From June 4, 2009, that's "CIA Diva" about Leon Panetta. Leon's only been two comics (that I remember, anyway). C.I. knows Leon. Each comic caused me a panic. In the other, I'm comparing Leon Panetta to a pig.
I was really worried about both comics. I thought there was a point to them but this was a friend of C.I.'s and was I "sh**ting where I eat" as the phrase goes?
C.I. didn't care. I never heard anything about this comic other than, "Wow, you really nailed his face." On the second one, I was talking about it and saying I might not do it. It got back to C.I. and she called and said, "Isaiah, as I hear of your planned comic, it's not only funny, it really has a needed point. Don't worry about it. Your comics make fun, that's what editorial comics do. Everyone will be fine, everything will be fine."
So I went ahead and drew it. And waited for the explosion. The only comment I got was, "I loved it. It was very cute."
So, no, C.I.'s not using the site to give her friends a break. She also doesn't edit or interfere with what I write. If I'm doubting myself, she's the one who calls and says, "You have to do it."
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Hashemi fled, perhaps significantly first to Kurdish Iraq and then abroad.
The Sunni leader has since been tried in his absence and sentenced to death.
Last Tuesday, Nouri's spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh announced the cancellation of the program. There was a huge pushback that grew and grew -- from politicians, from clerics, from the people until Friday when it really couldn't be ignored. The program has been in place since 1991 meaning that it is all over half of Iraqis know (Iraq has a very young population, the median age has now risen to 21). It allowed Iraqis to get basic staples such as flour sugar, rice, etc. As the clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, noted, this move would hurt the people who are already struggling economically. It was also an idiotic political move to make. In April, provinicial elections will be held. Nouri's already in campaign mode and this very unpopular move did not help him there. The smartest thing politically would have been to go into a full retreat on the proposal and announce that you had heard the people, to flatter them and make it appear you listened.
Al Mada reports that a poll found 69.5% of Iraqis surveyed felt that cancellation of the ration cards would negatively effect their families' standard of living and 81% opposed doing away with the ration cards. Hassan Latif al-Zubaidi (Niqash) reports:
Various reports from as far back as 2004 have concluded that scrapping the ration card system would lead to lower living standards in Iraq in general. There are a large number of food-insecure individuals in Iraq -- early estimates range from between 11 and 16 percent of the population -- and analysts have suggested that that number could double or even triple should the ration card system be scrapped.
Shaeen Mufti (Rudaw) quotes MP SHorsh Haji who serves on Iraq's Economic Committee in Parliament, "Making decisions one day and revising them the next proves that the government is without a plan and doesn't know what is best for the people."
Iraq's prime minister has canceled a recently signed arms deal with Russia after "suspicions over corruption" surfaced, his spokesman told CNN on Saturday.
Under the $4.2 billion deal forged last month, Russia would deliver attack helicopters and mobile air-defense systems to Iraq.
Amani Aziz (Al Mada) reported that there are senior Iraqi government officials who are involved with a brother of Russian President Vladimir Putin. All Iraq News noted there are calls for Nouri to step forward and clear his name. Al Rafidayn added Nouri spokesperson Ali al-Moussawi announced that the deal is off. New contracts may be needed, he said, because weapons are, but the deal is off. AP hedged the bets going with language about the deal being "reconsidered" and in "turnaround." Reuters spent the day providing constant updates and in their third one they noted, "In a confusing exchange, the announcement by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office was immediately contradicted by the acting defence minister who denied the corruption charges and said the Russian arms deals were still valid." RIA Novosti reminded, "At the time the deal was announced in October, the Russian press had hailed it as the country's largest since 2006. Under the contract, Moscow is to supply 30 Mil Mi-28NE night/all-weather capable attack helicopters, and 50 Pantsir-S1 gun-missile short-range air defense systems."
Excessive red tape, rampant corruption, an unreliable judicial system and still-inadequate security, as well as a poorly trained workforce and a state-dominated economy all continue to plague Iraq, which completed its biggest trade fair in 20 years last week to much domestic acclaim.
The various difficulties of doing business in Iraq cast doubt on efforts to raise $1-trillion in investment income over the coming decade that officials say is needed to rebuild its battered economy.
The 2014 election is supposed to determine that. Supposed to. Iraq's had parliamentary elections twice now -- 2005 and 2010. In both instances, the United States government determined the outcome. First, the Bush administration installed Nouri in 2006 (Ibrahim al-Jafaari was the choice of Parliament). Second, the Barack administration gave second place Nouri a second term in 2010 via an extra-Constitutional contract known as the Erbil Agreement.
If the White House plans to again pick the Iraqi prime minister in 2014, could they let Iraq know now before money's spent printing ballots and adding security to the various polling places?
Al Mada notes the efforts to pass a bill that would limit the prime minister post to two terms only. Some reports have said there are 150 backers in Parliament, some say 130. A simple majority is needed. That's half-plus-one of the MPs (there are 325 members of Parliament). So that's already very close to the target number. Press TV adds: "Maliki's supporters also say that they will try to split support for the term limit campaign by adjusting the law to include other posts such as Kurdistan Regional Government president and parliament speaker."
I am sure that they did that say that. I don't doubt Press TV's accuracy. Mainly because the members of State of Law repeatedly demonstrate stupidity.
It might help State of Law to read the Iraqi Constitution at some point. Familiarizing themselves with something they swear an oath to would be a good idea and it would also help them look a little less stupid in public. The first clause of Article 117 would probably be most helpful to State of Law at this point along with the first and second clauses of Article 121.
There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the Baghdad-based government the right to declare anything about the KRG president or prime minister.
State of Law MP Sami al-Askari has been talking trash about political rivals for the last few days. From Tuesday's snapshot:
Yesterday, Alsumaria reported that State of Law MP Sami al-Askari is calling Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi a failure and he told Alsumaria that the Kurds are playing up the Sunni - Shi'ite divide. Today Kurdistan Alliance MP and leader Muhsin al-Sadoun tells Alsumaria that al-Askari's remarks are not helpful and that the suffering that has taken place has been under Nouri al-Maliki's leadership as people have increasingly lost confidence in the government's ability to provide as a result of the vast corruption and the failure to provide security. al-Askari hasn't stopped trashing politicians. Al Rafidayn reports he went on Alsumaria television tonight and trashed Iraqiya's Osama al-Nujaifi who is the Speaker of Parliament. He stated that al-Nujaifi is indebted to the Kurds who pushed for him to be Speaker of Parliament, implying that he does their bidding. Iraqiya came in first in the 2010 parliamentary elections. After Nouri refused to honor the Constitution and give up the post of prime minister and Jalal was bound and determined to remain prime minister, that only left one post for the political bloc that got the most votes. Iraqiya was always going to get the spot and al-Askari knows that, he's just attempting to inflame tensions with his bitchy nature.
It's so bad that finally, today, President Jalal Talabani speaks. Alsumaria reports Jalal said he could no longer remain silent in light of all the accusations al-Askari has been making. Talabani states that whether al-Askari meant to or not, the statements drive a wedge and break the bonds between the political blocs.
Finally, Alsumaria reports that an armed attack in Sulaymaniyah Province left one person dead and another injured, a Diyala Province roadside bombing left two people injured and 18 people were arrested for 'terrorism' today as mass arrests continued.