Thursday, July 13, 2023

I agree with Robert Reich

Hope you already saw this:

Former United States Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Wednesday demanded that Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas step down or be removed from the bench as allegations of corruption and impropriety continue to pile up.

"Clarence Thomas must resign, and if he doesn't, well, if there was ever a case to impeach a Supreme Court justice, this is it," Reich said.

"For years, Thomas failed to disclose flights on private jets, super yacht trips, and stays at resorts," Reich recalled. "He received his gifts from a Republican mega-donor. Even though the Supreme Court has no legally binding code of ethics and justices remain among the least accountable people in our government legal experts claim that Thomas violated federal disclosure laws when he failed to report the free travel he was gifted. But at the very least it violated the public's trust and corruptly exploited his position of power to subsidize a life of luxury."

Reich also scolded Chief Justice John Roberts for refusing to even discuss implementing a code of conduct for the Court's jurists.

I agree with him.  It's time for the American people to hold the Court accountable.  Past time.  Clarence needs to be pulled from the bench.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is expected to bring up a proposal today at a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting that would use Congress’s power of the purse to pressure the Supreme Court to adopt a “code of ethics.” 

The committee will mark up three spending bills today, including the one that funds the Supreme Court.

Van Hollen, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the court’s budget, declined to discuss his plans Wednesday, including whether his proposal would be included in the base bill or offered as an amendment.

“I've been sworn not to say anything,” Van Hollen said. “As I've said all along, we're looking at all options.”

  • But The Early obtained an amendment he is expected to at least bring up for discussion, if not formally offer, that would withhold $10 million in funding from the court’s $110 million salaries-and-expenses account until Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. informs Congress “that the Supreme Court has put into effect a code of ethics for the Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.” 

It goes on to specify that none of the withheld money would apply to security funding.

Would have been nice, right?  That was this morning.  This afternoon?  The Appropriations Committee issued a press release which included this:

“The final thing I will say—because it will be the subject of an amendment. As I indicated earlier, we cover the federal judiciary. I hoped at the subcommittee level that we would be able to get some language requiring, finally, that the Supreme Court of the United States establish an ethics code of conduct. We were not able to get that done on a bipartisan basis, so I will be offering an amendment for the purposes of discussion, and we will see where that discussion goes.


“But let me close where I started by thanking both the Chair and the Vice Chair, and Senator Hagerty. And with that, I yield.”

We have got to keep trying and we've got to make this happen.  We have an illegitimate Court currently and no way to hold it accountable. 

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

Thursday, July 12, 2023.  When you're deeply removed from reality you make stupid calls for increased oil production in a country already suffering from climate change, in the US we find another hate merchant who thinks equality does not matter and that she can also refuse service, the grifters of YOUTUBE and their hidden cabal continue to plot and scheme, and much more.

Starting in Iraq, KURDISTAN 24 reports, "Iraq has so far witnessed more than 375 confirmed cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, a tick-borne disease that transmits from infected animals to human beings, the country’s health minister announced on Wednesday. The fatality rate to the disease in Iraq is 14 percent, Iraqi Minister of Health Saleh Mahdi Al-Hasnawi, told reporters in a presser held following a ministerial meeting on the status of the disease, of which 377 infections have been recorded since January this year."  Iraq has so much on its plate and so much to deal with and address.  Which makes Haitham El-Zobaidi's column at ARAB WEEKLY even more appalling:

Then there is the “Development Road” project recently announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani, which would establish a railway link between the Gulf and Turkey that would cut the time normally spent by ships travelling that distance.

[. . .]

The more pointed question is to what extent does the project constitute a priority now?

Okay, that part seems reasonable.  And with the TotalEnergy deal we noted in Monday's snapshot being hailed as a historic deal worth $27 billion with a supposed $10 billion investment in southern Iraq over the next 25 years, people are seeing dollar signs and thinking what to do with them.

But then his column swerves into nonsense:

If money is available for investment in Iraq today, it should be first spent on oil production and expansion of the gas industry infrastructure.

Iraq’s oil production is not commensurate with the country’s potential as one of the world’s largest oil reserves. Some say that Iraq is the largest unexplored oil reservoir in the world, and that seismic surveys have only explored a small part of that reservoir.

Not on the infrastructure that matters the most to the people?  Not spent on the sewage infrastructure which would address the flooding in the rainy seasons?  Not addressing the electrical system that forces so many Iraqis to rely on generators because 20 years after US 'liberation,' Iraq still doesn't have dependable electricity.  The money shouldn't go to those  things or to addressing the various health issues of which Congo Fever is only one example.

No, the columnist maintains, the money needs to "be first spent on oil production and expansion of the gas industry infrastructure."  Which is spending more money, please note, destroying Iraq.  He wants even more oil pumped out of Iraq.  Iraq which is already set to be one of the most harmed by climate change according to every climate model out there, needs to produce even more oil?  And that's going to help Iraq?  It's dealing with water issues already.  And the answer is to waste even more water on oil production and to destroy even more of the environment?

Maybe if he wasn't the chair and publisher of ARAB WEEKLY, someone would have stopped this article from being published long enough to ask him, "What the hell are you thinking?"

Clearly, he wasn't thinking a damn thing.  Every day, Iraq is facing worsening effects from climate change  And nothing seems to wake anyone up.  Not last week's dead fish, nothing.

Mohammed Hamid Nour is only 23, but he is already nostalgic for how Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes once were before drought dried them up, decimating his herd of water buffaloes.

Even at their centre in Chibayish, only a few expanses of the ancient waterways -- home to a Marsh Arab culture that goes back millennia -- survive, linked by channels that snake through the reeds.

Pull back further and the water gives way to a parched landscape of bald and cracked earth.

Mohammed has lost three-quarters of his herd to the drought that is now ravaging the marshes for a fourth-consecutive year. It is the worst in 40 years, the United Nations said this week, describing the situation as "alarming", with "70 percent of the marshes devoid of water".

"I beg you Allah, have mercy!" Mohammed implored, keffiyah on his head as he contemplated the disaster under the unforgiving blue of a cloudless sky.

The buffaloes of the marshes produce the milk for the thick clotted "geymar" cream Iraqis love to have with honey for breakfast.

As the marshes dry out, the water gets salty until it starts killing the buffaloes. Many of Mohammed's herd died like this, others he was forced to sell before they too perished.

"If the drought continues and the government doesn't help us, the others will also die," said the young herder, who has no other income.


Haitham El-Zobaidi wants Iraq to produce even more oil each year.  And he wants any investment money coming in to be devoted to the oil industry.  I don't know if he's divorced from reality, but the two are at least legally separated. 

On PRI's THE WORLD today (link is just audio at present, will be text as well later today), Shirin Jafafari reports on Iraq's increasing water crisis and how an estimated 7 million Iraqis are dealing with reduced water.  Last month, Jafafari reported (link is audio and text):

Palm trees need consistent care: watering, pruning and fertilizing. And when farmers had to leave, the trees suffered.

“So many people are forced to sell their land for very cheap and, oftentimes, farmers have found themselves working on land that they used to own,” Rubaii explained.

Iraq has also been getting hotter and drier. According to the UN, it is the fifth-most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change.

“There’s a section of the southern part of Baghdad, if you drive through, you can see a lot of trees that look like they’ve been decapitated,” Rubaii added, “because sometimes when trees die, they keel over or, if they’re not surviving, sometimes they get cut from the top.”

Making matters worse is Iraq’s construction boom — especially in bigger cities like Baghdad. It means that more farmers are choosing to cut down palm trees entirely to make way for building projects.

Turning to the US where noted bigot Jonathan Turley is no doubt working in secret again with his Federalist Society buddies to create more test cases to expand hate in this country while destroying democracy, John Russell (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

The owner of a Michigan hair salon is refusing to serve some members of the LGBTQ+ community, flouting a state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.

In a recent Facebook post, Christine Geiger, the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Traverse City, Michigan, wrote that “If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer. You are not welcome at this salon. Period.”

Geiger added that she and her staff would refer to customers who request to be addressed by a “particular pronoun” as “hey you,” regardless of what Michigan’s H.B. 4744 states. The legislation, signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in March, added the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to Michigan’s 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) banning discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation within businesses, government buildings, and educational facilities on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status, and marital status.

Geiger’s post follows the Supreme Court’s ruling in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, which said that certain business owners have the right under the First Amendment’s free speech protections to deny service on the basis of their personal beliefs. The court ruled in favor of a Christian web designer in Colorado who argued that the state’s LGBTQ+-inclusive anti-discrimination law violated her free speech rights by potentially forcing her to create wedding websites for hypothetical same-sex couples.

While some have argued that the decision narrowly applies to businesses that provide “expressive services” and does not provide carte blanche protection for any businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, many have predicted that anti-LGBTQ+ business owners inclined to discriminate would interpret the ruling as a license to do so, despite state laws banning anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

Marcia covered this topic last night in "Now more businesses think they refuse to serve LGBTQ+ members," while Ann covered it in "One thing Joe Biden deserves serious praise for" and we noted it in the "Roundtable" for THIRD and, yes, it's what Trina's talking about in "Some good news via the Emmy nominations:" 

 I wasn't feeling blogging last night.  I'm not feeling it today.  Sorry.  I'm just tired of all the hate being hurled at the LGBTQ+ community.  I just, I'm tired of it.  I'm a mother of a gay man and it's not abstract to me.  These efforts to take away rights?  It's not abstract.
[. . .]

I feel very frightened for what this country is testing out on LGBTQ+ people.  I feel very sad that a country of people who are loving and caring people are being tricked and deceived by liars who are trying to stir up hate.  I feel very angry at grifters like Katie Halper who cannot address what is going on but can chat and giggle with convicted pedophile Scott Ritter or waste all of our time on yet another look-what-they're-doing-to-Roger-Waters-now!!!!!

I'm just discouraged. 

Understandable.  It's not every day we see democracy destroyed by a corrupt Supreme Court.  

That decision created a two-tier system of citizenship -- declaring that straight people (and presumably bi) have full rights but gay men and lesbians don't have full rights.  Their basic rights are dependent upon the 'religious' beliefs of others.  They can lose their rights -- as they did in the illegitimate Court's ruling that found a hateful, ugly, evil woman named Lorie Smith could refuse them service.  As Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted in her dissenting opinion, "Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants a business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class."

On the hair salon's refusal to serve all customers, Mike Stunson (MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS) notes:

In a statement to WWTV, Traverse City’s LGBTQ organization, Polestar, said the comments made by the business owner “are not welcomed” in the city. “Hate has shown time and time again to be a losing business strategy and we must not allow this blight to take root in our town,” the organization said. Traverse City is in northern Michigan about 140 miles north of Grand Rapids.

 Let's turn to the media.  She won't save anyone because she can't save herself, yes, we're talking about the disgusting Katie Halper.  Exiled from the left for going on the grift.  Life's hard for Katie.  Her latest segment of THE KATIE HALPER SHOW?  Posted for 13 hours now and only a thousand streams.  Poor Katie.  She's already lost integrity and ethics and now she's losing so much more.  When the ship goes down, she better start batting her eyes at men from THE NATIONAL REVIEW because the left won't have her.  She's cozied up too much to transphobes and registered sex offenders.  No one will have you, Katie.  And the only thing stopping me from getting your WBAI program pulled is that I'm too busy right now with too many other things.  Pray my plate remains full, Halper, pray.

What's that?  BLACK POWER MEDIA.  We posted the video last Friday shortly after it went up online.  Ava and I knew it was something we had to address at THIRD so I've held off until we could do that.  From our piece at THIRD "TV: Trusting the audience versus attempting to manage it:"

Last Friday, BLACK POWER MEDIA offered a segment entitled "A Green Party Response to Cornel West."  It was entertaining -- as BPM usually is -- and it was informative -- again, as BPM usually is.  However, it was also groundbreaking.  Reality is not allowed on YOUTUBE.  But somehow, we got some.
It was served up by Kamilah Harris and Renee Johnston as they spoke with Dr Jared Ball about the Green Party.  Jill Stein?  Not liked.  Not liked in the rank-in-file.  And people are asking about the 2016 bill she left the Green Party with and why she continues to receive funds.  

In fact, tea was getting spilled left and right.  A long code of silence was exposed.  Bri-Bri?  She got name checked.  The Medicare For All campaign that Jimmy Dore was promoting.  People jumped on it and Bri-Bri was one of them.  Renee  pointed out that there was the whole issue of why are they just focused on The Squad as opposed to pushing all Democrats in the House to support Medicare For All: "Why are we only trying to force a few people to support this? Why aren't we going after all the people who claimed they would sign on to Force The Vote?"  That is a good point.  We learned that this 'spontaneous' movement wasn't so spontaneous -- and that Jimmy Dore pocketed money -- money raised for that cause but not spend on it.  "Nothing came of it," Kamilah noted, except a tiny march in DC with Jackson Hinkle. 

This group was previously activated with regards to The People's Party -- Jimmy, Bri-Bri, Cindy Sheehan, serial plagiarist Chris Hedges . . .

The People's Party was not accountable to the people and refused to be answerable to their so-called membership.  "Nobody was elected to this top board, by the way," Kamilah explained.  "Nick Brana appointed everyone to this board." Pressuring for accountability led to scripting on what could be said at the meeting with the top board.  Another response?  Appointing Cornel West and Jimmy Dore to the board.  No, there was no input from members.  Nick just made another decision yet again.  

Listen and note how the same group of people keep popping up -- behind the scenes -- Bri-Bri, Jimmy Dore, Jill Stein, Cornel West, serial plagiarist Chris Hedges, Medea Benjamin, etc etc.  As Jared pointed out, "the same people caught up in it.  You've got Chris Hedges, you've got Cornel West, you've got Jimmy Dore, you've got talented microphoned, you know, spokespeople.  You got somewhat celebrity -- football players, who ever." 

Darryl LC Moch (chair of the Green Party's Black Caucus)  joined the discussion briefly and he noted how the MPP tried to meet up with the Green Party and Peace & Justice and other third parties -- "In terms of trying to build a national front and to move the conversation and to work better together in some ways without tearing each other apart."  Why, Darryl, asked were they trying to build a new party when they had the Green Party already with ballot access. 

Darryl was the one who came up with the notion of the Green Party doing a shadow government and it was noted that when Jill Stein later ran with the idea (we'll note she did so without crediting Darryl for it), that she couldn't even do that correctly.  She created a shadow government or announced she had but failed to follow through -- the plan was to present what the Green Party would be doing so that you could show the differences between the Democratic Party and the Green Party. And no one's being gifted with the nomination, not Cornel, not anyone, "We not handing you s**t.  You've got to do the work. .. . You've still got to earn it. "

Jill Stein, Chris Hedges and Ajamu Baraka were called out for their underhanded maneuvers. "Just be real with the public," Kamilah Harris said with exasperation.  "There's a whole lot of this that should be discussed, that should be part of the process," Renee Johnston noted.
Reality, Cornel is not even a candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  Not only is he not the nominee, he's not really even a candidate.  He has filed no papers, no one has yet.  Which is what Darryl tried to walk viewers through as he said point blank, "We have no recognized candidates at this time."  And then, "We are nowhere near the nomination yet."

The sainted Jill Stein.  When did that happen by the way?  She was a lousy campaigner in 2012 and in 2016.  Oh, that's right.  This same group embraced her because they need to take on Russia-gate but couldn't without her because they are that pathetic.  And that's why they can't -- and won't -- tell you -- whether it's Katie Insipid Halper or whomever -- that Jill's not popular in the Green Party.  A two-time loser, she's not popular.  Kamilah noted all the rumors currently swirling around her (including that she's trying to get on the Green Party ticket again but this time as the vice presidential nominee). These things come up because she is so hated and because her actions are so questionable. 
"After 2016, the campaign she ran with Ajamu Baraka ended up in debt, " Kamilah explained. And "she's still collecting money from her principal campaign committee through the FEC. Like they just had a report that she had just brought in, already in the first quarter,  over $14,000."  And, as Renee pointed out, she's involved to this day in a lawsuit with the FEC.  But let's not talk about that, let's ignore real issues and all be whores like Katie Halper.

These behind the scenes tricksters.   The first time we called out Jimmy Dore, we gave him the benefit of the doubt.  We thought he wasn't seeing his own hypocrisy.  He was seeing it, he just didn't give a damn.  We're talking about his 2020 and 2021 whines that the Green Party did not make Jesse Ventura their presidential nominee. Now 2016 saw the Democratic Party fix the primary to benefit Hillary Clinton.  And some Democrats found that outrageous. Then in 2020, Barack Obama and others orchestrated the mass exodus to ensure that Joe Biden got the nomination.  So to hear him say that Jesse should have been given the nomination?  This wasn't a misunderstanding on Jimmy's part.  He truly believed that Jesse, who refused to run for the nomination, should have just been given it.  Why?  Because Jimmy knows best, Jimmy knows better and you damn well better go along with him -- that is his attitude. And that's why you need to pay attention to all the backdoor deals and efforts that they are participating in because they don't believe in democracy, they don't believe people should have a say, they believe people should be told what to do and told what to think.

Last week, BLACK POWER MEDIA trusted their audience and it's really sad that we think they deserve a standing ovation for that.  Taking nothing away from BPM, why in the world are we wanting to stand up and cheer for BPM doing what everyone should be doing?  Why?  Because no one else seems to want to do it.  No one else seems to actually trust their audience.

Next time you see Katie Halper fawning over Jill Stein and whoring for Jill, grasp that there's so much that you don't know.  And also grasp that there's a cabal working behind the scenes not just to manage Cornel West's campaign but to manage what you're going to know and what you're going to think.

These grifters aren't imparting knowledge, they're refusing to do that.  They're telling you half-truths and outright lies.  They're making you their mark.  

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:


  • Wednesday, July 12, 2023

    The Crooked Court and Crooked Clarence just get worse and worse

    You think it can't get worse, that the Supreme Court can't get more corrupt, but then comes another news day.  The latest:

    Justice Clarence Thomas, now 75, has never been more influential on the U.S. Supreme Court — or more controversial.

    During the 1990s and 2000s, Thomas' views were not typical of the High Court on the whole. The Court leaned conservative in those days, but Ronald Reagan-appointed Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor had issues with Thomas' far-right social conservatism. So did the late Justice John Paul Stevens, appointed by Republican President Gerald R. Ford in 1975.

    The Court, however, has since moved so far to the right that Thomas has way more influence than he did 20 or 30 years ago. And he has been inundated with controversy, from his wife, Ginni Thomas' efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results to a series of bombshell reports in ProPublica detailing the gifts he received from billionaire GOP donor Harlan Crow — and failed to report.

    Now, questions are being raised about Rajan Vasisht, a former Justice Thomas aide.

    The Guardian's Stephanie Kirchgaessner, in a report published on July 12, explains, "Several lawyers who have had business before the Supreme Court, including one who successfully argued to end race-conscious admissions at universities, paid money to a top aide to Justice Clarence Thomas, according to the aide's Venmo transactions. The payments appear to have been made in connection to Thomas' 2019 Christmas party."

    The reporter adds, "The payments to Rajan Vasisht, who served as Thomas' aide from July 2019 to July 2021, seem to underscore the close ties between Thomas — who is embroiled in ethics scandals following a series of revelations about his relationship with a wealthy billionaire donor — and certain senior Washington lawyers who argue cases and have other business in front of the justice."

    The corruption never ends.  And there is no accountability.  The Roberts Court will be remembered as the most corrupt and the most illegitimate Court in our nation's history.  John Roberts is an idiot.  

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Wednesday, July 12, 2023.  Iraq hasn't done a census, it doesn't know the population despite reports otherwise, the US State Dept is loving a new deal, Katie Halper continues to sputter out online, it's probably to rethink Ed Snowden, and much more.

    The Iraqi Ministry of Planning said the country's population has reached 43.32 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent.

    A Ministry statement said that about 50.5 per cent of the total Iraqi population are men and about 49.5 per cent women, reports Xinhua news agency.

    It showed that the working-age group between 15 and 64 constitutes the highest percentage, reaching 57 per cent of the total population, followed by the youth group under 15 years at 40 per cent.

    Types?  Iraq has no idea.  There hasn't been a census since 1997.  And there probably won't be one for another decade at least.  The census would include all areas.  And?

    Oil-rich Kirkuk is disputed land.  The central government out of Baghdad claims it as does the KRG.  This is the hot spot that, in the first years of the Iraq War, Brookings warned repeatedly was a hot spot that needed to be addressed. 

    After the US-led invasion, when the new Constitution of Iraq was drafted and implemented, Article 140 explained how Kirkuk's status would be determined.

    The Article specifies three phases for implementation that includes normalization, a census, and a referendum on Kirkuk and other disputed areas. The government was to start by taking appropriate steps for the normalization phase, including rejoining detached districts and sub-districts to Kirkuk governorate, and completing this phase no later than 29 March 2007. The census phase was to be completed by 31 July 2007, and the referendum phase by 15 November 2007. The overall question is, thus, why hasn't the Iraqi federal government met its commitments? Since 2003, successive Iraqi governments have failed to implement this constitutional article.

    In his first term as prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki just ignored the Constitution and then turned around and promised to implement it in order to get a second term.  

    In March 2010, Iraq held elections.  For a little over eight months, Iraq was without a prime minister because Nouri refused to step down -- much to his surprise, he had lost to the brand new Iraqiya.  Though then vice president Joe Biden initially promised that the US would back the voters, as time went on, another decision was made.  Barack Obama had made various 'promises' on the 2008 campaign trail.  One was to remove all US troops from Iraq within ten months.  Didn't happen. Now he was in the second year of his presidency.  Samantha Power insisted that Nouri had to remain prime minister -- screw the voters -- and Barack went along with it.  Samantha said a new prime minister would be a question mark.  She preferred the known Nouri -- that would be the Nouri known by that point for disappearing Iraqis, for secret torture cells, all the things would only become worse in his second term.

    To get the political parties on board with this theft, the US oversaw the negotiation of a contract -- the leaders of the various political parties agreed to give Nouri a second term as prime minister and he agreed to do certain things in exchange.

    For one thing?

    For the Kurdish political parties, his big concession was that he was going to implement Article 140 and do it in December (The Erbil Agreement was signed in November of 2010.)  

    We pointed out in real time that Nouri was already supposed to do this.  That the Constitution said it was to be done and gave a deadline for it to be done and Nouri hadn't done it.  Now you were going to trust him to do it?  What had changed?  Why trust someone who's already refused?

    But people are stupid sometimes and the KRG went along with it.  They and everyone else got burned.  Before December arrived, Nouri was saying there was no way for him to keep to the contract and hold the census and do the referendum -- or even start one -- in December.  This was then followed, in January, by his then-spokesperson  announcing that The Erbil Agreement was illegal and that Nouri didn't intend to honor it.  

    To get that pushed through and to get the optics he needed, Barack Obama need Ayad Allawi -- aka the man who the Iraqi people elected prime minister -- on board.  So when the Parliament was going to name Nouri prime minister via The Erbil Agreement and Iraqiya walked out, Barack got on the phone to Allawi and swore up and down that The Erbil Agreement had the full backing of the United States government and it would be enforced.  And then?  Barack did nothing -- as Allawi related to one media outlet after another.  Somehow the US media never wanted to touch on this.  The BBC did, but somehow, someway, the US media just wasn't interested.

    The central government in Baghdad does not want to give up their claim to Kirkuk.  There's too much oil there.  So, no, Iraq's not going to do a census. 

    In other sad news, THE KATIE HALPER SHOW.  Katie continues to struggle for streams.  She's like a really bad NBC sitcom in the second half of the 2000s, where NBC keeps insisting upon calling it a hit in all advertising but it fails to deliver the audience of FRIENDS, SEINFELD, WILL & GRACE or, hell, even SUDDENLY SUSAN.  

    Her latest stunt casting, her equivalent of the episode of FRIENDS that featured Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chris Isaak was a segment focusing on Glenneth Greenwald.  Chris Isaak?  He's not even Chris Christie.

    We were going to talk about Glenneth on Monday but there wasn't time.

    So let's dive in now.

    First off, Katie, thanks for making it clear that you are a grifter.  Every day, Glenneth attacks the left.  He's the most passive aggressive bitch in the world and we're all going to live through the various slights against him over the years -- real and imagined -- as he works through issues.

    There is no reason for any leftist to promote Glenneth at this point.  He is not about insight, he is not about observation, he is just trying to tear down the left and if you can't grasp that, notice that he's slamming the left for this or that while ignoring that the right-wing is doing or has done the same thing.

    So there's no reason for a real leftist to bring that hack on -- yes, he's a hack, we'll come back to it.

    He's also the sort of gay guy that's always belittled other gay men to get by.  To suck up to others, he's been a backstabbing bitch.  His current war on trans is his effort to prove to his right-wing buddies that he's an alpha (not even in his most desperate fantasy) and he does real damage there. Chelsea Manning called him out on this.  Chelsea was right.

    Let's get to the hack part.

    It becomes harder and harder to defend Ed Snowden.

    We defended him the minute the world knew who he was.  

    And I keep seeing Ed issuing this statement or that statement and I also read his book and it's become seriously troubling.

    I'm not upset with him for what he revealed.  I'm growing very angry over what he didn't reveal.

    A short overview, Ed worked for the CIA and then was a contractor for the NSA.  The government was doing many illegal things.  Ed copied various documents on a drive -- see Oliver Stone's SNOWDEN which is a great movie.  He handed it over to Glenn Greenwald.  Glenn wrote about some of it and made a name for himself as a 'reporter.'  Not a columnist, a reporter.  And a big money man comes along and woos Glenneth from THE GUARDIAN to what becomes THE INTERCEPT.  And?

    We were told all the documents would be reported on by THE INTERCEPT.  They have not been.  All this time later, they have not been.  Glenneth did not bother to do a damn thing.  Meanwhile, with this public promise, THE INTERCEPT attracted more whistle-blowers -- people who got burned by THE INTERCEPT who let the US government know -- intentionally or not -- that they had whistle-blower trying to come forward.  This is how Reality Winner ended up in prison.  

    Now when all this whistle-blowers were suffering, Glenneth didn't say a word.  When he wrote his lengthy I-quit-THE-INTERCEPT-becaause-I'm-too-stupid-to-understand-what-breach-of-contract means, he finally noted that Reality was screwed by THE INTERCEPT.  On his way out the door and off of sugar daddy's payroll, he finally said something.

    Too damn little, too damn late.

    What does this have to do with Ed?

    He keeps Tweeting.  Why the hell is he Tweeting?

    If I were a whistle-blower and I knew that a little less than half of the revelations I had documented were reported on, if I knew that Glenneth wasn't going to cover it and that my information was now owned and buried within THE INTERCEPT?  I'd either focus on my life in Russia and stay offline or I'd be Tweeting daily about this program or that program that I tried to expose but that didn't get exposed.

    I'm really losing any faith in Ed.  Again, if he'd gone radio silent, fine, I understand.  But he continues to try to be a public person and to Tweet about this and that and, honestly, Ed, you're not that interesting -- I read your autobiography, it was a snooze. You're not interesting.  But if you were authentic, then you'd be Tweeting to tell us what THE INTERCEPT will not reveal.

    Or did you lose your inclination to be a whistle-blower?

    He still reTweets Glenneth and he's a person begging to be misled, lied to and used and abused.

    Sorry, I don't respect that.

    And I have no respect for Glenneth who should be covering what was in those documents that never got reported on and should be calling out THE INTERCEPT for burying it.  But that would require acknowledging Glenn's role in all of this, his whoring for dollars.

    Katie whored and her segment has almost 4000 streams.  

    No, that doesn't match the hype around her.  She's lost her audience and they're not coming back.  USEFUL IDIOTS can't post the numbers that they used to either.

    She's MY NAME IS EARL or worse.  Not a real hit, just something people pimp and try to pretend like it has an audience.

    Katie's refused to call out the war on LGBTQ+ people.  She may fret that speaking out would make people conclude that she's not a spinster, she's a closeted lesbian.  Who knows what makes her stay silent besides her being a grifter.

    But she platforms transphobe Glenneth.  You may remember Glenneth attacking NYT employees who spoke out about the paper's intentionally misleading coverage of trans issues.  If you do, you'll note that Katie didn't side with the employees.  This despite supposedly being a friend of labor.  FAIR has an article by Julie Hollar explaining the very real problems with NYT's trans (mis)coverage:

    More than 180 contributors to the New York Times wrote a letter to Times leadership earlier this year (2/15/23), raising “serious concerns about editorial bias in the newspaper’s reporting on transgender, non⁠binary and gender-nonconforming people.” LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD (2/15/23) made similar arguments in a separate letter.

    Both letters highlighted a few particular articles and writers, but described an overall pattern of, in the GLAAD letter’s words, “repeatedly platform[ing] cisgender (non-transgender) people spreading inaccurate and harmful misinformation.”

    Many critics, including FAIR (e.g., 6/23/22, 12/16/22), have offered detailed critiques of many of these pieces and writers. This study seeks to document the Times‘ bias in numbers by comparing it to its closest competitor: the Washington Post.

    Both elite papers have a national audience and closely cover national political stories—which puts the right’s campaign to criminalize transness very much in their line. And both have a recent history of ceding the framework of their trans coverage to the right wing, as a political football rather than an attack on trans people’s right to bodily autonomy and self-determination (, 5/6/21).

    But looking at a full year of front-page coverage from the two papers reveals that, while both papers still need to do a much better job of including trans and nonbinary sources, the Post has given trans issues significantly more attention than the Times, and with an approach largely focused on the right-wing political campaign against trans people. The Times, meanwhile, used its front-page coverage primarily to wonder whether trans people’s rights and access to healthcare have gone too far.

    FAIR examined all front-page stories at the New York Times and Washington Post that centered on transgender and nonbinary people, and the politics and events engulfing them, from April 2022 through March 2023. While not capturing the entirety of a paper’s coverage of an issue, front-page coverage reveals both how important editors believe an issue to be and which angles of that story they believe to be most newsworthy. The Post put trans-centered stories on its front page 22 times during that year-long period; at the Times, trans issues were deemed front-page news only nine times.

    Likewise, the Post ran more front-page stories that were primarily about other issues but mentioned the word “transgender,” with 54 to the Times‘ 30. This suggests that not only did the Post take trans-focused stories to be more newsworthy than the Times, it also is paying closer attention to the way trans rights weave into other stories, such as the larger web of right-wing strategies of scapegoating and censorship.

    (The Times did finally publish an article on its front page analyzing the increasing centrality of trans issues to the GOP, after the study period—4/16/23.)

    Quantity of coverage doesn’t necessarily translate to quality of coverage; after all, a previous FAIR study (5/5/22) found right-wing Breitbart covering trans issues more than either centrist paper, but in a way that didn’t even pretend to treat its subjects with respect.

    However, the distinction between the Post and the Times on front-page trans coverage is also one of quality, with the Post—while still problematic at times—clearly coming out on top.

    Republicans have introduced more than 500 anti-trans bills in 49 states, 63 of which have passed to date this year. They target such rights as trans people’s right to healthcare, to use the bathroom appropriate to their gender identity, to compete in school sports, to be free from discrimination, and to protect their privacy if they are not out to their parents.

    These relentless attacks, dressed up in the language of “grooming,” “parents’ rights” and “protecting girls,” demonize and directly harm trans people, particularly trans youth, who already face staggeringly high rates of attempted suicide and homelessness. According to 2022 surveys by the Trevor Project, nearly one in five trans and nonbinary youth have attempted suicide, and 35–39% of trans and nonbinary youth have experienced homelessness and housing instability.

    The New York Times, though, has decided that the news about trans issues that’s worthy of the front page is not, primarily, the massive right-wing anti-trans political push and its impact on those it targets, but whether trans people are receiving too many rights, and accessing too much medical care, too quickly.

    The Times‘ headlines tell much of the story:

    • “Much Debate but Little Dialogue on Transgender Female Athletes” (5/29/22)
    • “Number of Youths Who Identify as Transgender Doubles in US” (6/11/22)
    • “Pressing Pause on Puberty” (11/22/22)
    • “Parents and Schools Clash on Gender Identity” (1/23/23)

    Only two of the paper’s nine front-page headlines (“Swimming Body Bars Most Transgender Women,” 6/20/22; “Roe’s Reversal Stokes Attacks on Gay Rights,” 7/23/22) even began to hint at the dire situation faced by trans people today as a result of the war waged against them by the far right. Even these fell woefully short, with the second of the two not even naming trans people. Neither headlined the perspectives of trans people in the United States or those fighting alongside them.

    In contrast, the Post‘s front page abounded with such stories—fourteen of the 22 headlines referenced political or physical anti-trans attacks, and ten centered the personal experiences or perspectives of trans people and their allies. “She Just Wants to Play” (9/1/22, about a trans athlete), “Virginia Restricts Rights of Transgender Students” (9/18/22) and “For Trans CPS Worker, Texas Order Was a Test of the Soul” (9/25/22) all appeared on the paper’s prime real estate in a single month.

    The third story explained how Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate parents of trans children for potential “child abuse.” Defending its order in court, the state offered a prominent New York Times article by Emily Bazelon (6/15/22; see, 6/23/22) as evidence that gender-affirming care for trans youth is controversial among medical providers. (It is not.)

    That same month, the Times‘ only front-page trans-focused story, “Breast Removal Surgery on Rise for Trans Teens” (9/26/22), worried whether too many trans youth were able to access gender-affirming care. Not once has the Times put the Texas directive story on its front page—or mentioned its own role in the story anywhere in the paper.

    That's an excerpt and it's strong media coverage analysis.  It's not giggles and snorts over Chuck Todd -- you know the garbage Katie and Aaron serve up every Monday morning?

    Winding down, if the TotalEnergy deal discussed in Monday's snapshot didn't come across to you as bad for Iraq, grasp that the US State Dept is applauding the deal and maybe that will clue you in:

    We compliment Iraq and Total Energies on the signing of a $27-billion energy deal that will accelerate Iraq’s path to energy self-sufficiency and advance Iraq’s collective climate change objectives.  Years in the making, the Gas Growth Integrated Project aims to capture flared gas and deploy renewable energy sources.  The United States strongly supports Iraq’s efforts to become more energy secure and minimize harmful emissions.  Minimizing the current practice of gas flaring by capturing the massive amounts of methane being burned away will significantly reduce emissions, improve public health for Iraqis, and utilize captured gas to power Iraq’s electrical grid.  Likewise, this project’s water desalination facility will enhance oil recovery while reducing the burden on Iraq’s fragile fresh water sources.

    In addition, a one-gigawatt solar farm will launch Iraq’s transition to renewable energy production.  One of the primary goals of the U.S.-Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee (HCC), which met in February, was accelerating Iraq’s path to energy self-sufficiency and improved service delivery.  The agreement today between Iraq and Total Energies, and the projects laid out during the HCC, will ultimately allow Iraq to end its dependence on unreliable energy sources and strengthen essential services for the Iraqi people.  Concluding this deal also signals a fast-improving business climate that will help attract the foreign investments needed to generate economic opportunity for all Iraqis.

     Lastly, we note Paul Rudnick a lot because he's so damn funny.  He's also a friend and so we're gong to step past funny this morning, to note his recent book.

    The following sites updated:


    Tuesday, July 11, 2023

    The stupid will kill the planet and takes us all down

    Visible to the naked eye even though some live in denial.  In fact, the denial is so strong that some even threaten TV weather personalities.

    AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we end today’s show with a TV meteorologist in Iowa who resigned his job after receiving a series of death threats and harassing messages over his coverage of the climate crisis. This is how Chris Gloninger, chief meteorologist for the CBS affiliate KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, signed off Friday after his final broadcast.

    CHRIS GLONINGER: I’m walking away from a career, an 18-year career in television, that I dreamed of since second grade. So that’s why I’m a little emotional. And I can’t thank KCCI enough for the opportunity to become chief meteorologist. I’m not giving up. I’m just reinventing myself, finding ways that I can make a bigger difference with climate change — more important than ever as the Earth recorded three of its warmest days, now four of its warmest days, this week.

    AMY GOODMAN: That was Chris Gloninger Friday. This is a clip from one of his recent broadcasts for KCCI-TV in which he connected the dots between the Canadian wildfires and the climate crisis.

    CHRIS GLONINGER: As the planet warms, a lot of these fires are gaining steam and seeing explosive growth because of the warming planet, and we are paying the price in the form of poor air quality across the state. And if we look back at the month of May, globally, it was the third warmest on record, the warmest ocean water temperatures that we have seen on record. And at this point, already an 89 — 89% chance that 2023 will be not just a top 10, but a top five warmest on record. Big signals, concerning trends.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, for more, we’re joined now from Falmouth, Massachusetts, by Chris Gloninger. He has resigned his job as KCCI-TV chief meteorologist in Des Moines, Iowa, and started a new position as a senior climate scientist at the Woods Hole Group.

    So, Chris, take us back to the beginning. You started the country’s first weekly series on climate change when you were in Boston. But then, why did you go to Iowa, which is so important even in determining the president of the United States, but to be the chief meteorologist? And what happened to you when you started your reports?

    CHRIS GLONINGER: Amy, as cheesy as this sounds, we wanted to make a difference. My wife and I have no connection to Iowa, no family, no friends there, going into the move. We truly made the move because I thought I could fill a void, a void where no one was talking about climate change. And station management saw that need, as well, and I commend them for bringing me on board to do that. And it was a big leap of faith, going from Boston, where it tended to be a preaching to the choir, right into the lion’s den.

    And when you heard me connecting the dots, it wasn’t anything outrageous. Iowa is powered 65% by wind, right? So, that is true renewable energy independence. Farmers get a good amount of money for land leases for those wind turbines. Eleven percent of the GDP is agriculture-based. And you would think, being at the mercy of Mother Nature, that a lot more people would care about the climate crisis.

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, could you talk about the reaction that you got and the emails and the people — threats, people showing up at your house?

    CHRIS GLONINGER: Juan, you know, it caught me off guard. My wife was running errands. I had come back from a haircut. And I read this email. And it said, “What’s your address? Us conservative Iowans want to give you a welcome that you’ll always remember, kind of what the [blank] tried to do to Justice Kavanaugh.” And police, when they read that, said, “This is more than just an email that states, ’I’m going to come and kill you.’” It was deliberate. It had, essentially, a plan on how this person would carry it out. Now, he was arrested for harassment in the third degree, a $150 fine in Iowa.

    And I think what’s most concerning in all of this is, yes, the threat was made, but in my position as meteorologist, a chief meteorologist in a major severe weather market in the United States, it’s a high-profile job, and not a single remark from Republican leadership in that state condemning what was said. And this was something that was widely reported on when it happened last year, and again during my resignation.

    Again, it's obvious to the eye unless you just don't want to see reality.  Looks pretty real in Vermont right now, by the way.  Aleks Phillips (NEWSWEEK) reports:

    Residents in parts of Vermont were trapped in their homes as severe rains caused flooding that swept cars away and created life-threatening conditions.
    The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued flash flood warnings across the state, including for the state capital, Montpelier, as well as for parts of New York. It warned on Monday night of the "serious situation" developing across the central areas of Vermont.
    Earlier that day, it had said it expected rainfall "capable of producing considerable to catastrophic flooding," with local amounts in excess of seven inches. Rescue efforts were underway.

    At the state's official website, they note:

    In the last 50 years, severe storms have gotten more common in Vermont and across the Northeast.  While the future is not fully predictable, current models of climate change suggest this trend will continue.  We need to take careful steps to ensure that our village centers and downtowns can thriave as more water rains down more often.

    We can turn things around and address climate change -- maybe it's not too late.  

    But even though "the signs are all around" (Jackson Browne in "Rock Me On The Water"), some people refuse to see.  THE HILL notes:

    Nearly a year after passage of the budget reconciliation law known as the Inflation Reduction Act, federal money is pouring into Biden administration programs to address climate change while congressional Republicans are doing what they can to stem the tide.

    At least four of the fiscal 2024 House Appropriations bills released so far propose to rescind some funding included in the IRA, including a big chunk of a $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established at the EPA.

    The rescissions, targeted at the administration’s landmark effort to spend nearly $370 billion to address climate change, have drawn the ire of environmentalists. Republicans have defended them as part of their no-holds-barred campaign to reduce federal spending.

    David Shadburn, senior government affairs advocate at the League of Conservation Voters, said in an interview that Republicans “are very aggrieved certainly at how successful the administration has been so far.”

    “Apparently they are doing the bidding of their polluter donors, being very clear that the Inflation Reduction Act is a big target of theirs, because they don’t want to see the clean energy transition that we need to combat the climate crisis,” Shadburn said.

    Shadburn’s group is part of a coalition of environmental groups, including Public Citizen and the Environmental Defense Fund, that is calling out at least 17 riders in spending bills that they say “fuel the climate crisis, block clean energy measures, and undermine clean water.”

    The GOP is determined to destroy the earth.  I don't know where they think we'll live after that.  

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Tuesday, July 11, 2023.  Katie Halper just gets more pathetic, climate change in Iraq has the UN concerned, nut jobs abound in the political race, and much more.

    On the little watched YOUTUBE program THE KAITE HALPER SHOW yesterday, Katie continued her coverage of Roger Waters, continued her coverage from the Upper East Side she's fighting the fight, fighting the good fight.

    This is so important.

    Roger Waters is on death row.  Wrongly convicted for murder, he was sentenced to death in 1982.  The closest to a legal examination of his case took place in 2012 and that, at least, got him off death row.  A real appeal -- the Supreme Court has refused to hear one -- would most likely result in Roger's freedom.  For years now, legal advocates such as Heidi Boghosian have argued for Roger to be set free.  However --

    What's that?

    Oh, that's Mumia.  That's Mumia Abu-Jamal.  

    That's right.  Mumia is a political prisoner.

    Roger Waters?  He's an unknown to most people.  He was in the classic rock band Pink Floyd which was popular in the 70s.  Fans of David Gilmour can't stand Roger.  David played guitar and sang.  He and Roger have been in a war for decades now.  Fans of deceased original member Syd Barrett don't forget the way Waters and others disposed of him and the effect this had on Syd.

    Roger Waters went to Germany, for those who missed it, in a desperate need for attention.  He'd already caused a huge number of problems before he went to Germany -- so much so that Germany tried to stop him from entering the country.  But he did the crap media rounds to get attention, he got to perform, in his performance he decided to do  Nazi salute.  He is now persecuted, to hear him whine or to hear Katie Useless whine.  

    And that's what she now spends her time on.  It's not even pretending to be a show about real issues. 

    And it delivered viewers!  Yes, 1,700 people have streamed it in the 12 hours it's been up.  For Katie, that passes for success.  

    Some people dedicate their lives to real issues.  Then there's Katie who hides behind African-Americans she brings on to attack . . . other African-Americans.  See Katie doesn't believe in racism.  She thinks race is just a construct created to pit one person against another.  Yes, she is that stupid.  But if she couldn't trash African-Americans, what would she do?  What would this White Karen do?  We'll never know because when not trashing African-Americans on MSNBC or in the administration, Katie tears her teeth into the ultimate niche issues such as someone who was never famous (Roger Waters) and treating every utterance from or by him as the most important political issue of the day.  Or else, she just giggles through an interview with Scott Ritter -- you know the convicted pedophile who is a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.

    Those who would argue she's wasted her life should first answer: What life?

    She has none.  Daddy's little spoiled girl.  The failed comic, the failed everything. 

    The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN has warned of a “grim picture” in the marshes in southern Iraq due to climate change and water scarcity.

    Drought-hit Iraq is going through a severe water crisis with supplies dwindling in its main rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, coupled with a continuing heatwave in which temperatures are exceeding 50°C in some areas of the country.

    This has turned large parts of Iraq, including the fabled wetlands – a Unesco World Heritage Site – into arid areas, forcing many of the occupants to migrate to urban areas.

    “The marshes are experiencing the most severe heatwave in the last 40 years, accompanied with a sudden water shortage in the Euphrates river,” the food agency said in a statement late on Monday.

    “The dire situation is having a devastating impact on the marshes system; buffalo producers, farmers, and fisheries, forcing many of them to leave their homes and migrate … searching for drinking water, food, feed and employment,” it said.

    “Unfortunately, the current situation in July 2023 reflects a grim picture,” it warned, expressing concerns over the “grave consequences” of climate change and the shortage in water.

    Iraq does not have a diversified economy.  And that keeps causes concern.  Dropping back to the June 12th snapshot:

     In other news,  Ahmed Rasheed and Timour Azhari (REUTERS) report that Iraq has finally passed the 2023 budget -- finally: 

    Iraq's parliament on Monday approved a 2023 budget of 198.9 trillion dinars ($153 billion) that sets out record spending on a growing public wage bill and development projects to improve services and rebuild infrastructure ruined by neglect and war.

    The budget deficit is estimated at a record 64.36 trillion Iraq dinars, more than double the last budget deficit in 2021, according to a budget document and lawmakers.

    It only took over six months and a scolding from the United Nations' Security Council, but they finally passed a 2023 budget.  Sinan Mahoud (THE NATIONAL) adds:

    But analysts said far too much money will be spent on salaries, including allocations for hundreds of thousands of new jobs. They said Iraq will not be able to afford this spending outlay if oil prices fall below $70.

    The operational expenditure stands at 133.22 trillion dinars (about $102.5 billion) while investment expenditure will be 49.35 trillion dinars ($37.9 billion). The remainder of expenditure will mainly go to debt servicing.

    It is based on an assumed average oil price over three years of $70 a barrel, with an average daily crude oil output of 3.5 million barrels, including 400,000 from the Kurdistan region.

    The government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani is planning to repeat it next year and in 2025, although parliament will be able to vote on amendments. Iraq’s fiscal year usually starts on January 1.

    Saturday, Kamaran Palani and Khogir W. Mohammed (ALJAZEERA) explained:

    On June 12, it passed a generous budget through the parliament – the biggest in Iraq’s history – which is supposed to fund its plan to expand essential services, such as electricity and water provision and build new infrastructure and housing in major cities. But these initiatives are by far not enough to address the severe political, socioeconomic and climate challenges the country is facing.

    Those necessitate major reforms in the political and economic sectors, which the government does not have the mandate to undertake. Sooner or later, the suppressed political crisis will resurface.

    Last year, the Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, combined with oil supply shortages, caused a surge in oil prices, with the average price per barrel reaching $100.

    This resulted in handsome profits for energy exporters, including Iraq, which saw its oil revenues jump from $75.5bn in 2021 to $115bn in 2022.

    [. . .]

    It is crucial to note that Iraq’s financial stability is heavily dependent on the price of oil, which is an unstable factor. The country also has a significant budget deficit, estimated at $49bn in the 2023 budget. In the event of a decline in the price of oil, the country would face significant financial difficulties which could quickly translate into political instability.

    Furthermore, the current state of affairs – while appearing positive to some observers – is exacerbating Iraq’s major problems. Pouring money into armed groups only strengthens them and further weakens the state. It makes it that much more difficult – if not impossible – for the government to get back monopoly over the use of force in the country.

    The lack of diversity in Iraq's economy not only sets up for the ebb and flow of international markets, it also does real damage to the country -- in terms of pollution, for example.  Majid Rafizadeh (ARAB NEWS) notes:

    Some of the most critical steps that Iraq can take to address climate change include using more solar energy, restoring damaged ecosystems and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The last of these can be done through investments in efficient infrastructure, which reduces emissions.
    Other methods include investing in renewable energy plants, recycling more, financing green companies and startups that are involved in renewable and green energy, agriculture, conserving water and upgrading old irrigation methods, and preserving the country’s biodiversity, as well as reducing Iraq’s carbon dioxide emissions.
    When it comes to these important fields, the development of domestic, knowledge-based industries has arguably become an urgent necessity, rather than a welcome add-on.
    It is worth noting that, as a developing country, Iraq has disproportionately experienced the impacts of loss and damage caused by climate change. This is why it is important to point out that tackling the climate crisis requires all countries, especially the developed ones, to take action. This means that poorer countries need support in order to adapt to and address the climate crisis.
    In the long term, if some of the damage from climate change, such as water scarcity and a lack of agricultural resources, continues to increase in Iraq to the extent that freshwater resources are depleted, this will have an impact on national security and political stability. Such devastating impacts can also lead to a decrease in human health.

    There have been serious signs for some time and Iraq's government refuses to address the issue.  Here's a 2018 Tweet.

    Grasp that this is how it will end.

    Thousands of dead fish have washed ashore in southeast Iraq, prompting an official investigation into the wildlife disaster that officials said Monday may be linked to drought conditions.

    Recently, a large number of dead fish were washed up on the banks of the Amshan river in Maysan province, which borders Iran.

    Khodr Abbas Salman, a Maysan province official, has verified that some of the factors that led to these dead fish were the lack of oxygen in the river and the rise in salinity.

    An environmental campaigner, Ahmed Saleh Neema, also acknowledged that it is the rising temperature that contributes to the increasing salinity and low oxygen levels in the water. It has not yet been ascertained whether toxic chemical substances also caused the huge numbers of dead fish.

    AFP notes, "In a similar phenomenon in 2018, fishermen in the central province of Babylon found dead carp in their thousands, but an investigation failed to discern what had caused it."  Rebekah Evans (THE WEEK ) observes:

    When many thousands of Iraqis turn on their taps “nothing comes out”, said Hayder Indhar for

    So dire is the country’s water crisis – 7 million of its citizens have reduced access to water, according to the UN – many villagers are relying on “sporadic tanker-truck deliveries and salty wells” for drinking water.

     While Iraq is known in Arabic as the Land of the Two Rivers, split as it is by the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the water levels of both have fallen markedly. The results have been no less than devastating. 

    For Firas Mohammed, a former fisherman, life has been totally transformed by the shortage. Gesturing towards a “trickle of lime green liquid nearby”, he told Al Jazeera that “even dogs avoid it”. “If the government decided to move us to a camp with freshwater to cope with this crisis, we would even accept being moved to Ukraine,” he added. 

    Mou’ad Abel was able to return to his village in 2016 “after the area was liberated from ISIL”, but despite also working as a fisherman in his youth, he was shocked to discover “there are no fish anymore”, the news site added.

    The reasons behind the crisis are numerous. Some cite shortages and low river levels in neighbouring countries; others point to the alleged mismanagement of water by local authorities. Regardless of who is to blame, one thing is abundantly clear: the issue must be solved before it becomes too late for the millions of people reliant on a clean water supply. 

    According to the United Nations, some “90 per cent of the country’s rivers are polluted”. Iraq is facing a “critical climate emergency”, said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN special representative for Iraq, as by 2035 it is thought the nation will have the capacity to “meet only 15 per cent of its water demands”. 

    Desertification – the process by which fertile land becomes arid – is also a growing concern within the nation. It can be caused by both human factors and climate change.


    Back in March, Amr Salem (IRAQI NEWS) quoted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, stating, "There is an urgent need to find solutions to the water crisis in Iraq."

    While it fails to address climate change seriously, it wastes money on many things (including corruption and theft).  Paul Iddion (FORBES) notes:

    Recurring reports since 2021 have indicated Iraq has been negotiating deals for 12 JF-17 Thunder from Pakistan and 14 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France. Baghdad is either exploring its options or plans on acquiring both combat aircraft.

    Iraq reportedly concluded a $664 million deal for 12 JF-17 Block 3 jets from Pakistan following over two years of negotiations, The News International in Pakistan reported on July 9, citing unnamed sources.

    Turning to the US political race, Jeet Heer (THE NATION) notes,  "There is a lethal stench of overcompensation in DeSantis: The harder he tries to be Trump, the more fake he seems. Pretending to be Patrick Bateman isn’t going to convince anyone that DeSantis is a macho man."  Ron DeSantis will not be ignored -- nor course corrected.  The obits are being drafted for Little Ronnie's funeral (Mikes' "Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis is going for the gold" collects some of them).  Grabbing the vapors, FOX NEWS' Juan Williams rushes to USA TODAY to exclaim:

    There is no good explanation for what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing, unless you think he can win GOP votes by proving he hates gay people.

    As hardball politics go, this is dubious strategy.

    Is there is a single voter now with former President Trump who will jump to DeSantis because the governor has tape of Trump saying nice things about gay and transgender people? Has DeSantis seen political gain in attacking drag shows?

    “He is alienating college-educated, suburban voters who want to move past Trump,” Sarah Longwell, a Republican political analyst who studies focus groups of GOP voters, told the New York Times last week.

    Nut job Ron DeSantis continues to pursue the Republican Party's Presidential nomination while nut job Robert F. Kennedy Jr continues to pursue the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.   At POLITICO, Jack Shafer argues that Junior doesn't even want the nomination, he just wants attention:

    What Kennedy does undeniably desire is public attention, something his presidential campaign is delivering, with critical profiles in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time, the Atlantic and a particularly damning and comprehensive one by Rebecca Traister in New York magazine. In just a couple of months, Kennedy has gone from “that anti-vaccine guy” to a staple of cable news coverage, making him The Top Kennedy for now, even if much of the publicity is bad. It’s always been a competitive clan, so he’s got to be happy that he now occupies a larger presence in the public mind than his cousin Caroline Kennedy, an ambassador to Japan and now Australia, larger than her brother John Kennedy Jr., who dominated the headlines until his accidental death in 1999. Because it’s been so long since his father and famous uncles died, Bobby Jr. might even have eclipsed them as The Top Kennedy among younger voters.

    The political gene, which often comes bundled with the one for narcissism, never adequately thrives until fed by some form of adulation. Even the negative adulation of the recent profiles can be read as “I must be doing something right because they’re all knocking me” for somebody as thirsty for attention as Kennedy. He’s winning there, too.

    The following sites updated: