Con artist Jussie Smollett is finally facing the music. Deadline reports:
At first generating calls of compassion from almost all corners, the details of the assault on Smollett on January 29 fast tracked the actor who played middle son Jamal Lyon on the blockbuster Empire to a late-night punchline and online joke. The revelation that Smollett paid brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo $3,500 just before the attack occurred and the siblings confessing their part in the scheme after hours under interrogation by Chicago police turned a light-handed legal system and public opinion against the actor.
WHAT ARE THE CHARGES?
The 39-year-old is charged under Illinois’ disorderly conduct statute, which encompasses a wide range of offenses, from making prank 911 calls to placing harassing calls as a debt collector.
He faces six counts of disorderly conduct under a subsection of the law that prohibits false reports to police. Some states don’t categorize false police reports as disorderly conduct.
The charges are listed as class 4 felonies, which are among the least serious felonies in Illinois. But convictions can still carry potential prison time of up to three years.
If jurors convict Smollett, his lack of criminal history and the fact that no one was seriously hurt make actual time behind bars unlikely. It’s more likely that a judge would sentence him to probation and perhaps order him to perform community service.
“I’d be shocked if he spent one day in jail,” said Andrew Weisberg, a Chicago-based criminal attorney and a former Cook County prosecutor.
Jussie is a con artist. That's all he is and all he ever will be.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Monday, November 29, 2021. Is an arrest about to take place in Iraq and what's the Democratic Party's White House hope in 2024?
Columbia University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs Tweets the following:
Pete and Kamala are largely charisma free. I don't like Kamala personally -- and I've noted that here for years. Our mutual friend, Willie Brown, tells me I've never given her a real chance -- maybe he's right. But though I don't like Kamala personally, I've thought she could handle her own in court -- yes, I've known her that long and I thought she projected likeability.
And maybe she does for those of us in California. But for whatever reasons, that has not been the case nationwide. And that goes back to her campaign for the presidential nomination and through her term as vice president.
Her image is now established. Sorry. Unless you're Tina Turner -- and few of us are -- you get one shot at an image. She can't be re-invented -- not while in office -- and attempts at image rehab while she's a Vice President are not going to take.
People know her. They have formed their opinion. And it's not a good one. To combat that, you'd have to have a nation filled with people willing to admit that they could be wrong. And I don't think we live in that country. I could be wrong.
All known examples and studies would predict that it's too late for her to change her image.
He didn't connect with voters and he got graded on a curve because the media loved him.
"Magic Negro"? Remember that? When Barack Obama was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, David Ehrenstein contributed that column to THE LOS ANGELES TIMES (March of 2007). And it ran. It was satire and it was a critique. (For the record, I have encountered David and I do not care for him. I disclose that because I'm not going into too much detail about that column or David's writing because I doubt I will be fair.) David's 1/4 African-American and he was noting how Barack Obama wasn't presented as an actual person by the media but as the supporting character who does for you what you need.
That column ran and ran without huge controversy.
I mention that because Dale Peck wrote a piece about Pete in 2020 for THE NEW REPUBLIC that his campaign (Liz, chiefly) immediately jumped upon and sent out the bots leading THE NEW REPUBLIC to disown the column and immediately remove it.
It was censorship plain and simple. THE NEW REPUBLIC should be ashamed of itself but considering it's entire history -- especially with regards to the Iraq War -- the publication is clearly not capable of shame or thought.
Pete is gay. And his lunatic celebrity supporters (I'm thinking of Jane Lynch especially), gave the appearance that the LGBTQ community was at one in their opinion of Pete and all behind him. Nope. Dale Peck was addressing issues with regards to Pete and issues with regards to the LGBTQ community.
This was ignored in the bot storm Liz created. The bot community really came into its own during Barack's run for the presidency. It was created in 2004 -- I was present -- to address the debate coverage. They targeted soft commentators -- soft meaning that they could go either way int heir analysis and, if they were Democrats, were likely to lean to the right to be 'fair.' Dana Milbank was one of the targets and I'm surprised to this day that he has never written about this. He had triple the e-mails after the first debate that he usually got at his work e-mail account. He had a snit fit about it. The e-mails came mainly from 100 people with several accounts who were paid to write them as various people. In 2007, Barack deployed the bots -- a larger force by then -- and the press was both mute and moot as a result. I explained to an editor friend at THE NEW YORK TIMES in 2008 what was going on -- again, I was present when this bot community was thought up and budgeted for back in 2004 -- and they started checking the ISPs on, for example, the comment thread to a live debate and found that the 100s of 'people' were usually about 120 people posting as one person and about 100 people posting as 500.
When the lies of Russia-gate emerged, I saw a lot of projection from various Democratic activists. I wasn't at all surprised when they finally went after bots -- insisting Russia was using individuals who posed as multiples to influence on the internet -- something the Democratic Party started paying for in 2004 but that reality was left out.
The point is that the bot community cannot protect Pete in another go around.
Dale Peck's article, if published today, would seem well worth exploring.
Especially after MAYOR PETE (Ava and I covered it in "TV: You can learn a lot from documentaries -- more than they intend to teach").
The larger community is more aware today and the LGBTq community now know Pete and aren't likely to see him as the poor victim of the press again. You can, for example, look at how Tucker Carlson's commentary against Pete -- one that people tried to create a controversy over -- didn't succeed. (And as Ava and I argued in "Media: A Little More Conversation ," it really seemed -- Tucker's 'critique' -- a plea to his own wife to give him more nipple play during sex.)
To watch MAYOR PETE really should make a lot of the people who bought into the attacks on Dale Peck grasp he was making solid points. What does it mean to be gay? What does it mean to be a later0in-life come out?
I hope Pete's a better person now than he was in the documentary. I hope Chasten's had some impact on his life since then. I think he has and I think Pete's using paternity leave was in response to some demands -- needed ones -- that Chasten made.
However, that paternity leave is also a problem. During an ongoing pandemic, you don't take weeks of leave -- maternity or paternity. And when you do and supply lines become an issue and you are Secretary of Transportation, you have a serious problem that is not going away if you try to seek higher office.
I know how this works, I've been in that room (no longer, life is too short and I'm not in the mood to fool myself anymore that me insisting that we tell the truth and stop trying to manipulate means I'm fighting for truth). Pete's gay. Kamala's half0Black. They're going to be the dream ticket. That really never happens. The Democratic Party honchos have farmed that out over and over and it's never really worked. At one point, they farmed it out to Texas because they knew they stood no real chance of winning. So they used Texas as a test ground and ran some idiots -- Ron Kirk among them -- and called it "the dream team." And? It didn't work. They knew it was going to be a loss ahead of time, the point was to see it raise the votes in a way that could be measure. A closer loss, if you will. It didn't work out. They saw a boost in turnout for the groups that the candidates represented -- but just for those candidates. The dream ticket actually didn't lift anyone.
I have no idea if it was why Hillary went with Mr. Bland as her running mate -- Id walked out of that room by that time -- but it's been proven not to not be a winning strategy.
If you ran actual leaders from those communities, it might work. Instead, corporate whores are run (hello, Ron Kirk! are you being held accountable yet for the destruction of your city's pension from when youy were mayor or is it still a few years down the line before that's really noticed). But corproate whores are really all the party has to offer at this point.
So Kamala is damaged and there's no real recovery for her. Pete's not vice president so he's been lower under the radar. He also distanced himself from Chasten while running for the presidential nomination in 2020 so he might have the opportunity of being rehabbed. Chasten next to him on the couch as Pete discusses how he's grown comfortable in the fact that he's a gay man and saying he's not there to hide or accept half-measures could rehab Pete. But Pete can't rehab Kamala.
That dream team strategy benefitted Kamala once. Stacey Abrams came awfully close to being Joe's running mate in 2020. Joe favored her. It was explained by various honchos in the party, explained to Joe, that she was "too Black." And, of course, when compared to Kamala who's half Indian (her mother is from India), Stacey is 'Blacker.' But they thought, the ones advising Joe, that they'd see the rejection of the ticket with Stacey on and that Joe needed to go with a 'whiter' person of color. Which is why Kamala got the nom. Up until 16 hours before that was announced, Joe was still saying Stacey would be a better choice. Would she have been? I don't know but I think it's fair to say her poll numbers would be higher than Kamala's are.
"He now has more than 350,00 deaths on his watch. He used to say that Trump got all these people killed because he didn't know what he was doing. So now we have 350,000 plus something coming over the ocean that we don't know anything about. So in every possible way, Joe Biden's presidency is slipping away."
Turning to Iraq, MEMO reports:
The Secretary-General of Iraq's Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq movement, Qais Khazali, warned on Sunday of "attempts" to accuse what he called "resistance factions" of trying to assassinate Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. According to Khazali, such allegations are likely to drag the country into a major crisis.
In a televised address, he called on Iraq's Supreme Shia cleric, Ali Al-Sistani, to intervene as the situation "has reached dangerous levels" in the country.
"The targeting of the prime minister's house [on 7 November], if true, is serious and cannot be tolerated at all," said Khazali, adding that Al-Kadhimi refused the participation of two "resistance factions" — militias — in the investigation into the attempted assassination. "We send a message to the committee charged with the investigation… You must provide concrete evidence and real proof, not allegations."
If true. And if carried out by Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq. That's not a slam at the group. I don't like them -- or the other militias in Iraq. But there is serious skepticism among the Iraqi people over what happened or didn't happen at the prime minister's home all those weeks ago.
Western outlets have wrongly ignored this skepticism. I have no idea what happened. I don't pretend I do. But I do know the skepticism was there from the start and that it has only increased. All by itself, that's a story. But when we get into the possible reactions to an arrest, this mood really becomes important.
Many believe the attempt or 'attempt' was nothing but a stunt to try to make people rally around the inept Mustafa al-Kahdimi. The current prime minister is reviled and seen as a failure. They were not moved to rally around him.
In the weeks since the attempt or 'attempt,' you've seen rallies and demonstrations around the country -- none hgve been by Mustafa supporters.
The US government backed Mustafa and they were the original suspect in the attempt or 'attempt.' Most Iraqis on Arabic social media feel it was an attempt carried out by the US government that was never meant to harm but that was meant to provide sympathy for the Iraqi people. Many compare it to September 2005 when 2 UK soldiers were arrested. The incident did rec3ive some US coverage (mainly THE NEW YORK TIMES) but the Iraqi people know it well. Two UK soldiers were arrested when Iraqi police found them acting suspicious and with explosives and wigs in their vehicle. They were to pose as insurgents and conduct violence to cause unrest. They were taken to a Basra prison and the UK responded by attacking the prison.
It was a big deal in Iraq -- and should have been around the world. Arabic social media has made that incident a major topic since the attempt or 'attempt' on Mustafa's life.
If someone is charged -- all this time later -- the popular mood willnot surprise those of us paying attention.
We'll deal with the UN rep in Iraq tomorrow. She's worthless and she's amde herself that.
Kat's "Kat's Korner: Documenting Joni's epic talents live" went up this morning. The following sites updated: