Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Batwoman "If You Believe in Me, I'll Believe in You"

Batwoman airs on The CW and I am two episodes behind. If you don't air every week, I do forget. So I've watched one of the two. Alice-Beth and Mouse have teamed up with, among others, Tommy Elliott. Again, Tommy will become the villain Hush. He's not there yet on the show. He is played by Gabriel Mann who was Nolan on ABC's Revenge. So Tommy was once upon a time friends with Bruce Wayne but is now hugely jealous of him and can't stop talking about him. He's obsessed with Bruce. Tommy probably has a crush on him, he certainly wishes he were Bruce and had what Bruce has. So Tommy reveals that Bruce had a book with all these weapons and other things.

Meanwhile Kate is being held hostage -- as Batwoman. Why no one thought to pull her mask off, I don't know. If I was a bad guy, that's the first thing I would do. Her step--sister helps rescue her. Mary's reward? She finally gets to see the lair including the Bat Cave. She tries to take a selfie but Luke stops her and basically says respect the cave.

Meanwhile, remember the book we were talking about. Batwoman has it. When . . . Magpie returns. And they battle over the book. Finally, Magpie drops it off the roof and Batwoman goes diving after it.

She catches it but when she returns to the roof, Magpie is gone.

Who cares, though, she's got the book, right?

Dressed as Kate, she bumps into the blond waitress Reagan she previously took out -- to the gala that Mary's mother died at, remember?

They head back to Kate's and make out.

Kate wakes up in an empty bed. She goes looking for Reagan. Can't find her. Kate looks in her own back pack and the book is gone.

We see Reagan giving the book to Magpie  and then we see Magpie -- who is also the blond date -- handing it over to Alice-Beth.

They are ecstatic. They have the book. Until Mouse opens it and explodes -- it's in code!!!!!

It was a good episode. There was also a scene where Jacob visited Alice-Beth. He loves her but she belongs in this place for the criminally insane. He has no idea that she and Mouse are running Arkham. Tommy's the only one who knows. They let him see that the doctor in charge is actually Mouse. They're trying to change Tommy's appearance.

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020.  Joe Biden remains the worst candidate imaginable -- whether it's Iraq, Tara Reade or what have you.

Let's start with garbage.  Specifically, garbage credited to the following:

Signatories of the letter to Biden include the Center for Economic and Policy Research, CodePink, Greenpeace US, Indivisible, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), Jewish Voice for Peace Action, MoveOn, Our Revolution, Peace Action, the Quincy Institute, RootsAction.org, and Win Without War.

In October of last year, Iraqis took to the streets to protest a corrupt government and the presence of foreign troops on their soil.  In response, they were attacked by their own government.  Estimates that the corporate press runs with puts it at over 500 dead.  The number is much higher.  In addition to the protesters killed, many more were injured and/or arrested.

When during all this time (the protests continue) did any of the above take a moment to support the Iraqi protesters, these young people risking their own lives?  Not once.  They couldn't even offer a Tweet.  But shortly after this year began, you may remember their Chicken Little reaction -- where they mounted protests as they screeched that any second the US government was going to declare war on Iran.  That never happened and they went back to not caring about the region.

The letter is mentioned in Jessica Corbett's stenography at COMMON DREAMS.  She tells you these groups are pressing Joe Biden to end endless wars and other things.

Why would anyone listen to them?

They've demonstrated that they can't keep their eye on the ball and that they'll grouse for a moment or two and then find a shiny toy to play with.

Why would Joe Biden listen to them?

Sorry, I was in Denver in 2008.  Barack was getting pressed, there was going to be a demonstration.  They were going to make their voices heard!!!  And then?  They held off the protest because Barack was going to meet with them.  They held off the protest and rubbed their hands together excitedly as they anticipated Barack's arrival but he was already departing and they were left with a lower level flunky who had no power.  They got played.

This crowd gets played every time.  They never learn.

Now they've issued a public letter that's as meaningless as they themselves are.

For those who don't know, Roots (Non)Action is Norman Solomon's group.  That would be the same Norman who has been hectoring everyone for months now that they have to vote for Joe Biden.

If your position is that you and everyone else has to vote for a candidate, the candidate has no reason to listen to you -- he can already count on your vote regardless.

Joe Biden is incompetent and that was the case long before he became the rambling idiot we see before us today.  If you care about Iraq, you know Joe destroyed it.  I'm not referring to his vote for -- and support of -- the Iraq War.  I'm referring to his time as Vice President.  Here's how Andrew Cockburn explained it at HARPER'S:

Presumably in deference to this record, Obama entrusted his vice president with a number of foreign policy tasks over the years, beginning with “quarterbacking,” as Biden put it, US relations with Iraq. “Joe will do Iraq,” the president told his foreign policy team a few weeks after being sworn in. “He knows it, he knows the players.” It proved to be an unfortunate choice, at least for Iraqis. In 2006, the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had selected Nouri al-Maliki, a relatively obscure Shiite politician, to be the country’s prime minister. “Are you serious?” exclaimed a startled Maliki when Khalilzad informed him of the decision. But Maliki proved to be a determinedly sectarian ruler, persecuting the Sunni tribes that had switched sides to aid US forces during the so-called surge of 2007–08. In addition, he sparked widespread allegations of corruption. According to the Iraqi Commission of Integrity set up after his departure, as much as $500 billion was siphoned off from government coffers during Maliki’s eight years in power.
In the 2010 parliamentary elections, one of Maliki’s rivals, boasting a nonsectarian base of support, won the most seats, though not a majority. According to present and former Iraqi officials, Biden’s emissaries pressed hard to assemble a coalition that would reinstall Maliki as prime minister. “It was clear they were not interested in anyone else,” one Iraqi diplomat told me. “Biden himself was very scrappy—he wouldn’t listen to argument.” The consequences were, in the official’s words, “disastrous.” In keeping with the general corruption of his regime, Maliki allowed the country’s security forces to deteriorate. Command of an army division could be purchased for $2 million, whereupon the buyer might recoup his investment with exactions from the civilian population. Therefore, when the Islamic State erupted out of Syria and moved against major Iraqi cities, there were no effective defenses. With Islamic State fighters an hour’s drive from Baghdad, the United States belatedly rushed to push Maliki aside and install a more competent leader, the Shiite politician and former government minister Haider al-Abadi. 

That's a sweet way of putting it.  Reality, the Iraqi people voted Nouri out.  Reality, Joe and others didn't want that to happen.  Reality, The Erbil Agreement was produced to overturn the election results and give Nouri a second term.  We've covered this forever and a day.  No interviewer has ever asked Joe, "Explain to us your support for The Erbil Agreement?"  Nor did anyone supposedly moderating a debate.

The Islamic State appears in Nouri's second term.  They're wearing dark clothes and they are on the highway between Baghdad and Anbar Province.  Does no one remember that?

I'm sure Joe Biden prays you don't remember.

Nouri was already persecuting people in his first term and it only got worse in the second term -- the term the Iraqi people didn't want Nouri to have, the one that the US government -- with Joe Biden leading the effort -- gifted Nouri with.

Joe argued for a tyrant to get a second term and how did that work out?

Let's see, you had the rise of ISIS, you had US troops officially back in Iraq, you had Barack refusing to take Nouri's calls for two years (2012 through 2014) and then the process finally began of forcing Nouri out.

But somehow, Joe never gets asked about any of this.

Instead, we pretend that Joe's entire Iraq War action was voting for the Iraq War.

He gets to proclaim credit in the debate for removing (some) US troops from Iraq and no one ever notes it was his actions -- demanding Nouri get a second term -- that led to US troops being sent back into Iraq.

Iraq has a new prime minister as of May 7th, Mustafa al-Kadhimi.  This was the subject of the most recent episode of CRITICAL MOVES (TELESUR).

The government of Iraq notes:

receives a phone call from
to congratulate him on assuming office, and to discuss bilateral relations, saying that Iraq is a strong nation and has a central role to play in achieving regional and international stability.

The Prime Minister's office also notes the call with US President Donald Trump.

رئيس مجلس الوزراء
يتلقى اتصالا هاتفيا من الرئيس الأمريكي
هنأ فيه السيد الكاظمي بمناسبة توليه رئاسة الحكومة العراقية. وشكر رئيس مجلس الوزراء السيد مصطفى الكاظمي الرئيس الأمريكي على التهنئة، مؤكدا حرص العراق على إقامة أفضل العلاقات مع الولايات المتحدة .


Trump spoke with Kadhimi "to congratulate him on his confirmation by the Iraqi Council of Representatives," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.
"President Trump expressed the support of the United States for Iraq during the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic and emphasized the shared interest with Iraq in achieving the enduring defeat of ISIS (Daesh)," the statement said.
"President Trump also encouraged the Prime Minister to address the Iraqi people's demands for reform and legitimate early national elections," it said.

At FOREIGN POLICY, Shelly Kittleson offers:

Despite an institutional void since widespread protests across Shiite-majority central and southern Iraq forced the previous government to resign late in 2019 and the international coalition’s recent withdrawal from several Iraqi bases, moves are afoot to more fully integrate some Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) factions into government chains of command and structures that existed prior to 2014.
If Iraq’s new government manages to do so, it could reduce the influence of powerful armed groups with questionable loyalty to the Iraqi state.
The PMU were officially formed in 2014 through a fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for volunteers to fight against the Islamic State in order to defend Shiite holy sites and Iraq in general. They played a key role in the country’s territorial defeat of the transnational terrorist group.
Several of the brigades within the PMU belong to armed groups that had existed for many years prior to the PMU’s formation in 2014. These factions have long been supported by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Others set up in 2014 and loyal to Sistani are known as “shrine units.”

In the United States, Tara Reade continues to tell her story.  Megyn Kelly posed her interview with Tara -- posted it on Friday evening.

It's now had over 629,000 streams.

Roger Sollenberger (SALON) reports:
A 1996 filing in a California Superior Court reveals that former Capitol hill staffer Tara Reade spoke about allegations of sexual harassment with her ex-husband on "several occasions" while working in former Vice President Joe Biden's Senate office from 1992-1993.
The declaration, first reported on by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, does not mention sexual assault. Reade's ex-husband, Ted Dronen, said in the document that his ex-wife spoke to him about the allegations of harassment on "several occasions." The statements in the document, which was also obtained by The New York Times, were attributed to Biden's "office," though not the senator himself.
"On several occasions petitioner related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden's office," Dronen's statement said in reference to Reade. 
"Petitioner told me that she eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the senator's office and left her position," he added.

Kate Sheehy (NEW YORK POST) notes:

Lawyers for Joe Biden sex accuser Tara Reade on Monday demanded that the former veep open up his archives at the University of Delaware and pushed a Senate official to hand over any documents related to the case, too.
Top sex-harassment lawyer Douglas Wigdor told Biden that he must “authorize a search [of his university archives] to determine whether they contain any records related to Ms. Reade” —  evoking the former US senator from Delaware’s controversial handling of the Anita Hill controversy in 1991.

The following sites updated:

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