Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday appeared confused and attempted to deliver a longer speech during a Senate hearing, the latest in a string of episodes that have raised further questions about her ability to continue serving in office.
"Just say aye," Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Patty Murray repeatedly pleaded with her colleague.
Instead of a short reply, Feinstein began her response by saying, "I would like to support a yes vote on this, it provides $823 billion ...." As the California Democrat continued to speak, an aide also intervened to try to remind the lawmaker that this was not the time for speeches.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
A widely held view among Iraqis is that the US helped ISIS grow in Iraq and Syria to weaken and divide both countries. The US then sought to maintain influence in Iraq by joining the fight against ISIS once it was initiated by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Iraqi army, with the strong support of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
ISIS was defeated and lost its territory in Iraq in 2017 and Syria in 2019. However, remnants of the group remain and carry out attacks from time to time in both countries.
US officials cite the ongoing presence of ISIS as a pretext to maintain forces in both Iraq and Syria.
Currently, there are nearly 3,500 US troops and coalition troops in Iraq who train and advise local security forces.
The US coalition forces are stationed at bases shared by the Iraqi military, including the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar, Camp Victory near Baghdad's international airport, and Harir airbase in Erbil, the IKR capital.
Dozens of people protested in front of the Central Bank of Iraq in Baghdad and bank owners called for official action to stem a sharp increase in the dollar exchange rate Wednesday, after the United States blacklisted 14 Iraqi banks.
Over the past two days, the market rate of the dollar jumped from 1,470 dinar per dollar to 1,570 dinar per dollar. The jump came after the US listed 14 private Iraqi banks among banks that are banned from dealing with US dollars due to suspicions of money laundering and funneling funds to Iran.
The currency fell after new action by the US government to curb the flow of dollars to sanctioned Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York barred 14 Iraqi banks from dollar transactions. Restriction on US dollars limit the currency's supply, thus boosting its value against the dinar.
The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York did not respond to Al-Monitor’s request for comment.
The Central Bank of Iraq issued a statement in response to the news, saying the barred banks can still conduct business in Iraqi dinars. The Central Bank also said that these banks only constitute 8% of foreign transfers, according to a statement.
The dinar’s depreciation led to protests in Baghdad outside the central bank on Wednesday, with people demanding government intervention to prevent the currency from falling further.
And it’s notable that some awfully famous images of rioters attacking an iconic American landmark, desecrating the American flag and spitting on cops — those from Jan. 6 — didn’t make the cut.
Asked if he would play the song even after the controversy, Aldean took refuge in the familiar pose of victimhood. Because he’s being criticized, he thinks he’s being “canceled.” Gushing about his “bada—” fans, he whined that “Cancel culture is a thing ... which means try and ruin your life, ruin everything.” Of course he would perform the song, he declared, because “the people have spoken and you guys spoke very very loudly.” So matters of decency get decided by plebiscite?
Look, Aldean imagines that he is merely standing up for the “feeling of a community that I had growing up.” But if he really was raised with good values, where is the fellow feeling? Where is the sense of community with other Americans who may not be from the same town but are just as worthy of respect and consideration as his high school buddies? If this were really a call to community, he would have included at least one or two images of Americans who weren’t white or rural. Don’t we expect all Americans to honor their neighbors and compatriots? Isn’t that part of what being “raised up right” includes? Don’t rural people reach into their wallets when hurricanes or tornadoes hit cities and vice versa?
Aldean’s defense is fatuous. The music video is belligerent and divisive. In this age of ugly partisanship, the cheapest clicks can be purchased with us-vs.them incitement. It’s unworthy. Don’t try that in a good country.
When conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. isn’t busy spouting racist and antisemitic trash, he can be found campaigning for a clearly doomed 2024 Presidential nomination. And the way he’s doing it…not exactly the most creative approach.
Over the weekend, RFK Jr. spent some quality birthday time with his son Conor, who recently celebrated his 28th birthday. But while Kennedy Jr.’s blatant attempt to cash in on his son’s abs might seem like an obvious move out of the wacko candidate’s playbook, it’s not quite working as intended.
Let’s be clear: Conor is a fine-looking gentleman, and yes, those abs could certainly have launched a thousand ships in a simpler time—in fact it’s rumored that Taylor Swift’s 2012 Red track “Begin Again” was written about the socialite. Still: nobody’s biting, and for good reason.
Basically…it’s giving classless. It’s giving desperate. It’s giving…please just stop.
+ RKF, Jr. during his “Combatting Antisemitism, Championing Israel” event in New York City: “Israel has…Israel is not going to use their nuclear weapon unless they’re attacked and we know that.” In fact, I’m pretty sure we don’t know that.
+ Every nuclear state is a terrorist state, using the threat of its arsenal to bully non-nuclear states into submission. Moreover, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear power plant in 1981 was a kind of nuclear strike, given the amount of highly-enriched uranium released by the attack.
+ At nearly the same time RFK, Jr. was “championing Israel,” Tamir Pardo, the former head of Mossad, told an Israeli radio station that the Israeli right is similar to the KKK. Pardo said that many of the Israeli government’s legislative initiatives are tantamount to “antisemitic laws,” and would be labeled as such were they passed in any other country.
+ RFK, Jr. to Greta Van Susteren: “I’m the only one who has called for Biden to retract the $2 billion payment he’s giving to Iran, which you know will be used for genocidal purposes.” How can Dennis Kucinich continue to front for this maniac?
[. . .]
+ People generally like their kid’s school, which may be one reason the smoke from DeSantis’s scorched-earth campaign against them is blowing back in his face. According to a recent Gallup poll, 80% of parents said they were somewhat or completely satisfied with their child’s school, which in most cases was public. This approval rating was actually a little higher than in most years before the pandemic.
+ As part of its public school “turnaround” vision plan, the Houston Independent School District–the largest in Texas– is shutting down 28 school libraries and turning them into disciplinary centers.
+ Eleven paragraphs deep into Nicholas Kristof’s interminable NYT column arguing that legacy admissions for the offspring of privileged elites aren’t a problem, we are confronted by this staggering parenthetical admission: “(Conflict alert: I was a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers and my wife, Sheryl WuDunn, is currently a member and previously served on the Princeton and Cornell boards; our three children also attended Harvard.)” I wonder how many people leapt that hurdle and kept reading for any reason other than the laughs, which, otherwise, come so infrequently in his writing.
+ Political punditry is the sub-basement of journalism. For a year or more, the opinion pages were flush with columns promoting DeSantis as the rational alternative to Trump, when really his only political skill is his viciousness. Even Trump could occasionally feign compassion. Now DeSantis is getting whacked by Christian conservatives for assailing Trump’s meagre criminal justice reforms.
+ DeSantis said this week that while he wouldn’t pick RFK Jr as a running mate, he would consider him to be in charge of the FDA or CDC “if he’d be willing to serve.” Maybe DeSantis will tap Ammon Bundy to run the BLM…Looks like he’s going to need the money.
Lastly, let's see what all the attacks from Ron DeSantis, MTG, Lauren Boebert, Jonathan Turley, Matt Taibbi, Moms For Bigotry and so many more are now resulting in. Caroline Radnofsky and Colin Sheeley and Eric Carvin (NBC NEWS) report:
A passerby spotted flames coming from the Community Unitarian Universalist Church early Sunday, Plano Fire-Rescue said in a statement. The fire was around the front door and was extinguished quickly, causing no injuries, it said.
The department is leading the criminal investigation into the fire, with the city's police department working on its own investigation, authorities told NBC News.
The church called the incident "a firebomb attack" in a statement on its Facebook page, saying "an incendiary device with a chemical accelerant was thrown or placed at the front doors of the main church building."
"Church officials have been reviewing building security and working with the Plano Police Department since the intrusion of a hate group in the church building during and after Worship Service on Sunday, June 25. That group has posted video of their activities inside the church on various social media sites."