Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Stephen Walsh is a great writer.  I loved his STRAVINSKY: THE SECOND EXILE from 2006.  So I am very interested in his DEBUSSY: A PAINTER IN SOUND which comes out in soft cover next month.  It came out in 2018 and I meant to get and forgot all about it.  You know how easily I get distracted and how lazy I am.  So I've got a big note on my desk top (on the laptop) to remind me this book is coming out.

I can't wait to read it.

I'll also pass on that a few book reviews will probably be going up in the community over the next few weeks.  I'm considering two books, two that I might review. 

I'm not considering this one, because I haven't read it yet, but it is on my end table at home waiting for me to finish my current read (Holly George-Warren's JANIS) and that's Anthony Daniels I AM C-3PO: THE INSIDE STORY.  I really can't wait to read that (but I'm reading Holly's book slowly to really enjoy it). 

There are so many interesting books coming out lately -- especially, if like me, you enjoy biographies.

They really are my favorite. 

And my favorite of biographies (or autobiographies) are ones on musical artists.  I bought Robyn Crawford's A SONG FOR YOU: MY LIFE WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON yesterday and can't wait to read that one as well and the other book I bought yesterday Prince's THE BEAUTIFUL ONES.

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019.  War Hawk Joe Biden continues his floundering campaign with the press protecting him (and protecting him in a way they wouldn't protect a woman), protests continue in Iraq and we discuss why the Iraqi protests are not gripping the Kurdish population.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  It's bad news and bad news for War Hawk Joe Biden..  First off, Tim Ryan has endorsed him.  That would be the Ohio Congress member who sought the Democratic Party's presidential nomination until the end of October -- at which point even Tim couldn't take the humiliation anymore.  It was a sad run filled with one embarrassing moment after another -- including in the June debate when US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard had to school him on the reality of 9/11.  Now Tim has endorsed Joe -- continuing his pattern of out of touch moves.  And, as a result of the endorsement, Joe may inherit the nearly 1% of voters that Tim appealed to.

JUST IN: Tim Ryan endorses Joe Biden for president after ending his own 2020 campaign

Note the photo above.  That's how Tim always looked.

Stunned.  A deer caught in the headlights.  He always looked like that on the debate stage.  Lost.  Especially when he was jabbering away about how the Taliban attacked the US on 9/11.  (It was al Qaeda.)

Very gracious of Tim Ryan to hand off his zero percentage of voters to Joe Biden.

Replying to   and
No one really cares about He led the anti-Pelosi mob. So he can pound sand. He is a ConservaDem. WM endorses WM. Yawn! This isn't a major endorsement, because he doesn't have a big, powerful constituency behind him. Just jockeying for VP or Cabinet.

Some of Joe's supporters are going ga-ga over Tim, however.  Apparently, they've forgotten Tim's September remarks (more likely, they never heard them).

“I just think is declining. I don’t think he has the energy. You see it almost daily” in September. “It is a concern you’re hearing from a lot of people in the country..It’s unclear sometimes when he is articulating positions”

Joe has so many other problems.  Including?  His son Hunter.  Peter Beinart (THE ATLANTIC) writes this morning:

The Biden campaign would have you believe that only people who wear MAGA hats think it’s a problem that Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father led the Obama administration’s effort to fight corruption in the Ukrainian energy industry. That’s not true. The Obama officials who handled Ukraine thought it was a problem, too. As Glenn Thrush and Kenneth P. Vogel of The New York Times recently reported, “Hunter Biden’s activities struck many of the officials working on Ukraine policy as an unnecessary distraction, or worse.” One of those officials was Obama’s ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt. Another was Amos J. Hochstein, who coordinated international energy affairs at the State Department. Thrush and Vogel write that “Hochstein, reflecting the concerns of State Department officials, including Mr. Pyatt, tried to get several of Mr. Biden’s aides to broach the subject” of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma with the vice president. Last month, The Washington Post revealed another State Department official’s attempt to get Biden staffers to intervene with their boss. The Post reported that George Kent, then a deputy assistant secretary of state, “raised concerns [with Biden aides] in early 2015 about then–Vice President Joe Biden’s son serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.”
But Biden’s aides wouldn’t confront their boss. Kent, notes the Post, “was turned away by a Biden staffer.” When Hochstein “tried to get several of Mr. Biden’s aides to broach the subject” of Hunter Biden’s activities, “they declined.” (Hochstein later went to Biden directly). Biden’s aides knew Hunter’s role at Burisma was a problem. In fact, they “were so worried about the optics,” write Thrush and Vogel, that “they enlisted State Department officials to gather facts to determine how to handle the story.” Nonetheless, “few” Biden aides, “if any, had raised the issue with Mr. Biden directly when it first arose.”
What explains the reticence? In part, staffers feared the vice president’s wrath. 
According to Thrush and Vogel, they didn’t see Hunter’s work at Burisma as “worth risking a scolding from Mr. Biden, who had reacted angrily when Mr. Obama’s aides raised the issue of his son’s lobbying during the 2008 campaign.” In his investigation of Hunter Biden this summer, The New Yorker’s Adam Entous uncovered the same fear. “When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President,” Entous wrote, “several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so.” A former Biden adviser told Entous, “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at.”

That last sentence?  Peter just passes over it.  And you have to wonder why?

Because he's a man?  The most significant press attention Senator Amy Klobuchar's race for the nomination has received this year was what?

The February 10th POLITICO report article defining her as a bitch based on the claims of former employees.  This claim was echoed by many outlets then citing the POLITICO story and, of course, THE NEW YORK TIMES did a major 'report' promoting this claim on February 22nd.  As late as March 15th, she was having to defend herself on CNN about this claim.

Was that fair or was it sexism?

I hoped it was reporters being fair and that they'd treat any candidate that way.

I'd hoped.

"Everyone who works for him has been screamed at."

Read that sentence again and ponder why the press is not digging in on what a bitch Joe Biden is to his employees?

So Amy has some former employees who didn't enjoy working for her and she's a bitch but Peter types "Everyone who works for him has been screamed at" and never stops to wonder if that's not a story?

For nearly six weeks, this was all anyone in the press wanted to talk about when it came to Amy?  So why does Joe get a pass?

He gets a pass on his stupidity and his senility as well.  And sometimes, it's difficult to tell which it is with Joe.

At the CNN town hall, Joe Biden predicts Senate Republicans will snap out of it once Trump is gone. He brings up Merrick Garland, who was denied a vote by Senate Republicans. Only Trump had nothing to do with the Garland blockade — it was executed before he was nominated.

Joe should be laughed off any stage he makes that claim on.

I will never get over the fact that even saying this once didn’t immediately end Joe Biden‘s candidacy. It is a statement of pre-surrender, lacking any evidence or common sense to support it. An almost cosmically dumb thing to say.

His long record of poor judgment and cozying up to bankers make him the wrong candidate to take on Donald Trump.

Turning to Iraq where the protests continue.  This is from yesterday's snapshot:

Meanwhile, Mariya Petkova (ALJAZEERA) wonders why the Kurds are not more active in the protests and offers:

Since last month, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets in the capital Baghdad and across southern towns and cities to protest against the government's failure to deliver basic services and economic opportunities. In recent weeks, the demonstrators' demands have broadened to include the resignation of the government and an overhaul of the political system introduced after the US-led invasion of 2003. More than 300 people have been killed since the uprising began.
In the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, however, the streets have remained calm. Salio believes that authorities there did not grant permission for a demonstration because they were afraid of what such a protest could turn into.
In Erbil, there appears to be some solidarity with the Iraqis protesting in the south. Of about a dozen locals of different ages and economic backgrounds Al Jazeera spoke to, all of them said that they believed Iraqis have good reason to be on the streets.
Some said that in the Kurdish region, they face similar problems to those that have driven the protests in the south, including corruption and a lack of job prospects for young people. Youth unemployment is officially over 20 percent in the region and 25 percent nationwide.

However, people did not seem to be in the mood for protesting; some appeared jaded, while others said they were apprehensive of the possibility of political changes that could undermine Kurdish autonomy.

It's not that simple.  We'll try to discuss it in tomorrow's snapshot.

Some Kurds are participating in the protests.  As for those who are not?  It goes beyond being 'jades' or 'apprehensive' for a number of them.

Why are you surprised by lack of solidarity frm Kurds towards protests in Iraq? Have you asked yourself how many Iraqis took streets to condemn use of military forces against Kurds in 2017? Didn't you all hail Iraq's military cooperation with neighboring countries to crush Kurds?

That's a very real sentiment.  Now the media wanted to ignore what happened in real time or else join in bashing the Kurds.  The Kurds saw this.

I noted in real time that this was a significant period for the Kurds and it didn't matter what was going on outside because this was a bonding moment for them.

Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan have held dozens of protests/rallies in support of Kurds in Syria. They had held ZERO rally in solidarity of demonstrations in Iraq, which is supposed to be their country. Truth hurts but artificial borders have done little to tear apart Kurdish heart.

The September 25, 2017 Kurdish referendum should not have been seen as a threat to anyone.  It was a vote on a non-binding referendum.  It was little more than a glorified opinion poll.  The fact that the rest of the world -- all major governments around the world condemned the Kurds for holding the referendum except for the government of Israel -- went into a panic over it was telling.

But the Kurds in Iraq were thrilled (see the September 26, 2017 snapshot).

By September 27, 2017, threats were being made against the Kurds.  From that day's snapshot:

This morning, Bethan McKernan (INDEPENDENT) reports:

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has demanded that the Kurdish authorities in the north of the country "cancel" the outcome of this week's independence referendum.

In a speech to parliament on Wednesday, Mr Abadi reiterated his order that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must give up control of its international airports by Friday, or face a ban on international flights into the Kurdish region. Kurdish forces must also withdraw from disputed areas currently under KRG control such as Kirkuk, he added.

THE DAILY SABAH adds, "Iraq will suspend all foreign flights to and from airports operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) starting Friday, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (IraqCAA) said Wednesday. The statement comes after the KRG refused to surrender authority of airports to the central government in Baghdad."

Isn't the US government supposed to be protecting Kurdish skies under the policy implemented by then-president George H.W. Bush?

Journalist Rebecca Collard Tweets:

Just received warning my flight is cancelled after Iraq promised to close Kurds' airports.

That day also saw thug Nouri al-Maliki (at that time -- and still -- one of Iraq's three vice presidents) snarling, "We must take all measures, cutting off all ties and communication with the Kurdish Region, cutting off all roads, blocking all import and export through Kurdistan, banning any company from investment in Kurdistan, blocking air traffic, blocking all border crossings.  Whoever does not listen to good words and legal methods must be treated with force."

The referendum passed with 92% of those voting supporting it.

The verbal attacks before the vote were ugly and uncalled for.  The violent response -- sending the Iraqi military to the Kurdish borders, Turkey's leader threatening the Kurds, etc -- that followed the referendum did not make the Kurds doubt their own vote.

THE ECONOMIST and others felt it would.  They had the opinion of ha-ha, they're regretting it now!


They would never regret it.  Kurdish independence is something that Kurds -- in and out of Iraq -- long for.  And punishing them for a non-binding referendum was not going to make them walk away from that longing.  It was only going to bind them to one another tighter.

They were scorned, threatened and mocked.

That was only two years ago.

After that, you are not going to see a large number of Kurds rushing to protest on behalf of Iraq.  The response from outside the KRG to the referendum only drove the Kurds into a tighter, closed collective.

Again, this is not surprising and those commenting in real time were largely predicting and not commenting.  Their predictions were wrong.

The protests continue in Iraq.

As protests in Iraq entered their second month, the government began to grow more authoritarian in its response.

The Organizers of Iraq's Venice Biennale Pavilion Have Closed the Show in Solidarity With Anti-Government Protests Rocking the Country | artnet News

One of my favorite things about is to see the pictures of maintaining and beautifying their protest sites. Often repairing and cleaning what the government has allowed to fall into disarray

عشيره الحميري - كربلاء. Asheera Alhemairy in Karbala encouraging the peaceful protests in Iraq. ❤️

Anti-government protests in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf on 13/11/2019.

Nurses, medical staff in towns across Sulaimani governorate protest stipend cuts

Taking the size of the protests as well as the over 300 killed protesters into account, the international neglect of the situation in Iraq is really sad. Those people are the new generation of Iraq whose demands could lead the country into a better future.

We are demanding the world nations to support Iraqi people. Mass protests in Iraq against government corruption turned violent, with reports of live fire killing more than 329 people.15000 demonstrators were being treated in hospitals.

The following sites updated: