nothing but love for stan

did you read:


those are the posts stan has done so far this week at his site 'oh boy it never ends.'  here's from last week:

  • Sally Field is now the last living cast member of ...
  • Hannah Gadsby is still gross and disgusting and no...

  • READY OR NOT, horror films, BLINDSPOT

  • stan does a great job at his website.  and he's been doing a great job since he started his site on november 6, 2008.

    stan covers entertainment and he finds a way to make it interesting and, even on a bad day, worth reading.  there are days these days where it sometimes feels like getting out of bed is almost impossible.  i know i can look forward to my daughter and to our plants because it's summer - we've got them all around the deck as usual - and to my husband and to my friends (that list does include stan) but i also know that i can look forward to his writing.  so thank you to my friend stan who does a great job and has been doing a great job for 12 years now.

    stan's a great person.

    joe biden is not.  did you see this:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Thursday that "10 to 15 percent" of Americans are "just not very good people."
    As first reported by The New York Times, Biden held a virtual town hall on Thursday evening with black supporters where he knocked President Trump's divisiveness and weak leadership.
    “The words a president says matter, so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, you’re going to get the worst of us to come out,” Biden told actor Don Cheadle, who was moderating the virtual town hall.
    “Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that...," Biden continued. "There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there that are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent, and we have to appeal to that and we have to unite people -- bring them together. Bring them together.”
    It is unclear who exactly he was referring to within the "10 to 15 percent" of people and whether or not he believes they support President Trump.

    wow.  10 to 15%.  if he is on the ticket in november, i hope he doesn't lose by 10 to 15% of the votes.  he really is lousy when it comes to campaigning.  we need a better candidate and we need it now.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Thursday, June 4, 2020.  Iraq has a host of problems that are not being addressed, Joe Biden continues to lack inspiration and is upstaged by celebrities, and much more.

    Starting with Tara Reade who has made a credible allegation that Joe Biden assaulted her.  Jacob Pierce (GOOD TIMES) reports:

    “It’s really hard that people are going to tear me apart. But it doesn’t change what happened. This happened in 1993. I was harassed, and I was assaulted, and history will look back on the journalism from this time and judge it,” she tells GT by phone.
    Overwhelmed by threats and online harassment, Reade says she is “a poster child for why victims don’t want to come forward.”
    “This is destroying my life,” says Reade, who did not speak with GT for our initial story. “I’m not suing Biden. I’m obviously not having any effect on his campaign. His campaign is fine. I tried to come forward in 1993 and in 2019 and now. I just hope it gets easier for the survivors.”
    Some former acquaintances of Reade have taken calls from a private investigator and spoken with him. Hummer says the investigator wouldn’t say who his client was, although he insisted it wasn’t the Biden campaign.

    It's Anita Dunn, that's the client.  Her dirty work is at play just as it was for Harvey Weinstein. Times Up will always be a dirty joke for making that dirty whore their manager.  It'll be very hard for them to blackmail donations in the future, which, let's be honest, is what they've done and they have nothing to show for the millions that they've extorted.  They are a fake organization pretending to help victims as the money disappears into private pockets and is expensed under 'overhead.'  

    Tara told her story.  She has been attacked for it.  People pretend that the slurs and smears means she wasn't assaulted when that's not what they mean at all.  

    Her character has no bearing on whether or not she was assaulted.  What we do have is what in every other cases is consider corroborating evidence.  We have her mother's phone call to Larry King.  I like Larry and I've known him for years.  If you missed it, he took time out this week to talk about his friends (Joe Biden and Donald Trump) and to say he didn't believe Tara.

    You know what I didn't hear, Larry?

    I didn't hear you apologize.

    For years, you've maintained that you do the work you do for your audiences.

    In 1993, Tara's mother called into your show and asked for help.  Neither you nor your guests offered her any.  You just moved right on.

    If you don't believe Tara today, well that's on you, now isn't it?

    You had her mother call in and explain her daughter was having difficulty and had just stopped working for a senator.  You didn't have any questions, did you, Larry?  That was a viewer you failed.  So don't ever tell me again how you do what you do because you're there for your audience.  And how dare you, having failed Tara's mother -- one of your viewers, how dare you now smear her daughter.

    Shame on you, Larry.  I've defended you many, many times.  I'm not interested in defending you right now and I think you deserve huge push back -- which I hope you get.

    Not done with the press.  I stayed silent on Ryan Grimm for over 24 hours.  I wanted to be in a calm place.  He gave an interview to THE WASHINGTON POST -- not linking to the garbage, you can Google it if you want.  

    I really am not in the mood for these journalists who try to make it about them.

    I'm not in the mood for these circle the wagons circle jerks.  It happens all the time.  Barbara Walters should have been called out for her involvement in Iran-Contra but thanks to the circle the wagons aspect of journalism, she was barely in a 24 hour news cycle. 

    More energy, similarly, was put into defending Ronan Farrow than defending Tara Reade.

    Ronan's journalism is questionable.  It is not beyond critique.  

    But you saw RISING and various others nearly have a heart attack over the questioning of Ronan's work.

    Ryan Grim?  No one forced him to write the article he did -- about Times Up not supporting Tara.  

    He wrote it.  He was a lousy journalist for not informing Tara of the connection Times Up had to the Biden campaign -- she learned of it when she read his report.  

    Now he wants to back off to THE WASHINGTON POST.  Maybe she's telling the truth, maybe she's not, he just reported on Times Up and . . .


    He went on various programs discussing Tara Reade the allegation she made and he did so after his report was published, he did so amplifying the work of others.

    So don't pretend you filed one report and that's all you did.  

    And if you're not sure of what she's saying, maybe you get off your cushy ass and do the damn job you should have done in the first place: report.

    I don't mean use the names on the list the Biden campaign's handing out to the press.  I mean actually report -- don't wait for a listener of Katie Halper's show to hear you on it and do the research -- that's who uncovered the call made by Tara's mother to Larry King -- that you should have done yourself.

    If you made stronger comments than what THE POST ran, you've got a Twitter account.  You didn't note that you were misquoted or that important statements were left out.  In fact, while you Tweeted THE NEW YORK TIMES smear job on Tara, you didn't even note your interview with THE POST -- nor did you call out THE TIMES smear job.  

    You aren't someone who's a journalist, not a good one, not a bad one, you shouldn't even be called a working journalist.  You are a joke and you will always be that.

    You put a woman out in public and now you want to try to save face.  Have the guts to say one way or the other whether you believe her.  And stop hiding and pretending that all you did was one story in March.  You used her name to get on programs and that's another thing.

    You stupid idiot, learn from your betters. Ellen Goodman walked away from the chat and chews because she knew she couldn't be an insta-expert.  She had her area of expertise but the chat and chews want you to be an expert on every topic.  You clearly are not so stop talking about every topic in the news cycle.  Judging by your remarks to THE POST, you're not even an expert on what you report on (Tara Reade).  

    I never respected you and I never liked you.  You are part of the circle jerk involving some of the worst men around.  I count three men who have assaulted women that you've reTweeted since May 31st.  Did you not know -- is that going to be your story like Meryl Streep's lie about not knowing about Harvey Weinstein?

    Well you need to know.  You present as an investigative journalist so why are you hanging with rapists?

    I believe Tara.  If you don't, have the guts to say so.  If you do, do your damn job.

    Nothing that's been said of Tara discredits her allegation.  It's amazing all these 'expert' pieces written and televised and we're the ones who have to point out that assault experts are not part of the conversation?  And after I hit on that repeatedly with Dean, THE TIMES finally sees fit to include them in a report?

    Tara told her story and the media at large didn't want to deal with it.  That's evidenced not only by them ignoring it -- until they were provide the oppo research Anita Dunn had overseen for the Biden campaign.  It's also evidenced by the fact that the charge is assault.

    It's not whether Joe Biden paid Tara's bills or not.  Her finances are not now and never were the issue.  But that's who the press went to time and again, not experts on assault.  We didn't need one sentence in a CNN broadcast of MJ Lee speaking as though she's an expert on assault, for example, we needed experts on assault discussing the issue, addressing the realities.

    Her story changed!

    Which means nothing.  

    Well it means one thing, it means the people screaming that nonsense are stupid and willing to flaunt their stupidity.  

    Experts on assault would have spoken to how it is not at all uncommon for assault to be a slow reveal with the victim revealing more details as her/his comfort level rises.

    Experts on assault could have addressed so much and educated the public.

    But they didn't want education, the corporate media's been in the tank for Joe Biden all along.  You saw it with their efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders.  You saw it with their attacks on Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro when they dared to question Joe in debates.  

    Smears were attached to the story, smears that let rape culture thrive.  The media needs to take accountability for what they have done.  They won't.  Ryan Grim's only one example of someone who will not take accountability.  

    And if he no longer knows -- or feels he does -- what happened maybe it's time for him to realize that he doesn't need to be on RISING every week or all the other programs, he needs to be doing the job of journalism.  If he wants to be gas bag pundit, have at it but stop pretending you're a reporter because you aren't.  And, again, heed the wisdom of Ellen Goodman and grasp that you can't be an expert on every issue under the sun just because you happened to reTweet on a few topics you've never reported on.

    At THE GUARDIAN, Lauren Gambino asks, "Can Joe Biden convince protesters he would be a 'transformational' president?"  That's why another brainless and braless celebrity was out front yesterday trying to build excitement for Joe (and trying to stop people from protesting).  I'm referring, of course, to Miss Barack Obama.  

    You know what, at least Hillary Clinton has the good sense to dial her own presence down right now.  She's not trying to steal focus from the nominee.  She realizes Joe needs to be the headline.  But Barack, who did nothing to stop police violence in his eight years as president and whose best known effort at racial healing was the laughable beer summit, needs some attention so Miss Barack Obama holds a virtual town hall and the corporate media goes into overdrive.

    Is Barack the nominee?  


    Joe can't excite voters and he can't connect with them.

    Which is why the media continues to play the who-will-he-pick game to gin up excitement and interest in a flaccid campaign.  Joe has stated it will be August when he announces his running mate.  But both he and his campaign are so boring and uninspiring that the media daily rushes to the closet to pull down their board game and play Mystery Date.

    Gretch The Wretch has a husband who looks corrupt with his lunacy around Memorial Day (the whole yacht thing) and that's not going to play well.  Amy's got major racial issues that aren't going to play well.  Stacey Abrams isn't experienced or competent enough to serve as vice president to a healthy person let alone to Joe who would require a v.p. who could step in at any moment due to his poor health and cognitive decline.   The media's not addressing those realities, it's just playing Mystery Date and that game has not aged well.

    By the way, Joe's promise to make a woman his v.p. pick was stupid from the beginning.

    There's nothing wrong with picking a woman.

    But promising to pick one?

    That's nonsense.  

    It's one thing to pick a woman because she brings something to the ticket that other candidates do not.  

    It's wrong, however, to pick a woman just because you said you were going to.

    There's a desperation to it right now as a result.  

    And, at the end of the day, the pick will not be seen as the best but instead as the best Biden could settle for after making his public promise.

    Charlamagne tha God isn’t joining Team Biden just yet.
    The radio personality, speaking to CNN on Tuesday evening, discussed his assessment of how the presumptive Democratic nominee was performing as the country reels over the death of George Floyd and the protests and riots that ensued as a result.
    Despite offering praise for former Vice President Joe Biden’s address to the nation from Philadelphia, the host of “The Breakfast Club” radio program said he needed more from the 2020 hopeful.
    [. . .]
    The African American influencer, who boasts over 2.1 million Twitter followers and has interviewed almost every major presidential candidate this election cycle, went on to say that Biden had a “racist” legislative history in the Senate.
    “To me it’s like this: If Barack Obama was JFK, then Joe Biden needs to be Lyndon B. Johnson. You know, he has the opportunity to be as progressive as Lyndon B. Johnson. Lyndon B. Johnson may have been labeled a racist but his record doesn’t reflect that. LBJ’s record showed that he had, like, the most effective progressive record on race and class of any Democratic president of the past 80 years.
    “I think, you know, Biden’s record in the Senate actually reflects very racist legislation, but he has a chance to correct that by doing right by black people,” Charlamagne said.
    Turning to Iraq . . .

    That was April, and Mustafa al-Kadhim wasn't yet prime minister -- he would become prime minister on May 7th.  It needs to be noted that as he prattled on about Iraq's sovereignty and the need to protect it, the Turkish government was bombing Iraq and killing people.  That's terrorism.  Does Mustafa plan to address that?  Does he plan to ask the international community for help with that?  Will he ask the United Nations -- which just extended its own mandate in Iraq -- for help in stopping the Turkish bombings?

     In other problems that need to be resolved, Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) reports:

    The Iraqi government must submit its 2020 draft budget to the Iraqi parliament by June 30, parliamentarians decided during the legislative body’s Wednesday session.

    Already six months into 2020, Baghdad is currently still operating its financial affairs based on the country’s 2019 budget law, after the government was paralyzed in political deadlock for most of the year.

    Until Mustafa Kadhimi was approved as prime minister alongside his cabinet in early May, Iraq had not had a fully-functioning government since December, when Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned from the post in the face of mass protests over unemployment, corruption, and the lack of basic services.

    Both the previous caretaker and newly-established governments have failed to submit the 2020 draft budget to parliament to be turned into a bill and finally a law. This comes at a time of great financial distress for Iraq, which is simultaneously battling an economic slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a massive drop in oil prices, an increase in Islamic State (ISIS) attack, as well as budgetary disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad.

    Iraq’s parliament held a session on Wednesday in the presence of 184 MPs to review a drafted loans bill, and discuss financial support for impoverished Iraqis, according to a statement from the parliament. 

    The following sites updated:


    mcdreamy to moisten up the cw

    'deadline' reports:

    The CW has picked up Sky Italia original Devils, starring Patrick Dempsey, as it continues its acquisition of international shows for its fall schedule.
    The move means a slight schedule change to accommodate the hour-long drama with Two Sentence Horror Stories and Dead Pixels moving from their previously announced slots.

    The broadcaster acquired the financial thriller from NBCUniversal Global Distribution and will air it on Wednesdays at 8 PM on its fall schedule ahead of Canadian import Coroner. It replaces Two Sentence Horror Stories and Dead Pixels in this slot for the fourth quarter with the British comedy now airing over the summer and the horror anthology series moving to Sunday nights.

    patrick dempsey was a cute young man but nothing else.  he and jonathan silverman starred in a large number of films that mostly all failed and left you curious how they got hired to begin with?

    again, patrick dempsey was cute.  that put him 1 up on jonathan silverman.

    of those early films, i do like 'heaven help us' and 'can't be me love' and 'loverboy' have their moments.  but all those films in the 80s and the 90s?  we could live without them all.  it wasn't until 2000 when he was in 'scream 3' that he was actually in a solid movie.  and not until 2002 - 'sweet home alabama' - that he made a film that's really worth repeat viewings. in 2000, he also did 3 episodes of 'will and grace' at the sportscaster matt who's in the closet but in a relationship with will.  2000 was when he stopped being a cute boy and actually became an actor.

    he would achieve tremendous fame from 'grey's anatomy' until shonda rhimes was pissed at him and killed him off - the hideous actress who plays meredith was all for killing him off, by the way.

    but from 2005 to 2015, he was mcdreamy, the hot doctor on the show. and the show's on fumes after he leaves.

    so his returning to tv is news and a lot of people will probably be checking out at least 1 of the 10 episode 1st season.

    it was smart of 'the cw' to put it on wednesday nights and not thursdays because that way grey fanatics won't have to choose between which 1 to watch.

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Wednesday, June 3, 2020.  Unrest continues in Iraq and the US, War Criminal Bully Boy Bush tries to rehab his image, and much more.

    Starting with this from Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT):

    The aftermath of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota police has created a national political crisis. The revulsion caused by this latest killing caught on camera spawned protests in Minneapolis and all over the country. Black people are the angriest, knowing they are at risk of the same treatment and because most police killings rarely result in convictions.
    But the mass actions present a problem for the rulers. Anger boiled beneath the surface after years of the race to the bottom austerity regime, the worsening economic collapse in the wake of the COVID-19 quarantine, and another Democratic presidential primary rigged by that party’s donor class to defeat the prospect of even minimalist reforms.

    While black people led the way, they were joined by many white people too. They are also angry about Floyd’s death and are primed to rise up against the injustices that are expanding and becoming more deeply entrenched against them as well. While COVID-19 created a health crisis it also left millions unemployed with nothing but meager benefits and a one-time payment of $1,200. 
    When these groups began a nascent campaign of solidarity, the system rose up against them in an effort to delegitimize them all. The story of Floyd’s cruel death began to take a back seat in the corporate media. Suddenly the propagandists who pose as journalists became concerned about the presence of white people in the protests. Who were they? Where were they from? What did they want? Were they “antifa” or anarchists or white supremacists? 
    They were quickly joined by the political class of black misleaders who did the bidding of their patrons by dismissing the acts of rebellion. St. Paul, Minnesota mayor Melvin Carter fired the first shot when he declared that every arrested protester was not from his state. But in fact the opposite was true, and 85% of arrestees were Minnesotans . Carter sheepishly responded that he had received bad information. The obvious and easily proven inaccuracy makes that assertion highly unlikely.

    He and others began using very dangerous talking points. They claimed to grieve for Mr. Floyd and expressed a desire to see justice done while also saying that white protesters were using the demonstrations for nefarious ends. They even evoked the “outside agitator” trope from the bad old days of Jim Crow segregation. They pleaded for peaceful protest or no protest at all and some of them told outright lies.
    Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms  was among the worst. She accused protesters of disgracing her city, George Floyd’s memory and Martin Luther King’s legacy all in one fell swoop. She told them, “Go home.” According to Madame Mayor every protester was snatching liquor, setting fires and pulling knives on the police. The rebellion was dismissed as criminality and despite any claims of concern for George Floyd, she proclaimed every participant a scoundrel.
    For good measure she added, “If you want change in America, go and register to vote!,” as if that act has magical qualities to make bad things disappear. Voting usually produces nothing more than mediocre sell outs like Keisha Lance Bottoms. It certainly won’t end police violence.

    As unrest continues in the US, Aisha Ahmad observes:

    1 week of this in the United States 884 weeks of this in Iraq

    Meanwhile War Criminal Bully Boy Bush is attempting to rehab his toxic and violent image.  Some are going a long with it, others with ethics are calling it out.  Mbuyiseni Ndlozi points out:

    You lied about Weapons of Mass Distruction, invaded Iraq in an unjust war leading to deaths of thousands of inoccent people. You should have been charged by ICC for crimes against humanity! But because of white privilage, you have not been held responsible! #GeorgeBushMustFall

    In his ridiculous statement, Bully Boy Bush also declared "looting is not liberation."  Really?  Didn't his administration sell it as liberation in Iraq?  April 12, 2003, Sean Loughlin (CNN) reported:

    Declaring that freedom is "untidy," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday the looting in Iraq was a result of "pent-up feelings" of oppression and that it would subside as Iraqis adjusted to life without Saddam Hussein.
    He also asserted the looting was not as bad as some television and newspaper reports have indicated and said there was no major crisis in Baghdad, the capital city, which lacks a central governing authority. The looting, he suggested, was "part of the price" for what the United States and Britain have called the liberation of Iraq.

    "Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things," Rumsfeld said. "They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that's what's going to happen here." 

    Bully Boy Bush needs to crawl back under his rock and shame on anyone who cheers him on today as he's on a p.r. tour to improve his well-deserved poor image.

    Carter Tweets:

    So you’re telling me I’m supposed to vote for the guy endorsed by George Bush? Did everyone just... agree to forget Iraq? Katrina? Gitmo? Abu Ghraib? Tax cuts? Patriot Act? Wtf did Ellen do to y’all?

    And Hayati Iraq offers:

    A lot of Arabs are supporting BLM which is great but a majority of black people r gnna vote for joe Biden and he’s probably gnna bomb the entire Middle East like Obama did whos gnna riot and protest for us?

    Uncle Joe and other garbage the soft left traffics in here in the US does not cut it in the Middle East.  Joe Biden's reputation there is not based on his cute foibles but on his actual deeds which have destroyed the lives of many Arabs.  Earlier this year, Mark Weisbrot (GUARDIAN) noted:

    Biden did vastly more than just vote for the war. Yet his role in bringing about that war remains mostly unknown or misunderstood by the public. When the war was debated and then authorized by the US Congress in 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate and Biden was chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations. Biden himself had enormous influence as chair and argued strongly in favor of the 2002 resolution granting President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.
    “I do not believe this is a rush to war,” Biden said a few days before the vote. “I believe it is a march to peace and security. I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur …”
    But he had a power much greater than his own words. He was able to choose all 18 witnesses in the main Senate hearings on Iraq. And he mainly chose people who supported a pro-war position. They argued in favor of “regime change as the stated US policy” and warned of “a nuclear-armed Saddam sometime in this decade”. That Iraqis would “welcome the United States as liberators” And that Iraq “permits known al-Qaida members to live and move freely about in Iraq” and that “they are being supported”.
    The lies about al-Qaida were perhaps the most transparently obvious of the falsehoods created to justify the Iraq war. As anyone familiar with the subject matter could testify, Saddam Hussein ran a secular government and had a hatred, which was mutual, for religious extremists like al-Qaida. But Biden did not choose from among the many expert witnesses who would have explained that to the Senate, and to the media.
    Biden’s selling points as a candidate often lead with his reputation for foreign policy experience and knowledge. But Iraq in 2002 was devastated by economic sanctions, had no weapons of mass destruction, and was known by even the most pro-war experts to have no missiles that could come close to the United States. The idea that this country on the other side of the world posed a security threat to America was more than far-fetched. The idea that the US could simply invade, topple the government, and take over the country without provoking enormous violence was also implausible. It’s not clear how anyone with foreign policy experience and expertise could have believed these ideas.
    Senator Dick Durbin, who sat on the Senate intelligence committee at the time, was astounded by the difference between what he was hearing there and what was being fed to the public. “The American people were deceived into this war,” he said.

    Regardless of Biden’s intentions – which I make no claim to know or understand – the resolution granting President Bush the authority to start that war, which Biden pushed through the Senate, was a major part of that deception. So, too, was the restricted testimony that Biden allowed. The resolution itself contained deceptive language about a number of pretexts for the war, including al-Qaida and weapons of mass destruction that Iraq did not have.

    At NEWSWEEK, Emily Cadei observed:

    Today, Iraq is a mess. The terrorist group ISIS operates across large swaths of the country after storming through northwest Iraq in 2014; while a lack of basic services like electricity has prompted rolling protests by average Iraqis. Iraq's dramatic deterioration, after the country seemed to have been on the right path at the beginning of the decade, has prompted some partisan finger-pointing this year. Republicans have tried to pin the blame on Clinton, the Democrats' 2016 front-runner, who headed up the State Department between 2009 and 2013. Democrats, meanwhile, are blaming former President George W. Bush (and by extension, his brother, Jeb), as well as other Republicans who were cheerleaders for the 2003 invasion, which created the power vacuum in Iraq. 

    The scrutiny has yet to land on Biden, who is mulling a bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016, spurred on by Clinton's summer of stumbles. Yet were he to run, the vice president would be the one candidate who really owns Iraq policy, for good or for ill. As Robert Ford, the deputy ambassador at the Iraqi Embassy from 2008 to 2010, puts it, " The vice president has more than a little responsibility in all of this."

    [. . .]

    Since the United States withdrew its troops at the end of 2011, Maliki has gone after senior Sunni politicians on trumped-up charges, cracked down on Sunni protests, abandoned efforts to integrate Sunnis into the military and otherwise alienated this significant, if minority, ethnic group—the same one whose insurgency last decade led to some of the bloodiest years of the Iraq War. As retired General David Petraeus, the former U.S. commanding general in Iraq, testified in a Senate hearing last month: "The cause of Iraq's unraveling" was the Maliki government's "corrupt, sectarian and authoritarian behavior." That "created the conditions for the Islamic State to reconstitute itself in Iraq, after which it gained additional strength in the Syrian civil war."
    There was a period of time in 2010, however, when it wasn't clear Maliki would remain in power. In a major upset, Maliki's State of Law party won two fewer seats than the secular Iraqiya party headed by another Shiite, Ayad Allawi, in the March vote. To critics, this was the turning point when the U.S. should have stepped in and helped Iraqis form a new government, sans Maliki. Khedery calls it "the most crucial period in this administration's Iraq policy, because it was a historic moment where we could have gone down two paths, and some of us desperately tried to go down the correct path, the path that would have respected the Iraqi Constitution and the election results." Everything that's happened since is a direct outgrowth of U.S. leaders' failure to act, Khedery and other critics say.
    But defenders of the vice president say the United States didn't have that kind of control over the situation. "The diplomacy in that period was as intense as anything I've seen," Blinken says. "We were pressing not for any individual but for an outcome in Iraq that led to inclusive, nonsectarian government.... Ultimately, the people that emerged did not do justice" to that vision.
    Maliki quickly lined up with another Shiite party in a coalition, which he claimed gave him the right to form a government, despite real questions around whether that comported with the Iraqi Constitution. A judge, widely considered to be in Maliki's pocket, ruled it did. But Maliki still didn't have enough support to claim a majority in parliament. So he, in effect, just sat there. On the American side, one former senior U.S. official tells Newsweek that Chris Hill, the U.S. ambassador through mid-2010, "decided early on that it should be Maliki." Hill and a handful of senior advisers in the embassy "went to the vice president and convinced Blinken and Biden" of that as well.
    Blinken disputes that the U.S. "put our thumb on the scale." The reality was Maliki "had the most support." Allawi, he notes, was also "trying to see if he could garner the support to form a government" during the stalemate. "The bottom line is, he couldn't."

    Anthony Blinken is nothing but a liar.  It's all he's ever been.  The reality was that Allawi won the election.  He had the support of the Iraqi people.  Nouri refused to step down, for over eight months, bringing the country to a standstill.  He was able to do that because he had the support of Chris Hill and Joe Biden.  That's reality.  Blinken is never challenged on his lies.

    And, to be clear, Emily Cadei's article was publishes in 2015.  When Joe Biden is actually running for president, the press doesn't feel the need to seriously explore Iraq.

    At COUNTERPUNCH, Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi argues:

    The vicious circle of voting for the Democrat’s candidate, no matter how corrupt the party and its nominees are, needs to end. We are always told that the time is not right. Yet, we never hear what the right time would be and when would it arrive. Under what circumstances does one vote her conscience?
    If there were any doubts that powers that be will not allow the realization of any meaningful choice in the presidential elections, those doubts should have put to rest after the Clinton-DNC staged a coup against Bernie Sanders during the last presidential campaign. Any genuine examination of how Donald Trump ended in the White House, must have interrogated the DNC conspiracy to sabotage Sanders’ campaign rather than the wild goose chase of the Russian interference, true as it might have been. The DNC handed the presidency to Trump. And they will end up doing it again.
    The early success of Sanders’ campaign in 2020, alarmed the party again and made its leadership visibly concerned about the possibility of a contested nomination process. President Obama came out of his long silence since he had left office to assure the party leadership that he would speak up to stop Bernie Sanders nomination. Through a combination of the old party patronage system, disenfranchisement, fear mongering, and campaigns of misinformation, the DNC pulled Biden from the bottom of the list and crowned him on the top as the “presumptive” nominee. A man who could not articulate a thought without meandering sentences and bouts of forgetfulness that alarmed many observers about his mental fitness, became the one who is now to rescue the country from the rising tide of fascism.
    The same party leadership who utterly failed to understand that the fault lines of the last presidential election was a vote for or against the establishment, and rallied behind Hillary Clinton who epitomized all that is wrong with the existing order, is now counting on the loyalty of the hardcore democrats to take back the while house with Biden. I am not here to say that Biden cannot win. He might. Trump might have alienated enough people with his vulgarity, diseased mind, nefarious heart, and devious personality that would cost him the presidency. But that cannot vindicate the misdeeds of the DNC and absolve the corruption at its heart.
    The Left cannot afford and should not give another pass to the DNC oligarchy. The party has shown time and again that it is incapable of foundational transformation. What today people on the streets of Minneapolis, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and many other major cities in the country are crying out is not to bring to the office a kinder, gentler, corrupt politician who opposed the necessity of “collective and structural changes” in American society. The Left has given enough carte blanche to the Democrats, time has come for real accountability.

    Biden is corrupt. Not once during the entire House investigation of Trump’s abuse of power in looking into Hunter Biden’s lucrative seat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, any Democrats eyebrows was raised about what actually he, the son of the then Vice President of the United States, was doing on that board making hundreds of thousands of dollar a year for doing absolutely nothing. Yes, Trump abused the power of his office and asked foreign entities to abet his presidential campaign. But that does not exonerate Biden. Is there any doubt in any one’s mind that Hunter was sitting on that board because he was Biden’s son? The time for bringing back the old corrupt machine is over.

    On the topic of Hunter, it's also true that questions need to be asked about the sweet deal Hunter got with the reserves.  He was too old to serve.  He wasn't qualified.  He had a drug problem.  But all that got swept away and he was made an officer -- with no time in basic training.  He got to step over all the red tape and rules.  As CNN reported after Hunter was kicked out of the Navy Reserves:

    Biden was commissioned as an ensign in May 2013 and assigned as a public affairs officer in a Norfolk, Virginia-based reserve unit. A month later, he tested positive for cocaine, and he was discharged in February, according to the report. 

    Hunter was not qualified.  That he wasn't qualified is demonstrated by the fact that a month into his supposed 'service' he's kicked out.  He never should have been commissioned to begin with.  Joe Biden has repeatedly bent the rules and circumvented basic ethical guidelines to promote Hunter and others.  It's nepotism and it shouldn't take place.  Joe has no ethics.

    He takes credit for pulling US troops out of Iraq but US troops remain in Iraq.  They never all left despite Biden's lies.  And in September 2012, the US began sending more US troops in.  By the summer of 2014, this was done much more openly.  Today, Hamdi Malik (AL-MONITOR) reports:

    In a span of less than three months, five “new pro-Iran militias” have announced their plans to escalate attacks on US forces in Iraq. Some of them have claimed responsibility for major anti-American attacks. But evidence indicates this is a propaganda campaign conducted by existing militias rather than an actual escalation. The main desire common among these groups is avenging the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Popular Mobilization Units’ (PMU) military leader who was assassinated by the United States alongside Iran’s Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, in January.
    In the last of a series of videos purporting to attack American forces or interests in Iraq, a group calling itself Tha’r al-Muhandis Brigade (Vengeance of al-Muhandis) claims they fired two anti-aircraft missiles that hit two American Chinook helicopters. In the short clip posted on the social media platform Telegram on May 22 and that has been viewed by Al-Monitor, two militants whose faces are blurred are seen carrying man-portable air-defense systems. The clip shows one of the militants firing a missile into the sky. The cameraman seemingly follows the missile into the sky, and seconds later a Chinook helicopter is seen in the clip. The video does not show the helicopter being hit by the missile. Also, we don’t see a second missile being fired.
    But Tha’r al-Muhandis Brigade’s clip seems to be fake. Al-Monitor showed the clip to Ali Chakav, a senior graphic designer at the London-based Iran International TV. After examining the video, Chakav came to the conclusion that the clip is a montage and that footage of the Chinook was later added to the footage of the firing of the anti-aircraft missile.

    The following sites updated:


    to leave bad feedback on amazon or not?

    okay, background.  i love trashy bios.  i miss the days of paperbacks at grocery stores.  i got my first barbra streisand bio at a grocery store.  these days - even before covid - you really can't find them.  so i get them on amazon.  i'll get them new if i know about it.  if i don't know about it, i'll find out after it's published - that sometimes means i will buy a book used.

    john parker's 'five for hollywood' sounded like a dream come true - a book about natalie wood, elizabeth taylor, james dean, rock hudson and montgomery clift. 

    my problem?

    it's a homophobic book.  rock's called a 'predator' and his sex life is attacked.  (rock hudson was gay, if you didn't know.)  okay, rock's a predator but elizabeth taylor isn't?

    i loved taylor, she was larger than life.  but it's homophobic to judge rock for sleeping with men but not elizabeth.

    but my biggest problem was the natalie wood section.

    and here's where i wonder whether is should trash the book seller or not.

    the natalie wood section of the book includes - or rather, excludes - 8 pages.  8 pages have been cut out of the book.  there's no way you could flip through the book - i'm not talking scanning, i'm talking just flip the pages - without noticing this.  all 8 pages are together and they've cut them so that the edges are in the book.

    so do i leave bad feedback or just shrug and say, 'well it was a used book'?

    what do you think

    let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020.  Covid and ISIS continue in Iraq. 

    Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder at the stupidity.  For example, Rafael Noboa Y Rivera shows up at THE DAILY BEAST to tell you "I'm an Iraq Veteran.  The Cops Are Treating Citizens Like They're Under Occupation."  I'm not questioning the police violence.  It's taking place.  It's documented in video after video of the protests.  I am asking what the hell Rafael is thinking?  This is how you acted in your tour in Iraq?  Or this is what you saw?  You already sold out everyone in 2008, veterans, remember?  You sold out your fellow veterans who, sadly, were willing to be sold out.  Barack Obama didn't want the big protest that veterans were threatening.  He was going to meet with veterans.  Rivera was part of that 'deal' that wasn't.  Barack never met with them, he just strung them along to avoid the headlines of ''Veterans Protest Barack."

    Now Rafael shows up, as Americans are disgusted to see the way protesters are being attacked by the police, to tell us this is what he, the Iraq Veteran, saw under occupation?

    If so, you really need to apologize to the Iraqi people.  And you need to stop acting like what took place there was in any way okay because it wasn't.  Your use of it to make an analogy demonstrates that it was not okay.

    On the protests, here's Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) speaking to Australia's SKY NEWS.

    Violence continues in Iraq.  MENAFM notes, "According to the Iraqi military, two soldiers and two Islamic State (IS) militants were murdered on Monday, June 1st in an airstrike and a bomb attack in the Iraqi provinces of Nineveh and Diyala."  And, KURDISTAN 24 notes, "on Sunday, terrorists killed two members of the Iraqi federal police and the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and wounded six others, according to local media reports and a PMF statement."

    You may remember that it was just last week when we were laughing at the Iraqi military spokesperson who was insisting ISIS had been "vanquished" and was no longer a problem in Iraq.

    There are many problems in Iraq.  That includes the coronavirus.

    Iraq reimposed total lockdowns over the weekend following a surge in COVID-19 cases.
    After meeting with his COVID-19 task force on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government decided to institute a nationwide curfew until June 6, 2020.
    “The joint meeting underscored the importance of all citizens continuing to follow official health advice and physical distancing guidelines, and to comply with the curfew to keep themselves, their families and communities safe,” the government said in a press release announcing the restrictions.
    Under the latest guidelines, only supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies are allowed to remain open. These businesses cannot have more than five people in them at a time, and both employees and customers must wear masks. Some ministries will be closed, people must wear masks when outside and the closure of Iraq’s airports to commercial flights will continue until June 6. Restaurants will be allowed to deliver, according to the release.
    The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraqi-Kurdistan also began a full lockdown today with similar restrictions until June 6, according to a KRG Department of Foreign Relations tweet.

    MEED notes Iraq has 6,868 confirmed cases of Covid-19, there have been 215 deaths and there have been 3,275 who have recovered.  On the recovered, we'll note this report.

    One way Americans can inhabit this crossroads in the weeks and months to come is by reading Iraqi occupation literature — that is, literature by Iraqis about life between 2003 to 2011, when the U.S.-led Coalition Forces occupied the country. Over the last decade, a number of brilliant fiction and nonfiction books about the occupation have become available in English. Two that stand out among this emerging subgenre are “The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq” by the award-winning Arabic writer and filmmaker Hassan Blasim and “Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq” by the anonymous Iraqi software engineer-turned-blogger Riverbend. Others include “The Corpse Washer” by Sinan Antoon, “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Ahmed Saadaw, “The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq” by Dunya Mikhail, and “Baghdad Noir” edited by Samuel Shimon.
    These works challenge readers to share in the experience of being occupied. Just three months ago, this experience might have been considered a subject for only niche academic audiences or, worse, written off as the plight of an unlucky pocket of the globe. But the demanding isolation of social distancing, deepening precarity caused by the shutdown of all “nonessential” sectors, and seemingly imminent threat of infection and illness have made these narratives relatable to a wider American public. The idea of being confined, indefinitely, to one shelter was inconceivable for many of us prior to the coronavirus. During the first two weeks of the shutdown, my students, who were forcibly dispersed across four continents in a matter of days, began each virtual meeting by noting how surreal and dystopian it all felt. As one New Jersey-native put it, “It’s like we’re in a ‘Black Mirror’ episode, right?”
    It’s also the first time since the Vietnam War that the U.S. public has been confronted with so many dead bodies, and so many lives that cannot be fully grieved. The drone footage from New York’s Hart Island, where hundreds of unclaimed corpses are being buried in mass graves, crystallizes this phenomenon. It’s also a dilemma shaping our daily lives in less spectacular ways: health care workers broadcasting a patient’s final moments via FaceTime, essential employees beginning their shift after a brief announcement about a coworker passing, reporters updating listeners and viewers with the latest death toll.
    While this is new ground for many Americans, it’s old ground for many Iraqis. The mortality rate in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion was about 5.5 people per 1,000 per year and rose to 19.8 deaths per 1,000 in the year 2006. That same year, the rate of violence rose by 51 percent in just three months, with an estimated 5,000 deaths per month. The country’s medical facilities struggled to cope with the influx of bodies and the lack of capacity in their morgues, and families hired civilians to search dumps, river banks and morgues for the bodies of missing relatives.

    [. . .]

    One of those features is the trope of Iraq’s occupied civilians as ghosts, jinnis (supernatural spirits in Arabic mythology), or divided subjects — liminal figures existing at the threshold between life and death, waking and dreaming, human and non-human, here and there. “Baghdad Burning” opens about five months after the American invasion with the pseudonymous author resolving to blog about daily life under the occupation because, as she writes, “I guess I’ve got nothing to lose.” She quickly distinguishes herself from the “third world” Muslim women of the Western imagination. A university-educated engineer with a music collection ranging from Britney Spears to Nirvana, the 24-year-old had a budding career and busy social life prior to May 2003. She was free to move — solo and hijabless — around the city as she pleased. All that changed with the occupation.
    Riverbend chronicles the shift from her pre- to post-invasion life in details that are equal parts humorous and harrowing, raw and cerebral. She notes how the American troops carry out conventional forms of combat: killing, wounding and torturing Iraqi people. (Abu Ghraib, she affirms, was a watershed moment). But more often, she attends to the military’s more abstract and indirect engagement with those living in Baghdad. The occupying troops ravage the country’s infrastructure — electricity, water, gas and other basic services are constant problems — and they spread themselves everywhere in order to control and reconstruct the city. They also conduct patrols and raids that operate along the same logic as terrorism: surprise, chaos, asymmetry and mistrust. These strategies seem to facilitate the Islamic State’s domination and violence, a phenomenon that Riverbend highlights in her interrogative about the sounds that wake her at night: “What can it be? A burglar? A gang of looters? An attack? A bomb? Or maybe just an American midnight raid.”
    “Baghdad Burning” also gives readers a window into the psychological and social effects of the occupation. This form of militarism makes Riverbend and other Iraqis feel like they exist in an alternate reality, outside recognizable social and structural forms, like politics and time. When Donald Rumsfeld visits the country in September 2003, Riverbend observes how he moves through Baghdad “safe in the middle of all his bodyguards.” Rumsfeld’s movement is a particularly cruel and distressing element of the occupation for Riverbend, whose own mobility had become radically restricted (by that point, she couldn’t leave home without a head covering and male relative). “It’s awful to see him strutting all over the place … like he’s here to add insult to injury … you know, just in case anyone forgets we’re in an occupied country.” The young Baghdadi woman’s experience of the perverse and unassailable distance between herself and the U.S. Secretary of Defense typifies the occupier-occupied relationship in “Baghdad Burning,” a dynamic that leads Riverbend to the hopeless feeling that “everything now belongs to someone else … I can’t see the future at this point.”

    Last month, UNAMI noted a survey:

    This month the Government of Iraq with the support of UNFPA and UNICEF, unveiled the results of its National Adolescent and Youth Survey.
    The survey was the first of its kind in over a decade, with the last survey taking place in 2009. Its aim is to enable the Iraq Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to develop adolescent and youth-centered policies based on what adolescents and youth see as priorities.
    The launch took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the participation of the Minister of Planning, Dr Nouri Al-Dulaimi, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Ahmed Taleb, the Deputy UN Special Representative for Iraq and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms Marta Ruedas, along with UNFPA Representative, Dr Oluremi Sogunro and UNICEF Representative, Ms Hamida Lasseko.
    “Young people are the innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future. But they can only live out their full potential if they have skills, health and choices in life and most importantly, an adequate system that meets their inspirations,” explained Ms Marta Ruedas.
    Iraqis between the ages of 10 and 30 were asked about a range of key thematic issues affecting their lives, including health, education and civic engagement. According to the survey, 39% expressed worry about their future financial security and employment prospects. With over a quarter of Iraqis between the ages of 15 and 30 jobless, Iraq is one of the countries with the highest youth unemployment rates in the region.
    “The results show that young people have a clear understanding of citizenship, political and social life and livelihoods as well as their rights and obligations. The survey will be the basis for a clear and transparent process to put together youth-based policies,” said the Minister Taleb.

    Iraq is a country with a young population.  The median age is 20.  By contrast, in the United States it's 38 years-old.  The youth have taken to the streets because of the corruption, because of the lack of jobs, because of issues with diplomas (including hiring issue), because of a government that does not serve the people.

    Mustafa al-Kadhim only became the prime minister on May 7th.  But this is not supposed to be a four year term.  That's the point Ayad Allawi was making when he Tweeted the following on May 26th:

    No public tribunal has yet been formed to try protestors’ killers; and neither have martyrs’ families, those wounded and made handicapped been compensated. In addition, there must be a fixed date for fair and early elections; a new electoral law; and an independent commission.


    The following sites updated: