Friday, January 27, 2017

They live in denial

The election was almost three months ago and all the Democrats have done is offer excuses.

The party still can't take accountability.


Peter Berllios (CounterPunch) writes:

The Democrats deserve the scorn they’re getting, and much more. Among other things, they deserve scorn for helping to elect Trump. When Trump said Make America Great Again, and Clinton responded by saying that it’s already great, she dismissed the suffering of working people. By abandoning the notion that the Democrats are the party working toward social justice, she allowed Trump to play that card. That helped her to lose to a vile opponent far more than when she described Trump supporters as a basket of deplorables.
Not only do the Democrats deserve scorn for creating the conditions out of which Trump grew – income inequality, deeper levels of permanent unemployment, never-ending war, a way of life that’s not just stagnant for most but is slowly getting worse – they deserve scorn for not effectively stopping Trump. Clinton and the Democrats didn’t say they were going to fix these things and build a better future. Clinton said America’s already great. She said she’d be a third Obama term, when Obama has no substance. He’s just an image. Only the Bernie Sanders crowd (denigrated and libeled and cheated out of so much by the Democrats) addressed the suffering that people are experiencing. And what did the Democrats do in response to this? The Democrats topped off their injuries with the insult of Tim Kaine. They willfully abandoned the working class for suburban Republicans. And now they can’t stop blaming Russia for their loss. All along it was their politics and their economics.


They have blamed everyone in the world but themselves.

And that's while they continue to have the same problem over and over -- because they can't admit what happened and what they did.

They live in denial.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"



Friday, January 27, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the refugee issues continue, The Mosul Slog continues, and much more.



Let's start with immigration.

PRI offers:

"I'm scared. The chance to see my family reunited again is very slim now," she says. "People like me and my family who helped and supported America, I believe we should be reunited. The history of the United States is to support people and help them, not to separate the families."
Marcolla was just 18 and living in Baghdad shortly after American tanks rolled into the Iraqi capital in 2003. She was recruited to work for the US military. Her role caught the attention of Iraqi militants. They sought revenge. They burned down Marcolla's house, kidnapped her father and murdered her husband. 

Fearing for her life, she applied for a US visa. And in 2013, after seven years of waiting, she received the permission she'd been waiting for. But Marcolla had to leave her parents and siblings behind, even though she says they too were in danger because of her service with US troops. 


Is she scared?

Now?

She should be outraged.

It shouldn't have taken 7 years and it's cute how PRI is only now interested.

This has been an ongoing problem.

Dropping back to the April 3, 2009 snapshot:


Starting with the topic of Iraq refugees, Fahed Khamas has been expelled.  Alsumaria reports Switzerland expelled him yesterday and notes "he used to work as an Iraqi interpreter with the US military in Baghdad" and he stated elements in Iraq had made threats on his life.  Meanwhile Assyrian International News Agency reports, "The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees has called a protest on 16-17 April in Geneva about the plight of Iraqi refugees. It says: The situation of the Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Europe is a tragedy. Many thousands of Iraqi refugees have resorted to begging, prostitution, selling their internal organs to avoid destitution."  At the center-right Brookings Institution, Roberta Cohen contributes a lengthy article on Iraqi refugees (here for HTML intro, here for PFD format article in full) entitled "Iraq's Displaced: Where to Turn?" Cohen opens by sketching out how refugees were an Iraq 'industry' when Saddam Hussein was in power but the US war on Iraq "far from resolving the problem, however, made it worse. It catapulted the country into a near civil war between Shi'a, who had largely been excluded by Saddam Hussein's regime, and Sunnis who until then had dominated the government."  Combining external refugees (2.7 million) with internal ones (2 million), Cohen notes that "4.7 million people out of a total population of 27 million -- remained displaced."  While their numbers have increased, the sympathy for them throughout the world appears to have decreased and Cohen postulates that this is due to the fact that their displacement (due to the Iraq War) is "seen as a problem largely of the United States' making and one that the United States should therefore 'fix'." It's felt, she continues, that the US and the oil-rich government in Iraq should be footing the bill for host countries such as Jordan and Syria. "Even though Iraq's budget surplus from oil revenues is projected to be $79 billion by the end of 2008," Cohen writes, "the Shi'a-dominated government of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has delivered only minimal amounts of funding to neighboring states for the refugees.  Some believe it is because many of the refugees are Sunni and Christian or because the refugees humiliated the government by departing. Still others argue that support for the refugees will discourage their returning home.  Nor has the government been forthcoming with support for its internally displaced population, again dampening other countries' willingness to contribute." The post-9/11 world is noted by Cohen.  Tuesday Senator Bob Casey Jr. chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on "The Return and Resettlement of Displaced Iraqis" and one of the witnesses appearing before the subcommittee was Ellen Laipson of the Henry L. Stimson Center who noted that the 'security' measures post-9/11 were harming Iraqi refugees.  Cohen notes the "intense screening" refugees have to go through from the US Department of Homeland Security and that the number of Iraqi refugees the US accepted while Saddam Hussein was Iraq's president was much greater than the number the US has currently accepted.  Cohen notes the stereotypes of Iraqi refugees which include that, struggling for cash, they "could easily fall prey to militant groups" and how those stereotypes harm their attempts at garnering asylum.  These stereotypes are re-enforced (I'm saying this, Cohen touches on it but doesn't state it -- see page 314) when those attempting to help refugees make the case that, if you don't, there will be "security consequences."  Cohen quotes Brookings' Elizabeth Ferris arguing that if aid is not provided "there is a very real danger that political actors will seek to fill the gap."  Cohen notes that the bulk of Iraqi refugees are not the perpetrators of violence but refugees because they have been targeted with violence.
 
Cohen notes countries neighboring Iraq already had taken in Palestinian refugees and there were concerns re: large influxes of refugees as to cohesive societies.  Palestinian refugees from Iraq suffer, Cohen argues, because neighboring countries already which might take them in already have a large Palestinian refugee population with Jordan listed as having 70%.
 
The claims that these refugees are 'temporary' and will soon be returning is explored by Cohen who notes the small number of returnees to Iraq and cites the UNHCR for explaining that those who did return did so "because their resources or visas ran out in Syria and Jordan."  Cohen notes the 'guest'-like status of refugees in Syria and Jordan where they do not "have a clear legal status".  Neither Syria nor Jordan signed onto 1951's Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees so they do not recognize this agreement popularly known as the "Refugee Convention" which requires rights such as the right to work.  The agreement also recognizes the rights of refugee children to education and Syria does have free access but the bulk of Iraqi children are not enrolled.  Jordan officially allows all Iraqi children to attend public schools; however, 1/5 of the Iraqi refugee children is the number enrolled.  In both countries, they also have more medical needs than are being met. Not noted in the report is that having 'guest' status means a number of refugee children may not be enrolled for the reason that the parents are attempting to stay off the grid -- especially important in Syria where you are required to leave every six months and re-enter the country.  Staying off the grid allows them to avoid that.  (PDF format warning, click here for Bassem Mroue's AP article on this six month policy at Refugees International.)  Cohen notes how the economies in Syria and Jordan (mirroring the economices worldwide) have begun to slide and there is a growing hostility to the refugees in both countries where they are [unfairly] blamed for the economy.  She notes that the UNHCR maintains their request that neither Syria or Jordan forcibly deport any Iraqi refugees.
 
Cohen documents the US government's refusal to take responsibility for the Iraqi refugee crisis such as the State Dept's Ellen Sauerbrey telling Congress in 2007 that the situation was a "'very top priority' for the United States, but [she] expressed little urgency about expediting refugee resettlement.  As former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton explained it, sectarian violence, not American actions, created the refugee problem so it was therefore not the United States' responsibility" and Cohen quotes Bolton's pompous comments, "Our obligation . . . was to give them new institutions and provide security.  We have fulfilled that obligation.  I don't think we have an obligation to compensate for the hardships of war."  Bolton -- and this is me, not Cohen -- should have been required to explain how the "sectarian violence" he credits for creating the refugee crisis came about because the US seeded and grew it.  Back to Cohen.  She notes fiscal year 2006 saw the US admit a paltry 202 Iraqi refugees, while in 2007 the figure rose to the still tiny 1,608.  Cohen doesn't note it but neither of those figures met the target goal the administration had itself set for admittance of Iraqi refugees.  Fiscaly year 2008 saw 12,000 Iraqi refuees admitted. While the US does grant refugee status to those admitted and Syria and Jordan do not, note the difference in numbers with Jordan and Syria both having over 750,000 each by the most conservative estimate (that's me, not Cohen).  Cohen notes that Syria and Jordan are said to need $2.6 billion in aid for their refugees but that the US in 2008 was offering a meager $95.4 million. [Me, under Barack, it should be noted, that figure is the meager $150 million and that's for the Iraqi refugee crisis period -- not just for Syria and Jordan -- neither of whom will directly receive any funds from the US.].  Cohen contrasts that meager $95.4 million with the $70 billion the Congress granted for the US military effort in Iraq for fiscal year 2008.  Cohen notes that al-Malikis government gave $25 billion to neighboring states towards the costs of sheltering Iraqi refugees.  (That is a shameful figure.) She tosses out that the Bully Boy Bush administration might have been less than eager to help Iraqi refugees due to the fact that doing so might be seen as admission of the failures of the Iraq War to create "peace and stability in Iraq" and she notes Barack Obama, campaigning for president, promised an increase to $2 billion in aid for the Iraqi refugees.  (In the words of Diana Ross, "I'm still waiting . . . I'm waiting . . . Ooooh, still waiting . . . Oh, I'm a fool . . . to keep waiting . . . for you . . .")
 
Cohen then turns to the issue of the internally displaced and notes "radical Sunni and Shi'a militias who drove the 2006-07 sectarian violence were tired to political parties, police and army units.  The Ministry of the Interior is still widely reported to be infiltrated by Shi'a militias, which assaulted and expelled people from their homes, sometimes in police uniforms.  In such a political environment, it is not surprising that the government has failed to exhibit the will, resources or skills to deal with the needs of the displaced.  In the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, it is not unusual to find staff that sees the displaced only from the perspective of their own ethnic or religious group." Cohen observes that when displaced, Sunnis and Shi'ites tend to relocate to an area where their sect is dominant while Iraqi Christians flee "to parts of Ninewah province and Kurds to the northern Kurdish areas." A large percentage (40%) state they do not intend to return to their homes. As with external refugees, Iraq's internal refugees "face extreme hardship, many with urgent needs for shelter, food, medicine, clean water, employment and basic security."  Cohen observes, "Thus far, the national government has not demonstrated that it has the skills, resources, or political will to take care of its displaced population or provide the security, access to basic services, and livelihoods needed for the return of large numbers to their homes."  Cohen notes that while the government provides no assistance "radical sectarian Sunni and Shi'a groups" rush to fill the void. Robert Cohen offers several proposals for helping both the external and internal refugees and you can read her report for that (and we may or may not note them next week).
 
Sahar S. Gabriel is an Iraqi media worker for the New York Times who was granted refugee status in the US.  She (at the paper's Baghdad Bureau) reports on her initial impressions of the US:
 
After spending 21 hours waiting in airports and 13 hours in flying I arrived at the windy city of Detroit, Michigan.           
It is raining, always a good sign to me. My sister and I put on our gloves and jackets as we get off the plane. While I follow the baggage claim sign, I keep repeating to myself: "Don't panic, but you've made it." I am now on the other side of this war. The less violent side.            
 

Iraqi refugees in the US have found how quickly initial benefits dry up and how few the opportunities often are -- to the point that some refugees are considering returning for economic reasons only.  And think how sad that is, refugees to the US think they'd have better economic chances in Iraq.  (As noted before, those refugees who want to should be offered jobs at various US bases where they could provide cultural training to those due to ship out to Iraq for the first time -- and to those who've been to Iraq as well.)  If the paper were smart, it would set up a fund for Sahar and any other Iraqi media worker who came to the US because, without them, the paper's coverage of Iraq would not have been as strong as it was and a large number of readers grasp that and would contribute to a fund.  But let's turn to the violent side.



Seven years, the woman told PRI, seven years she had to wait.

And now she's worried?

Or maybe it's just now, with Donald Trump in the White House, PRI is concerned.

For the record, in 2016, the State Dept did not meet their goal on Iraqi refugees.

They never have in the last 8 years.

In Iraq i met Syrian refugees & Iraqis displaced by ISIS. i encountered only kindness. They are victims, not "illegals." They are people.
 
 


Then why, Jamie Tworkowski, wasn't it an issue for you until now.  (Trump wants a ban on refugees from Iraq -- among other countries -- during which he wants new guidelines put in place for refugees.)


It wasn't an issue to the press.

It was an issue here.  It remains an issue here.

The woman speaking to PRI has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Blaming Donald won't address but I'm sure it will let many do-nothings and many say-nothings feel self-righteous.

Barack couldn't meet the quotas for Iraqi refugees but he exceeded expectations on bombing Iraq over the last two years with two billion US taxpayer dollars spent on bombing Iraq and Syria.

There may be a change coming, not a good one.



Gus Taylor and Carlo Munoz (WASHINGTON TIMES) report:


Military advisers close to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis are considering loosening the restrictions on U.S. airstrikes that the Obama administration kept in place in war against the Islamic State in Iraq, according to current and former U.S. officials.
A key tenet of the proposed revised rules of engagement would raise the “acceptable” number of estimated collateral civilian casualties to authorize a U.S. or allied airstrike, sources say. Loosening these restrictions would give American commanders a freer hand in ordering strikes against the Islamic State’s northern Iraqi stronghold of Mosul, which the Trump White House has strongly advocated.



This is a proposal, a consideration.

This has not happened.

Nor should it.

But, more to the point, the argument against this isn't, "Oh, Donald shouldn't increase this!"

The argument against this is, "No civilians deaths are acceptable."

The bombings need to stop.

They are deadly, they are killing civilians and, if nothing else, Americans should care how much tax dollars are being wasted to bomb people.

The Mosul Slog continues.

What day is it now?

Too many to count.

But it's 102.

Remember when liars insisted it would last no more than three weeks?

Back in the day when a reporter called it right and said it was "a slog" and CNN's foolish Elise Labott yelled "NO!" in the middle of the briefing?

What happens after?

Nazli Tarzli (MIDDLE EAST EYE) reports:


A political reconciliation plan, spearheaded by the leader of Iraq’s Islamic Supreme Council Ammar al-Hakim, promises to heal Iraq and unite its warring factions.
Named the "historic settlement, the initiative is built on the areas around which Shia and Sunni political blocs can unite after Mosul’s liberation from the Islamic State (IS) group.
The Islamic Supreme Council is Iraq’s largest Shia political coalition and issues ranging from domestic and regional security, terrorism, and political arrangements are all on Hakim’s proposed agenda.
The terms – if agreed upon – are to be enforced in partnership with the United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the king of Jordan, among others.
Against the backdrop of relentless fighting, Hakim has praised the stage of political maturity in Shia-Sunni relations, and called on all parties to abandon “their illusions and fears”.
However, not everyone shares Hakim’s conviction – including members of his own alliance.
Some are unconvinced that it can open the way to an equitable Iraq, while others view it with suspicion - and as yet another play for political influence in the post-IS era.



Renad Mansour (THE CENTURY FOUNDATION) opines on the Shi'ite militias:

In January 2017, Amnesty International issued a damning report claiming that PMU groups were committing war crimes.1 In the battle against the Islamic State, such allegations against the PMU are not new. A month before, in December 2016, Human Rights Watch reported that a Sunni PMU associated militia, the Hashd al-Jabour, executed four suspected ISIS affiliates without any judicial proceeding—a war crime.2 Such allegations are also not a recent phenomenon. Long before the formation of the PMU and for much of post-2003 Iraq, international human rights watchdogs3 and media agencies have consistently accused these militias of war crimes.4
Yet, this time, there is something different. The PMU began its official response with a stark declaration: “The al-hashd al-shaabi is not an ally of the Iraqi government, it is a part of the Iraqi government” (emphasis added).5 The distinction signifies a fundamental shift in Iraqi state-building: the central government is no longer looking to integrate or reign in the militias, but rather to recognize (and therefore legitimize) the militias as state entities parallel to the Iraqi Security Forces. To many Iraqis, particularly but not exclusively the majority Shia population, the PMU is a legitimate group of fighters defending their country from ISIS and its brutality.

The question, then, is how to reconcile these two contrasting perceptions of the PMU: a sectarian-motivated Iranian-backed group of militias that commit war crimes versus a state-recognized force defending Iraq from ISIS and other insurgent groups. Answering this question is significant, as even after the liberation of Mosul and the eradication of the Islamic State’s control of Iraqi territory, the PMU will likely remain a permanent fixture. It will not simply integrate or go away.


Turning to the US where the nonsense coming out of the laughable 'Resist' is hilarious.

This is how Iraq war was justified: Rumsfeld orders intel officers to produce results proving Bush right. Trump's already doing it for THIS?
 
 


No, that's not how the Iraq War was justified.

It was justified via cowardly Democrats, War Hawk Democrats, Republicans (break them up into sub groups as you will), the US press, etc.  Joe Berkowitz pretends to care about Iraq.  We know it's a pretense because (a) he hasn't called for an end to the war and (b) he never brings the topic up unless he can bash Donald Trump.


As for Trump calling the Parks Service Director, that's his right.  He can pick up the phone can call anyone.  If photos exist to prove Donald's point, he has every right to demand their release.  If they don't, I assume no photos will be produced.

Regardless, it has nothing to do with Iraq and is not about how the Iraq War was started.  (Little Joe also forgets the maps drawn up by Cheney and heads of oil corporations -- JUDICIAL WATCH published those years ago).

For a brilliant analysis of last Saturday's fauxtests, please see Ann Garrison's piece at COUNTERPUNCH.

The following community sites -- plus PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:










  • iraq

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    It rots

    Mike Whitney (COUNTERPUNCH) explains:

    Let’s be honest, Obama got a pass from his supporters strictly because of appearances; because he looked and sounded like a thoroughly reasonable bloke who only acted on the loftiest of principles. Obama was hailed as a moral giant, a political rock star, a leader among leaders. But it was all fake, all make-up and glitz behind which operated the vicious national security state extending its tentacles around the world, toppling regimes wherever it went, and leaving anarchy and destruction in its wake. Isn’t this Obama’s real legacy when you strip away the sweeping hand gestures and pompous rhetoric?
    Of course it is. But Trump won’t have that advantage, will he? Trump is not a public relations invention upon which heartsick liberals pin their highest hopes. Trump is Trump warts and all, the proverbial bull in the china shop. That’s not to say Trump won’t be a lousy president. Judging by the Wall Street cutthroats and hard-edged military men he’s surrounded himself with,  he probably will be. But the American people are no longer asleep, so there’s going to be limits to what he can hope to achieve.


    Yes, Barack got a pass.

    Over and over.

    Some of us held him accountable.

    Most people didn't.


    And they would have given Hillary the same pass.


    They lie to themselves and refuse to face the truth.

    As a result, the whole system rots.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot?:"


    Thursday, January 26, 2017.  So much to unpack . . .


    CIA contractor Juan Cole writes another useless piece of garbage.  And, of course, this is the war cheerleader who turned against it later but tries to pretend he was always against it -- and bit Steve Rendall's head off on FAIR's COUNTERSPIN when Steve wouldn't play along with the lie.

    Juan's always serving so many interests and today he's bursting at the seams:


    Since his inauguration, Donald J. Trump has not been making a good impression in Iraq, where the US has 6,000 troops, according to al-Zaman (The Times) of Baghdad. 
    The prime minister has forcefully rejected Trump’s talk of “taking Iraqi oil.”  And the Shiite clerical leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, has taken on Trump over his plan to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.



    On Hayder al-Abadi -- the prime minister whom Juan's unable to name -- what's up with that? -- Mike took that issue on two days ago noting:





    PM Abadi says Iraq's oil is for Iraqis, in reaction to Trump via

     



    Good.

    Then start giving it to the people.

    Stop stealing billions each year, Hayder al-Abadi.

    The Iraqi people should live high on the hog.

    Their oil brings in billions.

    And they're only around 30 million people.

    So why the hell do so many of them live in poverty?

    Because corrupt officials like Hayder still the money.

    And all they've done since 2003 is try to chip away at the program that's like food stamps -- where Iraqis get so much rice, sugar, tea, etc each month.

    Pennies is what that program costs.

    But time and again, they've tried to kill it.



    For those not up to speed, Mike's talking about the rations card  program that faces cuts over and over and over.

    But that's Hayder.  That and more recently that he's confused by the statement President Donald Trump made.

    So Juan plays hysterical drama queen on the first.

    On the second?

    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr denounced Donald Trump.

    As he did Barack Obama.

    As he did Bully Boy Bush.

    Moqtada doesn't want US forces in Iraq.

    That's a consistent position for him.

    That's why the US government has seen him as an 'enemy' whether the Secretary of State was Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell or John Kerry.

    Juan knows all of this.

    But still he types up "How Trump Is Endangering U.S. Troops in Iraq and Essentially Aiding Islamic State."


    Really?

    By words?

    Do we want to go there?

    I don't have a problem with free speech.

    But if Juan does maybe he should be writing articles about American security?


    Maybe he should be pondering the effects of protests against the brand new president -- not even in office a week yet -- and all the trashing of him in the media and how that plays out on the world stage?

    Maybe he should be asking, "Is this weakening the US in the eyes of the world?"


    Or what does it mean when US citizens protest Donald in Iraq?

    How are they there?

    Most via the State Dept.

    That didn't stop them from protesting, did it?

    Anti- demonstartors gather in to speak out for equal






    Maybe it's time we ponder that if we're going to fret over words that (a) left Hayder al-Abadi confused and (b) found Moqtada al-Sadr staking the same ground he always stakes?

    Bully Boy Bush is someone I protested.  And I killed a piece at THIRD early on where we were doing a roundtable because I was offering a political explanation for BBB that I didn't want to be putting out there (did not want it used to excuse him).  Jim later wrote about that in one of his columns -- ask him which one, I didn't read it (no offense to Jim, I was opposed to the issue being raised which was why I had killed the roundtable to begin with).

    But the madman on the world stage, the loose cannon, can be effective in some scenarios.

    Was that what Bully Boy Bush was attempting to portray?

    My guess would be no -- but I don't know him.

    When you're the mad dog, everyone knows you'll bite and they steer clear.

    I was always surprised none of his followers explored that.

    But my hunch would be that they didn't because they didn't see him as mad.


    At any rate, if Bully Boy Bush was intentional in his bellicose ways, that could be a form of protection.

    I would argue it's a limited protection, even then.

    What's Donald Trump doing?

    Being Donald Trump.


    Which is why I didn't vote for him, which is why I do not like him as a person (prove me wrong, Donald, I'll gladly eat my words).


    What is all the nonsense outrage and "Fake News" and the rest doing?

    In the eyes of the world, what is being seen?

    When you stage a fauxtest against a leader the day after he's sworn in, what does it say?

    Dr. Marsha Adebayo (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) takes on the celebrity fauxtests from last weekend:

    If the size and passion of the Women’s March is indicative of a collective realization in the Black and progressive community that the time to wake up from the eight-year coma is upon us, then the election of Trump is an opportunity to mobilize thousands who couldn’t be reached under the previous administration. Sadly, many Black parents enter the Trump era with children murdered by police with impunity throughout this country.  The Democratic Party is counting on Obama amnesia and hoping that four years from now the new ground swell of activists will return the Dems to power. The larger question, however, is where were the white women and white progressives that we witnessed demonstrating after the election when Black youth were being gunned down in the streets across America? Where were the hats, money, media, buses, and entertainers when Trayvon, Michael, Sandra, Eric, John, Tanisha and Tamir were being hunted down and killed like animals?
    In fact, the Women’s March didn’t focus on victims of the Obama/Clinton administration, such as environmentalist Tennie White.  Who was Tennie White?

    Tennie White was targeted by the Obama Administration because of her tenacious commitment to protecting her rural Mississippi community from deadly and cancerous chemical pollution.  According to an Intercept article, Tennie is “the only person connected to two huge environmental contamination cases in Mississippi to ever serve prison time.”  Tennie’s “crime,” was that she was a community activist and not a polluter. She paid a heavy price for attempting to save her community.


    You can also refer to "Celebrity Lives Matter!!!"


    But what do these protests say?

    What does it say about national security?

    What does it say about the way foreign leaders view the country.

    You don't like Donald as the president?

    I don't either.

    But he is the president.

    And he won.

    Don't start that b.s. about Hillary won the popular vote -- the popular vote doesn't count.  I have always called for destroying the Electoral College.  It wasn't ended.  It continues.  It's part of the process.  And Donald won.

    So get over it.

    There have been many presidents and one occupant of the Oval Office that I couldn't stand.

    You move on.  You get on with life.

    Donald Trump is a legitimate president.

    You can lie all you want but he is.

    Losing the popular vote is not what made Bully Boy Bush and occupant -- I don't apply the "p" word to him and never have.  He was an occupant because we have laws in place on how to determine elections.  The Supreme Court is not a part of that.  They tossed the White House to Bully Boy Bush.

    Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's expressed disgust on the night of the 2000 election when Al Gore was thought to have won should have demanded she recuse herself from the case.

    She did not.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's comments about Donald Trump -- which she later apologized for -- crossed a line that should never have been crossed.

    2016 was all about people tossing aside ethics to derail Donald.

    I get why you're all such cry babies.

    You threw everything you had at him and he's still the president.

    Get over it.

    He's in the White House and he'll probably be there for four years (maybe 8).

    Probably?

    Could he be assassinated?

    I hope not because I don't think the country could stand it and while I have personal distaste for Donald, I know that I'm not the all knowing person and my judgment could be wrong.  He may have changed over the years -- we all have, he could have.  He may not have changed one bit but my judgment of him might be completely wrong.

    But if he was assassinated, they'd make him a martyr and that's what will probably keep him safe.

    (Again, I hope he's safe.  I also hope he proves me wrong and becomes the president of the people.  He has the chance to speak as an outsider and if he uses that he'll have even more support than he had in the election.)

    My guess, if he doesn't last four years, is impeachment.

    They're already eager to impeach him.

    Were the Republicans this eager to impeach Barack?

    I don't know.

    Not, I don't remember, I don't know.

    I pay attention to Iraq.

    If these idiots like Juan Cole, et al would keep their peanut butter out of Iraq, I wouldn't have to even know what they're doing.


    Some have attacked Senator Elizabeth Warren for supporting a nominee.  I only know about that because the idiots here in the US try to link it to Iraq.

    I don't care who she votes for in the Cabinet.

    I pretty much agree with former Senator Russ Feingold's position that they should have who they want in the Cabinet.

    I do not feel that way about the Supreme Court.

    The Cabinet is assisting the administration and it goes when the president goes.

    A Supreme Court seat is for life.

    Juan writes his attack piece as only someone as hideous as Juan could -- Donald Trump is endangering the US troops in Iraq!!!!

    Being in Iraq is endangering them.

    But Juan was never one to holler "Out of Iraq!," was he?

    I'm also concerned about the Elizabeth Warren trashing.

    No one has to like Warren.

    Trina doesn't.  That's her senator.  She's never liked Elizabeth and she can explain why.

    And that's fine.

    But what concerns me is the orchestrated attacks on Elizabeth that seem to be going down in an effort to ensure she won't be the 2020 nominee.

    I'm not saying she should be the nominee but I am saying there's a group of faux left already attempting to push one man to the front of the race.

    Bruce A. Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explains:

    Hillary is history, but her big stinking tent is still there, and Democrats are crying for a “united front” against Trump, led by spokespeople who can stick to the corporate script.
    Cory Booker is a great fit. As Glen Ford, who has followed his career in Black Agenda Report and Black Commentator since 2002 notes, charter school sugar daddies from the Olin, Bradley and Walton Family Foundations and the Manhattan Institute funded his early career. Cory’s wealthy friends bankrolled and promoted a slick Hollywood documentary, “Street Fight” to ensure his 2006 election to Newark’s City Hall.
    Booker hired Garry McCarthy, an NYPD expert at fixing stats to head that city’s cop shop, where he oversaw a paper decline in violent crime, with no decline in police brutality and disrespect toward Newark’s citizens. Cory’s millionaire friends created a Sundance TV series, Brick City to promote his re-election and further political career depicting him and his police chief as a new kind of urban superhero team.
    Rahm Emanuel afterward brought Booker’s top cop to Chicago where he also cooked the books to make murders and serious crimes go away, and presided over a crime wave on the part of police against citizens that included Homan Square, Chicago’s own law-free black site. The Brick City team went on to make a CNN series for Rahm Emanuel too.

    In 2010 on the Oprah show, Booker announced a $100 million “gift” from Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to Newark’s public schools, whose budget was still controlled by statehouse Republicans, to implement the latest “run the school like a business” nostrums of Cory’s old friends. Three years later, when Booker left Newark for the US Senate there was little to show for the money.





    I'm not a fan of Elizabeth's.  I have no idea if she'd make a good president or not.

    I am a fan of people expressing themselves.

    I'm not alarmed by a Glenn Greenwald, for example, calling her out on something because that's his job.  I am bothered by some of the voices who seem to be less than genuine and part of an early echo machine being put in place in an attempt to assure Corey Booker gets the nomination.

    Tomorrow we'll hopefully be able to focus more on Iraq.

    But if you want to protect US troops, get them out of Iraq.

    If you want to protest and not be considered a fauxtest, stop your whining and embrace those in need.

    And stop putting celebrities on stage to speak.  Ashley Judd stumbled across a poem.  Guess that's good since she had nothing to offer herself because she doesn't know about social justice or work towards it.


    There are real issues in this world.

    Iraqi Sunni Civilians tortured by Sectarian Iraqi army in






    When you're ready to march for those issues and not because War Hawk Hillary got defeated, you might have the makings of a real protest.



    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and BLACK AGENDA REPORT -- updated:










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