Monday, March 16, 2020

Truest statement of the week

As is its method, the Times provides no facts to support the unsubstantiated claims of anonymous intelligence agents. The fundamental purpose of the article is to advance the anti-Russia foreign policy interests of US imperialism and to deny the existence of real social divisions in America. The latter assertion appears all the more absurd in the midst of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, injecting $1.5 trillion into the markets while leaving the working population to fend for themselves.
Russia is “amplifying divisions among races” by publishing “stories emphasizing allegations of police abuse in the United States and highlighting racism against African-Americans in the military,” the Times claims. These “divisive racial narratives” are proof that the Russians are “weaponizing race” in order to “damage the country’s social fabric.”
The Times expresses its frustration that the government cannot censor articles and social media posts that fan “division,” writing: “Because Russia is trying to amplify the messaging of existing groups, its interference is difficult for American officials to combat given First Amendment protections for speech.”
The Times’ is tapping into its own anti-communist—and racist—traditions. Its March 10 article echoes the paper’s headline of August 21, 1930, “World Negro Rising Said To Be Soviet Aim.” At that time, the Times wrote, “The Soviet is busy stirring up unrest among the Negro masses in Africa and America.” Soviet “agents” are “working among the colored races” and have provoked “Negro unrest in the United States.”

-- Eric London, "New York Times hypocritically accuses Russia of “weaponizing race” in 2020 elections" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

For many years I have been trying to tell “progressives” who cling to the quixotic notion of advancing social democracy, peace, and environmental sanity through the Democratic Party that the party’s corporate establishment hates them and would rather lose to the ever more fascistic Republican Party than to the moderately social-democratic wing of their own party.
The evidence of this hatred (not too strong a word) is plentiful. Think of Barack Obama’s future White House chief-of- staff and future racist Chicago “Mayor 1%” Rahm Emanuel working as a foulmouthed right-wing Congressional leader to purge antiwar candidates from the party’s 2006 House of Representatives candidate roster.
The sociopath Emanuel would go on to regularly threaten and abuse progressives who meekly tried to push the militantly neoliberal, Citigroup-captive Obama administration towards small measures of social and environmental decency. His corporatist blood brother Obama made sure to purge advocates of Single Payer health insurance – irrelevantly supported by most of the U.S. populace – from the national health care reform debate in 2009.
There was nothing new or surprising about all that. The second half of the Jimmy Carter administration was dedicated to corporate-friendly de-regulation that helped usher in the tragic two-term Reagan presidency after Carter kicked progressives to the curb. The Bill Clinton presidency was a monument to smug pro-corporate “free market” politics and policy, with the party’s progressive wing treated with contemptuous disdain. “

-- Paul Street, "Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is How Much 'Your' Party HATES You" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday morning.

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, 
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?


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

Editorial: California's elected officials disappoint (except for Gavin Newsom)

It's already been a tough week for the US military in Iraq with at least four members killed and many injured.  Today, three more are wounded.  Isabel Coles and Ghassan Adnan (WALL ST. JOURNAL) report, "Rockets struck an Iraqi base housing American troops on Saturday, lowering any expectations of de-escalation after U.S. strikes on an Iran-backed militia in response to the killing of two of its troops at the same base this week."  Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Samya Kullab (AP) add, "The U.S.-led coalition said at least 25 107mm rockets struck Camp Taji just before 11 a.m. Some struck the area where coalition forces are based, while others fell on air defense units, the Iraqi military statement said.  Five people were wounded in the attack, including three coalition members and two Iraqi soldiers, according to spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition Myles Caggins."  Huo Jingnan (NPR) explains, "A Twitter account claiming to be the official Security Media Cell of the Iraqi Prime Minister's office called for the Iraqi Parliament's "speedy implementation" of its decision on the coalition's withdrawal."  Another AP report notes, "The attack was unusual because it occurred during the day. Previous assaults on military bases housing U.S. troops typically occurred at night."  So the base was attacked during the day, for a change, and on the base, Lucas Tomlinson (FOX NEWS) observes, "It’s the same base where 2 Americans and a British Army medic were killed in a rocket attack Wednesday prompting US airstrikes on Iranian-backed forces blamed for the attack."

The attack today has already resulted in Iraq issuing a warning.  Ahmed Rasheed, Ahmed Aboulenein and Phil Stewart (REUTERS) reports, "The Iraqi military said on Saturday that neither the United States nor other foreign forces should use the latest attack as a pretext to take military action without Iraq's approval, and should instead hasten to implement a parliamentary resolution expelling them."

Luis Martinez and Elizabeth McLaughlin (ABC NEWS) remind, "A rocket attack in December that killed an American contractor triggered a series of events that almost led the U.S. and Iran to the brink of war."  Ivana Kottasová, Kareem Khadder, Jonny Hallam and Barbara Starr (CNN) point out, "There have been multiple rocket attacks in Iraq in recent weeks."

Gunnery Sgt Diego D. Pongo and Capt Moises A. Navas were killed last Sunday,  Wednesday saw the deaths of Army Specialist Juan Covarrubias and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal Roberts.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt noted:

Please join me in praying for the family of one of Oklahoma's finest. Staff Sgt. Marshal Roberts,
, was killed Wednesday in a rocket attack while serving our nation in Iraq. Men and women like him, who defend our state and our nation, are the best Oklahoma has to offer.

Oklahoma US House Rep Kevin Hern and US Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe issued the following statement:

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01) expressed deep sadness over the loss of two American service members in Iraq on Wednesday, including Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts from the 219th Engineering Installation Squadron, a unit of the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma National Guard.
“Wednesday’s news is a painful reminder that our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors are still fighting every day to protect us across the world,” said Lankford. “To lose a member of our military is never easy; to lose a neighbor is even harder. Cindy and I pray for the family of Oklahoma airman Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts in Iraq. As they walk through this incredibly hard time we will all walk with them. We also pray for the members who were injured in the attack, including another member of the 138th. We pray for their full recovery.”
“On Wednesday night, we lost an American hero: Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts of Owasso, Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. “Kay and I are praying for his wife, Krissy, as well as his family, friends and the entire Oklahoma National Guard. It is a somber reminder that the enemy Sgt. Roberts fought against is real and seeks to harm our nation and people. I am humbled he made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us back here at home. We will not forget it. We are also praying for the swift recovery of the service members injured in yesterday’s attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard.”
“I was heartbroken to hear that we lost an Oklahoman this week during an attack on an American base in Iraq,” said Rep. Hern. “Staff Sergeant Marshal Roberts is remembered a hero and patriot, a man who chose to fight for the freedoms that we hold dear, who willingly walked into the path of danger so that Americans at home were safe. We can never repay that debt. His wife, Krissy, child, and loved ones, as well as the Oklahoma National Guard and our Tulsa community, are in my prayers as we mourn the loss of a father, husband, neighbor, and friend. In addition to the loss of Sergeant Marshall, many service members sustained injuries in the attack, including a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. I pray for their swift recoveries and offer my deepest gratitude for their service to our nation.” 


TULSA WORLD notes, "Roberts enlisted in May 2014. He was the first Oklahoma Guardsman killed in action and the 20th Oklahoma Guardsman who has died while deployed overseas since Sept. 11, 2001, according to an Oklahoma Air National Guard news release."

Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias was from California and our governor, Gavin Newsom, issued the following statement:

SACRAMENTO – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom honor Army Specialist Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation. The Governor and First Partner extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
In memorial, Governor Newsom ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias’ family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.
Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, CA, died March 11, 2020, when his unit was engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX. Spc. Mendez Covarrubias was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.


Kamala Harris has Tweeted 16 times since the death of Juan and she's never mentioned him once.  Nor has she issued a statement.  Senator Kamala Harris shows her true nature to the country yet again.  The last thing I-Voted-for-the-War Joe Biden needs as a running mate is an idiot who puts the wrong people in prison and doesn't have the common sense to realize it's her job to note when a Californian dies while serving overseas where their government sent them.  Shame on you.

The only thing worse?  Senator Dianne Feinstein who voted for the Iraq War (Barbara Boxer, on the same vote, voted against it).  Despite voting for the war -- or maybe because she did, Dianne refuses to acknowledge Juan's passing.  22 Tweets since the death was announced and nothing.  She's also refused to note him in a press release.

What's worse?  US House Rep TJ Cox.  He represented Juan in Congress but can't note Juan's passing.  He's issued no press release.  He has Tweeted 23 times since Juan's death was announced and, today, even made time to sport his stupidity with a "Happy Pi Day!" Tweet.  Yes, he truly is that awful.  Harris, Feinstein and Cox need to get their pathetic acts together.

Brian Johnson (KFSN) reports on Juan Covarrubias and notes:

Even though he was a member of the military, Monica Mendez says her oldest son fundamentally disagreed with the notion that war could solve the world's problems.

"He doesn't think that that is a solution to any dispute of the countries," said a family member who translated for Mendez. "They're not going to resolve anything if they go to war." 

THE HANFORD SENTINAL quotes Lt Col Adam S. Camarano stating, "Specialist Mendez was a cherished signal support systems specialist in 1-227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. The regiment and his fellow Soldiers are grieving the loss of a true warrior. Command Sergeant Major Travis Eicher and I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Specialist Mendez Covarrubias. His loss is felt across the our formation and he will not be forgotten."


The above is from C.I.'s Saturday night entry.

Media: The hypocrisy and the insanity

Vincent D'Onofrio has a less than average cock.  Yes, everyone, it's time to talk basic truths and, no, it won't be pretty.


For years now, we've heard how Donald Trump is degrading the nation as president.  How?  With his alleged assaults on women.  With his insults to people.

Do you buy that?

We're asking because the faux resistance has coalesced behind Joe Biden.

The hypocrisy is astounding.

Joe has invaded the space of women and girls, kissed them, sniffed them -- made them uncomfortable.  Then, when called on it, he issues an 'apology' that never uses the word "sorry" or the words "I apologize" but insists that it won't happen again.  Days later, he's making fun of the women who have stated they were uncomfortable by his actions.

There was no apology.

And he learned nothing from it because he didn't want to learn from it.  He didn't see it as his problem, he saw it as a problem for others.


Ask him a question and watch him go off.  You're "fat," you're "a dog faced pony soldier" . . .  It's a long list of insults and this is when he's trying to earn votes.  This past week, he told a voter he was "full of s**t." And he threatened to "slap you in the face"

This is when Joe's trying to be the next president.  Can you imagine what happens if he gets into the Oval Office?

It's not a question the corporate media cares to ask.

CNN is frantically spinning Joe Biden threatening a union worker in #Michigan as a "very good" move. Biden: -called the man a "horse's ass" -threatened to slap him -asked him to "go outside" Expect full propaganda mode as corporate media tries to cover up #BidensCognitiveDecline.

MSNBC desperately spinning Joe Biden threatening a union worker in #Michigan as "forceful but composed". Biden threatened to attack the man & said "SHUSH! Shush!" to a young Black woman who tried to intervene. Corporate media in panic mode to cover up #BidensCognitiveDecline
Quote Tweet
Joy Reid
Ok I’m not the only only one who viewed this interaction this way. Biden in this clip was forceful but composed; quite the opposite of what his foes have been depicting him as. What am I missing?
4:17 PM · Mar 10, 2020Twitter Web App

CNN, MSNBC, & other corporate media outlets are racing to spin Biden threatening to attack a #Michigan union worker as a brilliant move. If anyone else did this the headlines would say
Police cars revolving light
Police cars revolving light
The rich man's media is DESPERATE to cover up #BidensCognitiveDecline
4:47 PM · Mar 10, 2020Twitter Web App

And over at the right-wing media watchdog NEWSBUSTERS, Nicholas Fondacaro points out that the broadcast network news misreported what took place with NBC NIGHTLY NEWS deceptively editing the recording of the encounter.

"I have never seen anything like this [the coronavirus] in my life nor has anybody out there," stated Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday during his Fireside Chat.  "It seems to me that what we've got to focus on now is how we deal with this short term crises that we are facing which are very, very severe."

The short term crises.  In addition to the effects that the coronavirus can have on people -- mild symptoms like cold or flu or more severe which require hospitalization and may result in death -- there are the other crises.

To limit exposure, various things are being shut down.  Broadway has been shut down (following two ushers testing positive for the coronavirus), DISNEY is shutting down their amusement parks, UNIVERSAL has done the same, the NBA has suspended the season -- during March Madness, yes, it's that serious, production of some TV shows has been shut down . . .

Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is shutting down Ohio's bars and restaurants tonight at nine.  Delivery and takeout will continue but there will no longer be gathering inside.

These and other measures that will follow are necessary.  But while Joe Biden ignores them and blames everything on Donald Trump, a real leader -- Bernie Sanders -- looks at where this leads.

Bernie Sanders: What does this mean for ordinary people?  What does this mean?  Say you are a waiter or a waitress, okay?  Business is cut in half.  What are you supposed to do right now? Your mortgage bill is coming due or your rent bill is coming due.  Maybe you have illness and you have to buy your prescription drugs.  Maybe your kid is sick from an illness and you have to go to the doctor.  Maybe you owe and you have to make your monthly payments on your credit card.  What happens to you if your income goes down?

Early last week, actor Vincent D'Onofrio began Tweeting against Bernie Sanders (such as here -- which he notes later "I couldn't help myself").  Worse, he started telling everyone what to do: Vote Biden.

He lied because he's an idiot, yes, Barack Obama and Joe Biden put children into cages -- FACTCHECK.ORG here.

He's a liar but he's worse than a liar, he's a piece of trash.

He thinks he has standing to tell anyone how to vote?  What has his fat ass ever done?

Jessica Lange spoke out against the Iraq War, Jane Fonda spoke out against the Iraq War, Ani DiFranco spoke out against the Iraq War, Janeane Garofalo spoke out against the Iraq War, Harry Belafonte spoke out against the Iraq War, Susan Sarandon spoke out against the Iraq War, Nas spoke out against the Iraq War, Tim Robinson spoke out against the Iraq War, Gillian Anderson spoke out against the Iraq War, Jay-Z spoke out against the Iraq War, Sean Penn spoke out against the Iraq War, Samuel L. Jackson spoke out against the Iraq War, Danny Glover spoke out against the Iraq War, Sheryl Crow spoke out against the Iraq War, George Clinton spoke out against the Iraq War, Natalie Maines spoke out against the Iraq War, Norah Jones spoke out against the Iraq War, Chris Martin spoke out against the Iraq War, Kim Basinger spoke out against the Iraq War, Sally Field spoke out against the Iraq War, Alec Baldwin spoke out against the Iraq War, Barbra Streisand spoke out against the Iraq War, Laurence Fishburne spoke out against the Iraq War, Angelica Huston spoke out against the Iraq War, Ethan Hawke spoke out against the Iraq War, Uma Thurman spoke out against the Iraq War, Lindsay Wagner spoke out against the Iraq War, Ed Asner spoke out against the Iraq War, Missy Elliott spoke out against the Iraq War, Matt Damon spoke out against the Iraq War, Linda Ronstadt spoke out against the Iraq War, Emmylou Harris spoke out against the Iraq War, Roseanne Cash spoke out against the Iraq War, Busta Rhymes spoke out against the Iraq War, Suzanne Vega spoke out against the Iraq War, Brian Eno spoke out against the Iraq War, Natalie Imbruglia spoke out against the Iraq War, L'il Mo spoke out against the Iraq War, Mobb Deep spoke out against the Iraq War, Lucinda Williams spoke out against the Iraq War, Michael Stipe spoke out against the Iraq War, George Michael spoke out against the Iraq War, Lenny Kravitz spoke out against the Iraq War, David Rovics spoke out against the Iraq War, John Mellencamp spoke out against the Iraq War, Lou Reed spoke out against the Iraq War, Billy Bragg spoke out against the Iraq War, Rickie Lee Jones spoke out against the Iraq War, Neil Young spoke out against the Iraq War, Pink spoke out against the Iraq War, Michael Franti spoke out against the Iraq War, Cat Power spoke out against the Iraq War, Edward Norton spoke out against the Iraq War, Spike Lee spoke out against the Iraq War, Martin Sheen spoke out against the Iraq War, Martin Scorsese spoke out against the Iraq War, Joan Baez spoke out against the Iraq War, Dustin Hoffman spoke out against the Iraq War, Oliver Stone spoke out against the Iraq War, Robert Altman spoke out against the Iraq War, Brian De Palma spoke out against the Iraq War, Annie Lennox spoke out against the Iraq War, Alice Walker spoke out against the Iraq War, Peter Gabriel spoke out against the Iraq War, Phil Collins spoke out against the Iraq War, Emma Thompson spoke out against the Iraq War, Ken Loach spoke out against the Iraq War, Mike Leigh spoke out against the Iraq War, Richard E. Grant spoke out against the Iraq War, Vanessa Redgrave spoke out against the Iraq War, Robert Redford spoke out against the Iraq War, Damon Albarn spoke out against the Iraq War, Richard Gere spoke out against the Iraq War, Don Cheadle spoke out against the Iraq War, David Duchovny spoke out against the Iraq War, Elliott Gould spoke out against the Iraq War, Mark Ruffalo spoke out against the Iraq War, Boots Riley spoke out against the Iraq War . . .

We could go on and on.  You know who we'd never end up noting?  That's right: Vincent.

He is now and has always been a spoiled and self-involved do-nothing.

Boots Riley put it on the line.  Fat ass Vincent just shoved more food in his fat face.  Last week, Boots again spoke truth and Vincent had to have a snit fit and tell everyone that they had to vote for Biden if he got the nomination.

Boots put it on the line.  Vincent's never put anything on the line.  Why the hell should anyone listen to his privileged and protected ass?

It's not like he's even accomplished in his field.  He can play psychopaths but that's all he can play and he owes his entire career to a rumor -- a rumor that was false.

In DYING YOUNG, Vincent played Julia's fat and boring boyfriend that the audience wanted her to dump for Campbell Scott.  That's the kind of role he's made for.

And it's the kind of role he would have been trapped in.

But there was another actor coming up, one a bit younger than Vincent, who had a similar background.  Unlike Vincent, this actor was bisexual -- not especially novel in the entertainment industry -- and, here's what was novel, his penis was like a baby's arm -- huge.

For several years, directors and actors confused him with Vincent.  They hired Vincent by mistake.  This led to disappointment with Vincent's acting -- which is pedestrian and dull unless he's playing a psychopath (Tim Burton's not the only director who was disappointed by Vincent's 'acting') -- and frequently to male co-stars and male directors being disappointed that Vincent didn't want to 'play.'

Now the other actor, the one with the huge penis?  He did want to play.  He played so much, in fact, that while no one denies his acting brilliance, his career has been erratic -- more playing out of camera range and less performing in front of the camera.  But even so, his acting blows Vincent's passive performances out of the water.

There's an actress, by the way, that we get e-mails about.  Ty will say, "So and so wrote that you used to praise ____ and now don't and they're confused."

Don't be confused.  Her acting is no longer inspired, first off.  Second, she chose to marry this bisexual man and she knew he was bisexual and he told her he would continue to be.  What was confusing about any of that?  Apparently something was because shortly after getting married, she went around whining about how he was bisexual and eventually divorced him.  She played the victim and we didn't buy it -- again, she was told all of this going in.  Equally true, she's been known to make out with a few women.  So we just feel she's full of it.  Doesn't mean she might not have another great performance in her.  But at present, she's been coasting and serving up superficial performances for about eight years now.

One director who hired Vincent by mistake was so disappointed -- especially when wardrobe confirmed there was no huge package there -- that he would shout at Vincent, take after take, "Bigger!"  Everyone on that set would laugh except the oblivious Vincent.

Vincent doesn't have much of a career to look back on with pride.  But how sad that when he does look back, he has to realize that, especially in the 90s, any role he got, he got because someone confused him with the other guy, with Mr. Meat.

A friend of ours worked with both.  The actor was a star in the 90s and is a star now.  He thought Vincent was Mr. Meat and our friend, who is bisexual, thought it would be fun to act and play around with him.  It wasn't.  Vincent didn't play or 'play' and he was a lousy actor.  He delivered nothing, our friend notes, it was like acting opposite a brick wall.  A year later, our friend who had gotten Vincent cast as a minor co-star, was able to work with the actual Mr. Meat as a co-star.  Yes, they played around and those are fond memories for our friend.  But, in addition, Mr. Meat could actually act.

Vincent's sixty now.  Stardom never came his way via films nor via TV.  (His LAW AND ORDER franchise show, remember, had low ratings and had to be shared with USA NETWORK.)  Most of his jobs in the 90s only came his way by mistake.  He's never been nominated for an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Golden Globe . . .  (Mr. Meat has been nominated.)

Remember that the next time Vincent starts trying to tell you what to do.  Maybe Tweet back at him, "Why don't you shut up about what I need to do and focus instead on your dismal career, maybe try to deliver a performance that impresses finally."

There's no reason to listen to him.  He's a useless actor who's wasted decades never delivering a performance worth discussing.  He's a useless person who has time and again failed to use his limited fame to try to change the world for the better.

These are basic truths and they, like Vincent, aren't pretty.   Basic truths aren't anything that Vincent, the corporate media or any other whores traffic in.  They pimp lies.  There's a reason they're on the side of Biden.

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