Monday, May 20, 2019

I agree with Nancy Pelosi on this

Hope you saw this:

House Democratic leaders sparred internally on Monday over whether to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies rejecting the call to move forward for now, according to multiple sources.
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) — all members of the Democratic leadership — pushed to begin impeachment proceedings during a leadership meeting in Pelosi's office, said the sources. Pelosi and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) — some of her key allies — rejected their calls, saying Democrats' message is being drowned out by the fight over possibly impeaching Trump.

Not a big fan of Nancy Pelosi's but she is right about this.  Ever since that screaming idiot Elizabeth Warren hollered "impeach!" that nonsense has drowned out real issues.

We have 24 candidates and I bet you that most people can't even name half.  That's not because we have "too many" candidates, it's because we have too much garbage in the media.

Let me see how many I can note -- and I pay attention and I'll tell you right now I can't name all 24.

1) Tulsi Gabbard
2) Bernie Sanders
3) Marianne Williamson
4) Kamala Harris
5) Elizabeth Warren
6) Amy Klobuchar
7) Kirsten Gillibrand
8) Beto O'Rourke
9) Mike Gravel
10) Mayor Pete
11) Bill de Blasio
12) Steve Bullock
13) Joe Biden
14) Cory Booker
15) Julian Castro

And that's it. I could cheat but I'll be honest.  That's all I can think of.  We have 24 candidates currently and I try to follow all the coverage but can only name 15.

Too much time is wasted on this nonsense of impeachment.  Adam Schiff needs to stop going on the morning programs and let our candidates go on them to talk about real issues.

He's harming the process.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, May 20, 2019.  24 candidates are running for the Democratic Party's presidential campaign and this go round we note Tulsi Gabbard, Seth Moulton, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, is GOOGLE censoring PBS' THE NEWSHOUR, a rocket attack on the Green Zone leads to speculation and panic, and much more.

In the US, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is taking place.  US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard is one of 24 candidates running for the nomination.  On Sunday, she appeared on ABC's THIS WEEK:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Up next, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, she joins us from Washington D.C. this morning. Congresswoman thank you for joining us right now. 
STEPHANOPOULOS: And I want to begin, you know, you -- you’ve taken on the idea – you said you’re running for president to end regime change wars. I wonder what you thought about that line from Governor Hickenlooper’s speech, that he said some Democrats are recoiling from past American foreign policy mistakes by looking to withdraw from our global leadership role.
Does that apply to you?
GABBARD: No, it doesn’t. You know, my focus has been coming from my experience, you know, I enlisted in the Army National Guard after the terrorist attack on 9/11, served as a soldier for over 16 years and deployed twice in the Middle East, in Congress have served for over six years on both the Foreign Affairs and the Armed Services Committee and bring that experience to the forefront whereas president I will end these counter productive and wasteful regime change wars, work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race, recognizing how wasteful and costly these are.
And take the trillions of dollars that we’ve been spending, would continue to spend and invest those resources on serving the needs of the American people, things like healthcare, education, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, protecting our environment. There are many urgent needs here that we need to address and we’ve got to get our priorities straight.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You resigned your DNC post back in 2016 because you thought Hillary Clinton had a hawkish interventionist foreign policy. Does that apply to her colleague in the Obama administration, former Vice President Biden?
GABBARD: We’ll see what Vice President Biden’s foreign policy vision is for this country. We may agree on some issues, disagree on others. The problem that I have seen is that across both Democrat and Republican administrations, and especially in this Trump administration where, right now, he is leading us down this dangerous path towards a war with Iran …
STEPHANOPOULOS: He says he doesn’t want it.
GABBARD: He says he doesn’t want it but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story. They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq war, a war that I served in a medical unit where every single day I saw firsthand the high human cost of war.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, one of the actions they took this week was evacuating, as you know, our diplomatic posts in Iraq because they were concerned, based on the intelligence, that Iran may be looking to strike U.S. interests. You don’t buy it?
GABBARD: I don’t. You know, we heard conflicting stories coming from the British commander who is the co-commander of the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda there in Iraq and Syria saying, hey, he hadn’t seen an escalation of tensions or threats coming from these Iraqi – or these Shia militias serving in Iraq. I think what we’re seeing, unfortunately, is what looks a lot like people in the Trump administration trying to create a pretext or an excuse for us to go to war against Iran, a war that would actually undermine our national security, cost us countless American lives, cost civilian lives across the region, exacerbate the refugee crisis in Europe, and it would actually make us less safe by strengthening terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Also appearing on the program was US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton who is also seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Washington Post reported this week that you -- in a classified briefing you accused the Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of exaggerating the intelligence about the threat from Iran. Does that apply to the administration as well? 
MOULTON: Well, it does. And I’m not going to discuss the contents of the classified briefing, but suffice it to say, Liz Cheney seems to think that this is a slam dunk. And I disagree. I spoke with General Mattis recently, former secretary of defense, who when the Baghdad Embassy was attacked in -- in September decided the right course of action was not to send a new carrier group to the Gulf, not to send 120,000 troops like the administration is contemplating, because we need to avoid and -- and -- an incident like the Gulf of Tonkin incident that set off the Vietnam war that would drag us into war.
But make no mistake, this is exactly what John Bolton wants to have happen. He pushed America into Iraq under a weak commander in chief in George W. Bush and he's pushing America into Iran today. And we have the same situation with a commander in chief who dodged his own generation's war, you know, got a -- got a medical -- got his -- his father to use his connections to lie about his feet, lie about his bone spurs and get out of serving his own generation's war. So he doesn't have the credibility to keep us out of this one. And that's why this situation is so dangerous.

Former US senator and former US Vice President Joe Biden is also seeking the nomination for president.  George raised him

Before we move further, I'm not a George Stephanopolous groupie.  I do know George -- going back to the 90s and the Clinton White House.  Some people are upset that in his interview with Tulsi he asked about a report by THE DAILY BEAST.  I agree the report is nonsense and b.s.  (And the attacks on Stephen Cohen are ridiculous, I also know Stephen so smear with that as well. For those who don't know Stephen, he's an American citizen whose training and education has made him a Russian expert.  He's also the husband of THE NATION's Katrina vanden Heuvel.  Stephen doesn't deserve to be smeared by the hyper jingoists at THE DAILY BEAST.) I'm not going to fault George for raising that report.  If there's something out there being said, raise the issue and give the person a chance to respond.  That is the point of an interview or a debate or whatever.  FAIR, among others, led an attack on George in 2008 -- that I did not participate in -- because he 'dared' to raise the issue of Bill Ayers in a debate.  (I know everybody, don't I?  Yes, I do know Bill.  I've never liked Bill, he' simple-minded fool.  His wife Bernardine, whom I also know, has always been the deep thinker in that pair and Bill's just been arm candy.)  If George offers a characterization, then or now, that is incorrect, by all means rebute that, rebuke him for it.  But I believe, on the left, we all got on board with Terry Gross and her all-I-did-was-ask attitude when Bill O'Reilly stormed out of an interview because she dared to ask a question.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is also pursuing the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  She appeared Sunday on CBS' FACE THE NATION.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She's running for the Democratic presidential nomination, and she joins us this morning from New York. Senator, ten states have tightened restrictions on abortion in the past year, and others may follow. I know you flew to Georgia this week to protest it. This is one of the most emotionally charged, divisive issues in politics, and it's a fight the president wants to have because it resonates with his supporters. So why are you embracing it?

SENATOR KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: This is nothing short of an all-out assault on women's reproductive freedom, an effort to take away our basic human rights and civil rights, and make no mistake, the 30 states that are trying to unwind abortion rights are trying to get rid of Roe v. Wade. It- it- it's nothing more complex than that. And they do not believe that women should have the right to make the most intimate, personal life and death decisions. And I think it's untenable, and I hope America's women are paying attention because President Trump has started a war on America's women. And if it's a fight he wants to have, it's a fight he's going to have, and he's going to lose.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you have said that if you're elected president you would codify Roe v. Wade. To do that, you would need a Congress that agrees to follow your lead on that. Are you assuming a- a Democratic Congress to follow you in 2020?

SEN. GILLIBRAND: I do. We already took back the House in 2018. Women across this country have- have been marching since President Trump became president, and then took their views and voices to the ballot box, electing 120 women to Congress who support women's reproductive freedom and reproductive rights. I think that trend is going to continue. We saw a surge in women's votes. I think that will continue in '20. And hopefully we can actually flip the Senate as well and take back the presidency.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Now the- the chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez has said every Democrat should support abortion rights. And that was met with some outcry because it was seen as- as a litmus test. Now for your party to win you need to be able to attract more people to it. Can you say that there is room in the Democratic Party for people who have a moral objection to abortion? Is- Is there room on your ticket for supporters like that?

SEN. GILLIBRAND: So for voters across America and for individuals, of course you can have your personal views on any issue. There's nothing wrong with having a religious perspective on this issue. But what I do not accept is any Democratic leader or candidate to not believe in full civil rights and human rights for women. We cannot have Democrats who are running for office who do not believe in basic health care and civil rights for women. It- it's just untenable, and it's unacceptable, and I will not support a candidate, and I do not believe any candidate running for president should be undermining women's reproductive freedom and our basic human rights.

As noted, Joe Biden is seeking the nomination as well.  Saturday, he declared at a rally, "If American people want a president to add to our division, lead with a clenched fist, a closed hand, a hard heart, to demonize your opponents, to spew hatred, they don't need me. They've got President Donald Trump."  This was apparently news, it was featured on, among others, NBC's MEET THE PRESS.

As we noted last Wednesday:

Who's in the lead right now?
Former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Now he has huge name recognition -- more than any of the other 23 candidates.  That is true.  So he's going to be in the lead for that reason alone.  And that lead traditionally lasts through August or September and then it gets chipped away bit by bit.  (As Hillary discovered in 2008.) 

But Joe has something else besides name recognition.  He's got his public stances.  Democrats are aware that he gave Bully Boy Bush an award not that long ago, they're aware that he's always brown nosing Republicans, they're aware that he reaches so far across the aisle that he almost falls over. 

And yet he's in the lead currently -- among Democrats.

What might that say?

It might say that after the huge divisions of the last years, Democrats are looking for the nation to come together.  The negative spin on Joe is that he's a caver.  The positive spin on that same trait is that he's mature and willing to get things done.  Currently, how are Democrats seeing Joe's interactions with the GOP?  Apparently, they see it as his maturity and part of his ability to get things done.

The 24 candidates seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination also includes Senator Bernie Sanders who appeared on NBC's MEET THE PRESS with Chuck Todd:

And joining me now for the first time in a year on Meet the Press is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Senator Sanders, it's good to have you back, sir.
Good to be with you, Chuck.
Well, let me start with something the vice president, former vice president, said yesterday. And it was a fascinating way -- he was talking about his climate change proposal. And he said, 'If you want to know what the first and most-important plank in my climate proposal is it was," quote, "beat Trump." You have said, if all the Democrats do is focus on Trump, you lose. Essentially, Biden is saying, no, no, no, no, no. It is all about Trump. Your reaction.
Well, I think Democrats have got to do a couple of things. Number one, it goes without saying that we have got to beat, defeat Donald Trump, who, in my view, is the most-dangerous president in the modern history of this country. He's a pathological liar. He's a sexist and a racist, et cetera, et cetera. But that is not enough. If we're talking, for example, about climate change, what the scientists tell us is that we have 12 years before irreparable damage is done to this planet. Beating Trump is not good enough. You've got to beat the fossil fuel industry. You have to take on all of those forces of the status quo, who do not want to move this country to energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Chuck, what the scientists tell us is that the future of the planet is at stake. And we have a moral responsibility to make sure that our kids live, and our grandchildren live, in a healthy and habitable planet. That means massive investments in wind, solar, and so forth and so on. So taking on Trump, of course you've got to do that. But you need a real plan to transform our energy system.
Well, I think another way of looking at it is you have to win, right? And you have to -- I think one of the cases you need to make to the Democrats is when -- you know, the former head of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, and I gather that Joe Biden has a lot of support in Pennsylvania. But here's what he said about you. He said this. "I'm supremely confident Bernie Sanders could not win Pennsylvania. When Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren open their mouths, many, many Democrats in Pennsylvania stick their fingers in their ears." Tell us how you win Pennsylvania.
Look, you know, let me just say this to Ed, who I've known for many years, and to the entire Democratic establishment. Let me tell this to Ed, that there are millions of people who are sick and tired of that Democratic establishment. What Ed should know is that a recent poll that came out had me, if I'm not mistaken, eight point ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania. We've had polls which have me way ahead of him in Michigan and Wisconsin and, in fact, all over this country. Now, the reason that we can beat, that my campaign can beat Donald Trump is we're going to create the kind of excitement that we need to bring out the large voter turnout. We're going to bring out young people, who not only are interested and are going to fight for real climate change, they want to raise that minimum wage to $15 an hour, a fight that I have been helping to lead. They want healthcare for all through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program. They understand that it is absurd that young people should be leaving college 50,000, 60,000, 100,000 dollars in debt. They want public colleges and universities tuition free. They want criminal justice reform. They want immigration reform. And the truth is that our campaign, I think, can generate that excitement. Our generation can talk to some, some of the Trump supporters, who now know that they were lied to, when Trump said he was going to provide healthcare to everybody and then tried to throw 32 million people off their healthcare. I think we are the campaign that can beat Donald Trump.
Senator, I would argue, you made a very similar case against Hillary Clinton four years ago. And you came up short. Why do you think, this time --
Hey, Chuck, Chuck, you know I --
-- especially when it seems like you have an exhaustive -- I'm just saying, you have, you have a part of the Democratic Party --
Chuck, let me just say --
-- that seems to be gravitating toward Biden. Go ahead.
You know, we came up short. Yeah, we took on the entire Democratic establishment. We took on the Democratic National Committee. We took on every Democratic governor. We took on every Democratic mayor. And we ended up winning 22 states and 13 million votes and, in fact, bringing forth an agenda that transformed the Democratic Party. Four years ago, people were not talking about the issues they're talking about now. So I understand that our campaign is unique in the sense that we're going to try to win the Democratic primary. We're going to try to beat the -- Trump. But you know what else we're going to try to do? We're going to try to transform the United States of America, deal with this massive level of income and wealth inequality, deal with Wall Street, deal with the greed of the drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry. So our campaign has a different goal. It's to transform this country. And we're taking on the entire establishment, when we do that, including Ed Rendell.

When we go over this sort of coverage, we usually consider including FOX NEWS.  Why?  FOX NEWS puts their Sunday special on broadcast TV.  If it's an Iraq issue, we may wander over to CNN (we don't wander over to MSNBC because MSNBC is unaware of the Iraq War).  But in terms of the race for president, we generally look at the coverage from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX (which has carried FOX NEWS in the past -- that may change now that ABC owns FOX and now that FOX NEWS is no longer partners with FOX).  We're about to include it for two more reasons.  Unlike the idiot Princess Bubble (Elizabeth Warren), I don't believe the country needs more walls and more divisions.  Second, six women are seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination -- Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar -- and one of the six spoke with Chris Wallace on Sunday.

WALLACE:But first, we want to talk about all of that with a candidate who's already had her FOX town hall, Senator Amy Klobuchar, joining us from the campaign trail across the state in Nashua, New Hampshire, for a "FOX News Sunday" sit down.
Senator, welcome back.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, D-MINN., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: thanks, Chris, it's great to be on.

WALLACE: Eight states now, eight states, have passed tight new restrictions on abortion, that pro-life groups have been pushing and as they say, dramatically restrict rights of abortion. Alabama would ban abortions at any point except on matters of the extreme health of the woman.
My question is, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, when you become president, what would you do?

KLOBUCHAR: If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, I would make sure that we are codifying Roe v. Wade into law.
But I think it's really important for the Fox News viewers to understand exactly what's happening here. These aren't nuances anymore. This is a case where the laws that they have passed in these states would actually make it so that no one could get an abortion, and at the same time, while we would reduce the number of abortions because of making contraception more available all over the country through Planned Parenthood and other ways, they've also moved to defund Planned Parenthood.
So, this is dangerous. It is a place that we have never seen. I think people have always warned that this could happen and it's actually happened. And when I talk to people, whether they are pro-choice or they are personally opposed to abortion, a lot of them, Chris, don't think we should go this direction. Seventy-three percent of Americans don't want to overturn Roe v. Wade.
You have a situation here where they would actually put doctors in prison 99 years, that's what the Alabama law says. This is a law that they passed that would mean that if someone was raped, if a college student was raped, she wouldn't have a choice in the pregnancy from a rape.
I don't think the majority of Americans are where the Republicans are on this issue right now.

WALLACE: But, Senator, pro-life advocates are pushing back. There's a group called Restoration PAC, and they are no running an ad on Facebook that we are showing right now showing what it calls the "Party of Death". Six Democratic senators running for president, including you, who have opposed restrictions in the later stages of pregnancy.
You talk about the extreme, as you call it on one side -- let me make the case, and you can answer it on the other side, because folks say that one of the concerns is that a number of Democratic senators are not willing to see restrictions on late-term abortions, abortions after 24 weeks as we enter the third trimester. Now, that's only 1 percent of all abortions in the country, but even 1 percent is 6,000 abortions after 24 weeks when a fetus might well be viable.
Are you OK with that?

KLOBUCHAR: I'm OK with the law, Chris, and what the law says is that in that third trimester, it is allowed to protect the health and the life of the mother.
But that's not what the president said, Chris. The president misled the American public. What he said at a rally was basically a doctor would be holding a baby and kill that baby.
That's illegal under the law. That is already a crime. I know this. I'm a former prosecutor.

WALLACE: Forgive me, Senator --

KLOBUCHAR: No, I think --

WALLACE: Are you OK -- let me ask you, I understand that the argument against infanticide, and that's an overstatement. What I'm asking you is, are you OK with abortions after 24 weeks?

KLOBUCHAR: To protect the life and the health of the mother. That is exactly what the Supreme Court ruling says, and I am OK with that. But I just think it's really important, Chris, for your Fox viewers to know, because there's so much misinformation out there that what these laws do is extreme.
There are a number of Republicans who said they are opposed to them. They are extreme. Then you have the president misleading the public and telling them that this is about basically killing a baby after a baby is born. That is not what this is about, that is a crime.
So, I think what people have to understand here is that we are at a point where a number -- it is not just Alabama. This has happened in Ohio. This has happened in Missouri. This happened in Georgia.


KLOBUCHAR: There's a law that's being passed in Michigan that the Democratic governor is going to veto. This is happening across the country and people need to know what's really going on here. This is a violation of civil rights.
[. . .]
WALLACE: As you know, New Hampshire, where we both are, although in different parts of the state, is among the five states with the highest rate of opioid-related deaths in the country, twice the national average. You have released a hundred-billion-dollar, 10-year plan to deal with mental health and substance abuse. You know, they all sound roughly the same. Prevention, treatment, recovery.
So I guess I want to ask you, just focus on one thing, one thing that you think that makes her plan dramatically different from all the other Democratic plans to deal with this problem.

KLOBUCHAR: This is an issue that no presidential candidate has taken on really in history, and I would emphasize here the mental health aspect of it. One in five Americans have problems with mental health. For me, the mental health addiction issue comes from my heart. My dad struggled with alcoholism his whole life, had two DWIs and then a third right before I got married.
And at that point in the '90s, he was facing either jail or treatment. He chose treatment and in his words, he was pursued by grace.
And I think every American has that right to be pursued by grace, and what I've done here is layout a thorough plan so we have beds for people who have extreme problems with mental illness, so that we have counselors for people to talk to. We've had a 30 percent increase in suicides, including farmers, including veterans, including students in this country in 15 years.
And, Chris, the other thing that's unique about my plan is I show how I'm going to pay for it. I figure if you're running for president, you better be addressing real problems with real solutions and show how you're going to pay for it. I would pay for it by taking on the pharma companies that got a bunch of people addicted to begin with, and you can do it simply with a fee -- a per milligram fee on the opioids that are being sold and then there's going to be a major master settlement with those companies that profited off of people's addictions, that got people hooked, and that's where you get the hundred billion dollars.
[. . .]
 WALLACE: Senator, I want to talk a little 2020 politics in the time we have left and I want to put up the Real Clear Politics average of the latest polls. In Iowa, you're in eighth place with 3 percent support, and here in New Hampshire, you're also in eighth place with 1-1/2 percent support.I understand that it's very early. We are still months away from people voting their in New Hampshire. I guess the question I have is, why do you think you have not gained as much traction so far in the campaign as other candidates, for instance, Mayor Pete, who's going to be here for the town hall this evening?

KLOBUCHAR: Oh, Chris, I think being in the top ten in a 25-person race when you're from the middle of a country in a state that's not so big, at some of my colleagues, I think that's pretty good, and I wouldn't count me out.
Everything I've done in my life, whether it's taking on 48-hour hospital stay for new moms and babies when people didn't think I could get that done, I got it done. Or when I was the first woman to run for D.A. in my state, of the biggest county, I got it done in the next time around, no one even ran against me. Then I go run for U.S. Senate, running against the congressman and win big time.
I am someone that takes on challenges and finds a way to get there. No one thought I could raise money when I was running for Senate. I finally just called everyone I know in my life and I raised an all-time Senate record --


KLOBUCHAR: -- $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. And as my husband has pointed out, it's not an expanding base.
I will find a way to win. No one thought a peanut farmer from Georgia was going to win. Jimmy Carter's pointed out to me that he had less support at this point than I do. No one thought a guy --

WALLACE: Senator --

KLOBUCHAR: -- named Barack Obama could become president.
This is -- you know politics, Chris.

WALLACE: Senator Klobuchar --

KLOBUCHAR: It is a long road.

 Amy Klobuchar's saying 25 candidates so I may have missed someone, I thought it was 24.  Okay, Mayor Bill de Blasio became the 24th last week.  Amy may be counting one of the six that are not considered 'major' candidates or she may be mistaken about the number or she may know someone who's about to declare but hasn't yet.  However, at present there are 24 including her.  Good for Amy for going on FOX NEWS, as Whoopi Goldberg has observed, if you want to be president, you need to be willing to speak anywhere and to put your campaign before all the voters.

And Mayor Pete Buttigieg went on FOX NEWS yesterday with his town hall as he seeks the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

If FOX NEWS publishes a transcript, we'll quote from it but I really don't have time to stream that town hall.  The only one I've watched so far was Bernie Sanders and Ava and I caught that because we were on a campus speaking about the wars and the students asked us to watch the townhall with them later that day so we did.

One thing I do see -- from spot streaming the video above -- is that Pete is calling for an end to the electoral college.  If we had direct election of the US president by the people, Al Gore would have been president following the 2000 election (also true, he would have been president if all the votes had been counted) and Hillary Clinton would have been the president following the 2016 election.  We have a system that allows the electoral college to determine the president.  I believe the electoral college should be abolished.  Unless and until it is, the people's choice really doesn't matter because the electoral college has the last say.

Pete took his campaign to FOX NEWS and you should be willing to take your campaign everywhere.  But what happens when you take it somewhere and people don't know about it?  Friday, Tulsi Gabbard appeared on THE NEWSHOUR (PBS). Today, the interview can be found in a GOOGLE NEWS search.  That was not the case as late as Saturday night.  Was there some sort of glitch or was GOOGLE NEWS censoring?  If they were censoring, were they trying to maintain that PBS' THE NEWSHOUR is 'fake news' or was it an effort to suppress news of Tulsi's campaign?

The media -- including aggregators like GOOGLE NEWS?  Out of control.

Take Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) and his alarmist 'report' yesterday that the US Embassy in Baghdad was targeted by a rocket attack.  As we noted last night:

If it was an attack on the US Embassy it would be the first rocket attack on a US installation in Iraq since last September's attack on the US Consulate in Basra.  AP is less alarmist than THE WASHINGTON TIME and notes that the US State Dept says the rocket landed "near" the Embassy.  Rocket attacks on the Green Zone have taken place repeatedly during the ongoing Iraq War.  Whether this was an attack on the US Embassy or some other target in the Green Zone or just on the Green Zone in general, no direct line can conclude that this was an attack carried about Iran or by proxies of Iran in Iraq.

REUTERS does not make the leap Carlo did.  They notes the Green Zone has rocket attacks with some regularity, "The latest such incident was in September, when three mortar shells landed inside the Green Zone, causing no casualties."  At a time when some in the US government are working overtime to start a war with Iran, Carlo needs to explain if his take is an attempt to start that war of if he just acts on paranoia and jumps to conclusions?

Here's the video report ALJAZEERA filed.

“I am against fuelling a war between Iran and the US. I am against including Iraq in this war and making it a platform for the conflict between Iran and America,” Iraqi populist cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said on Twitter.
Mr Al Sadr urged Iraqi leaders to take a serious stand to keep the country out of war.
“This war will be the end of Iraq; instead, we need peace and reconstruction,” he said.

Amer al-Hassani(AA) quotes Moqtada declaring, "Any party that would drag Iraq into the war and turn it into a scene for conflict will be an enemy to the Iraqi people. I'm against dragging Iraq into this war and making it a scene for the Iranian-U.S. conflict."

Also speaking on the issue is Barham Salih, the president of Iraq.  He told CBS NEWS' Roxana Saberi, "Iraq has been living through hell for the last four decades. And certainly, Iraqis do not want to see this country yet again turn into a zone of proxy conflict."

I hope you registered, at the start of the video, when Gayle King noted that Roxana Saberi was the only US network correspondent in Iraq.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Dionne's back and she's better than ever" went up Sunday.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Liza Minnelli doing "You're So Vain"

We were over at my girlfriend's uncle's house Saturday night and talking music.  And we got to talking extreme music -- covers you wouldn't believe.

He told me that Liza Minnelli -- actress, singer and dancer, Judy Garland's daughter, won the Oscar for Cabaret and most recently has been in Arrested Development -- he tole me that Liza had covered Carly Simon's classic song "You're So Vain."

My response?  "You lie!"

He said, "Hold on!"

I love Carly.  She's one of the great singer-songwriters of all time.  Her voice has always been amazing and she's basically a blues singer.  My favorite album is probably either The Bedroom Tapes or Playing Possum.  But I love pretty much everything she's done.

I hum her songs probably as much as I hum Dionne Warwick or the Pointer Sisters (I loved the Pointers!!!!).  And my personal top ten of songs Carly's written or co-written would be . . .

10) "Anticipation"
9) "We Just Got Here"
8) "How Can You Ever Forget"
7) "Put Your Love Out In The Street"
6) "Do The Walls Come Down"
5) "Holding You Tonight"
4) "After The Storm"
3) "We're So Close"
2) "So Many Stars"
1) "Scar" (tie) "Look Me In The Eye"

Yeah, I cheated making my ten and an eleven but that was hard to pick my favorite songs.

Anyway, he comes back with Liza's vinyl album The Singer and puts it on the turntable.  Let me see if I can find it on YouTube.

Okay, what did you think?

The music has aged poorly -- especially the music going to the chorus and the verse.  I guess that's the arrangement.

Liza's phrasing is . . . Liza.  And once you get over that, you might actually enjoy it.  I did.  It was different.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, May 17, 2019.  There are now 24 candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Iraq finally has a US Ambassador, war on Iran continues to loom, and more.

Yesterday,  Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Prisoner de Blasio: Number 24" went up, noting that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio just became the 24th candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

 What can you say about de Blasio?  He's a uniter?


Link to headline article

He's a safety first kind of guy?

i’m voting for bill de blasio because i think he’s the guy who tells me “stand clear of closing doors, please” every morning. he has saved my life hundreds of times

de Blasio himself maintains his campaign will be about putting working people first.

Today I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America, because it's time to finally put working people first. Join me:

Again, he is the 24th candidate in the race.

Some are complaining.  Senator Cory Booker's campaign feels he would have gained traction in the race long ago if there weren't so many other options.  Which, if you think about it, may be true.  If it was just Cory up against one person, he probably would have double digit support of some form.  And, were Cory the only candidate in the race, he'd probably also be in the lead.

Some may remember in the 2008 race, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were caught on an open mike insisting there were too many candidates on stage and that something needed to be done.  Unlike her later comments that she was staying in the race because RFK was assassinated in July so who knows what might happen, those comments by Hillary were not perceived as a death threat, just a complaint.

At this point, the race is fueled solely by name recognition.  The debates are when people begin to pay more attention.  And they are when flaws emerge.

Debates tend to pull the rug out from the earlier press declared front runner.  Currently, the front runner is Joe Biden.  Debates?

Debates tend to sink Joe.  He either comes off baffled or angry on a crowded stage.  With one other candidate, he can work to tailor his presentation in mock debate practice.  Otherwise, he either turns viewers off or they forget he was even on the stage.

Senator Kamala Harris' campaign thinks she will benefit from being on the stage with Senator Elizabeth Warren because viewers can see a contrast -- Kamala firm but relaxed, Elizabeth "like a frightened cat ready to pounce."  (When I was told that by a friend with Kamala's campaign last night, I did say I was putting in a snapshot.  You were warned.)  All the female candidates -- Elizabeth, Kamala, Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Kirsten Gillibran and Amy Klobuchar -- have cross gender support.  There is not a 'woman's candidate' that has emerged among the six women -- or for that matter, among the 24 candidates.  When all six are part of the debates, that might change and GRRL Power (or what passes for it in electoral politics) might elevate one of the six.

A lot can happen in the debates -- including boneheaded mistakes -- no, Joe Biden isn't the only one that has to worry about that.  de Blasio and everyone else, still has time to make a case to the American people.  If he keeps his focus on working people, he might actually gain some traction in the race.  Too many candidates, however, are defining themselves against Donald Trump -- often by being Donald Trump-like with one explosive moment after another.  "I'm not Donald Trump" did not prove to be a winning strategy for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  Let's hope this round of candidates makes an effort to explain who they are and what they will do.

What will Congress do?

Finally, get off their ass apparently.

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Ambassador Matthew Tueller to be the Ambassador to Iraq. The U.S. Mission in Baghdad sends its congratulations and warm wishes to Ambassador Tueller and looks forward to his arrival.

Since the end of January, Iraq has been without a US ambassador.  Tueller was nominated by President Donald Trump back in November.  Foot dragging meant his confirmation hearing did not take place until March.  It's now the middle of May and finally Congress has voted.

And all it took was weeks and weeks of the administration pushing for further war in Iraq, right?  That is where the battle would start, according to administration sources and Senator Marco Rubio (FYI, Ken Silverstein explores Marco's life when he's not screaming for war).  Iraq would be caught in the middle and the battlefield.

Makram Najmuddine (AL-MONITOR) reports:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo decided May 8 to cancel his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and instead head to Iraq. The top US diplomat made it clear that he was visiting Baghdad to discuss increasing tensions with Iran.
An Iraqi official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that Pompeo, in fact, delivered Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a flash drive with recordings of pro-Iranian Iraqi groups preparing to attack US interests in the country. And, following Pompeo’s meeting, some Iraqi sources have indicated that the United States may consider Iraq as a bridge to an eventual dialogue with Iran — a role the Iraqis may be willing to play.
According to the Iraqi official, the Iraqi prime minister wants to play a serious role in de-escalating tensions with full backing from the highest Shiite religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who believes Iraq is capable of emerging as a fair mediator, not only between Iran and the United States, but also Tehran and its regional rivals.

US House Rep Tulis Gabbard is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

  1. Trump promised to get the US out of “stupid wars.” But now he and John Bolton are on the brink of launching us into a very stupid and costly war with Iran. Join me in sending a strong message to President Trump: The US must NOT go to war with Iran.

Tulsi is an Iraq War veteran.  Seth Moulton is also a member of the House of Representatives and also an Iraq War veteran.  He, too, is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

They said the Iraq War would take two weeks. It’s still going on two decades later. This type of rhetoric gets people killed. We’ve done this before. We can’t do it again.

Meanwhile, RUDAW reports:

Anti-corruption protests called by firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf turned violent on Wednesday night resulting in the death of four people.

Four people were killed and 17 wounded, according to Najaf’s Hakim Hospital, when security guards outside a mall owned by a former Sadrist opened fire on the crowd.

Sadr, who leads the Sayirun alliance, the biggest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, had called on his supporters to take to the streets to protest against corruption within the ranks of his own Sadrist Movement.

AP adds, "The Najaf province’s security command said security forces arrested five mall guards who had fired at the demonstrators, killing and wounding several."  KURDISTAN 24 notes, "The owner of the busy commercial center is Jawad al-Karawi, according to locals. Karawi, also known as Abu Aktham, was the deputy head of Najaf International Airport and a former member of Najaf Provincial Council. In a videotape, Karawi appealed to Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to intervene in the situation."  SPUTNIK offers, "Although Sadr had not specified any Names, his supporters took the protest to Al-Bashir mall, which is reportedly owned by a former Sadrist named Jawad al-Garawi, who was allegedly expelled from the movement on charges on corruption."

Najaf, 3 killed severa injured, the Al Basheer shopping center is burning as you read this. Al-Sader supporters are attacking the mall that belongs to a close person to the group who ventured off and made money using their name.


Four killed as anti-graft protest rocks Iraq's Najaf

Four people killed in protests against "corruption" in Najaf, central Iraq

4 killed as anti-graft protest rocks Iraq's Najaf

The following sites updated: