Friday, April 01, 2022

Hillary lied

What is it now?  Six years later?  Hillary Clinton has lied for how many years now about the Steel Dossier?  Because her campaign and the DNC did finance it.  

Jonathan Turley:

We have previously discussed allegations that Marc Elias, the former general counsel for the Clinton Campaign and partner at the firm Perkins Coie, lied to conceal the campaign’s funding of the infamous Steele Dossier. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has now fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for violating election rules in hiding that funding. Elias has previously been sanctioned for his conduct in litigation and recently lost an effort to gerrymander the Maryland voting districts.  The alleged Elias’ lies would ordinarily seem a professional liability for any attorney but they seem an actual professional attraction for Elias.

On March 29, the FEC imposed a relatively small fine of $8,000 for Clinton and $105,000 for the DNC. However, it is the basis rather than the size of the fine that is so notable.

The FEC found that Clinton campaign and DNC payments to Fusion GPS were funneled through Perkins Coie and Elias. As the campaign denied funding the dossier, these payments were concealed as “legal advice and services.” The FEC said the law firm, Perkins Coie, paid Fusion $1,024,407.97 for the dossier in 2016.

Elias has featured prominently in the filings of Special Counsel John Durham. The key to many of these operations is someone referred to by Durham as “Campaign Lawyer-1,” who is now known to be Elias. Elias was called before the grand jury.

It was Elias who made the key funding available to Fusion GPS, which in turn enlisted Steele to produce his now discredited dossier on Trump and his campaign.

During the campaign, a few reporters did ask about the possible connection to the campaign, but Clinton campaign officials denied any involvement. It was only weeks after the election that journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the Steele dossier as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to Perkins Coie.

New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

“It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress.”

I want the bill for Russia-gate, what US taxpayers had to pay for all that wasted government time and resources.

She wasted our time, she distracted us, she lied to us.  She ran a lousy campaign and she lost and then she spent four years spreading lies and pretending Russia was the reason she lost.

She's a whore and she's a liar.  It's all she's ever been and, sadly, it's all she'll ever be.  This late in the game, she's not changing her spots, she is forever who she had been.  She is disgusting and she has covered for her husband's abuse of women.  

There is nothing admirable about her.  She destroys everyone she can.  

She owes the American people an apology as well as a huge chunk of her ill gotten gain.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Thursday, March 31, 2022..  Robert Pether remains in an Iraqi jail, Julian Assange remains persecuted, Iraq still can't name a president and Jada Pinkett remains bald.

Kicking off with the assault of Chris Rock, let's note this from Jimmy Dore about how Will Smith's assault is now encouraging others to call for assaulting comedians.

It's amazing.  And, as Elaine pointed out:

I like Jonathan Turley but I think he's missed the boat on one issue.

He rightly documents the attacks on free speech.  So far, however, he has not written of Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the Oscars.  Maybe he is doing a column on it?

If so, he may be holding the topic for that reason.

But I would argue that all the attacks on free speech, all the self-righteous grand-standing to justify censoring  people.  We see that in the attack, we see that in some of the responses to the attack.

I support free speech.  

What Will Smith did was outrageous.  Some of the reactions to the assault have been even more outrageous.

This is part of the attack on free speech.  It's also something more.

I'm remembering having to learn the name of Nicholas Sandman.  My life was fine without ever knowing his name.  But he was made into a national incident and a monster by the same group that's defening Will and talking how hard it is on Jada Pankitt.  Nicholas didn't do anything to warrant the outrage or the hate heaped on him.  But Will slapped Chris Rock on a national statge -- that Will wasn't supposed to be on -- in front of the whole world and lairs and whores want to pretend like it's okay?

I've read that garbage THE WASHINGTON POST published from the dumb idiot who wanted to argue in favor of Jada and tell you it was race and sexism and Jada was the victim.

You stupid f**king idiot.  You are the reason outlets used to argue that women couldn't cover abortion -- they were women and they could get pregnant so they couldn't be objective was the claim..  We saw that same thing with the idiot in Congress who Tweeted applauding the assualt because she's bald too.

Get over yourselves.  Being bald?  If that's the worst thing in your life, you should be thanking your higher power, personal god, whatever that this is all you're facing. 

And stop applauding Will for 'defending' his wife while claiming to be a feminist.

A woman needs rescued?  That's offensive.  A woman can't handle words?  That's offensive.

You certainly are trapped in your gender roles as you stumble around at the corner of race and gender.  

And you miss the reality of the actual trope that's at play -- because you can't/won't refute the systematic racism of the system you are electing to endorse, embrace and play with it.

A woman needs defending, you argue, so Will was alright to do what he did.


As you spew your garbage endlessly, do you not realize what you're doing?

Because the way I see it, violence gainst a Black man is again being justified because someone claims a woman's 'honor' has been besmirched.  

Emmett Till wasn't an exception, he's just one of the few that's widely known.  Time and again, Black men were targeted in the US with the claim that they had dishonored a woman in some way.  Women?  We can defend ourselves.  Claiming otherwise is a cute way for men to justify attacking others.  Claiming that we can't defend ourselves -- not even from words -- is sexism.

But that reality is ignored and Chris Rock is attacked.

Chris Rock deserved to be attacked because he's Black?

I'd drop your faux feminism and your academic nonsense and grasp the reality of the situation.  Violence against a Black man is once again being justified and minimized.  

Don't tell me #BlackLivesMatter when you think it is perfectly acceptable for Chris Rock to be assaulted while performing an act he was asked by the Academy to perform on live television.  

Chris Rock has been very nice about this and very kind.  And who's sticking up for him?  (I know Chris Rock and consider him a friend.)  No one.  Whores like Pee-Pee in his mouth Diddy lied -- and I told you he was lying -- to protect Will Smith.  Who's defending Chris.

Chris was the one attacked.

And Jada, ya still bald.

And it's still not the end of the world, and you're still not going to die from it.  

Chris was invited on that stage.  Will was not.   Chris was doing exactly what he was asked to do by the Academy.  And he got assaulted.  There's no excuse for that.  There's no defense for that.  And shame on anyone applauding that attack and not grasping that they are falling into the historical racist construct that says it is okay to assault a Black man to defend a woman's 'honor.'

An attack on free speech is what the persecution of Julian Assange is all about.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute the journalist for opening the truth up to the world.  Attacking Julian is about intimidating any journalist in the future with knowledge of War Crimes carried out by the US so that the journalist will not report them.

John Jiggins (INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA) reports:

In marked contrast to the war in Ukraine, the Iraqi war was covered by journalists embedded with the invading forces.

Civilian deaths were dismissed as “collateral damage”.  

When WikiLeaks showed us what “collateral damage” looked like from the perspective of Iraqi civilians, releasing a video of a massacre by an Apache helicopter gun crew of Iraqi civilians and two Reuter journalists, Julian Assange called it Collateral Murder.  

This intervention played an important role in ending the illegal UK, U.S. and Australian invasion of a sovereign nation, and because of this, the war criminals he exposed are destroying Julian Assange with the consent of the Australian Government, claiming he is the criminal.

But Assange was a hero for peace. 

For the Apache helicopter crew, the civilians on the ground were dehumanised. Like boys playing a computer game, they exclaimed “light ‘em up!” as they blew apart their victims from their unseen platform a mile in the sky.  

When a good samaritan stopped to help those still living, he and his children were ruthlessly machine-gunned. The crew blamed their father, saying he shouldn’t have brought children to a war zone.

Let's note two reports from 60 MINUTES>

And let's note that this 60 MINUTES in Austrtalia.  In the US, nothing.  In the US, whose president is persecuting Julian Assange?  Silence.  

Julian's 'crime' is journalism.  He is targed by the president of the United States.  And you have to look to 60 MINUTES in aonther country to get coverage.

 Julian remains persecuted.  And the silence goes a long, long way towards explaining why that continues.  

Meg Sherman (DISSIDENT VOICE) observes:

Hard working, principled journalists — who’d be legends and treasures in a long lost era of good press ethics in society — and their sources are paying a high price out of their human rights under the aegis of a craven new age of US imperialism. Most modern states bar the integration of legitimate journalistic activity with the penal code, like those currently being deployed to get Julian Assange. But in the data age, with less developed laws around the link between technology and sources, criminalisation is being embraced, or at least is being seized upon in the moment before laws and regulation are clarified and tightened up to get Assange.

But it stinks. For one evidence cited in attempts to justify his arrest and pursuit under the law are at best dubious, at worst slanderous. Moreover in a zeitgeist defined by Brexit negotiations steeped deep in the rhetoric of protecting parliamentary sovereignty it ought to worry us British courts are willing to yield to the whims of US courts who are willing to put Assange away for life, or kill him, for the crime of doing journalism.

It’s time that the establishment drops pretences and stops using the phrase “no man is above the law” as if the mantra is still meaningful. Either justice is a right or its not. For so many, conspicuously all in the business of exposing corruption, they don’t get it. It’s time to reform society’s treatment of whistleblowers and remove all legal obstructions to their freedoms.

Joe Biden has become a threat to a free press and to the First Amendment.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) addresses the damage that Joe's doing with his words:

“I mean what I say when I say it!” Those words were spoken by president elect Joe Biden in December 2020 during a meeting with a group described as “civil rights leaders.” Video of the meeting was leaked and Biden’s insulting and dismissive attitude towards Black people was clear even to those who ignored this tendency he has shown throughout his 50 years of public life.

Biden did us a favor by revealing himself and by telling us to pay attention when he speaks. That advice should be followed no matter how strange his words may seem. Even in his bad tempered confusion, Biden always reveals what he is doing.

He recently made news for all the wrong reasons during his recent trip to Europe where he attended a combination G7 summit and NATO meeting in Brussels followed by a trip to Poland.

At the NATO meeting he rather nonchalantly informed the people of the world that they will all suffer because of the misguided effort to punish Russia with sanctions. “With regard to food shortages, yes we did talk about food shortages and it’s going to be real. The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It's imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well. And because both Russia and Ukraine have been the bread basket of Europe in terms of wheat for example.” Ukraine won’t have a good harvest in the near future and Russia won’t be able to sell what it grows. That means rising prices for those scarce wheat products that may still be available. Biden’s casual tone is an indication he thinks people and governments all over the world should accept the oncoming disaster he created without complaint.

Not content to disrupt global food supplies he also announced his future plans for Ukraine. He said this to 82nd Airborne troops stationed in Poland. "And you’re going to see when you’re there.  And you — some — some of you have been there.  You’re going to see — you’re going to see women, young people standing — standing the middle of — in front of a damn tank, just saying, 'I’m not leaving.  I’m holding my ground.'  They’re incredible." Why are U.S. troops going to see anything in Ukraine? He tried to clean it up with “you may have already seen it” but he was saying that he intends to have US troops deployed in a country where Russia already has forces. His photo opportunity turned into the announcement of a hot war.

The most remarkable Biden statement that his apologists call a “gaffe ” also took place in Poland. He gave what was supposed to be a conventional speech portraying the U.S. as the beacon of freedom and democracy while Russia is really bad. His remarks should have been fairly standard and unexceptional but as always Biden told us what he was up to. In referring to Vladimir Putin he said, "This man cannot remain in power."

The clarifications and backpedaling were immediate, but no one could unhear Biden’s words. Despite all denials to the contrary, Biden is after regime change against the Russian government and his actions prove it. The very idea that Russia’s government will fall because of sanctions pressure is ludicrous. But once again, Biden gave a heads up in July 2021 .

“When I was with Mr. Putin, who has a real problem. He's sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else. Nothing else. Their economy is, what, the eighth smallest in the world now, largest in the world? He knows he's in real trouble, which makes him even more dangerous, in my view."

As the US government pursues conflict with Russia, the site of the ongoing war that the US started, Iraq, gets worse and worse.  As we noted yesterday, for the third time this year, Iraq held a session of Parliament to elect a president.  nd for the the third time -- this year -- they failed to do so. 

This year.  We're in the third month of this year.

Three times, they have failed.

The parliamentary election was held when?  October 10th.  And they are supposed to move quickly.  They didn't.  That is why they are now almost two months beyond the date set in their own Constitution for naming a president.

They can't name a prime minister until they have a president.

Follwing the results of October 10th, too many corporate outlets in the west tried to spin reality.  Reailty was that the turnout was the lowest ever.  Further reality is that turn out has gone repeatedly ever since Joe Biden (via The Erbil Agreement) overturned the 2010 election results.  The people didn't want Nouri al-Maliki to have a seond term.  The  White House did.  The result was the rise of ISIS, yes.  But it also resulted in an eroison of trust in the ballot box -- something many of us were warning of at that time.

The whorish corporate press wanted to name Moqtada al-Sadr a victor, hurrah!  A kingmaker, they called him.  They didn't bother to note that not only did he not win enough seats to form a government on his own but that his group also got less votes than they did in the previous elections.  

Moqtada was hailed by the western press -- as though he'd never been responsible for the deaths of US troops, as though he'd never attacked Iraq's LGBTQ community, as though he wasn't attempting to curtail the rights of women.  all of that was washed away.

Reality, Moqtada's not a kingmaker.

Reality, Nouri al-Maliki continues to stall and delay him.  What Nouri's not personally carrying out is other people copying Nouri's previous plays.

And Moqtada, hailed by the corporate press backin October, still can't form a government.  We're tend days away from April 10th, ten days away six months since the elections.  And the political stalemate continues.  

None of this is surprising if anyone had paid attention.  We did. I'm not suprised at all and I said over and over that Moqtada was not a kingmaker, that nothing indicated he was, that facts argued he had lost support.  But facts and today's corporate press are at opposite ends.  They're openly hostile to one another.  

The western press that sold the illegal war still can't get the facts right all this time later.

Salam Faraj and Laure al-Khoury (AL-MONITOR) note:

Six months after Iraq's parliamentary vote, the war-scarred country is no closer to electing a president amid a bitter political stalemate that has thrown institutions into limbo.

Wrangling between rival Muslim Shiite blocs in the assembly on Wednesday scuppered the legislature's third attempt to elect a head of state.

Though a largely ceremonial role, the president determines the country's next prime minister who will in turn form a cabinet to be voted in by an absolute majority of lawmakers.

- What is the hold-up? -

A schism running through the so-called "Shiite house" of Iraqi politics lies at the heart of the impasse.

Firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has long claimed the largest bloc in parliament, with 73 seats out of the 329-member legislature.

But his bloc does not have enough members to establish a clear majority -- forcing him to reach out to form an untraditional alliance.

Eschewing the more predictable grouping with other Shiite factions, Sadr has chosen to ally with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunni parties to form a coalition dubbed "Saving the Homeland", with 155 seats.

The coalition backs KDP candidate Rebar Ahmed for the presidency -- a post reserved for Kurds, while the post of prime minister by convention goes to a Shiite.

Shirking the tradition of forming a "consensus government" between Shiite parties, Sadr hopes to put forth a "majority government" led by his cousin, Iraq's ambassador to Britain Jaafar al-Sadr.

This has placed his coalition at loggerheads with the Coordination Framework -- a powerful force that includes former premier Nuri al-Maliki's party and the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the Shiite-led former paramilitary group Hashed al-Shaabi.

The stalemate continues.  So does the imprisonment of an Austrailan citizen.  Robert Pether was imprisoned in IRaq with no access to justice or fairness.  He was locked away and his medical needs were ignored.  He remains impisoned.  THE GUARDIAN notes that the United Nations has called his imprisonment and that of his collegaue Khalid Radwan an "enfoced disappearance."  Erin Pearson (THE AGE) reports:

A United Nations body is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Australian man Robert Pether from an Iraqi jail cell, finding his detention contravenes international law.

A report from the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this month found the imprisonment of Mr Pether and his colleague Khalid Radwan to be arbitrary and in contravention of international law.

The report found the men were “lured” into returning to Iraq on the pretext of assisting in an investigation and “arbitrarily detained, without any legal basis” ever since.

Mr Pether, an Australian engineer and father of three, was arrested in Iraq alongside an Egyptian colleague in April. They were both later jailed following a dispute between their employer and the Central Bank of Iraq.

The working group said it was of the opinion the men were then forcibly “disappeared” during the first few days of their detention and their capacity to defend themselves was “undermined and compromised” during subsequent court proceedings.

Maybe ahead of next year's Academy Awards, Mila can announce that she once again misspoke about what country she was from and that, this time, it was really Australia and then she can ask for a moment of silence to honor the persecuted Robert Pether and Julian Assange?

The following sites updated:

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Will Smith was assaulting free speech

I like Jonathan Turley but I think he's missed the boat on one issue.

He rightly documents the attacks on free speech.  So far, however, he has not written of Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the Oscars.  Maybe he is doing a column on it?

If so, he may be holding the topic for that reason.

But I would argue that all the attacks on free speech, all the self-righteous grand-standing to justify censoring  people.  We see that in the attack, we see that in some of the responses to the attack.

I support free speech.  

What Will Smith did was outrageous.  Some of the reactions to the assault have been even more outrageous.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, March 30, 2022.  Another MOqtada failure in Iraq as Whoopi Golberg continues to conduct herself in an unethical manner.

We're back on Will Smith's assaulting Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.  I hope we'll be off soon.  We're gong to note Jimmy Dore and we're going to note Betty and then I'm gong to write about whoopi Goldber who needs to learn to shut her damn mouth.  That's why I'm covering it again.  I do think it's worth covering.  I'm glad it's being covered.  But I did not plan to do three days worth here.

I don't approve of people who break the rules.  That's not Will, he's a psychopath who needs to be punisehd.  But I believe we've made that point here.  I'm referring to Whoopi Goldberg who has her own actions this week to apologize for and whose actions have been highly unethical.

First up, Jimmy Dore.

It's an important point. It's many important points.  I'm glad he covered it.  Now let's note Betty who did a wonderful job on another aspect:

Jada Stinkit and Wee Willie Weenus

 I'm sick of Jada Stinkit and Wee Willie Weenus and their pretend marriage.  I'm sick of Jada an Willie insisting that you don't talk about a Black woman's hair.

Chris Rock didn't joke about her hair -- she's got no hair.

Grow the hell up.

And I'm sick of the boo-hooing from her and other women who are bald.

Did you lose both legs like Tammy Duckworth in Iraq?

Uh, no, you didn't.  You've got it pretty good.

I don't like Tammy, she's to the right of me politically.  But I don't hear her whining.  She's taking care of business.  She wants a family?  She starts a family.  She can't fly in to vote on House membership and Nancy refuses to let her vote via phone, she doesn't whine.

I admire Tammy's spirit, I admire her grit and I admire her love for life.

I don't think I could handle losing both legs.  I don't.  

But I damn sure can handle losing my hair.  I'd wear a wig if it happened.  But I could handle it.

Jada Stinkit, you've have access to millions of dollars, you have two kids, you have your own talk show, grow the hell up, you ungrateful fool.

God has been very kind to you.

There are people in the US who had their whole faces burned in Iraq.  There's the Iraqi girl who had acid thrown on her face.  

These people are dealing with real issues.

You don't have hair?

Do you know how many children with terminal illness would give anything in the world to have their biggest problem be that they didn't have any hair?

You are a stupid, an ignorant and an ungrateful woman.  I hope God brings you to your knees.  How dare you spit on everything you've been given.  You're a greedy sinner who thinks you deserve everything so you can't say a thank you for all that you do have.  

As for her trashy husband, you embarrassed us all.  As a Black woman, I find your behavior shameful.  As the mother of two boys, I find your behavior disgraceful.  

You were given so much -- that night alone, you got an Oscar, but there were you attacking poor Chris Rock.  There you were striking him and cursing at him and doing it on live TV.  You aren't an adult, you're not fit to be in an adult coversation.

You're both embarrassments.

Exatly, she should be on her knees giving thanks that her big problem is being bald.  Again, it's not life threatening.  Betty's right, there are kids with cancer who would gladly switch places.  There are veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars who have lost limbs, who have lost sight, who have lost hearing, you name it and those men and women are dealing with real issues.  Jada's bald.  If she can't handle that, she's more pathetic than her husband.

Now let's go to the woman whose mouth always runneth over.  Monday, on THE VIEW, Whoopi Goldberg declared that Will Smith would not lose his Oscar following his Sunday assault of Chris Rock.  Monday, the Academy announced that they had started an investigation into the events.  Tuesday, Whoopi made various claims on air -- no, she couldn't support them and I know at least one was an outright lie.

Anyone see the problem?

I know Whoopi's a problem.  She's a nightmare.  She's so unhappy she can't stop eating even though her blood sugar is destroying her body.  No one cares enough to tell her that because she's such a bitch that no one really cares about her anymore.  Some people even encourage her to keep eating, ekeep eating.  They say it's to keep her happy but maybe it's to help her along to the other side.  Who nows?

What we do know is that she needs to shut her damn mouth.

I can say whatever I want.  Rob Reiner can say whatever he wants.  For the most part, whomever can say what they want.

Whoopi?  No.

I'm not serving a term on the Board of Governors.  Whoopi is.

How real and fair is this investigation going to be when Whoopi is already telling the wold on THE VIEW what the outcome's gong t o be.

She needs to shut her damn mouth.  

She's unethical.  She wants to talk about it during an ongoing investigation?  She can resign her seat.  

But while she holds that seat, she needs to shut her damn mouth.

I have not heard Larua dErn (who I know and love) say a word about it since the investigation has been launched.  Nor have I called her to say, "What do you think?"  Because she's really not able to comment.  The same with Rita Wilson.

But Whoopi -- the owman who told us that Roman Polanski drugging a 13-year-old girl and then having sex with her wasn't "rape-rape" now wants to come along and defend another who doesn't deserve defending.  Reminds me how tight Whoopi used to be with Harvey Weinstein.

Whoopi needs to shut her damn mouth or resign her seat.  Holding that seat and making the comments she's making could potentially influence the outcome of the investigation.  She needs to shut up.

Her conduct is outrageous and idiotic.  I realize she's not educated and not too bright, I've spoken with her many times.  So maybe she's so damn stupid that she doesn't grasp the ethical conflict she has created.

She needs to shut her damn mouth now.  

I don't watch THE VIEW.  I know of this because members of the Acdemy are talking about.  Are talking about her.  Everyone is offended by what she's doing.  

HOw real do most people think the investigation is going to be?

Some mebers (including me) don't think it's going to amount to anything.  Others think it might make a difference.  But everyone agrees that the Academy announced it to improve their own image and Whoopi, a sitting member of the Academy's Board of Governors, passing her opinions (where she dimisses it and underplays the assualt and creates -- cause she can see into peoeple's souls, you understand -- excuses for what happened) is a conflict of interest and could influence -- or even appear to influence -- the investigation.

She needs to shut her mouth.

As I heard about it from one person after another, I got transcripts of Monday and Tuesday's shows and read over her remarks.  They are utrageous considering the position she currently holds.  I don't think she's qualified to weigh in on anything.  But she's certainly not ethically allowed to be saying what shes saying right now while the Academy is conducting an investigation.  

The words she's struggling for are: I cannot comment while the Academy is conducting an investigation.

That's all she really has to say.  

In real life, Whoopi Goldberg is a monster.  She is not the character she has played.  (She can only play one character, if you haven't noticed -- sometiems, she lucky to pull off even one.)  She was a nightmare from the beginning.  She was so rude and ugly to Penny Marshall who was doing her a damn favor.  The director of JUMPING JACK FLASH was not working and the film could have been shut down.  Penny ws brought in to save it.  And Penny did.  Sher realized the limitaions of WHoopi and shot around those, she created additional business in the script for other characters, she brought in talented supporting actors.  She made that film watchable.  None of Whoopi's comedies are in those early years.  How many times are we going to blame everyone else for Whoopis's failures?  At any rate, whoopi was a real bitch to Penny.  I heard about it from Penny in real time and we're all talking about it now and what a bitch she was on this set, and on that set and . . .

She's a monster.  

The reason I'm bringing this up is she better curb herslef or she's going to be curbed.  She has no friends in the industry and she's pissing people off by refusing to condcut herself as a member of the board should.  If she can't curb her comments, people will be seeking for the Academy to correct her behavior.

Grasp that she wants tow weigh in daily on what should be done about a violation and that in weighing in she is also committing a violation.

Get some flash cards, maybe a dry erase board, a sippy cup filled with juice and someone sit her down and explain it to her.

(And to be clear, there are people who are nasty for a performance.  They have to go deep into a character to get ahold of it.  I'm not talking about that kind of behavior.  Whoopi's gahavior had nothing to do with her performance -- probably with her insecurity, but not her performance.  She throws fits about her trailer, she throws fits about the craft table, she throws fits about this and about that.  she's get pissed that someone said "good morning" to her and explodes, she's just a bitch and a pain in the ass to work with.)

Now to Iraq.

#BREAKING Iraqi parliament fails for the third time to elect a state president over a lack of quorum #Baghdad #Iraq

Are we still calling Moqtada l-Sadr a "kingmaker."

He filed to get his nominee elected in Feburary.  He failed over the weekend.  And now hes failed again.  Three times now. Three announced votes.  And the Parliament's not showing up.  They're making it clear that ehy don't support him.

I thought he was supposed to be a ''kingmaker."  Guess he is just a cult leader and he's now a cult leader who is trying to install his cousin as prime minister.

When is the western media going to stop glorifying Moqtada.

And when might they start doing their thought pieces about how wrong 'others' were to immediately declare Moqtada a kingmaker and a stateman?  Others because they won't point the finger at themselves.

Moqtada is ahateful man who repeatedly destroys his own standing.

I told yout he cult was dwindling.  Motada's condeming female protesters and insisting that men not protest with women was rejected by the youthful protesters who saw it as outdated and wrongful thinking.  We've covered that at lenght.  We've also covered how Sadr City remains a slum.  He can't provide for his own cult.  

WHile the western press was insisting the October 10th elections were a glory moment for Moqtada, we were pointing out that not only was it Iraq's lowest turnout ever but that Moqtada's bloc actually got fewer votes than they had in the previous election.

Yet the media promoted Moqtada as though he were a world leader.  

He may eventually get a presidnetial nominnee in place and a prime minister desginate.  Eventually.

But it's about to be April and elections were held October 10th.  It's going to be six months after the election shortly and the poltiical stalemate continues, drags on.  Moqtada is not a national leader, he's not a kingmaker.  He is the leader of a cult and it's a cult that hs signficantly decreased. 


#Iraq-i lawmakers have failed for a third time to elect a new national #president, for lack of a quorum, officials say, prolonging the political paralysis in the war-scarred country.

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

What do I write about?

What do I write about? An e-mail asked. Said "don't be offended." I'm not. I used to cover peace; however, the peace groups all went away or else started ignoring ongoing wars. Wasn't enogh publicity in it for them anymore if they stayed focused on the Iraq War, for example. Medea Benjamin needs her time on camera, you understand. I now mainly note Jonathan Turley because I really am bothered and alarmed by the attaqcks on free speech.

I've noted before that things were differnet when I was younger. I worry that some today couldn't handle life a little while back. They can't handle differing opinions. They need everyone to agree with them or it's amicro-aggression. I'm way, way, way to the left. Encountering different view points was helpful. It helped me clarify where I stood, made me better able to argue my point.

I am bothered that we are encouraging people to scream censorship. When I was younger, the notion that censorship would be screamed? Well that's what the right-wing does, right? Nope. It's been the left for a long time now. I lost a lot of respect for Debra Sweet (The World Can't Wait) when she started denouncing a film that she had not seen. Say, "I don't want to see it." That's fine but to act as though you're an expert on a film that you've never seen? To call for censorship?

I know there was big money in that specific attack and I hope Debra wasn't in on the pay off. The Debra I knew years ago wouldn't be. But the Debra from years ago wouldn't have called for censorship.

I say put it out there -- book, film, argument, essay, whatever.

I reserve the right to call it trash if I think it's trash but I'm not pulling it off the shelves or burning it.

Live and let live appears to have vanished as a slogan.

C.I. has always, this goes back to when I first met her, back when she was dating my brother, before we were in college together, had the attitude of she wants her say. If you disagree about something and she thinks it's a topic worth pursuing, she will have her say and that's it. She's not interested in converting you, she just wants her opinion on the record. That's really the attitude I ended up adopting. Let's just listen to each other and I'm okay.

I don't try to censor anyone and I don't want anyone censoring me.
> Just a free exchange.

But that's not what we're seiing and I'm sick of hearing that words are weapons -- some are making that ridiculous argument to justify Will Smith's act of violence earlier this week when he assaulted Chris Brown.

So what I write about these days is mainly free speech. I'll note music sometimes. I love music. I'm not much of a TV watcher. But I can listen to music all day long. Without ever getting tired of it.

I have too many favorite artists to list them all but they do include: Jack Johnson, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Prince, PJ Harvey, the Beatles, Elvis, Diana Ross, Chase Rice, Van Hunt, Animal Collective, Linkin Park, Jonas Brothers (because of my daughter who loves Nick Jonas -- I believe many people have daughters like that -- I know Betty does), Dionne Warwick (another favorite of my daughters), System of the Down, Stevie Nicks, John Lennon, Sarah Vaugnan, Laura Nyro, PP Arnold, George Harrison, David Saw, Prince, Lauryn Hill, the Supremes (only with Diana), the Four Tops, Van Morrison, Jill Scott, Eric Clapton, George Michael, Sam Smith, George Ezra, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Kate Nash, Nirvana, Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, Janet Jackson, Jody Watley, Janis Ian (who became a complete nut during Donald Trump's presidency and fell for every lie and every conspiracy, ay-yi-yi), Third Eye Blind, Phil Ochs, Sam Cooke, The Fugees, Rickie Lee Jones, Nanci Griffith,India.Arie, Pink Floyd, Love, Lone Justice, Maria McKee, Curtis Mayfield, Womack and Womack, Roberta Flack, the Mamas and the Papas, Brenda Russell, Ashford & Simpson, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, the Kinks, the Pretenders, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Ben Harper, Cass Elliot, Jimi Hendrix, , Cher, Demi Lovato, the Replacements, Husker Du, Gene McDaniel, Anita Baker, Heart, Tina Turner, Rick James, Tracy Chapman, Rod Stewart, Fiona Apple, Sting, the Police, the Pointer Sisters, Blink 182, Barry White . . .

Again, I love music and could spend an hour listing everyone and still not have even listed half of my favorites.

I'm mainly just posting these days to amplify C.I.'s snapshot and keep a tiny bit of a spotlight on the ongoing Iraq War.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, March 29, 2022.  We return to the topic of yesterday . . . 

Let's  pick up with Will Smith's assault on Chris Rock.  A few issues were raised in e-mails and I was thinking about following up to answer or include those and P Diddy had to comment to news outlets but then Will released his 'apology' and I knew we'd have to go another day.

First off, P-Diddy, you're trash.  You degraded J-Lo's image when she was with you, you lowered her brand.  And that's not just because of the shootings.  Not just.

If you missed it, PeePee Diddy has interjected himself into the story.  He wants you to know, hand to God, pinkie swear, that he's talked to Chris Rock and he's talked to Wil Smith -- he's the Jimmy Carter of the entertainment world (in his mind), and they're just fine ane . . .

We don't give a crap what you say.  Get it through your head, music man.  This was not your event.  This was an event for the film industry.  We don't need to herar from your trashy ass. You're nobody in the film world.  You're a failed actor who probably showed more than he realized when he tried to act.  Pee Pee Diddy, no one needs to hear from you.  Most of us don't believe you.  But what you think's going on doesn't really matter to the indursty that you are not a part of.  

Supposedly, late yesterday, Will Smith issued an apology.  He didn't. 

And I won't lie like CNN did.  CNN 'quotes' him.  Here's the actual words.

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.  
I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.
I am a work in progress.



What a load of garbage.  I say that as somoeone his publicist called about the 'apology.'  Point of fact, I am not leading the backlash.  For me, the Academy Awards outrage was the silence over Urkaine and the White people while never a minute of silence for the Arabs around the world -- not in Iraq, not in Syria, not . . . 

That was the focus of the thing I wrote the night of the Awards.  As I explained in yesterday's snapshot, at the after parties, it kept being brought up and those who know I write here had read it and were reading it and were telling me that I missed the big news of the night and . . . .  I'm not leading anything.  Every year I do campaign for friends to to be nominated and to win.  I also do my part to ensure that certain people do not win.  (Yes, I did enjoy Sunday night.)    Will Smith is not an actor of note or merit.  I was opposed to him winning -- and I did not vote for him -- but a few weeks back, when it became obvious he stood a good chance of winning, I didn't swing into action to try to tip the scales against him.  He didn't matter enough to me.  I had other dogs in that fight and stayed focused on preventing them from winning.  (Again, Sunday was a very good night for me.)  

When I was called about the statement being crafted, I said very clearly that he didn't need to bring Jada into it.  I said he needed to take responsiblity for his actions, that he was a middle aged man, and he needed to apologize to Chris and to the industry.

He couldn't do that.  If he were your child and started making excuses for someone he struck at school during his so-called apology, you'd stop him.

And let's get something else clear.

I've had cancer.  Twice.  I've had chemo.  I don't want to hear about poor Jada's 'medical condition.'  She's bald.  Big deal.  It's not life threatening.  It hurts her vanity?  Too damn bad.  Wear a wig.  Or don't tell the world about it.  

She's bald.  Jokes have been made about bald people forever and a day.  As bald jokes go, "Can't wait for GI JANE 2," is not that harsh.  He could have made a Kojak joke.  

Willie's not taking accountability.  And for the member of Congress that applauded this b.s?  Ayanna Soyini Pressley, you are unfit to serve in Congress.  That pains me to say.  But you are unfit. We have noted you here and I have often been impressed with you but you're applauding that violence is disgusting.  Oh, you're bald too so we all have to walk on egg shells1!!! F**k you.  If you were speaking and someone came up onstage and slapped you, I don't think you'd be offering a Tweet of glee.  Your hypocrisy and your inability to see beyond yourself goes to how unfit you really are.  I am very disappointed.

Jada's bald.  Get over it.  

It's not a life threatening condition, stop pretending like it's cancer or MS or any real disease that threatens someone's life. Women have worn wigs forever and a day.  If she choose not to, more power to her.  But don't then whine because someone makes a single sentence joke.

And, for the record, Jada would be damn lucky to star in GI JANE II.  It's not like she's had a film career in years, not as a leading lady.  And, like Will, she's aging out of the roles.  So she'd be damn lucky to star in GI JANES II.

What Will did was offensive.

Most of the e-mails are noting that he'd be expelled from a school for doing what he did.

And that is true.  Equally ture, he's not a child.  He's not 14 or 15.  He's not a young man, even.  He's a middle aged man lliving a few blocks from elderly.

He is responsible for his actions.  He is responsible for the message he sends.

That dopey apology began the minute the Academy announced that they were conducting a formal investigation into the events.  Thats when he decided he couldn't just stay silent (and the plan was to then go on Jimmy Kimmel and crack some jokes).

This was an industry event.  Any other industry that he pulled that crap in, he'd be out of it right now.  They wouldn't be making excuses for him or give a damn that his wife is bald.  

They would note that this was an industry event and he degraded the industry.  He brought his trashy ways into the venue and then stormed the stage to attack an invited persenter.

You need to grasp that, if you haven't already.

Because the industry is film, it's televised around the world.  So the whole world saw.  It lives on forever on YOUTUBE.

He embarrassed the industry.  And we're only more embarrassed because on the night he acted the fool, we gave him an award.

He spat on the event.

Again, my big concern was Iraq.  

But I did listen at the after parties as people made solid points.  What he did was offensive.

This is not some b.s. awards show.  No offense, but it's not The People's Choice Awards or The American Music Awards.  It's the industry itself handing out these awards.  It may seem silly on the outside and on the inside of the industry but it is our awards that we choose to hand out, our night when we honor film.  

Amd over a single semtemce. Will Smith thought he had the right to leap form his seat in the midst of a presentation, storm the stage and assault the presenter.

That is not allowed.  That is outrageous.

(And, as many of you note in your e-mails -- it was a woman who had made jokes about the very 'dramatic' marriage of Will and Jada from the stage and Will didn't go after her). 

Chris Rock's joke was mild.  And I hate that we have to say that.  It doesn't matter what Chris Rock said.  In no world would that be allowed.

At an industry event, Chevy Chase destroyed his career.  It wasn't the Academy Awards.  But he felt the need to show just hostile (with words only) he could be and he made statements that were offensive.  That's why Chevy ended up on TV -- and was lucky to end up on TV.  His opportunites dried up throughout the 90s and he was offered garbage.  And the reason was the stunt he pulled at an industry event.

If he'd done that on live television at the Academy Awards, he never would have been able to be cast in COMMUNITY.  

Will Smith embarrassed the industry.

Mila was brought on so that the Academy could put on their best and most caring face for the public.  Ah, look at them, they care, they really, really care.

Awards, as always, frequently went out to undeserving winners because the Academy liked the 'look' of awarding a film about uplift or whatever.

And there in the middle of this celebration -- and carefully crafted p.r. -- Will elected to act the fool.

He didn't just disgrace himself, he disgraced the industry.

And he woke up today and, guess what, Jada's still bald.

Chris Rock didn't make her bald.

Again, she doesn't have cancer, she's not dealing with a life threatening condition.  She is losing her hair.  It happens and you can go natural, you can wear scarves, hats, wigs , whatever.

Because of Will's actions there are now safety concerns.  I was noting the jokes that Helen and Judi would show up next year with armies of bodyguards.  And they were jokes.  At the after parties.  But now?  

People are really worried.  

What if they're presenting an award next year and some Will Smith doesn't like the joke or doesn't like the winner and storms on stage?

This has never happened in the history of the awards.  94 times, statues have been handed out.  Never.

This is not minor.  This was not some one outside the industry streaking across the stage.  This was someone the industry chose to recognize and he responded with violence.

He shouldn't be at any Academy event ever again -- that includes the awards.  That pass shold be pulled from him immediately.

Any efforts to look the other way or not come down hard will encourage others.

This was an industry event.  He dsigraced himself, he disgraced the industry and he brought physical violence onto the stage.  That's outrageous.

I'm not calling for him to lose his award.  If others do, that's fine.  And that is a possibility.  But I am now joining with the many other voices saying that the Academy has to take a very strong stand on this matter and that we never need to see the producer of this show again since he failed to protect Chris Rock.  Where was security  Why wasn't Will imemediately evicted as he should have been?

Calls were made and they were all the wrong calls.  

I don't even know if he deserved to give an acceptance speech to be honest.  Not after that stunt.  They should have played music once he was handed the award and that should have been it.  His actions didn't deserve a reward.

That there are people out there justifying Will's actions and minimizing them goes to what a dangerous precedent could be set.  And that's why the Academy needs to come down hard.

Still in the US (and California) there's news regarding Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, the Iraqi refugee who is fighting to remain in the US.  Don Thompson (AP) reports):

A U.S. immigration judge in California has halted the deportation of an Iraqi refugee to Iraq for fear that he could be tortured if he were returned there. Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Tara Naselow-Nahas in November ruled that Omar Abdulsattar Ameen was eligible to be deported because he lied on his immigration papers. The decision came even though a federal judge earlier rejected allegations that he had killed a police officer on behalf of the Islamic State group. On Monday, advocates praised Naselow-Nahas’ decision blocking Ameen’s deportation to Iraq, although she ruled against him on other grounds. U.S. immigration officials declined comment.

Brittnay Johnson (KCRA) adds:

This is a case KCRA 3 Investigates has been following since Ameen was arrested in 2018. The U.S. Government claimed Ameen was a terrorist with ISIS and that he murdered an Iraqi police officer. Not only did it turn out that "Ameen" was not in Iraq at the time the alleged murder happened in 2014, but the judge also found the government's evidence had "substantial deficiencies" and is "ultimately unpersuasive," which led to the decision not to deport Ameen to Iraq.

"It is a big deal," Ilyce Shugall with Immigrant Legal Defense and part of Ameen's defense team, said. "It's a big deal for two reasons; really one, because the judge found that he does need protection from removal to Iraq and made a finding a very clear finding that she believes it is more likely than not that he would be tortured if returned. The second reason it's a big deal is because it's now the third time that a court has found that the government cannot prove that Mr. Ameen was involved in terrorist organizations or terrorist activities."

No, it is not safe in Iraq.  The judge recongizes what the Academy Awards did not.  Tomorrow, Baghdad is supposed to be the location of the vote for a president.  Twice that has failed.  

The following sites updated: