The best night. A wonderful meal with friends, we had some good music -- Sade, Smokey and Diana -- on the turntable. On the table? A great cucumber salad and snow crab legs, mussels and shrimp. And the best homemade tea. I'm still sipping on that.
I needed tonight -- real bad.
The world can really weigh on us and weigh us down. Being able to get together with friends and share problems and joys is an important part of life and one we lost for awhile there due to the pandemic which, yes, is still ongoing.
My three favorite songs that we listened to tonight?
Sade's "By Your Side."
Smokey's "Being With You."
And Diana Ross' "Turn Up The Sunshine" with Tame Impala which we bought as an import from AMAZON.
Here's a mix of "Turn Up The Sunshine." It really is my favorite song of the summer.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, July 29, 2022. The motto for the Biden era: Its the incompetency, stupid.
The r-word. BREAKING POINTS wonders if we're seeing the recession confirmed before our eyes.
THE HILL wonders if US President Joe Biden will admit the recession is here?
I wonder who will be the modern day James Carville and stress, "It's the incompetence, stupid?"
The US economy has taken another significant step towards recession with economic output contracting for the second quarter in a row, a situation often referred to as a “technical recession.”
When the first quarter results were released, they were generally passed off as having no real significance, the result of a statistical aberration. But the latest data indicate they were the start of a trend.
The official definition of a recession in the US is determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and it will not make a determination for some time. But whatever it decides, the data for the last two quarters indicate a significant slowdown over the past six months. In the December quarter of 2021, the US economy was growing at an annualised rate of 6.9 percent.
Breaking down the data, there were a number of results which point to the underlying trends. Consumer spending, which accounts for around two thirds of total economic output, grew by only 1 percent for the quarter, down from the 1.8 percent increase in the first. Consumer spending growth is now at its lowest rate since the start of the pandemic.
Real wages are falling, with real disposable income falling by 0.5 percent for the quarter, the fifth straight quarterly fall.
The biggest drag on growth was the drop in business inventories which cut 2 percent off the headline result. Earlier Walmart, America’s biggest retailer, reported that it was cutting prices in a bid to clear out inventories that had built up because of falling demand. Business investment was also down.
There is a concerted attempt to deny that recession is taking hold. Earlier this week US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said the US economy was not in recession and she would “be amazed” if the NBER declared it was.
Tuesday, Trina observed:
Yesterday, CNBC reported:
Walmart cut its quarterly and full-year profit estimates because of rising food inflation. This alarmed investors who deliberated the implications for other retail stocks. The big-box retailer said higher prices are spurring consumers to pull back on general merchandise spending, particularly in apparel.
Walmart plunged 7.6% Tuesday and dragged other retailers with it. Kohl’s and Target dropped 9.1% and 3.6%, respectively. Among apparel companies, Macy’s was among the hardest hit, down 7.2%. Nordstrom and Ross each lost more than 5%, and TJX Companies shed about 4.2%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF fell nearly 4.2%.
Inflation's destroying everything. We don't need war with Russia. We never did. And we've never needed to throw all of our money away by giving it to Ukraine. But that's what Joe Biden's done and he's destroyed our economy.
A day after Walmart warned investors that its profit would shrink as rising prices forced shoppers to make fewer purchases at its stores, Unilever, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, three other consumer-facing giants, reinforced the message, to different degrees, providing a window into how companies are navigating this fragile economic moment.
On Tuesday, Unilever, the maker of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, said it raised prices until they were 11 percent higher than in the same quarter last year, offsetting a 2 percent decline in the volume of things that consumers bought. It was the fourth consecutive quarter in which prices outpaced volume growth at the company.
It's the incompetency, stupid.
The infection of US President Joe Biden with COVID-19 marks a significant turning point in the US response to the pandemic. This event, which should have provoked deep concern and self-reflection by the Biden administration, was instead utilized to openly state the White House’s brutal new policy towards the pandemic: Everyone will get infected with COVID-19, repeatedly, year after year, forever.
As the World Socialist Web Site has noted, last winter’s surge of the highly infectious and immune-resistant Omicron BA.1 subvariant prompted the scrapping of all mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As with previous variants, officials from numerous world governments made unscientific claims that BA.1 would induce lasting immunity and send the virus into “endemicity.”
Now, after successive waves of three more Omicron subvariants, this threadbare lie is being discarded and the Biden administration is openly pursuing a policy of perpetual mass infection. This is essentially a repackaged and even more dangerous version of the “herd immunity” strategy implemented by Donald Trump, as it threatens to rapidly erode the efficacy of existing vaccines and treatments. While openly stating their intention to allow SARS-CoV-2 to spread uncontrolled in perpetuity, the White House continues to cover up the horrific implications this will have for American and world society.
It is evident that sometime in June the decision was made to substantially reduce the safety precautions in place to protect the President from contracting COVID-19. In recent weeks, numerous photos and videos were staged at large indoor events and meetings internationally with a maskless Biden. In effect, the White House consciously allowed Biden to be infected as part of a deepening propaganda campaign to force American society to accept their policy of “forever COVID.”
On July 18, three days before Biden’s infection was made public, his 81-year-old Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Politico, “We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this.” In other words, Dr. Fauci stated that the pandemic will drag on for at least the next quarter century.
At each of the three press conferences held during Biden’s illness, White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated this statement of surrender to the virus, while stating that all Americans will inevitably be infected with COVID-19.
On July 21, Jean-Pierre stated, “Look, we knew this was going to happen. As Dr. Jha said … at some point, everyone is going to get COVID.” The following day, Dr. Jha said bluntly, “This virus is going to be with us forever.” On Monday, July 25, Jean-Pierre repeated, “As we have said, almost everyone is going to get COVID.” Numerous articles in the bourgeois press and segments on the broadcast news outlets parroted these same talking points.
Finally, on Wednesday Biden tested negative for COVID-19 and ended his isolation. Visibly unwell, coughing repeatedly, his voice still deep from the infection, and stumbling over his words more than usual, Biden gave a lying and cynical 10-minute speech to a group of maskless, cheering staffers in the Rose Garden, in which he portrayed vaccines and Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid as magical “tools” that nullify the dangers of perpetual mass viral transmission.
In the course of his speech, Biden referred to God three times and “prayers” once. He made no reference to the rising daily death toll from COVID-19, the impacts of Long COVID, viral evolution, mask mandates, airborne transmission, or other critical concerns about the pandemic raised by leading scientists. On the same day as Biden’s speech, 801 Americans officially died from COVID-19 and the seven-day average of daily new deaths rose to 440, up 67 percent from the trough reached on June 21, while hospitalizations approached 44,000, a three-fold increase in the past three months.
In 1992, James Carville boiled down Bill Clinton's campaign to three main points with the chief one being the economy and stressing to staffers on a daily basis, "It's the economy, stupid."
That's what they were focusing on because that's what the American people were focusing on.
These days? Someone needs to look Joe in the eye and tell him, "It's the incompetency, stupid."
Because the Biden presidency has been all about incompetency.
COVID 19? It did not arrive on his tenure. It was already here and he has no plans to this day for it. The pandemic was already going when he ran for president and made promises. Now he's president and he's not doing a damn thing. We'll all get it? How lucky we are to have you in office.
He's an incompetent fool.
Our economy was suffering. But he made it much worse with his billions given to Ukraine while Americans at home suffered. He was the 'great guy' buying dinner for everyone while at home the electricity was getting turned off because we hadn't paid the bills.
Ukraine is not the 51st in the US.
But Joe wanted war on Russia. And that war is destroying the global economy.
It's the incompetency, stupid.
He is a failure in every regard and if, in year two of his presidency, the best 'solution' he can offer with regards to the pandemic is that we're all going to get COVID, he needs to resign because he has nothing to offer.
Under his watch, ROE V WADE was overturned. Precedent has been trashed and Clarence Thomas has made clear that when not eyein' his porn, he's busy planning to overturn birth control access, marriage equality and nearly any other privacy right he can get his spare hand on. By the way, is it karma that a sex perv like him ended up married to such an unattractive woman?
Joe does nothing. He doesn't publicly demand Congress codify ROE into law. He wobbles along, eager to get his photo taken and he does nothing.
The country needs a leader and Joe's AWOL.
Liberal comedian Jon Stewart chastised the GOP on Thursday, less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans tanked a bill that would have expanded healthcare access for U.S. military veterans exposed to Agent Orange and toxic burn pits—a move that was made in retaliation for Democrats reviving their reconciliation package following the passage of bipartisan legislation designed to boost domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing.
"Everyone needs to watch this," progressive commentator Krystal Ball tweeted, sharing a clip of Stewart, who has lobbied for improved assistance for veterans harmed by toxins, speaking in Washington, D.C. "Republicans are literally blocking care for veterans poisoned by burn pits as part of their temper tantrum over a deal to tax corporations and create clean energy jobs."
Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference held in the wake of the GOP's refusal to advance the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, Stewart told the crowd: "I'm used to the hypocrisy... I'm used to the lies... I'm used to the cowardice... I'm used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty."
"These motherf[**]kers," said Stewart, referring to U.S. senators, "don't support the troops, [they] support the war machine."
"They haven't met a war they won't sign up for, and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over," added the former host of The Daily Show, who now has a program on Apple TV+.
Good for Jon for his righteous rage. But it's not a surprise.
Joe could have ensured the legislation passed. He could have tied it around the Republicans neck ahead of the vote. He could have made it an issue. He didn't.
And the press really won't either. When, years ago, 'Democrat' Jim Webb tanked a bill to expand veterans benefits with regards to Agent Orange, I was as outraged as Jon is now. And then the head of a veterans group told me that if I wanted to get mad wait and get mad at all the people who rush to hush it up. He was right.
Veterans knew what Webb did. It's why he didn't run for re-election. He didn't have enough support anymore to win. But the media played it off and never raised that issue when he announced he was retiring and no one ever called him for being the piece of crap that he was.
We didn't cover for him. Late to the party? February 14, 2012:
Our Congress is very greedy when it comes to helping people who are not in Ukraine.
Iraq remains in tatters. Our Congress saw to that and now they ignore the country they tore apart. THE ARAB WEEKLY notes:
The storming of Iraq's parliament by hundreds of supporters of populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has piled pressure on his political opponents working to form a government nearly ten months after an election.
There are signs Sadr's pressure on his opponents is starting to spin out of control, with former premier Nuri al-Maliki taking unprecedented security precautions that could augur violent developments in the Iraqi scene.
"Neither side is willing to make any concessions," political scientist Ali al-Baidar said Thursday, one day after crowds breached Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone and staged a parliamentary sit-in, waving flags and demanding change.
The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and a socio-economic crisis despite soaring energy prices.
Escalation of protests and counter protests could force Iraq into the "danger zone" of armed strife, experts fear.
Is Iraq heading towards more violence and protests? Or will it be obliged to hold fresh polls?
Besides Joe Biden backing him, what does Moqtada have? Joe doesn't want Nouri back in power. That's why US tax dollars were handed over to Moqtada back in August to get him to call for his cult to vote (he was boycotting the election prior to his payout). It's why the Nouri recording surfaced. That's allegedly an NSA recording of Nouri. Whether it is or not, that's what Nouri believes: that the US passed it on to an Iraqi reporter who leaked portions of it on Twitter. Should Nouri or his protege become prime minister, there will be a huge amount of ill will towards the US government.
For those who forgot or missed the leaks a little over a week ago, In a series of Tweets, Tammus Intel covered the recording.
Joe's the only power that Moqtada has and one has to wonder why the US government is so damn determined right now to support Moqtada -- a right wing, homophobic, sexist who is responsible for the deaths of countless America troops?
If you've seen the footage from the storming of the Parliament -- that day's footage -- you should marvel over one thing. You see his cult taking down parts of the concrete barrier that protects the Green Zone. That's how they get entry. Has the ongoing stalemate so paralyzed the Baghdad-based government that it couldn't stop or was there a stand-down ordered?
The following sites updated: