Friday, July 26, 2019

Space missions?

From Friday's broadcast of MORNING EDITION (NPR):

That phrase about one small step for man is about to be out of date. The Trump administration has promised to put the first woman on the moon by 2024. The new plans for space come amid celebrations of the anniversary of the first moon landing 50 years ago. That feat grew out of a U.S. space race with the Soviet Union that changed much of American life. Here's President Dwight Eisenhower talking about Sputnik 1, the satellite first launched by the Soviet Union in October 1957.


DWIGHT EISENHOWER: We congratulate Soviet scientists upon putting a satellite into orbit. The United States satellite program has been designed from its inception for maximum result in scientific research.

INSKEEP: Now, the U.S. is turning its eyes upward again. And space is our topic as we ask Cokie. Cokie Roberts joins us regularly to talk about how politics and the government work. Hi, Cokie.


INSKEEP: And here's our first question.

BRIDGET HALLIGAN: I'm Bridget Halligan (ph) of Des Moines, Iowa. Is anyone actually still interested in going to space or what space exploration offers us? It seems the hype was huge when the program started years ago but appears it's become a joke with Space Force.

ROBERTS: Actually, recent polling, Steve, shows a good bit of interest in the program. A CBS survey conducted in June showed fully 3/4 saying the moon shot was worth it in terms of time and money. And about the same number said they favored sending astronauts to explore Mars. And close to that member favor sending astronauts back to the moon - although almost as many said they personally would not like to go (laughter).

INSKEEP: OK, not for everybody.

ROBERTS: Now, in terms of a space force, that's a whole new branch of the military proposed by President Trump. A Pew survey in May and June does show significant opposition to that - about 60%. But people still strongly support U.S. leadership in space, though clearly it's not what it was back at the beginning of the program when the whole country sat up and took notice.

I found the report interesting.  And?  Honestly, when "Ask Cokie"was introduced as a segment, I thought it was going to be a nightmare and was prepared to laugh.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, July 26, 2019.  Joe Biden continues to struggle while insisting, "Come at me, bro!"

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nominee is on.

25 are seeking the nomination, 20 will be allowed to debate over two nights next week.  The press has declared War Hawk Joe Biden the front runner.

The people have not spoken.

But Joe keeps speaking, keeps putting his foot in his mouth.

America needs Medicare For All.  Joe says "no" while running on Barack Obama's coattails.  There's a problem.

Joe Biden released this new video arguing against Medicare for All, while President Obama himself praised the idea

Guess Joe's not as close to Barack as he likes to claim.

In a new development, Joe has issued a warning, his version of "Come at me, bro."

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is out with a stark warning for his opponents ahead of next week's debates. He's saying: if you come at me, this time, I’m ready to hit back. reports.

If you come at me this time, I'm ready to hit back.


A president needs to be ready on day one, Joe.  And supposedly you have all this experience that makes you so qualified.  But you can't handle your first debate?

Joe's an embarrassment.

Which is why support for Joe continues to drop.  And then drop some more.

"Please clap...☹" Though every poll still shows him running atop the Democratic field, since he joined the race in late April, Biden’s support has been cut almost in half.

Whatever Joe does in next week's debate, let's hope he lays off the make up.  I haven't seen so much foundation on anyone since a TV actress with a heroin habit in the 80s.

Joe Biden will forever be the War Hawk who sold the Iraq War and kept it going.  He's not the only one.  Many did so in the US and elsewhere. In Australia . . .


Link to headline article

John Howard is a War Criminal.  He's the forgotten War Criminal because Tony Blair was Bully Boy Bush's lapdog and no one could ever figure out what was lower than a lapdog.  Whatever that was, it's John Howard.

Meanwhile . . .

Reports indicate the U.S. deciding to sanction 67 political figures & senior officials of the -backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF militia units) in Iraq on charges of money-laundering & relations with Tehran, said Iraqi MP Haytham al-Jabouri in a TV interview.

True or false?  Who knows.  Haythem is a well known liar with a long streak of lies.  He's also State of Law -- but isn't that redundant?  He's lied about government formation in the past, he's lied about so much.  He also has a history of being seen by the Iraqi people as a tool of Iran.  If people are being declared terrorist by the US government, then they can always fight the charges.  The declaration would only make formal what's been stated by the military brass to the press for years.

The following sites updated:

Margaret Kimberley explains Kamala

Margaret Kimberley's latest is up at BLACK AGENDA REPORT:

Kamala Harris seems to love the Russiagate narrative more than any of the other Democratic Party presidential candidates. The lightweight senator who made a name for herself as a jailer of black people has to distract voters from her troubling history. The Russian bogeyman is a perfect fit. She is no different from the rest of the Democratic Party in pushing the phony tale but she seems to have a peculiar predilection for going where others will not. In so doing she tells outrageous lies about black people and their experience in this country.
In an appearance on The View television show Harris said she advocated the use of paper ballots because, “Russia can’t hack paper .” The comment was particularly bizarre. Even the most ardent of the conspiracy mongers don’t make the claim that the Russian government prevented the casting of ballots or the counting of votes.

On the other hand, electronic voting systems have stolen millions of votes from black people. If every vote had been counted in 2016, Hillary Clinton might have been declared the winner instead of Donald Trump. But the woman who uses her biracial identity as a calling card doesn’t mention how black people’s voting rights have been stolen by a rigged system.
In this regard she isn’t much different from the rest of the Democratic Party, who in 2000 and 2016 said nothing about the theft of the presidency from their candidates. Twice they were robbed by the inherently unjust electoral college but they have made no effort to get rid of the anachronism which can make the winner a loser. 
The signature nervous giggle and stupid statements didn’t end with fantasies of non-existent Russian vote hacking. Harris is now negating black people’s political agency and lived experience regarding a subject that is viewed with the utmost importance. The wanton killing of black people by the police was met with mass outrage and football player Colin Kaepernick’s very public protest was met with unwavering support among black people.

Kamala will see her moment in the spotlight come and go and have wasted it on crap like Russia-gate.

Read the column, Margaret Kimberley has Kamala's number.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, July 25, 2019.  A lot questions for 'front runner' Joe Biden.

Starting in the US where a presidential election will take place in November 2020 and the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is on.  Joe Biden stumbles and bumbles his way through a poorly planned campaign.

Yesterday's snapshot noted that America really doesn't elect stumblers for president and used Gerald Ford as an example:

Joe is a nightmare.  He is one gaffe after another.  The bumbling vice president might be cute and funny but for the person who sits in the Oval Office, that's not what we want.

Yes, Gerald Ford got in there but on a pass.  He only got him because he was an (unelected) Vice President.  When he finally faced an election, he lost to Jimmy Carter. 

An e-mail to the public account insists:

Just because Mr. Ford was not top of the ticket does not mean people did not vote for him.  I voted for John Kerry more because he had John Edwards as a running mate.  We don't just vote for the top of the ticket, we also vote for the running mate.  That should have been clear to everyone but obviously you are too dense to get it.

Thanks for sharing.

Gerald Ford was never Richard Nixon's running mate.  Spiro Agnew was his running mate in 1968 and 1972.  Both times they won the election.  Spiro had to resign after the 1972 election in 1973.  At which point, Nixon selected Ford.

Ford was never on the ticket as Nixon's running mate.

When Ford faced election -- Nixon was forced out of office in disgrace and Ford became president -- it was 1976 and the voters went with Jimmy Carter.

As the saying goes, keep coming back, it works if you work it.

Joe Biden bumbles and stumbles along.  He really doesn't sit down interviews unless he can have someone beside him to say all the things he's afraid to.  Which is a real shame because one question that should be asked of him has not been asked.

Why are you running?

In 2016, Joe Biden was the sitting vice president.  Barack Obama had served two terms and could not run again.  When this happens, traditionally the vice president makes a run for the presidency.

Now he shows up promising to turn back the clock to the age of Obama.


Why didn't he run in 2016?

What makes him more qualified now?

Why now but not then?

Or is that an attack?  The press seems to feel every question of Joe is an attack.  After all, they've declared him the front runner so any obstacle -- like his past, his present or his future -- that might impede his journey to the White House is an attack.

They say Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris attacked him.  For weeks, they've said that.  Poor innocent Joe, right?

Here is the Fox News headline that Joe Biden is generating with his dishonest attacks on the Medicare for All legislation that is being pushed by more than 100 congressional Democrats

Joe's been attacking all along but hiding behind others to do it.  All that's changed is now he's carrying out his attacks all by himself.  Which should make the debate very interesting.  Speaking with the NAACP, he had a finger wagging moment that the press is largely ignoring but it bubbling up and becoming a problem.  Maybe, when replying to the African-American woman asking you questions in a sit down discussion, the thing not to do is point your finger at her as you huffily reply.

Again, the debate next week should be very interesting.

And maybe, another question, they can ask Joe why he ever supported mandatory sentencing in the first place?

Three strikes you're out?

If Joe had been ruled out of politics after three strikes, he wouldn't be allowed to run today.

Iraq, Anita Hill, mandatory sentencing -- that's three alone.  And that's far from a list of Joe's worst hits over the years.

Iraq?  His excuse is that he was tricked by Bully Boy Bush.  Outsmarted by the village idiot as a campaign strategy?  Again, let's note Ryan Grim (THE INTERCEPT):

Joe Biden’s new foreign policy adviser was a supporter of the Iraq War while serving in the George W. Bush administration, though he now says it was “a pretty serious blunder.” Nicholas Burns, whose hiring was first reported by CNN on Monday, has also called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a “a traitor.”
Biden, of course, was a supporter of the war himself and later advocated splitting Iraq into three independent countries along sectarian lines. In the runup to the war, Biden was chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Burns worked on the National Security Council staff under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He then served as ambassador to NATO, and later undersecretary of state for political affairs, the third-ranking position in the State Department, under George W. Bush. Burns retired in 2008 from public service and has since been a senior counselor at the Cohen Group, a global lobbying and influence firm, as well as a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He was an adviser to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. 
According to his Harvard resume, he is a consultant for Goldman Sachs. His Harvard bio also lists speeches he gave in 2018, some of which he says he was paid for. He spoke to Bank of America, State Street, CitiBank, Honeywell, and a number of other companies, universities, and associations. 

“The most important thing Joe Biden needs to prove regarding foreign policy is that he has learned from his disastrous decision to support going to war in Iraq and other foreign countries around the globe,” said Alexander McCoy, political director of Common Defense, a progressive, grassroots veterans organization. “It’s not encouraging that, out of countless possible choices, Joe Biden selected a foreign policy advisor who also supported the invasion of Iraq, the biggest foreign policy mistake of a generation — a mistake that veterans like us still are suffering the consequences of.” McCoy added that Biden had yet to sign the group’s pledge to end the nation’s “forever wars.”

So Joe made a mistake on Iraq and his solution is to bring in Burns who also made a mistake?  How does that improve him as a candidate?  How does that demonstrate that he has learned a thing?  Or can learn?  If you know you made a mistake how does adding another person who made the same mistake help you.

Joe has made a lot of mistakes but what is worse is he never seems to learn from them.

On the topic of Iraq, NDTV notes:

The commander of a U.S. Special Operations task force in Iraq has sent home a platoon of Navy SEALs for drinking while deployed, U.S. defense officials said, the latest discipline incident that has emerged for an elite force relied upon heavily by the Pentagon.
U.S. Special Operations Command said in a statement Wednesday night that the platoon was forced out early to San Diego "due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods" of their deployment.
"The Commander lost confidence in the team's ability to accomplish the mission," the statement said. "Commanders have worked to mitigate the operational impact as this SEAL platoon follows a deliberate redeployment."
The statement did not state what prompted the decision, but two defense officials with knowledge of the issue said that SEALs drinking alcohol prompted it. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that the SEALs violated General Order No. 1, which bans alcohol use.

Let's wind down with this from the Connecticut Green Party:

NEW LONDON, CT — Community organizer and author Frida Berrigan has begun collecting petition signatures for ballot access as she seeks the Green Party nomination to run for Mayor in the November elections. A newcomer to electoral politics, Ms. Berrigan has a long history of involvement, at the local and national level, in support of peace, social justice, and environmental responsibility.

Green Party of Connecticut

July 22, 2019

Frida Berrigan, 860-389-8566,
Ronna Stuller, 860-772-8439,

“I am a parent and a community gardener. I try to be a good neighbor. I have sought to support existing initiatives, show up in solidarity, lead from behind and create conversations. I am not an expert in anything. But, it seems to me that the mayor’s job is to be present and listen, catalyze conversation, invite inquiry and question assumptions. I can do that.”

The Green Party will hold its nominating convention at Riverside Park on Sunday, August 4, at 5:00 p.m. Candidates are still being recruited for City Council and Board of Education; individuals who would like serve as elected officials and to join a campaign focused on involving young people in the political arena; celebrating New London’s racial, economic, and ethnic diversity; and making space for new ideas are encouraged to contact the Green Town Committee at

The Green Party is committed to peace, social and economic justice, ecology, and grassroots democracy. Due to our firm belief that government should be accountable to its citizens, New London Green Party candidates do not accept contributions from corporations, lobbyists, political action committees or labor unions. For further information regarding the New London Greens, visit

The following sites updated: