Thursday, July 07, 2022

Maria McKee and Lone Justice


Attention, L.A. country music fans: It may be time to charter a bus.
Come Sept. 30, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will be opening a new exhibit, “Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock,” in a newly renovated, 5,000-square-foot gallery filled with artifacts, annotation and video largely collected from the scene of the crime in Cali. It covers three distinct decades in SoCal music history: the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. L.A. scenesters who remember any of these eras fondly may have their lives flashing before their eyes, and they’ll only have to book a ticket to Tennessee to do it.
]. . .]
Let Michael McCall, a former music journalist who is now the Hall of Fame’s senior editor, take you through some of what he’s made multiple trips from Nashville to L.A. to work on, including dozens of hours of video interviews:
“The ’80s people were all great great. Dwight is doing the opening narration for an introduction to the exhibit, and we did more than two hours of interview with him,” McCall says. “Los Lobos has been outstanding; Louis Perez was the interview, but we got instruments from all of ’em — and Cesar (Rosas)’s Ray-Bans! Dave Alvin was one of my best interviews; he just so articulate, the way he talked about the whole scene. Lucinda Williams, even after her stroke, Lucinda came in and talked for about an hour, and was great; her Rough trade album is the only one that kind of falls in that (’80s) period. Rosie Flores was great. Alejandro (Escovedo), we’re still going to talk to about Rank & File.”
That’s not all, Palomino-heads.
“With Lone Justice, we met with Ryan Hedgecock and Marvin Etzioni, and Ryan in particular had like 20 manuscripts and 20 or 30 set lists that they wrote by hand from the early days… and the first flier, when they were opening for Rank and File and they went around the Universal Amphitheatre at a Blasters show and put them on everybody’s car windshields. And Maria McKee was an outstanding, outstanding interview — one of my favorites, really colorful. She dressed up in what she called her ‘Loretta Lynn gown’ — a floor-length, multicolored, Southern ball gown. She looked more like Scarlet O’Hara, almost. She was so passionate and gave so many good stories. I didn’t know she been a street performer with her brother (Love’s Bryan MacLean) singing gospel songs at 16, for instance, and that was part of why she learned to project.”

Lone Justice was one of the great bands of the 80s. They toured constantly -- opened for Pretenders and U2 -- recorded genre defining tunes such as "Shelter," "Don't Toss Us Away," "Wheels," "Ways To Be Wicked," etc.

They made a real mark and did so with only two studio albums. Maria McKee's gone on to a solo career that's had many interesting recordings -- some flat out classics like YOU GOTTA SIN TO GET SAVED -- but there are times when I wish she was still recording with them -- even if only for one album.

 A great singer, one of our country's all time best.


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


Thursday, July 7, 2022.  Celebrities misuse the trust people place in them to sell war, the Democrats are backing right-wing, extremist Republican campaigns, Iraq is now facing four health crisis, and much more.

Andre Damon (WSWS) has an important and blistering piece which opens:

On the basis of lies, propaganda and subterfuge, the United States and its imperialist allies in Europe have launched and are escalating a war with Russia that threatens to trigger a nuclear third world war.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced. The economic consequences of the war, including soaring inflation and fuel and food shortages all over the world, have been catastrophic for working people.

The US-led war against Russia is unfolding as a monumental conspiracy against the populations of the world. It has been organized behind the backs of the people and is being presented to the public as a fait accompli.

Not one of the crisis-ridden and despised governments leading the war effort, whether that of Biden, Johnson, Scholz or Macron, campaigned on the basis of starting a new world war. In the torrent of propaganda aiming to demonize Russia, the public has never been provided with a serious explanation as to its causes, aims and implications.

The war is justified with lies, because its aims are indefensible. If Biden were to give an honest speech explaining US involvement, this is what he might say:

My fellow Americans,

As president of the United States, I think it is my responsibility to provide you with an honest explanation as to what I meant when I said that the United States was determined to continue its intervention in the Ukraine war for “as long as it takes.”

First, let me explain the background to this decision.

In 2014, the Obama administration, of which I was the vice president and point man for Ukraine affairs, funded and organized a coup in Ukraine. Our aim was the removal of a government deemed too friendly to Russia. We carried out this coup by allying with and funding far-right paramilitary forces.

In response to the coup, Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Separatist, Russian-speaking enclaves in the eastern Donbas region sought to secede from the government in Kiev.

While we claimed to accept the Minsk agreements aiming to broker a ceasefire in the war in the Donbas, we were working behind the scenes to arm Ukraine with billions of dollars in weapons, all the while encouraging it to seek to regain the Donbas and Crimea by military means.

In March 2021, we urged Ukraine to codify the reconquest of these territories, and three months later we signed a strategic partnership document, pledging the US to “support Ukraine’s effort to counter armed aggression.”

During the last eight years, we have massively armed and trained the Ukrainian military, utilizing fascist forces as its backbone, with the aim of provoking a war between NATO and Russia. Our efforts succeeded in February 2022.

Our aims in instigating this war are as follows:

1. In 1991, the United States proclaimed that the end of the Soviet Union would herald in a “new world order” of US global hegemony. We see Russia as an obstacle to the domination of the Eurasian landmass, which we believe is key to establishing this hegemony.

2. China is on track to eclipse the US economy in size within 10 years. We seek to contain the rise of China by economic and ultimately military means, but dominating Russia is the first step in a war against China.

3. Russia sits atop the world’s largest deposits of hydrocarbons, rare earths, metals and other key minerals, valued at $75 trillion, to which US corporations want access in order to dominate the world market.

4. Finally, in the name of the war effort, we seek to suppress domestic political opposition, criminalizing strikes and social protests in the name of the “national interest.”

I know that many of you are concerned that a war against the country in possession of the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal may provoke a strategic nuclear exchange in which many of you will die. This is true. To use an old phrase from Dr. Strangelove, “I’m not going to say we won’t get our hair mussed.” But the achievement of the goals outlined above are certainly worth the lives of 50–100 million of you.

Such a declaration of the war aims of the United States and NATO would instantly trigger mass protests in the streets.

For this reason, all public discussion of the war has consisted entirely of pro-war propaganda. In a desperate effort to create popular support for the war, the US and European media has for months conducted a systematic campaign designed to make their populations hate Russia. Any facts or opinions that contradict the pro-war narrative have been labeled as Russian propaganda, and those who question the war are labeled all but treasonous.

And do not forget that today's Democratic Party can't sell anything on its own.  Remember all the celebrities Hillary Clinton had to tug on stage in that pathetic 2016 campaign?  So we've had the little trollop who, like any good heroin addict, doesn't believe in bathing, then the Grammys felt the need to salute the war and of course Sean Penn took a time out from yet another veiled homophobia fit to promote the war and Bono and the Edge took the stage in Ukraine with a man throwing racist hand signals throughout their performance, Jane Fonda bringing War Propaganda into a really bad NETFLIX comedy so-so (it wasn't special enough to be called a special) and then there's Cher:

Why Ukraine’s Important 2 [USA]. Putin’s despot, trump Hero,& If Given Chance Putin Will Devour Sovereign Countries, Till He Resurrects USSR. This Will Leave Europe, Small & unprotected. Russia, China, Saudis Want 2 Bring [USA] 2 Its Knees,& C Perfect opportunity. They C Hate, Division, Weakness.


Cher, no offense, but I didn't pay for my own college education to turn my mind over to a high school drop out who thinks she can handle history and national security.  Truth, you can't handle either.  It takes more than watching CSPAN, dear. to have an education.  

Your Tweet is evidence of your stupidity and of your own hatred as you try to make others hate other countries.  And your concern over how big or small Europe is (honestly, Cher, I think it will be the same amount of miles) makes you come off like a size queen.

It's not a good look on you.

Go back to singing your insipid cover of "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" to whore for politicians because apparently that's how you're going out.  And I honestly thought you'd reached the most embarrassing moment of your life during the UK promotion of BURLESQUE when the tape you use to pull your facial skin back so everyone will say "She looks so young!" came loose in front of the photographers.  Sorry, love you, but I still laugh at that to this day.  

So we need to remember that a lot of dumb people came in on this, encouraged to use their platforms, and that a lot of the knew better or should have.  But they were part of selling war and bringing us to this point.

Idiots like Cher who think, "OOOH, I'VE GOT A THOUGHT TO SHARE" and do so while the rest of us think, "She does know about the nukes still in Russia, doesn't she?" "Nukes," responds Cher, "He was Speaker of the House in the 90s!!!"

Idiots who have free speech rights but don't have anything in their brains to share.

And they never speak beyond their bubble.  

But this war hysteria that's been drummed up with a lot of stupidity and a refusal to have a real discussion has brought us to this point and this is a point that we worked decades to avoid in the past.  Oh well, at least I wasn't an idiot visiting Russia and dropping to the floor in my hotel suite because I didn't understand what a parade was so I therefore screamed the end was coming.  (Don't worry, she reads this and she knows who she is.)

The world is being destroyed and it's not Putin.  I have never defended him and I never will.  I'm not Cher trying to find a way to sing songs about politicians -- who're nothing but whores who screw you on the way in and screw you on the way out.  

The Russian people have been demonized by the press and you have to do that to recreate The Cold War.  The baby boom generation -- not Jane Fonda, she's too old, she's before the Baby Boom -- was often confused about how the hatred was so intense by the time they were teenagers.  It was intense because it was stoked.  And you need more than just the government.  You need idiots like Robert Taylor in the entertainment world who will whore their own names to sell war.

Hint to Cher and other celebs whose career depends upon the LGBTQ, even being a closet case (and rather beautiful in his early adult years) hasn't allowed Robert Taylor to become 'immortal.'  Hugely popular in his day, he's now forgotten.  That's what happens to the rotten.

But you get a bandwagon going to preach hate and you do it over and over and within ten years it's so ingrained people wonder: How did this even start?

Joe Biden is no one's friend.  Let's note Elaine:

In "It is all bad news for Joe Biden," Ruth covered how Joe Biden's lies were biting him in the ass.  He swore to the American people he never spoke to his son Hunter about Hunter's business dealings (unethical schemes that traded on his dad's name).  Never.  Ever.  Last month, a 2018 voice mail emerged where Joe called Hunter and told him THE NEW YORK TIMES article had been watered down and Hunter came out fine.  Ruth noted that the issue was raised in a White House press briefing on Tuesday.  This is from Jonathan Turley:

Doocy asked the obvious question now that we have an actual audiotape of the President: “Why is there a voicemail of the president talking to his son about his overseas business dealings if the president has said he’s never spoken to his son about his overseas business dealings?”

Despite clearly contradicting the President, Jean-Pierre declared “Well, first I’ll say that what the president said stands. So if he — that’s what the president said, that is what stands.” Such an absurd response is only possible when you know that most of the media will go along with the evasion.

Doocy followed up “He’s leaving a voicemail about a New York Times article concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings and he says, ‘I think you’re clear.” How is that not him talking to his son about his overseas business dealings?”

Jean-Pierre then dismissed further questions, saying “We’re not, from this podium — I’m not going to talk about alleged materials from the laptop.”  When pressed again, she said  “I am not going to talk about alleged materials from the laptop. Peter, I refer you to his son’s representatives.”

She repeated that position with Wegmann who appeared the only other journalist even remotely interested in whether the President lied repeatedly about an influence peddling scheme run by his son.

Notably, neither reporter was looking for a response from Hunter or their representative. The tape captured President Biden’s voice not Hunter’s voice. Indeed, Hunter previously contradicted his own father and said that he did discuss dealings with his father.

There is no plausible reason why the President would not be willing to answer a question about his own statement captured on audiotape. He is not denying that it is his voice, which appears obvious. He simply will not answer a question about whether he lied during the campaign and repeatedly as president.

Whores propped up Joe Biden.  They ran interference for him, they dismissed real stories that should have been explored.  Tara Reade was assaulted by him.   The press attacked Tara and they did so with help from Joe's friends at TIMES UP.  Joe Biden is corrupt.  Not just Hunter acting alone but acting to profit Joe who knew this and who went along with the schemes.  They lied and covered for him.

At some point though, even the idiots like Cher have to take accountability for themselves.  The Steele Dossier was a fake, commissioned by Hillary and promoted by her -- even Barack was warned that she was going to use to try to deflect from the then-ongoing criminal investigation the Justice Dept was conducting on her.  

They can't get honest about that.  They can't get honest that Hillary is the one who elevated Donald Trump in the media because that's who she wanted to run against and that's who she knew she could beat.  Just like she knew Bill Clinton loved her and would never cheat on her.  Well not again. Okay, two times but not more.  Okay, three times but that's really it. Okay, four times --

Hillary's why Donald Trump became president.  She elevated him because she wanted to run against him.  But she didn't want to get her fat ass into the battled ground states like Wisconsin and she lost.  She also of course cheated to get the 2016 nomination.  So with all that and so much more, America doesn't need her tales of dedication to ROE V WADE (the decision she turned on in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 election).

And we're back to WSWS.  But to set up the next news, grasp that we feel our country is polarized and we feel it is going in the wrong direction (on the left, we feel this way).  And whose fault is that?  The Republicans said they were going to overturn ROE, they've said it basically my entire lifetime.  I'm not surprised.  I am surprised that the Democrats who said they'd defend it didn't defend it.  I am surprised that Nancy Pelosi thinks she can fundraise off ROE's demise and pretend to be our abortion friend in Washington when it was just last month that she was backing a House candidate in Texas who was opposed to Roe -- a man -- over a woman who supported abortion rights.  But now she thinks she can tap into anger to tap into wallets.  Again, all whores.  Screw you on the way in, screw you on the way out.

But if the country is becoming more extreme, it's because of people like Hillary Clinton.  These whores used to run the easiest campaigns that just tried to peel off a few votes from the other side.  Now they're too lazy even for that.  I mean, it was appalling that they didn't care about bringing non-voters back into the fold by actually offering meaningful actions.  But now they want to run against the worst of the worst in the lazy fat ass Hillary Clinton manner: He's so awful, they'll have to vote for me!!!!

Kristina Betinis (WSWS) reports:

Based on electoral considerations of a completely cynical character, the Democratic Party is putting substantial sums of campaign money toward the promotion of right-wing extremist candidates in Republican primaries, on the presumption they will be easier to beat in the general election this November.

The strategy reveals the political bankruptcy and light-minded recklessness of the Democratic Party. They are unable to offer policies and a political record that would actually attract support from the vast majority of voters, working class and middle class. So they aim to make their Republican opponents even more obnoxious, by promoting Republican primary candidates with the most reactionary and repugnant views.

Democratic campaign funds and wealthy individuals have embraced this cynical strategy in a series of primaries in May and June, culminating in the June 28 primaries in Illinois and Colorado, where the Democrats intervened in virtually all the competitive Republican contests, with mixed success. All the Democratic-backed ultra-right candidates lost in Colorado, but all of them won in Illinois.

The Illinois Republican primaries resulted in the nomination of right-wing extremist State Senator Darren Bailey for governor and ultra-right lawyer Thomas DeVore for attorney general. Bailey, an open racist and semi-fascist, supports an initiative that would separate the city of Chicago, which he refers to as a “hellhole,” from the rest of the state of Illinois. DeVore came to prominence opposing COVID-19 mitigations and vaccines, filing lawsuits against statewide and Chicago masking policies and vaccine mandates, defending the “freedom” of parents to send their children maskless to school in the midst of a deadly pandemic. He is also Bailey’s lawyer.

Bailey promotes Trump’s lie of a “stolen election,” opposes abortion rights and masking, and spreads vaccine misinformation from his Facebook campaign page. One of his key campaign workers is Lawrence Ligas, long-time Illinois Republican activist and January 6 coup participant. Ligas was arrested and charged for his actions in the course of occupying the Capitol, after which Bailey’s campaign was forced to issue a perfunctory statement about supporting the law.

Bailey and Representative Mary Miller, a white supremacist and admirer of Adolf Hitler, both enjoyed Donald Trump’s support at a Quincy, Illinois event the weekend before the June 28 primary. The two Democratic incumbents, billionaire Governor J. B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, would be favored against any Republican opponents, including these two semi-fascists. But Pritzker was leaving nothing to chance, pumping an estimated $36 million into the Bailey and DeVore campaigns, routed through the Democratic Governors’ Association (DGA).

If this isn't appalling to you, I'm going to assume that you're one of those stupid people who tapes the skin of your face back and puts on a wig to hide the tape.  I mean, seriously, Cher, if you're skin is so loose that you need to tape it back, you don't think pulling it back with that tape isn't going to make it worse?  Or are you just going to eventually cover yourself head to toe in tape and do so every waking moment of the day?  

Maybe someone who works that hard to run from looking like they really do is someone we don't need to take political advice from?  (A point we already established with that idiotic, ahisotrical and uninformed Tweet she provided that we noted earlier.)


Or we could just look to Iraq where US troops remain on the ground.  All this time later.  And where the country that the US government destroyed continues to suffer.  It suffers so much that even those attempting to detail the suffering can't get it right.


At least 13 people have been infected with Cholera in Iraq as the COVID-19 outbreak slows down. Authorities claim that northern Kurdistan is the epicenter of the problem.

Kurdistan’s district health chief, Sabah Hawrami, stated that Sulaimaniyah had 10 cholera cases, which were confirmed.

Well, no, 13 2as the number some time ago and, no, COVID has not slowed down.  Things move to quickly in Iraq.

On COVID, IANS reports today:

Iraq is witnessing a noticeable rebound in the Covid-19 infections as the country's Health Ministry reported 4,819 new cases, the highest daily hike since February 8.

The newly registered cases raised the nationwide caseload to 2,369,272, while the death toll from the virus rose by two to 25,249, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by the ministry.

The Iraqi health authority warned recently against a new wave of Covid-19 infections, citing high vaccine hesitancy and lack of public attention to preventive measures.

And this morning THE MEDIA LINE also notes the increase in COVID and we'll quote their section on cholera:

Health authorities in Baghdad also say Iraq is experiencing a cholera outbreak. The Health Ministry reported 39 new cases of cholera, in addition to 169 previously reported cases, bringing the total infections in the current outbreak, which began on June 19, to 208. The ministry urged citizens to follow health and hygiene instructions and drink only sterilized water.

And IRAQI NEWS notes:

The Iraqi Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday that Iraq is facing four different epidemics at the same time, in addition to possible emergence of cases infected with monkeypox in the country.

The spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Saif Al-Badr, made it clear that Iraq entered the fifth wave of the Coronavirus epidemic as the number of infections exceeded 4800 as of Wednesday.

Badr also elaborated that the ministry recorded 39 new cases infected with cholera on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections to more than 200, including at least two deaths in Kirkuk and Baghdad.

Additionally, Badr indicated that the Iraqi health authorities are facing the spread of two other epidemics which are rabies and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. The Congo fever led to two deaths so far.

In 2015, Iraq witnessed the largest epidemic wave of cholera outbreaks, concentrated in Baghdad and Babylon in the southern part of the country, causing about 1,809 confirmed infections and 65 deaths.

THE PBS NEWSHOUR had an important report on Iraq yesterday.  We'll try to note it on Friday.  But let's note rumors that the political stalemate may finally be coming to an end.  October 10th, Iraq held elections.  There's still not been anyone named prime minister or president.  Last night, STRATFOR published:

What Happened: Iraq's ruling Shiite Coordination Framework will nominate former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the country's premiership, despite disagreement within the coalition, Al Mirbad reported July 5. Rivals like Hadi al-Amiri of the Shiite Badr Organization have voiced opposition to al-Maliki's nomination.
Why It Matters: Al-Maliki's nomination likely will be highly divisive considering the ongoing political standoff Iraq is experiencing, and it could exacerbate negative social conditions that led to violent protests in 2019. Additionally, the approach of summer promises to worsen the hardships of rolling blackouts and dilapidated water infrastructure, which will further increase the risk of protests.

They're saying it doesn't make it so.  But it does appear the Coordination Framework is about to make an announcement shortly (as we noted earlier this week, that's what the pressure on the Kurds to figure out one nominee for the presidency is about). 

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Michael Jackson

Whatever Michael Jackson did or didn't do in bed with children, we all know his voice was genuine, right?  Maybe just when he was alive.  BBC NEWS reports:

Three Michael Jackson songs have been removed from streaming services, following persistent claims they feature faked vocals.

Monster, Keep Your Head Up and Breaking News all featured on the posthumous 2010 compilation album Michael.

They have since been the subject of a court case brought by a fan, who claims the vocals are by a session singer.

Sony Music and Jackson's estate said their removal from streaming sites had nothing to do with their authenticity.

In a statement, they described the action as "the simplest and best way to move beyond the conversation associated with these tracks once and for all".


TMZ adds, "For what it's worth, Michael's mother, sister La Toya and his kids, Paris and Prince ... have all questioned the legitimacy of the vocals on the tracks."  BILLBOARD covers it here.


What do you think?

My guess?  Since they did pull the three, they know the three are fake and don't want to kill the golden goose.  Do you think there are more songs released after he died that featured vocals added by others?


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



 Wednesday, July 6, 2022.  Free speech rights to include the right to protest, Clarence Thomas and his cohorts don't feel loved, Iraq still struggles to form a government and much more.

Nick Barrickman (WSWS) reports:

On Saturday, Supreme Court Marshal Gail A. Curley sent letters to the Republican governors of Maryland and Virginia demanding that the states crack down on protests that have swelled outside of the homes of the Supreme Court’s right-wing members following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last month.

Protests have remained a constant outside the homes of the court’s various far-right members in the months after a memo revealed the plan to strike down the constitutional right to an abortion.

In the letters, Curley, a West Point graduate and former military lawyer who has also been assigned the job of hunting down the source of the Supreme Court’s May memo leak, demanded that state officials in Maryland and Virginia “prohibit picketing at the homes of Supreme Court Justices.”

“For weeks on end,” she complained, “large groups of protesters chanting slogans, using bullhorns, and banging drums have picketed Justices’ homes” in the two jurisdictions. This, the officer claimed, “is exactly the kind of conduct that the [state and local] laws prohibit.”

As an example, Curley cited a Montgomery County, Maryland, ordinance that declares a “person or group of persons must not picket in front of or adjacent to any private residence.” Instead, picketers must march “without stopping at any particular private residence.”

Oh, that's so sad.  Some people are disturbed, are they?  That's just so unfair.  You know what, Gail, I don't think most people give a damn and, more to the point, your little ordinances and codes, I think The Constitution actually trumps those and I don't see any 'due process' reasoning that would allow your clients special access to the law. 

It's time for the garbage to come back down to earth.  You know, the place where a lot of people are suffering.  Mike Ervin (THE PROGRESSIVE) notes some of  the concerns of the disabled and challenged communities:


“People with disabilities have the fundamental right to make decisions about our lives and bodies . . . this includes the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy,” the statement reads. “People with disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault, and people with some disabilities face increased and serious health risks from pregnancy. Disabled people need and deserve access to affirming and accessible reproductive health care services, including abortion.”

One of the groups that signed on to the statement, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, spoke out forcefully on its own, too, in a statement that began, “Disabled people have the right to self-determination and bodily autonomy. We have the right to make our own decisions. Our human rights include reproductive rights. Abortion rights are disability rights.”

The National Disability Rights Network also put out a short statement that said, “Today it was the right to an abortion, tomorrow it could be other important rights like choice of who one can marry or access to other types of reproductive health. For people with disabilities, it might also mean whether or not they have a say in being sterilized, or whom they have intimate relations with, or the choice to live in the community. . . . This uncertainty that the Supreme Court can take away rights that people have had for decades is bad for all American society, including people with disabilities in so many different ways.”


What Clarence Thomas and others did impacts lives.  Now they're  bothered that some protesters are picketing.  Tough.  You decided to overturn ROE and you are out of step with the American people.  The American people have every right to protest and I don't care if it disturbs your peace, you've more than disturbed the peace of millions.


Are the protesters making you realize that you're not liked?  Well you're not.  Consider that a gift of reality.

Here's another thing -- stop wasting US tax dollars on your stupid and meaningless investigation.  The American people have not screamed "WHO LEAKED IT!!"  We don't care.  Stop wasting our money.  It was leaked.  The ruling has been issued.  It's over.  

You think you're so much more important than you are and you're conducting a war on a Whistle Blower.  What a sad and pathetic court you've become.  No longer trusted by the American people, suffering a double digit loss in trust since last year alone.  

You brought it on yourself.  Stop whining to state authorities and live with the world you've created.  Congress has already passed legislation to fund your protection.  What a bunch of cry babies.  Hey, here's a thought, are the protests disrupting your life?  I bet a lot of them would go home if you retired.  So you need peace?  Announce your retirement.

And shame on you if you pretend to be a free speech advocate but for some reason have spent over two weeks now whining on behalf of the Supreme Court.  First Amendment includes the right to protest.  It is a free speech right.

Branko Marcetic (JACOBIN) notes:

As an increasingly rogue Supreme Court snatched the remnants of the right to abortion away from 40 million women around the country, party leadership boldly ruled out doing much about it. President Joe Biden wouldn’t expand the number of judges on the court or curb its jurisdiction, as progressives like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested. He and his team fret that this “would be politically polarizing” ahead of the midterms and “undermine public trust in institutions like the Supreme Court” — the implication being that the court’s attack on abortion rights somehow did neither of those.

As calls to eliminate the Senate filibuster and pass Roe into law grew louder, the Biden administration ruled that out too, dispatching Vice President Kamala Harris to CNN to deliver the bad news. “What do you say to Democratic voters who argue, ‘Wait a minute, we worked really hard to elect a Democratic president and vice president, a Democrat-led House, a Democrat-led Senate — do it now’?” asked Dana Bash.

“But do what now? What now?” replied Harris, who went on to insist the votes weren’t there to eliminate the filibuster and ruled out using the presidential bully pulpit to get them. 

Ocasio-Cortez and others had suggested a creative move: putting abortion clinics on federal lands in states where it was illegal. Was that something the administration might consider? “It’s not right now what we are discussing,” said Harris. Elsewhere, administration officials expressed worry that taking such a step would open those seeking abortions to prosecution or violate the Hyde Amendment, which bars using federal money to fund abortions. (On the last point, it was up to, once more, Ocasio-Cortez to explain why that wasn’t the case.)

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) and others have called on Biden to declare a public health emergency as a result of Roe being overturned, something that could open the way to paying patients’ travel expenses. So far, the administration hasn’t done anything of the sort, with one White House advisor warning that if it took that step, “It’s very possible that the next incumbent of the Oval Office would declare an emergency for the life of fetuses,” which was “exactly the kind of politicization of public health that we really need to avoid.” In other words, yet more action stymied by a misguided, conservative obsession with preserving norms and institutions.

A slew of such novel ideas has now been suggested by individual members of the party. What’s notable is the near-total absence of an echo from the White House, even though practically the entire globe has known for two whole months Roe would be overturned.

The latest polling shows Joe Biden with 36% approval rating, as Ruth noted last night.  He won't codify ROE (put it into law), inflation is out of control, he has wasted billions of tax dollars on Ukraine -- didn't Barack Obama it wasn't in the US national interest -- and it just gets worse.

Nick Beams (WSWS) explains:

There is a rising tide of warnings that the US, Europe and other areas of the world are rapidly moving towards a recession as significant data point in that direction.

Under the underline “No more whispers,” Politico reported on Monday: “From Wall Street to Washington, whispers about a coming economic slump have risen to nearly a roar as the Federal Reserve ramps up its battle against the highest inflation in four decades.”

The article cited price spikes—inflation in the US is 8.6 percent—aggressive interest rate hikes which have led to the worst performance by Wall Street’s S&P for the first half year since 1970 and a fall in consumer confidence to a record low.

Economists, it continued, were not only worried that a downturn will happen, but that it will happen soon.

With so much economic activity in the US economy, both on the business and consumer side, dependent on credit, the interest rate hikes carried out so far are having a significant effect.

And here's Andre Damon (WSWS):

The New York Times reported Monday that dozens of US ex-military personnel are operating on the ground in Ukraine and that retired senior US officers are directing portions of the Ukrainian war effort from within the country.

Coming after revelations that the United States was directly involved in coordinating and planning the assassination of Russian generals and the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, the report further refutes the false claim by the Biden administration that the United States is not at war with Russia.

In its report, the Times wrote:

Americans are in Ukraine. An unknown number are fighting on the front lines. Others volunteer to be members of casualty evacuation teams, bomb disposal specialists, logistics experts and trainers. At least 21 Americans have been wounded in combat since the war started, according to a nonprofit organization that evacuates them. Two have been killed, two have been captured and one is missing in action.

In February, US President Joe Biden said, “Our forces are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia in Ukraine.” In March, Biden reiterated, “The idea that we’re going to send in offensive equipment and have planes and tanks … going in with American pilots and American crews, just understand, don’t kid yourselves, no matter what you all say, that’s called World War III.”

Since that announcement, the United States has provided over 200 armored personnel carriers and over 20 helicopters to Ukraine, as well as M109 self-propelled armored howitzers, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and HIMARS long-range missiles.

In addition to these military armaments, it is now clear that the United States has sent troops. The US military claims that these forces, including one colonel and one lieutenant colonel, are operating on their own and are not under the command of the US military.

But these denials are a lie, meant to deceive the American people, who overwhelmingly oppose their government going to war with Russia. The officers admitted as much, telling the Times that their actions give the United States “plausible deniability.”

Joe Biden's war of choice.  It's destroying the economy.  It's destroying the country.  But, hey, Sean Penn loves it.  So, good, right?

Wrong.  And they should all be ashamed of themselves.  

Ajamu Baraka points out:

Hey Biden, if you are opposed to gun violence why are you sending guns to Ukraine? Look, if you can culturally accommodate the kind of warmongering that has gripped this country you are immersed in normalized violence so stop playing surprised when it blows back.

Moving over to Iraq, Mohammad Ali Shabani Tweets:

NEW: Almost 10 months after parliamentary elections, #Iraq remains without a 2022 budget as new govt has yet to be formed. Will lawmakers simply skip 2022 budget and instead start focusing on next year's budget? Excellent breakdown of what's going on.

THE NEW ARAB offers:

Public protests in October 2019 swept the southern and central provinces of Iraq. Protesters were demanding better living conditions, amendments to the country’s election law, and holding early elections.

More than 600 people were killed by Iraqi security forces and militias. Consequently, Iraq’s then-elected prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was forced to resign and Mustafa al-Kadhimi was appointed as PM to pave the way for snap elections that were held in October last year.

But it seems that Sadr will choose escalation and public protests in order to prevent his opponents from forming their own consensus cabinet.

Sadr in a statement on 22 June refuted allegations that he made the withdrawal decision under the direct threat of Iran, but he admitted for the first time that pro-Iran militia groups have been using Iraq’s judiciary as a political tool and pressuring non-Shia political blocs.  

Salih Mohmmed al-Iraqi, a controversial personality on Twitter thought to be close to Sadr, in early July first identified the reasons that made the Shia leader withdraw from Iraqi politics, mainly accusing parliament speaker Mohammed Halbusi and KDP leader Masoud Barzani of "treason" in what they promised Sadr.

First off, The October Revolution did not begin with Moqtada.  He waited weeks to glom onto it as he sought to see how popular it was.  By the time he threw his support behind it, it was already massive and he was just riding the coat tails.  If the article -- which repeatedly notes that massive protest  -- is trying to tie to that to Moqtada, that's a mistake.  And after he gave support, he ordered the protests to end.  And they ignored him.  And then he started lecturing about how they shouldn't allow men and women to protest together.  And they mocked him.  

And, yes, Iran did order him to exit. 

We're going to wind down with this from Patrick Wintour's report for THE GUARDIAN:

Turkey should face charges in front of the international court of justice for being complicit in acts of genocide against the Yazidi people, while Syria and Iraq failed in their duty to prevent the killings, an investigation endorsed by British human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy has said.

The groundbreaking report, compiled by a group of prominent human rights lawyers, is seeking to highlight the binding responsibility states have to prevent genocide on their territories, even if they are carried out by a third party such as Islamic State (IS).

The lawyers, grouped under the title of the Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC), said there was accountability under international law for states to prevent the crime of genocide under the Genocide Convention. Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, chair of the YJC, described the genocide of the Yazidi people as “madness heaped on evil”.

“Mechanisms in place could have saved the Yazidis from what is now part of their past, and part of their past partial destruction,” he said.

It is widely accepted that genocide was attempted against the Yazidis, a religious minority, from 2013 in Iraq and Syria. The report, which followed a three-year inquiry that investigated the conduct of 13 countries, concluded three of them failed in their duty to take reasonable steps to prevent the genocide.

In the case of Turkey, the committee went further by accusing its leaders of being complicit in the massacres, alleging it failed to police its borders to halt the free flow of IS fighters, including a significant number of Turkish nationals. Turkish officials have said the criticisms are baseless.

The committee claimed that from April 2014, Turkish officials turned a blind eye to the sale, transfer and enslavement of Yazidi women and children, and helped train fighters affiliated with IS to fight its Kurdish enemies in Syria, so strengthening the perpetrators of the genocide.

The following sites updated: