Friday, May 05, 2023

The Crazies: Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene

Oh, Boe-Boe, you are the portrait of corruption.

That makes me feel sorry for her, almost.  Corruption is a three syllable word which is about two syllables more than she can handle.  But she's still rescuing that son of her's -- the one who got an underage girl pregnant and then had the car accident:

The son of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was allowed to phone in virtually to a court hearing on his driving violation, sparking accusations of political favoritism, reported Westword.

"On April 24, the favoritism apparently continued: A Garfield County judge let Tyler appear in court virtually, instead of in person, despite his failure to show up at a previous hearing and getting hit with a bench warrant as a result," reported Chris Perez. "'Typically, if a defendant misses a court hearing and a bench warrant is issued or stayed, they are required to appear for the next date,' says Sarah Nordgaard, deputy district attorney with the 9th Judicial District. 'Whether that is virtual or in person just depends on individual circumstances.'"

Tyler crashed his vehicle in September of last year, putting a friend in the hospital with a concussion and hand lacerations that nearly severed his thumb. Initially, Tyler was charged with "careless driving leading to bodily injury," a misdemeanor, which was later reduced to the civil violation of driving with broken headlights.

According to People Magazine, Lauren Boebert was photographed last Saturday posting for a picture with a man, and holding up a t-shirt with a picture of an AR-15-style rifle, and the inscription “Since we’re redefining everything, this is a cordless hole puncher.” The picture was taken during the Congresswoman’s visit to a shooting range. 

Saturday was also the day that a mass murder took place in Texas, reportedly by a man with that type of gun who shot and killed five people, one of them a 9-year-old boy. It’s not clear if the picture was taken before or after the shooting took place, but Boebert posted it to social media the following day. The suspect in the case was arrested on Tuesday. 

In addition to the gun aspect, the “since we’re redefining everything” appears to be a dig at transgender people, in the tradition of “I identify as…” jokes. It’s also a joke that’s been used before, and also included on different t-shirts with different types of guns. Boebert also recently made headlines for objecting to being described as “cisgender,” describing that term as a “slur.” 

I think the biggest slur in the world, actually, is calling someone "Lauren Boebert."  Point of fact:

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is scolding the U.S. Navy for allowing a sailor who also performs in drag to participate in a recruitment initiative, and she’s particularly worried about what China and Russia think.

“The US Navy is now using drag queens for recruitment,” she wrote. “Do our military leaders understand that China and Russia see this stuff and prepare accordingly?”

[. . .]

Boebert was mocked on Twitter for claiming that a sailor doing drag somehow weakens the military. Others pointed to how Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) proposed budget cuts that have been criticized by Democrats for including a 22% funding cut to the Veterans Health Administration. Others pointed to her lack of military service.

Oh, Boe-Boe, let's count the months until you're sent back into the pig sty you emerged from.  Tell you what, I'll buy you a bag of Fritos so you can use the recipe on the back to make a frito pie for all your neighbors near the sty.  

She might get a visit -- or wellness check -- from fellow hate merchant Marjorie Taylor Green.  MTG should have more time on her hand as her shot at being a vice presidential nominee appear dead in the water.  Darragh Roche (NEWSWEEK) reports:

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's potential as a vice presidential candidate appears to have been dealt a blow in a new Rasmussen poll.

A survey of likely voters from Rasmussen Reports and Political Media, Inc. has found that a hypothetical presidential ticket featuring former President Donald Trump and Greene would lose to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Majorie, we all hate your crazy ass.  In fact, America wishes it was Perry Greene so that it could divorce you.  Now, from last night, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Matt Gaetz Wet."

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, May 4, 2023.  Exploitation in Iraq, Antonia Juhasz returns to the topic of how oil destroys our world, a look at the three races for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and much more.

In 2005's STRANGERS WITH CANDY (directed by Paul Dinello, screenplay by Paul, Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris), Amy stars as 47-year-old Jerri Blank who's gone back to Flatpoint High School to get her diploma. To get her out of his classroom, her teacher Mr. Noblet (Colbert) sends her to the grief counselor (Sarah Jessica Parker).


Jerri Blank : Are you the grief counselor?

Peggy Callas : Oh, god, it never ends. Have a seat. I should tell you up front, each student gets ten minutes, that last student took fifteen, so you get five.

Jerri Blank : Well, that's not fair!

Peggy Callas : Take it up with Les. He's the one that's frigid.

Jerri Blank : I'm Jerri Blank and my daddy's in a coma.

Peggy Callas:  You know what, Jerri? I wish my daddy was in a coma. He's dead, Jerri. He was executed for War Crimes -- but for insurance purposes, we say he was eaten by wolves. Anyway, my point is, Jerri, somebody's always got it worse. 

Anyway, my point is, Jerri, somebody's always got it worse.  And it's true.  Even in Iraq.

THE CABLE reports:

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) says Nigerian women working as domestic workers in Iraq are being exploited.

Fatima Waziri-Azi, director-general of the agency, raised the alarm in a statement released on Wednesday by Vincent Adekoye, the NAPTIP spokesperson.

Waziri-Azi said most of the women are requesting assistance to return home.

The DG said the women were trafficked to Iraq under the guise of greener pastures, adding that most of them were young.


The NAPTIP also mentioned that awareness by the agency and other partners of the well-known destination countries across the globe had now made traffickers shift their attention to Iraq.

“We are inundated with pleas for rescue and repatriation from female victims trafficked to Iraq, especially to the cities of Baghdad and Basra, where they are distributed to homes by their recruiters to a hard life of domestic servitude,” stated Ms [Fatima] Waziri-Azi.

She added, “Available information shows that many of these victims have been admitted to hospital many times due to long work hours under harsh conditions they are forced to undergo. Most of them have complained of deteriorating health resulting from the weight of work.”

The NAPTIP explained that they “are constantly under threat of being harmed either by their direct employers or the Iraqi agents, each time they complained of unbearable workload.”

In other news, Human Rights Watch posts a piece by Antonia Juhasz:

Ali Hussein Jaloud, an Iraqi man barely in his 20s, died April 21 of leukemia, a disease Ali and his family attributed to the pollution from the oil production and constant gas flares that surround their community in the southern Iraqi town of Rumaila, about 50 kilometers from the port city of Basra.

Many of us around the world felt we knew Ali and suffered his death personally, having followed his story in BBC and Unearthed investigations of the human and environmental toll of fossil fuel operations in Iraq, focusing on the devastation caused by flaring.

Flaring occurs when fossil fuel companies burn off excess methane gas from oil operations rather than capturing the gas in pipelines. When burned, the powerful greenhouse gas more than 80 times more potent at global warming than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period – is released into the atmosphere. After Russia, Iraq accounts for the most flared gas in the world.

Flaring also releases toxic pollutants known to harm human health, including benzene, a human carcinogen that can cause leukemia. An Iraq Health Ministry report leaked to the BBC attributed pollution from the oil industry, among other sources, as the cause of a 20 percent rise in cancer in Basra between 2015 and 2018,  and revealed cancer cases in the region to be  three times higher than publicly disclosed figures.

Iraqi government officials have acknowledged a link between the oil pollution from flaring and cancer. Iraq’s former environment minister, Jassem al-Falahi, told the BBC that pollution from oil production is the main reason for increases in cancer rates in Basra. Similarly, Luay Al-Khateeb, Iraq’s former oil minister, told Unearthed that unregulated oil operations in southern Iraq and “poisonous gases being flared in the air” are the link to rising cancer rates.

Flaring is a global crisis with clear solutions. The Iraqi government should start by moving beyond simply acknowledging the problem to enacting and enforcing tight regulations to restrict flaring, providing proper health services to impacted communities, and making polluters compensate those who have suffered, as required by Iraqi law. To address the full harm to local communities and the global climate, the government should transition away from fossil fuels.

Ali’s was a tragic yet predictable death. “I hope in the future that these companies go away,” Ali says in the film. “That the emissions stop, so children can live in peace.”

Iraq will be one of the hardest hit by climate change according to current models.  The effects are already being felt.  Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) observes:

Climate change, mismanagement and conflict have contributed to the depletion of water resources, affecting agriculture and food security.

One of the most pressing issues is dwindling flows of the two main rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, mainly as a result of upstream dams in Turkey and Iran, as well as poor water management.

The country is experiencing its worst drought in decades, with temperatures exceeding 50°C last summer. Many of Iraq’s lakes have also shrunk — in some cases revealing ancient cities previously thought to have been lost to the water.

This morning, Tim Stickings (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Germany on Thursday pledged to help protect Iraq’s drinking water as Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to Africa with his sights on clean energy.

Berlin is to invest €62 million ($68.5 million) to shield water supplies in Iraq’s southern Muthanna province from the effects of climate change, Germany said after two of its senior officials visited the country.

It comes after a climate summit in Berlin heard calls to help the developing world tackle global warming.

A lack of clean water compounded by climate change is threatening livelihoods, public hygiene and food security in Iraq and other countries across the Middle East, as The National found in a special report.

Let's move over to the US and remember the Sarah Jessica Parker line about how someone's always got it worse.  I didn't think it could get much worse, however, QUEERTY reports:

Florida has thrown LGBTQ+ people under the bus again… and this time they’d better not be hoping for hospital treatment for their injuries.

Yesterday evening the state’s House approved SB 1580/HB 1403. The Senate approved the legislation last week. It allows healthcare providers and insurers the right to refuse patients in line with their conscience. It’s officially called the “Protections of Medical Conscience” Act.

The legislation includes clarification stating healthcare providers cannot turn anyone away based on their “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Notice what’s missing from that list?

Yes, there’s nothing about sexual orientation or gender identity. Democratic lawmakers pushed for amendments to include LGBTQ+ protections but they were all rejected in the Republican-majority House and Senate.

During a heated debate on the issue, Democrat Anna Eskamani offered up potential ramifications.

“A nurse could refuse to provide a doctor’s prescription for fertility drugs to a single woman or someone who identifies as a lesbian,” she said. “Nursing homes could refuse to provide elderly, transgender residents for their ongoing hormone treatment.”

The American Taliban has got to be stopped.  I don't have time for idiots right now.  I'm 100% with Trina on this -- see her "My problems with Anthony Zenkus" -- and I don't understand if Anthony thought he was being cute or what -- more to the point, I don't give a damn.  Screw you, Anthony, if you're not in the fight.  I don't need your little attempts at clever.  I need you to be defending the rights of the people.  If you can't do that, just say so and we'll know your an enemy to democracy and the people.  This isn't minor.  The Republicans have declared a war on all of us.  It's against women (DOBBS), it's against African-Americans (the targeting of school curriculums), it's against LGBTQ+, stop making your "cultural war" 'jokes.'  They aren't funny and they only reveal how shallow and empty your mind is.

We're talking about people potentially being refused care.  These are basic rights that were long ago established and the American Taliban wants to destroy them.

I don't have time for your 'silly,' Zenkus.  Get on board or you've made it clear that you are foe.  We have enough of those already.

I really don't want to do the horse race so I'm only weighing in when something strikes me as worth commenting on.  In the Democratic Party field, Joe Biden, Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are all running for the party's presidential nomination.

I don't get Fiorella Isabel and that's why I'm commenting today.  She's a host on THE CONVO COUCH.  People accuse her of being a 'Russian agent' because she's on RT.  Being on RT doesn't make her a Russian agent.  Being in love with Vladimir Putin, however, might.  I am against the US proxy war on Russia and it didn't take months for me to say it.  I called it out in real time.  I also called out some of the 'lefties' in real time who couldn't find a voice but now have one and try to pretend like they weren't offering justifications for the war.  

I don't love Vladimir Putin -- or any world leader.  I like Daniel Ortega.  I don't love him.  I enjoy talking music with Daniel.  This site isn't a celebration of Daniel or a fanzine to him.  

I bring this up because Fiorella has a problem with RFK Jr.: 

A lot of people have rose-colored glasses about RFK Jr simply for his stance on COVID. But that’s not enough when foreign policy drives the entire world. The same insiders and institutions behind COVID’s nefarious policies for profit & control are behind US foreign & military…

In the video she posts with her Tweet, he says "Putin is a bully and a thug."

Unlike Tara Reade, I've never had sexual fantasies about Putin.  Ava and I love to point out, "We don't fall in love with politicians.  We're not that desperate."

So my point here is: SO?

Who cares what Robert thinks about Putin?  (Disclosure, I know all three running for this nomination.)  I don't need a politician who is in love with another politician.  The fact that Fiorella is so butt hurt over what Robert said makes me wonder how involved with Putin she is?  Is she subscribing to his JUST FANS channel?  Does she suggest content?

Robert is against the proxy war.  That should be the issue.  Not that he won't bow down before Putin.  

It's this sort of 'logic' that makes people roll their eyes when Fiorella speaks.  

Let's note Joe Biden.  Bringing TJ Ducklo onto his campaign staff?  While he kept his word by dismissing Ducklo from the administration, it's a weasel move to bring Ducklo back now.  I don't know why you would do it.  You're trying to put forward an image of the one who does the right thing.  Bringing Ducklo back is not the right thing.  You either take the threats he made against journalist Tara Palmeri seriously or you don't.  This is about leadership and character.  I see neither in bringing  Ducklo onto the campaign.

 What Joe is getting right is the threat that the American Taliban is.  I wish I could say the same for Marianne Williamson.  I was all eager to note her on the topic when Spencer Friedland's article was slid over to me.  Her 'remarks'  were uninspiring (and her comments on abortion should really make us pause).  Add to that the fact that she didn't lead on the trans issue and only commented because she was directly asked.

This is leadership, Marianne.  Lizzo's shown more leadership than you.

Out pop star Hayley Kiyoko says she was told by police that bringing drag performers onstage at her show in Nashville, Tennessee could result in legal action. She brought the queens onstage anyway.

In a long Instagram post, Kiyoko explained that after attending a drag show at Nashville gay club Play ahead of her May 1 tour stop in the city, she decided to invite some of the performers to appear onstage with her the following night at Marathon Music Works. But, she writes, “At soundcheck the day of, I was advised by local law enforcement that having a drag performance at my all ages show could result in legal action. They warned us to not bring any drag performers on stage.”

People are standing up.  Marianne isn't one of them currently.  Strange because, at her website, she can post this:

Our Declaration of Independence holds that the inalienable rights of, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” are endowed to ALL humans by their creator at birth. In 2015, marriage equality became the law of the land, yet there is still no federal law explicitly protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities from discrimination. These communities, therefore, do not enjoy the full breadth of freedoms that this country espouses to guarantee to each and every citizen.

This is in direct violation of our founding principles.

Generation after generation, people have fought to rid our country of the “except for’s.” “Except for blacks,” “except for women,” and so forth. Today, we are challenged by the ongoing prejudice that seeks to repudiate the fundamental American dedication to freedom and equality for all. The idea that there should be God-given life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, “except for them,” is a stain on our national character.

The ability to pursue a livelihood free from discrimination is a right denied, every day, to members of the LGBTQIA+ communities. It is estimated that roughly 7% of the US Population identifies as LGBTQIA+. But this large percentage of our population still does not have full legal rights and due process rights in many aspects of their life.

Unfortunately, the problem is now even worse than that. Certain parts of the LGBTQIA+ population, particularly transgender women of color, are at higher risk for marginalization and even violence. This makes them a population that needs not only equal rights but the specific status of special protection. Under a Williamson administration, they would have that.

The Lack of LGBTQIA+ Protections Today

Currently, LGBTQIA+ citizens are not included in the non-discrimination protections provided by the federal Civil Rights Act, and in 30 states, there are no state laws that protect LGBTQIA+ Americans from discrimination.

A report from the Center for American Progress found that more than half of LGBTQIA+ individuals have experienced discrimination at work, and 68.5% of respondents said that anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination has impacted their mental health.

Hypothetically, you can legally enter into a same-sex marriage on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, you can be refused service at your local restaurant, denied partnership rights at your local hospital, fired by your employer for your orientation, and evicted from your home by your landlord – with little or no legal protections or recourse available.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, today, more than 320 bills described as “anti-LGBTQIA+” were introduced across 35 states, including adoption laws and so-called bathroom bills. A frightening percentage of these types of bills have become law over the last few years.

Every American deserves to live free from fear of discrimination, regardless of who they are and whom they love.

There have been ongoing efforts for over 60 years to change these “except for” legal loopholes. There has been meaningful, bipartisan legislation in the US House ever since 1974, and one version of this reform legislation has been introduced in every Congress since 1994.

Unfortunately, through the 118th Congress, all these reforms remain unpassed.

Additionally, violence against gay and transgender populations internationally should be of specific concern to the United States. Special asylum status should be granted based on patterns of violence against those now seeking refuge in this country. Unfortunately, there have been reports of violence against transgender persons in American custody, including ICE facilities. Such behavior would not be tolerated in a Williamson administration, and all perpetrators would be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

Live what you post and we'll give you some applause, Marianne.

We don't have time for the closet case running from LGBTQ+ because he's afraid people will know that when the press isn't around he's a power-bottom forgetting his wife and his marriage.  Maybe we'll have time for that politician tomorrow.

But we need to wind down.  While I'm weighing in on things, if "all" Jen Psaki wanted was "to be a cable host," that would be pretty pathetic, I agree, Megyn Kelly.  How pathetic she would be.  The only thing sadder?  If Jen was a failed  cable host.  I'm thinking of someone.  Who is it that's a failed cable host?  Who left FOX "NEWS" as her ratings were in downfall?  Oh, that's right Megyn Kelly.  Yeah, Megyn, that would be pathetic, like you're pathetic.  

I've taken Jen Psaki to task many times over the years going back to when she and Marie Harf were spokespeople for the US State Dept but, when I called them out, I always had a reason -- something that they said or did.  I never called them out for their dreams.  

And if I burned my bridges at FOX "NEWS" and was run off from NBC NEWS, if my career went up in flames to the point that I had nothing impressive to point to and now had to make do with a YOUTUBE program, I don't know that I'd be picking on Jen.  I also should point out that Jen still looks like a human being.  

Megyn, I remember you asking Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery.  She's had it.  I don't remember you asking Robert Redford -- who was in the same interview -- about his plastic surgery (he's had a ton) or about that ridiculous wig he had on his head that looked like road kill.  Tip for you, Megyn, sassy senior men in their 80s?  Their hair isn't naturally strawberry blonde at that age.  

Seems like you're real good about attacking women but you freeze up when it comes to men.  Is that why you had those problems at FOX "NEWS"?  Who knows, right?  Why don't you stick to talking about how Santa's really White?  I mean it's crazy talk but clearly you believe it.  

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Matt Gaetz Wet" went up last night.  The following sites updated:

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Sandra Day O'Connor destroyed the country

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor provided the early framework that steered the outcome in the dispute over the 2000 presidential election and ensured George W. Bush would win the White House over Al Gore, Supreme Court documents released on Tuesday show.

Memos found in the newly opened files of the late Justice John Paul Stevens offer a first-ever view of the behind-the-scenes negotiations on Bush v. Gore at the court. They also demonstrate the tension among the nine justices being asked to decide a presidential election on short deadlines.

What a load of garbage.  They had no right to interject themselves into the proceedings.  The Constitution provides what is supposed to take place and that was for it to go to the Congress.  The Supreme Court wrongly interjected itself into the process and did so because Sandra and others wanted to hand the election to Bully Boy Bush.

For those to young to know, when the results were announced late on election night, Sandra cursed and walked out of the room (she was at a party).  The guests turned to her husband and he explained that Sandra wanted to retire.  So?  She would only retire if a Republican was in the White House.  Al Gore being president meant she'd have to wait to retire.  So she should have recused herself from the hearing.  But if she had, she wouldn't have gotten her way.  She was a useless seat holder on the Court.

"Media: Commencement" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):

How about: Stay away from hard drugs like cocaine?

And you can use John Mulaney as an example there.  BABY J is his latest NETFLIX stand-up special.  His latest and his worst.  He's only 40 but he's knocked all the natural glow off his face and the make up they used to try to hide this only made him look laughable.  He was a good looking man before the latest drug bender.  Now he's got sallow skin and his forehead has entered a post-middle age phase that there's no return from.  Coke will age you but who knew it would age someone that quickly?

It's not just the looks that are off.  He struggles throughout the special to find his rhythm and he's so clearly nervous that his voice is pitched an octave and a half higher.  The voice also seems stuck in his nasal resonators which makes it sound flat.  

A comic flop-sweating and struggling on stage is never funny, just sad.  Kind of like the suit they've dressed him in -- a suit that Pete Davidson is too old to wear.

What other advice could you share?  

How about: Listen to your own voice.  

If you listen to The Water Cooler Set, for example, you might skip out on AMAZON's CITADEL.  The action series is from the Russo brothers and that alone should have viewers streaming.  Adding to the positives are a fast pace, twists and turns and real chemistry between the leads Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra.  Madden won fans with NETFLIX's BODYGUARD and Chopra with ABC's QUANTICO.  In addition, Stanley Tucci is providing strong support.

So listen to your own voice and don't be swayed by those determined to run with the pack.  Stake your own ground.  Otherwise, you might find yourself offering praise to something as sad and pathetic as THE CONNORS and, three years later, too stubborn to admit your mistake so you're stuck defending it.  Trust us, there are a lot in The Water Cooler Set that wish they could take back the praise they gave to that floundering and aimless program.

Maybe you could urge your classmates and other attendees to greet the world with an open heart?

Hate is so ugly and really belongs to those among the aged who are scared and frightened.  Look at Jonathan Turley.  Not content to destroy his own image with his transphobia, he's also destroying the reputation of George Washington University.  Exactly what so threatens him about transgender persons?  At this point, it's so extreme, we're wondering if Jonathan grew up thinking he might be a girl?  Seriously.  He's working some strong animus.  It really seems like he grew up drawn to the feminine and has had to work really hard to steer himself towards the masculine -- look at the lips and how they draw down on the sides.  To be clear, we're not saying that is transgender.  We're saying he has some screwed up ideas about what transgender is and we think that's because he grew up wanting to play with Barbie but wasn't able to and that toy attraction (and his parents' reaction) led him fear who he really was.

Now he's just an elderly joke.  And a national embarrassment.

Read the whole thing, it's wonderful.  I was there when they wrote it and they had no idea what they were going to do.  Ty came into the room and told them about an e-mail (they note it at the top of their piece).  It all just flowed out.  They are so gifted.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Wednesday, May 3, 2023.  France calls out the continued attacks on the Yazidis, it's World Press Freedom Day and Julian Assange is still being persecuted, the crazy runs free in the US (look at the rabid Jonathan Turley and John Stauber), and much more.

RUDAW notes that Yazidis in Iraq are again being targeted:

The French Embassy to Iraq on Tuesday condemned the recent spark in hate speech targeting Yazidis in Shingal (Sinjar), urging relevant authorities to improve the security situation in the northern Iraqi city.

A protest was held in Shingal last Thursday against the recent return of several Arab families to the region where Islamic State (ISIS) militants committed genocide against Yazidis nearly nine years ago. Videos shared on social media showed demonstrators protesting near the mosque with a small fire burning outside the premises and security forces firing bullets into the air in an attempt to disperse crowd. Muslim groups based in Shingal claimed that the Yazidis had set fire to a mosque during the protest.

For more on religious issues in Iraq, see The US Commission on International Religious Freedom 2023 Annual Report which we covered in yesterday's snapshot.

Today is World Press Freedom Day.

Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

Julian remains persecuted.   When does it end? It would be great if it could end today on World Press Freedom Day.  Patrick Martin (WSWS) notes:

The annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association is an occasion for the media elite and top politicians in Washington to schmooze and declare their mutual solidarity. This is usually couched in the language of defense of the First Amendment, although that constitutional provision has been systematically trampled on by administration after administration in the interests of American imperialism.

Illegal government spying, police violence and the violation of such basic democratic precepts as the separation of church and state are everyday practices in America, and the corporate media generally passes over them in silence as long as its own financial interests are not harmed.

There was more than the usual measure of such hypocrisy at Saturday night’s annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Association, as President Joe Biden and the assembled members of the political and media elite pretended to defend freedom of the press, but only when it serves the foreign policy interests of American imperialism.

Most presidential appearances at the dinner—attended by every president in recent years except Donald Trump—have been characterized by scripted remarks making fun of the audience, the president’s political opponents and critics, and the president himself.

But Biden devoted the bulk of his remarks to a lengthy declaration of his opposition to the repressive measures taken against journalists in Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Venezuela, and pledges to devote US diplomatic efforts to winning the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, recently arrested on bogus spying charges in Russia, and other American prisoners of the Putin regime.

The coincidence between the list of countries guilty of violating press freedom and the list of countries targeted by American imperialism for subversion and overthrow was obvious. Biden made no reference, for example, to the murder of Washington Post commentator Jamal Khashoggi, killed and dismembered inside the consulate of Saudi Arabia in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Khashoggi, an adviser turned critic of the Saudi monarchy, was targeted by the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose security chief sent the hit squad and directed its actions. Biden claimed during the 2020 election campaign that he would turn the Saudi leader into a “pariah.” Instead, in pursuit of greater Saudi oil production, he went cap in hand to Riyadh for talks with the prince/assassin.

But the most obvious case of a double standard was one that involves the Biden administration directly: the persecution of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder and publisher was trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly seven years after he sought political asylum there against a US campaign to seize him and bring him to the United States for prosecution on espionage charges for exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at the Guantanamo Bay torture prison.

Since Assange was seized by British police who raided the embassy four years ago, he has been held in solitary confinement in Belmarsh, a high-security prison for terrorists and violent criminals in London, awaiting extradition to the United States, where he would face 175 years in prison if convicted under the Espionage Act. He would be the first journalist prosecuted under the century-old law, passed amid the anti-communist hysteria whipped up as part of US entry into World War I.

If you missed it, the transphobes are uniting.  Jonathan Turley Tweets nonsense and John Stauber reposts it.

I know it's hard for Turley and Stauber to understand business.  But before they choke on their cackles, Bud Light caved to the transphobes.  Some may have walked away from it for good.  But as any marketing major would tell you, what's going on right now is not about the transphobes.  Bud Light refused to stand with their influencer.  CNN already addressed this.  NIKE knew standing with Colin was going to hurt it with some but it would bolster then with others.  Bud Light embraced diversity and then shunned it.  There's no reason for those who believe in equality to continue to support Bud Light.  

So when you go on and on about how, "There sales are down!"?  Idiots, their sales are down because they went off brand.  They're now muddled and no one wants to stand with them.  They managed to anger both sides in the debate.

Some brands are able to walk the line, or pick a side and stick with it. Bud Light failed on both counts.

Again, I know you're both idiots and are too busy weighing in on things you know nothing about.  But that is what's going on and the business press -- as opposed to the reactionary world the two of you have decided to reside in -- grasped that a long time ago.  But I guess conjecture is all they have to offer.  Clearly, John Stauber has tired himself out reTweeting all those BABYLON BEE Tweets.  It's important for John Stauber to amplify the right-wing site's reach because . . . well, he's just that pathetic.  Again, I'm with Trina, he should never, ever be allowed back on the left.  What did Rebecca dub him?  Oh, that's right "john stauber is the 21st century david horowitz."

By the way, Jonathan Turley does not identify himself as a FOX "NEWS" employee on his Twitter feed.  So when he's sourcing his ridiculous claims to the ridiculous FOX "NEWS" articles isn't he required to make some kind of disclosure?  "I am paid by FOX 'NEWS' so I reTweet FOX 'NEWS' content"?  Or has becoming a bigot left him free from all ethical requirements?


I was asked to weigh in MORNING MIKA calling out Nikki Haley for saying that, if re-elected, Joe Biden will die in office.  It is her opinion.  That doesn't make it right.  Don Lemon's opinion was that Nikki was out of her prime.  That wasn't right.  I'd think Nikki, having recently been on the receiving end, would take a little more care and tact with her own statements.  I agree with Mika on this, it was rude and uncalled for.  In other Republican crazy:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said a mass shooting last week is part of the Biden administration's "plan."

Francisco Oropeza, 38, is suspected of shooting and killing five people in Cleveland, Texas, who lived next door after reportedly being asked by the neighbor to stop shooting his gun so their baby could sleep.

As of Tuesday, the Hispanic suspect—who was identified by ICE due to being deported four previous times before the recent tragedy took place—remains at large and is considered by authorities to be armed and dangerous.

The victims were Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Obdulia Molina Rivera, 31; Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; and Daniel Enrique Laso Guzman, 9, according to ABC News.

Need more examples of Republican crazy?  Try this from ROLLING STONE:

Newsmax has been working overtime to capitalize on cable viewers outraged over competitor Fox’s firing of headline host Tucker Carlson. In their eagerness to tear down the conservative media giant, their claims about the network have now boiled over into the outright conspiratorial. 

On Monday night host Eric Bolling, himself a former Fox personality, accused the network’s owners of being members of a globalist cabal working to silence conservatives. 

“The new world order globalists, also known as the Murdochs, [are] trying to destroy Tucker Carlson but do not be mistaken, they’re not stopping there,” said Bolling. 

Bolling went on to name other Fox News personalities who have been fired from the network in recent years, calling Lou Dobbs’ exit in 2021 a “clear Murdoch hit job.” 

Lou Dobbs is 77.  A hit job?  Maybe a mercy killing. 

We may cover a hearing this week.  I planned to cover it today but I forgot it was World Press Day (which means you call out the persecution of Julian Assange).  We'll wind down with this from DALLAS VOICE:

Just a day after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed SB 613 into law, banning gender affirming healthcare for transgender minors in the state, trans rights advocates have filed suit to challenge the new law.

SB 613 bans all forms of gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender youth and threatens providers who violate the law with a felony conviction and discipline from their professional licensing boards.

In a lawsuit filed today (Tuesday, May 2) by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the law firm Jenner & Block LLP, a group of families with transgender adolescents and Dr. Shauna Lawlis of OU Health “assert SB 613 unjustly and unfairly targets them and gender-affirming health care in violation of their rights under Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment,” according to a press release from Lambda Legal.

“Based on nothing but animus towards transgender people and a campaign of misinformation and disinformation, Oklahoma officials have decided to prohibit the provision of necessary, safe and effective evidence-based medical care for trans adolescents in Oklahoma,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, counsel and health care strategist at Lambda Legal. “These actions risk the health, the well-being and the very lives of trans youth in the Sooner State. We will not stand idly by as discriminatory laws endanger our community.

“Trans youth in Oklahoma and elsewhere deserve no less,” Gonzalez-Pagan continued. “We are proud to represent, alongside our co-counsel, these five courageous families and a caring doctor who together are standing up for their rights.”

ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director Megan Lambert added, “Every Oklahoman should have the freedom to access the care they need to survive and thrive. But once again, instead of deciding to boldly lead our state, Gov. Stitt and members of the legislature have decided to risk the lives of one of our most vulnerable populations, to score political points with their base.

“Oklahoma consistently ushers in the bottom of almost every list nationwide, from education and incarceration to healthcare and privacy,” Lambert said. “But lawmakers choose to spend their time pushing dangerous rhetoric on topics they know nothing about and attacking transgender children, instead of addressing the real issues Oklahomans face day to day. We all deserve the freedom to control our bodies and seek the healthcare we need, including gender-affirming care. The ACLU of Oklahoma and our partners have warned lawmakers that we will take swift action on any ban on gender-affirming care signed into law, and today is the day we make good on that promise.”

Harper Seldin, staff attorney for the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, called the new law “a dangerous attack on the rights of families and their transgender youth,” saying that Stitt and those who passed the bill “have ignored the voices of parents, medical providers and transgender youth themselves, instead choosing to put their politics between doctors and their patients. We’re confident the state will find itself completely incapable of defending this law in court and welcome the opportunity to fight for the safety, dignity, and equality of trans Oklahomans.”

The following sites updated: