time's up is hideous

read ann's 'Time's up for Time's Up.'  and note this tweet from glenn greenwald:

Two years ago, the always-prescient-and-insightful tried to warn everyone that was a scam, created by the all-powerful Hollywood agent group CAA (home to 's husband) to protect Dems and Hollywood predators:

i hope glenn would have gotten that alyssa milano's married to a caa agent on his own - but i did wonder, 'is this because c.i. went off on____ a month or so ago?' when ____ messed up their commentary so badly by not knowing that fact?

here's 'the gay gaston.'

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

 Thursday, August 5, 2021.  What's going on with the Talabanis?

Starting in the US where THE HILL reports

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday said her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney (R), is “deeply troubled” about the state of the Republican Party.

“My dad is deeply troubled about where our party is, deeply troubled about where the country is,” Cheney said during an event hosted by the Aspen Institute.

She said her father, who served under former President George W. Bush, has been a “tremendous source of advice and guidance and wisdom for me.”

That's where she gets her "advice and guidance and wisdom" from?  Well that certainly explains why she's so damn stupid, doesn't it?

I thought she was just so repulsive and stupid because of karma for being a deferment baby.   That's what she was.  Her father who destroyed Iraq was a young man once.  And the US was at war with Vietnam.  And Dick Cheney didn't want to go.  So he had Liz and the others in the litter.  

As Timothy Noah (SLATE) explained in 2004:

 Cheney’s unself-consciousness about this is (or at least was) so pronounced that in 1989 he told George C. Wilson of the Washington Post, “I had other priorities in the ‘60s than military service.”

What Chatterbox never realized until recently, however, is that Cheney’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth Cheney, likely owes her very existence to her father’s avoidance of the Vietnam draft.

The Washington Post’s Phil McCombs made the intimate calculations in a profile published in April 1991, when Cheney was defense secretary. The timeline:

Aug. 29, 1964: Dick and Lynne Cheney marry.May 19, 1965: The Selective Service classifies Dick Cheney 1-A, “available immediately for military service.”July 28, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson says draft calls will be doubled.Oct. 26, 1965: The Selective Service declares that married men without children, who were previously exempted from the draft, will now be called up. Married men with children remain exempt.Jan. 19, 1966: The Selective Service reclassifies Dick Cheney 3-A, “deferred from military service because service would cause hardship upon his family,” because his wife is pregnant with their first child.July 28, 1966: Elizabeth Cheney is born.Jan. 30, 1967: Dick Cheney turns 26 and therefore becomes ineligible for the draft.

Dedicated students of obstetrics will observe that Elizabeth Cheney’s birth date falls precisely nine months and two days after the Selective Service publicly revoked its policy of not drafting childless husbands. This would seem to indicate that the Cheneys, though doubtless planning to have children sometime, were seized with an untamable passion the moment Dick Cheney became vulnerable to the Vietnam draft. And acted on it. Carpe diem!

Who says government policy can’t affect human behavior?

That's Dick Cheney.  A War Hawk unless he has to serve and then he has 'better' things to do.  And he's hailed as hero by his daughter that got him out of serving.  Liz is a War Hawk as well.  Why didn't she serve?  It's interesting how so many War Hawks are so quick to find something else to do but are more than happy to send others to fight wars.  

Iraq is an ongoing tragedy.  Maybe Liz Cheney needs to grasp that her father is a War Criminal and no one needs to hear from him or her?  Sorry that I can't join the faux resistance in rooting on a piece of trash like Liz Cheney or her father.

Sorry that I can't overlook the million-plus Iraqis who are dead or the others who have been left wounded, the ongoing suffering, to celebrate the hideous Dick Cheney and his butt ugly daughter.

Before we move outside the US, we'll note this statement from Senator Dick Durbin's office:

Durbin Statement On Senate Committee Vote On Repeal Of 2002 Iraq AUMF

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote on the repeal of the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq:

“Our Constitution is clear—only the United States Congress has the power to declare war.  For too long, Congress has abdicated this most serious of responsibilities.  I support this bipartisan effort to terminate the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Iraq.  As one of only 23 Senators to vote against the 2002 Iraq War authorization, it is long overdue that we turn the page on this war.”

In a speech on the Senate floor today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reiterated his intention to bring the repeal up for a vote in the Senate later this year.

Let's move over to northern Iraq, to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.  Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) reports:

The power struggle for leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan’s second most powerful political party has escalated once again, as one of the contenders declared he was not pulling out of the fight, raising fears of protracted instability in what remains the most secure and Western-friendly part of Iraq.

Lahur Talabani, the ousted co-chair of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), declared Tuesday that authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest and dozens of men both armed and unarmed had gathered outside his home in Sulaimaniyah over the past two days in a bid to scare him into leaving the country.

He was shorn of all of his powers in a bloodless coup by his cousins Bafel Talabani and Qubad Talabani last month. He said he had no intention of caving and would “face this plot head-on” and “will not leave my nation until my last breath.”

The drama is unfolding against a backdrop of mounting public fury with the elites that share power in the Kurdistan Regional Government — namely, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by the Barzani family, and the PUK that was founded by Bafel and Qubad’s late father, Jalal Talabani. Nechirvan Barzani is the president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and his cousin Masrour Barzani is the prime minister. Qubad Talabani is the deputy prime minister and, unlike Lahur Talabani who is openly hostile to the Barzanis, has excellent relations with the KDP.

The Talibanis continue to struggle.  It's hard to overcome lying to the voters.  That's what the Talabanis did to hold on to power.  They betrayed the people.  Jalal was presidnet of Iraq.  He had a stroke and they lied for over a year.  Jalal wasn't able to speak.  He wasn't aware of his surroundings for the bulk of the eighteen months he was out of Iraq -- he was in Germany.  And, no, he couldn't carry out his duties.  But the Talabani family lied over and over to the Iraqi people.  The Talabani family even posed his body for photos to try to trick people.

They are still having to address that.  It's what fueled Groan's prominence.  It was just another struggling political party with CIA-seed money until the Talabanis tripped over their own ego.  It's so very interesting how you have a huge story that has impacted the PUK, has harmed it and it's a story that the western press really never told -- not then or since.  

We'll note a Tweet from Joel Wing:

After Lahur Talabani refused to leave Iraq PUK and KDP media posted video accusing his brothers of corruption

Head of the Kurdistan Veteran Peshmerga Association Jamil Hawrami said on Wednesday (August 4) that no conclusions were reached during a meeting of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) Politburo earlier in the day with regard to the power struggle between party co-presidents, Bafel Talabani and Lahur Sheikh Jangi.

The meeting was chaired by Talabani, but Sheikh Jangi was absent. The two are engaged in a battle for factional primacy within the party.

A readout of Wednesday’s conference lacked substance about what was discussed, beyond the general political situation within the party and the upcoming parliamentary election in October.

Although it had been simmering for months, Talabani and Sheikh Jangi’s rivalry exploded into public on July 8, when Talabani and his younger brother, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, began a campaign to oust Sheikh Jangi’s allies from leadership positions within the party’s affiliated security forces.

During an appearance on NRT’s Tawtwe interview program, Hawrami said that the powerful PUK General Leadership Council is expected to meet soon to discuss the dispute, appearing to indicate that that body’s role could be more influential than the private meetings between the major players in the party that have taken place so far.

The family dysfunction plays out on the public stage.  Ara Tweets:

Bafel Talabani has sent forces to Lahur Sheikh Jangi his house. Bafel sent him a final letter giving Lahur the opportunity to leave Kurdistan but Lahur rejected it.

There is a whole story about the betrayals of the Talabanis.  They are out of touch and have demonstrated that repeatedly.  After deceiving the country about Jalal's health -- he should have been removed from office for being incapacitated -- what was the family's next big public move?  To do the US government's bidding.  A Talabani rushes back to Iraq, from his home in the US (his home in the US, that's where his home is) and opposed the KRG non-binding resolution asking whether Kurds would rather be part of Iraq or their own autonomous nation.

Cheered on by the US press, he was a bit of a celebrity . . . outside of Kurdistan.  That resolution passed by approximately 95%.  Do you get how out of step the Talabanis are with their fellow Kurds?  Do you get the damage the family continues to do to the PUK.

Sure, they get US tax payer money to line their own pockets but, at some point, they need to grasp that they won't get that money if they have no influence over the Kurds.  And they're approaching that point.  Soon they may not be able to afford pricey homes across the US.  Zack Kopplin (THE NEW REPUBLIC) noted last year:

Bribing one politician is bad. Bribing all the politicians is worse. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a group of companies in Kurdistan, Iraq’s semi-independent northern region, that appears to be doing the latter in order to secure a monopoly on Pentagon fuel contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

A previous New Republic investigation outlined how Kurdish and American firms used shell companies with connections to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the region’s two major political parties, to dominate fuel sales to the U.S. military and inflate prices. But PUK-aligned groups aren’t the only ones cashing in on these American fuel purchases: A tangled network of corruption illustrates how ostensible rivals can cooperate to rip off the Defense Department.

According to Kurdish government documents provided to the Government Accountability Project, where I work, additional shell companies also connect the fuel-fleecing to the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the region’s other major political faction, led by former President Massoud Barzani and his powerful family, a clan of American-sponsored kleptocrats. The billionaire Barzanis are Kurdistan’s “unofficial monarchs,” said Kamal Chomani, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy and editor in chief of the Kurdistan Times, an independent news outlet. “We always referred to them as the Mafia,” said a former U.S. government adviser in Iraq, who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

The Barzani family’s assets span the globe. “It was never practical to keep track of that stuff,” a former U.S. anti-corruption official said about the vast Barzani holdings, which were spread from Syria to Switzerland. And, in an awkward twist, some of the millions swindled from the U.S. military may have ended up as investments in California’s luxury real estate market.

While the scope of the Barzanis’ wealth is vast, its source is simple: The money comes from Kurdistan’s rich oil and gas industry and deals like the Pentagon fuel purchases. Requests for comment sent to an adviser for Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, as well as to a public relations firm that previously worked for the Barzani family, went unanswered. 

Tracing the Kurdish fuel deals leads to a Virginia-based logistics company, DGCI. For at least half a decade, DGCI has been the Pentagon’s go-to fuel provider in Kurdistan and has been dogged by questions about its connections to Kurdish politicians.

Most recently, DGCI was contracted by the U.S. military to deliver wildly overpriced jet fuel, at rates as high as $10 a gallon, to an American base at the international airport in Erbil, Kurdistan’s capital. The Erbil airport is a key staging point for fuel deliveries into Syria, part of America’s continued involvement in that country’s civil war.

[. . .]

In Kurdistan, monopolies happen because you have power or pay off those who do. DGCI is paired with a Kurdish conglomerate called Zozik Group; together, they share ownership of a subsidiary called Triple Arrow. Zozik, which did not respond to my requests for comment, has faced long-standing allegations that it’s a channel for bribes to PUK officials, as detailed in the earlier New Republic investigation.

But PUK connections alone don’t explain DGCI’s overpriced deliveries to Erbil, which is outside the party’s primary territory. Even early in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, State Department officials conceded internally that corruption in Erbil “centers more on the Barzani clan,” according to diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks. In Erbil, “the Barzanis have to have at least half of the shares of big businesses,” said Abdulla Hawez, a Kurdish journalist and researcher. Sources said that Zozik and DGCI cooperated with companies linked to Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party bloc in order to deliver fuel to the U.S. government.

The Barzanis greed is so obvious that even THE NEW YORK TIMES has covered the $47 billion Beverly Hills mansion that US taxpayers appear to be fotting the bill on.

Kanaa Ayoub Tweets:

Red circleRed circleDozens of unknown armed men flocked to Beit after the PUK leadership asked him to hand over all wanted persons and leave Kurdistan. Lahur Talabani is Iran's upper hand in Kurdistan and the architect of the 2017 delivery of Kirkuk to alhashd Alshabi and Iran

There is a huge story that's being ignored by the bulk of western media.

The following sites updated: