Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Scary as hell

WPLN reports:


A group of Republican lawmakers is asking that Tennessee universities not include LGBTQ people under federal anti-discrimination laws. The move comes after a federal court temporarily blocked new guidelines by the Biden Administration, which solidified LGBTQ inclusion under Title IX protections. That allows a university to take action when a student or faculty member faces discrimination.

In a letter to Eastern Tennessee State University, State Rep. John Ragan says protecting LGBTQ people under Title IX would quote “be interpreted as violating state law.”

Aimee Sadler is a senior at the University of Tennessee Knoxville in the College of Social Work. As a lesbian who exists outside the gender binary, she says school was difficult before she had the protection of Title IX.

“When I was in high school, I had slurs painted on my locker, and the administration didn’t really have a lot that they could do to protect me. Now with Title IX protections, that can be considered a hate crime. That’s something that the school would have to take action on and not just say, ‘Oh, we’ll clean it up, and don’t worry about it,” she says.


If these hate mongers have their way, it's not going to end with overturning Roe.  They're out to destroy the whole world.  

Fairness and equality are things they don't support.  They really hate me -- I'm a woman, I'm African-American and I'm a lesbian.  I'm probably their worst nightmare.  

They want me dead.  That's what's really clear.

 I thought, growing up, that the Civil Rights meant we were progressing as a nation, as a people.  And all these years later, look where we are.

It's scary as hell.

 It's hard to believe.  I'm just shaking my head in disgust.

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


Wednesday, August 31, 2022.  Iraq appears to be headed for another round of elections.

Starting with the US war on Russia.  From DEMOCRACY NOW!:

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, President Biden announced $3 billion in more military aid for Ukraine last week, including money for missiles, artillery rounds and drones to help Ukrainian forces fight Russia.

We begin today’s show looking at U.S. policy on Russia and China. We’re joined by the economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He’s president of the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He served as adviser to three U.N. secretaries-general. His latest article is headlined “The West’s False Narrative About Russia and China.”

He begins the article by writing, quote, “The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous,” Jeffrey Sachs writes.

Jeffrey Sachs, welcome to Democracy Now! Why don’t you take it from there?

JEFFREY SACHS: Thank you. Good to be with you.

AMY GOODMAN: What is the story that people in the West and around the world should understand about what’s happening right now with these conflicts, with Russia, with Russia and Ukraine, and with China?

JEFFREY SACHS: The main point, Amy, is that we are not using diplomacy; we are using weaponry. This sale now announced to Taiwan that you’ve been discussing this morning is just another case in point. This does not make Taiwan safer. This does not make the world safer. It certainly doesn’t make the United States safer.

This goes back a long way. I think it’s useful to start 30 years ago. The Soviet Union ended, and some American leaders got it into their head that there was now what they called the unipolar world, that the U.S. was the sole superpower, and we could run the show. The results have been disastrous. We have had now three decades of militarization of American foreign policy. A new database that Tufts is maintaining has just shown that there have been more than 100 military interventions by the United States since 1991. It’s really unbelievable.

And I have seen, in my own experience over the last 30 years working extensively in Russia, in Central Europe, in China and in other parts of the world, how the U.S. approach is a military-first, and often a military-only, approach. We arm who we want. We call for NATO enlargement, no matter what other countries say may be harmful to their security interests. We brush aside anyone else’s security interests. And when they complain, we ship more armaments to our allies in that region. We go to war when we want, where we want, whether it was Afghanistan or Iraq or the covert war against Assad in Syria, which is even today not properly understood by the American people, or the war in Libya. And we say, “We’re peace-loving. What’s wrong with Russia and China? They are so warlike. They’re out to undermine the world.” And we end up in terrible confrontations.

The war in Ukraine — just to finish the introductory view — could have been avoided and should have been avoided through diplomacy. What President Putin of Russia was saying for years was “Do not expand NATO into the Black Sea, not to Ukraine, much less to Georgia,” which if people look on the map, straight across to the eastern edge of the Black Sea. Russia said, “This will surround us. This will jeopardize our security. Let us have diplomacy.” The United States rejected all diplomacy. I tried to contact the White House at the end of 2021 — in fact, I did contact the White House and said there will be war unless the U.S. enters diplomatic talks with President Putin over this question of NATO enlargement. I was told the U.S. will never do that. That is off the table. And it was off the table. Now we have a war that’s extraordinarily dangerous.

And we are taking exactly the same tactics in East Asia that led to the war in Ukraine. We’re organizing alliances, building up weaponry, trash-talking China, having Speaker Pelosi fly to Taiwan, when the Chinese government said, “Please, lower the temperature, lower the tensions.” We say, “No, we do what we want,” and now send more arms. This is a recipe for yet another war. And to my mind, it’s terrifying.

We are at the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, which I’ve studied all my life and I’ve written about, have written a book about the aftermath. We are driving to the precipice, and we are filled with our enthusiasm as we do so. And it’s just unaccountably dangerous and wrongheaded, the whole approach of U.S. foreign policy. And it’s bipartisan.

Meanwhile Elena Evdokimova Tweets:

BTW, "Ukraine was part of the invasion of Iraq, and occupied Iraq, with the NATO for 5 years with 5000 soldiers". They were OK with the concept of invasion and occupation of another country then. Source:


The violence got so much, Iraq's actually getting a bit of attention.  Here's BREAKING POINTS WITH KRYSTAL AND SAAGAR.


  • Amna Nawaz:

    A tense calm has returned in Iraq's capital city after the worst violence there in years. Fighting between rival factions left at least 30 dead and dozens more wounded.

    Simona Foltyn is in Baghdad and has this report.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    After a night of deadly clashes between Iraq's Shiite factions, a sudden reversal today, as followers of the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began withdrawing from the Green Zone, home to embassies and government institutions in Central Baghdad.

  • Ahmed Ahmed, Protester (through translator):

    As members of Sadrist movement, we follow what our leader orders. The leader asked us to withdraw.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    In a televised address, Sadr ordered his supporters and militia to leave.

  • Muqtada Al-Sadr, Iraqi Political Leader (through translator):

    I still believe that my supporters are disciplined and obedient. And if in the next 60 Minutes, they do not withdraw, as well as from Parliament, then I will abandon these supporters.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    Sadr's call for de-escalation came after weeks of unrest, during which he tried, but ultimately failed to force his will onto his political rivals.

    Moments after he announced his withdrawal from politics on Monday, hundreds of angry supporters stormed the government palace. The protests quickly turned into heavy fighting, and armed wings of Iran-aligned parties who oppose Sadr forcing the cleric to back down.

  • Muqtada Al-Sadr (through translator):

    I had hoped for peaceful protests, with pure hearts, hearts filled with love for their country, not ones that resort to gunfire. This saddens the revolution.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    The clashes stoked fears that the country could descend into a fresh cycle of violence.

  • Nour Al-Moussawi, Iraqi Civilian (through translator):

    This dangerous situation and the overtaking of the government's property or storming the highest authority, which is the Republican Palace, will destabilize the economic situation, as well as our daily lives.

  • Simona Foltyn:

    All of this played out against the backdrop of political deadlock. Sadr's party won the largest share of seats in last October's parliamentary elections, but not enough to form a government.

    His refusal to negotiate with Shia rivals has left the government, and the country in limbo. The curfew has now been lifted and life in the Iraqi Capitol is slowly returning to normal, marking the end of Baghdad's bloodiest day in recent years.

    But a dangerous precedent has been set and, for now, the rifts over government formation that sparked the armed clashes remain unresolved. In the absence of a clear path towards a political solution, there's a risk that the two sides may once again resort to settling their scores in the streets.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Simona Foltyn in Baghdad.

  • At THE WASHINGTON POST, Ishaan Tharoor recaps:

    First, there was anger, then protests, then a spasm of violence that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded. Now, there’s only an uneasy and fragile calm. For the better part of two decades, Baghdad has endured strife, instability and tragedy in equal measure. But the chaos that engulfed the Iraqi capital on Monday night and Tuesday morning marked the deadliest round of violence in years.

    Supporters of prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr clashed with Iraqi security forces and Iran-allied militias in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and stormed the presidential palace. The sound of machine-gun fire and the thud of rocket-propelled grenades rocked the heart of the city. The violence sprawled across the country, with Sadrists attacking the offices of factions linked to Iran in various cities. More than 30 people were killed, with the death toll expected to rise at the time of writing.

    But by Tuesday afternoon, Sadr called on his followers to withdraw and lamented the loss of life. For his supposed restraint, he earned the plaudits of Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has been operating in a caretaker role as Iraqi politicians have failed for almost a year to form a government.


    October 10th, Iraq held elections.  Thanks to Joe Biden who, as US vice president, oversaw The Erbil Agreement in 2010, Iraqis support for elections has weakened.  That's when they voted Nouri al-Maliki out after his first term as prime minister but Joe oversaw the contract that tossed aside the people's votes and gave Nouri a second term he didn't win.  Iraq, under US occupation, has remained one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  Many live in poverty while Iraq rakes in billions each year from oil, money that never makes it to the people.  Right now, yet again, cholera outbreark, a regular feature any summer in Iraq.  Potable water, a basic human necessity (as the people in Jackson, Mississippi can attest) is an issue.  Iraq has suffered through a very hot summer with out dependable electricity (something residents of southeast Michigan can currently relate to).  

    The government does not serve the people (which people everywhere can probably relate to).  And so the participation in voting had dipped and decreased.  Iraqis actively sat out the 2021 election with the exception of members of the Shi'ite militias who were disenfranchised.  They long ago became members of the Iraqi security forces -- recognized as such.  At the last minute, Mustafa al-Kadhimi disenfranchised them because they weren't going to vote for him.  All security forces are supposed to vote in the early election.  This is because on actual election day, they have to be dispersed throughout the country to protect polling places.  Mustafa banned the militias -- and only the militias -- from the early voting.  

    Moqtada al-Sadr would benefit from all of this.  His political party did not get the most votes in the election.  His alliance did.  There's a difference.  For months, he tried to form a government and he failed repeatedly.  

    He stamped his feet and threatened to withdraw his members from Parliament.  No one really cared so he made good on this threat.

    Then he started whining the Parliament needed to be dissolved.  It didn't feel that way and he had no voice in it now because his MPs had resigned.  He sent his cult into the Green Zone to occupy the Parliament.  Then he demanded the judiciary dissolve Parliament.

    They said no, they didn't have that power.

    Now the violence has broken out.

    Mustafa, a Sad supporter, is now saying he will resign if violence continues and Barham Salah (a Sadr supporter) is saying early elections might be the answer.

    Might be?

    Might be.

    It's a system where Moqtada doesn't get his way so he stomps his feet and everyone rushes to appease the angry child.

    A new election is very unlikely to give Moqtada what he wants.

    A new election is most likely going to result in Shi'ites who sat out voting last time showing up at the polls this go round.  Which means Moqtada returns to being a small part of Iraq. 

    What happens then?  He stomps his feet and gets another election?


    The following sites updated:

    Monday, August 29, 2022

    Blake Masters -- national embarrassment

    Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters appeared to suggest on Twitter that female, Black and gay federal officials are responsible for the difficulties facing the U.S. economy.

    On Sunday, Masters, a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump, shared a story from the Associated Press on Twitter about diversity at the Federal Reserve. The AP said that the Fed's leadership "has become its most diverse ever. There are more female, Black and gay officials contributing to the central bank's interest-rate decisions than at any time in its 109-year history."

    "Finally a compelling explanation for why our economy is doing so well," Masters wrote, likely speaking with sarcasm about problems currently facing the U.S. economy, such as high inflation and concerns about a recession.

    Wow, a triple insult.  This is what we need in the US Senate?
    He insulted me personally, three times over.  
    I'm a woman.  I'm gay.  And I'm African-American.
    What a weak and rotten mind Masters has.


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


    Monday, August 29, 2022.  Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, even as the dirty tricks of 2020 continue to surface, while in Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr is leaving political life, he insists.

    Starting with US President Joe Biden's ongoing persecution of Julian Assange.   Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

    A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
    Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

    The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
    The new logs detail how:
    US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

    A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
    More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

    The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death. 

    To make sure no one's confused, Joe Biden is not going after Julian Assange because Julian committed War Crimes in Iraq.  Joe is going after Julian because Julian exposed War Crimes.  In Joe's mind, War Crimes are like his son's laptop in that both should be hidden from the public.

    Binoy Kampmark (COUNTERPUNCH) reports:

    On August 26, Assange’s legal team filed his Perfected Grounds of Appeal before the High Court of Justice Administrative Court.  The claims stretch back to the original decision of January 4 last year and focus on the seminal points that make the case scandalous.  They include the claim that Assange is being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions (s. 81(a) of the Extradition Act); that he is being prosecuted for speech protected by Article 10 of the Human Rights Act, incorporating the European Convention on Human Rights; that the request itself violates the US-UK Extradition Treaty and international law because it comprises political offences; that the US government has misrepresented core facts of the case to the UK courts; and that the extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process.

    The application also makes the claim that Patel erred in approving the extradition order on grounds of specialty and because it violates Article 4 of the US-UK Extradition Treaty.  Article 4 stipulates that extradition will not be granted where “the competent authority of the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated.”  As Julian Assange’s wife, Stella, stated, “overwhelming evidence” had emerged since the previous ruling “proving that the United States prosecution” against the publisher “is a criminal abuse.”

    From the issue of ailing health, deemed a primary consideration in the lower court’s approach to Assange, the focus now turns upon the entire raison d’être of the case.  Assange, through provocative publishing, came to be seen as an agent of political disruption and disorder.  An informed populace is, as governments have found out, a dangerous thing.

    In giving the rules of the sordid game away – exposing the atrocities, the abuses of power, the bankruptcy of unrepresentative politics – the Australian founder of WikiLeaks became the most prominent political target of the US imperium.  Journalism and activism have, in Assange, combined, his case nothing if not political.  It remains to be seen if the “competent authority”, to use the words of the poorly drafted, ill-weighted Extradition Treaty, agrees.

    PRENSA LATINA notes:

    Attorneys for Assange will argue that the Australian journalist, who has been locked up in a UK supermax prison since 2019, is being prosecuted and punished for his political standpoints and also for protected speech, and that the extradition request violates the US-UK Extradirion Treaty and international law as it relates to what it calls political offenses.

    Since the last ruling, overwhelming evidence has emerged, proving that the United States prosecution against my husband is a criminal abuse, said Stella Assange, Assange´s wife.

    According to Stella, who met on Thursday in Geneva with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the High Court judges will now decide whether Julian is given the opportunity to put the case against the United States before open court, and in full, at the appeal.

    Past week, attorneys and journalists filed a lawsuit in New York against CIA and its then director Mike Pompeo for spying on their conversations while visiting Assange in his asylum time in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    The United States intends to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder for exposing war crimes committed by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thousands of State Department´s top secret files.

    Oscar Grenfell (WSWS) adds:

    In the US, the Biden administration is continuing the extradition request, initially lodged by Trump. In Britain, the Conservative government and the Labour opposition of Keir Starmer have demonstrated their intense hostility to Assange.

    In Australia, where Assange was born and holds citizenship, the current Labor government has continued the line of the previous Liberal-National government and all earlier administrations. It is refusing to use its diplomatic and legal powers to secure Assange’s freedom, instead deepening the country’s alignment with the US confrontations with Russia and China.

    This underscores the fact that the defence of Assange and the fight for his liberty depend on the development of a movement of the working class, directed against the entire political establishment. The basis for such a movement exists in the increasingly explosive struggles by workers against the soaring cost of living, austerity and the broader turn to authoritarianism by governments, of which the attack on Assange is a spearhead.

    Joe Biden is no different than the despots the US government has spent years calling out.  He is attacking the press, he is harming the First Amendment.  He is carrying out a vendetta and (mis)using the US government to do so.  In a rational world, he would be urged to resign and, barring that, he'd find himself in a cell like Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno did.  

    Legal expert Jonathan Turley weighs in on another issue related to Joe -- the partisan FBI:

    Recently, I wrote about the disclosure of an alleged backchannel between the CDC and Twitter on censoring critics of the agency and its recommendations. Now, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed how the FBI warned Facebook about “Russian propaganda” before the Hunter Biden laptop story dropped in 2020. This follows reports that the FBI told agents not to pursue the laptop and to slow walk any investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged influence peddling schemes.

    Zuckerberg stated on The Joe Rogan Experience that “The FBI, I think, basically came to us – some folks on our team – and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert…  We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there’s about to be some kind of dump of that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”

    It is not clear why the FBI considered this type of media outreach was part of its responsibility as a law enforcement agency. This was before the presidential election and actively discouraged a major platform to allow discussion of major allegations of corruption. The use of the FBI for such a role gave Facebook officials ample cover to expand their censorship operations.

    [. . . ]

    Zuckerberg just shrugged when pressed on his company effectively joining the effort to kill the story before the election: “Yeah, it sucks. It turned out, after the fact, the fact-checkers looked into it. No one was able to say it was false.”

    As with the earlier column on the CDC’s work with Twitter, there is a growing concern over the use of such backchannels for censorship by surrogates in these social media companies.

    Zuckerberg stressed that, unlike Twitter, Facebook only buried the story but allowed limited discussion. It is the type of rationalization that only a censor would see as redeeming.  The alternative is free speech where Facebook does not assume the right to control what people discuss on such political issues.

    On Sunday, Elaine pointed out another issue with regards to Zuckerberg's revelations, "Here's the point that's not made that needs to be made:  You don't say that two years after the fact.  You don't.  If you're being asked to silence/limit/censor a story, you need to reveal at that time.  It's not only censorship, it's also betraying the trust of your users."

    Tara Reade Tweets:

    You are starting to hear leaking through some truths: the FBI used their authority to censor negative stories about Joe Biden in social media in 2020 election. Mainstream media colluded as well. They are complicit. My history with Joe Biden was suppressed. This abuse of power.

    If you've forgotten, Tara made credible allegations against Joe of assault.  The press, the everybody, response was to attack her and try to silence her.  We say 'the everybody' because YOUTUBE needs to explain their own censorship.  John Stauber Tweeted the following YOUTUBE video in 2020.

    It never got beyond draft form at THIRD because there was always something else to cover.  But we did notice that, following John's Tweet, the video jumped to 15,000 views.  Briefly.  Then the views disappeared and it was down to 97.  That's not how the count's supposed to work.  And anytime the video's started to climb again in 2020, hours later it would drop again.  

    The tech world was willing to violate every rule and every guideline to get Joe into the White House.  That's disgusting and that's shameful.  The ends never justify the means but these ends do make it very easy for the next political hack to get carried along by the press and social media.

    I believe Tara.  I believe Joe assaulted her.  I believe THE NEW YORK TIMES knows this.  They worked very closely with Anita Dunn to smear Tara.

    Let's move over to Iraq.  Last night, this is what we were noting.  

    If cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr could find a bra for his pendulous breasts, would he be in a better mood?  Every day his mistakes himself or having more power than he does and he issues another ultimatum.  RUDAW notes:

    Iraq’s Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday gave a three day ultimatum to Iraqi political parties, saying he would sign an agreement only with people that have not been a part of the government since 2003.

    “There is something more important than dissolving the parliament and holding early elections, and the most important thing is: the non-participation of all parties and personalities that have participated in the political process since the American occupation in 2003 until today,” read a statement from Salih Mohammed al-Iraqi, a figure close to Sadr, adding that such principle also applies for the Sadrists.

    The statement set a deadline of 72 hours, during which Sadr would sign an agreement with parties that are interested in his initiative.

    That was Saturday's demand.  Today's demand:

    A spokesman for the Sadrist movement called on Sunday for the establishment of a new Iraq, devoid of militias, illegal possession of weapons, violence, fighting, sectarianism and warring parties.

    “No to sectarian quotas,” said Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi, a close associate to Sadrist leader Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

    He urged the establishment of a state of law “where brotherhood prevails, minorities are dignified, the judiciary is honest, balanced ties are forged with the outside, peace can reign, the army can protect, the government can serve, and religions and creeds are respected.” 

    Even if you disregard everything but the results of the October 2021 elections, Moqtada does not represent much.  He represents a cult.  His cult didn't even get the most votes.  The political party that got the most votes in the October election was the KDP.

    Yet he issues non-stop demands over and over.  Suadad al-Salhy (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:

    Muqtada al-Sadr no longer has many options. Armed clashes, feared but not yet witnessed, are now imminent, Iraqi armed factions leaders and politicians told Middle East Eye.

    It seems the latest escalation by the influential Shia cleric's supporters - marching on the headquarters of the judiciary - has caused considerable anger in Iraq and internationally.

    [. . .]

    As the Iraqi public nervously watched the Sadrists withdrawing on TV and social media, the commanders of the Popular Mobilisation Authority (PMA), a governmental paramilitary umbrella group that includes Sadr's Iran-backed rivals, met in Baghdad.

    They convened to discuss developments in the situation and proposed steps to stop Sadr's "transgression of the sanctity of state institutions", a commander who took part in the meeting told MEE.

    Apparently, Moqtada longterm desire to be a wet nurse has resulted in his decision to leave political life.   Ismaeel Naar (THE NATIONAL) reports this morning:

    The powerful Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr has announced his resignation from political life and the closure of his personal offices, a statement he released on Twitter said.

    “I had decided not to interfere in the political affairs,” Mr Al Sadr wrote. "Now I announce my final retirement, and the closure of all institutions, except for the Holy Shrine, the Sharif Museum, and the Al Sadr Heritage Institute.

    His resignation came a day after Iraqi President Barham Salih held talks with special UN representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi to discuss the continuing political crisis in the country.

    A statement released by the president’s office said the meetings “discussed ways to get out of the existing crisis, stressing the importance of adopting dialogue among all to reach satisfactory results that guarantee the security and stability of Iraq”.

    REUTERS notes, "Sadr has previously announced withdrawals from politics or government and the disbanding of militias loyal to him but retains widespread control over state institutions and still has a paramilitary group with thousands of members. He has often returned to political activity after similar announcements, although the current political deadlock in Iraq appears harder to resolve than previous periods of dysfunction."  MIDDLE EAST EYE quotes the Arab Center's Zeidon Alkinani, "Sadr announces his retirement from politics for almost the 10th time. As usual, he’ll be back in no time."


    Because what I was told in an e-mail from one of his political buddies was that Moqtada was left a bullet on the end table by his bed and this is what prompted the decision.  That detail would explain why, as ALBAWABA reports, Moqtada added this detail to his resignation,  "The Sadrist leader also asked his supporters to pray for him in case he dies or is assassinated in a surprised move."

     The following sites updated:

  • Friday, August 26, 2022

    Olivia Wilde, shut up

    Can Olivia Wilde shut up?

    I mean, I get it, she's from a busybody family of trash.  Laura Flanders is her aunt.  Stephanie Flanders is related to her as well.  The 'journalist' Patrick Cockburn (propagandist) is related to her as well.  The only  one in her family I had any respect for was Alexander Cockburn.  He's dead.

    She is career wise but nobody wants to tell her.

    She thought she was going to be a star.  And, yes, C.I. did get her nixed for a few roles. But it was easy to do when she failed at every acting opportunity she had and due to her age.  With no stardom in sight, she's now grabbed on to directing.

    She was slamming Shia LeBeouf this week and claiming he was fired from her movie (he wasn't) and that she didn't allow the kind of trouble he causes -- no, not on her productions.  Her productions?  She's directed two feature films.  The first one bombed (BOOK SMART).  Her new one is DON'T WORRY DARLING and it hasn't come out yet.  Her productions?

    Cake on some more make up, lady, you're not fooling anyone about your age or with your talent.

    She really needs to stay out of Shia's business.  If Will Smith's in a slapping mood again, he should slap her and tell her to keep Shia's name out of her mouth.

    I am so sick of this pompous, middle-aged freak.

    Take your whine wagon somewhere else.

    "Vicious."  It was the most vicious thing ever, whine, whine.  That was also Priss Wilde this week.  Jason Sudekis served her with custody papers while she was promoting her film.  The most vicious thing ever.

    Just shut up.  No, it's not the most vicious thing.  She is a spoiled brat who needs to grow up.  I would love for her to make that most vicious claim in front of Judge Judy and watch Judy rip her a new one. 

    I feel sorry for Harry Styles because he's dating her.  Poor Harry.  I've never wished someone was in the closet before, but I do now.  I'd love it if Olivia were just the beard.  It's awful to think of Harry having to put up with her. 

    Even worse, what the pillow looks like the next day.  That woman cakes on make up.  Her pillows and towels must be filthy all the time.


    Before any idiot wants to e-mail me that Laura Flanders is my friend, she's a self-loathing lesbian.  I don't have time for her.  In 2008, Barack Obama put homophobes on stage at his campaign events.  Laura endorsed him.  She didn't bat an eye.  He promoted conversion 'therapy.'  Laura didn't say boo.  Bitch can go f**k herself. 

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

    Friday, August 28, 2022.  War Monger Joe Biden, the Iraqi judiciary, Liz Cheney, Terry Gross, so much to coer.

    Michelle Olson Tweets:

    Amnesty International: "Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of its obligations under international human rights law" #FreeAssangeNOW

    Yet the persecution of Julian Assange goes on.  US President Joe Biden doesn't care about anything except destroying Julian because Julian told the truth about War Crimes in Iraq.   Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

    A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
    Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

    The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
    The new logs detail how:
    US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

    A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
    More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

    The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death. 

    Stella Assange Tweets about a new filing:

    NEW: Julian #Assange's Perfected Grounds of Appeal will be filed with the High Court this afternoon. JULIAN ASSANGE Appellant v GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent Case No: CO/2334/2022

    Meanwhile, no work has been done by the Austrlain government to protect Julian -- they've apparently forgotten he's an Australian citizen.  John Jiggens (INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA) notes:

    WHEN LABOR WON the Federal Election in May 2022, the hopes of supporters of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange soared. In 2021, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus had issued a statement saying that Labor wanted the Assange matter ‘brought to an end’, while Labor’s leader Anthony Albanese had declared that he couldn’t see any purpose to keeping Assange in gaol. Enough is enough,” he affirmed.  

    That hope was fuelled further when, in the Government’s first week, the ABC reported on 26 May that Albanese was a signature to an online petition, the Bring Julian Assange Home Campaign. Signing the petition seemed odd because it went to Albanese as Prime Minister.

    However, Albanese did not deny the story, which was confirmed by a reliable source who disclosed Albanese had signed up on his first day in office, even before he flew off to Tokyo for the Quad meeting with the Japanese PM, the Indian PM and U.S. President Joe Biden. Despite Albanese’s alleged championing of Assange, there was no indication that he discussed his U.S. extradition. 

    At a press conference on 31 May, a Guardian journalist asked Albanese whether it was his position that the U.S. should be encouraged to drop the charges against Assange and whether he had made any such representations to the U.S. Government. Albanese sidestepped the question, replying it was his position “that not all foreign affairs should be done by loud hailer”. Labor claimed it was practising quiet diplomacy.

    While Joe Biden tries to destroy Julian, Terry Gross tries to destroy the truth.  It's Terry so you know a man was involved -- she got a break and that's a last break a woman ever deserved in her mind.  See "Terry Gross Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann)" and "Terry Gross Still Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann)."  We supposedly want the ERA in this country but we can't even demand NPR books an equal number of women as guests.  So of coruse, Terry's latest embarrassing moment was when she was talking to a man because, honestly, when is she on air without a man?  Sam Husseini (ANTIWAR.COM) reports:

    In a remarkably unhinged analysis, NPR host Terry Gross and New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper claimed that Russia is a communist country – as they went on about how detached from reality rightwing Republicans are.

    Here’s the crux of the clip (many thanks to Bryce Greene), which almost comes off like a comedy sketch (text at bottom):

    After I and others tweeted about this, NPR posted this correction:

    POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In the audio version of this story, Terry Gross incorrectly states that Russia is a communist country, when she meant to say that Putin was the head of the KGB during the communist era.

    Which almost makes it worse. If you substitute what NPR now claims Gross meant to say, it really doesn’t make any sense. Gross and Draper were riffing off each other in what can most charitably be described as a ridiculous example of groupthink.

    It displays the all-too-frequent smugness of liberals, going on about other people’s failing to fact check, in this case talking about seniors with “a lot of time on their hands” – while getting the most elementary facts wrong. It’s remarkable projection.

    The “correction” ignores that Draper similarly remarked that Putin is “the one great promoter of that [communist] ideology.”

    The “correction” is also wrong because Putin wasn’t “head of the KGB during the communist era” – he quit the KGB in 1991 as a lieutenant colonel. He would be appointed head of the successor group, the Federal Security Service, in 1998, years after the fall of communism in Russia, by U.S. tool Boris Yeltsin.

    (One of Draper’s most recent books is To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq, which came out last year. If Google books search is to be believed, the book is something of a cover-up. It has nothing on Biden’s presiding over the rigged hearings that helped ensure the invasion, which Biden has continuously lied about.)

    Joe Biden is a War Mongerer.  You vote for one and soon enough you're applauding other War Mongerers which explains the faux left's love for the disgusting Liz Cheney.  Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) notes:

    Soon to be former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney is the flavor of the month for liberals. The cause of the undeserved adulation is her condemnation of Donald Trump and his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

    She lost her Republican Party primary precisely because she turned on Trump, who is still loved by the masses of republican voters. Conversely, the idol worship from democrats has reached bizarre levels, including support for a Liz Cheney presidential campaign.

    Of course that was Cheney’s goal all along. She saw attacking Trump as her own ticket to the Oval Office. She always has been a rank opportunist. She began her political career challenging republican senator Mike Enzi by claiming that the arch conservative wasn’t conservative enough. Voters in the very red state of Wyoming weren’t fooled and she later had to settle for its lone congressional seat.

    Liz Cheney and her father Dick Cheney are among the republican establishment class. Cheney père was the man chosen to guide dim bulb George W. Bush as his Vice President. That’s how they work. The white masses are not to be trusted with their choices and more reliable people are chosen to keep them in line.

    But Trump was cut from a different cloth. The establishment didn’t want him, but he surprised them with his win and insisted on going his own way. Of course they got what they wanted from him, including a long sought after tax cut for rich people, more deregulation and a foreign policy that upped the imperialist ante by punishing countries such as Iran, Venezuela and Cuba for daring to exist at all.

    Trump was indeed different, and fought with party leaders and refused to concede after his November 2020 defeat. His army of incompetent lawyers like Rudy Giuliani ran around the country trying to throw out votes wholesale. They were laughed out of every courtroom but Trump didn’t care. He riled up his supporters and even attempted to interfere with the vote counting process in states directly.

    That sort of behavior is anathema to the Cheneys and their ilk. After all Dick Cheney helped Bush 43 steal his election in November 2000. Sending a mob into the Capitol is amateurish and not their thing. Doing the dirty work of voter suppression was and Bush the younger cheated his way into office when his brother the Florida governor took mostly Black Floridians off the voter rolls. In 2004 they repeated the crime, this time in Ohio and the craven John Kerry refused to fight for every vote.

    In Iraq, the political stalemate continues.  Elections were held October 10th and yet no prime minister or president.  August 30th might provide some movement.  RUDAW reports:

    Iraq's Federal Supreme Court set August 30 as the date to convene to decide on the case of dissolving the parliament filed by a Sadrist official, it said on Thursday after demonstrators gathered at the gates of Iraq's top judicial body.

    "The subject matter of the case included the ruling to dissolve parliament and oblige the President of the Republic to set a date for holding legislative elections in accordance with Article 64," the statement read.

    Nassar al-Rubaie, the head of the Sadrist Movement's political wing, submitted the case to the court following leader Muqtada al-Sadr's calls on the judiciary to dissolve parliament.

    Iraq's Supreme Judicial Court earlier in August said it lacks the authority to dissolve the parliament and it does not reserve the right to interfere in legislative or executive matters. 

    Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court said it will hold a session next Tuesday, August 30, to discuss the case for dissolving parliament amid a political deadlock.

    The court said it will discuss the case brought by the head of the Sadrist movement's political body, Nassar Al Rubaie, according to a brief statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency.

    The case submitted by Mr Al Rubaie calls for a ruling to dissolve parliament and force the president to set a date for holding legislative elections in accordance with the Iraqi constitution.

    Let's wind down with this press release from IAVA:

    August 25, 2022

    New York, NY – On Tuesday, August 30th, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s (IAVA) Senior Advisor Matt Zeller, will join Khalil Arab, SIVs & Allies Program Manager for Combined Arms, Rye Barcott, Co-Founder and CEO of With Honor, and Mohammad Raffiq Bawar, Afghan Initiatives Coordinator for the Travis Manion Foundation to discuss the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the evacuation efforts, resettlement efforts, the Afghanistan Adjustment Act and more.

    “A year has passed since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. 300,000+ Afghan wartime allies (interpreters & their families) remain left behind. They need our help. IAVA will not abandon them,” said Matt Zeller, Senior Advisor for IAVA. “Events like this are critical because they allow us to share and amplify pertinent information about our Afghan allies. We will fight to ensure that our country keeps its promise to those who served us.”

    “We at Combined Arms have supported Special Immigrant Visa recipients (SIVs) and other non-SIV Allies and their integration in Houston since 2019, well before the fall of Kabul,” said Khalil Arab, SIVs & Allies Program Manager for Combined Arms. “We’ve rapidly scaled our efforts to meet the immediate and evolving needs of the estimated 11,000 evacuees that have arrived in Texas since August 2021.”

    “The passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act is a national security imperative,” said Rye Barcott, Co-Founder and CEO of With Honor. “We must do right by our Afghan Allies, getting them out of the legal limbo they currently face, so our future allies continue to value the American promise. It is critical we hold discussions like this on the work we have left.”

    WHO: Matt Zeller, Senior Advisor for IAVA
    Khalil Arab, SIVs & Allies Program Manager for Combined Arms
    Rye Barcott, Co-Founder and CEO of With Honor
    Mohammad Bawar, Afghan Initiatives Coordinator for the Travis Manion Foundation
    WHAT: Event discussing the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the evacuation, and the current resettlement efforts.
    WHEN:  Tuesday, August 30 at 2:45 pm ET.
    WHERE:  Join the Facebook Live event here. The event is open to the press.

    Combined Arms (CAX) delivers innovative technology solutions that improve the quality of life for veterans and military families. Since 2019, CAX has supported the successful resettlement of over 5,000 Special Immigrant Visa recipients (SIVs) and wartime allies in Houston and across Texas. By design, CAX engages veterans and other volunteers to collaborate with local resettlement agencies to fill resource gaps and provide resource navigation support for recently-arrived SIVs and wartime allies. To learn more about Combined Arms’ SIVs & Allies Program or get involved, please visit:

    With Honor Action is a cross-partisan movement dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service. As a part of our overall effort to highlight the importance of veterans and veteran issues, we support principled military veterans in Congress and help amplify their cross-partisan agenda that finds solutions for the American people. We also work with veteran candidates on the nuts and bolts of running for Congress, helping them organize their own campaigns and build a winning strategy.

    Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) unites communities to strengthen America’s national character by empowering veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop and lead future generations. In 2007, 1stLt Travis Manion (USMC) was killed in Iraq while saving his wounded teammates. Today, Travis’ legacy lives on in the words he spoke before leaving for his final deployment, “If Not Me, Then Who…” Guided by this mantra, veterans continue their service, develop strong relationships with their communities, and thrive in their post-military lives by serving as character role models to youth. As a result, communities prosper and the character of our nation’s heroes lives on in the next generation.

    IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


    The following sites updated: