Monopoly. Have you played the game? I used to play board games constantly. We'd do nachos or fondue or something fun and sit around a table or coffee table and play Monopoly or Life or Clue or Scrabble.
I played Monopoly tonight. Mike and Elaine's daughter wanted to play and she was trying to round up a lot of players. C.I. never plays Monopoly. I didn't know why until tonight. Elaine knew why. C.I. was very honest that she didn't want to play and that she didn't hold back when she played so she always won. But because it was Elaine's daughter she agreed to play.
And she did win. Ty's husband came in second. The rest of us were just folding throughout.
Elaine's daughter has the excuse for her poor showing that she was also dee jay. She was in charge of the music. And, if you don't know this, her favorite singer is Dionne Warwick so that's what we heard throughout the game. That's not a complaint, I like Dionne.
It's just interesting, as Elaine's noted at her site many times, that Dionne so captured her daughter. It started when they went to a vinyl shop in Hawaii (where they live) and, for a good grade, she was allowed to pick out whatever vinyl album she wanted.
It was either MAKE WAY FOR DIONNE WARWICK or THE WINDOWS OF THE WORLD. She chose it based on the cover and she thought Dionne looked so pretty. And that started her odyssey of collecting Dionne. They've been staying at C.I.'s during the pandemic but that's not a problem because C.I. has all of Dionne on vinyl that was ever put on vinyl. So Elaine's daughter, was pulling everything of Dionne's from the shelves and she'd play a side of vinyl while she played the game and then hop up to get another side playing. We were singing along a lot throughout. Betty and C.I. were the only ones singing along on one song that I really loved. It's from Dionne's FRIENDS album (that contains the huge number one hit "That's What Friends Are For") and it's called "Stronger Together."
I asked, "Was that a hit?" It should have been. But it wasn't even a single. How did they both know all the words? Betty explained it was on Chaka Khan's I FEEL FOR YOU ALBUM. "And," C.I. added, "Months before that, it was on Joyce Kennedy's LOOKIN' FOR TROUBLE." Which led to Betty and C.I. talking about Joyce Kennedy's duet with Jeffrey Osborne, "The Last Time I Made Love."
That's an amazing song and an amazing performance. I told Elaine's daughter I'd be posting and she asked me to include her favorite song of the summer.
That's Diana Ross and Tame Impala's "Turn Up The Sunshine" from the Minions movie.
Triana's "Green Chile and Tomato Salsa (Salsa de Chile Verde con Tomate) in the Kitchen" went up tonight. The recipe she's highlighting is a Linda Ronstadt recipe, Linda has a cookbook coming out October 4th entitled FEELS LIKE HOME (FEELS LIKE HOME was also the title of her 1995 album and it's also going to be the title of a collection of songs released next month). She spoke to Jim Farber for a PARADE feature:
At the zenith of her superstardom in the 1970s and into the ’80s, Ronstadt was a pre-internet pop-culture darling. And not just for her hit songs. Her romances—with California Gov. Jerry Brown, with filmmaker George Lucas, with comedian Albert Brooks—also made headlines. She never married, and she successfully kept her two children, Mary and Carlos, both adopted in the 1990s, out of the spotlight.
Her career path was a wide-ranging odyssey across various musical forms and formats—pop, rock, country, folk, opera, classical and Latin—all grounded in her passion for music. These days, she says, “I listen mostly to opera. I love opera more than anything. I can listen to music really passionately now.”
Another passion, especially in recent years, has been doubling down to make clear to the world who she truly is. Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, she was steeped in the music and culture of her father’s side of the family, whose roots were deep in Mexico. It frustrates her that, throughout her four-decade career, the media has seldom acknowledged her Southwestern heritage, even when she emphasized it by recording albums like Canciones de Mi Padre, her 1987 collection of traditional Mexican songs that became the biggest-selling non-English-language album in U.S. history.
To help correct that, two years ago she took part in a documentary, Linda and the Mockingbirds, which followed her on an emotional trip she took to the rural Mexican town of Banámichi, where her grandfather grew up. Now, Ronstadt, 74, is releasing the book she wrote with journalist Lawrence Downes, Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands (Oct. 4), which illuminates the culture, food and natural wonders of the Sonoran Desert, which stretches from her Arizona childhood home through a large swatch of northern Mexico. A companion album of songs Ronstadt has admired, sung or recorded over the years, Feels Like Home: Songs From the Sonoran Borderlands—Linda Ronstadt’s Musical Odyssey, will be released Oct. 7.
That's the intro to the interview.
On music, read Ann's "Our discography of The 5th Dimension," Mike's "Chrissie Hynde, Graham Elwood and Zac Efron," and Rebecca's "happy birthday to chrissie hynde."
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
+ The White House is preparing another $13.7 billion in “emergency funding” for Ukraine. Emergency? What about Jackson, Mississippi?
+ Bill LaPlante, the Pentagon’s top weapons-buyer, said this week that the US trained the Ukrainian missileers on how to use the Harpoon missiles that sank two Russian warships. This is how it always goes: first sell a besieged ally weapons, then train the foreign troops how to use them, then send military advisors for how to deploy the weapons, then send the CIA to pick targets, then send US troops when all of the above fails, kill tens of thousands of people (mostly civilians), then cut and run before you’re chased out of the country by the very people you claimed you wanted to protect…
+ Zugzwang [tzoog-tzwung]: a situation in chess (and life) in which a move must be made, but each possible one will make the situation worse.
+ September 3, 2022 in America: 127 shooting incidents, 134 injuries, 46 fatalities…
+ Despite the fact that drug use of any kind is rarely the cause of miscarriage or still birth, prosecution of women who test positive for drugs still happens and it’s likely get even more common in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
+ Voting is the basement in the abandoned house people keep running into thinking they’ve found the way you, only to find someone in a hockey mask (Pelosi or McCarthy, on any given year) holding a chainsaw to cut off the rest of the Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and Food Stamps…
+ Goldman Sachs analysts spell out the likely consequences this winter from the NATO/US/EU sanctions on Russian oil and gas: “In our view, the market continues to underestimate the depth, the breadth & the structural repercussions of the crisis… We believe these will be even deeper than the 1970s oil crisis.”
Anne Garrels, longtime foreign correspondent for NPR, died on Wednesday of lung cancer. She was 71 years old.
At even deeper than the 1970s oil crisis.”
Anne Garrels, longtime foreign correspondent for NPR, died on Wednesday of lung cancer. She was 71 years old.
At NPR, Garrels was known as a passionate reporter willing to go anywhere in the world at a moment's notice if the story required it. She was also a warm and generous friend to many.
When she arrived at NPR in 1988, she already had a lot of experience under her belt — including 10 years in television news at ABC, where she was bureau chief in both Moscow and Central America.
Garrels made a strong impression on NPR's Deborah Amos. "She was this glamorous television reporter who came here," she said. "She didn't dress like the rest of us in the beginning. And she'd has this long and remarkable career before she landed here ... She was always braver than me, and I always understood that she was braver than me."
That bravery led Garrels into many war zones. And when it came to covering a war, she was there at the beginning, in the middle of the battle, and at the peace table. She was the kind of reporter who would drive alone across a war zone if that's what it took to get the story.
But in a 2003 interview with NPR's Susan Stamberg, Garrels insisted that she was not a "war junkie." "I didn't set out to be a war correspondent," she said. "The wars kept happening."
Her most acclaimed reporting came during the 2003 Iraq War. More than 500 journalists, including more than 100 Americans, covered the run-up to the war. But once the United States began the all-out bombing campaign she was one of 16 US correspondents not embedded with US troops who stayed — and for a time was the only US network reporter to continue broadcasting from the heart of Baghdad.
With her vivid reports often picked up by other broadcasters, Ms. Garrels — and her safety — became a story in itself.
Once she was home, other reporters interviewed her about her ordeal. She told of subsisting on Kit Kat chocolate bars and Marlboro Lights, bathing by gathering water in huge trash cans, and powering her equipment by attaching jumper cables to a car battery, which she lugged up to her hotel room every night.
Ms. Garrels told Terry Gross, host of the NPR program “Fresh Air,’’ that she had not thought twice about staying in Baghdad. “My gut instinct told me I would be OK,’’ she said, in part because she worked with a very competent fixer.
She admitted to Gross that she had been worried at times about being taken hostage, but she said she was usually so exhausted at night that she “slept like a baby through the bombing.’’
What really scared her, she said, was the thought of not telling a story as well as she wanted to. “I don’t write easily,’’ she said. “It’s a painful process.’’
Years later, Ms. Garrels said in an interview that while in Baghdad she had experienced a crucial reckoning. When the US Marines and some Iraqis toppled a massive statue of Saddam Hussein, the country’s dictator, she quoted somber Iraqis saying that the arrival of US troops had been humiliating and predicting that the Americans would soon be resented. By contrast, she said, the dominant images on television were of jubilant crowds cheering the fall of the statue.
Ms. Garrels’s editors in Washington were watching television and asked her if she wanted to revise her story, given the discordance between her words and the televised images. No, she told them, insisting that her interviews more accurately reflected the moment.
Her version was borne out by other photojournalists on the ground and by an after-action report by the Army, which said that the Marines had more or less stage-managed the toppling of the statue with a small number of Iraqis in an otherwise empty square.
“That was probably one of the most important moments for me as a reporter,’’ she said, as it reinforced her instincts to trust her own reporting.
As much as Anne Garrels loved Russia, she is probably best known for her reporting during the 2003 Iraq war. She was one of a handful of foreign reporters who remained in Bagdhad as the war began. As she told Susan Stamberg, she used a satellite phone for her reports and went to great lengths to conceal it from Iraqi authorities.
"And then I decided it would be very smart if I broadcast naked, so if that, god forbid, the secret police were coming through the rooms, that would give me maybe five minutes to answer the phone, pretend I'd been asleep and sort of go 'I don't have any clothes on!' And maybe it would maybe give me five seconds to hide the phone," she said.
Garrels later wrote about her wartime experiences in Iraq in a book called Naked in Bagdhad. NPR's Deborah Amos, who also reported from the Iraqi capital, remembered that Garrels sometimes took extraordinary risks to get a story.
The United States has not abandoned Iraq during its ongoing political crisis, a former US official said on Thursday, noting that parties in Baghdad need to reach an agreement to prevent further chaos in the country.
Iraq is in a deepening political impasse triggered by the parliament’s failure to form a government due to disputes between the major blocs of the legislature over the mechanism of its formation.
“A lot of people who have said that the United States has abandoned Iraq, [and] is starting to abandon the Middle East… The United States is not abandoning anybody. They are realigning, not their necessarily priorities, but their main objectives,” Vincent Campos, former public diplomacy officer at the US State Department told Rudaw’s Diyar Kurda on Thursday, adding that Washington constantly conducts an assessment to determine the right level of needed engagement.
Campos emphasized the need for the political parties to affirm their commitment to efforts aimed at the progress of the country and preventing it from sliding into further disarray.
The Supreme Federal Court, the highest judicial body in Iraq, has deprived the leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, of his last pressure card to dissolve parliament and go to early legislative elections.
The court's decision came after he failed to achieve the dissolution of the legislature by resorting to street mobilisation, that eventually turned violent.
Analysts say that the decision announced Wednesday by the top court, which ruled that it does not have constitutional powers to dissolve parliament, narrows the options for Sadr and forces him to meet his opponents from the pro-Iran Coordination Framework half-way.
The initiative by his ally, Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, may offer him the opportunity for a political climb-down.
Legal expert Amir Al-Daami told local media, that "the decision of the Federal Court is to the credit of the court, given that it complied with the Iraqi constitution to the letter and did not put itself above the law."
Iraq's top court ruling on Wednesday could be a turning point in the country's 11-month political crisis.
Sadr's bloc won most votes in parliamentary elections last October but he has been unable to form a majority government. His followers stormed the parliament in late July to prevent their rivals from Iran-backed groups from forming the government.
With ensuing rallies, clashes with security forces, counter-rallies and a sit-in outside, the government formation process has stalled.
Anyone paying attention knows that Joe Biden’s accomplishments as president are pretty sparse. The oligarchy allowed his American Rescue Plan stimulus program to go through but then put a stop on Build Back Better or any other legislation that would help the people in a meaningful way. The student loan debt relief plan is a bait and switch scam used against desperate people. Biden brags about allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies but that won’t happen until 2026 and will only be allowed for ten drugs that are to be named later.
What is a failed president to do? His 2022 midterm stump speech had the odd title , “The Continued Battle for the Soul of a Nation.” No one voted for Biden to be the nation’s religious leader, why the reference to the nation’s soul? That use of language is a sure sign that nonsense is being peddled and Biden didn’t disappoint. His failures are the reason he keeps running against Donald Trump instead of in defense of himself.
Because he and the democrats don’t have much in the way of appeals to voters he just shouts Trump’s signature acronym MAGA, Make America Great Again, over and over again. He said MAGA 13 times in his speech. Never before has a losing president or his supporters been elevated to such a level of attention.
Of course Trump differs from most former presidents by claiming that he didn’t really lose and encouraging his supporters to riot inside the Capitol two weeks before his successor’s inauguration. He still says he didn’t lose and is also back in the news after refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents to the National Archives where they belong.
But Trump’s personal foolishness should be a reason for him to be ignored instead of getting more attention. The MAGA distraction exposes the democrats’ weakness, namely living off their decades old reputation as the party of working people when they have had little or nothing to say for themselves in that regard in the Biden, Obama, or Clinton administrations.
The events of January 6, 2021 were definitely a shock to the public at that time but a year and a half of endless news stories and congressional investigations haven’t moved the needle of public opinion very much. Approximately 40% of Americans would still vote for Trump. The people calling Trump a traitor and wanting to jail him are the same people who would never have voted for him or other republicans in the first place. Trump received more than 70 million votes in November 2020, 10 million more than in his 2016 election. There is little reason to believe that those supporters will change their minds. The democrats may get lucky and keep control of congress after the midterm elections but it won’t be because Biden manages to say MAGA in every sentence.
It is a political dictum that opponents should be attacked and not voters. Hillary Clinton’s pre-election remark about “deplorables” didn’t help her get out the vote in swing states where she most needed them. Biden diverges from traditional political discourse out of desperation so acute that he repeats Hillary’s failed course of action.
He is allowed to spew subpar propaganda because he has no opposition within the democratic party. The so-called progressives stand down when they are told to do so. They are window dressing within window dressing who are allowed to post platitudes on Twitter and fool democrats into thinking they have champions in congress. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley can even tell an obvious lie that Biden canceled student loan debt and emerge unscathed. Neither she nor other members of “the Squad” or the Congressional Black Caucus have anything to fear when they go along to get along.
They would think twice about joining in the beat down if they feared the voters. Unfortunately most democratic voters have been indoctrinated into thinking that voicing any concerns with their party leadership will lead to republican victory. Black voters are once again caught in what they see as an insurmountable trap of defending democrats regardless of what they do or fail to do.
But that twisted thinking needs to stop. The liberation movement is uplifted at every possible moment yet its real significance, sustained opposition to political power, is rarely mentioned. There is no reason to accept crumbs and thus continue snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no trap for Black or any other democratic voters if they show some determination to speak out when they are being conned.