Saturday, April 25, 2020

"The Scope of the Investigation"

the scope of the investigation

From May 6, 2018, that's "The Scope of the Investigation."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Scope of the Investigation."  An elderly teacher asks, "But Mr. Mueller, what does pulling pigtails or wetting his pants have to do with Russia?"  Robert Mueller responds, "You let me worry about the scope of my investigation.  Now answer the questions."   Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

I like that comic.  I'd put it up there as one of my top ten comics.  I'm not really a fan of my own work but I do like that one.

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

Friday, April 24, 2020.  Joe Biden maintains his silence on the rape accusation, Iraq's prime minister-designate still struggle to come up with a portfolio, Barbara Slavin sees US troops leaving Iraq, and much more.

ADDED 4/24/203:28 EST: Ryan Grim has a scoop at THE INTERCEPT:

In interviews with The Intercept, Reade also mentioned that her mother had made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN, during which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade told The Intercept that her mother called in asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, left Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade told me.
Reade couldn’t remember the date or the year of the phone call, and King didn’t include the names of callers on his show. I was unable to find the call, but mentioned it in an interview with Katie Halper, the podcast host who first aired Reade’s allegation. After the podcast aired, a listener managed to find the call and sent it to The Intercept.
On August 11, 1993, King aired a program titled, “Washington: The Cruelest City on Earth?” Toward the end of the program, he introduces a caller dialing in from San Luis Obispo, California. Congressional records list August 1993 as Reade’s last month of employment with Biden’s Senate office, and, according to property records, Reade’s mother, Jeanette Altimus, was living in San Luis Obispo County. Here is the transcript of the beginning of the call:
KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.
KING: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?
CALLER: That’s true.

King’s panel of guests offered no suggestions, and instead the conversation veered into a discussion of whether any of the men on set would leak damaging personal information about a rival to the press.

Joe Biden thinks he deserves to be president.  But he doesn't think he has to answer publicly when a woman accuses him of assault or rape.  Tara Reade has come forward to accuse Joe of assault.  Katie Halper interviewed Tara about the assault.  At THE GUARDIAN this morning, she writes:

You can hear and read Reade’s heart-wrenching account yourself, but to summarize her claims: she says she brought Joe Biden his gym bag as she’d been instructed. The two of them were alone and that is when she says “he just had me up against the wall and his hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And then he went down my skirt, but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers ... Everything shattered in that moment.”
Reade’s good friend Jane (not her real name), who lived at the same residence and interned for another senator at the time, told me that Reade called her after the incident: “When I said, ‘Did you feel like you could walk away?’, [Tara] said no. And that his hand went where it shouldn’t below the belt...He said something that made [Tara] feel like a grain of dust… small and insignificant. On the can’t see someone’s facial expression… but you can tell when someone’s voice is shaking... She was definitely confused, disoriented.”
Reade’s brother also remembers learning about the incident: “First my mom told me about it. She was up in arms. And I was like I don’t know what happened. I think my sister was trying to spare me.” Indeed, Reade did try to spare her younger brother somewhat but, as he told me, “I remember my sister being specifically asked to handle a gym bag... And there was a moment he had her up against the wall and made a hand move under her clothes.”
[. . .]
Political leaders, the media and victims’ advocates for months have refused to honor Reade’s request to be heard, sacrificing not only one woman but basic principles at the heart of the Democratic party and the survivors’ justice movement that brave Democratic women helped build.

The corporate media has done an appalling job covering the story.  College newspapers, however, have led on this story.  Genna Edwards (THE PITT NEWS) observes:

Biden, like Trump, has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by multiple women. And like Trump, he and his campaign deny these claims. Biden’s history as a “Democratic” politician is littered with choices that are incredibly un-Democratic. He’s more of a centrist than anything, going wherever the money and power want him to go. He wavers on abortion, having supported the Hyde Ammendment. He is not an LGBTQ+ ally. He voted for the Iraq war. He is anti-Social Security and anti-Medicare. Tara Reade, a former staff assistant to Biden, has accused him of sexual assault — I believe her. I’ve seen the videos of Biden inappropriately touching and sniffing young girls.
So. As both a leftist and a queer woman, I am appalled. Losing Sanders robs us of any dignity the American people may have had left. If I have to choose between two unfit men in the fall to lead my country out of a historic pandemic that neither are fit to fix given their policies, well — I’m moving to an underground bunker.

If I thought myself naive for believing in politics before this, boy, is that smacking me in the face now. I try to have hope, stupid white woman hope, and I’ve tried to have hope again and again. I thought Sanders was it this time, that we could escape this Trump hell and feel at least marginally better about living in this country.

We'll note another college paper, Liddy Grantland (DUKE CHRONICLE) offers:

I disagree with Joe Biden on many issues. I believe that there were better choices in the Democratic primary, and I voted that way. With his ever-increasing delegate lead, though, I was begrudgingly becoming accustomed to the idea of casting my vote for him in November. As much as I remain opposed to much of his past and current work, I believed fewer people would be harmed by his presidency than would be harmed by another four years of Donald Trump in office. I still believe that. 
But I now know that no matter what happens in November, the Oval Office will almost certainly be occupied for the next four years by a perpetrator of sexual assault.
This is not the first election where voters have had to choose between two candidates who have caused direct harm. Black, Brown and Indigenous voters have had to choose between the lesser of two evils—the person less likely to rob them of their freedom and dignity—in nearly every election where they have even been able to cast a ballot. 

It would be politically convenient for me to forget Tara Reade, to ignore the harsh reality about this member of my team. Many people on my team have already made that choice. I understand it. But I will not do the same.

Lena Felton (THE LILY) speaks to a number of women about the way the media and others have treated Tara Reade:

Such is the case for Alannah Raitt, a 25-year-old bus driver and barista who’s also a volunteer aide for Joshua Collins, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Tacoma, Wash. “I will not support people who can’t seem to respect people’s bodily autonomy or can’t seem to understand the concept of consent,” says Raitt, who identifies as a victim of sexual assault. “I don’t understand how so many people can say ‘Oh, well, Trump’s done it too.’ That’s the lowest bar on the planet, and that’s not an excuse.”

The same goes for Sarah Ann Masse, who was one of the first women in October 2017 to allege sexual misconduct by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. It doesn’t matter which party the accused stands for, she says: “For me, sexual violence is not a partisan issue. If we’re going to believe survivors, we have to believe them regardless of the politics of their abuser and regardless of whether we like their policies.”

Survivors are watching what happens.  They are seeing this unfold and they are fully aware that this is harmful to all women, to all survivors.  Instead of reporting, most outlets are attacking Tara Reade.  It sends a message.  Fake asses like Alyssa Milano have used #MeToo to cover for their failed careers.  But when they could be of any value at all, the Alyssa Milanos refuse to support women.

At COUNTERPUNCH this morning, MG outlines her experiences and notes:

I might not be ready to tell my story, but I am sharing this anyways. Nothing Tara did in the subsequent years after Joe Biden digitally raped her disqualifies her story. Nothing I did in the years following my assault changes what happened to me. Holding such a secret for so long, living a lie as truth is a defense mechanism for those of us who are not ready to tell. It is a way to pretend that “that thing” never happened. That defense mechanism kicks into overdrive when the perpetrator is a public figure. You become smaller, so you do more to deny the truth. You share a different face publicly than the emotionally scarred one.
As George Orwell said, if you want to keep a secret, you have to hide it from yourself. Shame on everyone for trying to psychoanalysis a victim that is still concealing their truth. Shame on the Democrats for forcing Biden on all the women and men who can see their story in Tara’s story. Who now see a version of their attacker in what liberals claim is the “women’s rights” candidate for the President of the United States. Biden is a secret the party is trying to hide from themselves, and it is going to cost us all dearly in the end.

THE TAKEAWAY spoke to VOX's Anna North about the charges against Biden.

On THE KATIE HALPER SHOW this week, Katie offers an interview with Tara's friend who corroborates Tara's story and was told of it in real time -- after that she speaks with THE INTERCEPT's Ryan Grim and with journalist Rich McHugh.

We're also going to note this video.

On the one hand, I can see what she's going for, healing.  On the other, I'm damn tired of women being the world's punching bag, the canary in the coalmine.  I'm tired of it.

Would INFINITE LUNCHBOX do a video about the need to help killers find their way back?  It's only when women are the targets that we have to think about the criminals and the suffering of the criminals.  Let a woman be raped and the supposed 'fair' reaction is to think about the suffering that the rapist is going through.

Assault is a crime.

It's not my job to humor or defend Joe Biden if he assaulted Tara Reade.  It's not my job to do that for anyone who assaults a woman.

I do get the whole let's-heal-America which, let's be honest, is largely bulls**t.  But I am going to repeat, we only have this attitude when it's women.

We only have this attitude when it's women and man might suffer for his actions.

How is the nonsense INFINITE LUNCHBOX offers any different from the earlier nonsense of "boys will be boys"?

It's not.  It's a new twist on rape culutre.

Danny Schechter used to bother me all the time for money.  And then he got his little feelings hurt when I said no more.  That was after terrorist Ike Turner died.  I know Tina.  I love Tina.  She lived through terrorism.  But Ike dies and there's Danny claiming that Tina forgives Ike or has to if she doesn't because . . . STFU.  I told him not to ask me for money anymore, not to bother me anymore.  He was a fan boy and that supposed to mean that a man gets to wipe away all of his crimes.

Time and again, that's what happens to women.  Ike abusing and terrorizing Tina is well established.  Even then, it becomes a case of "Oh, well, he had a hard life and Tina's forgiven him or should . . ."

No one says that about a Palestinian who's been terrorized -- nor should they -- or someone who was tortured at Guantanamo (nor should they).  But let a woman be attacked by a man and it becomes a case of the woman has to soothe the delicate feelings of the male criminal.

Only women are expected to make things better for their attacker.  That's bulls**t.

Turning to Iraq, ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:

Four forged ministerial lists were circulated and were said to represent the composition of Iraqi Prime Minister designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government, yet it was reported that the fifth list that has been circulating for the past two days is the legitimate one.

The list which includes 14 ministers could be passed by the parliament, while the rest of the portfolios are to be discussed between Kadhimi and the political blocs that represent the three main components in the country (Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds).

The PM-designate has not yet named figures who would head the defense and security portfolios.

Reasons behind this postponement vary. Some say differences over the interior and defense portfolios are limited between Sunnis and Shiites, while others suggest that Kadhimi wants to nominate both ministers himself without resorting to blocs or components.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi remains prime minister-designate.  He is the third prime minister-designate so far this year.  Will he succeed where the other two failed?

At THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL, Barbara Slavin offers:

A withdrawal of most US military forces from Iraq seems likely this year as the Iraqi government seeks to maintain some sort of diplomatic and economic relationship with the United States without alienating its powerful neighbor Iran. How this withdrawal is managed will help determine future US influence not only in Iraq but in the Middle East as a whole.
Iranian support for Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi—who has had good relations with the United States—appears to be predicated on his agreeing to negotiate a new Status of Forces agreement (SFA) with Washington, which aims to remove the bulk of the several thousand US troops still deployed in Iraq.
The Americans’ mission was ostensibly to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and to train Iraqi armed forces. However, the US jeopardized their continued presence in the country by breaching the terms of a 2008 SFA; they targeted Iran-backed Shia militias and the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, on Iraqi soil after a spate of attacks on American military and diplomatic targets last year. Even if the US actions were justified both to defend Americans and to deter future attacks, they represented a significant escalation in the rules of the game—an unprecedented targeting of a senior Iranian official in a foreign country. 
The attack near Baghdad, when Soleimani was on an official visit, put Iraq in an untenable position. Iraq cannot afford to alienate a powerful neighbor with which it shares a 1,400-kilometer border and which has deep relations with a variety of Iraqi armed groups. If forced to choose, Baghdad will choose Iran, not the United States. It is, therefore, not in US interests to force Iraq to make such a choice.
While Tehran has long sought an exit of US forces from Iraq, Iran-backed militias did not attack US forces in Iraq while the US remained in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. The situation deteriorated after the US withdrew unilaterally from that deal in 2018 and sought to put a total embargo on Iran’s oil exports in 2019. That was when Iran commenced a series of retaliatory actions in the Persian Gulf and Iraq that prompted the assassination of Soleimani in early 2020. Also killed by the drone strike near Baghdad airport, were several Iraqis, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the Kataib Hezbollah militia and deputy commander of all of the Popular Mobilization Forces that had battled ISIS. The assassinations led the Iraqi parliament to pass a non-binding resolution expelling American forces.
Tensions abated somewhat after Tehran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian civilian airliner on January 8, mistaking it for a hostile US missile. The outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran and its neighbors also took attention away from US-Iran strains. However, a second spate of tit-for-tat attacks occurred in March, leading to the death of two more Americans and a British citizen, as well as three Iraqi soldiers, an Iraqi civilian, and several militia members. US forces have now been withdrawn from three isolated outposts in Iraq and consolidated in the relatively safe Kurdish city of Erbil and at the al-Assad air base outside Baghdad. The United States also brought in Patriot missile batteries to defend these bases against militia rockets.
This author has argued elsewhere that the decision to kill Soleimani and Muhandis was an overreaction to Iranian provocations that would make a long-term US military presence in Iraq very difficult—if not untenable. That the crisis came at a time when Iraqis had been protesting in the streets against Iran’s excessive influence in their country made assassination even more strategically questionable. Overnight, the issue became the United States, not Iran.
However, it is still possible to retain US influence in Iraq and to offer Iraqis an alternative to complete domination by Iran. This goal would be advanced by an effort to de-escalate tensions with Tehran; at a minimum, to deal with any provocation by Iran-backed groups in a way that does not humiliate Iraqi politicians by violating their country’s sovereignty.
Ideally, the United States should re-examine its policy of “maximum pressure” toward Iran, which has not and will not achieve its stated goals. Iran is more, not less, aggressive in the region, continuing its development of ballistic missiles—including its first successful satellite launch—and has accelerated its nuclear program. More pressure will either lead to war, strengthen Iranian hardliners, or both. Even a botched initial response to the coronavirus does not appear to have increased the chances for regime change. If anything, these crises have increased the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ economic and political dominance. 
The United States could use the pandemic as an opportunity to make goodwill gestures toward Iran. While the Iranian government has rebuffed such offers, they resonate with the Iranian people, whose views of America and its citizens have historically been much more positive. The neutral US reaction to the first transaction by INSTEX was a good first step and further guidance from OFAC facilitating the supply of medicine and medical devices to Tehran was welcome. Iran should, also, be allowed to receive the emergency loan it requested from the International Monetary Fund and have access to revenue frozen in foreign banks for medical supplies.
However, even in the absence of any real improvement in US-Iran ties, it should still be possible to remove Iraq from the middle of hostilities. This will oblige the United States to significantly reduce its forces in Iraq and restrict the remaining troops’ role to training and counter-ISIS operations. Iran, in turn, should restrain its Iraqi proxies from attacking US targets and give Kadhimi a solid chance to stand up a new government.
Since 2003, little has happened in Iraqi politics without Iran playing a role, which is predictable, given Iran’s long association with the Iraqi Shia and Kurds that opposed the rule of Saddam Hussein. The US lost opportunities to cooperate with or, at least, avoid antagonizing Iran, swayed by those in the administration who hubristically believed that they could instigate regime change in Tehran. Other mistakes—such as dissolving the Iraqi army, failing to protect Iraqi infrastructure from looting, and installing a Lebanon-like system in Iraq, with top positions for ethno-religious factions—doomed the country to sectarian strife and increased Iran’s ability to manipulate political developments. Nevertheless, as memories of the 2003 invasion fade, young Iraqis are more focused on constructing a less sectarian society that delivers jobs and other tangible economic benefits. They resent Iran’s meddling and want to reconnect with the Arab world and beyond.

The United States can support this trend by keeping Iraq out of its fight with Iran to make it easier for Iraqi politicians, businesspeople, and security officials to maintain some sort of constructive relationship with Americans. US intervention in Iraq has cost thousands of American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives as well as billions in US taxpayer funds. For those who died and sacrificed on all sides since the invasion, the United States should find a way to withdraw most of its military forces with dignity. Otherwise, US credibility and influence throughout the region will fade to the benefit of Iran, China, Russia and ISIS.

The following sites updated:

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    Saturday, April 11, 2020

    The Mother of all G-Men

    The Mother of All G-Men

    From May 6, 2018, that's "The Mother of all G-Men." C.I. noted:

    Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Mother of all G-Men."  James Comey nurses an FBI agent while explaining, "I may be the former FBI Director but I am always and forever the mother of all G-Men.  They all suckle at my moobs.  So I will conitnue to share my thoughts no matter how inane they are." Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

    I don't care if you were for Hillary Clinton or not, there's no denying James Comey is a hack.  He kept interfering in the election repeatedly.  In July of 2016 and again right before the election.  He was always a hack who refused to do his actual job.  That only continued into 2017.

    One of the biggest government embarrassments ever.  Both Hillary and Donald Trump have criticized him -- I think they're both right to.

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

    Friday, April 10, 2020.  The betrayal.  The lies that surround it.  How these lies destroy us as a person, as a country.  Bernie betrayed us -- stop covering for him.

    In the US, Bernie Sanders' betrayal is still fresh.  Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) offers the following bullet points:

    + Alexis Isabel pretty much sums up our current political predicament…

    + Coming Soon in Odorama: Scratch and Sniff: the Joe Biden Story. (When select theaters reopen.)

    + Did Sanders consult the Sandernistas on his surrender to the babbling racist neoliberal in the basement? Or did he make the call on his own, as he did during the 2016 convention, blindsiding his most devoted troops once more…
    + There’s always been some inexplicable mutual affection between Bernie and Biden that I’ve never really understood. It sure wasn’t there with Hillary, who he chastised and scolded to the convention. Perhaps they bonded through their obscene votes for the Clinton Crime Bill. That kind of transgression tends to bring even the most unlikely co-conspirators together…
    + Sanders on Biden: “He’s not going to adopt my platform. I got that, alright? But if he can move in that direction, I think people will say you know what, this is a guy I think who we should support and would support.”
    You say you want a Revolution©, well ya know
    That isn’t what I really meant
    You say you want to end student debt
    Put that $18 contribution toward your rent
    You say you want free health care
    Ain’t gonna to happen any more
    But if you go carrying pix of Creepy Joe
    We can do it over again in 2024

    + Sanders confirmed to Chris Hayes on MSDNC, what many of us suspected, that it was Obama who played the role negotiator, smooth-talking Sanders into disarming, walking away from his movement with his hands above his head and coming back in from the cold…

    Laurie Dobson (COUNTERPUNCH) provides so much context on the betrayal:

    In the end, this campaign was all about Bernie. This may not sound very charitable. I could not believe however, that there were no admissions of any missteps in his concession speech. No mention that he could have done more to address the concerns of many people.
    For instance, although he said he was inclusive, he did not pay any particular regard to those not in the minority segments or youth age brackets that he was trying to romance. He would not stray from the talking points hammered into our brains, trying to burn a legacy into place, to make the case that he was the originator of these ideas, and, in my view, trying a little too hard to rewrite history.
    His last speech as a contender showed him once more taking credit for these ideas becoming mainstream. Although he clearly was a defender, or at least a constant repeater of these ideas, was he helping “build a movement” by stamping his brand all over them? The progressive ideas that he embraced did not belong to him. Occupy was involved in income inequality long before Bernie hitched his wagon to that star.
    Bernie did not come up with a tax on speculation on Wall Street (an idea that I supported in my run as an Independent from Maine for US Senate in 2008). It actually came from James Tobin, an economist who won the Nobel Prize. Tobin originated the concept of the STT (Securities Transaction Tax), which would be an optimal way to fight back against the tax breaks and cuts that Congress has showered on the rich for several decades.]
    The fight for minimum wage has been a progressive effort since I was young, hardly a new idea. Not a Sanders idea, although to be fair, he has strongly endorsed the idea for a long time. The same goes for single payer, or healthcare for all. Others, notably Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) have fought these fights on behalf of the progressive cause.
    Bernie adopted those ideas into the progressive platform he ran on. The need was evident, but the ideas are not new and are not his alone. Maybe he has fought for these things in the Senate, and as an Independent from Vermont, which would be a reasonable thing to do to stay in power, since they are among the most popular ideas for change in the country.
    I am not impressed that Bernie could not summon the willpower to respond to the efforts of those who wanted him to go to battle. I wrote many columns trying to appeal to him to suit up. I attended ten of his campaign events in New Hampshire this time out and wrote and made videos to support his efforts from the beginning of this second campaign. I have tried to reach the campaign to no avail, to urge them to heighten their response and sharpen their attack on substandard candidates’ ideas.
    Bernie was staggeringly passive; he let one opportunity after another go whizzing past with weak responses, if any, in the face of a growing Democratic resurgence determined to destroy him. His silences emboldened the corporate centrists, and confused supporters, who thought he would take the huge advantage they gave him and surge forth, brandishing fury and determination. Instead, he endlessly equivocated.
    I have to own my part in this: I was stunned in 2016 when he said Hillary was right and that nobody cares about her damn emails. From the beginning I saw him back down. Everything since then has been consistent: he never went full tilt. He wanted to be loved more than being right at all costs. He was able to be loved again, and forgiven again, and able to let us down again. Yet I went along with it; I still worked on his behalf.

    Despite his recent abdication (and, for some of us, his serial betrayal) Bernie Sanders will be remembered fondly, and he will likely be forgiven by the majority of his followers. Jacobin Magazine has written an article entitled “Thank You, Bernie,” making the case that Sanders two campaigns have made it possible to talk about socialism in America. It’s now okay apparently that he will be endorsing and campaigning for Joe Biden, who shamed Anita Hill and is now shaming Tara Reade. I have lived to witness the day this has happened. It is not a joke.

    We'll note this Tweet:

    My daughter is a 4th grade teacher with significant student debt working 3 jobs to survive but somehow managed to donate to
    several times. Having him ‘suspend’ while #Biden is failing and 1/2 the states (including hers) yet to vote, is a HUGE GUT-PUNCH. Betrayal?

    And this one:

    Your inability to fight is proof that you were never truly committed to implementing the political revolution you have been talking about.

    You signed the corporate welfare bill, stabbing progressives in the back.

    This is the worst
    betrayal in American history!

    It's a betrayal.  I'll let others grade it on where it falls historically.  But Bernie's actions are a betrayal.  But it's not the only betrayal going on.  COMMON DREAMS?  They're still running garbage hailing Bernie -- the latest from Laura Flanders but she's is a craven liar.

    There are too many liars.  Let's start with Laura.  She's unable to tell the truth.  She whores and pretties it up to keep a corrupt system going while insisting all along that we need to be informed and active.  Then stop lying.

    We never fell for Russia-gate here and, in fact, we called out the demonizing of Russia back when it really went into effect and that was while Barack was president.  That was in 2014.  That's when it came out in the open.  So when 2016 rolled around, we weren't part of the nonsense.

    Russia didn't steal the election from Hillary.  These were all lies.

    And we noted it in real time.  And we noted a lot of writers who sent their stuff in to get it included here.  Some of these writers are lying now.  And I'm thinking of their e-mails to me which went much further than anything they published.

    I'm thinking what a bunch of liars or fools you are.

    The whole point of the Russia lie was so the DNC could evade responsibility for how they blew the 2016 election.

    And shame on Neera and every other whore who tried to spin a lie instead of getting accountable and working to fix the problems.

    Now if Aaron Mate (I'm using him for an example because he never e-mailed this site) is going to rail about how the autopsy on the failure was never done because people were vested in lies regarding the 2016 election, he's a hypocrite or he's blind to reality if he can't see that that's what's needed right now.  Aaron is writing goofball Tweets about Bernie and how wonderful he is and praise be Bernie.

    F**k the hell off.


    Bernie betrayed everyone.

    That's reality.

    Stop rallying around him like Neera did Hillary.

    If you want people to wake up and if you want them to be powerful and informed, stop lying.

    We need to learn from the betrayal.  Unless we want to be engaged in a cycle of betrayals.

    These lies about all Bernie has done for us -- he didn't do s**t.

    He rode a movement in place based on needs of the people and, in the end, he sold them out.

    That's reality, Aaron Mate.

    And maybe you want to be beaten every day and spend all your spare time in the ER but the rest of us don't live to be battered by politicians.

    We were betrayed.  If you can't be honest about that, there's no point in any of it.  You're as bad as Neera.  If you can't get honest about what happened so that a real and needed conversation can take place, you're as bad as Neera.

    Politicians aren't my heroes.  They work for us.  I don't spend my time glorifying them.  And I certainly don't fall in love with politicians -- I'm not that depraved.

    It's time for honesty.

    Let's talk about one issue -- Bernie's refusal to fight.  It's why he dropped out, yes.  But in debate after debate, we saw him make nice with Joe Biden.

    People said things online in real time, "Oh, get active, Bernie oh do this that blah blah blah blah blah."

    It was nonsense.

    Here's reality.  Next time we support a candidate who won't fight?  We make it clear that we're not their follower, we're their boss.

    We call for a donation boycott until the candidate seriously fights on the debate stage.

    That's the sort of thing we need to be talking about right now.

    Can you imagine if we'd sent the message to Bernie early on that we were his boss?  Can you imagine the fear that he would have had if, even for two days, we stopped all donations?  He would have been crapping his pants.  He needed that haul to look like a real candidate.  Even two days of a boycott on donations would have scared him.  And should have.

    We need to stop -- pay attention Aaron Mate, you clearly have Daddy issues -- looking up to our 'gods' who are false gods and we need to realize that they should be glorifying us, not the other way around.  They're not Daddy and you're not a child, grow the hell up.

    People can't grow up -- not honestly -- if they don't know the facts and this b.s. pretense that Bernie was our savior and our hero and we owe him so much?

    He betrayed us, we don't owe him a damn thing.  We never did.

    Aaron Mate's current nonsense not only robs citizens of their agency, it puts them into a powerless and victim status and tells them that they don't deserve what they need.

    I'm tired of the nonsesne.

    When Tulsi Gabbard betrayed her supposed beliefs, we called her out. We led on it here.  We didn't do a day or two after -- like one asshole I was kind enough to give credit to -- we did it the night of and for days and days after.  We weren't little babies and we didn't tiptoe around like the asshole did who after I gave him credit here for his weakass nonsense, he went and credited a dead man for a piece from a year ago.

    No, you stupid f**k, the issue was not, "Oh, look who was Psychic Sue and predicted everything a year ago!"

    I don't need your crystal visions, you're not Stevie Nicks.

    I don't care about your predictions of Tulsi.  When you made your prediction, you were guessing.

    The issue was the last night of July found Tulsi on stage with War Hawk Joe Biden and she gave him a pass -- not once (as asshole wrote in his most recent piece) but twice.

    That's when you call out Tulsi.

    But they didn't, did they.  Glen Ford, after that debate, for example, did a segment on BLACK AGENDA RADIO where he praised Tulsi for being anti-war.


    Glen, you want to explain that?

    Now Michael Tracey and Aaron Mate and all of the Tulsi Boobies wanted to spend weks and months after that debate avoiding reality.

    Who the f**k did that help?

    You Tulsi Boobies are the same people calling out Neera for her refusal to get honest and you couldn't get honest that Tulsi  betrayed every one of her beliefs in that debate as well as her stated reason for running in the first place.

    We need to stop lying and we need to stop defending politicians.  They make choices and if they know we're going to run around after they betray us, that we're going to run around going, "Oh, I'm just so thankful that for a few months someone pretended to care about me"?  Then they're never going to change.

    Bernie needs to be held accountable.

    He betrayed everyone.

    What his supporters wanted was real and we're not going to get that by sitting on our asses and waiting four more years for another candidate we can hero worship.

    We're only going to get that if we demand it.  We're only going to get that if we demand our public servants start working for us.  We're only going to get that if future presidential nominees get right now that we're not going airbrush out truth and pretend that it's okay that we got betrayed.

    I'm not going to live in fear and I'm not going to live in denial.

    We are constantly screwed because we waste our time running defense for politicians.

    We need to stop that.  From 2009 to 2016, the so-called 'independent' press (THE NATION, et al) was more concerned with painting this week's GOP Horror Creature each week than it was with holding Barack Obama accountable.  Week after week, the powers of the president were ignored so we could focus on this minor Republican or that one.  Barack was the president.  He was in charge.  But instead of holding him accountable, they distracted from what was taking place each week by offering b.s. nonsense about some minor player.

    This happens over and over.

    I like Elizabeth Holtzman but she's an idiot who lies to people.  We could have had real amnesty for draft evaders and AWOLs who went to Canada.  But there was Elizabeth, right after Jimmy Carter was elected, going on THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) and explaining that the evaders would be dealt with now and surely the AWOLs would be addressed later.

    No, Liz, they never were.

    And your prediction wasn't just false, it also gave everyone a sense of "Oh, we don't need to press on this issue anymore."

    You did real damage and you did it to prop up a politician (Jimmy Carter) and to make life a little easier for him.  Why?

    He got health care for life.  He gets a retirement fund for life.  He's set for life.

    And we're footing the bills.

    There was no need to make life 'comfortable' for him.  He should have been working and he should have been feeling real heat and real pressure.

    The people we should have been defending, Liz?  The poor American citizens sent into a war on lies and betrayed by their country who self-checked out and went to Canada.  Jimmy was set for life after being president.  The same was never true for the war resisters.

    We harm ourselves -- and our world -- over and over by defending these idiots.  We have an ongoing Iraq War -- that most of you want to ignore (I think I'll let rip on that in Monday's snapshot) -- because people wanted to defend their politicians.  They should have been voted out of office.  Instead, some idiots tried to justify the way their hero-politician voted.  "Well he wouldn't been re-elected . . ."

    You have not put the fear of God into your elected officials.  Until you do, they will betray you and not give it a second thought because where else are you going to go -- that is their attitude.

    It's time for these self-appointed voices of the people in independent media to either grow up or go away.

    The fact that Joe Biden is going to be the nominee (unless he's pushed out for 'health' as a current effort is attempting) goes to how disgusting we are.  Not him.

    Oh, he's a nightmare.  But we know he's a nightmare and have known that for years.

    We're disgusting because we haven't made it clear to the Democratic Party that we're not slaves to them.

    In 2004, the national ticket was John Kerry and John Edwards who both voted for the Iraq War.  In 2008, the national ticket was Barack and Joe with Joe having voted for the Iraq War (Barack wasn't in the Senate but in interviews after the fact did allow that he probably would have voted for the illegal war), in 2012 again Barack and Joe, in 2016 Hillary headed the ticket and she voted for the Iraq War.  Now in 2020, it's going to be Joe.

    The biggest foreign policy disaster (and a war crime) in our modern history and yet every presidential election cycle since the war began in 2003 has found the Democratic Party's national ticket having at least one person who voted for the disaster, who supported it, who caused it.  This will be the fifth presidential election cycle and -- barring an upset at the convention -- this will be the fifth time the Democratic Party has put someone who voted for the Iraq War on the national ticket.

    That's on us.  That's how disgusting we are.  The Iraq War is an ongoing crime.  The people of this country turned against the war in 2006.  Fourteen years later, the DNC still thinks it's okay to put someone who helped start that war on the national ticket.

    We have spent too much defending politicians and justifying their actions and too little time acting like responsible -- and outraged -- citizens in a democracy.

    Keep on lying for politicians and we'll be in the exact same spot in four more years.

    The following sites updated:

    Read on ...

    Saturday, April 4, 2020

    First Slut

    first slut

    From May 6, 2018, that's "First Slut."  C.I. noted:

    Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "First Slut."  Stormy Daniels explains, "I want to clear up a few things.  People say 'Stormy, you're kind of hagged out for a porn star.'  (A) Cute is only needed in gay porn.  And (B) you take a thousand loads a year in you and on you and see how fresh you look.  Second, I am doing this for my daughter.  It's important she knows Mommy doesn't just flash her beaver.  Sometimes Mommy sleeps with married men, blackmails them for money and still brags publicly." Isaiah recommends everyone reads Elaine's "Calling a slut a slut -- it's not that difficult."  Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

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

    Friday, April 3, 2020.  Rape allegations continue to exist against Joe Biden while the corporate media continues to ignore the charges, REUTERS gets suspended from covering Iraq for three months (a public outcry would reduce that) after they are found guilty of . . . reporting, and much more.

    Starting in the US where a candidate running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination has been accused of assault and the corporate media has worked overtime to avoid the issue.  Matthew Stevenson (COUNTERPUNCH) observes:

    And now there’s another of Joe’s #MeToo moments. In case you missed it, a report has surfaced that back in the 1990s Biden mashed one of his staffers, Tara Reade, up against a congressional wall and, with his hand roaming around her skirt, asked for a little senatorial privilege.
    I don’t know the woman personally, but at the very least she captured Joe’s pattern of speech, when she quoted him as saying (while she struggled to free herself from his grinding): “I thought you liked me, man?”

    Did you miss that story?  The US corporate media has worked very hard to ignore it.  Today, at THE ECONOMIST, they explain:

    IN MARCH 2019, about a month before Joe Biden began his presidential campaign, a former state representative from Nevada, Lucy Flores, accused him of unwanted kissing, touching and hair-sniffing. Several other women -- including Tara Reade, who worked for then-Senator Biden for nine months in 1992 and 1993 -- subsequently made similar complaints, prompting Mr Biden to release an apologetic video in which he acknowledged that “the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it.” Recently, however, Ms Reade has levelled a more serious charge.
    In an interview broadcast on March 25th she said that Mr Biden touched her in ways that made her feel “like an inanimate object”. She said that one day a scheduler in Mr Biden’s office told her to bring the senator his gym bag. When she did, he allegedly held her against a wall and put his hands up her skirt.  When she pulled away, she says Mr Biden said, "Come on, man, I heard you liked me."  Ms Reade says that she was later moved to a windowless office and frozen out.

    Noting the corporate media silence, Dan Hammes (ST MARIES GAZETTE RECORD) observes:

    But it is somewhat interesting if you haven’t read about the charges.
    Remember, just like borders, it wasn’t that long ago that Me Too was a big deal. So if you didn’t know about Ms. Reade, how come? It seems like a pretty big story.
    Reason enough to break out the p---y hats one more time.
    Ironically, it was Joe Biden himself who said that anytime a woman accuses a prominent man of sexual harassment then “you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”
    But then, that was different. That was Brett Kavanaugh.

    The lesson here is the BELIEVE ALL WOMEN crowd really means to say BELIEVE ALL WOMEN ... depending on who is being accused.

    Harvest Pride (WORLD) reminds:

    Tara Reade told podcast host Katie Halper about the accusations in an episode that aired last week. Along with several other women, Reade said last year that Biden’s habit of touching people made her uncomfortable. This is the first time she has gone public with an alleged sexual assault.
    Reade said that while serving in Biden’s Senate office, he once pushed her against a wall and sexually molested her. She said she then pulled away from him, and Biden said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.”

    This week's podcast of INTERCEPTED found the topic addressed by Meagan Day:

    JS: Meagan, I wanted to ask you about something unrelated to this discussion, and that is that Joe Biden has been accused by a former Senate staffer of his name Tara Reade, and she has for quite a while now, for a sustained period of time, claimed that Biden had engaged in inappropriate conduct toward her.

    Katie Halper: Hello and welcome to the Katie Halper Show. I’m about to play an excerpt from an interview that I did with Tara Reade. The full episode will be up shortly. As a warning Tara discusses sexual assault during this interview.

    Tara Reade: It happened all at once. The gym bag, I don’t know where it went. I handed it to him, then it was gone. And then his hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And yeah, and then he went down my skirt but then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers.

    JS: This has gotten almost no attention in corporate media, cable news, big media. I’m wondering as you watch this play out how you see this factor where you have a woman who claims that the Democratic front-runner sexually assaulted her, and there is no mention of it in corporate media, no mention of it from many of the leading Alyssa Milano’s of the world who were railing against Brett Kavanaugh and trying to tank his nomination as a Supreme Court justice, with great reason I might add, but it’s just there’s a total disconnect. It’s like this woman doesn’t exist.

    MD: There has been complete, a complete wall of silence around Tara Reade’s accusation that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her. And the thing that’s most striking about it is how similar it is to the accusation leveled against Brett Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We’re talking about a first person account of sexual assault that is decades old, that is vividly remembered by the woman in question, but that is not substantiated by physical evidence, or any other kind of, you know, smoking gun. And that was enough just a few years ago, for a whole host of people to say that Brett Kavanaugh was guilty. They had good reason to do that, but the fact that suddenly a very similar scenario has arisen, and their guy is in the crosshairs and suddenly it isn’t enough anymore. It’s just gobsmacking hypocrisy, honestly.
    You know, at the time Republicans said that Democrats were simply using Christine Blasey Ford’s account to score cheap points against the Republicans and to, you know, secure a favorable political outcome for themselves. And Democrats pushed back on that and they said, no, it’s really important to listen to women when they come forward and talk about sexual assault at the hands of powerful men, men who are seeking the highest offices or the highest positions of power in our entire country. I think that the Democrats have just undermined themselves enormously by turning around just a couple of years later and saying that, essentially just demonstrating that, in fact, they do think that different rules apply when there are different partisan affiliations in play. And I think that in so doing, they are undermining not just Tara Reade, but future Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s.

    And I think that’s really concerning. I would like to see these allegations get a fair hearing. The fact that we haven’t seen them get a fair hearing to me just speaks to an incredible hypocrisy, and I think a terrible weaponization of Me Too. The idea that you could use it when it was politically advantageous and drop it when it wasn’t. This was always something that opponents said was at the heart of Me Too. And it’s something that many people pushed back and said, no, it isn’t. These are universal principles, and we’re going to change the culture. Well, it turned out, it’s starting to look like that’s not true. I think it’s an enormous disappointment, and I think it’s very damning.

    We'll come back to Alyssa Milano, but Howie Carr (BOSTON HERALD) notes:

    Uncle Joe is only doing interviews with the Democrat press, which is almost all of them. Very few of his TV appearances are live anymore —  the Democrat producers need time to clean up the frontrunner’s Grandpa Simpson-like meanderings and asides and literal walkaways from the camera while it’s rolling.
    But he’s still yapping incoherently to, if not reporters, at least B-list celebrities, who have been peppering him with scores of fawning gee-whiz questions in the past week.
    Yet not one of these Deep State cheerleaders has dared to inquire about the recent accusations by one of his former female aides, one Tara Reade, that he threw her up against a wall, reached his hand up under her dress and groped her in 1993.
    And then, when she rebuffed him, she recalls, Sleepy Joe said to her, “C’mon man, I heard you liked me!”
    Sounds totally believable, doesn’t it? Certainly much more so than the accusations of, say, Julie Swetnick, or Christine Blasey Ford. And yet we were lectured by all Democrats, including Joe Biden, that we must believe everything every woman says about any guy, well at least if they’re Republicans.
    Biden, on the other hand, is allowed to go back over the same old ground, again and again and again. For instance, he loves to bring up the Defense Production Act. Certainly something he should understand, having been in the Senate for what, 36, years? Here he is with Jimmy Kimmel, uh Fallon – one of those interchangeable late-night “comedians,” anyway.
    “I back a while ago uh Jimmy I, I, I said he should involve what this, this National Defense Act that’s out there, this Defense Pro- Production Act it’s called and it makes the president, gives him the authority to go to industries … he has the power to do it under the the the the act that I just referenced to.”

    May we quote you on that Mr. Simpson, er, Vice President.

    On the soon to be 48-year-old child performer Alyssa Milano, Tyler MacDonald (INQUISITR) explains, "#MeToo advocate Alyssa Milano is facing a wave of backlash for continuing to push her support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden without addressing the accusations of sexual assault leveled against him by Tara Reade. On Thursday, Milano maintained her silence and instead posted a Twitter thread in which she doubled down on her demand for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race and let the former vice president take on Donald Trump in 2020."  Christian Toto (at the right-wing DAILY WIRE) offers:

    Guess who else is ignoring her case?
    Hollywood, Inc.
    The stars who have previously protested President Trump’s “war on women” at both marches and Sundance Film Festival rallies reads like a who’s who of Hollywood: Katy Perry, America Ferrera, Chelsea Handler, Jessica Chastain, Zendaya, Melissa Benoist, Charlize Theron, Aisha Tyler, Kristen Stewart, John Legend, Joshua Jackson, Laura Dern and Jennifer Beals.
    “Charmed” alum Alyssa Milano transformed her career from [failed and forgotten] actress to activist in the Trump era, with her specific focus on women’s issues.
    Are any publicly supporting Reade in her moment of need?
    No, not yet, anyway. The abuse allegation story is at least a week old, so it’s not like they haven’t heard about the charges.

    To be clear, I added "failed and forgotten" because that is what Alyssa is.  No one hires her anymore.  She gets bit parts -- like in the NETFLIX show about a high school teenager -- if she's lucky and tries to pretend like that is a career -- there's no career anymore than there's any actual acting from Alyssa.

    As we noted yesterday, Rose McGown hasn't been silent.  She is getting credit for her strength.

    #AlyssaMilano is helping to silence Tara Reade. Her entire feed for over a week has been a wall of interview links of Tara being interviewed by
    #Risers & most recently

    Double exclamation mark

    She sees the tweets. Go look at her feed. 


    Quote Tweet

    Not everyone has strength.

    I'm always surprised anyone takes Jill Filipovic seriously.  That bitch is not a feminist.  She went around, while in law school, begging people to trade links with her and then she wouldn't link to them after they linked to her.  That's worse than a link whore.  I've never traded links.  If someone's asked to be linked to, I've generally linked to them.  I ignored Jill's e-mail because it was obvious -- even then before her infamous summer vacation posting bikini photos while the world burned -- that she wasn't a feminist.  She never had a real grasp on any issue, she never led on any issue.  Reading her nonsense then or today, it's obvious that she just spits out words others have written and pretends like she's had an actual though.

    So, no, I'm not surprised that Jill is silent about Tara Reade.  Useless then, useless now.  Be glad we have some real feminists out there -- like Rose McGowan.

    Joni Mitchell could have been singing about the current landscape when she wrote "Dog Eat Dog:"

    Land of snap decisions
    Land of short attention spans
    Nothing is savored
    Long enough to really, really understand
    In every culture in decline
    The watchful ones among the slaves
    Know all that is genuine will be
    Scorned and conned and cast away

    Liza Featherstone also deserves praise -- as do Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Ryan Grimm and many others.  From Liza's essay at JACOBIN:

    This week, Tara Reade, a former Biden aide, detailed her 1993 experience of sexual assault on “The Katie Halper Show” after trying for years to get someone to listen. Reade has, predictably, been smeared as a Russian agent, because that’s how mainstream Democrats respond to anything they don’t want to hear. But she’s just one of seven women who have accused Biden of horrible behavior, charges that have been public for years.
    Democratic elites have known for years about Biden’s shabby, boorish treatment of Anita Hill, the dignified law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991. Hill brought workplace sexual harassment into the public eye years before #MeToo. Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. He has since said that he “wished he could have done something” to ensure that her claims got a fair hearing, a pretty inept apology considering he was in charge of the proceedings.
    From mainstream feminists, we’re hearing little about Biden’s #MeToo problems. In fact, some have flatly declined to be involved. As the Intercept reported this week, the feminist legal group Time’s Up had refused to take Reade’s case. In a twist, Anita Dunn, a top Biden adviser, is managing director of Time’s Up’s PR firm, SKDKnickerbocker. In another twist, Dunn also advised big Democratic donor (now convicted rapist) Harvey Weinstein on how to handle his own rape allegations. Another partner in SKDKnickerbocker, Hilary Rosen, has also been advising Biden’s presidential campaign. 
    The allegations aren’t getting much play in the mainstream media either. Sure, it’s a busy news cycle. And everything about Biden is boring, even his sexual assault allegations. But the day Reade’s charges went public, CNN ran an “analysis” by Chris Cillizza about Biden and gender. Its theme? “The Top 10 Women Joe Biden Might Pick as VP.”

    By contrast, we’ve heard for years from these same quarters about the supposed mean, sexist tweets of the Bernie Bros, and about Bernie Sanders’s alleged tone-deafness on gender issues. But Sanders is the only candidate now running for president with no sexual assault or harassment charges against him. That’s obviously a low bar, and it’s unfortunate we have to mention it. But, perhaps relatedly, Sanders is also the only one in the race who has always been pro-choice, has always been committed to full abortion access regardless of income, and has been fighting for universal childcare for decades, as well as for advancements that benefit working-class women even more than men, like the $15 minimum wage and Medicare for All. Yet if you relied on the mainstream media for information, you’d assume that Biden was the feminist candidate in the primary, while Sanders was “problematic” for women.

    Turning to the Middle East . . .

    Transcript to the above NEWSHOUR (PBS) segment:

    Judy Woodruff:
    In the day's other news: Iran dismissed President Trump's claim that it is planning an attack on U.S. targets in Iraq.
    On Twitter, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote: "Iran starts no wars, but teaches lessons to those who do."

    Mr. Trump said Wednesday that U.S. intelligence believes Iran and its proxies mean to strike in Iraq, but he gave no details.

    In Iraq, the coronavirus continues to spread.  What's the answer?  For the Iraqi government, the answer is to ban a news agency.  ALJAZEERA explains, "Iraq has revoked Reuters news agency's reporting licence for three months after it reported the number of new coronavirus cases in the country was in the thousands, much higher than official figures."  Raphaella Stavrinou (NEW EUROPE) adds, "According to unnamed doctors and Iraqi officials cited in the report, the real number of coronavirus infections in the country is estimated to be between about 3,000 and 9,000, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases in eastern Baghdad alone."  THE DAILY STAR notes, "Reuters also said that the number of deaths was much higher than the 54 reported so far by the Iraqi authorities."  Who to believe?  REUTERS.  The Iraqi government has a long history of undercounting -- long before the coronavirus emerged.

    The following sites updated:

  • Read on ...
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