Monday, September 20, 2021

Jimmy Dore, Jake Johnson

Jimmy Dore first up.

Oh, Chelsea Manning, the drama queen.  She doesn't appreciate anything.  She's on her own now.  Don't give two s**ts about her.  She's shown her true colors and she did it before when she got rude about Ann Wright a few years back.   She's rude and she's ungrateful and who the hell needs that?

Forget her.  There's no point to trying to defend her anymore.  She will attack you.  

Speaking of people who betray, Jake Johnson (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE) notes efforts to pressure two Democrats in the House to stop selling us out:

A national patient organization launched new ads on Friday targeting Reps. Scott Peters and Kathleen Rice for opposing a plan to let Medicare directly negotiate prescription drug prices, a centerpiece of the Democratic Party's popular agenda to lower sky-high medicine costs.

In the two 30-second spots—titled "Sellout" and "Patients Over Profit"—multiple sclerosis patient Therese Ball slams Peters (D-Calif.) and Rice (D-N.Y.) for prioritizing the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, which has lobbied aggressively against the Medicare drug-pricing proposal.

"The medications I need to live are priced at over $7,000 every month. I can't afford these prices. I don't know how anybody can," Ball says in the ad aimed at Peters, a major recipient of pharma donations who, like Rice, hails from a safe Democratic district. During the 2020 election cycle, Peters raked in campaign cash from Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead, and other pharmaceutical giants.

"It makes me so angry that members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients," Ball continues. "It's unforgivable."

The ads, launched by Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, urge Peters' and Rice's constituents to call their offices and demand that they "stop selling us out to drug companies" and "put lower prices for patients before drug company profits."

That's it for me.  I'm hungry and I'm gong to go eat -- and by hungry, I mean I'm starving.  

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Monday, September 20, 2021.  A War Criminal roams free in California where a crowd embraces lies and the liar while booing and hissing an Iraq War veteran, in Iraq elections are looming.

In the video below, Richard Medhurst offers reality as he reviews the many lies told to start the Iraq War.  

Remember the realities that Richard Medhurst lists the next time a Condi Rice shows up whoring to claim that Iraq is better off because of the illegal war and the lies told to start it.  Or worse yet, when it's Bully Boy Bush lying today -- he's apparently done hiding under a rock.  A few hypocrites in the center and on the slight-left want to hug him out of fear of Donald Trump and suddenly he thinks the world is welcoming him back.

That's Iraq War veteran Mike Prysner raining reality down on Bully Boy Bush's paid speech yesterday on as The Saban Theater on Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  Tonight, the War Criminal will be heading to The Terrace Theater at 300 E. Ocean Blvd in Long Beach.  

While the series takes place at multiple locations, only Los Angeles and Long Beach were trashy enough to host War Criminal Bully Boy Bush.  Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Redondo Beach took a hard pass on that demonstrating that some still have standards.

There were no standards in Los Angeles as Mike was prevented from noting the friends he lost in Iraq and the Iraqi people who are being killed in the war.  They didn't want truth at the Saban Theater, they wanted lies and that's why they turned out for Bully Boy Bush -- a War Criminal, a known homophobe, a disgusting piece of trash.  And that's who those present elected to side with, not the Iraq War veteran trying to tell truth.

Some are far too invested in lies and hypocrisy to break free from them.

And so US troops continue to be deployed to Iraq.  Dave Phillips (NEW YORK TIMES) reports:

A taut line of soldiers crossed the sprawling Army post’s parade ground in the afternoon, hoisting flags draped with a rainbow of streamers from past deployments: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Germany, France, Civil War battles and even skirmishes with Plains tribes on horseback.

“Present colors!” a sergeant yelled. The soldiers turned and dipped the flags toward their commanding colonel, who stepped forward and carefully wrapped each one in camouflage sleeves.

At that very moment — 1:29 p.m. Mountain time on Aug. 30 — the last U.S. military plane took off from the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.

American flags across the country had been lowered to half-staff to honor the 13 U.S. troops killed there by a suicide bomber. And at the front gate of Fort Carson, women set out 13 pairs of boots and 13 cold Bud Lights as a memorial.

But the ceremony on the parade ground was not marking the end of America’s war in Afghanistan. The 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade was wrapping its flags to mark the beginning of its latest deployment. It was going back to Iraq.

Although the mission may have dropped from public attention, the United States still has boots on the ground in the other nation it invaded in the wake of 9/11. About 2,500 U.S. troops are in Iraq now, the embers of what was once a scorching and divisive war, now carefully scattered to protect a few strategic bases. For the next nine months, roughly 2,000 soldiers from 1st Brigade will take over much of that duty.

In other news, THE NEW ARAB oofers an AFP article which examines voter mood ahead of the upcoming national election:

Mohammed, an economics graduate who works in a shop selling olive-, almond and other types of oils, says he feels "the election won't bring change".

At age 30, he keeps postponing the idea of marriage because of the searing economic difficulties.

"Basic services are not provided to me. Why should I go to vote?" he said, as the country suffers daily power cuts.

"The last time roads were paved in my neighbourhood was before 2003," added Mohammed, who like many Iraqis prefers not to give his full name when discussing politics.

In his Baghdad constituency, he said he knows two of the five candidates, but hasn't bothered to check their electoral platforms.

"The political factions have been the same since 2003; the only thing that changes are the faces," he said.

He denounced Iraq's entrenched clientelism, saying "the only people who vote are those who've been promised a job, or people who vote for someone close to them or from their tribe".

The The October Revolution  kicked off protests in the fall of 2019 which forced the prime minister to step down and early elections to be announced.  As ARAB WEEKLY notes, "Tens of thousands of Iraqi youths took to the streets to decry rampant corruption, poor services and unemployment. Hundreds died as security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse crowds."  This is what forced the resignation of one prime minister and has led to national elections which are supposed to take place October 10th.  (Members of the Iraqi military will vote October 8thTwo election simulations have been carried out by the IEC and the third and final one will take place September 22nd.)    that the candidates for Parliament include 951 women ("close to 30% of the total number of candidates") who are running for the 329 seats.  Halgurd Sherwani (KURDISTAN 24) has reported Jeanine Hannis-Plasschaert, the Special Representiative in Iraq to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, declared that Iraq's "Female candidates face increasing levels of hate speech, violence, and blackmail intended to force them to withdraw their candidacy." 

Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) counts 3,249 people in all seeking seats in Parliament  BROOKINGS notes this is a huge drop from 2018 when 7,178 candidates ran for office.   RUDAW is among those noting perceived voter apathy, "Turnout for Iraq’s October 10 parliamentary election is expected to be a record low, with a recent poll predicting just 29 percent of eligible voters will cast ballots." Human Rights Watch has identified another factor which may impact voter turnout, "People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Without urgent changes, hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote.  The 36-page report, “‘No One Represents Us’: Lack of Access to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Iraq,” documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office."  Another obstacle is getting the word out on a campaign.  Political posters are being torn down throughout Iraq.  Halgurd Sherwani  (KURDiSTAN 24) observes, "Under Article 35 of the election law, anyone caught ripping apart or vandalizing an electoral candidate's billboard could be punished with imprisonment for at least a month but no longer than a year, Joumana Ghalad, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), told a press conference on Wednesday."  And there's also the battles in getting out word of your campaign online.  THE NEW ARAB reported weeks ago, "Facebook is restricting advertisements for Iraqi political parties and candidates in the run-up to the country's parliamentary elections, an official has told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site."

THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck Tweeted: of how "chromic mistrust in [the] country's political class" might also lower voter turnout.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) also notes, "Experts are predicting low turnout in October due to distrust of the country’s electoral system and believe that it will not deliver the much needed changes they were promised since 2003."  Mistrust would describe the feelings of some members of The October Revolution.  Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) notes some of their leaders, at the recent  Opposition Forces Gathering conference announced their intent to boycott the elections because they "lack integrity, fairness and equal opportunities."  Distrust is all around.  Halkawt Aziz  (RUDAW) reported on how, " In Sadr City, people are disheartened after nearly two decades of empty promises from politicians." 

After the election, there will be a scramble for who has dibs on the post of prime minister.  Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has 90 candidates in his bloc running for seats in the Parliament and one of those, Hassan Faleh, has insisted to RUDAW, "The position of the next prime minister is the least that the Sadrist movement deserves, and we are certain that we will be the largest and strongest coalition in the next stage."  Others are also claiming the post should go to their bloc such as the al-Fatah Alliance -- the political wing of the Badr Organization (sometimes considered a militia, sometimes considered a terrorist group).  ARAB WEEKLY reported, "Al-Fateh Alliance parliament member Naim Al-Aboudi said that Hadi al-Amiri is a frontrunner to head the next government, a position that can only be held by a Shia, according to Iraq’s power-sharing agreement."  Some also insist the prime minister should be the head of the State of Law bloc, two-time prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters do not agree and have the feeling/consensus that,  "Nouri al-Maliki has reached the age of political menopause and we do not consider him to be our rival because he has lost the luster that he once had so it is time for him to retire."

A new Parliament could mean a new president.  The post is held by a Kurd, a prime minster has to be Shi'ite and the Speaker of Parliament has to be Sunni.  ARAB WEEKLY reports:.

Sources close to Iraqi President Barham Salih say he wants to seek a second term in office.

The sources told The Arab Weekly that it is generally agreed in the region that Salih has discharged the role of president in a balanced manner and has worked hard on rapprochement between Iraq’s neighbours.

They add that Sunni and Shia political forces see him as the most suitable for job. However, the matter will depend ultimately on the Kurdish parties’ agreement on him serving for a second presidential term, after the parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for October 10.

The Iraqi president’s Erbil visit on Friday, coincided with his announcement he would like a second presidential term. He noted that much will depend on the outcome of the elections.

The post of President of Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq has had Jalal Talabani as president (2006 to 2014), Fuad Masum (2014 to 2018) and Barham since 2018.  

On The October Revolution, Florian Neuhof (NEWSLINES) reports:

The family house of Ehab al-Wazni lies at the end of a narrow cul-de-sac in a warren of low-slung houses, one of the many nondescript residential blocks that make up the city of Karbala, southwest of Baghdad. The crumbling, sun swept facades bear no resemblance to the elegant, gilded spires of the Imam Hussein shrine at the edge of town, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. Dusty and desolate in the sweltering summer heat, the alleyway hints at menace.

Wearing a black abaya and a worried look on her pale face, Ehab’s mother Samira keeps a watchful eye on the TV in the corner of the living room. Security cameras project onto its screen, picking up any movement outside. Their reach falls just short of the spot where her son was shot on May 8, felled by two bullets to the chest, three to the head.

Ehab had been one of Iraq’s most prominent political activists. In October 2019, a wave of protests had swept the country, fueled by anger at government corruption and failure to provide basic services or jobs.

Radiating from Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the protests came to be known by the Arabic word for October: Tishreen. It was the young who took to the streets. With around 700,000 people entering the job market each year, at least 1 in 4 young Iraqis are unemployed. But the discontent went beyond economic grievances. A generation that had grown up with sectarian conflict after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion had wearied of rule of law being trumped by the rule of the gun. They were fed up with the outsized role of sectarianism in society and politics, and theocratic Iran meddling in Iraqi affairs.

In Karbala and beyond, Ehab had fanned the flames of dissent by spending countless hours on the streets and on social media.

“Ehab was the engine of the protests. He was trying to unify the movement. He encouraged protests all over Iraq,” his brother Ali al-Wazni said.

Ehab’s murder was only one of a tragic and unbroken string of killings. As the largely peaceful demonstrations spread throughout the country, the protesters were met with a hail of bullets and teargas canisters. At least 700 perished at the hands of police and shadowy militia groups over the past two years.

There is little doubt among the protesters that the militias are behind Ehab’s murder. Formed in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the militias grew as a Shiite insurgent force and engaged in a brutal civil war with Sunni extremist groups. They consolidated their position during the war on the Islamic State group, when they were crucial in defeating the terror group. Many have deep ties to Iran and have formed their own political parties. Woven into the fabric of power, the militias have an interest in propping up the system. More powerful than the state itself, they are a law unto themselves and have few consequences to fear.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Idiot of the week goes to . . .

First up, Jimmy Dore.

Idiot of the week?  Bill Fletcher Jr., come on down.  Grab your award!

Ajuma Baraka wrote an important column at BLACK AGENDA REPORT earlier this month which included:

Appealing to “white saviorism,” Western interventions are now framed as “humanitarian.” Already corrupted by material privileges and infused with assumptions of white supremacist biases, elements of the Western left fell into alignment with neoliberal justifications for imperialist actions in the global South.  

This sentiment is being captured dramatically with the situation unfolding in Afghanistan. The decision on part of elements in the U.S. foreign policy community to redeploy U.S. forces from Afghanistan has sparked an ahistorical and hypocritical cry from liberals and the pro-war corporate press that the U.S. and the West are abdicating their “responsibility to protect” “oppressed” populations. This fantastic flight from reality by liberals is compounded by an equally, and even more absurd stance taken by large sectors of the radical left in the U.S. and Europe who also seem to believe, like some of their predecessors from the second international that supported Western colonialism, that the West and Western imperialism can have some beneficial results for the natives in the global South. 

While this short commentary will not attempt to delve into the complexities of how the radical left ended up as collaborators with their imperialist bourgeoisie, I will discuss the divergent approaches to the current crisis by the international bourgeoisie and the Western left, with a particular focus on the U.S. left.

Having a clear understanding of the objective interests of U.S. led imperialism and the strategies being deployed to protect and advance those interests is imperative for colonized and oppressed peoples and classes.  We do not have the luxury of confusion.  The Western bourgeoisie still under the hegemony of U.S.-based finance and corporate capital has demonstrated through practice that, notwithstanding secondary conflict of interests among them, they have a common objective interest to act as a block to counter political challenges from the global South to the Pan European colonial/capitalist white supremacist patriarchy.  

Biden and the Post-Trump reconsolidation of Global White supremacy

As a result of the incessant propaganda from neoliberal corporate press in the U.S., Biden and democrats are considered to be the nice, rational friends of people of color globally, and Trump the mean massa, the proto fascist at the head of a violent, irrational movement committed to white supremacy and capitalist hegemony.

Of course, as I have said on many occasions, the reality is much more complex, with neoliberalism actually representing a more dangerous threat to colonized and working-class peoples in the U.S. and globally. This is because within the context of the U.S., Democrats have been successful in perpetuating the myth that they represent “progressivism.” This perception usually leads to substantial demobilization and actual liberal – left alignment with neoliberalism objectively when Democrats occupy the Executive Branch.

Yet, as the late Glen Ford said on numerous occasions, the democrats are nothing more than the more effective evil, especially when it comes to advancing a white supremacist imperialist agenda.

Get what the column's about?  Get that Baraka is analyzing?

Billy Jr. got his feelings upset because some of his crowd got called out so he takes to COUNTERPUNCH to attack the column.  I had planned to link to Junior's nonsense so you could read it and enjoy.  I'm not going to now -- I looked at it again and saw that Billy Junior didn't link to Baraka's article.  So why should I link to Junior's nonsense?

It's a ridiculous article.  My favorite dumb moment?  Junior whining that Baraka didn't provide answers.  It's an analysis, Junior, buy a clue.

He's passive aggressive throughout his bad article where he tries to 'educate' Baraka and the rest of us.  He's the one who need some education.  He hasn't been this ridiculous since 2008 when he co-founded Progressives for Obama and spent the next years making excuses for Barack.  He's pathetic.

 Junior, come claim your prize . . . Wait!

It's . . . It's a tie!  Also being awarded?  Paul Street.  The stupid idiot read Glenn Greenwald's latest column and didn't grasp sarcasm.  What a f**king moron.    He's an idiot and he shares Idiot of the Week with Bill Fletcher Jr.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Friday, September 17, 2021. Elections, elections.

Starting with the failed recall in California.  Wasn't planning to go back to that but everyone wants to find lessons.  And they don't know what they're talking about.  These are the same people who tried to convince people that Larry Edler had a chance at becoming the next governor of California.  Granted, whores have to turn tricks so the press needs to create drama and tension to keep their jobs but that was no excuse for some of the lunacy that made it into 'informed' 'commentary.'

The recall was the ninth proposed recall.  

Only one ever made it to the ballot and that was in 2003.  It's also the only one thus far that has been successful.  Gray Davis was the governor.  He had no personality and was so bland he appeared to have stumbled into the job.  And might have kept it in less angry times.  But he made many angry.  The rolling blackouts were a source of rage.  Arianna Huffington would attempt to run for governor but before that she was already charging that Gray was influence by corporate money and ties to the energy industry.  His efforts to address California's energy crisis were seen as too little and too late.  His bland appearance and demeanor added to the anger because he seemed indifferent to the issue even when he attempted to speak passionately.  

Gray was elected because he was the Democratic Party nominee.  He had no natural constituency.  He had failed to live up to promises from the campaign trail that could have led groups to stick with him.  And he never did anything brave in office though he'd been in office for most of his life.

So a recall was held and he lost.  

The lie the gasbags told you in the last weeks as they hyped this nonsense was -- in 2003! The governor got recalled! And California ended up with a Republican! And it's going to happen again!

California ended up with a Kennedy.  Let's not pretend that Larry Elder was anything like the eventual winner.  Ahnuld was a movie star.  As such, he had name recognition.  He grinned a lot and seemed thick headed so he could seem well intentioned but misinformed.

Especially when he had Maria Shriver.

It's amazing that Susan Sarandon is still blamed for Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016 (Hillary's loss is on Hillary) and a bunch of little nobodies acting on partisan fealty feel attacking Susan makes them seem informed and insiders.  They're just trash at the door trying desperately to be let in but they never will be.

If they meant what they said, we'd hear about Maria Shriver constantly.  Because Maria did what Susan's didn't do.  Maria turned that election and she did so with lies.

The argument she made was: I'm a Kennedy (Shriver) and you know my family (I'm flying them in to campaign) and you know our politics so you know Ahnuld really isn't a Republican.  Trust me, I'm close to my Uncle Teddy (trust me, but don't get in a car with me).  

He was coasting to victory when his harassment came out.  Everyone knew about it.  Even Maria.  But she put on her lie face and publicly insisted that this was no true, all these women were liars, all of them, she knew her husband and we knew her.

She's a bitch.

That's what she is and what she always was.  

When her faithful husband ended up having a child with the house keeper, laughter was heard across the country because Maria finally got what she deserved.  A power hungry woman who was afraid to grab the reigns for herself lied and whored for her husband and then she got publicly humiliated.  She got what she had coming.

And if you don't believe that, look at what she did to Sondra Locke.  Sondre was her best friend.  They were on the phone multiple times daily.  They saw each other at least once a week they vacationed together, they did this together and that together.  Clint Eastwood dumps her and so does Maria.  Maria can't be bothered to return Sondre's calls.  She has to dump her, she insists because, well, Ahnuld.

So she dumped a friend -- didn't reach out to her when Sondra had her cancer scare, didn't do a thing to help her or comfort her -- because her husband asked her to (he was good friends with Clint).  She stabbed Sondre in the back.  Maria got publicly humiliated?  Good.  That's the kind of woman she was.  Clint cheats on Sondre and has a baby with another woman and Maria doesn't care and won't maintain her friendship with Sondre.  Then the bitch wants sympathy a few years later when the shoe's on the other foot?

She got what she deserved.

And if people were really upset that someone  fixed an election for a Republican, they'd be mad at Maria.  But they won't take on a Kennedy (Shriver) because they're only going after Susan because she's not a Democrat.

Larry was not Ahnuld.  He didn't have the name recognition.  He didn't have an image to most and the image he did have was as right-wing and political.  That wasn't going to fly currently in California.  

Elder is anti LGBTQ and anti-abortion.  He has a long history of making sexist remarks about women.  He wasn't going to be the next governor.  Even if the recall had succeeded -- and it didn't and wasn't going to as was obvious weeks before it took place -- Larry would not be governor of California.  

Alexandra Datig's charges of abuse and the past harassment accusations against him -- which he himself once found worth discussing -- meant he wasn't getting to the governor's mansion.

Ahnuld wouldn't have if he hadn't had Maria lying to the state and pulling him across the finish line.  

Since we're on the recall.  E-mails to the public account said that in Wednesday's snapshot I attacked THE CONVO COUCH and Rose McGowan.

A) I didn't attack THE CONVO COUCH.  I noted that they hated Gavin Newsom.  I noted that I posted every video they did against Gavin.  I did not use this site (misuse it) to promote Gavin.

B) I didn't attack Rose.  I noted that I was accused of censoring her because I didn't carry her endorsement of Larry.  That's all I said besides her endorsement came far too late to make any difference.  I didn't bring up the abuse of women and harassment and ask, "How could you, Rose!"  I didn't do that because Rose can make up her own mind.  I'm sure she knew of the charges.  She may have looked into them and found them to be questionable or not real. She's a grown woman, she can make her own evaluations.  

What she said of Gavin's wife?  Bothered that she felt she could accuse someone based upon a story she presents as a woman (Gavin's wife) calls her, says one sentence to her and Rose, by her story, hangs up on the woman.  Then Rose goes on to tell that story with the motives  behind the call -- from one sentence, mind you -- known by Rose and the motives being pure evil.

It seems a bit much.  If Rose wanted to characterize the phone call, then maybe she should have stayed on it long enough to find out what it was about?

(I'm concerned about Rose but as a mutual friend said, "After [the story about the phone call with Gavin's wife] I'm scared to death to call her.")

That's not an attack on Rose -- I think that's common sense advice to anyone.

I am not upset with Rose.  She's been under intense pressure and a lot of people have worked to destroy her.  It's natural that she's going to inspect every interaction.    She needs to center herself.  Since THE KATIE HALPER SHOW appearance, I've been worried about Rose.  She kept talking over Katie -- and she continues to do that in every appearance.  Why is that?

She doesn't feel heard.  I understand that.  But you watch and she is being heard.  Katie, Jimmy Dore, the others are listening and trying to have a conversation.  She's been wronged repeatedly since coming forward.  But she needs to center herself because not everyone's out to destroy her.  

Rose is a great actress and she's shown true bravery.  If she continues as she is at present, she's going to burn herself out.  That's my concern for Rose.  And I don't hate her, I don't dislike her, and I'm not attacking her.  I'm proud of her and I want to know she's going to find joy and happiness again.  

Sidebar, Rose took on Harvey Weinstein and deserves immense credit for that.  I am not noting David Swanson this week.  He's in the penalty box.  For the record, I'm not required to note him or anyone.  I don't really like him (because he forwarded an e-mail response Rebecca sent him to someone else -- he was too stupid to realize he'd included her on the forward -- Rebecca's moved beyond it, I haven't).  I usually post his stuff here because he's always e-mailing the public account.  And I don't read it because he doesn't use any language that would raise flags.  I read the first e-mail of the week because "feminist" was in the title.

I'm not in the mood for that s**t.  He's attacking "White feminists."  He doesn't write about women, he doesn't write about feminism, he's never written about Rose's bravery.  A non-White feminist has a beef and it's probably a valid beef.  But her beef is not with feminism.  It's with what would probably be termed "liberal feminism" today.  How many times have Ava and I said -- since 2005, that we present a feminist view of the media at THIRD -- "a" -- not "the" because there are many branches of feminism.  I'm really not into race-based attacks.  Then David wants to note a Harvey Weinstein led campaign.

That's what it was.  People on the left, some brave and strong , to be sure, took money from Harvey and used their names -- such as they were -- to attack a film.  That is what brought Harvey down.  Rose wouldn't have gotten traction without Harvey's history of turning the Academy Awards into a blood sport.   Everyone knew he was a monster who assaulted women and time and again the stories were killed because he had friends who could call in favors.  After a long history -- starting with his attacks on Ron Howard's film -- the industry had felt Harvey had crossed certain lines and no one was going to protect him anymore.  

I'm sure David wasn't paid off by Harvey.  He wouldn't have been seen as 'powerful' enough.  In that attack, Harvey primarily employed Iraq War veterans to attack the film David mentions in his column.

But David doesn't know what he's writing about.  And I'm damn sick of men who ignore women over and over until they're ready to attack us.  

I'm not noting him this week.  I may or may not note him next week.

Staying with elections but moving to Iraq where national elections are supposed to take place October 10th.  

A powerful mix of insecurity and traditional prejudice against more liberal female politicians put Awatef Rasheed off running for parliament when she returned to Iraq in 2014 after years abroad.

Seven years later, with Iraq less unstable, Rasheed has decided to contest a Oct. 10 election for the assembly, even if abuse and intimidation of women would-be lawmakers persist.

    Today, she is one of the 951 women, representing close to 30% of the total number of candidates, running for election to the country’s 329-seat Council of Representatives.

Passing a new domestic violence law, and more representation for women in the executive branch of government, are among the goals of some of the would-be female lawmakers.

For Iraq’s women politicians, elections can be an excruciating experience.

Rasheed scrolled through her smartphone and looked at pictures of one of her campaign banners that had been ripped up, with the tear precisely crossing the image of her face.

“Out of 38 banners we put up in my city of Basra, 28 were damaged and four disappeared”, she said. 

THE DENVER GAZETTE runs photos of candidates Nada al-Jubori, Awatef Rasheed, and Ola al-Tamimi.

Ten months ago, ALJAZEERA filed that report and it remains true.  Few expect change via the elections and turnout may be as low as 30% according to some observers.  

Which brings us to Mina.  Oh, Mina.  You could be an independent journalist.  Maybe some day.  She's filed another oen of those pieces that reads like a US government press release.  She co-wrote this one.  Read it if you want.  She and her co-writer mainly focus on a protester who thinks it's possible to speak for everyone -- you knew he was a man, didn't you?  Yeah.  So he wants to tell you what protesters think because, having a penis, he knows everything.  The protest movement behind The October Revoltuion was a diverse group of Shi'ites but leave it to a man to speak for all of them.  The only thing worse than that self-important and deluded man is the two writers who should be noting up front that some leaders of that revolution have called for boycotts of this election.

Now the press initially reported that as "the leaders."  We never did that here.  We said "some" because it's a diverse movement.  Now the press is finding -- or those in the press who owe favors to the US State Dept are finding people who will rally the vote.  Lots of luck with that.

Khazan Jangiz (RUDAW) reports:                

The leader of the European Union’s election observation mission on Thursday urged Iraqis to vote in this year’s parliamentary elections, saying not participating will make turning Iraq into a democratic country difficult.

“All the voters who still have doubts and might not go and take part in the elections will only make it more difficult for Iraq becoming a real democratic country ... I know it is sometimes difficult to understand - I’m a politician myself - for voters “why shouldn’t we go, if I don’t go it doesn’t make a difference” but I can tell you it makes a difference,” mission leader Viola Von Cramon said at a press conference in Baghdad.

“I would like to force each and every voter, each and every citizen, to think twice before you stay at home, rather go and make a good choice for this country,” she added.


The following sites updated:

Thursday, September 16, 2021

AOC's fake ass gets called out by Jimmy Dore and Glenn Greenwald

AOC and her attention seeking behavior. Her pointless attention seeking behavior. Jimmy Dore calls it out.

Glenn Greenwald really nails AOC here:

An avalanche of similarly repugnant imagery poured forth on Monday night at the most gluttonous and opulent royal court spectacle of them all: the annual Met Gala held by long-time Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Town and Country has lamented that the once-elevated-and-dignified event has become quite gauche ever since it became overrun by cultural celebrities and nouveau riche tycoons -- “these days, the gala is a highly commercialized, celebrity-driven media circus that celebrates sensationalist preening by individuals who couldn’t be less interested in the museum.” Yet despite this degradation, the magazine nonetheless still regards the affair as “the fashion and society event of the year.” In 2014, Wintour complained that the event was insufficiently exclusive and raised the ticket prices to $25,000 per person in order to keep out the riff-raff who had been able to get in the prior year for the middling price of $15,000 per ticket. Tickets this year cost as much as $35,000 per person. It is, pronounced Wintour's Vogue this week, “the fashion world equivalent of the Oscars.”
While event organizers, in an act of noble self-sacrifice and social duty, sadly cancelled the gala in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wintour was determined this year not to let unpleasant matters like overflowing ICU wards, ongoing school closures, looming mass evictions, and pervasive mask mandates ruin the immense enjoyment bequeathed to the world's serfs as they watch their beloved bejeweled class pose in designer gowns. Following Pelosi and Obama's examples, a long list of America's most glittering stars bravely risked exposure to a deadly virus by appearing without masks, all to ensure that Americans would never again be deprived of such a richly gratifying moment for them. Co-chaired by Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka, honorary chairs included Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri, and Wintour herself.
Much of the attention on Monday night was devoted to the appearance on the red carpet by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The usual horde of embittered online nay-sayers and envious party-poopers tried implying that there was something incongruous about a socialist politician gleefully participating in the most vulgar tribute to capitalism and social inequality to emerge since the walled-off galas thrown by the French aristocracy at the Palace of Versailles. Some petty, resentful critics even suggested that AOC's latest star turn somehow illustrated what Shant Mesrobian has disparagingly described as “the Squad’s brand of highly educated, professional-class cultural leftism,” which "now offers elected officials a path to fame and pop culture status that circumvents much of the old, hand-dirtying business of politics,” pursuant to which "elected office itself has become merely a stepping stone to social media celebrity” and “maintaining a social media influencer empire rivals, or even surpasses, the priority of being a successful legislator."
Fortunately, many of AOC's most devoted socialist supporters stepped forth with passionate defenses of their leader. As they pointed out, AOC had painted onto the back of her pristine white gown — in perfectly proportioned and tastefully scrolled red ink highlighting the stunning virtues of the designer dress' silhouette -- a leftist phrase, Tax the Rich, that not only assaulted the Biden-supporting liberal celebrities in attendance but made them feel endangered in their own habitat, as if their wealth and privilege were being imperiled not from afar but from one of their own, from within. Far from being what AOC's dirty and petty critics tried to malign this as being — an attention-seeking, celebrity-building, branding opportunity in which AOC yet again lavished herself in the multi-pronged rewards of the very economic and cultural hierarchies she claims to despise and vows to combat -- she was actually engaged in a revolutionary and subversive act, injecting into aristocratic circles a beautifully artistic yet hostile message.
This was not, contrary to the grievances of her small-minded and jealous critics, AOC reveling in one of Louis XVI's court festivities. Instead, she was storming the Bastille: not with weapons or fire but with the graceful designer elegance of the insurgent Marxist renegade, which made her presence all the more deceptively disruptive. While it may have appeared that Vogue's perfectly-coiffed red-carpet correspondents and other Met luminaries were gushing with admiration and awe at her bold fashion statement, they were actually shaking with fear over what AOC had wrought. They were quivering with rage and fear, not swooning with delight as it appeared.
Besides, as AOC herself put it with her trademarked class consciousness, the very fact that she can attend the Met Gala while you cannot is proof of the potency of the left-wing movement she leads.

I do not get why so many bought into AOC. Granted, I'm part of THE COMMON ILLS community and C.I. called AOC out from the beginning, noting that she wasn't poor, that she was running on a fake background, etc. Then she called AOC a glossy individual who hadn't stood out much and former Senator Claire MacCaskill echoed that on CNN.

But a lot of people did buy into the lies around AOC. She really is a fake ass. And if you can't see that by now, you're living in a land of self-delusion.

 Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Thursday, September 16, 2021.  Elections gear up in Iraq, War Criminals get praised in the US.

Journalist, activist, theorist Glen Ford passed away recently.  BLACK AGENDA REPORT notes:

The memorial service for Glen Ford will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. The event will be live streamed on Youtube.

Richard Medhurst notes BLACK AGENDA REPORT and Glen Ford this video from yesterday.

The opposite of truth telling?  Lying, whoring, the people working overtime to make War Criminals look better.  Whether it's throwing soft balls to War Criminal Condi No One Could Have Guess Rice like THE WASHINGTON POST did at the start of the week  or now NEWSDAY publishing Cathy Young's lunatic ravings entitled "Reconsidering Bush . . . for the better."  No link to a text version of the work of Leni Riefenstahl.

Jack Tajmajer (Brown's DAILY HERALD) notes a recent panel on the cost of war:

Discussing the costs of the war in Iraq, Nadje Al-Ali, director for the Center for Middle East Studies and professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies at the Watson Institute, said Iraq had already been “decimated radically” through “thirteen years of the most comprehensive sanction system ever imposed on a country” by the time the U.S. invaded. 

That reality escapes Cathy Young.  She has no time to study.  She has no time to research.  But reconsider?

It sure is nice that Cathy Young can reconsider.  The dead in Iraq don't have that luxury, do they?  Nor do the ones who continue dying in the US.  An obit on a man under fifty that doesn't include the cause of death?  Six ran this week.  All men were single.  The youngest was in his 30s.  All were former US service members who served in Iraq.  

Did they all kill themselves?  I have no ida.  I know two did because I heard from family members about it.  Unlike Cathy Young, those two had to live with the effects of Bully Boy Bush's actions.  Cathy just has to reflect on how much she can get paid for whoring.  

There are people in need in this country -- in need in so many ways, but, don't worry America, Cathy Young's going to use her space in a daily newspaper to try to clean up the reputation of a War Criminal and to act as though he's someone society should embrace.

Condi, Colin, Bully Boy Bush and the rest are War Criminals.  They lie about their crimes and pretended they helped when all they did was hurt.  Tracy Keeling (THE CANARY) observes:

The International Witness Campaign is remembering the last 20 years of the “failed War on Terror”. This decades-long war has seen its fair share of illegality and incompetence by those who’ve waged it. As with all wars, it’s hawks also paid no regard to the huge environmental costs involved.

Now, after these decades of war, the Middle East is facing another security threat: the climate crisis. Indeed, authorities around the world are increasingly recognising the environmental emergency as the greatest security threat we face.

As In These Times recently contemplated, imagine if those who waged the War on Terror had spent the last 20 years fighting the climate crisis instead. The populations targeted in the failed war, and the global community as a whole, would undoubtedly be better equipped to deal with the crisis if they had.

Indeed, there might not be a crisis to speak of if the vast amounts of money spent on the war had been directed to tackling the climate crisis from the start of the millennium onwards.


Paul Antonopoulos (ANTIWAR.COM) notes the 'success' lying brings for some:

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq saw entire infrastructures destroyed, hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, millions of refugees, and over $6 trillion of American taxpayer money wasted. Much of this devastation was caused by American soldiers, often with impunity. In fact, the Americans were not alone in such war crimes, with many British, Australian and other soldiers from partnered countries responsible for murder, rape, extortion and theft in Afghanistan and Iraq.

What is most concerning though is that the upper echelons of the US military had little to no concern for the war crimes perpetrated by NATO forces. Instead, they focused on creating a narrative, portraying the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq as constantly improving. Journalist Craig Whitlock’s new book, "The Afghanistan Papers," provides evidence that military leaders knew the war in Afghanistan was failing but lied about it. Colonel Bob Crowley claims in the book that "every data point was altered to present the best picture possible" and Whitlock described the military’s positive assessments as "unwarranted and baseless" that "amounted to a disinformation campaign."

The main question is why the top military leaders were adamant in their claims that the war situation in Afghanistan and Iraq was improving. It can be suggested that their lies about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq was motivated by self-interest to advance their own careers and capital. They were certainly not going to allow the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as over 1.3 million cases of ill-discipline in the military, including rape, torture and murder, ruin their prospects.

Take for example the current US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Austin was the assistant commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. The Intercept recounts an exchange in May 2013, just weeks after the US captured Baghdad, between Austin and Dathar Khashab, director of the Daura oil refinery. No matter about Khashab’s insistence that Baghdad was more crime-ridden under US occupation then under Saddam Hussein’s rule, Austin could only say that "two months ago was a brutal dictator who killed thousands of people."

Austin, who from the very beginning of Iraq’s occupation insisted everything was fine, eventually became the commander of US forces in Iraq, then took charge of Central Command that covers all operations in the Middle East, retired with a $15,000 a month pension, and then joined several corporate boards, including the board of directors of United Technologies Corporation, the military contractor that merged with Raytheon in 2020. With these corporate gigs, he became a multimillionaire with a $2.6 million mansion that boasts seven bedrooms, a five-car garage, two kitchens and a pool house in the Washington D.C. area.

 People got rich off the ongoing war.  The Iraqi people suffered.  The people sent to Iraq to fight, invade and occupy suffered.  Iraq is a failed-state where secret prisons are once again on the rise.  Big rumor currently: State Of Law is considering airing that dirty laundry ahead of the planned October 10th elections but are concerned about the blowback -- Nouri al-Maliki is the head of the Sate of Law coalition.  He was a two-time prime minister of Iraq and ran secret prisons and torture centers during both terms.  

The current prime minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi is backed by the US government.  Turnout for the election is expected to be low.  Some have announced that they are boycotting the elections.  Others face obstacles to voting.  Human Rights Watch notes one such grouping:

People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Without urgent changes, hundreds of thousands of people may not be able to vote.

The 36-page report, “‘No One Represents Us’: Lack of Access to Political Participation for People with Disabilities in Iraq,” documents that Iraqi authorities have failed to secure electoral rights for Iraqis with disabilities. People with disabilities are often effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places and significant legislative and political obstacles to running for office.

“The government should ensure that polling places are accessible to all voters,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. “While some steps will take time, like amending legislation, others are easy, and the Independent High Electoral Commission has no excuse to continue to fail to address accessibility.”

Between January and August, Human Rights Watch interviewed 14 people with disabilities as well as activists, authorities, and the staff of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

While the Iraqi government has not collected any reliable statistics on the number of people with disabilities, in 2019, the United Nation’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said that Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, including the battles against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) from 2014-2017, has one of the world’s largest populations of people with disabilities.

Iraq’s Parliament acceded to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2013. Article 12 requires state parties to “recognize that persons with disabilities enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life” and article 29 calls on states to respect the political rights of people with disabilities. Iraq’s domestic law, however, falls short. The 1951 civil code does not recognize the right to legal capacity for people with disabilities, allowing the government to deprive people with intellectual, psychosocial (mental health), visual, and hearing disabilities of their legal capacity. People without legal capacity are not allowed to vote.

Article 29 of the covenant requires states to ensure that voting facilities and materials are “appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use.” However, Iraqi authorities offer little to no accessible information to people with intellectual, visual, and hearing disabilities. Electoral materials are not presented in accessible formats such as audio, Braille, large print, sign language, and easy-to-read. Videos on the website are not accessible for people with hearing and visual disabilities. Because of the complete ban on operating vehicles on election day for security reasons, people who use mobility assistive devices can face difficulties reaching polling places.

The election commission almost exclusively uses school buildings, many of which are inaccessible, for polling places. It locates many ballot boxes on the second floor in buildings without elevators. It has no mobile voting stations, electronic voting, or postal voting, perhaps because of Iraq’s weakened postal system.

“Every election day is the most depressing day for me,” said Suha Khailil, 44, who uses a wheelchair and who has never participated in an election. “Everyone goes to vote and I am stuck at home waiting for the day to end,” she said.

People with disabilities said they sometimes must rely on assistance to reach the polling place. When that assistance comes from political party members, they sometimes try to influence how the person votes. The need for some people to get assistance to fill in their ballot or reach a ballot box raises concerns about privacy.

Ahmed al-Ghizzi, director of Voice of Iraqi Disabled Association, a Baghdad-based organization, said that his group’s survey of 2018 parliamentary elections found that only 200 members out of the about 5,000 who replied said they had been able to vote.

Available evidence suggests that people with disabilities also face significant obstacles to running for public office. Despite extensive research, Human Rights Watch was only able to identify eight people who had run for public office since 2005, including six in parliamentary elections and two in governorate elections. All candidates were men, and all had physical disabilities. The obstacles stem from discriminatory legislation, including provisions that require candidates to be “fully competent” or “fully qualified,” a lack of financial resources, and the unwillingness of political parties to seek out and support people with disabilities as candidates.

“It really makes me sad when I see all the members of parliament and there is no one to represent us,” said Naghim Khadir Elias, 47, who uses a wheelchair.

The commission has defended its policies. “Our institution is an executive one that is only concerned with implementing the electoral law that organizes all details of the electoral process,” the commission told the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in December 2020, in response to critical findings from the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But the commission has the authority to select accessible voting sites and to offer transportation and disseminate accessible information.

For election day, the commission should ensure that transportation is available and that polling places are accessible. It should ensure that its election information materials are accessible and easy to understand for persons with intellectual, visual, and hearing disabilities. It should also ensure that assistance is available to those who need it and that it does not interfere with the right to cast a private and independent vote.

Iraq’s newly elected parliament should amend the relevant legislation to comply fully with the covenant. It should amend the civil code on legal capacity so the right to legal capacity is respected for anyone with a disability and that they have access to supported decision-making, if needed.

People with disabilities and their representative organizations should be consulted and included in all these efforts.

The United Nations and European Assistance Missions’ election monitoring bodies should include people with disabilities as expert monitors and include in their monitoring mandate documentation and reporting on discriminatory treatment and limitations that people with disabilities face.

“Countries financially supporting Iraq’s elections and monitoring missions, including those who have been part of the conflict, should ensure that they help make Iraq more accessible for people with disabilities, including its political system,” Wille said.

Meanwhile, there's a call to postpone the election in one oil-rich area of Iraq.  RUDAW reports:

Three members of the Iraqi parliament who identified themselves as representatives of the city’s Arab and Turkmen communities have called for the postponement of the Iraqi election for a week in the disputed city of Kirkuk.

Turkmen MP Ersat Salih and Sunni Arab MP Mohammed al-Tamimi held a press conference on Wednesday in Kirkuk, attended by a number of other politicians, including Hasan Turan, the head of the Turkmen front. 

A statement read by Khalid al-Mafraji, a Sunni Arab member of Iraqi parliament, claimed that Peshmerga forces are trying to move into Kirkuk territories under the guise of fighting remnants of the Islamic State in the disputed areas. It called on Iraqi forces to take on the ongoing threat posed by ISIS without the support of their Kurdish partners.

Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) notes, "On July 8, the IHEC approved the final list of candidates eligible to contest the elections. There are a total of 3,249 candidates, including 951 women, competing for 329 seats. Nine seats are reserved by minorities and there are 67 candidates vying for these spots."

The following sites updated: