Friday, April 22, 2016

So Prince has died

One of the most innovative artists the country ever saw, Prince changed music.

Listening to an early song like "I Wanna Be Your Lover" today, you might not grasp that but that's only because he led and the world followed.

He lead music into the 80s.

He wrote amazing songs.

He produced amazing music.

And he laid down some unforgettable guitar licks.

But he also produced some truly wonderful vocals.

"I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" and "If I Was Your Girlfriend" -- both from SIGN OF THE TIMES -- were amazing as was what he did on "Thieves in the Temple."

"Little Red Corvette" remains one of the all time great modern recordings.

I don't know what else to say.  :(

I wasn't impressed with his 2015 release but in 2014 he released two albums and I thought both were classics.

He will be hugely missed.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, April 21, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Hillary lies about Iraq again, the US government approves the deaths of more civilians in Iraq, Barack Obama laments the lack of a political solution, and much more.

Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA this morning to make clear that she is not just a liar, she's a supreme liar.

Was Bill Clinton sincere in his public remarks?

Who knows?

He appeared to be.

Hillary just comes off calculating and insincere.

Because she can't act so the world is left with the real Hillary.

Which is so very unimpressive.

Asked by Nora Miller of San Francisco what her greatest regret was, Hillary stumbled along:

Well, I guess my-my greatest regret, uhm, was, uh, voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.  Uhm, it did not turn out the way I thought it would based on what he had said, uh, and I regret that.  I've said it was a mistake and, uh, obviously, uh, it's something I-I wish hadn't turned out the way it did.

Stumbled along.

The media has, as usual, cleaned up the quote of a War Hawk to make them sound more decisive.  They've taken out her "uh"s and "uhm"s.  They did the same for another former Secretary of State -- Colin Powell when discussing his blot.

To Hillary's 'regret,' one response would be:  What difference, at this point, does it make?

Another response would be to point out, as Rebecca Savransky (THE HILL) does, that Hillary has a pattern of changing her greatest regret:

"I regret we didn't get healthcare [reform] back in 1993 or '94, because we'd really be much further down the road," she said, according to
She also previously named the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
“My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi. It was a terrible tragedy, losing four Americans — two diplomats — and now it’s public, so I can say two CIA operatives,” Clinton said, according to Politico.

She says whatever she thinks will save her own skin.

She's a liar, a compulsive one, apparently.

Another way to respond to the latest lie?

Note last month's photo op of Hillary with the man she says caused her "greatest regret."

Thanks Hillary for your vote on Iraq! U & 28 other Democrats. Ah, those were the days! Bi-partisanship (pic:3/11/16)

Does it look like she's regretting anything in that photo?


Hillary Diane Clinton:  Well, I guess my-my greatest regret, uhm, was, uh, voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.  Uhm, it did not turn out the way I thought it would based on what he had said, uh, and I regret that.  I've said it was a mistake and, uh, obviously, uh, it's something I-I wish hadn't turned out the way it did.

She says he's the reason for her greatest regret and yet just last month she was all over him as though she were in heat.

She's a liar with a long, long history of lying.

Stephen Zunes took on her lying back in Janaury:

While few Clinton supporters are still willing to argue her support for the war was a good thing, many try to minimize its significance by referring to it as simply a “mistake.” But while it may have been a terrible decision, it was neither an accident nor an aberration from Clinton’s generally hawkish worldview.
It would have been a “mistake” if Hillary Clinton had pushed the “aye” button when she meant to push the “nay” button. In fact, her decision — by her own admission — was quite conscious.

The October 2002 war resolution on Iraq wasn’t like the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing military force in Vietnam, which was quickly passed as an emergency request by President Lyndon Johnson when there was no time for reflection and debate. By contrast, at the time of the Iraq War authorization, there had been months of public debate on the matter. Clinton had plenty of time to investigate the administration’s claims that Iraq was a threat, as well as to consider the likely consequences of a U.S. invasion.
Also unlike the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which was disingenuously presented as an authorization to retaliate for an alleged attack on U.S. ships, members of Congress recognized that the Iraq resolution authorized a full-scale invasion of a sovereign nation and a subsequent military occupation. Clinton had met with scores of constituents, arms control analysts, and Middle East scholars who informed her that the war was unnecessary, illegal, and would likely end in disaster.
But she decided to support going to war anyway. She even rejected the advice of fellow Democratic senator Bob Graham that she read the full National Intelligence Estimate, which would have further challenged some of the Bush administration’s claims justifying the war.
It was not, therefore, simply a “mistake,” or a momentary lapse of judgment. Indeed, in her own words, she cast her vote “with conviction.”

As late as February 2007, Clinton herself refused to admit that her vote for the war resolution was a mistake. “If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake,” she said while campaigning for president, “then there are others to choose from.” She only began to acknowledge her regrets when she saw the polling numbers showing that a sizable majority of Democrats opposed the decision to go to war.

She is a liar, struggling against Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  On one side, Hillary who voted for the Iraq War and endorsed it and applauded it for years.  On the other side?  Bernie who voted against it.

Or maybe you prefer to divide them up as one who can only see things as they are as opposed to someone who can see things as they could be?

Yeah, Hillary suffers from George HW Bush's 'vision thing.'

It's a point US Vice President Joe Biden made today:

“I like the idea of saying, ‘We can do much more,’ because we can,” Biden told The New York Times in an interview published Thursday.
Clinton, a former Obama administration official, has criticized Sanders on the trail for his bold proposals, suggesting that his policies aren’t pragmatic.
“I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big — we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic,’” Biden said. “C’mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.’”
Meanwhile, the President of the United States was making news today.   Dave Boyer (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:

The Obama administration confronted setbacks Thursday in its efforts to defeat the Islamic State, with reports that Russia is moving more military equipment into Syria to support President Bashar Assad as a truce collapsed, and President Obama acknowledging that political paralysis in Iraq is impeding U.S.-led efforts to defeat the militant group.

President Barack Obama spoke with the press today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the Diriyah Palace.

Inside of Iraq, there are understandable concerns about Iranian influence in the Iraqi government at a time when the Iraqi government is also critical for us fighting ISIL.  It was very important I think for us to describe our assessment that Prime Minister Abadi is in fact effectively fighting against ISIL and trying to reach out to Sunnis inside of Iraq, while acknowledging that there are significant problems in terms of government stability inside of Baghdad.  And that’s a reason for us not to withdraw, but rather to get more involved in helping to stabilize areas like Anbar, where we’ve not cleared out ISIL but the towns that they were governing have been left devastated.  If we want Sunni communities to be able to rebuild themselves and to get back into the lives they were leading before ISIL took over, then we’re going to have to help the Iraqi government respond.  

We’ve been able to secure additional commitments with respect to the counter-ISIL campaign more broadly.  With respect to direct help to the Iraqi government, what I recommended was that we wait to assess how the current government turmoil in Iraq plays itself out over the next couple of weeks before we make final decisions about how useful particular offers of assistance will be.  Although, already what we’ve seen is, for example, the government of Kuwait over the last year has deferred payments that were required under the U.N. resolution between Iraq and Kuwait.  That’s worth a couple of billion dollars to the Iraqi government.  And we described our efforts to make sure that in addition to the military assistance that we’re providing Iraq, that we’re also focusing on these stabilization functions.

And there was this.

But frankly, right now in Baghdad, there’s some big challenges in terms of Prime Minister Abadi forming a new government -- or a new cabinet.  Until that’s settled, I think it’s important for us to make sure that any additional stabilization dollars that are put in are going to be effectively spent.

Let's repeat that second part:

But frankly, right now in Baghdad, there’s some big challenges in terms of Prime Minister Abadi forming a new government -- or a new cabinet.  Until that’s settled, I think it’s important for us to make sure that any additional stabilization dollars that are put in are going to be effectively spent.

We'll also note this section.


Q    I was going to ask, since you just spoke about Prime Minister Abadi, how concerned are you about his hold on power?  Are there things that the GCC partners can do to help solidify his government?  And then, did you guys talk about a plan B in Syria if the cessation of hostilities falters?  And then lastly, I was just going to ask, have you contemplated adding additional Special Forces in Syria to bolster the counter-ISIL fight?  And what might it take for you to make that decision?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good.  On the first item, I'm concerned.  I think Prime Minister Abadi has been a good partner for us.  But interestingly enough, right now in Baghdad, the challenges within the government don't fall along the usual lines of Kurdish-Sunni-Shia.  There's actually significant dissension and disputes even among the Shia power blocks.

Obviously, ultimately it's up to the Iraqis to make these decisions.  It's not up to us, it's not up to the Iranians, it's not up to GCC countries.  It's up to the Iraqi people to determine the government that they form.

We do think, however, that it is vital for the health and stability of Iraq that the cabinet and the makeup of government is finalized and stabilized.  And we've been urging them to get the job done.  And we have contacts with all the various factions and parties, saying to them they have to take the long view and think about the well-being of the country at a time when they're still fighting Daesh, Mosul is still under ISIL control; at a time when, because of low oil prices, they've got challenges with respect to their budget.  There's a dam that needs to be fixed.  They've got a lot on their plate.  Now is not the time for government gridlock or bickering.  

AP explains the remarks this way:

Obama, in meetings with Saudi King Salman, the ruling emirs of Qatar and Kuwait and others, appealed for more financial and political support to help Iraq. Yet the leaders appeared reluctant to invest until Iraq’s government overcomes a political crisis and better integrates Sunnis into the process.
In a shift in tone from just a day earlier, Obama said the U.S. and its Gulf partners should wait to see whether Iraq can resolve the crisis before committing more aid. He warned that the paralysis is impeding U.S.-led efforts to defeat the Islamic State group and reconstruct war-damaged Iraq.

Though he wants to see political reconciliation -- or he claims he does -- Barack only pushes for bombing and more bombing.  Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery and conducted 21 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, five strikes struck three separate ISIL staging facilities and destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb and damaged an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bed-down location.

-- Near Haditha, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.

-- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 27 ISIL boats and three ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Mosul, six strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL supply cache and an ISIL command-and-control node.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL machine gun, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL supply cache, an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL rocket rail.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

On these never ending bombings, Thomas Gaist (WSWS) reports:

Since last fall, without any public acknowledgment by the US government and military, US warplanes have been bombing civilian areas in Iraq and Syria under loosened rules of engagement, the US Defense Department announced Wednesday.
Under the new rules, US forces may attack any area considered to have a “non-combatant value” of 10, that is, a likely fallout of fewer than 10 civilian deaths.
Given the current volume of airstrikes, the expanded rules of engagement imply that the Pentagon may murder thousands of civilians every month.

This March alone, US warplanes dropped nearly 2,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria, an increase over the 1,700 bombs dropped by US forces during the previous March. Last November, the US-led coalition set a new record for a single month, dropping nearly 3,300 bombs.

Let's go back to US politics.

Earlier this week, Betty wrote:

Jill Stein is running to be the Green Party's presidential candidate.
Maybe she'll get it, maybe she won't.
But she presents herself as a peace candidate.
So what about Iraq, Jill?
How are you going to defeat the Islamic State?
That's not sarcasm.
They can be defeated.
With diplomacy, mainly.
And Jill could argue that point.
And should.
But she's silent on Iraq.
And that's why I don't take her seriously as a candidate.
For goodness sake, even Donald Trump is speaking out against the Iraq War.
Even Donald Trump.

And Mike wrote:

Jill Stein wants to be the Green Party's presidential candidate.
She was the 2012 candidate.
I didn't support her in 2012.
She was too weak.
I don't see any strength implant having taken place since then, but I thought I'd explain how she could win my vote (providing she gets the party's presidential nomination).
Talk Iraq.
That's what she should do first.
Talk Iraq.
The Iraq War is the greatest crime of the 21st century.
Does she really want to let Donald Trump be the only one calling out the Iraq War?
Jill needs to talk Iraq.
She needs to talk universal tuition and student loan forgiveness via the money spent on Iraq.
We can't afford universal tuition and student loan forgiveness?
Well look how much we are spending on the never ending war on Iraq.
She needs to talk about the need to follow the Constitution.
She can connect that to Iraq.
The Iraq War was illegal.
Barack's latest phase takes place without Congressional authorization.
We must follow the Constitution.
Jill needs to talk Iraq.

Today, Jill Stein finally noted Iraq:

  • The War in initiated an incredible & ongoing series of catastrophes. Being appointed SecState doesn't vindicate Hillary's decision.

  • Whether it's a first step for Jill or not remains to be seen.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    Again on the disgusting Paul Krugman

    CJ Hopkins (COUNTERPUNCH) takes down media capon Paul Krugman.  My favorite section?  This:

    First, Krugman claims that “the Sanders campaign is arguing that superdelegates … should give [Sanders] the nomination even if he loses the popular vote.” Which is of course untrue, but that doesn’t matter … because this is show biz, folks! (As evidence of this claim the Nobel Prize-winning Mr Krugman is presumably relying on a made-up story on which got dutifully “echo chambered” by MSNBC and a handful of other dependable corporatist media outlets.)
    And now Krugman the Magician is off to the races …
    “But how can the [Sanders] campaign make the case that the party should defy the apparent will of its voters?” a momentarily baffled Krugman wonders, and then answers his own question thus: “By insisting that many of those voters shouldn’t count.”
    The fact that the Sanders campaign has never insisted that southern voters “shouldn’t count” is not a problem at all for Mr Krugman, who simply asserts that they have with all the panache of any good stage magician. He chases this crafty move with a direct quote from the Sanders campaign pointing out that the Deep South is a “pretty conservative part of the country.”
    And here comes the real magic … because now Krugman reveals, right before the eyes of his mesmerized audience, that “Mrs. Clinton didn’t win big in the South on the strength of conservative voters; she won by getting an overwhelming majority of black voters.”
    Aha! Brilliant … Mr Krugman has just conjured “Sanders’ racism” out of thin air!
    To reinforce the illusion, Krugman goes on to accuse Sanders of being “deliberately misleading” and denounces his non-existent “effort to delegitimize a big part of the Democratic electorate” (an effort which Mr Krugman just invented) as “a cynical ploy.”
    “Can you imagine Democratic Party insiders deciding to deny the nomination to the candidate who won the most votes, on the grounds that African-American voters don’t count as much as whites?” Mr Krugman asks his readers, feigning shock at the outlandishness of a proposition no one in Sanders’ campaign has ever even hinted at.

    You have to admire the audacity of these Nobel Prize winners!

    Krugman is so disgusting.

    But if he was anything but a corporatist, do you really think THE NEW YORK TIMES would have ever hired him in the first place?

    Of course not.

    Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, silence around Iraq continues, Debra Messing shows Hillary supporters what not to do, and much more.

    The War Hawk has landed?

    Hillary Clinton has won the state of New York's Democratic Party primary.  That's not a shock, forget the allegations of vote suppression (though I'm sure they're true), the closed primary status means that only Democrats could vote.  That can be good.  It can also be bad in that it doesn't reflect what will happen in a general election.

    But one thing we know?

    Debra Messing is not just an outright idiot, she's a nightmare.

    In 2008,  I supported Hillary.  It was around the New Hampshire primary.

    I know Hillary -- or knew her.

    I was looking at her record and Barack's.

    She said her support for the Iraq War was a mistake.

    Was she telling the truth?


    Elaine and I were face to face with him in Chicago when he was seeking the Senate, at a big money fundraiser, and didn't ask about Iraq, Elaine praised him for speaking out against the Iraq War -- which friends had told us of.

    And his response was that America was in Iraq now so it didn't matter.

    That's when Elaine and I exchanged a look and immediately left the fundraiser without either of us writing a check.

    Their Senate records were more or less the same.

    Hillary was (finally) saying that the support of the Iraq War (or at least her vote for it) was a mistake while Barack had said to my face that opposition to the Iraq War was no longer important.

    We'll come back to Iraq but between the two of them, I was willing to bet that Hillary was the better choice because of that face to face encounter with Barack and because she was being savaged which argued that, if she were the President, 'leaders' of the peace movement would publicly rally and make demands.

    They wouldn't do that with Barack.

    We saw it with our own eyes.

    They lied and insisted they couldn't object or pressure now because it was a primary but that during the general, they'd be all up in his face.

    Then the general election was too important to make demands (????) so they'd do so after he won.

    In his two terms, has Tom Hayden ever led a protest against Barack?

    Not "no," but "hell no."

    They were frauds.

    And we regularly cautioned here about what would happen as they ripped Hillary apart with one sexist attack after another:  They risked creating a division so hard that in a general election they might not win over her supporters.

    And that did happen.

    It was a given that whomever the Democratic Party candidate was, they'd win in 2008 due to outrage over the illegal war and 8 years of Bully Boy Bush.

    Even with that, John McCain (and his running mate Sarah Palin) ended up with 45.7% of the vote.

    Barack was a fresh face.

    You can sell hope on that, you can sell novelty with that.

    Hillary's been around forever.

    That doesn't create excitement.

    And that's before we factor in gender in the United States.

    Barack was also able to peel off Republicans from their own party and to attract independents.

    Hillary's unfavorables are immense and decades old.

    So if Hillary's the nominee come November, she's going to need every vote available and she's going to need supporters who can carry her over the finish line because she can't do that.

    She can say she's not a natural politician but she is one, she's not a likeable one.

    This is not a new development.  It was true and commented on in the 2008 race (and Hillary even responded to it in the debates).

    So the Debra Messings of the world need to learn grace.

    I know that's hard for a woman who's damaged her face with bad plastic surgery -- clue, boys and girls, when women over forty go ridiculous painting on eye brows, they're usually hoping it will hide a bad face lift.

    But they need to learn it.

    When they lie about someone and that someone's pro-Bernie?

    They're lying about all Bernie supporters.

    It's a slap to all of them.

  • Apparently does.

  • 2- she implied Trump was an option, thne said "Atleast w/DT there'd be a revolution" NEVER shamed her 4supporting DT

  • 1-She coyly said "I don't know" when asked who she would vote for between Trump&HRC. By not saying "a 3rd party cand

  • Susan Sarandon never said or implied that she would vote for Donald Trump.

    Debra has lied from day one of her one-sided cat fight with activist and Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon.

    She has lied and she continues to lie.

    She needs to stop.

    If she truly believes Hillary is going to win the nomination, she needs to stop it right now before she does more damage.

    And let's throw in Debra damage -- damage to herself.

    Each time she launches one of these flame wars, NBC asks itself, "Is it worth bringing the low rated MYSTERIES OF LAURA back for a third season?"


    The same network that got burned by an actress with a Twitter feed.

    As Ava and I reported in September of 2012:

    And maybe Ellen Barkin's on to something there?  Maybe being so hateful on her Twitter feed allows her to access the hatred she exudes as Jane on NBC's The New Normal (debuts September 11th)?  Or maybe she's just tapping into her own ugliness?

    We don't know but we did confirm that no one at NBC, not one executive, is happy with Ellen's current public persona.   So if The New Normal flops, it's on Ellen.  She's pissed off everyone with her attacks. 

    There's talk of new clauses in contracts at NBC, new clauses that would require actors and actresses not to attack potential viewers, new clauses that would require actors and actresses to be goodwill ambassadors for their programs.  It's akin to the morality clauses that existed back in the studio days.  And if that happens, there's going to be a lot more anger at Ellen Barkin from within the industry.

    For those who don't know,  Ellen Barkin's decided that interviews and Twitter are where you release your hatred for your fellow Americans.  You go there and you demonize whole sections of people.  She also seems to feel that this behavior is the best way for an untried TV actress to get publicity and viewers for a brand new show.

    She killed THE NEW NORMAL.  She killed the ratings, she killed any chance that new viewers would tune in.

    Debra Messing's Twitter tirades?

    NBC's wondering if they have another Ellen Barkin on their hands?

    And they should.

    Debra still hasn't learned how to STFU.  And she truly needs to learn it.

    She's not an actress with any real range -- as Elaine pointed out.  Her only real gift is rhythm in line delivery -- yet she refuses to do another sitcom.  Being the new Lucy wasn't good enough for Debra.
    She failed as a movie star.  Now she wants to risk what's left of her career by antagonizing Americans?

    Debra Tweeted this crap.

    That's right... And who led the charge for Nader which led to Gores loss?..... Yeah.

    Debra is a political idiot.

    It's a point Ava and I made nicely in "Media Criticism not for the lazy (Ava and C.I.)."

    Debra is now joining the idiots who blame Nader supporters for Bully Boy Bush being installed in the White House.

    I supported Al Gore in 2000 (with money and with my vote).

    I didn't then nor do I now blame anyone -- including some very dear friends -- who voted for Ralph Nader.

    I didn't even blame anyone who voted for Bully Boy Bush.

    Regarding the votes themselves, no one owns anyone's vote.

    A candidate is campaigning for votes.

    If they're not able to get those votes, that's on them.

    No one else, it's on the candidate.  They are the failure.

    You can whine, "The media was unfair!"

    Life's unfair, grow up.

    You make your best bid and you either win votes or you don't.

    That's A.  B is that Al Gore lost the recount.

    And he lost the recount because he refused to fight as hard as was needed and because the Supreme Court violated the Constitution and declared a winner.

    In 2010, Patrick Martin wrote a strong history of the 2000 post-election phase for WSWS:

    The response of the Democratic Party and the Gore campaign to this procedural coup d’├ętat was belated and halfhearted. The Gore campaign went to court against Harris’s decision, but sought a recount only in the four large metropolitan counties rather than statewide. In contrast to the ferocious partisanship and aggressiveness of the Bush campaign, Gore put his Florida recount effort under the direction of former secretary of state Warren Christopher, a corporate lawyer who was hostile to a court fight and rejected making any appeal to the democratic sentiments of the American population.
    [. . .]

    The submission of the Gore campaign to the transparently biased and antidemocratic Supreme Court majority was evident at the hearing held on December 11, the day before the final ruling was issued. Gore’s lead attorney, David Boies, made no mention of the frontal assault on democratic rights embodied in the position of Scalia and sought to appeal to the two “swing” justices, O’Connor and Kennedy, with legalistic quibbling.
    Public spokesmen for the Gore campaign and the Democratic Party repeatedly declared their full confidence in the impartiality and fairness of the high court and their determination to abide by whatever result was handed down. When the ruling was issued, Gore went on national television to publicly declare his capitulation and embrace the presidency of George W. Bush as legitimate.
    This capitulation was foreshadowed by the entire conduct of the Gore campaign, even before the Florida crisis. Gore selected as his running mate Senator Joseph Lieberman, perhaps the most right-wing Senate Democrat, largely because of his early public denunciation of President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
    Throughout the Florida crisis, Lieberman acted as a virtual Republican asset, opposing any serious campaign against the efforts to suppress vote counting and hijack the election, and making public statements that frequently echoed the arguments from the Bush camp. 

    We lost in 2000.  We lost because we had a loser for a candidate.  In the end, he wouldn't fight.

    I'll say many things about Hillary that are negative, but in terms of being a fighter?

    Hillary wouldn't have lost a legal battle over Florida.  She would have fought it and she would have won.

    But that's post-election.

    In terms of an actual election, she's as weak of a candidate as Al Gore was.

    Her ridiculous hot sauce comment?


    And she's going to make a lot more stupid mistakes.

    People who want her for the candidate in the general election better get serious and grasp that they will have to carry her over the finish line.  They better grasp right now that they are ambassadors for her, advertisements to undecideds that Hillary supporters are reasonable and fun and everyone wants to be one because they're so welcoming.

    Debra Messing needs to stop her cat fights on Twitter.

    She's not smart enough to carry on a political conversation.

    She's aghast that Susan called Hillary a Republican.

    It's not a new charge.

    Not even new to this election cycle -- Russ Belville had a column at THE HUFFINGTON POST in February calling Hillary a Republican.  At the end of last year, Walker Bragman called her "Republican-lite" in a piece for SALON.

    She was, in fact, a Goldwater Republican at one point in her life.

    Of greater importance is that she's a neocon.  As Lance Selfa (SOCIALIST WORKER) reminded last month, neocons were not just Republicans -- they also included Democrats.

    Here's Robert Parry calling her a neocon at CONSORTIUM NEWS only days ago.  The website HILLARY IS A NEOCON documents the evidence.  Oliver Stone's HUFFINGTON POST piece is also a stand out and must read.  At BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Margaret Kimberley has long noted Hillary's war hawk ways and just last week weighed in on her war mongering.

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except when she leads an attack on Susan Sarandon.

    Unlike Debra, Susan risked a lot to take a stand.  And not for some millionaire but to oppose the Iraq War.  Where was little Debbie?  Having another face lift?  Failing in another TV show?

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except she's destroying the importance of WILL & GRACE.  Hillary will not be beloved in 20 years.  WILL & GRACE was a hilarious and milestone show.  Debra -- the weakest actor of the four leads -- is letting her big mouth harm the show's legacy.

    Debra's unaware of all of this because she's a moron.

    And that's fine.

    Except she's the one who says she wants Hillary to win.  And attacking Susan Sarandon and other Bernie Sanders' supporters does not help Hillary win.

    I have not endorsed Bernie Sanders.

    I do feel he's the better candidate of the two.  I would consider voting for him in the general election and I will be voting for him in my state's upcoming primary.

    Throughout my life, I voted straight Democrat every election until 2008.  That year, for president, I voted for Cynthia McKinney (she was the Green Party candidate).  In 2012, I voted for every office except the president.  (No one earned my vote.)

    Prior to 2004, every candidate I supported in the Democratic Party primary lost the nomination.  But I rallied -- with no sour grapes or hesitation -- around whomever won.

    I know how to play the good Democrat.

    I'm just no longer interested in that role.

    When Susan Sarandon talks about revolution that a bad president might bring about, she's talking about an America that's got very little to offer.  That's a fact that Debra can't relate to.

    And being a good Democrat doesn't help the country.

    People like Debra worry about one election cycle.

    But this just-hold-your-nose-and-get-through-it has allowed the Democratic Party to become the party of greed, the party of corruption.

    In 2008, it was Barack Obama who destroyed campaign finance reforms when he became the first presidential candidate of the two major parties to refuse to use public financing.  John Kerry had flirted with it, but we (the party) had rightly pushed back.

    Now it's a thing of the past.

    Each election cycle beginning with Jimmy Carter finds the Democratic Party moving further and further to the right.

    I can't take part in a Hillary ticket.

    I can't support the woman who voted for the Iraq War and cheered it on forever.

    I can't support that.

    I'm sorry that Debra Messing can.  I knew she was superficial (I know Debra) but I didn't realize she was that superficial.

    On my end, the Iraq War matters.  Clearly, it matters.

    This site started in 2004.  I have never taken a day off.

    I've also gone around (and continue to) speaking about this illegal war -- all over the country except Alaska (I'm not a fan of the cold or the long travel time that would involve -- whereas I have property in Hawaii so speaking there gives me an excuse).

    And it appalls me that the tragedy the US government has inflicted on Iraq continues.  I don't know how to apologize for it as an American citizen.  I have cried over it, I have rallied over it, I've done anything I could think of to somehow make an impact.  And, yes, that has resulted in destroying my own health.  (Nothing like what brave Tom Feeley of INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE has gone through.)

    Barack said no boots on the ground in Iraq back in 2014.  Then he said no US troops in combat.

    Today there are both.

    And Monday, we learned the number would again be increased.

    And yet I look around and see so little about it on left sites.

    Justin Raimondo is a Libertarian, not a leftist.  But he writes about it in a piece that just went up:

    With the dispatch of 200 more troop to Iraq, bringing the total to some 4,000, the buildup to the Third Mideast War is approaching its climax. As pointed out here, US soldiers – previously described as “advisors” whose task is to “support” the Iraqis – are inching closer to the front lines. The loss of Staff Sergeant Louis F. Cardin, who came under attack from ISIS forces last month, brought home the fact that the Americans have been dragged back into the quagmire they thought they had escaped.
    Particularly telling were the circumstances of Cardin’s death: he came under fire at Fire Base Bell, an exclusively US military facility. It is the first such base established since the phony “withdrawal” announced with such fanfare by President Barack Obama – and surely will not be the last. As the Guardian reports:
    “[US military spokesman Colonel Steven] Warren did not rule out the marines playing more of a direct combat role as the assault on Mosul beckons. Nor did he rule out the establishment of other US bases in Iraq, and said the command would make a ‘case-by-case’ determination about informing the US public of their construction beforehand.”

    Funny how a battle for Mosul “beckons” – like the Sirens of Greek mythology who beckoned to Ulysses in an effort to lure his ship onto the rocks.

    At ANTIWAR.COM, Justin has weighed in.  Elsewhere very few have.

    Where's CODESTINK?

    No where to be found.  And usually you can smell Jodi a mile away.

    At the end of last month, they did offer 10 peace demands for presidential candidates -- Iraq wasn't one of them.

    And what of CODESTINK's Alli McCracken who periodically pens an article 'about' Iraq?

    Since March, she's found time to Tweet against Hillary, to Tweet for Bernie, to Tweet celebrities, to Twee this and that and even to Tweet Rachel Corrie.

    Now Rachel Corrie's death was sad, tragic and murder.

    No question.

    But what about the murder of Iraqis?

    Or do they have to be young, blond, American women for Alli to care enough to Tweet?

    Days before the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, White, American Alli can Tweet about the death of White, American, blond Rachel Corrie.  But she can't even Tweet about the millions killed in the Iraq War on the damn anniversary of the start of the war?

    Barack's decision to send more US troops into Iraq wasn't discussed on DEMOCRACY NOW! today.  Amy Goodman's busy promoting a book that details, in part, her work covering . . . the Iraq War.

    Meanwhile the woman who wants to be the Green Party's presidential candidate (she's not it yet) managed to Tweet this;

    War profiteering by military contractors - which has been rampant in Iraq and Afghanistan - should be eliminated and prosecuted.

    Well, she did finally mention Iraq.

    As we've noted at THIRD, Jill's campaign keeps informing Ava and I that Jill's deeply, deeply opposed to the ongoing Iraq War.

    Okay, start talking about it.

    Start Tweeting about.

    We'll cover your campaign then.  We might even vote for you.

    But until then, just leave us alone, thank you.

    If only the US government could have left Iraq alone.

    Instead, the US Defense Dept announced today:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL supply cache.

    -- Near Huwayjah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area.

    -- Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL tunnels and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL supply caches, an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL bomb factory, an ISIL bed-down location and an ISIL vehicle; suppressed an ISIL tactical unit; and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL weapons storage facility.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed three ISIL rocket rails.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

    For the Parliament's latest escapades, read AFP, they cover it very well.  There's no movement in the Parliament, it's the same story.