Saturday, November 05, 2022

Biden works to energize . . . the GOP

Somebody on Blogspot or Wordpress makes a typo, I'm not that bothered.  But when it's NEWSWEEK?  This:

Senator Joe Manchin faced backlash from conservatives after he called President Joe Biden's call to close down goal plants "disgusting."


Goal plants?  I believe they mean coal plants.  Coal.

Back to the article:

Biden, during a speech in California Friday, said his administration plans to shut down coal plants across the United States. He instead said he would opt to invest in wind and solar energy, seen as greener alternatives to coal.

"No one is building new coal plants because they can't rely on it, even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of their existence of the plant," Biden said. "So it's going to become a wind generation."

His comments sparked strong rebuke from Manchin—a moderate West Virginia Democrat whose ties to and campaign donations from the oil and gas industry has long faced questions from more progressive members of his party—just days before the midterm elections.

"President Biden's comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs," Manchin said in a lengthy statement posted to Twitter. "Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden and instead believes he does not understand the need to have an all in energy policy that would keep our nation totally energy independent and secure."

You know, ahead of voting next Tuesday, Joe could have just said he has big plans to invest in wind generation.  He didn't need to also say that they'd shut down coal plants.  We are in a recession and people are out of work.  I think Joe should have tried to finesse the situation better.

And, on this, I do agree with Joe Manchin, these comments do go to why people lose trust in Joe Biden.

He's not very smart.  He's not very bright.  And we shouldn't have put him in office for his age alone.  However, you can also add that we shouldn't have put him in office after a lifetime of being known as the man who puts his foot in his mouth repeatedly.  

I have a feeling that all Joe Biden's doing in these last few days is providing reasons for Democrats to stay home.  That's what they should have done with Joe -- kept him at home.

"Iraq snapshot"  (THE COMMON ILLS):

Friday, November 4, 2022.  Julian Assange continues to be persecuted, Iraqis continue to suffer, Chris Hedges has a new book, and much more.

John Malkovich is speaking out on behalf of journalist Julian Assange.

Julian Assange remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden and a host of people who should be supporting him stay silent or heap scorn on him.

Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death. 

Another video of interest?

A video has allegedly shown former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being served with a lawsuit brought by American lawyers and reporters who visited Julian Assange. Footage tweeted by Wikileaks being handed the papers as he stands in front of a greenscreen. Wikileaks tweeted on Wednesday (2 November) morning: "Michael Richard Pompeo: You’ve been served! “Mike Pompeo has been served with a lawsuit brought by US lawyers and journalists who visited Assange. Spanish court documents show violations of their US constitutional rights. Plaintiffs are represented by NY attorney Richard Roth.” Reuters reported in August that attorneys and reporters sued the CIA and Mr Pompeo, who left his job as a Kansas congressman to become the CIA Director in January 2017, just days after Donald Trump was inaugurated.

Gerrard Kaonga (NEWSWEEK) reports:

A video appearing to show former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being served with a lawsuit has gone viral on social media.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of American lawyers and journalists who have alleged that the CIA, while Pompeo was director of the agency, spied on them during meetings with Wikileaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange while he was sheltering at the Ecuadoran embassy in London in an effort to avoid extradition to the U.S.

The Wikileaks Twitter page shared the video on Wednesday and the clip has so far been viewed over 500,000 times.

Sam Varghese (IT WIRE) adds:

Pompeo is one of the defendants in the case, which also names the CIA, security firm UC Global and UC Global director David R. Morales Guillen. They are accused of spying on WikiLeaks publisher and founder Julian Assange and his visitors while he took refuge in the embassy.

A statement from the Assange Defence Committee said the suit was served on the former CIA head as he was posing for photographs at the John Ashbrook Memorial Dinner in Ohio on 29 October.

The plaintiffs, who include renowned civil rights activist and human rights attorney Margaret Ratner Kunstler, attorney Deborah Hrbek and journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz, visited Assange while he was in the embassy.

The suit alleges violations of the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights and documents how UC Global provided the CIA with information about Assange’s visitors and forced visitors to surrender their electronic devices to enter the embassy – digitally copying and transmitting information on those devices to the CIA.

Joe Biden continues the persecution of Julian Assange while his administration makes hypocritical statements.

The world watches as Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian and, as the world watches, it registers just how hollow the 'big' statements the US government makes actually are.


It’s impossible, under international law, to defend Russia’s war in Ukraine, as it is impossible to defend the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Preemptive war is a war crime, a criminal war of aggression.

Still, putting the invasion of Ukraine in context was out of the question. Explaining — as Soviet specialists (including famed Cold War diplomat George F. Kennan) had — that expanding NATO into Central and Eastern Europe was a provocation to Russia was forbidden. Kennan had called it “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era” that would “send Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.” 

In 1989, I had covered the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania that signaled the coming collapse of the Soviet Union. I was acutely aware of the “cascade of assurances” given to Moscow that NATO, founded in 1949 to prevent Soviet expansion in Eastern and Central Europe, would not spread beyond the borders of a unified Germany. In fact, with the end of the Cold War, NATO should have been rendered obsolete.

I naively thought we would see the promised “peace dividend,” especially with the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev reaching out to form security and economic alliances with the West. In the early years of Vladimir Putin’s rule, even he lent the U.S. military a hand in its war on terror, seeing in it Russia’s own struggle to contain Islamic extremists spawned by its wars in Chechnya.

He provided logistical support and resupply routes for American forces fighting in Afghanistan. But the pimps of war were having none of it. Washington would turn Russia into the enemy, with or without Moscow’s cooperation.

The newest holy crusade between angels and demons was launched.

War unleashes the poison of nationalism, with its twin evils of self-exaltation and bigotry. It creates an illusory sense of unity and purpose. The shameless cheerleaderswho sold us the war in Iraq are once again on the airwaves beating the drums of war for Ukraine.

As Edward Said once wrote about these courtiers to power:

“Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s own eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.”

I was pulled back into the morass. I found myself writing for Scheerpost and my Substack site, columns condemning the bloodlusts Ukraine unleashed. The provision of more than $50 billion in weapons and aid to Ukraine not only means the Ukrainian government has no incentive to negotiate, but that it condemns hundreds of thousands of innocents to suffering and death.

For perhaps the first time in my life, I found myself agreeing with Henry Kissinger, who at least understands realpolitik, including the danger of pushing Russia and China into an alliance against the U.S., while provoking a major nuclear power.

Greg Ruggiero, who runs City Lights Publishers, urged me to write a book on this new conflict. At first, I refused, not wanting to resurrect the ghosts of war. But looking back at my columns, articles, and talks since the publication of War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning in 2002, I was surprised at how often I had circled back to war.  

I rarely wrote about myself or my experiences. I sought out those discarded as the human detritus of war, the physically and psychologically maimed like Tomas Young, a quadriplegic wounded in Iraq, whom I visited recently in Kansas City after he declared that he was ready to disconnect his feeding tube and die.

It made sense to put those pieces together to denounce the newest intoxication with industrial slaughter. I stripped the chapters down to war’s essence with titles like “The Act of Killing,” “Corpses” or “When the Bodies Come Home.”

The Greatest Evil Is War has just been published by Seven Stories Press. 

This, I pray, will be my final foray into the subject.

Meanwhile, Iraq remains devastated -- more so each day.  Jeff Schogol (TASK AND PURPOSE) informs:

It’s been more than three years since the Islamic State appeared to be defeated after the terror group lost all the territory it had once controlled, and yet ISIS continues to wage an insurgency in both Iraq and Syria, according to the most recent quarterly report from the Lead Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Overall, compared with the same period in 2021, the frequency and severity of ISIS-claimed attacks decreased dramatically in Iraq, while attacks in Syria increased significantly, marking a rebound from historically low levels the previous year,” the report says.

Between July and September, ISIS carried out 74 attacks in Syria and 73 attacks in Iraq, the report says. Small cells based in rural areas mostly conducted hit-and-run attacks against local security forces along with occasional high-profile attacks in cities.

While roughly 2,500 U.S. troops are still in Iraq and another 900 service members are in Syria to help prevent ISIS from mounting a comeback, the report cites several factors beyond the U.S. military’s control that have made their mission more difficult, including third-party actors, such as Iran; political instability, especially Iraq’s problems forming a government; and social-economic instability.

The Arab League held their summit this week -- not that it got a great deal of press attention.  ANF reports:

Speaking at the 31st Arab League Summit in Algeria on Wednesday, Iraqi President Latif Rashid said that the dams built by Iran and Turkey on the rivers in Iraq threaten the country's water security and cause water levels to drop.

“I hope that the water resources in Iraq will improve. Dialogue should be established with Turkey and Iran for a solution to the water problem,” the Iraqi President said.

This as Turkey continues to bomb and drone attack Iraq.  RUDAW notes, "At least one person was killed in Shingal on Thursday after a suspected Turkish drone targeted a pickup vehicle, Kurdish counterterrorism forces and media affiliated to the local forces reported. "  AFP adds, "Turkish military operations complicate relations between Baghdad and Ankara, one of Iraq's leading trading partners."  Ambrin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) offers:

Iraqi Kurdistan is gripped by turbulence as it comes under mounting aggression from Iran and Turkey, and as Baghdad seeks to wrest full control of its oil and gas industry. Rampant corruption and a lack of economic opportunity are prompting a rising number of young Iraqi Kurds to flee the country. As if things were not bad enough, the two largest political parties — the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) that was founded by Iraq’s first post-war president, the late Jalal Talabani — are quarreling again over power and money, prompting worries of a resurgence of the civil conflict that convulsed the region in the mid-1990s.

The difference today is that not only are the parties at odds with each other, they are also mired in internal rivalries. Lahur Talabany, former co-chair of the PUK who led the Sulaimaniyah region’s intelligence services and the US-trained Counter Terrorism Group, was ousted by his cousins Bafel and Qubad Talabani last summer in a Byzantine power grab. It was the most overt manifestation yet of the intra-family feuds simmering in the Talabani and Barzani dynasties.


In other news, RUDAW reports:

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Thursday spoke on the phone with Iraq’s new prime minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani, stressing that Washington is “eager” to work with his cabinet, according to a tweet by Blinken. 

“The U.S. is eager to work with the Iraqi government to confront Iraq’s challenges and deliver results for the people of Iraq,” Blinken said in his tweet, reaffirming the US “partnership” with the Iraqi government.   

Sudani was tasked with forming Iraq’s next government on October 13, after more than a year of political bickering since the parliamentary elections in October 2021.  Iraq’s parliament convened late last month, approving Sudani’s cabinet.

There was immediately no statement from Sudani’s office regarding the phone call.

Looking for something to do this weekend?  BROS is playing around the world and streaming in the US.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, November 03, 2022


BIG SKY. We're getting close to Thanksgiving. I realized that while watching BIG SKY on ABC last night. Things are coming to a head and that means the show is about to take a winter break. So the person carving the bloody hearts in trees may or may not be Walter. But Denise is in the office alone while Cassie's out and someone breaks in and grabs some of the evidence they have on the board about that long ago murder. Cassie goes looking and the man who broke in is the father of the daughter. Meanwhile, following up a different lead Beau and Jenny confront the dead woman's boyfriend who says that the father of the girl was her murderer.

He shows up in his home, discovers Cassie inside and points his rifle at her.

They talk it out and Cassie de-escalates the situation but that's when Jenny and Beau busted in. I was so afraid someone was going to get shot but thankfully that wasn't what followed.

Tonya and Donno are squeezed by the men who hired them -- mob. Tonya brings up the fact that they didn't tell them that this was a case where the couple in question stole millions of dollars. She's told that doesn't matter.

Luke and Paige are the couple who stole the money. I'll come back to them.

So Reba's husband killed Mary last week -- when she discovered Paige and realized Reba had lied.

Beau's daughter is at Reba's camp. She comes across Mary. Reba and her husband planned to do a midnight hike with the campers so they could discover Mary on the hike. And Reba hid a cell phone under Luke's mattress.

Paige and Luke.

The mob's angry because Tonya and Donno never found Paige and Luke has gone on the run.

So Luke is running through the woods when he runs into Paige.

He thinks they're together now or something. He doesn't notice she keeps making faces off to the side. She's making faces to Walter. Walter appears to be about to kill Luke.

That's about it except Cormac is realizing more and more that his parents are lying to him.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, November 3, 2022.  Joe Biden delivers a national address about the state of the economy and -- No, just joking.  He goes on the national airwaves to try to turn out the vote for the Democratic Party.  In Iraq, the stalemate be over but other problems continue -- such as an MP dying in the Parliament building.

Tuesday, Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) reported:

A group of 10 congressional Democrats and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday asked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to estimate how many millions of U.S. workers will be out of a job next year due to the central bank's rate-hiking frenzy, which is expected to continue this week as the Federal Open Market Committee meets to discuss further increases.

In a letter led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), the lawmakers point specifically to Powell's "disturbing warning to American families" in August that "they should expect 'pain' over the coming months as the Fed takes 'forceful and rapid steps' to 'get supply and demand back into alignment... by slowing the economy.'"

"You continue to double down on your commitment to 'act aggressively' with interest rate hikes and 'keep at it until it's done,' even if '[n]o one knows whether this process will lead to a recession or if so, how significant that recession would be,'" the letter reads, further quoting the Fed chair. "These statements reflect an apparent disregard for the livelihoods of millions of working Americans, and we are deeply concerned that your interest rate hikes risk slowing the economy to a crawl while failing to slow rising prices that continue to harm families."

The letter, also signed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was sent as Fed policymakers convened in the nation's capital to decide on the size of the next interest rate increase, which is set to be announced Wednesday. A 75-basis-point hike is widely expected, marking the fourth consecutive increase of that size even as a growing chorus of experts and analysts raise concerns about mass job loss.

As expected, the Fed announced a hike on Wednesday. Brett Wilkins (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

Accountable.US spokesperson Liz Zelnick noted in a statement that "a chorus of economic experts have warned hiking interest rates again is a recipe for millions of Americans receiving pink slips, yet the Fed has decided to triple down on what is not working."

"Throughout the pandemic, the Fed should have been acting as stewards of the fragile economic recovery but instead have prioritized demands from big banks, hedge funds, and other Wall Street special interests at the great expense of average working families," she contended.

Last night, Joe Biden addressed the nation.  Did the US president finally talk to the American people about the awful economy?  Nope.  Did he explain how his actions were taking us to the brink of nuclear war?  No, he continues to save that conversation for fundraisers.  Eric London (WSWS) explains he talked about 'threats' to democracy, "If only the president and the party controlling both houses of Congress had the power to do more than wish away the threat of fascism! He was in effect telling American voters, send more Democrats to Washington although they can do nothing about the danger of dictatorship."

Remember America, we have nothing to fear but . . . everyone!!!!  

Not exactly FDR but it's Joe after all.  If he's standing and his dentures don't slip in his mouth we call it a win.  

Back to Eric London:

Biden’s speech was riven with contradictions. This is the product of the Democratic Party’s desire to avoid saying anything that might (1) trigger the development of protests from below against the far-right threat or (2) undermine the “bipartisan unity” the Biden administration requires to prosecute US imperialism’s war against Russia in Ukraine.  

He asserted that those who wish to disrupt the vote are a “tiny minority” of American society, yet he stated that they pose a massive threat to the entire country. He twice said that “MAGA Republicans” represent “only a minority of that party” but said that Republicans are running over 300 candidates for office who “question not only the legitimacy of past elections, but elections now and in the future.” He said, “We can’t take democracy for granted any longer” but professed blind confidence that “democracy will prevail.”

But most importantly, Biden’s speech presented a version of American “democracy” that has nothing to do with the social reality confronting masses of people. To the extent that this is the presentation the Democrats make of the current state of American democracy, they will fail miserably to mobilize popular support for it. Polls showing the likelihood that Republicans will win the House testify to this danger.

“America is not a zero-sum society,” Biden said, adding that “America is big enough for everyone to succeed.” But three billionaires have as much wealth as the poorest 160 million people.

“We should leave no one behind,” Biden said, even though hundreds of thousands go homeless every night, a majority of the working class is a paycheck away from poverty and one million people have been left behind to die of COVID-19 so far in the US alone.

America is ruled by “the people,” Biden declared. In America “the aspirations of the many” prevail over “the power of the few.” It is not an “autocracy,” where “one interest” controls society. Who does he think he is kidding? There are two political parties, and both are controlled by Wall Street.

Biden’s concern about election fraud is real. But the truth of the matter is that polls show Republicans might win back the Congress even without committing fraud. The fact that this is even possible shows the Democratic Party has been totally incapable of mobilizing the population against the Republicans’ ongoing plot. Inflation is nearing 10 percent, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates in order to slash real wages, and the Biden administration is working tirelessly with the trade union bureaucracies to prevent the outbreak of strikes and social struggles that might threaten corporate profits.

As for Biden's claims to represent “democracy,” his administration and the Democratic Party-controlled Congress are preparing to override the democratic will of 120,000 railroad workers to block them from striking and threatening corporate profits.

While claiming to stand for democracy, Joe's Homeland Security Dept is moving towards censoring speech.  Jake Johnson (WSWS) reports:

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security should be shut down after reporting shined light on the agency's sweeping campaign to police what it deems disinformation online, an effort that raised alarm among civil liberties groups.

"It's time to talk about shutting down the Department of Homeland Security," Snowden, a former NSA contractor who exposed the agency's illegal mass spying program in 2013, wrote on Twitter.

DHS, formed in 2002 in the wake of the September 11 attacks, "was always a mistake, a costly artifact of the hysteric post-9/11 authoritarianism that left us no more safe, but much less free," Snowden continued. "Its plan to become the Speech Police is the final straw."

Snowden was responding to an in-depth story by The Intercept on Monday detailing secretive DHS attempts to "curb speech it considers dangerous" by trying to pressure and "influence tech platforms" such as Twitter and Facebook. The department's "stepped up counter-disinformation effort" began under former President Donald Trump and has continued under President Joe Biden, the outlet noted.

"According to a draft copy of DHS' Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS' capstone report outlining the department's strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target 'inaccurate information' on a wide range of topics, including 'the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine," The Intercept's Ken Klippenstein and Lee Fang reported.

"How disinformation is defined by the government has not been clearly articulated, and the inherently subjective nature of what constitutes disinformation provides a broad opening for DHS officials to make politically motivated determinations about what constitutes dangerous speech," Klippenstein and Fang stressed.

"DHS justifies these goals—which have expanded far beyond its original purview on foreign threats to encompass disinformation originating domestically—by claiming that terrorist threats can be 'exacerbated by misinformation and disinformation spread online," they added. "But the laudable goal of protecting Americans from danger has often been used to conceal political maneuvering."

Fake ass Joe Biden using the national airwaves to do a partisan voter rally.  He's so disgusting and shameful.  At least last night's lies didn't include him claiming -- as he did in Florida -- that he had gone to the historically Black college of Delaware State University (he went to University of Delaware).  

Next up, Joe claims he was briefly on the first season of A DIFFERNT WORLD and dated Jaleesa for two episodes!

In the real world, Turkey continues bombing Iraq.  MEHR NEWS AGENCY reports:

Local Iraqi media including Shafaq have said that the Turkish airplanes targeted several PKK positions in Kani Masi district on Wednesday.

Today's warplanes' attacks came after the Local media in Iraq reported on Saturday evening that Turkey conducted a drone attack on the Sinjar town located in the Iraqi Nineveh province.

The Turkish drones targeted a residential area in Sinjar town in the north of the country near Mosul, according to local Iraq news sources.

Under the guise of fighting PKK, Turkey has deployed its troops in areas of northern Iraq and Syria and is conducting aerial and artillery attacks on parts of the northern areas of these countries.

Turkey's actions are acts of war -- so, of course, Joe Biden's never condemned them.

Iraq held elections October 10, 2021.  Over a year later, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani formed a cabinet.  With that aspect of the political stalemate over, will Iraq's new government finally become responsive to the people?

Some don't see that happening.  One such person speaks with THE NATIONAL:

Haider Al Mirjan says the life-changing injuries he sustained during the October 2019 pro-reform protests were a sacrifice made in vain as the parties he was rallying against solidify their hold under the new government.

Like other protesters, Mr Al Mirjan says he is disappointed and frustrated about the makeup of the new government formed on October 22, in which Iran-backed political factions made a significant comeback.

“The day when this government was endorsed by the parliament was a gloomy and miserable one for all of us,” Mr Al Mirjan told The National from Germany, where he lives as a political refugee.

IRAQI NEWS notes one effort being made towards inclusion:

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (UN Women) in Iraq signed on Monday a one million USD partnership agreement in Baghdad to support women’s political participation and representation in Iraq, according to a press statement issued by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The joint project focuses on addressing the constraints on women’s political voice, strengthening women’s decision-making and leadership in elected spaces and increasing leadership in civic spaces, the statement mentioned.

The partnership aims to strengthen elected female leaders and potential candidates’ ability to influence decisions, demand their rights and actively engage in decision-making at all levels, the statement elaborated.

The agreement will increase the use of special measures, such as quotas, to improve women’s leadership and representation within political parties in Iraq, according to the UNAMI statement.  

The partnership will contribute to mitigating obstacles to female participation in public life by addressing violence against women in politics, the statement explained.

Yesterday, Iraq's Parliament lost one member.  Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) reports:

A Shiite politician died on Wednesday while inside the Parliament building.

Mahmoud Shakir Al Salami, a member of the State of Law Coalition established and led by former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki, was from the southern governorate of Thi Qar.

Mr Al Salami’s health condition deteriorated while he was holding regular meetings inside the parliament building, the Coalition said.

He was later transferred to Ibin Sina hospital inside the Green Zone where he was pronounced dead.

The cause of his death is so far unknown.

RUDAW notes:

Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid on Wednesday said that the country’s new cabinet has a lot of responsibilities to deliver on after a long overdue government formation process.

Rashid attended the 31st Arab Summit in the Algerian capital of Algiers, addressing Iraq’s recent government formation, security issues, and prospects for the future during his speech.

“The Iraqi government has a lot of responsibilities that it will work on to respond to the will of our people for reform, construction, and enhancing Iraq’s interaction with its regional and international surroundings,” said the Iraqi president, expressing his hopes that the efforts of the government would receive “positive interaction” from its regional neighbors.

It's Movember.  What is Movember?  Well it's not a typo:

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at

Here's Billy Eichner noting this yearly event and his film BROS.

The following sites updated: