Thursday, November 21, 2019


ABC's Emergence airs Tuesday nights -- I usually catch it the next day on HULU.

So the android (they call her artificial intelligence) was having her code rewritten by Emily.

Who is Emily?

Jo thought Emily was someone in danger from the people who built Piper (the android). They thought she was a whistle-blower or something. So Jo gave her police protection and more.

This episode we learn that Emily is not even a good person. She wants control over Piper (to use her as a weapon) and she's rewriting Piper's memories so all the nice and caring things Jo did for Piper are remembered as things Piper did. She had a programmer do this for her.

Piper kind of realizes this, part of her. At one point, she's asking Jo for a glass of water and then issues a warning in a deep voice about Emily. Then she goes back to Piper and Jo asks her if she remembers what she said and Piper has no idea what she's talking about.

Once Jo realizes Emily isn't who they thought she was, she goes to meet the owner of the company who's in federal prison. (Jo arrested him and put him there. He's the guy who played Vanessa Williams' husband on that ABC thriller 666 Park Avenue.) He is rude to Jo, as usual. He won't speak of his former employee and refers her to human resources. Jo then notes that he bought a house for Emily's mother. Right after Emily was born. She points out that actually Emily is his daughter. He's not pleased Jo knows that.

Having finished the reprogramming, Emily now heads to Jo's.

She knocks on the door and tells Piper to come with her. They try to stop her and Piper protects Emily by sending the Australian reporter flying into a wall.

Jo arrived at the place Emily was. The programmer's trying to leave and they stop him.

He says they can do a reset. That will stop Emily's control over Piper. It will also wipe every memory she has. Jo says Piper won't be Piper. The man doesn't care. And he starts to do it when Jo pulls her gun. He can't believe she's going to shoot him over this. Not him, Jo says, as she shoots the computer.

Emily and Piper start to leave when Jo's ex-husband and their daughter Mia pull up. With Mia and Mia's dad, Piper's remembering and realizing something isn't right. She refuses to go with Emily.

So all is good and well. Or is it. . .

Jo's father wanted to know what was going on with Piper at the beginning of the episode and Jo said she couldn't tell him for his own good. He asked the Australian reporter who wouldn't tell him. Now when Piper hurled the reporter against the wall, Jo's father saw that. So he's going to get suspicious.

One more thing, we were told that if Piper knew she was AI that she would cease to exist. That's apparently not what we've all thought. The programmer was going to wipe her in part by doing that. If Piper finds out that she's AI, she exists still -- she doesn't explode -- and will move in some manner but she will lose all the memories she previously had.

Piper is a weapon. That's what she was designed to be. She doesn't know that. She thinks she's a little girl although she does know something is different about her. In the first episode, for example, she removed a tracking device from under her skin. She has done things with her powers -- both by herself and with Mia -- so she knows she has some skills that most girls don't. But that's about it for her . . . so far.

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2019.  In Iraq, the people risk everything to demand a just country while in the 'democratic' US the media monopolies and their lackeys try to sell betraying the American people as a 'centrist' move.

In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  At THE NATION, Katrina vanden Heuvel discusses one of the key issues of this contest:  Medicare For All.  The column appears in full at THE WASHINGTON POST.  Katrina notes:

In the Democratic presidential debate, Medicare for All has been probed and dissected as if it were an extraterrestrial alien rather than a logical extension of Medicare, the most popular US medical program. Debate moderators have drilled down on the cost of Medicare-for-all, ignoring the fact that it would cost less and cover more than our existing system. Pete Buttigieg, the largest recipient of health-care industry donations outside of President Trump, bashes its champions, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for wanting to increase taxes on the middle class while booting “150 million Americans off their insurance in four short years.” Former vice president Joe Biden labels Warren as “angry,” “condescending” and “elitist.”
Ignored in the furor is what might be the most incredible assertion in the health-care debate: the claim by the centrists that they can provide health care to everyone for less money than Medicare-for-all by cobbling a public option onto our current system. Americans, they claim, can have their choice between private insurance or a public system like Medicare.

It doesn’t take much reflection to realize that this is a real stretch. Adding a public option on top of our current system would continue the staggering administrative waste of the private insurance system. About 30 percent of every health care dollar is squandered on administrative overhead—largely the paperwork, the preapprovals, denials and appeals that are inherent in a system of for-profit private insurance companies. That’s about $1 trillion a year. Medicare for All can cut that trillion dollars in half by eliminating that bureaucratic waste. To continue to pay for that waste, a public option system will either end up as Medicare for All Who Can Afford It—rationed by cost, with tens of millions deprived of adequate health care—or it will cost far more than Medicare for All.

She makes many strong points.  And Medicare For All is a need, not a want.

But we need to being making other points in this conversation.  We need to be noting FDR.  FDR created the New Deal.  It was not finished when he died in office.  He is a historic and legendary political figure.  He was a Democrat.  Why are we not picking up the torch, why are we not insisting that we carry out Medicare For All to complete FDR's vision?

"Socialism!" a lot of fools scream.  Why do we let them?  I have no problem with Socialism.  But Medicare For All is, politically, about FDR.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS  "No Deal Nancy" on Sunday was about contrasting a current leader in the Democratic Party (Nancy Pelosi) with the historic FDR.  FDR was the New Deal.  Nancy with her opposition to Medicare For All is the No Deal.

This is very much political and Democrats not willing to stand with FDR's legacy are not Democrats we should be standing with.  As Trina said last night:

I've already said I'm not voting for any candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination who is not calling for Medicare For All.

But what about people like Nancy Pelosi?

They are the enemy.

Nancy's a greedy woman who's increased her wealth vastly.

But she begrudges the American people the right to have healthcare.

She's useless and we deserve better, we deserve a better Democratic leader in the house, we deserve a better spokesperson.

Nancy got hers and that's all she cares about. 

Opposition to Medicare For All is about greed.  We spend billions on wars.  We can't afford to give every citizen healthcare?  We can afford it.  But heaven forbid a few billionaires lose a couple of pennies over this each year.  This is OUR country.  We are a collective and we need to be working to take care of everyone.  In our community, Trina's covered Medicare For All since she started her site.  That's because she's a nurse and, like most nurses, realizes the health benefits -- the benefits to this country -- from a healthy population.  She sees those in need who struggle because they can't afford healthcare.  To be opposed to Medicare For All at this late date is to be an uncaring bastard.  I'm not in the mood to play.

Bernie Sanders and nurses have gotten us to this conversation in America.  They've had the strength to argue for what is needed and do so for years.  Now that it's gained traction, we see the response of the press which is to try to elevate any toady who will opposed Medicare For All -- be it Tiny Pete or Pro-Rape Deval.  In fairness to the press, remember, as I've long noted, they're general studies majors.  Remember those in college? Not really trained in anything.  They are trained in cashing a check and that's why they dance for the elites who have all they need but deny healthcare to the needy.

Ruth pointed out:

I cannot believe that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks she can stab F.D.R. in the back an get away with it.  That is what her attack on Medicare For All is -- an attack on F.D.R.  He was all for it.  If he had not died when he did, every American would already have Medicare For All.  He is a Democrat and one of the best historical figures we have.

Instead of building on his work and honoring his memory, Ms. Pelosi spits on it.  It is time to send her ass out of leadership.  She has nothing to offer.

And that's how we need to discuss it.  FDR was heroic.  If you're spitting on his memory, you need to be called out.

Liza Feathersone (JACOBIN) observes:

The centrists are finally talking about Medicare for All. Since they can’t deny the moral imperative of single payer, they’ve become obsessed with attacking its “political viability.” Yet, detached from the work of political persuasion, it seems these opinion-generators know little about how regular people actually think about Medicare for All.
Hillary Clinton this week dismissed single payer as being “the right goal” but politically impossible. J.P. Green of the Democratic Strategist opined that “Medicare for All in the Sanders-Warren sense is just not viable politically.” Ron Brownstein fretted in the Atlantic last month about the political challenge of a reform with such an “eye-popping” price tag, and the “anxieties” of Democratic health care experts on whether Warren’s plan (people like this avoid mentioning Bernie at all) could fly in the general election. David Leonhardt of the New York Times wrote a couple weeks ago of Warren’s plan, “The No. 1 reason to question her version of Medicare for All — in which private health insurance would be eliminated — is its political viability.” How will she “overcome people’s resistance to giving up their health insurance for a larger new program that yes, would require a tax increase”? Leonhardt could not imagine.

In their world, Medicare for All is on everyone’s mind, but is impossible. Turning away from the pundits, with their cramped political imaginations and scant experience of humans, offers a different view.
For quite a while now, DSA activists have been going knocking on doors, talking to people in their communities, and working to get them to support and fight for Medicare for All. (Some chapters have been working to get local congressional representatives to support the Bernie Sanders/Pramila Jayapal single-payer legislation; in many places, these efforts have been incorporated into a broader canvass for Bernie.) Such canvassing offers a different perspective from the polling so beloved by pundits, consultants, and other political professionals, in part because it assumes that people are open to new points of view.
What Medicare for All canvassers find is that most people haven’t even heard of M4A. Many haven’t heard of Bernie Sanders or his presidential campaign. But people tend to love the idea of M4A once it’s explained. “No one says, ‘I don’t want free health care,’” says Eric Vance, who canvassed for M4A with East Bay DSA and now is a field organizer with Healthy California Now, a coalition of groups working for single-payer health care. “There’s very little antagonism.”
What’s more, the questions people ask about Medicare for All aren’t the same ones the pundit class imagines, nor, in the context of an engaged conversation about their health care experiences, do their objections tend to be fatal.
One issue that troubles pundits little, yet comes up frequently in the field, is that people who have some experience of Medicaid or Medicare are often dissatisfied with these programs. Fainan Lakha, an organizer with DSA’s NYC Healthcare Working Group who spent much of the summer canvassing block parties in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, heard a lot of complaints about Medicaid: doctors can change, and the paperwork and billing can be burdensome. “Medicaid feels like a lot to manage” for many of the people she met, she says. Lakha found people were often convinced when she talked about how Medicare for All would be different from existing government programs: “no expiration, no bill, no paperwork, all you need to do is pick your doctor and show up.”
Similarly, Tara Rose, a DSA member, who has been canvassing mainly in working-class black neighborhoods in Winston-Salem, North Carolina finds that many elderly people aren’t thrilled with Medicare. “The only person who actually yelled at me when canvassing just kept yelling, ‘I hate Medicare! I hate Medicare! I wish I could go back to my old insurance,’” Rose laughs remembering this scene. “What was funny was he actually had a peace banner on his house!”

While this particular Medicare-hater wasn’t willing to listen to her perspective, most people are. Rose explains why the Sanders/Jayapal M4A is better than Medicare; when older people hear that it would cover dental, vision, and hearing aids, they’re likely to get on board.

Kate Randall has an important piece at WSWS and we're noting this from it:

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released her “Medicare for All” plan November 1 to much fanfare. Her proposal, titled “Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care Costs on American Families,” is a version of the legislation she co-sponsored with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Medicare for All, as put forward by the senator from Massachusetts, would do away with private insurance and end employer-sponsored coverage, making the federal government the sole insurer and creating what is called a single-payer system. Warren says the plan would cost $52 trillion over a decade and require $20.5 trillion in new funding after other savings are taken into account.
She immediately came under fire from billionaires such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and hedge fund owner Leon Cupperman, who denounced her inclusion of a six percent “wealth tax” on holdings above $1 billion. Despite the fact that Warren’s Medicare for All plan doesn’t stand a chance of being passed by Congress or signed into law, the billionaires are outraged at any suggestion that they sacrifice a portion of their fortunes in new taxes.
They were joined by “moderate” Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who called her plan “elitist,” and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. Last Friday, Barack Obama piled on, warning against Democrats who indulge in “revolutionary” rhetoric.

Kate goes on to call out what Elizabeth presented last Friday.  Read her column for that.  For our purposes, we need to focus on that last paragraph above:

They were joined by “moderate” Democratic presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, who called her plan “elitist,” and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. Last Friday, Barack Obama piled on, warning against Democrats who indulge in “revolutionary” rhetoric.

Barack really needs to sit his tired ass down.  It is very likely he okayed spying on a candidate in the 2016 election.  He's got no 'moral ground' to stand on.  He was a lousy president who made many promises and kept none.  He did not join workers who went on strike as he promised he would when he was a candidate.  He did not pull all US troops out of Iraq as he promised.  He overturned the 2010 election in Iraq -- when the Iraqi voters clearly said no to a second term for Nouri al-Maliki, the thug that Barack backed -- with The Erbil Agreement.  He did not close down Guantanamo as he promised.  He did not meet his promise to end homelessness for veterans.  He posed pretty for pictures and he helped the bankers -- or served the bankers -- he's got no "moral ground" to stand on.

Tiny Pete is a child who has no grasp of the world around him or the needs of the people.  Tiny Pete needs to go find a bouncy house to jump around in if he's unable to grow up on the campaign trail and address the needs of the American people.

And then there's Joe.

"Elitist."  Elizabeth's plan to give all Americans healthcare is "elitist."

That is stupid -- that is beyond stupid.  I don't even know where to start.  Let's start with grammar and definitions.  Elitist is not a proposal that covers everyone. Let's move over to the fact that Joe's son Hunter paid off those hookers and fed his drug addiction via the money he made on unethical deals because he was Joe's son.  Joe's okay with that and pretends he did nothing wrong -- Joe did everything wrong.  But while he looks the other way so his son can rake in millions -- and, yes, we are talking millions -- he won't stand up for the American people.

Who  is Joe Biden?

Norman Solomon (COMMON DREAMS) trains the camera on Joe and it's not pretty:

The Biden for President campaign had been using social media and its email list in the Los Angeles area to urge attendance. Under sunny skies, near abundant free parking, the outdoor rally on the campus of LA’s Trade-Technical College offered a chance to hear the man widely heralded as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
No more than 500 people showed up.
Admittedly, as an active Bernie Sanders supporter, I didn’t have high expectations. But what struck me about the rally went beyond the dismal turnout and the stale rhetoric from a corporate Democrat posing as a champion of working people.
Biden’s slow decline in polls is empirical, but what ails his campaign—as reflected in that California kickoff rally—is almost ineffable. Biden is a back-to-the-future product who often seems clueless about the present. In view of so many deep and widespread concerns, from income inequality to healthcare disparities to the climate emergency, his talking points are simply beside the point.
The Biden base has two main components: the corporate media outlets that routinely protect him from critical scrutiny, and the rich people who routinely infuse his lackluster campaign with cash. When and where he isn’t getting fuel from either component of that base, the campaign sputters.

Contrasts with the large and passionate rallies for Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could hardly be greater. Not coincidentally, those two candidates are glad to rely on large numbers of small donations, while Biden relies on small numbers of large donations.
Biden is so afraid of Democratic activists that -- for the second time this year -- he declined an invitation to join other candidates in speaking to a convention of the California Democratic Party. The latest convention heard from eight presidential candidates on Nov. 16, two days after Biden’s kickoff rally, no more than an hour’s drive away in Long Beach.

While careful to stay away from engaged grassroots Democrats, Biden made a beeline for wealthy donors immediately after his sparsely attended rally. First, he hurried over to a reception in West Los Angeles (tickets up to $1,000 each). Later that evening, a local TV station noted, Biden’s fundraising schedule took him to “the Pacific Palisades home of Rick Lynch, the owner of the entertainment marketing firm BLT Communications, and music video producer Lanette Phillips,” with tickets “priced at $500 and $2,800, the maximum individual contribution during the primary campaign.”

Jonathan Cohn (IN THESE TIMES) notes the energy people are pouring into the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and how corporate pundits -- who insist they are 'centrists' -- are not centrist nor are the Dems who embrace them:

Given how broadly popular such progressive ideas are, one would think that they would be a part of any concept of a political “center.” But they’re not.
That’s because the “center” pundits talk about isn’t actually the center of the electorate. It more often refers to the center of the elite class of major donors—upholding a corporate-friendly status quo.
“Centrist” Democrats in Congress are fighting to protect pharmaceutical monopolies, thus inflating the cost of prescription drugs. By contrast, three-quarters of voters in key swing districts, according to a recent poll, want to see such monopolies broken up.
“Centrist” Democrats have aided and abetted Donald Trump’s immigration policies, but polls show that voters overwhelmingly oppose family separation and a border wall
“Centrist” Democrats often flock to bills that roll back regulations on Wall Street, and yet cracking down on Wall Street is popular across the political spectrum.
“Centrist” Democrats push to increase military spending year after year, and yet only one-third of voters actually think that we are spending too little.
The fact that progressive policies are popular—and that policies branded “centrist” often aren’t—doesn’t mean that progressive candidates can rest on their laurels and be assured of victory. We’ve seen progressive ballot measures win in the same elections that more progressive candidates didn’t.

What it does mean is that you can run on progressive policies and values and win. And that you can change what we even mean by the “center” in the process.   

Tiny Pete doesn't support the people because he's never been one of them.  He's a child posing as an adult.  That's not just referencing the infamous NEW REPUBLIC essay that TNR went on to pull (the essay raised valid points), that's also the fact that he's done nothing with his life that allows him to relate.  What big health bill has he ever had to pay?  As a mayor, as a member of the armed services, Pete' not had to face down the medical bills that most Americans deal with.

Well, he knows, right, the panic of looking at your sick child at one in the morning, right?


Pete and his husband have elected to have a childless marriage -- no adoption or surrogates for them.

Tiny Pete has no life experience to speak of or draw on.  That's reality.  And apparently he lacks self-awareness as well.  He's made no effort to understand the lives of people not like him.  His only point of reference is self.  Well, sorry, Pete, not every American has disposable income.  Many are raising children and struggling with bills.  Tiny Pete should have been listening to the American people a long time ago if he wants to be president.

Polls, polls, polls.  Maybe Destiny's Child could get back together long enough to record "Polls, Polls, Polls" as a follow up to "Bills, Bills, Bills"?  At JACOBIN, Meagan Day notes:

Look at this new CBS poll of Democrats in early battleground states. If we just observe who respondents list as their probable number-one choice, Joe Biden is in the lead with 29 percent, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 26 percent and Bernie Sanders at 18 percent. Pete Buttigieg trails with 9 percent, Kamala Harris pulls 7 percent, and the rest hardly deserve a mention.
But that’s not the only information available. The respondents were also asked to state how certain they were of their number-one choice. Bernie Sanders blew the competition out of the water. Forty-eight percent of those who listed Sanders as their preference responded that they’d “definitely made up their mind.” That number dropped to 35 percent for Biden supporters, 28 percent for Harris supporters, 22 percent for Warren supporters, and 21 percent for Buttigieg supporters.
These results pair well with a recent Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, which found that, overall, Buttigieg was the front-runner there, while Sanders, Warren, and Biden were locked in a dead heat for second place. We could stop there, but we’d be overlooking a key detail. The poll also found that Sanders supporters were the least likely to report that their vote was up for grabs. Fifty-seven percent of Iowa poll respondents who support Sanders said their mind was made up. None of the other top candidates even broke 30 percent.
That difference is astounding. “There’s a stickiness in his support,” said the head of the company that conducted the poll, concluding that Sanders “has the most fired up supporters.”
With Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg all performing well in some polls and lagging in others, this is a data point worth paying attention to. In a close race, there is immense value in “sticky support.” Someone who’s made up their mind this early and who’s passionate about their candidate is significantly more likely to donate or volunteer. Committed supporters put signs in their lawns and bumper stickers on their cars. They talk to their coworkers and families. They canvass their neighborhoods and post on social media. On election day, every person’s vote counts the same (well, sort of), but in the months beforehand, a committed supporter brings far more value to a campaign than a passive one.

Not only does Sanders have far more committed supporters in his corner, he’s also built an unparalleled distributed organizing infrastructure to connect the most gung ho of them to volunteer opportunities. According to campaign spokesperson Joe Calvello, the campaign has made more than 7 million calls and sent over 63 million texts to voters, with the majority of these going into early primary and Super Tuesday states. Other campaigns are reluctant to share volunteer-assisted outreach numbers. Could it be because they pale in comparison?

In Iraq, the protests continue.  Big Military (fake) Tiny Pete has nothing to say on that, by the way.  He's good at pretending he's an expert, he just fails to deliver.  Poor, tiny, Pete.

nurses in 's Tahrir square. After their hospital shifts they come to treat the wounded near the front lines of the protest. 'My parents think I'm at work' one says.

Sadr City residents have come in droves to Baghdad’s protests, driven by anger at the Iraq government’s neglect and fueled by their long history of defiance.

‘This is my sacrifice’: Hundreds maimed in Iraq protests - AFP | Up up to now: Nov 20, 2019, 8: 58 IST iraq sing BAGHDAD: A fractured backbone, paralysed leg, gap within the support: Hamza took to the streets of Iraq’s capital to ask a higher l...

As anti-government protests continue across Baghdad and the southern provinces, a group of twelve political blocs in the Council of Representatives has proposed a number of reform proposals to the government.

Sadr City in Iraq offers a window into the powerful passions driving the current protests

'This is my sacrifice': Thousands maimed in Iraq protests

Here is the whole story & beyond of Iraqi version of & . Interview with the director at group of youth in work in "The After the Darkness theatre" group, made it to support the protests in Baghdad

  यांनी पुन्हा ट्विट केले
If you were wondering who made the Iraqi protesters' slick Bella Ciao video, has the answer: 🇮🇶

A new development in the ongoing protests?  Protesters are now demonstrating in the KRG city of Erbil.

Dental graduates protest about unemployment in Erbil

On the corruption in the government . . .

Iraq in a tweet: 13 years ago today my father was kidnapped, 3 days after reporting corrupt practices at the Ministry of Health to his superiors. The person responsible for his murder went from prison to heading the parliamentary defence committee.

The following sites updated:

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