Saturday, October 29, 2022

Fraud Squad and 'left' whores

Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) on the sell out idiots:

The Democrats have become so adept at the art of the political quickie that you’re often not quite sure how thoroughly you’ve just been screwed. By the time I learned that the Progressive Caucus had issued a letter calling on Biden to pursue negotiations with Putin for a path toward ending the Ukraine war, the letter had already been withdrawn, retracted and renounced. There wasn’t even a momentary endorphin rush that at last someone in Congress had shown a little fortitude. Like a V-2 rocket, the Ukraine letter had exploded in the Democrats’ faces before most people had even heard the sound of its flight.

It got worse–or at least more absurd–when Progressive Caucus head Pramila Jayapal came forward to explain the inexplicable. Jayapal promptly turned the Caucus’s about-face into a faceplant when she graciously “accepted responsibility” for the near instantaneous retreat and then promptly blamed the entire episode on the Caucus’s staff. Talk about displaying the cowardice behind the lack of your convictions!

Then along came Bernie Sanders to lend his sanctimonious imprimatur to this bizarre charade. Asked about the Progressive Caucus’s Ukraine letter, Sanders snorted: “I don’t agree with that, and they don’t agree with it, apparently. It was withdrawn today, so it becomes a non-issue.” A non-issue!

There’s a lot to like about Bernie. But he is to the core a Cold War progressive. As I chart in my book on Sanders, since the beginning of his political career he’s been a reliable hawkish vote for Democratic Party-sponsored wars and interventions: Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Ukraine.

What’s this really all about? It’s hard to imagine a more cautiously worded letter. It was in no way an indictment of US policy toward Ukraine. It didn’t raise questions about NATO provocation or Ukrainian corruption. It pins the blame for the war squarely on what it starkly calls Putin’s “outrageous and illegal invasion of Ukraine.” The peace plan it outlines calls for a “free and independent Ukraine,” which would require near total capitulation from Russia. It would oblige NATO to militarily defend Ukraine against any future territorial incursions from Russia. The letter also cautioned against any coercion of Ukraine to come to the table, saying (ludicrously) “it is not America’s place to pressure Ukraine’s government regarding sovereign decisions.” Where’s the controversy? This is as tame as it gets.

They couldn't stand up for 24 hours and they want us to believe that someday they will stand up for us?  Never going to happen.

Speaking of those who have no spines or ethics, the people who promote convicted sex offender Scott Ritter.  Add BLACK AGENDA REPORT to the list.  Betty, Marcia and Ann 

  • And C.I.'s "The lack of respect for females leads some to prom...''  And let me be clear that all the people like Margaret Kimberley and Aaron Mate that are pimping Scott Ritter are disgusting and are choosing to support a convicted sex offender.  

    We don't 'need' Scott Ritter.  We need to stand with survivors of assault.  If that's too much for you to do, don't pretend you care about humanity and know that we see right through you.

    I'm glad I am a part of community that refuses to excuse or glorify a convicted sex offender.  It's sad that I have to say that because I kind of thought that would be the bare minimum of any community -- outside a pedo ring.  

    Maybe we need to start considering BAR and other outlets pedo rings?  Judge them by their actions.

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

    Friday, October 28, 2022.  Iraq forms a government.

    Big news out of Iraq unless you're BLOOMBERG NEWS.  If you're BLOOMBERG, you run with "Iraq Appoints New Oil Minister After Yearlong Political Impasse."  It certainly shows you where there priorities are.  

    Mohammed Shia al Sudani is prime minister of Iraq.  Born in 1970, the 52-year-old is the youngest person to hold the office created after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The median age in Iraq is 21.  REUTERS reminds that Mohammed "previously served as Iraq’s human rights minister as well as minister of labor and social affairs, will head the new government."  Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) explains:

    Descended from a well-known tribe in the southern province of Maysan, Mr Al Sudani, 52, started his political career after 2003 as a member of the Shiite Dawa Party.

    From 2004 to 2009, he served as member of the provincial council in his home town and as provincial governor for a year.

    He ran for election with the State of Law Coalition led by former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki and has won three terms in parliament since 2014.

    Among other posts, he served as minister of human rights from 2010 to 2014 and minister of labour and social affairs from 2014 to 2018.

    Al-Sudani is taking over from Mustafa al-Kadhimi who was serving as an interim prime minister after widespread anti-government protests shook the country and triggered early elections.

    The political deadlock since then has done little to quell public anger over what many see as widespread and rampant corruption.

    "The epidemic of corruption that has affected all aspects of life is more deadly than the corona pandemic and has been the cause of many economic problems, weakening the state's authority, increasing poverty, unemployment, and poor public services," al-Sudani said in parliament.

    Since Nouri al-Maliki, every prime minister has promised to fight corruption and every prime minister has left office without making any impact on that front.

    The US State Dept issued the following:

    The United States congratulates Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on forming a new Iraqi government.  We look forward to working with him and his government on the range of our shared interests, from improving services for the Iraqi people to ensuring a safe, stable, and sovereign Iraq as outlined in our Strategic Framework Agreement.

    The Iraqi people deserve economic opportunity, an end to corruption, and improved public services.  The United States welcomes Prime Minister al-Sudani’s commitment to bring weapons under the control of official and legitimate state institutions.  We share the Iraqi government’s interest in preserving stability and security.

    The United States stands ready to work with the Iraqi government and people to confront Iraq’s challenges together, from improving respect for human rights to addressing climate change and improving economic opportunities for a growing population. Iraq has a partner in the United States as it moves forward with reforms.

    UNAMI issued the following:

    Baghdad, 27 October 2022 - The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) welcomes the confirmation of Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani’s government by the Council of Representatives. The swift completion of his cabinet is now an essential next step.

    The new government faces many serious challenges that require decisive action. These will include addressing Iraq’s systematic corruption; implementing desperately needed reforms and delivering adequate services to all citizens; diversifying the economy; encouraging the meaningful participation of women and youth; tackling the effects of climate change; ending impunity and making perpetrators accountable; and reining in non-state armed actors while asserting the State’s authority.

    A strong resolve, across the spectrum, to provide concrete solutions will prove vital. The United Nations reaffirms its steadfast commitment to supporting the government and people of Iraq.

    Along with his age,  Mohammed is also significant in another way.  He was named prime minister-designate October 15th.  Yesterday, he became prime minister by getting his Cabinet of 21 ministers approved by Parliament (two spots remain vacant).  That's 12 days after being named the designate.  The Constitution gives the designate 30 days.  Mohammed has set a new record for fastest formation.  21 is what most outlets are saying.  Most.  KURDISTAN 24 reports:

    His cabinet consists of 22 ministers, mainly representing the Administering the State Coalition's parties that formed the government.

    There are currently two Kurdish ministers in the cabinet. Fuad Hussein, representing the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member, was elected as Iraq's foreign minister for the second time. 

    Khalid Shwani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) became Iraq's justice minister. 

    Al-Sudani's cabinet has three female ministers, Finance Minister Taif Sami, Minister of Migration and Displacement Evan Jabro, and Hyam Al Yassri of the telecommunication ministry of communications.  

    AL-MONITOR lists the following Cabinet heads:

    • Health: Salih Mahdi
    • Finance: Taif Sami
    • Interior: Abdul Amir Al-Shimmery
    • Water Resources:  Aoun Diab
    • Electricity: Ziad Ali Fadhil Sudani
    • Oil: Hayyan Abdul Ghani
    • Youth and Sports: Ahmad Al-Mubarqa’
    • Agriculture: Abbas Jabr
    • Transport: Razzaq Muhaibis
    • Labor and Social Affairs: Ahmad Al-Asadi
    • Communications: Hoyam Abboud
    • Higher Education: Na’im Al-Abboudi
    • Planning: Muhammad Tamim
    • Culture and Antiquities: Ahmad Fakkak Ahmad
    • Defense: Thabit Muhammad
    • Education: Ibrahim Namis
    • Industry: Khalid Battal
    • Trade: Athir Daowd Salman
    • Justice: Khalid Shawani
    • Foreign Affairs: Fuad Hussein
    • Immigration: Ivan Faiq

    The most recognizable name on the list to the west may be Fuad Hussein.  

    He will continue as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a post he assumed in 2020, and he was previously the Minister of Finance.  A Kurd, he is a member of the KDP.  In 2018, the KDP nominated him for President of Iraq (the post went to the PUK's Barham Saleh).  

    RUDAW reports, "The cabinet consists of 23 ministers but only 21 were approved as Sudani did not present any names for environment and construction ministries. All members of the cabinet were later sworn in."  Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) also goes with 21, "A majority of the 253 lawmakers present voted to appoint 21 ministers, with two posts -- the Construction and Housing Ministry and the Environment Ministry -- remaining undecided."  TRT states, "Of the 21 ministries nominated, 12 posts go to Shia supported by the Coordination Framework, six to Sunni leaders, two to Kurds and one to a Christian woman — one of three females in the new government."

    The formation of the government came one year and 17 days after the elections (October 10, 2021).  

    For months, cleric and cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr had attempted to form a government and repeatedly failed.  He had been hailed by the western press as a "kingmaker."  He'd never been it before and, turns out, he wasn't it this go round either.  Will the western press be issuing corrections?  Amending previously published news reports -- not opinion pieces, news reports?  Of course, they won't.

    Moqtada had one tantrum after another.  He overplayed his hand when he stomped his feet and ordered members of his political bloc to immediately withdraw from Parliament.  Fatty just knew that everyone would beg him to have his ministers return.  Didn't happen.  They resigned and his bluff was called.  The second biggest vote getters replaced Moqtada's MPs.  He's not represented in Parliament and, guess what, his people also hold no ministry.

    From kingmaker to failed cult leader. 

    In his speech prior to the vote, Sudani described the economic and political priorities of his government.

    “The world is witnessing tremendous political and economic changes and conflicts, which will add new challenges to our country,” Sudani said. “We will ... do our utmost to succeed in addressing these challenges."


    Analysts say that despite breaking the deadlock, the new government is set to face a number of obstacles.

    “The fulfilment of the enormous expectations outlined in the Ministerial Programme will be one of the primary obstacles this government will encounter,” Research Associate at Chatham House, Hayder al-Shakeri, told Rudaw English on Friday.

    “For instance, fighting corruption throughout and organizing early elections one year later. This will not occur while attempting to maintain the satisfaction of the political elite who have empowered Sudani to become Prime Minister,” Shakeri argues. 

    Another obstacle may be protests.  The October Revolution will be in the streets demanding accountability.  As usual, Moqtada will try to piggy-back on to the movement.  He'll have to struggle for that because they refused to back down last go round -- on his demands that males and females not be protesting at the same site, for example.  

    Winding down . . .

    BROS is playing around the world and, in the US, you can also stream it -- rental or purchase.  It's a comedy classic and the best film of 2022.

    The following sites updated:


    Thursday, October 27, 2022

    Ron Klain breaks the law and Joe Biden keeps him on staff

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Psychic Hillary's Pre-Emptive Denial" went up an hour or so ago.


    Laws are supposed to exist for a reason.  Why have them if they're not applied?  Some people are above the law apparently -- people like Ron Klain.  Who?  WIKIPEDIA explains:

    Ronald Alan Klain (/ˈkln/ KLAYN; born August 8, 1961) is an American attorney, political consultant, and former lobbyist serving as White House chief of staff under President Joe Biden. A Democrat, he was previously chief of staff to two vice presidentsAl Gore from 1995 to 1999 and Biden from 2009 to 2011. He was also appointed by President Barack Obama as White House Ebola Response Coordinator after the appearance of Ebola virus cases in the United States, serving from 2014 to 2015.[3] Throughout 2020 he worked as a senior advisor to Biden's presidential campaign.[4][5] Following his victory, Biden announced on November 12 that Klain would serve as White House chief of staff.[6][7]

    He's served in the White House from 1995 to 1999 and against from 2009 to 2011.  And he's a lawyer.  And he's a lobbyist.  

    Grasp that.

    Because he broke the law.  THE DAILY MAIL explains:

    In the letter, Galindo-Marrone wrote that Klain violated the Hatch Act's 'official authority prohibition' and also its 'solicitation prohibition.'

    'Strike PAC's message thanking President Biden served to further the group's nationalized strategy of promoting Democrats as the party that delivers on its promises to voters. By retweeting this message, Mr. Klain used his official Twitter account to promote a partisan political group's interests and, therefore, OSC has concluded that he violated the Hatch Act's use of official authority prohibition.'

    'In addition, Strike PAC's tweet constituted a solicitation for political contributions because it encouraged others to buy the group's merchandise. A political contribution is defined as any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, made for any political purpose (i.e., to promote or oppose a partisan political group),' Galindo-Marrone continued.

    'The sale of Strike PAC's merchandise supports the group's objective of electing Democrats, and so the purchase price is a political contribution for purposes of the Hatch Act. Thus, Strike PAC's tweet solicited political contributions, and because Mr. Klain retweeted this message, he also violated the Hatch Act's solicitation prohibition.'

    OSC found that Klain violated the Hatch Act, but wrote in the letter that they will not pursue disciplinary action.

    'We understand that he promptly removed the retweet upon being notified of this complaint. Accordingly, we have decided not to pursue disciplinary action and will close this matter.'

    'Mr. Klain has been warned that if in the future he engages in activity prohibited by the Hatch Act while employed in a covered position, OSC would consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in disciplinary action,' she concluded.

    Last year,  the Office of Special Counsel found that members of the Trump administration - at least 13 - repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.


    And it goes to the corruption that Americans despise.

    He knew the law, he broke it.  He didn't delete the Tweet until the complaint came in."

    He is a public official and needs to be held to the law.  He should have honestly been fired.  He's a 61-year-old crook.  And the fact that he wasn't punished goes to how there is no accountability and to Joe Biden's own corruption.

    The law is the law -- it's not a guideline.

    And then there's this:

    Politico founding editor John Harris claimed that Democrats are so nervous about losing their congressional majority in the upcoming midterm elections that many of them are already pointing the finger at one another and asking, "Why do we suck?"

    In a column for Politico Magazine, titled, "Democrats Debate Themselves: Why Do We Suck?," Harris described these pessimistic Democrats as performing "an autopsy on a living patient."

    Although the editor opened his column with the acknowledgment that Democrats haven’t lost anything yet, he noted that there are "Plenty of prominent party voices" who are preparing to incur losses. He wrote, "Many Democrats believe there is already sufficient evidence to make the question unavoidable: What the hell is our problem?"

    The author provided several examples of these anxious Democratic Party leaders doing some "soul-searching," as he later described in his piece. Citing a recent interview of former President Barack Obama on the "Pod Save America" podcast, Harris noted that Obama thinks the party has gone "too woke."

    Rule of thumb, if Barack says it, he's wrong.  As for being 'too woke,' what party is he speaking of?  What politicians are too woke?  I'm not seeing it.  Give us some names, Barry.  

    They suck but they suck because (Fraud Squad) they have no backbone.  They suck because they refuse to hold their own accountable -- like Klain getting away with breaking the law.  Or, for that matter, Hunter Biden.  When a majority of registered voters think there needs to be an investigation into Hunter Biden and Joe's not doing it, the Democratic Party is on the wrong side of the people.  So sorry if you can't grasp that.

    Then there's sending $65 billion to nazis and racists in Ukraine while Americans suffer. 

    THE GOLDBERGS?  Adam through a tantrum because Dave Kim dared try to grow up.  Adam needs to grow up.  This is getting really bad, really, really bad.  In other news, Bev challenged Geoff but in the end even she had to admit he was good with the new baby.  (His child.)

    If I don't offer more than that it's because the Adam story was way too much.  It's embarrassing. 

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

    Thursday, October 27, 2022.  A lot of silence . . . 

    We're going to start with an important event that we also noted yesterday.  

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus on Tuesday withdrew a letter that mildly expressed support for diplomatic negotiations to end Russia's war on Ukraine as the document's 30 signatories faced a torrent of criticism and hysterical backlash from fellow Democrats, party leaders, and pundits on social media.

    Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the CPC, said in a statement that the letter addressed to U.S. President Joe Biden "was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting"—a line that was widely seen as Jayapal throwing her staff under the bus.

    "As chair of the caucus, I accept responsibility for this," she added. "Because of the timing, our message is being conflated by some as being equivalent to the recent statement by Republican Leader McCarthy threatening an end to aid to Ukraine if Republicans take over."

    "The proximity of these statements," the CPC leader said, "created the unfortunate appearance that Democrats, who have strongly and unanimously supported and voted for every package of military, strategic, and economic assistance to the Ukrainian people, are somehow aligned with Republicans who seek to pull the plug on American support for President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian forces."

    Jayapal said that narrative—peddled by one Democratic leader who Politico granted anonymity to slime their colleagues as Putin apologists—could not be "further from the truth."

    "Every war ends with diplomacy, and this one will too after Ukrainian victory," Jayapal continued. "The letter sent yesterday, although restating that basic principle, has been conflated with GOP opposition to support for the Ukrainians' just defense of their national sovereignty. As such, it is a distraction at this time and we withdraw the letter."

    [, , ,]

    Late Monday, in the face of growing backlash, Jayapal issued a statement purportedly aimed at "clarifying the position" of the letter, which was endorsed by a number of peace groups including Just Foreign Policy, Win Without War, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

    "Let me be clear: we are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion, and nothing in the letter advocates for a change in that support," Jayapal said. "Diplomacy is an important tool that can save lives—but it is just one tool."

    Erik Sperling, the executive director of Just Foreign Policy, told The Intercept Monday night that "the shrill response to this utterly moderate letter exposes that war proponents are scared of an open debate about the range of potential approaches to address this escalating conflict."

    Jayapal's an idiot -- Mike named her Idiot of the Week -- and there's a lot of stupidity at play here so its hard to know where to start.

    But to start anything, you have to know -- so let's start there.  Yesterday, we noted WSWS's article on this.  Today, we note COMMON DREAMS.  And?

    THE PROGRESSIVE should just fold shop.  It should just shutter its doors.  It claims to be:  "A voice for peace, social justice and common good."  Yet if you read it in the last years, that really comes across like a punch line, doesn't it?  They haven't stood for peace -- or anything -- in forever.  They're so fluffy that they make IN STYLE look like an investigate outlet.  They always have time to rot your brain, but THE PROGRESSIVE has no time to deal with reality and what happened is reality.


    Joan Walsh offers "DO WE REALLY HAVE TO CARE ABOUT MISERABLE WHITE PEOPLE?"  No, Joan, we don't have to care one bit about you.   Geoffrey Marx, apparently believing he was contributing to THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER, hands in "I WANTED A BOYFRIEND.  MY LIFE COACH TOLD ME TO BECOME A COMMODITY."  Hairball Dave Zirin jerks off to "Is Portland About to Have Two Supporter-Owned Soccer Teams?" -- the universal answer being, of course, come a nuclear war, Dave's scribbles will come off even worse.  John Nichols lands yet again on his knees in front of the DC, fully ready to demonstrate that he has no gag response with his usual nonsense that has no weight or meaning.  

    This was an important moment, The Fraud Squad backing down yet again.

    This was an instructive moment.

    But you don't know about it if people don't cover it.




    Voting matters!!!!

    Not if you don't hold politicians accountable.  Not if you just vote and then go silent.

    Which is what political parties want.  It's natural, they need your vote.  That's all they want.  Then leave them alone and let them do the job they mistakenly believe that they're smart enough to do all on their own.

    They need to be called out and they need to know that this is not acceptable.

    We're getting closer to the brink of nuclear war, this is not acceptable.

    And it is not acceptable that supposed 'independent' media like THE NATION, et al can't cover this as the big story that it is.

    JACOBIN's worthless.  They won't cover it.  They've pimped this war all along.  Just like some on the 'socialist' left pimped the Iraq War.  A friend pimped it, self-identified as a Socialist.  I told her it was the worst mistake of her life.  She's had some fawning since her death but no real scholarly piece.  When that day comes or when a biography is written about her that her daughter doesn't screen, they'll have to deal with her stupidity of calling for the Iraq War.

    Ukraine is popular with the Bette Midler crowd on Twitter.

    It's not popular with the American people.

    The letter the Fraud Squad issued was weak.  But it was also stupid.  In terms of being stupid, the most ignorant part was leaving out the financial cost.  Over $65 billion already pledged, another $50 billion about to be.  The American people do not like that.  As the country suffers from inflation and you can honestly spent $100 at a grocery store and leave with only two bags (as e-mails to the public account continue to note), the American people are tired of billions going overseas.

    Many remember that Barack Obama, when he was president, talked of how Ukraine really wasn't an American issue, didn't have impact on this country.

    It's a war of choice.  We don't need to be involved.  And considering the regime in Ukraine is racist and neo-nazi, we shouldn't be giving them a dime.  

    Nor should we have instigated this conflict, but we did.

    In one year, our politicians are willing to give over $110 billion to Urkaine?

    While we suffer at home?

    Progressive caucus, that was the first point you should have made.

    The stupidity is all around.  

    The only thing more shameful is the silence.

    Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Shia Al Sudani is expected to submit his Cabinet list to Parliament on Thursday for approval, as squabbles over government posts continue between political parties.

    If approved, it will end the longest political deadlock over the formation a new government in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime.

    At its height, that stalemate turned bloody when clashes broke out between Shiite militias in Baghdad's Green Zone, the heart of government that contains Parliament and foreign embassies. Dozens of people were killed and wounded.

    BROS is streaming in the US and playing around the world.  

    There's been a non-stop, right-wing attack on the film in the US and it's an attack on LGBTQ+.  You could help prove them wrong by seeing the film.  We'll be writing about that at THIRD so I'll just leave it at that for right now.

    Let's wind down with this from MS. MAGAZINE:


    The following sites updated: