Thursday, June 4, 2020

Chris Hedges

That's journalist Chris Hedges.  He's running for the US House of Representatives out of New Jersey's 12th district. Lola e-mailed to point out that C.I. has noted Chris' run and I haven't. 

Good point.  I can't follow every race by any means.  But Chris Hedges is someone who gets noted in the community and I certainly should have made a point to note that he's running for Congress.  We'd be lucky to have him in Congress -- all of us, the entire nation. 

Until recently, Chris was part of Truth Dig.  Prior to that?  He worked for The New York Times and other outlets.  He's better known in the last ten years as an author. 

This is from Wikipedia:

Christopher Lynn Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for NonfictionEmpire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009); Death of the Liberal Class (2010); Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco, which was a New York Times best-seller; Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015); and his most recent America: The Farewell Tour (2018).
Hedges was a columnist for the progressive news and commentary website Truthdig.[1][2][3] He hosts the program On Contact for the RT (formerly Russia Today) television network.[4] Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central AmericaWest AsiaAfrica, the Middle East, and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science MonitorNPRDallas Morning News, and The New York Times,[5] where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).
In 2001, Hedges contributed to The New York Times staff entry that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002.[6] He has taught at Columbia UniversityNew York University, the University of Toronto and Princeton University, where he is a visiting lecturer in African American studies.[5][7][8][9]
Hedges has taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons. He teaches a course through Princeton University in which the class is composed of half prisoners and half Princeton undergraduates.[6] He has described himself as a socialist[10][11][12][13] identifying with Catholic activist Dorothy Day in particular.[14]

This is his Twitter account.  If you are able to vote in New Jersey's 12th district, please look into Chris Hedges' campaign.

Actually, I don't.  I texted C.I. to ask if she knew of anything I should include in a post on Chris?  She said he's already dropped out of the race and was only in it for about 24 hours.

Why did he drop out?

He was told he couldn't continue to have his TV program and run for a federal office.  So he chose the TV program where he felt he could reach more people.

Too bad.  I wish he'd chosen to run for office.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2020.  Iraq has a host of problems that are not being addressed, Joe Biden continues to lack inspiration and is upstaged by celebrities, and much more.

Starting with Tara Reade who has made a credible allegation that Joe Biden assaulted her.  Jacob Pierce (GOOD TIMES) reports:

“It’s really hard that people are going to tear me apart. But it doesn’t change what happened. This happened in 1993. I was harassed, and I was assaulted, and history will look back on the journalism from this time and judge it,” she tells GT by phone.
Overwhelmed by threats and online harassment, Reade says she is “a poster child for why victims don’t want to come forward.”
“This is destroying my life,” says Reade, who did not speak with GT for our initial story. “I’m not suing Biden. I’m obviously not having any effect on his campaign. His campaign is fine. I tried to come forward in 1993 and in 2019 and now. I just hope it gets easier for the survivors.”
Some former acquaintances of Reade have taken calls from a private investigator and spoken with him. Hummer says the investigator wouldn’t say who his client was, although he insisted it wasn’t the Biden campaign.

It's Anita Dunn, that's the client.  Her dirty work is at play just as it was for Harvey Weinstein. Times Up will always be a dirty joke for making that dirty whore their manager.  It'll be very hard for them to blackmail donations in the future, which, let's be honest, is what they've done and they have nothing to show for the millions that they've extorted.  They are a fake organization pretending to help victims as the money disappears into private pockets and is expensed under 'overhead.'  

Tara told her story.  She has been attacked for it.  People pretend that the slurs and smears means she wasn't assaulted when that's not what they mean at all.  

Her character has no bearing on whether or not she was assaulted.  What we do have is what in every other cases is consider corroborating evidence.  We have her mother's phone call to Larry King.  I like Larry and I've known him for years.  If you missed it, he took time out this week to talk about his friends (Joe Biden and Donald Trump) and to say he didn't believe Tara.

You know what I didn't hear, Larry?

I didn't hear you apologize.

For years, you've maintained that you do the work you do for your audiences.

In 1993, Tara's mother called into your show and asked for help.  Neither you nor your guests offered her any.  You just moved right on.

If you don't believe Tara today, well that's on you, now isn't it?

You had her mother call in and explain her daughter was having difficulty and had just stopped working for a senator.  You didn't have any questions, did you, Larry?  That was a viewer you failed.  So don't ever tell me again how you do what you do because you're there for your audience.  And how dare you, having failed Tara's mother -- one of your viewers, how dare you now smear her daughter.

Shame on you, Larry.  I've defended you many, many times.  I'm not interested in defending you right now and I think you deserve huge push back -- which I hope you get.

Not done with the press.  I stayed silent on Ryan Grimm for over 24 hours.  I wanted to be in a calm place.  He gave an interview to THE WASHINGTON POST -- not linking to the garbage, you can Google it if you want.  

I really am not in the mood for these journalists who try to make it about them.

I'm not in the mood for these circle the wagons circle jerks.  It happens all the time.  Barbara Walters should have been called out for her involvement in Iran-Contra but thanks to the circle the wagons aspect of journalism, she was barely in a 24 hour news cycle. 

More energy, similarly, was put into defending Ronan Farrow than defending Tara Reade.

Ronan's journalism is questionable.  It is not beyond critique.  

But you saw RISING and various others nearly have a heart attack over the questioning of Ronan's work.

Ryan Grim?  No one forced him to write the article he did -- about Times Up not supporting Tara.  

He wrote it.  He was a lousy journalist for not informing Tara of the connection Times Up had to the Biden campaign -- she learned of it when she read his report.  

Now he wants to back off to THE WASHINGTON POST.  Maybe she's telling the truth, maybe she's not, he just reported on Times Up and . . .


He went on various programs discussing Tara Reade the allegation she made and he did so after his report was published, he did so amplifying the work of others.

So don't pretend you filed one report and that's all you did.  

And if you're not sure of what she's saying, maybe you get off your cushy ass and do the damn job you should have done in the first place: report.

I don't mean use the names on the list the Biden campaign's handing out to the press.  I mean actually report -- don't wait for a listener of Katie Halper's show to hear you on it and do the research -- that's who uncovered the call made by Tara's mother to Larry King -- that you should have done yourself.

If you made stronger comments than what THE POST ran, you've got a Twitter account.  You didn't note that you were misquoted or that important statements were left out.  In fact, while you Tweeted THE NEW YORK TIMES smear job on Tara, you didn't even note your interview with THE POST -- nor did you call out THE TIMES smear job.  

You aren't someone who's a journalist, not a good one, not a bad one, you shouldn't even be called a working journalist.  You are a joke and you will always be that.

You put a woman out in public and now you want to try to save face.  Have the guts to say one way or the other whether you believe her.  And stop hiding and pretending that all you did was one story in March.  You used her name to get on programs and that's another thing.

You stupid idiot, learn from your betters. Ellen Goodman walked away from the chat and chews because she knew she couldn't be an insta-expert.  She had her area of expertise but the chat and chews want you to be an expert on every topic.  You clearly are not so stop talking about every topic in the news cycle.  Judging by your remarks to THE POST, you're not even an expert on what you report on (Tara Reade).  

I never respected you and I never liked you.  You are part of the circle jerk involving some of the worst men around.  I count three men who have assaulted women that you've reTweeted since May 31st.  Did you not know -- is that going to be your story like Meryl Streep's lie about not knowing about Harvey Weinstein?

Well you need to know.  You present as an investigative journalist so why are you hanging with rapists?

I believe Tara.  If you don't, have the guts to say so.  If you do, do your damn job.

Nothing that's been said of Tara discredits her allegation.  It's amazing all these 'expert' pieces written and televised and we're the ones who have to point out that assault experts are not part of the conversation?  And after I hit on that repeatedly with Dean, THE TIMES finally sees fit to include them in a report?

Tara told her story and the media at large didn't want to deal with it.  That's evidenced not only by them ignoring it -- until they were provide the oppo research Anita Dunn had overseen for the Biden campaign.  It's also evidenced by the fact that the charge is assault.

It's not whether Joe Biden paid Tara's bills or not.  Her finances are not now and never were the issue.  But that's who the press went to time and again, not experts on assault.  We didn't need one sentence in a CNN broadcast of MJ Lee speaking as though she's an expert on assault, for example, we needed experts on assault discussing the issue, addressing the realities.

Her story changed!

Which means nothing.  

Well it means one thing, it means the people screaming that nonsense are stupid and willing to flaunt their stupidity.  

Experts on assault would have spoken to how it is not at all uncommon for assault to be a slow reveal with the victim revealing more details as her/his comfort level rises.

Experts on assault could have addressed so much and educated the public.

But they didn't want education, the corporate media's been in the tank for Joe Biden all along.  You saw it with their efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders.  You saw it with their attacks on Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro when they dared to question Joe in debates.  

Smears were attached to the story, smears that let rape culture thrive.  The media needs to take accountability for what they have done.  They won't.  Ryan Grim's only one example of someone who will not take accountability.  

And if he no longer knows -- or feels he does -- what happened maybe it's time for him to realize that he doesn't need to be on RISING every week or all the other programs, he needs to be doing the job of journalism.  If he wants to be gas bag pundit, have at it but stop pretending you're a reporter because you aren't.  And, again, heed the wisdom of Ellen Goodman and grasp that you can't be an expert on every issue under the sun just because you happened to reTweet on a few topics you've never reported on.

At THE GUARDIAN, Lauren Gambino asks, "Can Joe Biden convince protesters he would be a 'transformational' president?"  That's why another brainless and braless celebrity was out front yesterday trying to build excitement for Joe (and trying to stop people from protesting).  I'm referring, of course, to Miss Barack Obama.  

You know what, at least Hillary Clinton has the good sense to dial her own presence down right now.  She's not trying to steal focus from the nominee.  She realizes Joe needs to be the headline.  But Barack, who did nothing to stop police violence in his eight years as president and whose best known effort at racial healing was the laughable beer summit, needs some attention so Miss Barack Obama holds a virtual town hall and the corporate media goes into overdrive.

Is Barack the nominee?  


Joe can't excite voters and he can't connect with them.

Which is why the media continues to play the who-will-he-pick game to gin up excitement and interest in a flaccid campaign.  Joe has stated it will be August when he announces his running mate.  But both he and his campaign are so boring and uninspiring that the media daily rushes to the closet to pull down their board game and play Mystery Date.

Gretch The Wretch has a husband who looks corrupt with his lunacy around Memorial Day (the whole yacht thing) and that's not going to play well.  Amy's got major racial issues that aren't going to play well.  Stacey Abrams isn't experienced or competent enough to serve as vice president to a healthy person let alone to Joe who would require a v.p. who could step in at any moment due to his poor health and cognitive decline.   The media's not addressing those realities, it's just playing Mystery Date and that game has not aged well.

By the way, Joe's promise to make a woman his v.p. pick was stupid from the beginning.

There's nothing wrong with picking a woman.

But promising to pick one?

That's nonsense.  

It's one thing to pick a woman because she brings something to the ticket that other candidates do not.  

It's wrong, however, to pick a woman just because you said you were going to.

There's a desperation to it right now as a result.  

And, at the end of the day, the pick will not be seen as the best but instead as the best Biden could settle for after making his public promise.

Charlamagne tha God isn’t joining Team Biden just yet.
The radio personality, speaking to CNN on Tuesday evening, discussed his assessment of how the presumptive Democratic nominee was performing as the country reels over the death of George Floyd and the protests and riots that ensued as a result.
Despite offering praise for former Vice President Joe Biden’s address to the nation from Philadelphia, the host of “The Breakfast Club” radio program said he needed more from the 2020 hopeful.
[. . .]
The African American influencer, who boasts over 2.1 million Twitter followers and has interviewed almost every major presidential candidate this election cycle, went on to say that Biden had a “racist” legislative history in the Senate.
“To me it’s like this: If Barack Obama was JFK, then Joe Biden needs to be Lyndon B. Johnson. You know, he has the opportunity to be as progressive as Lyndon B. Johnson. Lyndon B. Johnson may have been labeled a racist but his record doesn’t reflect that. LBJ’s record showed that he had, like, the most effective progressive record on race and class of any Democratic president of the past 80 years.
“I think, you know, Biden’s record in the Senate actually reflects very racist legislation, but he has a chance to correct that by doing right by black people,” Charlamagne said.
Turning to Iraq . . .

That was April, and Mustafa al-Kadhim wasn't yet prime minister -- he would become prime minister on May 7th.  It needs to be noted that as he prattled on about Iraq's sovereignty and the need to protect it, the Turkish government was bombing Iraq and killing people.  That's terrorism.  Does Mustafa plan to address that?  Does he plan to ask the international community for help with that?  Will he ask the United Nations -- which just extended its own mandate in Iraq -- for help in stopping the Turkish bombings?

 In other problems that need to be resolved, Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) reports:

The Iraqi government must submit its 2020 draft budget to the Iraqi parliament by June 30, parliamentarians decided during the legislative body’s Wednesday session.

Already six months into 2020, Baghdad is currently still operating its financial affairs based on the country’s 2019 budget law, after the government was paralyzed in political deadlock for most of the year.

Until Mustafa Kadhimi was approved as prime minister alongside his cabinet in early May, Iraq had not had a fully-functioning government since December, when Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned from the post in the face of mass protests over unemployment, corruption, and the lack of basic services.

Both the previous caretaker and newly-established governments have failed to submit the 2020 draft budget to parliament to be turned into a bill and finally a law. This comes at a time of great financial distress for Iraq, which is simultaneously battling an economic slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a massive drop in oil prices, an increase in Islamic State (ISIS) attack, as well as budgetary disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad.

Iraq’s parliament held a session on Wednesday in the presence of 184 MPs to review a drafted loans bill, and discuss financial support for impoverished Iraqis, according to a statement from the parliament. 

The following sites updated:

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