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Like Maria Said Paz

Peace, music, politics, the human condition

Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:00:06 +0000


That dreadful Chelsea Clinton

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:40:00 +0000

From THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER:Chelsea Clinton's chief of staff complained on Thursday that her boss just can't catch a break. Bari Lurie is Clinton's chief of staff at the Clinton Foundation, where the former first daughter is vice chair. Lurie took to Twitter on Thursday to lament that Clinton, like her mother, failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "never gets a break."Am I the only one reading that and thinking, "She needs a chief of staff?"What's the little priss need a chief of staff for?To count the millions she takes home each year from The Clinton Foundation?I remember when that idiot Bob Somerby was prattling on about how it was charity and C.I. had to (yet again) school Somerby: Serving on the board of a foundation means you get a salary.How stupid do you have to be, Bob Somerby, not to grasp that?She is so out of touch.She is not even forty and she's got a Chief of Staff.This is the little priss who's thinking of running for Congress?Will she, like her mother, try to insist she was poor?"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): Thursday, March 23, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admits the US military isn't leaving Iraq even if the Islamic State is defeated, Hayder al-Abadi lies about democracy and the militias, reports of mass civilians deaths in Iraq, and much more.Yesterday, at the US State Dept, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stood side-by-side with Iraq's Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi.  In one key moment, Tillerson declared:At this moment, we are still in a phase characterized by major military operations. The expansion of ISIS has necessitated a large-scale military response, and our offensive measures are reclaiming areas in Iraq and Syria in which ISIS has had a large and destructive footprint. Our end goal in this phase is the regional elimination of ISIS through military force. The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS. Under President Trump’s leadership and with the strength of this historic coalition, our common enemy will remain under intense pressure.Did you catch that?The US military is not leaving Iraq.The Iraq War is not ending.Not even if/when ISIS is defeated.Still happy to stay silent about the Iraq War?(See yesterday's snapshot.)Here are some of Tillerson's remarks, read them closely:We know military strength will stop ISIS on a battlefield, but it is the combined strength of our coalition that will be the final blow to ISIS. In order to stay ahead of a global outbreak, we must all adopt the following countermeasures: First, continue to persist with in-country counterterrorism and law enforcement operations. All of us must maintain pressure on ISIS’s networks within our own countries and take decisive law enforcement action to stop its growth. ISIS is connected across every continent, and we must work to break every link in its chain. INTERPOL is the newest member of our coalition and is critical to closing all routes through which ISIS terrorists seek to travel and threaten our homelands.Second, we need greater intelligence and information sharing within our own domestic intelligence agencies and among our nations. Our information sharing as a coalition has prevented a number of attacks, and this must expand and accelerate regardless of departmental or international rivalries. One example of this is West African nations who have put aside national differences to combat Boko Haram. Let us build on this good example.We also must look this enemy’s ideology in the eyes for what it is: a warped interpretation of Islam that threatens all of our people. As His Majesty, King Abdullah II of Jordon, has recently said, and I quote, “Everything they are, everything they do, is a blatant violation… of my faith.” ISIS fighters are not all from poor or impoverished communities. Many come from middle class or even upper class backgrounds, drawn to a radical and false[...]

THE NEW YORKER (garbage)

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:00:00 +0000

THE NEW YORKER.Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  15h15 hours agoMoreRecall: FBI never forensically examined DNC servers -- it relied on CrowdStrike findings …26 replies331 retweets379 likesReply 26 Retweet 331 Like 379Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  16h16 hours agoMoreCrowdStrike -- which has been absolutely central to fueling Russia hysteria -- reportedly falsified "hacking" data allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="359" id="xdm_default8942_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-style: initial; border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">52 replies653 retweets695 likesReply 52 Retweet 653 Like 695Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  16h16 hours agoMoreThis bogus claim, promulgated by an ostensibly-credible New Yorker writer, will be seen by many thousands. Don't call it "fake news," though12 replies46 retweets194 likesReply 12 Retweet 46 Like 194Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  16h16 hours agoMoreMichael Tracey Retweeted Philip Gourevitch...the Clinton email server investigation had nothing at all to do with Russia. More paranoid lunacy.Michael Tracey added,Philip GourevitchVerified account @PGourevitchIt's not just that Comey pushed bogus Clinton email pre-election while mum on Trump-Russia—it's that email story was Russian propaganda op.23 replies140 retweets373 likesReply 23 Retweet 140 Like 373THE NEW YORKER is garbage and has been for some time.The only thing they had to applaud repeatedly in the '00s was Seymour Hersh.They then refused to print Sy once Barack was in office.Sy was doing the exact type of research he did before but now that Barack was president, little Davey dickless wouldn't allow the reporting to grace the pages of the rag.  (THE LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS grabbed many of the rejected pieces.)Jane Mayer?Snaggle whore as people who know her call her?She wrote about Gurantanamo and was overly praised because this resulted in her doing nothing.She spent Barack's terms questioning (mocking) people for their religions and chasing down crazy stories.She didn't challenge the government with Barack in office.So let's be really clear that THE NEW YORKER has been garbage since the early 90s and was only saved in the '00s by Sy Hersh who they refused to print after Barack stepped into the White House."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): Wednesday, March 22, 2017.  FRONTLINE airs the most important report on Iraq in at least four years (if not more) and we explore how cowards refuse to speak out against the ongoing Iraq War.Ramita Navai: Last year, two Iraqi journalists investigating the militias here were murdered.  [. . .] While the west is fighting the war against ISIS most people we've spoken to here have told us they're much more scared of the militias.Last night on FRONTLINE (PBS), Ramita Navai's investigative report on Iraq -- and "the war's hidden fronts" -- aired.It's a very important report. We'll embed it in a snapshot at some point.  Not now because they don't have it up on their YouTube site.  I'm told it will be shortly (told by a PBS friend).  For now, use the link above or visit your local PBS station online -- via whatever device including TV.I'm also being told there's a transcript already up here.How nice.  Could have told me that at the start of our conversation 15 minu[...]

Suki Liar

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 01:14:00 +0000

I saw this and it ticked me off.Suki Rodham Graves‏ @freeandclear1  8h8 hours agoMoreFor this she was demonized for 30 years Including by Sanders and his artful smears #MedicareForAll 1 reply11 retweets16 likesReply 1 Retweet 11 Like 16Hillary was not proposing Medicare for all.That is what was needed and what is still needed.She had closed door meetings, secret meetings.She was called out for those and what she proposed was hideous.  I still have that huge book somewhere, her plan.Stop lying, Hillary was flat awful."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, March 21, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, FRONTLINE (PBS) gears up to air a report on Iraq tonight, Iraq's PM meets with the US President, The Mosul Slog continues, and so much more.AA reports a Monday evening Baghdad car bombing left at least 13 people dead and at least sixteen more injured.  The 14th anniversary of the Iraq War didn't look any different than it did when it started.14 years.Millions of lives.Trillions of dollars.What is there to show for it?An unpopular government based in Baghdad, installed and propped up by the US government.Meanwhile, it's Day 155 of The Mosul Slog.155 days to liberate -- or 'liberate' -- Mosul and still counting.Tonight on most PBS stations.FRONTLINE‏Verified account @frontlinepbs  7h7 hours agoDisplaced Iraqi civilians tell @ramitanavai they’re as scared of the militias as they are of ISIS #IraqUncoveredPBS replies31 retweets28 likesFRONTLINE‏Verified account @frontlinepbs  11h11 hours agoFollow @ramitanavai as she goes undercover to an Iraqi town liberated from ISIS, now under militia control — 3/21 replies19 retweets25 likesDon't miss FRONTLINE tonight. And maybe if you pay for THE NEW YORK TIMES, drop a line asking for a refund since their 'lady embed' has failed to report on any of what you will see on PBS tonight.And if the liar's offended by that, I stated publicly, right here, that she had seen stuff, that reporters -- other reporters -- were talking about the garbage she was churning out and how she was ignoring reality.I gave you a warning, a public one.  It's your own fault that you are the new Judy Miller.Rukmini Callimachi -- may her name be spat out whenever press whores are discussed.On FRONTLINE tonight, we should learn about the civilians -- you know, the ones who were supposed to be rescued, the ones who were the whole point of liberating Mosul?The ones Rukmini forgot.Al Jazeera English‏Verified account @AJEnglish  6h6 hours ago750,000 Iraqis are trapped in the western part of the city as Iraqi forces fight house to house to force out ISIL replies62 retweets33 likesThe Mosul Slog is not a success by any means.Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) notes, "Also in Mosul, a police colonel and eight more officers were capturedin the Bab Jadid district after they ran out of ammunition."Let's move over to Monday's State Dept press briefing moderated by spokesperson Mark Toner because Iraq came up.Not at the start, of course.  Because the No Stars of the State Dept Press Corps never ask about Iraq.In fairness to AP's Matthew Lee, we should point out that questions are probably harder for him these days since he no longer has Victoria Nuland to feed him questions ahead of the briefings and then call on him during the briefing so he can ask the question she assigned him.  (I love those e-mails, Matt, love them.)Monday's briefing:QUESTION: Iraq?QUESTION: Iraq?MR TONER: Yeah, I’ll do Iraq. Go ahead.QUESTION: The Iraqi prime minister is here with a delegation that includes the chief of staff to KRG President Barzani, and their meetings include with Secretary Tillerson. What are the main issues on the agenda of these talks, and what are your goals in these discussions?MR TONER: Sure. As you noted, the prime minister is in town with a delegation, and I think Secretary Tiller[...]

No consequences imposed

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:57:00 +0000

It's worse than he says. John Stauber RetweetedMark Ames‏Verified account @MarkAmesExiled  4h4 hours agoMoreAll the worst Iraq war liars still have their fat media jobs—where they now tell us public distrust in Establishment is a Kremlin conspiracy13 replies452 retweets607 likesReply 13 Retweet 452 Like 607How can it be worse?In 'left' media, we've seen new jobs given to the Iraq War liars.MOTHER JONES pays the hideous Kevin Drum, for example.They didn't hire anyone who against the Iraq War.That is just one example.There were no consequences imposed by the media.That's what the media never got.We do not forget their lies.We cannot.Because the lies were part a -- part b was refusing to hold anyone accountable.That's why the media is seen so poorly.Reality: They brought it on themselves and have only themselves to blame."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, March 20, 2017.  The never-ending Iraq War continues, 14 years after it started.Let's start in England.  Scott D'Arcy (COVENTRY TELEGRAPH) reports:A criminal probe into a disgraced Coventry lawyer who brought false claims against Iraq War veterans has a number of "lines of inquiry", the National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.A file on Phil Shiner, who was struck off last month for dishonestly pursuing torture and murder claims against British troops, has been passed to the agency by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).I know Phil Shiner. I've known him for years.We stepped away from his work because there was clearly a problem with it.We did that before the scandal broke, by at least a year before.I was bothered by his methods, I was bothered by his filings.I don't see how they raise to criminal but the UK has different laws than the US and they may.  (I hope they don't.)It's amazing that here we stand, on the 14th anniversary of the Iraq War, and the only one facing legal charges with regards to the illegal war is Phil Shiner.I think he did some shoddy work.  I think he went beyond what he should have done.But how very sad that the most public defender of the Iraqi people would be the one to face legal charges and not the crooks who started the illegal war and who prolong it.Australia's RED FLAG notes:Fifteen years ago, the offices of president George W. Bush, British prime minister Tony Blair and Australian PM John Howard ran a sustained propaganda campaign to justify the pending invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. They were assisted by compliant media that reported outright lies as unvarnished fact.Now, thanks to the release of a highly redacted report written by a senior analyst in the Australian army, it’s been confirmed that the case for war was a pack of lies from start to finish.There were three components of the pro-war propaganda in the months leading up to the attack. One was that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, and was ready to use them; it was only a matter of time, furthermore, before Iraq developed a nuclear capability. The second was that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was funnelling assistance to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations. The third was that Iraq was flouting UN resolutions.Originating mainly from the White House and 10 Downing Street, these arguments were eagerly picked up and run by the Howard government, the Murdoch press and large swathes of electronic media.Even Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers, which gave more space to the anti-war case, did their bit. A Herald page one headline in September 2002 read: “Saddam ready and able to strike. British PM claims Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes”.Despite this sustained propaganda offensive, most people were never won to the case for war. In January 2003, only 6 percent of Australians supported joining the invasion without UN backing. More impressive were the enormous anti-war rallies[...]

What Michael Tracey Tweeted

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:34:00 +0000

Support.Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  2h2 hours agoMoreCoalitions to defend civil liberties need to be as trans-partisan as possible: healthcare policy better left to other advocacy groups. IMO.28 replies11 retweets104 likesReply 28Retweet 11Like 104Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  3h3 hours agoMoreI'm a longtime ACLU supporter but getting involved in partisan healthcare policy debates seems to dilute the core purpose of the org.37 replies48 retweets198 likesReply 37Retweet 48Like 198The ACLU needs to stay out of this.It's not as though there aren't a million things they need to be addressing right now.Instead of that, they're acting partisan.We do need to step away from this.Big steps.What we need, of course, is Medicare for all.So let's stop pretending otherwise.Ruth's ReportMedicare 4 all now!13 hours ago SICKOFITRADLZMedicare for all13 hours ago Also Trina's "Medicare 4 All" and read Bruce Dixon's piece at BLACK AGENDA REPORT.Democratic groups are not going to call for it.  They refused to push for it when Barack was assembling ObamaCare.We need it and we need groups with the guts to fight for it."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, March 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, Iraqi civilians are killed in another bombing by US-led warplanes, George Clooney's beard presumes to speak for the US government, and much more.Esra Doğramacı‏Verified account @EsraD  Mar 16Excellent interactive .@arwaCNN spent 28 hours trapped & under fire from ISIS...she went back allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="359" id="xdm_default5562_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">0 replies4 retweets10 likesDay 151 of The Mosul Slog.In June 2014, the city of Mosul was seized by the Islamic State.The Iraqi government's response?Non-existent.Finally, in mid-October of last year,t hey launched an operation to liberate or 'liberate' Mosul.It's 151 days later and ongoing.It took seven months to fight The Gulf War and retaking Mosul is already on month six?Grasp that.Susannah George (AP) reports:Iraqi and U.S. commanders offered conflicting accounts Thursday of progress in western Mosul, where U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have been battling the Islamic State group for nearly a month as they try to retake the remainder of the city. Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin, the American commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq, said the troops had recaptured "a little over a third" of neighborhoods west of the Tigris River, while Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraqi military spokesman, said they had retaken up to 60 percent, with fighting still underway. Iraq declared eastern Mosul "fully liberated" in January.  This is not the first time that the two have reported conflicting 'progress.'  Of the Iraqi claims, Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) offers, "That’s a lot of gains in the past few days, and particularly hard to believe since it’s only been a few days since they declared 33% recovered, and in those days that followed, fighters had described the advance as virtually halted by ISIS snipers and inclement weather."What's not in doubt?That yet another refugee crisis has been created by The Mosul Slog.This is UNHCR's Babar Baloch:As displacement from Western Mosul continues unabated, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is opening two new camps and asking donors for additional funding to help protect and shelter those forced to fl[...]

Why I'm thankful for the internet

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:06:00 +0000

I do love the internet.There is much that I'm thankful for it about.Chief among?James William ஜ‏ @veniveci  Mar 9More"Stars shining bright above you Night breezes seem to whisper I love you" #CassElliot & #JimiHendrix1 reply8 retweets30 likesReply 1 Retweet 8 Like 30What a wonderful photo of Cass Elliot and Jimi Hendrix.I don't believe I've seen it before (though I have seen photos of them together).The internet rescues so much that would otherwise be forgotten."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, March 16, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, the refugee crisis continues and Hayder al-Abadi wants foreign troops reduced in Iraq.Day 150 of The Mosul Slog.How's it going?Al Jazeera News‏Verified account @AJENews  3h3 hours agoIraq camps overwhelmed with Mosul's displaced replies47 retweets29 likes  REUTERS visits a refugee camp at the Mosul Airport, "Men push wheelchairs carrying elderly relatives or carts loaded with small children over the dusty and uneven ground, part of an exodus of people who have escaped from Islamic State's last major Iraqi stronghold."  While some would like to return home, "[o]thers simply have no homes to go back to, with countless houses and businesses used by Islamic State as military positions destroyed in air strikes and artillery shelling."  REUTERS explains that while there are toilets at the airport, "there's no water."As Jordan Shilton (WSWS) observed earlier this month:The disregard for the civilian population is an inevitable product of the predatory aims of US imperialism in Iraq and the broader Middle East region. When ISIS first emerged in Syria, Washington was prepared to tolerate it as a fighting force in opposition to the government of Bashar al Assad in Damascus, which the Obama administration had been seeking to remove since 2011. ISIS only became a problem for the United States when it gained substantial territory in Iraq, threatening to undermine Washington’s puppet regime in Baghdad. In its efforts to oust ISIS from Mosul while at the same time expanding its intervention into neighboring Syria to bring about regime change in Damascus, the United States is seeking to secure its geostrategic dominance over the energy-rich Middle East, while simultaneously weakening the positions of its geopolitical rivals, above all Iran, Russia and China.These are the civilians.The citizens of Mosul.The ones who have had to live under the Islamic State since June 2014.The ones supposedly being rescued and liberated.Wasn't that the whole point?Bill Van Auken (WSWS) reported earlier this week: A US airstrike claimed the lives of at least 11 civilians in the besieged northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Sunday, according to Iraqi security officials.In addition to the dead, including women and children, another four civilians were wounded in the bombing.“A suspected coalition plane struck a mobile target, which left 11 civilians dead and injured four others,” a security source told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency. The brief description suggests that the US warplane struck a vehicle loaded with civilians attempting to flee the fighting.The densely populated area of western Mosul has been under constant attack since mid-February when Iraqi forces--including army troops, police, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni tribesmen and Shia militias--began operations aimed at retaking that part the city from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which routed government forces and took control of Mosul in June of 2014. The US-backed offensive is steadily reducing much of Mosul to rubble and there are clear indications that the Pentagon has given the green light for airstrikes that inevitably result in the killing of unarmed men, women and children.Bombed and terrorized.And terrorized by mor[...]

Calling it out

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:00:00 +0000

John Stauber‏ @JohnStauber  19h19 hours agoMoreJohn Stauber Retweeted Adam H. JohnsonFor anyone younger than 50, welcome to the #NewColdWar era! @TheDemocrats have ignited a #newredscare scam like they had going in 50s, 60s John Stauber added,Adam H. JohnsonVerified account @adamjohnsonNYCjesus christ 2 replies2 retweets3 likesReply 2 Retweet 2 Like 3He said a mouthful -- and then some.I am so thankful to the e-mails on yesterday's "John Feffer is a damn liar (and don't e-mail, prick, I won't retract)' and I'm so thankful to read C.I.'s :Iraq snapshotIPS and FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS have been removedAs well as Cedric and Wally's joint post:Cedric's Big MixJohn Feffer speaks18 hours ago The Daily JotTHIS JUST IN! JOHN FEFFER EXPRESSES HIMSELF!18 hours ago On this week's BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Nelly Bailey and Glen Ford spoke with Sara Flounders.At one point in there, Sara was talking about the socialist Democrats or Democratic Socialists and she noted that they always applaud war.Then, after it starts, if there are mistakes they offer a polite critique.But they are not anti-war.That really comes through with John Feffer and his ridiculous writing."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): Wednesday, March 15, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue but we spend most of our time denouncing the hysterics and their hysteria on Russia and WikiLeaks.I am the ruler of all.Apparently.Who knew?I didn't know it until the angry e-mail over "IPS and FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS have been removed" from last night.Turns out, if I don't link to something, I have censored them and denied them an audience.I am basing my judgment, it is viciously explained to me, on my personal opinion of someone and not on politics.I really love it when an e-mailer wants to tell me who I am and what I think.I really love that.John Feffer, you were delinked last night.Were I delinking you for personal reasons, I would have done so in March 2008 after your series of e-mails where you BMW-ed nonstop (Bitch Moaned and Whined).You didn't know what you were talking about -- apparently a factory standard on all John Feffer models -- and you thought you could dictate what I wrote.Now you learned otherwise back then.You've gotten links since and both FPIF and IPS stayed on the links -- mainly because of Phyllis Bennis.Now you got called out a lot here because you are so deeply stupid.And your FPIF colleagues got called out as well.Like when you applauded the massive bombs being dropped on Iraq.Remember that little protege you had?And you'll published that crap.I've heard you've since pulled it from FPIF -- doesn't matter, we quoted enough here when we called it out.  You forever indicted as an idiot who believes in 'precision bombing.'I should have delinked you then.But Elaine's "John Feffer is a damn liar (and don't e-mail, prick, I won't retract)" was where I learned you were now part of Team Hysteria fostering hate of Russia -- the whole country and people, you couldn't even just limit it to their government because that's the kind of trash you are.We'll get to Russia in a second.But let's talk the law first because I don't like idiots pretending they know the law.We went through that with The Status of Forces Agreement on Thanksgiving 2008.We were right.  Others can't say the same.Watergate was a break-in of Democratic headquarters by a team of 'plumbers' (Republicans with Richard Nixon's re-election campaign).Even if the government of Russia or a Russian person had broken into John Podesta's e-mails (they were leaked, not hacked), that's not Watergate.That's as stupid as screaming Julian Assange should be charged with treason.Treason?Julian's an American citizen?No, he's not.He's Australian. He might be able to commit treason in Australia (nothing WikiLeaks has done rises to the standard of treason in Australia).But as a non-American, he [...]

John Feffer is a damn liar (and don't e-mail, prick, I won't retract)

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:39:00 +0000

John Feffer is a piece of s**t.There's no way to pretty the bitch up, sorry.He once had a little tirade at C.I. about something at THE COMMON ILLS.So to be fair, C.I. posted his comment.  He only then yelled and whined in an e-mail to her.I have no idea what it was about.  I'm sure it was Iraq.  It was probably when he was pretending he was interested in the dead in Iraq.  Then, after creating a counter, he went months and months and months without updating it.So now this fake ass Feffer has a piece of garbage at COUNTERPUNCH where he spreads the lie that Russia hacked this or that.He's a damn fool and a damn liar.He then goes on to trash Stephen Cohen and Glenn Greenwald and Robert Parry.He's a stupid little bitch and a liar -- I've read his damn e-mails to C.I. (C.I. and I have known each other since she dated my brother -- we're talking pre-college, we have no secrets).John Feffer is a fake, a liar and a bitch.When he opens his yap, you should grab a pen and paper to start making hashmarks -- it's the only way to keep track of how many lies he's telling."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, March 14, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, the silence over the Iraq War continues -- John Conyers, where have you gone?, and much more.It's day 148 of The Mosul Slog. Inherent Resolve‏Verified account @CJTFOIR  2h2 hours agoMar 13 #CJTFOIR conducted 20 strikes consisting of 104 engagements against ISIS in Syria & Iraq @usairforce @CENTCOM2 replies36 retweets33 likes  The bombing of Iraq started in August of 2014 and continues daily.Possibly since Barack Obama no longer overseas it, we might be able to get honest about it now?Rania Khalek‏Verified account @RaniaKhalek  13h13 hours agoMore civilians die from (US) airstrikes in Mosul than (Russian) airstrikes in Aleppo, says @airwars. Why no outrage?… allowfullscreen="" id="player_tweet_841428668979249154" src="" style="border-width: 0px; height: 284.602px; left: 0px; position: absolute; top: 0px; width: 505.992px;">17 replies201 retweets155 likes  It would appear that a large number of people who should be speaking out can't because elected persons in the Democratic Party have yet to give them their marching orders.That's the difference between ethics and partisanship -- you're witnessing it right now.And the difference between courage and silence? Look at 'leaders' like John Conyers and Barbara Lee who cower instead of speaking out as the suffering of the Iraqi people is set to hit the 14 year mark in mere days.The Mosul Slog continues with little criticism while tiny steps are treated as huge progress. ALJAZEERA runs John Davison's REUTERS report, "Iraqi forces battling ISIS/ISIL faced tough resistance from snipers and mortar rounds on Monday as they tried to advance on Mosul's Old City and a bridge across the Tigris River in their campaign to retake it."  XINHAU reports:Iraqi forces on Monday liberated two neighborhoods from the Islamic State (IS) militants in the western side of Mosul, while the troops continued fighting fierce urban warfare in the old city center, the Iraqi military said.The commandos of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) completely freed the neighborhoods of Nafet and New Mosul in the western side of the city, locally known as the right bank of the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul, the Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement. The recapture of the two neighborhoods brought the CTS troops closer to the western edge of Mosul's densely populated old city center, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to still be trapped under IS rule.And here's some video of ye[...]

A little honesty would go a long way

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:03:00 +0000

"The Dance of Death" (Chris Hedges, ICH):The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch. Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism. Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future. Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages. State repression is indiscriminant and brutal. And, presiding over the tawdry Grand Guignol is a deranged ringmaster tweeting absurdities from the White House. The graveyard of world empires—Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Khmer, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian—followed the same trajectory of moral and physical collapse. Those who rule at the end of empire are psychopaths, imbeciles, narcissists and deviants, the equivalents of the depraved Roman emperors Caligula, Nero, Tiberius and Commodus. The ecosystem that sustains the empire is degraded and exhausted. Economic growth, concentrated in the hands of corrupt elites, is dependent on a crippling debt peonage imposed on the population. The bloated ruling class of oligarchs, priests, courtiers, mandarins, eunuchs, professional warriors, financial speculators and corporate managers sucks the marrow out of society. The elites’ myopic response to the looming collapse of the natural world and the civilization is to make subservient populations work harder for less, squander capital in grandiose projects such as pyramids, palaces, border walls and fracking, and wage war. President Trump’s decision to increase military spending by $54 billion and take the needed funds out of the flesh of domestic programs typifies the behavior of terminally ill civilizations. When the Roman Empire fell, it was trying to sustain an army of half a million soldiers that had become a parasitic drain on state resources. The complex bureaucratic mechanisms that are created by all civilizations ultimately doom them. The difference now, as Joseph Tainter points out in “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” is that “collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole.” Bill Clinton, Bully Boy Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.Four of the all time worst.We aren't slipping.We are sinking.A little honesty would go a long, long way."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, March 13, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, how did Iraqi forces lose 10% of western Mosul in less than 24 hours, and much more.THIRD?  New content will go up at some point today.  I helped with the editorial last night and it's done and Ava and I wrote our TV piece.  I believe there's a wire tapping piece the others are still working on.The TV piece.We were nice in that -- at least for us.But I'm about to let loose.Stop Tweeting how wonderful you are and how you're going to stop Donald Trump and you're the best in the whole wide world . . .when you choo[...]

Real issues get shoved aside by the nonsense 'resistance'

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Is there a point to Debra Messing?She's had surgery to look what?Younger?Less Jewish?I don't know.She doesn't like a human being anymore so maybe that was the point.She's 'the resistance' -- a crowd of stupid if ever there was one (see Betty's "The weak asses of the 'resistance'").If you doubt it: Debra Messing RetweetedKyle Griffin‏Verified account @kylegriffin1  23h23 hours agoMoreSen. Ben Sasse to DOJ: Did Julian Assange break the law and is the Dept. "aggressively pursuing his detention and prosecution"?32 replies710 retweets887 likesReply 32 Retweet 710 Like 887That's what she popularizes.Charges for the arrest of Julian Assange.That's what the latest WikiLeaks' release means to her.She's such a stupid idiot.Patrick Martin (WSWS) weighs in on WikiLeaks and the ridiculous statements by James Comey:Speaking at a cybersecurity conference at Boston College Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said, “there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America.” Every activity that Americans engage in, including conversations between spouses and with members of the clergy and attorneys, is within “judicial reach.” He declared, “In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications.”The FBI director did not add, although he could well have, that a judicial order is completely irrelevant to the US military-intelligence apparatus. The US government has far more direct methods than court orders to learn what its citizens are thinking and talking about, through the use of sophisticated cyberweapons. These include the thousands of hacking tools whose existence was made public Tuesday by WikiLeaks, in a data release exposing efforts by the CIA to turn millions of ordinary electronic devices, from cellphones and smart TVs to the computer systems running most cars, into spy weapons.The FBI director’s declaration that there is no right to privacy was greeted with a yawn by the corporate media, which barely reported his comments, and by Democratic and Republican party politicians. This is in keeping with the overall treatment of the WikiLeaks revelations, which has been one of indifference to the threat to democratic rights exposed in the CIA cyberweapons cache.As far as the media is concerned, anyone who raises concerns about the right to privacy, or other democratic rights, being threatened by the national-security apparatus is an agent of Russia. This position was put most bluntly by the Washington Post, in its lead editorial Thursday, headlined, “WikiLeaks does America’s enemies a big favor.”The editorial begins with a flat-out, 100 percent defense of the CIA, declaring, “The first thing to say about the archive of cyberhacking tools stolen from the CIA and released by WikiLeaks is that they are not instruments of mass surveillance, but means for spying on individual phones, computers and televisions. There is no evidence they have been used against Americans or otherwise improperly …”The editorial continues, “It follows that the targets of the hacking methods, and the prime beneficiaries of their release, will be Islamic State terrorists, North Korean bombmakers, Iranian, Chinese and Russian spies, and other U.S. adversaries.” The editorial goes on to smear WikiLeaks as a tool of Russia, and denounces “privacy zealots” who “are, in effect, advocating unilateral U.S. disarmament in cyberspace.”In response to such a brazen defense of the CIA, one is tempted to ask, why doesn’t the Washington Post simply announce that it is a propaganda arm of the U.S. government, tasked with the ideological and political defense of the military-intelligence apparatus? There is not a shred of an independent, critical att[...]

The Putin made me do it

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Michael Tracey‏Verified account @mtracey  4h4 hours agoMoreMichael Tracey Retweeted Scott DworkinIf this collective psychosis wasn't so destructive it'd be hilariousMichael Tracey added,Scott DworkinVerified account @funderIf u were Putin & wanted to kill as many Americans as possible—wouldn't taking away their healthcare do the trick? #trumprussia #russiagate39 replies227 retweets469 likesReply 39 Retweet 227 Like 469Everything is Putin's fault.What a wonderful moment?We are no longer responsible for our actions.We have a scapegoat.It's Putin's fault!Forget to bring your umbrella when it was raining?Damn Putin!!!!Got pulled over for speeding?F**king Putin!!!!!We are no longer responsible for anything, remember that.Remember Flip Wilson's character Geraldine?How Geraldine would say, "The devil made me do it!"Well now it's "Putin made me do it!!!"They have no idea how pathetic they come off.Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go push dogs into the water and scream, "Putin made me do it!"(No, I would never harm an animal.  That was hyperbole.)"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Thursday, March 9, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, War Criminal Tony Blair ventures out in public, MSNBC celebrates Mad Maddie Albright, and much more.Starting in England . . .View allLink to headline articleBritain must remember the service of its young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan Britain’s new national memorial, being unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen today, will recognise the service to this Nation of some hundreds of thousands of individuals –…Telegraph NewsMar 09, 2017THE DAILY MIRROR offers a photo essay of the ceremony.  SKY NEWS notes, "Around 2,500 invited guests, including veterans representatives, service personnel, bereaved families, charity workers, civil servants and politicians attended a Drumhead Service at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall."  Nick Higham (BBC NEWS) adds:The event has been overshadowed by a row over the failure to include the families of the 682 service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan among the 2,500 invited to the ceremony. One widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan said they had been snubbed; another called the decision completely crass. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called on the prime minister to apologise for what he called a careless oversight. Mrs May said charities and groups representing the bereaved had been asked to put forward names of attendees.But the chairman of the War Widows Association told the BBC that while she'd been invited herself she'd not been asked to nominate others, and that the Ministry of Defence should have contacted all the families involved directly. While various family members were not allowed to attend, War Hawk Tony Blair was in attendance, no doubt feeling that pride and joy that only a War Criminal can when he's allowed to survey the people dead because of him.Principle Boy‏ @jdwallis  2h2 hours agoCan anyone explain why Tony Blair has been invited to the Iraq/Afghanistan tribute to dead & injured soldiers, but not their families? 0 replies10 retweets9 likesDavid Jones‏ @DavidJo52951945  2h2 hours agoSickening Tony Blair is at the service for the new memorial to soldiers killed in Iraq & Afghanistan today43 replies107 retweets110 likesStrongBite‏ @pariewolf  2h2 hours agoTony Blair arrives at the Iraq/Afganistan memorial service, a few minutes ago and takes a front seat. This man has the skin of a rhinoceros 10 replies27 retweets23 likesLee Thumwood‏ @LT14GJC  4h4 hours agoThe only fitting memorial to Iraq & Afghanistan would be to have Tony Blair at the Hague! Watch @georg[...]

Lynne Stewart

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 02:45:00 +0000

Glenn Greenwald‏Verified account @ggreenwald  7h7 hours agoMoreRIP Lynne Stewart who, despite mistakes, used her law degree in defense of her convictions & the most marginalized allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="363" id="xdm_default4737_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">28 replies128 retweets201 likesReply 28 Retweet 128 Like 201Lynne.I can't believe she's gone.C.I. and I were friends with Lynne.  I don't know who met her first.Seems like I knew Lynne my entire adult life.She took the cases others wouldn't.She was punished for that.So many people sprung to her defense.Because Lynne inspired that from people.Lynne, at her most basic, was a helper.She would help anyone.She would ask for help with causes, but Lynne wasn't one to ask for herself.She was genuinely touched by the outpouring of support when the government began targeting her.Lynne?She laughed.  She had a great laugh and a great sense of humor.She laughed and she loved.Lynne loved the world and the world that could be.  She could rail against the things that we need to call out but she never let it invade her, she never let it overtake her.  She loved her life, she loved her Ralph, she loved her children, she loved her friends, she really did love the world.Which is why she fought and persevered out of hope.  She believed all change was possible."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS): Wednesday, March 8, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept finally holds a press briefing, and more.US President Donald Trump, this week, signed a new executive order regarding immigration.We'll note this from the State Dept press briefing.QUESTION: All right, last thing. On the executive order that was signed yesterday but which we all had a preview of, the immigration and refugee executive order.MR TONER: Yep.QUESTION: Since you knew that this was coming, and everyone basically knew it was coming since the first one came out, it calls for a review of the vetting procedures for not just refugees, but also on the terms of visa issuance. I’m wondering, since that review must be well along now, what deficiencies the reviewers have uncovered in the previous, or prior, or even current vetting processes.MR TONER: Sure. Well, I mean, look – and this is elaborated in section five of the executive order – but it does call for the development of a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures. And it also, as you noted, calls for progress reporting to the President beginning 60 days after the implementation date, which is March 16th. That said, some of this work was already underway from the previous EO.I can’t get into too many specific details about what this report has uncovered thus far. We spoke with – and frankly, Secretary Tillerson spoke in respect to some of the progress that Iraq has made with regard to meeting some of the questions or some of the disconnects, if you will, in terms of information sharing and other procedures, that they’ve met those requirements – one of the reasons why Iraq was removed from the list of seven countries.But this is all part of the executive order’s purpose, which is to review and improve our national security-focused visitor screening and vetting proc[...]

The Good Times Are Coming

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">That's Cass Elliot singing "The Good Times Are Coming."For those who are depressed these days or shaken, what we're seeing right now is not the worst by any shot.Times will be good again!  (I should have posted that! Ashford & Simpson.)C.I.'s talking about how we may end up shutting down this year (as soon as she goes dark, I'm done).  She was saying that she wished she noted more music.Now she's noted music.She's also put the emphasis on women.It has had an effect.I remember when some of the PUMA sites (not all) were pretending to be 'feminist.' But all they did was post men.They'd make lists of movies starring men.They'd post music videos of men.Honestly, if we don't make the effort, who will?We need to use our voices.That's something C.I. drilled into me years ago.She always has.I can tell you about the reading lists of our college classes and how she challenged them -- male and female professors -- for the lack of women.  I can tell you that when she did presentations, she brought women writers into the conversation.So I just want to stress that as bad as you may feel today is, it has been worse and we can survive and even thrive.We have power.Cass sings, "The good times are coming."  I believe that."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Tuesday, March 7, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, Hayder al-Abadi plays dress up, the so-called 'resistance' reveals how hollow they really are . . .Day 141 of The Mosul Slog.Al Jazeera English‏Verified account @AJEnglish  2h2 hours agoIraqi, Kurdish, and ISIL forces in battle for control of Mosul. The map below shows who controls what for now: reply53 retweets41 likes  Note the results above.It took US forces how long to get to Baghdad in 2003?And they were foreign forces.140 days later and Mosul's still not liberated.But propaganda requires that Hayder al-Abadi parade around.Iraqi Day  🇮🇶‏ @iraqi_day  5h5 hours ago#Iraq PM @HaiderAlAbadi Has arrived to #Mosul city, Historic visit because his NEXT visit will be to announce the city completely liberated.1 reply26 retweets36 likes  Short, squat, rolly-polly Hayder dresses up and plays soldier.What does the prime minister have to be proud of?The Islamic State still controls portions of the area (see map above) and all Hayder's done is make clear he didn't prepare for refugees.He told the civilians to stay in Mosul, remember?Here's what they saw.AJ+‏Verified account @ajplus  7h7 hours agoMany Mosul residents like this grandma have been displaced by the fighting between ISIS and the Iraqi military. allowfullscreen="" id="player_tweet_838998167794245632" src="" style="border-width: 0px; height: 284.602px; left: 0px; position: absolute; top: 0px; width: 505.992px;">5 replies236 retweets270 likes  Not since Bully Boy Bush played dress up under a banner reading MISSION ACCOMPLISHED has a leaderSteven nabil‏Verified account @thestevennabil  5h5 hours agoIraqi PM @HaiderAlAbadi arrived in #mosul this morning to check up on the troops fighting #isis , great gains this morning #iraq #coalition2 replies34 retweets49 likes  Moving over to US President Donald Trump and immigration.  He's released a new executive order putting immigration on hold for a variety of countries.Unlike the previous list, Iraq isn't on this one.So you'd think a number of Americans would be happy.We've had to endure laughable stories about how this was a slap in the fa[...]

Look what they did now

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000

Those fools who embraced Bully Boy Bush last week are idiots.Consent Factory‏ @consent_factory  Mar 4MoreEmboldened by W's comeback, another war criminal speaks out in support of global elites under attack by the people. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="363" id="xdm_default7151_provider" scrolling="no" src="" style="border-width: 0px; display: block; margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" width="100%">0 replies10 retweets9 likesReply  Retweet 10 Like 9Tony Blair and Bully Boy Bush are both War Criminals.Who will save us?Only we can save us.But some need a celebrity swooping down to save us all.Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Everyone gets a car!" lampoons that notion.The days of faux rage are upon us."TV: HBO finally scores another hit" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):HBO's been struggling for a while as well.No one wants to watch GIRLS.And VEEP's one million or so viewers an episode now qualifies as hit material for the cable network.Once upon a time, SEX IN THE CITY could easily deliver 7 million viewers an episode.It was that memory that led HBO to bring back Sarah Jessica Parker for another series.Sadly, DIVORCE is no SEX IN THE CITY and it's never been able to amass even one million viewers for an episode.  More often than not, in fact, it's averaging half-a-million viewers an episode.In other words, it's become the ABC of cable -- offering programming that's running viewers off.David E. Kelley is no Darren Star (creator of SEX IN THE CITY) but his new show BIG LITTLE LIES is the best thing HBO's had in years, and we say that as two overwhelmed by BIG LITTLE LIES and not just as two friends of David.It's a tight, little comic mystery that debuted Sunday night with a death that may have been a murder.I watched.Not Sunday night.I watched Monday, after I read the review.They are friends of David E. Kelley.They have avoided weighing in on his shows as a result.But they did a review of this one because it's that good.Probably also because another friend is in it, Nicole Kidman.She's really wonderful.You don't realize how much so until all the elements come together in the first episode.Then you really get what she's going for in her performance.I would strongly urge you to catch BIG LITTLE LIES.It's involving and delightful."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Monday, February 20, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues, the US Defense Secretary visits Iraq, and much more.US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is in Baghdad.Al Jazeera EnglishVerified account ‏@AJEnglish  47m47 minutes ago"We're not in Iraq to seize anybody's oil." - US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis replies45 retweets36 likesCBS NewsVerified account ‏@CBSNews  19h19 hours agoDefense Secretary Jim Mattis distances himself from Pres. Trump's media bashing: replies125 retweets207 likesThe Washington TimesVerified account ‏@WashTimes  57m57 minutes agoDefense Secretary Jim Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi #oil #Iraq #JimMattis1 reply10 retweets3 likesBloombergVerified account ‏@business  4h4 hours agoU.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says there's no plan to seize Iraq's oil replies28 retweets27 likesJennifer Griff[...]

Media and music

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 01:51:00 +0000

Michael Tracey ‏@mtracey  8h8 hours agoMoreMichael Tracey Retweeted Steve InskeepGet over yourself, pleaseMichael Tracey added,Steve Inskeep @NPRinskeepA journalist is a citizen. Who informs other citizens, as free citizens need. Some are killed doing it. I'm grateful to many who inform me.42 replies130 retweets487 likesReply 42 Retweet 130 Like 487Agreed.Steve Inskeep.This is reality?This talk show host?He's not a journalist.He's a talk show host.He's a co-host of MORNING EDITION (NPR). allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">That's Sade with "By Your Side."Eddie e-mailed his favorite Sade song was "No Ordinary Love" and asked mine?"By Your Side."If you're looking for something to stream?"TV: The rescue puppy" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):Maybe because she was so good and so natural in comedy films like MUSIC AND LYRICS, THE WEDDING SINGER, NEVER BEEN KISSED, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE,  FEVER PITCH, 50 FIRST DATES and BLENDED her gifts have been so underrated?Drew's perfect.A bigger surprise?So is Timothy Olyphant.In fact, he's so perfect, it's unbelievable. He's the puppy in the pound you want to take home.He's the man that turns you into Geena Davis in THELMA & LOUISE begging like a puppy to let the  hottie in the car.Timothy is hilarious just saying "WOW!" loudly.He and Drew are hilarious together arguing.They're hilarious, and sexy, when she wants him to go down on her again and he's complaining that his jaw's still sore from last time and she's telling him that he should stop talking.Timothy does drama very well.  He was the finest dramatic actor on TV with JUSTIFIED.And he did bits of comedy in that role and was funny in bits of GO and in his one scene in FIRST WIVES CLUB.But none of that prepares you for how funny he is in SANTA CLARITA DIET.So stream SANTA CLARITA DIET."Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):Friday, February 17, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, Zaid Al-Ali grabs his pom-poms and attempts a Leapin' Lora of historic propaganda proportions, Baghdad's slammed with bombings, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.Yet again, the neoliberals are out for war and eager to send other people's children off to die.  The Center For Progress is getting it's war on as we noted in Wednesday's snapshot.  And then there's Zaid Al-Ali. He did such a bang up job working in Iraq (that's sarcasm) that he's decided he's an expert. He has an insipid column that was apparently too pathetic for even THE GUARDIAN to run so he took to ALJAZEERA.  Here's a typical passage:Analysts and commentators in various parts of the world claimed that Mosul's population took sides in the conflict, throwing their lot in with ISIL. A video was widely circulated on social media, supposedly showing Mosul's inhabitants stoning Iraqi army vehicles on their way out of the city - never mind that the video was actually from Sadr City in 2008.Second sentence first: Social media is global.  Not everyone speaks or reads Arabic.  It is very easy for a posted video to be shared with unintentional misrepresentations on social media.  I really have no idea what point the idiot thought he was making with that.The first sentence?It's a paragraph in a September 2015 column by Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group.A word on the International Crisis Group.  Early on, we were asked to note them by someone inhouse there and I blew it off.  We ignored them for probably the first three years.  As coverage on Iraq in the west continue[...]