Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Truest statement of the week

The University of Illinois is giving him an “ethics in government” award. This is a sick joke and a demented fraud! The University of Illinois, for its own typical bootlicking reasons, wants to whitewash all of Obama’s international crimes. Obama should be sitting in a jail cell in The Hague with the International Criminal Court and not here getting some bogus “ethics in government” award from the bootlickers of the University of Illinois campus bigwigs.
I’m not the only one to say that. Obama and I had the same Jurisprudence Teacher – Philosophy of Law – at Harvard Law School, Professor Roberto Unger, the founder of the Critical Legal Studies Movement. What did our Teacher say about Obama on BBC Hard Talk and elsewhere?: “Obama is a disaster!” Again, Professor Unger, our teacher, said: “Obama is a disaster!” I agree with Professor Unger, one of the great philosophers of law in the post-World War 2 era. And I’ve been teaching Jurisprudence since I came here in 1978.
Now don’t just take Professor Unger’s words for it. What does Professor Noam Chomsky have to say about Obama and his drone murder extermination campaign against Muslims, Arabs, Asians of Color all over the world? Here’s Professor Noam Chomsky: “…particularly to the drone assassinations, the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times – which have killed more than 5,000 people, including U.S. citizens and hundreds of children.” That is Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals in the world and a personal hero of mine when he was leading the forces of opposition to the Vietnam War that I was opposing as a young man. That’s how Chomsky referred to Obama’s drone murder campaign: “…the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times…” That’s amazing to think of! That’s the person here that the University of Illinois is whitewashing. That figure today on his drone murder extermination campaign is up to at least ten thousand. Trump is just continuing it.

Indeed, Trump is just continuing across the board policies that Obama put in place. The difference between Trump and Obama and Obama and Bush Jr. is that Obama knows better. He’s a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School just like I am. Obama has abandoned and betrayed every known Principle of the Rule of Law that I ever learned at Harvard Law School including the United States Constitution which he doesn’t give diddly-squat about. Indeed referring to his drone murder extermination campaign Obama bragged: “…I’m really good at killing people!” Those are Obama’s own words. That’s the man the University of Illinois is whitewashing today with their “ethics in government” award. Indeed Obama murdered four U.S. citizens at least that we know of, including Mr. Awlaki and his 16 year old son who was completely innocent of anything. Obama is a monster! He’s a criminal! As I said he should be in jail, not getting some bogus “ethics” award from the bootlickers at the University of Illinois administration.

-- Francis A. Boyle, "Denouncing Obama" (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE).

Truest statement of the week II

The attacks from elite media and foreign governments will not stop because the charges of collusion with the Russian government have so far come up empty. Robert Mueller has identified Russians who will never face charges in an American court as the colluders but hasn’t connected them with any Trump campaign or administration officials. Associates like Paul Manafort are guilty of being common criminals and former lawyer Michael Cohen paid off women who had relationships with Trump. George Papadopoulos, said to be a lynchpin in the Russiagate investigation, was sentenced to just 14 days in jail for lying to federal agents about having met non-Russians. A Russian woman is charged with the minor offense of failing to register as a foreign agent and yet is being held without bail. The lack of smoking gun verdicts means that Mueller must always muddy the water with phony revelations. If not, independent assessments may emerge and ruin the trope that evil Trump and evil Putin are in league together.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: The Plot Against Trump" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Wednesday.  And we're done. 

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Francis A. Boyle gets a truest.
And so does Margaret Kimberley.
How do we look away?  We're trained to, we're encouraged to but there's something more at work.

Ava and C.I. cover RT in this must-read.
Dona moderated.  Wish I (Jim) could have taken part.  This is a strong roundtable.  I'm glad readers are demanding more Iraq coverage.  
Remember when we thought transparency was a good idea?  Who changed that?
Yes, it does!
Cynthia McKinney.
Our continued coverage of the community's book coverage.
It's a novelization.  From C.I.
Margaret Kimberley.
What we listened to while working on this edition.

We did have a few new illustrations but the paint still hasn't dried on those.  Maybe we'll use them next time?  Maybe we'll add them to this later?  Who knows.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: The occupation, like the war, continues


It is easy to forget that it was the Obama administration that planned and carried out the first phases of the Mosul operation (begun in October 2016) which produced hundreds of thousands of casualties (with at least 40,000 dead), left a city of two million in Dresden-like state of rubble, and drove nearly a million civilians into exile. The same fate, on smaller scale, was brought to other Sunni-majority cities in Iraq, including Ramadi, Tikrit, and Fallujah (already destroyed by U.S. forces in 2004). Whatever the official goal, and however many secondary collaborators were involved, these were monstrous war crimes by any reckoning.

At what point do people stop kidding themselves that the Iraq War -- the ongoing Iraq War -- is about helping the Iraqi people?

This isn't liberation.

It's not about freeing anyone.

It's death and destruction and it has been allowed to continue for 15 years.  People lie and act like Iraq is being helped when it's not being helped.  The US government continues to occupy it and our 'leading' lefties and 'lefties' can't call that out.  Call it out?  Hell, they can't even acknowledge it.  Time and again, the US government imposes a weak coward as the leader of Iraq and everyone looks the other way.

Wars happen because people are silent.  Wars happen because people lie and bury lies.  Wars happen not just due to governments but also due to those who lie and distract.

TV: For news, where do you go?

What is propaganda?   The definition is "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view."

By that definition, RT may indeed be propaganda.  It does dispense information, after all.


If you're looking for news and information, as Cher once wondered in a different context, "Where do you go?"

Alex Jones is being censored and banned.  We don't support that.

'Oh, but Alex is hideous and awful!'

Is he?  We'll take your word for it because, guess what?  We've gone our entire lives without ever listening or watching Alex Jones' program.  It doesn't need to be censored or shut down.  You just -- if you're not into, like we're not -- need to find something else to occupy your time.  Last time we checked, there were no reports of home invasions by Alex where he held someone at gun point and forced them to watch his programming.

For free speech reasons alone, we don't support censoring or banning Alex Jones.

But there are other issues at play as well.

You don't hear about that from US media. 

We like Mike Papantonio -- and not just because, immediately after the 2004 presidential election, he refused to let Rachel Maddow 'cute up' his name by shortening it (we remember everything -- we're not repeating her 'cute up' because we found it as offensive as he did). But here's Mike explaining issues beyond free speech in the Alex Jones' case:

This guy's got some issues but Alex Jones owns a piece of property, right?  It is his site. His site is moving through this infrastructure that taxpayers helped pay for, right?  It has a value to it, it's a property right.  So all of the sudden, someone says, 'We're going to take away your property right.'  And in there, if you think about it, there's also a commerce clause, isn't there?  Because we have advertisers that are paying to be on Alex Jones' site.  Commerce is interfered with.  If they take away his right to further that commerce, you've got, I think, a legitimate commerce clause issue.  You certainly got issues that are going to center around issues of equal protection and due process and even anti-trust.  

Now Mike wasn't having that discussion on the radio program he and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. originated (RING OF FIRE).  No, he and Farron Cousins were having the discussion on RT, on Mike's RT program AMERICA'S LAWYER.

RT -- RUSSIA TODAY AMERICA -- most will remember, was declared a foreign agent November 13, 2017 -- declared a foreign agent by the US government and forced to register with the US government to continue broadcasting in the US.  What most don't remember is that Jim Rutenberg and THE NEW YORK TIMES went after RT in September of 2016 -- calling Larry King and the late Ed Schultz stooges of Putin -- smearing them.  (One of us, C.I., has known Larry for years and been on his shows often -- though she has never been on his show currently broadcast on RT.  You can refer to this COMMON ILLS entry for more on that.)  Rutenberg has Mommy issues, a receding hairline (those bad bangs aren't fooling anyone) and teeth that needs caps or veneers.  Why you'd name someone to media -- knowing they'd have to go on cable -- when they look like Rutenberg is anyone's guess.

But THE NEW YORK TIMES found their stooge -- as they always do.

And it was Gore Vidal who forever pointed out that when you wanted to know what the US State Department or US intelligence agencies wanted you to think, read THE NEW YORK TIMES.  Propaganda is their natural bent.  They used propaganda, please remember, to sell the Iraq War.

There is no proof that Russia interfered with the US 2016 election or that it altered the outcome of the election but damned if THE NEW YORK TIMES hasn't gone out of its way to pretend as if proof had been established.

But they're not the only fake ass con artists.

Check out MSNBC if you want to see real propaganda.  And never look far from Rachel Maddow who will never be as cute as she thinks she is.  And you'd think a woman who looked like Scott Baio would have long ago realized that cute just wasn't in her future.

But there was she last night offering up . . .

Well nothing of use.

JUST IN: Hillary Clinton to : "I think I was an obstacle to [Russia's] plans to undermine and disrupt our democracy. I think I was an obstacle to impose greater authoritarian control in Russia ... I think they wanted to get me out of the way."

0:23 / 0:31


Oh, Hillary.  A lot of people wanted you out of the way -- and most of them were Americans.  You don't have to look beyond this country to find so many opposed to you.

It's cute the way MSNBC, by the way, presents Hillary as our Lord and Savior when eight years ago, they were very clear that she needed to be taken out behind the barn and dealt with or when Keith Olbermann attacked Hillary in one of his many 'special comments' (such as this one).  They are really good about ignoring history and facts at MSNBC.

So viewers last night were treated to more celebrity.

There's a smell that's here today and they call it -- Hillary!
A different smell that thinks your way and they call it -- Hillary!
Kind sad, kinda old, Hillary!
Really bad and looks like mold, Hillary!
The kind of smell that won't go away, Hillary!

Two years after her humiliating loss, she still can't own her own defeat.  She still blames so many others.  And MSNBC calls this garbage 'news.'

Over on RT, you could hear Chris Hedges:

Trump was not elected because of the Podesta e-mails or because of Russian bots on FACEBOOK.  Trump was elected because of the massive social inequality and the sense of entrapment, the frustration and the rage on the part of a betrayed working class.  And they were betrayed primarily by the Democratic Party in this sense because the Democratic Party continued to speak as if it cared and protected their interests and yet, especially under the Clinton administration, it sold them down the river.

Rachel used her time to fawn over a failed politician and to indulge in conspiracy theories.  RT used its time, during ON CONTACT WITH CHRIS HEDGES, to address real issues -- including how these never-ending wars are draining the national monies and this tends to happen in dying empires.

In fact, all week long we've seen RT address real issues -- including how few Americans even have $500 in savings, they live paycheck to paycheck.  Somehow, that's not a topic that Hillary Clinton wants to discuss -- with or without Rachel panting in front of her, tongue hanging out.

We saw a woman in Mosul explain the support for ISIS when Mosul was occupied by the terrorist group.  We saw discussions of the UK's role in the Iraq War from the beginning, including their role in the Niger fabrication.  We saw the protests in Basra covered seriously.  All the things missing from the so-called US TV news media?  We found them on RT.

Richard Sackler was a major topic on this week's KEISER REPORT, for example.  Where was Rachel and the MSNBC no-stars on that one?  Sackler's made a ton of money selling OxyContin via his family's Purdue Pharma and now he stands to make a lot more money because, having helped created the opiod crisis in the US, he now holds the patent to a treatment medication.  It's outrageous and this was made clear in the discussion.

WATCHING THE HAWKS this week reported on Hillary Clinton -- not Rachel's fan-girl erotic fiction, but actual news. They reported on her latest project to get big money further into our elections and they reported on Hillary's latest whine for THE ATLANTIC about how her loss is the end of the world as we know it.  They quoted her writing, "How fragile our experiment in self-governmenbt is.  And, when viewed against the sweep of human history, how fleeting."

They missed the big story there.

We didn't.  We have to watch entertainment television, we cover media.  Unlike Jim Rutenberg, we actually cover media.  Did you watch the debut of an FX series last week?  Yeah, we did too.  Which is why we were aware that Hillary -- or whomever ghost wrote THE ATLANTIC piece for her -- also caught the debut of AMERICAN HORROR STORY -- specifically Kathy Bates' big speech -- and worked it into Hillary's bad essay.

We also caught Julie Chen's big moment where she ripped off A STAR IS BORN ("I'm Julie Chen Moonves," she said on BIG BROTHER trying to copy Barbra's "I'm Esther Hoffman Howard" moment at the end of A STAR IS BORN). In fact, we thought we'd be writing about that; however, two groups in a row on Monday -- speaking with college students about the war -- drove home that there was a real need for actual news.  We heard and agreed that the crying 'anchors' (talk show hosts) were an embarrassment, that CNN and MSNBC could and should be ignored since they exist in a world untouched by the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, that Amy Goodman sold out long, long ago . . .  We heard so very much that we agreed with.  And we recommended (BLACK AGENDA RADIO, for example, THE JIMMY DORE SHOW, CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX).  But we wondered what did you do if you were looking for news as it happens, where did you go?  You certainly can't go to PACIFICA RADIO which has entered a shameful period in their effort to run with the flea bitten dogs and repeat the Russia hysteria.  So where do you go?

And that's when we decided it was time to turn into RT and see what they were offering?

There's a propaganda on MSNBC -- one of distraction.  It's a sleight of hand that attempts to distract the American people from the issues that matter.

We prefer the propaganda of RT AMERICA -- actual facts and information about issues that actually matter in our daily lives.  If you're feeling let down by the American broadcast media, we feel you. As RT's Peter Lavelle observed on CROSSTALK, American 'news' media is nothing but "hours and hours of virtue signaling." We deserve so much more and so much better.

Iraq roundtable

Dona: Even more so than usual, this is a rush transcript, in fact it's a rush roundtable.  Ty told me, in passing, that we'd had 33 e-mails in the last seven days about Iraq, what's going on there, what's expected to happen, etc and I thought, "We need to do a roundtable."  So this was put together very last minute.   Participating in our roundtable are Ava and me, Dona, of The Third Estate Sunday Review; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report;  and Wally of The Daily Jot. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.  And a word on participation, this truly was last minute.  C.I., Ava, Wally and Kat are on the road discussing war and peace daily on campuses and to various labor and feminist groups.  Obviously they had to be included.  That meant not only were we doing it today, it meant that we had to do it at a certain time today.  We're doing it during their lunch, they're on the east coast where it's one in the afternoon.  Ava and C.I. are taking turns typing up a very rough draft that I will turn into a developed transcript of some kind.  Mike and Elaine were able to participate because it's only seven o'clock in the morning there, there for them being Hawaii.  We thank everyone who was able to participate in this confrence call and in this Iraq roundtable.


Dona: Betty's kids did the illustration so let's start with Betty.  Most pressing issue in Iraq right now?

Betty: That's a hard one.  I could go with Basra and I think I should but I'll go with the fact that there's no prime minister.  Still.  No, new prime minister.

Dona: Right, no new prime minister.  It's still Hayder al-Abadi who was installed in the fall of 2014 by then-US President Barack Obama.

Rebecca: And he remains in place despite the fact that Iraq held elections May 12th.  And despite the fact that Iraq is experiencing a great deal of turmoil.  In fact, Moqtada al-Sadr has called for Abadi to step aside and for a caretaker government to be in place until the government can be decided on.

Dona: The new government, yes.  For background, I would refer people to C.I.'s "The never-ending Iraq elections" back in June and this is from that, just to go over the basics:

May 12th, Iraq held national elections.  Ahead of the elections, there had been big hopes -- these hopes included a large turnout.   Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) noted, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW added, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explained that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women.  THE SIASAT DAILY added, of the nearly 7,000 candidates, "According to the electoral commission, only 20 percent of the candidates are newcomers." Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reported, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003.  According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions." 

The other big hope?  For the US government, the biggest hope was that Hayder al-Abadi's bloc would come in first so that he would have a second term as prime minister.  It was not to be.  Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies the key issues as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."

As we noted the day of the election:

Corruption is a key issue and it was not a topic explored by candidates outside of Moqtada al-Sadr's coalition.  Empty lip service was offered.  Hayder al-Abadi, current prime minister, had been offering empty lip service for four years.  He did nothing.  Iraqis were supposed to think that, for example, Hayder's focus on ISIS in Mosul mattered.  All life was supposed to stop because of Mosul?  All expectations were to be ignored because of Mosul?

Arabic social media today and yesterday was full of comments about the lack of improvement in services.  It noted how the elections had not mattered before and, yes, how in 2010 the US government overturned the elections because they didn't like the outcome. 

So it was probably only surprising to the US government and their press hacks that Hayder wouldn't come in first.  But that was after the votes were counted.  On the day of the election, the big news was how so few were turning out to vote.  NPR reported, "With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014." AP pointed out the obvious, "No election since 2003 saw turnout below 60 percent."  AFP broke it down even more clearly "More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters did not show up at the ballot box in the parliamentary election, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005 [. . .]."

Why should they vote?  The US government had repeatedly selected the prime minister -- 2006, 2010 and 2014.  Why should they vote?  The government was corrupt.  Why should they vote?  Safety?  Lip service was given to the claim that ISIS had been defeated but it hadn't.  In fact, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) reported that 16 people were killed and nineteen wounded the day of the election.

Martin Chulov (GUARDIAN) captured the mood,  "But as voters trudged towards polling stations, there was none of the euphoria of previous polls – where purple ink-dipped fingers were happily displayed – and almost no energy surrounding the process. Iraqis had done it all before, and elections had delivered little."

Sunday the 13th, votes were counted and the first place winner?  Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

Dona (Con't): I could quote from the whole thing.  A word to everybody participating, I'll be copying and pasting that in and adding the link.  If you reference something in this roundtable which has a link, please i.m. or e-mail me the link.  Okay, so they held elections May 12th.  Still no prime minister -- despite the recount and despite the recount being completed and even despite the recount producing the same results.

Cedric: They did, last Saturday, finally elect a Speaker of Parliament -- I'll send you a link to C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday on that.  But they did manage to do that.  Traditionally, however, this first meeting of the new Parliament, where they elect the Speaker of Parliament, they also name the new president of Iraq -- which they did not do -- and the new President then announces the prime minister-designate -- which also didn't happen.  And still hasn't.  It's four months after the election and that still hasn't happened.

Betty: And while it's true that it took them eight months to form a government after the March 2010 elections, this delay is not only embarrassing, it's troubling with regards to Basra and other events. And four months is really inexcusable and goes to the lack of impetus among the players -- an attitude that has, my opinion, helped to destroy Iraq as much as certain leaders like Hayder and Nouri al-Maliki before him.

Elaine: I would strongly agree with Betty on that.  I also think that a real reason for the delay has been the US government's inabilities as well.  They were unable to see the results.

Mike: Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr came in first, Hadi al-Ameri leads the Shi'ite militias and he came in second and, in distant third, there was Hayder al-Abadi.

Elaine: They really thought, the US government did, that Hayder was going to sweep the elections.  Not only did they think it, they put the prediction out to their stenographers in the press who duly repeated it.

Rebecca: I would like to jump in there.  When Moqtada's coalition began forming ahead of the elections, he was repeatedly ridiculed by many who write about Iraq.  'Oh, he's making a coalition with the Communists! Ha ha ha!'  It was ridiculed and mocked.  C.I. did not mock it.  Nor did she see Hayder coasting to victory.  She stood alone in raising real issues -- voter dissatisfaction and corruption, to name two -- and questioning the narrative/myth that Hayder would be easily re-elected because he had vanquished ISIS.  

Cedric: Right.  And the press bought and repeated those lies.  That's another reason they -- and the US government -- were taken by surprise.  As C.I. noted repeatedly, long before the elections, ISIS remained active in Iraq.  And she noted that the Iraqis were aware of that.  Hayder had nothing to run on.  He was a failure in the eyes of the Iraqis.

Elaine: Well the US government would not admit that.  They were selling the notion that he'd defeated ISIS, when he hadn't.  They were very vested in that lie.  They were shocked by the outcome -- not just Hayder coming in third but also the very strong showing by the Shi'ite militias under Hadi al-Ameri.  Hadi and company were more popular with voters than Hayder was.  Of course, the biggest shock for the US government was Moqtada's first place showing.  Moqtada's long been in the cross hairs of the US government.

Kat: Right, the US press tends to call him "radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr."  This is not me saying, "Let us all hail Moqtada," but it bears noting that he has matured.  Whether he will be good for the Iraqi people -- and I don't mean as prime minister.  He can't be prime minister because he himself did not run or Parliament.  You have to be a member of Parliament to become the prime minister.  But whether he will be good for the Iraqi people, I have no idea.  His studies in Iran and other actions have led to some maturity.  His return in 2011 to Iraq showed his power was still there.  And he's gone on to be a powerful voice -- especially against corruption.  

Wally: My opinion?  The US government has no problem with corruption in Iraq.  Corruption keeps the puppets happy and keeps these officials from focusing on building a strong Iraq.  The US government wants to keep Iraq weak to control it.  And I'll offer one example of how little the US government cares about corruption in Iraq.  I can remember us attending Congressional hearings regularly on that topic.  The US Congress today, and of the last eight years, is not at all interested in exploring or examining corruption in Iraq -- no matter how many US tax dollars get sent over to the country.

Ava: I'll offer another example to back up Wally's point.  Stuart Bowen. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstuction.  Under Bully Boy Bush, Bowen reported regularly to the Congress -- and to the American people -- about corruption in Iraq.  Democrats in Congress had wanted this role and him in this role.  But Barack becomes president and suddenly there is the push to do away with the position even though, as early as 2012, Bowen is publicly stressing that the position -- whether he's in it or not -- should not be abolished.  Despite that, Barack abolishes it and it hasn't existed since October of 2013.

Wally: Good point.

Dona: So now it's four months later and still no prime minister.  Moqtada's right to call for someone other than Hayder to act as the caretaker government because Hayder is so awful.  C.I., could you note some examples?

C.I.: I'll leave out the Basra specific issues because I know some people want to address that.  But not only did Hayder not defeat ISIS, it remains active in Iraq.  Some Shi'ite politicians -- including those with Hadi al-Ameri's group -- the militias -- are calling for an amendment to the Constitution to change Iraq from a parliamentary based government to a presidential one.  Some protesters have been calling for that as well.  The thought is that the prime ministers have been weak but making it a presidential system would increase the government's strength.  Iraq has severe water issues -- first off, the water is dwindling, second off water for the people is often bad and lands them, in Basra, in the hospital.  Water and electricity, all these years later, remain public services that are not dependable.  Hayder had four years and he did nothing.  He and the US government though he could campaign as the man who defeated ISIS.  He didn't defeat ISIS and that wasn't enough.  Nor should it be.  People have basic needs and despite Iraq being oil rich the needs go unmet.  The politicians and officials get rich and the people get robbed.  Iraq has no functioning government -- not just since the election but throughout the last four years -- if you judge functioning to mean meeting the needs of the people.

Dona: Okay, let's move over to Basra.  Ruth said she wanted to talk Basra so let's start with her.

Ruth: We have failed the people of Basra -- we being the people of the world.  Basra protesters stood up back in July.  They were immediately attacked by the government -- this included an internet blackout, this including the Iraqi forces being sicked on them.  We refused to stand with them.  Fortunately, they have gone on.  They have protested and protested and continue to protest.  This is not a blip, it is now months long.  And they do not get the respect, even now, that they deserve from the international community.  The so-called 'resistance' has no idea what's going on in Iraq and they do not care.  They'll mention Iraq, in terms of the past, to prop up Al Gore or to whine.  But they don't follow Iraq and they don't care about the Iraqi people.  This was made very clear by their refusal to use their voices to defend the people in Basra.

Dona: And a few reasons why they are protesting, Ruth?

Ruth: The drinking water is making them sick.  Over 70 people have had to go to the hospital due to drinking the water.  There are no jobs.  None at all.  They are oil rich in Basra but there are no jobs.  There is no electricity they can count on and this was summer where the temperature was often over 120 degrees.  The corruption, the lack of actual representation.  The oppression.  The attacks on the protesters.  All of these things and more have fueld the protests.

Cedric: Support for Ruth just did said.  They are fake asses and they want to whine about Donald Trump but they don't want to take on the US government, they don't want to call out real abuse.  The Debra Messing are especially pathetic.  The Patty Arquettes.  I mean they are the definition of "bimbo."  Or of "White bimbo," if you prefer.  They have no compassion for the world.  They have no concern for the world.  They slam a Susan Sarandon who has stood up against the Iraq War and they lap at the crotch of Hillary Clinton who helped unleash the Iraq War.  They need to sit their tired asses down.

Betty: Absolutely.  They whine repeatedly that Susan has hurt minorities.  No, she's helped.  Her actions, including opposing the Iraq War, have helped people of color around the world.  Debra Messing is the White priviliged bitch who needs to STFU.  She's done nothing and she never will.  Oh, wait.  She's moved her hair part to the side in response to people pointing out that her middle hair part was showing how bald she was going.  That's really all Debra Messing has done.  The Iraq War is ongoing.  The Iraq War has killed millions and injured even more.  The Iraq War has turned Iraq into a land of orphans and widows.  And Debra won't touch that because that would require removing her tongue from Hillary Clinton's vagina.  Hillary Clinton is a War Monger.  I can say it.  I supported her in 2007 and 2008.  Check here, check my website.  And I didn't believe she was a War Monger. I thought Iraq was a deviation and not who she really was.  But then she becomes Secretary of State and it's war and more war.  Her support for war on Libya cannot be forgiven.  F**k White girl Debra Messing.  In Libya we now have Black Libyans being sold into slavery which did not happen until after the war on Libya.  I get it, Debra's an entitled bitch who doesn't grasp how awful and evil slavery is.  I get it.  Debra's idea of helping is to Tweet that she just finished watching ROOTS on TV.  But the reality is that Hillary is a War Monger and, around the world, people suffer because of that.  I supported her in 2008.  I did not support her in 2016.  And if that bothers Debra Messing, tell her she can kiss my Black ass and that I've never seen her do a damn thing for the people of the world or for Black America.   She needs to realize that no one looks up to her but idiotic partisans who can't think and were never educated.  The people of Basra are under attack and Debra can't be bothered with them, she's apparently too busy rushing off to some Klan rally.  Again, she can kiss my Black ass.

Mike: These idiots are the worst and that includes Patricia Arquette.  They don't care about war, they don't care about people being killed.  All they care about is that their 'girl' didn't become president.  Whine, whine, whine.  I supported Bernie Sanders.  He didn't get the nomination.  I have not turned my every day since 2016 into whining about poor Bernie.

Dona: And, in fact, he would not be your first choice for president in 2020.  You've blogged about this at your site.

Mike: Right.  My dream candidate would be Tulsi Gabbard.  I think she would be amazing as president and focus on issues that would better the country and the world.

Elaine: It is amazing how little we focus on policies -- let alone policies that could improve our lives -- in the US media.  Cindy Sheehan and others -- can we stick the Tweet in here, Dona -- are marching for issues that actually matter but you won't hear about that not even on our 'left' station MSNBC.

Dona: I will absolutely stick that Tweet in and Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney and other brave women are leading this march that matters.

Rebecca: Let's note that 'non-partisan' NOW is not promoting it.  But yet they used to have a little bird up, a dove, on their website with the phrase "Peace is a feminist issue."  No more.

Wally: I'm sorry, I know we want to wind down but I've got a beef.  Building on what Betty and Ruth said, I'd like to note that I supported Hillary in 2008.  I dropped out of college to campaign for her non-stop.  And I don't remember Debra Messing or Patty Arquette.  When Hillary was the target of real sexism?  I remember Patty and Debra supporting Barack Obama and I remember them being silent on the sexism.  I remember Chris Matthews saying Hillary only got voted into the Senate because of sympathy because Bill cheated on her.  I remember Chris and others on MSNBC cackling over the nutcrackers being sold with Hillary's figure on them -- her legs cracked the nuts.  I remember guys screaming at her "Iron my shirts!"  I remember Bill Moyers using PBS to spread the lie that Hillary Clinton cried over her own looks, not over people killed or Katrina but over her looks.  I remember Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and so many more saying she hadn't done anything, had nothing to run for president on.  Just that, as with the Senate, her husband cheated on her.  I remember Katie Couric -- not Debra Messing, not Patricia Arquette -- calling out the sexist attacks on Hillary and the response was to attack Katie -- that includes MSNBC's biggest blowhard at the time Keith Olbermann who deemed Katie worst person of the week for calling out the sexism.  Eight years after all of that, Debbie Messing and Patty Arquette want to show up and pretend they've supported women all along.  They haven't.  They need to shut their damn, lying mouths and stick their heads back in the sand because nobody needs dentally challenged Patty or alapetia Debbie telling them what to think.  

Dona: Woah.  I think we'll end on that note.  Again, this is a rush transcript.

Let the people see

This edition, Ava and C.I. note efforts to censor.  We apparently are too stupid to grasp reality and must be sheltered.  That is insulting yet that is the approach our government and social media is taking.

“What will be disclosed is that there was no basis for these FISA Warrants, that the important information was kept from the court, there’s going to be a disproportionate influence of the (Fake) Dossier. Basically you have a counter terrorism tool used to spy on a presidential...

It's also the response from idiots like Andrea Mitchell and others in the media to Donald Trump's announcement that he would declassify various documents -- including FISA applications -- and release them all to the public.

This, supposedly, is a hideous thing to do.

Grasp that.  Transparency is a hideous thing to do.

We used to call for sunlight and openess in our government.  Now the Andrea Mitchells make clear that censorship is the way to go.  Isn't it time that old presstitute was put out to pasture for age alone?  She does turn 72 this year, after all, and insists upon wearing sleeveless shirts on her talk show.

Media that had zero problem uncritically receiving and pushing selective leaks in support of a false narrative are upset with transparency and accountability. A sight to behold.

  1. Us peons have no right to know! That’s the position of this “journalist.”

Yes, Andrea Mitchell is a presstitute.  She lied about Iraq and now she's trying to keep the American people from further truths.

Democratic Congressional & Intel leaders tell DNI & DOJ heads declassification order is a "brazen abuse of power" and sharing material with Trump or his lawyers violates DOJ policies and assurances to them

  1. Replying to 
    Unbelievable isn’t it.... the press upset over the release of information. If the Russians called you instead of Trump and the tip was about him instead, you and your network would have published it without a 2nd thought. NOW you’re upset over the release of more info. SMH

  1. Replying to 
    Purely from a journalistic perspective, how could you possibly be upset by this?
  2. Replying to 
    So, now you dont like transparency?

  1. If you enjoy demanding that documents and other information be kept concealed from the public due to vague "national security" mantras, there are a lot of jobs for which you're suited: CIA, DOD, NSA spokesperson, etc. So weird to have that attribute, then become a *journalist*.
  2. CIA's spokesman at NBC, , expressed the same indignation. Amazing how often journalists concoct excuses to be angry the public will see & learn things. It's valid to object to Trump's motives & selectivity, but many US journalists hate transparency more than NSA

Idea that public disclosure of government records “sacrifices national security” is the same old anti-transparency canard that always gets trotted out. Trump’s motives may be purely cynical but that’s not an argument for why this info should be concealed

There is no scandal bigger, not in most of our lifetimes and even before that, than a political party paying for foreign spies to interfere in our elections. And the fact that any self proclaimed 'progressive' out of cult-like party loyalty would look the other way is shameful.

Censorship isn't the answer.

expands censorship to photos and videos - World Socialist Web Site

Let's end by quoting Thomas Jefferson, "I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.  This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }