Thursday, September 19, 2019

Protecting Julian is protecting ourselves

UK worsens Julian Assange's persecution as US seeks extradition - ⁦

News publisher Julian Assange remains in the UK, in a prison.  Why?  They won't release him.  What are they holding him for?

They're persecuting him.  They're holding him while the US government figures out how to go about extracting Julian.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of , tells me on that UK authorities are holding Julian Assange in worse conditions than accused terrorists & 'making it impossible' for him to prepare his legal case against US extradition.

Here are some Tweets:

Search results

  1. Plans to hold Julian Assange in detention after his unjust sentence ends is an outrage. Britain is increasingly behaving like a tin-pot dictatorship in its dealing with him. I'm raising his unjust treatment with the Home Sec
  2. Julian Assange has a message for you: "Please save my life." Folks, please pray for this man 🙏
  3. The World’s Most Important Political Prisoner - We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange's uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continued to be imprisoned on
  4. ❤️ we will never give up 🙏
  5. Peter Oborne: "Why are leaks about the British ambassador to Washington a matter of press freedom and leaks from Julian Assange a matter for the courts?"

That's a wide section.  You've got Craig Murray on the left and Wayne Dupree on the right.  That's because this is a real issue not a partisan issue.  It's a real issue.  It's about freedom of speech.  It's about shining a spotlight on what governments do.  It's about transparency.

And these days?  It's about every effort to stamp out real reporting on things that actually effect our lives.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019.

A week ago, Democratic Party presidential hopefuls debated in Houston.  It seems so long ago.  Joe Biden alone has made more gaffes than we can count since then.

In the post-debate polls, Senator Kamala Harris has plunged in the polls.  Of course, she has.  She was an idiot in the debate.  Some -- including Margaret Kimberley -- have Tweeted or reTweeted that Kamala sounded drunk.  She didn't come off drunk to me but she did seem to have dry mouth.  (I'm being serious and I'm not making fun of her about that.  I think she has blood sugar issues.  I say that as a diabetic myself.)  That was not her problem.

Her problem is she's trying to become the party's nominee and she's a woman.  Hillary Clinton is the only woman who's achieved that feat so far.  Right or wrong, there are ways women are seen.

What the hell was that debate performance?  'C'mon, guys, on everything, Trump is worse!'  Was she a candidate for the nomination or trying to be den mother to the lost boys?  She rose in the polls following the June debates because she appeared to be a fighter.  That's something people can relate to and see in a president.  The nonsense she displayed last week did not look presidential.  She refused to play to her strengths and instead played like she was going to get everyone to circle up and do a feelings check.  Whomever helped her come up with that strategy should leave her campaign immediately.

Let's talk Amy.  Amy's plump.  Senator Amy Klobuchar is plump.  And as she tries to nice-guy it through every debate as a result of all the press about how one group of employees thought she was a bitch and hated working for her, she fails to grasp what Tina Fey once said, "Bitches get things done."  And Americans could probably get behind that.  Certainly more could than currently support her.  But as she grins and lumbers around, she doesn't look presidential.

Amy called the ACLU a liar in last week's debate.  That's what she did.  Confronted with her own record, she insisted the ACLU was lying.

It's a sign of how important she is and how useless she is that she didn't come under fire for that.  She should have.

But everyone's watching the fat history teacher trying to get through another day of middle school before she goes home to work on her young adult fiction and feed her cats and no one really gives a damn.

The president is an important job.

You need to project strength.  Amy's not doing it and hasn't done it.  Kamala rose in the polls when she projected strength in June and has fallen since as she's stumbled around to be the positivity cheerleader.

That leaves, in the race, US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson and Elizabeth Warren.

Let's start with Marianne.  She was slammed a few weeks ago for something she Tweeted.  I have no idea of the exact wording and don't really care.  But it was about the hurricane and it was about positive thinking.  And she was ridiculed for it.  Some people believe in positive thinking and believe it can impact others.  Some people believe in the same thing and call it prayer.

We have lived through the ridiculous.  Day after day, week after week, where so-called journalists spend forever fretting about this or that and it's never anything that matters.  It's not about curing people, it's not about ending wars, it's not about a decent wage.  It's outrage over Donald Trump.  What did he say? And if he didn't say it, let's massage the words and make it even worse.  Over and over, the outrage machine never ends.

That's not positive thinking.  But I hope we can see how that nonsense builds and builds and builds.

Does positive thinking have an effect?

I'm sure it does have some effects.

There was never a reason to slam Marianne over something like that.

One effect would include calming your ass down and instead of running around like Chicken Little, which, for the record, many of the people slamming Marianne have been doing since the moment Donald Trump was elected.

Tulsi.  Tulsi is a joke.  She made herself a joke.  Last Thursday, Bernie took on Joe over his support of the Iraq War.  That's what Tulsi refused to do in the July debate.  That's what she refused to do in the days after when she was briefly a media darling and used her time to minimize War Hawk Joe's actions and to give him a pass.  Tulsi's a damn joke and those people on the left who want to pretend that she's anti-war need to stop lying.  She had her chance to make a case and she failed.

They also need to stop kidding that she's a real candidate.

I'm not talking about the fact that America has seen and has rejected her.  That's true but I'm talking about "I serve! I believe in public service!" Tulsi.  She's in the national reserves.  That means Donald Trump is her commander in chief.  He's not mine.  That is the role of the president over the military.  I'm not in the military.  Tulsi is.  Her remarks about Donald have always been borderline because he is her commander in chief so she is limited in how she can speak publicly.

But recently she's given up any pretense of following the rules.  She's called him Saudi Arabia's "bitch," she's publicly told him that he is not her "pimp" and the military is not his "whore."  These are grounds to drum her out of the reserves.  I don't know in what world she's allowed to make comments like that while she is in the service and remain in the service.

That's disqualifying.  She wants to run on her service and have you respect her but she doesn't want to give Donald the respect that he is owed (from her) as her commander in chief.

Tulsi has real problems.  This one is a lot like her whining that she wasn't at last week's debate.  The rules were so unfair!!!!  But these rules were in place before the debates started and she didn't complain about them in June or July.  So the rules only became a problem to her when she wasn't able to meet them.  Seth Moulton probably could have pulled 5% easy if he'd made even one of the debates.  But Tulsi didn't defend Seth or anyone else who didn't make the June or July debates.  But when she couldn't make this one, it was all about how unfair things were.

She's a bit of hypocrite and it goes to her lack of maturity.  (Mayor Pete has the same problem.)

Which leaves us with Elizabeth Warren.  She's providing proposals and plans and selling herself as a workhorse who will get things done.  Who does that remind you of?

It reminds me of Hillary Clinton when she ran in 2008.

That was a popular template.  Hillary didn't get the nomination -- and we'll never know how many delegates she would have had since Nancy Pelosi stopped the vote at the convention -- but she did have a strong run in 2008 that inspired many.

Five women remain in the race for the nomination.  Three have been making the debates.  Only Elizabeth is presenting a consistent image that voters can see as presidential.

Julie Hollar and Jim Naureckaes (FAIR) took at look at the debate and we'll note this section of their analysis:

In the section reserved for foreign policy and national security issues, the moderators displayed a hawkish agenda, continually pushing the candidates to take a more adversarial and militant line with other countries. This was most obvious in David Muir’s line of questions on Afghanistan, which he prefaced by saying: “Many of you on this stage have said you’d bring the troops home in your first term. Others have said in your first year.” He then asked Warren, “Would you keep that promise to bring the troops home starting right now with no deal with the Taliban?”
When Warren gave the only possible answer to that question—yes—George Stephanopoulos broke in to make it clear that that was the wrong one:
Top US leaders, military leaders on the ground in Afghanistan, told me you can’t do it without a deal with the Taliban. You just said you would, you would bring them home. What if they told you that? Would you listen to their advice?
The same assumption that civilian presidents should normally defer to the judgment of the military was the basis for the next question, to Pete Buttigieg, which cited the authority of Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Joseph Dunford:  “If he’s not even using the word withdrawal, would you put your promise to bring troops home in the first year on hold to follow the advice?”

Joe Biden and Sanders were given versions of the question of whether they would “pull out US troops too quickly from Afghanistan”—meaning after 19 years, which is how long the US would have occupied the country by the time either would be sworn in as president. (See, 9/11/19, on media’s obsession with a “premature” withdrawal from Afghanistan.)

IN THESE TIMES' Branko Marcetic has been covering Joe Biden's lies about Iraq for some time and he did so again regarding last week's debate:

If Biden truly believed that his vote in October 2002 wasn’t meant to pave the way for war, he likely wouldn’t have embarked on a world tour two months later that involved meeting an Iraqi resistance leader in Germany, talking to the King of Jordan, and making pit stops in Israel and Qatar. Nor would he have spoken to the Kurd Parliament in Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq, telling Saddam’s bitter enemies that the United States would “stand with you in your effort to build a united Iraq.”
Nor does Biden’s description of his actions after the war began tell the full story. It’s true that Biden frequently criticized Bush for the way the war was conducted. But Biden was also one of the increasingly lonely Democratic voices insisting that war had been the right decision all along, despite Bush’s bungling of its prosecution.
In June 2003, Biden told “Fox News Sunday” host Tony Snow that “it was a just war.” The next month he said he’d “vote to do it again” and gave remarks to the Brookings Institution in which he charged that “anyone who can't acknowledge that the world is better off without [Saddam] is out of touch.” In August, he called for sending 20,000-50,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq. And in a September speech to the National Press Club, he criticized “the knee-jerk multilateralists in my own party who have not yet faced the reality of the post-9/11 world.” The list goes on.

The U.S. public must make sure the person they select to be president not only demonstrates wisdom, but also won’t be swept away in a tidal wave of pro-war fervor. By allowing Biden to mislead voters on his Iraq War record, his rivals (and the debate moderators) are doing a disservice to the American public. 

Joe's history is long and analysis can't include everything, I know.  However, we have spent several years now being fed outrage over the myth that our election stolen by Russia.  So the topic of a stolen election?  THat's a topic the media needs to explore.  "The question Joe Biden needs to be asked about Iraq" went to that.  Nouri al-Maliki's second term brought about the rise of ISIS in Iraq.  How did Nouri get a second term?

Don't say the voters.  The Iraqi people voted in March of 2010 and thug Nouri lost.  For over 8 months he refused to step down -- this was the political stalemate.  Instead of backing the winner, the US government went around the Iraqi people and negotiated a contract, The Erbil Agreement, that gave Nouri a second term.

Who loves to brag that Barack "tasked" him with Iraq?  Joe Biden.  And who went over to Iraq to sell that contract?  Joe Biden.  It's time Joe Biden was asked about that decision and about all that followed that horrible decision.

Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) observes:

The idea of electability is especially important to black voters, who have fearfully tossed their own political needs under the bus in exchange for guaranteeing Democratic Party victory. They are particularly susceptible to being swayed in this regard due to their desire to be rid of Donald Trump.
But the game is rigged yet again. In televised debates Joe Biden nearly lost his dentures, had an eye fill with blood, told black people to play records to improve their kids vocabulary, and tried to live down past racist statements.Yet we are told that black voters prefer him to other candidates. If that is true it is only because the electability propaganda has done its job. 

The dreadful trap that black voters find themselves in has only tightened since Trump’s election. After the Democrats’ 2016 debacle all of their rank and file should be extremely skeptical of their claims and black people should be leading that charge. Instead most Democrats are even more obedient to the people who failed them so badly. They live and die by any and every idea that speaks to the possibility of Trump’s defeat.

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