Friday, April 10, 2020


I did not watch the one hour filler of fun and gags behind the scenes.  Screw that garbage.  I did watch the other hour, with the final two episodes of MODERN FAMILY ever and that was also garbage. 

It ended as garbage.

The whole final season was garbage.

They did bring Elizabeth Banks on, by the way, for like 30 seconds as Sal.  She's thrilled that Mitch and Cam bought a new house because it's next to her and they can drink all the time and Lily can watch her son and . . .

But they're selling the house they just bought to move to Missouri because after the guy got the college coaching job Cam wanted, the guy freaked out in the press with an interview and now they wanted Cam.

I'd love to tell you there was a moment to laugh hard.  There wasn't.

The funniest moment was Sal and Lily exchanging glares.

The two episodes had Mitch and Cam saying goodbye and having their flight delayed -- over and over.  It wasn't the funniest thing the first time and it got less funny as it went on.  

 Moving over to Joe The Rapist Biden, Andrew Levine (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

And what does the other duopoly party offer in response? Joe Biden. Seriously.
Biden is a doofus who, even in his prime, could actually make the Clintons look good.
That was surely one of the reasons why Barack Obama picked him to be his running mate; the future President Drone and Deporter-in-Chief, anticipating taking up where Bill Clinton left off, wanted to look good too.
Another reason was to reassure Wall Street. They had already vetted him out the wazoo, but with serious money involved, they were still a tad worried. Team Obama therefore felt it expedient to set their minds at ease. Biden on the ticket would seal the deal.
In those bygone days of yesteryear, Democratic Party honchos still knew what they had to do to win elections that weren’t handed to them on a silver platter.
Where, then, are they now, those savvy Party grandees? And why don’t their paymasters intervene? Why are they being so stupid?
Whatever the answer, it hasn’t made them too stupid to hold onto their power.
Sad to say, though, that they were still clever enough to realize that Sanders, and maybe Elizabeth Warren as well, were everything they didn’t want Obama to be. And so, aided and abetted by CNN and MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and the whole motley mess of “liberal” corporate media, they quashed their candidacies well.

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

Thursday, April 9, 2020.  Bernie Sanders betrays his supporters and his ideas, Iraq gets a new prime minister-designate, and much more.

Starting in the US where a coward has dropped out of an ongoing race.  Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders -- with one primary still counting votes and 26 more primaries to go -- dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination leaving only alleged rapist Joe Biden running for the nomination.

His staff fought a battle, his supporters fought a battle.  Bernie?  He never really fought anything.

In the '00s, people like Robert Greenwald would make 'documentaries' and usually Bernie would pop up in them.  Oh, we need to stop the consolidation of our media, he would whine.  And then do nothing.  Back then the excuse offered for his do-nothings was, "He's in the House of Representatives and has to run for re-election every two years.  He can't do too much or the Democratic Party might primary him!!!!"  Then he ran for the US Senate and we were told that since it was a six year term, a Senator Bernie was going to be something to watch.

Really?  For comic value?

Real members of Congress of yore -- say Mike Gravel -- actually accomplished things in Congress.  Bernie?  No.

In 2015 and 2016, we told truths about Bernie in Congress and many of those truths became talking points for Hillary Clinton's campaign.  We'd get the outraged e-mail regularly, "How can you do this!!!" Tell the truth?  How can you not?

In 2019, Bernie had a movement he could ride to victory and an excellent group of people working on his campaign -- David Sirota and Nina Turner to name just two.

There was real excitement behind the empty suit.  That excitement could have been amplified and built on.

But apparently not by Bernie.

Just as in 2016 when he never really offered any strong criticism of Hillary Clinton, he never offered any strong criticism of Joe Biden.  You can't run for office with a meek whisper.

Bernie didn't fight.  He had a movement behind him that fought constantly.  They would have done anything because they believed what he said.  But the reality is that Bernie never believed what he said.  You can't believe in those things and not fight for them.

Bernie's an empty suit and he's a disgrace.

4 e-mails to the public account insist I'm upset that Bernie endorsed Joe Biden.


That's not a surprise.

Bernie loves to be useless.

From October 31, 2016, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary Talks To Bernie."  Bernie folds like a fluffy towel, he always folds.  The betrayal this go round is that he insisted he was in the race but ends up dropping out before millions of people even get to weigh in.

Normally when people drop out, it's because there's no more money -- Joe knows about that from previous runs -- all about that.  But all you need it a digital camera or phone to record/broadcast an 'event' these days and Bernie's not spending money on event locations or anything else.

Bernie dropped out because he's a coward.

This was a make or break moment.  He could run on the ideas he supposedly believes and make a difference.  Or he could fold before everyone was able to vote.  Even when he lost a primary, those participating made clear in exit polls that they supported Medicare For All.  Why not let the remaining 26 primaries take place so we could know where all the voters stood.

[If you're e-mailing the public account that I am wrong about the number of primaries remaining
it better be because I miscounted and not because you're so stupid you don't know that primaries are not just held for states.  Stop clogging up the public e-mail account with your stupidity.  I am not here to spoonfeed.  You can Google the remaining primaries and see for yourself.  I counted 27 before Tuesday's Wisconsin primary.  That would leave 26 -- 23 of which are state primaries.  If I got one or more wrong, e-mail.  If, on the other hand, you don't grasp that, for example, DC has its own primary, grab a dunce cap and go silent.]

If this was about ideas, if this was about what the American people wanted, you stay in the race until the end.  You do that, if nothing else, for the raw data showing support for Medicare For All.

With Bernie out of the race, there's no reason for anyone to rush to vote in a remaining primary.

Bernie betrayed the ideas he spoke of and the people who supported his campaign.

And now we're surrounded with lies.

At COMMON DREAMS, they offer lies.  Hey, but good for them, did you notice, it took them two weeks but they finally stopped being like corporate media and found a way to note Tara Reade.

COMMON DREAMS, JACOBIN, IN THESE TIMES and others are just being liars right now.

You got used, America.  He blew his wad and left you in the middle of the night.  Now you wake up in the still semi-wet spot of the sheets and you're all, "Do you think he'll call?"

He's never calling.  It's not that 'he's not into you,' he was into you last night, rutting away.  It's that he doesn't respect you and he honestly doesn't like you.

He didn't lose your phone number.  He didn't have a medical emergency.  He didn't get hit by a bus.

He used you.  He pumped and dumped.

You have some friends, America, friends who'll tell you the truth:

Stephen Sheehan:
It seems clear we now know when Sanders said, "not me, us," he was talking about a different "us" then we all thought he was. Apparently the real "us" was Sanders, his good friend, Biden, and the DNC. Bait and switch.

Cynthia McKinney:

Sheepdog 2.0 just kicked off. Bernie endorses Joe Biden. #FeeltheBURN again.

John Stauber:

Imagine if #Bernie had bolted ⁦
⁩ 4 years ago. But no, he has always been a political fraud, putting ⁦
⁩ over any real movement, herding sheep for #Hillary and now #CrazyJoe, both warmongering corporate hacks.

Ajamu Baraka:

Feel sorry for those Sanders supporters who really thought they were taking part in a revolution.

The party platform. Give me a break. Who cares about a platform for a party that is not even a party? Bernie your sheepdogging days are over.

Danny Haiphong:

The #BernieBros slander was always about bullying young working class people into Dem civility politics. Unfortunately,
went along. It has long been time to #DemExit and build a new party of the working class. I’m not interested in anything less.

Mike Prysner:

If your first thought after Bernie exit is to tell people to suck it up & vote Biden—and not to get involved in grassroots political organizing to keep fighting for your principles—you totally miss the gravity of this political moment & implications for new generation of struggle

Howie Hawkins:

With Bernie dropping out, the time has come to really ask yourself, who will represent my values in November. #Howie2020 #NeverSettle #DemExit #GreenEnter #PlanB

Abby Martin:

Hugely disappointed that Bernie dropped out and lost his leverage in the middle of a pandemic where his platform is urgently needed to fight for.

Biden already said he will never support Medicare for All & has total contempt for the millions of millennials who voted for Bernie’s agenda. He thinks “no change” will win. I shudder to think what Trump will do with his next term. Start organizing outside the system NOW

Jimmy Dore:

A campaign that failed to call out corruption of a senile pathological liar, failed to get policy concessions, failed its supporters, failed to meet the moment. So proud.

Graham Ellwood:

drops out and endorses the warmongering, rapist with dementia. Takes all our money and hope and backs another friend of Epstein. Just like 2016. #NeverBiden #DemExit

The SEP's presidential nominee Joseph Kishore offers this evaluation at WSWS:

Already over the past several weeks and months, Sanders has reacted to the deepening crisis of the state apparatus by shifting to the right. As the Democratic Party moved aggressively to block a Sanders nomination in February and March, Sanders issued a number of statements declaring his readiness to wage war against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China.
His last political act as a candidate was to vote for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides hundreds of billions to corporations and backs the Federal Reserve’s multi-trillion programs to buy up assets from banks and businesses.
In his proposals for further Congressional action in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Sanders has dropped any reference to increasing taxes on the wealthy. He has proposed further multi-billion bailouts to corporations, without challenging in any way their private ownership on the basis of profit.
Nothing that Sanders has done is in the least surprising. His entire tenure as a bourgeois politician made clear the role he would play. Moreover, his campaign is part of an international phenomenon. Whether it is Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, Syriza in Greece, the Left Party in Germany, or the Workers Party in Brazil—all have performed the same function.
The real treachery has come from organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Alternative and others who worked to present an opportunist bourgeois politician as some sort of vehicle for achieving socialism.
In a thoroughly demoralized event last night hosted by Jacobin, Bashkar Sunkara, the magazine’s editor, and other leading members of the DSA denounced not Sanders but the “sectarian left,” by which they mean the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the World Socialist Web Site. For these layers, “sectarian” is a term used to describe anyone with principles, that is, those who do not prostrate themselves before the Democratic Party.
Sunkara declared that Sanders’ withdrawal meant that “our campaign for not even full socialism but half social democracy kind of petered out as of today.” What has “petered out”—in fact, thoroughly exposed—is the DSA’s brand of pseudo-socialism that claims that anything can be achieved within the framework of the Democratic Party.
In opposition to these organizations of the upper middle class, the WSWS and the SEP anticipated the trajectory of the Sanders campaign. In February 2016, early in his first presidential run, the WSWS explained that “Sanders is not the representative of a working class movement. He is rather the temporary beneficiary of a rising tide of popular opposition that is passing through only its initial stages of social and class differentiation.”
When he announced his 2020 presidential campaign in February of last year, the WSWS wrote, “The fundamental fraud promoted by Sanders, along with individuals such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left and made a force for progressive change.”
Once again, a political analysis based on Marxism, on the historical experiences of the Trotskyist movement, and not on pragmatic hopes and maneuvers, has been proven correct.
There are no doubt many sincere workers and youth who will be disgusted by what Sanders has done. They must draw the necessary conclusions.
The only campaign that is seeking to develop a real socialist movement is the campaign of the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP launched its election campaign to fight for genuine socialism, to develop within the working class and among young people a socialist leadership, to fight against war, inequality and authoritarianism, in opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties, the parties of the ruling class.
We call on all workers and young people to join this campaign and support this fight.

To support and get involved in the SEP election campaign, visit

Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh is seeking the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination and he notes:

So it's looking like P**sy Grabber VS Kid Sniffer for the old parties. America deserve better! Ready to vote Libertarian yet?!

The Green Party issued the following:

𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗧𝗼 𝗦𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀
We believe everyday people must have a party to call home that is politically and financially independent of the capitalist power structure dominated by the parties of War and Wall Street. We say to you: the Green Party could be your home.
Senator Sanders raised critically important issues. He is right, it was not about him but about building a movement for those issues. The Green Party will continue to build and expand the issues Sanders raised. Join us.
We feel tremendous solidarity toward Sanders supporters who have been abused and marginalized by the Democratic Party leadership. We admire their commitment to shared goals like Improved Medicare-For-All, an eco-socialist Green New Deal to avert climate catastrophe, ending the U.S. war machine and dismantling intersectional oppression in our society.
We welcome Sanders supporters whose painful experience has led them to understand that none of those goals are possible so long as the Democrats and Republicans can operate as an anti-democratic cartel at the behest of this country's elite.
Join the fight, either as Green Party members or allies, to bring actual democracy to U.S. elections through transformational victories like Proportional Representation, Ranked Choice Voting and fully-public campaign financing.
These transformations will benefit all who challenge the two-party cartel and will help usher in the political revolution we all hunger for.
At this time of multiple crises, it is now essential to refuse the Democratic Party leadership’s relentless drive to lower our expectations of what we can accomplish in the fight for a just, equitable and sustainable world free from empire and oppression.
Learn more, sign up and volunteer at #GreenEnter #WeAreGreen

Some will continue to spin and offer pretty lies.

You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

-- "The Last Time I Saw Richard," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on BLUE

Turning to Iraq where there's big news.  ALJAZEERA reports:

President Barham Salih has nominated head of intelligence Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Iraq's new prime minister-designate, the politically fragmented nation's third choice this year.
The nomination on Thursday came moments after predecessor Adnan al-Zurfi ended his bid to form a government. The upheaval threatened a leadership vacuum amid a severe economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
[. . .]
In a statement on his Facebook page, al-Zurfi said: "The failure to form a new government was the cause of domestic and foreign issues. But that will not prevent me from continuing to serve the people through my current parliamentary position.
"I will continue to work and prepare for early elections in order to complete our national project."
Before al-Zurfi, former minister Mohammad Allawi was also unable to pull together a cabinet.

Big surprise to anyone?  Maybe to members of the press who kept presenting Adnan al-Zurfi as prime minister when he wasn't.  As we noted Tuesday,  "He has not formed a government.  He has put together potential candidates.  To form a government, his proposed Cabinet must be voted on by the Parliament.  That's why he's still prime minister-designate and not prime minister."

And now he's no longer prime minster-designate.

Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) reports:

Zurfi had until April 16 to form a new cabinet, but it quickly became clear he would have no mandate to lead.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and the Sunni Coalition of Iraqi Forces (al-Qiwa) added their voices to the Shiite opposition to Zurfi’s candidacy, making his position untenable.

The main Shiite voices opposing Zurfi were the Fatih coalition, led by former militia commander Hadi al-Amiri, and the State of Law coalition, headed by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

With Zurfi gone, the baton has now been passed to Mustafa al-Kadhimi – the serving head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS).

At the same moment Zurfi stepped down, officials gathered at the presidential palace in Baghdad for a special ceremony to assign Kadhimi the job.

Fatih chief Hadi al-Amiri attended the ceremony, as did former prime minister Haider al-Abadi, and the United Nations special representative to Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Goodbye Bernie (forever)

Bernie Sanders is a turd. Don't defend him. Don't root for him. He's a turd. I counted on him. He's nothing but a coward. If you missed it, he dropped out of the race today. He could have won the nomination but decided to be a loser and drop out.

My time is important to me. I did not have it to waste. I have other things to do with my time. Instead, I rallied to cover him here and in my offline life. And the reward? Wittle bitty baby announces today that he's dropping out. I would curse him like crazy if he was in front of me. What a waste of time. He's an idiot.

He has betrayed us. He has left us at the mercy of Joe Biden and Donald Trump. We are officially in deep s**t. In fact, that's the country's new name: The United States of Deep S**t. Thanks, Bernie.

Over at JACOBIN, they're trying to spin this as Bernie being a hero with headlines like "Thank you, Bernie Sanders" and "Bernie Supporters Don't Give Up" and "We've lost the battle but we'll win the war." What a bunch of nonsense. What war are we going to win without a leader?

Cut and run Bernie didn't lead. We led. And we propelled him. And even with the support we gave him, he was unable to stay in the race. Why? Were the 'online' events too much for him? I don't care. And I'm not going to be one of those fan boys for a politician. C.I. is right, "He is a politician. He had one job: To deliver. Instead he folded." Go away, Bernie. You're just one more huckster in a long line of them.

Nebojsa Malic (RT) notes:

A few months earlier, in Atlanta, I heard Sanders volunteers bluntly say they’d rather vote for Trump than for Clinton. When WikiLeaks published those internal emails showing the party was behind Hillary and actively sabotaging Bernie – which party chair Donna Brazile later confirmed as true – the DNC ran damage control by blaming Russia. But the voters remembered – and Trump won.

Sanders tried again in 2020, but the script began repeating itself right from the start. In Iowa, the party establishment and their media allies desperately propped up Pete Buttigieg (anyone remember him?) and others. Biden, anointed as the front-runner for the purposes of Ukrainegate, wasn’t even on the map – until he won South Carolina, and everyone suddenly fell into line behind him.

There is no question Sanders did worse in 2020 than he did in 2016. An honest assessment as to why would inevitably conclude the key difference was adding “woke” identity politics of race and gender to his class-focused socialist platform. It played well on Twitter, but not at the polls.

I wonder, however, to what extent that day in the Wells Fargo Center played into it. There is that one American saying, famously butchered by former President George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Sanders said he would stay on the ballot and continue gathering delegates so he could “exert significant functions” at the convention. That was the consolation prize last time around, too, and it clearly underwhelmed. Within minutes of Sanders dropping out, “Congrats to Trump” began trending, as disillusioned would-be revolutionaries vented their rage.
The problem with preaching revolutionary politics – as Sanders did – is that one can’t just back off into politics as usual. It didn’t work in 2016, and everything points to it not working now. As one conservative observer noted, Sanders had the means, but lacked the will to become the nominee – refusing to go after Biden on documented corruption or credible sexual assault claims.

I will not vote for Joe Biden. Forget it. It's not happening. He voted for the Iraq War and, as vice president, he screwed up Iraq. I'm not voting for him. I won't be bullied into voting for him. I won't be guilted into voting for him. Bernie doesn't speak for me, clearly. If he spoke for me, he wouldn't have dropped out like a coward.

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  The hypocrite that is Alyssa Milano, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks Iraq, and more.

Starting in the United States with the allegations against Joe Biden.  Baby Jane Hudson herself, Alyssa Milano, stuck her nose in it to defend Joe Biden and no one believes her.  She is the portrait of hypocrisy.  And people are noticing it.

Farron Cousins (RING OF FIRE).

Krystal Ball.

Some are surprised that Alyssa Milano is rushing to attack Tara Reade -- that was an attack -- and claiming that she (Alyssa) and Times Up engaged in a smear campaign against Tara -- that's what she's saying.  Why be surprised?

Whore's gotta whore, right?  That's all she is and all she ever was.

Rose McGowan has long called Alyssa out.  We've long called her out here.  Yes, I know Illeana Douglas.  But I wouldn't have been silent regardless.  Alyssa was.  She didn't want to speak out against Leslie Moonves because, at the time, she was trying to get her pilot sold to THE CW.  It didn't get sold.  And she never spoke out against Leslie Moonves.  Just like she stayed silent on Harvey Weinstein and then, after he was disgraced, she was offering defenses of his wife.  Remember that?  Maybe not.

Do you remember Lucy Flores?  She went public in April about Joe's inappropriate actions.  Did Alyssa call Joe out then?  Nope.  She rushed to defend Joe.  That's not the Joe she knows.  We called her nonsense out in the April 2, 2019 snapshot.

Whore's gotta whore and that's all you need to know about Alyssa Milano.

Robby Soave (REASON) observes:

Milano also explained that she would be remaining quiet about the accusation in part because "the mainstream media would be jumping all over this…if they found more evidence." The implication being that the failure of mainstream media to do reporting on the Reade allegation means that it ought to be doubted and dismissed.
This speaks to the power of silence: The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets generally trusted by moderates and liberals have all refused to cover Reade's story. Indeed, thus far they have essentially pretended that it does not exist, declining to acknowledge Reade in the most basic way and refusing to question Biden about it, even in interviews with the candidate. This mainstream media blackout has evidently provided cover to people like Milano, allowing them to ignore an inconvenient political development.
Yet it's difficult to see the media's treatment of this story as anything other than blatant hypocrisy because there's nothing novel about the Biden accusation when compared to the Kavanaugh accusation. At the time of Milano's tweet in support of Ford, there was no evidence of Kavanaugh's guilt beyond what Ford had claimed in her statements (and little corroborating evidence of Ford's claims ever materialized, given how long ago the incident had unfolded). The Reade allegation is at exactly the same stage: She is speaking up about what happened to her, and asking to be believed. But this time, Milano—who attended an anti-Kavanaugh rally while draped in a banner that read, quite literally, "believe women"—thinks it's not enough.

At COMMON DREAMS, Anthony Zenkus takes on the hatchet job Amanda Racist Marcotte did last week:

Despite the veracity with which news outlets jumped on the Blasey-Ford allegations, the media has been slow to acknowledge Reade’s story. Amanda Marcotte, in her March 31 piece in Salon, tries to present a case for the media’s hesitation, but ends up using the excuses of Reade’s detractors to muddy the waters and lessen the impact these allegations should have. Marcotte subtly points out that Reade only worked for Biden “briefly,” as if that’s somehow a factor in likelihood or severity of an assault. She points out that there were no witnesses, which is true; perpetrators rarely violate victims in front of others, although Biden’s personal boundary issues are available in numerous instances for anyone to see. Marcotte claims Reade’s story has “changed over time.” It has not. Details have been included now that Reade wasn’t comfortable including in the past. 
Finally, Marcotte slams Reade for tweeting a post supportive of Russia. Why would this matter? Anyone can get raped, even people who like countries Marcotte and others find distasteful. Questioning from a place of understanding is one thing, feeding into rape-culture narrative is another. It is imperative to understand the difference. 
It is important to understand why the term rape applies here. According to the Department of Justice in their expanded definition of rape, penetration of the body by anything, including fingers or an object, meets the standard. This is what Joe Biden has been accused of. It is serious, and it is disturbing. 

Yes, Tara Reade took decades to tell her whole story to the public. Yes, we are in the middle of a contentious primary season and a presidential election with much on the line. And, yes, allegations of sexual assault or rape against the current leader in the Democratic primaries are inconvenient. But rape is even more inconvenient. I have learned this from the courageous survivors I have known throughout my professional career and in my personal life. It happens when you least expect it. It is intrusive, disruptive and life altering. Survivors do not get to choose when they are violated, but they do get to choose when and how they come forward.

Over at THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, Alexander Sammon warns that while the corporate media may be happy to ignore the rape allegation, were Joe to be the party's nominee, you can be sure Donald Trump will not ignore the allegation:

[. . .] the current approach of the Biden camp and its Democratic operatives, to issue one statement and place the burden on the media to do their invalidating for them, is an extremely short-sighted and ill-advised approach. Whether the Biden campaign likes it or not, Reade’s allegation is certain to factor into the general election, where Trump is likely to harp on it repeatedly, muddying the waters and giving the media something else to fixate on besides his tragic pandemic preparation mistakes that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. The Biden campaign’s lack of a proactive or meaningful response could look like political malpractice in the not-too-distant future.

This was not Reade’s first public accusation regarding Biden’s conduct toward female colleagues. Last year, several women came forward publicly to say Joe Biden had kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable—Reade was among them. But the highest-profile accuser at that point was Lucy Flores, a former candidate for lieutenant governor of Nevada, who catalogued in a March 2019 essay for The Cut that Biden had behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward her at a campaign event in 2014. Biden eventually cut a video expressing a newfound appreciation for personal space (though Flores herself didn’t see it as an apology).

She didn't see it as an apology because it wasn't an apology.  See that April 4, 2019 snapshot:

In the two minute video, he speaks a lot about himself and offers a hell of a lot of justifications.

He does not, however, manage to utter the words "I'm sorry" or "I made a mistake and I apologize."

I find the video to be utter crap.  Joe needs a better team if they think that was gong to cut it.  It's not going to.

And what happened one day after his 'apology'?  He made it clear how fake it was.

 Apr 5

The message that Joe Biden’s comments sent women and girls today was that if you set boundaries and speak out when you’re uncomfortable, men will turn it into a joke.

Oh, it was all so funny.

Lucy didn't see it as an apology because it wasn't an apology.  He never apologized and then less than 24 hours later, he was on stage in front a group of mainly men and making jokes about it.

Turning to Iraq, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

The US and Iraq will hold “strategic” talks in June to review their military and economic relations, as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran.

The dialogue will centre on the future of US troops stationed in the country after a series of attacks by Iranian-backed armed groups on US troops in Iraq.

From US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's press briefing yesterday:

SECRETARY POMPEO: Finally, one announcement with respect to Iraq.
As a force for good in the nation and as Iraq’s closest friend, the United States has proposed a Strategic Dialogue with the Government of Iraq to be held in middle of June.
With the global COVID-19 pandemic ranging and plummeting all revenues, threatening an Iraqi economic collapse, it’s important that our two governments work together to stop any reversal of the gains we’ve made in our efforts to defeat ISIS and stabilize the country.

The Strategic Dialogue will be led by my Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale.  And all strategic issues between our two countries will be on the agenda, including the future presence of the United States forces in that country, and how best to support an independent and sovereign Iraq.

MS ORTAGUS:  Nadia, go ahead.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Nadia Bilbassy with Al Arabiya Television.  Good morning, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Hi, good to see you.

QUESTION:  I have two questions.  On Iran first, despite your effort to dry up money that Iran is spending on its proxies, Hizballah emerged as the party in Lebanon now that provided services and helping people during this crisis with corona.  How do you counter this message?
And on Iraq, Kata’ib Hizballah threatened that they are not going to – they are going to veto, actually, any nominated prime minister of Iraq.  Do you take this threat seriously?  Do they have any weight on deciding who’s going to be the prime minister?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So all the voices in Iraq will have some weight on who will be the next prime minister.  I hope the most important voice there isn’t Kata’ib Hizballah, it isn’t AAH, it’s not terrorists.  I hope it’s the Iraqi people who have the ultimate say.  What we’ve said consistently about the Iraqi political process is very simple:  A leader who is put forward, who’s prepared to engage in the reforms, that will build out a sovereign, independent Iraq on behalf of the Iraqi people and move away from the old sectarian model that ended up with terror and corruption – any leader that’s put forward that will do that, the United States is happy to support.  And that’s the gold standard; it’s what we need.  It’s what, frankly, the Iraqi people need.  It’s why we want to have the strategic dialogue, is that we want to begin to engage, to take down violence, to take down risks, to take down the threat from a resurgence of terror there.
That’s the – when you talk about who will decide who the next leader is, our mission has been – is to make sure that that next leader is reflected in what it is you see the people who were protesting before the virus broke out, the people who were protesting all across Iraq, demanding – a different political path forward.  So I’m sure the Kata’ib Hizballah folks will try to have their say.  I am hopeful that it will be the Iraqi people who will ultimately decide who the next leader will be.

QUESTION:  On Iran, sir, and Hizballah?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.  We were in a big hole.  The previous administration gave the Iranians a whole lot of money, and we have done remarkable work to deny the regime the resources they need to continue to carry out their terror campaign.  You describe a situation in Lebanon, I think, or perhaps in Syria where Hizballah’s operating.  I can tell you this:  Hizballah has fewer dollars today to engage in nefarious activity than they did when President Trump took office, and they will continue to have fewer dollars tomorrow until they fundamentally get the Iranian regime to change its model, the model that says we’re going to use resources – resources that could right now be going for the Iranian people to help take care of them when they’re in a health crisis themself, right – we’re going to use those resources to take weaponry into Iraq, to underwrite Hizballah and Lebanon and threaten Israel, all of the things that the Iranians have engaged in for so long, even in this crisis the Iranian regime hasn’t ceased doing, that’s most unfortunate.  It’s unfortunate for the people of Lebanon, it’s unfortunate for the people of Syria, it’s unfortunate for the people of Iraq – you referred to Kata’ib Hizballah before this – and it’s really unfortunate for the people of Iran.

We hope that the people of Iran one day will get a regime with a change in outlook, a change which says, “No, we want to respect what the Iranian people truly want.”  And when they do that, that’ll be a fantastic thing, and we will reduce the threat that Iran will ever chase a nuclear weapon in the way that they were on a path toward chasing under the previous administration.

Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) observes, "That talks are being planned may suggest the US believes the current Iraqi interim government will not push the issue too much, though anti-government protesters have wanted all foreign troops out, particularly US and Iranian, and they’ll likely object if the talks don’t address this in a serious way."  Ditz would do well to stick to facts.  A "unanimous" vote in Parliament back in January?  The Kurds and Sunnis boycotted that session.  Just because the vote was what you wanted -- I want that too -- doesn't mean we pretend it was the vote of Parliament.  It was back in January, you need to provide context or just leave it out.

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