Saturday, May 14, 2022

Not a stairway and not really a doorway either

Will we ever get serious about addressing climate change?  I am so doubtful that day will come in either my lifetime or our planet's but maybe I'm wrong.  Lauren Sommers (NPR) reports

On a mild Sunday afternoon, California set a historic milestone in the quest for clean energy. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and on May 8th, the state produced enough renewable electricity to meet 103% of consumer demand. That broke a record set a week earlier of 99.9%.

Energy experts say the falling records are a sign of the remarkable progress that renewable energy has made. But that doesn't mean fossil fuels were out of the picture.

Even as the record was broken, natural gas power plants were still running in California.

Because despite the dramatic growth of renewable energy, turning off natural gas power still isn't possible in California. The reason is due to a tricky time of day: when the sun sets and solar farms stop producing. California needs to replace that power quickly and seamlessly with other sources, like hydropower and natural gas.

Curiosity is in the news.  The landrover has been on Mars for almost ten years now.  Curiosity has made a new discovery so I first checked the Twitter feed (official) but there's nothing for May there.  I will note this from last month:

A podcast about little ol’ me? 😊 The latest episode of the “On A Mission” #podcast focuses on yours truly. So put on your favorite headphones and learn about the discoveries me and my team have made, the challenges we’ve faced, and what’s next for me.
On a Mission: Season 4, Episode 5: A Ton of Curiosity
The Curiosity rover is a big nerd at heart, fitted with a science lab to take in the planet Mars. Get the inside scoop on the mission’s many discoveries and dramas after a decade on the Red Planet.

Of the new thing on Mars, Kerry J. Byrne (THE NEW YORK POST) notes:

It’s not a stairway to heaven – it’s a doorway on Mars.

The image of what looks to be a symmetrical, hand-hewn Martian portal, captured May 7 by NASA’s Curiosity rover, has ignited a cosmic array of speculation, conspiracy theories and dreams of intelligent life on the red planet.

“If you zoom in all the way you can see Matt Damon crouching inside the doorway,” noted one wise guy on Reddit.

In reality, “it’s just the space between two fractures in a rock,” Mars Science Laboratory project scientist Ashwin Vasavada told tech site Gizmodo on Friday, adding “we’ve been traversing through an area that has formed from ancient sand dunes.” Those dunes cement together through the eons, creating rocky outcrops, while shifting sands would reveal different images of the planet’s surface over time.

The doorway would have been carved by very tiny Martians: the rocky fracture is only a foot tall, Vasavada said. 

Tom Metcalfe (LIVE SCIENCE) notes:

No, this is NOT a doorway for Martians. Although the internet erupted on Thursday after a photograph from NASA's Curiosity rover appeared to show an "alien door," experts are pretty sure it's just a natural feature of the Martian landscape.

"This is a very curious image," British geologist Neil Hodgson, who has studied the geology of Mars, told Live Science. "But in short – it looks like natural erosion to me."

Curiosity snapped the image with its Mast camera ("Mastcam" for short) on May 7, and it was released by NASA later in the week. 

Curioisty landed on Mars August 6, 2012.  Again, it's been exploring Mars for nearly ten years.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, May 13, 2022.   The confused Joe Biden furthers the ball of confusion, workers aren't protected, he's attacking Medicare, doing nothing to protect ROE V WADE . . .

Back in 1963, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland wrote "Can I Get A Witness?"  These days, however, with  out of control inflation, endless wars and so much more, the trio would need to write something like "Can i Get A Leader."

Evan Blake (WSWS) observes:

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden finally acknowledged that over 1 million Americans have now died from COVID-19. He did so by issuing a perfunctory written statement and a pre-recorded video, both of which were characterized above all by their cynicism and indifference to the lives of those lost and their loved ones still mourning.

Various COVID-19 trackers rely on different data sets, and the Biden administration artificially delayed official recognition of this horrific milestone, choosing to use the Reuters tracker. The 1 million death milestone was first reached by Worldometer nearly two months ago on March 22, which only the World Socialist Web Site commented on at the time. This was followed by the NBC and News Nodes trackers last week, which led to a handful of additional comments in the corporate media but continued silence from the White House.

Estimates of excess deaths, rarely referred to by politicians and the media, found that by mid-December over 1 million Americans had died directly or indirectly due to the pandemic. Today, excess death estimates place the real US death toll at above 1.2 million, while over 20 million people have likely perished worldwide due to the pandemic.

Biden’s written statement comes out to just 213 words and has the character of being drafted by a low-level staffer. After repeating the hackneyed military phrase from his State of the Union speech, “One million empty chairs around the dinner table,” it states, “I also know the ones you love are never truly gone. They will always be with you.”

No, in fact, all of those killed by COVID-19 are gone forever. Their lives were needlessly cut short due to the policies implemented by the entire American political establishment. The majority of the 1 million deaths in the US have taken place under the Biden administration which has pursued a vaccine-only approach and adamantly refused to close schools and nonessential workplaces as part of a broader strategy to eliminate the virus.

The most absurd portion of Biden’s statement reads, “As a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, as we have with more testing, vaccines, and treatments than ever before. It’s critical that Congress sustain these resources in the coming months.”

What incredible hypocrisy!

As soon as the Omicron BA.1 subvariant began ripping through the US last December, the Biden administration spearheaded a bipartisan, media-backed campaign to “numb” the population to mass infections and deaths, lift all mitigation measures, and do everything possible to falsely portray the pandemic as over.

This reached a crescendo at the April 30 White House Correspondents’ Association propaganda dinner, at which Biden declared, “We’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic.” Over the past two weeks, the politicians and reporters present at the dinner have deliberately concealed dozens and possibly hundreds of infections that took place at the super-spreader event.

Biden’s claim that the US has “more testing, vaccines, and treatments than ever before” is a bald-faced lie. Federal pandemic funding dried up in March, and over 30 million uninsured Americans can no longer access free testing or treatment.

But he's sending more money to Ukraine.  In fact, he's sending $40 billion more.  Americans are suffering but Joe has decided it's the best thing to instead support a reacist regime in Ukraine, one in place only due to Joe and Barack Obama's efforts in 2014 when they overturned an election there.

When the country needs a leader who works for the people, Joe biden decides to work for Ukraine.  As a character in Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Overheard Conversation" asked, "Does he think its a U.S. state?"

Despite the hogwash from aging pigs like Bette Mdiler, no the American people are not saying, "Let's sacrifice our own future so that some rcists in Ukraine can have the lives we con't."  Patrick Martin (WSWS) points out:

No less historically important are the domestic implications of the Ukraine war for the working class in the United States. It is working people who will pay for this war, as they have paid for all the overseas acts of aggression by US imperialism. 

The $40 billion bill approved by the House of Representatives, and expected to pass the Senate within days, brings the total allocated to the war in Ukraine in less than three months to a staggering $53 billion. This new spending is larger than the total budget for the US Marine Corps. It is greater than the entire budgets of five federal departments, or of all independent federal agencies combined. It is more than total federal spending on housing and homelessness, more than total state and federal spending on public health.

What would $53 billion buy, if this sum was devoted to the needs of working people? It could hire 500,000 teachers at $106,000 a year in salary and benefits, or a similar number of nurses. It could provide a $6,000 raise to every nurse, teacher and nursing home worker in America (9.25 million workers). It could provide a $1,000 raise to every worker in America making less than $15 an hour (52 million workers).

None of these things, of course, will happen because the American government operates not in the interests of working people but of the financial aristocracy.

We'll note THE KATIE HALPER SHOW on this topic.

Joe likes to pretend he's pro-worker.  He likes to pretend that.  And the media helps him out having never once seriously questioned how a US senator could amass the weatlh Joe did.  Excuse me, how a sitting US senator could legally amass the wealth Joe did.  The greed is an addiciton and Joe got sloppy with the family grift which is why Hunter's in trouble today.

But look at Joe's salary from the Senate and then as Vice President and note that there's no way he ended up legally with the pot of gold he has.  


Joe's not  a friend of the worker.  And he focuses on things like destroying Medicare. Branko Marcetic (JACOBIN) reports:


There’s good news and bad news about the Joe Biden administration’s ongoing pursuit of the Direct Contracting Entity (DCE) program, also known as ACO REACH. The bad news is that the idea remains a threat to the health of seniors, and an alarming Trojan horse that could lead to the privatization of Medicare. The good news is that resistance to it is beginning to gain some traction.

Late last month, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution “to stop privatizing the United States Medicare system.” The resolution, which warns that the introduction of the DCE pilot program “opened the door to the complete privatization of Medicare” and urges equity issues be resolved “within the traditional Medicare system,” was introduced by councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who is far from being a radical. (While a progressive, Mosqueda has repeatedly butted heads with socialist councilmember Kshama Sawant, watering down the latter’s proposed “Amazon tax” — a sign of how potently unpopular the Medicare contracting program is.)

Three days earlier, the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA), the state’s four-thousand-member-strong American Medical Association (AMA) chapter, passed a similar resolution in its House of Delegates, calling for the program to be “terminated” and warning that seniors could find themselves thrown into a moneymaking system that “limits care to provide maximum profit.” The ArMA, which has previously voted down a resolution backing a single-payer health care system, also based its opposition on concern for doctors, pointing out they could end up enrolled in the program without choosing to be.

It’s a good sign for DCE’s opponents, for whom half the battle has involved simply alerting people to its existence. Though the controversial program began under Donald Trump, the Biden administration has quietly continued it, with a late groundswell of opposition earlier this year forcing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to rebrand it as “ACO REACH” — but fundamentally changing nothing about the actual program or what led to such an outcry in the first place. All the while, seniors continue to get mail informing them their doctor is now part of the pilot program, but not to worry, because their Medicare benefits haven’t changed. 

Danny Haiphong (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explains:

Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer and former Amazon worker Chris Smalls testified in a Senate Banking Committee hearing called by Bernie Sanders on May 5th to investigate whether Amazon and other monopoly corporations that violate labor law should receive federal contracts. That Amazon would receive federal assistance despite accumulating record profits amid a global pandemic is bad enough. Worse yet is that it took months before so-called progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the efforts of workers organizing a union within the corporate behemoth.

The hearing proceedings went viral after Smalls replied to Republican Senator Lindsay Graham’s screed against the “demonization of companies”  by reminding him that “the people are the ones who make these companies operate, and when we're not protected, the process for when we hold these companies accountable is not working for us, then that's the reason why we're here today.” Smalls continued: “It's not a Democrat or Republican thing. It's a workers' issue, and we're the ones that are suffering.”

Smalls affirmed a fundamental truth of Marxism on Karl Marx’s birthday. Marx argued that the development of capitalism is characterized by the socialization of labor and the concentration of the means of production in private hands. The workers drive all production but it is the capitalist class which appropriates the surplus. Surplus under capitalism is derived from the unpaid labor of the worker; the basis of exploitation and profit.

Amazon is the quintessential example of Marx’s thesis. The mega-monopoly is the second largest employer  in the U.S. and has posted record profit margins during the COVID-19 pandemic . Amazon’s profits are derived from the super exploitation of the working class. Low wages, long hours, and disastrous working conditions subsidize Amazon’s growth.  It also helps that the corporation pays zero in federal taxes. Smalls thus made a positive contribution to the spread of class consciousness at the Senate hearing by pointing out the centrality of the working class in the production process.

However, not everything about the ALU’s visit to the halls of Washington was positive. In typical Democratic Party fashion, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris exploited the moment to score a photo opportunity with the ALU. Bernie Sanders congratulated Biden for “standing” with union organizers and the trade union movement.

In many ways, this obvious example of electoral posturing makes sense. Joe Biden’s public favorability rating has declined significantly  in recent months amid the persistence of COVID-19, rising inflation, and the U.S.’s role in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The problem is that Joe Biden has demonstrated that his administration has nothing to offer the trade union movement, particularly the ALU. Amazon scored a Biden-approved contract from the National Security Agency (NSA) worth $10 billion in late April . The contract runs in complete contradiction to Biden’s campaign promise to end federal contracts to union-busting corporations such as Amazon. Furthermore, Biden has dragged his feet in convincing so-called “moderate” Democrats to support the PRO Act. The PRO Act would remove barriers to unionization  by placing heavy restrictions on employers that illegally interfere in the organizing process.

Joe Biden shook hands with Chris Smalls but has shown little indication that he will move an inch in favor of working people. This is the same Joe Biden that voted for the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement  (NAFTA) and the elimination of welfare  during the Clinton administration. It’s also the same Joe Biden who stayed silent during the unionization campaign at the Bessemer Amazon facility last year while nominating union-busting former president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden , to head his Office of Management and Budget. And we shouldn’t forget that Biden served as Barack Obama’s Vice President when the Democratic Party held a majority in Congress yet failed to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA ), a less comprehensive version of the current PRO Act.

And Kim Kelly (IN THESE TIMES) makes clear that abortion rights are workers' rights:

Anything less than a full-throated defense of workers’ rights — including their right to to make their own decisions about their health, body and sexual life — is unacceptable. 

There is no time to mince words: Abortion rights are a labor issue, and this is a moment in which the labor movement needs to make clear that bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom are core issues that unions will fight tooth and nail to preserve. The right to control our bodies is part and parcel of our centuries-old battle to control our labor, and they cannot be separated from one another. It matters that so many workers are not only at risk of unwanted pregnancy themselves, but are also expected to engage in reproductive labor—the so-called women’s work” that is so often undervalued and underpaid (or wholly unpaid). It matters that pregnant workers face discrimination as well as physical and medical hazards on the job, and that far too many don’t have access to quality healthcare or paid parental leave. It matters that workers who do not want to have a baby or cannot do so safely are about to have that choice stolen from them, and that forced birth is the only option on offer from the most powerful court in the land (as illegitimate as it is and always has been). 

For those who can’t afford to travel to other states or overseas to get the care they need — the poor and the working class, the very people who the labor movement has pledged to liberate and uplift — this assault on abortion rights is a disaster, one that can lead only to desperation and death. Many have already been living through it, and now that the net has widened, abortions will still not stop — they will just get more dangerous and less accessible, and more lives will be destroyed as a result. Low-income women workers of color will be hit the hardest. Our patients of color already face deep systemic barriers to accessing health care, and now would bear the most harmful impacts of this ban, including potential deadly consequences of forced birth,” Ross noted in her statement.

nd of course, Joe Biden's doing nothing to protect ROE V WADE.  He offers mealy mouthed statements.  He lived in the Senate.  Grasp that.  H e knows better than anyone how to get Congress on board with something.  He's the one who told most of us about Barack's plane ride with Dennis Kucinich.  Remember that?  ObmaCare was a faud and Dennis said so.  Dennis made clear he would not vote for it.  Ever.  Then Barack took a plane ride with Dennis and explained how he would pour his weight behind a Democratic challenger and Dennis would be out of Congress.  Dennis caved and announced, when he got off the plane, that he was going to vote for ObamaCare.

Joe's told that story for years -- including to me.  so he knows how to strong arm when carrots don't work.  But he does nothing of value.  Olivia Alperstein (THE BLACK COMMENTSTOR) observes:

Forget A Handmaid’s Tale — we’re at risk of going full Crucible: “I saw Goody Proctor at the clinic. Burn the witch!”

But Roe doesn’t just protect people seeking abortions. The rationale underpinning that ruling protects all of us from government interference in the most intimate areas of our lives: who we love, who we marry, and how and whether we choose to raise a family.

If Roe falls, the right to take birth control — something relied on by millions of people of child bearing age, including me — could also become a thing of the past. So could the right to love or marry someone of the same gender, or a different race. All of these deeply personal decisions could end up falling under the purview of politicians.

Joe does nothing.  He leads no serious effort.  He uses no knowledge he has from living four decades in the Senate.  He's not helping anyone.

Nor is NOW or any other organization providing cover for the Democrats and telling you that the answer is oting for them this November.  No, that's not an answer.  The answer is demanding that the party act now and mking it clear that we won't be held hostage.

It's a "Ball of Confusion" as Tina Turner sings.

One, two, one, two, three, four, ow
People moving out, people moving in
Why, because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Vote for me and I'll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today
Woo, hey, hey
The sale of pills are at an all time high
Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky
The cities ablaze in the summer time
And oh, the beat goes on
Evolution, revolution, gun control, sound of soul
Shooting rockets to the moon, kids growing up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will solve everything
And the band played on

-- "Ball of Confusion," written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, first recorded by the Temptations for their GREATEST HITS II album..

In Iraq, the most under-reported story of the week -- in the US press -- is that the US military shot up eleven houses in Iraq in what the US government is terming a "mistake."  That's not resulted in any real coverage or even questions at press briefings by the government.

Meanwhile, the political stalemate continues.  Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:

Fresh from offering Iraq’s independent MPs the chance to nominate a prime minister, Muqtada al-Sadr is already looking at the next option to break the country’s political stalemate: keep Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

It’s seven months now since Iraqis went to the polls in October’s parliamentary elections, and fierce rivalry between two camps - one led by influential Shia cleric Sadr, the other backed by Iran - has stopped anyone from forming a government.

A week ago, Sadr called on the 40 or so independents elected to parliament to form their own bloc and nominate a prime minister that his alliance - made up of Sadr’s MPs, Sunni parties and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) - would support.

There are three leadership positions in the Iraqi government: Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and President.  There was no change in the Speaker.  Now Moqtada's leaning towards keeping the same prime minister.  Why did people even bother to vote>

The following sites updated:

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Guess what they're growing on the moon

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Overheard Conversation."

overheard conversation

That comic is true -- too true.

There is good news today in the world of science:

For the first time, scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon collected by Nasa’s Apollo astronauts.

Researchers had no idea if anything would sprout in the harsh moon dirt and wanted to see if it could be used to grow food by a new generation of lunar explorers. The results stunned them.

“Holy cow. Plants actually grow in lunar stuff. Are you kidding me?” said Robert Ferl of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The University of Florida explains:

Scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon, a first in human history and a milestone in lunar and space exploration.

In a new paper published in the journal “Communications Biology,” University of Florida researchers showed that plants can successfully sprout and grow in lunar soil. Their study also investigated how plants respond biologically to the moon’s soil, also known as lunar regolith, which is radically different from soil found on Earth.

This work is a first step toward one day growing plants for food and oxygen on the moon or during space missions. More immediately, this research comes as the Artemis Program plans to return humans to the moon.

“Artemis will require a better understanding of how to grow plants in space,” said Rob Ferl, one of the study’s authors and a distinguished professor of horticultural sciences in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Even in the early days of lunar exploration, plants played an important role, said Anna-Lisa Paul, also one of the study’s authors and a research professor of horticultural sciences in UF/IFAS.

“Plants helped establish that the soil samples brought back from the moon did not harbor pathogens or other unknown components that would harm terrestrial life, but those plants were only dusted with the lunar regolith and were never actually grown in it,” Paul said.

Paul and Ferl are internationally recognized experts in the study of plants in space. Through the UF Space Plants Lab, they have sent experiments on space shuttles, to the International Space Station and on suborbital flights.

“For future, longer space missions, we may use the moon as a hub or launching pad. It makes sense that we would want to use the soil that’s already there to grow plants,” Ferl said. “So, what happens when you grow plants in lunar soil, something that is totally outside of a plant’s evolutionary experience? What would plants do in a lunar greenhouse? Could we have lunar farmers?”

To begin to answer these questions, Ferl and Paul designed a deceptively simple experiment: plant seeds in lunar soil, add water, nutrients and light, and record the results.

The complication: The scientists only had 12 grams — just a few teaspoons — of lunar soil with which to do this experiment. On loan from NASA, this soil was collected during the Apollo 11, 12 and 17 missions to the moon. Paul and Ferl applied three times over the course of 11 years for a chance to work with the lunar regolith.

The small amount of soil, not to mention its incalculable historical and scientific significance, meant that Paul and Ferl had to design a small scale, carefully choreographed experiment. To grow their tiny lunar garden, the researchers used thimble-sized wells in plastic plates normally used to culture cells. Each well functioned as a pot. Once they filled each “pot” with approximately a gram of lunar soil, the scientists moistened the soil with a nutrient solution and added a few seeds from the Arabidopsis plant.

Arabidopsis is widely used in the plant sciences because its genetic code has been fully mapped. Growing Arabidopsis in the lunar soil allowed the researchers more insight into how the soil affected the plants, down to the level of gene expression.

As points of comparison, the researchers also planted Arabidopsis in JSC-1A, a terrestrial substance that mimics real lunar soil, as well as simulated Martian soils and terrestrial soils from extreme environments. The plants grown in these non-lunar soils were the experiment’s control group.

Before the experiment, the researchers weren’t sure if the seeds planted in the lunar soils would sprout. But nearly all of them did.

“We were amazed. We did not predict that,” Paul said. “That told us that the lunar soils didn’t interrupt the hormones and signals involved in plant germination.”

However, as time went on, the researchers observed differences between the plants grown in lunar soil and the control group. For example, some of the plants grown in the lunar soils were smaller, grew more slowly or were more varied in size than their counterparts.

These were all physical signs that the plants were working to cope with the chemical and structural make-up of the moon’s soil, Paul explained. This was further confirmed when the researchers analyzed the plants’ gene expression patterns.

“At the genetic level, the plants were pulling out the tools typically used to cope with stressors, such as salt and metals or oxidative stress, so we can infer that the plants perceive the lunar soil environment as stressful,” Paul said. “Ultimately, we would like to use the gene expression data to help address how we can ameliorate the stress responses to the level where plants — particularly crops — are able to grow in lunar soil with very little impact to their health.”

How plants respond to lunar soil may be linked to where the soil was collected, said Ferl and Paul, who collaborated on the study with Stephen Elardo, an assistant professor of geology at UF.

For instance, the researchers found that the plants with the most signs of stress were those grown in what lunar geologists call mature lunar soil. These mature soils are those exposed to more cosmic wind, which alters their makeup. On the other hand, plants grown in comparatively less mature soils fared better.

Growing plants in lunar soils may also change the soils themselves, Elardo said.

“The moon is a very, very dry place. How will minerals in the lunar soil respond to having a plant grown in them, with the added water and nutrients? Will adding water make the mineralogy more hospitable to plants?” Elardo said.

Follow up studies will build on these questions and more. For now, the scientists are celebrating having taken the first steps toward growing plants on the moon.

“We wanted to do this experiment because, for years, we were asking this question: Would plants grow in lunar soil,” Ferl said. “The answer, it turns out, is yes.”

Support and funding for this work was provided by NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division, NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division, NASA grant NNX14AT24G, NASA grant 80NSSC19K0752 and the University of Florida

That's history being made before our eyes.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, May 12, 2022.  Today, we look at the fake assery.

The lies and the fake assery never stop and that includes from the media.  Deepa Shivaramn (NPR) types up the following:

The Women's Health Protection Act, a Democrat-led bill that would effectively codify a right to an abortion, failed to pass, as expected, after it did not reach the Senate's 60-vote threshold. All Democrats voted for the legislation except Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and all Republicans opposed the bill.

In a rare occurrence, Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote, which was 49-51.

[. . .]

Because it was never likely to pass, the vote was effectively symbolic. "I think it's really important to have this vote to show where everyone stands," Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota told NPR on Tuesday.

I'm sick of the damn lairs in congress and I'm sick of them in the press.

The bill needed 51 votes.  The 49 were expected.  Yes, even Bob Casey Jr. because he knows how unpopular outlawing Roe is in Philadelphia.  Joe Manchin should have been held in line with carrots or sticks.  The stick should have included, we will priamry you.  And they should primary him.  He never votes with the party when they need him.  He gives cover to Republicans who would otherwise look extreme "Even Democrat Joe Manchin . . . "  

It should have been explained to him wha tthe consequences were.  Barac k Obama explained to Dennis Kucinich that if he didn't vote for ObamaCare that he would not be in the US Congress.  (Dennis caved and,  ha ha, lost re-election anyway.)

That would have brought you fifty.  You needed one more with Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski the two you nudge.  It shouldn't take much and that's where you use the carrots.  

But let's say you couldn't get either of them to budge -- hugely doubtful --but let's say it.

It would have been a fifty to fifty bote.  What happens then?

The tie breaking vote comes from the sitting vice president Kamala Harris.  All that needed to be explained to Joe was how hard the party would come down against him and that they would primary him.  

they didn't fight for it, they didn't do a damn thing except pose and preen.

And that shouldn't cut it.

Nor should we buyi into the lie that if we turn out in November, then our Dems in Congress will pass the law making Roe legal.

It's not going to happen.  ANd you're trash if youre presenting that lie as truth.

Forget everything that is going on right now.  Th ehistorical pattern is that the party in power (Democrats) will lose at least one house this fall in the mid-terms.

So that's two years of nothing.

Now Nancy Pelosi told us ahead of the 2006 mid-terms that to get US forces out of Iraq, we had to deliver one of the two houses of Congress to the Democratic Party.  We delivered both houses to the party.  

Earlier this week, in what the US government is calling a "mistake," US forces shot up homes in Iraq.

US forces didn't leave Iraq.  

They used people, they lied to them and since theyd done so well lying about ending the war in 2006, they used it to grab the White House in 2008.

Barack never pulled all US troops from Iraq -- it was a drawdown, not a withdrawal.  In addition, in the fall of 2012 he began sending US troops back into Iraq -- a detail that the presidential debates chose to ignore that year despite THE NEW YORK TIMES reporting on it and having a general on record explaining it.  Then in 2014 even more were sent in.

What does the US Congress do?

If they can't protect a woman's right to choose right now, when are they going to?


And I don't need to hear their lies about 'when they grow up.'

Nancy Pelosi is is 82 years old, Chuck Schumer is 71.

they've been in Congress for years, they've been in leadership for years.

They aren't cute little six-year-olds telling us that some day, when they're big, they're going to be ballerinas and cowboys.  

This is the job they wanted and they need to do their job.

The press needs to stop lying for them.  

zAll they needed was to get Joe to vote yes and it would have gone to tie-breaker Kamala even if Lisa and Suan had refused to come on board.

And that would have given Kamala something historical to run on.  

People say I'm not hard enough on her.  They give her nothing.  Can you imagine Joe Biden putting up with the scraps the administration tosses to Kamala?

The Democrats need to ge ttheir act together or the people need to face the fact that the party never will.

Now they are going to suffer a loss in the mid-terms this fall.  That's  a given before you add in the realities.  There is the very unpopular Ukraine issue.

A lot of people are finally noting that Barack Obama refused to support the fighters with money the way Joe is doing.  Barack wa shappy to overturn an election there in 2014 and install Nazi linked people.

He just wasn't so stupid that he was going to send large amounts of US monies to racists.  That's what Ukraine is.

And that's what the media loves, right? 

They look like them -- I'm sure they do, in their heart of hearts, they look just like the US corporate media -- racist.

That's why they don't care about the wars in AFrica.

But they'll show up to stand with their racist brothers and sisters.

And Barack realized that his bi-racial card -- he claimed bi-racial until he lost to Bobby Rush -- would get pulled historically if 'the first Black man to be US president' also gave billions to a racist regime that used the N-word for Black people and that the Peace Corps had to provide an advisory warning on.  

Joe Biden doesn't care.  He thinks he can bamboozle again -- maybe come up with a story about someone named June Bug?  

But there were serious racial issues at play and Joe ignored them and shoved this down the throats of the American people.  

It's unpopular and it's only going to get more unpopular.

Some people are angry that Us (Bono and The Edge) went to Ukraine.  I'm not.  That photo of them on stage with the Ukraine musician as that musician flashed White power signs?  People are seeing it and they are reacting.  And they should be.  

Then you've got all the pro-Nazi Tweets that the 'leader' keeps Tweeting out.

The world is watching this and there will be accountability for those who have argued that the American people should live in poverty and face 40 year high inflation rates while Joe Biden and our Congress supported racists in another country.

There will be hell to pay.  

And I'm talking historically.  Jen, you didn't get out soon enough to save your lily white ass.

Now in the immediate future?

Abortion is not going to rally people to the polls for Democrats.  It never has.  It has let them peel off a group of voters in tight elections.

People will be focused on the economy in the mid-terms -- and in the next presidential election.  In the mid-terms people will be coping with the way Joe Biden has ruined their lives.

A woman e-mailed, I've mentioned her before.  She's a single mother in college.  Her classes start early in the morning and there's no way she can get there in time by public bus.  She takes it back home but she would miss class if she tried to take it in the morning.  So she has to pay for a cab.  And, in 2020, that cab ride cost her $7.13 before the tip.  Today>  Well, yesterday, she wrote that the prices had again gone up and the same trip was now #12.13 cents.

That's without any tip.

People can't afford that.

He has screwed up the country and he and Congress are out of touch.  

How many seats they lose in the mid-terms will depend upon whether or not they codify Roe.  And, if theyre not doing right now, they're not going to do it.   They'll always have an excuse and they'll always use it -- as they have in the past -- to turn out votes in close elections.

From the US House website -- a page maintained by the House of Representatives:

Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.

They fight for trouble, where ever there's freedom, NATO troops are there.  NATO issued the following:

 On 10 May 2022, Major General Giovanni Iannucci from Italy assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq, following a change of command ceremony held in Baghdad. He succeeds Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard from Denmark, who had assumed his command on 6 May 2021.

On the occasion of the change of command, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg offered the following recognition: ''I commend Lieutenant General Lollesgaard for his outstanding services and exemplary leadership, and for the daily efforts that he and his personnel undertook to ensure the progress of our mission, in close coordination and cooperation with the Iraqi authorities. And I welcome the arrival of Major General Iannucci to head up our mission. I look forward to working closely with him as he leads our capacity-building activities in support of the Iraqi security institutions and armed forces, as requested by the Iraqi government.''

NATO Mission Iraq was launched at the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018, following a request from the Iraqi government. Established in Baghdad in October 2018, it is an advisory and capacity-building non-combat mission that assists Iraq in building more sustainable, transparent, inclusive and effective security institutions and armed forces, so that they themselves are able to stabilize their country, fight terrorism, and prevent the return of [ISIS].

All efforts of NATO Mission Iraq are carried out with the consent of the Iraqi government and conducted in full respect of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

NATO Mission Iraq is another concrete demonstration of NATO’s readiness to address all challenges to the Euro-Atlantic region, from any direction, through a 360 degree approach to security.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "No Soul To Save" from earlier tonight.  The following sites updated: