Friday, February 04, 2022

A serious article from Luke Savage argues he needs to be more serious

Luke Savage documents the further rot of the Democratic Party at JACOBIN:

The ambient influence of big money in American politics has become so overwhelming it can be difficult to discern where institutionalized bribery stops and anything even resembling the public interest begins. Just as ambient, fittingly enough, is the sound of mainstream politicians from both major parties condemning and decrying its corrupting influence, usually while finding creative new ways of leveraging it themselves.

America’s campaign finance debate has thus become both an arms race and an unconvincing pantomime act, with more than enough hypocrisy to go around. Every election cycle, it seems, now yields new innovations in shadowy fundraising, paired with increasingly absurd declarations from across the spectrum that raking in huge sums from wealthy people and powerful lobbies is the only way anyone can possibly compete — and, as some insist, win on the scale necessary to purge big money for good.

As political formulations go, it’s the kind of thing you’d have to be on drugs to take seriously. (“Our government has been bought by billionaires and corporations . . . and we need as many campaign contributions from them as possible to fix it. Q.E.D.”) Still, it’s essentially the argument we’ve heard again and again — notably from liberal figures who tend to be more vocal than their Republican counterparts about the need for campaign finance reform.


People need to get honest.


And, sadly, that includes JACOBIN.  And it includes Luke Savage.  In 2008, Barack Obama ran for president and took massive donations.  He could have run a federally funded election.  But greed got the better of him.  In 2004, John Kerry floated doing what Barack did and people rightly pushed back.  In 2008, Barack destroyed one of the few protections put in place for our elections after Watergate and people want to act like it never happened.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Thursday, February 3, 2022.  Is Joe Biden bound and dtermined to go down as one of the worst presidents in history?

Tucker Carlson.

The above.  Jen Psaki is not to blame for being a whore.  The role of White House spokesperson is a whore position that's only ogtten more whorish with each administration.

That said, she needs to grasp that it is her not her job -- or anyone in the White House t-- to police podcasts.  They need to shut the f**k up.  I get it, she doesn't want to talk about real issues.  If she prefers nonsense, should we discuss other topcis?  Abortions paid for by married men in the administrations by women who were not their wives -- never their wives.  They had wives.  At the time.  And then they said, for example, "I'm in Congress, if you have this baby, it's not just my marriage that's over, it's my political career."

Do we want to have those conversations, Jen?

I shrug at most of the nonsense out of Jen's mouth because it's her position.  The spoikesperson isn't honest.  And, especially under Jay Carney, they became attack dogs on the press.  They're kown liars.  I don't know the damage that does to your soul but I imagine it's intense.

But Jen's now ready to violate the First Amendment.  That's too far -- even for a whore position.

Joe Rogan can say whatever he wants and anyone who wants to listen can listen.  Jen Psaki needs to either move on treal issues -- and spin and lie about them -- or we can give her  'trivia' to talk about. 

This is another example of the attacks on the press.  At its most extreme, it finds Joe Biden persecuting Julian Assange.  

As for Harry . . .

You don't know our country, you odn't know our history.  We didn't beg you to come here and we don't need your ugly ass telling us what's what.

Some in the UK may be impressed with you.  We're not. You've done nothing with your life, Harry.  You're semi-famous because of your birth.  Stop thinking anyone needs your uneducated thoughts.  Want to boss people around?  Go back to England.  Stay there.  In the US, we don't need you and we know you're a spoiled brat who never lived a real life and who doesn't know anything about even the most basic events of life.  So be grateful that you were born into money and call that a win.  

Or, bettter yet, if you must speak publicly, tell us about your uncle the pedophile.  

We're interested in your thoughts on that, Harry.  

An American Revolution did not take plae so that a little princess named Harry could escape to the US and lecture us.  Princess can go back home if the US makes him so uncomfortable.  Can go back home and should go back home.  In the meantime, you're a guest, show the manners you were supposedly raised with.

Princess Harry -- a failure in the UK and now failing in the US as well.

Back to Joe Biden, the enemy of a free press.  He continues his persecution of Julian Assange.  The world is watching.  The whole world sees Julian being targeted for telling the truth.  The whole world watches as Democratic Joe Biden persecutes.  He mars not just his own image throughout the world but that of the Democratic Party's as well.  This is lasting damage and it is global.  Exactly what does Joe think he's accomplishing?

THEN 24 reports:

 A motion supported by around 60 members of all parties in the French parliament calls for asylum to be granted to the journalist Julian Assange, who has been imprisoned in Great Britain. The National Assembly will vote on the motion on Friday.

On Friday, France’s National Assembly will debate and vote on a motion to grant asylum to journalist Julian Assange, who is being held in Britain. Launched at the end of October 2021, the motion is supported by around 60 French MEPs from all political parties. The proposal is supported by Cédric Villani (Groupe Écologie démocratie solidarité), Jean Lassalle (Groupe Libertés et territoires), François Ruffin (La France insoumise) and Jennifer de Temmerman from Macron’s La République en Marche party.

The world is watching and Joe Biden is going down in history as we speak.  It won't be a historical entry of praise.  He's the man who persecuted journalist Julian Assange.  That will not be forgotten.  Joe could order all charges dropped and save his own image -- maybe even be seen as a hero.  But he appears to want to be despised for hundreds of years to come.  He wants the name "Joe Biden" to be met with curses and hoots of laughter.  

At Swathmore's PHOENIX, Tarang Saluja notes:

On Dec. 10, 2021 (which was ironically international human rights day), the U.K.’s high court ruled that Julian Assange may be extradited to face trial in the U.S. and on Jan. 24, Assange won the right to appeal against the extradition. Assange’s team will now appeal to the Supreme Court in early February to see if he can be saved from the talons of the US government. The case against Julian Assange began when Wikileaks published information provided by U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Documents from Manning, including the Afghanistan War Diary and Guantanamo Files, revealed embarrassing and atrocious details of misconduct and deception by US military officials. One of the most horrific leaks was the extremely disturbing Collateral Murder video which uncloaked how U.S. military pilots murdered two journalists when they opened fire without provocation and further fired at unarmed adults and children who came to help the wounded. This humiliating and shameful experience for the U.S. national security state triggered a thirst for revenge which has made the crude destruction of one man’s life an instrument for assaulting the freedom of our press. If Assange, after being systematically abused by many so-called democratic countries and misrepresented by media stenographers for national security ghouls, is prosecuted with an indictment that criminalizes typical journalist activities based on the ill-defined term “national defense information,” it will deeply chill investigative reporting on the most secretive, unaccountable institutions in the U.S. and set a precedent for the violation of press freedom. 

[. . .]

A shocking report also revealed that the CIA, unable to tolerate the leak of Vault 7 in 2017, had plotted to murder Assange by abducting and then assassinating him in a London shootout. This plot complemented the 2020 revelations that the CIA had a Spanish security firm spy on Assange and his fiance, Stella Morris, extensively. They went as far as using cameras and microphones to spy on meetings Assange had with his lawyers, tracking both Morris and her mother, and trying to steal their baby’s pacifier and diaper to do a DNA test.

Even though these shameful details reveal the danger U.S. officials pose to Assange, the U.S. has continued the extradition process, providing a flimsy assurance that they would not apply Special Administrative Measures or place Assange in a supermax prison unless Assange gives them a reason to decide otherwise. This is a condition that can be easily abused. However, the high court responded by ruling that Assange may be extradited, paving the path for his prosecution in the U.S. Eastern District Court of Virginia. As the Eastern District Court is near the Pentagon and CIA, the jury pool is far more sympathetic towards intelligence agents, and therefore it is unlikely that Assange will be acquitted if he is extradited to the U.S. Shortly after the ruling, it was revealed Assange had a stroke on Oct. 27, which was the first day of the high court appeal hearing, and Morris attributes this to his poor treatment and stressful experience during the extradition battle. Even if the CIA couldn’t personally kill Assange, he has been systematically abused to the point where there are legitimate fears he could die by illness or suicide. (It is noted on the Useful Idiots (42:30 – 43:30) podcast that Assange himself has clearly expressed he will not come back to the US alive because of what he expects to face here.) Recently, he has been given permission to appeal the decision that he can be extradited, and his legal team is currently working on that. 

The astonishing part of this twisted political saga is the behavior of many mainstream media outlets. As Assange is being indicted on uncorroborated charges for the very activities which investigative journalists engage with all the time, this trial has massive implications for the freedom of the press. However, mainstream media has mainly focused on contributing to the smear campaign against Assange. When Assange’s asylum was revoked, plenty of mainstream outlets, with an almost sick glee, reported extensively on allegations of “dirty,” unhygienic behavior. These same outlets never bothered to examine the change in Ecuadorian political leadership and the political motivations of Ecuadorian officials making these claims. Furthermore, they parrotted alarmist claims from national security officials about how Assange’s actions were irresponsible and dangerous, despite the fact that the government cannot prove that any harm was done to its sources and that their favored whistleblower of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsburg, also argued that Assange’s actions are in the public interest.

Joe Biden is speeding on his way to being considered one of the worst presidents ever.  He could have stayed 'retired.'  Most people would have ignored Hunter Biden if that had happened.  They would have ignored how 'working class Joe' became a millionaire on the taxpayer's dime.  He would have been the drunk uncle that you wanted to believe was basically a good guy at heart.

Instead, he's now someone who threatnes journalists, who can't handle the economy, who can't respond to COVID  . . .

In fact, maybe Jen and Joe need to use that anger and malice they keep aiming at Joe Rogan and focus it instead on actually addressing COVID.  That would mean firing Fauci, of course, something Joe was told to do the first week after he was sworn in.  Wasn't smart enough to do it that week.  Hasn't been smart enough since.

The dottering old fool.  

I have no idea if Donald Trump plans to run for president again or, if he does plan to run, whether he could get a nomination (from the GOP or any other party).  But Joe's certainly worked hard to build a case for Donald.  Where are the stimulus checks, Joe?  What the hell have you done for the American people?  Gifted them with inflation?

He's an abject failure.  Ray McGovern (ANTIWAR.COM) notes:

The leaked text (to Spain’s El Pais) of Washington’s response to Russia’s December security proposals augurs well for an eventual peaceful denouement on Ukraine. The U.S. response may still seem to be only half a loaf, but includes an appetizing sweetener – verification.

Washington’s "non-paper" response directly addresses Putin’s chief concern. (Spoiler for any new readers of It is not what you are probably thinking; it is not Putin’s reportedly insatiable lust to get NATO to sign a piece of paper banning membership for Ukraine; that’s the other half-loaf, and it has become rather stale – as well as moot.)

Rather, Putin’s primary worry has long been that missile launchers now deployed in Romania and soon, if not already, in Poland (ostensibly for anti-missile defense) can accommodate Tomahawk cruise missiles with ranges that put Russia’s strategic forces in jeopardy. Putin has voiced that concern loudly for years.

For example, after the US-orchestrated coup in Kiev in Feb. 2014, Putin explained publicly that US/NATO plans to deploy ABM systems around Russia’s western periphery were an "even more important factor" in Moscow’s decision to annex Crimea than the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO. (For one particularly telling example, readers are invited to view a short clip showing Putin’s frustration six years ago at his inability to impress upon Western reporters the urgency of the "ABM" missile emplacements.)

At Tuesday’s press conference, Putin began with a reminder that Russia had been "conned" when the West promised in 1990 not to move NATO one inch eastward. Putin then pointed out that, after the US withdrew from the AMB Treaty:

"Now anti-ballistic missiles are deployed in Romania and are being set up in Poland. … These are MK-41 launchers that can launch Tomahawks. In other words, they are no longer just counter-missiles, and these assault weapons can cover thousands of kilometers of our territory. Isn’t that a threat to us?"

What about similar deployment to Ukraine? The U.S. has already agreed not to do that. Western media largely missed this, but Russia’s readout of the Dec. 30 telephone conversation between Biden and Putin included this:

“… Joseph Biden emphasized that Russia and the US shared a special responsibility for ensuring stability in Europe and the whole world and that Washington had no intention of deploying offensive strike weapons in Ukraine.” [Emphasis added.]

Smoke That Peace Pipe Bury Those Tomahawks

The US "non-paper" revealed yesterday by El Pais, was labeled "confidential", and small wonder. Clearly, the Biden administration did not want its concession on inspection, for example, to leak. It will come as a shock for those predicting (some of them actually hoping for) the worst. Washington’s non-paper expresses willingness to discuss "a transparency mechanism to confirm the absences of Tomahawk cruise missiles at … sites in Romania and Poland." In other words, verification; which has worked well in the past – with the INF Treaty, for example, which saw the entire class of intermediate- and short-range missiles destroyed.

Nor is it surprising that the US asked the Russians (and everyone else) to keep its "non-paper" secret. The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex will be up in arms, so to speak. Not to mention Raytheon, which makes and sells the Tomahawks (at $2 million each). See, for example: Top Weapons Companies Boast Ukraine-Russia Tensions Are a Boon for Business.  

In Iraq, no political news.  Still no government.  October 10th was election day.   If you really wanted to stop ISIS, you wouldn't drag your feet about foriming a government.

We'll wind down with this from Senator Bill Cassidy's office:

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC) unanimously passed legislation to offer Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, such as burn pits, access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.


U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Jon Tester (D-MT) led the committee in introducing the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act yesterday.


“Veterans should not be denied health care because of federal bureaucracy. We made a commitment to these men and women,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bipartisan bill honors veterans’ service and expands VA health care for those exposed to toxic substance. Today is a step forward in fulfilling that commitment.”


“Post-9/11 veterans are the newest generation of American heroes to suffer from toxic exposures encountered during military service,” said Senator Moran. “The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act is an important first step to make certain our veterans receive the care they need as a result of their service. I’m urging my colleagues to read our bill, to grow their understanding of this complex challenge, and to join our committee—every single member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—in passing this bill to get one step closer to providing care and relief on one of the most pressing challenges facing veterans today.”


“Today, we took a critical step toward fulfilling our obligations to toxic-exposed veterans with our bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act,” said Senator Tester. “This bill will connect more Post-9/11 veterans with the VA care they’ve earned to treat seen and unseen wounds of war, while moving the ball forward on addressing toxic exposure in the comprehensive way our veterans deserve. This is a necessary step in doing right by our nation’s veterans, and I urge my Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join us in passing this critical legislation that’ll help us deliver on that promise.”


This bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.


The following sites updated:



Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson was the subject of a documentary that aired last Friday night and last Saturday night on LIFETIME and A&E.  The ratings were fantastic.

I noted here that I really enjoyed it and I have a few e-mails regarding Justin Timberlake.

If you haven't seen the documentary, Janet is very kind to Justin in the video.  She speaks of wanting it all behind her.  

And that's fine.  She needs to live her life in the now and if that means letting go, you know, more power to her.

But I am not Janet Jackson.  And though I purchased RHYTHM NATION and danced to it and sang along, I never enlisted.  Janet was never my general and I never followed marching orders.

What was done to Janet over the Superbowl incident -- and what wasn't done to Justin over the same incident -- revolved around race and gender.

And, no, I don't forgive Justin Timberlake.  And, no, I don't give him a pass.

He needs to be held accountable.  This is not a minor thing.  Janet can speak to her life and more power to her on that.

But this became a social issue and it goes beyond one person.  It has racist and sexist implications.  That cannot be waived away and I don't plan to.

In the end, we're dealing with a White boy (he never grew up, did he?) who stole his entire solo act from Janet's brother Michael and used Janet at a time when he was increasingly seen as gay to shore up his straight persona.  

It's not minor and it's not forgiven.

Go read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Choices and realities"


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, greed and hypocrisy fueld the attacks on SPOTIFY, Nouri al-Maliki remains a big player in Iraq and much more.

Starting with Julian Assange who remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden for the 'crime' of providing sunlight in a democracy.  Julian exposed the War Crimes that the US government was covering up and, as a result, he is persecuted.  Journalism is not a crime.  

Mike Papantonio:             Julian Assange has been granted the opportunity to appeal his extradition to the US, to the UK’s highest court. Thank goodness. Here’s what this, this story. I, every, you know my, you know my angle on this story is here we have these liberal snowflake types that used to love Assange when he was disclosing that the CIA was, was, was spying on us, or when he talked about mass surveillance, or when he talked about disclosing drone killings where we were using drones to kill people, or when he disclosed financials, where people are keeping money offshore. He was their hero. He was the snow, he was the snowflake liberal hero. Then what happens? They blame him for the Hillary loss, Hillary lost because she’s just incompetent. But they blame him and now all of a sudden he’s a villain. What’s your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  I, I, I mean, the man has already spent essentially nine years locked up, right. You know, through his time in the Ecuadorian embassy, he has now been in prison for going on three years in conditions that even, you know, international human rights groups have said, what’s happening to him over in the UK right now is torture. There is no question, this is torture, what’s happening to this man. And they’re trying to lock him up because all he did was publish the documents from other individuals as an outlet. You know, outlets have all kinds of privileges here in the United States, but we don’t want to give it to him because he exposed the secrets about how horrible the government really can be across, you know, Democrat and Republican administrations.

Mike Papantonio:             But Hillary takes him and he, Hillary wraps him around Russia, wraps him around this is the only reason I lost the election because of Assange.

Farron Cousins:                  The Podesta emails.

Mike Papantonio:             And all the liberal snowflakes buy into it. Never ask the question, what did he do to disclose what was going on in this country? That never would’ve, it’s just like, it’s just like, it’s just like Snowden. It, it’s, it’s just like Manning. These people, or Dan, Daniel Ellsberg. So they’re villains? They’re villains because he takes, he didn’t intend to destroy Hillary’s election. She destroyed herself. I think she’s gonna do it again, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. It’s actually looking like that. And an important thing to remember is that after WikiLeaks published those Podesta emails that made him, you know, hated with the Democrats, her poll numbers didn’t move. Her poll numbers did not move downward in a real negative way till late October, when Comey came out and did his press conference. You can see it correct, you know, absolute clear as day correlation. It wasn’t because of him.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And we all need to understand that these attacks on him, if they are successful and unfortunately they, they probably will be, it’s not gonna end with him. They’re not gonna say good. We got him. This is all of journalism that is at risk right now.

Mike Papantonio:             Totally.

As the lead attorney for the New York Times in the “Pentagon Papers” case in 1971, I’ve been doing a slow burn ever since over the government’s behavior in that instance: lies, disregard of court rules, arrogance, destruction of documents. All of this was brought to mind earlier this week when a British court hinted in the Julian Assange case that the U.S. government has acted in the same way once again.

It asked Britain’s supreme court to determine the appropriateness of a late filing by the government that completely undercut a ruling that Assange could NOT be extradited to the U.S. This followed British trial court Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who was hearing Assange’s extradition case, ruling that Assange might commit suicide if held in a U.S. prison in solitary confinement under what is called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) and, so, he could not be extradited. 

As soon as she announced her decision, the U.S. government filed assurances that Assange would not be held in that kind of detention, although it reserved the right to revoke the assurance if circumstances changed.

The judge was unmoved by this assurance, but she was reversed on appeal. The U.K.’s supreme court has now asked to consider the timeliness of this filing.

I do not believe the U.S. government’s assurances are worth the paper on which they have been written. Its behavior in this case has been rampant. Most outrageously, the CIA discussed a plot to kidnap Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was holed up, and to kill him. The CIA also tapped into conversations in the Ecuadorian Embassy, including those with Assange’s lawyers.

There is not much question whether all of this is true. There was testimony about it in open court, and Mike Pompeo, the CIA director at the time and later secretary of State during the Trump administration, has conceded that there is “some truth” in the foregoing.

I do not pretend to be particularly familiar with the extradition laws of the U.K. But common sense tells me that you deliver highly important documents about a case — such as government assurances — before the case begins, not after it has been decided. U.K. counsel representing the U.S. disagrees, saying he can deliver documents when he wants and if he loses the appeal, he will start the extradition proceedings all over again.

This is the very same arrogance that was on display in the Pentagon Papers case, in which then-U.S. Solicitor General Erwin Griswold said the usual rules of evidence did not apply. His view of the law manifested itself in his introduction of new evidence in the case anytime the government was so moved. The claims were always extravagant: Publication of the new evidence would be a disaster for the country’s national security, etc., etc. They never were. Indeed, most of them turned out to be previously published.

As Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, he seems unaware that the world is watching.  And, no, the world is not siding with Joe.  EURO NEWS reports:

Four French MPs are pushing for Julian Assange to be offered asylum in France amid the WikiLeaks founder’s ongoing fight against extradition from the UK to the US.

Jennifer De Temmerman, Jean Lassalle, Cedric Villani and Francois Ruffin are due to speak at a press conference in Paris on 1 February where they will explain why Assange -- currently in prison in the UK -- should be given sanctuary in France.

THE CONNEXION explains, "The proposal highlights comments from France’s Minister of Justice Eric Dupont-Moretti, who qualified the 175-year sentence Assange is facing as 'undeserving and unbearable,' as well as comments from President Emmanuel Macron who stated that 'all liberties should be protected'.''

DECRYPT covers a new project supporting Julian:

On the heels of his highly successful "Merge" NFT drop on Gemini-backed NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, celebrated digital artist "Pak" announced yesterday a collaboration with WikiLeaks to launch a line of NFTs that will support the Wau Holland Foundation.

Founded in 2003 and named after the co-founder of Europe's largest association of hackers, the Germany-based Wau Holland has raised millions in donations for WikiLeaks.

"They support freedom of communication and through their moral courage project Julian Assange's defense," Gabriel Shipton, film producer and brother of Julian Assange, tells Decrypt.

Pak is famous for his NFT sale of the artwork Mass hosted by Nifty Gateway which in theory made him the most expensive living artist, knocking Jeff Koons off the top spot.

In the curiously designed sale, which brought in $91.8 million, 28,000 buyers bought 266,445 units of a Pak artwork that could, in theory, be combined into a single NFT owned by a single buyer worth the eye-popping, multimillion-dollar total.

Julian Assange is an Australian editor, publisher and founder of WikiLeaks. Earlier, the US charged him with hacking government computers and espionage after he obtained and published hundreds of thousands of classified documents between 2010 and 2011. However, Assange won the right to ask the Supreme Court to block his extradition to the US, allowing his lawyers 14 days to make their case.

The silence many in the US have on Julian is telling.  

Let's turn to greedy musicians.   Money, money, money makes the world go round, Joni Mitchell wrote/confressed.  Yesterday, I noted that if she's calling for censorship for past actions, she needs to apologize for wearing Blackface on the cover of her 1977 album.  An idiot e-mails this site ( to tell me she's not in Blackface "on the cover with thoset wo men."


That's Joni in Blackface.  The largest person in the photo is Joni dressed as a man and in Blackface.  I'm sorry you're too stupid to grasp that and that you're such an idiot that you would e-mail me without checking your facts first.

That's the cover of DON JUAN'S RECKLESS DAUGHTER.  The only Joni Mitchell album I've never owned.  I refused it when it came out in 1977 because of the cover.  Joni thought it was funny.  I ddidn't agree.  The CD copy was in my home for three days.  Actually longer.  But the CD with the booklet was left in my home.  By accident.  I called the man who left it and told him he could come get it or I could send it to him.  He'd pick it up, he insisted.  He knew why I didn't want it in my home.  When we got off the phone, I opened the case, removed the booklet and trashed it.  A month or so later, when he finally picked up the CD, he was upset.  I told him I did not allow crap like that in my home.

Standards.  Some of us have them.


David Rovics decides to weigh in.  Who?  Yeah, exactly.  The supposed radical who lives in a veal pen the Democratic Party put him in.  He's on Neil Young's side.

Neil and Joni are on the side they are on due to greed.  I addressed this last week in the gina & krista round-robin.  Joni's always been greedy and always has insisted she's been ripped off.  Neil's the same.  Turns out, so is David Rovics, "And lots more good music, too, although most of us artists are forced to spend a lot less money on recording albums, given Spotify’s priorities, namely to spend $100 million on a contract with Joe Rogan, rather than paying us for the music on which their platform was built."  Good music?  David, someone should have told you long ago, you have no talent.  You can put words to music.  But they say nothing.  You don't understand metaphors and a third grader is more poetic than you could ever hope to be.  You're not attractive.  I don't know what you thought you were going to build a career on?  Cheering the Democratic Party?  Cher's already done "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe," David.

David wants you to know he worship Neil.  He's always worshipped Neil.

Really?  I know Neil.  I even like Niel.  He's no hero.  He wasn't a hero when he destroyed Carrie Snodgress.  He wasn't a hero in the 80s when he wrapped his arms around Ronald Reagan's policies.  He wasn't a hero when he was spouting homophobia about AIDS.  I'm confused when he was heroic.

I like Joni but we're talking a greedy and entitled woman.

What did she say about being sued by her housekeeper?  That she just barely kicked her?

Grasp that.  Don't turn these people into heroes.  Love their music.  Worship their art.  Don't turn them into heroes.  They are not.

They are, however, very greedy and that's what's really gotten them riled up.  Joe's getting X for his popular podcast and Joni and Neil are acclaimed musicians.  They don't sell records.  They don't dominate the charts.  But they feel they got a raw deal and want to whine. 

And let's be very clear that Kat's point about Carly is true.  The Neil, Joni axis and all those who are part of it were rampant homophobes.  Carly's the only exception.  She grew up around artists.  She grew up around educated people.  It's not off the mark to call Neil a hick or a redneck.  And it's not wrong to note his homophobia or that homophobia was ingrained in the singer-songwriter set of that period.  Again, Carly had a different upbringing.  Outside of her, pretty much anyone you could name made a point to express homophobia and express it publicly.  Maybe it's time for a reckoning?  Maybe it's time for middle-aged David Rovics to not just admit that he's wasted his life but that he's an idiot for confusing the art with the artist.

Iraq's still not formed a government.  A lot of "I think he can, I think he can" articles about Moqtada al-Sadr today.  There's also one getting at thet ruth.  ABNA reports:

Tense post-election days continue in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr as the winner of the October 2021 elections goes on with his tough and exclusionary approach towards the government formation. He has certainly been the top man of the Iraqi politics in recent months, attracting all of the attention to himself. He continues to insist on forming a majority government and shows no intention to walk back from his position.

In the latest comments, al-Sadr, who leads Sadrist Movement, reiterated his previous stances on the cabinet formation. In a televised speech, he openly opposed ex-PM Nour al-Maliki's participation in the new "national majority government." He held that he asked Hadi al-Amiri and Qais al-Khazali, leaders of two large blocs, to join the government but not al-Maliki, a proposal they turned down. The powerful cleric now seems more self-confident in confrontation of his rivals after federal court last week ruled the outcomes of the first session of the parliament were legal and thus not annullable.

To al-Sadr's frustration, however, the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF), a bloc of Shiite parties excluding Sadrist Movement, insists on al-Maliki's role in forming the next government, and its leading political figures have stated that either al-Maliki will be part of the majority coalition or they will not join the government.

Ali al-Fatlawi, one of the leaders of the Fatah coalition, announced on Friday that the SCF has refused fo join a coalition government with al-Sadr and Sunnis without al-Maliki and informed al-Sadr of the decision. Now more than any other time in the past, Sadr-Maliki differences are on the Iraqi politics surface and this raises questions about the future possibilities and the reason behind al-Sadr's opposition to al-Maliki.

Continuation of differences or unwanted ceasefire

The tension between two leaders in the current situation makes unlikely any agreement and reconciliation between them, and the Sadrists, along with their Sunni and Kurdish allies, intend to form a national majority government, excluding the SCF. But looking at the history of politics and governance in different countries, there is a golden rule that suggests there is no permanent friendship and enmity in politics. Therefore, despite the current differences, it is also possible that a ceasefire takes place between al-Maliki and al-Sadr. A clear example of this is the alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) with the National Freedom Party in Turkey, once political enemies, in 2018. Despite their conflict of views, the two Iraqi political leaders are not unlikely to reconcile. 

Though the US press has repeatedly ignored Nouri al-Maliki -- throughout the lead up to the October 10th election and after -- he remains an important player.  One of the most important.  But, following US coverage, you'd never know it.  Could he end up prime minister? I hope not but anything's possible right now and it's amazing how the US media has ignored him.

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Monday, January 31, 2022


Corey noted the following video in an e-mail.

She said I would love it and I really did.

My kids are all grown -- my youngest just started college last fall.  

If they were younger, I'd be doing some of those experiments with them. 


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Monday, Janaury 31, 2022.  The stalemate continues in Iraq as does the silence on NPR. 

The stupidity never ends in the world of the press.  Case in point, NPR's MORNING EDITION.  They've found Iraq.  They haven't.  They speak to AP's  Sarah El Deeb.  Before they do, they want you to know that they're concerned about a "resurgence" of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  Resurgence?  It never went away.  We were addressing that on Friday, you may remember.  This morning, ABNA reports, "A security source said two policemen were killed in the attack of the members of the ISIS terrorist group on the Iraqi province of Kirkuk on Sunday evening. The Iraqi security source told Shafaq News Agency that members of the ISIS terrorist group have attacked Kirkuk province on Sunday."  NPR's ignoring that attack and they've ingored all the similar attacks.  They add up and the death toll adds up.  Is there a "resurgence" of ISIS in Iraq and Syria?  Seems to me the only "resurgence" is in the US press bothering to note Iraq.  And ten and fifteen can die a day in ISIS attacks and it doesn't matter.  It only matters if the attack qualifies as "spectacular."

I'm appaled by the report for anothe reason.  NPR wants you to know that, in Syria, the presion seige was carried out in part by holding children.  No one takes a moment to decry children prisoners.  No one takes a moment to call out children being in the same prison as adults.  It's just move on and skirt every damn issue in the world but pretend that somehow, for a few seconds this week, you covered Iraq and Syria and did a segment that didn't find the hosts chuckling at the end.  ("We haven't heard what happened to the children . . . We don't know how many died," Sarah declares.  Alright then.  Thanks for the information -- or whatever you want to call that.

What's further appalling is that the report is about Syria.  The headline for the segment is "Attacks by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq stoke concerns of a resurgence."  Sarah El Deeb does not cover Iraq.  She covers Syria.  She can't speak to Iraq in any meaningful manner.  

"We'll have to leave it there," Leila Fadel says cutting Sarah off during the too brief segment that never addresses Iraq.  Not a good way to kick off your first day hosting MORNING EDITION.  (Leila's hosted many NPR programs as a substitute before.  She's now a regular host on MORNING EDITION.)  It was also cute to watch them look back at Leila's work in the past.  Egypt . .  The US  -- Fort Worth? (isn't that where her family lives) . . .  Verything but Iraq.  So 2005 through 2009 she covers Iraq but, hey, no need to offer that during the segment becuase NPR doesn't give two s**ts about Iraq.  They make it clear every day in every way.

I have a feeling we're going to have to focus more on NPR in 2022 as it continues its progpaganda and ignores reality. 

 Three minutes on Syria -- supposedly Iraq and Syria -- and that's it.  Over six minutes on an astronaut who may become something -- the first African-American woman to spend six months in space -- but thus far hasn't gong into space.  Greg Myre delivers over four minutes of progaganda about how (he insists) Ukraine is trying to "break free from Moscow."  Ukraine is split on what they want but, hey, if you're going to sell war, whore, baby, whore.  Whore big or go home.  And Greg Myre is one of the biggest whores that there has evern been.  Got a sloppy floppy, Greg.

 Has NPR filed a single report on the stalemate in Iraq?  October 10th, elections were held.  Still waiting on a government to be formed.

Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Vice-President Nechirvan Barzani met with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and parliamentary speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi in Najaf on Monday, following an initiative from KDP leader Masoud Barzani to resolve political tensions in Iraq’s ongoing government formation process.

The meeting at Sadr’s house came following a statement from Masoud Barzani on Monday where he suggested that Nechirvan Barzani and Halbousi visit Sadr in order to discuss the political process in Iraq, and to eliminate the obstacles and issues.

The Sadrist bloc has already formed an alliance with the KDP and Halbousi’s Sunni party, Taqadum. Their initial act of alliance was during the first parliamentary session earlier this month where all three parties voted for each other’s candidates for the parliamentary speaker position and his deputies.

The sudden meeting between the three leaders comes after Iran’s Quds Force commander Ismael Qaani accompanied by Iran’s top official in Iraq, Hassan Danaeifar, met with Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Sunday, as confirmed to Rudaw by the KDP’s spokesperson. 

Meanwhile, Parliament has announced 25 names for the post of President of Iraq.  INA reports the candidates are:



1-Khalid Siddiq Aziz Mohammed


    2-Faisal Mohsen Aboud Al-Kilabi


  3-Shehab Ahmed Abdullah Al Nuaimi


     4-Hussein Ahmed Hashim Al- Safi


  5-Ahmed Moah U mran Al - Rubaie


  6-Ahmed Yahya Jassim Jawd Al Saadi


  7-Sabah Saleh Saeed


  8-Kazim Khudair Abbas Dwaghneh


  9-Razkar Mohammed Amin Hama Saeed


  10-Klawes Ali Amin Birah


                                                                        11-Louay Abdel Sahib Abdul Wahab Mohsen


  12-Ribwar Orhmen  Arif


 13-Hamza Brissam Thijeel Al-Maamouri


  14-Hushiar Mahmoud Mohamed Mustafa Zebari


  15-Hussein Mohsen Alwan Al - Hassani


  16-Abdul Latif Mohammed Jamal Rashid Sheikh Mohammed


  17-Omar Sadiq Mustafa Majid Al-Abdali


  18-Barham Ahmed Haj Saleh Ahmed


  19-Thaer Ghanim Mohammed Ali Baktish Al - Othman


  20-Iqbal Abdullah Amin al-Fatlawi


  21-Khadija Khuda Yakhish Assad Qlaws


  22-Jabbar Hassan Jassim


  23-Hadi Abdel Hussein Saddam Al - Freijy


  24-Raad Khudair Dafag Sail


    25-Omid Abdel Salam Qadir Taha Palan

Number 18 should be forgotten.  He has served as president and should step aside.  Was there any real point to wasting time, money and security on elections if Barham Saleh is going to remain president?  The Speaker of Parliament remained the same.  Now the presidency?

In addition, there's the fact that Saleh's political party, PUK, was destroyed in the elections.  Why should he remain president?  Corruption?  That's why?

The Iraqi people became disenchanted with elections in 2010 when Joe Biden overturned the results that year with The Erbil Agreement.  Nothing since has taken place to make them believe that elecitons change anything.  Keeping Saleh as president will only further undermine any belief in elections.  Grasp that every election since 2010 has seen a steady decline in turnout.

February 8th.  Per Iraq's Constitution, that's the date that they have to have named a president.  That's days away.  

Nothing is being accomplished.  The plan was that the new government would usher out foreign forces.  You may remember all the claims, for example, that US troops would be out of Iraq at the end of 2021.  Didn't happen.  The election didn't deliver that or anything else.  And for those who just don't seem to get it, ABNA reports:

The German parliament has approved a plan to extend the German army’s mission in Iraq until October 2022.

On Friday (January 28th), the German parliament, known as the Bundestag, approved by 553 votes to 110 against the proposal of the federal government to extend the mission of the German army in Iraq until October 2022. Accordingly, the German army will continue to participate in anti-ISIS missions in Iraq for nine months.

The German parliament said in a statement that Germany’s cooperation and presence is only to strengthen and rebuild the Iraqi army and provide related support services as part of NATO’s missions and the International Coalition against ISIS in Iraq.

The German government believes that the efforts of various parties to implement structural reforms in the Iraqi military institutions as well as the integration of the forces of the Hashad al-Shaabi organization in the Iraqi security structures with the aim of effective and direct control of its forces by the Iraqi government should be supported!

These words of the German government show that the Westerners are seeking the dissolution of the Hashad al-Shaabi organization and will certainly implement plans to strike at the organization in the near future.

On Julian Assange, we'll note this discussion.

And we'll wind down with this:

Ms. Magazine

Dear Common Ills,


This year marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But it may very well be its last. In a few short months we face the likelihood the Supreme Court will overturn Roe, endangering abortion access nationwide. 


In our 1972 premiere issue, Ms. magazine ran a bold petition in which 53 well-known U.S. women declared that they had undergone abortions—despite laws in most states rendering the procedure illegal.

It is time to speak out again—in even larger numbers. We are launching a new petition with the encouragement and support of some of the original 1972 signers. We invite all women to sign in order to “help eliminate the stigma” of abortion and to demand the repeal of all laws restricting women’s reproductive freedoms.


We know that women who have had abortions have spoken out many times during the last 49 years, and millions of women and men have marched in countless rallies and demonstrations for abortion rights. By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans oppose the repeal of Roe v. Wade.


We cannot, we must not, lose the right to safe and accessible abortion or access to birth control. Just as in 1972, we will send the signed petition to members of Congress, to the White House, and to the Supreme Court. And we will publish the names in an upcoming Special Issue of Ms. and on


And we ask that you help us by promoting the petition to your friends, family and others across the country to join our fight to save abortion rights.


For equality and a strong feminist future,


Ellie Smeal Signature
Eleanor Smeal
Publisher, Ms.
Kathy Spillar Signature
Kathy Spillar
Executive Editor, Ms.

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