Thursday, August 18, 2022

Useless Joe is a danger to the planet

Useless Joe.  I loved C.I.'s thing in yesterday's snapshot about how Joe couldn't focus and seemed to be living from one senior moment to the next.  It certainly appears that way.  Right now, we're supposed to all be praising him for his 'work' on climate change.  What work?  Zack Coleman (POLITICO) reports:

One group of President Joe Biden's allies isn't joining Democrats in celebrating his new climate law — advocates for low-income and minority communities, who say that once again their environmental needs have been sacrificed for political compromise.

The measure, the most ambitious climate legislation in U.S. history, represents a major win for Biden's party as it heads into the November election. But many activists from neighborhoods that have long suffered from environmental threats say the trade-offs Democrats made to win the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) outweigh the legislation's efforts to redress long-standing racial and economic unfairness.

Even members of Biden's own White House advisory council on environmental justice are lamenting the concessions, which they suggest could dent their allies' enthusiasm for turning out for Democrats at the polls. The deal with Manchin included commitments for oil and gas lease sales, money for carbon capture technology favored by the petroleum industry and the promise of a new bill to ease the permitting process for pipelines — actions that environmental justice advocates say will subject their communities to more fossil fuel pollution.

To the advocates, the message their communities are hearing is: Wait your turn. Again.

“Somehow, we're both a bargaining chip and the people that can save the day when it comes to elections,” said Maria Lopez-Nuñez, deputy director of organizing and advocacy with the Ironbound Community Corp. in Newark, N.J., and a member of Biden’s White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. “Those are moral contradictions that can't stand for too long. Something's got to give.”

It's useless thanks to the concessions made to Manchin. And Joe's strutting around like he accomplished something.  He didn't do a thing.  The world is at risk and he did nothing.  That's the reality.  

If Bernie had been elected president, he would have pushed on this and he would have used the bully pulpit of the presidency to make it happen.  And that's not Yea Bernie!  He was a coward for refusing to go after Joe and stay in the primary.  And Tulsi Gabbard is appalling for refusing to take on Joe.  It's hilarious to watch her critique now and remember that she was on the debate stage with him for only one debate and she refused to call him out for the Iraq War.  Jake Tapper was so shocked that he thought she'd misunderstood and brought it back to her after others had spoken but she stayed with she was fine with Joe.  

A lot of fakers.  

And that's not making for a better world.

Warmer and wetter weather linked to climate change appears to stress out bumblebees and make their wings more asymmetrical, which could ultimately affect their future development, according to UK scientists in a new research paper.

"With hotter and wetter conditions predicted to place bumblebees under higher stress, the fact these conditions will become more frequent under climate change means bumblebees may be in for a rough time over the 21st century," scientists at Imperial College, London, wrote in the Animal Ecology journal on Wednesday.

The large furry bees, known for their distinctive buzz, only feed on flowers, making them vulnerable to changes to the countryside due to intensive farming. 

Their population has declined in Britain over the past century, with two species becoming extinct, according to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Later that month, the USDA confirmed what entomologists had previously recognized as an Atlas moth.

It is thought to be the first official finding of the pest in the US.

The size of this insect makes it a “gee-whiz” kind, according to managing entomologist Sven Spichiger of the WSDA. “These are the kinds of insects that people bring their phones out and take pictures of, even if they aren’t looking for bugs,”

With a wingspan that can reach approximately 10 inches, the Atlas moth is the biggest known moth in the world.

According to officials, the moth is a federally quarantined pest, which means that without permission from the USDA, it is prohibited to collect, house, rear, or sell, including adults, eggs, larvae, and pupae.

 "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, August 18, 2022.  Joe Biden continues persecuting Julian Assange (someone tell Roger Waters), the political stalemate continues while Moqtada sits out a meet-up and much more.

US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange.  It's all about War Crimes -- as a US senator, Joe helped cover them up and, as a journalist, Julian Assange told the people about the War Crimes the US government carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The world watches and sees how hollow the US support of journalism and a free press actually is.  

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters spoke out yesterday.

Good for speaking out.  Bad for speaking out poorly.

See if you can spot the problem:

“I’m flabbergasted that this extraordinary travesty is taking place under our noses, but Julian is still in Belmarsh Prison and he’s still en route to being extradited to the United States so that the government of the United States can kill him in private,” the 78-year-old music icon said outside the Department of Justice.

He appealed to the US attorney general by name to drop the charges against the publisher.

“Merrick Garland, do the right thing. Free Julian Assange at lunchtime today, please,” Waters said, praising the people who turned out for the demonstration.

The musician raised concerns about the health of Assange, 51, who suffered a mini-stroke last October.

“All you can do is keep doing what you’re doing. Never ever shut up, never be quiet. Raise your voices, join the choir: Free Assange, Free Assange,” Waters said.

At a protest in front of the Justice Department in Washington, on Wednesday, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters urged the US government to free Julian Assange and warned that it could kill him.    

In June, the UK approved the extradition of Assange to the United States. The US claims it wants him to stand trial for breaching the US Espionage Act by disclosing military and diplomatic information in 2010. He may face up to 175 years in prison if proven guilty, though the exact term of the sentence is difficult to predict.

"Julian is still in [London's] Belmarsh prison, he is still on the way to be extradited to the United States where the government of the United States can kill him in private," Waters said. "Merrick Garland, do the right thing. Free Julian Assange at lunchtime today, please."    

You had cameras, you had press attention and you wasted it.

Merrick Garland?  Who do you think is in charge?  That's like whining to the kid taking your Taco Bell order. 

A raid took place on Joe Biden's potential 2024 challenger and where's the sunlight on that?  Not only are we not getting honest answers, he's not appointing a special counsel.  Time again, he fails to be a proponent of open government.  He should have appointed a special counsel for Hunter Biden long ago.  He doesn't do anything he's supposed to.  And we don't have a sense that the Attorney General is defending the American people, just the Democratic Party.  

He's a coward or he's a hack.  

He also doesn't control the reigns.  Joe Biden is president.  Joe Biden is the one who can call off the persecution of Julian Assange.

If you're too cowardly to call out Joe Biden, Roger Waters, stop wasting everyone's time.  I was readly to applaud you until you I streamed the video and saw you were playing coward.

That's what it is -- that's what it always is -- when you can't call out the leader in the White House.  We have held Bully Boy Bush accountable, we held President Barack Obama accountable, we held President Donald Trump accountable and we are holding President Joe Biden accountable.  

The buck stops where?

With Roger Waters, sadly, it stops with a member of the Cabinet, not with the president.

Let's jump over to a report by Dave DeCamp at ANTIWAR.COM:

A group of family members of 9/11 victims has sent a letter to President Biden urging him to return the $7 billion in frozen Afghan reserves held by the US Federal Reserve to the Afghan people.

Earlier this year, President Biden signed an executive order that would make $3.5 billion of the Afghan funds available to 9/11 families. But in the letter that was sent Tuesday, 77 family members of 9/11 victims said receiving that money would be “morally wrong.”

The letter reads: “Any use of the $7 billion to pay off 9/11 family member judgments is legally suspect and morally wrong. We call on you to modify your Executive Order and affirm that the Afghanistan central bank funds belong to the Afghan people and the Afghan people alone.”

US officials said this week that the Biden administration has decided not to return any of the $7 billion to Afghanistan and suspended talks with the Taliban on the issue. One year since the Taliban’s takeover of the country, Afghanistan is facing a dire humanitarian crisis, with millions of Afghans facing starvation.

Are the families asking a flunky to do something?  No.  No, they didn't go to the night manager at Kinko's with the request.  They're going to Joe.  And that's where the focus needs to be.  Not spread out and dispersed on flunkies.

Joe can stop the persecution at any time.  If he doesn't, he needs to understand that this is on him and will be tied to his name in the history books.  But when a Roger Waters gives him an out by defocusing, it doesn't bring pressure on Joe.

New topic, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish" went up last night.

Like her father, Liz Cheney is trash.  James Zogby is correct:

I might be a Dem outlier, but I can’t be rooting for #LizCheney. I dealt w/ her hard-boiled neocon nonsense during the post-9/11 & Iraq war period that brought disaster to many. & I debated her slanderous attacks after Obama’s Cairo speech. Her Trump vendetta doesn’t sway me

Bring Our Troops Home posted the following video ahead of Tuesday's election.

At ANTIWAR.COM, Bring Our Troops Home updated their message to reflect that Liz did lose her effort to be re-elected:

Yesterday was a very important day.

It’s the day the America First movement exiled the most despicable, most debased Swamp Monster on Capitol Hill.

Yesterday Liz Cheney lost renomination for Congress after three terms of using and abusing the people of Wyoming.

The reason is simple: voters are tired of fighting endless wars.

They’re tired of spending trillions of dollars in the Middle East and Central Asia while they struggle to fill their own gas tank or complete a grocery shopping list.

They’re tired of seeing their sons and daughters in uniform come home physically, mentally, and spiritually broken by war.

Or often, not come home at all.

Liz Cheney has been a face of the War Party for years.

In 2003 the Bush-Cheney administration fabricated intelligence to lie our country into a disastrous war where over a million people were killed.

Liz Cheney says “Good.”

The Bush-Cheney administration set up an international collection of secret prison camps where thousands were tortured, some to death.

Liz Cheney says, “Good.”

Barack Obama gave billions of dollars in cash and weapons to Jihadists in Syria, the same terrorists who would later start ISIS.

Liz Cheney says, “Good.”

Joe Biden is inching us dangerously close to World War III with Russia to protect his family corruption in Ukraine.

Liz Cheney says, “Good.”

And yesterday the conservative voters of Wyoming kicked Liz Cheney out of office right back to her military-industrial complex mansion in Northern Virginia.

And I say, “Good.”

Smedley Butler said “War is a racket.” And I say that Liz Cheney is a war profiteer. And someday we may rid our nation and ourselves of the former, but yesterday we rid ourselves of the latter.

Good riddance to the Beltway Butcher.

In Iraq, US troops remain.  In Iraq, the political stalemate continues.  MEMO notes:

After meeting with political leaders, the leaders of three political institutions in Iraq yesterday called on followers of Shia cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr to engage in national dialogue to resolve the political deadlock, news agencies reported.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi, caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and leaders of Iraqi factions met and discussed political deadlock in the country.

Al-Sadr and his followers, who have been involved in protests calling for the dissolution of the newly-elected parliament, did not attend the meeting.

TRACK also notes the meeting:

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and leaders of national political forces met in a meeting where Iraqi President Barham Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Barham Salih, and the participants "expressed their commitment to finding a solution to all crises through dialogue to preserve the unity of Iraq, the security, and stability of its people," the report reads.

Ten months ago, on October 10th, Iraq held elections.  The president and prime minister?  Those are from before the elections.  Mustafa is at least called a ''caretaker prime minister" but it's the same with Barham Salih.  There has been a ten month and still going political stalemate.  Only the Speaker of Parliament has been voted on since the October 10th elections (and he was Speaker before the elections took place).  

Sadr's Minster rejects yesterday's dialogue outcomes and adds: if you want a representative of Sadr to attend we ask for a live meeting so the Iraqi people can see the back sense of conspiracies. #Iraq

The current conflict in Iraq isn't driven by the lack of a 'national or intern-communal' dialogue, but by a rivalry within the Shia over power and dominance. What is practical and needed isn't a meeting for all parties, but a Sadr-Framework dialogue.
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Farhad Alaaldin
اهم نتائج اجتماع الرئاسات والقوى السياسية: -الانتخابات المبكرة مشروطة بالسياقات الدستورية -الدعوة الى استمرار الحوار -دعوة الى ايقاف التصعيد المشاركة الفعالة لحلفاء الصدر في الاجتماع وموافقتهم على النقاط اعلاه يغير المشهد السياسي ويعزل التيار الصدري ويضعهم في موقف حرج #العراق
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Iraq's former finance minister, who resigned during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, outlined the reasons behind his decision in a resignation letter made public by Iraqi social media users and outlets. 

In a 10-page-long resignation letter, Allawi blames the current political stalemate, rampant corruption by the political parties and ruling elites, and the interferences by foreign countries into Iraq's internal affairs as the main reasons behind his resignation. 

Allawi, who was also the deputy prime minister in Mustafa al-Kadhimi's cabinet, took office in May 2020. His resignation was instantly accepted and Iraqi oil m0inister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar has been appointed as acting finance minister.

"In the few weeks after I took office in the ministry for the second time, I knew the terrifying fact on what extent the government functionality has deteriorated in the past 15 years, in a way that the political parties, as well as the self-interest groups, have practically confiscated broad joints of the state," reads part of Allawi's letter published by Al-Sumaria News Iraqi outlet. 

On the stalemate, THE WASHINGTON POST's Louisa Loveluck notes an analysis from The Crisis Group:

"The demonstrations are thus less a people’s revolution than an intra-elite fight, mainly pitting Sadr and his political backers against Maliki & his."

MIDDLE EAST EYE also offers an analysis of the stalemate:


Iraq has hosted just two senior US government visits in the months since the country's October election. Meanwhile, the sprawling US embassy has been operating with a skeleton crew since 2019, when the US ordered all "non-emergency" staff to leave Iraq amid security threats.

"US engagement in Iraq's political process has been almost completely absent," Jonathan Lord, a former Iraq country director at the Department of Defense, now head of the Middle East security programme at CNAS, a Washington think tank, told MEE.

Some consider the past ten months a missed opportunity for the US. Washington apprehensively welcomed what was generally seen as a peaceful election, albeit one plagued by record low turnout, where big political parties backed by armed militias demonstrated their staying power. 

The following sites updated: