nic's going to be a father again; patty's just fat

congratulations to nick and riko on the news that they're about to be parents.  

i'm so happy for them both.  and i'm happy for nicholas cage.  he's married some strange 1s.  and of course, he married the nut case patty arquette.

kids, before patty was so focused on winning fattest woman in the world, she was married to nick.

it's hard to believe, i know.  today, it takes 3 of his legs to equal her width.  maybe 4?

he married that nut case in 1995 and they were over before 1996.  but she kept clincing to him and wouldn't stop pretending that they were married.  they weren't living together, he'd told her it was over but she was after him like he was a bag of gummy bears.  finally, in 200, he filed for divorce.  that's when people found out that they'd broken up after 9 months of marriage and that patricia had been lying every year in every interview she gave.

poor pathetic patty.  now she's just a fattty.

she then married thomas jane and she was a nutcase then too.  he took her back - i said not to (i know thomas) and she got even crazier.

she now just has her abusive relationships with food.  i think it's better that way.  

let her rip apart mrs. fields cookies, for example.

poor fatty patty.  she was already ugly with those teeth and now she looks like she's about to play gilbert's mother in the remake of 'what's eating gilbert grape?'

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

Thursday, January 6, 2022.  A lot of people are in hot water, Nate Silver, Pfizer, Tony Blair . . . 

Nate Silver shot off his stupid mouth and a horde came out to pretend that the Iraq War mattered.  Pretend?  All have platforms.  All use the smugness to attack Nate, none use their platforms to highlight what goes on in Iraq and none have done so in years.  Here for NEWSWEEK's coverage.

In the real world, Iraq remains without a government.  The Parliament dissolved immediately ahead of the October 10th elections.  January 9th, the new Parliament is supposed to meet long enough to name a (ceremonial) President and a prime minister-designate (who will then have 30 days to form a government) and a prime minister.  That will be three months after elections.  

For now the political stalemate continues and Iraq remains without a Parliament.   AL-MONITOR highlights the following:

The Parties: 

  • The Sadrist bloc led by populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won the most seats (73). Sadr has declared his intention to try to form a "majority" government if he can cobble together support totaling 165 seats (minimum for a majority).
  • The other major block vying to be tasked with forming a government is the Coordination Framework composed of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law (33 seats); the Fatah Alliance (17 seats), which is the political wing of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), headed by Hadi al-Amiri and perceived as aligned with Iran; Aqd al-Watani Coalition, headed by Falah al-Fayyad (4 seats), also linked to the PMU and Iran; former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr Coalition (2 seats); cleric Ammar al-Hakim’s Hikma bloc (2 seats); and Kataib Hezbollah’s Huqooq movement, also a member of the PMU (1 seat) — a total of 59 seats (at time of publication). Ali Mamouri has the scoop here.
  • Other key parties and players include the Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani (37 seats); Halbusi’s Taqadum/Progress Party (37 seats); and 43 seats for independents not affiliated with any party. You can see the full election results here.

165 is the number that needs to be reached which is why meetings continue to take place.  RUDAW notes:

A delegation from the Sadrist bloc met with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Tuesday, discussing the October 10 elections and the formation of a new government for Iraq, according to Barzani’s office.  

“They talked about the political process in Iraq, election results and the efforts to hold the first meeting of the Iraqi parliament and the formation of a new Iraqi government,” read a statement from Barzani’s office. Both sides emphasized on overcoming challenges in the country as well as the resolution of Erbil-Baghdad issues, it added. 

Hassan al-Athari, head of the bloc, led the delegation. 

“They [Sadrist bloc] believe that the next government should be different from the previous ones which were formed based on consensus. They think that some of the winners who have gained most of the seats should form the [new] cabinet while some others remain as opposition,” Mahmoud Mohammed, KDP spokesperson, later told Rudaw’s Hawraz Gulpi. 

Outside Iraq, War Criminal Tony Blair remains in the news -- and in the hot seat.  From their house of shame -- racism accusations, hanging out with pedophiles, Prince Andrew being accused of rape -- England's royal family decided the way to celebrate the end of 2021 was to knight Tony.  It has not gone well. ALJAZEERA notes "an opinion poll published by UK polling company YouGov revealed 63 percent of Britons are opposed to Blair being knighted."  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL points out some of the backlash.  Some, not all.  The so-called royal honor comes as more of Tony's lies and deceptions float from the gutter he lives in.  YENI SAFIK reports:

Former British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, who was in office during the Iraq War, claimed he was told to burn a memo from the attorney general that said the invasion of Iraq could be illegal, local media reported Wednesday.

Hoon served as defense secretary between 1999 and 2003 under former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Iraq was invaded in 2003 by a coalition led mainly by the US and the UK.

Hoon made the claim in his recently published memoir See How They Run.

Jessica Elgot (GUARDIAN) draws the connection:

In revelations that critics say cast further doubt on the decision to award the former prime minister a knighthood, Hoon recalled in extracts from his recently published memoir that Blair’s chief of staff had instructed him to burn the document.

Hoon wrote in his memoir, See How They Run, that he had had been under pressure from Mike Boyce, the chief of defence staff, to provide him with clear legal direction that his forces could take action in Iraq, in lieu of a UN resolution authorising force, the Daily Mail reported.

RT adds:

In disclosures that have boosted ongoing attempts to strip the former prime minister of his recently conferred knighthood, Hoon reportedly revealed that Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell had instructed him “in no uncertain terms” to destroy the legal document.

When reports of the allegation first surfaced in 2015, they were dismissed by Blair as “nonsense.” But Hoon has resurrected the claim in a tell-all book, titled ‘See How They Run’, according to the Daily Mail. The paper said Hoon has provided details of a “cover-up” at Downing Street.

The former Labour minister said he was sent a copy of the “very long and very detailed legal opinion,” written by then-Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, “under conditions of considerable secrecy” and told he should “not discuss its contents with anyone else.”

British MP Jeremy Corbyn Tweets:

This underlines once more what a disastrous act of aggression the war on Iraq was. Parliament must never be misled into backing an illegal war again.

While Peter Wilson reminds:

Tony Blair had a child rapist from Pakistan made a Lord - "Lord Ahmed of Rotherham". Rotherham as we know is world famous for industrial scale abuse of this sort. Sordid stuff.

The tide is turning against Tony.  ITV reports:

A mother from Abergavenny whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 said she's "devastated" at plans to award former prime minister Sir Tony Blair a knighthood.

Hazel Hunt has written an open letter to the Queen alongside five other women who lost children during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

In the letter they ask the Queen to reconsider the honour which "tramples on our son's sacrifices."

Carol Valentine, Caroline Whitaker, Caroline Jane Munday-Baker and Helen Perry also put their names to the plea.

In the letter they write: "The news of Tony Blair's knighthood has set us back years.

"It makes a mockery of our children's lives, and we are struggling to cope with it."

It continues: "Our young sons were in the prime of their lives when they died fighting a war we should never have been at.

"We can never get over that loss, but our misery is compounded knowing that the man responsible is being honoured."

Meanwhile greed may land a few corporations in some trouble. Michael Scarcella (REUTERS) explains:

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit against AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and other companies over allegations their contracts with Iraq's health ministry helped fund terrorism that killed Americans during the war in Iraq.

The plaintiffs contend that the militia group Jaysh al-Mahdi, sponsored by Hezbollah, controlled Iraq's health ministry and that the 21 defendant U.S. and European medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies made corrupt payments to obtain medical-supply contracts.

The following sites updated:



luke is dead

 after susan lucci's erica kane, who is the most famous soap opera character?

i'd argue it's a duo: luke and laura, laura and luke.  from 'general hospital.'  so popular that elizabeth taylor came on the soap as a guest at their wedding (as helena cassadine).  luke and laura made the covers of 'newsweek' and 'people' and many, many other publication.

genie francis played laura and anthony geary played luke.  'entertainment weekly' reports:

Luke and Laura will have to continue their epic romance in the afterlife.

In a shocking move, General Hospital has killed off Luke Spencer, the popular character who first came to Port Charles 44 years ago, portrayed by Anthony Geary.

Well, perhaps it's not super shocking seeing that Geary retired from the longest-running soap opera still in production back in 2015 and Luke has existed almost exclusively offscreen since then. But for fans of GH, Luke Spencer's death marks the end of an era. 

'cnn' notes:

Played off and on over the years by Anthony Geary since the role originated in 1978, the character was part of an epic love story with Laura Webber that reached its height of popularity in the 1980s.
    The wedding of Luke and Laura in 1981 drew about 30 million viewers, making it one of the highest-rated episodes in the history of daytime dramas.
    But on Monday the character of Tracy Quartermaine (who was married to Luke) revealed to Laura that Luke had died off screen in a cable car accident overseas that may not have been an "accident" after all. 

    made me wonder if tony geary was ill in real life?

    i hope not.

    i'll have to watch this week to see how he died and how laura reacted to the news when tracey quartermaine tells her.

    that said ... this is a soap.  i believe laura's been dead at least twice on the show, right?  on a soap a death doesn't really have to 'take' - the character can always come back to life.

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

    Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Julian Assange remains persecuted, DoD admits US troops in Iraq are still in harms way, and much more.

    Julian Assange remains persecuted.

    Ending the perseuction is not that difficult.  The US government just has to agree to stop punishing people for jounalism.  The US government just has to accept that The First Amendment exists and is a law.  Joe Biden has to realize that not only has this been wrong-headed, it's seriosly damaged Julian's health.  To put this right, charges need to be dropped and Joe has the power to do that.

    John Pilger notes:

    Julian #Assange has now spent 1000 days in Belmarsh prison. His crime is truth. Watch this powerful video by Hong Kong's leading journalist, Yonden Lhatoo, whose work I admire. Watch and learn about our true enemy.
    Quote Tweet
    In his New Year’s message, Yonden Lhatoo demands Western governments free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before preaching press freedom to everyone else.

    Stella Morris also notes that it is now 1000 days in prison for political prisoner Julian Assange.

    Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be Julian's 1000th day in Belmarsh high security prison. One thousand days of this.

    This latest NBC News article on Assange by former FBI Assistant Director Figliuzzi features all of these corrupt dynamics. MSNBC has been repeatedly promoting it. That is remarkable on its own: a so-called "news outlet” is cheering — indeed, salivating over — the Biden administration's attempt to criminalize Assange under “espionage” laws for the sin of reporting genuine documents showing all sorts of improper conduct by the agencies whose former operatives now staff that network. Given that press freedom groups in the West have uniformly condemned the prosecution of Assange as a grave threat to a free press, it is stunning to watch a corporation that claims to be in the news business cheering rather than denouncing it.

    But for the U.S. media, that is just ordinary corruption and subservience to the CIA: it is hardly rare to find "journalists” giddy over the prospect of Assange's ongoing imprisonment. What makes this new article particularly notable is that the FBI — when Figliuzzi was a senior official there — was directly involved in the attempt to investigate, frame and prosecute Assange. Yet the article, while identifying its analyst as “the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, where he served 25 years as a special agent and directed all espionage investigations across the government,” makes no mention of his direct personal interest in the Assange prosecution.

    The primary claim of this article is an unhinged conspiracy theory. Figliuzzi asserts that extraditing Assange onto U.S. soil could endanger Donald Trump. The former FBI official barely conceals his glee over the prospect that Assange could somehow offer up dirt on Trump in exchange for a promise of leniency from prosecutors:

    If the Department of Justice plays its cards right, it can make the case precisely about those Russian government hacks and WikiLeaks' dissemination of the content of those hacks by offering a deal to Assange in return for what he knows.

    That’s what should worry Trump and his allies. . . . Assange may be able to close the gap between collusion and criminal conspiracy. Assange got the Democratic National Committee data dump from an entity long suspected to be a front for the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. . . Assange may be able to help the U.S. government in exchange for more lenient charges or a plea deal. Prosecutions can make for strange bedfellows. A trade that offers a deal to a thief who steals data, in return for him flipping on someone who tried to steal democracy sounds like a deal worth doing.

    So, DOJ, if you’re listening…

    That Assange "stole data” is an absolute lie — not even the U.S. Government claims this — but NBC News has previously shown that it has no qualms about disseminating that particular lie. As for Figliuzzi’s belief that Assange possesses secret information about Trump's collusion with Russia over the 2016 election: that is nothing short of madness. Robert Mueller did not even attempt to interview Assange, precisely because the Special Counsel (Figliuzzi's former boss) obviously recognized that Assange had no information that would assist Mueller's investigation to determine whether Trump or his associates criminally conspired with Russia. If Assange really has information showing Trump criminally worked with the Kremlin, how can Figliuzzi justify that Mueller, during eighteen months of investigating that question, never even sought to speak to Assange?

    Moreover, if — as Figliuzzi fantasizes — Assange were in possession of some sort of smoking gun that Mueller never found but which would finally prove Trump's guilt on various crimes, why did Trump not pardon Assange? After all, if this twisted fantasy that NBC News is promoting had any validity — namely, Trump will be in big trouble once the U.S. succeeds in extraditing Assange to the U.S. to stand trial — why was it the Trump administration that brought these charges against Assange in the first place, and why would Trump not have pardoned Assange in order to prevent such a deal from taking place? None of what Figliuzzi is claiming has any evidence to support it or even makes any minimal sense.

    But as usual, that is no bar to NBC News and MSNBC publishing and aggressively promoting it. As I will never tire of pointing out, it is the corporate media outlets that most vocally denounce disinformation which are the ones guilty of spreading it most frequently and destructively.

    Meanwhlie, last year found US President Joe Biden announcing combat was over for US troops in Iraq.  Combat did not end just because Joe tossed out a few words.  This is from the US Defense Dept:

    Even though the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq has changed, the troops are still in a hazardous environment and retain the ability to defend themselves, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters today.

    Video Player

    The mission of U.S. forces shifted from combat to advise and assist two weeks ago, per an agreement between the United States and Iraq. Yet troops advising and assisting Iraqi forces are at risk.

    Forces launched strikes against rocket-launching sites near Green Village in Syria and shot down two armed drones targeting forces in Al Asad Air Base. There were no casualties among friendly forces.

    The strikes against the rocket-launching sites were not airstrikes, Kirby said. Forces hit the sites to ensure rockets were not launched against coalition forces. 

    But that begs the greater question of if U.S. personnel are at risk in the mission. "They clearly are at risk in the region," Kirby said. "I mean, one of the reasons why these sites were hit was [that] we had reason to believe that they were going to be used as launch sites for attacks on Green Village. So clearly, our men and women remain in harm's way. And we have to take that threat very seriously. We always have the right of self-defense."

    Kirby would not say who manned these rocket-launching sites. "That said, we continue to see threats against our forces in Iraq and Syria by militia groups that are backed by Iran," he said. "But again, I don't have specific attribution on who was responsible for these specific sites."

    Iran is a major player in Iraq and U.S. officials have been consistently concerned about the threats to U.S. forces in the region. "That is not a new concern," Kirby said. "And I think we've seen in just the last few days, that there have been acts perpetrated by some of these groups that validate the consistent concern that we've had over the safety and security of our people."

    On Russia, Kirby said should NATO allies ask for more U.S. capabilities in Europe, "we would be positively disposed to consider those requests." Still, he noted, the United States has a "very large and robust footprint" in Europe that complements the sizable capabilities that European allies possess. "There already exists a lot of capabilities [in Europe]," he said. "And some of those capabilities could be moved around — if that was, in fact, the request and was decided that would be the most prudent thing to do."

    There are many options that President Joe Biden has if Russia decides to launch another incursion into Ukraine, Kirby said, but nothing has been asked for yet.

    Let's wind down because I'm tired.  COVID.  The pandemic hasn't ended.  More government resources need to be targeted towards the pandemic.  

    I got both shots and the booster.  Monday, I took a test and found out the next day that I have COVID.  I'm fine and will be fine.  Others are not so fortunate.  I don't have to worry about money or losing a roof over my head.  Others are not so fortunate.  A UBI is needed for the American people.  And a serious plan is needed for addressing this pandemic.  Joe Biden ran for president knowing about the pandmeic.  His refusal to address issues related to the pandemic are appalling.  

    That Joe Biden is failing at his job is bad enough but he is also failing the country and that cannot be allowed.  If he's not up for the job, he should resign. 

    Anthony Fauci is an abject failure and Joe should fir him immediately.

    The following sites updated: