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Like Maria Said Paz

Peace, music, politics, the human condition

Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:09:54 +0000


Imagine Dragons, Stevie Nicks, The Weekend and Taylor Swift

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:56:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">That's the new video by Imagine Dragons, "Next To Me."  I like it.  I will probably grow tired of the first five or so minutes in a week or two.  That's the nonmusical part of the video.This is a track now on EVOLVE.  That album came out in 2017 and it's gone platinum which is an event for a rock album these days.  But as their tour continues, they're doing a renewed push on EVOLVE and "Next To Me" is part of that.  I heard the track on Friday and downloaded the album.  I'd avoided it because it was supposedly a disappointment according to various critics but I actually like it and wish I had gotten it last year.A lot of good music gets missed.Earlier this month, Kat noted a great song. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">That's Stevie Nicks' "For What It's Worth" from her 2011 album IN YOUR DREAMS.  It's a song I love but, Kat's right, it's a great song, one of Stevie's best.I'm going to note two Tweets where Stevie's singing praise for others.  First, here she is on The Weekend.eve barlow‏Verified account @Eve_Barlow Mar 13MoreStevie Nicks on The Weeknd: 1 reply26 retweets139 likesReply 1 Retweet 26 Like 139Second, this quote regarding Taylor Swift.jessica TODAY LORDE‏ @bribethedoor Mar 15MoreStevie Nicks really said this about Taylor I’m sad  14 replies529 retweets1,659 likesReply 14 Retweet 529 Like 1.7K"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, March 16, 2018.  Seven more US service members dead in Iraq.The Iraq War hits the 15th year anniversary in a matter of days and the ongoing war was brought to the world by so many -- most of whom have never faced any real accountability.  Take US Senator Dianne Feinstein.  From the state of California, she voted to support the war.  Opposing the war was no problem in California.  Barbara Boxer, for instance, was also in the Senate at the time and she voted against the Iraq War.California US House Reps who voted against it?  Susan Davis, Loretta Sanchez, Hilda Solis, Bob Filner, Joe Baca, Lois Caps, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Maxine Waters, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Diane Watson, Xavier Becerra, Gary Condit, Sam Farr, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, Anna Eschoo, Pete Stark, Barbar Lee, Nancy Pelosi, George Miller, Lynn Woolsey, Robert Matsui and Mike Thompson.Her vote is not forgotten.  For example, in October 2017 this letter was published by THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:To the editor: Feinstein has made a highlight-free Senate career out of the feckless "third way" triangulation that treats bipartisanship as though it were an end in and of itself.She lost my vote in 2002 when she voted for the Iraq War. Now, she says we should give the race-baiter-in-chief a chance. What brave, bipartisan sentiment.California has now wasted 25 years of precious Senate representation on someone who thinks the best outcome is the precise midpoint between right and wrong. Feinstein needs to retire, but since she refuses to do what's best for her constituents, I'll be casting a vote to send her packing.Branden Frankel, EncinoFeinstein has remained in office all this time because she's never had a serious challenger.  Now she does: Democrat Kevin de Leon who is currently the leader in the California state senate.  The primary is in June and Dianne will likely be on the general ballot in November.  But this is California and our state doesn't operate like every other state.  The June primary?  The top two vote getters -- regardless of party i.d. -- will be on the November ballot.  If the primary were held today, the top two would probably be Kevin de Leon and Dianne Feinstein.Last month, Alexei Koseff (SACRAMENTO BEE) reported:Then d[...]

Time to move on, already

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 08:24:00 +0000

  I believe a lot of us can relate to Tom Robleski:  I keep waiting for Hillary Clinton to get to the end of her list of people she blames for her 2016 loss to Donald Trump.Waiting for her to get to the point where she realizes what a lot of us out here realized long ago: The bulk of the blame lies with her and her campaign.Not with the Russians.Not with Barack Obama and Joe Biden.  Not with the women who failed to come out and vote for her in sufficient numbers.Not former FBI Director James Comey.Not Bernie Sanders.Hillary has blamed these folks and others for her loss to Trump. And now, on foreign tour to promote her "What Happened" book, Hillary played the blame game again. If she's lousy at running for president, Clinton is good at blaming others for her troubles.When does it become her fault?  When does she take accountability?  When does she stop finger-pointing at others?This is sick. If I was on speaking terms with Hillary, I'd suggest she get some therapy because she clearly has issues and needs guidance on letting go.The country needs to move on.  We have our own lives to get on with.  I get that she doesn't.  I get that her fan club doesn't.  But the rest of us need to move on."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, March 15, 2018.  Election madness all over the world.Let's start with elections.This year, those of us in California, have a chance to make a real change.  We can jettison the Iraq War supporting, torture hand holding Senator Dianne Feinstein and support Kevin de Leon to be our next US Senator.  In June, we will hold a primary and all running for the US Senate will be on the ballot.  The top two vote getters will then face off in the November general election.  Kevin de Leon is a Democrat.  Dianna says she's a Democrat.  Yes, they can face off.  Don't believe rat f**kers from Canada who hide in New York after their art galleries fail (fail like everything else in their lives).  This is how the election will work in California.As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Dianne can't decide whether to vote against "Bloody Gina" Haspel or go to third base with her.  Kevin de Leon has made clear that torture is not a value we want to embrace or to teach.The Intercept‏Verified account @theintercept 16h16 hours agoFeinstein, who oversaw the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of the CIA's torture program, said Gina Haspel has been "a good deputy director." allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="361" id="xdm_default2126_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">4 replies40 retweets58 likes  abolish ice. send homan to the hague.‏Verified account @SeanMcElwee Mar 13abolish ice. send homan to the hague. Retweeted Kevin de LeόnI just asked Kevin de Leon about this tweet. He tells me he would vote NO on confirming Gina Haspel if he were elected to the U.S. Senate and notes that following orders is a poor excuse for carrying out policies and practices that tear at the fabric of our democracy. abolish ice. send homan to the hague. added,Kevin de LeόnVerified account @kdeleonIt is very concerning Senator Feinstein is ‘open to supporting’ CIA nominee Haspel, who ran a ‘black site’ prison that waterboarded and beat prisoners. Believes she has been a ‘good’ deputy CIA D[...]

Hideous Gina Haspel

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 01:54:00 +0000

Adam Goldman “Gina Haspel, Trump’s Choice for C.I.A., Played Role in Torture Program” (NEW YORK TIMES):Just over a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, the C.I.A. dispatched the veteran clandestine officer Gina Haspel to oversee a secret prison in Thailand. Shortly after, agency contractors in the frantic hunt for the conspirators waterboarded a Qaeda suspect three times and subjected him to brutal interrogation techniques.Ms. Haspel’s time running the prison, code-named Cat’s Eye, began her deep involvement in the agency’s counterterrorism operations and showed her willingness to take part in the agency’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which shaped her career. She was a rising star until that dark chapter in C.I.A. history began to emerge publicly.[. . .]Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who was held prisoner during the Vietnam War and tortured for five and a half years, demanded that Ms. Haspel publicly explain her role in the interrogation program.“The torture of detainees in U.S. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest chapters in American history,” he wrote on Twitter. “The Senate must do its job in scrutinizing the record & involvement of Gina Haspel in this disgraceful program.”Ms. Haspel was also embroiled in another dark episode in the C.I.A.’s interrogation program.In 2005, Jose Rodriguez, then the head of the agency’s clandestine service, ordered the destruction of videotapes of the waterboarding sessions. Ms. Haspel, serving as Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff, was a strong advocate for getting rid of the tapes, former C.I.A. officers said.  In what world is this woman still employed by the US government?  She should be in prison.  Barring that, she should be fired.  But she’s now being considered to be put in charge of the CIA?  No.  Not with that history.  She has not shown leadership.  She has demonstrated she has no ethics.    “Meet Gina Haspel, Trump’s CIA Pick Who Oversaw Torture” (Tessa Stuart, ROLLING STONE):After 9/11, when the CIA needed a someone to run its first secret overseas prison, it turned to a 16-year veteran of the clandestine service to oversee the waterboarding of suspected terrorists. Years later, after she'd allegedly acquired the nickname "Bloody Gina," the same woman would oversee the destruction of video evidence of the "enhanced interrogations" conducted under her watch. On Tuesday, President Trump announced his intention to nominate that woman, Gina Haspel, as director of the CIA.  [. . .]  Two decades ago, Haspel ran the CIA's first black site – a secret prison where detainees were tortured for information in the early days of the War on Terror – in Thailand, which was code-named Cat's Eye. There, she oversaw the violent interrogations of alleged Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was accused of orchestrating the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Both were subject to "enhanced interrogation techniques," including waterboarding. The legality of their methods were even at that time in such serious doubt that officials discussed whether, in the event of Zubaydah’s death, his body would need to be cremated to hide the evidence.  Zubaydah, who was waterboarded a total 83 times and who lost his eye while in custody, yielded no valuable intelligence on future attacks on the United States. The government has dropped its case against Zubaydah, who it no longer believes was a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda, but he remains in Guantanamo Bay prison to this day. According to a book later written by one of the psychologists who helped devise the interrogation techniques, the black site's chief of base came to Zubaydah’s holding cell at one point to compliment him on his "performance." “Good job!,” that person, now identified as Haspel, reportedly said. "I like the way you're drooling; it adds realism. I'm almost buying [...]

The war continues in occupied Iraq

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 05:19:00 +0000

WMOT reports:  This month marks 15 years since the US invaded Iraq. The country has declared victory over ISIS and hasn't seen a terrorist attack since the beginning of the year. With elections set for May, it appears Iraq is on a peaceful streak.     Seriously?  Occupied Iraq is again holding elections and we’re going to yet again pimp it as “success”?  Well bring on the purple fingers already!  I do not believe this nonsense.  The Iraq War continues and Iraq remains occupied by the United States.  “Black Box Voting moves to the US colony of Iraq” is about an important development for this round of elections.Do most people grasp that Hayder al-Abadi has been the prime minister since 2014 but he does not live in the home of the prime minister?  Do most people realize this is because former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki refuses to abandon the home?  Is that progress as well?  How long are we expected to pretend that Iraq is independent?Are we also pretending that the IMF's message rejecting the budget for Iraq represents an independent Iraq?   "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, March 13, 2018.Starting in California with Kevin de Leon.Karen Adams‏ @KarenKNX1070 9h9 hours agoCalifornia Senate President Kevin De Leon joins civil rights and labor groups at a rally in Beverly Hills against what they call the president’s xenophobic immigration policies and attacks on Californians. They came out ahead of @realDonaldTrump visit to California. @KNX10700:28310 views2 replies3 retweets2 likes  KUSI News‏Verified account @KUSINews 2h2 hours agoThe largest planned anti-Trump protest today is scheduled for noon at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro. Speakers will include Sen. Kevin de Leon, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and ACLU and labor leaders. replies3 retweets1 like  Kevin is running for the US Senate and represents change.Turning to Iraq . . .At WAR ON THE ROCKS, War Hawk Douglas Ollivant sees a 'turned corner' -- he's being seeing 'turned corners' -- while walking into one wall after another -- for nearly all 15 years of the ongoing Iraq War:Iraq continues to move slowly but surely towards recovery. The defeat of ISIL — despite a small insurgent pocket remaining in Kirkuk and Diyala — and the (relative) success of the Kuwait conference give Iraq the tools needed to continue moving forward and begin to solve its myriad of security, economic, and societal problems. Unresolved issues — the integration of Iraq’s battered Sunnis, the relationship with the United States, and the diversification of the national economy, to mention just a few — could lead to a resurgence of the Sunni extremism that saw its latest manifestation in ISIL.First, however, Iraq must successfully navigate the next election, scheduled for May 12. This election — the second since the end of occupation — presents three key questions for Iraq: First, will Haider al-Abadi be able to retain the prime ministry? Second, will cross-sectarian lists find success? And third, will new voices be able to emerge and take real power? The proliferation of cross-sectarian and pro-reform parties is an encouraging sign, but it remains to be seen whether change has truly come to Iraqi politics at this early stage.There's so much wrong in the above but what can one expect from the counter-insurgency cheerleader who was wrongly praised and sucked up to by the likes of the breasty Thomas E. Ricks?  Douglas still thinks he appears an expert despite his predictions versus the reality of what has actually happened.In a world with actual consequences, the only thing Douglas would produce at this late date is snorts of derision every time he dared to open his mouth on Iraq.In the real world, Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) reports:ISIS is carry[...]

Let's not make the same mistake again (shut up, Margaret Flowers)

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 03:33:00 +0000

 Margaret Kimberley RetweetedRudolf E. Havenstein‏ @RudyHavenstein Mar 11MoreIf My Lai happened today, the New York Times would report it as a successful operation by US forces to liberate a Russian troll factory. @nytimes @EvaKBartlett allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="129" id="xdm_default4411_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">4 replies28 retweets38 likesReply 4 Retweet 28 Like 38Show this threadExactly.I would also urge you to read C.I.'s "To parade or not to parade?" -- which we're trying to get her to let us repost at THIRD right now.If you didn't live through it, you just don't know how the lack of a parade was used repeatedly to insist that veterans of the Vietnam War were spat on.They were not spat upon.Not by the people.The government?  Sure. But it was We The People that took the hit.This no parade was used repeatedly to argue that America didn't value the veterans.C.I. is right, let Trump stage the parade and let it be over.A counter-parade or protest will be seen, in later years, as an attack on veterans.Leave it alone.Margeret Flowers and her hubby Kevin have done nothing in the last years to call out the occupation of Iraq.  They need to shut up now and focus on healthcare as they did throughout Barack's two terms.  They were cowards who refused to call out the occupation of Iraq -- which continues.Now, instead of drumming up support for Cindy Sheehan's planned March on Washington, Margaret Flowers wants to stage an action on Veteran's Day.Just shut up.You've had no problem ignoring the ongoing wars.So just shut up.Those of us who lived through it know that the lack of parade was used to rewrite history.Let's not make the same mistake again."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, March 12, 2018.  More Christians dead in Iraq, the Ministry of Interior tries to spin murder as theft, Hayder al-Abadi doesn't appear to grasp that he's in violation of Iraqi law, ISIS apparently did not hear that Hayder had pronounced them defeated because they staged multiple attacks across Iraq today, and much moreLet's start with nonsense and then we'll go to California.Joost Hiltermann‏ @JoostHiltermann Mar 10Joost Hiltermann Retweeted Kurdistan 24 EnglishIt was because of such words by fools like this that the #Kurds in #iraq ended up making a miscalculation of historic proportions. Always listen to a range of opinion before taking fateful decisions. The Kurds will suffer long from the @BHL effect.Joost Hiltermann added,2:12Kurdistan 24 EnglishVerified account @K24EnglishRenowned French philosopher @BHL highlights the will of the people of #Kurdistan to become a nation, adding Kurdistan is a "true state" unlike #Iraq and Syria. #SupportKurdistan Show this thread39 replies146 retweets228 likesNo, Joost, it was not words by Henri that made the Kurds hold their referendum.They did it because they wanted to -- that's why you had over 95% of the voters voting in it.You don't like it.We get that.  The whole world gets it.You failed to stand for freedom.  You failed to stand for self-determination.Now you want to come along and call others fools?Put your head back up your ass cause no one else is licking your crap today.You should be ashamed of yourself.  You are part of the US estab[...]


Sat, 10 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

I've blogged a few times about Stevie Nicks' WILD HEART -- which is my favorite Stevie album prior to 24 KARAT GOLD. Jenny e-mailed to ask why I didn't like ROCK A LITTLE?I actually do like ROCK A LITTLE.It's got "I Can't Wait" which is a song I love and one of my favorite Stevie videos. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">I also love "Imperial Hotel" (and have blogged about that) on the album."Sister Honey" is an amazing song as well.I love the ballads -- the title track, "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You" and especially "I Sing For The Things.""The Nighmare" is amazing and who can't love the hit "Talk To Me."It's a great album.I don't think Stevie's made a bad album.STREET ANGEL is my least favorite of her albums but even it works in many spots.But WILD HEART will always be my favorite of her first albums.  It was everything, the music, the art, the moment.  There are times when I'll be talking to Rebecca and C.I. and one of us will just launch into the title track and start singing.  It's a powerful album.If you've never heard ROCK A LITTLE, I would urge you to start with "I Sing For The Things" and then move over to "Sister Honey."  I love those songs.  If you do, you'll love the album."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, March 9, 2018.  The occupation of Iraqcontinues as so many in the western press attempt to confuse and distract.Starting in California where our primary will take place in June.  In the race for the US Senate, the top two vote getters in the primary -- regardless of party i.d. -- will face off in the November general election.Kevin de Leon is who I'm supporting. Pinned TweetKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 15 Oct 2017I'm running for the U.S. Senate because you deserve a seat at the table. Please join my campaign: views311 replies404 retweets996 likesKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 16h16 hours agoIn CA we knew from day one that Trump would work overtime to scapegoat honest immigrant communities. That's why I authored #SB54 to ensure Californians never spend a single cent to help this admin carry out its racist schemes. #CAValuesAct Join our fight:…44 replies42 retweets114 likes Kevin de Leόn RetweetedUnivision Noticias‏Verified account @UniNoticias Mar 8.@kdeleon: "California no se dejará intimidar por la demanda de Jeff Sessions"2 replies12 retweets26 likesKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 19h19 hours agoBut we have more work to do. Women are still drastically underrepresented in positions of power across every industry and woefully underpaid. That’s why this #InternationalWomensDay is a critical #calltoaction to ensure a better future for women across the globe.10 replies7 retweets32 likesShow this threadKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 19h19 hours agoI’m proud to say that my campaign team are majority #womenofcolor, including senior positions. As Senate leader, I made sure to prioritize: Equal pay for women Preventing sexual assault on campuses Promoting upward mobility for #WOC2 replies6 retweets47 likesShow this threadKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 19h19 hours agoHappy #InternationalWomensDay! I was raised by a single mother and older sisters and was lucky enough to raise a daughter of my own. I learned early on to value and promote qualified women — that also means #WomenOfColor.8 replies29 retweets133 likesShow this thread Kevin de Leόn RetweetedKody Leibowitz‏Verified account @kodyleibowitz Mar 7In a press conference with @kdeleon, @RicardoLara4CA and @DavidChiu, @EricHolder spoke on the phone about @TheJusticeDept lawsuit: "[Federal government] cannot insist that the Stat[...]

When has NYT ever cared about women?

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 05:58:00 +0000

Jon Levine (THE WRAP) reports:In time for International Women’s Day, the New York Times has belatedly published a series of obituaries of historical women whose deaths didn’t merit mention in the paper at the time.Times reporter Amisha Padnani and Jessica Bennett say the purpose was to correct a longstanding historical injustice.“Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky,” they write in an explanation of its Overlooked project. “The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female.Some of the obituaries already added to the collection include authors like Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Brontë, photographer Diane Arbus and journalist Ida B. Wells.  Am I supposed to applaud?  Am I supposed to damp downstairs and have a flood of tears emerge from my eyes at the same time?  Here’s reality: NYT doesn’t care.  Coretta Scott King died.   How many columns did her death recive?  Zero.  Under pressure from C.I., Bob Herbert mentioned her – mentioned – in a column.  But not one columnist wrote about her.  Now Gail Collins was in love with playwright Wendy Wasserman.  Coretta and Wendy died at the same time.  Wendy got a massive front page write up.  And Gail wrote a long – over 2/3s of the page – editorial (unsigned) singing Wendy’s praises.  But Coretta got zilch.  So, no, I don’t have great faith in the NYT when it comes to women – they still have Gail employed, remember?  Gail is the same Gail that C.I. circulated the e-mail from.  She started circulating that right after Gail e-mailed ____ that nasty e-mail.  Maureen Dowd was on vacation, remember, and Gail brought in men to fill in.  At the time, Maureen was the only woman writing columns.  Gail wrote that nasty e-mail about how it was insulting to suggest that just because Marueen was on vacation, there was no need to bring in another women, that gender didn’t matter.  Strange, isn’t it, that Gail had all those male columnists.  Are we to pretend gender didn’t matter there?  It was Safire, Friedman, Herbert, Kristof, Krugman, and probably two other guys.  C.I.’s the reason Barbara Ehrenreich got hired the next time Maureen went on vacation.  Gail was in charge of the editorial page and did nothing on her own to help women until C.I. shamed her.  That awful Jill Abramson was over the entire paper a few years later and she did nothing to help women.  When I hear that ridiculous Samantha Bee on TV screeching that women are the answer, I gag.  No, they aren’t.  A number of women are queen bees and will never, ever help other women  I’m not Mad Maddie Albright.  I don’t  believe there’s a special place in hell for those who don’t help women.  I don’t believe all are deserving of my help.  Mad Maddie isn’t.  She is responsible for the deaths of a half a million Iraqi children.  So she’s on her own.    I’ll help non-war mongers of either gender.  But, no, I’m not going out on a limb to save Mad Maddie.  She’s on her own."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, March 8, 2018.The idiot Melinda Henneberger.I've said this repeatedly: I do not begrudge any woman who supported Hillary in 2008 for supporting her in 2016.  I did not support her in 2016.  I did support her in 2008.  And those of us who did battled real sexism -- not the supposed sexism of 2016.  We dealt with, for example, Matthew Rotschild (then in charge of T[...]

Don't fall for the bait and switch

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 05:37:00 +0000

What the country needs is Medicare For All.What the politicians don't want to give us?What we need.They are trying to pimp a bait and switch currently.Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explains:On the campaign trail in January of 2016, Hillary Clinton told Iowa voters that Bernie Sanders’ single payer health care proposal was an idea whose time would never come. "People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass ," said the presumed shoo-in for president. Two years later, one-third of Democrats in the Senate have endorsed Sanders’ Medicare for All Act and half the Democrats in the U.S. House have signed on to Rep. John Conyers’ Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676 . Polls show 75 percent of Democrats favor “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,” and 31 percent of the public at-large wants health care to be the first problem the Democrats tackled if they win the White House in 2020.Predictably, however, Hillary Clinton’s favorite think tank is still trying to make sure single payer health care never happens. The lavishly funded Center for American Progress (CAP) last week unveiled their counterfeit, sound-alike health care plan, dubbed Medicare Extra for All, whose sole purpose is to distract and confuse a public that is demonstrably “ready” for single payer. The CAP scheme, like Obamacare, keeps the private insurance corporations at the center of the money-stream, doesn’t cover everyone, charges fees, co-pays and premiums, doesn’t save much money, and would fail to provide millions with adequate coverage. “CAP’s plan maintains the current tiered system in which some people have private health insurance, those with the greatest needs have public health insurance, some people will have inadequate coverage and others will have no coverage at all,” writes Dr. Margaret Flowers , of Health Over Profit. “By offering a solution that sounds good to the uninformed -- ‘Medicare Extra for All’ --but continues to benefit their Wall Street donors,” said Flowers, “Democrats hope to fool people or buy enough support to undermine efforts for NIMA,” or National Improved Medicare for All, the comprehensive single payer plan supported by the activists like Flowers.Don't fall for it.We need Medicare for all."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Wednesday, March 7, 2018.The item below, that's not really why the military exists or why someone is made a "high ranking member of the US military."Jeffrey St. Clair‏Verified account @JSCCounterPunch 18h18 hours agoYour Military at Work.... Colin Kaepernick: U.S. Military Official Cautioned Ravens On Signing QB… via @TMZ_Sports allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="359" id="xdm_default7419_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">13 replies109 retweets112 likes  That is outrageous.It's as though the official is Alyssa Milano and never learned the phrase "butt the hell out."  Colin should sue.  This is outrageous and against both (a) democracy and (b) the free market the US government su[...]

If he lied, charge him

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 04:22:00 +0000

"If Andrew McCabe Lied, Could He Be Charged Like Michael Flynn "(Jonthan Turley, THE HILL):The Justice Department’s inspector general is reportedly close to releasing a report on its investigation into the handling of the Clinton Foundation. FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly asked deputy director Andrew McCabe to step down in light of some of the findings of the inspector general.One aspect of the reported findings, however, stands out. According to these reports, investigators believed that McCabe misled them about his approval of a leak to the media on the Clinton investigation. An alleged false or misleading statement by McCabe could rekindle questions about how the Justice Department addresses alleged false statements within its own ranks.Ultimately, Inspector General Michael Horowitz has the authority to refer a matter to criminal investigators investigators in cases of false statements or other crimes. He can also refer matters to state bars in cases of professional misconduct by lawyers. He could do either in the matter of McCabe if investigators conclude that McCabe intentionally misled them. However, if history is any guide, McCabe is unlikely to find himself facing a charge.It is a perceived luxury enjoyed by federal prosecutors that routinely charge others with even borderline false statements but rarely face such charges themselves. While most prosecutors adhere to the highest ethical standards, a minority of Justice Department lawyers have been accused of false or misleading statements in federal cases. However, they are virtually never charged with false statements by their colleagues. There is no such reluctance in using this easily charged crime against targets outside of the department.If McCabe lied (or misled), he needs to be charged.  If the FBI is going to charge others for lying, then they have to charge their own.They work for the American people, not for each other.They answer to the American people and that needs to be made clear.I actually think McCabe should face more than simple perjury.  He knew what he was doing when he lied and he needs to be held to a higher standard.He wasn't a private citizen, he was a public servant.  He had the public's trust and we paid his salary.On the snapshot below, please note what C.I. did. She included women.  It's funny how few do that in their 'looking back' pieces.  We see a wall of men usually.  That's certainly what the Bill Moyers have presented over and over.C.I. noted some of the women -- and grasp that there were many more -- and that really is something when you consider that we're supposed to be considered fortunate as a gender when one of these look back pieces names Janeane Garofalo -- as if she's the only woman who participated."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, March 6, 2018.  We look back at some of the early days and reason of the ongoing Iraq War.Starting in California where Kevin de Leon is running for the US Senate.Last week, Kevin was interviewed on CNN. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Kevin's background demonstrates he's ready for the US Senate:During his time as President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has led the 40-member Senate body to historic accomplishments that will improve the lives of Californians and the state’s environment and economy for decades to come.Senator de León has led a bold agenda to increase economic opportunity for all Californians with a focus on maintaining California’s global leadership role in fighting climate change and building a clean-energy economy, rebuilding our state’s infrastructure, public education, work-place and health-care, equity for women, immigrants and[...]

The Oscars, the bad plastic surgery, the hack Jane Mayer

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 08:41:00 +0000

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Oscars So Full Of It"The Oscars truly were full of it.  I love Ava and C.I.'s piece."MEDIA: Male norms, Russia hate and lots of excuses..." (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):Salma Hayek, an actual actress of merit, shared the stage with two wax statues: 49-year-old Ashley Judd and 57-year-old Annabella Sciorra.The latter two looked ageless -- not young, mind you, ageless.  Every crinkle of life had been pulled and ironed out.All that work done before you've even hit sixty.What will they resort to in their later lives?For now, they're enjoying a career resurgence as professional victims.Ashley, who's long been rumored to have slept her way into roles (this predates that harassment allegations she's made against Harvey Weinstein and, for the record, the biggest rumor of Ashley sleeping her way to a role involves Ashley bedding a woman), had a brief moment when she starred in a LIFETIME woman in jeopardy film that somehow made it to the big screen.  It's the same movie she then made over and over which was a huge help to movie goers -- allowing them to skip Ashley's latest same old and save a few bucks.If Ashely once co-carried a hit, that put her ahead of Annabella.The extreme cosmetic surgery probably left some wondering who Annabella was?That's fine, that confusion has been the reality for Annabella throughout her career.Even in Nancy Savoca's TRUE LOVE, Annabella was upstaged (by Ron Eldard) and, as everyone knows, Rebecca De Mornay stormed off with the film THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE.  Though Ronan Farrow -- in his typical dishonest manner -- called Annabella a "star" in THE NEW YORKER, she was never a star.  For a film or two, she was a leading actress.A star delivers not just a performance, a star delivers ticket buyers.  A star carries a film.Annabella was never a star.She was a leading actress -- in bulls**t like the 'erotica thriller' WHISPERS IN THE DARK (a whopping $11 million in ticket sales in 1992).She'd like to act again and, if PIXAR can make TOY STORY, some studio has to be able to make MADAM TUSSAUD and employ Annabella, Ashley and all the other actresses and actors whose faces can no longer register emotion due to addictions to botox, fillers, Restylane, et al.We were pulled away from that fantasy casting as a woman declared that "the changes we are witnessing are being driven by a powerful sound," we had to wonder if she meant the muzak pumped into the office of plastic surgeons?It's amazing, Ava and C.I.'s take on the 90th Academy Awards.I also enjoy this.Margaret Kimberley‏ @freedomrideblog 6h6 hours agoMoreSex coaches, Jane Mayer screeds in the New Yorker, Russian bots. Whatever. Trump wouldn't be president if the democrats had bothered to run a competent campaign. Putin didn't keep Hillary from going to Wisconsin or Michigan. #Russiagate is still the dog eating Hillary's homework.4 replies14 retweets44 likesReply 4 Retweet 14 Like 44Jane Mayer is a hack who does write screeds.  She used to be a write of some value -- during the first term of Bully Boy Bush's -- she wrote about things that mattered.Then she threw it away and I had to face the fact that she was actually a partisan hack.She was actually a partisan hack and she'd been one in the 90s as well.Jane Mayer is useless."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, March 5, 2018.  Iraq War Hawk Dianne Feinstein faces a challenge from Kevin de Leon, AUSTRALIA's ABC talks Iraq, whistle-blower Katherine Gunn speaks with RT, and much more.Starting with California, the leader of the state Senate is Kevin de Leon and he's running for the US Senate. Pinned TweetKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 15 Oct 2017I'm running for the U.S. Senate beca[...]

The war on Syria

Sat, 03 Mar 2018 08:30:00 +0000

This is an editorial from INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE:In more than seven years of war in Syria, we have seen many times how Western governments and news media shamelessly invert reality.The same was seen this week over the grim fighting around Eastern Ghouta, the suburb near the capital, Damascus, where 400,000 people are said to be trapped.But who is trapping who?US and European media breathlessly claim that Eastern Ghouta is under siege from Syrian “regime forces” allied with Russia. This description is posing things upside down.The district was taken over nearly six years ago by foreign-backed extremists, like Jaysh al Islam, Ahrar al Sham, and Al Nusra Front. The latter is an internationally outlawed terror group, but they all share the same murderous ideology, as well as the same Western covert sponsors in the American CIA, British MI6, French DGSE, and lavish Gulf Arab funding. It is these illegally armed insurgents who are holding the civilian population under siege in a reign of terror.The same situation, and Western inversion of reality, has been seen before, most notably regarding Syria’s second city of Aleppo. The Syrian and Russian forces liberated that city at the end of 2016, and since then life for the residents there has fortunately returned to the normal peaceful, pluralist coexistence which prevailed before the foreign-backed terror goons took over.Yet, Western media and officials continually fabulate about “rebels” and civilians being besieged by Syrian state forces. This inversion of reality is of course necessary in order to push the Western false narrative that has underpinned the covert Western war for regime change in Syria, including the clandestine support for terror groups as proxies.The effort to sell further war on Syria is amazing.It's every where.  You see it at THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, for example.  Of course, you see it all over MSNBC. It's as though very few people have the guts to point out that not only is the US already involved in too many wars but there's no reason for war on Syria.We need leaders of peace but we don't seem to have them these days."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, March 2, 2018.Kevin de Leon is running for the US Senate.Laurel Rosenhall‏Verified account @LaurelRosenhall Feb 23In the CA Dem labor caucus, the energy for Kevin de Leon was enormous. “I am one of you,” he told them. “It’s your time Kevin,” someone in the audience shouted. 9 replies8 retweets15 likes  Dennis J Bernstein spoke with Kevin de Leon on FLASHPOINTS (KPFA) and a transcript of the interview is available at CONSORTIUM NEWS:Dennis Bernstein: With everyone watching Washington and wondering whether humane immigration reform can be passed, what are you expecting from Congress?Kevin de León: These are very difficult times for many of us.  As a nation, we are grappling with the resurgence of ugly, hateful ideologies, including white supremacy, spewing from the highest levels of our federal government.  We are confronting something we have never had to come to terms with before in our political history.At the same time, I have never been more proud to be a Californian.  In November 2016, Californians rejected the politics fueled by resentment and bigotry.  The DACA issue is very dear to my heart.  In California, we have the vast majority of DACA beneficiaries, the vast majority of Dreamers, and we have the vast majority of beneficiaries of the TPS [Temporary Protected Status] program, primarily from El Salvador.   We are also home to the majority of immigrants in the nation, both those who became naturalized US citizens and those who have yet to normalize their status because of the dysfunction in Washington, D.C. In th[...]

Colon cancer

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 07:34:00 +0000

 This news:  Nuts may hold the key to beating colon cancer.So says a new Yale study in which people who’d had colon cancer and regularly eat tree nuts — such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans — are at “significantly lower risk” for the disease recurring than those who don’t.  So eat those. Can we talk honestly?   Having a prostate exam is not going to make you gay. A number of straight men act like it will and like it’s the most invasive thing in the world. Makes you wonder what they think women do at the ob gyn? At any rate, eat those nuts above so that you can try to prevent any problems. Also try relaxing about the whole issue because it’s a needed exam. It does not have to be traumatic. It does not say anything about you. Not doing the exam?  It says you’re playing fast and loose with your life. If colon cancer is caught early, it is treatable.  So this is a needed exam.  "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, March 1, 2018.  US and other foreign troops on the ground in Iraq is now a political issue, what's going on with voter cards and much more.Starting in California where Kevin de Leon is running for the US Senate (primary is in June -- top two vote getters then advance to the November general election).Who is Kevin?In many ways, Senator de León embodies the promise of America. From a childhood of poverty to community activism, to the upper echelon of the California Legislature, his respect and commitment to working families and the betterment of all Californians has never diminished.Senator de León is the son of a single immigrant mother who supported her family in the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights working as a housekeeper and other pick-up jobs. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college.He attended U.C. Santa Barbara and graduated from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges with honors. He is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California. He has one daughter.Before entering into politics, Kevin served the public as a community organizer, taught English as a Second Language and U.S. Citizenship, and advocated for public schools.Working for both the National Education Association and the California Teachers Association, Kevin fought for additional funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods, more school construction, and health insurance for children. He fought against schemes to take funds from public schools through taxpayer-funded vouchers and academic censorship in public schools. Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold that position in over a century. Prior to that, Kevin served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010.Leader on the Environment and Clean EnergyWith his leadership and landmark legislation, Senator de León has established California’s reputation as a recognized global leader in the battle against climate change and a pioneer in creating a clean energy economy.He played a central role in crafting a bipartisan deal this year to extend California’s cap-and-trade program with $1 billion of the generated revenue to tackle diesel pollution and bolster electrification of our transportation and vehicles.Continuing steady progress in energy efficiency, Kevin has put California on a path to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 – the largest state in the nation to do so – with an eye toward becoming 100 percent renewable by 2045.California is by far the nation’s clean-energy leader and it is paying workforce[...]

CNN continues to falter

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 07:26:00 +0000

CNN continues to struggle with ratings -- it's declined while FOX and MSNBC have increased their viewers.Why is that?I won't even watch it now.I'm sick of it.It tries to be a clone of MSNBC.If I wanted to watch MSNBC, I'd watch MSNBC (a left-wing clone of the right-wing FOX).I watched CNN for news -- and for entertainment when Larry King was on CNN.I can't stand Chris Cuomo and his rudeness and his talking over guests.I don't like him.  I will never like him.  He smirks, he acts entitled and he's really not attractive.Why do these news readers end up being eye candy when they're women but with the men the audience is supposed to just accept any ugly man in the world?At any rate, if they went back to doing news and not all the opining passed off as fact, I might go back to watching."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Wednesday, February 28, 2018.  A change in Iraq's May 12 elections, BURNPIT 360 has a message for veterans, Kevin de Leon is running for change, and much more.Starting with BURNPIT 360 which has an important announcement for veterans:21 Days Left to Comment on VA's Proposed Pulmonary Health Study The VA Cooperative Studies Program, which is part of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), is in the process of seeking approval for a new Burn Pit-related health study – “Pulmonary Health and Deployment to Southwest Asia and Afghanistan.” As part of this process, VHA is required to publish details about the kinds of information it will collect from study participants and to accept public comments on the proposal. There are still 40 days left to submit public comments on the proposed study via the Federal Register website. What exactly will VHA study?The aim of the 3-year study, according to VHA, is to characterize the impact of “deployment-related pollution exposures” on the respiratory health of Post-9/11 Gulf War Era veterans. Specifically, the researchers hope to conduct in-person pulmonary function assessments and informational interviews with 6,200 veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti. Using the (limited) data collected by the Department of Defense, they intend to create an “exposure grid” that identifies average PM2.5 levels in different areas of bases and over different periods of time. Then, by studying the health of veterans stationed in different areas of the grid, they will analyze the link between exposure levels and respiratory health. Only 3 minutes to discuss health symptomsThe proposal open for public comment only relates to the type of information VA will collect from veterans and how much time they expect to spend collecting each type. The current proposal allocates a significant proportion of time to investigating non-deployment-related exposures such as veterans’ Health, Smoking, and Demographics (15 minutes) or their Civilian Occupation and Hobby exposure (5 minutes); while the proposal only sets aside 4 minutes for assessing the veteran’s Functional Health and a mere 3 minutes for discussing their Health Symptoms.To see the full list of time estimates, you can visit the Federal Registry site where the proposal is posted. The problem with spirometry testingThe only measure of lung function to be performed at the in-person assessment is spirometry, a pulmonary function test (PFT). Unfortunately, PFTs do not detect constrictive bronchiolitis, a life-threatening disease reported by a growing number of veterans exposed to burn pits. In one study, 38 out of 49 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who underwent a lung biopsy were found to have constrictive bronchiolitis, while the results of pulmonary-function (PFT) and cardiopulmonary[...]

Again on Jack Johnson

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 04:40:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Stanley wanted me to note this about Jack Johnson coming to Detroit:  Kick off your shoes and get down with some recycle and chill — surfer turned soft-rocker Jack Johnson is bringing his sustainable too-blessed-to-be-stressed vibes to DTE this summer. Johnson, best known for low-key hiking/makeout jams, has asked G. Love & Special Sauce along for his "All The Light Above It Too" world tour in support of his 2017 record of the same name. They'll be at DTE on June 15.      Cheapest seat will be $35 and I agree with Stanley that that’s a good price."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): Tuesday, February 27, 2017.Starting with California and the race for the US Senate. Pinned TweetKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 15 Oct 2017I'm running for the U.S. Senate because you deserve a seat at the table. Please join my campaign: views259 replies399 retweets960 likes  Kevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 9h9 hours agoKevin de Leόn Retweeted USA TODAYWe have all benefitted from the labor movement. Period. Now it is our turn to stand with our brothers and sisters. This is the fight for quality of life and the middle class. This is the fight for America’s working families. #JANUSvsAFSCME #1u #IChoosemyUnionKevin de Leόn added,USA TODAYVerified account @USATODAYColumn: Supreme Court Janus case is bigger than unions. Upward mobility is at stake. via @usatopinion #JanusvAFSCME5 replies43 retweets96 likes  Kevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 13h13 hours ago#CADem2018 California Democrats overwhelmingly supported me this wknd because they know I have led & won on: climate & clean energy $15 min wage equal pay healthcare immigrant protections gun control And they know I will bring the fight to Trump @TheBeatWithAri49 replies62 retweets188 likes  Show this threadKevin de Leon has a strong record on labor issues which is why he's already received endorsements from the following:Teamsters Joint Council 42ILWU Locals 13, 63 and 94IATSE Local 80SEIU CaliforniaCalifornia Nurses AssociationUFCW Western States CouncilAnd here's the SEIU endorsement in full:Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the 700,000-member union’s endorsement of Kevin de León to represent California in the United States Senate. The endorsement was announced after SEIU California members from across the state participated in the union’s One Voice Town Hall, where members met with the candidates, asked their questions, and then made their selection for the candidate they’ll support now through November.“Kevin de León is a leader who speaks up for California values. His leadership on the most pressing challenges facing California stands in stark contrast with the dysfunctional political establishment in Washington, D.C.,” said David Huerta, Executive Board Member, SEIU California. “Kevin shouldered our fight for $15 minimum wage across the finish line, holds a strong record on environmental justice, and fought valiantly to protect our immigrant communities when the Trump Administration moved to openly attack them and divide families. He’s stood up for us and our California values again and again and now we are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder and endorse Kevin de León to be our next U.S. Senator.” “Kevin de León took the time to meet with SEIU members and spent a day walking in our shoes. He heard [...]

Jack Johnson

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 03:40:00 +0000

Okay, I live in Hawaii so let me go local – which will also let me note one of my favorite musicians – who is doing great work with music but also with a good issue.Dillon Ancheta (HAWAII NEWS NOW) reports:  There's a new farm-to-school initiative at Mililani High School that's getting the attention of local lawmakers – and famous musicians.  The school hosted a concert by famous North Shore entertainer Jack Johnson on Wednesday in a show of support for a program designed to tap local farms to provide fresh produce the high school can use in its lunches. The program, which encourages healthy eating and buying local, is called Aina Pono Farm to School. Over the last several weeks, it's been recognized by Lt. Gov. Chin and other DOE officials.  THE HONOLULU STAR ADVERTISER adds:The entertainers paid a visit on behalf of Kokua Hawai‛i Foundation, of which Johnson is a co-founder and vice president, and Kahiapo is a board member. The trio gave a short performance after lunch. Kokua Hawai‘i spearheaded a lunch waste audit to collect data for the program.Mililani’s cafeteria has begun providing a from-scratch meal made with local foods once a week. That will increase to twice weekly as the next step in transitioning to more local home-style lunches.Student senators from the Associated Students of Mililani High School helped with the audit. They have formed an advisory task force that assists with tasting new dishes and informing the student body about the changes in the lunch menu, with flyers and videos included in the school’s morning bulletins.  See, Jack Johnson is truly cool. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Jack's cool.Joan Baez?Uh, no.  See Kat's "The punch line is 'Joan Baez'" which went up Sunday."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, February 26, 2018.  An Iraq War Hawk suffers a blow in California while Iraq continues to prepare for upcoming elections.Starting with Kevin de Leon. Pinned TweetKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 15 Oct 2017I'm running for the U.S. Senate because you deserve a seat at the table. Please join my campaign: views235 replies384 retweets932 likesKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 14h14 hours agoOnce again, fellow Democrats - it’s time we take California values to Washington, D.C., not the other way around.54 replies36 retweets149 likesShow this threadKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 14h14 hours agoWe all deserve a leader who will take our climate action to Washington, fight each and every day to protect our human and civil rights, our immigrant families and Dreamers, champion universal healthcare and create good paying middle class jobs.19 replies35 retweets106 likesShow this threadKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 14h14 hours agoThe outcome of last night’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual. A signal to Washington that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against a complacent status quo.64 replies28 retweets78 likesShow this threadKevin de Leόn‏Verified account @kdeleon 14h14 hours agoThank you @CA_DEM delegates for an inspiring weekend. Regardless of how you voted last night, know that I am grateful for the time I spent with each and every one of you sharing our values and our vision for the future of CA. #CADem201818 replies32 retweets133 likesShow this threadAt Saturday's state convention here in California, "Your time is up!" is the chant that greet[...]

Gratitude? Not from Shane Bauer

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 15:03:00 +0000

You'd think Shane Bauer would have learned something by now -- at least gratitude.All the drama he put the country through?Because he was either a stupid idiot who couldn't figure out the difference between Iraq and Iran or else he was a US spy -- as Iran believed.At any rate, he's not learned how to be grateful nor has he learned the concept of the First Amendment.Aaron Maté‏Verified account @aaronjmateFollowFollow @aaronjmateMoreAaron Maté Retweeted Shane BauerThe only meeting of left and right here is someone claiming to be on the left like Shane arguing that invoking the basic principle of freedom of speech is “absurd”. Plenty of fascists would agree.Aaron Maté added,Shane BauerVerified account @shane_bauerSyria is where the alt-right and the worst parts of the left see eye to eye. They even use the same absurd free speech argument. …9:42 AM - 23 Feb 201884 Retweets234 Likes23 replies84 retweets234 likesReply 23 Retweet 84 Like 234Fdub 🌹‏ @Fdubya247 16h16 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmate0 replies4 retweets12 likesReply  Retweet 4 Like 12New conversationMike Prysner‏ @MikePrysner 12h12 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateShane doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s like saying the anti-imperialist left and the KKK saw eye-to-eye on the Iraq war because both opposed the invasion. Big difference between internationalism and isolationism.1 reply1 retweet17 likesReply 1 Retweet 1 Like 171 more replyian‏ @mirobluz 13h13 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateMother Jones long lost its sense of purpose once it started to be run by upperclass twits0 replies0 retweets4 likesReply  Retweet  Like 4Paul Surovell‏ @paulsurovell 16h16 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateAmid fear-mongering allegations that Russia is attacking American democracy, @shane_bauer attacks American democracy.0 replies0 retweets4 likesReply  Retweet  Like 4JonnyJames‏ @MrJonnyJames 17h17 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateNot to mention the fact that funding/supplying mercenary proxies to commit war crimes and mass murdering folks is ILLEGAL? Fake left/right BS piss on the Constitution & make a mockery of the "rule of law"0 replies0 retweets3 likesReply  Retweet  Like 3Lyndon Olson‏ @fanoonman 17h17 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateI'm fascinated to see many of the same liberals who used to call neo-con elitists war criminals now embrace them openly just for saying bad things about Trump and/or Russia, while demonizing the notion of people on the left and right seeing through the same BS narrative on Syria.0 replies0 retweets4 likesReply  Retweet  Like 4Chris Cordova‏ @CCordova303 17h17 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateI agree Aaron. Was a fan of Shane when he went undercover as a prison guard, but I think his isolation in an Iranian prison is getting to him. SAD0 replies0 retweets2 likesReply  Retweet  Like 2RichardWBray‏ @laughterhopesok 8h8 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmateIt's way past time for Mother Jones Magazine to change its name0 replies0 retweets1 likeReply  Retweet  Like 1Zhivko I.‏ @iZhivko 12h12 hours agoMoreReplying to @aaronjmate"the worst parts of the left" 0 replies0 retweets1 likeReply  Retweet  Like 1skeptick[...]

Only One Thought

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:17:00 +0000

Go read Jonthan Turley."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, February 22, 2018.  The Iraq War continues -- as do the lies around it.Sarah Abdallah‏ @sahouraxo 18h18 hours ago“The power establishment which lied about Iraq, lied about Libya, lied about Vietnam, & is currently lying about Syria is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt that it is telling the truth about Russia & its new cold war escalations with that country.” allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" id="xdm_default3588_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">61 replies729 retweets1,190 likesThe Russia Scare, many have noted, involves some of the same liars who provided us with the Iraq War.  It does more than that.It offers us some of the great fakes of the Iraq War.John Feffer?Oh, how we know that little bitch.A stream of rude and nasty e-mails to this site -- only one of which was noted publicly and noting it publicly resulted in even more of his nasty e-mails.FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS, you may remember, in a desperate bid to try to ride the Iraq War created a tracker.  They did that with a big to-do and endless announcements.  The Iraqi civilians were not being counted accurately in death, so thank goodness we had FPIF to do it for us, right?Except they quickly lost interest.They weren't updating it.After several months of this, we pointed it out publicly resulting in our initial contact with War Bitch John Feffer.  He had better things to do.Well no one asked you to create a counter to begin with, John.But if you're going to create one and then ride a few months publicity off it, you need to do a tracker.Instead, he created it, got the publicity he wanted and -- a faker.A War Bitch.So it's the Hawks and the Bitches behind the Russia Scare, never forget it.Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) notes of the Russia Scares attempt to blame third party candidates and those who chose not to vote:Funny thing, though: the Democrats refused to cite the Republicans’ systematic, mass suppression of Black voters through the Cross Check scheme which, as Margaret Kimberley points out in this week’s Freedom Rider, caused 400,000 heavily Black votes to disappear in Michigan. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein called for a recount in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and found that Black voter suppression was a major factor, particularly in Detroit. “We are seeing again this evidence in Michigan that communities of color are systematically disenfranchised through the machinery that constitutes really another form of electoral Jim Crow,” Stein told The Guardian . “It’s pretty staggering. Eighty-seven optical scanners [in Detroit] broke on election day.”The Democratic Party reluctantly added its name to the recount petition, while at the same time claiming it had seen no “actionable evidence ” of grounds for challenging Trump’s victory. But that’s par for the course. The Democrats have ne[...]

NEWSWEEK gets caught again

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 05:00:00 +0000

NEWSWEEK's always been a sewer magazine (look what they did to Jean Seberg).They're back to their lying ways.Nina Burleigh‏Verified account @ninaburleighFollowFollow @ninaburleighMoreWe are retracting the Al Franken story. After investigating further we can’t verify source claims that the botnet was political. I’m sorry.6:00 AM - 21 Feb 2018234 Retweets257 Likes593 replies234 retweets257 likesReply 593 Retweet 234 Like 257New conversationVachel Lindsay‏ @_VachelLindsay_ 5h5 hours agoMoreReplying to @ninaburleighIn other words, you published without verifying the facts and/or getting some independent verification. You're incompetent.5 replies27 retweets216 likesReply 5 Retweet 27 Like 216 JSBama‏ @js_bama 4h4 hours agoMoreNot incompetent, quite astute actually. Libs put out stories that push their agenda without fact checking because they can always retract . They know that the retraction will get minimal attention but the idea they wanted to project is now in the public domain .4 replies19 retweets122 likesReply 4 Retweet 19 Like 122 Gary Giessmann‏ @Rhetticent 4h4 hours agoMoreExactly right. NYT and WaPo have perfected the "lie on page one, retract on page 10" method of propaganda.0 replies18 retweets94 likesReply  Retweet 18 Like 94End of conversationNew conversationAlex H. Kasprak‏Verified account @alexkasprak 12h12 hours agoMoreReplying to @ninaburleigh7 replies27 retweets108 likesReply 7 Retweet 27 Like 108 Furaha Asani‏ @DrFuraha_Asani 9h9 hours agoMoreSo you're not going to apologise to @IjeomaOluo ? Oh ok.2 replies9 retweets83 likesReply 2 Retweet 9 Like 83 (((Bad at Ballet)))‏ @AlizaWrites 9h9 hours agoMoreHmmm...where is this tweet now???0 replies0 retweets14 likesReply  Retweet  Like 14End of conversationNew conversationBonnie Bauman‏ @bonbauman 13h13 hours agoMoreReplying to @ninaburleighThat retraction took way too long to happen & your explanation doesn't adequately explain why the story was retracted. For those interested, here's a good overview of all that was wrong with the piece. It truly was journalism at its worst. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="358" id="xdm_default12_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">7 replies71 retweets244 likesReply 7 Retweet 71 Like 244 SLS‏ @SLisette1632 9h9 hours agoMoreThanks for posting.0 replies1 retweet14 likesReply  Retweet 1 Like 14End of conversationNew conversationWilliam Diaz‏ @Dirty_Diaz1965 7h7 hours agoMoreReplying to @ninaburleighIt's ok Nina. The Newsweek brand was destroyed long ago anyway.1 reply4 retweets42 likesReply 1 Retweet 4 Like 42 #NotABot [...]

When you're pulling a blank

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:42:00 +0000

Let the music play . . . allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Fiona Apple's "Never is a Promise.""Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, 2/20/18.  In Iraq, it's all about the upcoming elections -- plus a NATION friend calls in a favor and we also note the passing of an important author.A friend at THE NATION asks that I highlight David Dayen's "Special Investigation: The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett's Billions" (THE NATION).This Nation investigation documents how Buffett’s massive wealth has actually been built: on monopoly power and the unfair advantages it provides. Companies in Buffett’s portfolio have extorted windfall profits, evaded US taxes, and abused customers. In the two specific cases discussed below, in the banking and high-tech industries, Buffett’s investments have prompted federal investigations for anticompetitive or other illegal practices.Buffett did not respond to repeated interview requests for this article, nor did he reply to questions submitted to his office at Berkshire Hathaway.Buffett makes no secret of his fondness for monopoly. He repeatedly highlights the key to his personal fortune: finding businesses surrounded by a monopoly moat, keeping competitors at bay. “[W]e think in terms of that moat and the ability to keep its width and its impossibility of being crossed,” Buffett told the annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting in 2000. “We tell our managers we want the moat widened every year.”America isn’t supposed to allow moats, much less reward them. Our economic system, we claim, is founded on free and fair competition. We have laws over a century old designed to break up concentrated industries, encouraging innovation and risk-taking. In other words, Buffett’s investment strategy should not legally be available, to him or anyone else.Over the past 40 years, however, the United States has not only failed to build bridges across monopoly moats; it has stocked those moats with alligators. Two-thirds of all US industries were more concentrated in 2012 than in 1997, The Economist has documented. Since the Reagan era, the federal government has abandoned antitrust enforcement, with markets for products like eyeglasses, toothpaste, beef, and beer whittled down to a few suppliers. This consolidation has vastly inflated corporate profits, damaged workers and consumers, stunted economic growth, and supercharged economic inequality.Buffett professes to be an innocent witness to this perversity, a passive investor observing markets from afar. He is feted as the conscience of American capitalism, a multibillionaire who speaks out about taxing the rich (Democrats even named their tax-fairness plan the “Buffett rule”) and donates his fortune to charity. But Buffett’s example has helped intensify US monopolization, as other investors mimic his approach of finding companies surrounded by moats. The ownership class has subsequently built up unwarrantedly large holdings, concentrating its investment in companies that further increase market power. In other words, Buffett isn’t following America on the road to oligarchy; he’s leading it.Americans falsely look to these oligarchs to solve our problems, allowing them to amass more power. For example, the recent joint effort by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase to transformthe US health-care system is vague and rather mund[...]

Co-opted Glenn Greenwald

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:36:00 +0000

Please read this article to grasp how THE INTERCEPT is not a friend of truth.Also grasp that in 2013, whistle-blower Ed Snowden risked everything to get the truth out.It's now 2018.Yet somehow Glenn Greenwald's still holding onto Ed's leaks, still hasn't released them in full.Five years later.Glenn uses the ridiculous term "curator."That's a b.s. term.It doesn't take five years to release the leaks.It sure is telling how, once Glenn pulled from THE GUARDIAN, nothing of real value got published.Able to publish anything, Glenn's really published nothing.We've seen it before and we know it's not right."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, February 19, 2018.  Mere weeks away from the 15th anniversary of this wave of the never-ending Iraq War.I was on the phone earlier with a friend.  We both know Patricia Arquette and are amazed at her Russian scare mongering -- appalled actually.  I said, "Well Rosanna's not stupid."  He checked.  No, she's not.  I have no idea why Patricia's decided to jump off the cliff but she's on her own.  Increasingly on her own.(Also, it's very insulting to her late brother for Patricia to present Billie Jean King as the brave voice.  There is the reality of Billie Jean -- lesbian her whole life and in the closet long after she admits to today -- and there there is the myth of Billie Jean.  Patricia's too old to fall for the myth.)The violence never ends in Iraq (if Patricia wants to check in on that any time soon).Iraqi News - Iraq‏ @IraqiNews_com 3h3 hours ago#Blast near popular #Baghdad market leaves four civilians killed, injured allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" id="xdm_default2478_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">0 replies3 retweets0 likes  And there's the attack today on Iraqi forces:The Associated Press‏Verified account @APBREAKING: Iraq's Shiite-led force: Militants disguised in army uniforms ambush paramilitary troops north of Baghdad, killing 27.2:43 AM - 19 Feb 2018163 Retweets97 Likes18 replies163 retweets97 likes  Who was behind that attack?ISIS says they were.Iraqi News - Iraq‏ @IraqiNews_com 57m57 minutes ago#Islamic_State claims responsibility for killing 20 #Iraqi security personnel in #Kirkuk allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" id="xdm_default2482_provider" scrolling="no" src="[...]

Why isn't Melanie in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 07:08:00 +0000

allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Melanie's "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)" -- a song still as important today as it was when she wrote it during another war.Why isn't Melanie in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?Because she's a woman.Any man who'd just done "Brand New Key" alone would be in the Hall.Forget "Peace Will Come" and "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)."Forget all the festival performances.Forget "Look What They've Done To My Song."Just for "Brand New Key" alone, a man would be inducted.Melanie should have been inducted forever ago.She continues to make great music.That's her 2010 album.  Kat sang its praises here."TV: When and why it's just not funny" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):Whatever happens next season, A.P. BIO probably won't be a part of it.This show is a horrible mess -- one that never should have aired in the first place.When you're casting Patton Oswalt, you're scraping the sides of the creativity barrel for whatever's left and, as Oswalt demonstrates in the role of Princpal Durbin, that ain't much.Certainly not enough to deliver a laugh.He hems and haws and he gets all glassy eyed, he's like a fat Jon Cryer and, in 2018, TV doesn't even need the original Cryer, let alone an outlet mall irregular.He's not the only thing ugly about this show which manages to also have one of the worst lighting jobs -- it's lit so poorly, it's as though you're watching an early 70s sitcom -- say ABC's TEMPERATURES RISING.  Then there's the 'writing' with supposed jokes that go down with all the ease of Muhammad Ali's Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips.When you're not gagging, you're suffering heartburn.A.P. BIO?  Never believe the patriarchy is on its knees, let alone even slightly wounded when crap like A.P. BIO can get on the air."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, February 16, 2018.  'Progress' fifteen years later.May 12th, Iraq is supposed to hold elections. Dr. Manuel Almeida (ARAB NEWS) notes:Among the leading contenders is Al-Maliki himself, heading his State of Law Coalition, while several PMU leaders — some loyal to Tehran — have joined new Shiite coalitions. There have also been rumors that Masoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and former KRG president, has been testing the possibility of an alliance with Al-Maliki. This alliance would constitute a major challenge to the current prime minister’s re-election. Last month, Abadi announced his re-election bid at the head of a cross-sectarian bloc, the “Victory Alliance,” which collapsed after less than 48 hours. The return of Al-Maliki to the premiership is a dreadful and not far-fetched prospect that would put many foreign investors on the back foot. The current vice-president remains a widely influential figure and leads the largest bloc in parliament. But the key challenges facing the future Iraqi government and its hopes of building a much-needed investor-friendly environment do not end with the people’s leadership choice in a few months’ time. Corruption will remain a cause of major concern, and the related matters of transparency, accountability and even the existence or otherwise of qualified local staff to deliver the various projects will define success or failure. Nouri al-Maliki's return?  The possibility that the man whose actions caused the rise of ISIS in Iraq could still return as prim[...]

Leave Susan alone

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:32:00 +0000

I'm really getting tired of the attacks on Susan Sarandon.I agree with this Tweet.Michael J. Rossano ⏳‏ @mjrossano Jan 22MoreReplying to @SusanSarandon @PhilippeReines @HopeNorthLmao gotta love corporate Dems. Nominate an uninspiring war monger for POTUS? Lose election to reality TV game show host? Introspectively examine reasons for devastating loss? Blame Susan Sarandon? #DeadParty #DemExit #NeverCorporateDems 0 replies0 retweets2 likesReply  Retweet  Like 2Can someone explain to me why predator Reines is allowed to speak?Shouldn't he be barred from public life as a result of the harassment he did while at the State Dept."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, February 15, 2018.  15 years ago today . . .Today's an important day.The Independent‏Verified account @Independent 1h1 hour ago15 years ago today Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the historic protest against the Iraq war allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="361" id="xdm_default8655_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">2 replies19 retweets38 likesConsortium News‏ @Consortiumnews 50m50 minutes agoToday is the 15-year anniversary of the largest protest event in history – the Feb. 15, 2003 demonstrations against the imminent US invasion of #Iraq. On this occasion we republish an article detailing concerns that drove millions to take the streets. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" id="xdm_default8660_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">3 replies32 retweets29 likesWhy so little coverage of today?Well, it's not like the press can call us treasonous -- that is what some of them called us in 2003, remember?"Treason."  To protest an impending war was "treason."To protest a war being built on lies was "treason."We knew.The 'experts' didn't know, but we did.That's why we turned out in the largest numbers ever around the world.Because we knew this was an illegal war.  We knew we were being lied to.And the press spat on us, lied about us, called us names.That same press isn't interested in telling us today about the protests.They sold the IraqWar.They sold it with lies as well as with character attacks on us.Remember, they're about making mone[...]

Saying it all

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 04:50:00 +0000

I hope you have had a good Valentine's Day.I know it's over or close to over depending on your time zone but I think this was the best thing on V-day I saw all day.Shirtless Pundit‏ @zachhaller 2h2 hours agoMoreDon’t listen to society on who or how to love, always listen to your heart #HappyValentinesDay …4 replies9 retweets21 likesReply 4 Retweet 9 Like 21Well said.  I applaud Zach for that one."Iraq snapshot"(THE COMMON ILLS):Wednesday, February 14, 2018.  The big donor conference goes small.For Iraq, this week's big focus has been Kuwait. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">The US State Dept released the above video with the note, "Secretary Tillerson poses for a "family photo" with ministers attending the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS meeting in Kuwait City, Kuwait on February 13, 2018."The point of the meet-up was to raise money. allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">"Who's going to pay for the mess?" asks Francois Picard in FRANCE 24's report above.  And it's a question worth asking.  Another question worth asking is who has paid all along?The answer to the first question?No one really.Margaret Coker and Gardiner Harris (NEW YORK TIMES) report:An Iraq fund-raising conference in Kuwait attended by dozens of potential donors was headed for failure on Tuesday, with barely $4 billion pledged — none from the United States. While the conference does not end until Wednesday, the message was clear: President Trump is leaving nation-building to others, and they are barely responding.It was a humiliating blow for the Iraqi government, which cannot possibly afford a fraction of the reconstruction cost for a war that was, in some ways, an outcome of the 2003-2011 American-led occupation."A humiliating blow for the Iraqi government."Hayder al-Abadi, so promising and wonderful insist paid whores for the US State Dept but those are just words -- usually on the pages of NYT -- and they have no meaning at all as demonstrated by the refusal of so many to donate.Kuwait, for instance.  Some outlets give it credit for donating $2 million.  Uh, no.  It gave a million and it's loaning a million.An observation on the way the money's being handed over?Yerevan Saeed‏Verified account @YerevanSaeed 2h2 hours agoSo far most of the money for Iraq is not simple donations. They come as loans and potential investment. Looks like no one is ready to hand Baghdad free check while Haider Abdi still punishes Kurdistan and hinders it’s development.3 replies4 retweets15 likes  CNN serves up some misinformation.CNN International‏Verified account @cnni 3h3 hours agoThe reconstruction and recovery money would go to areas that had been seized by ISIS, including the country's second-largest city of Mosul replies31 retweets45 likes  CNN knows damn well better.  They could have typed "should go" or "is said will go."But Iraq is corrupt, ranking among the most corrupt governments on Transparency International's index.There is no way of being sure that any money will "go to areas that had been seized[...]

Poor Angus

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 04:28:00 +0000

Well thank goodness.  Turns out that not just anyone can run for **office** [previously said "president"but Angus was trying to run for mayor].  At least in Kansas.USA TODAY reports Angus cannot run.Who is Angus?A dog.  His owner Terran Woolley wanted him to run but someone decided that this was just about too far and now Angus will not be allowed to run.  Poor Angus.He'd probably do better than at least half the presidents we've already had."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, February 13, 2018.  The costs of the wars is debated and a 'corrector' turns out to be wrong, Iraq tries to raise funds in Kuwait and much more.Let's start with the stupidity.You really don't need to harp on everything Donald Trump Tweets or says.  But if you do and you call him out, you need to be correct.Kyle is wrong -- no surprise, he works for blowhard Lawrence O'Donnell.Kyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1 19h19 hours agoKyle Griffin Retweeted Donald J. TrumpWaPo Fact Check: Trump has repeated this number at least 21 times. “It's flat wrong.” Experts say the U.S. spent about $1.8 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2017. (Plus, Afghanistan is not actually in the Middle East.) Griffin added,Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrumpThis will be a big week for Infrastructure. After so stupidly spending $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is now time to start investing in OUR Country!77 replies984 retweets1,262 likesI don't care what some WASHINGTON POST link says.  I'm not even going to go there.  And I'm fully aware that Kyle was in Australia for two years and apparently didn't think that a war the US was (and remains) engaged in was something he needed to follow."Experts"?"Experts" say many things.  Doesn't make them right.Kyle types, "Experts say the U.S. spent about $1.8 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2017."I don't know what"experts" he's citing and really don't turn to THE WASHINGTON POST for reality on Iraq due to its history (only THE NEW YORK TIMES has a worst history).But I do know his statement is wrong.From March 2013, Daniel Trotta (REUTERS) reported,"The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said."That was almost five years ago.And that was Iraq alone.So maybe next time, when you're going to town on him, know your facts so you don't end up looking like an idiot.In November of 2017, THE COSTS OF WAR PROJECT estimated that by the start of 2018, the wars (post 9/11) would cost the US 5.6 trillion.  That ended up being the headline in November when it was reported on.  Now read the actual report when veterans issues are added in or just skip to Table Six where you'll find the cost is expected to be $7.9 trillion when veterans expenses and interest (the US government did not increase taxes to pay for the wars, they borrowed money to do so) are added in.THE COSTS OF WAR PROJECT is generally considered the expert on the issue -- not THE WASHINGTON POST.  It's run by Brown University's Watson Institute.They say $7.9 trillion.So not only has Kyle Griffin's 'fact' check made Donald Trump look more informed, it's also raised serious issues about th[...]

F**k Billy Corgan

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 08:11:00 +0000

Let's start with one reality: Billy Corgan is not Kurt Cobain.Never was, never will be.He is talented, but he's not Cobain talented.With Smashing Pumpkins, he made a few strong songs -- mainly "Disarm" and "Today."They could have been a great band but Billy's ego wouldn't allow it.He destroyed the band repeatedly.Now he's teased a return.  But, once again, his ego destroys everything -- Darcy won't be back, not on the new album, not on the tour.  Big surprise, this wasn't her choice.Without the core four, it's not Smashing Pumpkins.Billy's ego should have been put years ago.You'd think the repeat failures of every one of his projects in the last two decades would have made clear to him that he's not all that.I loved Smashing Pumpkins but they only had one solid album because Billy thought he could do everything and decided to take over in the studio and then members started leaving and he kept calling whatever group he was with Smashing Pumpkins.It doesn't work that way.Clearly, he still hasn't learned that."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, February 12, 2018.  Context, context and context.CJR reminds that a large number of journalists were killed last year.CPJ‏Verified account @pressfreedom 24h24 hours agoAt least 42 journalists were killed in the line of duty worldwide in 2017: Iraq 8 Syria 7 Mexico 6 India 3 Afghanistan 2 Philippines 2 Russia 2 Somalia 2 Yemen 2 Bangladesh 1 Brazil 1 Colombia 1 Denmark 1 Maldives 1 Malta 1 Pakistan 1 South Sudan 1…7 replies301 retweets124 likes  The most deaths took place in Iraq.The 8 killed are here.The Iraq War continues.Over at David Brock's bordello, Oliver Willis tries to start a conversation.Oliver Willis‏Verified account @owillis 20h20 hours agoThe difference between me and many of you is I can't forgive or overlook the transgressions of these righties. The last 20 years laid the groundwork for today. I don't care how anti Trump someone like Bill Kristol is, Iraq still happened. Those people are still dead.21 replies48 retweets251 likes  Show this threadThis leads to a lop-sided conversation because there are so many problems with Oliver's statement.Hillary's support for the Iraq War, for example, was rooted in her support for Bill Kristol.  They share many beliefs which is why he's been an adviser to her (as well as to Barack Obama) and why he backed her in 2016.But Oliver wants to pretend that didn't happen.His followers can be even more obtuse.They think Kristol and Trump are on the same page.  Nope.  That's why Bill didn't support Donald.  They have their tribal beliefs, they just don't have facts.Justin Raimondo is right-wing.  He does not support neocons.  So he doesn't treat Bill Kristol as someone to listen to.  He does not support endless war, so he did not support Hillary Clinton.  He can explain at length why he supported Donald Trump and can do so in a logical manner.It's a shame that Oliver's followers are so misled and confused.  I'd tell them Hillary is Little Miss Scoop Jackson but I know that'd fly over their heads as well.So much would.As inane and ahistorical as Bob Somerby, you get a Willis follower whining about the way Bill Clinton was treated.They have no conception of reality.They show up as drive-by e-mails whenever we note the Kurds and whine that things that happ[...]