Thursday, May 06, 2021

Stupid, racist and washed up 'actress' Alyssa Milano can kiss my Black ass

 Did you see this?

Failed actress Alyssa Milano is trying to distract from the outrage her latest racist comments have set off.

No, Alyssa, I'm not a right winger and I didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020.  I'm a Black woman who has long found your casual racism offensive and I've long wished you'd grasp just how pathetic you are and try to change.

Don't give me who you voted for or this or that.  You're racist.  You're an out of touch elitist who points the fingers at others while never examining your own behavior.

She really needs to grasp just how racist she is.  She also needs to grasp that her sense of self-importance exists only in her mind.  She's the failure that Atkins had to fire as their spokesperson.  She's a nothing and she wants to pretend the world's still interested.  She's awful.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Thursday, May 6, 2021.  IAVA has an upcoming event, Robert Pether remains in an Iraqi prison and remains a testimony to how ineffective and pathetic the Australian government is, a former member of the US military is convicted for threats of armed violence, some outlets falsely reporting the man was an Iraq War veteran lead to a long aside on the late and great Aretha Franklin, and much more.

Memorial Day is this month (May 31st).  It's a national holiday in the US and its intent is to remember those who died serving in the US military.  IAVA is a US organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the leading organization for veterans of today's (ongoing) wars.  They have an action that they do each Memorial Day:

May 3, 2021

New York, NY –  Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) kicks off their annual #GoSilent Memorial Day campaign to honor the veterans of the U.S. Armed forces who have lost their lives. 

A decade-long tradition, IAVA continues to promote this annual moment of silence every Memorial Day. The organization calls on all Americans to join in the national moment of remembrance on May 31 at 3pm local time and take the pledge to honor the brave servicemembers who gave their lives for our great nation. 

“This Memorial Day, we encourage all Americans to #GoSilent in honor of those we have lost. We hope you will stand with us to honor the brave members of our military who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Jeremy Butler, CEO of IAVA. “But we must remember that the fight for our nation’s heroes isn’t limited to just one day. Through this annual campaign, we also aim to raise awareness about the sacrifices that our servicemembers make and to educate the public on how they can support veterans all year round.” 

As part of its #GoSilent campaign, IAVA is urging participants to help spread the word and “go silent” to uplift and remember the lives of those lost in the U.S. Armed Services. A #GoSilent social media toolkit for Memorial Day is available at:

IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 400,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


In Iraq?  Robert Pether continues to be held in a prison.  The government of Australia continues to do nothing.  The Australian government has done nothing to protect their citizen Julian Assange who remains imprisoned -- for what crime?  Oh, that's right, so he can be persecuted for the crime of informing the public of what the US government was actually doing.  Robert Pether's crime?  Apparently it was conducting business in Iraq.  And that's fine with them.  Let the whole world register that it's open hunting season on any Australian citizen because their shameful and inept government is too cowardly and craven to protect its own citizens.  

Sean O'Driscoll (EXTRA IE) reports:

A father locked in a Baghdad prison has sent an emotional message to his son to wish him well in his Leaving Cert next month.

Roscommon-based consultant engineer Robert Pether, who has spent the last 26 days in a Baghdad prison because of a contract dispute, called from prison yesterday to wish his son, Flynn, the best of luck.

[. . .]

His voice quivering with emotion, Mr Pether told 17-year-old Flynn: ‘I love you. I’m sorry I can’t be there at the moment but I am so proud of you. You just do your best in those exams and hopefully I will get to talk to you soon. If not, I will see you as soon as I’m released after I’ve come home.

‘At the moment, I don’t know when that will be but we are working on it. Love you buddy. Talk to you soon.’

Mr Pether’s wife, Desree, held back tears as she explained that her husband will not be home for Flynn’s birthday on June 2 or for the 16th birthday of his other son, Oscar, on June 10.

Desree is a citizen of Ireland and the Irish press and elected officials in Ireland than have their Australian counterparts.  Marese McDonagh (IRISH TIMES) notes:

Mr Pether is being detained with an Egyptian colleague who was arrested with him on April 7th, when they both turned up for a purported meeting in Baghdad with the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq.

“There was no meeting. There were no pleasantries. They were met by 12 security officers and arrested and marched to a compound,” said Ms Pether who is an Irish citizen. She said her husband was forced to hand over his phone, laptop and hard drive and had no idea if his family knew what had become of him. He spent two weeks in the suit he had worn to the meeting and “doesn’t even have a toothbrush”. However, she said her husband had reassured her that he was not being ill treated.


Ms Pether said the two men were “pawns in a game of chess” and were caught up in a dispute between their company and its client, the central bank. Mr Pether had been overseeing the construction of a new headquarters for the central bank in Baghdad, a project which is ongoing for four years.

Daniella White (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) reports:

“The governor himself of the Central Bank of Iraq contacted Rob and said everything’s been resolved, can you please come over to Iraq from Dubai to fix the final issues so that we can move forward,” Ms Pether said.

Her husband also called the Australian embassy in Iraq, who told him he was not at risk of being detained if he went, according to Ms Pether.

But when he and his Egyptian colleague arrived for the meeting, they were immediately arrested.

“It was a trap to get them back in the country,” Ms Pether said.

“I had hoped there would be compassion and due process would be completed and common sense would have prevailed ... but no, the fabrications continue and he’s still a pawn in the game of chess.”

And the Australian government does nothing.  Turning to the US government where a former service member has been convicted.  From The United States Attorney's Office  Northern Florida:

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Tallahassee Man Convicted For Communicating Threats Of Violence

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDAThis afternoon a federal jury convicted Daniel Alan Baker, 33, of Tallahassee on two counts of transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure another person. The conviction, which followed a two-day trial that began Tuesday morning, was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Baker was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 15, 2021, after he issued a “Call to Arms” for like-minded individuals to violently confront protestors that may gather at the Florida Capitol in the wake of the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. He specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the state Capitol complex using firearms. Baker posted two such threatening communications on January 12 and 14, 2021.

“The free exercise of speech is central to our democracy,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody.  “However, the defendant’s threats of armed violence to inhibit expression of political views different than his own are both unlawful and dangerous. This office and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting public safety, and the jury’s verdict today has ensured that the defendant will be held accountable for his actions.”

At trial, evidence was presented showing that both threatening communications were true threats. The evidence included Baker’s foreign and domestic military training, his experience with firearms and explosives, as well as his social media posts that threatened the use violence and calls to war against those of different ideologies. Jurors observed social media posts in which Baker proclaimed himself as an anarchist, relayed his desire to slay his enemies, and boasted about assaulting law enforcement officers at protests in addition to his capabilities as a trained sniper. The evidence also included three firearms, a loaded shotgun and handgun depicted in many of his posts which were seized from Baker at the time of his arrest, and a third firearm, an AK-47 style rifle purchased by Baker days before transmission of his “Call to Arms.”  

Baker’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 16, 2021, at 3:30 pm, at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee before the Honorable Allen Winsor. Baker faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release on each count.   

"This case proves that the FBI will not tolerate those who seek to wreak havoc in our communities," said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. "Violence designed to intimidate citizens and influence government is what the FBI's counterterrorism team was designed to combat, and our team remains laser focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who cross the line from expressing beliefs to violating federal law by inciting violence or engaging in criminal activity. The communities of North Florida deserve nothing less than our full commitment to aggressively pursue these cases, and we will continue to work alongside our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. We are especially grateful for the work of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Tallahassee Police Department in this case."

This conviction was the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tallahassee Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Kunz and Lazaro Fields prosecuted this case.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

National Security
Violent Crime
U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Florida (850) 216-3829 Follow us on Twitter /@NDFLnews

Some outlets are calling Daniel Alan Baker an Iraq War veteran.  He is no such thing.  We'll be kind and not link to those outlets embarrassing themselves.  Yes, Baker was a member of the US military.  Yes, he was ordered to go to Iraq.  No, he did not go.  He checked out, went AWOL.  He was kicked out of the military as a result (in 2007).  Which makes his promoting his 'event' to kill Donald Trump even more weird/hypocritical, since he wrote on FACEBOOK, "If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!"   

The stupidity reminds me of some of the reviews of Aretha Franklin's last studio album released before she died, ARETHA FRANKLIN SINGS THE GREAT DIVA CLASSICS.  It was ten songs Aretha sang to salute the female peers she'd blazed a trail with.  In covering Adelle's "Rolling in the Deep" (which was Aretha's last charting hit -- number 47 on the R&B charts and number 1 on the dance charts), she brought in "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."  And all the fools and idiots rushed to pimp Marvin Gaye.  Marvin didn't write the damn song, Ashford & Simpson did.  Marvin (with Tammi Terrell) didn't have the big hit with it, Diana Ross did.  Marvin and Tami made it to number 3 on the R&B charts and number nineteen on the pop charts.  Diana?  She took the song to number one on both of those charts. 

Diana also took the song into the top forty in other countries and Marvin (and Tammi) didn't.  They failed.  They didn't even chart in obvious markets like Canada and the UK.  It wasn't even Marvin and Tammi's biggest hit on the charts.  There biggest charting single was Ashford & Simpson's "Your Precious Love."  After that, "You're All I Need To Get By" and "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" ("ANLTR" would be their first charting single in Canada and their first top forty single in the UK).  Even the mostly forgotten "If I Could Build My World Around You" was a bigger hit for the duo than "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."  That last one ("IICBMWAY") was not written by Ashford & Simpson but the rest mentioned were.  I'll note them because they are legends and they rarely get the credit they deserve and because Valerie Simpson is a friend (and Nickolas was until he passed)

There's this myth that's built up -- a lot of lies -- of how great and wonderful Marvin Gaye is.  He wasn't.  He was trash, that's really the only word for him and I say that as a friend of Anna Gordy.  I don't defend him.  I don't defend him having an affair with his 16 year-old niece while married to Anna (who would go on to adopt the child).  A 27-year-old married man sleeping with his 16-year-old niece?  That's the kind of man Marvin was.  An artist? At stealing credit for song writing when others did the actual writing.

I'm not a f**king idiot so don't mistake for Carly Simon.  I know Carly, we're sort of friends -- she hates my opinion of Mia Farrow.  And she's a dumb and stupid bitch for going around giggling about being assaulted by Marvin Gaye.  She giggles about it and looks like an airhead.  But the fact that he rammed his tongue down her mouth is 'cute' and let's her pretend she's sexy which, let's face it, has been the most important part of her career as evidenced by those album covers and the need to pose nude in so many of the sessions for them -- not just BOYS IN THE TREES although it may hold a record as being the only songbook ever published to feature topless photos of the female artist.  Yes, Carly, you were a sexy thing.  But you need to grasp that this was not two artists meeting.  You were a nobody to Marvin and he did that with every low level woman, it was a power play and it was assault.  Many women were humiliated by the action that you want to giggle over.  Shame on you.  He did that over and over and he also abused women who slept with him, to be in a relationship with Marvin was to be beaten.  So I'm really not into all the nonsense of 'Hail Marvin" that's cropped up recently despite the supposed #MeToo 'movement.'  He assaulted women, he harassed them on the job -- Carly, for example, was part of the technical staff of a TV show when Marvin was introduced to her and immediately grabbed her and stuck his tongue down her throat. Carly, you're being a dumb bitch.  You think it's a funny and cute story but it wasn't then and it isn't now.  Women are fighting for their rights and we don't need you giggling over being assaulted.  It's times like these that I'm glad Chrissie Hynde chocked you at the Joni Mitchell concert.

Aretha, who I also knew very well, was saluting Diana and stated to me that she was saluting Diana with two songs.  She laughed and said she didn't even do one song saluting Dionne Warwick (Aretha loathed Dionne),  Aretha had long performed "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in concert and it was the Diana Ross version* every time.  If you need proof, check out ARETHA FRANKLIN (LIVE IN PARIS, track nine.  Aretha did a great thing with her final studio album, she saluted other great female singers but read the reviews from the idiots and note how they repeatedly brought a man -- Marvin Gaye -- into the reviews because heaven forbid that women ever get the focus, heaven forbid.  

*Diana Ross version?  The song was written by Ashford & Simpson.  They did not produce that gooey mess that was released by Marvin and Tammi.  That turned the song into candy -- but not popular candy.  Had Dusty Springfield recorded it first, it might have had some lasting value.  Ashford & Simpson got to produce the song when they worked with Diana on her solo debut album (1970's DIANA ROSS).  They did a radical reworking, ditching the goo for artistry.  They slow the tempo of the song, they turn verses that had been sung on the original into spoken lines and they add that great chorus behind Diana.  It remains one of the great number ones of the 1970s.  And the attempt to set it aside is an attempt to erase the artistry of Ashford & Simpson.  The Diana Ross version should be properly credited as The Ashford and Simpson and Diana Ross version -- in that order.  The song was such a huge step away from the original that it actually bothered a number of people in real time including Berry Gordy who thought it was too long to be a single and didn't really get it.  And he'll tell you that himself.

Don't you love my asides.  (Note this snapshot would have gone up sooner but the person I dictated it to said he was holding it for 30 minutes in case I changed my mind about calling Carly out.  If you're reading this, I didn't change my mind.) 

Winding down, Brookings has an upcoming event:

As President Joe Biden completes the first 100 days of his presidency, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi nears his one-year anniversary in office. Iraq and the United States held their first strategic dialogue under the Biden administration in early April, discussing bilateral security cooperation, economic development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and protection of democracy and freedom of speech, among other topics. These two new administrations will now have to set the course for the future of Iraqi-U.S. relations.

On May 10, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will host Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood for keynote remarks on Iraqi-U.S. relations. A panel discussion will follow.

Viewers can submit questions by emailing or by joining the conversation on Twitter with #USIraq.

The following sites updated:

We need to outlaw the death penalty

I don't support the death penalty.  I don't think it's how we behave in a civilized world.  I also think that there's no 'woopsie!' allowed after an execution.  Meaning if you're going to put someone to death, you have to be sure and there's no certainty.  Kevin Reed (WSWS) reports:

New forensic testing has revealed that an unknown person was responsible for the murder of Debra Reese, for which Ledell Lee was executed by the State of Arkansas four years ago.

The new evidence was found on objects at the murder scene—including a bloody shirt and a club used to bludgeon 26-year-old Reese to death in 1993—after testing was demanded by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Innocence Project.

Lee was executed on April 20, 2017, the first of four inmates put to death by the Arkansas government as it rushed to carry them out before one of the drugs used in the state’s lethal injection protocol was about to expire. He maintained his innocence from the time of his arrest, throughout his trial and conviction, and after he was placed on death row in 1995.

At the time of Lee’s execution, Amnesty International noted, “Today is a shameful day for Arkansas, which is callously rushing the judicial process by treating human beings as though they have a sell-by date.”

Reese was found dead on February 9, 1993 in her home in Jacksonville, Arkansas after she was sexually assaulted, strangled and beaten 36 times with a small wooden club. Lee was convicted for the murder of Reese after two trials—the first ended in a hung jury—in which no physical evidence directly connected him to the crime and no alibi witnesses were called to testify by the defense.

Other failures of the justice system that have also been pointed out by the Innocence Project in their campaign to exonerate Lee include the facts that, “Fingerprints from key areas of the crime scene were determined not to be Ledell Lee’s and to this day have never been identified. None of Lee’s lawyers ever had the crime scene fingerprints independently examined before his execution. It turns out that there are at least five fingerprints eligible to be searched in the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System database—which could identify the source in a matter of hours.”

These facts were repeatedly dismissed by the corporate media and the Arkansas political establishment with references to Lee’s previous criminal offenses. Responding to media reports of the new DNA evidence in the case, Arkansas Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, defending Lee’s execution, declared, “The courts consistently rejected Ledell Lee’s frivolous claims because the evidence demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that he murdered Debra Reese.” 

Ledell Lee is dead and he was innocent.  There is no 'woopsie!' that brings this back.  We need to outlaw the death penalty.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, May 5, 2021.  The Biden's rationalization for continuing to keep US troops in Iraq gets called out and we look at sexism in terms of the presidential aspirations of female candidates.

Starting in the US and starting with Senator Elizabeth Warren.  PERSIST is the name of her memoir that came out Tuesday.  In it, she documents her run for the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination (among other things).  If you've heard of the book, that's most likely due to the book being slammed.  On the left and 'left,' the book is being slammed.

Because it reads like someones (plural) other than Elizabeth Warren wrote the book?  No, to make that critique you'd have to read it, you'd have to note tone and voice and you'd have to pay attention while reading it.  (Elizabeth Warren did not write the book for any wondering. She had a team of ghost writers -- as did Michelle Obama, as did Bill and Hillary Clinton for their books, as did . . . )

I'm not impressed with the book.  I made a phone call 24 pages into the read to a friend at the publishing house (MACMILLAN) to ask how many writers worked on this because I'd already detected three distinct voices including two of which came off in conflict with one another.  I was told that at least 5 writers worked seriously on it (with two more coming in for a polish) and that it was largely a cut and paste effort.  It reads like it. 

But, again, that's not what it's being criticized for -- in part because most people can't be honest and in part because, in the US, we have wonderful skills in rote memory but very little to offer in terms of analytical ability.

What they're criticizing is that Warren's book notes the sexism aimed at her campaign. 

I would not say -- and I've read the book -- that Warren and her gang of five put together make the point that sexism killed her campaign.  But, goodness, didn't the usual mockers come out to play?  The usual sexist ones.

I'm real sorry, Bernie supporters, but, yes, sexism was aimed at Elizabeth and it did impact her campaign.  I believe we are the only ones who called out Norman Solomon -- among others -- when they insisted Elizabeth, and only Elizabeth, should drop out of the race.  That's sexism.  In 2020, telling a woman to step aside so that a man can get the job she's going for is sexism.  

If Bernie couldn't win it without Liz dropping out, he shouldn't have been running.

But Bernie's a professional liar which is why he accomplished nothing in Congress -- not in the House and not in the Senate.  I heard from all the little whiners in 2016 and again in 2020 that it was people like me who hurt Bernie's chances.  People like me?  People who told the damn truth.  Bernie did nothing but yack.  That's all he ever did or has done in Congress.  And that truth needs to be told and there's no point in blaming me for much of that critique being used by Hillary in 2016 when she and Bernie both were attempting to run the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  

First of all, we need to tell the truth and that includes the realities about politician's records.  Bernie was a lawmaker -- still is.  What laws did he get passed?  No, I'm not talking about what post office did he get name, I'm talking about what did he actually get through Congress because Congress is the legislative branch, they exist to make laws.  So how did Bernie do on that count?

He did a lousy job.

That's the truth, grow up, grow up, grow up.

As Ava and I like to say, "We don't fall in love with politicians.  We're not that pathetic."

So that's the first issue.  The second issue is that I've had conversations about Bernie's record -- the reality of it -- before he got in the Senate and after.  And I've had those conversations with, among others, Bill Clinton.  Bill added his two cents, I added mine.  It was a give and take and we weren't on different sides.  We were looking at it in terms of what he said he wanted to do and grading on whether he succeeded.  (He didn't succeed.)  My point in noting that?  Hillary didn't need anything that went up here to come to a conclusion about Bernie Sanders.  If Bill and I were talking about him repeatedly -- especially when he was trying to move from the House to the Senate -- you better believe Hillary and Bill were talking about him -- and much more in depth and much more in length.

There were over 30 candidates in the Democratic Party's race for the presidential nomination.

The Norman Solomon's insisted that Elizabeth should drop out -- and only Elizabeth -- and set her sites on something like Vice President instead.

That was sexism.  That they thought they could say that about and to a woman was sexism. And Norman has a long, long history of being a sexist.  

I wasn't for Elizabeth Warren.  But I was constantly having to defend her from one sexist bit of nonsense after another.  I wasn't for Bernie Sanders either.  I did appreciate the way he could rally voters -- young and old -- but I knew how this was going to end, Bernie exposing his collapsible spind yet again.

There wasn't a lot to applaud in that primary.  To this day, liars or idiots -- or both -- continue to pretend that Tulsi Gabbard stood for something.  No, she didn't.  She whored.  She went all over the place -- including Joe Rogan's podcast (I'm not knocking her for going on that program, I don't watch it but I do like Joe and first met him back when he was doing NEWS RADIO.) People believed in the crap she was spewing.  She was against the forever wars and going to end them.  But she didn't bring that to the debates she qualified for, did she?  No.  She gave Joe Biden a pass in the only debate the two shared the stage.  (There were so many nominees that the early debates would be two debates over two nights with X number of candidates on one night and the rest on the other.)  Now she made time, in that same debate, to launch her pre-planned attack on Kamala Harris.  She pre-planned it, she rehearsed it and still she didn't quite pull it off.  Her fan base (largely men) lied for her there or else it was that episode of THE PARTIDGE FAMILY all over again (where Keith is so entranced with a woman's beauty that he can't register that she actually has no singing voice) and they were too blinded by love to grasp how poorly she performed.  They rushed to tell you that Tulsi destroyed her.  Tulsi didn't destroy her.  Sorry, Micfhael Traceys of the world who we called out in real time, Kamala was not destroyed.  And we were backed up on that assertion months later when Joe Biden selected Kamala as his running mate and when she went on to become Vice President of the United States.

Tulsi didn't destroy Kamala.  She did destroy her own campaign that night -- although many outlets refused to cover that reality -- sadly, that does include BLACK AGENDA REPORT which appalling published a piece after that debate insisting that Tulsi had been the anti-war candidate on the stage.

No, she wasn't.  She was anti-war on Joe Rogan's show and on this podcast and that podcast but that's all she was -- a performance artist.  

On the stage with Joe, she was given the chance to call him out for his bad vote in favor the Iraq War, for his refusal to allow anti-war voices to appear at the hearings he chaired ahead of the Iraq War, for his support of the Iraq War after it started, for his spending more time offering  plan to split Iraq into three individual areas (making it more of a confederation and not a nation -- a fact Joe will argue but Joe and I have argued this face-to-face for years and I stand by my call), for killing any shot of democracy in Iraq by refusing to honor the election results in 2010 and instead brokering a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement) that set those votes by the Iraqi people aside so that thug Nouri al-Maliki could get a second term as prime minister.  Tulsi couldn't call out of any of that.  I was shocked.  I knew she was a fake ass but I thought she'd at least make an effort.  She didn't.  Not even when, about ten minutes later, a clearly still stunned Jake Tapper went back to Tulsi to try to give her another opportunity to hold Joe accountable and Tulsi again took a pass.

If it wasn't sexism that motivated Norman Solomon to call for Elizabeth to drop out of the race, then why did he and his cohorts (who plan similar columns to all go up at the same time while pretending that they are working individually and not trying to manufacture consent)?  It was sexism plain and simple.

It goes clearly to what we expect of women.  We expect them to be the 'feeling' candidate who will set aside their dreams so that someone else can have the nomination.

It's what we think of women and it's how little we value them.

Sadly, sometimes that attitude comes from women.  Even sadder, it often comes from women claiming to be feminist.  I've praised Naomi Wolf's FIRE WITH FIRE before and will again.  It's a messy, passionate book, filled with strong observations and analysis.  That includes her weighing in on 1992's Democratic primary in the state of New York for the US senate nomination.  

It was a five person race.  Former US House Rep Elizabeth Holtzman, NY AG Robert Abrams, former US House Rep Geraldine Ferraro, Al Sharpton, and Robert J. Mrazek.  

Five candidates.  Three men.  Two women.  Only one was urged to drop out: Liz.

I donated to Liz's campaign.  I knew her and Gerri but I didn't feel Gerri was that important.  She wasn't a Bella Abzug in Congress, for example.  Liz didn't get everything she believe in addressed while in Congress but she did try.  For example, after her election she was among the few to continue to speak of the need to find a way back for US service members who had self-checked out and moved to Canada instead of going to (or going back to) Vietnam.  She was very close to a group of Latina women that I was also close to (women demanding that Jimmy Carter keep his promises -- promises that he did not keep) and she tried to advance their issues.

Gerri?  Ferraro was a rich cat who didn't upset the apple cart and never made much of a difference in Congress.  (She will go down in history for having been the first woman on the presidential ticket of a major political party in the US.)  

Because Gerri almost became vice president in 1984, Liz was supposed to step aside.  It was owed to Geri.  Do it for, Geri, do it for the sisterhood.

What a load of crap.  

Ferraro didn't win and Holtzman didn't win and Sharpton didn't win and Mrazek didn't win.  The winner was Robert Abrams (who lost to the Republican candidate who was the incumbent Al D'Amato -- a person who served in the US Senate from 1981 to 1999 -- and no one really thought he was going to be kicked out of office in 1992 -- Abrams came close to pulling it off, though and deserves credit for that).

In that instance, it was women trying to pummel another woman with their feet.  

If you supported Gerri or Bernie or whomever, it's your job to drum up support for them.  But how very James Carville of you to instead try to bully and shame someone else.

Elizabeth Warren faced sexism in the 2020 campaign.  It's not the worst that a female candidate for president has faced.  If you leave the duopoly, you can find many women on the Green Party ticket who've faced sexism.  Some will lie -- or maybe they're just plain stupid -- that Hillary faced the worst sexism ever when she ran in 2016.

No, she did not.

Hillary did face the worst sexism ever . . . in 2008.  Crowds went wild when Barack would mock her or insult her and then give the middle finger to her.  And the press would watch the same event and never, ever write about it.  It's on YOUTUBE, you can find it if you willed yourself into stupidity in real time.

If someone wants to say Sarah Palin faced worse sexism in 2008, I'm not going to get into a big argument over that.  She did face sexism and I love how the Bob Somerby -- whores and sexist pigs -- go out of their way about Truthers or Birthers or what ever term they're using to portray their opposition as liars and conspiracy nuts.  

Andrew Sullivan, among others, used his space in the US media to write that Trig Palin was not Sarah Palin's child.  He had no proof -- not then and not now.  But the Bob Somerbys wanted to act -- then and now -- like it never happened.  Suggest Barack Obama was from Kenya -- which, in fact, the AP story for his book stated as fact when he was running for the US Senate -- and their source was someone from the publishing house who either didn't care about lying or were more concerned with making Barack 'exotic' to sell more books. It was even in the original press release that the publishing company put out.  But let's all pretend like that never happened and it was just a bunch of mean spirited crazies that came up with the nonsense. (I'm not saying Barack was born in Kenya.  I am saying that during his run for the US senate, AP published that story.  And as we said in 2008 when Google opened their past archives, you could -- and many did -- easily find that article.)

When will Andrew be held accountable for that?

Not so far. Not in 2008 when he should have been sued.  And, for the record, Sarah wanted to but McCain and his team insisted that she not sue.  Insance McCain was too far up the ass of the press to do the right thing.  He wasn't going to allow Sarah to go after the body that had created the myth of McCain.

Sarah would have prevailed in court.  That's not open to debate.  She is a public person, no question about it.  As such, she was not beyond commentary and criticism.  But Andrew had a lot not going for him.  This included that he could not pretend to be a disinterested party -- he clearly loathed Sarah and was attempting to take her out of the race repeatedly.  The negatives for him also included the fact that this wasn't about Sarah.  He was nutty and stating that it was her teenage daughter's baby that Sarah was passing off as her own.  He was smearing Bristol and he was smearing Trig.  Is Trig a public person.  He was a small child and he was a special needs child.  For these two reasons alone, Andrew would not have prevailed in court.  Furthermore, a lawsuit would have forced the country to face what was going on and just how corrupt the institution of the press truly  was.  That included the sexism involved by rendering Cynthia McKinney invisible.

WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER made itself a tired and ugly joke.  And no one really pays attention to it anymore.  By 2008, it was obvious that it wasn't about women but instead about serving the Democratic Party.  Privately, I was noting to various WMC staff that their refusal to cover Cynthia's run -- she was the Green Party's presidential candidate -- which also included Rosa Clemente as her running mate -- was exposing that WMC was not an outlet for and about women.  

Weeks of making that argument face-to-face and over the phone produced nothing.  So I took the argument here and that resulted in a number of e-mails complaining to WMC and within a week they finally did a (small) piece that noted Cynthia.  

Some know-it-alls insisted in 2008, as they did in 2016, that Hillary's defeat(s) would harm women's chances.  No, it wasn't going to.  They're idiots who know nothing about political science.

Anita Hill suffered in 1992 and that didn't hurt women in the long run.  It galvanized instead and led to many things including the 1992 gender quake.  The suffering that Hillary, Cynthia, Rosa and Sarah went through in 2008 made it much easier for Hillary in 2016 and for Elizabeth in 2020.  That's why people are liars when they say that Force The Vote on Medicare shouldn't have taken place because it would hurt the movement.  No, losing doesn't hurt a movement, it rallies one.  

Elizabeth clearly suffered from sexism in the 2020 race.  I'd argue that Kristen Gillibrand suffered more from sexism -- including ingrained sexism on what a female candidate has to look like or speak like.  I'd argue that all the women running suffered from sexism including Marianne Williamson who was a hugely successful business woman and yet she got none of the credit for that compared to what Michael Bloomberg did.

The people mocking Elizabeth right now look at out of it as Howard Dean did in June of 2008 when he said he couldn't see any real examples of sexism that Hillary had faced.

Let's wind down with Bonnie Kristian (THE HILL) on Joe Biden and Iraq:

"We’re going to stay in Iraq,” Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie told Military Times for a report published in April, supplying four rationales for that choice: the Islamic State, Iran, Baghdad and Afghanistan. Each excuse was as wrongheaded as the last, and none justify prolonging the heir-apparent to the notorious title of America’s longest war.

“We’re going to be there, our NATO partners are going to be there,” McKenzie first said, “to finish the ISIS fight.” What exactly does that mean? The mission to reclaim territory from ISIS in Iraq has been completed for nearly four years. It is also complete in Syria, and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid in 2019. The Islamic State’s “ability to reemerge is extremely low right now,” Lt. Gen. Paul Calvert, who leads the U.S.-led coalition fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, told Defense One in March.

Though Calvert also noted that could change, the same can be said of any of the many extremist militant groups in the Middle East that are enemies of the United States but pose only a limited threat — certainly not a threat that justifies ongoing occupation of Iraq. The idea that we will “finish the ISIS fight” in the sense McKenzie seems to envision (eliminating all remnants of the group by military means) is wildly unrealistic. It is also unnecessary for U.S. security, which is to say, endlessly pursuing ISIS stragglers is no reason to stay in Iraq.

McKenzie’s next reason was Iran. If Tehran wants us to leave Iraq, he implied, that is itself a reason to remain, “I think Iran still pursues a policy of attempting to eject the United States ― and indeed, our partners and allies ― from the region as well.” It’s true that Iran wants the United States out of Iraq. It’s true that Washington has an antagonistic relationship with Tehran. That does not preclude the equal truth that staying in Iraq to spite Iran is an act of self-sabotage. It undermines our diplomatic goals, makes U.S.-Iran war more likely, puts U.S. forces in needless risk, and will never succeed in excising Iranian influence from its eastern neighbor.

When he turned to the subject of Baghdad, McKenzie moved from spite to outright falsehood. “I think it’s very important to realize that the government of Iraq wants us to stay,” he said. “They want us to stay. They need us to continue the fight against ISIS.” This is simply not true. In March, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi indicated he hopes the latest round of U.S.-Iraq strategic dialogues will end American military intervention in his country. In previous dialogues, “[w]e achieved in a very short period what weapons failed to achieve,” he said. “In a matter of months, we succeeded in reducing the size of U.S. combat forces in Iraq by 60 percent,” and this time, “we can discuss the redeployment of [U.S.] forces outside of Iraq” altogether. The Iraqi parliament likewise attempted to expel all U.S. troops last year. The government of Iraq does not “want us to stay.” They want us to leave.


The following sites updated:

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Like she always said, if you can't say something nice, sit next to me

Olympia Dukakis passed away on Saturday.  I didn't even know about it until today.  Her brother, Michael, as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 1988. That same year, she won the Academy Award for MOONSTRUCK.  Was that the first time an actress nominated for Best Supporting Actress and an actress nominated for Best Actress from the same film both won?  Cher won Best Actress for MOONSTRUCK and Olympia won Best Supporting Actress.

She was wonderful in MOONSTRUCK.  She was wonderful in so many films. In WORKING GIRL, she has to offer Melanie Griffith some reality, harsh reality.  In IN THE SPIRIT, she's Marlo Thomas' ex-sister-in-law who won't help her and Elaine May when they're on the run from a killer.  As she explains, "My husband has a heart condition and I have two children on drugs." She's wonderful in Woody Allen's MIGHTY APHRODITE and STEEL MAGNOLIAS -- that's where she says, "Like I always say, if you can't say something nice, sit next to me."  She delivers magic in Sarah Polley's AWAY FROM HER. 

She did a lot of TV but it was her work on the various TALES FROM THE CITY shows.

She always registered and she always came off as real.  

Here are my ten favorite performances by Olympia.











"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Tuesday, May 4, 2021.  Another attacks on a base with US troops in Iraq, the Turkish government, meanwhile, is using chemical weapons in Iraq -- is anyone going to protest that?

MIDDLE EAST EYE reports, "Two rockets were launched at an Iraqi air base hosting Americans on Tuesday - the third such attack to take place in as many days. The attack came as a US government delegation visited Baghdad."   The US delegation was headed by Brett Blue Balls McGurk.  AFP reports:

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, perceived by pro-Iran factions as too close to Washington, on Tuesday discussed the presence of 2,500 US soldiers based in Iraq with US envoy Brett McGurk.

The men know each other well -- Kadhemi, in his role as head of intelligence, a position he retains to this day, worked closely with McGurk when he was the US-led coalition's representative.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi's Twitter account notes:

ئيس مجلس الوزراء
يستقبل الوفد الحكومي الامريكي الذي ترأسه منسق البيت الابيض لشؤون الشرق الأوسط وشمال افريقيا السيد بريت مكغورك، وضم مستشار وزارة الخارجية الامريكية السيد ديريك شوليت، ومساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى السيد جوي هد ...

ANI notes, "An Iraqi Army source anonymously told Xinhua that the rockets were fired at the air base from al-Biyader village east of the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the capital Baghdad."  Staying with violence, Joseph Trevithick (THE DRIVE) reports on the exposure of a previously unconfirmed US drone program in Iraq:

The U.S. military has confirmed that the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, or other U.S. government entities operating in cooperation with it, has been flying a new type of drone in the Middle East that is designed to be extremely quiet and have an innocuous outward appearance. The new details about the Long Endurance Aircraft Program have come to light after one of these unmanned planes, derived from the Pipistrel Sinus powered glider, crashed at Erbil International Airport in Iraq last year.

The Long Endurance Aircraft Program (LEAP) drone in question, identified only as AV009, crashed at Erbil on July 24, 2020, according to a heavily redacted copy of the official accident report that The War Zone obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The unmanned aircraft suddenly and unexpectedly pitched nose down while coming in to land at the airport after a sortie. The drone hit the ground, bounced back up into the air, and then came back down, eventually coming to rest alongside the runway. The mishap resulted in the front-mounted propeller striking ground and the landing gear collapsing. It also caused significant enough damage to the right wing that fuel leaked onto the ground. 

Still on violence, Turkey continues to wage war in and on Iraq.  The world looks away.  Why?  Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) reports:

Iraq has formally complained -- yet again -- over Turkey’s escalating military presence on its soil. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that it had summoned the Turkish charge d’affaires and handed him “a protest note” over “violations of Iraqi sovereignty” arising from the May 1 visit by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to a Turkish military base in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey responded that it fully respected Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity and signaled its intention to carry on the operation, saying it was in line with efforts to eradicate rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Akar, who was accompanied by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar, was briefed by local Turkish commanders about Turkey’s latest offensive against the PKK. “Operation Claw Lightening” is focused on Metina, a mountainous area bordering Turkey.

Akar said 44 PKK fighters had been killed so far. “Our struggle against terrorism will continue until every last terrorist is neutralized,” he said.

A day prior to Akar’s tour, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced that Turkey would be establishing a new base in Metina and that it would be used to monitor and curtail the PKK’s movements between its main bases in the Qandil mountains bordering Iran and those to the west in Yazidi-dominated Sinjar on the Syrian border.



Iraq summoned Turkey’s envoy in Baghdad to protest the visit by its defence chief to a military base in northern Iraq as Turkish troops continue a cross-border offensive against Kurdish fighters there.

The Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday it handed the Turkish charge d’affaires “a protest note” over “violations of Iraqi sovereignty” by defence minister Hulusi Akar’s trip to the Turkish facility.

Akar visited the Turkish base in northern Iraq on Saturday – accompanied by Chief of the General Staff General Yasar Guler and Turkish Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar – to supervise military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) armed group.

According to the statement quoted by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, the Turkish diplomat was told Baghdad “categorically rejects the continuing violations of Iraqi sovereignty … by the Turkish military forces”.

Baghdad has protested Turkey’s military operations on its soil various times in the past.

I'm sorry, Amnesty International, where the f**k are you?  Human Rights Watch, same question.  And a waiving middle finger to all the frauds and fake asses like CodeStink who refuse to speak up.  Are we just supposed to ignore the criminality of this Turkish government action?  The same way we're supposed to ignore the violations of international treaties when the Turkish government uses chemical weapons on the Iraqi people?  AHVAL reported last week:

Turkish military forces have used chemical weapons during the bombing of several areas in northern Iraq, an official from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a Kurdish umbrella group, told British newspaper the Morning Star.

Turkey used the weapons three times this week, in the Amedi district and mountainous areas in Dohuk, said KCK Spokesman Zagros Hiwa, the Morning Star reported on Tuesday.

Hiwa said the chemicals were employed in attacks on tunnels used by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for four decades. The PKK, labelled as a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union, has established bases in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, which it uses to launch attacks on Turkish territory.

Last week, US President did a brave thing and a long overdue thing when he called out the Armenian genocide carried out by the Turkish government from 1915 through 1923.  Are we going to have to wait 100 years or so before what's going on right now can be called out?

At what point do we all agree that the Turkish government has crossed a line?  Iraq's government has objected repeatedly to the actions of hte Turkish government.  It is illegal for Turkey to be carrying out military operations in Iraq.  This is terrorism carried out by the Turkish government.  Why aren't we all objecting?  Why are we so silent on this and pretending that it's not taking place?  It's outrageous.  

Michael Bouvard Tweets:


while Turkey seriously occupied the lands inside iraq, which Turkish military is outside of Turkey's borders, set up military stations just like an occupying military, and have been there since 1996, first in Bamarni region, but now over two dozens. Iraq is complaining? to whom?

And he Tweets:

Turkey's forced upon PKK as a condition withdraw to Iraq, to sit at the peace agreement negotiations in Oslo, now Turkey attacking PKK taking the armed conflict outside its borders but regionalizing it for other Govs to involve, not only Iraq but USA, Russia, Iran & Syria too

In the world of stupidity, US Senator Chris Murphy puts his ignorance on display:

This was the best part of the trip - having lunch with Connecticut National Guard troops stationed in Jordan. Funny side note - I’ve met with Jay Cruz from Meriden during all 3 of his deployments, in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. It’s like I’m following him around the world!

No, it is not a funny note.  It's a reality that Murphy chooses to ignore.  He is a US Senator and it's pathetic that he'd rather try to crack (what passes to him for) wise then do his job and stop letting the US military be sent over and over to the Middle East.  Chris Murphy is a failure as a lawmaker and that's not "a funny note," that's a sad truth.

We'll wind down with this from Gleen Greenwald which is posted at INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE:

" One of the primary plagues of corporate journalism, which I have documented more times than I can count, just reared its ugly head again to deceive millions of people with fake news. When one large news outlet publishes a false story based on whispers from anonymous security state agents with the CIA or FBI, other news outlets quickly purport that they have “independently confirmed” the false story, in order to bolster its credibility (oh, it must be true since other outlets have also confirmed it).

This is an obvious scam — they have not “independently confirmed” anything but rather merely acted as servants to the same lying security state agents who planted the original false story — but they do it over and over, creating the deceitful perception that a fake story has been "confirmed” by multiple outlets, thus bolstering its credibility in the public mind. It was the favored tactic for spreading debunked Russiagate frauds and is still used. One of the most vivid examples occurred in December, 2017, when CNN falsely reported what it hyped as "a major bombshell”: that Donald Trump, Jr. had advance access to the WikiLeaks archive. Within an hour, NBC News’ Ken Dilanian and CBS News both claimed they had “independently confirmed” this fairy tale. When it turned out that it was a complete lie, all based on a false date on an email to Trump Jr., these outlets embarrassingly corrected it hours later and then simply moved on as if it never happened, never explaining how multiple outlets could possibly have all “independently confirmed” the same blatant falsehood.

On Thursday night, The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources (of course), claimed that the FBI gave a "defensive briefing” to Rudy Giuliani in 2019, before he traveled to Ukraine, that he was being targeted by a Russian disinformation campaign to hurt Joe Biden's candidacy, yet he ignored the FBI's warnings and went anyway. The Post also claimed that the right-wing news outlet OANN was similarly briefed. The claim about Giuliani not only predictably ricocheted all over social media and cable news — where, as usual, it was uncritically treated as Truth — but it was shortly thereafter “independently confirmed” by both NBC Newsde facto CIA spokesman Ken Dilanian along with The New York Times.

What was the problem with this story? It was totally false. The FBI never briefed Giuliani on any such thing. As a result, The Washington Post had to append this "correction” — meaning a retraction — to the top of its viral story:

The Washington Post, May 1, 2021

At first, The New York Times attempted to quietly change the story to delete the false claims without noting they were doing so. But upon being pressured, they finally faced up to what they did and posted their own retraction at the very bottom of the story that reads: “Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated whether Rudolph W. Giuliani received a formal warning from the F.B.I. about Russian disinformation. Mr. Giuliani did not receive such a so-called defensive briefing.” In their self-glorifying jargon, the Paper of Record did not spread Fake News — perish the thought — but merely "misstated” the truth. Meanwhile, NBC News, at the top of its false story, posted this explanation for why Dilanian got the story completely wrong:

An earlier version of this article included an incorrect report that Rudolph Giuliani had received a defensive briefing from the FBI in 2019 warning him that he was being targeted by a Russian influence operation. The report was based on a source familiar with the matter, but a second source now says the briefing was only prepared for Giuliani and not delivered to him, in part over concerns it might complicate the criminal investigation of Giuliani. As a result, the premise and headline of the article below have been changed to reflect the corrected information.

This credibility carnage was so glaring that even CNN acknowledged that “the corrections are black eyes to the newsrooms which have aggressively reported on Giuliani's contacts with Ukrainians in his attempts to dig up dirt on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.” But there have been so many similar "black eyes” like this one, indeed far worse ones, over the last five years, and they never change anything that causes these "black eyes” because they want to do this: spreading disinformation is their function. Indeed, as I have asked almost every time these debacles happen: how is it possible that these same outlets keep "confirming” one another's false stories?

Due to the site owner's health problems (he contracted Covid recently, INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE had to go on pause, ICH is back to posting new content.

The following sites updated: