Sunday, May 20, 2018

Hillary's Campaign Slogan


From March 9, 2015, that's "Hillary's Campaign Slogan."  C.I. noted:

A fast food employee asks Hillary, "Would you like fries with that?"  Staring back at her ass, Hillary responds, "What difference at this point does it make?"  Valerie Jarrett exclaims, "I believe we have a campaign slogan!"  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.  This comic is part of a cycle which also includes: "Hillary's E-mails" and  "Hillary Teaches Children"

I was asked if I was reviewing any other books here?  Yes.  It's part of a community wide project.  We're all noting books.  I'll probably do at least two more this year.

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

The final results of the Iraq election, not formally confirmed yet: • Sa’iroon (Muqtada Sadr) 54 seats • Nasr (Haider Abadi) 52 seats • Fateh (PMFs) 49 seats • SOL (Maliki) 24 seats • Hikmah (Ammar al-Hakim) 22 seats (h/t , according to Sumaria TV)

The election was a topic in yesterday's US State Dept press briefing conducted by spokesperson Heather Nauert:

MS NAUERT: I will certainly see if I can find something for you on it.
Hi, Laurie.

QUESTION: Hi. There have been major complaints about fraud in the Iraqi voting, and the UN Mission there has called on Iraq’s Electoral Commission to investigate them, quote, “immediately and fully.” What is your position on this?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. So we spoke about this a little bit the other day. The vote tally is still underway at this time. We’re certainly aware that there have been some challenges with that. We agree with the UN special representative who – the individual has called on the Independent High Electoral Commission to immediately and fully investigate those complaints, the complaints that you’re referring to, concerning the overall electoral process in Iraq. We call for the release of final election results just as quickly as possible and just as quickly as they’re ready. We understand the concerns that some people have had about that, and that’s why we call on them to quickly do this and resolve it.

QUESTION: Okay, and a question on Turkey. The foreign minister has said that there was a preliminary agreement about Manbij that was reached under Secretary Tillerson. At that time, you said that there was no such agreement. Is it still your position that there’s no agreement between the U.S. and Turkey on Manbij?

MS NAUERT: That’s correct. The talks about Manbij are ongoing, and nothing has been concluded. This is something that we addressed at NATO when the Secretary had met with his counterpart in Brussels as well, and so we just don’t have any new updates for you on that.

QUESTION: On Iraq --

MS NAUERT: And I will also point out that we do have a new Secretary, and so he has the ability to have conversations with the Government of Turkey, and then they can decide a new way forward if they should want to.

QUESTION: Sorry, Heather, a quick question on the election in Iraq because --


QUESTION: Are you disappointed in the level of turnout because it was very low? I mean, I worked back during the civil war and the turnout was much, much bigger. Are you disappointed? Do you think that people have lost faith in the democratic process in Iraq?

MS NAUERT: I don’t see it as that at all. We have seen from time to time when we’ve had higher or lower election turnouts in the United States, and many other countries have experienced that as well. But what is significant here is that the Iraqis held this successful election. The election went off with very, very limited violence. That is a tremendous success. And if we just wind back the clock to where Iraq was just a few years ago, when ISIS had controlled large swaths of that country, and now here people are turning out to vote and the biggest complaint we can find is a low turnout? Well, I’d say congratulations to the Iraqi people for pulling off a successful election. 

Complaints or not, the process moves on.  Borzou Daragahi (FOREIGN POLICY) looks at the landscape and comes up with ten potential prime ministers.  We'll note three that are not heavily mentioned elsewhere:

Ali Dawai Lazem: The 53-year-old governor of southern Iraq’s impoverished Maysan province since 2009 is said to be the choice for prime minister of the Sadr list, which — with an estimated 54 seats — received the largest bloc in the May 12 election. “Having the backing of the winning list and Sadr is a big added advantage,” says another Iraqi scholar.
Lazem was the Sadrists’ nominee for prime minister in 2014, and he is seen as hardworking, honest, and a man of the people. Whereas most Iraqi politicians shuttle between barricaded compounds in armored cars, he is famous for donning coveralls, heading into the streets of Amara, the capital of Maysan province, and sweating alongside construction workers.
His accomplishments as governor have made him something of a national folk hero. Maysan now has electricity for more hours each day than Baghdad. Still some say he lacks substance and traditional credentials. According to a report in the New York Times, he grew up in Iraq’s southern marshlands, served time in jail under Saddam Hussein’s regime, and got a job working at a sugar factory despite having a university degree in Islamic studies. Still, he has his critics. “How does it make sense for a governor to spend his time sweeping streets?” wonders one Iraqi analyst. “If he was effective, he would be spending his time shaping policy and making sure that other people are picking up the trash.”
In the rough-and-tumble of Iraqi insider politics, his popularity and name recognition could also hurt him. “Either it’s the incumbent getting another term, or it’s a compromise candidate who everyone else sees as weak and obscure enough to be nonthreatening or manipulable,” says an Iraqi energy-sector analyst.

Tariq Najm: The 72-year-old Dhi Qar province native and Islamic scholar is another Dawa Party loyalist, and a potential dark horse candidate for the premiership. He served as Maliki’s chief of staff and was considered a potential replacement in 2014. He spent his exile years studying and teaching in the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt, and he maintains constructive ties with Washington, Tehran, and Ankara, as well as the senior Shiite clergy in Najaf. Crucially, he could unite Abadi and Maliki wings of the Dawa Party. “Najm — who is already secretary of the Dawa Party — may emerge as an acceptable candidate to both those men if it means keeping the party together,” says one analyst.

Dia Asadi: The 49-year-old Basra lawmaker is a forceful and eloquent advocate of Moqtada al-Sadr. Fluent in English, he serves as a bridge between the movement’s urban underclass and diplomats and international media. “He would be out of his depth as a prime minister,” says one Iraq expert. “But so would all the others.”

He also notes that Iraq has a pattern of getting surprise prime ministers.  Nouri wasn't expected, Hayder wasn't expected . . .

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is known for his long history of calling for all foreign troops (including US troops) to leave Iraq.

It's a detail that escapes some low information cultists.  Yes, we're talking about the Hillary Clinton obsessed crowd known as The Flatulence.  Yes, where Hillary goes, there is always The Flatulence.

Hillary Clinton was never President but she was blamed for the Iraq war and Bengahzi, she took full ownership, testified twice for over 16 hours and most importantly apologized more than she should have personally but the men, President, was both re-elected. Now that's sexism.

Republicans are scammers. Obama inherited recession. Took stock market from 7,000 to 20,000. Unemployment from 8.3% to 4.6%. Consumer confidence from 25.3 to 107.1. Ended IRAQ war. Crippled ISIS and MS-13. They just “noticed” and Trump is trying to take credit

Leave aside sentence construction, one says Hillary was blame for Iraq and she took full ownership.  No, she did not.  She wouldn't even apologize for the longest -- not even a weak apology.  Here's Jeff Gerth (PRO PUBLICA) from June 2014 reviewing Hillary's HARD CHOICES:

Having co-authored a 2007 biography of Hillary Clinton, I know that Iraq is not one of her favorite subjects. But with the bloodshed and sectarian division now crippling Iraq, I wondered what her new memoir, "Hard Choices," had to say about a country that's long been a political minefield for her.
The answer is not a lot. There is no chapter on its own for Iraq, like there is for Gaza, or Burma or Haiti. The discussion of Iraq is scattered throughout the 632-page book, and it is mostly about old battles. Clinton does not delve into the challenges she faced as secretary of state in 2011 as her department inherited responsibility for Iraq's security assistance when American troops withdrew.
Instead, the book has made headlines for her admission, for the first time in 12 years, that she made a "mistake" when voting to authorize the Iraq war when she was still a senator in 2002.
A closer look at what Clinton wrote—and didn't write—about that vote, about her views on the Iraq troop surge and about the country's ongoing sectarian strife is revealing. Clinton continues to misstate parts of her record on Iraq, while failing to address some of the tough choices she took as America's chief diplomat.

Continue reading Gerth for more on Hillary's real record on Iraq.  By 2016, she was now insisting that her 'mistake' was to trust that Bully Boy Bush would send enough troops to Iraq.  That's ownership?  And grasp what she's arguing for -- this woman who opposed the 'surge' -- she's arguing that even more US troops should have been sent to Iraq.

We could spend all day with lying politicians and the fools that are sexually attracted to them but let's move to the second Tweet.  Barack ended the Iraq War?


Helene Cooper and Gardiner Harris (NEW YORK TIMES) report:

Over the past four years, American military planning in Iraq has counted on working with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shiite Muslim who has managed to rebuild the country’s army, restore sovereignty and partner with both the United States and Iran to defeat the Islamic State.
But the results of the weekend’s national elections in Iraq have torn the American assumptions asunder.
[. . .]
Mr. Trump has already expressed his desire to bring American troops home soon from Syria; officials said the president has given the Defense Department six months to wrap up its mission there. Military officials had hoped that an American troop presence in Iraq could keep in contact with allied forces across the border in Syria.
And what would Mr. Trump do if Mr. Sadr again demands an American troop withdrawal from Iraq?
“The Pentagon is already on the clock to get out of Syria,” said Derek Chollet, a former senior Defense Department official in the Obama administration. “Who’s to say what happens in Iraq after?”

Again, Barack didn't end the Iraq War.

BREAKING: Denmark to withdraw its troops from Iraq

Will the US be next?

Among the people mentioned as a future prime minister of Iraq is former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  Mohamed Mostafa (IRAQI NEWS) reports Nouri met up with Brett McGurk this week:

A statement by his office said Maliki received Thursday Brett Mcgurk, envoy of the United States president to the international coalition against Islamic State.
“During the meeting, both discussed the political and security situation in Iraq and the region, and means to reinforce bilateral ties between the two friendly countries,” the statement read.

Maliki “stressed that the post-election period shall be that of reconstruction and upgrade of services, especially at regions affected by the war against  terrorism”, highlighting “the necessity of joint cooperation between Baghdad and Washington in all fields.

Nouri tortured and secretly imprisoned, he misused the Iraqi military by sending it to circle the homes of Sunni politicians in an attempt to intimidate them, he attacked journalists, he bombed residential areas . . .  He did so many vile and criminal things and his actions resulted in the rise of ISIS.  That he can even be mentioned as a possible prime minister this year goes to how little accountability there is in the world.

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

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    Friday, May 4, 2018

    Hillary Teaches Children

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Hillary Teaches Children"


    That's "Hillary Teaches Children" from March 8, 2015.  C.I. noted:

     A kid asks, "Hey, lady, why is the sky blue?"  Hillary explains, "What difference at this point does it make?"  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

    "What difference at this point does it make" is the story of Hillary's life.

    Bill cheated on you?  "What difference at this point does it make!"

    You lost the 2016 election?  "What difference at this point does it make?"

    People say you keep falling down drunk.  "What difference at this point does it make?"

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

    Friday, May 4, 2018.  Eight days until elections are to be held in Iraq.

    They said an important message would be coming from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Friday.

    Major debate in over forthcoming speech by Shiite cleric Ali about election, some says he would refuse to vote for Shiite factions close to Iran, while some leaders of these factions says days ago they will get negative campaign against them a week before election

    Today, the speech was delievered.  REUTERS reports:

    Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, suggested on Friday that he had not abandoned his opposition to former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is bidding to return to power in elections on May 12.     
    Making a rare intervention in politics, Sistani in his weekly sermon that Iraqis should “avoid falling into the trap of those ... who are corrupt and those who have failed, whether they have been tried or not”.  

    As Election Day looms Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani outlines his position on political parties, election campaigns, and recommendations for Iraqi electorate. Summary translation below 


    A rebuke to former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki who went from a petty crook to millions once he became prime minister in Iraq.  The people starved and suffered but Nouri and his family were living large.  Son Ahmed al-Maliki did not help the family image by purchasing fancy digs in England and multiple expensive sports cars.   None of this went over well in Iraq where the citizens suffered and the officials thrived on corruption.

    While stuffing his own pockets with the peoples' money, Nouri also attacked the people.  Sunnis, Kurds, other religious minorities and, yes, even Shia.  His paranoia was why the CIA recommended him for the job of prime minister in the first place as their assessment argued that this paranoia would make him easy to manipulate.

    But the paranoia ran wild and probably not even the CIA could have predicted just what would result.  He ran a vice president out of the country, claimed the vice president was a terrorist.  He sent tanks to circle the homes of Sunni politicians in Parliament.  He brought back Saddam Hussein's secret jails and prisons -- in these jails and prisons people were disappeared, people were tortured, people were raped.  He attacked the press.  At one point, he had members of the press kidnapped in Baghdad -- in broad daylight, right off the street.

    The "State of Law coalition" belonging to Nuri Al-Maliki do not respect law.

    Everyone was an enemy when Nouri was in power.

    His persecution of the Sunnis is directly responsible for the rise of the Islamic State.  That's why Barack Obama, then US-president, declared he must not get a third term in 2014 and why he was replaced with Hayder al-Abadi.

    But Nouri wants to be prime minister again.

    Nouri Al-Maliki An ousted and corrupt former Iraqi PM that is a mass murderer is yet running again in a new bid for the PM position again.

    Corruption is an important issue in Iraq.  Along with security, it has been identified in polling as one of the two main issues this election cycle.  In a land of windows and orphans, the officials have gotten rich while the people have suffered.  And this has taken place since 2003 -- a period when Iraq has been said to have taken in $700 billion from oil revenues.

    William Armstrong (HURRIYET) reviews Erin Banco's book PIPE DREAMS and notes:

    Oil companies have been happy to play along, paying kickbacks to unscrupulous officials and middle men in the form of consultation fees and contract renegotiations. Banco refers to an avalanche of “wheelers and dealers” aiming to cash in on a gold rush-like “oil bonanza” after the invasion of Iraq. She voices outrage at “just how eager American oil companies were, and what lengths some adventurers went to, to try to cash in on the chaos that ensued when the Kurdish government flung its doors open to Western wildcatters.” At one point the book describes the procession of senior U.S. officials passing through a revolving (or revolting) door from public office to lucrative posts in energy corporations active in Iraq. Former U.S. Secretaries of State Rex Tillerson and Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, and former top ambassadorial advisor Ali Khedery have all in recent years been on the books at ExxonMobil.

    Yes, a number of people have gotten rich off Iraq's oil -- including Nouri al-Maliki, Condi Rice, Rex Tillerson, Stephen Leaker Hadley and Ryan Crocker to name but a few.  No, the Iraqi people have not seen any improvement in their way of life.  All this time later, heavy rains still mean flooding -- which means death in some areas of Iraq -- due to the neglect of the infrastructure.  All the time later, Iraqis still struggle with public services -- electricity and potable water.

    Now they gear up for yet another election.

    May 12th, elections are supposed to take place in Iraq.  Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) notes, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW adds, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explains that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women. Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) report, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003.  According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions."    RUDAW also notes that 60 Christian candidates are competing for the five allotted minority seats.  How do they elect the prime minister?  This comes after the general election and is based on who won seats in the election.   Abdulrahman al-Rashed (AL ARABIYA) explains, "To win the premiership, a candidate needs to win the majority of the votes, i.e. the votes of 165 MPs out of 329. Since it is a multi-party system, it is almost impossible to win these votes without sealing political alliances. The governorate of Baghdad is the most important one because it is the largest with 69 seats."  The chief issues?  Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies them as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."

    As noted in the April 3rd snapshot, pollster Dr. Munqith Dagher has utilized data on likely voters and predicts that Hayder al-Abadi's Al-Nasr will win 72 seats in the Parliament, al-Fath (the militias) will get 37 seats, Sa'eroon (Moqtada al-Sadr's new grouping) will get 27 seats, Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law will get 19 seats, al-Salam will get 18 seats (KDP and PUK parties for the Kurds), Ayad Allawi's Wataniya will get 15 seats. There are others but Dagher did not predict double digits for any of the other seats. The number are similar for the group of those who are extremely likely to vote (Hayder's seats would jump from 72 to 79 seats).  Other predictions?  The Middle East Insstitute's Fanar Haddad insists to Sammy Ketz (AFP) that the post of prime minister will come down to one of three people: Hayder al-Abadi (current prime minister), Nouri al-Maliki (two time prime minister and forever thug) or Hadi al-Ameria "a leader of Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary network that played a pivotal role in defeating IS. Ameri comes from Diyala province and is a statistics graduate from Baghdad University. He fled to Iran in 1980 after Saddam executed top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr. The 64-year old is widely viewed as Tehran's favoured candidate."

    Eligible Iraqi citizens overseas will be able to exercise their democratic right and cast their vote in Iraq’s parliamentary elections at 136 election centers in 19 countries

    There is dispute over how accessible the government has made voting for external refugees.

    Instead of focusing on that, much of the western press on this cycle of elections has focused on gadgets.  Electronic voting!!!!!  This is not an examination which questions the security of the machines or cautions on the needs for paper receipts.  It's just gadgets, gadgets, gadgets!  They call it 'reporting' but it reads like advertising copy.

    Hussein al-Amir (ANADOLU AGENCY) reports a bombing in eastern Diyala Province which has left 3 people dead.  Violence, the other thing the western press has little interest reporting of late.  Harshes the shining glow of another round of elections.

    On elections, let's note this:


    May 3, 2018

    For more information contact Green Party of Michigan officers:

    Eric Siegel, Elections Coordinator, 401-954-9038, electionscoordinator@michgreen
    Paul Homeniuk, Chair,
    LuAnne Kozma, Communications Coordinator, 231-547-2828 communications@michgreenparty. org
    Green Party of Michigan to hold nomination convention May 5 in Flint

    Green Party members to gather in Flint from across the state to nominate federal, state, and local candidates

    Press conference with candidates at 4:30 pm

    (Flint, Mich)--The Green Party of Michigan will hold its 2018 state nominating convention in Flint on Saturday, May 5. Registration begins at 9 am. The convention takes place from 10 am to 5 pm at the University of Michigan-Flint, Harding-Mott University Center, 400 Mill St, Flint MI 48503. 
    Candidates seeking the Green Party nomination for federal, state, and local partisan elected offices (or endorsement for non-partisan offices) will be present, vying to represent the party in the November 2018 election.

    A press conference with nominated candidates will take place at the end of the convention at 4:30 pm.
    The convention agenda and brochure is available here: es_communications/2018GPMINomi nationConvention.pdf

    This will be the Green Party of Michigan's tenth convention since it earned its place on the Michigan ballot in 2000. Conventions and county caucuses are how the Green Party and other alternative parties nominate candidates for the November general elections.

    The state party's elections coordinator Eric Siegel points out that the state-law-required convention/caucus system doesn't bring Green nominees the publicity of taxpayer-financed primary elections. 
    "Every candidate we nominate has to show a solid commitment to the party's values and platform," said Siegel. 

    Those values include the Four Pillars of all US Greens: grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, and non- violence. The Green Party of Michigan applies its values to key issues of the day in its 2016 Platform, which will be available at the convention.

    The Green Party of Michigan's 2016 platform can be seen at the website
    Green Party members who would like to be considered for a possible Green Party nomination for partisan elective office should contact Elections Coordinator Eric Siegel prior to May 5 atelectionscoordinator@michgreen for the vetting questionnaire which must be filled out prior to the convention.

    The keynote speaker at the event is Rev. Edward Pinkney, of Benton Harbor, who was wrongly convicted of election laws and exonerated by the Michigan Supreme Court just this week.

    The Green Party of Michigan is a state party affiliate of the Green Party of the United States (

    For other information about the Green Party of Michigan, visit:
    You can also “like” the
    Green Party of Michigan US

    Facebook page and follow GPMI's Twitter feed

    For the platform of the Green Party of the United States, see

    # # #

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    Green Party of Michigan
    * PO Box 504 • Warren, MI 48090-0504 * 313-815-2025 *

    Ecological Wisdom • Social Justice • Grassroots Democracy • Non-Violence
    GPMI was formed in 1987 to address environmental issues in Michigan politics. Greens are organized in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and organized in a national party, Green Party of the United States.  ( Each state Green Party sets its own goals and creates its own structure, but US Greens agree on Ten Key Values:
    Ecological Wisdom Grassroots Democracy Social Justice Non-Violence
    Community Economics Decentralization Feminism
    Respect for Diversity Personal/Global Responsibility Future Focus/Sustainability

    The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, NPR Music, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and DISSIDENT VOICE -- updated:

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