept the fact that she lost. Because she can't accept just how ugly she is to the American people.
She's the racist, after all, who tried to derail Barack Obama's ascension to the top. That's how she allowed herself to be portrayed in 2008 and then, eight years later, she thinks she can win the presidency?
Bernie Sanders didnt hurt her in 2016. She hurt herself by not running a real race. She wanted to be Barack -- to outdo him -- and make it all about celebrity. And it didn't work. And her being too lazy to drag her fat ass to needed states is why she lost. As is her failure, over eight years, to do anything to dispeal the charges of racism that Barack's campaign made about her over and over throughout 2008.
What she needed in 2016? Votes that she didn't get.
And now the same idiot is on video declaring, ahead of the mid-terms, "If you don't want to support Democrats than go somewhere else."
She is an idiot when it comes to turning out the vote and now she's harming others with her statements. She needs to go away. America's had enough of her. She had a failed run for the presidency -- she lost to Donal Trump who had no political experience which goes to what a failure Hillary was in 2016. ANd she wanted to run against him, which goes how to stupid she is.
She has no wisdom to share. I get it, she can't just hang around the house, waiting for Bill to show up after he's had sex with this or that woman.
And on that, why are we paying Secret Service members to Break the law.
Now in Bill's case, as far as I know, they's just covering up for his affairs. But we know from e-mails that Hunter Biden's detail was aware of Hunter's drug use and of his use of prositutes.
Why did our tax dollars go to hiding his crimes?
The Secret Service became accomplices to prostitution and drug purchases. That shouldn't be allowed and should promotE an investigation into how the Secret Service is really used.
It's disgusting. Our tasx dollars are paying the Secret Service to take part in breaking the law. Disgusting.
“What about the Supreme Court?” Those words are used to thwart any discussion which questions support for the Democratic Party. The democrats maintain their hold on voters who would otherwise be rid of them by dredging up the fear of the federal judiciary falling under Republican Party control. The legal right to abortion is one of the issues used to keep millions of people from leaving the democrats once and for all.
After decades of democrats’ corruption, inaction, and lies, the right to abortion is indeed at risk. The majority of Supreme Court justices are republican appointees. They may uphold a Mississippi law which severely restricts abortion access or even overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which declared a constitutional right to abortion. The boogeyman of right wing judicial control is now real and the democrats have only themselves to blame. Unfortunately, most of their voters still go along with their faux outrage when they should be questioning the whole rotten apparatus.
The democratic party is called a “big tent” which includes corporate interests, wealthy funders, well funded think tanks, elite academia, and left leaning voters. Black people are the constituency they depend upon the most, although one would never know that by looking at the policies the democrats hold near and dear.
Black voters in particular are caught in a trap, seeing themselves as powerless to do anything except keep republicans out of office. The openly white supremacist nature of the republicans is not met with any opposition by the party that fails to fight for them. Instead fear mongering and betrayal of their most loyal voters are their favorite means of getting support. The political duopoly are like fake heroes and fake villains in professional wrestling. The differences are all for show.
The bloom was off the rose in 2016 after the hope and change promised by Barack Obama was revealed to be nothing more than neo-liberal business as usual. Many democrats were disgusted when the primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton’s “pied piper strategy” amplified Donald Trump, and the combination of miscalculation and hubris gave him the electoral college votes needed to win and to make lifetime judicial appointments.
Hillary Clinton was so sure she would defeat Trump that she chose senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Kaine is one who straddles the fence claiming he is personally opposed to abortion because he is a Catholic while claiming he would defend Roe v. Wade. Clinton herself foolishly sought to portray herself as being ambivalent about abortion, thinking she would get support from some conservative voters. Of course real conservatives were in love with Donald Trump. So-called moderate republicans voted for him too. Hillary’s efforts to be as slick as Bill Clinton were laughable and her sad attempt at Clintonian triangulation led to Trump’s victory.
Democrats don’t like to mention that Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have stepped down when Barack Obama asked her. He also didn’t fight for his nominee Merrick Garland because he assumed that a president Hillary Clinton would have her choices. The miscalculations are guarded like a shameful family secret lest left leaning democrats question the cult leadership and head for the exits.
Hillary supported the Iraq War. And when pressed on it in her 2008 and 2016's campaigns, she barked and snarled and never took accountability.
As Secretary of State, she ignored friends who begged her to help Iraqi women. She refused to even note their suffering. She gave a major speech about women all over the world and gave examples from one country after another but ignored Iraq -- refused to include it even when a friend of 40 years begged her to do so. That's Hillary Clinton. That's the real Hillary.
Reality is in short supply. In fact, liars are having a hard time keeping their lies straight.
Such as? How about the Iraqi government (and the media)?
ALJAZEERA does a better job than most by noting the claims as claims:
The United States-led coalition’s combat mission countering ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq has officially ended, according to Iraq’s national security adviser.
The announcement on Thursday by Qassim al-Araji followed the final round of technical talks in Iraq’s capital to formally transition the combat mission to an advisory mission to assist Iraqi forces.
[. . .]
The US did not immediately confirm the end of the combat mission, although Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that Washington would “uphold our commitments, including that there will be no US forces with a combat role by the end of the year”.
Did it end or didn't it?
According to Caitlin Doornbos (STARS AND STRIPES), it iddn't end:
The U.S. is expected to carry out its commitment to end its combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.
President Joe Biden in July pledged to remove all U.S. troops with a combat role from Iraq by 2022 as part of an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. At the time, there were about 2,500 troops in Iraq targeting Islamic State fighters.
It's just semantic. They're back to pretending that combat isn't combat. But they can't even get their lies straight. Of course, the media's never felt the need to be bound by truth when covering Iraq.
Joe Biden could pull all US troops out of Iraq. He's not doing that and he most likely won't.
But he does keep the war industry happy. Sarah Lazare (IN THESE TIMES) reports:
A weapons industry trade group that represents companies
including Lockheed Martin and Raytheon is thrilled about President Joe
Biden’s nominee for the role of lead weapons buyer for the U.S.
military. In a statement released November 30,
Arnold Punaro, board chairman of the National Defense Industrial
Association (NDIA), which calls itself a trade association for the “defense industrial base,” proclaimed that the president “made the superb choice of nominating Dr. Bill LaPlante to be the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment.”
LaPlante is being poached directly from the military industry that is praising him, which he entered after serving in an acquisitions role under the Obama administration, where he was known for shepherding through major (and controversial) programs, such as the acquisition of the F‑35 fighter jet.
By moving from government to industry, then back to government (should the Senate confirm him), all while the weapons industry cheers, LaPlante has spun through a well-trodden revolving door — a career trajectory that is entirely routine, but nonetheless scandalous.
In a November 30 White House statement, President Biden praised LaPlante as a “seasoned national security leader with nearly four decades of experience in acquisition, technology, sustainment and the defense industrial base.” The president is nominating LaPlante for the role of Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment at the Department of Defense, which has been vacant since Ellen Lord stepped down from the position in January.
LaPlante is currently the president and chief executive officer of Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, a contractor for the U.S. military, where he has served since 2020. As recently as November 2, the company announced that it “has been selected by the U.S. Air Force as one of 55 contractors on a digital engineering contract that aims to increase the service’s ability to work on digital designs of its future platforms.” The price tag is massive, potentially amounting to $46 billion over 11 years, according to the company.
This is just one of numerous contracts with the U.S. military held by Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. The most recent one was announced just 13 days before Biden announced the nomination of LaPlante.
I thought I was going to have some kind words for Joe Biden in today's snapshot and maybe I can still. It's the news of one of his nominees. She's CIA and that's depressing as hell. To me -- to others, it may be a reason to be thrilled. But she's a she.
This is not 'Rally around the women!' This is not 'gender trumps all.' I would have preferred a female nominee with a different background. But I don't want to act like Joe's nomination of Alina Romanowski is nothing. She's been the Ambassador to Kenya so she's an easy sail through the nomination process. Again, I don't care for her background.
But I will give Joe credit. And I don't mean that in a backhanded way or in a "I guess . . ."
This is significant and I will say it's a good move.
We've been noting for years now the symoblic value and its meaning in Iraq.. The US destroyed women's rights in Iraq. A woman in a position of power in Iraq helps Iraqi women. I don't mean that Alina Romanowski will improve the lives of women with her actions. I have no idea whether she will or not -- her background does not make me hopeful.
But women in Iraq have had their opportunities and rights reversed thanks to the US government -- both due to the US led war and due to the people the US put in charge. Iraqi women have fought back and showed great strength.
A woman in a leadership role is something that forces Iraqis who do not believe in equality to deal with women, a woman in a leadership role shows the children of Iraq that everyone can be a leader.
Again, she's not my choice. She will most likely be confirmed (if you've been confirmed for a previous post and not had a scandal, you generally sail through the process) and hopefully she'll do a fine job and prove me wrong to have been concrned. But whether she does or not, the fact that a woman is in that post has symbolic value.
Joe deserves credit for this.
As noted before Barack became president, we met with the incoming administration -- Ava and I -- to argue for a woman to be named US Ambassador to Iraq. It did not happen. Barack nominated six people for the post in his eight years (five were confirmed). He couldn't -- in his mind -- find a qualified woman. Joe's the first one since the 2003 invasion to be able to find a woman he thought was qualified. (I did not lobby JJoe on this or anyone in his administration. I'd honestly given up hope that it would happen.) So he deserves credit for that.
It was a good move and I will applaud Joe for making it.
The following sites updated: