Friday, December 17, 2021

Stupid Elizabeth Warren

 Jonathan Turley:

This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) finally buried her former persona as a law professor. In a transition that began in 2011, Warren has struggled with the demands of politics that often pit her against core legal principles. Warren’s final measure of devotion to politics came in her Boston Globe op-ed where she called for the Supreme Court to be packed with a liberal majority. She justified her call by denouncing the court for voting wrongly on decisions and, perish the thought, against “widely held public opinion.” Of course, the Framers designed the courts to be able to resist “widely held public opinion” and, yes, even the Congress. Warren’s solution is to change the Court to make it more amenable to the demands of public (and her) opinion. Some of us have been discussing the expansion of the Court for decades. However, there is a difference between court reform and court packing. What Democratic members are demanding is raw court packing to add four members to the Court to give liberals an instant majority — a movement denounced by figures like the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Last year, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others stood in front of the Supreme Court to announce a court packing bill to give liberals a one-justice majority.  This follows threats from various Democratic members that conservative justices had better vote with liberal colleagues . . . or else. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., recently issued a warning to the Supreme Court: reaffirm Roe v. Wade or face a “revolution.”  Sen. Richard Blumenthal previously warned the Supreme Court that, if it continued to issue conservative rulings or “chip away at Roe v Wade,” it would trigger “a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also declared in front of the Supreme Court “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price.”For her part, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. questioned the whole institution’s value if it is not going to vote consistently with her views and those of the Democratic party: “How much does the current structure benefit us? And I don’t think it does.”

Warren seems to be channeling more AOC than FDR. Roosevelt at least tried to hide his reckless desire to pack the Court by pushing an age-based rule. It was uniquely stupid. The bill would have allowed Roosevelt to add up to six justices for every member who is over 70 years old. Warren, like AOC, wants the Democratic base to know that she is pushing a pure, outcome-changing court packing scheme without even the pretense of a neutral rule.

It really is sad and disturbing to watch this nonsense.  Court packing is not the answer and never was.  I'd be more than fine with a retirement age being imposed.  But our current problems with the Court is that Ruth Bader Ginsberg didn't retire when she should have.  She knew she was near death.  Barack even asked her to step down and she refused.

The so-called 'hero' was a narcissist who refused to do the right thing for the country and step down.

That's the most recent problem.

The larger problem is that the court has titled right over and over.  That has nothing to do with the conservative make up via conservatives.  That has to do with Democratic Party presidents who have gone for corporatist candidates -- Kagan, for example.  

Instead of addressing real issues, Warren wants to pull this nonsense.  

All that happens from her stupidity if it succeeded?  When Dems are in control, they pack the Court which means Republicans have an excuse to do the same when they're in control and on and on.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, December 15, 2021.  The continue persecution of Julian Assange is met with a lot of continued silence and LAT decides to make clear that women and girls in Iraq don't matter to them.

Starting with this from John Pilger's latest at MINT NEWS PRESS:

“Let us look at ourselves, if we have the courage, to see what is happening to us” – Jean-Paul Sartre

Sartre’s words should echo in all our minds following the grotesque decision of Britain’s High Court to extradite Julian Assange to the United States where he faces “a living death”. This is his punishment for the crime of authentic, accurate, courageous, vital journalism.

Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes last Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.

Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.

The recent confession of a crucial FBI informant and prosecution stooge, a fraudster and serial liar, that he had fabricated his evidence against Julian was ignored. The revelation that the Spanish-run security firm at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Julian had been granted political refuge, was a CIA front that spied on Julian’s lawyers and doctors and confidants (myself included) – that, too. was ignored.

The recent journalistic disclosure, repeated graphically by defence counsel before the High Court in October, that the CIA had planned to murder Julian in London – even that was ignored.

Each of these “matters”, as lawyers like to say, was enough on its own for a judge upholding the law to throw out the disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt US Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. Julian’s state of mind, bellowed James Lewis, QC, America’s man at the Old Bailey last year, was no more than “malingering” – an archaic Victorian term used to deny the very existence of mental illness.

To Lewis, almost every defence witness, including those who described from the depth of their experience and knowledge, the barbaric American prison system, was to be interrupted, abused, discredited.  Sitting behind him, passing him notes, was his American conductor: young, short-haired, clearly an Ivy League man on the rise.

In their nine minutes of dismissal of the fate of journalist Assange, two of the most senior judges in Britain, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (a lifelong buddy of Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s former foreign minister who arranged the brutal police kidnapping of Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy) referred to not one of a litany of truths aired at previous hearings in the District Court – truths that had struggled to be heard in a lower court presided over by a weirdly hostile judge, Vanessa Baraitser. Her insulting behaviour towards a clearly stricken Assange, struggling through a fog of prison-dispensed medication to remember his name, is unforgettable.

What was truly shocking last Friday was that the High Court  judges – Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Timothy Holyrode, who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.

Their ruling in favour, if not on behalf of the United States, is based squarely on transparently fraudulent “assurances” scrabbled together by the Biden administration when it looked in January like justice might prevail.

Are we still pretending we have an independent media in the US?  Not talking about corporate media.  I'm talking about Panhandle Media -- send money, send money, we tell the truth, send money, send money.

Scan around looking at various websites and grasp the garbage your money has kept afloat.

THE PROGRESSIVE?  The words "Julian Assange" are apparently unknown to them.  Worse is the current front page of THE NATION which also ignores Julian Assange but does make time for many useless bits of garbage -- which would include John Nichols' attempt to refurbish dead Bob Dole into a 'good guy.'  That's how John Nichols chooses to waste his -- and your -- time.  From  MOTHER JONES back in 1996, here's all you need to know about the Bob Doles that John Nichols is going down on:

He opposes labor laws, consumer protection legislation, medical price controls, environmental regulations, and campaign finance reform. His cultural orthodoxy is paleo-American, not Christian: He gets more exercised about rap music, bilingualism, and self-critical American history textbooks than about abortion. Likewise, on foreign policy, he’s an ultrahawk and a frequent ally of Jesse Helms.

John Nichols wastes everyone's time and tht's really become a hallmark of THE NATION and their columnists who pretend to cover politics but really just offer lifestyle pieces.   Counting on IN THESE TIMES to tackle this issue of the continued persecution of Julian Assange?  Think again.  Mid-week and they still have other things to do.  I scanned the headlines at TRUTH OUT and, apparently, truth is out -- at TRUTH OUT -- as they offer nothing on Julian Assange.  

At JACOBIN, their front page goes back to 12/8 (further if you count the bad article that they published in November -- poorly written, there might be a story there but they can't find it -- that they continue to highlight and front page).  Gues what you won't find? Julian Assange.  But they do gush over Noam Sellout Chomsky and Fraud Squad leader AOC -- the most important member of Congress, they insist, not grasping how little that says about Congress.

THE NATION wants you to know that Jessica Cisneros is the face of the Democratic Party!!!!  A lot of glorigying politicians, not much reality and mot much that actually matters to your lives but, please, send money, sned money.  Otherwise they might have to get real jobs.

Maybe after both Julian Assange and press freedom have died at the hands of Joe Biden, we'll be able to get coverage from Panhandle Media?

Probably not.  Probably around that time, Katha Pollitt will be breaking new ground with such strong pieces as "Fatten Your Ass in Five Minutes a Day with These Sastisfying Snacks."

Kate Halper Tweets:
Free Assange! Marianne Williamson, Krystal Ball, Katie Halper, Kyle...
Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Marianne Williamson & Kyle Kulinski join forces to host a livestream to free Julian Assange, the radical truth-teller and champio...

Sarah Abdallah Tweets:

Joe Biden is actively conspiring to murder a journalist for telling the truth.

And before some misinformed soul dashes off an e-mail about how awful corporate media is, I know that already and we call them out regularly.  

Like right now.  WHy is the Pulitzer Center donating money to fund 'investigative reporting' that is nothing but sexism?  And why is THE LOS ANGELES TIMES paying pig Nabih Bulos?  Let alone publishing him?

His hideous article is entitled "Invasion Generation: Iraq's children of war come of age with little hope."

They do.  They do come of age with very little hope.  Especially if they're girls and women.  Especially if they were counting on THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.

I spent how many years in the early days of the Iraq War calling out this b.s. -- stories about the 'people' of Iraq that do not includ women?  And now, 2021, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES publishes this garbage. 

How many female students get quoted?  Zero.  How many males?  I stopped counting after five.

Women don't exist in the press portrayals of Iraq.  

It's a land of widows and orphans but the western press is determined to disappear all the women and girls.

Sis paragraphs from the end of this long garbage the following appears:

[. . .] said Miguel Mateos Munõz, UNICEF’s chief of communication in Iraq. He added that the most affected are the vulnerable, including young women, youths with disabilities and those facing extreme levels of poverty.

Wait, young women are especially vulnerable?

Then maybe that should have been the damn focus of the article and not instead speaking to only boys and passing their lives off as the norm and the uniersal.

LAT should never have published this garbage.  That it did goes to their own seixm as well as the sexism of the reporter.  It is outrageous.  

Pretend otherwsie and don't expect anything to ever change. 

Over at ALJAZEERA,  Kamaran Palani offers:

On November 30, Iraq’s Electoral Commission finally announced the results of the October 10 legislative elections. It confirmed that Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s political bloc had secured 73 out of 329 seats in Parliament, thus emerging as the election winner. Meanwhile, its rival the Shia al-Fatah alliance – which is affiliated with Iran-backed militias of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMFs) – lost ground in the vote and has decided to reject the results.

These tensions within the Shia political elite have opened the door for a new political arrangement in which Iraq’s leading Kurdish parties could play a significant role. Sadr has already indicated that he will not deal with some groups within al-Fatah and the State of Law party of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and will instead seek “a national majority government” through an agreement with the main Sunni and Kurdish political forces.

Still no government.  All this time after the election. 


The following sites updated:

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

George Ezra

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Dianne Next In Line" went up Monday.


Okay, not much tonight.  This is a new video from George Ezra.

"Come On Home For Christmas" is his new (and seasonal) video.  I love George.  He's probably in my top five of living male vocalists -- the other four right now would be Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Sam Smith and Chase Rice.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, December 14, 2021.  Julian Assange isn't a criminal, he's a political prisoner.

THE CONVO COUCH's Fiorella Isabel Tweets:

Reminder that the UK kept fascist dictator Pinochet safe from extradition but will allow the extradition of journalist #JulianAssange who recently had a stroke, to be extradited into the U.S, the country that planned his murder via their psychopathic intelligence apparatus.

Susan Sarandon Tweets:

A rally in support of Assange. Silence from the NYTimes, WaPo and others who published and profited from his journalism. Inconvenient Truth=Criminal Charges

The US government continues to persecute Julian Assange for the 'crime' of exposing their lies and their crimes.  Can we get a government to demand that this same US government be extradicted to another country to face charges of murdering journalists -- the two REUTERS reporters were not the only ones murdered by the US government -- and murdering wedding parties with drones?  

Kim Sawyer (Australia's INDEPENDENT) notes:

Whistleblowers are targets. They are often targeted invisibly, sometimes very visibly. Many at the conference did not want their names to be revealed. Perhaps they were right. At the end of the conference, some cheques, cash and the list of attendees were stolen.

Months later, following a court decision involving the National Crime Authority (NCA), I received a letter with the cheques and cash, but not the list of attendees. Whistleblowers Australia had been calling for a royal commission into the NCA. It never happened. Whistleblowers are targets. Those who survive learn to survive as targets.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attended the conference. Assange has become one of the main targets. Many of the themes discussed at the conference are what Assange has come to represent. Freedom of information rather than freedom from information. The prosecution of wrongdoers, not the prosecution of whistleblowers. An open society, not a closed society. 

When WikiLeaks was established, I said it would give whistleblowers a mechanism to get stories into the international arena, that Australian whistleblower protection laws were cosmetic and cases like the AWB kickbacks scandal could have been exposed faster if there were a website like WikiLeaks.

[. . .]

The case against Assange involves hundreds of thousands of documents and diplomatic cables concerning the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. WikiLeaks was an intermediary, but there were other intermediaries, including many international newspapers. The U.S. Government has chosen to shoot the messenger but the question is: Who is the real messenger?

The Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and Guantánamo Bay files revealed the abuses of war. The irony is that the history of U.S. whistleblowing began with abuses in the Revolutionary War of 1775–83.

Ten sailors on a frigate blew the whistle on the Commodore of the American Navy. They petitioned the Congress in 1777 and swore affidavits citing examples of misconduct, including abuse of prisoners. The Congress backed the whistleblowers.

When the Commodore retaliated against the whistleblowers, the Congress paid for their legal costs, revealed information about the misconduct and removed the Commodore. The whistleblowers were fortunate to blow the whistle at the right time to the right people.

Julian Assange is being persecuted by the US government and it's for revealing their lies.  US President Joe Biden is a stupid man who has never lived a real life.  He wne to Congress early on and spent four decades there.  You realize that when he says idiotic things like parents are suffering to pay their child's student loans.  In what world, Joe?  In what f**king world?  In the world most people live in, they're sturggling to pay their own student loans and have been since the 90s -- Joe should know about this -- as a tool of the banking industry, it was Joe that made it so that declaring bankruptcy wouldn't wipe away your student loan debt.  

He should also know that just because his sona nd his brother unethicially profit off Joe (and steer money back to Joe, let's get honest) doesn't mean everyone has that opportunity.  Joe doesn't know the real world and that's clear anytime he opens his mouth.  

If Joe gave a damn about the US Constitution, he would've demanded the persecution of Julian Assange ended.  But he doesn't care about Freedom of the Press at all.   He joins in the attacks and how leads them.  And, if they succeed, it will upend press freedoms.  The editorial board of THE GUARDIAN observed last Friday:

Yet the US government itself is endangering the ability of the media to bring to light uncomfortable truths and expose official crimes and cover-ups. On Friday, the high court ruled that Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, where he could face up to 175 years in prison. The decision is not only a blow for his family and friends, who fear he would not survive imprisonment in the US. It is also a blow for all those who wish to protect the freedom of the press.

The judgment overturns January’s decision by a district court that the WikiLeaks founder could not be extradited because of the substantial risk that he would kill himself, given his mental health and the conditions he would face. The US subsequently put forward a package of reassurances in its attempt to overturn that ruling, which the high court judges accepted. But the US has reserved the right to put him in a maximum security facility or to subject him to special administrative measures – which can include prolonged solitary confinement – based on his conduct. His team will appeal, and the legal process is likely to drag on for years.

The focus has shifted to the heart of the matter. Regardless of Mr Assange’s wellbeing, the US should not be demanding his extradition, and the UK should not be granting it. He is charged under the Espionage Act, including with publishing classified material. The case against the 49-year-old relates to hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables, which were made public by WikiLeaks working with the Guardian and other media organisations. They revealed horrifying abuses by the US and other governments which would not otherwise have come to light.

As Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, has noted: “Virtually no one responsible for alleged US war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable, let alone prosecuted, and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail.”

No public interest defence is permissible under the Espionage Act. Campaigners in the US have warned that its use is a direct assault on the first amendment. And publishers outside it are equally at risk if Mr Assange is extradited; the charges relate to acts which took place when he was not in the country.

Amnesty International issued the following:

Responding to the High Court’s decision to accept the US’s appeal against the decision not to extradite Julian Assange Amnesty International’s Europe Director Nils Muižnieks said:

“This is a travesty of justice. By allowing this appeal, the High Court has chosen to accept the deeply flawed diplomatic assurances given by the US that Assange would not be held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. The fact that the US has reserved the right to change its mind at any time means that these assurances are not worth the paper they are written on.

“If extradited to the US, Julian Assange could not only face trial on charges under the Espionage Act but also a real risk of serious human rights violations due to detention conditions that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment.
“The US government’s indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad. If upheld, it would undermine the key role of journalists and publishers in scrutinizing governments and exposing their misdeeds would leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders.”


The US extradition request is based on charges directly related to the publication of leaked classified documents as part of Julian Assange’s work with Wikileaks.
Publishing information that is in the public interest is a cornerstone of media freedom and the public’s right to information about government wrongdoing. It is also protected under international human rights law and should not be criminalized.

Julian Assange is the first publisher to face charges under the Espionage Act.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Stefan Simanowitz

What's taking place is appalling.  And read the Tweets 'responding' to Susan Sarandon's Tweet abpve and grasp how stupid so many people are.  Stupid is the term, we can also use ignorant.  Watching MSNBC doesn't make you educated.  In fact, it probably harms you more than anything else.  It creates a false world and a you don't grasp it.  You think you've spent all that time watching so you know what's going on.  MSNBC viewers that I personally know are too stupid to do anything but vote the way they're told.  Six to nine months after a stand is needed, they'll call or show up at my door, "Okay, I get it now."  Yeah, too late though.  YOu've got people who do not nothing but traffic in outrage and hysteria to try to get viewers.  It was called "yellow journalism" in an earlier time.  You really need to ask yourself why you don't have any core princiiples, why you shift like sand over and over, time and again.  You're the victim of your own limited education and of consuming a bombastic media that tries to play on your emotions.

Do journalists have the right to report the truth?  Yes or no.  PUll Julian out of it.  Yes or no?  If they do have the right then why is the US spending years trying to get custody of an Austrlian citizen?  He's not even a US citizien.  But MSNBC helped popuralize the lie that Julian committed "treason."  (Treason is committed by a citizen against their own government.)  Facts have flown out the window repeatedly.  

I don't handle heavy drama very well.  When someone tries to manipulate me with emotional propaganda, I tned to shut down and shut them out.  That's why, one day after 9/11, I said enough, turned off the TV and traveled around talking to people.  I'm not going to be told what to think.  It's sad that so many will allow themselves to be.  That's how we get the round up of Muslims that happened in the US after 9/11.  It's how we got the internment of the Japanese.  It's how we got the persecution and murders of Jews, gay people and the Romas by the Nazis.  Time and again, despots and liars prey upon our emotions to try to get us to do what common sense and reason reject. 

Common sense should make clear that there's no reason for Julian Assange to be brought to the US. There's no crime.  He's not committed a crime, he's not broken a law.  But if you're going to say that he did, the next move is to arrest and try THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, etc.  They worked with Julian, remember.  So if he's guilty,t hey're guilty as well.

Reporting isn't a crime and shouldnt be.  And covering things that really matter, issues of life and death, should be applauded, not punished.  It's up to you what kind of world you want: One where you can be told the truth or one whete your government can lie to you and never be challenged?

Common sense should make you nod along as you read this from Australia's ABC NEWS:

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has penned an editorial for the Nine newspapers saying Mr Assange should be tried for any crime he is alleged to have committed on British soil, or be sent home.

"Assange was not in breach of any Australian laws at the time of his actions. Assange was not in the US when the event being deliberated in a court now in London occurred," Mr Joyce wrote.

"The question is then: Why is he to be extradited to the US? If he insulted the Koran, would he be extradited to Saudi Arabia?"

Common sense should tell you that a government that plotted how to assassinate Julian Assange (as the US government did) cannot be believed when they say they will provide a fair trial.  Chris Hedges observes:

Assange committed empire's greatest sin. He exposed it as a criminal enterprise. He documented its lies, callous disregard for human life, rampant corruption and innumerable war crimes. Republican or Democrat. Conservative or Labour. Trump or Biden. It does not matter. The goons who oversee the empire sing from the same Satanic songbook. Empires always kill those who inflict deep and serious wounds. Rome's long persecution of the Carthaginian general Hannibal, forcing him in the end to commit suicide, and the razing of Carthage repeats itself in epic after epic. Crazy Horse. Patrice Lumumba. Malcolm X. Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Sukarno. Ngo Dinh Diem. Fred Hampton. Salvador Allende. If you cannot be bought off, if you will not be intimidated into silence, you will be killed. The obsessive CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, which because none succeeded have a Keystone Cop incompetence to them, included contracting Momo Salvatore Giancana, Al Capone's successor in Chicago, along with Miami mobster Santo Trafficante to kill the Cuban leader, attempting to poison Castro's cigars with a botulinum toxin, providing Castro with a tubercle bacilli-infected scuba-diving suit, booby-trapping a conch shell on the sea floor where he often dived, slipping botulism-toxin pills in one of Castro's drinks and using a pen outfitted with a hypodermic needle to poison him. 

The current cabal of assassins hide behind a judicial burlesque overseen in London by portly judges in gowns and white horse-hair wigs mouthing legal Alice-in-Wonderland absurdities. It is a dark reprise of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado with the Lord High Executioner drawing up lists of people "who would not be missed."

The US government turned Iraq into a land of orphans and widows -- but the same government wants to punish Julian Assange for reporting?  MIDDLE EAST EYE notes:

Five million orphans - equivalent to five percent of all orphans worldwide - are in Iraq, with nearly the same number of young people living in poverty, data published in a new Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights report has revealed.

According to the report, covered in Asharq al-Awsat, one million children are working as labourers to support their families, including 45,000 who don't have official identification documents as a result of their parents' affiliation with the Islamic State group. 

Around 4.5 million children are in families living below the poverty line with 25 percent of the total population of Iraq living in poverty and an unemployment rate of 14 percent, the commission found.

When do extradition requests for War Criminals like Joe Biden start?

The following sites updated: