Sunday, July 31, 2022

They should worry about looking too extreme

Hannah Knowles (Washington Post) reports

Some Republicans have warned for months that backlash against discussions of LGBTQ issues in schools could brand the party as anti-gay, as right-wing stars embrace unsubstantiated accusations that teachers who broach sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom are “grooming” children and making them vulnerable to abuse. The concerns intensified in June as the Texas GOP added language to their party platform calling homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”

“I hope that conservatives and Republicans don’t get into reactionary mode and really listen to where the public is and respond responsibly to legitimate concerns instead of just simply playing to an audience,” said Marco Roberts, a gay Republican who worked to remove condemnations of homosexuality from the platform in 2018.

Charles Moran — the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a national group for gay conservatives — pointed to significant GOP support for the federal same-sex marriage bill as evidence of progress. Forty-seven House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure, and supporters in the Senate have been working to get 10 GOP votes.

Approval in the Senate, Moran said, would be “a huge benefit for us as conservatives … because when we go to gay and lesbian voters in November, the Democrats are not going to be able to say, well, the Republicans are going to try to take away your gay marriage.”

Moran also said he found nothing problematic in a recent social media post from Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, which ranked politicians by their likelihood of getting monkeypox, a disease that in the U.S. is spreading mostly between men who have sex with men. On one end was Donald Trump; on the other was Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic transportation secretary, who is gay. In the middle was Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), whose criticism of Trump has drawn the right’s ire.

The Trump Organization, which Trump Jr. helps lead, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did a longtime representative for Trump Jr. Moran noted that Trump Jr., who has a huge online following, has publicly criticized the Texas GOP’s decision to exclude the Log Cabin Republicans at their convention.

They should be worried.  They look way too extreme and too out of touch and, no, there is not support for it in America.  The Supreme Court is out of step with the country, they live in a bubble of hate.  Kat's "Love the idea of term limits for the Supreme Court" and read Elaine's "Term limits and mandatory retirement for Supreme Court justices" have written about the need for term limits and I agree with that.  These should not be lifetime appointments.  It was one thing when the average life expectancy was well below fifty.  Now it is just too much.

And let me note this:

Reverend Al Sharpton tore into Republicans in Congress for dragging their feet in the sand in regards to the Respect for Marriage Act, which has been passed in the House and would codify same-sex marriage in law.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act with only 47 Republicans voting in support of the bill. 157 Republican House members voted no, including Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) who attended his own son’s same-sex marriage just days after voting against the bill.

Sharpton slammed Thompson saying:

Maybe he was just distracted. After all, in just three days, his son was getting married. That is right, one of the same Republicans who voted against a measure to protect same-sex marriage, walked out of the chamber, hopped on a plane back home, and celebrated a same-sex union within his own family. Perhaps, it would be a mistake to expect any logical consistency from congressman Thompson, after all, he also signed on to a lawsuit disputing the results of the 2020 election. And we still haven’t seen any evidence of significant voter fraud.

The host of Politics Nation noted that soon GOP senators will be voting on this bill saying that they “fancy themselves to be thoughtful, reasonable and, perhaps, even, qualified for the highest office in the land,” with a tone of sarcasm in his voice.


Good for, Al.  Thank you, Al.

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


Friday, July 29, 2022.  The motto for the Biden era: Its the incompetency, stupid.

The r-word.  BREAKING POINTS wonders if we're seeing the recession confirmed before our eyes.

THE HILL wonders if US President Joe Biden will admit the recession is here?

I wonder who will be the modern day James Carville and stress, "It's the incompetence, stupid?"

Nick Beams (WSWS) reports:

The US economy has taken another significant step towards recession with economic output contracting for the second quarter in a row, a situation often referred to as a “technical recession.”

When the first quarter results were released, they were generally passed off as having no real significance, the result of a statistical aberration. But the latest data indicate they were the start of a trend.

The official definition of a recession in the US is determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and it will not make a determination for some time. But whatever it decides, the data for the last two quarters indicate a significant slowdown over the past six months. In the December quarter of 2021, the US economy was growing at an annualised rate of 6.9 percent.

Breaking down the data, there were a number of results which point to the underlying trends. Consumer spending, which accounts for around two thirds of total economic output, grew by only 1 percent for the quarter, down from the 1.8 percent increase in the first. Consumer spending growth is now at its lowest rate since the start of the pandemic.

Real wages are falling, with real disposable income falling by 0.5 percent for the quarter, the fifth straight quarterly fall.

The biggest drag on growth was the drop in business inventories which cut 2 percent off the headline result. Earlier Walmart, America’s biggest retailer, reported that it was cutting prices in a bid to clear out inventories that had built up because of falling demand. Business investment was also down.

There is a concerted attempt to deny that recession is taking hold. Earlier this week US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said the US economy was not in recession and she would “be amazed” if the NBER declared it was.

Tuesday, Trina observed:

Yesterday, CNBC reported:

Walmart cut its quarterly and full-year profit estimates because of rising food inflation. This alarmed investors who deliberated the implications for other retail stocks. The big-box retailer said higher prices are spurring consumers to pull back on general merchandise spending, particularly in apparel.

Walmart plunged 7.6% Tuesday and dragged other retailers with it. Kohl’s and Target dropped 9.1% and 3.6%, respectively. Among apparel companies, Macy’s was among the hardest hit, down 7.2%. Nordstrom and Ross each lost more than 5%, and TJX Companies shed about 4.2%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF fell nearly 4.2%.

Inflation's destroying everything.  We don't need war with Russia.  We never did.  And we've never needed to throw all of our money away by giving it to Ukraine.  But that's what Joe Biden's done and he's destroyed our economy.

DNYUZ reports:

A day after Walmart warned investors that its profit would shrink as rising prices forced shoppers to make fewer purchases at its stores, UnileverCoca-Cola and McDonald’s, three other consumer-facing giants, reinforced the message, to different degrees, providing a window into how companies are navigating this fragile economic moment.

On Tuesday, Unilever, the maker of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, said it raised prices until they were 11 percent higher than in the same quarter last year, offsetting a 2 percent decline in the volume of things that consumers bought. It was the fourth consecutive quarter in which prices outpaced volume growth at the company.

It's the incompetency, stupid.

Evan Blake (WSWS) points out:

The infection of US President Joe Biden with COVID-19 marks a significant turning point in the US response to the pandemic. This event, which should have provoked deep concern and self-reflection by the Biden administration, was instead utilized to openly state the White House’s brutal new policy towards the pandemic: Everyone will get infected with COVID-19, repeatedly, year after year, forever.

As the World Socialist Web Site has noted, last winter’s surge of the highly infectious and immune-resistant Omicron BA.1 subvariant prompted the scrapping of all mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As with previous variants, officials from numerous world governments made unscientific claims that BA.1 would induce lasting immunity and send the virus into “endemicity.”

Now, after successive waves of three more Omicron subvariants, this threadbare lie is being discarded and the Biden administration is openly pursuing a policy of perpetual mass infection. This is essentially a repackaged and even more dangerous version of the “herd immunity” strategy implemented by Donald Trump, as it threatens to rapidly erode the efficacy of existing vaccines and treatments. While openly stating their intention to allow SARS-CoV-2 to spread uncontrolled in perpetuity, the White House continues to cover up the horrific implications this will have for American and world society.

It is evident that sometime in June the decision was made to substantially reduce the safety precautions in place to protect the President from contracting COVID-19. In recent weeks, numerous photos and videos were staged at large indoor events and meetings internationally with a maskless Biden. In effect, the White House consciously allowed Biden to be infected as part of a deepening propaganda campaign to force American society to accept their policy of “forever COVID.”

On July 18, three days before Biden’s infection was made public, his 81-year-old Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Politico, “We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this.” In other words, Dr. Fauci stated that the pandemic will drag on for at least the next quarter century.

At each of the three press conferences held during Biden’s illness, White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated this statement of surrender to the virus, while stating that all Americans will inevitably be infected with COVID-19.

On July 21, Jean-Pierre stated, “Look, we knew this was going to happen. As Dr. Jha said … at some point, everyone is going to get COVID.” The following day, Dr. Jha said bluntly, “This virus is going to be with us forever.” On Monday, July 25, Jean-Pierre repeated, “As we have said, almost everyone is going to get COVID.” Numerous articles in the bourgeois press and segments on the broadcast news outlets parroted these same talking points.

Finally, on Wednesday Biden tested negative for COVID-19 and ended his isolation. Visibly unwell, coughing repeatedly, his voice still deep from the infection, and stumbling over his words more than usual, Biden gave a lying and cynical 10-minute speech to a group of maskless, cheering staffers in the Rose Garden, in which he portrayed vaccines and Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid as magical “tools” that nullify the dangers of perpetual mass viral transmission.

In the course of his speech, Biden referred to God three times and “prayers” once. He made no reference to the rising daily death toll from COVID-19, the impacts of Long COVID, viral evolution, mask mandates, airborne transmission, or other critical concerns about the pandemic raised by leading scientists. On the same day as Biden’s speech, 801 Americans officially died from COVID-19 and the seven-day average of daily new deaths rose to 440, up 67 percent from the trough reached on June 21, while hospitalizations approached 44,000, a three-fold increase in the past three months.

In 1992, James Carville boiled down Bill Clinton's campaign to three main points with the chief one being the economy and stressing to staffers on a daily basis, "It's the economy, stupid."

That's what they were focusing on because that's what the American people were focusing on.

These days?  Someone needs to look Joe in the eye and tell him, "It's the incompetency, stupid."

Because the Biden presidency has been all about incompetency.

COVID 19?  It did not arrive on his tenure.  It was already here and he has no plans to this day for it.  The pandemic was already going when he ran for president and made promises.  Now he's president and he's not doing a damn thing.  We'll all get it?  How lucky we are to have you in office.

He's an incompetent fool.

Our economy was suffering.  But he made it much worse with his billions given to Ukraine while Americans at home suffered.  He was the 'great guy' buying dinner for everyone while at home the electricity was getting turned off because we hadn't paid the bills.  

Ukraine is not the 51st in the US.  

But Joe wanted war on Russia.  And that war is destroying the global economy.

It's the incompetency, stupid.

He is a failure in every regard and if, in year two of his presidency, the best 'solution' he can offer with regards to the pandemic is that we're all going to get COVID, he needs to resign because he has nothing to offer.

Under his watch, ROE V WADE was overturned.  Precedent has been trashed and Clarence Thomas has made clear that when not eyein' his porn, he's busy planning to overturn birth control access, marriage equality and nearly any other privacy right he can get his spare hand on.  By the way, is it karma that a sex perv like him ended up married to such an unattractive woman?

Joe does nothing.  He doesn't publicly demand Congress codify ROE into law.  He wobbles along, eager to get his photo taken and he does nothing.  

The country needs a leader and Joe's AWOL.

Kenny Stancil (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Liberal comedian Jon Stewart chastised the GOP on Thursday, less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans tanked a bill that would have expanded healthcare access for U.S. military veterans exposed to Agent Orange and toxic burn pits—a move that was made in retaliation for Democrats reviving their reconciliation package following the passage of bipartisan legislation designed to boost domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing.

"Everyone needs to watch this," progressive commentator Krystal Ball tweeted, sharing a clip of Stewart, who has lobbied for improved assistance for veterans harmed by toxins, speaking in Washington, D.C. "Republicans are literally blocking care for veterans poisoned by burn pits as part of their temper tantrum over a deal to tax corporations and create clean energy jobs."

Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference held in the wake of the GOP's refusal to advance the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, Stewart told the crowd: "I'm used to the hypocrisy... I'm used to the lies... I'm used to the cowardice... I'm used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty."

"These motherf[**]kers," said Stewart, referring to U.S. senators, "don't support the troops, [they] support the war machine."

"They haven't met a war they won't sign up for, and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over," added the former host of The Daily Show, who now has a program on Apple TV+.

Good for Jon for his righteous rage.  But it's not a surprise.  

Joe could have ensured the legislation passed.  He could have tied it around the Republicans neck ahead of the vote.  He could have made it an issue.  He didn't.

And the press really won't either.  When, years ago, 'Democrat' Jim Webb tanked a bill to expand veterans benefits with regards to Agent Orange, I was as outraged as Jon is now.  And then the head of a veterans group told me that if I wanted to get mad wait and get mad at all the people who rush to hush it up.  He was right.

Veterans knew what Webb did.  It's why he didn't run for re-election.  He didn't have enough support anymore to win.  But the media played it off and never raised that issue when he announced he was retiring and no one ever called him for being the piece of crap that he was.

We didn't cover for him.  Late to the party?  February 14, 2012:

First, if you need to know how ugly the Agent Orange issue got on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, you can refer to the September 23, 2010 snapshot reporting on that day's hearing when Senator Jim Webb had his little hissy, when Senator Roland Burris insisted that "budget shortfalls" do not mean you cut needed health benefits for veterans and, as Senator Burris said that, Senator Jon Testor, with an angry look on his face, rose and stormed out of the hearing.  Earlier Testor had been backing up Webb who was furious that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was attempting to see to it that the victims of Agent Orange got the help they needed.
And we're going to drop back to the June 15, 2010 snapshot:
 WAVY reports (link has text and video) that victims of Agent Orange (specifically Vietnam era veterans) could recieve addition beneifts for B-Cell Leukemia, Parkinson's disease and coronary heart disease.  Could?  A US Senator is objecting to the proposed changes by VA.  Jim Webb has written VA Secretary Eric Shinseki that ". . . this single executive decision is estimated to cost a minimum of $42.2 billion over the next ten years. A regulatory action of this magnitude requires proper Congressional review and oversight."  Besides, Webb wrote, "Heart disease is a common phenomenon regardless of potential exposure to Agent Orange." That is really embarrasing and especially embarrassing for the Democratic Party (Webb is a Democrat today, having converted from a Reagan Republican).  It also goes a long way towards explaining Webb's refusal to get on board with Senator Evan Bayh's bill to create a national registry that would allow those Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans to be able to receive treatment for their exposures without having to jump through hoops repeatedly.

Veteran Jim Webb did everything he could to prevent victims of Agent Orange and Burn Pits from receiving the medical treatment they needed.  That's why he can't run for re-election.  Veterans in Virginia pulled their support in 2010 over the Agent Orange issue.  His decision not to seek re-election has to do with the fact that he doesn't have the votes to win.  And he shouldn't after what he did.  There's an important lesson there: A veteran isn't necessarily the one to elect to Congress if you're concerned about veterans issues.

Our Congress is very greedy when it comes to helping people who are not in Ukraine.  

Iraq remains in tatters.  Our Congress saw to that and now they ignore the country they tore apart.  THE ARAB WEEKLY notes:

The storming of Iraq's parliament by hundreds of supporters of populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has piled pressure on his political opponents working to form a government nearly ten months after an election.

There are signs Sadr's pressure on his opponents is starting to spin out of control, with former premier Nuri al-Maliki taking unprecedented security precautions that could augur violent developments in the Iraqi scene.

"Neither side is willing to make any concessions," political scientist Ali al-Baidar said Thursday, one day after crowds breached Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone and staged a parliamentary sit-in, waving flags and demanding change.

The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and a socio-economic crisis despite soaring energy prices.

Escalation of protests and counter protests could force Iraq into the "danger zone" of armed strife, experts fear.

Is Iraq heading towards more violence and protests? Or will it be obliged to hold fresh polls?

THE FINANCIAL TIMES wants you to know that Moqtada has power.  What power?

Besides Joe Biden backing him, what does Moqtada have?  Joe doesn't want Nouri back in power.  That's why US tax dollars were handed over to Moqtada back in August to get him to call for his cult to vote (he was boycotting the election prior to his payout).  It's why the Nouri recording surfaced.  That's allegedly an NSA recording of Nouri.  Whether it is or not, that's what Nouri believes: that the US passed it on to an Iraqi reporter who leaked portions of it on Twitter.  Should Nouri or his protege become prime minister, there will be a huge amount of ill will towards the  US government.  

For those who forgot or missed the leaks a little over a week ago, In a series of Tweets, Tammus Intel covered the recording.

Noori Almaliki: 1- The next phase in Iraq is war, the other speaker says "we are ready" ( after analyzing the records it turned out that the ones who were talking with Noori Almaliki are members of Kataib Hezbollah) #Iraq

2- I told Mustafa Alkadhimi that everyone will protect themselves by their own and Muqtada is coming to kill and slaughter and i will not count on army and police. 3- Muqtada will target me first because i ruined their agendas in Iraq. #Iraq

4- I started arming groups and if he attacks us i will even attack Najaf. 5- Muqtada wants blood and he's coward, he wants money and he robbed Iraq, he thinks that he's the Mahdi. 6- My tribe will protect me and they are ready. #Iraq
7- I call my good supporters to be ready and i will also not count on the PMF because they are also cowards. 8-Iraq is heading to a bloody war that no one will be saved from unless we end Sadr, Halbosi and Barzani project. #Iraq

Joe's the only power that Moqtada has and one has to wonder why the US government is so damn determined right now to support Moqtada -- a right wing, homophobic, sexist who is responsible for the deaths of countless America troops?

If you've seen the footage from the storming of the Parliament -- that day's footage -- you should marvel over one thing.  You see his cult taking down parts of the concrete barrier that protects the Green Zone.  That's how they get entry.  Has the ongoing stalemate so paralyzed the Baghdad-based government that it couldn't stop or was there a stand-down ordered?  

The following sites updated:

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Our rights are hanging by a thread

First up, last night, Rebecca and I posted:

Every summer, we do a summer read together.  We read the same book and then post our thoughts on the book.  So you get two perspectives and maybe something in 1 or both reviews helps you decide a book's for you or that a book's not for you.
New topic. From Time magazine:

In the chaotic hours and days after a six-person Supreme Court majority essentially ended the federal right to abortion in the United States, it was easy to rush past the dissent issued by the bench’s liberal trio. In their blistering argument about the half-century of precedent that was imploding, they also warned of what else might collapse in the coming years quicker than a child’s wooden toy set.

“Faced with all these connections between Roe/ Casey and judicial decisions recognizing other constitutional rights, the majority tells everyone not to worry,” the minority bloc wrote. “It can (so it says) neatly extract the right to choose from the constitutional edifice without affecting any associated rights. (Think of someone telling you that the Jenga tower simply will not collapse.)”

Put another way: While liberals are correct to freak out about the immediate impact from the Dobbs ruling, those fearful that the rights to contraceptionmarriage, and sexual choices are newly vulnerable are not overreacting. Among D.C.’s gay operative class, there’s the quiet resignation that the right to wed is likely to be on the docket in the next five years, and there’s not a whole lot protecting it. Do not, in any circumstance, listen when the majority says everything will be fine because it probably will not. Popularity can’t beat gravity. After all, blindly trusting the Jenga blocks to defy instability is seldom sage.

In other words, it was widely assumed that abortion rights were here to stay. Nominees for the Supreme Court had, with consistency and seeming conviction, said Roe was settled. Warnings that Roe was in danger were summarily brushed off as paranoia from candidates, activists, and outside groups alike. Abortion was seen as part of American life, an option for pregnant individuals who by and large could exercise their rights in most cases. State-based efforts to limit those rights were routinely set aside by courts. They won’t touch Roe was the implied thinking of a lot of voters, even as Presidents as far back as Ronald Reagan were nominating judges interested in doing exactly that.

I am not going to think for a moment that our rights are safe.  They are not at this moment in time.  We need to make a point to speak up and speak out.


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


Thursday, July 28, 2022.  Moqtada al-Sadr orders cult to riot and take over Parliament, Lauren Boebert can't stop spreading hate, and much more.

Iraq today?  Protesters?  Demonstrators?  

Think about it, we'll come back to it.

Should we do a new feature?  TODAY'S IDIOT?  THE DAILY IDIOT would probably be a better title but I can't imagine having to deal with the nonsense of Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene on a daily basis. And it would be a daily basis because crazy takes no holiday.  If you missed it, the two women took time off from bullying a gay Canadian man on Twitter to mock US Vice President Kamala Harris.  Bully and hag Lauren finds it hilarious that Kamala introduced herself at a meeting.  This is what Bully Hag Lauren Tweeted:

Kamala Harris just introduced herself with she/her pronouns at an official event, She then clarified that she was a 'woman' sitting at the table wearing a blue suit. This is what happens when your speechwriter quits and you hang around with Geriatric Joe too long.

Maybe Bully Hag Lauren could focus on legislating and not try comedy?  For comedy to work -- pay attention, Lauren -- it needs more than an insult.  It needs grounding in truth.

Did Kamala do something shocking?  


Here's the White House's official read out of the Tuesday event:

Today, on the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable conversation with disability rights leaders to discuss access to reproductive health care. The meeting built on the Vice President’s engagements on reproductive rights with health care providers; faith leaders; constitutional law, privacy, and technology experts; advocates; and state attorneys general, and it followed recent meetings that the Vice President has convened with state legislators and local leaders in Indianapolis, Indiana; Richmond, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Orlando, Florida. Vice President Harris also convened legislators from Florida, Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, and Nebraska in Washington D.C. to discuss the reproductive rights challenges in those states.

Vice President Harris discussed how disparities in health care access continue to exist in our country for people with disabilities, and she conveyed that those challenges are being exacerbated following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The participants shared stories of challenges that are disproportionately facing people with disabilities as it relates to reproductive health care and abortion access.
Vice President Harris emphasized the Administration’s commitment to protecting reproductive rights and shared how the Administration will continue to fight for the bodily autonomy and self-determination of all individuals with disabilities. The participants discussed how there is significant work to be done to fulfill the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Vice President Harris thanked them for their leadership in shining a spotlight on the need for equity and access. She spoke about the importance of coalition-building in the movement to protect reproductive care for all people. 

  • Dior Vargas, Disability Rights and Mental Health Advocate
  • Maria Town, American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Lydia Brown, President and CEO at Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network
  • Robin Wilson-Beattie, Disability Sexual and Reproductive Health Educator
  • Sam Crane, Legal Director at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities

I don't see a thing wrong with what Kamala did.  What Lauren fails to grasp is that the meeting most likely had observers and that some of those may have needed verbal comments to participate fully.  I've  noted before that I've been at Congressional hearings and ended up signing for someone I've noticed present.  (They do make accommodations at Congressional hearings but they need to know ahead of time.)  In addition, there are people who need transcripts -- audio and video don't work for them -- due to challenges or disabilities.  For the record, it would probably be smart for all of us to do what Kamala did at any meeting -- for the meeting itself and for any record (written, visual, audio, what have you) of the meeting.   I'll publicly applaud Kamala for her actions.  

It's something, isn't it, to watch The Bully Hag Lauren get upset whenever anyone tries to be welcoming to all.  Apparently, in Lauren's world only some Americas -- 5%? -- are worthy of rights and dignity.  Lauren is and remains TODAY'S IDIOT.  That does, of course, explain how she dresses and her attempt to hide skin flaws by caking on make up.  It also explains how Lauren acts this way while maintaining that one day she'll get into heaven and how she wrongly believes she's exhibiting heavenly behavior here on earth.

Back to Iraq. 

Goons follow orders to attack an institution?

In the US we call it what it is: A riot.  In fairness, a number of idiots -- mainly in media -- call it a coup or an attempted one.  In the US, we even launch a media-geared Congressional investigation.  

But in Iraq, when Moqtada al-Sadr orders his goons to take over Parliament, they're just "protesters" and "demonstrators" -- read the press, that's what they're calling them.

IANS reports:

Hundreds of followers of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into the Iraqi Parliament building in central Baghdad to protest against the nomination of Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani for the post of Prime Minister.

The riot police fired tear gas canisters and warning shots to disperse the protesters, but there were no clashes between the protesters and the security forces, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua news agency.

Many videos aired by TV channels and social media showed dozens of demonstrators inside Parliament building waving Iraqi flags and chanting slogans hailing Moqtada al-Sadr.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi urged in a statement the protesters to withdraw from the building immediately.

Al-Sadr told the demonstrators to end the protest in a tweet late Wednesday night, saying "your message has arrived... Go back to your homes safely".

They broke into the building on Moqtada's orders and didn't leave until he told them the message had been delivered and to go home?

It was a riot in a federal building and it was planned by, instigated by and overseen by Moqtada al-Sadr.  


CNN, you can't have it both ways though goodness knows you try to "Hundreds of angry protesters . . ." 

AL BAWABA notes:

Social media users compared the Iraqi protesters who stormed the parliament and the Green Zone to American Capitol rioters. #Iraq #Green_Area #capitolhill #Capitol

ALJAZEERA offers these bullet points:

  • The demonstrators, estimated to have been in the hundreds, oppose the nomination of a rival Iran-backed alliance’s candidate for prime minister.
  • Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, a former minister and ex-provincial governor, is the pro-Iran Coordination Framework’s pick for premier. Al-Sadr has rejected his candidacy.
  • “Al-Sudani just represents a very convenient excuse for Muqtada al-Sadr to voice his displeasure with the entire Coordination Framework and the political system in Iraq,” Marsin Alshamary, a research fellow the Harvard Kennedy School, told Al Jazeera. “He would have done this if anyone else were nominated. Al-Sudani actually represents one of the least controversial figures from the Coordination Framework.”
  • Protesters carried portraits of al-Sadr and chanted slogans in his support. They only cleared parliament and went home after he asked them to on Twitter, saying their message had been received.


Hundreds of protesters storm Iraq parliament in support of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr

Hundreds.  Apparently, even the cult was reluctant to show for this action.  Friday is a day of worship in Iraq.  So when Moqtada's cult comes out after Friday service, they're really not doing much at all but the international press always pumps them up.  On  a regular week day he can't even turn out thousands.

It's been nine months (almost ten) since Iraq held elections.  Still no prime minister or president has been named.  Moqtada failed repeatedly to form a government before finally throwing in the towel -- which is always his m.o. -- a few weeks ago.  

Maybe his cult should have been storming his headquarters months ago?

Ali Almikdam Tweets:

Nouri al-Maliki After the Sadrist protesters withdrew from the Green Zone, maybe that al-Maliki wants to show Muqtada al-Sadr that he is ready for any fight!!

Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri hits the streets with a gun after the Parliament is occupied.  


The move was described by Iraqi analysts as an attempt by Iraqi leader Moqtada al-Sadr to block the path of his rival, former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, or any of his allies, to head the government.

Sudani is closely linked to Maliki.

Well-informed Iraqi sources tell The Arab Weekly that Sadr fears the repercussions that his movement might suffer from the premiership of any figure who is loyal to Maliki.

Such repercussions might include the dismantling of the Sadrist security and political apparatus and the sidelining of Sadrists in government and curtailing their financial clout.

By sending his supporters en masse onto the streets, Sadr seems intent on avoiding his past mistakes dealing with Maliki. Sadrists have not waited long to apply intense street pressure on their movement's main rival with whom they see the showdown as an existential battle.

The Sadrists remember the operation launched by the Maliki government in March 2008 against the Mahdi Army militia led by Moqtada al-Sadr. The fighting at that time lasted nearly three weeks and ended with the surrender of the Mahdi Army and the defeat of Sadr.

What has further fuelled the Sadrists’ fears were the most recent audio leaks of statements by Maliki, in which he hints at a internecine Shia war to eliminate Sadr whom he describes as ignorant, spiteful and bloodthirsty. “He is a coward who robbed the country”, Maliki is heard saying about Sadr.

Let's turn back to the US and wind down with this from Jacob Crosse (WSWS):

As of this writing, 28 women have filed federal civil rights lawsuits alleging they were assaulted, raped and harassed at the Clark County Jail, located in southern Jefferson County, Indiana, last October during a “night of terror” overseen by indifferent and paid off prison guards.

In the lawsuits, the first of which was filed by 20 inmates in June, the second which was filed by eight more inmates this past Monday, the women allege that former corrections Officer David Lowe provided keys to at least one male inmate which allowed him and several other prisoners, under the watchful eye of Clark County jail officers, to enter the female pods beginning the night of October 23, 2021 and into early hours of October 24.

The lawsuit alleges that for over two hours jail security staff did nothing to stop the male inmates from going into the female pods and harassing, intimidating, assaulting and raping the female prisoners. The lawsuit alleges that despite the security cameras working and several security officers on duty, male inmates, with their faces covered, were allowed to freely enter the women’s cells and go on a rampage.

“Amazingly, even though there were surveillance cameras positioned in locations that showed the male detainees accessing the women’s Pods, and even though the incident involved multiple male detainees and dozens of victims over an extended period of time, not a single jail officer on duty that night came to the aid of the Plaintiffs and the other victims,” the most recent lawsuit states.

One of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, known as Jane Doe 1, alleged that “multiple male detainees using the keys obtained from Lowe, entered Pod 4 (E) where they raped, assaulted, harassed, and intimidated Jane Doe 1, resulting in significant emotional and physical injuries, including but not limited to nightmares, bleeding, vaginal tears, and genital herpes.” The lawsuit says that multiple prisoners held her in place and told her to “keep quiet” while one inmate raped her.

Several other plaintiffs alleged similar injuries. While at least 28 women have come forward, one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuits says that there are more victims.

The following sites updated: