Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Diana Ross

Yesterday, Rebecca and I served up our summer read:




Now Diana Ross:

In 2021, Ross turned 77. The singer released her first single in over 15 years to celebrate her milestone years, “Thank You.” She also shared via Twitter that she’s putting the finishing touches on her album of the same name. According to Rolling Stone, Ross completed several songs amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in her home studio.

“Singing is my beautiful, delicious obsession,” she said.

Diana is, of course, an Academy Award nominated actress -- for Lady Sings The Blues.  She's also a singer with more hits than most of us could ever begin to name.  I'm watching Diana right now.

Disney+ has posted the original The Muppet Show.  And Diana's a guest on season four, the last episode of season four.  So you know that's the one I started with.


There's a Pigs In Space skit.  Animal gets a drum solo.  We get Gonzo the Great. Diana sets up Fozzie to tell a joke. He can't handle the pressure so she tells the joke with him and then sings "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" to him.   Floyd plays electric guitar while Diana sings "Last Time I Saw Him" and then Kermit and the gang join them.  Diana also performs "Love Hangover."   She wears a really attractive red outfit (pantsuit) while singing "Last Time I Saw Him."

So if you have Disney+, check it out.  I'll catch the episodes with Pearl Bailey, Liza Minnelli, Debbie Harry, Madeline Kahn, Gilda Radner, Gladys Knight and Johnny Cash next.  There are, however, some hosts I will skip.

Anyway, Hot Press notes:

Irish singer-songwriter RuthAnne Cunningham has shared that her new song will be featured on Diana Ross' upcoming album.

On Virgin Media's Six O'Clock Show this weekend, the Grammy-nominated songwriter said, "I just found out it was going ahead because I wrote it a year ago but Diana Ross has recorded one of my new songs for her album. And it's coming out very soon! I sing backgrounds in it with the girls and I wrote it with an all-female crew in LA so we're just so, so excited that it's coming out.

Cunningham said it took a year and seven months to get confirmation that her song would be on Ross' album, which will be the first new album in 15 years for the legendary American singer.

 Kat's "Kat's Korner: What does Barbra's RELEASE ME 2 tell us?"

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


Tuesday, August 10, 2021.  More on the damage done by the party's girl's big bash.

Picking up from yesterday's topic of Barack Obama's stupid and outrageous birthday party.  Liza Featherstone (JACOBIN) observes:

ll summer, millions of Americans this year worried about being evicted from their homes, catching the Delta variant, persuading recalcitrant loved ones to get vaccinated, or whether a COVID resurgence might keep schools closed in the fall. Former president Barack Obama was apparently loftily unbothered by any of these plebeian concerns.

The distinguished memoirist was too busy planning a ginormous sixtieth birthday party for himself on his vast and vulgar Martha’s Vineyard estate, a sprawling 6,892-foot tumor on a beautifully spare coastal landscape, which the Obamas bought in 2019 for $11.75 million. The 475 guests were to include George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey. Even people close to him argued for weeks that as the White House was urging caution, given the recent COVID resurgence, the optics of this shindig were not good. Last week he appeared, for a moment, to be conceding to internal Democratic Party pressure by disinviting most of the guests, limiting the celebration to family and close friends. But that soon turned out to be some kind of head fake.

While Obama’s party might not have caused a deadly outbreak — it was outdoors and the Obamas were requiring guests to be vaccinated — the former president’s birthday bash showed, at a minimum, a cavalier insensitivity to the fears and needs of his neighbors, as well as a general indifference to the political fortunes of his fellow Democrats and the sufferings of Americans. But the kerfuffle shouldn’t surprise close observers of Obama’s ex-presidency, which has been strikingly bereft of public-spiritedness.

He’s distinguished himself as an enemy of labor and friend of racist cops. NBA players began to go on strike last August after Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot by police seven times in front of his kids, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Amid a national uprising over the shooting and many other acts of racist police brutality, Obama called LeBron James and players’ union leader Chris Paul and urged them to get back on the court and finish the playoffs, which they did.

Obama was also instrumental in shutting down Bernie Sanders’s bid for the presidency, a huge setback to the movement for social democracy in the United States. When Sanders was leading in the primaries, Obama worked to organize the other rival candidates to drop out and back Biden, making it impossible for Sanders to win. He then persuaded the democratic socialist senator to drop out of the race.

And let’s not forget Obama’s awful museum in Chicago. The three-memoir author is erecting a garish monument to himself on Jackson Park, which community activists argue will wreak havoc on cherished green space and a fragile ecosystem, as well as upon the legal scaffolding for the very idea of the public interest (we wrote about this late last year).

In addition to his appalling Vineyard manse, Obama is also planning to live in an additional ecological monstrosity in Hawaii — owned by close crony Marty Nesbitt, chair of the Obama Foundation board — and developed for the Obamas. ProPublica reported last year that the Obama’s planned beach house has a controversial sea wall, which protects the estate in storms but is illegal because such structures disrupt the flow of the ocean and contribute to beach loss throughout the state.

That's the little princess who, please remember, entered the White House complaining of student loan debt.  Talk about someone cashing in -- whoring -- a public position.  It's unseemly and it goes to the fact that he's trash.  The country should be outraged.

And it's past time for the press to try a little honesty.

Photos weren't banned for security reasons.  Photos were banned because Barack didn't want the American people to see how a whore really lives.  Shame on him.  Shame on all who attended.  It was outrageous.  It sent the wrong message.  It wasn't safe -- not for the planet, not for the people.  

Barack has become the queen of excess.  It's appalling.  He does nothing for anyone but himself.  He never served the American people so I guess we shouldn't be surprised this is how he behaves.

Are all the 'Progressives for Obama' dead yet?  I know Tom Hayden is.  I think the repulsive Carl Davidson is still around.  They whored for Barack in 2008.  Remember those crazy times when David Lindorff would whore for Barack insisting that "as a Black person who has done drugs" Barack deserved our vote?  Remember Laura The Family Whore Flanders insisting that they would hold Barack's feet to the fire after the primary and the primary ended and then she was insisting she would hold his feet to the fire after the general election and then . . . .  A bunch of trashy whores birthed Barack, don't pretend he just turned up yesterday.  

COVID 19 is a global pandemic.  And one of the most well known people on the face of the earth sent the wrong message.  Intentionally sent the wrong message.  Because it was more important to little girl Barack that he gets to wear his party dress than that he be on message.  

UNHCR Tweets:

This COVID vaccination center in a refugee camp is the first of its kind in Iraq.  Everyone, including refugees, should have fair and equal access to the #CovidVaccine because no one is safe until everyone is safe. Syringe
4:30 PM · Aug 8, 2021

5%.  That's the number of people in Iraq said to be vaccinated.

Is it serious?  Does COVID matter or not??  This is disgusting.  As Betty pointed out, the smartest thing US President Joe Biden's done is not attend that birthday party.

Online some are trying to pretend the party wasn't outrageous and are invoking Malcolm Forbes' birthday party years ago.

I'm sorry, are they saying that Barack, like Malcolm, is a closeted gay man?

They certainly aren't trashing Malcolm Forbes for whoring his public service because Forbes held no public office.  He was a greedy business person.  And he spent his own money that he earned.

No one believes for a minute that Barack 'earned' $60 million for writing a book -- that didn't sell all that well.  

He has used the office he held to enrich himself and he has done nothing for the people.


Iraqis are not turning out to receive their Covid vaccines despite the jab's availability, a member of Iraqi parliament's health committee told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site on Monday.

Vaccination rates in Iraq are "very low",  committee member Jawad Al-Moussawi told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, because of a lack of confidence in government actions and misinformation about the vaccine.

Al-Moussawi told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that some health centres do not have the vaccine doses they need – despite doses now pouring into Iraq.

Public health director Riyad Al-Halfi told state newspaper Al-Sabaah that Iraq had received two million new doses of the Sinopharm and Pfizer vaccines on Monday, to be distributed throughout the country.

The Atlantic Council notes:

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in Iraq are devastating. With a population of over thirty-nine million, Iraq has totaled at least 1.5 million infections and over eighteen thousand deaths since the start of the pandemic. Like much of the Middle East, the vaccination effort in Iraq is progressing at an alarmingly slow rate—only 0.99 percent of Iraq’s population is fully vaccinated. Globally, the conversation surrounding COVID-19 is, understandably, focused on the death toll, number of infections, and vaccination rates. Yet, similarly grave statistics can be found in the countless untold stories in countries like war-ravaged Iraq, where the devastating social impacts of COVID-19 receive little global attention, particularly youth education.

Throughout the pandemic, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraq’s federal government mandated school closures nationwide, affecting eleven million Iraqi children, ranging from pre-primary students to post-secondary students. The devastating impacts of COVID-19, coupled with years of spillover effects of violent conflict and extremism, have already proved to be detrimental to students whose education and future career ambitions already receive limited attention. Now, compounded with the effects of the pandemic, Iraq faces a perilous prospect: the potential for an entire illiterate generation

COVID-19 and education in Iraq

The pandemic has negatively impacted education in Iraq in two main ways: (1) Iraqi youths’ lack of access to education and (2) inconsistent school re-openings. A lack of access to education in Iraq is unfortunately not a new obstacle. This phenomenon has plagued the country for decades as a third-order consequence of multiple violent conflicts starting in 2003. Adding COVID-19 into the equation only exacerbates an already dire situation in the Iraqi education system.

In 2018, ACAPS, an independent humanitarian information provider, reported that only 20 percent of children in Iraq had access to computers at home, which made the transition to online learning during the pandemic virtually impossible for the majority of students. In a series of interviews with Iraqi parents, mothers and fathers conveyed that their children had received no education since school closures in February 2020. During the same series of interviews, a teacher from the Kurdistan region of Iraq cited the lack of internet access among students as a driving factor for why students could not attend school virtually. In terms of internet connectivity, Iraq ranks well below international averages of internet quality. Among the small number of Iraqi children who were fortunate enough to access both a computer and internet, connectivity is constantly interrupted by prolonged power outages. As a result, students could not attend virtual classes, complete required assignments, and study properly.

When looking at inconsistent school re-openings during the pandemic, both the KRG and the government of Iraq have constantly closed and re-opened schools due to fluctuations in COVID-19 case counts. Within these fluctuated closings and re-openings, overcrowded schools without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) have led to high rates of infections among children in Iraq. The country is also ranked amongst the highest in the world in terms of total duration of school closures during the pandemic, lasting sixty-two weeks. During this time, even children who could access schooling received low-quality education, with some instructors only able to teach 50 percent of their curriculum. Dr. Abbas Kadhim, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, described it as “a year to be forgotten for the kids” and total “chaos.”

COVID messaging has to be consistent or there's no point.  Barack's nonsense has defeated every effort Joe Biden has made since May when his administration has worked hard to improve messaging.  

On the topic of Joe, ABNA 24 offers this take on Joe's recent meet-up with Iraq's prime Minister Mustafa al-Kahdimi:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s state visit to the White House last week was a textbook case of face-saving obfuscation, for himself as well as for US president Joe Biden. For the US president, it represented the symbolic but illusory transformation of his country’s military footprint in Iraq into an “advisory role”. For Mr. Kadhimi, it was not only meant to placate the many voices within Iraq calling for complete US withdrawal, but an attempt to present the future US-Iraq relationship as being one of equals, between two totally sovereign states.

Were that in fact the case, then president Biden, a dyed-in-the-wool foreign interventionist would not have acceded so meekly.

Iraq and the institutions built there since the 2003 invasion remain of central importance to the US and wider Western ambitions for the region. The American hesitancy in initially withdrawing at the start of the 2010s was due in large part to the fact it had created a power vacuum in the heart of the region.

Without Saddam Hussein and his largely Western-armed military machine hemming in the Iranians, complete US withdrawal would have seen Tehran fill the void, solidifying its arc of influence stretching to the Syrian and Lebanese coasts.

Needless to say, this ‘new’ US-Iraqi strategic dialogue will involve continuing support to the post-invasion political and military elite, which Washington has tasked with subduing the Popular Mobilization Forces and blocking Iranian aid and material to its allies in Syria and Lebanon. The expected demand of the conventional armed forces for weapons and material no doubt has defence companies on both sides of the Atlantic salivating. 

Kat's "Kat's Korner: What does Barbra's RELEASE ME 2 tell us?" went up last night and the following sites updated:

No comments: