Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Diana Ross has another Grammy nomination.


Diana Ross earned a Grammy nomination yesterday for her latest album Thank You.

What an amazing testament to her artistry.  I love Diana.  Let me join join C.I. ("Congratulations to Diana Ross on her Grammy nomination."), Mike ("Graham Elwood and Lee Camp and Diana Ross") and my cousin Stan ("The Grammy nominations") in noting what an achievement this is and how it's wonderful and inspiring when someone who gave so much gets the attention and accolades they deserve.

Thank You is a great album and one that we play constantly.  My girlfriend and I love it and it's our most played album of anything released so far this decade.  

If you haven't checked it out, please do.  It's amazing.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2022.  Donald Trump refuses to read the room, he's not the only one, Nouri al-Maliki's in a tizzy over the US Ambassador to Iraq, and much more (including Diana Ross' new Grammy nomination).

Hasn't the world suffered enough?  

Donald Trump plans to run for president again.

He's learned nothing about anything.  Let's start with that hideous wig.  Whether you're Robert Redford or Donald Trump, you're not fooling anyone with your fake hair.  No one believes for a minute that at 70 plus, you're still a sassy blond or have thick hair like that.  It goes to your stupidity, honestly, that you think everyone is fooled.  They're just shaking their heads and talking how that thing on your head resembles road kill.

This delusion fuels him and explains him.  It's why he can go on TV and offer no apology.

There's no apology for the riot, there's no apology for accomplishing nothing with four years in office, there's no apology for anything -- certainly not the slate of losing candidates that he promoted in the mid-terms.

He's ignoring blame and thinking no one will call him on it.  Just like no one will point out how ridiculous -- and fake -- that thing on top of his head is.

76 years old.  A bewigged, bottled blond at 76.  Is he running for president or Miss Coppertone?

The big Trump announcement last night wasn't from Donald.  It came from one of his daughters.  Caroline Linton (CBS NEWS) reports:

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former President Donald Trump who served as a White House adviser in the Trump administration, said Tuesday night shortly after her father announced his 2024 campaign that she does "not plan to be involved in politics" this time.

"I love my father very much," Ivanka Trump posted on Instagram. "This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family." 

Her father, meanwhile, declared, "In order to make America great and glorious again, I am, tonight, announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."

And declared it over and over.  What was the point of an 'announcement' that lasted over one hour?  Brevity has never been his strong point and clearly there will be no listening to campaign advisors.  

"Three years ago, when I left office . . ." somebody wrote for him to say, somebody who can't count.  The 2020 election wasn't three years ago and Donald was president until Joe Biden was sworn in January 20, 2021.  

If Donald doesn't even know that three plus one would be four, if he can't even figure out what year we're in, how does he think he can run?

Yes, as he noted, Joe Biden is dazed and out of touch and confuses one state with another and many more troubling issues.  But Joe may not be his opponent again.

There's a reason outgoing US House Rep Carolyn Maloney told the editorial board of THE NEW YORK TIMES (in what she thought was an off the record comment) that Joe wouldn't seek re-election.  It's not just the American people that don't want to see Joe run again, it's also leaders in the party.  

The truth is that both Donald and Joe are too old to govern.  Neither should be running.  Donald could have made that point last night and announced that he wasn't running.  Some might have applauded him for that realization.  38.1 is the median age in the US.  The idea that 2024 would offer a 78 year old Donald competing with an 82 year old Joe for the presidency of the United States only works as a farce starring the late Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.  

The country deserves so much better.

As Betty noted last night, Dianne Feinstein has no idea what she or her office says.  She just scoots along with someone trailing her elderly body (like a nurse) trying to explain to her what has recently taken place.

Puddles Feinstein, it's disgusting.  They have no ideas and they have no plans and they are deeply, deeply out of touch.  

Donald appeared to have spent the last few days stress eating and it was hilarious to watch the efforts to slim him down and how the suit jacket resembled a mumu.

He couldn't strip off the pounds, so he stripped off the facts.  Noting that his detractors stated, after the 2016 campaign, that he would bring about countless wars, Donald pointed out that he didn't do that.  Had he left it alone, it might have been something we could note.  But he couldn't leave it alone because he can never be honest.  He quickly added, "And yet I've done decades, decades without a war.  The first president to do it for that long a period."

He thinks January 2021 was three years ago and he thinks he did ''decades, decades without a war.''  He was president for four years.  Four.  That's not even half a decade.

Joe's senile.  Donald's insane.

But let's note something here.  Donald didn't end either of the forever wars.  Joe did end one.

Oh but everything is shambles in Afghanistan now!!!!!

As it was always going to be.  Unless you're going to annex Afghanistan and make it part of the United States, stay there forever, that was always going to happen.  

Another year wouldn't have changed it, ten years wouldn't have changed it.  Joe ripped the band aid off.  

He didn't do it on Iraq.  US troops remain there.  The hope being that will exhaust the Iraqi people into something that we'll call 'democracy.'  It won't serve the Iraqi people but we've never actually been interested in them.  Our greed dictates that the Iraqi government do certain things and that's all we care about.  That's why, when the Iraqi people rejected Nouri al-Maliki in the 2010 elections, we refused to stand with the Iraqi people.  Instead, the US government negotiated The Erbil Agreement that overturned the votes and gave Nouri a second term.

Joe ran for president in 2020 and not one press outlet asked him about that.  They constantly talked about the vote -- here in the US -- but they never raised Iraq's overturned vote with Joe.

This despite the fact that it was Joe's decision.  Barack made him the point person on Iraq.  (Hillary had publicly called Nouri a "thug" -- which he was and remains -- in a Senate hearing in 2008 and Barack couldn't put her over Iraq as a result.)  Joe overturned an election.

And Nouri's second term created ISIS.  That's a major development.  And yet the press just ignored it as he ran for president.  Just as they ignored the impact that had on the Iraqi people and the way it resulted in less and less people voting in Iraq.

But the point is, Donald could have ended either or both wars and didn't.  So his pretense to be some sort of prince of peace is laughable.

Put 'em both in an old folks home and find someone who has the energy and brains to help the American people.


Otherwise, this can be the theme song for the 2024 election, the Rolling Stones' "Out of Time."

A number of people on the left are organizing around DON'T RUN JOE:

In 2024 the United States will face the dual imperatives of preventing a Republican takeover of the White House and advancing a truly progressive agenda. The stakes could not be higher. The threat of a neofascist GOP has become all too obvious. Bold and inspiring leadership from the Oval Office will be essential.

Unfortunately, President Biden has been neither bold nor inspiring. And his prospects for winning re-election appear to be bleak. With so much at stake, making him the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in 2024 would be a tragic mistake.

“Moderate” policies have failed to truly address such pressing concerns as the climate emergency, voting rights, student debt, health care, corporate price-gouging, and bloated military spending in tandem with anemic diplomacy.

Biden triumphed over Donald Trump in 2020 with vital help from extraordinary grassroots efforts in swing states by progressive organizations (including RootsAction). A president is not his party’s king, and he has no automatic right to renomination. Joe Biden should not seek it. If he does, he will have a fight on his hands.

Contact: | Learn more at our FAQ

And at their FAQ, they explain:

Don’t the midterm election results show that Joe Biden should be the Democratic nominee again in 2024? #

Actually, the sharp contrast between public support for Biden and for Democrats overall underscores that he should not run again. Biden’s dismal approval ratings have remained far below the public’s positivity toward the Democratic Party. The party did well in the midterm elections despite Biden, not because of him. While the electorate is evenly split between the two parties, there’s no such close division about Biden. As NBC reported from its exit polling, “two-thirds of voters (68 percent) do not want Biden to run for president again in 2024.” The large gap between approval of Biden and of his party indicates what a leaden weight he is on Democratic electoral prospects.

If Biden announces he’s not running in 2024, won’t that undermine Democrats and possibilities of progressive reform by making Biden a powerless “lame-duck” president? #

As a number of Democrats have pointed out, such an announcement would actually empower Biden to present himself as less political -- interested only in the public interest and not his own personal ambition. The wise thing for Biden to do would be to say that he’ll concentrate on being the best president he can be until Inauguration Day in January 2025. The tone-deaf thing for him to do would be to soldier on -- insisting that he should be president until January 2029 -- while damaging the party’s prospects in the process.

Don’t we owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Biden for having defeated Trump in 2020? #

Biden’s victory over Trump in 2020 was indeed a crucial historic achievement – one that was made possible in large part by unprecedented organizing in swing states by racial justice activists, feminists, union organizers and progressive groups, many of whom did not support Biden within the Democratic primaries. (RootsAction, for example, focused its Vote Trump Out campaign in the battlegrounds of Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin, which all went for Biden over Trump.)

Why does your statement omit so many pressing issues on which the Biden administration has failed the public interest? #

Our statement is short. It’s not a laundry list. It’s intentionally brief to focus on a single concept: that Biden should not run in 2024, and if he does “he will have a fight on his hands.” We see Biden as a logjam that has to be cleared away if Democrats are to look forward to election victories – and the enactment of big, broadly popular policies that could lead to even more election victories.

Why do you blame President Biden for a lack of progress in his first two years, when Senators Manchin and Sinema and the Republicans were the real culprits? #

We are in no way minimizing the pro-corporate / anti-environmental obstructionism of the GOP and conservative Democrats in Congress, but the #DontRunJoe initiative focuses on President Biden because he himself has been a roadblock to change. On issue after issue, Biden has offered “too little, too late” – from voting rights to abortion rights to student debt to the climate crisis – and he has spent nearly two years demonstrating that he is incapable of using the power of the presidential “bully pulpit” to mobilize for victory. On many issues, he has failed to use his executive authority, including the power to issue executive orders, to defend working families – a failure that can’t be blamed on Congress.

Is this #DontRunJoe initiative a stalking horse for a presidential candidate you support? #

No. RootsAction does not now have a horse in this race. If Biden doesn’t run again, that could clear the path for a progressive candidate with broad appeal who can defeat the GOP in November 2024. Our immediate goal within the Democratic Party is to “dump Biden,” much as the anti-Vietnam-War forces among Democrats set out to “dump Johnson” in 1967, which led antiwar candidates Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy to enter the race.

Doesn’t Bernie Sanders say that he expects Biden to run again and will support him? #

Yes, that’s true. And RootsAction respects Senator Sanders’ views. When we supported Bernie for president in 2016 and 2020, we did not endorse every position or statement he enunciated – nor does he support all of our positions.

Joe needs to go.  So does Donald.  Starting in 2016, Hillary Clinton drove away some with her insane peddling of the conspiracy theory that Russia was behind her loss.  No, dear, that was all on you.  You'd think Donald would have learned something from that but the reality is that Donald is incapable of learning.  Which is why, in his speech last night, he declared, "Many people think China played a very active role in the 2020 election -- just saying, just saying.  Sure that didn't happen."

Keep saying stuff like that, Donald, it'll destroy you faster than anything else will.

You'll run off supporters and you'll prevent new ones from joining you.

On the most basic aspect?  People will wonder, "If China stopped him in 2020, how will he prevent it in 2024 when he's not even in the White House."

You lost and you look like a sore loser.  People don't flock to that.  

Donald's made his declaration and what else can he do?  How will he drum up support for his tired and losing campaign in the next two years?

Both parties need to show the elderly twosome to the exit door.  

Turning to Iraq, two Mondays ago in the snapshot, we noted that Iraq's Parliament was pushing for conscription.  That night at THIRD, we noted the effort failed in Parliament.  Now THE NEW ARAB reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said Tuesday his government will not seek to re-establish military conscription - a proposal that has faced opposition among the general public.

Service in the armed forces was mandatory in Iraq from 1935 to 2003, when a US-led invasion toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein, disbanding the army and security services.

In August last year, the previous government submitted a bill to reinstate conscription.

several months later Iraq elected a new parliament, but Sudani's government was only approved last month after a year of political paralysis.

We've given Joe credit for something he did, praise for it.  He is the first US President to appoint a woman as US Ambassador to Iraq since the 2003 invasion. This isn't minor or window decoration.  The US destroyed the lives of Iraqi women and they repeatedly attempted to strip them of their rights to appease the fundamentalists that the US put in charge of Iraq.  Ahead of being sworn in as president in 2009, Barack Obama's team was urged by many to appoint a woman to this post (Ava and I were two who spoke to the transition team about this).    Barack nominated six people to be Ambassador to Iraq during his two terms as president.  Five got confirmed.  All nominated were men.  One nominated, the failure (Brett McGurk), would have meant Iraqi women were putting their lives in danger by working for or even visiting the US Embassy in Baghdad -- a point a Democratic Senator explained to Barack which caused him to finally withdraw McGurk's nomination.  

Joe nominated Alina Romanowski and she is now the US Ambassador to Iraq.  And must be doing at least one thing right because she's got Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law in a huff.  PRESS TV reports:

An Iraqi lawmaker has lambasted US Ambassador to Baghdad Alina L. Romanowski for her seditious moves and attempts to provoke bitter divisions within the Iraqi society, stressing that her divisive stances are detrimental to the Arab country’s national security and sovereignty.

Abbas al-Maliki, a member of the State of Law Coalition led by former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency, sharply criticized Romanowski’s “suspicious” meetings with political and social figures as well as members of civil organizations in Iraq.

“The US ambassador in Iraq behaves like a special envoy as she holds meetings with any political and non-political figure whom she desires, and can make use of all available social and political means for such a purpose. Romanowski believes that she can give orders and tell people what to do and not to do,” Maliki said.

He stressed, “Under the orders of the Iraqi premiership, foreign diplomats must perform their roles in accordance with international norms and principles, and should only communicate with officials from the Foreign Ministry and state authorities through diplomatic channels and submit a plan for their meetings in advance.”

Hey, remember when Nouri didn't get to run for a third term as prime minister and the country had a new one but Nouri refused to move out of the palace?  Yeah, Nouri and State of Law weren't too concerned about "norms and principles" then.  

Winding down with the living legend Diana Ross (as disclosed before, Diana is a friend and I love her).

"All Is Well" is a beautiful ballad and it's a song off Diana's latest studio album THANK YOU -- an amazing album and one of her finest (Kat reviewed it here.) which just resulted in another Grammy nomination:  Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.  It's truly amazing -- as is Diana.  In the seventh decade of her career, she earns another Grammy nomination -- not many people can brag about that.  

And "it would be so much better if the world just danced" as Diana notes below.

Both songs appear on THANK YOU and if you haven't heard the album yet, AMAZON has it on sale currently -- vinyl version is $19.39 which is 45% off the list price:

  • Thank You

The following sites updated:

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