Saturday, August 29, 2020

Thank God for Jussie

thank god for jussie

From February 17, 2019, that's "Thank God for Jussie."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's the latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Thank God for Jussie."  Jill Abramson, wearing a "Jayson Blair died for my sins" t-shirt, explains, "I say thank God for Jussie Smollett.  Thank God.  For weeks, I've had to defend stealing the work of others and passing it off as my own.  Or, as I call it, citation errors.  Thanks to Jussie, I can now go back to lecturing everyone about ethics."  For those late to the Jill issue, Isaiah recommends: "Jill Abramson 'truth' talker,"THIS JUST IN! COPY CAT JILL TALKS!,"Jill's latest excuse," "THIS JUST IN! THE CITATION ERROR DEFENSE!," "Karma bites Jill Abramson on her fat ass" and "The miserables." Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS

Jill Abramson is a bitch.  

Right before she got fired from THE NEW YORK TIMES, a week or two, C.I. brought three friends from THE TIMES into a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin to explain what was going on and had been going on.

Jill didn't want journalism -- and she didn't provide it to readers -- she wanted buzz.  Her attitude was that all stories must portray Barack in a positive light.  She killed anything critical of Barack.  Why?  She said it wouldn't get buzz.  Right wingers, she maintained, hated the paper and wouldn't promote stories critical of Barack.  Democratic bloggers wouldn't promote stories critical of Barack because they loved him.  So since right wingers would ignore the paper regardless, the paper had to court the Democratic bloggers to get traction and buzz.

Now I don't agree with her take on buzz, first off.  And we brought that up in that roundtable.  I think it was Kat who said that there were probably hundreds of right wing bloggers and news sources that would grab an anti-Barack article at THE TIMES and promote it with "even THE NEW YORK TIMES sees . . ."  I think Kat's right.

But I also agreed on the point that the paper should be in the news business and not the 'buzz' business.  It really destroyed morale at the paper and a number of reporters would leave as a result because this wasn't about doing journalism, it was about doing p.r.

That's why the paper suffered so badly under Jill.  At one point, she was killing every Iraq story offered which was ticking off the money men because THE TIMES was still spending a fortune to keep an Iraq desk active with staff but there was nothing to show for it. 

The three explained a number of people at the paper blamed Jill for the death of Anthony Shadid.  She didn't want Iraq coverage because Iraq was doing so badly and Barack was in charge now.  So she really pushed for Anthony to go to Syria and to do it on the cheap -- she ignored and denied requests for things Anthony thought were necessary for his safety.  She didn't give a damn about him covering Iraq (he'd won awards for his Iraq coverage), she wanted him to cover Syria (because the White House wanted troops on the ground in Syria and she wanted to serve Barack) and she didn't give a damn about Anthony's safety.

She never gave a s**t about journalism, it was all about creating 'buzz.'  So she risked Anthony's life and he died.

Her entire time at THE TIMES as executive-editor was about her killing any story critical of Barack.  She was a whore.  She still is.

There's your backstory on Jill.

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

 Friday, August 28, 2020. A look at some of the liars trying to bully voters and some of the campaigns  beyond the duopoly.  

Last night, at the Republican's national convention, President Donald Trump spoke and formally became the GOP's presidential nominee.  At VOX, Little Ezzie Klein squirts in tighty whiteys as he masturbates to his fantasy of a direct link between Bully Boy Bush and Donald Trump.  "From the Iraq War to the coronavirus: why Republicans fail at governance" is how the little priss subtitles his article.  We don't link to garbage -- that's the article and that's Ezzie.

Ezra Klein got name-checked, shouted-out on RISING this week which makes me question whether or not we'll continue to note RISING here.  I am not joking.

There's the Journo-list scandal.  That's where Ezra and others worked overtime to craft media narratives, worked overtime to figure out what to lie about.  For example, Katha Pollitt watches the 2008 GOP convention and feels Sarah Palin was strong in her speech.  She shares that 'horror' with her friends on the list.  At THE NATION, she writes a column slamming Palin and never notes that Palin was an effective speaker.  Or there's all the work they did on how to call anyone questioning St. Barack's sainthood or maidenhood as a racist.  Spencer Ackerman came up with that delightful technique.

Ezra did all of this behind the curtain, deceiving the world.

And it wasn't his first time.  If you're unhappy with the way the internet turned out, lay it at Ezra Klein.  For years, he cultivated an online circle-jerk which involved other bloggers and young interns and reporters at various sites -- including the supposed journalistic watchdog CJR.  In fact, CJR did a daily blogger roundup that was nothing but a circle-jerk of Ezra and the other friends -- and they never explained that to the readers -- did they tell their editors?  

His whole career is built on lies.  

He wants to trace a line between Bully Boy Bush to Donald Trump -- a line that leaves out Saint Barack, of course.  Even though Barack promised to bring US troops home from Iraq but left the White House, after two terms, with troops still stationed in Iraq.

Ezra's a known liar.  If that's who RISING is going to reference then I will judge by the company that they keep and I will stop noting them here. 

Ezra's career is based on astroturf.  He's the left's version of Jeff Gannon -- or how about the center-left's version.

Ezra is a whore and he's shading reality to let Barack off the hook.  I have no use for it.

He never cared about the Iraq War -- except how it could be used for partisan gain.  Anyone who gave a damn about the Iraq War wouldn't have gone into business with Matthew Yglesias who screamed for the war and demonized whole countries and their people.  

The Democratic Party is going to have to get honest at some point about their own history.  The Iraq War was one of the greatest crimes of this century.  The refusal of the party to be honest is why, in 2020, they've got another ticket with someone who voted for the Iraq War.

Grasp that.  The Iraq War started in 2003.  In 2004, the ticket was John Kerry and John Edwards -- both voted for the Iraq War.  In 2008 the ticket was Barack Obama -- who despite the lies of Patricia J. Williams on KPFA -- was not in the Senate and did not vote against the Iraq War (he even stated that he would probably have voted for it if he'd been in the Senate at that time) and his running mate was Joe Biden who voted for the Iraq War.  In 2012, Joe was on the ticket again.  In 2016, Hillary headed the ticket and she voted for the Iraq War.  In 2016, Joe heads the ticket and he voted for it.

B-b-b-but C.I., the running mates haven't voted for the war!!!!

No one on the ticket since the war began has voted against the Iraq War.  The ticket has always been someone who voted for the war and someone who wasn't in Congress to vote against it.

If Bernie Sanders had gotten the nomination this year -- a rigged system and backroom deals kept him from getting the nomination -- he would have been the first one on a Democratic Party presidential ticket since the war began back in 2003 who had actually voted against the war.

The Iraq War is the biggest crime of the 21st century, it is a global crime that destroyed the lives of many.  But somehow not only is there no accountability, but the people responsible for it keep getting rewarded.

That's Joe Biden.  That's Matthew Yglesias, that's the hideous Kevin Drum.  Grasp that.  MOTHER JONES could hire anyone.  But instead of hiring a blogger who went up against the press and called out the Iraq War, they use their 'left' money to support Kevin Drum who did everything he could to ensure that the Iraq War started.

People are dead because of him.

But MOTHER JONES employs him and not someone who rightly railed against the Iraq War.  They go with a Kevin Drum and not a David Lindorff.  There was no accountability at all for bringing on the Iraq War.  Politicians, journalists, bloggers, all of them -- if you were for the Iraq War, your career was made.

It was made from the blood of dead and wounded Iraqis, Americans, British, Australians (Jake Kovco), etc. People are dead and injured because of the actions of Joe Biden, Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias and others.  They shouldn't be applauded, they should be shunned.

There have been no demands for accountability because . . . Well who would make them?  Corporate media hides behind Judith Miller but she wasn't the only one egging on the Iraq War as a 'journalist.'  So what about media watchdogs?  CJR proved that they were just whores long, long ago -- long before they got their own little Harvey Weinstein who can't keep his hands off women.  FAIR?  There's nothing fair about FAIR and that includes their blatant hypocrisy.  They once called out PBS for having a limited number of women on THE NEWSHOUR.  Ava and I responded at THIRD with a series on how FAIR's own program, COUNTERSPIN, had an even smaller number of female guests during the same time period.  On Iraq?  FAIR loved to hector the corporate media about hiring this or that pro-Iraq War pundit.  But somehow, it wasn't their job to note that MOTHER JONES and other 'left' outlets were doing the same.

Barack Obama failed America but, let's be honest, he never would have gotten to fail America in the first place if FAIR and others hadn't already failed the county.

We almost noted RISING's segment yesterday on a 'people's convention' yesterday.  Then, after I'd copied and pasted, I listened to the segment and Cornel was telling people to vote for Joe Biden.  That's not an independent organization.  I didn't post that segment.  We did post a thing on it that did not promote a candidate.  But John Stauber is exactly right in the following Tweet:

Stop pretending that #PeoplesConvention is something radical and outside the oligarchy’s 2 parties. The overwhelming majority of participants are advocating for #BidenHarris2020. #ColorRevolution in America, #cooptation on behalf of

, that’s what this s**t is.


If they're anything but a get-out-the-vote org for Biden, they'll surely be noting other candidates for president.

Candidates like the Green Party's Howie Hawkins whose campaign issued the following this week:

August 23, 2020


Kevin Zeese, Press Secretary

Robert Smith, Media Coordinator

Hawkins Releases 12 Years of Tax Returns and Asks, Where Are Trump’s?

Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins released the last 12 years of his tax returns today.“It’s easy, Donald Trump. What are you hiding?,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins also asked why the Democratic Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal (D-MA), refuses to take advantage of a law passed by New York a year ago that enables Congress to access Trump’s New York State tax returns, which closely follow the federal income tax forms in what they report.

“What are the Democrats hiding?” Hawkins asked. “They could get Trump on tax fraud like the Feds got Capone. The New York law means his tax returns are there for the taking. The Democrats are not standing up to Trump, they’re sitting on their hands.”

Journalists and law enforcement investigators are interested in Trump’s tax returns because they suspect they will reveal, when checked against bank and insurance records, that Trump is guilty of bank fraud, insurance fraud, and tax fraud. Trump may not want to show his returns because they may show he is not as rich as he claims to be, he didn’t pay taxes he owed, he donates little or nothing to charity, and he has extensive financial ties to Russians.

The sources of the cash that Trump obtained for property investments in the early 2000s, after decades of borrowing to purchase properties, has also raised suspicions that Trump raised his cash by laundering money through his properties from corrupt oligarchs in Russia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Trump is the only major party presidential nominee since Watergate to refuse to release any past tax returns. A series of rulings by federal courts, including the US Supreme Court, have rejected Trump’s claims that his tax records cannot be subpoenaed by congressional committees or Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. But appeals by Trump and further proceedings in lower courts mean Trump’s taxes are unlikely to be revealed before the November election.

Hawkins said, “It is not hard to figure why Trump is hiding his tax returns. But why are the Democrats not getting Trump’s New York tax returns out to the public before the election?”

Hawkins own tax returns are not so interesting. They show a modest income from wages as a UPS Teamster truck unloader and, since he retired 2018, from pensions, as well as investment income from mutual funds.

Hawkins disclosed that in 2019 he received $1,480 in wages, $116 in interest, $12,697 in dividends, $15,201 in pensions, and $12,053 in capital gains for a total income of $41,547. He paid a federal income tax of $578.

In his last full year of work in 2017, his tax returns show that he earned $28,443 in wages, $83 in interest, $9,332 in dividends, and $43,438 in capital gains for a total income of $81,438. The capital gains came from Hawkins selling shares in a stock index mutual fund to buy shares in a bond index mutual fund in order to balance his retirement savings as he approached retirement. He paid $3,382 in federal income taxes.

Hawkins tax forms for 2009 through 2013 can be found here.


Whores like Missey Comley Beattie are working the street, out in full force, to tell you not to vote for Hawkins.  Remember when Missey used to pretend she gave a damn about the Iraq War.  Well whores age and they get uglier, Missey sure has.  She needs to take her disease ridden body out of the public square.  She's whored for far too long.  For those who wrongly assume Missy's syph posing as writing at COUNTERPUNCH this morning is her first attempt at whoring, let's drop back to Ruth's comments in 2009:

I laugh elsewhere at CounterPunch.

Like when I read Missy Comley Beattie. What an idiot. I used to support her, bad writing and all, then 2008 revealed who the real War Hawks were. In her latest useless scribbles, "The Placebo President," Ms. Beattie insists:

Some of us knew. We just knew. We knew because we’d arrived at the truth of politics in American--that anyone who really might deliver change would never receive the Democratic or Republican nomination. Because there is a rule, larger than the will of the people, mandating the survival of the status quo, U.S. corporatocracy and U.S. imperialism/Zionism. Some of us cast our vote for a Green or Independent, those who are considered “spoilers.” Our candidates lost and so did the world.

Some of us knew? Yes, Ms. Beattie. Some of us did know. I knew. I spoke out all during 2008 when it mattered. I spoke out against Barack Obama throughout 2008, from start to end. I spoke out, after the Democratic Party primaries ended, in favor of Ralph Nader and I voted for him.

Ms. Beattie would have you believe she needs to be included with me. The woman is lying.

Ms. Beattie spent the first half of 2008 lying that Hillary Clinton was a racist because Ms. Beattie, like so many of her crowd, cannot stand for a woman to be successful. Ms. Beattie promoted Barack Obama and lied about Hillary not stop.

You can Google her name and "White Heaven" if you need an example. She did not call out Barack Obama. But she could not. She is a third-rate, minor player, a supporting cast to CODESTINK and Jodi Evans was banking it all on Barry O. Ms. Beattie could not insult her mistress' candidate of choice. Poor relations, crust of bread and such. That is Missy Beattie.

She's a tacky whore riddled with disease. 

Howie Tweeted:


has a terrible 47-year record of being wrong, but Trump has a terrible 4-year record as president -- pandemic, economic collapse, racial uprising, climate crisis, growing inequality. Two failed candidates for a failing nation. #RNC2020

At RING OF FIRE, pig boy Farron Cousins tries to act like he's not trying to vote shame:

If you want to vote for the green party, because you say the Democrats done nothing to earn your party fine. Although I am curious to know what the green party has done to earn your vote other than not being the Democrats. I do think that’s a valid question. Not necessarily shaming, but you know, if you’re gonna offer one explanation, offer an explanation for that. I like the green party. I think Howie Hawkins is a loser candidate because the guy has run for office so many times and he’s lost every single time. Cause that’s the problem with the green party, great platform, decent enough party. They pick the worst candidates ever. And that’s why they’ve lost so much power over the last decade. Like they’re almost nonexistent now because they pick the dumbest candidates possible. But if that’s your candidate, you do your thing. You vote for that.

Oh, stop pretending, you ugly eye sore.  It's Green Party, first of all and you know that.  Equally true, "the Democrats done nothing to earn your party"?  WTF?  I know you're an idiot but how stupid are you?

People can vote for whomever they want.  In a democracy you own your vote.  And bullies like Farron are disgusting.  

Farron feels that the Greens have picked the worst candidates.

Help me out.  When did Farron cover the candidates vying for the nomination of the Green Party this year?  Or how about in 2016?  Or 2012?

He's just an ugly eye sore.  Where's Lady Bird Johnson with a beautification program when we really need one?

(He's trash.  They got their link only because of RFK Jr.)

Farron insists that the Green Party has been harmed by its candidates.  That's a cute little lie, isn't it?  Jacob Crosse (WSWS):  

In a series of blatantly undemocratic actions, Democratic Party state election commission members have kicked Green Party candidates off of the ballots in several states within the last week. The moves express the fear within the ruling class over the growth of social opposition and display the political gangsterism of the Democratic Party.

The moves come as Democratic state governors in Michigan and California and bourgeois courts have blocked the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates from the ballot, forcing them to gather signatures despite the coronavirus pandemic. While the SEP opposes the politics of the pro-capitalist Green Party, we defend the democratic right of its presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins, to appear on the ballot in all 50 states.

With regards to the Greens, the Democratic Party’s immediate concern is that any left-wing choice in the November election will subtract votes from the right-wing Biden/Harris ticket. Several last minute decisions have effectively barred Green Party candidates up and down the ballot from appearing in Texas, Montana and Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, three separate rulings in Texas courts blocked Green Party candidates from appearing on the November ballot, including US Senate candidate David Collins, 21st congressional district candidate Tom Wakely and candidate for railroad commissioner Katija Gruene.

Collins, Wakely and Gruene were all ruled ineligible for failing to pay filing fees, newly passed by the state legislature last year, which required candidates to pay as much as $5,000 to appear on the ballot. The ruling was made two days after a deadline for write-in candidates to file.

Green Party lawyers are challenging the filing fees in court as an unconstitutional burden, however, a ruling will likely not be handed down before the ballot certification deadline.

Voter suppression?  Don't whine about it if you aren't going to call out efforts to rig the system by keeping candidates off the ballot.

That's Howie's response to Donald Trump's speech last night.

Joseph Kishore is the Socialist Equality Party's presidential candidate.

Joseph Tweeted about the RNC convention here.

Gloria La Riva is the presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.  She Tweeted:

Trump's talk of the people "who built America" is a picture of "Davy Crockett, Buffalo Bill," not a word of the gigantic wealth, building by millions of enslaved African people & descendants, not a word of massive land theft & genocide of Native people. Total white supremacy.

Here she is discussing her campaign.

And here's a supporter of Gloria's discussing why she's supporting Gloria and the first point of Gloria's ten-point plan.

Jo Jorgensen is running for president on the Libertarian Party's ticket.

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Mean Old Girl

mean old girl

From February 10, 2019, that's "Mean Old Girl."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Mean Old Girl." With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez striking a Lindsay Lohan pose, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declares, "It's me, Mean Old Girl Nancy Pelosi.  Last week I mock clapped the State of the Union address and got catty about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  You won't believe what I do this week."  Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

That's the first time AOC showed up in one of my comics.  Nancy's been in many -- and will be in my next one at THE COMMON ILLS.

Which is time to address something.  I had an e-mail asking why I take so much time off from comics, "You only have to do one a week."

Sorry, the most you may see is one a week.  If so, you're not a community member.  If you're a community member, you get the four community newsletters.  Each week, I do a comic for each of those newsletters.  I have not missed one week of that.

I sometimes don't have a new one at THE COMMON ILLS.  That's because I can be a lot more hard hitting when I know it's just community members.  Some of my comics aren't 'cute' or 'funny.'  They're not intended to be.  Those topics -- which would include what's been going on in Portland -- end up in the newsletters. 
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Friday, August 21, 2020.   The informercial wrapped up last night.  Did anyone rush to the phones to buy up what was being sold?

Last night, and the infomercial passed off as a convention came to an end.  It could have come to a noble end or just continued to be a public embarrassment.  Which do you think happened?

Joe Biden:  Thank you.  Thank you.  I could talk at length tonight about my experience in the Senate, as Vice President, things like that.  But I want to be worthy of your vote and I want to be worthy of your trust.  So let's get things straight from the start, America.  I have made mistakes in my life.  And I am making real efforts to learn from them.  My vote for the Iraq War was a mistake -- a huge mistake.  In the past, I've sounded like a spoiled child as I tried to pass that vote off as being the fault of someone else.  I voted for it, it was the wrong vote.  That's on me and I want to learn from that moment.  I want to grow from it.  There are so many Americans and, yes, so many Iraqis who lost their lives.  Earning your trust means acknowledging also my mistakes after the war started.  Instead of demanding accountability and a strategy and goals that could be measures, up until February 2008, I repeatedly focused on splitting Iraq up into three parts as though that was an answer.  I finally gave up on that misguided idea not because the Iraqi people had rejected the idea -- they had long rejected it -- but because my fellow senators made it abundantly clear that this idea had no Congressional support.  Still, I did not call for all US troops out of Iraq.  

I'd like to tell you that I had this blistering moment of insight and, from that moment forward, I was on a steady course.  But that wasn't the road I took.  Yes, in April of 2008, I did issue a statement where I declared,  "The President confirmed what I've been saying for some time -- he has no plan to end this war.  His plan is to muddle through and then to hand the problem off to his successor.  So the result of the surge is that we're right back where we started before it began 15 months ago: with 140,000 troops in Iraq, spending $3 billion every week, losing 30 to 40 American lives every month -- and still no end in sight."  Even more important, and more on the money, I chaired a Senate Committee hearing on April 11, 2008.  In that hearing, I made several statements that, even right now, I am proud of.

I talked of the agreement the Bush White House was trying to put together with Prime Minister Nouri al-Malikki and how it raised "many red flags with me and other Americans.  We've pledged we're not only going to consult when there is an outside threat, but also when there is an inside threat.  We've just witnessed when Mr. Maliki engaged in the use of force against another Shia group in the south, is this an inside threat?"  Maliki turned out to be an inside threat.  When I was Vice President, we began a drawdown -- not a withdrawal as promised -- and, the day after the drawdown,  Maliki began using tanks to circle the homes of his political opponents in Parliament  He began openly persecuting his political rivals.  Whereas before he had used secret prisons and torture cells on various Iraqi civilians, he was not declaring war on elected officials who did not agree with him.  

Now in that April 2008 hearing, I did have the insight or luck to see what lay on the road ahead.  That is why I noted that Bush's proposed agreement was requiring that we "take sides in Iraq's civil war" and that "there is no Iraq government that we know of that will be inplace a year from now -- half the government has walked out."

Let's stop for a moment register that.  In April of 2008, I made some very accurate remarks.

In March of 2010, two years later, when I was Vice President, Iraq held elections.  The big loser?  Maliki.  And he refused to step down.  For eight months he refused to step down.  President Obama had tasked me with Iraq, put me in charge of Iraq.  The Iraqi people, despite threats and despite violence on election day, turned out to vote for their future.  We, the United States, said we were bringing democracy to them, gifting them with democracy, if you will.  And yet we did not stand by the results of that election.  Instead, we went around those results.  We tossed them aside.  I was part of the American group that negotiated a treaty or contract known as The Erbil Agreement.  It gave Maliki a second term -- a second term the voters did not give him.  To get that second term, we drew up this contract among the various political parties.  To get them to sign on, we had promises written into the agreement that they wanted -- the Kurds, for example, wanted the referendum on Kirkuk -- promised in the Iraqi Constitution -- finally implemented.  We swore this was a binding contract.  Maliki got his second term with that contract and then refused to honor the agreement.  What's worse?  We didn't demand that he honor it despite our earlier promise that we would -- a promise that President Obama repeated to Ayad Allawi, the winner of the election,  November 11, 2010, when The Erbil Agreement seemed in jeopardy, President Obama personally called Allawi to assure him that we would stand by that contract which, included for Allawi, becoming the chair of a newly created National Council On Higher Policy..  As Ben Lando, Sam Dagher and Margaret Coker (Wall St. Journal) reported, "Mr. Obama, in his phone call to Mr. Allawi on Thursday, promised to throw U.S. weight behind the process and guarantee that the council would retain meaningful and legal power, according to the two officials with knowledge of the phone call."  

Throughout 2010, I failed to step in.  I failed to insist that we stop making deals with Maliki.  I failed to insist that we show the Iraqi people the importance of voting and that their vote matters.  Since 2010, the voter turnout in Iraq has gone down and that's a direct result of the US government, of me, tossing out their votes in 2010 because we thought Maliki would better serve the United States.

Not only did that undercut belief in democracy for the Iraqi people, it also set the stage for the rise of ISIS in Iraq.  It was a disaster, Maliki's second term.  As he persecuted Sunnis, ISIS rose in response.  Were it not for his second term, you can argue that ISIS would not have risen in Iraq.

How did I, in 2008, realize what Maliki was?  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while she was a US Senator in 2008, called Maliki a "thug" in an open hearing and she was correct about that.

So what changed?

What changed was that 'we' were in charge now.  Not the Bush administration, us.  President Obama, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, myself and others.  We were in charge.  Instead of working from what we knew, we worked on hubris.  We were so much smarter that we could do all the things Bush had tried already and that had failed already but because we were doing them, somehow they would magically work out this time.


As I look back on Iraq, my biggest regret is how hubris misled me.  It was and is a hard lesson to learn.  But I'm standing here before you -- goodness knows, this is an open setting -- and I'm explaining what went wrong and what I did wrong.

My belief is that I have learned from these things.  But by sharing this with you, I can make sure that you will hold me accountable.  I can make sure that if I'm president and start talking war on some nation, you the America people will say, 'Hey, Joe, reflect for a moment and make sure this is what your gut is telling you is right and that you're not a victim of your own hubris again.'  Because we are in this together and I want to be your president.  But, more than just wanting to be your president, I want to be the best president you can have.  That requires us working together: You supporting me when I'm right and you questioning me when I'm wrong.  We can only do that by being honest with one another.  

That was a great speech.




Sadly, Joe didn't give it.

Joe has never gotten honest about Iraq and, as we learned last night, he probably never will.

Where is the foreign policy discussion?  Many people keep asking that.  It's not at the convention.  It's not in the press.  They can't talk foreign policy, apparently, while Joe refuses to honestly reflect on his role in one of the worst foreign failures of this century.  It wasn't just the vote.  It was all that followed after.

It is all the continues to this day.  But we pretend that the Iraq War ended, that the occupation ended, that all US troops left that country.  That's not what happened at all.

And we certainly did not 'gift' Iraq with democracy.  Instead, we have repeatedly installed one corrupt leader after another who has refused to meet the basic needs of the Iraqi people -- it's as though all these despots are cousins of Nancy Pelosi.

Joe was dishonest to his core.  He looked like a liar onstage because he was one.

He's the guy that assaults a girl in high school and then gets his friends to shut her up so he can accept the honor of class valedictorian and give a speech that ignores all his vile actions.

And on that?  No, he did not apologize to the various women he made uncomfortable and groped over the years.  I suppose the bar is so low now that we're expected to be grateful that he didn't make jokes about it -- the way he did in April 2019 when speaking before a union.  He did not apologize to Tara Reade.  He did not take ownership for anything.

He stood on stage with no remorse and no humility.  He pretended he was the choice of the people when, in fact, he was the choice leaders in the party enforced upon the people.  He pretended the country loved him when, in fact, if he wins it will only be because the country dislikes Donald Trump more.

He had no remorse, no humility and no modesty.

Should he win the presidency, be prepared for a nightmare.  His attacks on the press, for example, are treated as funny or something to be ignored and not as the actual warning signs that they truly are.

At WSWS, Patrick Martin offers:

The Democratic National Convention concluded Thursday night with the formal acceptance of the party’s presidential nomination by former Vice President Joe Biden, after a final two-hour session that was full of empty clichés, inane rhetoric and nauseating insincerity.

The atmosphere Thursday was more of a religious revival than a political event. There was incessant emphasis on the personal moral superiority of Biden compared to Trump, accompanied by increasingly maudlin testimonials to Biden’s alleged deep concern for children, the downtrodden, and virtually anyone who crossed his path. One former White House official referred to Biden’s “empathy skills,” a phrase which recalls the old wisecrack: “Sincerity—if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

The sheer contempt for the intelligence of the population and the viewing audience was summed up in Biden’s acceptance speech. His speechwriters appeared to have been trying to cram every possible trite phrase into a single 20-minute address.

He ran through a laundry list of promises, from climate change to racism to student debt, none of which the Democratic Party has the slightest intention of actually carrying out. Only two phrases had real meaning.

Biden reassured Wall Street and the billionaires, “I’m not looking to punish anyone.” This sent a message to the financial aristocracy that, while the candidate was compelled to make demagogic attacks on the wealthy for electoral purposes, these would have no lasting consequences. “Nothing will change” for the super-rich, he told a Wall Street fundraiser last year, and that pledge he will keep.

And the former vice president denounced Trump for being too soft on Russia, threatening to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for allegedly paying bounties to Taliban fighters who attacked American troops in Afghanistan. This phony story is just the latest fabrication by the New York Times in its four-year-long campaign to provoke a US war with Russia.

The tone for the convention’s final day was set by the report Thursday afternoon that a group of 73 former national security officials from four Republican administrations were endorsing Biden and denouncing Trump in an open letter to be published in the Wall Street Journal. The list includes an array of militarists and police-state operatives who are responsible for the death of millions of people in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Among the most prominent and most deserving of prosecution for war crimes endorsing Biden are:

  • John Negroponte, with a bloody record from the contra terrorist war against Nicaragua to the occupation of Iraq in the 2000s;

  • Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and secretary of state during the 2003 Iraq War, in which he played a central role in justifying a war based on lies;

  • Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and later CIA director, who oversaw CIA torture programs and domestic spying;

  • Robert Blackwill, deputy director of the National Security Council with responsibility for Iraq war policy in 2003–2004;

  • Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center under the younger Bush; and

  • William Webster, director of the FBI under Reagan and of the CIA under the elder Bush.

The support of these former leaders of the military-intelligence apparatus only underscores the real character of the conflict between the Democratic and Republican parties, the twin political instruments of the American ruling elite.

Howie Hawkins is the presidential candidate from the Green Party.  He offered the following response to Joe Biden's speech.

Thursday, his campaign issued the following:


August 20, 2020


Kevin Zeese, Press Secretary

Robert Smith, Media Coordinator

RELEASE: Hawkins Calls for Biden to Stand Up to the Fossil Fuel Industry

Charges that the Democrats have weakened his initial Green New Deal Proposal


Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for President, said today that America needed a true Green New Deal, not the watered-down version that the Democrats have used for branding and from which they are increasingly running away from.

Hawkins, who initiated the call in the U.S. for a Green New Deal in his 2010 campaign for Governor of New York, co-authored an op ed that outlines the history of the proposal. Whatever Happened to the Green New Deal?

Hawkins advocates a ten-year timeline (now 2030) to get to zero greenhouse emissions.

Hawkins and Angela Walker, his VP running mate, challenged Biden and the Democrats to stand with climate activists to end subsidies for fossil fuels, to immediately halt both fracking for natural gas and any fossil fuel infrastructure, and to rapidly phaseout the use of fossil fuels. The Democrats recently dropped the ban on subsidies from their revised platform and have always opposed a firm goal of halting fossil fuels. The Democrats also diluted their restriction on taking campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests.

“Scientists tell us that we have years, not decades, left to avoid catastrophic climate change. Already tens of millions are being negatively impacted by extreme weather and air pollution. The number of climate refugees are rapidly expanding, including at our own borders. We need a full-scale emergency mobilization to confront this crisis, similar to what we did in World War II, not some tinkering with the all-of-above energy policy promoted by the Obama-Biden administration,” noted Hawkins.

Hawkins noted that many of the key provisions of his ecosocialist GND were missing from even Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’ initial proposal, such as the need for public ownership and democratic control of the energy system and cutting the military budget by 75% or more to help pay for the program. Many proposals labeled by Democrats as GND promote a 2050 timeline to get to “net zero” emissions while failing to include the Economic Bill of Rights included in Hawkins’ proposal, building upon FDR’s proposals in 1944: a guaranteed living-wage job, a guaranteed income above poverty, affordable housing, Medicare for All, lifelong tuition-free public education, and a secure retirement by doubling Social Security benefits.

Hawkins proposes a 10-year, $27.5 trillion a program to achieve zero-to-negation carbon emissions and 100% clean energy by 2030. It also includes an additional $1.4 trillion a year for the Economic Bill of Rights. Hawkins supports the conversion of industrialized, pesticide-dependent corporate agriculture to organic farms owned by working farmers that rebuild carbon-capturing living soils. Hawkins also supports taxing the rich and making corporate polluters pay to help fund the GND.

“The ecosocialist approach recognizes that capitalism’s destruction of the climate and exploitation of people are part of the same process. It recognizes that in order to harmonize society with nature we must harmonize human with human by ending economic exploitation and all forms of oppression. It calls for an ecosocialist economic democracy that meets the basic needs of all within ecological limits,” added Hawkins.

Yesterday's snapshot led to an angry e-mail from an aged journalist.  You know the three-name I mean.  The idiot who attacked me for getting his name wrong here -- when, in fact, I had pull quoted Bob Somerby and it was Bob Somerby who got his name wrong but Bob's a man so three-name never contacted Bob.  By the same token, three-name thought he could go to war on Ruth.  That didn't work out for him either.

Is he retired?  Does he just show up DEMOCRACY NOW! for a living these days?

At any rate, three-name wanted to me to know that "there's such a thing as lead time!  You don't understand that we write and then it gets published.  That could take two to three days!"

Old man, no one asked you for a damn thing, certainly not your useless opinion.

My comments were about alternative media being silent on the conventions.  IN THESE TIMES, COUNTERPUNCH and anyone else does not worry about lead time.  This isn't the world of print journalism.  WSWS has been able to run articles every day about the convention.  RISING has been able to do segments every day about the convention.  

Go back to sleep because maybe, when you wake up next time, you'll be in the 21st century.  But even then, we won't need to hear from you.

(He had time to Tweet about Steve Bannon yesterday, I see.  Didn't need lead time for that, did he?)

Gloria La Riva is the US presidential candidate for the Party of Socialism and Liberation.  She Tweeted:

Hillary Clinton, who boasted when Gaddafi was butchered in Libya's overthrow, leaving so many African refugees subjected to slavery, demonized for seeking refuge in Europe. Her biggest supporter was Madeleine Albright, who thought 500k dead children in Iraq was worth the price.
8:53 PM · Aug 19, 2020

And she Tweeted:

I saw the genocide committed against the Iraqi people, due to George H. W. Bush's bombing war in 1991, Bill Clinton's sanctions that killed over a million Iraqi people and Madeleine Albright's despicable claim that it was worth those 500,000 dead children by total blockade.

Joseph Kishore is the presidential candidate from the Socialist and Equality Party.  He offered the following Twitter response regarding Joe's supporters:

1) War criminals and militarists supporting Biden in the 2020 election: A thread.

2) John Negroponte. Former DNI, oversaw vast expansion of NSA spying. Former US ambassador to Iraq. US Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, overseeing US support for the contras' vicious war of disappearances, torture and mass killings against the Sandinistas.

3) Colin Powell, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff [C.I. note: actually Secretary of State] during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. At the United Nations, provided the case for the Bush administration, consisting of lies, to launch a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

4) Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA (1999-2005) and the CIA. Implicated in mass illegal surveillance of the American population. Supervised the CIA’s “black site” torture centers under Bush.

5) John Bellinger, national security legal advisor under Bush. Implicated in the CIA torture program.

6) Robert Blackwill, US national security council deputy for Iraq from 2003 to 2004, during the invasion. Leading member of the Council of Foreign Relations, who in 2015 wrote “Revising US Grand Strategy Toward China” advocating confrontation with China.

7) Joseph Collins, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations under Rumsfeld during the Bush administration. Key planner for the US occupation of Iraq.

8) Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1981-1989) under Reagan. Architect of the "constructive engagement" accommodation of the Reagan administration with apartheid South Africa.

9) Richard Falkenrath, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor under Bush, instrumental in developing and strengthening the DHS to oversee anti-immigrant policies and attacks on democratic rights within the US.

10) Aaron Friedberg: Deputy assistant for national-security affairs and director of policy planning for vice president Dick Cheney (2003 to 2005). National Security Advisor for the Romney campaign in 2012. Strong proponent of more aggressive action against China.

11) Colleen Graffy, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy under Bush. Said of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who committed suicide: "It does sound like this is part of a strategy... a good PR move."

12) Miles Taylor, intern under VP Cheney during the Bush years, staffer throughout the Bush administration, chief of staff for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen under the Trump administration.

13) Michael Vickers, longtime defense department official under Republicans and Democrats. Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under Obama. Under Reagan, a senior CIA agent who helped direct its huge covert war to oust the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

14) Ken Wainstein, Homeland Security advisor under George W. Bush.

15) William Webster, director of the FBI (1978-1987) and director of the CIA (1987-1991). Among those who signed a letter to Obama demanding the quashing of investigations into CIA torture under Bush. (Obama agreed).

16) Dov Zakheim, Defense Department official under Reagan and then part of Bush's foreign policy team during the 2000 elections, along with Condoleezza Rice, Richard Armitage, Robert Blackwill, Stephen Hadley, Richard Perle, Robert Zoellick and Paul Wolfowitz, and Scooter Libby.

17) Philip Zelikow, member of the George W. Bush's transition team. Executive director of the 9/11 Commission, which whitewashed US foreknowledge and complicity in the 9/11 attacks.

18) Barack Obama, president of the United States. Shielded Bush admin war criminals from prosecution. Continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Implemented a policy of drone assassination without due process, including of US citizens.

19) Joe Biden... US Senator from Delaware and vice president under Obama. Voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, based on lies. Instrumental in supporting war in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and many other countries.

Jo Jorgensen is the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.


 Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS' "Ellen's Latest Lies" went up yesterday.  The following sites updated:

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