Thursday, January 20, 2022

Media lies

With all the media lies and distortions, we're lucky to have Jonathan Turley.  Here he is exposing the lies being reported yet again

The sometimes heated debate in the Senate this week repeated what is now a major taking point for President Joe Biden and others in favor of curtailing the filibuster. As repeated last night by President Biden, democrats are arguing that blocking the vote on the federalization of elections is not just threatening democracy but hypocritical by Republicans. On Fox News, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated the same point. The issue was also raised in the tense exchange between Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) over her prior vote in favor of the Voting Rights Act. The argument is that these members are hypocrites for previously voting in favor of that bill while supporting the filibuster now. It is time for a reality check. The argument is based on erroneous claims about the underlying bills and the prior rulings of the Supreme Court.

As a threshold matter, advocates often lump together both bills in the debate over filibuster to make this point.  In truth, one bill is an unprecedented federalization of election rules. Voting in favor of the earlier Voting Rights Act is largely immaterial to how you would view that bill. Yet, Psaki particularly has insisted that filibustering the bill is inexplicable given the earlier vote. That is what we can call “filibluster.”

Now on to the specific Voting Rights Act changes and the prior Supreme Court vote. Many advocates are espousing the same point raised in Mother Jones in a column titled “Republicans Once Supported the Voting Rights Act. Today, They Voted Against Its Restoration.” It is a view repeatedly made by Psaki, including this morning on Fox when she declared “I will say that a lot of Republicans in the past, 16 who are still in the Senate today, have supported the protection of voting rights in the past. So his question is: why wouldn’t this be a bipartisan effort?”

In addressing this argument, it is important to be specific over what would be “restored” in the Voting Rights Act. If one were to take the claims on the floor at face value, it would seem that, since the decision in 2013, there has been a void of protections for minority voters.  That is almost a decade ago.

In reality, there are ample protections for minority voters and litigation has continued over changes that impact minority groups. In Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013), the Court struck down Section 4(b), which subjects certain states to pre-clearance review based on their histories of discrimination. It did not make discrimination lawful or, in any way, limit access to the courts. It concerned only pre-clearance review.

It's a shame we don't have a functioning media and instead have so-called news outlets that pick sides and play favorites.  

"Iraq snapshot"(THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, January 20, 2022.  Violence in many forms (including whoring for poltiicians) plagues us all.

Starting in the United States where the organization Veterans for Peace has issued its "Nuclear Posture Review" which concludes:

The world is a much more dangerous place with nuclear weapons, particularly given the current confrontations among nuclear-armed nations. The United States military seeks “Full Spectrum Dominance” and the government appears determined to be the preeminent global power, even in the face of diminishing economic power relative to a rising China. It is hard to imagine the US taking serious steps toward nuclear disarmament without a sea change in the thinking among its political elites and real change in its posture toward the rest of the world.
Activist efforts to restrain US militarism and intervention around the globe, to cut the military budget, and to encourage mutual respect and diplomacy among nations must therefore go hand-in-hand with efforts to reduce and eliminate all nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which went into effect January 22, 2021, is an historic and extremely important event. It expresses the clear desire of the peoples of the world to be free from nuclear weapons and the threat of a nuclear war that could end human civilization.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty is a valuable tool for education and organizing. Even though the US and other nuclear-armed states have yet to sign on to the TPNW, many cities in the USxxx have passed resolutions in support of signing. New York City is the latest to sign on to the ICAN Cities Appeal. The US states of California, Oregon, New Jersey and Maine have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW. Veterans For Peace encourages all of our chapters, members, friends and allies to pursue similar support for the TPNW in their cities.
It is important to build an intersectional movement for peace at home and peace abroad. We are engaged in struggles for racial justice, for non-intervention in the affairs of other nations, and for redirecting funds from the military – and nuclear weapons – to healthcare, education and other human rights. We are making common cause with the burgeoning Climate Justice Movement, proclaiming that climate catastrophe and nuclear war are the twin threats to all life on earth.
Our VFP Nuclear Posture Review provides a stark contrast to the Nuclear Posture Review being prepared for President Biden by the Pentagon, which will continue to justify the discredited idea of nuclear deterrence, while feeding billions more dollars to nuclear weapons manufacturers. We are providing a well-researched and credible alternative that reflects the global desire for nuclear disarmament and peace. We hope that the VFP Nuclear Posture Review will be a guide, a useful tool and an inspiration for all who wish a peaceful future for our children, our grandchildren and generations to come.

Nuclear weapons threaten the planet's very life.  They aren't the only threats.  There's pollution -- pysical pollution.  There's the less noted mental pollution where we all enter into some form of a daying will wherein we agree to lie to ourselves that some worthless politician is going to save us.  They're not even going to address our most basic needs so you have to lie pretty big to pretend they're actually going to save us.

At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Margaret Kimberley notes the push to distort Joe Biden in order to carry his tired, corporate and corrupt ass into the White House:

“Biden came across as a plantation owner telling the field hands that they have a good life and ought to be grateful.” 

This columnist wrote those words in December 2020 before Joe Biden was inaugurated. His meeting with a group designated as Black leaders was as bad as one could expect, complete with dismissal, rudeness, and outright disrespect. It was vintage Biden, a man who was never the brightest and is now elderly and not fully in command of his faculties.

But the real Biden was always an unreconstructed racist, bragging about the 1992 Crime Bill which he said would, “Do everything but hang people for jaywalking.” Barack Obama chose him as a running mate precisely because of his credentials among conservative, race baiting democrats. Having run as a fake progressive Obama needed someone decidedly in the conservative camp to balance the ticket.

In 2020 Obama and the rest of the party establishment decided to make Biden the nominee, ordering others out of the race and clearing the field for the candidate who had no constituency outside of the wealthy individuals and corporations that keep the democrats afloat. A combination of fundraising prowess and antipathy towards Donald Trump created a large voter turnout and Biden won the popular and electoral vote.

The democrats’ propaganda machine played no small role in dragging Biden over the finish line. They settled on the term “harm reduction” to convince the skeptical that they should put aside their concerns and vote for the man they didn’t want. Biden won with a record breaking number of votes, and in cities across the country democrats quite literally partied in the street when he won.

Biden was propelled by the same propaganda effort when his term began one year ago. We were told that he was “the most progressive president since FDR.” The democrats are still living off their reputation from Franklin Roosevelt’s Social Security Act and the creation of Medicaid and Medicare during the Lyndon Johnson administration. No democrat has created anything of the sort in the last 50 years but the memories lingers and scoundrels evoke the past in order to fool the people in the 21st century.

We were told that Biden’s stimulus plan and child tax credits would “cut child poverty in half.” Absent an increase in the federal minimum wage and lacking permanent legislation, it did no such thing. The child tax credit ended in 2021. Unemployment compensation ended three months ago, and republican led states refused to provide the additional payments that congress had authorized. They did so without push back from Biden or from democrats in congress. 

Now Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted and it isn’t hard to understand why. Put simply, he lied in order to get votes. He said he would forgive student loan debt for those who attended public colleges and whose families met income guidelines. He could have done this without congressional approval but he hasn’t acted. It is clear that he never had any intention of raising the minimum wage, using the Senate Parliamentarian as an excuse to avoid doing what he promised voters he would do. 

That politicians lie is not a new or novel observation but grasp this went beyond the candidate.  A lot of whoring was involved in carrying Joe to the White House -- a lot of whores lied and knew they were lying.  They're as deadly to the planet as any run off into our streams and rivers.  They don't just lie for the candidate, they bully people trying to silence critics and trying to drum up votes.

They're dirty whores.  They say things like -- you know who I mean here -- that right now, in 2021, there actually has been an increase in wages because if you look at the stimulus from 2020 . . .

You know the whore I'm talking about.  You know him very well.

They can't stop whoring.  

And, honestly, shame on the people who promote them.

When do we get the reckoning?

How about when do we get the truth about Tara Reade?

I believe her.  Her accusations against Joe Biden are credible.

I don't know her and I'm actually glad I don't because Tara's lied to herself since she came forward.  Shes pretended that certain people were going to help her and defnd her.  That was Tie's Up, that was Ryan Grim and THE INTERCEPT, that awas so many people.

If we knew each other, we would not have had nice conversations.

I don't play.  About the nicest thing I would've said was, "Can you drop the TAR-rah and just pronounce it Tara since this is the US and not the UK and we really don't need to combat charges of pretentious natures as well as everything else."

People were laughing at her, for example, at THE NEW YORK TIMES, over the pronuciation of her first name.

When I spoke to one NYT-er over the phone about how the paper was treating her, they made me first agree that she was asking for mockery with "TAR-ah."  

That would've been our easisest converation.  And she probably would've stuck with TAR-ah since that's how it's been her whole life.

But I wouldn't have played and pretended the way some did -- a lot of people around her just didn't know better but there were some who damn well should have known what was going on.

We noted that Time's Up didn't just refuse her case but they were actually working against her.

Actively.  Not in the past but while the story was briefly being cov ered.

We noted that Alyssa Milano attacking Tara based on what Times Up told Alyssa was outrageous and unethical -- Times Up was not q clearinghouse devoted to attacking women -- that's not why it got money.

But Ryan Grim was not at all interested in that story.  It was put to him.  He didn't see the merit.

Of course, thanks to what happened with Cuomo, the whole world knows what a fake Times Up was.  How it betrayed women and worked with powerful Democratic men to destroy women.

Ryan could have had that story but that would've required some actual work.  A friend tried spoon feeding it to him but he was either too scared or too stupid to grasp what he was being handed.

At any rate, we called out the betrayers here.

And Tara trusted the wrong people.  

SUch as "Mama's boy" who was never going to ride to her rescue because his Mommy was never going to let him -- please, it's only in the last five or so years that she's let him -- yes, let him -- be openly gay.  Mommy was not going to let him go after Joe.    No matter what Rose might have told Tara, Mama's boy was not riding to her rescue.  (And he never did.)

But what has prevented the press in all the time since from re-examing what went down.  Times Up, as we noted here in real time, was feeding NYT and other outlets smears against Tara.  They were treated as trusted sources and got to be off the record.

I don't think that should have happened in real time which is why I called it out..

But now that the world knows that Times Up lied about women who were assaulted, that Times Up lied to protect Andrew CUomo, isn't it past time that those outlets that shaped their coverage of Tara based on smears from Times Up had to go back and actually report?

Mama's Boy is Ronan for anyone who didn't grasp it.  I'm not in the mood in this morning.  I was there when Mia had her freakfest over Ronan wanting to be a girl.  I was there when Mia had her freakfest over Ronan might be gay.  I was there . . . I know what Ronan's allowed to do and what he isn't.  I'm just glad Mommy's not hopping in the bed with him.

pekaing of which, Dylan whatever her name is now --Blaine, Liar, I don't know.  What I do know is that her hugely inventive story doesnt hold up.  And I never would have said that if she and Mia hadnt launched their attacks on others.  Up until the Iraq War, I was Mia's friend of many years.  I knew Woody before Mia but knew him largely through Mia.  I did not like Woddy.  I still don't.  But when Mia conspired to create draama and attack others, she begged the world -- even her friends -- to question the lie she'd put forth for years.

Grasp that HBO has done no multi-part story on Tara Reade.  She's accusing the President of the United States, the sitting president.  And her story is credible.

Dylan's is not at all credible.  You have family members who say "no."

You also have logic.

For the story to be true, Woody molested one child and only one child.  That's not the profile of a pedophile.  

More to the point, as that Bbad HBO mini-series made clear without realizing it, the story is that Woody molested her once.  Once.  That's a pedophile?

All the times they were together.  Many times without Mia.  And he only molests Dylan once?  And he waits until after the media is abuz with the custody battle between Mia and Woody?  

But that nosnense and that garbage is treated as reality by HBO while Tara accusing a sitting president of having assaulted her is ignored?

Dylan gets coverage because of favors and I'm damn sick of it.  I've not just dropped a friend and stopped promoting her hear because of her rallying to Dylan late last year, I'm also preventing her from getting film roles.  She was up for a comedy.  I'm friends with the actor that's already cast in the role.  I spent an evening with him and his wife reviewing how former-freind doesn't just bust up her own marriages but bust ups the marriages of her male co-stars.  Did they really think her so-so talent -- and promise to reduce for a month at a fat farm if she got the role -- justified them risking their own marriage by letting her be his co-star?  Nope.  They didn't.

HBO allowed lies to be told about Woody -- and broke the law by using clips from his films without his autorization, he should have sued -- but Tara is not to be believed?  Tara's story is not to be explored?

Joe and company lied about where the complaint would be and refussed to allow access to his papers.  The phone call of Tara's mother to Larry King was turned up -- the clip of Tara's mother calling in to Larry King's CNN show.  She has friends wh has told about this over the years.  

And this gets ignored.  But the adopted daughter of an acclaimed filmmaker and a celebrity claiming she grew up with a pedophile who molested her once and only once is treated newsworthy despite the fact that two investigations found nothing to support the claims Mia made and coaced Dylan on?  Coached.  We can use that term because that is what the findings suggested in the only actual investigations that took place.

A lot of whores worked the streets to discredit and attack Tara Reade.  One of those?  Times Up and we now know what they really were.  So why isn't the public record being corrected?

There is not even the pretense of a funcitioning press in the US these days.  In fact, refer to Jonathan Turley and the topic of the post is important but especially note things like:

Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor issued a rare joint public statement Wednesday to disclaim the bombshell NPR report by Legal Affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg on the unpopularity of Gorsuch among his colleagues and his alleged refusal to wear a mask despite a threat to the health of Sotomayor. The justices stated that Totenberg’s account on the mask controversy was false.

[. . .]

In one incident, NPR itself expressed regret that Totenberg did not reveal a close personal relationship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg despite years of coverage.

[. . . ]

Chief Justice John Roberts also issued a statement that it was false, as claimed, that he asked any of colleagues to wear masks on the bench.

[. . .]

The controversy at NPR occurs after the publicly funded company changed its policy to allow its reporters to take active parts in protests for social justice — erasing a long-standing bright-line rule in journalism. The impact of such advocacy journalism is evident in every poll where the faith in the media has plummeted. Indeed, the “Let’s Go Brandon” movement is as much a criticism of the media as it is President Biden. The United States ranked dead last in media trust among 49 countries with just 29% saying that they trusted the media.

We will not be able to restore the trust in the media until these companies abandon reporting “in some form” and return to simple journalism.

Again, where is the functioning press?


On 18 November 2021, US Representatives, Peter A. DeFazio (R-Oregon), Nancy Mace (R-South Carolina) and Jamaal Bowman (D-New York), wrote to President Joe Biden asking him to specify on which constitutional basis he was bobming Syria and Iraq.

At the end of the two-month regulatory deadline, the White House has still not responded to them. The military actions perpetrated by the United States against these two countries are, therefore, not only violating their sovereignty, but also the US Constitution.

I hadn't heard of that letter and I'm not familiar with the outlet so I'm using "maintains."  (The item was sent to the public e-mail account.)

Violence continues this morning in Iraq. AHLULBAYT NEWS AGENCY reports:

Iraqi media sources reported on Thursday morning that two horrific explosions took place in the southern province of Basra.

The blasts were caused by two improvised explosive devices, Shafaq News quoted security officials.

The first explosive device exploded near the Taiz company belonging to the security defense in the Manawi Basha district.

The second blast occurred near an Islamic bank on Esteghlal Street. 

And we'll wind down with this from THE NEW ARAB:

An Iraqi man shot dead his daughter, his ex-wife and her mother and then committed suicide at the scene in Hillah city in the central province of Babil, the police said on Tuesday, in the latest deadly case of domestic violence in the country.

Security forces blocked the area off and moved the bodies for forensic examination, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

"The 19-year-old son of the killer was wounded in the attack, and the incident occurred in the killer's ex-wife's house in the Nader neighbourhood in downtown Hillah," Babil Bar Association member Ahmed Abdel Ghani Al-Fatlawi said.

"Initial investigations show the crime was planned by the man, who committed suicide immediately after killing the victims."

Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights previously said it had seen a clear increase in domestic violence crimes, saying that this type of crime disproportionately impacts women and children.

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


Go read Kat's "Adele ripped off Oasis" -- it says everything.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, January 18, 2022.  A world thqt makes no sense allows the continued persecution of Julian Assange and tries to pass the continued tragedy that is Iraq off as a 'success.'

Something's don't make sense and never will.

That would include Adel's "Can I Get It."

The songwriting credit on this track from Adele's 30 album gives credit to Adele Adkins, Max Martin and Shellback.

Is that accurate?  Will it take the courts to make it accurate?

Not since George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" cribbed from "He's So Fine" have I heard such a bold 'borrowing' or theft.

That's Oasis' "Wonder Wall" which, for the record, does not credit Adele or any of her co-writers.   But the hook of ADele's song is a direct steal from "Wonder Wall" -- especially notable when the hook is whistled in the song.

It happens and sometimes it happens purely by accidwent.  but Oasis is not a minor band and "Wonder Wall" is not an obscure song -- especially for a British artist like Adele.  No one in the studio thoughts, "This sounds a lot like a song that was a huge hit for Oasis"?  Right before the Rolling Stones' BRIDGES TO BABYLON was  released, the similiary of "Anybody Seen My Baby" to k.d. lange's "Constant Craving" were noted and lange and Ben Mink were added as co-writers to the song.

Adele's 30 is the most discussed album of 2021.  Sorry, I didn't listen to it until last night.  First thing I noted was the cribbing from "Wonder Wall."  

I;ll also never understand how or why Frances Moore Lappe signed off on the recipes that her daughter Anna picked out for the latest edition of DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET (the fiftieth anniversary edition).  As we noted at THIRD, the book was supposed to give working parents the tools they needed to make quick and nutrious food for their family but Anna's bread rccipe in the new edition is for . . . white bread -- garbage bread because it has no real nutritional value -- and this garbage bread takes approximately 22 hours to make.  Grasp that.  A recipe that requires you invest 22 hours into making the bread and there's nothing in the bread of value, it's home made Wonder Bread.  How far from the point of the book and the planet, Anna and Frances have wandered.

It doesn't make sense that US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange.   The Dissident AU Tweets:

The minute you believe you should know what your government is doing behind your back is the minute supporting Julian #Assange is no longer an honour. It is a duty. Every effort counts in this once-in-a-generation battle. #FreeAssangeNOW

CONSORTIUM NEWS' Cathy Vogan has composed a song about Julian entitled "Time To Change The World."

In Iraq?  It doesn't make sense that the western press has all eyes on Moqtada al-Sadr, but never fails to see anything but glowing moments.  The Shi'ite cleric's slate did not get a majority of the votes and it still can't pull together a coalition all these months after the October 10th election but western outlets keep typing the same damn (fact-free) pieces on Moqtada and pretending that somehow they've covered Iraq and, even funnier, that they've done some actual reporting.

Reality, he's accomplishing nothing and while the western media produces hagiography on Moqtada, they ignore other players -- and you ignore Nouri al-Maliki at your own peril.  The former prime minister and forever thug does not give up easy.  News outlet IRAN INTERNATIONA ENGLISH Tweets:

A meeting in Najaf between IRGC Quds Force chief Qaani & Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party holds the majority in Iraq's parliament, has yielded no result, and Sadr still insists on forming gov't without Iran allies Nouri al-Maliki & Qais Khazali, sources told Iraqi newspaper Al Mada.

Fereshteh Sadeghi offers:

A meeting in Najaf between IRGC Quds Force chief Qaani & Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party holds the majority in Iraq's parliament, has yielded no result, and Sadr still insists on forming gov't without Iran allies Nouri al-Maliki & Qais Khazali, sources told Iraqi newspaper Al Mada.

Reports suggest Sadr told General Qaani he rejects participation of former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki in the new coalition: “if his condition fulfilled, he would form a government with participation of other #Shia political groups”. US withdrawal from Iraq was also discussed. 2/3

Before meeting with Muqtada al-Sadr, #IRGCQF’s General Qaani met with leaders of various Shia political groups. 3/3 #Iran #Iraq

Three months and still no progress on forming a government.  

We'll wind down with this from Black Alliance for Peace's latest newsletter:

It is January, and in the U.S. this means it is time for the annual ritual of revisiting the white-washed, de-radicalized, pro- “American” M.L. King fairytale as part of the official celebration of King’s birthday. 

In the official story, Dr. King was not the creation of the movement that was fighting for the democratic and human rights of Black people. No, it was Dr. King who created the movement, according to the colonial white elite and the neocolonial Black misleadership. In this story, the objectives of the movement were not for radical social transformation and Black self-determination but the redemption of the U.S. settler-colonial nation/state and the quiet integration of Black people into the state. In other words, to complete the establishment of a “more perfect nation,” as Obama would put it. 

But King did not just show up to save Black people. Dr. King was a product of the post-war Black movement. And as such, the King that the movement produced reflected the changing, and sometimes contradictory development of that movement. As a product of the movement, Dr. King’s experiences as the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) evolved. He began to raise criticisms of capitalism, eventually opposed imperialist war and embraced a program of class struggle represented by the Poor People's campaign.

Positions that created tensions in the civil rights wing of the black liberation movement and make King a target for assassination.

This is the King that BAP recognizes. The King that in his last few years of activism was finding his way to the Black radical tradition, a tradition that takes an uncompromising position on colonialism, structural white supremacy and war.  

This commitment to the highest articulations of our people for peace, people(s)-centered human rights and the belief that the Pan European white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchal project can be defeated, is what animates the worldview and actions of the Black Alliance for Peace.  

And it is why BAP takes an uncompromising position on standing with and defending peoples’ and nations who find themselves in the crosshairs of U.S. and European aggression, no matter the criticism we receive from the social imperialist left and morally bankrupt liberals.

Below, you will see just some of the courageous positions that our members have taken in opposition to imperialism and war. Despite questions, we proudly accepted the invitation to attend the inauguration of Daniel Ortega as the newly elected president of Nicaragua. BAP’s representative Margaret Kimberley was given a place of honor on the stage along with the heads of states from Cuba and Venezuela.

As Margaret Kimberley said in her statement following the inauguration, BAP is clear on its mission and responsibility at this critical moment in history. An unambiguous commitment to human rights and anti-colonialism guides our worldview and politics. And for that - we are unapologetic. 

“As an organization committed to reviving the Black radical tradition, and committed to an anti-imperialist stance, the Black Alliance for Peace is always ready to defend human rights.

This hemisphere in particular has been viciously targeted by the U.S. government and its vassals in the European Union and United Nations. The Organization of American States should be a platform for discussion and consensus building but it is a U.S. invention and operates under its thumb. The U.S. congress overwhelmingly approved the RENACER Act which legitimizes the regime change effort and makes a mockery of claims that the U.S. acts as a democracy. From Haiti to Nicaragua to Venezuela to Cuba, millions of people in this hemisphere live under U.S. dictates masquerading as democracy in action.

 Black Alliance for Peace is committed to giving voice to the peoples of targeted nations and to providing insights and analysis that people in a supposedly free country are deprived of. Our mission demands that we do no less.”

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Jonathan Turley on Biden, Ava and C.I. on female superhero portrayals

Can Joe Biden do anything right?  Apparently not.  Jonathan Turley notes:

After the Supreme Court delivered a major blow to his pandemic policies, President Joe Biden does not seem done with federal mandates. The new rule, which took effect this weekend, requires insurance companies to cover the costs of in-home tests. However, according to the New York Times, many insurers are balking that the mandate asks the impractical in the short term and will only create months of frustration for citizens. Indeed, one executive said it would send companies back to the old “shoe box days.”

Biden acted unilaterally to order companies to cover the costs of eight at-home tests per month. The problem is that such a guarantee requires a new system for these companies in covering over-the-counter tests as opposed to things like doctor visits. The latter are already part of a unified computer system with billing codes.

The Biden mandate will require companies to process receipt-based claims. Ceci Connolly, president and C.E.O. of the Alliance of Community Health Plans described it as “taking things back to the olden days, where you’ll have a person throwing all these paper slips in a shoe box, and eventually stuffing it into an envelope and sending it off to a health insurer to decipher.”

He is such an embarrassment.  He truly is.  He has no ethics (as demonstrated with his recent attacks to end the filibuster in the Senate).  He is not fit for office.


This was especially true of superhero shows revolving around women.  We thought the genre had hit is nadir with SUPERGIRL.  The CBS and CW series was nothing but an embarrassment -- especially after they proved to be too cheap to pay the only functioning actor in the cast: Calista Flockhart.  While she went from regular to sometime guest star, the show remained center on the bland Melissa Benoist who played Kara.  At the start of the series, Kara was supposed to be 24 but Melissa played her as a en-year-old and, by season six, possibly as a 12-year-old.  It was pathetic and embarrassing.  Playing a high school Clark Kent in SMALLVILLE, Tom Welling showed more maturity from day one. 

Each season, Kara and Melissa became even more pathetic.  As awful and retro as that program was, turns out there was much worse to come: STARGIRL.  The character, played by Brec Bassinger, was so archaic and so clumsy, she appeared to have been fitted with a vintage, belted maxi pad.  

That especially made me laugh.  :D

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Monday, January 17, 2022.  Julian Assange remains persecuted, the western press continues to ignore the attacks on Iraqi women and girls, and much more.

As THE DAILY DEBRIEF notes, the persecution of Julian Assange continues.

Youssef Tarchoun Tweets:

Antoine Vey, lawyer for Julian Assange: “This case is above all political, not legal, nor judicial”

Em & Nora notes:

Voglio sostenere anche io #JulianAssange per aver dimostrato quel coraggio che vorrei avere! Diffondere e informate. #FreeJulianAssange

They're saying, in Italian, that they want to support Julian for showing the kind of courage they wish they had and to get the word out.

The whole world is watching.  Joe Biden should be aware of this.  The whole world is watching to see whether he's going to do the right thing and stop persecuting Julian or whether he's just another tin-horn dictator?

All of the crooks responsible for the murder of over a million Iraqis and none of them facing a tribunal, some of them (Tony Blair) receiving honors?  And Julian Assange, who told the truth, is the one threatened?

Maharaj wants you to lead a pilgrimage to Tibet
New York women want me sounding off like a suffragette
I know that each of us is all alone in the end
But the trip still feels less dangerous when you've got a friend
If we stick together
You and me forever
We're safe and sound
The world's just inside out and upside down
The world's just inside out and upside down

-- "Safe and Sound," written by Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman, first appears on Carly's HOT CAKES

"The world's just inside out and upside down" indeed. 

And I got into an argument over the above because I dictate the snapshots and I said, just grab the lyrics online, third verse.  And then they're read to me and those are not the lyrics.  GOOGLE is not always correct.  They'd mispelled "Majaraj" and they'd added words ("turned" was added to "The world's just inside out and upside down," etc.)  I said hold on, when I get off the treadmill, I will go to the music room and grab the sheet music but I am right on this.  (And I was.)  

Something's are clear cut, some are less so.

MINT PRESS NEWS has a brodcast by Seyed Mohammad Maradni that we will not post here.  I have no interest in lies.  Yes, Soleimani was a terrorist.  That said, I've reposted Richard Medhurst's defense of him.  I didn't listen to it, but I posted it.  I'm not surprised we disagree.  But the description for Seyed's pice goes on about how "Western media largely sided with the U.S. after Trump's deicision to kill him.  Suddenly, Soleimani was no longer a hero" blah blah bulls**t and then they cite CNBC.

I'm not in the mood for your lies and garbage.  

Soleimani was hailed by the US media.  Andrea Mitchell embarrassed her damn self and people asked her what the hell she was doing?  Good.  They needed to.  And she wasn't alone.  The Hate Trump Fever was so great that the US media treated Soleimani like a hero and a great person.

He wasn't.

Unlike Andrea and the MSNBC goons, I don't really care who's president -- not to the point of lying.  I'll make the same call regardless of who is in the White House.

Unlike Seyed, I don't lick the taint of any government.  

I will always side with the people.  

By the way, there have been e-mails to the public account about how I am against Daniel Ortega.  I don't know  where this crap starts.  Nicaragua is not our focus here.  I don't write about it.  I have posted THE CONVO COUCH's many videos on the election.  Equally true, I know Daniel and have spoken to him many times over the years -- I've known him since back when the US government was supporting the crooked contras (and that's only one reason, I hate that fat ass on THE VIEW).  We honestly don't discuss politics when we talk.  We discuss music.  That's music native to his country (I spent a lot of time in that area) and that's music native to here.  Do you know who one of his favorite US artists is?  She's already popped up in the snapshot.  Yes, Carly Simon. 

Anyway, I will always stand with the people.  And you can make a hero out of whomever you want but when your hero has terrorized the Iraqi people and done so for years and we have documented it here, don't expect me to stick my tongue on your government of choice's taint.

I don't give a damn about any government.  I care about the people.  And the victims of his terrorist acts in Iraq will always have my sympathies.   

Too many people are too immature and they're desperate for heroes (I'm not) so they back themselves into a corner and there's no way out for them.  My way out is simple.  I support the people.  I'm not interested in glorifying politicians -- most are psychopaths or ego maniacs.  The 'normal' ones rarely do anything of real value for the people that they are supposed to serve.

I enjoy Richard Medhurst's program and I find him a very smart person. Doesn't mean we can't disagree and it doesn't mean that a disagreement results in "write him off!"  He is honest and upfront -- unlike Susan ("Medea") Benjamin and her ilk who seems to confuse peace with being pro-regime of whatever country the US is at war with.  Or the faux 'resistance' who confused their hatred for Donald Trump with an actual political position.  

This morning, MEMO notes:


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An alliance of the two largest Sunni blocs in the Iraqi parliament condemned yesterday the repeated attacks on its leaders and their offices and called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted. The alliance is between Takaddom led by former Speaker of Parliament Muhammad Al-Halbousi, and Al-Azm led by businessman Khamis Al-Khanjar.

The two parties called for the "terrorist group" to be held accountable for the attack on the office of Sheikh Abdul Karim Abtan MP without delay. "Using these criminal methods to change our way forward will not succeed," they insisted, "and will not deter us from our objectives to build a strong, sovereign state without suspicious agendas, free of terrorism and easily available weapons."

Well I guess they'd -- finally -- have to, wouldn't they?  First of all, everyone -- including Shi'ite Nouri al-Maliki -- weighed in on Friday.  It's days later and they're finally weighing -- after rumors on social media have increased -- rumors that they took part in the bombing and did so because they saw Takaddom as a sell out to the SUnnis because of overtures being made to Moqtada al-Sadr.

Yeah, I guess they'd have to issue that statement.

In other news, BOLLY INSIDE reports:

The Iraqi security forces, a Turkish military installation in Zlikan, northeast of Mosul, has been targeted by rocket fire for the second time in two days. “Three missiles landed northeast of Mosul, near the Turkish base. Turkish artillery retaliated with a barrage of shells .”

No Turkish soldiers were hurt in the incident. Two Katyusha rockets were also launched against the Turkish Zlikan base’s surrounds on Saturday.

The presence of Turkish troops in the Zlikan camp has been a topic of long-standing controversy between Baghdad and Ankara, which justifies its presence in the region as a need to fight the Kurdistan Workers’ Party outlawed in Turkey.

Exactly what other countries can Turkey invade and occupy and get away with it?  I'm just wondering since the world has repeatedly elected to look the other way at these war crimes and these violations of Iraq's national sovereignty?

When not invading Iraq, the Turkish government denies it water.  That's a major issue as climate change worsens.  PBS' THE NEWSHOUR reported on climate change in Iraq over the weekend.  Excerpt:

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    In November, nearly 200 nations gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate summit. The outcome was disappointing for experts, who wanted stronger commitments to ensure capping global warming. The conference also failed to ease vulnerable countries' concerns about long-promised climate financing from rich nations.

    One of the countries lacking international support is Iraq. As NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Simona Foltyn reports, the country is already facing the alarming effects of climate change.

    This story is part of our ongoing series, "Peril & Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change."

  • Simona Foltyn:

    Sunrise in Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes. These historic wetlands are nestled in southern Iraq, where human civilization emerged 7,000 years ago.

    But water scarcity is threatening this habitat and the humans who rely on it.

  • Jassem Ali, Fisherman:

    There's no water. And if there's no water, there's no more fish. There's only bare land left. The water has dried.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    In this area, average annual rainfall for the last twenty years was 10 percent lower than in the three decades prior.

    Declining water levels means the water that is left is increasingly salty , making it largely unfit for humans, animals and vegetation alike. Only small fish survive here now, but they fetch a lower price for the fishermen. Their catch earned them $15 dollars each, the result of two days of hard work.

  • Hassoun Daoud, Fisherman:

    Of course this is not enough. I have a family that depends on me. But this is our life now.

  • Jassem Ali, Fisherman:

    I have four children sitting at home. Two are married and two aren't.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    I ask Jassem Ali if he's thinking about leaving fishing to find work elsewhere.

    "And do what?" he asks in return.

    It's a question that weighs on many people's minds here, explains Jassem Al Assadi, a water engineer who has dedicated his life to protecting the marshes.

  • Jassem Al Assadi, Nature Iraq:

    Chibayish and other towns depend on the water economic activities, buffalo breeders, harvesting the reeds, grasses. If there's no water, everything is dead. The economic life is dead completely here.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    Drought has further compounded another, long-standing water problem here.

    The marshes are fed by the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, both of which originate in Turkey, as well as other tributaries from Iran. Both countries have built dams upstream, which has gradually reduced water flow.

    The dams have long been a source of regional tensions, but climate change has further raised the stakes.

  • Winding down, last night, I wrote the following:

    One piece I did for the community newsletter that I would've loved to have repeated here was about Nouri Tweeting -- as he backed the legal challenges to the October 10th vote -- that the vote, as it was, wasn't fair to women because it didn't meet the quota set aside for women.

    As I noted, that was hysterical from the man who couldn't find women to put in his Cabinet in his second term, a prime minister who even made a man (Hoshyar Zebari) the Minister of Women's Affairs.  Yet in December of 2021 -- eleven years later -- wants to lament the lack of representation for women in Parliament?

    I covered it in a gina & krista round-robin back in December.

    Did you see anyone in the press eve r cover it?  Nope.  A) Women don't matter to the western press.  B) The press doesn't know history about Iraq -- or doesn't care to share it.  So it wasn't covered by the western media.  

    A man writes to the public e-mail account ( to inform me that the western press cares "only about women.  You stub your toe and we have to hear about it for four weeks."  Oh, how interesting it must be in your tiny mind.  Reality, the bulk of what happens to women, crimes against women, are never noted or explored.  Don't confuse mass media attention to some White female celebrity with attention to women.  

    If you're still not getting it, RUDAW's Layal Shakir Tweeted:

    A female university student in Baghdad committed suicide after her father assaulted her in front of her classmates, beating her in public for telling her mother that he married another woman. She ended her life on the same day. #Iraq

    Tell me which western outlet reported on it?  It took place Baghdad -- which is really the only city that western reporters and stringers occupy in Iraq.  Did Jane Araf report on it?  No, The Whore of Baghdad never reports on things like that.  So stop pretending that the western press gives a damn about women.

    Maryam Al Rukabi?  Last month, only AFP (of western outlets) covered her story.  A man was obsessed with her.  She didn't love him and her parents told him she was too young to marry.  He broke into her home and poured acid on her face.   For those who make the mistake of trusting western media, we'll note Rasha al-Aqeedi Tweet again:

    Ok, Twitter. We need your help. This beautiful young woman from Iraq Maryam Al Rukabi refused a marriage proposal. The suitor invaded her home at night and attacked her with acid. He is still free. With enough pressure and international attention, some justice could be brought.

    7:58 AM · Dec 16, 2021 

    She's sixteen years old and she was attacked for refusing to marry an adult male.  He broke into her home and poured acide on her.  You can also refer to Mustafa Goran (RUDAW) for more.

    Again, this was an attack in Baghdad -- home of the western press.  And, again, they ignored it.  This isn't news to them.  That says a great deal about what they endorse and encourage with their silence.

    Just walking along, shopping for food
    Stepping out of the line of fire when people are rude
    Cheap stuff made in China, someone calls it a sale
    Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
    Somebody's jail

    Beat down in the market, stoned to death in the plaza
    Raped on the hillside under the gun from LA to Gaza
    A house made of cardboard living close to the rail
    Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
    Somebody's jail

    And I feel the witch in my veins
    I feel the mother in my shoe
    I feel the scream in my soul
    The blood as I sing the ancient blue
    They burned in the millions
    I still smell the fire in my grandma's hair
    The war against women rages on
    Beware of the fairytale
    Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
    Somebody's jail

    The noise of elections, the promise of change
    A grabbing of power at the top, a day at the rifle range
    Somebody's in danger, somebody's for sale
    Somebody's mama, somebody's daughter
    Somebody's jail

    -- "Somebody's Jail," written by Holly Near, first appears on her album SHOW UP.

    The following sites updated: