Saturday, November 14, 2020

1500 Extra

extra 1500

From May 25, 2019, that's "1500 Extra."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "1500 Extra."  As planes fly overhead, President Donald Trump declares, "1500 extra troops to the Middle East."  War monger John Bolton gloats, "We got what we wanted."  Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Chris Coons -- who refused to vote for Senator Tom Udall's prohibition of war on Iran without Congressional approval on Wednesday -- hug each other and boast, "So did we!"  Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

I think that one turned out pretty good.  I didn't remember it and I was looking at it and I wondered who was hugging?  I said to myself, that looks like Robert Menendez.  And it is him!  That turned out pretty good.

Know what else?  Kat and Elaine "Kat's Korner: Sam Smith's LOVE BLOWS" turned out pretty good too.  So be sure to check that out.  Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Friday, November 13, 2020.  Sorry, guess we're team Glenn.  He's attacked again and we examine his latest attacker.

Glenn Greenwald, Paul Street.  One struggles to tell the truth, the other just whores.  Glenn's not the whore.  Paul Street has a post at COUNTERPUNCH that is just full of one lie after another.  He has suffered, he tells you, for his truth telling about Barack.  Uh, no.  No he hasn't.  He whored for Barack at key moments and did so intentionally.  We stopped noting him in 2008 as a result.  So for him to show in 2020 and claim to be a truth teller?  No.  He ran offense for Barack and he can pretend all he wants, but that is reality.  He's angry, Paul is, because Donald Trump is a fascist.  No, he's not and that's really sad to say when you consider how many people have suffered through fascism.  It's a term we toss around loosely in the west -- some of us.  I've never applied it to any political opponent.  But the brain challenged like Paul want to do so.

It was racism -- a charge Paul loves to make and has loved making it since 2008 -- for Donald to have told four women to go back home, members of the Squad in Congress.  Was it?  That is your interpretation of it.  You may be right, you may be wrong.  But it is not a fact.  I heard Katie Halper misquoting Donald recently on another time when he was supposedly racist.  I know Bob Somerby has noted the full quote about twenty times since Donald uttered it and explained how the media distorted it.  It did no good for Bob to try.  I have other things to do.

But let me say something:  Naomi Klein, go the hell home.

Does that make me a racist?

I have no idea why Donald said what he said about the Squad.  I doubt, honestly, that he knows why he said what he said.  He's a hot head and always has been and that's one of the main reasons that I do not like him (and he does not like me which is completely fair).  He would sometimes, over the years, attempt to say hello to me at social functions and I would walk away from him without responding.  I do not like him.  

But I'm aware of that and try not to filter every response to what he said or did through my 'Trump hate filter.'  

I think Naomi Klein should go home because I'm sick of her interfering in our elections.

Yes, she's half American.  But her father chose to leave the US military and go to Canada.  I applaud him for being a war resister.  But I don't think his daughter gets citizenship or the right to interfere in US elections as a result.  War Resister Kimberly Rivera was forced back to the US -- and Paul Street didn't write one word about her.  She and her kids can participate in US politics.  But the notion that Naomi, who did not grow up here, who was raised in Canada and born in Canada, has the right to keep sticking her damn nose into US elections?

No.  And I didn't like it when she did it in 2008 and called it out the first minute she used a book event as a campaign rally.  Born in Canada, raised in Canada, married to a Canadian, voting in Canadian elections, get your nose out of our business.  

I know Justin Trudeau and you don't see me butting into Canada's elections.  I almost did because Justin was never what people thought he was.  I almost quoted from a letter his father wrote to me.  (And another time, when he was campaigning, I almost ripped apart his mother over an event that I know of but was never reported on.  I didn't do that either.)  We cover Iraq here.  I have never ever spent a campaign telling the Iraqi people who they should vote for or who they should support.  Anytime any Iraqi politician has been campaigning and sent a press release, we have noted it -- regardless of the party, regardless of the person, regardless of anything I might feel.

Members of the Squad are American citizens and those born elsewhere suffered a great deal to get here.  I respect that.  I don't think Donald does and it wouldn't be in his character to do so.  Donald's world has always revolved around Donald.  He's not a deep thinker.  His responses are immediate and they are obvious.  

It has been hilarious the last four years to watch all these faux 'resistance' types -- in the media and out -- try to read the tea leaves and figure out what Donald meant when he said whatever.  They're spending far more time on it than Donald ever did.  He doesn't think, he just lashes out like the angry child he is -- one who is hurting.  

Paul Street loves to pretend he was on the side of right.  No, Paul, you were on the side of snide.

Snide and bitchy can be fun.  Ava and I used to do it all the time in our media pieces and it was fun -- saying watching SUPERNATURAL was like watching gay porn with actors too stupid to take off their clothes?  Bitchy and fun.  But we always tried to follow David Letterman's edict about being a gnat trying to sink the Love Boat -- meaning you aim high.  You target those in power.  Paul didn't aim high.  He slammed the citizens and did so in bitchy and mean ways that only revealed how much hatred he has for the electorate and anyone who doesn't agree with him.  

Glenn and I often do not agree.  I am not a Glenn fan.  I do value his work.  I do think he tries to be fair and I do believe he lacks any hostility for the people in general.  That puts him so far above Paul Street and so many others.

Before we get to Glenn, Ava and my "TV: Who's been sleeping in my bed?" finally went up.  We note the ridiculous Paul Reickhoff and we considered calling him out for his recent music 'critique.'  In the end, we didn't.  But he was praising a musician who is a known racist in the industry and who, as late as 1986, was using the N-word in published interviews.  The man is a racist today and has always been one.

I bring that up because Paul's swearing by Noam Chomsky.  I know Noam -- for decades now.  And I wouldn't swear by him.  I like Noam but I wouldn't swear by him and Noam knows why that is and hopefully he'll address that at some point.  Otherwise, I'll address it if this site's around when he passes.  Tick-tock, Noam, tick-tock.  Paul swears by a lot of people.  His list of four doesn't impress me at all.  And I've already called out Cornel West in the last month or two here.  

Paul reminds me of a photographer I know.  I've known Demi Moore for years.  She's a wonderful person.  One time, the photographer was at a function at my home and Demi was present and she refused to talk to Demi.  That's how much hatred she had -- and towards this woman she never met.   Fine, everyone doesn't have to like everyone.  Whatever.

But then Demi's on the cover of ROLLING STONE in 1995.  And photographer calls me and is just raving over Demi.  I'm like, "Where did you talk to her?"  Photographer didn't.  Photographer read the ROLLING STONE cover story.  And suddenly Demi was a goddess.

Now Demi's a wonderful person but I don't think you're going to learn that in a feature article.  I really don't think so.  Paul is like that photographer.  He doesn't know anything he's talking about.  He couldn't give you the history of Angela Davis, for example, without pulling up WIKIPEDIA.  He comes off like a little kid flipping through his baseball cards, not like a functioning adult trying to offer a critique.

He's furious with some college student (or someone who was a college student in 2016) and he writes about that.  At least his nonsense about Glenn Greenwald has him going after someone of stature.  He pretends that he's done something the last four years and praises himself for it.  He hasn't done anything.  He's not written of War Resisters.  He's not covered the ongoing wars.  He's not sought to spotlight the plight of the Palestinians.  He's been the equivalent of a Hollywood gossip columnist writing exactly what he knows his readers want.  There's no strength, there's no courage and there's no lasting value to his work.  He's so pathetic, he even apologizes for voting for Jill Stein in 2016.  

I really can't stand people who won't own their votes.  I say over and over, it's your vote, use it as you want to (which includes not voting), vote for whom speaks to you.  I say that as long as you're doing that, your vote is not wasted.  

But these people -- this includes photographer as well -- who come along after the vote and start scraping and bowing about how they voted?  I can't stand them.

I've noted I voted for Al Gore in 2000.  I've noted that I did not vote for Ralph Nader and that the notion of doing so -- never a strong possibility -- was ended with ROLLING STONE's 2000 interview with him where he attacked feminist leaders for not joining him on the very important issue of high heels.  Ralph was weak on choice.  Instead of being honest about that, he chose to attack women.  If you voted for him, that's fine, but that interview ensured I would never, ever vote for him.  And I think only now are people -- drive-bys -- starting to get how much I dislike Ralph.  There are all these e-mails about how in 2008 we noted this and we noted that and -- Anytime someone running for office sends something in, we will note it.  I'm not here to tell you how to vote and if I do endorse in a race it's one I can vote in.  I despise people like Alyssa Milano who go all over the country butting in with other communities.  You are not a resident and you can't vote in that election?  Then butt the hell out.  I love Lloyd Doggett and I love Sally Field but I feel the same way anytime Sally's hitting me up for money for Lloyd or campaigning for Lloyd.  Sally, of course, has a grace that Alyssa lacks so it's not as annoying but, yes, it does bother me.

Our officials are supposed to represent us.  It's not my business who Atlanta elects for this post or that post because I don't live in Atlanta.

The only thing I ever endorse completely is vote for who you believe in.  If you do that, you didn't waste your vote.  I don't care for Joe or Donald.  If you voted for either of them because they spoke to you, then your vote wasn't wasted.  Good for you and I'm happy for you.

This nonsense of after an election whining?  Don't.  I don't want to hear it.  The election is over and you voted how you voted.  If you were happy with it when you voted, that's great.  If you're not now, let it go because it really no longer matters unless you're in the process of inventing a time machine.   

Kevin Zeese passed away this fall.  It is a great loss.  But no one can say that Kevin wasted his life.  He fought for the issues he believed in.  He worked to popularize those issues -- he worked to do that and he did do that.  Yes, he was working on Howie Hawkins' campaign this go round but he didn't spend time in between campaigns endlessly offering sop the way Paul Street did and does.  Kevin focused on real issues.  He (and his partner Margaret Flowers) covered real issues like debt and Medicare For All   His life and his work mattered. 

Paul Street is the equivalent of David Broder and all he has to offer is gas baggery.  He'd fit right at home on the Sunday chat & chews if they'd have him (which they won't).  There's no deep thinking, there's no strong core of ideas and beliefs.  There's just endless chatter about 'hot topics' -- that he's probably cribbing from THE VIEW.  

Okay, Glenn.  In his latest, he's addressing the way the Hunter Biden story was silenced by the media and tech giants -- from his article at SUBSTACK:

The Biden campaign immediately embraced this evidence-free claim about Russia from Schiff and the intelligence community to justify its refusal to answer questions about the revelations from this reporting. “I think we need to be very, very clear that what he's doing here is amplifying Russian misinformation," said Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield when asked about the possibility that Trump would cite the Hunter emails at the last presidential debate. Biden’s senior advisor Symone Sanders similarly warned on MSNBC: “if the president decides to amplify these latest smears against the vice president and his only living son, that is Russian disinformation."

Far worse were the numerous media outlets that spread this evidence-free claim of Kremlin involvement in lieu of reporting on the contents of the emails. Just watch how CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell purported to “report” on this story — an emphasis on the Russian origins of the materials, featuring a former “FBI operative” who admitted he had no evidence for the speculation CBS nonetheless aired, all with no mention of the serious questions raised by the revelations themselves:

As I noted when I announced my resignation from The Intercept, a major reason I harbored so much cynicism and scorn for their claim that my story on the Hunter Biden emails had failed to meet their high-minded, rigorous editorial and fact-checking scrutiny was because that same publication was just was one of the many anti-Trump news outlets which, in the name of manipulating the outcome of the election on behalf of the Democratic Party, had mindlessly laundered the CIA/Schiff narrative without the slightest adversarial skepticism or, worse, without a whiff of evidence.

Just one week before they refused to publish my own article, they published this remarkable disinformation, featuring an utterly reckless paragraph that was nothing more than stenographic servitude to the intelligence community and Adam Schiff. Just marvel at what was approved by the fastidious editorial and fact-checking machinery of that “adversarial” publication concerning claims by ex-CIA operatives:

Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post, thanks to Trump crony Rudy Giuliani. The New York Post story was so rancid that at least one reporter refused to put his byline on it. The U.S. intelligence community had previously warned the White House that Giuliani has been the target of a Russian intelligence operation to disseminate disinformation about Biden, and the FBI has been investigating whether the strange story about the Biden laptop is part of a Russian disinformation campaign. This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation.

Numerous other media outlets disseminated the same CIA propaganda — including The Economist (“Marc Polymeropoulos, the CIA’s former acting chief of operations for the Europe and Eurasia Mission Centre…notes that ‘the use of actual material is a hallmark of Russian disinformation campaigns’”) and (needless to say) MSNBC’s Joy Reid program (“Hunter Biden story an ‘obvious Russian plot’ McFaul believes”).

I don't watch MSNBC -- I don't have time for garbage.  If I'm watching the news, it's generally in a foreign language -- French or Arabic -- sometimes Spanish. Most nights, whatever makes the news has already been endlessly discussed throughout the day.  But I thought Glenn was going to touch on something that he didn't.  So Ava and I might grab it at THIRD.  There was a very interesting historical moment on MSNBC this election cycle that echoed the lead up to the Iraq War.  And it was interesting for who it came from. 

Anyway, Glenn has risked a great deal in his journalism career.  It's more than I ever would have expected of him.  I praised him for his journalistic work on the Ed Snowden story -- repeatedly praised him -- but recent events argue that Glenn deserves a great deal more respect than I've ever granted him.

He writes about topics others don't want to touch. I admire that.  I am a huge believer in PROJECT CENSORED (and if they'd put something up on YOUTUBE, we'd highlight them again).  

Chris Hayes Tweets:

I think it’s a good thing that there’s now pretty broad bi-partisan agreement Iraq was a horrible disaster and I think we’ll probably get to the same agreement on Trump’s Covid response at some point a decade from now.

I like Chris.  I know some don't.  Jimmy Dore doesn't like Chris.  Jimmy watches Chris so he's entitled to that opinion.  Chris was there when it counted and I don't forget that so I avoid his program because I'd prefer not to say anything harsh about him.  Ava and I have tackled him twice at THIRD.  Otherwise, I'd rather not say anything mean.

Is Iraq like Covid 19?  I don't think so.  For one thing, we're hopeful that the pandemic may end at some point -- the hoped for finish line keeps moving though, so maybe it might end up the forever scourge the way Iraq has ended up the forever war.  

But currently, I don't see it.  I'm also aware that there haven't been a lot of good responses from any governments.  Margaret Kimberely has rightly noted that the Chinese government appears to have had some success but our xenophobia and our government's hopes for war with China mean that we won't really go into exploring that.

Maybe that's how Covid is like Iraq?  Everyone knows it's wrong and it's hurtful and killing people but no one wants to really discuss how to end it?

JulieGrace Brufke (THE HILL) reports:

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is calling on the Trump administration to dramatically reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in the coming weeks. 

In a letter sent to President Trump on Wednesday, the Arizona Republican — who has been a vocal critic of the United States having a prolonged military presence in the region  — said that the country’s involvement in the countries has “been enormously costly in lives and dollars.”

Biggs argued that despite the U.S.’s efforts, Afghanistan still faces many of the same issues seen when American troops first arrived. 

We're here because we're here?  Let's drop back to the February 8, 2012 snapshot:

We covered the November 30th House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the MiddleEast and South Asia in the December 1st snapshot and noted that Ranking Member Gary Ackerman had several questions. He declared, "Number one, does the government of Iraq -- whose personnel we intend to train -- support the [police training] program?  Interviews with senior Iaqi officials by the Special Inspector General show utter didain for the program.  When the Iraqis sugest that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States. I think that might be a clue."  The State Dept's Brooke Darby faced that Subcommittee. Ranking Member Gary Ackerman noted that the US had already spent 8 years training the Iraq police force and wanted Darby to answer as to whether it would take another 8 years before that training was complete?  Her reply was, "I'm not prepared to put a time limit on it."  She could and did talk up Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Interior Adnan al-Asadi as a great friend to the US government.  But Ackerman and Subcommittee Chair Steve Chabot had already noted Adnan al-Asadi, but not by name.  That's the Iraqi official, for example, Ackerman was referring to who made the suggestion "that we take our money and do things instead that are good for the United States."  He made that remark to SIGIR Stuart Bowen.
Brooke Darby noted that he didn't deny that comment or retract it; however, she had spoken with him and he felt US trainers and training from the US was needed.  The big question was never asked in the hearing: If the US government wants to know about this $500 million it is about to spend covering the 2012 training of the Ministry of the Interior's police, why are they talking to the Deputy Minister?
The US State Dept wass not ready to put a time limit on it, by their own words.  How long does the 'training' continue?  How many years and how many billions?  If it's really not clear to you, let's drop back to the House Foreign Relations Committee hearing of December 1, 2011 for this exchange.
Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: When will they be willing to stand up without us?
Brooke Darby: I wish I could answer that question.
Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: Then why are we spending money if we don't have the answer?
[long pause]
Ranking Member Gary Ackerman: You know, this is turning into what happens after a bar mitzvah or a Jewish wedding. It's called "a Jewish goodbye."  Everybody keeps saying goodbye but nobody leaves.

All this time later, the White House, the State Dept, all of them can still supply no concrete plan but can continue to insist that millions and millions of tax dollars be spent for something,anything, in Iraq that will somehow help even though it has not thus far.

That is true today -- but everything above after "we're here because we're here?" is from a 2015 snapshot.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.

New content at THIRD:

The following sites updated:

Read on ...

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Prisoner de Blasio: Number 24

number 24

From May 16, 2019, that's "The Prisoner de Blasio: Number 24."  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Prisoner de Blasio: Number 24."  Today, Bill de Blasio became the 24th candidate seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Bill declares, "I am not a number" in Isaiah's homage to the 1967 British TV show THE PRISONER (including the balloon Rover that destroys others but herds Number Six preventing his escape). 
Isaiah archives his comics at THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS.

We had so many choices, didn't we?

Or, we thought we did.  We thought we had choices.  The DNC (and Barack) were damn determined to rig the whole thing from the beginning.  We never actually had a choice -- and that's how we ended up with the hideous Joe Biden.

I've got a comic that just went up at THE COMMON ILLS, "2 Partisans Talking."  I actually think it might become a regular bit -- like Kos' Little Dicky during the Obama years, it might pop up from time to time.  Of all the comics I did about the hideous Kos, this one below was probably my favorite.

Commander of the Groin

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

 Friday, November 6, 2020.  And the count goes on -- yes, the count goes on.

"Here we go again" is how Kathleen Wallace opens her column that went up at COUNTERPUNCH on Thursday.  Yeah, I know.  Kind of familiar -- see Wednesday morning's "Here we go again (Ava and C.I.)" but we -- Ava and I -- were true to our own voices, so no one can really copy us though, goodness knows, many have tried and failed over the years.  Hey, IN THESE TIMES, what happened to that entertainment media coverage?  No, it's not as easy as it looks -- especially if you're trying to offer a feminist perspective but, hey, thanks for playing.

And playing's all Kathleen Wallace is doing.  I planned to highlight her but I read and read and it just got worse and worse.  'COVID didn't register!'

Yeah, it did but your head's been up your ass so long that you never got what was going on.  The center-left meme was that Covid-19 meant the country would turn away from Donald Trump collectively and now here comes Kathleen to tell us, "I also thought covid would be a gamechanger, but the Trump supporters view the shutdowns as the enemy, not the virus."

Why admit at the top of your column that you were wrong and just cling to your insulting beliefs that got you into this mess to begin with?  

For months, the media and much of the left has lived in an artificial world that was far from reality-based.  There are people on the right who just see the pandemic as something that's been overblown and/or some sort of plot but that's true of some on the left as well.

What no one seems to get about a number of Donald Trump supporters is that they're not as stupid as the MSNBC talking point crowd.

They know damn well that the hissy fits over what Donald did in February and Joe Biden's claims of what he would do are largely nonsense.  Reality, in February and March, Joe and his campaign were telling people -- in the midst of the pandemic -- to go to the polls and vote.  Joe presented no plan for a response to the pandemic.  

Did Donald flounder?  Yes, he did.  But many people remember that so did the CDC.  Many remember when we were told there was no point in wearing masks  Then we were told to wear masks.   People can look at those events and they can see that everyone was learning as they went along.  

The Democratic Party leaders tried to weaponize Covid for the election.  And you got a lot of childish and petty little brats -- who need to grow the hell up, quite frankly -- reinventing the narrative the same way they tried their neoliberal reinvention of government in the 90s (that was the Clintonesque destruction of the safety net and you can refer to the book REINVENTING GOVERNMENT if you're late to that party).  It was disgusting to see people try to profit politically off the pandemic.  

And maybe if you did something other than 'learn' about the world from MSNBC, you'd have known that.  We spoke to group after group and heard this called out repeatedly.  I'd be surprised if out of the hundreds in the last two months, more than 21 of them were Trump supporters.  The bulk identified as Democrats (though many were clear that they would not be voting in the election due to Joe's position on fracking or his assault of Tara Reade or both).  And they were appalled by the way the pandemic was being used as political football.  Nancy Pelosi's refusal to provide a second stimulus also fell under that umbrella.  People were outraged by that and saw that as yet another example of a party wanting your vote but refusing to do anything to get it.  And then came Joe's I-promise-you-nothing campaign and you had a political party that stood for nothing other than trying to shape opinion.  

I don't know why, in the face of the rebuke that is this election, you'd say, "I got is wrong but let me tell you about all the other things I believe without any basis in fact and let's pretend like they are right."

Throughout the last four years, opinions have been presented as facts and this from the 'neutral' media?  It rained is a fact.  What someone felt about the rain is an opinion -- that seems to confuse a number of so-called reporters at various corporate outlets.  

Wallace really shouldn't write a word.  She's a stupid and sexist fool.  Doubt me?  Note this passage:

This falls completely on Obama and the corrupt DNC machinery. As you all know, prior to Super Tuesday, Obama pulled the strings of the other primary candidates, creating a situation that unearthed a most inorganic Biden victory. He got them to pull out and support Biden en masse. Though Obama was reported to have said “don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up”, he opted to intervene in the democratic process of a legitimate primary. Elizabeth Warren (oh don’t upset her with snake emojis) helped out too, making sure the progressive vote was splintered. It makes you wonder what was going on there. She sells her soul for no payout, it seems.

Did Elizabeth help out?  That's an opinion but if you think she helped out and you also think this falls completely on Barack -- your words -- then why is it that you seen to blame them equally?  That's what you're doing in that paragraph.  Four sentences calling out Barack and three calling out Elizabeth.

And note the sexism, Elizabeth is the one who "splintered" the progressive vote.  Not Bernie.  As a man, apparently, the progressive vote belonged to Bernie.  As a woman, apparently, Elizabeth was supposed to sacrifice and step aside.  Was this the election or post-WWII America?  Go home, girls, the men are back!

What an offensive piece of trash Wallace is.

Again, there are facts and there are opinions.  It's a fact that they both sought the nomination.  It's an opinion that one should have dropped out (we never called for either to drop out -- we did note that people needed to back off and stop the sexism against Elizabeth and that failing to do so would only hurt Bernie).  Elizabeth and/or her supporters could argue throughout the primary that Bernie lost last time and he'd lose again.  They could have argued that Bernie had the nomination stolen from him last time and that he'd have it stolen again.

They could have pointed out the reality that Elizabeth stood up to Joe in the debates while Bernie undercut his own talking points and his own stands with 'my friend Joe' comments.

They could have pointed to the attacks during the primary from Bernie on women like Zephyr Teachout.  What did Zephyr do?  Oh, yeah, she wrote the truth about Joe Biden's record -- a record that Bernie was running against.  And Zephyr was rewarded for that well researched and well thought out column by being attacked and disowned by Bernie and his campaign.  Or the backstabbing of Briahna Joy Gray.  If you were shocked by Bernie's dismissive attitude towards Briahna, so sorry that you didn't know s**t as usual.

It wasn't surprising in the least.  I sat through those awful VA hearings the Senate Committee held under Bernie's leadership (I also sat through Daniel Akaka and Patty Murray's hearings which set the standards for any Senate hearings).  I saw Bernie's patronizing attitudes towards women -- women on the committee, women testifying before the committee.  A group of women veterans and I spent one post-hearing lunch together counting up all the sexist terms Bernie had used in the hearing and all the ways he'd been patronizing to women but never to men.

Did Bernie tell Elizabeth that he didn't think a woman could win? 

We don't know.  But those of us who have seen Bernie in action do know that it wouldn't be a surprise.  And, when that rumor came up, we said here, check the archives, whether it was said or not, it shouldn't be the end of the world.  The statement, as reported, was that someone didn't think the country would elect a woman.  That's an opinion and it's an opinion of what others think.  It wasn't a statement, as reported, that a woman shouldn't be president or that Bernie said he wouldn't vote for a woman.  It was a politician looking at the landscape and trying to read it and coming to a conclusion.

Our advice was to leave it alone and that was partly because we knew Bernie's past very well.  Just leave it alone and let it fade.  But his supporters couldn't do that or wouldn't do that.  And Bernie couldn't either and he had to give the story new life by confronting Elizabeth at the end of the debate.  As she was heard saying, "You called me a liar."  And that is what he did.

None of this is written as an Elizabeth lover.  Had she gotten the nomination, I would've voted for her.  I probably would've voted for anyone other than Joe.  I certainly would've voted for Beto, Julian, Marianne . . .  

But I am not an Elizabeth Warren fan nor am I even a supporter.  I don't mean a supporter or her presidential campaign, I mean a supporter of her public work.  I think she's done a very poor job on a lot of things.  I would include that the time to let us know that a program isn't working is long before the money's all been distributed.  I think she's been very dishonest about her past -- I'm referring to the Republican thing, not the Native American aspect.  Trina was very familiar with Elizabeth Warren and her politics and the minute Elizabeth ran for the Senate, Trina was telling you she wasn't all that and that she had started out a Republican.  Trina lives in Boston and knew exactly what Elizabeth was and wasn't.

And we called out Elizabeth through out the campaign including when she decided to use impeachment as a campaign booster.  Didn't work for her.

So Elizabeth's not perfect and I'm not saying she is.  I'm not a supporter of Elizabeth Warren.  But, please note, Kathleen Wallace, when I'm writing about what happened and trying to explain it, I'm not just offering a one-sided version of a narrative that rescues all my beloveds and paints everyone else as the devil.

Kathleen is unhappy with Bernie's loss.  But she's not going to blame him apparently.  So she'll blame Barack (who does deserve a portion of the blame, he clearly pulled strings behind the scenes) and she'll blame Elizabeth but she won't blame Bernie.

Here's what Kathleen thinks is a critique of Bernie:

This is all not to say that Sanders isn’t clearly at fault in this situation as well. He embraced the sheepdog role and after the first Lucy football incident, he should have run as an Independent if he was serious about truly winning the presidency. How many people who couldn’t afford it plunged what assistance they could into his campaign? It’s a pretty craven and bitter move to do to those young idealists. At some point, you have to hold to your convictions. Say what you will, but these scary Trumpers do hold to their (often toxic convictions) and it’s powerful. They win that way. Bernie has done much to push progressive ideals and has done well introducing them to a large audience, but he also has been instrumental in ripping the hearts out of those who truly believed in his platform. How can you be for the ideas that he offered and still hit the campaign trail for a Biden? Sure, sure the bigger threat thing is what is always given as the excuse— but he likely knew exactly what would happen this second time around. He coalesced progressive support around him during the primary, keeping a trend towards any third party leanings down. He was an instrumental cog in all of this….again.

So his portion of the blame, per Kathleen, is the sheepdog role -- a role he played after he dropped out.  And his other one was refusing to run as an independent.  Again, that would happen after he dropped out.  

Bernie, in her mind, made no mistakes until then.  And the mistakes she attributes to him feed into her belief that he's a good guy.  He may very well be a good person but she doesn't offer that possibility for Donald Trump or Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren or anyone she disagrees with.  Are we not supposed to notice that?

As the pandemic was making clear the need for Medicare For All, who dropped out?  

Bernie.  It was the perfect time to speak out about his platform and how, look around at the people in need in this crisis, this is why we need Medicare For All.

But he didn't do that.  He grumbled about David Sirota and Nina Turner when they were busting their asses for him.  He called out Zephyr and, after the election, Briahna.  This is leadership?

It's whoring.  

And you could float the idea that it's another reason Elizabeth didn't drop out.  She was running against a man who did nothing.  Naming post offices, that was Bernie's Congressional accomplishment.  Yes, I started that talking point but I didn't do it to help Hillary (I actually favored Martin in 2016) and I didn't realize the campaign would run with his lack of accomplishments in Congress -- both the House and the  Senate.  I was just applying the same standard to all.  It's not my job to fluff and flatter.

And Elizabeth does have some accomplishments in the Senate and she might have stayed in the campaign for that reason.

More to the point, she doesn't need a reason to stay in other than she wants to.  She's not stealing anything from anyone by making a forceful case for herself.  

I'm raking my brain for when we hear this sort of talk about a man.  Other than the lunatic ravings of Al  Gore's self-appointed online defender/mistress Bob Somerby (in his attacks on Bill Bradley), I'm not remembering it.

If Bernie's campaign was so weak that it couldn't survive another person campaigning openly, then it wasn't strong at all.

Now it's another thing to suffer through what the DNC did to him in 2016 and the strings Barack pulled this go round.  Those were not done publicly, they were largely hidden.

But Elizabeth wanted the nomination and she sought it publicly.  If Bernie couldn't handle that, I don't know that he could have handled the nomination.  

Wallace is worried about Pete Buttigieg and that made me laugh the most at her column.  Barack was the shiny, new toy in 2008.  Pete can't be that.  He tried to be it in 2019 and 2020 but it didn't happen.  And in 2024 or 2028, he's not going to be anything but another fat assed male politician.  Am I the only one whose noticed how much weight he's put on?  Or how fat his face is?  Barack was shiny and new with his thin trim self -- to the point that people spoke of anorexia.  True or not, he did look lean and hungry and it gave his words an impact that a soft and fat politician just wouldn't have.  Barack looked lean and hungry and that amplified his message of change.  When roly-poly Pete lumbers out on stage in four years or eight years, a call to change from a fat cat politician will ring as hollow as it always does.

I kept searching her column -- which was sent into the public account by fifteen different people -- or at least fifteen different e-mail accounts -- for something to praise and include.  I thought I was going to from the byline.  But it's a really bad column.  And don't think you're brave by noting Joe grabbing a woman's ass and including a mention of #MeToo if you can't mention Tara Reade.  Tara told the truth.  Kathleen did mention Anita Hill.  It's safe to do that, isn't it?

Thing is, I was around back then and it wasn't safe.  But people -- women and men -- wouldn't let it die. We didn't walk away from it.  And these same people today, we're not walking away from Tara Reade.  Joe will never live Tara down.  It's the sort of thing the media can dismiss for a year or so but it's the sort of thing that festers and grows and that becomes so firm that even the cowardly -- Kathleen, for example -- finally feel that they can speak out about it -- the way she feels she can support Anita all these decades later.

I wanted to praise Kathleen.  But she wrote a sexist article which opens with her admitting she was wrong but never goes on to try to attempt to re-evaluate any of the prejudices and mistaken beliefs that led to her being so wrong.  

Most of all, I'll never support any argument -- made by a man or a woman -- that a woman's role is to sacrifice her goals and dreams so that a man can get ahead.  I will always stand against that sort of nonsense.  

In Iraq, Dilan S. Hussein (RUDAW) reports:

 Iraqi President Barham Salih on Thursday officially signed recent electoral reforms into law, dividing provinces into smaller voting constituencies for the 2021 election.

"The law was passed after a long debate. The reform of the electoral law was a national demand to secure Iraqis' right to choose their representatives without fear of forgery, manipulation and the exertion of pressure on voters," said Salih.

"I call upon all state institutions to swiftly fulfill the required conditions for conducting early fair and free elections," he added. "Electoral corruption is a serious scourge that threatens the peace and stability of our community as well as the country's economic viability."

This would appear to mean that elections are moving forward (June 6, 2021). THE MEDIA LINE notes a possible snag, "Yet a dispute about how to replace retiring judges of the Federal Supreme Court, which rules on constitutional challenges, needs to be settled prior to elections."  Of the new law, AP explains, "The new law changes each of the country’s 18 provinces into several electoral districts and prevents parties from running on unified lists, which has in the past helped them easily sweep all the seats in a specific province. Instead, the seats would go to whoever gets the most votes in the electoral districts."

Karen Steele has a letter to the editors of THE BALTIMORE SUN which includes:

 Oct. 22 was the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Iraq War Logs (“Julian Assange is no hero,” May 15, 2019). The documents revealed war crimes, more than 15,000 previously undocumented civilian casualties and evidence that the military killed innocent people and mislabeled them as enemies for statistical purposes.

These revelations were only possible because Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning acted out of conscience, and WikiLeaks bravely published them after the Washington Post and New York Times hesitated. The coverage won countless awards, but also led to Ms. Manning spending years in prison and WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange facing an unprecedented 175-year sentence.

Two more things.  Time permitting, I'd like to explore the good and the bad about Brad Bannon's HILL column -- explore it this weekend.  Second, this weekend, NOW and The Feminist Majority have a virtual conference:

You won’t want to miss an up-to-the-minute feminist analysis of the 2020 election. Join the Feminist Majority and the National Organization for Women (NOW) for the last in a series of free virtual conferences this Saturday November 7th at 12:30pm ET on the power of the feminist vote and what is at stake as a result of the 2020 election.




Our exciting plenary session will feature an election analysis panel led by Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal, featuring feminist pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research and Barbara Arnwine, president and founder of Transformative Justice and its national voter protection project.


The second panel discussion will feature feminist political action committees that propelled feminist candidates to victory chaired by Bear Atwood, vice president of NOW. The keynote address will be delivered by Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California. The conference will close with a discussion with NOW president Christian Nunes on where we go from here.


You won’t want to miss this opportunity to engage with important feminist leaders and organizers who are working to protect the decades of progress made and are paving the way for even more feminist victories ahead. Register now!


If you have already registered please look for an email from NOW Conference 2020 that contains a link to join and if you haven’t registered, please do so now! If you have any issues registering or joining the conference please email

For equality,

Ellie Smeal Signature
Eleanor Smeal
President, Feminist Majority 



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